Solitaire Games on Your Table - September 2013
Jack Bennett
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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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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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101. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:600]
Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game
Tracy Baker
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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I thought I'd get a quick solo game of Space Hulk: Death Angel in tonight, and it turned into one of the most epic experiences I've ever had in this hobby. In the solo game you control six Space Marines (three teams of two), and things got off to a predictable start before quickly going pear-shaped. For those who haven't played, you use one custom d6 for combat that has skull symbols on three sides to represent the 50/50 chance the Space Marines have of hitting something, and also 0-5 to represent the Genestealers hitting something (if they roll lower than the number of Genestealers participating in the attack, they instantly kill the Marine).

Two of my guys got surrounded, and I rolled two 0s on defense. The game somewhat revolves around these support tokens you can get and then spend to trigger re-rolls on attack or defense, but I was attacking so much that few of my Marines had them, and those that did wasted them in futile attempts to appease the dice gods. But nope, I lost 1/3 of my squad in the first location.

The second location was a slog to clear, but we managed to get through with no losses. When the third location came up it had a special effect that the Marines could hit a switch and then either discard a support token or roll a die, and if they rolled and got a 0 they were killed. Either way, both blip piles would instantly disappear, clearing the location and letting us get to our final destination. The location was clear when we got there thanks to some luck with doors in the previous one, so I figured what the hell. Let's flip this switch and skip the whole thing. I had no support tokens, but I figured a 1-in-6 chance per Marine was a risk worth taking.

First roll: 0. Second roll: 0. Third roll: 0.

Only Sergeant Lorenzo was left. I was going to call it then and there but figured I might as well see what the last location was, so the Sarge unsheathed his power sword and forged ahead. The last location was much like the third: The Marine could put tokens on a switch or flip it by rolling the die. If the number was less than the number of tokens on the switch, the Marines would win. And here is where the epic part began.

In Death Angel each team of Marines has three action cards, and they can play one per turn. One is a Move & Activate card, which is what I needed to use to put tokens on the switch or flip it. The other is an Attack card, which lets you shoot at Genestealers you're currently facing towards. The third is a Support card, which lets you place one Support token on any Marine. Sgt. Lorenzo's Support card also has a special ability that lets him kill one Genestealer if a skull symbol comes up on the die when the Genestealers attack, and then if any Genestealers remain they get to attack again, but each time they do there's that 50/50 chance that one of them will die.

So I kept selecting my Support card, and the Sarge went absolutely berserk. He was facing piles and piles of Genestealers on both sides of his location, and skull after skull after skull came up. He eventually accumulated four Support tokens because I simply didn't need to use them. It was a slaughter. I kept track of his kill pile and at the end of the game he had personally accounted for 29 Genestealer corpses (the vast majority in that last room, as I kept drawing event cards that added more Genestealers to the blip piles). Eventually there was nothing left to spawn, so he added some tokens to the switch, shrugged off some lame attacks (using a few of his support tokens at last), flipped the switch, and became the greatest boardgame superhero of all time.

Here he is standing on the skulls of his slain enemies:

From gallery of gertbert
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102. Board Game: NATO: The Next War in Europe [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:3830]
Board Game: NATO: The Next War in Europe
Jared Wilson
Canada
Port Perry
Ontario
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I've got the Strategic Surprise scenario set up, and played 3 turns today, just so I could grok the rules. I really like it so far.

I think having the air war represented by points allows the players to focus on strategy, rather than micro- managing your air units. This just may be my go-to game for WWW3 action.
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103. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:2792]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Ryan
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Here's a brief report on CRMA: The Battle for Colony ZXC123, my first PnP ever and a game currently in the 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest.

Okay so only one play after I printed it tonight. My only feedback so far has been some questions I posted for clarification in the thread.

The only components necessary in this game are the deck of cards and some d6 dice. The player chooses one of several player Mechs and basically roams around the colony engaging enemies that are advancing on the colony. Along the way the player Mech will encounter events, minor enemies, bosses, and caravans. The current object for victory is to defeat a certain number of Bosses. Defeat is triggered by the destruction of the player Mech or disengaging from three Bosses.

