These rules introduce an artificial opponent to Photosynthesis. Her name is Cynthia. You can play the game solo against 1 or 2 Cynthias, or spice up 2 or 3-player games with 2 or 1 Cynthia respectively.


Components

  • 14 Action cards
  • 1 Action Sequence card
  • 2 Light Point Tracker cards
  • 1 Directional Selection card

You need 1 set of of Action, Action Sequence and Light Point Tracker cards for each Cynthia in play.


Cynthia Plays Different

There are no rule changes for you. However, Cynthia follows some simplified and altered rules:

  • Cynthia does not get a Player Board. She will use the Light Point Tracker cards to track her Light Points.

  • Cynthia starts the game with 1 Small and 1 Medium Tree on the board.

  • Cynthia has fewer trees and seeds than you.

  • Cynthia does not need to buy trees or seeds. All her trees and seeds that are not on the main board are always considered to be available. Trees and Seeds returned from the main board are also immediately available again.

  • The costs for growing trees are different than yours.

Important:

Cynthia still follows the "max. 1 activation per space per turn"-rule. Make sure you track which spaces have been activated during her turn.


Concepts

Ring

A ring is made of all spaces of the same soil type (number of leaves shown on the space) on the main board.

Directional Selection

Sometimes Cynthia will have more than one option on which space to perform an action. Those spaces will always be within one ring on the main board. In such cases the final choice is made by the Directional Selection tiebreaker:

  1. Follow the center arrow of the Directional Selection card, until you hit the first space of the ring in question. Start the Directional Selection on this space.

  2. Look at the bottom left of the current Action card. It shows the black Directional Selection icon with an arrow and a number.

  3. Based on the arrow, follow the eligible spaces on the ring in clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. Only consider spaces that are still valid for the action. In other words, spaces that were not eliminated based on general rules or tiebreakers.

  4. Count the eligible spaces, until you reach the number shown on the Directional Selection icon. This may lead you to count the same space multiple times.

  5. The space you end your counting on is the space selected for the action.



Future Light Points Check

Some actions require you to do a Future Light Points Check. When doing this, the board state is not changed.

The check is only a theoretical "what if?" consideration.

To do a Future Light Points Check:

  • Imagine the change in board state as described in the action description.

  • Imagine the Sun Segment moved to the next section and there was a Photosynthesis phase.

  • Count how many Light Points the player or players in question would collect.

If part of this action involves the Revolution number, use the current number, even if the check would "move" the Sun Segment to a section of a new Revolution.


Setup

Setup your components, the main board, Scoring tokens, the Sun Segment and the Revolution Counters for a regular game.

Orient the board as shown in image below and tuck the Directional Selection card under the edge furthest away from you.

Randomly determine a first player.

For each Cynthia follow this setup procedure:

Place the 2 Light Point Tracker cards (0-14 and 15-20) on the table and place Cynthia's Light Point Tracker on space "0".

Give Cynthia the following seeds and trees:

  • 3 Seeds
  • 3 Small Trees
  • 3 Medium Trees
  • 2 Large Trees III. Put the remaining seeds and trees back to the box.

They will not be used.

Place the Action Sequence card on the table.

Orient the Action cards face-down in such a way that the Revolution 1 and 2 icons are on the top half of the cards. Shuffle the cards and place them on the table. This is Action deck.

The first starting tree Cynthia places is a Small Tree as usual. The second tree is a Medium Tree.

For each of the two trees, follow this procedure:

  1. Valid spaces for the starting trees are all empty spaces on the outer ring that are not adjacent to a tree.

  2. Draw 1 Action card. Use the white Setup Directional Selection icon in the bottom center of the card (on the trunk) along the outer ring on the main board, counting only valid spaces.

  3. Place Cynthia´s tree on the target space.

4-player game setup:

When there are no more valid spaces, Cynthia may place trees adjacent to other trees.


Game Play

The Photosynthesis Phase

  • Cynthia gets Light Points like a regular player.

  • At the start of the third Sun Revolution, shuffle all Action cards and rotate the deck so that the top half shows the Revolution 3 icon. Place them face down on the table.

Cynthia´s Turn

On Cynthia's turn, draw 1 Action card from the deck and place it to the right of the Action Sequence card. You will only use the left half of the card. It shows different parameters for each action. If the Action deck is empty reshuffle all Action cards and form a new deck.

Start with the top action on the Action Sequence card and check if Cynthia can perform it. If she can't, check the next action. Proceed, until Cynthia either performed an action or you reach the end of the card. Cynthia will only perform a maximum of 1 action per card.

