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In the Year of the Dragon» Forums » Variants

Subject: Solo variant (for the lonely Emperor) rss

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Gil Hova
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This game actually plays quite nicely with one...

OBJECT
To score more points than your autonomous "opponent."

SETUP

Setup is just like the 2-player setup, with the following exceptions.

* You will take one color, and your opponent takes the other color.

* Put out only three tiles each of the Tax Collector, Court Lady, and Craftsman, instead of four.

* The only events that come out onto the board will be the two Peace tiles. Shuffle the other ten Event Tiles and leave them in a face-down stack next to the board.

* Put a neutral VP token on top of the first Peace tile. This marks the current event.

* Put your opponent's Dragon near the board. You will not need your dragon marker.

* Your opponent does not get any Palace Floors to start the game. He will use Palace Floors differently than you throughout the game.

* Shuffle the Person Markers belonging to you and your opponent. Place them in a random order on the 0 space on the Person Track. Whomever's Person Marker is on top will pick his or her starting People first.

* To determine your opponent's starting Person Tiles, shuffle his deck and draw two cards. Re-draw wild cards. If your opponent's last drawn card would cause both of you to start with the same Person Tiles, then ignore that card and draw another.

* Place his Person Tiles in a line, so you know which Person Tile is his oldest. These rules will assume that your opponent's rightmost Person Tiles are oldest.

* If your opponent drew Craftsmen, Pyrotechnists, or Scholars, then they immediately take actions as described in 2nd Phase: PERSON below.

* Now you'll prepare your opponent's deck. Split it into two parts. Part A will have a Warrior, a Pyrotechnist, a Court Lady, a Craftsman, and a Wild Card. Part B will have a Tax Collector, a Monk, a Healer, a Farmer, a Scholar, and a Wild Card. Shuffle each part separately, and put Part A on top of Part B.

1st Phase: ACTION

* Put out the Action Tiles in two groups: one of 4 tiles and one of 3. If your opponent is further on the Person Track than you, or his Person Marker is on top of yours, then put his marker on the 4-tile group. Otherwise, put it on the 3-tile group.

* You must pay 3 Yuan to take an action in the group with your opponent's marker, even if you are first in turn order!

* Your opponent will not take an action.

* All your actions work exactly the same as in the multiplayer game.

* For a bigger challenge, try arranging them in groups of 5 and 2 instead of 4 and 3!

2nd Phase: PERSON

* Choose a card from your deck. If it's a wild, immediately decide who it will be, even if you plan to immediately discard that tile. You must choose a Person who has tiles available.

* Once you've decided, flip the top card from your opponent's deck. That is his choice. If it's a wild, then his choice is the same as yours.

* If your opponent is ahead of you on the Person Track, or his Person Marker is on top of yours, then he will get his Person Tile first, and choose an experienced Person if possible. Otherwise, he will go after you, and choose an inexperienced Person if possible.

* If a player's choice is unavailable when he picks, then he gets no person that round! This applies to both you and your opponent. If your opponent "prefers" an experienced Person and none are available, then he will take an inexperienced Person, if possible. The reverse is true if he "prefers" an inexperienced Person and none are available.

* Your opponent has no Palaces (he has a different use for Palace Levels, as indicated below). Instead, your opponent's acquired Person Tiles go in a line, with the newest Person Tile always at the left of the line.

* If your opponent picks certain Person Tiles, he will immediately take its respective Action after taking the Person, as indicated below. Note that this applies to his two starting Person Tiles as well. Here is how he resolves Person Tiles.

- Craftsman: Your opponent draws as many Palace Floors as he would if he had immediately selected the Build Action. So if your opponent has 2 Craftsmen, he takes 3 Palace Floors. Remember that there is no limit to the number of Palace Floors your opponent can have, because he isn't using them the same way as you.

- Pyrotechnist: Your opponent draws as many Fireworks Tiles as he would if he had immediately selected the Fireworks Display action. So if your opponent has People Tiles with 3 Fireworks icons, he would take 4 Fireworks Tiles.

- Scholar: Your opponent scores as many VP as he would if he had immediately selected the Research Action. So if your opponent has People Tiles with 5 Book icons, he would score 6 VP.

None of the other roles (Court Lady, Tax Collector, Warrior, Monk, Healer, or Farmer) has any action associated with them for this purpose.

* You are allowed to study your opponent's discard pile at any time to determine what Person Cards he has left.

3rd Phase: EVENT

* Some events require your opponent to lose a tile. If your opponent has any Palace Floors, he will discard those instead of Person Tiles if possible.

* If your opponent must lose a Person Tile, then he discards the Person Tile on the rightmost side of his line. Exception: your opponent will not lose a Court Lady or a Monk if possible. Instead, he will discard the rightmost person who is not a Court Lady or a Monk . If all he has are Court Ladies and Monks (a rare situation indeed), then he discards the rightmost Court Lady. He will only lose a Monk if that is all he has (an even rarer situation).

* Here is what each event does...

- Peace: Nothing happens. Still.

