My Flat World

Random musings by a lifelong board game player

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Missing In Action

Board Game: A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game
So of my Top 20 votes for the 1 Player Group Top 200, 8 of them didn't make it at all. I'll have to wait until Kevin releases the spreadsheet to see where they made it at all. Here are the missing and my rankings:

7] Russian Railroads
8] Tide of Iron
10] Deadball: Year II
12] Gentes: Deluxified Edition
14] Fireteam Zero
16] A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game
17] Shadows of Malice
19] Level 7 [Escape]

I think the most surprising omission was A Touch of Evil. This is a classic co-op game with lots of great solitaire options, especially if you get the necessary Something Wicked. I love playing it, although having played it with my daughter the last couple times, I haven't actually broken it out solo in a while.

Board Game: Shadows of Malice
Another one I would think would have a good chance of making it is Shadows of Malice. It comes up a few times in SGOYT, and the designer is incredibly active. Oh, and it is really a bunch of fun, with plenty of color and story telling. I really need to get this back on the table soon.

I wonder if Russian Railroads will make it next year, now that Ultimate Railroads is out. Emil, the solo opponent, was in the nearly impossible to find German Railroads expansion, unless you went to the website and printed out the cards yourself, which I did. It is a pretty fun little game, with Emil extremely easy to administer (just blocks you).

Board Game: Tide of Iron
The least surprising omission was Tide of Iron. I mean, it is a wargame you have to play 2 handed, and it is out of print. It is a really cool looking game on the table and pretty easy to play. As an old grognard, I certainly don't have any problem playing 2 handed, although I would love to break it out some day with M.

Deadball would be a pretty niche product, although Baseball Highlights makes the list. I playtested the Android app version and found it unexciting, esp. because the "AI" is just random. Deadball is a dead simple (sorry!) reasonably realistic tabletop baseball game and I just love how it brings me back to my tabletop baseball game heyday.

Board Game: Level 7 [Escape]
I would think Gentes could make it, as it is a solid Euro and doesn't miss a step against my favorite Uwe's for instance (Fields of Arle and A Feast for Odin, both of which have made appearances on my lists in the past). And Fireteam Zero is my current favorite dudes on a map game, but I imagine it being hard to get would account for its missing (although Gears of War always makes it, despite being OOP for a while now). And poor Level 7. Suffered greatly, in my opinion, from not being the game so many people wanted it to be. It's a fun game!
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Tue Nov 30, 2021 1:31 am
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Party Time!

So despite the uneasy COVID numbers, we are having a some friends and family over for Thanksgiving. We are all vaccinated (hopefully I will also be boosted by then) but it will still be the biggest crowd I have been in since this all came down, with a total of 12 of us.

But enough about scary real life! I'm in charge of gaming and we will probably have 10 or 11 playing, which is a big but not impossible number. Last time we did this, we had a smaller crowd and played Survive: Escape from Atlantis! (with the most anarchic 6 player rules, and with squid!) and 6 nimmt!, which does go to 10 and is a classic.

I think I will add at least Wits & Wagers, which is a cool trivia game where you don't actually have to know the answer, just who you think knows the answer and bet correctly. My daughter and I love to play The Resistance: Avalon but it may be too subtle for a raucous turkey day crowd.

Another one I have always wanted to try is Skull (or just Skull I guess). I have the black and the red boxes, so it can play to 12 but the rules suggest playing with "less than 10", so I am not sure it will work with this crowd. I have had it for years but have never actually played it.

The youngest who will be there asked to play Formula Dé last time he was here. I love to play it and it should be easiest enough to explain the basic game anyway, but it may be too hard to track all those dice amidst an active crowd.

I also thought we could play one of those 1-100 "roll 'n' writes". We have Rolling America, which is pretty fun. I'm also looking at Floor Plan, which is pretty cheap on Amazon. And my wife loves a good floor plan!

