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Subject: New solo variant rss

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Simon AOEC
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I just recently acquired Puerto Rico and immediately saw the need to make a solo version. Here's what I came up with:

-Use four corn, four indigo, four sugar, three tobacco, and two coffee plantations. Of these, randomly select one corn or one indigo to start on island. Place the rest in a face-down stack and reveal two at a time.
-Use four quarries and one of each building.
-20 colonists in supply.
-All VPs available.
-Use the four-space and five-space cargo ships.
-Start with one doubloon.

-Game is divided into 15 rounds. Make a line of 15 colonist markers and remove one at the end of each round.
In each round:
-Randomly select two non-prospector role cards (prospectors not used). You must choose and play one of these roles. Place a doubloon on the other role's icon on the player board.
-Randomly select two of the remaining four role cards and play the same way.
-Choose one of the last two role cards and play the same way.
-If a role's icon has doubloons, take these when you take the card.
-Gain the privilege only with the first role you play on each round.

-At the end of round 15, or at the end of a round in which the colonist ship cannot be refilled or your city spaces are full, find your total victory points. Record this score and try to beat it next time.

-Otherwise, all rules are as normal.

I've played one game and the system seems promising, but I am only a beginner. Comments or suggestions?

EDIT: Improved Version Posted Below
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Do you have a different edition of the game? I.e., which version do you have? Mine does not have icons for the roles on the any board. That's an easy thing to fix though; one can write the roles on a notecard or something and put the doubloons there.

This variant is one for me to try later.

Personally though I prefer winning or losing to beating one's previous score. IF I were to suggest a change, I'd say play it a few times and figure out the normal range of scores. If one scores in the top third, fourth or even fifth of that range, then one wins; if not, one loses.
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Steve Duff
Canada
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Ontario
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whac3 wrote:
Do you have a different edition of the game? I.e., which version do you have? Mine does not have icons for the roles on the any board.


I believe he's talking about these icons on the bottom right, are yours different?

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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Do you have a different edition of the game? I.e., which version do you have? Mine does not have icons for the roles on the any board.


I believe he's talking about these icons on the bottom right, are yours different?


I'm not home now but it looks like it's the same and I just didn't notice but I'll have to check when I get home. Assuming it is the same, thanks for pointing it out!
 
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Simon AOEC
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After a few plays I've decided that the rules should be updated as follows:

-Place an indigo plantation on island. Mix 4 corn, 3 indigo, 4 sugar, 3 tobacco, and 2 coffee in a face-down stack and reveal 2 at a time.
-Use 4 quarries and 1 of each building.
-20 colonists in supply, 1 on colonist ship.
-All VPs available.
-Reduce the availability of each good by 4 barrels.
-Use the 4-space and 5-space cargo ships.
-Start with 2 doubloons.

-Game is divided into 12 rounds. Make a line of 12 colonist markers and remove one at the end of each round.
In each round:
A. Randomly select 2 non-prospector role cards (prospectors not used). You must choose and play one of these roles. You gain the privilege of the role you play. Do not place any doubloons.
B. Randomly select 2 of the remaining 4 role cards and choose one to play. You do not gain the privilege. Place a doubloon on the unused role's icon on your player board.
C. Choose and play one of the remaining 2 role cards with the same conditions as in B.
-If a role's icon has doubloons, take these when you choose the card.


-At the end of round 12, or at the end of a round in which the colonist ship cannot be refilled or your city spaces are full, find your total victory points. Record this score and try to beat it next time (might eventually find a minimum winning score after playing more games).

-Otherwise, all rules are as normal.


Rationale: I shortened the game length and reduced the number of doubloons placed per turn because the previous rules had allowed me to gain excessive doubloons and victory points by the end. The new version feels a lot more tense. Minor modifications to the starting setup make the beginning more stable.
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Greg Bigler
United States
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I tried this several times and have a couple of suggestions.
After choosing 2 roles to play from the first 4 roles, only place 1 doubloon from 1 of the last 2 roles. I thought that when 1 doubloon was placed on 2 roles, there was so much money in the game that Trader was rendered useless.
I shuffle the deck of roles, pick from the top and bottom of the stack, choose one, then pick again from the top and bottom of the stack, then place a doubloon on the top role of the two that are left.
I also play 16 rounds. I felt that my strategy was just getting going after 12 rounds. I think this simulates better the real game.
Otherwise I like this solo variant.
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Larry Buckel
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Whittier
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I agree with Greg's comments and will add an additional tweak, make the Trading House 3 capacity like in some of the 2-player variants.

I also thought 12 rounds was short so I continued playing to 14 my first game. Great idea. The Random role selection, though not in the original rules, helps balance the effects of playing alone. If you always go to choose what you wanted, it would be too easy. Several times I drew two roles that I couldn't perform. Thanks again for the solo idea here!
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Markus Steinsland
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Just tried this Pretty fun!

I got 54 points. Don't know how good/bad this is, 'cause I have only played it once multiplayer before.

But it would be good if some people who have played this variant posted their score here, so one has something to try and beat

(I played 15 rounds.)
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Dex Quest
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I enjoy these simple solo variants. Thanks so much.
 
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Matt Mason
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Masteinsland wrote:
But it would be good if some people who have played this variant posted their score here, so one has something to try and beat

(I played 15 rounds.)



I just stumbled across this thread yesterday and thought I would give the solo variant a shot. It was surprisingly fun.

16 rounds
3 roles played / round
1 doubloon on a role / round
Trading House capacity = 3
Score = 52

I had quite a few rounds where the randomly drawn pairs of role cards were all in the wrong order strategically, giving me quite a challenge. Great idea for a solo variant!
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