Solitaire Games on your Table - June 2013
Ryan
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The May is Solitaire Gaming month geeklist by
Albert Hernandez
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Greenville
SC
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seemed to receive quite a bit of activity and several participants expressed that they got quite a bit of value of it. I believe that solitaire gaming shouldn't be celebrated just one month each year. Every month should be Solitaire Gaming Month!

So with those reasons in mind, I approached Albert about doing another solitaire gaming geeklist for June. He didn't have the time so I decided to make a "Solitaire Gaming on your Table - June 2013" Geeklist.

Please post any games you are playing or intend to play solitaire this month. What was your gameplay like? Could be designed for solitaire games or multiplayer games you're trying out solo. Please participate and thumb the list so we get a little more exposure on the front page.

I enjoy seeing what other people are playing solitaire. Some times I'll learn of a game I didn't know existed, or hear about someone successfully playing a multiplayer game solo that I hadn't thought of before.

Edit 2 June 2013

Based on a suggestion in the comment suggestion below, I've decided to proceed faster than I intended. Seems like there may be enough interest, so I figure I'll ask now.

Poll
If there was a monthly "Solitaire Games on Your Table" Geeklist, would you be:
Interested and would likely participate
Interested but would likely only read
Not interested
      394 answers
Poll created by Ryanmobile


If there is interest, I'll willingly start the monthly geeklist and manage a subscription thread.

Seems like there is interest, so here it is:

Solitaire Games on Your Table Subscription Thread

Edit 7 June 2013

We have a schedule of Geeklist authors for the next couple months.

Mo
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Downingtown
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has volunteered to author the July Solitaire Games on your Table Geeklist.

Tracy Baker
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has volunteered to author the August Solitaire Games on your Table Geeklist.

Make sure you subscribe to the subscription thread above so you know when the geeklists become active.

Also, check out the 1 Player Guild for some other information on solitaire gaming, including the 1 Player podcast episode list by
Albert Hernandez
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1. Board Game: Thunderbolt Apache Leader [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:808] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Ryan
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I finished my 4 day Rapid Deployment Pakistan 2013 campaign I started earlier this week. I had a shot to pull off a great evaluation going into Day 4. A botched attack in a target rich environment exposed one of my aircraft to a tremendous amount of AAA which unfortunately forced him to exit early. I pulled off a "Good" rating and was only 3 points shy of "Great".

TAL takes me on a roller coaster each time I play it. I've never had a campaign with all ups. There are always some downs I have to ride out and recover from. Occasionally, there are nothing but downs.

I think DVG finely tuned TAL such that you have to be really good and quite lucky to pull off a "Great" evaluation. A "Good" evaluation seems attainable even with some bad luck, but it still must be earned through careful play. After playing a mission where I either failed to damage an enemy battalion or only reduced it to half strength, I tend to see not only where bad die rolls worked against me, but also sub par moves that I should have thought out better.

My experience thus far leads me to believe that "Great" ratings are a fair bit easier to achieve in Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations than in TAL. Not guaranteed by any means certainly, but easier for sure. Here is why I think this:

d10-1 I think a general reason for this is that there are more variables in TAL than in HL:CAO, and therefore more opportunities for luck and randomizing elements to work against the player's carefully laid plans.

d10-2 SO Points seem to be more readily available in HL:CAO than in TAL. This may have to do with the ability of the enemy to drain your SO points in TAL due to advancement by their ground forces. This does not generally exist in HL:CAO. Also, damaged aircraft in TAL must be repaired by expending SO points, whereas damaged aircraft in HL:CAO are repaired for free.

This is not to say that Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations is a cakewalk. And I have yet to fly the Advanced WWIII campaign as the Navy, nor have I even tried an USMC campaign in HL:CAO. Hornet Leader does demand the player plan optimally throughout the campaign to achieve a "Good" or "Great" rating. HL:CAO also has quite a few optional rules that can be utilized to increase the difficulty. Ultimately I think the extra randomizing agents in TAL, on top of some finer tuning, make it that much harder to achieve a comparable rating as in HL:CAO.
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2. Board Game: Mosby's Raiders [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:3790]
Ryan
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I am going to try really hard to make this my next game. I bought it last year, two copies actually, and it is still unplayed. I was thinking strongly about playing another campaign of B-17 Queen of the Skies, but I really want to make progress on my unplayed game list.

If I'm really lucky I'll be able to go through the rulebook this week, get a game set up, and play by next Friday.

Other games on my "unplayed" list are:

Patton's Best
Raid on St. Nazaire
The Wreck of the B.S.M. Pandora
Ambush!
Space Empires: 4X - solitaire scenarios
Smokejumpers

I'm also chomping at the bit to play The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game again, but that'll have to wait until I get some time with Mosby's Raiders.