Any other suggestions for 10+ players, mostly gamer newbies, ranging in age from 10 to 70?
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Tue Nov 16, 2021 11:58 pm
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How I found a path to Pathfinder

Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set
So I have done plenty of whining on the blog about how I don't play campaign games. I don't play enough games to stay focused on a campaign game. And I don't have time to remember complicated rules and character progression either. So I have never actually played a campaign game. I did play a bit of SeaFall. You can get it for a song and I figured it would be a good test case for The Solo System. It seemed to work for a bit but then it got put away and I wonder if I will ever see it again.

I even have Voyage of the Beagle for my #1 all time favorite game, Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, which is, to my understanding, a pretty low overhead, easy to play campaign. While I have flipped thru the materials a few times, I just haven't found the energy to dive in.

Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set
I have had Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords in my collection since May of 2014. It even made my Top 20 the first 2 years I voted in the 1PG Solo rankings. I played it once or twice, always the intro adventure and, while I had fun, it never really pulled me in. I have played it once with my daughter and we had a blast. It is pretty easy to explain, despite the intimidating rulebook.

I mean, I had fun playing it. Rolling dice is certainly one of my favorite things to do in a game. And the kind of "push your luck" aspect, where you are trying to balance rolling an overwhelming number of dice with not spending all your cards at once is a real brain teaser. And using multiple characters means there is plenty of interaction and interesting card play. But I never went very far and certainly not enough for character improvement. I had bought the adventure decks #2 and #3 (the game comes with #1) for some reason. I have been trying to not buy expansions for games I haven't played (see above!) but often failing.

Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set
But a couple months ago I pulled this out again. One never knows what brings a person to finally drag a game out from the shelves again. And so I started looking over the cards, re-reading the rules and figured I would give it another try.

And for some reason, this time it stuck. I am playing with 4 characters, printed out some nice playmats, bought the Character Add-on deck (and the rest of the Adventure Packs!) and have been playing ever since. I am now at the 4th adventure of the first Adventure Path, Burnt Offerings. My characters have advanced a bit and I can't wait to see what kinds of trouble they can get into.

Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set
I do play with a couple twists that have made it better. The main one is to simply put the Blessing card I draw as the "hour" card on the player mat of the character who's turn it is. As mentioned even in the rulebook, it is very easy to forget to draw a Blessing card and thus who's turn it is and how long you have gone. This way, I can see at a glance. I pick them up after 4 "hours" and start again. It has been working like a champ.

My one variation is I use "exploding dice", a concept I got from Firefly. My rule is that if I am rolling a single die in a test, if I roll the highest number, I get to roll again and add that number to the max. And so on. So if I have a D4 skill that needs to get a 6 to win the test, I have a chance. I mean, as the Firefly rulebook says, these are heroes and sometimes they do remarkable things. In the 6 games I have played so far, it has only won me 2 tests, but it is still a cool thing and not very unbalancing I don't think.

Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set
I am already eyeing another one. The Paizo web site has the Skull & Shackles complete set for US$59, so even with the breathtaking $36 shipping, it is a pretty good deal. Or I could grab the latest edition, with its improved cards and smoother gameplay. Unfortunately, according to Paul Grogan, Paizo is phasing out the Adventure Card Games. I mean, I don't need another one. By the time I finish this run thru, I still have 8 more characters to take thru it and I almost certainly won't remember the "story". But I dunno. Christmas is coming...

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Fri Nov 12, 2021 3:12 pm
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Top 20 Solo Games - #10 thru #1

From gallery of jdarnold

To continue on from my previous post (read the intro there for more info on my picks), here are my Top 10 solo games:

10] Deadball: Year II

I just love how solid this baseball sim plays. So easy to play and yet feels so realistic. I loved it so much, I went out and registered a website ( and wrote up some web tools and made some rosters.

