Last Light Solo Mode

I was quite disappointed to realise Last Light has no solo mode, so I started creating my own. It’s still under development, but today it produced the first session where it seemed competitive and actually created some nice battles. I’m mainly aiming for full support of all rules/techs/factions, no extra components, and ease of use. It might seem a bit daunting when reading the rules below, but actually is quite easy to admin once one gets the hang of it. I also intentionally made some concessions to keep the flow up (e.g. moving cards under the deck instead of having to reshuffle it). Would love to get feedback about 1) clarity of rules, 2) competitiveness, 3) any situations where the automa made an obviously bad move (ideally with image). I’ll update this post as things develop. Enjoy!


  • Setup according to player count of choice. For solo mode, a full 4 player (=3 automa) is recommended to increase chances that at least one of the automa becomes a serious threat.
  • Pick your faction as normal, then assign random alien faction to each automa.
  • Human players choose planetary achievements first, assign random ones to automa. Keep face down until first command action of automa. For solo only: after choosing your own, take one set per automa, combine them to a single deck, remove one card from each color you didn’t choose (to make it more likely one of the automa is in competition with you), then assign random draws to each automa.
  • Put the automa’s starting tech card face up on their alien faction board. It’s “hand” will form a stack with new tech cards being placed on top of existing ones until they get build.
  • Shuffle each automa’s action cards to form a face-down deck.


  • All rules of the normal game apply!
  • Humans pick their actions first. Then reveal top card of each automa deck and place face up on their deck. When it is their turn to execute, move the card to their discard pile to make it easier to track which automa has already executed their turn.
  • Efficient: If an automa’s selected action would have no effect at all, put it face down at the bottom of the deck and reveal the top most card as a replacement. Each action also has a condition under which the automa deems it inefficient and skips it (see individual description of actions). Repeat this process until an acceptable action is selected.
  • Aggressive:If the automa has three or more ships and an enemy unit it can attack in reach of one of its ships, it will draw two cards (not counting those it would skip) and if one of them is Command select that one and put the other at the bottom of the deck. Otherwise it will use the first one and put the second at the bottom of the deck. If the first card drawn is already Command, don’t draw a second card. If the automa already has Command in its discard pile, follow the same procedure but for Refresh. If both Refresh and Command are in the automa’s discard pile, ignore the automa’s aggressive trait
  • Prioritises: Whenever priorities are listed, the automa will check them one by one and thus exclude options. E.g. if there is a single choice that fulfils the first criteria, it will chose that one. If there are multiple choices for the first criteria, it will check the next criteria but only for those choices that fulfil the first criteria. If no choice exists that fulfils the first criteria, ignore it completely and check for the second criteria. Repeat until there is only a single choice.
  • Whenever an effect returns an action to the automa’s hand, shuffle the card into their deck.
  • An automa will use its exhaustible faction power or tech cards as soon/often as it can, unless that would produce no positive effect.

The following describes the automa’s behaviour when performing each action.


Skip: if automa has less than two different types of resources (e.g. only grey resources) – and – won’t gain light by performing this action – and – can’t build a single of the tech cards it already has.

Draw 3 tech cards as normal. Discard one of those cards based on the following priority:

  1. One it cannot build (currently doesn’t have resources or already owns this tech card)
  2. One that only requires a single resource (it wants to keep the expansive ones)
  3. The one that requires the cheapest resource (based on colour)
  4. The one it drew last

Place the two cards face up on the automa’s board to form a face up stack with any tech cards it already has in its “hand”.

Build according to priorities, and repeat as long as resources are available:

  1. Build most expansive tech (by number of resources, then by type of resources)
  2. Build a ship mod (orange)
  3. Build a civilization card (blue)
  4. Build a ship ability (green)
  5. Pick the one it got the most recent.

If a ship type needs to be assigned, choose the one it has the most ships of on the board that can still equip the tech. If tie, chose smaller ship type over larger ones.

Hints for particular cards:

  • Hangar Bay: add to largest ship type
  • Leadership: exhaust as soon as one of the following is in the discard: Mine/Command/Construct. If multiple, pick the one that is closest towards the top.
  • Link warp: move biggest ship, jump to 1. Extractor that is under attack, 2. Planet closest to centre, 3. Plant next to enemy units, 4. Planet matching planetary achievement colour


Skip: if the action would only produce a single resource.