Update 15 June 2013

Played my first game last night. Here are my thoughts:

d10-1 The rulebook looks intimidating. Even after my second read, I was still a quite uncertain as to the flow of the game.
d10-2 The first half of the game was fairly slow due to the uncertainty and the near constant referencing of the rulebook.
d10-3 Realized I was not doing Union activation checks correctly. I didn't understand the flow and sequence of "going to rounds". Many various parts of the game seemed quite disconnected. Halfway through, everything clicked. All those charts, all those tracks, the sequence to perform actions, activation checks, etc.; it all just tied together.
d10-4 Enjoyed the first half despite my uncertainty. The game became so much better once everything coalesced.

I had a lot of fun trying to probe into Union lines and find soft spots where I could infiltrate and get close to big targets like bridges. I even kidnapped Col. Dulaney successfully. Well, perhaps I did. That was when I wasn't performing activation checks correctly 100%. Anyway, it was a lot of fun trying to figure out how to adapt to the changing front lines as the Union advanced. A careful Mosby takes stock of roads, Union lines, inactive units, and those plump targets before picking his start spot. I really like how as Mosby grows more notorious, it becomes harder for him to sneak into Union lines.

I pulled out a win with Mosby's notoriety at 10, which was a marginal victory according to the optional and advanced scoring track. I'll try to get in another play this weekend to cement the gameplay and sequences in my head. I should really consider this game a loss, as I know I played the Union activations incorrectly for much of the game and I know my second game was much more difficult.

Nice to finally make the time and figure out an old gem like this. It isn't even a terribly long game either. I'm sure once the rule referencing decreases, I could probably knock out a game in a couple hours no problem.

Update 17 June 2013

Played my second game now, and a dumb gamble on my part to draw Union units out into Mosby's Confederacy got me in a battle I couldn't win. So I dropped a notoriety before starting turn 3, which was unfortunate. My successes were not terribly impressive, and for the most part kept me barely hanging on and hoping for a marginal victory rating by game's end. I had some successful demolitions of a bridge, rail lines, and supply depots. I even had a fair run with combat, forcing Union units to retreat and inflicting some casualties.

Combat is tough however. Even with a superior force, lesser Union units still have a fair chance of forcing the Raiders to disband. This happened quite a few times. Not only are the lost performance points a setback, especially when the raiders suffer casualties, but the early end to a turn means other actions could not be taken against the Union. Successful combat can net a lot of points, but it has to be done carefully and likely with some complimentary action cards and a fair bit of luck.

I ended up losing on the final turn after a battle did not go my way. My final notoriety was 8, and too short for the marginal victory I was shooting for using the advanced rules.

This game is harder than I wanted to initially give it credit for. Those Union activation checks are a bear. I also played with just about every optional rule included. So I have experienced failed demolitions, failed hide actions, botched interrogations, etc.

I've really enjoyed my two initial plays. I look forward to pulling it out again after a short break. I think there is much more here to be explored. And I'm glad I think it is more difficult than anticipated. Nice to have a challenge.
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3. Board Game: RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940 [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:1199]
Antonio B-D
Luxembourg
Luxembourg
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After the geeklist on solitaire games I decided to take 2 of them for a new spin. The first one is this one. I intend to play the Lion a few times and then swap it for the Eagle. Probably it will be a whole month experience as my gaming time is limited.

Once that one is out, I will go for Raid on St. Nazaire.
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4. Board Game: Nemo's War [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:3382]
Jordi Cairol
Australia
Brisbane
QLD
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I want to try some VPG these days. This one I have already played - and enjoyed- before, so I'm coming back. Some more new stuff to test after this, after my recent last purchase to VPG.
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5. Board Game: Astra Titanus [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:3767]
Jordi Cairol
Australia
Brisbane
QLD
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One of the brand new games just acquired.
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6. Board Game: Disaster on Everest [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:7379]
Jordi Cairol
Australia
Brisbane
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... and the other one.
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7. Board Game: Congo Merc: The Congo, 1964 [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:8869]
Jordi Cairol
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And I want to try these two DG as well. The first one.
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8. Board Game: Border War: Angola Raiders [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:10429]
Jordi Cairol
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And the second one.
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9. Board Game: Castle Panic [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:887]
Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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I thrifted this last month and have really wanted to play it since.

Edit: I finally got to try this solo tonight. It was close.. really close and I lost with 2 monsters on the board and two in the draw bag.I wish there was more going on in the game. It felt a bit simplistic and I wish I had more types of choices while I played. I see Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower in my future.
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10. Board Game: Land of Enin [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:12238]
Albert Hernandez
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Greenville
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I printed this out last month. I'm hoping to build a box for it and play it. It's really being on the top of my to-do list.