From gallery of jdarnold
9] Nations

Haven't played this (solo) in a while, but this ranking is a testament to how great I think it is. My favorite thing is the cool little touches each card has that bring out its subject. Given just a few things a card can do, it is amazing how evocative each can be. Game play is smooth and the solo AI only cheats a little bit to stay competitive. Looking forward to see what they do with the upcoming new edition.

Board Game: Tide of Iron
8] Tide of Iron

with the following expansions:
Tide of Iron: Days of the Fox
Tide of Iron: Normandy
Tide of Iron: Fury of the Bear

My nod to my now nearly forgotten grognard past. I used to play wargames two handed all the time. I prefer doing it that way, as it seems less cumbersome. And that's the way you have to play Tide, altho there are some fan made solo options that look pretty good. But I love how great it looks on the table and how easy it is to play. I have most of the expansions even and so there is a ton of content. And so many scenarios! Still, it is all I can do to hold off getting the one expansion I don't have. But I don't need it!!!!

From gallery of jdarnold
7] Russian Railroads

Another newcomer to the list, a tribute to just how easy and effective Emil, the solo "opponent" is. Basically just blocks you unpredictably, so it makes RR a "beat your own score", which I don't mind at all. And RR has so many paths to try out, I found it great fun to play. Wonder if I will splurge on Ultimate Railroads?

Board Game: Troyes
6] Troyes

A little more of a solo bot than Emil, but still very easy to run and it does turn the game into a competition. I just love this game and I really hope I can get it to the table with others. In the meantime, playing on BGA will have to suffice.

Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
5] Race for the Galaxy with the necessary expansion, The Gathering Storm

My favorite game for any number of players from 1 to 6. I think its symbology difficulty is wildly overblown and everyone I have ever taught it to picks it up pretty quickly. You are at the luck of the draw, which can be particularly painful against the amazing solo bot, but multiplayer you just have to learn to roll with the punches and don't go into it with a preset plan. It plays fast and leaves plenty of time for table talk.

From gallery of jdarnold
4] Darkest Night with:
Darkest Night: With an Inner Light
Darkest Night: On Shifting Winds
Darkest Night: From the Abyss
Darkest Night: In Tales of Old
Darkest Night: From Distant Lands

My favorite "big" game to play. Not that it really takes up all that much space or has a ton of rules, but the fantastically unique characters all require real thought to play well, so it can take some time. But it looks great on the table. Just beware - if you have the first edition like I do, you have to play it with all the expansions. I mean, the base rule set in the 2nd edition starts from there and peels stuff off if you want to make it simpler, so that's how you know it is how it is supposed to be played. Just an amazing experience every time out.

Board Game: Runebound (Third Edition)
3] Runebound (Third Edition)

A newcomer last year, giving me my "dungeon crawler" experience without a lot of rules overhead. I know some say you have to have Unbreakable Bonds but I don't believe so. Just play the battles the best you can for both sides (it isn't that deep of a strategy involved) and otherwise have a great time exploring, uncovering and getting cool loot. Plays fast, looks great on the table and has some unique mechanisms.

Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set
2] Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set

A surprise newcomer to the list this year. I'm not much into campaign games - takes too much time and effort that I just don't have any more. But I recently pulled this out and wow, did I ever get sucked in! Of course, I love rolling dice and I really appreciate the subtleties of color it inserts. And I find the card play intriguing. You really have to figure out how far you want to push it and still hope to have enough cards and time to win the scenario. I'll have a bigger write up here soon.

From gallery of jdarnold
1] Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

For me, this is the reigning champion again. Oddly enough, I didn't get it to the table last year, despite picking up the Treasure Chest, with tons of new stuff for it. No matter the outcome, it tells a great story. It's a tough game but fair and with the same push your luck as Pathfinder - do I go for the sure success or hope for a dice roll? I decided in the end not to back the big fancy new box and minis. I have enough content to enjoy for many years and I just don't need the minis.

