Q: In Solonauts, what do I do if two of my characters have mutually exclusive win conditions? Am I just screwed?

A: You will almost always find you have characters who conflict directly on one date or another. The trick is to get the person home first who requires the unpatched year, then flip it and patch it for the second person.

OR… Patch it for the first person, get them home, and then flip it back to the True History side, and lose the patch, since you no longer need it. It’s not required for you to maintain ALL characters’ win conditions at once.

The only problem is that, as I said, you’ll find MANY of your characters have conflicts like this, and you may line them up in the order you have to get them home… and find that it’s circular. In those cases there isn’t a way: if there isn’t one character whose conditions can clearly be satisfied first, clearing up a conflict for another, which then clears up conflict for the next and so on.

It is definitely possible to get them home if this is your only conflict. Of course, the deck may not play nice with you and give you the patches you need in the order you need them. It’s a solitaire game, and it’s based on a randomized deck of cards, and there has to be a real and fairly frequent chance you’ll fail, or there isn’t much challenge.

Q: In Solonauts, what do I do if all of the cards in my hand are unplayable, but also all necessary?

My example is I had five patches in my hand and none of their applicable paradoxes were available so I literally couldn’t play a card and all five of the patches were crucial in getting my people home. The rule book didn’t seem to describe what to do in this situation. What are you supposed to do in this case, quit or shuffle your hand in and draw five again?

A: Short answer: You lose.

Long answer: In Solonauts, it sometimes happens that you just can’t get all your folks home. Part of what makes it a genuinely challenging solitaire game, is that, like standard solitaire games, sometimes the cards don’t go your way, and it’s not possible to win. Unlike most other solitaire games, however, you can choose to keep playing Solonauts, to try to get as many people home as possible, even if you don’t get 100%.

So, you don’t get to shuffle your hand into the draw deck and try again. The challenge is to make it through the deck in one pass, without shuffling any cards back in for reuse or second chances on timing issues.

In the situation you describe, you just have to choose a card from your hand to discard, giving up on who ever it is that needs it, and hope you get a better card that will allow you to make forward progress in the game and hopefully get the rest of your people home. Or if you don’t want to go for an incomplete win, you can just scratch the game as a loss and play again.