In this variant, you go head-to-head with an A.I.-controlled Faction, called the Enemy. The Enemy controls 3 armies, each led by one of its powerful Heroes. These Heroes each have powerful abilities, and will offer you a serious challenge!
Components and Setup Changes
8 Solo Action Cards
After you have selected your Faction:
Randomly select the Faction for the Solo Enemy.
Gather that Faction's components as if it were a normal game. Flip the Enemy's C.C. Board to the Solo Enemy side. The Enemy does not need Hero Cards, as the Enemy Hero abilities are listed on the Solo C.C. Board.
Place the 3 Hero Units into the Enemy's Courtyard. DO NOT place 2 Serfs or 1 Warrior into the Courtyard.
Place all 3 Resource Tokens onto the "3" space of the Resource Track.
Place 1 Action Token on the "Start" space of Capital City Track. The other Action Token is removed from the game.
Shuffle the Solo Action Cards into a deck and place it face-down next to the Enemy C.C. Board.
The Enemy DOES NOT require Spell Cards. Do not deal cards to it.
All other Faction components are set up in the supply as normal. After you have placed your own Capital City, choose the Enemy's Capital City Region on an adjacent Continent.
The game is played in a series of rounds as normal until one of the "X-Objectives" is achieved, triggering the end of the game.
Each game round, the Action Selection Phase goes as follows:
The Enemy draws a Solo Action Card, and performs that action with its first Hero ().
You perform your first action (the Enemy cannot Follow).
The Enemy draws a card and performs that action with its second Hero ().
You take your second action (the Enemy cannot Follow).
The Enemy draws a card and performs that action with its third Hero ().
In this manner, you will perform 2 actions as normal, and the Enemy will perform 3. After all these actions are taken, the Collection Phase occurs, where Resources are collected as normal, and after Resolution, a new round begins.
Action Selection Phase - Enemy Draws Cards
Draw the topmost Solo Enemy Card and assign it to the leftmost Hero Slot at the bottom of the Capital City Board. That action will be performed by that Hero.
The Enemy does not have a normal Action Bar like you do, so the Solo Enemy Cards and the Hero's card slots act as the Enemy's actions.
If the Enemy is able to perform the listed action by meeting its requirements, they MUST do so. However, if they cannot because of insuflicent Resources or lacking a necessary requirement, it is considered a "Failed Action" Instead that Hero performs a Move Action (see next page).
If ever there is a single Solo Enemy Card in the deck, instead of drawing it take that card and ALL cards in the discard pile (not cards in Hero Slots) and shuffle them together. Place them face-down to form a refreshed Solo Enemy deck.
Collection Phase - Discard Cards
After the Enemy has drawn 3 cards and performed (or failed) 3 actions, it is time for the Collection Phase. The Enemy collects Resources just like a normal player. Then discard all 3 cards from the Hero Slots into a face-up discard pile nearby.
Solo Action Cards - The Actions
Listed at the top of the Solo Action Card is the type of action and whether or not you may Follow it. Also listed are the specifics and requirements for the action, and what constitutes a Failed Action.
Note that abilities from the Heroes or from the Capital City may alter the normal rules of these actions.
Recruit: The Enemy pays Resources to recruit 1 Unit. Units are recruited in priority order, meaning if they can not be recruited then move to the next Unit in order: Air Vessel > Sea Vessel > Warrior > Serf.
New Units are placed in the Region of the Hero who performed the action, and will now be part of that Hero's army. If a Unit cannot fit in that Region due to the 5 Unit Limit a Region has, then it is placed in the Capital City. If the Hero is in the Courtyard, place new Units there.
This action will fail if the Enemy does not have the required Resources available to recruit any Unit OR if no Units are available in the supply.
Build: There are 2 different "Build" Solo Action Cards:
Capital City Track: The Enemy upgrades its entire Capital City by advancing an Action Token on a 6-space track, which marks its Capital City Level. The Enemy MUST pay the Ore amount listed on the next open space.