There you have it. Wonder how many will be on the Top 200?
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Thu Nov 11, 2021 8:01 pm
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My Top 20 Solo Games - #20 - #11

In honor of the much anticipated 1 Player Group Top 200 unveiling:

2021 People's Choice Top 200 Solo Games

I thought I would share my Top 20.

First, a word about my 2021 voting. As I posted earlier, I didn't get much gaming done in 2021. I wish I could limit my votes to games I have played in the last year - ha! Or even the last 2 years - ha ha! I basically ranked them by how much I would like to get them to the table, even if they never make that final journey very recently. How cool would it be if the game did make it to the table? I cast a pretty wide net when it comes to game types, so it is hard to compare a simpler card game with a big meaty beast. Most of my games are pretty big. If it does make it to the table, I generally want it to be worth it.

Anyway, on to the list. Just a few words each this year, so let's get it started:

Board Game: La Granja

20] La Granja

A surprise newcomer to the list. It took a while to get it to the table, but my love of multiuse cards and dice action allocation made me get it to the table and it finally made it onto the Top 20.

19] Level 7 [Escape]

I picked up Lockdown a while ago and still haven't played it. It may be something of a pity pick, as I feel bad about all the terrible press it got when it came out. It has some unique ideas and is a real joy to play. I have the box out and opened, so it is thiiiis close to hitting the table again.

Board Game: Arkham Horror

18] Arkham Horror (2nd ed)

I really am this close to selling this beast. I just can't imagine taking the effort to get it on the table, despite how much fun it is to play. I have a couple expansions but just thinking about getting it out, putting it on the table and figuring out the rules and exceptions makes me tired.

Board Game: Shadows of Malice

17] Shadows of Malice

Another one that has come very close to getting on the table. I love the basic game play and the clever method for building characters and monsters. The passion of the designer just shines thru.

Board Game: A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game

16] A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game
Haven't played this one in a while. Yeah, another beast, although not as big a lift, rules-wise, as AH2 and one I enjoy playing with my daughter. Perhaps I will bring this back out next time she is home. I should play solo once to brush up on the rules though. I have pretty much every expansion, so it looks great on the table.

15] One Deck Dungeon

I should get this out more. I love dice and I had begun to understand some strategy. But it takes longer to play than you might think for such a small game. And the cats like the dice as much as I do.

Board Game: Fireteam Zero

14] Fireteam Zero

This quickly became one of my favorite "dudes on a map" game. I love the character power cards and the escalating monster toughness. The unique setting and custom dice don't hurt either.

13] D&D Ravenloft / Drizzt

This series makes the list because of its ease of play. I can pull this out, set up a scenario and get right down to it, without referencing the rulebook, yet it offers plenty of strategy and color. Despite the fact I have hardly scratched the surface of the scenarios in both games, I still want to add another one, maybe Ashardalon or Mad Mage. Or maybe grab the new expansion, Ghosts of Saltmarsh, which is compatible with all the games.

12] Gentes: Deluxified Edition

Another newcomer, this is a bit of a dry Euro civ game, but it is gorgeous to look at and has tons of play. There are some cool ideas in here, like the "time" an activity takes and the competing types of your people. I'm also anxious to try this with a game group, as it seems to scale in player count very well.

Board Game: Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave

11] Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave

One of the smaller games on this list, I should get it to the table more. I have the Crime Wave Kickstarter, so there is an immense amount of content that I have barely scratched the surface of. It originally seems like there isn't much you can do, but after playing it a few times in a row, strategies began to reveal themselves, which is cool too.
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Tue Nov 9, 2021 7:08 pm
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My 2021 in Solo Gaming

Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set
With the unveiling of the One Player Guild's much anticipated Top 100 (kudos toKevin for all the work!) upon us, I usually take this opportunity to review my year in solo gaming. For me, it was a very strange year for gaming in general. I wrote plenty of posts on this BGG blog, posting once or twice a week thru April. And then, for some reason, I just lost interest in games. I stopped playing, I stopped reading, I even stopped buying (GASP).

