No assembly required - thematic PnP solitaires for the dexterity and spare time challenged (Please add entries)
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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I’ve been running a blog about thematic solitaire games for those with little spare time for a few months. Initially I thought that I wouldn’t cover print and play games (PnPs) on the blog because I’d rather play with games than with scissors, and I'm so clumsy that I would probably end up cutting off fingers and glue myself to the table if I attempted to make a complicated PnP game.

A few days ago I realized that I was making too snap a judgment on PnPs though, because some of them can actually be created quickly and without scissors and glue. Therefore I’ve decided that I’ll give PnPs a go.

My first step in finding PnPs was to set up my criteria:
1. Scissors and glue are banned. There must be no assembly required apart from printing and scrounging meeples and such from other games.
2. It must be thematic.
3. It should preferably be playable within one hour.
4. A fantastic theme (sci-fi, fantasy, horror etc.) is preferable, but not a requirement.

Armed with these criteria and went to look for geek lists, but didn’t find any that really matched them. Therefore I’ve created this geek list in the hope that the community here on The Geek will help me find games that match my criteria reasonably well and ease my way into PnPing.


Updated 29.07.2013 to add: In order to keep this list focused I'll start moderating it and remove entries to games that do not fit the first two criteria.

If you add a game where scissors or glue are required for one version of the game, but also has a version without this requirement, then a link to that version would be appreciated.
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1. Board Game: 1572: The Lost Expedition [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:6767]
Iain
United Kingdom
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I've seen this game discussed elsewhere. It is a one A4 page playsheet and a couple of sides of rules. I am yet to play but plan to at some point!

You need:
- 12 six-sided dice (5d6 for rolling during Phase 1, 2d6 for rolling in Phases 2-5, and five dice to track Food, Muskets, Conquistadors, Morale, and Movement Progress)
- Pencil and Eraser
- Colored Pencil (or a cube/counter to track movement across the map)
- Notepaper (optional for the Journaling Phase)

Description from the page:
This is a one page, ultra-portable, black and white solitaire game. You assume the role of a small party of conquistadors trying to reach the Atlantic Ocean after a failed expedition deep in the New World. This game is limited to 42 turns and each turn consists of phases such as Map Making, Exploring, and Hunting where a handful of dice are allocated in a press-your-luck fashion. For those that enjoy role-playing, there is also an optional Journaling phase where you try to tell a story about what happened on your turn. Can you reach the Atlantic Ocean before time runs out or before you lose all of your Conquistadors?
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2. Board Game: 30 Rails [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:3961]
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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This is a really great dice / route building game that takes 20 minutes or less. There are two game modes as well. Just one page to print. You'll need to provide 2d6 and a pencil.

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3. Board Game: Austerity [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:5315]
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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The concept of deck building applied to eurocubes in a bag .

Austerity is a simple game about trying to take a country out of severe debt.

Construction

Print one sheet, add in a bag/cup and about 10 cubes of each of 6 colors.

There are optional modules to the game that requires printing out one more sheet and using scissors to cut out some cards from that.
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4. Board Game: Barbarian Prince [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:3611]
Gabriel Kuriata
Poland
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This one is only the gameboard, a booklet with paragraph. Requires one meeple/cube/anything for the main dude and dice.
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5. Board Game: D-Day Dice: Free Trial Version [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:3601]
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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Since scissors are banned (but there are so many great PnP card games!), the free version of D-Day Dice would work. Just print out the reference sheet and maps. My daughter and I have played this several times. She enjoys it. I found it fun the first couple of times but found that replayability was an issue for me. It does have a good theme though

Here are the links:
D-Day Dice Rules & Reference Sheet
Battle Map #1
Battle Map #2
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6. Board Game: The d6 Shooters [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:6158]
Chad Mestdagh
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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This game is the predecessor of The dice of the living dead.

You should really not miss this one!
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7. Board Game: Deck Siege [Average Rating:5.82 Unranked]
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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Looks like a hand management tower defense game. Haven't tried it yet.

Construction

Print out one sheet of paper and bring a pencil and standard deck of cards.
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8. Board Game: Delve: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:3542]
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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A simple dice rolling dungeon crawl, where you take a party of four fixed characters through one of two fixed dungeons.

The dice rolling mechanisms allow the four characters to act distinctly like their fantasy archetypes.