If it reaches the end of the track, it triggers the end of the game. Increasing the Capital City Level grants more strength, VP, Constructs, and special abilities.
This action will fail if the Enemy does not have the required Resources available.
Towers and Vessels: The Enemy pays Resources to build 1 feature. Units/ Towers are built in priority order, meaning if they cannot be built then move to the next Unit in order: Tower > Air Vessel > Sea Vessel.
Towers are placed in the Region of the Hero who took the action. Just like a normal player, the Enemy may not build more Towers than its Capital City Level allows, and a Serf is required to be in the Region to build a Tower. When the Enemy's Tower reveals all adjacent Exploration Tokens, those tokens are collected and placed on the designated space on the Enemy's Faction Board.
Vessels are placed in the Region of the Hero who took the action. In the case of a Sea Vessel, the Hero must be on a Shore Region. If it's not on a Shore Region, the Sea Vessel will be built in the Capital City instead.
The Enemy will try to fit as many Units in the Vessel as possible, prioritizing Heroes first, then Warriors, then Serfs. If the Hero is already in a Vessel, the new Vessel is placed in the Capital City.
This action will fail if the Enemy does not have the required Resources available.
Research: Unlike you, the Enemy does not need to collect Spell Cards. It has 3 Spells already at its disposal, 1 for each Hero. It will actually cast a Spell instead of taking a normal Research Action. The Enemy will gain the Victory Points shown and the Spell will take effect.
Spells cast by the Enemy can still be interrupted by player Spells. If a Spell is copied and turned against the Enemy, the player may make choices for the Enemy. Such as which Unit or Resources the Enemy loses.
This action will fail if the Enemy does not have the required Resources available to cast a Spell. If a Spell is useless (such as a Spell that affects the area around a Hero, but there are no player Units around to be affected), the Spell is still cast and the Enemy gains the Victory Points.
Note: When a Research Action is taken, the player can follow it as if it was a normal Research Action.
Tax: Immediately collect the listed amount of Resources in every slot on the Tax Track, and then after the player follows, if they do, cycle the Resource Tokens like normal. This action cannot fail, and this Hero will then move afterward.
Attack: All Units in this Hero's Region move up to 2 regions to Battle the player. The Enemy can move in any direction and that the compass is ignored except for breaking a tie between two eligible targets of equal strength.
However, they will only attack if the Natural Strength of the player's army is less than or equal to the Natural Strength of the Enemy Hero's army. If there are multiple player armies within range, the Enemy will attack the weakest.
Ties for choosing the weakest army are broken by referring to the movement compass, and going clockwise, then choosing the first army it can reach. The Enemy also gains for starting a Battle.
This action will fail if there are no player armies within 2 Regions of the Hero, or the armies are stronger than it.
Battling with a Solo Enemy
When Battling, you first choose your Tactic Card. Then, draw and reveal 1 Solo Action Card, noting the Strength value listed at the bottom.
For example, if the Enemy's Tactic Card is First Strike, it would cancel your Tactic Card if you chose Conscripts.
This value is added to the Enemy army's total Strength. In addition, a Tactic Card is listed, which is different depending on whether the Enemy is attacking or defending.
This Tactic Card DOES NOT add additional Strength to the Enemy's army nor does it grant VP (only the Solo Action Card does'), but it may change the result of your Tactic Card.
Note: If your Tactic Card cancels the Enemy's Tactic then the Solo Action Card's added Strength is cancelled as well.
If the Enemy loses a Battle, they lose Units like a normal player, but weak to strong: Serfs > Warriors > Air Vessel > Sea Vessel > Hero.
Any surviving Units return to the Capital City Courtyard. In the event that a Hero is destroyed, it immediately respawns in the Courtyard.
Moving a Hero if an Action Fails
If the Enemy's chosen action fails, then that Hero and its army will move.