Not sure what it was. Just a general malaise I think. It was a slow summer. Still haven't really completely come out of my COVID shell. But I gradually came back. I don't have hundreds of games for nothing. Just a phase I guess. I had a couple sessions with some friends and it sort of got me rolling again.

Anyway, enough blathering about my weak constitution! For solo gaming, there were a few good times. Despite promising, cross-my-heart-hope-to-die, that I will be better at logging my plays (because my memory is crap), I still was not better at logging my plays. So I will have to depend on my crappy memory. But there really weren't many things to remember, if I am being honest.

I enjoyed my plays of Posthuman, even if it did feel like a Kickstarter game (rambling rulebook, disjointed mechanisms, a mishmash of design ideas). It was a fun little adventure game with some interesting ideas. Not sure I was enthralled enough to think about getting it's followup, Posthuman Saga, but I am willing to get it to the table again.

Board Game: Terraforming Mars
I started the year off with my first plays of Terraforming Mars solo. I wonder if it might be too long a game for my normal groups. Solo play was fun enough. I also got Robin Hood and the Merry Men on the table again. It too, suffers from a major case of Kickstarter-itis (see above) but it is also fun, for unexplained reasons. Again, not sure if it is a fit for either my usual groups of gamers, so solo is probably it.

Board Game: Russian Railroads
I did find the Russian Railroads solo cards on the game's website and and pasted them on some cards. And wow, it worked out pretty well. A very simple "opponent", he just blocks some spaces from you, but you don't know which ones. Really pretty sweet and I am anxious to try it again. But it was so sweet, I think I may just get Ultimate Railroads instead.

Board Game: La Granja
The biggest surprise for me wasLa Granja. One of my promises is to get all the games I am unsure about to the table in 2022 and I started with La Granja. The color scheme is drab, the rulebook annoying and the nomenclature bizarre (barrow? den?), so I never gave it a chance. But I knew I loved multiuse cards, so I decided to give it a real try and it played nicely. I may even try it next game night with other folks.

Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set
Another real eye opener was Rise of the Runelords. I think you'll find me whinging on this blog in the past about campaign games. I don't do them. Too time consuming, requiring too much effort and dedication. But for some reason, I pulled it off the shelf, dusted it off and immediately got hooked. I went out and bought the Character Add-on and the rest of the Adventures and played thru the 3 intro adventures and am all set to start Adventure Path 1,Burnt Offerings. Bizarre!

I also picked up Agra, even before I knew it had an "official" solo mode. And I got Gentes in a trade and Perdition's Mouth: Abyssal Rift as a gift (thank you
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!). I tried all three and enjoyed them (esp. Gentes) but not enough plays to crack my Top 20.

Which I will write about next.
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Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:11 pm
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88 Lines about 44 games

Inspired by some other posts, thought I'd give a quick overview on some games in the Top 100, using a classic song as an template (but without rhyming - sorry!).

