This variation can provide solace when you wish to play Illimat but have no companions with whom to share the experience. Or, to sharpen your skills when plotting revenge on a future opponent. The goal of Illimat Solitaire is to reveal and collect all four of the Luminaries. It is very challenging- but possible.
Begin by setting up the board. Shuffle the deck using all five suits and deal three cards face up into each field, Do not place any okuses onto the illimat; they aren’t used in this variant. The Rake is a scoundrel and there is no Audience in a solitaire game; neither of these Luminaries nor any expansion luminaries should be used with this variant. Deal four luminaries face down to the corners of the board. Next, deal yourself a hand of four cards, face-up in front of you.
Play proceeds as in normal Illimat. Sow, harvest or stockpile the cards from your hand one by one. Respect the rules of the seasons and turn the Illimat when you play a face card. However, there are a few unique rules:
- You must play the cards in your hand in the order in which they were dealt.
- You do not draw new cards until you have used all four of the cards in your hand. At this point, you draw a new hand of four cards (or as many as possible, if there are fewer than four cards remaining).
- The goal of Illimat Solitaire is to reveal and collect all four of the Luminaries. This follows the normal rules of Illimat: the first time you clear a field, reveal the Luminary and deal three new cards into the field. The second time you clear a field, claim the Luminary and leave the field empty. If there are fewer than three cards remaining when a Luminary is revealed, the Luminary is discarded and a full victory is impossible.
As the only goal of this variant is to collect all four Luminaries, harvesting is only important for clearing a field; after you have collected a Luminary, there is no reason to harvest cards from the field, though you may still sow and stockpile into the field. The suits of Summer and Winter have no special value in this variant.
The Luminaries have slightly different effects in the Solitaire variant:
- The Maiden, The Forest Queen, The River and The Newborn behave normally.
- You may use the power of the Changeling once with every four-card hand. You can only exchange the card you are about to play.
- When harvesting from the field of The Union, you may combine your current card with the next card in your hand. So you can harvest using two cards, but the choice is limited.
- When you collect The Children, keep the three cards face up as a second hand. You may play these cards whenever you wish, in any order. Once this second hand is exhausted it is not refilled.