JW told me that today is the birthday of the King of the Netherlands (a national holiday there). What better occasion than to play Regicide!
The game is currently on Kickstarter, and is about to receive a solo mode. Fellow 1PGer Zerbique spread the news, and I downloaded the rules as soon as I heard. Regicide can be played with a standard deck of cards, and this is what the Kickstarter campaign offers. Backers will receive a deck with illustrations that match the theme: a party of heroes with companion animals (aces). Your goal is to kill all the Jacks, the Queens and the Kings.
The solo game plays exactly as a 2 player game, with only one change: you deal yourself a hand of 8 cards instead of 7. As in the 2 player game, you don't get to use the ability of the Joker. I happened to have a promo Etherfields deck of cards in my drawer, and decided to grab the chance to use it. Rules are easy to understand, and the designer has also filmed a gameplay video (posted below).
You first shuffle the Kings, then the Queens, then the Jacks together, to create the enemy stack, and flip the top Jack face up. Jacks have the lowest health and attack power, and Kings the highest. From your hand of 8 cards, you select one to play, and start dealing damage. Cards do as much damage as their numerical value, and suits offer special powers: Clubs double the damage. Spades work as shields against the enemy attack. Diamonds let you draw cards from the draw pile. And Hearts let you add cards from the discard to the draw pile. You may also create combos if you have an ace or sets of the same number.
I played 5 times until I managed to win. You have to be careful not to run out of cards, as when the enemy attacks, you have to discard cards up to the enemy's attack value. The only rule I would add is to have a mulligan option at the start of the game: if you draw 8 cards without any Diamonds, there is no reason to keep playing. I also used two 20-sided dice to track the health of the regal enemies.
If you have a deck of cards lying around, I strongly recommend giving the game a try. You will need to think how to best handle your hand, but it's not hard to play, and winning feels good. It is a very pleasant filler, and one you can immediately restart, as is the case with monarchy: the King is dead, long live the King!
Update May 1st: Badgers From Mars added the Jesters rule to the solo mode: you keep 2 Jesters on the side, and use them if you need to refresh your hand. Check the update for details.