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A way to play Puerto Rico in a solo format has been posted to the Geek.

The download is available using the following link:
PuertoRico SoloPlay Rules
An expansion board has been included to help in executing and understanding the play mechanics.

More game files available here on the Geek can be accessed from the following Geeklist:
SoloPlay Variants Posted on the Geek

Preface:
SoloPlay rules have been/are being developed for a variety of games that do not get as much play as they used to. I realize that this is a matter of taste but it is a reality.

Every time I pull this game out, it is like visiting an old friend. The game group has had little interest in playing this one given all of the newer titles out there. Due to this fact, it became the 1st game that I developed SoloPlay rules for and when it came together the game was "back" in a much more challenging format.

At the end of this report are the games that have or are yet to be posted. If you enjoy this one, then maybe you might enjoy the others as well. San Juan has been posted to the Geek already.

Puerto Rico is available through many online avenues that permit multi-player as well as solo. I believe an "official" 2-player variant is also out there. I have not tried any of these.

Puerto Rico Comments:
Puerto Rico is an excellent multi-player game that really needs at least 4 to play in its intended format. It is a game where you need players who have a good grasp of what is going on so that the game isn't "thrown" to another player.

I enjoy playing with the expansion as a random draw to keep the game-play interesting. Through all of those many plays it became apparent that certain buildings offer much more opportunity then others. As I approached the idea of a solo-game, I had to tackle these issues. It is with this that you will note the "functional" changes that have been implemented to "open up" more avenues to pursue.

There is something satisfying when the cloister strategy comes together and equally disappointing when the corn shipping strategy falls apart due to some oversight.

It was not the intention to "redesign" the game but as the rules were being put together it became apparent that each building needed to be reviewed individually to determine how to give it "value" beyond its use since there will be only a single player. Hopefully those that give this variant a try will not find the ideas too far-fetched. Forest or quarry? This is now a real choice.


Goal of the rule design:
1. To give all components a real(sometimes alternate) purpose to achieving the goal of winning the game.
2.To give the experienced player a higher level of challenge to keep the game interesting for the long term.
3.To keep the solo play as close as possible to the multi-player format.

There will be a learning process that will go on as you play this variant. Early on I was scoring in the 40's but as I saw the possibilities and the combinations that could be put together the scores began to rise. Since the intention of this variant is to challenge the experienced Puerto Rico player and there are many more out there better than I, I had to keep raising the bar.

There are many more paths to victory including some that use the doubloons (University), cargo ships (wharf and small wharf) to name a few. All of these avenues need to be considered as the game is played.

Comments are welcome as always.
I rate Puerto Rico a 6 in complexity. The solo version, I would give a 7+. As mentioned in the rules, if you are new to the game you may find the path to victory elusive.

Strategies:
Your 1st plays should focus on how to sequence the roles and to get an economic engine going. I struggled initially with the mayor role which was a dominant end-game condition due to the changes to the way the role is used here. As time has gone on, I find that it is very balanced between all the end game conditions.

Be flexible. This is a theme that I try to incorporate in all of the solo-play variants. The intention was not to create a "puzzle" that once solved serves no other purpose. Each game will play different.

The construction of buildings mechanic for the solo and 2-player variant that are included provide some tough decisions that need to be made. Often times I found that the "obvious" choice was the wrong choice. This variant is very dependent on taking advantage of the opportunity that you have set up for yourself.

I hope you enjoy the challenge.

Other games that will be/are available from SoloPlay/GameRulesforOne are posted within a Geeklist that I created: SoloPlay Variants Posted on the Geek

All new variants and information about upcoming projects will be listed there.

A game that sits in a closet is a waste. Get it out and play it any way you can. These are just my ideas.
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James Bentley
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This post is just awesome, and I'm looking forward to trying out your other solo variants...and hope you have plans for more.

Thanks,
jrbentley
 
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Krzysztof Budny
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Nice! I'll try it as soon as it's possible and give some comments. But tell me - how long does the soloplay take?
 
