Solo Variant: Devious Automatics Challenge
One of our competitors, the Devious Automatics (DA) company, believes that it could undertake the colonization of Mars more efficiently through use of their android technology.
As our Project efficiency expert, your Job is to prove them wrong.
We've designed a comprehensive and accurate simulation system to challenge their claim, but so far no one's been able to overcome those pesky androids!
You're our last chance. If you can't master it, our colonization program may be doomed!
The solo game is an advanced variant - you'll need to know the basic rules before reading this. We also recommend playing the multi-player game several times before tackling the solo game.
To begin with, follow all the setup steps defined in the multi-player game. Then, perform the following steps to setup Devious Automatics (DA):
Choose 1 of the 3 unchosen Spaceships as the DA Spaceship and place it in your play area, to one side and separate from your own Spaceship.
Take the 7 colonists of the same color as the DA Spaceship. These are DA colonists. Place 5 of them on the DA Spaceship and the remaining 2 on Earth (joining your previously placed colonists there).
Place 1 energy marker on the starting level space of the energy track (marked 1) on the DA Spaceship.
Take 2 Project cards from the Project deck and, without looking at them, place them face-down in front of the DA Spaceship. This is the DA prep module.
You are now ready to begin.
Always keep in mind:
Whenever you draw a card during the solo game, you must instead take a card of your choice from the DA prep module (which is not immediately replenished).
If there are no cards in the DA prep module, only then do you draw from the Project deck as per normal. This holds true even when applying the 4 card rule!
The solo game consists of a series of rounds. Each round is divided into 3 phases, performed in the following order:
- Architect Phase.
- System Failure Phase.
- Android Activation Phase.
At the end of each round, after completing all three phases, if any of the endgame conditions has been met the game ends. Otherwise, proceed to the next round.
During the Architect Phase, you must perform one of the five following actions:
Playa Project card from your hand - this action is identical to that defined in the multi-player game.
Play a Project card from your prep module - this action is identical to that defined in the multi-player game.
Play a Project card from the DA prep module - flip the chosen card from the DA prep module face-up and connect it to a Building of the same color. Then, perform the following steps in order:
Compare the card's value with the card directly underneath it. Or if this is the first card connected to a Building, compare its value to the Building value instead.
If the value of the played card is higher, you may move 1 of your colonists from your Spaceship onto the Building, placing it on the space marked ★.
You may trigger the Building's ability. (Do not resolve any effects for the DA player)
Launch 1 from Earth (placing it on your Spaceship) and discard 1 Project card from the DA prep module. You must do both. If you have no colonists on Earth, this action cannot be performed.
Gain 2 energy by discarding a Project card from your hand or prep module - this action is identical to that defined in the multi-player game (see page 10), with the exception that you gain 2 energy instead of 1.
Reminder: Apply the 4 Card rule after you've performed your action, and remember that whenever you draw cards, take them first from the DA prep module, and only from the Project deck once the DA prep module is empty.
System Failure Phase
You're dealing with androids. Face it, there's going to be glitches!
Take the top 2 cards from the Project deck (not from the DA prep module) and place them face-up in the discard pile. This isn't considered a draw. If there is only one card left in the Project deck, place just that card in the discard pile then move on to the Android Action Phase.
Android Activation Phase
The androids from Devious Automatics are powerful, but they have one major defect. Reliability. Which you'd think would be more of a worry to people, but I guess that's the reason DA spends so much on lovey-dovey feel-good ads every year.
If there are 2 Project cards in the DA prep module, skip this Android Activation Phase.
If there is 1 Project card in the DA prep module, perform the following steps in order:
Move a DA colonist from the DA Spaceship to the Building matching the color of the DA Project card (skip this move if the matching Building is the Habitation Building). If there was no DA colonist on the DA Spaceship, move 1 DA colonist from Earth (if any remain) to the DA Spaceship instead.
Trigger the DA Alternative Building ability for the Building that matches the color of the DA Project card (described on the next page). The card in the DA play- er's prep module is not revealed and is not discarded.
Lastly, if there are 0 or 1 Project cards in the DA prep module, take enough cards from the top of the Project deck to refill the DA prep module to 2 cards and, without looking at them, place them face-down in the DA prep module.
Description of DA Alternative Building Abilities:
Greenhouse : Double Upgrade - The DA gets 2 Upgrades. Each Upgrade either:
moves a DA colonist from a space marked ★ to a space marked with ★★ within any Building where that's possible, or
moves one of your colonists from a space marked 1rir to a space marked ★within any Building where that's possible.
For each Upgrade, option 1 must be taken if possible. If not, take option 2 if possible. Any Upgrades unable to be used go to waste.
Note: In the solo game, the Building spaces have the same colonist limits as the 2 player game.
Aqualab : Spark - Take the top 2 cards from the Project deck (not from the DA prep module - this isn't considered a draw!) and place them in the discard pile.
Energy Bank : Overwhelming Power - Increase the energy level on the DA Spaceship by 2. If the DA Space- ship can't increase their energy level, then Spark triggers (see Building above).
Comms Center : Recruitment Drive - Move 1 DA colonist from Earth (if any remain) to the DA Spaceship.
Habitation : Calculations - Move a DA colonist from the DA Spaceship to a Building of your choice. If there was no DA colonist on the DA Spaceship, move 1 DA colonist from Earth (if any remain) to the DA Spaceship instead.
You must optimize the placement of the DA colonists so as to maximise the DA's final score as best you can, so try and place them as if you were playing the DA.
I mean, those androids are really quite smart, despite the occasional glitch. And the unreliability factor. But don't overthink it... do whatever you think is best, but you don't need advanced math for this. They ain't THAT smart!
End of the Game
In the solo game, there are 3 endgame conditions:
- You have all of your 7 colonists on Buildings on Mars.
- DA has all of its 7 colonists on Buildings on Mars.
- The DA prep module has fewer than 2 cards (and cannot be refilled from the Project Deck).
Note: If there are no cards in the Project deck, don't create a new Project deck. Per the above, the Project deck running out of cards helps create an end-condition for the solo game!
You earn victory points using the same rules as the multi-player game.
DA earns victory points using the same rules but with the following changes:
DA earns 4 victory points (instead of 2) for having at least 1 colonist on each of the 4 Buildings that can hold colonists.
DA gains 5 victory points (instead of 3) for having at least 4 colonists in 1 Building.
DA gains 2 victory points (instead of 1) if it has the highest energy level. In the case of a tie, DA gains 2 victory points while you still earn your 1 victory point as usual.
You win the game if you score more points than Devious Automatics. And guarantee you keep your Job... not to add any pressure or anything.
If you'd like a greater challenge, the difficulty level of the solo game may be increased as follows:
Super-droid Level - During Setup, place 6 DA colonists on the DA Spaceship and 1 on Earth.
Cyborg Level - During Setup, place 7 DA colonists on the DA Spaceship and none on Earth.