The Hero and all Units in its Region will move in the direction based on the compass on the Action Card (orient the compass to match the one in the top-left corner of the Game Board).
The Hero's army moves in the designated direction, if it can. If it cannot, it will circle clockwise until it finds a Region that it can move into.
When using the arrow, reference the center of the region and draw the line from there. If in doubt, go clockwise.
A The army moves to the West Region. B The army moves to the South Region. C The army cannot move into the Sea Region, so the pointer rotates clockwise until it points to the Southeast Region.
When the Hero moves:
Its army always moves .
The golden rule for deciding movement is that if the Unit cannot move properly in the direction of the arrow shown, continue moving the direction clockwise until it points to a Region it can move into.
If moving from a Capital City, it will take all available Units in the Courtyard without exceeding 5 Units. It will take as many available Warriors as possible, however the army MUST have at least 1 Serf if possible.
If an empty Vessel is present in the Hero's region, the Hero boards that Vessel and then moves, taking 1 other Unit aboard if one is available (prioritizing Warriors over Serfs).
It CANNOT move back into its Capital City or into a Region with another of its Heroes (only 1 Enemy Faction Hero per Region).
If the army moves into a Region that you control, it results in a Battle.
Collecting Exploration Tokens
If the Hero passes through or ends movement in a Region with Exploration Tokens, the tokens are immediately taken and placed in a pile on the labeled section on the Enemy C.C. Board. The outcome listed on the Tokens do not matter. The Enemy gains immediately for each Token collected.
Moving on Ferry Routes
If the movement arrow is in the same direction as a Ferry Route, then the Enemy army will move along the Ferry Route.
If the Ferry Route has multiple branches, the Enemy army will take the one that does not use a Graticule, a letter or number that wraps around the Map.
Heroes aboard Air and Sea Vessels move differently:
the Vessel always moves .
a Vessel and its occupants move alone and not as part of a Land army. Any Units left behind remain in their Region.
the Vessel may still collect Exploration Tokens when passing through Regions.
Enemy Air Vessels:
Will not move using Ferry Routes or Graticules.
Can move through the center Sea Region, counting it as one Region, but MAY NOT stop there.
If their second movement would end in a Sea Region, they do not move there and instead move into the next "clockwise" Land Region.
End movement immediately if entering a Region you control, which results in a Battle.
Enemy Sea Vessels:
Can use Graticules and wrap around the Map if they continue in the card's compass direction.
Can Dock and Undock from Shores without using movement.
Stop in a Sea Region with your Sea Vessel and then Battle.
After a second movement, will Dock at the Shore Regions pointed to by the compass on the Card.
If ending movement in a Sea Region adjacent to Land Region(s) that you control, the Enemy Sea Vessel will Dock on the Shore with the lowest Natural Strength army and then Battle, even if not in the direction of the card and even if the player's army has a higher Natural Strength than the Enemy's army.
A General Note on Sea Vessel Movement: Since the map is organic in nature, some movement paths may be difficult to determine. When in doubt, the movement path may bend clockwise to determine the direction.
Moving and Gaining Resources
The Enemy Hero collects 1 Resource of a Resource Region's type when it enters that Region.
If moving results in a Battle, it must be resolved first (and the Enemy must win) before gaining the Resource. For the "Attack" Action Card and Air Vessels, the Hero potentially could gain 2 Resources.
Following a Solo Action Card
You may Follow a successful Solo Action as if it were a normal action (except for Attack).
HOWEVER, if the Enemy's Action has failed, it may not be Followed. The Enemy does not Follow your actions.
End of the Game
The game's end is triggered when either you or the Enemy has achieved one of the 4 "X-Objectives", or if the Enemy has reached the end of their Capital City Track.
The current round is then completed, and then one more round is played (if a Capital City is destroyed then the game is automatically over). Victory Points are then totalled as normal, but note that the Enemy Heroes do not grant points.