Solitaire Games on your Table - July 2013
Mo
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Downingtown
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Welcome to the July 2013 edition of the Solitaire Games on your Table geeklist!

Please post any solitaire games you have played this month or intend to play. You've got an ongoing Wargame campaign on the table? Tell us about it. How about a multi-player solitaire Eurogame you enjoy alone? Let us know. A highly Thematic adventure in progress? Bring it on. Dice games, Card games, Co-ops? We love hearing about them here. Got a little gem of a Print n Play game you put together? Please share with the group.

Comments, discussions, and questions are both welcomed and encouraged. There are many reasons we play solitaire games, and this is where you can share and talk about those experiences with other solo gamers. How did your solo session go? Why did you enjoy the game? Or what do you feel doesn't work for the solitaire gamer?

Please be sure to subscribe to the Solitaire Games on Your Table Monthly Geeklist SUBSCRIPTION THREAD to know when each new geeklist is posted and ready for consumption.

Also check out the 1 Player guild for additional solitaire game information and see what the latest episode of Albert's 1-Player Podcast has to offer.

Finally, here is the schedule of geeklist authors for the next couple of months as we continue to Celebrate Solitaire Gaming Every Month!

August 2013

Tracy Baker
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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September 2013

Jack Bennett
United States
Rougemont
North Carolina
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October 2013

Ryan
United States
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Lone Warrior
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1. Board Game: Aether Captains: Pirates and Traders [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:9287]
Helm's Deep
United States
Muncy
Pennsylvania
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...the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.
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I think this game is really cool. I love the mechanics of it. It is, however, very hard. I'm not a terrible dice roller, but this game is a little stacked against you. I played my first game as directed with the D12. I played game 2 with the D20 (it increases my odds of winning throws!), but I still lost after only completing 2/3 missions. Weather hammered me more than the pirates I think, though mostly I lose to them because I miss. Still, I keep fiddling with this game to at least win once in a while.
A little while ago I played a "nearly" diceless variant, where I used the "next" card to compare to the current card and see if I won and would draw another "next" on the same active card to continue to try and win if I hadn't previously, spending the appropriate resources-usually gunnery. This worked well until I ran into the one pirate card that no other card can beat whoops. I might have to try using 2D10 or 2D8 to get a more bell curve distribution that would enable me to win a little more a la the D20, but still keep the scores grouped around the 6-10 range that the game uses. We shall see.
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2. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:758]
Jason Maxwell
United States
Arvada
Colorado
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Got this out and have gone through the 1-player walkthrough, hope to pick up the game from that point this weekend.
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3. Board Game: Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:240]
Keiron
United Kingdom
Sittingbourne
Kent
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After finishing up my earlier game of Next War: Korea I fancied something a bit lighter, to refresh the brain ahead of something meatier so I whipped out Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game for a quick solo season.

As always, full of Blood Bowl theme, great narrative and unpredictability. It also proved to be a close race to the finish with the Elves taking it after the Orks looked to have it sewn up.

I find this game solos really well, although I feel I figured out how to use Lineman effectively that ultimately meant I ended up using them the same way for each team. I also kept forgetting about some of the elves team upgrades.

Anyway, great stuff.
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4. Board Game: Carrier [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:2549]
Full S
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Guess what I have now?

I'll give you a clue, it's that thing on the left. No, past the Psyduck.

Month's plans: Thunderbolt Apache Leader: at least one more game. Miniatures for Warrior Heroes: Legends: finish up some of the pile of GW beastmen (mostly ungor, a few gor - I prefer the ungor to the rest of the range) I'm acquiring and try some raids. Carrier: Learn, and play, the game. I've wanted to try it for ages.

The weather's lovely, so if I don't feel like doing much this weekend I might open the balcony and windows, and sit in the sun playing Runebound. You may not have to think all that much (well, movement's fiddly) but you get a nice entertaining wildernes crawl.

E: I also picked up the Solo Wargaming Guide from Precis Intermedia. It's interesting, and has given me a few ideas for a larger-scale campaign. Once I have some money to spare I may take advantage of their offer to get the PDF price I paid (£4.50 or so over on Wargame Vault) as a discount on hardcopy and stick it next to my other solo books, notebooks and back issues of Lone Warrior. As far as I can tell the defining characteristic of solo (miniatures) wargamers isn't that they play solo wargames, it's that they write a lot of words about it.