June 16
I finally put my box together. It took me a few days to do it all, but I finished it last night. I also got to play a few games of it. I didn't do very well. The first game I died pretty quickly. The 2nd I got to level 2 but still died after a while. I just wasn't able to get my health up.
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11. Board Game: Ottoman Sunset [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:1968] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
Mike Maloney
United States
Fort Mohave
Arizona
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This one is an almost every month, if not every three or four days per week play for me. I can get in four or five plays in one sitting. The Victory Point Games States of Siege Series is always a go to when I have enough time for a game, but not the time to set up my larger games like Thunderbolt Apache Leader and Field Commander: Napoleon.
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12. Board Game: The Lost Cause [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:5426]
Mike Maloney
United States
Fort Mohave
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Like Ottoman Sunset, this one is fast to set up, get going, and only slightly longer to play. A lot of decisions and options every turn, with the threat of time and the ever-pressing advance of the US armies.
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13. Board Game: Field Commander: Napoleon [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:1344]
Mike Maloney
United States
Fort Mohave
Arizona
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Though it looks like a monster by the box, each scenario has an individual map (mounted!) and set of unit counters. Not bad on set up time. Some find it too abstract, but I'm fine with the combat. Forced marches are a must almost every turn to achieve close to Historical outcomes. Great fun, tension, and nice to look at!
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14. Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:324]
Mike Maloney
United States
Fort Mohave
Arizona
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This one should be on the table by mid-June. On order, and I've been reading through the rules to get an idea. All of the wonderful files on the BGG page for this one should make it a bit easier to learn.
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15. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:512]
Mark Riley
United Kingdom
Bridport
Dorset
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I'm only on GT 5 of this but already hugely impressed. The decision making is really fraught - where to spend your actions and where to move to - and in the German Fire Phase when you flip the fire card over you feel like ducking under the table. I'm looking ahead at the VP conditions to qualify for Part 2 of the game and am already thinking it looks a long shot - just like the real thing. I've just read Jo Balkoski's Omaha Beach and am glad I did otherwise the long shot would have been no chance. If you want a tense and challenging WW2 solitaire game I thoroughly recommend it. To give you a flavour of how good it is I recently played Raid on St. Nazaire which most people rate highly but it's bland in comparison to this.
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16. Board Game: Fields of Fire [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:1179]
Doc Hogan
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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Just got this (NIS!) earlier this week. The first mission is set up on the table, almost ready to go; I have only to decide on signal commands, and then it's off to Normandy.

I' m very much looking forward to this, especially after watching Chris Hobbs' phenomenal playthrough video series. I'm really hoping and expecting this to scratch my Ambush! itch. I very much want to love Ambush, and the Mission Card/ Paragraph Book system certainly makes it a massively replayable system (and I own almost every expansion, as well as Battle Hymn), but it's also a frustrating system to me as the time taken away from the map jars me out of any narrative/suspension of disbelief. I'm working in digitizing the Mission Card/Paragraph Book system in the hopes that it speeds thing up and allows me to remain immersed during gameplay. Time will tell.

In the meantime, FoF appears to address the issues I have with ambush, and has a good chance of becoming my #1 solo wargame. It does of some potential competition, as shown un my following items.
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17. Board Game: Ambush! [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:759]
Doc Hogan
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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I just can't keep this off the table, but I also can't keep it on the table for long. Definitely a love/hate relationship right now.
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18. Board Game: Gunslinger [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1709]
Doc Hogan
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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Currently in the mail to me, should arrive next week.

I have high hopes for this one.
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19. Board Game: B-29 Superfortress [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:3735]
Doc Hogan
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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Also arriving this week.
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20. Board Game: Field Commander: Alexander [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:2082]
Doc Hogan
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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Just got this a couple weeks ago. Simple system to get into, and pretty fun. Seems to be missing...something, though. It's good enough, however, that Field Commander: Napoleon and Field Commander: Rommel are both on my Buy list; perhaps they'll provide whatever that intangible 'something' is that I feel is missing in Alexander.

Edit: One great thing this game, and probably the whole series, has going for it is incredibly fast setup for a war game. I can be playing the game within about 5 minutes of grabbing the box off the shelf. None of my other solitaires, except Dawn of the Zeds (First edition) (great game, BTW) even come close.
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21. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:274] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Doc Hogan
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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The Mac Daddy, king of the hill, A#1, reigning champion. Absolutely my favorite solitaire/soloable game.

I continually believe that this one could be beat, that another game could become the champion, but somehow nothing yet has been able to knock it off of its throne.