Continue drawing cards and performing 1 action per card until either:

  • Cynthia has zero Light Points, or

  • Cynthia has activated all of her spaces, or

  • Cynthia couldn't perform any action on a card.

This ends Cynthia's turn.

Reasons for Cynthia not being able to perform an action:

  • Not enough Light Points.
  • No available matching seed or tree.
  • No matching seed or tree on the board to perform a Grow Tree action.
  • All spaces valid for the action have already been activated this turn.

Actions

I. Collect

Cost: 4 Light Points.



Cynthia ends the life-cycle of a Large Tree. For each of Cynthia's Large Trees on the board, perform a Future Light Points Check, assuming the tree was removed.

If Cynthia would collect equal or more Light Points than the number of the current Sun Revolution (shown on the current Sun Revolution Counter) plus the number shown on the Action card, the Tree is valid for the action. If it would collect less Light Points, the tree cannot be targeted for the action.

Revolution 3:

During Revolution 3 Cynthia also ends the life-cycle of a Large Tree if she has both Large Trees on the main board. This takes precedence over the result of the Future Light Points Check above.

If there is more than 1 vali Large Tree, use these tiebreakers in order, until only 1 tree is left.

Tiebreakers:

  • Valid space closest to the center.

  • Perform a Future Light Points Check, assuming the tree was removed. Choose the tree that will leave Cynthia with more Future Light Points.

  • Directional Selection.


II. Grow Tree

Costs:

CostPoints
Grow to Small Tree:2 Light Points
Grow to Medium Tree:4 Light Points
Grow to Large Tree:6 Light Points



Consult the tree icon on Action card. It shows the three tree sizes in a specific order. Start with the leftmost tree size and check if Cynthia can grow such a tree. If yes, perform the action. If not, do the same for the next tree size shown on the icon. If necessary proceed to the third.

If there is more than 1 tree on the main board to grow, use these tiebreakers in order, until only 1 tree is left.

Tiebreakers:

1. Valid space closest to center.

2. Perform a Future Light Points Check, assuming the tree has grown. Pick the tree that will increase Cynthia´s amount of Light Points most.

3. * Perform a Future Light Points Check, assuming the tree has grown. Pick the tree that will leave Cynthia´s opponents with the least amount of Light Points.

4. Directional Selection.

Tiebreaker 3:

This is an advanced tiebreaker and increases your work during selection. Feel free to play your first games without it.

Cynthia´s opponents are all other players, including another Cynthia, if present


III. Plant Seed

Cost: 1 Light Point.



Count the number of spaces on the board where Cynthia has a tree or seed. If this number is lower than the number of the current Sun Revolution (shown on the current Sun Revolution Counter) plus the number shown on the Action card, Cynthia will plant a Seed.

Revolution 3:

During Revolution 3 the number is always 3, independent of the number on the Sun Revolution Counter.

The ring icon on the Action card shows on which ring Cynthia prefers to plant a Seed. Go through the icon from left to right, until you find the first ring with a valid space for her to plant a Seed.

If there is more than 1 valid space on the ring, use these tiebreakers in order, until only 1 space is left.

Tiebreakers:

  • The space with the most empty adjacent spaces.

  • Directional Selection.

Tree Of Origin

When Cynthia plants a Seed, you must also determine its tree of origin. Its space counts as activated as per normal rules.

If there are multiple trees the Seed could have been planted from, follow these tiebreakers until only one tree is left:


Tierbreakers:

  • Smallest tree.
  • Tree on outermost ring.
  • Directional Selection.

End of the Game

After the final turn, if Cynthia has any Large Trees on the board, she will end the life-cycle of the one tree that is closest to the center and collect a Scoring Token. This does not cost any Light Points.

If two Cynthias collect Scoring Tokens, they do so in player order.

Scoring

Count the values on Cynthia´s collected Scoring Tokens. Cynthia does not score points for remaining Light Points.


Adjusting Difficulty

To make the game easier choose all or some of these options:

  • Don´t end the life-cycle of a Large Tree after the final turn.

  • Increase all costs for the Grow Tree action by 1 Light Point for Cynthia.

  • Cynthia starts the game with 2 Small Trees on the main board instead of 1 Small and 1 Medium Tree.

To make the game harder choose all or some of these options:

  • Decrease all costs for the Grow Tree action by 1 Light Point for Cynthia.

  • During Scoring, score each of Cynthia´s remaining trees on the main board:

TreePoints
Small Tree:1 Point
Medium Tree:2 Points
Large Tree:3 Points


Advanced Variation

4th Sun Revolution

When you play with this variant, re-shuffle and rotate the Action deck at the start of Revolution 4 instead of Revolution 3.


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