Is Calandale merely a next-generation version, or is he his own thing? The world wonders: what will be the next great innovation in solo wargaming exhibitionism?
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5. Board Game: Catan Dice Game [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:5444]
Helm's Deep
United States
Muncy
Pennsylvania
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...the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.
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Civ yahtzee! It's quick and fun, I play this one pretty often and tend to score in the 50s and 60s.
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6. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:97]
Shawn Baldwin
United States
Daytona
Florida
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I started a game of this before the fourth and just finished tonight.

Cannae 216 B.C.
Historically Hannibal defeated the Romans in this battle. History did not repeat itself on this day almost 2200 years later. Pailus and his medium infantry crushed the Carthaginians 7 to 3. Hannibal escaped certain death on three different occasions and vowed to wipe the roman legions from the earth.
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7. Board Game: Congo Merc: The Congo, 1964 [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:7987]
Robert Sielaff
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Been playing a Campaign Game of this title. I like the randomness of mission type and so on - seems to reflect everything I've heard or read about operations against the Simbas and Cubans.

Plus, you get to be Mike Hoare for awhile, which isn't a bad thing.whistle
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8. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:476]
Andrew L.
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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Just got the reprint ordered, punched, and clipped, so now it's time to play!

Also appearing:

Europe Engulfed(To learn the rules)
Thunderbolt Apache Leader
and/or
Silent War
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9. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:476]
Moe45673
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I solitaire'd a quick hour game of Dawn of the Zeds a few weeks back but other than that, my solitaire gaming has been negligible (I should be thankful I found others to game with).

However, I just got this. I hope to have all the counters out by Saturday and finish learning the rules, so I can have some me-time all afternoon with Easy Fox. Possibly the first 16 turns with the full map. We'll see.

Can't wait! D-day fascinates me
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10. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:476]
Tracy Baker
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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My copy of the reprint showed up yesterday, so I'm really hoping to muddle through the rules and finally try this grail game in July.

I was surprised that the box for this is so small. And the map is beautiful but I had no idea it was unmounted. Nothing some plexiglass won't solve, but I can't help but think of how much lovelier this would have turned out if GMT, Victory Point, or Decision Games would have published it. Oh well.
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11. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:476]
Shawn Baldwin
United States
Daytona
Florida
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So I got this in the mail earlier this week and read the rules, punched the counters (pain in the butt), and set up the beginner scenario: Easy Fox.

I am looking at the board and thinking, "there sure aren't many counters on this map". But I know that the beach will soon fill up. I start flipping cards, consulting rules, and clip counters as I go (first time clipping counters BTW). I got to say it is not a very hard system and I really like the card driven mechanics here. I also like how the scenario introduces rules as you go, like artillery. After a while I have lost 7 units, one more and game over! It is now turn 7 and I see "Mid Tide" on the turn 7 box. Consult the rules and I see that any unit not up to the mid tide line by the end of turn 7 is eliminated. Let's see what is on the beach....6 units and I can only move 2. Well that sucks....Game over man, Game over.

Gen. Bradleys's last words: "Oops...sorry guys "

I do have a luxury that Gen. Bradley did not have. I can start all over and try again!
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12. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:702] [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked]
Keiron
United Kingdom
Sittingbourne
Kent
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I had been contemplating getting this for ages before I finally caved a few weeks back and decided to take a gamble; really wasn't sure how this was going to solo.

As soon as it arrived it made the gaming table for a four Super Hero contest; Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the Flash. The Flash ended up winning by a comfortable margin.

It plays easily and solos, as a multiplayer game, pretty well; knowing what your opponents, or 'foes' have in their hand doesn't give you that much of an advantage, it really seemed a matter of playing your hand the best you can and see how things pan out. In this sense you might say it isn't all that deep a game.

However, it is unpredictable, and while the theme is a bit 'paste-on' the artwork is great and delivers the DC Comics feel I was after.

I'm interested in trying out some of the solo variants but that'll be for another day. Whistling Death has arrived and is next up!

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13. Board Game: Elder Sign: Unseen Forces [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Jack Bennett
United States
Rougemont
North Carolina
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Elder sign is one of those games that gets dragged around with me wherever I go. I've had groups of gamers and non-gamers respond well to the game. It can play up to eight people, and I can play it solo if need be.

I picked up the expansion the day it came out, and played a few solo games last night (it was almost midnight, so I'm counting it as July). I plan to play quite a few more during the month as well, and like I do with all my solo games I'll keep detailed stats of what happened.

