Solitaire Games on Your Table - September 2013
Jack Bennett
United States
Rougemont
North Carolina
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Welcome to the September edition of Solitaire Games on Your Table! As we quickly approach the end of summer, you can let the guilt of not being outside subside. As the days cool, you can take more time to lock yourself away from the rest of the world and play some solitaire games.

And when you do, come tell us about it.

September is also the official start to the 2013 Solitaire Print-and-Play contest! Many designers have already thrown their hat into the ring, and are right now working on free solitaire games just for the likes of you! So let's support them.

Last month, Tracy did a Session Report contest, so this month let's do a:

Playtesting Feedback Contest!

Ok, so the name is not as exciting, but here's the deal. Many designers put their games up in the contest as a way of getting feedback and playtesters. So head over to the contest page, find a game or three that look interesting, and give 'em a whirl. Leave some feedback for the designer (this is key), and come back here and tell us about the game. If you've already playtested some of these games, those count, too. As long as you come here and tell us!

At the end of the month, I'll collect entries into a drawing for 150bag for the first name I draw, and all that is tipped to this thread for the second name I draw (and can't be the first person twice)! You get one entry for the first game you playtest, two for the second, three for the third and so on (so if you play 2 games [and leave feedback about them!] you'll get 3 entires). I'll gather up the names and pull a random winner sometime at the beginning of October.

So go play some free games! There are some really great ones this year.

[Full disclosure: I do have a game in the contest, but it's got plenty of playtesters already. When picking games, unless you really want to try mine, please try and pick games that don't have any feedback yet! I'm not doing this to drum up playtesters for my own games.]

I'd like to thank all those who came before me:

Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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Ryan
United States
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United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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Tracy Baker
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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Thanks to all of them for helping keep these lists alive and active. Next month, Ryan will take over again.

Also don't forget that you can subscribe to these lists right here.
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76. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:51]
Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
Jason Ritz
United States
Kelseyville
CA
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Dreadful Adventure on the King Kong Island. (the 7th Scenario)

My first post here is a loss. The King Kong scenario beat me in the end after getting 1 of 3 traps built. I lost all my life on the last turn during the morale phase.

What contributed to my demise, even though I was playing the soldier?
1) Friday died on turn two thanks to some TERRIBLE dice rolling by yours truly. Nothing like rolling a wound and a ? which equals a wound for him. Twice. In a row. Turns 1 AND 2. UGH.

2) More than one of the building/gathering/exploring cards had me only able to use one token during several late turns in the game.

3) There is one piece of equipment that is crucial to build in a solo variant of this scenario. I won't say what it is, but 2+2 did not equal 4 for me until like turn 7 or 8. Two words... FACE PALM! Had I noticed earlier, I may have had a chance.

Still, all in all had a good time! Roll On!

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77. Board Game: Space Empires: 4X [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:488] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Board Game: Space Empires: 4X
Christopher Ebert
United States
North Fort Myers
Florida
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This was a birthday present for me and I was anxiously waiting to play it. I got to open it early and I was glad I did. My board was bubbled up all over, and there was a perfectly straight slice into it, as if it had been cut with a hobby knife. Also, the back of counter sheet 1 had an indentation all over the back of it as if some kid scribbled all over it with a dried out pen. I contacted GMT and they sent out replacements.
Since the counter sheet was green and blue player stuff, I was able to set it up and figure it out with Yellow, my choice color anyway. My wife and I sat down for a game, but we ended about 4 rounds in cause she just wasn't getting it. But she didn't write it off either and said she may play again.
The replacement came quick! I was amazed to get them within a few days. As I was cutting out the counters, I noticed something. The mines and the decoys had numbers on them. I checked the damaged counter sheet and it didn't have that. I guess I had an earlier second print? (The box does say Second printing on it) Hmm... anyway... tonight I set up my first solo game... wow



Date
9/13
9/16
Game
#1
#2
Scenario
Doomsday Machine - Small / Easy
Doomsday Machine - Small / Easy
Outcome
Victory Loss
Victory


