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Solo Nations Rules by Galen 'Marphod' Brownsmith

Version 0.1a

This is a framework and first pass at creating single player rules that simulate the Nations game in a
more consistent manner with the multiplayer version than the Solo rules provided by the publisher.
This is an Alpha Release. Balance is almost certainly in favor of the Virtual Opponent; playing at a
Virtual Opponent difficulty level above Prince is currently Not Recommended.

Notes:
There are 2 overriding design goals to this set of rules.
1) As mentioned above, simulate a multiplayer game in a more accurate manner than the existing solo rules; and,
2) Minimize any increase in the complexity level and in the changes player actions on behalf of the virtual Opponent.

These goals have constrained some of the proposed rules in this variant. While Opponent actions that requires more than 1
die roll per action could provide better variance and less predictability, that requires increasing both the complexity and
proxy actions. Instead, the Virtual Opponent uses a a simple descision-tree that is based on a single die roll per action.

There are no icons to represent the various resources on the event cards or Solo player aid. The author is unsure of the
copyright on the images from the Nations game, and did not have time to find open source or public domain icons.

These rules are probably unnecessarily verbose; this is because the author is trying to remove any potential ambiguities.

Testing on this variant has been minimal -- the author does not actually own the game, but has borrowed it on occasion from
a local gaming club.

Glossary:

Space on the Solo Event Cards and Player Aid is limited; as such, the following abbreviations may be
used:

Bk: Books
Fd: Food
Mil: Military Strength
Opp: Opponent (Virtual Opponent)
Stab: Stability

Feedback:
The author of these variant rules is actively seeking feedback. Please send comment to
marphod on BoardGameGeek, or comment on the appropriate thread on BGG.

These variant rules are (c) Copyright 2014, Galen Garrick Brownsmith, and published under a
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons License.

The author wishes to be clear in that he asserts Absolutely No Claims on any kind on the the elements
of the base game of Nations, (C) Copyright 2013 Lautapelit.fi (and possibly other Publishers in other
countries), which is designed by Rustan Hkansson, Nina Hkansson, Einar Rosn, and Robert Rosn ,
with art by Ossi Hiekkala, Jere Kasanen, Paul Laane, and Frida Lgdberg.
Rule Changes by Game Step:

General Rule Changes:

1. The Virtual Opponents number of Books, Stability Level, and Military Strength cannot go
below 0; Stability and Military levels cannot go above the levels on their respective tracks.
If any Virtual Player action (but not Event Card) would set any of these values below 0, set that
value to 0 and add one VP to the Bonus VP slot on the player aid. If this would increase the
number of VP in the Bonus VP slot above 5, give the player the VP instead.
2. The Solo Play Events are similar to, but distinct from, the Base Set events. The anatomy, by
row, is as follows:

The top of the card denotes the number or Architects and the Famine for each round.
The second row contains 3 sets of items. Each set represents how the Virtual Opponent
should be adjusted at the beginning of each round. Increase or decrease the Virtual
Opponent's Stability, Books, and Military values as specified on the card.
Below each of the Military and Stability modifiers is a pair of numbers. These are
Minimum Limit and Maximum Limit for each value. These are explained later in the
Maintenance Phase and Virtual Opponent Action Phase, below.
The bottom of the card has a [5] followed by an Adjustment to Books, Military, or
Stability, and then a [6] followed by an Adjustment to another of those values. These are
called Special Actions, and are described in the Virtual Opponent Action Phase, below.
The center of the Event Card has an event that will occur at the end of the round.
Usually this event is based on the Player's Stability, relative to the Virtual Opponent.
Unless specified otherwise on the card, this only affects the Player.