Each card may be used to determine the player's next location. Each card has two or three routes printed on it and each route has a number equating distance associated with it. Short distance cards with a value of 1 cause the player to expend less fuel but mean he must face the one card drawn. Longer distance cards with a value of 2 or 3 require more fuel but also allow the player to select the destination from 2 or 3 drawn cards. This is a neat mechanic as the player must balance the risk of drawing an deadly enemy (early on) with a short distance route, or taking a longer route that gives the player more choices but requires more fuel.

Each card is also a potential weapon, add-on, or generator. Generators may be used to power weapons, or if unused for weapons may be used as shields decrease an enemy's attack. There are many different weapon effects available as well.

Once I get some clarification, I'll continue to play. I like that each card has multiple purposes. I think the travel idea has promise as it forces some consideration on the player. I also like that the generators can be used for offense or defense, but never both concurrently. Also, all the enemy cards are different in name and abilities. This adds a little more flavor and variety to the game.

Will update as I play more.

Update later the same evening...

Played 2 more games tonight. One was a very quick defeat. The other game took a lot longer for my mech to get blown up. I've posted some more thoughts and questions here.
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104. 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
Flabbergasted Rhino
Japan
Osaka
Kansai
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Got my first three solo plays in yesterday (Friday!). Three because I got slaughtered the first two times and I was dead set on surviving scenario one solo.

On the first go I just kept generating winter clouds. Before I was even rolling weather dice the clouds were rolling in fiercely. Appears I was stranded on a deserted island somewhere above the Arctic Circle. I was playing with the Explorer and wasn't able to get any wood stored and little else built but the fire. Cold weather and a few non-production rounds found me frozen to death before the boat was even close to the horizon.

On the second go I got a break in the clouds but found myself severely injured in a production accident. With a wounded hand I found myself unable to sufficiently deal with a bear attack. Friday buried me on the beach and the dog howled passionately at my wake. The boat sailed by in the distance unaware of my medium sized wood pile lying beach-side.

As you all well know, the third time is the charm. I came to shore with a hammer, some nails and a tin of biscuits. I soon found myself in possession of a brace of pistols as well that the Captain had kept securely locked up in his chest. So equipped I set out heartily to explore what I like to call "my island" and stumbled upon a hatchet and then a barrel out amongst the wilderness. The remains of some poor soul washed up previously? Must have been. Now elaborately equipped, I set about to building the largest wood pile of all time in the shape of a giant badger. By the time the boat rolled by I almost considered letting it pass as my camp was so well established but the desire for a cheeseburger got the better of me and I had Friday light the fire.

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105. Board Game: Stonewall's Last Battle: The Chancellorsville Campaign [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:3616]
Board Game: Stonewall's Last Battle: The Chancellorsville Campaign
Mike W
United States
Portland
Oregon
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A short background -- I have owned Stonewall in the Valley since it first came out, and it has always been my favorite wargame. Why? The beautiful maps, the simple rules (but there is some depth here) and the operational scale look at the civil war. I played it a few times solo, but at the time, I had really already drifted away from wargaming. I only vaguely remembered the rules, so I decided to use the great resources on BGG/the internet to relearn the system.

Based on some excellent online resources like the wargames replay site tutorials and the GCACW Videos from Farsol, I decided to use the Kelly's Ford scenario from SLB to learn the system. This learning setup was first described in the General, Vol 31, issue 4.

Here is the initial setup:
From gallery of egg_salad


Initiative 1 is for the Union per the scenario rules, so I march Gregg toward Kelly's Ford. 2D6 for move=8. I move along the road, expending 1 MP per road hex. Trying to cross, I get a die roll of 1. Epic Fail! I get a F,E result -- all MP gone, Fatigue goes to 3. Curses!