Comments:
Game #1: I was not expecting to win my first game. But it wasn't easy. I used the advanced rules, but never built any of the advanced units except for the pipelines. Alien barren planets keep wiping out my scouts constantly, but I had a nice little chain of colonies going. I defeated the first DM pretty easily. The second one however got a colony before reaching my home planet. But he was no match to my base, 4 shipyards, 2 battle cruisers, and 4 Cruisers I had sitting there waiting for his arrival.
The third DM, I almost called the game on, and I'm glad I didn't. He came down and was taking out my colony chain. AH!!!! NO!!! I sent what I had up to it, and it demolished my forces but sustained a total of 8 damage. (1 damage from an encounter with aliens I left alone) I would get 2 economic turns before it reached my home base (thanks to my colonies being staggered how they were) so I beefed up my home planet as much as I could. By the time it got there, I had a base, some battle cruisers, and ship yards. I needed just 1 hit to take it out. My base was the first thing up. I needed between 1-7 to hit it, and rolled a 1. Victory! (Pictures in a following comment)
Edit: I missed the rule about healing two damage everytime a DM destroys a planet, so I am considering this a loss.







Space Empires 4x - Game Tracker Spreadsheet (Broken link, I'm doing work on my spreadsheets so any game that starts with the letters M-Z are broken since I am migrating them to a second page)
Space Empires 4x - Solitaire Tracker Geeklist Item
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78. Board Game: Micro Space Empire [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:8700]
Board Game: Micro Space Empire
Tracy Baker
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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I had this printed out so I finally cut it out, sleeved it, and gave it a spin the other night. I'm not nearly as impressed with it as others have been. Its chief benefits are that it looks nice, is easy to make, and plays quickly. Its chief drawbacks are that it is arbitrary, capricious, and luck-driven to the point where I feel like I'm witnessing something instead of participating in it. Roll high? Yay! Draw the right card at the right time? Yay! Otherwise, NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Microgames like this that have few components and play quickly are really difficult to get right, and this one has more thought and care put into it than most. But it is still shallow and ultimately feels pointless, and I'd rather commit to something meatier like Friday or play a quick game on my iPhone/iPad than break this out again.
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79. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:2785]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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Playtested two more games from the Solitaire PnP Contest:

d10-1 5 Temples
Full feedback comment for anyone interested.

After reading the description and the rules, I thought this had some potential. It consists of a deck of multi-use cards and a player mat to track various resources and stats. The player collects resources which are used to create Temples to appease the five Gods randomly chosen at the start of the game.

Things I like:
• Rules are well written and organized.
• While there is a bunch of info on each card, they are clear and easy to understand.
• There is a progression of tension and difficulty the further into the game you make it.

Things I didn't enjoy:
• Game length ran a little long for me (a solid hour), especially since you're repeating the same actions/tasks over and over.
• There is a lot of bookkeeping. You've got resources, money, a constantly changing marketplace, special powers for each God that break the rules, and special powers for each Worshiper you hire that break the rules. It just took away from the fun and thinking about strategy for me.

So, while I probably won't play this again, I do think it has potential. The game works (rules + cards + strategy). And there is a nice challenge and choices to make with how you use the cards. It just wasn't for me.

EDIT 09/21/2013: I playtested this one four more times today. However, I used the newly posted Short Game variant from the designer. I really enjoyed this much more than the Full Game. It clocked in around 20 minutes per game. The bookkeeping didn't change, but having fewer Temples to build made it manageable. And, most importantly, the game was still challenging in its shorter form. I hope others give this one a try as I'd like to hear some additional opinions on the game.

Here are my complete feedback comments regarding the Short Game.



d10-2 Irish Freedom
Full feedback comment for anyone interested...including PICS.

This is a historical simulation wargame covering Ireland's War of Independence and ensuing Civil War.

Things I like:
• The theme and historic significance is both informative and well presented.
• The components and rules are well organized and well produced. I enjoy the use of colors to represent the different "factions" in play.
• The Event cards add to the theme and flavor of the era with real photos and historical comments.
• The transition between the two wars (through the game setup instructions) depicts how the landscape really changed in Ireland. It's very interesting.

