Azul is a tile laying game that requires tactical adjustments each round to be successful. To score well in this variant the player must control an action board in addition to their player board where most of the scoring occurs.
The player must try to achieve a scoring goal after, at most, 8 rounds have been played. This variant has been playtested extensively to ensure that it will provide a satisfying solo gaming experience.
These additional rules are made by BGG User: GameRulesforOne.
Object of the Game
Reach a scoring goal when an end game condition has been reached.
Retrieve 2 player boards and place on the table separately and accessible for play. One board will be referred to as the action board and should be placed with the tile pattern faceup. The player board (scoring board) can be placed with either side faceup.
Place all 100 tiles (all tiles other than the "1" tile into the bag).
Retrieve 5 factory display tiles and place them in a line (designate each 1-5)
Draw 4 tiles to place on each of the factory displays, in order 1-5. a) If 4 of a type is drawn, return one to the bag and draw until a different type is drawn.
Fill the penalty row (floor line of the action board) from left to right by drawing the indicated number of tiles from the bag in the order drawn based on the game level: a) Easy Game: Draw 5 tiles b) Normal Game: Draw 6 tiles c) Expert Game: Draw 7 tiles.
Note: If a 3rd tile of a color is drawn, set it aside and draw a replacement. Once the number of tiles has been placed, put all tiles set aside back into the bag.
Place the action board scoring tile: a) Draw one tile from the bag, note its color and return it to the bag. b) Place the scoring tile onto one of the 9 center squares of the action board (non-edge) that matches the tile color drawn.
Retrieve one scoring marker and place it on the indicated space based on the game level: Easy or Normal Game: 20 Expert Game: 15 (optional, for a harder game)
Action Board Detailed
Penalty Row (action Board Floor Line)
Each round the player will subtract the penalty score indicated by the remaining tiles after all action rows have been resolved.
Each of the 5 tile rows provides a special action when the row is filled and after the tile is moved to the action board wall: (resolve in order)
1st row (1 tile space) [mandatory action]: Set aside the leftmost penalty row tile, if any, slide the remaining tiles left and draw a tile, if possible, to place in the leftmost open space. Return the tile set aside to the bag, if any.
2nd row (2 tile spaces) [mandatory action] 2 possibilities:
- Switch the places of 2 neighboring tiles in the penalty row.
- Place 5 tiles (instead of 4) in the 5th factory display in the next round but only when a switch is not possible. There is a rare situation where drawing a tile is not possible or it causes the game to end due to not having enough tiles.
- 3rd row (3 tile spaces): If the leftmost tile of the penalty row matches the tile being placed on the wall, remove the penalty tile and set it temporarily out of play. The tile may be returned to the bag when it is refilled after the 4th round. Slide all remaining penalty tiles to the left, if any.
4th row (4 tile spaces): If either of the 2 leftmost tiles of the penalty row match the tile being placed on the wall, remove one matching penalty tile and set it temporarily out of play. The tile may be returned to the bag when it is refilled after the 4th round. Slide all remaining penalty tiles to the left, if any.
li5th row (5 tile spaces): If any tiles in the penalty row match the tile being placed on the wall, remove one matching penalty tile and set it temporarily out of play. The tile may be returned to the bag when it is refilled after the 4th round. Slide all remaining penalty tiles to the left, if any.
Scoring Tile: ("1" Tile Placed On The Action Board)
When a tile is placed orthogonally next to the scoring tile, the player scores points after the action is resolved as follows:
Score 1/2/3/5 points for the 1st/2nd/3rd/4th tile placed next to the scoring tile.
Placing a tile onto the scoring tile position: The player may choose to place the matching tile onto the space where the scoring tile is located. In this case the scoring tile is removed from the board as the tile is placed. There will be no further scoring opportunities on the action board. This action does not score any points.
Take and place all like tile(s) from the 1 factory display onto the action board
Take and place all like tile(s) from the 1 factory display onto the player board
Move remaining tile(s) from the factory display to the floor line on the player board possibly requiring a placement to the action board penalty row
Repeat for each of the 4 remaining factory displays (2 - 5)
Resolve the action board
Resolve the player board
Perform the end of round cleanup
Repeat for 8 rounds or until an end game condition has been reached.