Initiative 2 is also won by the Union per the scenario rules, so I march the McIntosh counter -- 2D6 is 10.. nice. No MP penalty for moving into the hex with the Gregg unit, no enough manpower there. This time to cross the Ford I get a +2 DRM. And I roll a 1 again!!! Crikey. I get to cross but my movement ends, I get a E,F result.. Not looking too good for the boys in blue.
From gallery of egg_salad


Initiative 3 is DR 3 CSA, 3 Union.. CSA wins. I look at possibly trying to send F.Lee to attack the McIntosh unit, but combat is ~ even (well, with the disorg strength of 1, the attacker to defender ratio would be 2:1 so that would give at +1 to the attacker. Still, not overwhelming), so I play it safe and move Stuart and 3 VA up to cover Elkwood. Remember, no one can cross Mtn Run. Hmm, I suppose they could cross the Flat Run Creek and do an end around to Culpepper? Given how messed up the Union got crossing the Ford, I think it is probably low risk.

Initiative 4: Die roll is 6 CSA, 6 Union, CSA wins again. What the heck, I am going to Bring Stuart in to attack McIntosh -- with Stuart's tactical bonus (4 vs McIntosh's -- it will be +2). I am also going to assume no artillery in place, so no artillery modifier (this how I read the scenario special rules). Unit strengths are 1,1. I roll a 11 + 1 for the CSA march, so I have 12 MP, so we will do a normal attack (0 DRM, 4 MP). CSA rolls a 6+2=8 and Union rolls a 1 => difference is 7. Yeow! Result is 1DR. I add the demoralize marker, increase fatigue to 4, and decrease manpower by 1. Looking at the terrain and the retreat table, I think I need to retreat across the ford, and I roll to get across. Luckily, with a +4 DRM, I get a >7 result, so he can go across. Stuart and 3 VA get to "Advance After Combat" (a good podcast!).
From gallery of egg_salad


At this point, it looks like the CSA can stand pat and defend the ford, and the boys in blue are screwed. Definitely a CSA victory. We could try to punish the Union, but across the Ford, might not work as well. So the scenario ends.

My impressions? Of course, this is a simple scenario, so there is not a lot of strategic depth here. Also, with the die roll to cross Kelly's Ford, it certainly seems very random. There appears to be little the Union could have done to win with crappy rolls. However, in games with a lot of rolling, small scenarios are necessarily going to hinge on a few dice rolls. For a larger campaign, I expect that the law of averages allows for playing skill to come in to play. Plus, if you lose, you can always blame the dice .

Don't get me wrong -- I love the game. There were certainly interesting decisions about movement and who to activate that I had, even in this lopsided, small scenario. And it terms of story / experience -- it is great. I could really imagine the action. I think the operational scale for the "story" experience is awesome. Also, the rules, at their core, seem simple, but there is still lots of depth yet to be explored (the flanking rules look cool!). The map adds to the experience immensely. I spent some years in this part of the country and I can see the action in my mind's eye just by looking at the map. My final impression -- an awesome game in an awesome series.

FYI -- submitted a slightly longer version as a session report. Most of the content is here, though.. saving you the trouble of clicking.
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106. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:32]
Board Game: Agricola
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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It has been four months since I last played this game multiplayer. It has been seven months since I've played it solo. Harsh. That's a long time. So many games...shake

Anyway, I was listening to the latest episode of the Secret Cabal where their big review for the week was this game, and they got me wanting to get it to the table as quick as possible. One of the co-hosts, Chris, stated something to effect of, "There is a little masochist in every gamer. And that masochist likes Agricola." laugh Cracked me up.

So, back to today's game. In my previous 17 solo plays, I did not fair so well, only breaking 50 points 3 times. Because of that, I had never bothered with the solo Campaign game. Today, I decided the heck with it; I'm going for it. Game 1 of my first Campaign was a success with 57 points! Woo hoo! I was very excited...and it makes me wonder if I did something wrong. whistle

I focused on increasing my family, expanding my house, and planting crops for the majority of the game. I didn't build any fences until the final turn of the game and then grabbed a few animals to populate my farm. Food wasn't much of an issue after playing the Cooking Hearth, Baker, and Pottery cards. Overall, this was easily my most well-played solo session. I look forward to Game 2 of the campaign and hope to continue my successful farming adventure.

