Although Master of Orion: The Boardgame proved a crushing disappointment for me, it is a game that could potentially lend itself to solo play. There was a discussion about this on BoardGameGeek’s MOO page some time ago, in a forum entitled “Anyone working on a solo variant?”, and as an alternative to just playing the game to see how many VPs you can get, Ian Toltz put forward a suggestion to help simulate the potential fleet strengths of your AI opponents. I’ve expanded on this a little here:
(1). Before you start, you’ll need to remove the following 16 cards from the Structure Deck (all of which target your opponents):
— Red Structures: Battleship, Death Spores, Orbital Batteries, Titan, and Troop Transport (10 cards in total)
— Black Structures: Destroyer, Espionage Training Facility, and Spy Center (6 cards in total)
— Then, if you wish to make it slightly more difficult, randomly remove up to 16 more cards from the Structure Deck (I’d suggest removing just 6 more the first time you try this variant) before you begin.
(2). Roll 3d10 in Rounds 1-3 to simulate AI opponent Fleet Strengths for that round.
(3). For each Fleet score that is higher than yours, they will all attack you at the start of the Action phase — if your Fleet strength is higher than theirs, you can attack as per normal rules during the Action phase if and when.
(4). For Rounds 4-6, roll 4d10 and add +1 to each roll and follow (3) again.
(5). For Rounds 7-8 roll 5d10 and add +2 to the highest two values and follow (3) again.
You’ll need to decide on your own sliding scale as to what constitutes a good target score, but I’d say 30-40 is a worthwhile starting point, but this is wide open until you’ve got a few games under your belt.