3. Whenever the Virtual Opponent loses resources, other than Books, Stability, or Military
Strength, the Virtual Opponents loses half that number in Books. Exception: Wars behave
differently; see Resolution phase, below. This will only happen from the special text on
Advisers and Monuments; income modifiers to Food, Ore, and Coins do not affect the Virtual
Opponent.
4. Wars impact the Virtual Opponent differently than players; instead of the losing resources
according to the war purchased, the Virtual Opponent loses twice the Age of the War in books.
This number is not affected by stability. So an Age I war would cause the Virtual Opponent to
lose 2 books, and an Age 4 would cause the lose of 8 books.
Exception: If the losing penalty is in books, and the penalty, with Stability applied, is
more than twice the War's Age, the Virtual Opponent loses that many books, instead.
5. Whenever the Solo Play refers to the 'Age', that is the value of the Age of the card (1 for Age 1,
2 for Age 2) involved. If not cards are involved, use the current Age.

Setup:

1. Use the provided Solo Play Rules Aid, rather than base game's Round Summary.
2. Set aside the original Event deck, and use the provided deck of Events for single player.
3. Select whichever player Nation board you would like to use, in any manner .
4. Set up the boards as normal; use a different color of pieces to mark the Virtual Opponents
Books, Stability, Military, and Turn Order.
5. Select difficulty level for the Opponent and mark it appropriately This will change the number
of Virtual Opponent actions per round, the number of Progress Cards available, and the starting
number of Bonus VP per age (which are awarded for winning the Book Race).
6. Put 1 VP tokens in the Bonus VP pile, located on the Solo Player Aid card. At Virtual Opponent
Emperor level, place 1 token in the pile; at King difficulty place 2; at Prince, place 3; and at
Chieftain, place 4 VP tokens.

Progress Phase:

1. When refilling the Progress Board, use 4 columns, as per 2 player. Set aside (without looking at
them) an additional 2 cards if playing with an Opponent at Prince level, 4 (total) at King, and 6
(total) at Emperor. These are used during the Virtual Opponent's Action Phase, below.
2. After Growth, draw a card from the appropriate Age from the Solo Play event cards. The
Virtual Opponent does not take an action during Growth.
3. After placing the Architects, add a new step: Adjust Opponent.

Adjust Opponent Step: Apply the modifiers, listed on the current Solo Player Event Card, to
the Virtual Opponent's Books, Military Strength, and Stability.
Note: Compare the new value for Military Strength to the parenthetical numbers listed below
the modifier. If the Virtual Opponent's Military Strength is less than the Military Strength's
lower limit (first parenthetical number), raise the Virtual Opponent's Military Strength to the
lower limit value. Likewise, if the Virtual Opponent's Military Strength is greater than the
upper limit value (second parenthetical number), lower the Virtual Opponent's Military Strength
to the limit value. Repeat this adjustment to the Virtual Opponent's Stability, using the Stability
Limits on the Solo Event card. There are no limits that would impact Books.

Player Action Phases:

The human player takes actions as per the base rule set, with the following modifications:
Buying Progress Cards:
If any cards remain in the set-aside Progress Card stack (see Progress Phase 1, above), replace
the purchased card immediately with the top card from the stack. Once this stack is empty, the
Buying Progress Cards action proceeds as per the base rules.
(There are no other modified player actions.)

Virtual Opponent Actions:

The Virtual Opponent takes actions after every player action. If the Virtual Opponent is first in
turn order, it also takes actions before the player's first action.
Exception: It is possible for the Virtual Opponent to pass before the Player; if this happens, the
Virtual Opponent will take no further actions that round.
The Virtual Opponent passes immediately after the Player passes.
Exception: The Virtual Opponent will take at least one set of Actions per round; if the player
passes as their first action, and the Virtual Opponent has not yet had a turn, it will complete one
set of actions.
The Virtual Opponent takes actions via rolling a six-sided die. The exact results of any action
will depend on the die roll and the current game state (including the current Age, the Player and
Virtual Opponent's Military Strength, and the Virtual Opponent's Stability, as well as other
elements of the game state).
The number of times the Virtual Opponent will roll the six sided die varies on the difficulty
level selected. If the Virtual Opponent is set to Chieftain, it will roll the die once per action. At
Prince it rolls the die twice and takes the actions specified by both results, in order. At King, it
takes three sequential die rolls. At Emperor (are you OUT OF YOUR MIND?), the Opponent
rolls 4 times, and takes those actions in-order.
Note: It is suggested to take the action immediately after a die roll, rather than rolling the die
several times and then taking actions.
If the result of a die roll causes the Virtual Opponent to raise its Military Strength above the
Upper Limit listed on the Solo Event card, or lower it to below the listed Lower Limit, the
Virtual Opponent will pass instead of taking its next die roll. Likewise, if the action raises the
Virtual Opponent's Stability above the Stability's upper limit or below the Stability's lower limit,
the Virtual Opponent will pass instead of its next die roll.
Exception: The Virtual Opponent will not pass before the Player's first action. Any action that
would cause the Virtual Opponent to pass in this situation should be skipped (do not re-roll).
Note: As the Virtual Opponent can never have a Military Strength below 0 nor a Stability below
0; a lower limit of 0 on the Solo Event card means the Virtual Opponent will not pass as result
of trying to lower the corresponding value. Likewise, if the upper limit for Stability is 15 or
Military is 40, the Virtual Opponent will not pass when trying to raise that value.