Here's a pic of at the end of the game:

From gallery of mo7189
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107. Board Game: Zombies!!! [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:6060] [Average Rating:5.81 Unranked]
Board Game: Zombies!!!
Frederick Lai
Hong Kong
Unspecified
Tsing Yi
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After watching a video posted by lonesome gamer on Youtube, I decide to download his solo rules posted in BGG and play.

I use the base game and Zombies 5. In his video, lonesome gamer gets an easy victory. Yet he says that he is lucky. More often, the game is much more difficult.

I play three games using his rules and lose in all three games. Yet, it is a fun experience. Even though some geeks think that the game is not good, I think this game is fine, particularly playing solo using lonesome gamer's rule. You can download and try his rule. Be sure to watch his videos before you play.

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108. Board Game: Hornet Leader: Cthulhu Conflict [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked]
Board Game: Hornet Leader: Cthulhu Conflict
John Hedges
United Kingdom
Penrith
Cumbria, UNITED KINGDOM
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I played this earlier this week.

I only managed to complete one of the three days in the scenario before packing it up. I didn't have the energy to focus on it and complete it in one session, and I couldn't leave it set up as we had guests on the way who would rather sleep in my games room than the garden!

I flew two missions on the first day. The fist went very well, success with no casualties, but the second was much harsher. I did manage to complete the mission but two pilots were left with different level three insanities (they are no longer able to fly if they reach level 4).

My plan would have been to rest on day two and then fly two more missions on the last day. I made the mistake of drawing target cards on day two to see what was available and pulled a 'scramble' card. Had I actually been carrying on with the game I would have been forced to fly on day two and my plans for resting would have been scuppered!
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109. Board Game: Robber Knights [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:3824]
Board Game: Robber Knights
Brian Sturk
United States
Hudson
New Hampshire
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Pulled this one out to play against the AI I wrote (so a laptop was needed as an accessory, I do still play w/ the physical bits as if I were playing against a person). Pretty abstract game, but still interesting!
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110. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:2792]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Michele Esmanech
Italy
Milano
Milano
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Dystopian:the manhunt: a worker placement game of investigation, murder and mystery, set in the futuristic megapolis of DYSTOPIA
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I am play testing Dystopian for the 2013 Solitaire PnP contest

Plus, I have been playing a lot Castaways
Board Game: Castaways
: GREAT GAME!!!
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111. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:423]
Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set
John Hedges
United Kingdom
Penrith
Cumbria, UNITED KINGDOM
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First of all, apologies for another addition of this to the Geeklist. I got this in a trade and it just turned up so I was excited to play it.

I had a solo run at Brigandoom with Seoni the Sorceress, mainly to get to grips with the rules. I thought I was doing terribly as my discard pile grew quite quickly. Eventually I was down to 6 cards in hand and no more to draw and was convinced it was over. It was at this point Seoni's rage took over and she stormed through two locations and blasted the bandit leader out of his boots.

Being able to automatically recharge Arcane spells allowed me to use Force Blast every turn and then redraw it for the next turn. D12 + 2D4 + 2 combat every turn was pretty powerful.
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112. Board Game: DICE Boxing [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Board Game: DICE Boxing
Jason Doyle
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
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Messing with the free demo.

I'm oddly intrigued by sports replay games, despite there not being much game to talk of. I think it's the statistics that appeal, and there is something calming about rolling dice and just letting the story unfold. Kind of scratching the same itch that B-17: Queen of the Skies does.

Demos are here if anyone is interested:

http://www.gen1400.com/demos.html
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From gallery of dumarest123
todd sanders
United States
pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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a small notice for my solo game entry in this year's contest.

