A relaxing re-imagining of classic solitaire card games, for solo play. Average play time: 5 to 15 minutes.
To play Solitarium, you will need:
One (1) 71-card Anthromancer Deck (including hymns)
(optional) The Anthromancer Board
Shuffle the full deck – including the 15 hymns – then deal 25 cards face-up in a 5x5 grid, starting in the top left corner, moving left to right, and finishing in the bottom right corner (you may also play with a 4x4 or 3x3 grid, if you’re pressed for space). This is the tableau. Set the deck aside. If you are using the board, you will be placing a card in every space on the board.
Like many versions of solitaire, the objective of Solitarium is to clear the deck. You do this by searching the tableau for matches between cards. A match occurs when two adjacent cards share the same number of dots on their touching edges. When you find a group of cards that match each other in this way, you may remove them from the tableau. You may then deal new cards into the empty spaces, following the same left-to-right, top-to-bottom pattern as during setup; or, you may wait to find more matches. Continue to do this until you run out of cards. When there are no more cards left in the tableau, you win the game. If you cannot clear the tableau, you lose.
Matches can also occur for other reasons.
Hymns match with adjacent cards based on their element, which is designated by the colored geometric shape positioned behind every card’s illustration. Each suit of the Anthromancer deck is associated with one of these shapes. Likewise, each hymn displays one of these shapes. If a hymn is adjacent to any card that shares its elemental colored shape, those cards may be matched and removed from the tableau.
The Fool, The Fox, and Zodiac hymns have shapes and elements that are different from the rest. They function as ‘wildcards’ and may be matched with any card they are adjacent to.
When you remove a hymn from the tableau, do not discard it. Instead, place it in a separate pile with all other hymns that you have removed from play. You may choose to discard one of these ‘captured hymns’ in order to affect the layout of the tableau, by either rotating a single card in any direction (to better match with the cards adjacent to it), or by performing a ‘sweep’, in which all cards on the tableau may be compressed in a single direction.
Lords match with any adjacent cards that share their element, as Hymns do.
At the end of the game, if you have cleared the deck and the tableau is empty, you have won the game. Count how many hymns you have left after discarding those that were used to activate rotations and sweeps. This number is your score. The highest possible score is 15.
You are not required to remove matched cards from the board in any particular order. You may choose to match and remove cards in a strategic way, creating the potential for more efficient matches, and a higher final score. See how far you can go using as few hymns as possible!