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SoloPlayGames
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Once you get the hang of things - 30 minutes or so.

If you are AP challenged maybe up to an hour.



 
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Jan
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Hi, I have two rules questions:

1. Is this order right?

1st round: split roles >>> place doublones >>> select roles
2nd and further rounds: the same but failures can occur

2. When a failure occurs: What happens with coins on this placard?

a) I get them because I selected this role
b) I HAVE TO turn them to the bank
c) I MAY turn them to the bank (because I can choose one of the other two choices)

Thanks for answering, Jan

 
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Quote:
1. Is this order right?

1st round: split roles >>> place doublones >>> select roles
2nd and further rounds: the same but failures can occur


Answer:
1st turn (no doubloons placed) like the regular multi-player rules at game start. The rest you noted is correct. The 1st round is the only unique round. If you are able to execute 3 effective roles in the 1st round that would be a bonus but being able to get the roles in a better sequence usually is more beneficial. This is especially true if you are starting with an indigo plant.

Quote:
2. When a failure occurs: What happens with coins on this placard?

a) I get them because I selected this role
b) I HAVE TO turn them to the bank
c) I MAY turn them to the bank (because I can choose one of the other two choices)


Answer:
Choice "B" is correct. You must be able to fully execute the role to get the doubloons.

I don't understand the 3rd option (c). Detail below:

From the 2nd round and onward, the player is required to execute the 1st role and, if able to do so, collects the doubloons otherwise the doubloons are turned back in to the bank. The player can then choose the 2nd(collecting the doubloon, if the role is executed) or 3rd role to execute and then choose from 1 of the last 3 for the final role choice of the round.
The roles will then move to the left where you will place a doubloon on the 1st and 2nd roles. If the 2nd role was not chosen, it will now have 2 doubloons on it. All roles chosen from the previous round are placed in sequence chosen into the 4th, 5th and 6th positions.

Strategy note:
There may be times where you may want to fail the 2nd role, giving up the doubloon, because you can then will have 2 roles that you can use and be able to get the 2 doubloons in the next round. Otherwise you will throw away 2 doubloons by moving that role into the "required" play position. I have found this to be most often true with the trader if I haven't been able to get a production engine going. You in essence gain the use of one more doubloon. There is a trade-off, losing a colonist, that needs to be considered.


 
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Jan
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Quote:
I don't understand the 3rd option (c).


I thought (c) was the right answer because I read the rules: shake

"Role Failure - If the player is unaible or not willing to perform the action, the player must choose to do one of the following:
1. Pay a minimum of 3 ...
2. Place 1 colonist in the government supply ...
3. If the role has doubloons on it, they are turned in to the bank. "

This sounds that the 3rd option is chooseable and not a mustbe.

Maybe the numbering misleaded me. The option 4 (Special note) in this rules passage is realy no option for choosing.

Thanks for clarifications. Jan
 
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SoloPlayGames
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I have added this clarification to the rules file comments along with some strategy tips that have been brought to my attention regarding the mayor role.

#3 should have had Note:... or something similiar to stress the loss of the doubloons and to pay a cost.

A role failure is something to be avoided. If all you had to do was lose the doubloons on the role, the incentive to use all of the roles is lost. This is of particular note with a possible end game scenario with the mayor role.

Thanks for your comments and questions. Good point.
 
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Jan
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Hello,
sorry but I am still a bit confused regarding the first round: Placing doubloons on the first 2 roles belongs to the preparation of the second round. Right?
But when do I have to split the role cards in 3 groups? Before choosing the roles the first time (before round 1) or as preparation for the second round?
Thanks for answering, Jan
 
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Carc >> BSG
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I applaud your effort. I believe there is a market for solitaire board and card games, and I hope you don't mind if I study your works to inspire my own efforts.
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SoloPlayGames
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Jan-

In the 1st round, you are not limited to executing any particular action as long as you execute them going from left to right. So you could choose the 4th, 5th and 6th actions in the 1st round, if this is what you desire.