- Imperial Tribute: You must pay Yuan and/or lose Person Tiles as per the normal game rules. Your opponent loses one Palace Floor or Person Tile.

- Drought: You must pay Rice Tiles and/or lose Person Tiles as per the normal game rules. Your opponent loses one Palace Floor or Person Tile.

- Dragon Festival: This is scored normally. Remember that the player who scores must discard half their Fireworks Tiles, rounding up. If both of you have the same number of Fireworks Tiles, you both score 6 points (score it anyway, you know, for posterity) and discard half of your Fireworks Tiles.

- Mongol Invasion: This is scored normally. Remember that both you and your opponent will score for the number of helmet icons you have, and the player with fewer helmets loses a Person Tile. If both of you have the same number of helmets, both of you will lose one Person Tile. Of course, your opponent will discard a Palace Floor instead of a Person Tile in either case.

- Contagion: You must lose people if you have fewer than three mortar icons as per the normal game rules. Your opponent loses one Palace Floor or Person Tile.

* After the event, any of your uninhabited palaces decay as per the normal game rules. Your opponent is not subject to Decay.

4th Phase: SCORING

* You score normally.

* Your opponent always scores 5 points plus 1 point for each Court Lady he has.

* Move the neutral VP marker to the next Event Tile.

* Reveal the next face-down Event Tile and put it onto the board. If you wind up with two adjacent tiles, then set the just-drawn tile aside, draw another event tile, and reshuffle the set-aside identical tile back into the face-down supply.

* When the 3rd tile from the end is revealed, all six event types (including Peace) should be visible. If not, then the last two events are the same. Set aside the just-pulled tile and draw one of the other two face-down tiles. Then return the just-pulled tile to the face-down supply and re-shuffle them. You'll be able to figure out what the last two events are, but not the order they will come out in.

END OF GAME SCORING

* All scoring is done normally, except that your opponent's Monks are always considered to be in 3-floor Palaces. They will score 3 or 6 points, based on how many icons they have.

Good luck, lonely Emperor!
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Joe Salamone
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Last night, I played about 1/2 a game using these rules just to try it out. The gameplay was quick and smoothe and I found it to be challenging. Hopefully, I'll have time to play a full game this weekend.
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Jan
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Hello, thanks for this great variant!

One question belonging to the setup: Do my "opponent" receive 6 Yuan, too?

He doesn't use the money during the game. But he gets 2 VP at the endgame scoring. Right?

Thanks for answering!

Jan
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Gil Hova
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JanMS wrote:
Hello, thanks for this great variant!

One question belonging to the setup: Do my "opponent" receive 6 Yuan, too?

He doesn't use the money during the game. But he gets 2 VP at the endgame scoring. Right?

Thanks for answering!

Jan


Nope, your opponent starts with no money, and therefore scores no VP for money.

If you want to tweak my variant so he does get money and score for it, let me know how it goes!
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Gonzalo Herreros
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Questions:
-In the setup is not clear how to chose old/young for the AI
-How does the AI score remaining floors?
-The AI action depends on the person chosen, I guess if the person is not available the AI still does the action and in the last turn the AI deck is reshuffled.

Comments:
-Why doesn't the AI score the warriors?
-The heart of the game is choice between low term and short term planing, between young and old.
However, having to pay even if you are first and having 3 options being second makes me always go for the older people and play always second.
-Also, having always 3/4 options where the AI doesn't really chose it's pretty easy. I would be more interesting with 2 AIs (3 would be cumbersome) so there is less chance you get what you wanted anyway.
-I play that the AI is always considered to have fireworks so it scores 3 if it comes second.
-Without any knowledge of what is needed, my starting choices would likely always be the Maid and the Builder. Maybe it would be interesting if the player also uses cards to choose the initial cards (while choosing old/young).
 
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Gil Hova
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gherreros wrote:
Questions:


Hello! You're replying to an 8-year-old thread. I'll try to recall it as best I can.

Quote:
-In the setup is not clear how to chose old/young for the AI

Same as the base game, you must pick young people. (Or old people? It's been a while.)

Quote:
-How does the AI score remaining floors?

I don't believe they do, but it's been awhile.

Quote:
-The AI action depends on the person chosen, I guess if the person is not available the AI still does the action and in the last turn the AI deck is reshuffled.

Good question. You'll have to ask the me from 2009!

Quote:
Comments:
-Why doesn't the AI score the warriors?

I don't remember at all. Try it that way and let me know!

Quote:
-The heart of the game is choice between low term and short term planing, between young and old.
However, having to pay even if you are first and having 3 options being second makes me always go for the older people and play always second.
-Also, having always 3/4 options where the AI doesn't really chose it's pretty easy. I would be more interesting with 2 AIs (3 would be cumbersome) so there is less chance you get what you wanted anyway.
-I play that the AI is always considered to have fireworks so it scores 3 if it comes second.
-Without any knowledge of what is needed, my starting choices would likely always be the Maid and the Builder. Maybe it would be interesting if the player also uses cards to choose the initial cards (while choosing old/young).

Sure! Those all sound legit. I wonder how 2009 me would reply.
 
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