Whenever the Virtual Opponent rolls a die, it will either take a Column Action, if a 1 -4 is
rolled, or a Special Action, if a 5-6 is rolled.

Column Actions:
For Column Actions, use the column on the Progress Card Market Board that corresponds to
the number rolled. The Virtual Opponent will continue to attempt to take an action until either
a Card is Purchased or it performs the No Card Purchased action. This may result in the Virtual
Opponent doing multiple things on a single die roll.

Using the column corresponding to the value rolled on the die:


a) If there is a Colony in the corresponding column:

If the Virtual Opponent's Military Strength is sufficient to claim any Colony in that
column, Buy the Strongest Colony that the Virtual Opponent can conquer.
If this Colony provides Book income or modifies Military Strength or Stability,
permanently adjust the Virtual Opponent by those value(s).

Example: Virtual Opponent has Military Strength of 8. In the rolled column, there are
three colonies; the one-cost colony requires a strength of 10, the two-cost colony
requires a strength of 8, and the three-cost colony requires a strength of 6. The Virtual
Opponent could Conquer either the two or three-cost colony, but conquers the two-cost
as it has a higher strength requirement. This colony grants an income of 2 Books, 2
Food, and lowers Military by 1 (Yes, no such colony exists, yet. Work with me here).
The Book income means that the player should raise the Virtual Opponent's book count
by 2 and the Military Strength penalty means the player should lower the Virtual
Opponent's Military Strength by one. The Food income has no effect.
If the Virtual Opponent does not have sufficient Military Strength to take any colony in
that column (but there is a Colony in the column), increase the Virtual Opponent's
Military Strength by the current Age. Then continue on to (b).

b) If there is a War in the corresponding column, and no War has been purchased this age:
If the Virtual Opponent is stronger than the Player, Buy the war with the numerically
largest loss penalty; if tied, buy the most expensive of the tied Wars.
If the Virtual Opponent is weaker than the Player, and there is any War in the column
whose loss penalty is larger than the Virtual Opponent's current Stability, purchase the
cheapest war in the column.
Otherwise, continue to (c)

c) If there is a Golden Age or Battle in the Column:


The Virtual Opponent Buys the cheapest one.
For a Battle: Increase the Virtual Opponent's Books by twice the current Age
For a Golden Age: Remove one VP from the Bonus VP stack (unless this would remove
the last one).
Otherwise, continue to (d)

d) If there is a Monument in the column and no card in the Virtual Opponent's Monument Card
space, or an Adviser in the column and no card in the Virtual Opponent's Adviser card slot:
The Virtual Opponent Buys the cheapest one which has an unfilled Card Slot.
For an Adviser: Any special text remains in effect until the end of the current round. If
the Adviser affects Book income, modifies Military Strength, or modifies Stability,
permanently adjust the Virtual Opponents statistics by those values. See (a) for a similar
example.
For a Monument: Do not change any of the Virtual Opponent's values until the
Monument is Readied. (See Special Actions, below)
Otherwise, continue to (e)

e) If there is a Building or Military Unit in the column:


The Virtual Opponent buys the most expensive one.
If the purchased card affects Book income, or modifies Military Strength or Stability,
adjust the Virtual Opponents values (permanently) as if one worker were deployed to
that Building or Unit.
Otherwise continue to (f)

f) No Card Purchased
Increase the Virtual Opponent's Book rating by the current Age.