Construction

Each of the two dungeons can be printed out on one sheet of paper letter/A4 and you need to add six dice. Since you write on the dungeon sheet you need to print out one per game, or use some form of eraser.
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9. Board Game: Dice of Arkham [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:11443]
mads l. brynnum
Denmark
2400 Kbh. NV
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I'm gonna plug my own game. You need some dice, a few tokens and then one (1) printed page and then you're ready to save the world from evil cultists and eldritch abominations.
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10. Board Game: Dice of the Living Dead [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:8515]
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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Suggested by Judy Krauss in a comment to the Dice of Arkham item above.
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11. Board Game: diZe [Average Rating:4.58 Unranked]
Santiago Eximeno
Spain
Madrid
Madrid
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In diZe you are the last hope of humanity, ravaged by a zombie epidemic that has returned the dead to life. Your mission is to kill all those nasty undead and bring peace to the world.

diZe is a solo dice game for one player with a duration of ten minutes. Your goal is to capture and execute all zombies. At least, you must kill as many of the undead as you can.

The game components are 20 dice that represent both zombies and humans. diZe is a press your luck game. You will make successive dice rolls required by the game and use dice values to kill zombies or infect humans.
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12. Board Game: Doctor Who: Solitaire Story Game [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:2602]
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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A solitaire RPG-lite with no board or other components. The rules are ambigous, but it's great at creating story games on the fly that feel like episodes of the Doctor Who TV series.
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13. Board Game: Endless Nightmare [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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A simple push your luck game about being caught in an endless series of nightmares.

The game comes in two versions: A basic die roller and an "active" one that involves real life skills such as holding your breath while in a nightmare about drowning.

Construction

Print out 1 sheet for the basic version and 2 for the active version. Add a 11 markers and a d6 for the basic version and 6 more markers and a stopwatch (most phones have an app for that).

Disclosure: I'm the designer of this game and made it for 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest .

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14. Board Game: Escape of the Dead Minigame [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:6090]
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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An extremely simple worker placement dice roller where you try to defend against an increasing horde of zombies and repair your car to escape before you're overwhelmed. The game seems to have a boring optimal strategy, so after you've figured that out the game loses it's appeal, but until then it's fun.

Construction

The full game including rules take up one sheet of A4/letter paper. This also includes nine counters that can be cut out, but meeples/dice/any-other-small-physical-object can be used instead, and six of them could actually be replaced by a single d6. Other than that you need four d6.
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15. Board Game: Four Against Darkness [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:4095]
Iain
United Kingdom
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This is a paid for PnP solitaire dungeon crawler game. The game requires a rulebook (which you can use digitally or print out - it's easier to use when printed). In addition you will need:

- $8!
- A sheet of graph paper per adventure
- Some sheets for character tracking, monster tracking and progress tracking (either print their format sheets or use blank paper)
- A pencil and eraser
- A few dice (they say minimum 2 - i'd go with 3)

Description:
You choose four character types from the classic classes (warrior, wizard, rogue, halfling, dwarf, barbarian, cleric, elf), equip them, and start adventuring in dungeons created by dice rolls and by your choices. When you enter a room, you generate its content on a series of random tables. You will meet monsters, fight them, hopefully defeat them (or decide that discretion is the better part of valor!), you'll manage your resources (healing, spells, life points, equipment), grab treasure, dodge traps, find clues, and even accept quests from the monsters you meet. Your characters can level up and become better at what they do, but it will not be easy.

The game is essentially a D&D light game, which sees you exploring a randomly generated dungeon and encounters. It's mostly dice based but very fun. Adventures can last between 20 minutes and an hour+, but its easy to pack away and resume later.

There are also several addon books for a few dollars each, which use the same game system, but add their own unique twist. There are also more to come.
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16. Board Game: Galactidice BSG [Average Rating:6.42 Unranked]
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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Haven't tried this one yet, but from reading the rules it looks interesting. It's a Battlestar Galactica themed game based on the mechanics of Dice of Arkham.

Construction

Print out one sheet and add (at least) 8 dice and 8 small markers.
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17. Board Game: Grunts [Average Rating:6.11 Unranked]
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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From the game's page:

Squad level war game with a Brit comic (think Warlord,Battle) theme.

The goal is to capture an enemy bunker in 6 turns using combinations of actions and assaults found on the game panels.

No construction needed. Just print and play on A4 (both sides) and find 1D6 and 6 coins.

