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I've been playing around with a solo variant for the movie block sets (with the fixed site path). This is for playing as the free peoples but I want to put one together for playing as the shadow side (Creeps) as well. Let me know what you think.
Setting Up the Game
Build your adventure deck with all available sites from the same block. Sites will still be played in order (for movie block), but each site is randomized. I recommend building 9 decks (one deck for each site number) and shuffling each.
Your draw deck will consist only of Free Peoples cards (30 minimum/recommended). Draw four cards to form your starting hand.
The shadow deck will consist only of shadow cards (30 minimum/recommended). At any time if the shadow deck runs out of cards, reshuffle the shadow discard pile to make a new shadow deck. Only do this once per game.
Playing the Game
In this solo variant, you will be playing the Free Peoples. If your ring-bearer survives all skirmish phases at site 9, you win the game. If he becomes corrupted or is killed, you lose.
Do not remove any remaining tokens (from previous turns) from the twilight pool.
Perform fellowship actions as usual, paying twilight costs for any companions, allies, possessions, conditions, etc..
Move to the next random site (still in site number order) and add tokens to the twilight pool equal to the shadow number on the site you moved to. Add one token to the twilight pool for each companion in your fellowship, as usual.
As long as twilight tokens are in the twilight pool, draw a card from the shadow deck and put it into play. Remove tokens from the twilight pool to pay the card's cost. If there are not enough tokens in the twilight pool to pay for the shadow card, play it anyways and remove all remaining tokens from the twilight pool. (Remember to remove an additional two twilight tokens to play each roaming minion.)
The maximum number of shadow cards that can be played during the shadow phase is 8 (unless card effects allow additional cards to be played from the draw deck or discard pile).
Shadow possessions should not be attached to minions until all shadow cards have been drawn. Randomly determine which minion to attach possessions to (if the possession is not for a specific minion). (I use a 20-sided dice and assign number ranges to each minion to determine which minion gets the possession)
Shadow events drawn that are normally played during the Skirmish phase should be held in a staging area until the Skirmish phase.
Shadow actions during the maneuver phase can be resolved with a random method (if desired).
Archery wounds can be assigned to shadow minions with a random method (if desired).
Assign defenders as usual. Assign any unassigned shadow minions to your companions with a random method. (I use a 20-sided dice and assign number ranges to each companion to determine which companion skirmishes the unassigned minion)
Shadow events previously put into the staging area should be played at the beginning of the skirmish phase. Randomly determine which minion to play the event on (if the event could be played on multiple minions). (I use a 20-sided dice and assign number ranges to each minion to determine which minion to play the event on)
Any shadow events that cannot be played can be left in the staging area until the next turn (if no eligible minions, other card actions prevent it, etc.)
The move limit is 1 for a solo game.
Reconcile the Free Peoples hand to 4 cards. You may first discard one card from hand. If you have more than four cards in hand, you must discard until you only have four.
Shadow minions (and cards borne by them) are discarded.
Any twilight tokens in the pool remain for the next turn.
I applaud you efforts. But, I think it still needs a bit of fine tuning.
Thanks for posting this solo version. I had a number of tries at it this weekend.
I found that it did not work so well with 4 cards in my hand and had to increase it to 5 cards to make it manageable.
Also, I found it worked very well if I separated my free peoples & minion decks into the various cultures and drew from them in the appropriate sites.
For example, in site 1 (ex. East Road) I drew my hand from the Shire deck only and the Shadow Phase from the Ringwraith deck only. In site 3 (ex Rivendell) I drew from either Shire or Gandalf or Elven decks (my choice) and the Shadow phase from the Isengard deck. In site 4 (ex Moria) I drew from Shire, Gandalf or Dwarven decks and the Moria deck. And so on.
It made it a bit more complicated to keep things straight but in the end I think it made for a more balanced game as support cards (Allies, Possessions, Conditions and Events) came out at the appropriate time.
I hope this helps some other solo players.