Things I didn't enjoy:
None really since my "negatives" aren't actually negative when you consider the style/genre of this game.
• Setup for each war is minorly tedious, but I believe the designer is trying to depict a specific scenario and historical account so certain aspects need to be in place.
• There is not a lot of strategy (and potentially replayability) involved. Again, I don't believe that is the point of the game. The designer is presenting a specific set of events with a (generally) predetermined outcome.

So, as someone with very little wargame experience, and really, zero interest in a historical simulation, I think this game is excellent. Love the components. Intriguing and unique historical content. Probably not a lot of replay for me, but I feel my time spent with the game will be well worth it.

EDIT 09/24/2013: I just want to give a quick update as I’ve played this one again. First, the designer has added the game to the database (Irish Freedom, actually I believe it's already on this geeklist earlier). However, I don’t believe he’s submitted the game as “contest ready” yet, so there may be a tweak or two still coming. I’m not sure.

Either way, I still found this game very enjoyable. I completed the War of Independence in Turn 6 with a “Good Irish Victory” and 3 vp. The Civil War ended successfully in surrender also in Turn 6 and 4 vp. Combined, I scored 7 vp which is listed as “The Wind that Shakes the Barley.” Very cool. cool

As I said, this game is not in my wheelhouse in terms of style, but I found it interesting, informative, and a pleasure to play. The most unique aspect to the game, IMO, is the transition between the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. Depending on how the WoI went and what units remain will help determine the setup for the CW. British units are removed from the map except those still in Ulster (Northern Ireland). The Irish forces, which were fighting as one army in the WoI, are divided into two opposing factions in the CW. Some of these remaining units will be upgraded to a higher combat status and new units will be added. So how you play in the first half of the game will affect some of the second half.

Anyway, I said I’d be quick, so I’d better stop here. With my very limited wargame experience, and honestly, having no interest in a war simulation, I highly recommend this one. I will be looking into the designer's other games as well including, Vietnam Solitaire, which looks just as intriguing.




EDIT 09/21/2013: additional playtesting of 5 Temples. See above.
EDIT 09/24/2013: additional play of Irish Freedom. See above.
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80. Board Game: CO₂ [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:753]
Board Game: CO₂
Lawrence
United States
Martinez
California
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For the first half of the month it's been solo Euros.
CO2 has been at the front with 4 plays. I love this game, from the look to how it plays. There is no real "winning" you just try to stave off pollution till the end of the decade track, which for the record I've failed miserably, never getting out of the 1990's without losing. Losing quickly however results in quick playtime at about 60 minutes. After I find a strategy and continue further it shouldn't be more than that which is good.

Troyes is the other one I've been playing. Using the solo rules by Shadi Torbey this plays in about 45 minutes and is a game I also really like, providing a good solo experience even though the ratings say otherwise.

Second half of the month is Andean Abyss.
I set up and ran through the four player example as well as the solo example. I tried to play a solo game but had to stop after two hours and put it away. My hope is to be able to block off what I think may need to be four hours to get a game played all the way through. There are a lot of charts and looking up things and it hurts my head while trying to play but it's in my head right now and I need to get a full play in.
I guess that is a good thing as I got Cuba Libre this last week and I have Fire in the Lake on preorder. Viva la COIN!
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81. Board Game: Voyage of the B.S.M. Pandora [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:5007]
Board Game: Voyage of the B.S.M. Pandora
Mikolaj Laczynski
Poland
Warsaw
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I was interested in this game for a while, but it was impossible to get a copy.

Last week, someone on BGG asked me whether I would be willing to part with Tranzyt, an old Polish monopoly clone with a twist. I knew it was at my parents' house in the attic. I went there today to get it and when I was about to leave I saw a box with another old Polish game - TransSolar.

From gallery of mikolajl


All I remembered about it was that it wasn't very good. I looked inside and found... Polish versions of Voyage of the B.S.M. Pandora, Citadel of Blood and Star Trader!! Unpunched and in mint condition!!

From gallery of mikolajl


I totally forgot I owned them. Now I can't decide which one to learn first. I'm leaning towards the Pandora.
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82. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:25]
Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game
Deathworks
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Hi!