I'm really hoping that the expansions ups the difficulty. That was my only problem with the base game. Sure, there are plenty of house rules for making it harder, but I'm really not one to use house rules and prefer to play the game as designed. So far, the expansion doesn't seem that much harder. The blessed dice is powerful and hits the table pretty often, while the cursed die can hurt you but rarely (and sometimes never!) comes out.

So far I've yet to have a Old One wake up. We'll see if it gets any harder throughout the month!
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14. Board Game: Fields of Fire [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:1138]
Morten Hjelme
Norway
Arendal
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I just received this bad baby in my mail today. I´ve been reading the rules on my iPad in anticipation so I’m making a point of getting it to the table as soon as I can cut out those counters.

-Morten
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15. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:255]
Simon Zed
Canada
Drummondville
Quebec
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Well, here I am with my July solitaire board game. As usual, I am at the last minute. It has been a pretty busy month for me so I was left with little time to play games.

I went to my local game shop this month just to take a little look-see and got out with FlashPoint: Fire Rescue.

The game is very well made, nice sturdy board and parts. I would have like better made firefighter though. It also comes with wooden cubes and 2 dices.

The game is not actually a solitaire game but a coop game. Since you are playing against the game and not other players, it makes a perfect game for solitaire playing.

I didn't had the time to learn the complete rule set but I played the Family game part.

I played with 3 firefighters, and even if all hell break loose inside the house,I won easily the first game I played. I wonder if I was simply lucky or if the family game rules are too easy. Next month, I will learn the complete rules and report on them.

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16. Board Game: Forbidden Island [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:591]
Gunther Herzog
United States
California
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Pretty much the ONLY game in my "collection" at this point precisely BECAUSE of the solitaire capability, and the fact that it can be played in one sitting so I don't have to leave it out. Sure, "light" compared to some of the other stuff on this list. Still, a better quick diversion than a deck of cards when you want something physical and not PC-based.
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17. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:307]
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
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Don't think I'll be a regular here, but a friend gave me Friday and it's awesome! A solo deckbuilding game with disadvantages to thinning or cycling your deck too much (or perhaps it's just "at the wrong time"). I've played it 5 times on Easy and won it once.
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18. Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:353]
Kelly N.
United States
Richmond
Texas
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Thank goodness for Gears of War. It serves 2 purposes;

1.) It's a great action filled solitaire experience.
2.) I can take my aggression out on locusts instead of the players in my household who make me seek out solo games to play in the first place.
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19. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:37]
Shawn Baldwin
United States
Daytona
Florida
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Got in a couple of games of this with my high score being 205. Then I read a session report where some bored guy got a score of over 55,000,000.shake
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20. Board Game: High Frontier [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:806]
Kyle
United States
Up Nort' Der
Wisconsin
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We must move forward, not backward, upward, not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!
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Tonight I was looking for a change of pace, so I pulled out High Frontier again for another go at the Hermes Fall Solitaire Scenario.


I hadn't used Shimizu for this in a while, so they were due for another turn.
The Budget Cuts were brutal and hit four or five times; I never lost a card I really needed, but it really delayed getting things boosted out into space. Eventually I managed to put together an all-black rocket made up of the Pulsed Plasmoid, Solar Carbotherm, and Carbonyl Volatilization. Once it was fueled and away from Earth the rest was a piece of cake. It took two turns to get out to Hermes A and one more to hop over to Hermes B, with a refinery dropped at each one to secure the win.

Three years (turns) remained before Hermes would have crossed the point of no return and destroyed Earth. Without the constant Budget Cuts, I probably could have completed this an entire cycle earlier.



I really need to play this with actual people again.
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21. Board Game: High Frontier [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:806]
Kyle
United States
Up Nort' Der
Wisconsin
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It had been far too long since I'd played a proper game of this so I pulled it out for a 5-Player Solo.
(The Hermes Fall scenario I played a week ago is okay, but it's a poor substitute for a full play. Playing it with actual people is far better still, obviously.)

-Basic Map & Basic Cards
-Quickstart (3 cards each)
-Income Variant: Skip movement (including Freighter) to gain 1WT
-Auction Variant: Pay 2WT for top card or 1WT for bottom (blind)


UN was first into space and headed straight for Mars, but a malfunction during entry into the planet's atmosphere left the landing craft at the bottom of a smoldering crater. They recovered quickly, but by this time NASA had also made it out into space and successfully prospected Deimos, which was quickly followed up by a factory.

UN returned to Mars successfully, claimed the entire surface, and began preparations to send a refinery there to industrialize.