Since there are spaces to place the roles on the expansion board you can put them in the slots with the gaps but again, this does not mean anything in the 1st round.

The adding of doubloons, the "official" splitting of the roles and role selection requirements occurs at the beginning of round 2 and going till game's end.

Thanks for your question.

 
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Quote:
I applaud your effort. I believe there is a market for solitaire board and card games, and I hope you don't mind if I study your works to inspire my own efforts.


Thanks, I appreciate your comments. I don't mind you delving into the solo designs. They are almost a game in themselves to put together and make it readable/usable to the general public.

It can be quite the challenge.

I am working on Carcassonne at the moment and this one is putting up a fight. I am hoping that it comes across as I intend it to.
 
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Jan
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German translation
Hello,

I translated these SoloPlay rules into German. You can find the translation in the file section of Puerto Rico: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/42095

Have fun with it.

Jan
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Bruno Rainville
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I submitted this thread some hours ago and someone suggested I should send it directly to you.

Hello,
I played my first two games in solo format. I played the rules from GameRulesforOne and the soloplay is awesome (54 pts the 1st game and 76 pts the 2nd). I had a question about the setup. How many doublons do I start with? Reading the rules, there is no mention about doublons in the setup. I was a bit surprised so I decided to start with 3.

What do people do?
 
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SoloPlayGames
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You start with 2 just like in the normal rules.

In some of my earlier SoloPlay variants I was not including the setup if it didn't differ from normal play. I am making sure that I include all information now whether same or different especially with setup.

Thanks for your question. 76 in the 2nd play is outstanding.
 
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Bruno Rainville
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I played another game yesterday and I started with 2 doublons. I was able to come out with 58 pts. Yeah 76 pts is outstanding but realized I got in wrong. I figured out yesterday I did not end the game the round in which there were no more victory points. I played one extra round and it made a whole world difference. Excluding this extra round, the score would have likely been between 50 and 60 pts.

Thanks.

Bruno
 
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matthewguidry wrote:
1) When a role cannot be executed, do I still move it to the back of the line after the role selection phase is over?

Answer:Yes, you do (option 1). Also, any doubloons that are on the role go back to the bank. No freebies.

matthewguidry wrote:
Furthermore, is it all or nothing? If the Craftsman role is played, and I have enough in the stock to produce 2 Corn, but am missing 1 Sugar, do I get the Corn or fail at the entire role? I played it by failing the entire role and not receiving any goods at all, is this the intended way?

Answer: You were a little hard on yourself with this one. As long as you can produce even 1 barrel you do not fail the role.

matthewguidry wrote:
2) When deciding to place a quarry for the next round, do I place it first then select randomly 2 plantations, or, do I place 3 plantations and eliminate one to place the quarry?

Answer: You place the quarry and then select 2 plantations.

matthewguidry wrote:
I do not have the expansion and so do not have the library building. Was this purposely done for balance, or does this variant work best with the expansion buildings?

Answer: The library was a little over powered if it provided its benefit every time. I am not sure what you were eluding to about the library so I hope I answered your question. To your other question, I think that the expansion adds a bit of variety to the game. When I play with the veterans they insist in not using the expansion but everyone else is fine with it. I like over the top variety in games so I would encourage anyone to buy it. I think it is around $10 or so.

Thanks for your questions. If you need any further assistance, please don't hesitate to ask.
 
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Reading your variant and other replies, I think that this I should give it a try,because I am a board game geek and I can't seems to find a suitable companion of same minded fellows.

So before my first try, I think I have understood all rules, except the mayor role failure.

So here is the scenario I think of: (Note that I haven't tried playing so this could never happen, I just would like to ask).

If I play a mayor role and have 3 free spaces on my board, but there are 4 colonist in the ship, obviously there is no space for 1 so the role should be considered a failure. So do I place the 3 colonist that i can, and pay my failure fee or I am not allowed to place any of them.

