The newest addition to our game collection included rules for solo gaming, so I decided to give it a try.
The game set-up is identical to the multi-player game with the exception of a couple of things: two public goals are dealt out face-up, two private goals are dealt out face-up, and 1-5 tools are dealt (depending on how hard you want the game – one for the hardest, 5 for the easiest).
On each round, you roll 4 dice and take two turns. Those turns can include drafting a die and/or using a tool, as with the multi-player game. However, each tool requires a die to use – the color of that die is indicated in the upper left corner of the tool card – and each tool can only be used once. At the end of each round, the unused dice are put on the round tracker, making sure to keep the numbers the same – the sum of these unused dice become your score to beat.
At the end of the game, sum up the unused dice before turning over the round track to the score track. I marked that score with another marker. Then score your board as normal, using the two public goals, one of the private goals, and subtracting 3 points for each open space. (Yes, -3 points — one more than the multiplayer game.)
How did it work?
I really liked this twist on the solo play. Many of the solo games I’ve played have a set score to beat or a set ranking system to determine how well you’ve done (x-y score – you’re awesome, y-z score – you suck a little, etc.). The scoring mechanism for Sagrada forces you to think twice about which dice you discard each round – it’s not just about which dice will best complete your window and satisfy goals, but also about which will leave the fewest points to beat at the end of the game.
I lost three games in a row. In the first game, I forgot to may much attention to the public goals, and I didn’t quite complete my window, but I only lost by 5 points. In the second game, I ended up discarding a lot of high-value dice – I couldn’t help it, because I was rolling loads of 5s and 6s, so even my left-overs were high value.
However, despite losing so much so quickly, I’m looking forward to breaking this out again another time to see if I can beat the game.