The placing of tiles onto each board is performed just as it is using the normal rules.
Take all tiles of a color and place them into a single pattern line next to the respective wall display.
Excess tiles: If by taking tiles some/all cannot fit into the line or the player does not want to place them, the tiles are moved to the floor line of the player board or possibly to the penalty row of the action board.
- If the excess is from the action board, one tile of your choice is added to the leftmost open position in the penalty row and the remaining tile(s) are placed into the floor line of the player board.
- If the excess is from the player board, a tile is moved to the penalty row only if 2 or more cannot be placed. Otherwise, add the single tile to the player floor line.
Clear Current Factory Display
Any tile(s) remaining on the factory display not taken are moved to the player board floor line. If 2+ tiles of the same color are being moved, place one such tile into the leftmost open position of the penalty line and the other into the floor line.
Additionally, if there is not enough room for the tiles to be placed to the floor line, one tile of those that cannot fit is moved to the leftmost open position of the penalty line. Any other excess is set aside until the bag is refilled.
Resolve The Remaining Factory Displays
Repeat steps 1 and 2, 4 more times.
Resolve The Action Board
For each full row, resolve each action row one at a time from top to bottom moving the tiles to the wall using the normal rules, except for the scoring opportunity noted:
- Perform the action required/allowed for the row.
- Score if the tile is placed next to the scoring tile as noted above (1 to 5 points).
- Move all other tiles from the line out of play until and if the bag is refilled.
All tiles in lines/rows that were not filled remain on the action board.
Apply the penalty line score to the player's score.
Resolve The Player Board
Considering each full row of tiles from top to bottom:
- Move a tile to the wall and score using normal rules
- Set all other remaining tiles out of play until the bag needs to be refilled.
All tiles in lines/rows that were not filled remain on the player board.
End Of Round Cleanup
Move all tiles from the floor line of the player board temporarily out of play until the bag needs to be refilled. You do not get penalized for these tiles.
Check for an end game condition.
Draw/place 4 (possibly 5) tiles for each factory display, in order. (min 2 tile types).
If there are not enough tiles in the bag to fill the displays completely (5th round), retrieve all tiles that were placed out of play and all tiles on the factory displays into the bag. Redraw all factory display tiles.
End Game Conditions
Player has a score of zero – game loss; end game immediately.
Player adds an 8th tile to the penalty row – game loss; end game immediately.
Either board has 1+ completely full horizontal row(s) of wall tiles, proceed to scoring.
7-8 rounds have been completed (the 2nd time there are not enough tiles in the bag to fill the factory displays), proceed to scoring.
End Game Scoring
Penalty Row Scoring
- No Tiles: Score 5 points
- 1+ tile remaining in the line: Subtract 8 points for each tile
Clear Board Award
Score 5 points for each board where there are no tiles in any of the 5 tile lines/rows, not the wall.
Score Full Horizontal Rows
Score 2 points for each full row on the player board only.
Score Full Vertical Columns
Score 7 points for each full column on the player board only.
Score 5 Like Tiles Placed
Score 10 points for each tile type where all 5 tiles were placed on the player board only.
Determine Your Victory Condition
If your score is ...
- <60: Game Loss
- 60-69: Level 1, General Interest Victory
- 70-79: Level 2, Apprentice Victory
- 80-89: Level 3, Journeyman Victory
- 90-99: Level 4, Master Victory
- 100+: Artisan: Perfect Game (also must have scored at least one clear board bonus)
Working to reduce the penalty scoring from the start of the game is crucial to prevent an early game loss and enhance later scoring.
The actions from filling a line on the action board are crucial to setting up combos that might clear multiple tiles from the penalty row.
There are times that you might want to let the boards build up a bit (especially the action board) to help in improving the actions/scoring of the next round.
Don't be too concerned about adding a tile to the penalty row especially early as you may be able to clear it off by game end and not cost you too many points.
There will not be perfect tile knowledge in this variant as the tiles are put back into the back before all have been made available. Additionally, the tiles that started on the penalty line will skew the number of tiles that will be available each bag fill. You can impact the tile availability slightly through the 1st action line as you are putting a known tile back into the bag. Take note of this opportunity.
Can you figure out how to get an 8th round played?