Solo Variant

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General info and comments

The Solo Variant was released by Hans im Glück in 2020.

It is a variant for one single player but it can also be played as team-challenge.

Contents

To play this solo variant, a copy of the Carcassonne base game is needed. Use the following:

  • 72 land tiles including the start tile.
  • 5 regular meeples in 3 colors.
  • 1 abbot in a fourth color (optional)
  • 1 scoreboard

Rules

Preparation

Choose 3 colors and set aside 4 meeples each. Each turn, you will play with another color clockwise, so in order not to get confused regarding the turn order, make the following preparations:

  • Put all the meeples of one color to the left, those of another color in the middle and the meeples of the third color to the right. Place a stack [1] of 1/3 of all the tiles shuffled and facedown next to each meeple color (1st and 2nd stack containing 24 tiles each, 3rd stack containing 23 tiles).
Option: Take an abbot (in a color you have not already chosen) and put it next to the color which you want to start with. After each turn the abbot moves clockwise to the next color and shows you which color you must use this turn. As some turns, with a scoring, can take longer and you might need to score the features for several colors, this can help you keep track.
Example 1: Preparing the tiles and the meeples:
  • 0 Start tile
  • 1 Start color with 24 tiles (with optional abbot)
  • 2 Second color with 24 tiles
  • 3 Third color with 23 tiles
  • Continue by taking one additional meeple [2] of each of the three colors from the box to use on the scoreboard. The meeple of the first color is placed on space 1, the meeple of the second color on space 2 and the one of the third color on space 3. [3]
Example 2: Placing the meeples on the scoreboard

Gameplay and goal of the game

Each turn you will play with one of the three colors alternately and try to score as many points as possible. Continue to follow the procedure described below with each color each turn, until the game ends. However, at the end of the game, only the points of the color which is last on the scoreboard are counted. Therefore, you want to try to score points evenly distributed amongst each color.

1. Placing a tile

Draw the top tile from the stack of the color being used this turn and place it according to the usual rules.

2. Placing a meeple

After having placed the tile, place a meeple of the respective color. As opposed to the usual rules, you must place a meeple, if it is possible.

Hence if there is a free feature on your tile, you must place a meeple on it.

If there is more than one free feature on the tile, you can decide which one you want to place the meeple on.

However, a meeple can never be placed as a farmer.

Example 1: It is Green's turn. Place a tile. You must place a meeple either on the city, the left road or the one below. The road on the right is already occupied.
Example 2: It is Green's turn. Place a tile. As the road is already occupied by Red, you do not have to place a meeple this turn.

Attention: If you have to place a meeple, because there is a free feature on the tile, but do not have any meeples of the respective color left, the game ends (after a possible scoring).

3. Scoring a feature

If you have completed a feature with a tile, score it.

  • If there are only meeples of one color present in a completed feature, the points are only scored by this color if it is the one with the least number of points on the scoreboard.
  • If two or more colors make up the majority in a completed feature, all of them score points if at least one of the colors was last on the scoreboard (before this scoring).
Scoring summary
Feature Scoring
Base Game C2 Tile U.jpg
Road
1 point / tile
Base Game C2 Tile C.jpg
City
2 points / tile
2 points / coat of arms
Base Game C2 Tile B.jpg
Monastery
9 points

More than one color on the same lowest space on the scoreboard: In both cases, this also applies if two colors have the least number of points (before the scoring) and also if all colors have the same number of points.

Example 1: In Green's turn, you complete Red's road (and put a meeple on the monastery). As Red currently has the least number of points, Red’s meeple moves forward 3 spaces on the scoreboard for the road.
Example 2: Red and Green's city is completed. As Red currently has the least number of points, Red and Green's scoring meeples move forward 8 spaces on the scoreboard for the city.

If you complete more than one feature in a turn, each of them is scored separately, one after another and according to the abovementioned rules. You can decide in which order you score them.

Example 3: The tile completed three features. Yellow’s road (3 points),Green’s city (4 points) and Red’s road (4 points). 0 Before the scoring, Yellow has the least points, therefore 1 Yellow’s road is scored first. 2 Next Red’s road is being scored, because now Red has the least number of points on the scoreboard, 3 then Green’s city. If you had conducted the scoring in a different order, you would not have scored points for all of the colors.

Tip: You may also complete features if the meeple color does not have the least number of points on the scoreboard. In this case you do not receive points but get your meeple back. This can be important to prevent the end of the game.

Game end and final scoring

The game ends either after a turn in which you:
A) Have to place a meeple, but cannot
OR
B) Have placed the last tile.

The usual final scoring is omitted in both cases. Instead, this final scoring is conducted: You receive 2 points per meeple on tiles. However, those points can only be scored if the respective color of the meeple has the least number of points on the scoreboard. Here, too you can decide in which order you want to conduct the scoring.

Options

If you find this solo mode too hard or too easy, try these options:

  • It gets easier if you take more meeples of each color.
  • You can also try adding another color with 4 meeples. This will make it easier to place more tiles (and score more points), but also more challenging to keep track and plan ahead.
  • You can also try to use just 3 meeples per color, let’s see how that works out.
  • Of course you can add all sorts of meeples and tiles from other expansions, if you can stick it out.
  • Adding special meeples and tiles is also possible, however, we haven’t tried it yet, so you’d have to try that at your own risk!

Goals

You can check if you completed any these goals during a game.

  • Scoring a road worth at least 10 points
  • Scoring a road worth at least 10 points and 2 colours
  • Scoring a road worth at least 10 points and 3 colours
  • Scoring a road worth exactly 5 points with 3 colours
  • Scoring a city worth at least 16 points
  • Scoring a city worth at least 16 points with 2 colours
  • Scoring a city worth at least 16 points with 3 colours
  • Scoring a city worth 8-10 points with 3 colours
  • Scoring 3 monasteries (9 points each)
  • Scoring 4 monasteries (9 points each)
  • Total scoring of at least 40 points
  • Total scoring of at least 50 points
  • Total scoring of at least 60 points
  • Having used all tiles


Footnotes

For Icons licensing and explanation please visit Icons page.

  1. Icon World Black.png The rules by HiG used the word "pile." Instead, we used "stack" for the sake of consistency with other rules in English.
  2. Icon World Black.png This meeple is taken from the box, not from the set of 4 meeples set aside already.
  3. Icon World Black.png We are using the word "space" of the sake of consistency with other English rules. The version by HiG used the word "field" instead.