Actually, shortly after finding this site, I read about this game and I immediately fell in love with it. I quickly ordered the English edition at my local store, and they were told that the game would arrive soon. That was over a month ago. It has now become clear that I will have to wait for Wizkids games to release another printing, and there is no telling when the "announced" will change to "shipping". (T_T) With the prospect of waiting weeks if not months, and reading all the posts about the game here on the site, I finally couldn't stand it, and bought the German version to get me through the waiting time. Mind you, I have still ordered the English version, and that's the one I will be playing once it arrives, but I simply couldn't wait any longer.

Anyhow, I bought the game (in the German version) on Friday, and have thus far been able to play the introductory reconnaissance once and solo conquest twice. I have not yet won solo conquest, and I still keep forgetting rules on a regular basis (often affecting game play).

However, I can already say: People were right. This game is simply awesome! It perfectly fits me, even though I am usually not a gamer going for optimization strategy games. There is lots of theme (okay, the heroes are a bit dark (^_^;; ) and the optimization is not about thinking ahead 20 turns, but rather making best use of a hand of less than 10 card and keeping at least vaguely track of what has already been played this turn. And there are so many random elements (I love random elements) which on the other hand do not make you randomly lose (they may make victory difficult or impossible to reach, but the outcome of your actions are not randomly controlled). I really don't know what to say. This game is just so perfect.

Thus, I may be a little low on other activities as I am learning the nuts and bolts of the game.

Yours,
Deathworks
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83. Board Game: Thunderbolt Apache Leader [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:970] [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked]
Board Game: Thunderbolt Apache Leader
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Played my first campaign with this game. Iraq 1991 and attacked one battalion each day.
Loaded up on fancy bombs and rockets and took out all but one enemy unit over two days. Simply a brilliant game, but I can see that using such fancy Munition won't be possible on longer campaigns.
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84. Board Game: Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:5246]
Board Game: Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident
Jason Doyle
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
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OK so I still need to carry on with Baptism at Bardia and update that post, but this turned up in the post yesterday...
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85. Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:470]
Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game
Justin
United States
Plano
Texas
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Finished China Shop yesterday in spectacular fashion. Lost Dom along the way, but his sacrifice was not in vain.
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86. Board Game: Silent War [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:2490]
Board Game: Silent War
Ryan
United States
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Backstory: I've had my eye on this monster for awhile now. I decided not to plunk down the cash for the reprint because they didn't reprint Silent War: IJN – Imperial Japanese Navy with it. Then I found a decent priced copy in the BGG Marketplace that included both Silent War and IJN. So I took the plunge.

This game has multiple campaigns to choose from, as well as short, standalone patrols. A patrol is supposed to last approximately an hour. A full blown campaign is supposed to last months, half a year, or longer depending on how frequently you play. That's right, months! So what do I do? Screw the single evening sub patrol. Flank speed ahead! I started the longest possible campaign last night.

Here are my challenges:
d10-1 Space. I don't have a storage solution to where I can leave it up for months on end. I think I'll have one soon but I decided to learn how to use Vassal to play it until I can roll with the physical game.
d10-2 Dedication. I love campaign games. But this will be my first monster. Will I have the wherewithal and make the time to play over 150 turns to see this through?
d10-3 Play logging. I love to log my plays, but I don't want to be that guy. The one who logs over 150 plays but really has only completed the game once. Kind of a distortion to the games played statistic, even though I do it for some of the much shorter campaign games like Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations and Space Infantry.
d10-4 Statistics. I love to take notes and record game data. And this game is all about statistics and data. But every US sub and Allied sub in the PTO of WWII is here with its own counter. That's probably too much even for me, but I'll give it a shot.

So how did my first play go? Well, it took a long time as I was trying to comprehend not only the rules (not really that bad, and quite sensibly laid out), but was learning Vassal as well. The campaign starts Dec. 8, 1941, and the U.S. has dozens of subs in the Pacific already. So managing all the subs and their stats was challenging, but I think that will smooth out fairly quickly. Trying to find Japanese convoys and taking shots at them was suspenseful. So were the counterattacks. I am really looking forward to playing my second week ASAP.