There are some possible contenders, however, both currently on the table (Fields of Fire), and awaiting pre-order/reprint (John H. Butterfields D-Day at Omaha Beach and RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940 among others)
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22. Board Game: Mage Knight Dungeons [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:2947]
Erik Racer
United States
Urbandale
Iowa
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We are living our lives... Abound with so much information... Come on, let go of the remote,
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I've contemplated this one for a while as a solitaire experience. Finally bit the bullet and it showed up yesterday (6/1). In the middle of my first session and I've made a few rules errors (and I'll have to deal with the dreaded clix rot that plagues most of the figures).

Overall, I'm pleased. It's a fairly simple system that requires some forethought. Does the enemy have an area effect or an attack that will damage all other heroes adjacent to the target? You need to consider an enemy's ability to counter attack as well. I think the click mechanism and a unit's abilities being reduced as they take damage is pretty slick. Also, it looks great on the table.

I have the Heroic Quests in the mail so it should hopefully give it a little more back story than just a simple hack 'n slash dungeon delve.

If it's something you're inclined to pick up, if going new, get two starters (or at least a builders kit). I didn't, so I didn't have enough wandering monster tokens. I used a stand-in on the board and just drew from the pool of tokens I did have. Of course being OCD I had to buy another starter set ... and maybe a builders kit ... or three. OCD. blush
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23. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:421]
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
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"It's not hard to design a game that works, the real challenge is making one that people want to play again and again."--Martin Wallace
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I've been putting off learning this for a while now. But I have loose plans to play this via skype and Vassal sometime soon, so I really just need to get moving. My first full play will likely be a two-handed game, but it does ship with an AI of sorts, so I'll mess around a bit with that as well.
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24. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:568]
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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Wow, this list quickly became wargame-centric, didn't it. That's okay, though. I recently picked up my first one, T: AL, but I haven't had time to learn and play it yet. So I'll try to keep the list a little more balanced with my solo plays.

That being said, I didn't play a wargame yesterday, but it is all conflict-based: SH: Death Angel. I do enjoy this one quite a bit. It's challenging, there is plenty of variety (especially when you include the expansions) and the replayability is high.

I played a 1P setup (three sets of marines) and lost in the final location. All three Units were from the base game (chosen randomly from those and the Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game: Space Marine Pack 1). All of the locations were from the Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game – Mission Pack 1 expansion. I have found in my almost 40 plays that my success rate is much lower when playing the 1P setup compared to the 2P player one.

Either way, win or lose, I always enjoy this one.
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25. Board Game: Micro Space Empire [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:7414]
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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06/02/2013: I played one session of this for the first time today. I'm not even sure how I found it. It was a few days ago. I must have linked from one thread/comment (probably from Albert's May Solitaire geeklist) to another thread/comment to another where it was mentioned.

Anyway, it's a small (19 cards, 1 player mat, 1 die, and whatever you want to use to mark your player mat with), quick (less than 15 minutes) PnP card game. The BGG entry puts it under the 4X family of games, but I'd say it's a 3.5X game. Is that even a thing?! You eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, but I didn't find any eXterminating in my first (and only, so far) game. There is some combat though from possible revolts within your expanding empire or from outside races invading one of your conquered systems. That's where the .5 comes in for me.

I'm amazed that users can create games like these (LotR: tADG is another). They are simple. They are light. But they are fun. Maybe I'll only get half a dozen plays out it. Maybe I'll play it for many months to come. We'll have to see. But I did like what I saw.

I only scored 8 points in my first attempt. I assume that's pretty lame (I didn't actually add up what the max score would be yet), so I'll have to give it another go. More importantly, I want to give it another go. What more can you ask of a PnP game?

Update 06/04/2013
: I played three more times yesterday and got my butt, increasingly, handed to me. I scored 11, 8, and an awful 6 points. Based on the two session reports in the forum stating scores of 16 and 27(!), this game has me on the hook to at least make a respectable showing of myself. Plus, I'm enjoying it so far. It's light and quick, and I like the 4X-ish theme. More to come....

Update 06/05/2013: Just a quick update...played two more times last night and scored 15 and 11. A little better. A notch above "embarrassing" from my previous few plays. Still enjoying it. Glad I stumbled across it and gave it a shot.

Redemption! 06/17/2013: Sorry, just had to add one more update to this item. Played two more times today...Wow, talk about two sides of the same coin. The first game was just awful - 5 points. I think I lost all but one of the Revolts and Invasions. I just could not keep anything in my Empire and therefore, just couldn't build up any resources or technologies.

But, I went at it again, and there is was...my best score yet - 20 points! This time, I think I survived all but one of the Revolts and Invasions. What a difference that makes to the success of your Empire. I had one Distant System and even got the Warlord bonus. Pretty sweet.

At least I feel better now. If weren't for the fact that it's 5 to 10 minutes to play, I think the luck of that die roll would get to me. As is, it's a fun little game that I'll bring out every so often. Well worth the price of admission.
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