Solitaire Castles of Mad King Ludwig

J Denney
J Denney
Jan 3, 2016 · 3 min read

I’ve really enjoyed playing the solitaire version of the board game Castles of Mad King Ludwig. I’ve played it about 10 times.

Some tips so far:

  • Sleep rooms (blue) are crucial. A blue room completion bonus buys you more turns, and allows you to control what tiles you get for cheap, not to mention throw out tiles that you know you’ll never buy to increase odds of getting tiles you want later. Be careful of using the bonus to burn tiles to get the depletion bonus early on in the game, as drawing a card for a depleted stack can reduce the number of turns you’ll get, as you’ll have to draw another card.I find building a basement is also key. It allows you to go for the stair depletion bonus and you can potentially get an additional blue room bonus or outdoor room (green) bonus for cash. In combination with the blue room bonus, you can increase your odds of getting the Venus Grotto (1pt per corridor, 450sqft) and the Knights room (2pts per blue room), also don’t forget that if you’re going for the stair depletion bonus and are low on turns you can ‘search’ through the stair tiles to get one for only 2000 and burn the other.
  • This may be obvious but layout is important. Again, easier to control if you have a lot of blue room bonuses. Take some time to play with the tiles to see what combinations of rooms work well together. 100s, 200s, 300s, & 400s line up nicely but 150s, & 250s need hallways to line up nicely with others, a few 350s can substitute as hallways if cheap enough. Organizing well (with a little luck) will allow you to get multiple completion bonuses in a single turn.
  • Food rooms (yellow) aren’t as good as they might first seem, so don’t go out of your way for them. They force you to either buy an overpriced tile or accept only 5000 (vs 10000 from a green bonus). It’s hard to time the completion bonus correctly to use them to buy a stairs or hallway, or critical overpriced tile.

Here’s a snapshot of a game where I got extremely lucky, showing the ideal case of the blue room bonus and stairs depletion strategy playing out. The 200s and 400s were also depleted. Note, I made a mistake scoring, but you get the picture.

Solitaire CMKL

I find your ending score is very dependent on your starting bonuses. Instead of random bonuses for the solo game, I think it’d be nice to have a list of suggested starting bonuses and label their difficulty levels.

A variant that I find more entertaining is to count rooms as completed even when doorways butt against walls of adjacent rooms. This makes it easier to complete rooms, not to mention it actually makes it possible to complete hallways.

Jason Denney

Smart-enough dude sharing pointers on DIY projects, code…

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