And for the most likely scenario, if I choose mayor and there are no places to put the colonist, are they removed from the game and the ship is replenished with new ones or are they just left in the ship.
 
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When the mayor role fails, which both of the situations you mention qualify, you do not perform any part of the action and just fail the role.
The colonists that are on the ship remain there and none are drawn.
The penalty may have to be paid by a colonist on the ship but none are drawn.
 
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Thanks for clearing that out. I just finished my first game with 65 VP. Playing with original buildings only. Getting a construction hut really helps. Finished second game with 70. Gonna try with expansion buildings.

One more question. Have you tried this variant with noblemen expansion, if yes, can it be applicable, with your solo or duo variants?
 
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I have the "noble" expansion but have yet to try it in any form. It should be combatible with the 2 player rules without modification.
For SoloPlay, modification is likely necessary.
 
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Matt Asher
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Hopefully you're still subscribing to this thread...

Just gave it a whirl - 63 points...and I think I only failed a role once... now to see if I did it correctly I didn't use the expansion, factory & wharf were out, and I started with indigo. I was able to build 3 large violet buildings, which were worth 29 points alone (including their 4pt value). I built the office, which was helpful in constantly trading tobacco and sugar for $$ to buy the large buildings...

Some questions/assumptions...

1) Start with 0 doubloons
2) a doubloon stays on a role in slot #2 when it shifts to #1
3) a Quarry MUST be placed after meeting the settler conditions, and if not chosen the next settler role it is removed (as with the other plantation tiles)
4) assuming ?2 above is true, When Builder is in #1 slot, the doubloons on it can be used to purchase a building.

I like it, and can see how adding the expansion buildings (and eventually the nobles) will greatly mix up the game play.

Thanks for this (and all your other soloplay rules) !!!

--Matt
 
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My apologies for my delay in answering your question, my mobile did not let me reply to it.

Yes, it sounds like you everything correct.

I hope that you find the variant enjoyable going forward and as you noted the expansions make the variant a more varied experience and challenging.

I have not put together rules for the noble expansion as I did not have it when I put this variant together. I have it as my last alteration due to my purchase of the Alea treasure chest which I would strongly recommend just for the Puerto Rico and San Juan expansions alone.

Have fun.
 
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Chanan Siegel
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Some basic questions

Remove the following
25 colonists.
Does this mean that I am playing the game with only 25 colonists

Or am I removing 25 colonists from the game and thus using the other 75.


Second
Does any building get removed. Also what building is the Libary.


also Game set up H
The building.
I'm not clear what you mean by randomly fill the building spaces.
Are we placing these building spaces on the game card.

 
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marcsiegel wrote:
Remove the following
25 colonists.
Does this mean that I am playing the game with only 25 colonists?

Answer#1: Yes, that is correct. You will only be using 25 colonists.

marcsiegel wrote:
Second
Does any building get removed.

Answer#2: There will be 2 empty building spaces when the game begins. So if you are using only the base game without expansion you might play without the factory and the hospice. This gives this game variant additional replayability.

marcsiegel wrote:
Also what building is the Libary.

also Game set up H
The building.
I'm not clear what you mean by randomly fill the building spaces.
Are we placing these building spaces on the game card.

Answer#3: I think that both of these are related questions and partially related to Q#2 above.

The Library is a building in the 1st Puerto Rico expansion. The expansion adds more variety to the play and many alternate ways of reaching your goal. I would seek it out especially if you find most of the Alea Treasure Chest expansions helpful. I have used all but two of them in my variants (I haven't used the 2nd Puerto Rico expansion, "the nobles" in a variant yet).

The random fill aspect is after you place the necessary production buildings you randomly draw buildings from those available (including expansion, if your are using it) until you have 2 open building spaces left. Set all remaining buildings aside and complete the rest of your game setup.

If you need more on this, let me know. Enjoy

 
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