PRC used a laser to carve up Luna, and then worked through a multi-mission process to get a Zubrin factory up and running. One of their crew modules mysteriously "disappeared" during the operations shortly after it became apparent that sending a new landing craft from LEO to bring the refinery down would be more cost-effective than refueling the initial one on Luna to ferry it down.

ESA struggled to get started, but were able to send a factory out to Ceres to produce the Quantum Cascade Laser, with the intent to light up the Koronis family.

While all of that was happening, Shimizu sailed through the inner solar system looking for a small asteroid to claim as their own but kept coming up empty-handed time after time.

With PRC's monster rocket fresh off the assembly line at Luna, the UN raced back to LEO just ahead of them to score both the "Mars" and "Any Site" glory bonuses. With that option gone, PRC turned their attention toward Hertha and blasted there in one shot with a full complement of equipment; a factory quickly followed.

NASA used its new black rocket to haul a factory out to Vesta and was just gearing up to build a third when UN snuck a factory onto Nereus to end the game in victory.

ESA was two moves away from taking the high-probability shot at the Space Pharmacy Venture, while Shimizu failed to stake even a single claim after busting almost every asteroid within in the inner solar system (and was one turn away from most likely busting Khufu too).

-----------------------------

STATS:

ESA (8 Points)
Claims: Ceres(C)
Factory: Ceres (+Colony)
Busted: Minerva


Shimizu (0 Points)
Busted: Hathor, Mjolnir, Phaeton, Cruithne


NASA (16 Points)
Claims: Deimos(D), Vesta(V)
Factories: Deimos+Colony, Vesta+Colony
Busted: Nyx, Kollaa, Peking


PRC (19 Points)
Claims: Luna(S), Hertha(M)
Factories: Luna+Colony, Hertha+Colony


UN (23 Points)
Claims: Mars(C)(x3), Nereus(V)
Factories: Arsia Mons, Nereus+Colony
Glory: Mars, Any Site
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22. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:498]
Brian Sturk
United States
Hudson
New Hampshire
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Played the SoloPlay variant, found here.

I scored 42 on "Easy". For the most part went pretty smoothly. I had a few rules questions that I'll be submitting to the author. I was also learning the game itself so I was bouncing between the game's rulebook and the SoloPlay rules.

All in all a very fun solo variant! I am hoping to try out the solo puzzles that the game designer posted soon.
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23. Board Game: Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:1150] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Stephen Slotten
United States
Saint Charles
Missouri
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I wrapped up my first attempt at this game playing the 1991 Iraq map (Marines). I got an 'Adequate' score. Now I've moved on to 1984 Libya (Navy). My first mission was against some kind of weapons depot and all my pilots survived but are deeply stressed. I think I have to use SO points for R&R but this will leave me with very little for the rest of the campaign. This one's going to be tough I think. We'll see how Day 2 goes.
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24. Board Game: Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:1150] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Stephen Slotten
United States
Saint Charles
Missouri
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Is it okay to post the same game I've already submitted? Well, I'm doing it, lol.

So it's been a few weeks since I broke out HL:CAO and I've finished more campaigns. I've determined that I'm a very bad HL:CAO player. My recent Libya campaign resulted in a POOR result. My North Atlantic campaign ended on day #2 when I couldn't destroy a bomber fleet. Then my Syria campaign ended with a POOR result as well. I don't think I've got the knack for picking a good squad. I tried to go all F/A-18 hornets for my squads, which is probably why I did so badly. I think I need to keep learning about these aircraft and weapons in order to make better plans. Diversity is probably the key.
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25. Board Game: Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1894]
Mikolaj Laczynski
Poland
Warsaw
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I played an epic Infection game yesterday.
This is how it went. I played the harder virus variant.
I started steadily, completing the easier 3 protein molecules and some of the 4 protein ones. I had a few lucky card draws, which swapped a 5 proetein molecule for one I had already researched. I had little luck on the death track, throwing 6 (which automatically prevents it from moving) on the first turn but not managing to prevent it going up in subsequent turns. I then had two sixies in the last few turns which helped a lot.

In the finale the situation was as follows. Death toll = 9 (one before losing), all but one molecule researched - "L" (a hard one) remained with a rare yellow protein missing to complete the research.
I still had to make the containment roll that turn. I needed a 5 or 6 to prevent the death toll rising. It came out as 4... But luckiy the event card that turn let me add 1 to my roll. That was close!
The proteins came out and the yellow one was there. I had equipment which would let me recycle the proteins, but didn't have to use it.
Humanity (or at least its remains) wa saved!

I really like this game, and it usually comes down to a cliffhanger ending.
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