The solo game has a limit of 17 turns.
Use the standard rules with the changes listed below.
You need approximately 15 Time counters. The time chart and the letters on the flip side will not be used - there's no loss-of-goods in the solitary version.
As in the standard game, put 1 cube on each Major location. You get 2 random Bonus cards - one each of value 3 and of value 4.
The five Building cards with the phrase "the sole player" are removed from play. Those cards have a different illustration on the right side.
Remove all coins from play. Instead of selling your Contracts for coins and spending those coins on Bonus Cards or Building cards, you pay directly using your Contracts as coins. Beware that you don't get change, so don't overpay too much.
Prepare a face-down stack of Contract cards. Put the Peace of Westphalia card on the bottom of that stack, then add the shuffled value 10 Contracts, the shuffled value 9 Contracts and the shuffled value 8 Contracts. This stack is called "the Solo stack". (Place the remaining Contract cards as in the standard game).
As in the standard game, you get one Contract each of values 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Whenever you buy a Building card in the Investment step, put all 4 face up Bonus cards under the Bonus card stack and reveal 4 new cards. (You also reveal a new Building card, of course).
In the Travel step of a turn, the topmost card of the Solo stack is drawn and put onto the appropriate pile for Contract cards. In this way, the stacks for Contracts with values 8, 9, and 10 build up during the game.
Consequently, the topmost card on those stacks can change from turn to turn.
The game ends after the last card of the Solo stack is drawn, the Peace of Westphalia card. The current round is played without forced investments. Therefore, you have just this last round to gain the Peace of Westphalia card.
You can't join other players' travels as there are no other players. Don't be ludicrous.
If one of the stacks of Contract cards is empty and/or not yet existent, and you need to draw a Contract of that value, you draw a Contract of the same level as the one you just fulfilled instead. Do not search the discard pile for cards.
We recommend that you ignore the Hand Card rule (see page 8, Rules for experienced players) until you consider yourself a seasoned Merkator.
End of the Game
Score Victory Points as in the standard game. Benchmarks are 55 VP for beginners, 60 VP for more experienced players and 80 VP for Uber-Merkators.
Make sure that you always draw the top card from the Solo stack whenever you move the Merkator token in the Travel step.
This ensures that the game just takes the 17 turns it is supposed to.