WIP - 2013 Solitaire PnP Entry - Journey in the Underworld - [Contest Ready]

not a complex game by any means and certainly a dice fest for those that like that sort of thing. would be grateful for any plays one might want to do

a little theme, a lot of combat
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114. Board Game: Hidden Intruder [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:11199]
Board Game: Hidden Intruder
Ryan
United States
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I played my first couple games of this brand new game tonight. Both were victories that seemed to come easier than I anticipated.

The game has great production values and the rules are written quite well. I have a few questions, though I suspect I know the answer to them. Each game played very quickly. Setup and put away time is quick.

In the first game I killed the Intruder with a gas canister attack and suffered no crew casualties. In the second game it took me a while longer to find the Intruder though I was able to knock him out with a self defense sleep dart shot, cage him, and carry him back to the freezer for the win. Also no casualties thanks to my Officer with the quick reflexes.

Images from my second game:
Board Game: Hidden Intruder
Board Game: Hidden Intruder
Board Game: Hidden Intruder


I really like this game based on these two plays. The one weakness I see is that perhaps the game is too easy and replayability will thus suffer. However, my die rolls were very favorable. Additionally, the loss of even a couple crewmembers could cause a defeat depending the Invader's clone ability and whether I capture or kill it.

Some mechanics I like are that each of the different crew member types have unique characteristics in relation to certain rooms on the board and how they deal with the Intruder(s). The Officers and Engineers would seem to prefer to kill the damn thing, while the Scientists won't do anything to harm it other than putting it to sleep or freezing it temporarily. The officers have access to the weapons locker, the engineers can build electric prods and flamethrowers. The game offers a station auto-destruct option, escape shuttles, escaped lab animals, and the potential for a murderous stowaway intruders onboard an escape shuttle. In addition a few variant scenarios are offered in which you can play Marines trying to retake the ship and armed to the teeth, two player intruder vs. crewmembers, or two player semi-cooperative with the Scientists having competing win conditions against the Officers/Engineers.

So I'm pretty pumped for the game and look forward to playing it more. It has quick play and a great retro sci-fi drama/horror feel. I just hope to discover some more challenge and deadly intruders along the way.

Check out my comments for this game from my BGG collection page for more thoughts.
Ryan's plays of Hidden Intruder
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From gallery of Dungeoneer
Deathworks
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Hello!

I have tested two games thus far and don't know whether I can get some more playtesting done before the two contests move on. I had commented on some other games (even having a bit of influence on one without playing it (^_^;; ), so I feel I should try to get some more tested. But time is so short (T_T)

Anyhow, the first I tested was Night Shift. You can find my comment here.

Contrary to the current description at the contest thread, this is not a game about guarding something. Instead it is a Cthulhu game that takes a different approach than most. Unlike Elder Sign/Arkham Horror/Eldritch Horror, you are no valiant hero out to beat up Cthulhu, but rather a person who gets caught up in dark events at a facility and mainly want to get out alive (although you may also have a goal of at least hindering the evil a little bit). Personally, I find that this is much closer to the short stories than all the heroic fantasy (most of them are about persons feeling lucky to get out of things alive).

As a survival game, it has something of a war gamer in my opinion, but that is not too big a problem (not a big war gamer myself). The AI is simple and efficient and the combat rules work out (especially in encouraging running ). I found this game rather challenging and think it is a very good one.

======

The second game I tested was Deck Delver. It is a card-driven dungeon crawl that has a bit of multi-use for the cards (but not as extreme as Dungeon of D) and uses cards lain out in certain patterns as the dungeon, so it can be aesthetically interesting to play. It is meant to be played in 8 runs with the player gaining 1 artifact during each run (and maybe a good bonus item) but also having enemies get stronger after each run. By allowing for reducing the number of runs, its play time can be reduced to fit the time available.

Here is one of the replies I have posted in the thread.

The game is fun and the system feels quick. However, there are some problems with the quality of the language (^_^;; As I said above, there are some other games I really should get a look at as I showed so much enthusiasm in their early planning, and I am short on time. Therefore, I don't have the time myself to go through the cards and the manual and find all the problems. I think the designer would greatly appreciate if someone did that for him.