If any card is acquired, and there are cards remaining in the set-aside stack, refill the board as
specified in Player Action Phases, above.

Special Actions:
For special actions, always take the action specified for the die roll on the Solo Event Card.
This affects the Virtual Opponent's Military Strength, Stability, or Books, never the Player's.
Additionally, if there is a Monument on the Virtual Opponent's Monument card slot, and there is
still an available Architect this round, move an available Architect to the Monument card. If
this completes the Monument, the Monument is considered Readied.

For a Monument Readied by the Virtual Opponent, follow any On Ready text on for
Monument; if the On Ready text affects values other than Books, Military Strength, or Stability,
apply half the modification to the Virtual Opponent's Books. Also, apply the Monument's
effects to Book income, Military Strength, or Stability, by modify the Virtual Opponents buy
those values. Finally, discard the Readied Monument.

Example: The Virtual Opponent has a Monument that takes 2 architects to complete, and has 1
architect on it already, in its Monument space. The Virtual Opponent rolls a 6; after adjusting
the value as specified on the Solo Event Card, the Virtual Opponent also moves an Architect in-
play to the remaining Monument slot, Readying it. The On Ready action specifies +6 Books &
+6 Coins to the most stable Player. If the Player is the most stable, they would take the 6 coins
and 6 books. However, if the Virtual Opponent was the most stable, the Virtual Opponent
would gain 6 books plus an additional 3 books (from dividing the number of Coins by 2). If the
monument also provides any Book Production , or modifies Military Strength or Stability, those
would be adjusted as well.

Resolution Phase:

Modify the various steps of the Resolution Phase as follows.


For the War step:
Losing a war impacts the Virtual Opponent differently than the Player. As specified in the
General Rule Changes, the Virtual Opponent will usually lose Books equal to twice the current
age; see those Rules for the exception.
If the Player loses a war and the Virtual Opponent wins that war, remove one VP from the
Bonus VP stack (unless this would remove the last VP token).
If the Player wins a war and the Virtual Opponent loses that war, add one VP token to the Bonus
VP stack (except if this would increase the stack above 5; in that case, the player receives a VP
instead).

For the Events step:


Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all Events are based on if the Player has more Stability than
the Virtual Opponent.
When a player is offered to exchange one resource for another, (e.g. -3 Food for +5 Coins), the
player may do so only once. If the player has an option of resources, either to pay or receive,
they may not divide that between different resources all resources paid must be of a single
type, all resources received must be of a single, different type.
If a player has the Porcelain Tower, a second Adviser, and is instructed to discard an Adviser,
this discards both Advisers. This maintains consistency with the FAQ for the Base Game.
When a player is allowed to take or is required to return a Food Worker, this refers to a Worker
which causes a negative food income. Correspondingly, a Stability Worker refers to a Worker,
which when taken, has a permanent Stability Penalty. If one cannot be taken because all have
been taken due to Growth or other means, or a worker cannot be returned as none of the
appropriate type have been taken, the Player does nothing they may not choose to modify the
other type of Workers. When told to return a Food or Stability Worker, any Worker can be
placed on the appropriate track; it does not have to be a worker who originally came from that
track.
The Player only gets or loses VP when the event specifies so; they do not automatically get 1
VP if the Players Stability is higher than the Virtual Opponent, nor do they automatically lose 1
if their stability is lower. This is a change from the Original Solo Player rules.

For the End of Age Scoring:


If the Player has more Books than the Virtual Opponent, the player gets all the VP tokens in the
Bonus VP stack (at least 1, at most 5). If the player has the same number or fewer books, the
player returns all of the Bonus VP tokens to the general supply.
If this is not the end of the 4th Age, refill the Bonus VP slot with the same number of tokens as
used during set up (i.e. 1 for an Emperor Virtual Opponent, 2 for a King, 3 for a Prince, and 4
for a Chieftain).