Introduction:
Every war, every country, every time, it always comes down to boots on the ground. The foot soldiers, the infantry, the cannon fodder. Grunts is a game about them, they are the currency of victory. Your job as captain is to buy victories, so spend well.
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18. Board Game: The Harbinger Project [Average Rating:6.74 Unranked]
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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A WW2 era game about fending of an invasion by using information obtained by breaking the enemy's code. I have played the game during it's development and really liked it I haven't played the final version yet though.

The game is an entry in the 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest.

Construction

Print out two sheets of paper, grab a pencil, an eraser and 2d8 and you're good to go.
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19. Board Game: The Herald [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked]
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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This is a sci-fi themed game where...

"You are Captain Sama Kollin, commander of the U.N.S. Herald, the first human spaceship capable of trans-light-speed travel. Your mission is to guide your ship in its voyage of exploration, accomplish results that repay humankind of the tremendous efforts that made the voyage possible, and come back to Earth to ignite enthusiasm for the New Frontier and silence the Isolationists."

It requires two player pages, 5d6, and 23 cubes or other markers of your preference. And it's available in both low and high ink versions.

Low Ink Version
Full Art Version

Rules



EDIT: fixed link for rules
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20. Board Game: Infection Express [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:6916]
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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I haven't gotten around to trying this one yet, but it's a light, "express," dice version of Pandemic. I believe you just need to print the rules and the map. Grab some markers and dice, and you're set.

Here is the link:
Rules, Map and Tracker
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21. Board Game: K-Day: Kaiju War! [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked]
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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Be a Kaiju and trash Japan with a bucket of dice.

You've got 14 turns to score enough victory points by smashing through cities and battling other Kaiju while the military tries to stop you.

It's quick to learn and fun to play but don't expect to spend hours developing complex strategies for the game.

Construction

Print out one sheet of paper, add in 11 dice, 2 markers, and a pen. If I remember correctly it plays in less than 30 minutes.

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22. Board Game: Lassos & Longhorns [Average Rating:6.08 Unranked]
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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Just played this for the first time last night.

This is a really nice little game. At its core, it's a push-your-luck dice chucker. Thematically, you are a rancher trying to get your herd of cattle to the frontier town of Wayward Falls, hoping to score a nice profit for your efforts. There are two rival ranchers also vying for the same payday, as well as a thieving gang of cattle rustlers who will steal some of your herd each time they catch up with you. It's a race to Wayward Falls, and you want to get there first to score the big money.



There is only a single page to print, so this is a no-brainer to try if it sounds remotely interesting to you. The map is very nicely designed and illustrated. All you'll need is 8d6 and six tokens/cubes/markers of your choosing. It's a fun, light dice roller with a press-your-luck mechanism as you race your rivals to Wayward Falls to sell your herd of cattle.
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23. Board Game: Magic Realm Light 30 [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:7411]
Jacob Peck
United States
Baldwinsville
New York
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Magic Realm in 7 pages! Print a playsheet and 7 pages of rules (you'll need them), find 2d6 and a pencil, and lose yourself.

This is a damn fine implementation of a monster game in a tiny format... and it works great! I actually find myself preferring to play this than Magic Realm itself, lately
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24. Board Game: Paper 'Mech [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Chris Alton
United Kingdom
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Paper 'Mech - winner 'Best Overall Design' in the 2016 1-page PNP Contest
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With a hint of shameless self promotion, this is the game I entered into this years 1 page PNP contest.

It's a mini wargame where you play the role of a lone 'mech pilot holding off 4 successive waves of enemies that are intent on destroying you.

You can customise your weapon loadout or use the default set up. Each action has a time cost, with the more powerful actions taking more time. your enemy's actions also have time costs, so much of the game is based around making sure your attacks fire off before theirs!
You can also haste your attacks to resolve them early, but this comes at the cost of accuracy.

Your 'mech's performance degrades as it receives damage but you get the chance to repair between waves of enemy.

Construction
None required - simply print off the A4 play sheet, gather up a pencil and eraser, a few coloured cubes and dice and you're off.

Playable in 20-40 mins.
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25. Board Game: Pocket Civ [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:2759]
Chad Mestdagh
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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You will have to cut up some cards. So unfortunately, you will need scissors.

And it would be a good idea to put those cards into sleeves with playing cards. Other than that you should be good to go. You can just draw your game on a sheet of paper.

So yes, it breaks the rule of no scissors, but you could do a hack job of it and be just as good.

This game is thematically rich and very enjoyable. You would really be missing out if you missed this game.
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