The goal of the solo game is to fully terraform Mars before time runs out. All the rules of the game are the same with the following exceptions:
1. Set aside an additional set of five phase cards as a dummy hand. Shuffle that set of cards facedown.
2. Place a player cube of a color you are not using on the 1 on the TR track.
3. Choose a difficulty level: Novice, Advanced, or Expert.
Once you have selected a phase card during the beginning phase, play the top card of the dummy hand faceup. That phase is also played this round (without a bonus). Continue to play rounds, playing a card from the dummy hand each round.
When all five dummy hand cards have been played, shuffle them all facedown to reform the dummy hand. Each time you reshuffle the dummy hand, advance the dummy player cube (that started on 1) to the next space on the TR track. Once that cube reaches 5, play five final rounds. You are allowed to pick the order in which the dummy hand phase cards are played in these final rounds. After all of the phase cards from that hand have been played (25 rounds in total), the game ends.
Solo mode can be a great way to learn the game, but it is not easy to win if you aren’t experienced with the game and its many strategies. If you aren’t experienced, consider choosing one of the lower difficulty settings below. In a lower difficulty setting, the terraforming parameters will advance each time the dummy player’s cube moves (4 times per game), to help you reach your terraforming goals. Note - raising terraforming parameters in this manner does not provide TR nor Forest VP tokens.
NOVICE MODE: Increase oxygen or temperature 2 steps after advancing the dummy player’s cube.
ADVANCED MODE: Increase oxygen or temperature 1 step after advancing the dummy player’s cube.
EXPERT MODE: No bonuses are given.
Once five full dummy hands have been played (25 rounds), the game ends. If Mars is fully terraformed, you win. Otherwise, you lose. Finally, you score VP, attempting to achieve as high a score as possible.