In addition, the designer is also currently looking for layouts for the dungeons which will then be included in the rules with credit given. So, if you want to get mentioned for some design work, you have a chance there.

Yours,
Deathworks
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116. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:600]
Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game
Henning Nagel
Germany
Potsdam
Brandenburg
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I started another Venture into the Space Hulk Sin of Damnation with the Blood Angels. The same six Terminators were involved (Purple: Sergeant Lorenzo, Brother Deino; Grey: Lexicanium Calistarius, Brother Scipio; Red: Brother Leon, Brother Valenco).

The Encounter was short and brutal. I reached the third of four Locations were the last Brother died.

I had really bad Luck with the Dice. During the whole Session just two Genestealers were killed by Attacks from the Marines.

Sigh.
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117. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:600]
Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game
Henning Nagel
Germany
Potsdam
Brandenburg
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Unsatisfied with the last Game I started another Session.

I choosed the same Teams. I like them because all Marines have at least a Range of 2 and interesting Special Abilities (Counter Attack, Power Field and Full Auto).

From gallery of hn110

+Start of Game+

I started with bad Luck again. Brother Deino died still in the Void Lock by the Attack of a Swarm of one Genestealer. Argh.

The ensuing Fight trough Black Holds and Hibernation Clusters cost the Lives of Sergeant Lorenzo and Brother Scipio.

From gallery of hn110

+The last Location: Launch Control Room+

Lexicanium Calistarius lead the Brothers Leon and Valencio into the Launch Control Room. They had used secret Routes and thereby shook off all pursuing Genestealer.

Lexicanium Calistarius and Brother Leon were able to activate the Control Panel before Swarms of Genestealers attacked from all Sides. Surrounded they fell to their Claws. The last remaining Space Marine Brother Valencio found himself suddenly before the Control Panel. Seven Genestealers were ready to rip him into Shreds. They advanced slowly. The Control Panel still blinked with the started Activation Invocation. Brother Valencio did not know if his Brothers had appeased the Machine Spirit and finished the Invocation, but he had nothing to lose and pressed the Activation Rune. The Machine gave a garbled Answer in binaric Chant and Data scrolled across the Terminal. The Genestealers stopped their Advance. As far as that seemed possible for this Xenos did they appear to be unsettled. Brother Valencio started to laugh. He could discern from the Data that he had started the Self-Destruction Process. As the Genestealers resumed their Advance did he activate the Teleportation Rune of his ancient Armour. Still laughing did he disappear and rematerialised onto the Teleportation Deck of his Chapters Battle Barge.

From gallery of hn110

+End of Game+

One Survivor. Objective achieved. Mission Success in expected Parameters.

++++

A very tight Game. I thought I had lost, but recognised in the last Moment that I could still win the Game, because I could activate Brother Valencio with a Move + Activate Card. There were two Support Tokens on the Location Card. A Dice Roll of two or less would mean a Space Marines Win. And the Dice showed a 0!!

What a Game.

++++

Edit: Increased the Size of the Pictures.
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118. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:259]
Board Game: Ghost Stories
Martin Ralya
United States
Seattle
Washington
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This month marks my full-on entry into solitaire gaming. I've been dabbling for a few months now, but I played Ghost Stories solo 10 times the day I got it. It's one of my two 10s (Hive is the other) -- it's just so much fun, and so satisfying.

My win:loss ratio on the intro difficulty is 4:6, which feels just about right. I like getting my ass kicked, but I also like to know I have a shot at winning.
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119. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:404]
Board Game: Friday
Martin Ralya
United States
Seattle
Washington
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I've also had the opportunity to play Friday five times this month. Such a great game in such a small package, and it plays so quickly that it just begs to be played more than once at a sitting.