In case you don't know, this game is more a simulation than a game. It puts the player in the shoes of the guy commanding the entire US submarine war effort in the PTO. The designer has some very interesting thoughts posted here and there about his intent and purpose in building this game the way he did. It will be very different than anything I've played yet, but I'm looking forward to the experience. Hopefully I can find the dedication to keep it up. I think I'll enjoy it.

Update 20 September 2013


I restarted my campaign (determined I played some of the rules wrong). Sunk no enemy shipping on the first week post Pearl Harbor. Then I sunk 6 ships including one at 8,000 tons my second week. I'm playing the third week now and have just seen my first event, the Fall of Luzon and the opening of the submarine base at Freemantle.

I'm really enjoying this so far.

Update 22 September 2013

Played one more week, the last of Dec 1941. This was a little frustrating as I only sunk two ships and missed or had ineffective shots that kept my tonnage and ship total lower than I liked it. Still haven't lost any subs though I have quite a few damaged. Most of my subs are in transit next week, so that turn should go faster with less combat. Although I'm even less likely to sink many ships with so many subs in transit to base.

Ryan's plays of Silent War
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87. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:422]
Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set
Justin
United States
Plano
Texas
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At age 20, I was hooked on Diablo 2

At age 30, well...
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88. Board Game: Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:494] [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked]
Board Game: Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin
David Rice
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
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I play regular Thunderstone with a solo variant I created using a d4 to determine your AI opponent's amount of light available and either a d8 or d10 (depending on how powerful you want your AI opponent to be) to determine its attack strength. It then attacks and defeats whichever monsters it can on its turn and removes them from the hall.

This variant makes it extremely easy to simulate a two-person game of Thunderstone without altering rules to change the way the game is played. It should work equally well with Thunderstone Advance and any other versions of Thunderstone that come along.

Here is a link to give it a try:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/92381/simple-solo-thun...

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89. Board Game: Red November [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:1820]
Board Game: Red November
Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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I'm cheating a bit here, but I'm okay with it. The other night I pulled out Red November to read through the rules and play a bit. I was tired so I didn't didn't worry about getting rules right. I was more interested in getting the rhythm of the gameplay down before really looking through the rulebook. I didn't get far at all and quit after a turn or three.

The next afternoon, I set the game up to play through it. After a few turns, my son found me playing and asked if he could join.. The sub was destroyed relatively fast, but we both had aqualungs and escaped. I was playing a 2nd character that didn't fare so well.
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90. Board Game: Onirim [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1163]
Board Game: Onirim
Flabbergasted Rhino
Japan
Osaka
Kansai
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Got a big game package in the mail yesterday for my birthday. Last night I had a few multiplayer goes at Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island and really enjoyed it. As I'm playing it again this evening I thought I'd give a couple of my new small solo games a try today instead.

The first I tackled was Onirim. I read through the rules lightly and decided to watch a bit of the Drive Thru Review gameplay overview. What I found the most helpful though was the Solo Rule Sommary Card (nicely spelled!).

With it all setup and a rough grasp of what to do I dove in and managed to successfully gather up all eight doors needed for the victory. I took only one really nasty hit from a Dreamcard late game and opted to replace my hand as I was out of keys. This worked out fairly well as I was able to get two new brown cards that aided me in finishing off my last door.

Overall a fun light little game I am sure the wife will enjoy (she loves the art) when we're not feeling competitive.
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91. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:404]
Board Game: Friday
Flabbergasted Rhino
Japan
Osaka
Kansai
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And I thought I got a smackdown on our first go gathering wood in Scenario one of Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island last night. My first go at Friday was a disaster! I only made it roughly 2/3 through the second phase. Still reeling from it as I write this. Not exactly sure what I did wrong but I think I may have been too aggressive attempting to acquire cards and should have perhaps taken a few more hits and dumped more of my fluff rather than spending health to get the "win".

Going to need to sit down with this a bit more before I get the swing of it.

Update:

Got in two more games today.

First was another poor show on my part as I was again taken out before I faced the pirates. At least I made it to the third phase.