Otherwise no extra rules.


Skip: if automa cannot build neither an extractor (not counting a grey one on the colony ship) – nor – an extractor (including grey on colony ship) plus at least one ship – nor – at least two ships or a single large size one.

Ships: The automa builds as many ships as it can, prefers bigger ships before smaller. Prefer building from supply to buying from opponent’s graveyard. If there are multiple players to buy from, chose the one with the least light, if tie least resources.

Extractor: build according to the following priorities:

  1. On a planet with a resource type the automa cannot produce yet
  2. On a planet that matches its achievement colour (only if achievement isn’t fulfilled yet)
  3. On the planet that is closest to the center
  4. On the planet with the highest value production
  5. On the colony ship (purple before grey)


Skip: if automa has less than two grey resources – and – has three or more ships on the board or has already discarded Construct or would gain more/better resources with mining.

For each trade action:

  1. Trade for a resource it cannot produce
  2. Trade (up or down in value) so it has more different types of resources after trade (e.g. it wouldn’t trade two grey for one purple if those were its only grey ones). It will still do this trade if it allows it to trade for an even higher resource with the second action (e.g. two gray and one purple are effectively traded for one orange). Trade up for highest value possible.
  3. Otherwise take a grey resource

Select opponent to give resource to according to these priorities:

  1. Has least light
  2. Has least number of resources
  3. Has least number of ships
  4. Has least number of extractor


Skip: if playing it would have no effect (no light, no ship repair, no abilities, no card to get back) – or it would gain only 1-2 light as only effect – or – if not at least two of the following cards are in discard: Mine/Construct/Command. However, the automa never skips Refresh if it is aggressive (i.e. next to an enemy unit it can attack, see above). NOTE: For refresh, the card is not put at the bottom of the deck but shuffled back into it!

Set Refresh card aside, re-shuffle rest of cards to form a new face-down deck of action cards. When automa gets Refresh card back, shuffle it into the deck (but leave the discard as is, conforming to the standard game rules).


Skip: if action would have no effect at all (no movement, no firing) when applying the proprieties below.

Movement: For each ship, the automa picks a destination according to the priorities below and it will move towards that destination. If order is important, move any ship first that could achieve a higher priority goal before those that can only achieve lower priority goals (e.g. a ship that can fulfil aggressive will move before one that can fulfil colour), otherwise bigger ships before smaller ones. Also if two (one for the distant planet next to colony ship if there are no enemy ships there) own ships are already closer to that destination, ignore that option as a destination.

  1. Aggressive: if a ship is defending an extractor in the same sector, it will not move. If it can reach a sector containing an enemy unit, it will choose one of the following unless it already has twice the firepower of the opponent there or cannot reach at least half the firepower this turn: 1. A sector with one of its extractor, 2. A sector where it has equal or more firepower than the opponent, 3. A sector with a planet, 4. A sector with an extractor it can bombard, 5. A sector that is closer to the center
  2. Desperate: if it has no place to build an extractor at all or only the grey extractor on the colony ship, it will move towards the closest uncontrolled planet (or even controlled if it can move a bombarding ship there). If moving a ship away would lead to it not have any space to build at the end of the move, it won’t move that ship.
  3. Colour: move towards closest planet that matches achievement color and isn’t already controlled by that automa or only has its own ships in orbit (only if achievement isn’t fulfilled yet).
  4. Center: prefer planets closer to the center or moving into the center
  5. Unexplored: prefer a planet that hasn’t been explored yet (if multiple, chose one with better explore token)
  6. Token: Move towards a deep space token

If the automa has selected a destination and there are multiple shortest routes, prefer the one that

  1. Produces more exploration bonus
  2. Enables it to build an extractor
  3. Moves the ship towards the centre

Hints for exploration bonus:

  • Manufacture tech: use priority from research action to chose tech
  • Move ship: only uses this if it has a ship on its colony ship. Move biggest ship available.
  • Take action back: take the Command card and shuffle into deck


  • Fire in order smaller ships to larger ships (so the large ships have a higher chance to use their bombardment capability to hit an extractor)
  • Target ships so the maximum number of ships are destroyed, otherwise larger ships before smaller ships
  • If there are multiple opponents, select the one with more lights. If tie, one with more ships, followed by more resources m

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