While the Standard Game rules for Merchant of Venus have a whole host of interesting variations on gameplay for multiple players, one of the most innovative inclusions to the rules is the ability to play a fully realized solo campaign. FFG has been pleased to see a great deal of interest in this particular mode of play, and designer Rob Kouba has created a score tracking sheet specifically for solo players. The score sheet will allow players to keep tabs on just how well they carve out their path to mercantile greatness in the solo game, and then share their fabulous fortunes with their fellow enthusiasts!
Playing for Profits in a Solo Game
In a solo gameplay experience, players utilize special Challenge cards that take effect at regular intervals over the course of the thirty turns of gameplay. There are two different Challenge cards for each turn where they take effect. During setup, the player chooses one of these two at random from each pair, making each solo game a fresh experience. The Challenge cards require the player to meet certain criteria in order to remove the card’s negative effects. In addition, a Challenge card will force the player to pay a penalty in credits at the start of each turn. These fees and effects stack, so any lone spacefarer would do well to eliminate the Challenge cards as quickly as possible. If any of the Challenge cards are still in effect at the end of the game, you lose, so work fast!
To help players overcome these difficult Challenges, the setup for the solo game allows a discerning merchant to make some choices regarding extra bonuses at the start of the game. Will you grab a Hard Burn for the extra mobility? Maybe a Stealth Field better suits your mercantile style. Some people will just buff their basics and take bonuses to shields and lasers. In Merchant of Venus, the credit is king, so maybe you’ll just want to bank some extra seed money for the beginning of your journey. Some of these bonuses can be taken twice and some are one time deals. These bonuses must be taken before the Challenge cards are revealed, so try to guess what fate has in store for your dealings in cosmic commerce!
The solo tracker is a great way to preserve your finest moments in solo spacefaring. Download the editable pdf (pdf, 803 KB), or a version for printing (pdf, 467 KB) if you’re more of a pen and paper person. Record your setup decisions, the the Challenges you face, and the location of the alien cultures you encounter. Share your good fortune or bad business experiences with the rest of the denizens of the galactic cluster in Merchant of Venus!