My second game I feel like I slammed it. Made it all the way through and defeated both pirates! My finale score was a 75. What seemed to make the difference was grabbing up the +Health cards and +Draw cards. I feel they gave me the breathing room I needed. Additionally I tried to push for some of the slightly more difficult cards in Phase 1 which allowed for some easier grabs being available in Phase 2 and thinned out my bad cards when I failed. I may be starting to get the hang of it, I hope.
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92. Board Game: Star Trek: Expeditions [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2569]
Board Game: Star Trek: Expeditions
Tracy Baker
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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I'm getting ready to purge some games so I thought I'd play some I bought for solo purposes that I hadn't tested yet. Last night Expeditions came out of the mothballs, and it's definitely going on the purge pile.

I had above-average expectations for this one because I really like what Knizia did when he made a co-op game set in the Lord of the Rings universe. The theme with that one really worked for me despite being incredibly abstract, mainly because of the way corruption was incorporated into the design.

Expeditions didn't click for me at all (well, the minis have click bases, so it literally clicked a little bit). I could see all the effort Knizia put into giving the game a Star Trek feel, by incorporating a space battle, including branching missions that require characters with various skills to tackle, and with all the beaming up/down. As far as I'm concerned, it was all for naught because the whole is less than the sum of the parts. It doesn't make sense that Bones would take an action to make the Enterprise move and engage with the Klingon ship. And then Uhura would do the same thing. And that it somehow takes more time to beam around a planet that to travel around the surface (you can only beam once per turn, so you can never go to the planet and back to the ship in a single turn, which makes no sense thematically but has to be that way to keep the game from breaking).

The ship battle is also completely anti-climatic. You just roll dice and compare numbers. There's a bit of strategy to it in that the Enterprise has an advantage at long range, but if you keep it at range by backing up when the Klingon advances you can end up losing a lot of points. But the whole thing is just boring, the Klingon ship is nearly impossible to hit without using a ton of special cards and equipment, and all your efforts hinge on dice rolls coming up the way you want them to. Again, I understand incorporating the ship battle to help the theme, include some cool (painted) minis, and provide an action sink that distracts players from completing the missions that will let them win the game, but the whole thing felt clunky, anti-thematic, and arbitrary.

Like most co-op games, this one is all about maximizing the efficiency of your actions so you can complete a bunch of missions before the timer runs out. Once again, these are boring skill checks that involve gearing up and getting the right characters in the right spot to mitigate the results of poor dice rolls. The click bases are incorporated here because characters can take damage that reduces their statistics, though you can use sick bay or bones to heal them (again providing another action sink that distracts from completing missions).

On paper this design sounds great. Iconic Star Trek characters running all over a planet to complete a variety of missions while fending off a Klingon attack, and with lots of ways to cooperate. In play, at least solo, it's just a string of uninteresting decisions followed by some dice rolls and card play, with a lot of mechanisms that disconnect the game from its theme. I might be willing to explore the design a bit more if I didn't own any other solo-friendly games, but since I do, and 90% of them are better than this, it's gone.
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93. Board Game: Chaos Isle: Zombi Deck [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:14187]
Board Game: Chaos Isle: Zombi Deck
Tracy Baker
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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After my disappointing game of Star Trek: Expeditions I saw this sitting on the shelf and realized I'd never tried it. I got it during a big sale the company was having where you could get the entire collection for what seemed like a bargain at the time, but turned out to be one of my worst purchases ever.

You start with a random character, some random equipment, and a random mission to complete. Then you fight enemies, focusing on those that fit into your mission requirements. Then ... wait, that's it? That's all you do? Each turn you flip over three more enemy cards, run away from or fight them, and ... really, that's it?

Really. I bought this based on the great reviews it has received, and hadn't looked at it closely enough to realize that the entire game is just rolling 2d6 to kill things or get hit by them or survive Fate cards. Maybe it gets better with more people. I'll never know, because it's out of here.

I do want to point out that the card quality was pretty amazing. I wish every company made cards this sturdy.
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94. Board Game: Empire Builder [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:1207]
Board Game: Empire Builder
Reuven Fischer
United States
Bala Cynwyd
Pennsylvania
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Somehow Crayon Rail games have eluded me. That is until a couple weeks ago when India Rails was broken out at my gaming group. I like it! A lot!! So much so that I turned around and bought Empire Rails. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was a solo variant for the game. Now I'm a Crayon Rails noobie, even though faired fairly well a couple weeks ago against experienced players. That being said as a novice I found the Solo Variant challenging and fun! So much so that I played two back to back games.