I've managed to win twice so far, the second time tonight after losing twice in a row before dinner. I had to clear my name!
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120. Board Game: Dawn of the Zeds (Second edition) [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:1757]
Board Game: Dawn of the Zeds (Second edition)
Pete Clarke
United Kingdom
Nottingham
Notts
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I played this yesterday for the first time in tutorial mode so that i could get my head around the rules. I played it today with the Classic Nightmare rules and got my ass kicked.

I lasted around 20 turns before i gave up in despair! I set up a game with the two sheriffs, dog and research scientist. For a while it was looking good, i had quickly discovered the benefits of barricades and managed to get the Forest and Mountain track barricaded. I had a pretty good grip on everything until i pulled out two "Brains!" cards in a row which caused a zombie horde to progress up the suburbia track, wiping out both villages and refugees and creating general mayhem!
This was followed shortly by a card that caused the bridge on the suburban track to collapse, limiting my movement. All was not lost though, the eastern side of the board was still holding out quite well so i could still have a chance, couldn't i?
Hell no! The Nuclear Power Plant had a meltdown whilst my well armed citizens were holed up there, fighting a relatively weak zombie horde, and another group of zombies went into the mine and killed my dog!

At this point i realised that i had been playing the supply consumption rule wrong, adding up the value of my full strength units rather than the number of units. As a consequence, i was having to spend all of my actions foraging for supplies, and not having enough time to kill brain slurping scum. I decided to stop at this point, i was about 3 turns away from disaster!

All in all, i really enjoyed this game! The theme was awesome, there was a real sense of narrative and the game had way more depth than i was expecting. I think this could end up being my favourate zombie game, in my opinion it kicks the crap out of Zombicide(which i do enjoy, but it didn't live up to the hype) and the only reason it would get less play than Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Gameis that my gaming pals really like LNOE!

A thumbs up from me, i will definately play this again in the near future, but next up is Thunderbolt Apache Leader!
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121. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:544]
Board Game: Elder Sign
Flabbergasted Rhino
Japan
Osaka
Kansai
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After a frustrating first experience with this and five players I decided to have a try at it solo. I am unsure how we had such a hard time of it that first go as in the solo play I never failed a single mission. I breezed through the game single player. I know that trading in my trophies was key in my victory and was something we failed at in the multiplayer. However that doesn't explain the massive die offs we had in the 5 player game. I believe we had 10 deaths in the 5-player with me dying 3 times. Bad rolls? Hard to know as the solo play didn't even feel like the same game.
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122. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:423]
Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set
Christopher Ebert
United States
North Fort Myers
Florida
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So, I was going to wait and play this solo next month since this is the popular pick this month... but after going through the heroes and making my duo teams (with a solo team of 1 hero for 6 teams total) I just couldn't help myself. I know I was planning on my Space Empires 4x Easy DM on Large map next (which is still set up and ready to go)... but... well... gamer A.D.D.!!!

My plan is to do the full adventure path with these teams. I figure two months is enough time to at least get one or two through the adventures I have till the next one comes. If a character dies, I'll just recreate him as per the rules to keep the teams. (My other idea was to bring in a new character for each death, but I passed on that idea, cause that's the easy way out... lol)
If you want to see my teams, they are on my solitaire tracker (linked below)


Game
#1
Heroes
Valeros & Lem (Team 1)
Adventure
Perils of the Lost Coast
Scenario
Brigandoom!
Outcome
Win




Game #1: I had not played as Lem yet so it took me a bit to get used to him. I did not build my own decks and used the suggested starter hands (with errata). My strategy (not started out but developed as I played and learned Lem) was to have Valeros cycle through his weapons as much as possible and kill everything and used blessings and allies to keep searching, while Lem constantly recharged cards to add 1d4 to Valeros' checks. I kept Lem's sling on him at all times incase he encountered something, and of course got Val's 1d4 help. I got lucky to come across a Token of Remembrance so that helped get Cure back if I failed to recharge it. (Btw... I love how spell cards have to be banished if you don't have the arcane or divine skill you have ... just like a scroll in the rpg) I did find the Villain thanks to a spyglass so left that location to close the others. Once I got down to one location, I left Lem there to close it and took on the Villain, however Lem failed to temporarily close it so the Villain wound up running there after I defeated him. Val wasted no time going after him. I got the Ambush card! lol. The next monster was the Villain (actually the only monster), so I fought him, and took him out easily. Recharged a Longsword, used a Blessing, and Lem's Bardic Knowledge plus Lem casting Strength gave me 2d10+1d8+1d6+1d4+6-4. I slaughtered him. (the -4 was from the Ambush card, -1 per die rolled)


