I have to admit, I have a bit of a man crush on Ryan Laukat. The man does it all, he’s an excellent illustrator that creates these vast, dreamy, painterly landscapes, he’s an excellent game designer that creates board games that feel both very familiar and unique at the same time, and on top of this he runs the publishing side of things. A true renaissance man I dare say!
Ryan’s latest game Artifacts, Inc. has been released and the reviews have been pretty positive. Unfortunately, one nagging point noticed is the downtime between player turns. This variant will allow you to play the game on your own, thus NO downtime. Just a beautiful optimization puzzler, playable in 30 minutes! Have fun and share if you enjoy! 🙂
Artifacts, Inc. Solo Variant
designed by Gabriel Gendron, game designer / co-founder of Mountain Gold Games
This solo variant was designed to be both challenging but not unfair and furthermore requires no base game rules changes or setup modifications. The following read requires prior knowledge of the Artifacts, Inc. rules.
You will need to supply a d4 (4-sided die) and a d6 (6-sided die).
Set up the game as per normal rules for 2 players with the following exceptions; the AI dummy player receives the First Player card as well as his own pile of cubes placed on the card for easy access. Set aside one cube next to the Reputation Board’s score track. Do not distribute any starting cards nor starting money to the AI player.
Since you are the second player, set up your cards as normal and receive 3 dollars. You are now ready to play.
Sequence of Play:
Starting with the AI player and proceeding in clockwise order, you take turn until a player reaches 20 Reputation points. The AI dummy player is the First Player and goes through the following sequence every turn:
1. Advance the AI’s score by 1 on the Reputation Board.
2. If the AI’s score is an even number (I.e. 2, 4, 6, etc.), roll both the d4 and the d6.
The d4 result indicates in which museums card the AI fullfills an order. The d6 result indicates the value of that order. For example: a result of 4 on the d4 and 3 on the d6 would have the AI fulfilling a 3 artifacts order in the Gems Museums.
Place a cube from the AI’s supply onto the museum’s open spot. If you cannot place a cube because either you or the AI have already fullfilled that order, the AI scores 1 additional Reputation point.
3. Play your turn as per the original rules. Once you are done taking your actions, remove your dice from the cards and begin a new turn, starting with the AI’s turn sequence again.
The game ends as per normal rules conditions. Count each player’s respective Museums majority and score Reputation points accordingly. In the case of a tie, you win if you have any money left.
Hard Difficulty Level:
Once you have mastered this variant’s difficulty level we suggest the following rule for a harder game: Once the AI reaches a score of 10 points, roll the AI’s dice at the start of every turn.
We suggest using this variant with the Hard Difficulty Level. For a longer game, we suggest playing to 30 points. Just loop around the score track.
The designer wishes to acknowledge Cédrick Chaboussit, designer of Lewis and Clark as an inspiration for these solo rules.