The solo rules can be found here=> http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/48184/soloplay_empireb...

My first game was a loss... I went Bankrupt
Second game, I scored 31pts.
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95. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:404]
Board Game: Friday
Christopher Ebert
United States
North Fort Myers
Florida
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First game played in ShackyCon 2013

Game
#1
#2
#3
#4
Level
Level 1


Current Top Score
130


Outcome
Defeated in yellow step
Defeated in green step
Defeated at 2nd Pirate
Defeated in red step
Score
-38
-70
26
-4



Friday - Game Tracker Spreadsheet
Friday - Solitaire Tracker Geeklist Item
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96. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:602]
Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game
Christopher Ebert
United States
North Fort Myers
Florida
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Game
1
Team
Blue, Green, Yellow
Destination
Toxic Pumping Station
Outcome
Defeat




Space Hulk Death Angel - Game Tracker Spreadsheet
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97. Board Game: Nemo's War [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:3951]
Board Game: Nemo's War
Christopher Ebert
United States
North Fort Myers
Florida
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Game
1
2
Commitment
Exploration
Science
Current Top Score
131
177
Score
128.5
161.5
Outcome
Inconsequential Results
Success



I really couldn't recommend this game enough. I've had so much fun with it. If they ever released a deluxe version of this game I'd probably insta-buy it.
There are 4 different strategies you can go for, and you can either pick one, or randomize it. Then later on, you get a chance to change the strategy if things just aren't working out.
The fog of war is pretty good
Lots of decision making, and bad choices can really set you behind.



Nemo's War - Game Tracker Spreadsheet
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98. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:544]
Board Game: Elder Sign
Christopher Ebert
United States
North Fort Myers
Florida
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Game
1
2
Ancient One
Haster
Nyarlathotep
Investigators
Sister Mary
Carolyn Fern
Outcome
Victory
Victory



Elder Sign - Game Tracker Spreadsheet
Elder Sign - Solitaire Tracker Geeklist Item
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99. Board Game: Space Empires: 4X [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:488] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Board Game: Space Empires: 4X
Ed R
United States
Huntington
MA
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I just received my copy of this game last night. I punched out all the chits and read through the instructions. I had watched a few of the videos of the game on youtube and had a bit of an idea of what was involved.

During lunch today I set up the Solo DM scenario on easy/small. I played the green empire. The first game I played through to round 9 and easily dispatched the DM when I realized I was not playing the ship building properly. I was not limiting myself to the amount of Shipyard points I had. I just built whatever I could afford. So I broke it down and set it up again.

The second game was going really well. I researched up to hull size 4 quickly and also got the exploring tech for my Cruiser fleet. Minerals were abundant and I was pulling in big money each turn. I built up a modes fleet of Cruisers and Battle Cruisers before turn 7 and the first DM. It appeared just 3 spaces from my largest colony so I knew I would fight before the next economy turn. I rolled pretty well and beat it while only losing 2 Battle cruisers.

Turn 9 came before I had time to really beef up my defenses and the second DM showed up at the same spot as the first. I quickly sent my available ships back to my largest Colony. This DM was stronger and wiped out my colony and more than half of my total fleet. It would arrive at a small colony right next to my home world just before the next DM shows up. My remaining fleet knock out the second DM fairly quickly as it was still damaged from the previous fight and the 3rd DM shows up straight out from my home world. It is far enough away that I will have another economic turn to try to build up a little more before I have to fight it.

It arrives at my small colony right next to my home world where it meets what I could muster for a fleet. 4 Battlecruisers with attack 1, 3 Cruisers with attack 1 and one of my original cruisers from early in my exploration with no upgrades. My fleet is no match for this stronger DM and manages only 3 hits against it before it destroys all my ships. Leaving my home world undefended except for the 4 Shipyards.

From gallery of edjrjr
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