Overall, I love this game. I played the Pathfinder RPG for years and I truely felt they captured that game in card game form. Those that don't play the RPG, may be confused about a lot of things. Which I believe explains the massive amount of rules questions on the forums. I have considered making my first video for BGG, which would be this game. "A Guide to Pathfinder Adventure Card Game for Non-roleplayers" I would talk about things like, while none of the stuff is named, things like the Rogue's (forgot her name) special power is Sneak Attack.
I love this game and can see many many plays of it down the road. (After more Space Empires 4x, Le Havre (when it comes in), At the Gates of Loyang (when it comes in), Robinson Crusoe (if I can ever find a copy), and...




Pathfinder Adventure Card Game - Game Tracker Spreadsheet
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game - Solitaire Tracker Geeklist Item
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Deathworks
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Hello!

I have tested another two games, and given that one of them has already been posted here, I start out with the lesser known.

A Night in Deepwail Manor is a game of risk-taking with a light-hearted horror background (children on a dare to explore a haunted house). Basically, you draw cards from a deck until you either decide to stop or both the children are terrified and another terrifying event is drawn. The more cards have been played, the more points you get. But there is also the problem that the more cards have been played, the more likely it is to suffer negative effects. And if you are forced to stop, you lose all the points for that run... So, while the theme may get a bit thin at times, the game is certainly exciting as you are really torn about taking the risk or bringing home those points.

A relatively simple game that can be played in between, but which can certainly give you kind of an adrenalin rush and an "Oh no!" if you made that one big mistake.

My feedback can be found here.

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

The other game, which is probably already known to many is the SF building game Colony 9. My first comments can be found here.

While it was a bit of a disappointment for me that I could not determine the layout of the colony myself, the game itself is fast-paced and a lot of fun. The icons used make it very easy to play the game without referring to the rules booklet making it very quick to learn despite the big, detailed rulebook.

By being relatively abstract while still naming events, it invites imagining those details not described.

However, there are a few elements which I think will become standard strategies for players. While the random elements still ensure diversity, some players may consider them problematic. As I pointed out in my later comment, in easy mode (and probably in other levels to a certain extent), using the control center is the most reasonable way to get the victory points required. And at least in my opinion, there are two permanent actions you would want to get as soon as possible as they give you more resources (1 automatic resource of your choice each turn) or more control over the actions you can engage in (turning one die one face). Not a major problem, but something some people may consider a weakness in the design.

Still, if you enjoy building something, even if it is a bit abstract, I think this game is quite recommendable. And it really plays very fast.

And while there is an official BGG entry, I suggest to stick to the thread as the game is still being updated and the most current version is usually available and announced through the thread first.

Yours,
Deathworks
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124. Board Game: Micro Space Empire [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:8695]
Board Game: Micro Space Empire
Erik Racer
United States
Urbandale
Iowa
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I cleaned PACG off my table in hopes Thunderstone would arrive today. It didn't. shake

So, I decided to PnP something quick and easy and opted for this since it seems to have some good buzz.

Pros: Quick to put together and learn. Looks nice. I like the theme.

Cons: Limited depth/choices. Maximum score is acquired by researching all tech and adding all system cards to your empire, but the only way that is going to happen is via luck in both rolls and how the cards come out.

Bottom Line: It accomplishes what it sets out to do, which is produce a quick and easy gaming experience. I'm glad I experienced it and had more fun with it than games I've actually paid for (I'm looking at you SftGE).
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