DogMelon

Classic Solitaire: Corona

One of the less well-known games in the collection, Corona is nevertheless considered a classic. It can be brutal at times, with a low success rate. It requires the ability to plan out moves well in advance, and requires equal measures of luck and skill.

Aim:

To build ascending suit sequences in the foundation zone.

How to Play:

Corona is a 2 deck game.


The opening tableau has:

  • 8 foundation stacks,
  • 12 manoeuvre stacks, and
  • a talon.


Clicking the talon will move a single card to the waste pile. You can only cycle through the talon once.


Cards can be moved in the manoeuvre zone if they are the same suit and 1 less in rank.


When a manoeuvre zone becomes empty, a card is automatically taken from the top of the waste pile. If the waste pile is empty, a card is automatically taken from the talon.


Only a single card can be moved at any time. Stacks can not be moved as a whole. This is the source of the strong requirement for good planning.


Strategy:

Be careful of inversions. This is where a card is obscured by the same suit but higher rank. These cards can be difficult to expose. Not paying attention to inversion cases can cause games to become unsolvable.


If at all possible, when a low-ranked card is dealt from the talon, get it into play, either on the manoeuvre zone or into the foundation. Leaving such cards in the waste can cause blockages later, where it is hard to get back to that card.


Defer moves where possible. If a move is possible, but does not allow any further moves, consider deferring that move. Deferring a move until favourable cards are available can help you to make longer stacks.

Example:

Suppose that the initial deal looks like this:


Corona Solitaire 1


There is an inversion condition in the first manoeuvre stack, with the 9 of Diamonds obscuring the 8 of Diamonds. There are two possible ways to deal with an inversion:

  • move the 9 of Diamonds onto a 10 of Diamonds, if available
  • move the 9 of Diamonds to the foundation.

If the card causing the inversion is a King, only the second option is possible, because a King cannot be stacked onto any other card.


There are four other inversion cases in this tableau (which is an unusually high number):

  • 10 of Clubs covers 4 of Clubs
  • 9 of Spades covers 2 of Spades
  • Queen of Hearts covers 3 of Hearts
  • Queen of Diamonds covers 5 of Diamonds

These need to be kept in mind, and resolved when possible.


We can move the 9 of Spades onto the 10 of Spades, and follow with the 8 of Spades. Note that the order of these moves is important. If we moved the 8 of Spades onto the 9 of Spades first, we could not then move them onto the 10 of Spades. This is because only one card can be moved at a time. Taking care with this can allow longer stacks, which can lead to more options in the manoevre zone, a good thing.


Some other moves can be made at this point:

  • 10 Clubs to Jack of Clubs
  • Ace of Clubs to foundation
  • also, the 7 of Spades can be moved onto the other 8 of Spades, although it's not really necessary.


No other moves are possible, and the tableau now looks like this:


Corona Solitaire 2


Because no moves are possible, it is time to deal a card from the talon, so we can continue the game.


In the Strategy section above, mention is made to deferring moves where possible. Here is an example:


When we moved the 9 and 8 of Spades onto the 10, we exposed the Ace of Clubs, then the 2 of Spades. No other cards yet have needed those. For example, until a 2 of Clubs comes into play, there is no real requirement to have the Ace of Clubs on the foundation. Similarly, until a 3 of Spades or Ace of Spades is in play, there is no real need to expose the 2 of Spades.


That means, we didn't really need to move the 9 and 8 of Spades yet. So why would you wait? Well, imagine the next two cards from the talon were the Queen of Spades, then Jack of Spades. With the game as it is now, the best we can achieve is two separate sequences (K-Q-J and 10-9-8-7). If we had deferred the move, we could then make a single sequence (K-Q-J-10-9-8-7). This would free up an extra manoeuvre stack.


The danger of deferring moves is it's harder - you may forget to perform the deferred move when it's time to do it. You may also miss other moves, because deferring moves makes the tableau more difficult to manage.


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