For the new Cleanup Step:


If there is an Adviser on the Virtual Opponent's Adviser card slot, discard it. The Virtual Player
does not modify any Values based on this discard, including any modifications due to Text. If
the card has text that modifies the Player's values, the player undoes those modifications.

Good luck.

A Player should aim for a new High Score using this Solo Play Variant. However, the
Author does not have enough data to specify how hard it is to get any given Point Total.

Please send any feedback to marphod on BoardGameGeek.com or marphod@gmail.com .


Bonus
Nations VP
Solo Play Rules
(Min. 1;
Variant by Marphod v0.1a
Max. 5)

Round Summary Opponent Actions


Maintenance Phase (p 12-13)
Round Marker: Move to next round
On 1-4, Perform Column Action
Continue down the chart until Opp. takes a card
Progress Cards:Refill Progress Board A) Colony in Column
Growth: Take Meeple or Resource Buy strongest colony Opp. Military
New Event: Draw Solo Event Card If all colonies > Opp. Military, increase
Architects: Refill Architect spaces Opp. Military by Age (and continue)
Adjust Opponent: Modify Opponent B) War in Column and War slot empty
Books, Military, and Stability as per Event If stronger than Player, buy cheapest
If adjustment puts Military or Stability If weaker than Player and Stability <
outside of limits, set it to limit value. any loss penalty, buy cheapest.
C) Golden Age or Battle in Column
Player Action Phase (p 14-17) Buy cheapest
Buy Progress Card Golden Age: Take 1 VP from Bonus VP
Deploy Meeple Battle: Add twice Age to Opp. Books
Hire Architect D) Monument or Adviser in Column
Use Special Actions If either Slot empty, buy cheapest
(From Advisers/Monuments)
E) Building or Military Unit in Column
Virtual Opponent Actions
Buy most expensive.
F) No card bought
Roll Die (d6) and Perform Action (x N) Increase Opp. Books by Age
(Chieftain: 1, Prince: 2, King; 3 Emperor: 4)

Resolution Phase (p 18-19) On 5-6, Perform Special Action


Perform both actions, if possible
Production (Coins, Food, Ore, Books)
Player Order
If Monument in slot, and Architect
available, take Architect
War (Possibly Adjust Bonus VP)
Events
Perform Action on Event Card
corresponding to die rolled.
Famine
(End of Age Scoring)
Cleanup: Discard Opp. Adviser;
If Opponent Military or Stability exceeds Limits,
If new Age, reset Bonus VP. Opponent Passes instead of next die roll.

Notes
When Opp. buys Building, Military, or Advisor, adjust
Books, Stability, and Military by the card's income.
Text on Opp. Adviser is active until the end of the
round. When a Monument readied, modify opponent's
values as above. Apply On Ready text, if applicable.
Monument If Opponent Loses a war, Opponent loses books Adviser
Monument equal to twice the current Age. Stability does not apply. Adviser
Bonus VP starts each age at 4 for Chieftain, 3 for
Prince, 2 for King, and 1 for Emperor.
End of age scoring: if Player has more books, take all
Bonus VP.
If Opp Military or Stability would ever drop below zero,
set the value to 0 and add 1 VP to the Bonus VP. If this
be the 6th VP, take the VP instead.
0 -1 -3 -2
Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab:
+3 +1 +1 0 +4 +3 +1 +2 +3 0 +2 2
(2/8) (0/5) (0/5) (1/9) (1/7) (0/8) (0/10) (1/7)
Compare Stability Compare Stability Compare Stability Compare Stability
to Opponent to Opponent to Opponent to Opponent
More Stable: More Stable: More Stable: More Stable:
+1 VP +1 VP +1 VP Go First
Less Stable: Less Stable: Less Stable: Less Stable:
-3 Food -3 Ore -1 VP Go Last
5 +2 Book 6 +1 Stab 5 +-1 Book 6 -1 Stab 5 +1 Mil 6 -1 Stab 5 +1 Book 6 +3 Mil