1 Gloomhaven is a campaign game
And I don't play a game like that

3 Brass: Birmingham is a deep game
And a game I would surely play

4 Terraforming Mars is a high ranked game
And I remain on the fence about it

5 Twilight Imperium I played once, long ago
Sure wish I had time for games like these

7 Through the Ages I love to play online
But I doubt I would ever play it live

8 Gaia Project I helped playtest the solo bot
But it is still not in my library

10 Twilight Struggle I had once but no longer
It just didn't click with us

11 Great Western Trail is a Pfister game
That I would love to play some day

12 Spirit Island is a 1pg favorite
But interests me not in the least

13 War of the Ring is a big sprawling game
I hope to have on my table some day

14 Scythe is a game I once loved
But I'm not so in love any more

15 The Castles of Burgundy is a classic I love
To play both with friends and online

18 Concordia is a game I hated online
So why did I think it would be better in person?

20 Wingspan another popular game round here
That does not seem like my cuppa tea

21 A Feast for Odin is a favorite both solo
and 2 player, with a dream of group play

22 Arkham Horror: The Card Game is an LCG with a theme
But I already have Lord of the Rings

25 Orléans is a "deck builder" with a bag
And I just don't do deck builders

26 Mage Knight was once the king of my heart
Yet now it lies scorned and forgotten

27 Root is a game you must play often
Which just doesn't fit my life these days

28 Puerto Rico I used to play often
I haven't played in years & years

32 Agricola is a classic game
That I have to admit I've never played

38 Kingdom Death: Monster you have to put together
Another kind of game I just don't play

40 Power Grid another old time classic
I last played many years ago

41 Tzolk'in I enjoyed playing online
But I bet is even better on the table

42 Underwater Cities looks a little cool
But just has too long a play time for me

45 Star Wars: Imperial Assault is a "dungeon" crawler
That I want to pick up real soon

46 Clans of Caledonia was fun solo online
So maybe some day I will get this

56 Robinson Crusoe is my favorite game
And I can't wait for all the upgrades!

57 The Voyages of Marco Polo uses dice allocation
My favorite mechanism and a great game

58 The Gallerist looks great on the table
And has some great game play elements

59 Fields of Arle is a 2 & 1 player sandbox
With so many different strategies

60 Race for the Galaxy is an all time favorite
Great solo, 2 player and more

61 7 Wonders had me wondering
But in the end, it was so fun to play

62 Teotihuacan uses dice as worker
Can't wait to get back on the table

69 Pax Pamir I have the board for
I sure enjoy Pax Profiana

72 Paladins of the West Kingdom is a unique worker placement
And it just might be my next acquisition

73 Lords of Waterdeep is a great worker placement
And is the best intro one around

79 El Grande is another classic
That I haven't played in many years

81 Battlestar Galactica I had for many years
But finally sold it as it never got to the table

83 Troyes is a favorite game
Using a favorite mechanic - dice workers

91 Russian Railroads is a fantastic WP
Now I am holding out for the Ultimate

93 Codenames is one of the finest
Party and family games around

95 Trajan is a classic Feld
That I enjoy online and hope to get

99 Pandemic really shines solo
Once you get the In the Lab expansion

And in case you aren't familiar, here's the song (careful - NSFW!)
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Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:50 am
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What are you going to play first?

In the "after times", if those ever actually happen (still trying to schedule my first vaccine), what games are you looking forward to playing again with your group? My family, especially A, my youngest daughter, will sometimes mollify by playing a game (we have played Newton and Robinson Crusoe during lockdown), but for the most part, it has been solo or nothing.

I basically have 4 (very!) irregular groups of gamers that I am really looking forward to getting together again with:

From gallery of jdarnold

1 I have a weekly 4 player co-op computer gaming group that plays every Wednesday and, during the "before times", M would come over 90 minutes before normal game time and we would try to get in a 2 player game. He likes games that are very logical and can be planned out. Our favorites are Race for the Galaxy and Glen More but the last time he came, I taught him Teotihuacan: City of Gods and he really enjoyed it. I can't wait to try it again with him, esp. now that I have the "fixed" yellow dice! As for new games, I think he would really enjoy Newton as well. And I thought he would like Skulls of Sedlec so much I bought it for him for Christmas, but I don't think he has played it yet. He plays obsessively with his girlfriend (like 4 games a night) and I don't think they have stopped!

Board Game: Die Macher

2 A couple buddies of mine have been playing together since the dawn of (Euro) time and we play deep strategy games. Games we've enjoyed in the past include Die Macher and Twilight Imperium. I don't think any of us will have that kind of time soon though! The last game we played was Road to the Rhine, which is a brilliant 3 player game. I think I would like to try SpaceCorp: 2025-2300AD with them though. Maybe we don't have to play the whole game!

