I absolutely hate the solo variant that comes with the game. I tried to do my own and this is what I ended up with. You can download this here.
Merchant of Venus Solitaire Variant (Standard Game)
Follow the normal rules except for the following:
Prepare a cup with the demand tokens of the classic game. Add 10 of them to the cup with the passengers.
Place spaceports of a neutral (not yours/not A.I.) colour on the Nebula Habitat and the Multi-Generational Ship.
Remove one of every Racial Technology tokens.
Take two Starting Funds according to the rules p. 29.
Don´t use the f**** challenge cards! BURN THEM!!
If you normally should draw a Passenger, draw from the cup with the Passengers and Demand Tokens. If you draw a demand token, place it in the appropriate system.
From the 3rd turn on, at the beginning of each turn, determine a random system. That system is discovered by the A.I. , if it was not yet discovered. If the A.I. discovers a system, reveal the card, place all the stuff of the culture in the system, but discard one Racial Technology Token (it is assumed purchased by the A.I.). If you´ve already discovered the system, nothing happens. Do this at the beginning of every turn until every system is discovered.
You might use the following table:
1 = Trapped Rogue Planet
2 = Colony World
3 = Jungle World
4 = Ice World
5 = Interstellar Biosphere
6 = Desert World
7 = Nebula Habitat
8 = Giant Planet
9 = Asteroid System
Follow the normal movement rules, except: On Hazard Spaces, if you roll a 6, you fail, no matter what!!
Whenever you roll doubles with your first three speed dice, the A.I. might do a trade action. (If, for some reason, you are allowed to roll more than three dice, roll the others with a second roll).
Randomly determine a good. Use the numbers of the goods AND one number for the Galactic Base… If the culture trading that good is not yet discovered, no trade occurs. If the good is sold out, roll again. If a culture that might buy this good is not yet discovered, no trade occurs.
If the Galactic Base is determined, remove all passengers from the Galactic Base and return them to the cup. No trade occurs.
If a trade occurs, do the following:
Remove the following number of goods from the seller and place them in the supply area:
Turn 1 – 10: 2 Goods
Turn 11 – 20: 3 Goods
Turn 21 – end: 4 Goods
If there are not enough goods left, take as many as possible.
Find a “buyer”, according to the normal rules: The number of the buying culture must be on the good.
If there are more possible buyers, find one following these priorities:
- Demand Tokens
- High Market
- Closest system to the seller
In the buying system, do the following:
- Do a market shift (producing if indicated)
- Remove all passengers and place them back in the cup
- Remove one demand token per good traded, if there are any, and through them back into the cup with the demand tokens. Then draw the same number of demand Tokens and place them in the cup with the Passengers/Demand Tokens.
- If you rolled doubles 1-3: discard a Racial technology, and if there are event spaces in the system, draw an event card and resolve it. (see Event Cards)
- If you rolled doubles 4-6: Build an enemy spaceport on a random green space in that system, if there is still one space left.
You can do as many transactions as you want to, even if you´ve just landed on the planet!
You are only allowed to buy one single Equipment part in a Transaction phase. (One single step of shield improvement for example, not two) .
You are only allowed to do one single Transaction phase when trading with a culture. You have to trade with another culture, before you can come back to trade with the first one!
If you trade in an enemy´s spaceport or an empty city or spaceport (not the neutral ones in the Nebula Habitat or the Multi-Generational Ship), you´ll have to pay taxes!!
Turn 0-10 no taxes
Turn 11-20 10%
Turn 20-30 20%
Turn 30-end 30%
You don´t have to pay extra 10 if you´re trading on an enemy´s spaceport. You´ll get your 10 bonus though, if you´re trading on your own spaceport.
Goal of the Game:
Try to get 4000
After turn 30 count your money, spaceports and fame according to the rules p. 18/19
If you don´t have 4000 at turn 30, keep on playing. Place the money you had from the Fame aside from your normal money. You´re not allowed to use it, but it counts concerning the winning conditions. After 40 turns count again, after 50 again, so that you keep track on how much money you have. Of course you can also count in between.
Here´s a table, wich might help you to evaluate your deeds:
less than 30 turns: Liar!!
30-35 turns: Great!
36-38 turns: Good!
39-42 turns: Nice…
43-45 turns: not so great….
46-50 turns: ugh…
more than 50 turns: You´ve lost!!
Remove the Title and Intel Cards from the game.
Most cards you can resolve in the normal way.
If you kill Pirates with lasers, in addition to the reward card, you gain half their strength rounded up in Fame tokens (Pirate +3 =2 Fame) If the Pirates have 0 or less, then you gain no fame. Don´t place a fame token if you lose against pirates.
If you roll a 6 when fighting the piratests or resolving a Hazard event, you fail!
If you draw a card that says “choose an opponent”, always resolve this card as if it had been played on you!
If the A.I. draws an Event card because of doubles 1-3 in the movement phase:
If it draws Telegates or Pirates, place it on a random event space in the “buyer´s” system.
If it draws a trade card, remove a random good according to the card (gold, silver…) from the board.
If the card says, “choose an opponent”, it´s played on you!
Improvements or Hazards have no effect, except for the production on the bottom of the card.
During setup, remove one token of every Racial Technology.
Market Flux: You can only assign a six.
Stealth Field: The Stealth function is ignored. The Black Market can be used as normal.
Wave Emitter: Draw two new mission cards. Choose wich of the three you want to keep. Remove from the game after use.
Fuzzy Dice: Return them to their originating culture after using them in turn 30. You might buy new Fuzzy Dice to use them in turn 40 or 50 for you new accomplished fame.
Throttle Boost: Remove the worst Throttle Boost Marker at the start of the game.
You cannot buy a second mission card in the Galactic Base.
Add only two tokens of every good during a production turn (Turns 30, 40) .