I am a backer of the wildly successful campaign for a pocket-sized 4X game called Tiny Epic Kingdoms. I created a set of solo rules for the game that add just a bit of complexity, while maintaining the feel. I call it 'Siege Mode'.
Here's they are:
Tiny Epic Kingdoms: Siege Mode
A new game mode for TEK that allows for Solo play, while maintaining the feel of the game
Date: 14 January 2014
Author: Jacob Peck
What you need
- 1 Tower Card
- 1 Action Card
- 5 Action Cubes
- 2 Town Cards
- 2 Mana Cubes
- 2 Ore Cubes
- 2 Food Cubes
- 2 Territory Cards
- 9 Player Cubes
- 6 Enemy Cubes (Player cubes from a different set)
- 1 Faction Card (Player's choice)
- Place the action card in the middle of the table, and the 5 action cubes next to it
- Place the Tower card in the middle of the table
- The Enemy gets 1 Town card and 1 Territory card
- Place 1 Enemy cube on each territory in the Territory card
- Place the last Enemy cube on the '3' spot of the Tower card
- Set up the Enemy Town card with 5 of each resource.
- Set up as in standard game (i.e. 6 resources, 0 tower, 2 cubes on 1 territory, 0 magic)
The game is played in a series of turns, alternating between 'player turns' and 'enemy turns'. The Player goes first.
On 'player turns', the player acts exactly as in a normal game -- the same actions apply and are executed in the same way (with the exeption of war -- see below). The Enemy does not act during player turns.
On 'enemy turns', the Enemy acts. It chooses which action it will perform by rolling 1d6 and consulting the action card -- number the actions from 1 through 6 going down from the top. If the Enemy rolls an action that already has an action cube, simply reroll until an action that hasn't been chosen is rolled. The Enemy then acts, and the Player then has the option of acting (according to the normal rules) or collecting resources.
The Enemy acts differently than the player:
- The Enemy performing actions of Quest, Patrol, or Trade results in the Enemy collecting resources -- 1 for each of it's occupied territories.
- The Enemy performing Research causes the Enemy to burn Mana equal to the magic level of the Player (bolstering it's magical defenses! ...in theme, at least...). If it cannot pay the full cost, it loses population cubes equal to the difference (see below).
- The Enemy performing Expand pays Food equal to the number of population cubes it has. If it cannot pay the full cost, it loses population cubes equal to the difference (see below).
- The Enemy performing Build will always build the next level of the Tower if it can afford to. If not, it does nothing.
The way the Enemy acts does not effect the player -- player actions of Quest, Patrol, Trade, Research, Expand, and Build are all conducted using the normal rules. (i.e. the Enemy rolls an 'Expand' and feeds his people. The player then has the option to Expand as normal, or collect resources.)
Whenever the Enemy cannot pay an upkeep cost (either for 'Research' or 'Expand' actions), it loses Population cubes equal to the difference between the cost and what it could pay. For each population cube lost in this way, the Enemy tries to balance the resources they would gather. If an Enemy with 2 Ore, 2 Mana, and 1 Food territory loses 2 cubes, they would lose 1 Ore and 1 Mana, to ensure a balance. If a balance cannot be ensured, they will lose Ore before Mana, Mana before Food.
As in the Lost Kingdoms variant, there is no alliance possible. There is also no ability to allocate 0 resources to a fight.
War will only occur when the player enters an Enemy-occupied territory. When this occurs, first the player allocates their resources as usual, and then rolls 2d6 (reroll 12's) for the Enemy-allocated resources. Higher side wins, as usual, and ties go to the Enemy (the defender). Both sides must pay resources as usual. The Enemy will always burn Mana before Ore in a War.
If the Enemy over-commits resources (i.e. the 2d6 roll was higher than the resources the Enemy could commit), then the Enemy loses all resources and loses the War, regardless of how many resources the player committed.
The player can start a War with the Enemy's last cube.
(The 2d6 could be replaced with the Kickstarter resource die (d12), with a reroll on '1' and 'Peace', but I feel like the curve provided by 2d6 provides for less random play -- most of the time the Enemy will wage around 5-9 resources when using 2d6, but it's completely random if they use the d12)
The game end is triggered when any of the following conditions occur:
- The Player reaches magic level 5
- The Player has placed all 7 of their population cubes
- Either the Player or the Enemy has built the 6th level of the Tower
- The Enemy's last population cube was wiped out by any means
The game is continued until all action cubes are used up for the round, and then scored.
The Player scores points as follows: - +1 point for each of your player cubes on a territory - +1 additional point for each player-occupied Enemy territory - +1 point for each magic level (+ bonuses as usual) - +X points for the Tower - -X points for the Enemy's Tower level - -3 points for each Enemy-occupied Enemy territory
If the total is a positive number, the siege was successful, and the Player wins! If it is negative, the Enemy was crafty and resourceful, and maintained their ground. If it is zero, the seige was a stalemate -- a war of attrition; rally the troops and play again!