I love this game. The theme is right where I like it, and the positional play with simple rules keeps me playing. A solo variant that offers a good challenge was always going to be a winner, and this ruleset invited a variant. I am finding this variant suitably tough (!). If you find a strategy that guarantees a win, or if you have any rules questions, do let me know.
I hope you enjoy these rules. Ricky, Box of Delights
The King Is Dead Solitaire Rules
Set up as per 2-player.
You are the 1st player and the 2nd player is The Saxons.
Shuffle the Saxon hand of action cards and place in a face-down stack to form the Saxon Action Deck.
EASIER VARIANT: play with the Saxon deck face-up, so you can [only] see the card they will play this turn.
You are always the first player to act.
The Saxons will do nothing until you Pass.
As soon as you Pass, you may NOT play another Action Card during this Power Struggle. Instead, reveal the top card of the Saxon Action Deck. Perform this action, on behalf of the Saxon player, in such a way as to, in priority order (i.e. if step 1 can't be done, move to step 2):
(1) remove a faction majority in the Region being contested, or [if not summoning a Follower] leave it with a majority of just 1 cube;
(2) reduce a faction majority, giving priority to the region nearest the top of the order below the one being contested;
(3) if unable to reduce a faction majority, the Saxons will act so as not to create or increase an existing majority, giving priority to the region nearest the top of the order below the one being contested.
(4) lastly, they act in the region(s) nearest the top of the order below the one being contested, irrespective of outcome.
If equally viable options exist (such as what colour cube to add or remove), you get to decide, so choose wisely!
The Saxons will then summon 1 follower from the board, using the same logic as described above, before resolving the Power Struggle.
Note: when the Saxons play “The Crown” ["Negotiate" in 2nd Edition], and if able, place the Saxon crown ["negotiation disk" in 2nd Ed] on the current region (or the next in line if the current region already has a crown) and swap it with the first region with the smallest majority (breaking ties by giving priority to the the region highest in the order).
Winning The Game
If an INVASION occurs, you immediately lose the game, otherwise determine the winner as per the regular rules.