From gallery of jdarnold

3 I get all the guys I play co-op with, and a few more sometimes, and this group is very cutthroat and loves a good battle. We have really enjoyed Hyperborea, Adrenaline, Mission: Red Planet and Condottieri - you get the idea. I think that is one reason Scythe fell flat - not enough conflict! The last time we got together, in March of 2020, we played Bloodborne: The Card Game and just had a fantastic time. Its semi-coop nature with plenty of "take that" meant it was perfect for us. It was so much fun I immediately went out and got the expansion. Then lockdown...
From gallery of jdarnold

From gallery of jdarnold

4 My other group is 3 other players, so it is the perfect count. It is a group more happy with multiplayer solo, so The Castles of Burgundy and other more solid Euros go over well. Although they don't mind a little bit of take that, as we have also had a great time with both 51st State: Master Set and Glory to Rome, which have just enough take that to make it interesting. I'd like to try 51st State again and maybe mix in one of the expansions. Of the new games I have acquired since lockdown, I think they would enjoy Gùgōng, Pan Am, Bargain Quest and NEOM.

How about you? What is a game you are extra looking forward to playing with your group?
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Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:33 am
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Coming and Going

So one of my favorite mechanisms is dice placement games. I watched Boardgame Bollocks list of Top 10 Dice Placement games and have most of them and want the rest. I will nitpick and disagree with his assertion that Teotihuacan: City of Gods is a dice placement game. The dice are basically just workers that go up in value, much like the wildly underrated Praetor. I think you have to roll the dice for a game to count as a dice placement game.

Others I would include in my list would be Star Trek: Five-Year Mission, One Deck Dungeon (and its gloriously cute dice), and terribly ignored Apocalypse Chaos.
Board Game: One Deck Dungeon

Another one I would have added to that list was Alien Uprising, which is actually an interesting tower defense kind of game as alien monsters try to get in. Lots of cool dice placement going on and plenty of options.

Board Game: Alien Uprising
But I had to be honest to myself, as it was probably too much information for one guy to handle. There are a ton of cards for each character and you pretty much have to play with 4 characters, so it was information overload. My game group isn't really a co-op game kind of group, and it didn't really strike me as a game I would play with my daughter. So I offered it up for trade in the Fair Trade it Forward list for Gentes: Deluxified Edition.

So yup, it was accepted and I just received the game (thanks Cedric!). I was intrigued by the addition of time as a resource (when you take an action it will take more time), the interesting way you gain cards and population (you pay money to take the action and can pick which card / population to take that is "worth" less or equal to that amount). Then you slide it down, a well used mechanic. None of the rulebooks I found online included the solo rules, so I didn't have that part of the info. But the reviews seemed nice and this "Deluxified" edition looks great, so I am anxious to get it to the table soon.

Speaking of Boardgame Bollocks, they had a great review of it. And another case of why I don't do Kickstarters!

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Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:53 am
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Geek Madness Tournament, pt. 2

So here's how I voted in the

2021 Geek Madness Tournament: Round 1 - COMPLETE

part deux:

Nemesis vs The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Nemesis seems to me to be a poster child for Kickstart excesses, so there is virtually no way I will ever play it. I have played LotR and, despite its deck construction, kind of like it. I think it plays very differently than many games of its type and I appreciate a challenge. I only have the base game and hope some day to really give it a try, so it got my thumbs up.

Aliens vs Lord of the Rings

Read the LotR books in high school and thought they were good. Watched a few of the movies and always remember a film critic's comment about them, when he said it was basically "one damn thing after another". On the other hand, I am in a small minority of people who really didn't like the first Alien movie. I felt it was too manipulative, like how they would have equipment that would show where the aliens were whenever it seemed dramatically useful and not have it when it wouldn't be convenient. But I liked most of the rest of the movies, so that's where I went.

Pandemic vs RoboRally

Another tough one for me, although it has been a very long time since I last played RoboRally. But I still remember everyone doing the "RoboRally Dance", as they try to figure out where there cards *might* send them! And I have only played the base Pandemic and had fun with my daughters but didn't like it solo until I added ITL. I am anxious to play some of the other (non-legacy) ones though. Maybe Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu or Pandemic: Rising Tide? What would you recommend? So that's what I went with.

