Review of The Captain Is Dead—Part II. Solo Rules

In Part I of my review of The Captain is Dead, I was frustrated with the solo player rules that came with the game.  As you recall, the rules that come with the game ask the solo player to operate 3-4 characters in the game.  I am sure, once you know this game, this might be a fine solo mode, but first time players or novices will be intimidated by that.

I have been playing the game pretty much non-stop since I got it (yes, it’s fun), but playing with my own variant of the solo rules.  I think I have a fairly robust set of rules for a solo player operating only 1 character.


The Janitor Fights Alone!

Solo Player Rules For Operating One Character: Choose a Character

First, you probably want to limit which characters you play.  Six characters don’t give ANY advantage to play, as their skills involve other players (or rules which you ignore):

Telepath, Science Officer , Diplomat, Cyborg, Ensign, Hologram: Don’t Play These in a SOLO Game!

The Cyborg looks great, but he can get stuck too easily.  All of the other characters special powers involve working with other characters.

These characters are okay, but not real great: playing them doesn’t give a lot of advantages:

Counselor, Medical Officer, Crewman:  Probably don’t want to play any of these characters, but you can if you want a challenge.

The four characters are pretty good to play: they do just enough to allow you to do a few interesting things, but aren’t great:

Weapons Officer, Tactical Officer, Soldier, Teleporter Chief: Pretty Good to Play, Not Great

Finally, these 5 characters work really well solo:

First Officer, Chief Engineer, Admiral, Janitor, Scholar: Great for Solo play!

I strongly recommend playing one of the last 5: they are fun to play, you use their abilities all the time, and they each offer a different “way” to play.  If this is your first time playing, play the Janitor: he can make up for cards he doesn’t have by spending an action.

Solo Player Rules For Operating One Character: Set-Up

  1. Up your hand limit by 2.   You won’t be able to get anything done otherwise.
  2. Instead of each character adding a Skill card to the Cargo Bay, just randomly choose 3 skill cards from the main deck and put them there.  Thus, your single character starts with 5 skills.
  3. Do set-up normal otherwise.

Solo Player Rules For Operating One Character: Play

The game plays normally, except: Whenever you draw Anomalies, follow the rules as if it were a 2-Player game.

And that’s it!


It really is easy: Pick one of the proper characters, up your hand-limit by 2, fill the cargo bay with 3 random skills, and follow the 2-player rules for anomalies. That’s it!

I have been playing this way for the past few days and really enjoying the game.  It’s not hard to play this game with a single character.  I hope this set of rules improves your experience with the game!  It certainly has mine: I have had a lot of fun playing as a solo player.

I have a bunch of people coming over tomorrow night to play in full cooperative mode with lots of players.  We’ll see how the game goes!

2 thoughts on “Review of The Captain Is Dead—Part II. Solo Rules

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