-2 -1 Top/Left Age 1
Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab: Bottom/Right Age 2
+1 +3 +2 +4 +1 -1
(1/8) (1/7) (2/12) (0/6)
Compare Stability Compare Stability
to Opponent to Opponent
More Stable: More Stable:
+3 Coins +5 Books 0 -1
Less Stable: Less Stable: Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab:
-1 VP -1 Bonus VP +5 +5 -3 +1 +6 +3
5 +2 Mil 6 +2 Stab 5 +2 Book 6 +1 Stab (6/15) (2/12) (0/10) (2/12)
Compare Stability Compare Stability
to Opponent to Opponent
May undeploy More: May
Mil: +2Bks ea. -3Food: +5Coin
Less Stable: Less: Discard
-1 Bonus VP Advs. or -1 VP
5 +4 Book 6 +2 Stab 5 -2 Book 6 -1 Stab

-5 -3 -4 -2
Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab:
-2 +4 +2 +1 +4 0 +3 +2 +2 +3 +3 -1
(0/10) (0/8) (0/12) (0/8) (6/15) (0/8) (3/15) (1/10)
Compare Stability Compare Stability Compare Stability Compare Stability
to Opponent to Opponent to Opponent to Opponent
More Stable: More Stable: Stable: May -8 More Stable:
+1 VP +1 VP Food: 1 Worker +1 Bonus VP
Less Stable: Less Stable: Less Stable: Less Stable:
-1 VP -5 Coin -1 Bonus VP -1 VP
5 +3 Book 6 +2 Mil 5 +2 Book 6 +1 Stab 5 -1 Book 6 -2 Mil 5 +5 Mil 6 +1 Stab
-2 -3 -3 -6
Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab:
+2 21 0 +5 +5 +2 -2 +10 -2 -3 +4 +4
(3/15) (0/9) (8/22) (2/10) (8/24) (5/12) (6/15) (2/12)
Compare Stability Compare Stability Player May Discard
If Opponent and
to Opponent to Opponent Adviser to Discard
Player have in-
More Stable: More: May take any uncompleted
progress wonders:
+1 VP Food Worker Wonder. (Own or
May spend 3 Ore
Less Stable: Less Stable: Opponent's)
to complete both.
-8 Bk/Fd/Ore -1 VP
5 +6 Book 6 -2 Stab 5 -3 Book 6 -3 Mil 5 +5 Mil 6 +3 Stab 5 +1 Book 6 +2 Mil

0 -5 Top/Left Age 3
Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab: Bottom/Right Age 4
+4 +6 -2 +4 +8 +4
(9/20) (0/7) (9/24) (5/14)
Compare Stability Compare Stability
to Opponent to Opponent
More Stable:
More: +1 VP per
+5 Food/Ore Age 1&2 Wonder -3 -1
Less Stable: Less Stable:
-1 VP -1 VP Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab:
-2 +8 +4 +8 +7 +3
5 +3 Book 6 +1 Stab 5 +3 Book 6 +1 Stab (10/30) (4/14) (20/40) (6/14)
Compare Stability Compare Stability
to Opponent to Opponent
May un-deploy More: May take
Mil: +2Bks ea. Stab. Worker
Less Stable: Less: Return
-2 Bonus VP Stab. Worker
5 -6 Book 6 +3 Stab 5 -2 Book 6 +1 Stab

-5 -6 -4 -5
Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab: Mil: Books: Stab:
+4 +6 +3 -2 +14 -1 -5 +4 6 +2 +10 -2
(4/25) (2/10) (0/20) (4/15) (16/40) (8/15) (8/30) (4/15)
Compare Stability Compare Stability Compare Stability Compare Stability
to Opponent to Opponent to Opponent to Opponent

More: +1 VP per
More: May take Stable: May -3 More: Deploy
Age 1&2 Colony 2 Free Architects Fd/Ore: +10 Books 3 Workers/Free
Less: -1 VP Less: -1 VP Less: Discard Less Stable:
per colony per Wonder Colony or -10 Books -1 VP
5 -4 Mil 6 -2 Stab 5 +4 Book 6 +3 Mil 5 +8 Book 6 -6 Mil 5 +6 Mil 6 +3 Stab