Blood Rage vs Azul

No vote, haven't played either.

7 Wonders Duel vs Stone Age

I haven't played Duel but I have played a few games of Stone Age and felt like the moves were too scripted and forced after a while. Just seemed like one best play after another. So I didn't vote.

A Feast for Odin vs King of Tokyo

Another tough one for me. I still need to get King of Tokyo out when I have 4 or 5 players, where I think it would really shine. 2 and 3 players just aren't crazy enough. Feast for Odin has been a lot of fun, both solo and 2 player, so I went with that. I particularly love how subtly thematic it is.

Splendor vs Gaia Project / Terra Mystica

Never played Splendor but I helped playtest the solo bot for Gaia Project and had a blast doing it. I haven't picked up either of the games for real yet though, but I would like to. So I went there.

Food Chain Magnate vs Dominion

I don't do deck builders, period. I have watched FCM being played and would love to try it, so that's where my vote went.

Great Western Trail vs Love Letter

I haven't played either but I have investigated Great Western Trail in depth and it sure looks like my kind of game, so I went with that.

Mage Knight Board Game vs The Quacks of Quedlinburg

Never played Quacks and have kind of soured on Mage Knight, but still felt like it had earned my vote.

Brass: Lancashire vs Roll for the Galaxy

Having never played either, I didn't vote, but I am I far more interested in playing Brass than Roll. I love me a good meaty Euro and the Brass family looks great. I did vote "Sigh" on the Roll vs Race question. I mean really, why should anyone care? Just vote in the silly thing.

Mansions of Madness: Second Edition vs 7 Wonders

When I first got 7 Wonders, I wondered (ha ha) what the fuss was about. Reading the rules didn't do anything for me. But I have played it a couple times since then and find it fun to play, easy to explain and a pretty quick game, all good things in my book, so I voted for it, but I would love to play Mansions some day.

The Castles of Burgundy vs Kingdomino

CoB is one of my all time favorite games, both playing online and in person. I know some folks find that it drags with 4 players, but I have played it a few times and haven't noticed it. I would play this game any time, any where. I am tempted to get the Anniversary edition, even though it doesn't look like the quality improvements are worth it. I think Kingdomino would be a fun game to play as well.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game vs Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Having never played either, but heavily investigated both, I am not sure why I voted for Arkham Horror. I guess because I like its sibling, LotR: Card Game.

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization vs Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game

Interesting choice for me. I think Vlaad is a genius game designer and I love all his games. I have only played this online but it has always been high on my wishlist. I just haven't pulled the trigger because I think *Nations* does a better and quicker job at this type of civ game. I had BG for many years and never got it to the table, despite threatening to with my game group a couple times. I really think they would have enjoyed the "traitor" aspect of it. But it was incredibly dull solo and I just never thought I would get it to the table, so it finally went off to my wife's eBay pile. So I went with TtA

Caverna: The Cave Farmers vs Carcassonne

I voted for Carcassonne as it was one of the first Euros I fell in love with and I promptly bought it and a bunch of expansions. I played this with my daughters a few times when they were pretty young and we had fun. I will definitely pull this out for one of my next game groups, if/when that ever happens. A real gem. And unlike Agricola, I have always wanted to try Caverna, but haven't done it yet. So Carcassonne it was.

War of the Ring: Second Edition vs Catan

Don't get me started on Catan. Just don't. And War of the Ring is a game on my wishlist, so I voted for that.

Orléans vs Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar

I have never played either in person, but I have played Tzolk'in online a few times and really enjoyed it. I think it would look spectacular on the table. I wish it had an official solo variant. Orleans is a "bag builder", and I don't do usually like those. So yeah, easy choice.
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Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:00 pm
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