JudeCon 1 - My Solitaire Gaming Convention - January 17-20, 2014
Judy Krauss
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Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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This is my first ever invitation-only solitaire gaming convention with an attendance of one human (me), and a special guest cat (Corey).


Inspired by Johncon:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/156571/johncon-2013-an...

and this geeklist, Invitation-Only Solitaire Games Cons:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/166120/invitation-only...

I've set aside this week-end to play solitaire boardgames, starting at noon on Friday and ending at dawn on Monday Tuesday morning (or whenever I feel like I've had enough).

I will report my progress on this geeklist occasionally. I will also take breaks for food, sleep, and whatever else I feel like doing. I intend to play slowly and enjoy playing the games, so although the convention is nearly 3 days long, don't expect a large number of games to be played...

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EDIT: I just realized that tomorrow is a national holiday so most the the things I had planned to do tomorrow can't be done! Therefore, I am extending my JudeCon convention until Tuesday at dawn!
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1. Board Game: Patton's Best [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:2743]
Judy Krauss
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Pennsylvania
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I have Patton's Best set up on my table right now. It will be the first game I play at this Judecon. It is also one of the games in my 2014 10 games 10 x challenge, so I have set up to start a campaign.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/166993/judes-10-games-...

August 4, 1944:
My M4 A-75 tank: Steely Treader
Crew:
Commander: SGT Victor
Gunner: CPL Tornero
Loader: PVT Le Compte
Driver: PVT Reardon
Asst. Driver: PVT Rimbeau


Despite using up a lot of game time to be extra careful: calling for artillery strikes, using advancing fire (it was overcast, with occasional rain, so I couldn't call for airstrikes), moving over open country rather than roads to avoid areas of heavy resistance, etc. -- I managed to lose my Assistant Driver due to collateral damage from a Machine Gun nest (he had his hatch open, attempting to spot). Although he was only lightly wounded it was enough to incapacitate him for a week, so I replaced Private Rimbeau with a new crewman, Private Bach (who has a much higher skill rating, so I won't be taking Rimbeau back later).

By the end of the day, it had rained enough to turn the ground to mud, but I managed to reach my first exist area, anyway. There was not enough daylight left to continue towards a new exit area. I managed to get 29 Victory Points, most of them due to map areas captured.

Notes: I noticed that I seem to be missing my Ready Rack Reload counter. I made a new one from a blank counter, and I have an entire extra set of counters that I ordered from Avalon Hill long ago, but still, it's upsetting.

Also, I am rusty at this game. After a few more plays I should have more of the detailed rules down and also will be able to find the correct chart needed without searching through all of them, I hope.

I am taking a break, now, to feed me and Corey, and to think about what I want to play next.

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2. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:255]
Judy Krauss
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Pennsylvania
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Flash Point: Fire Rescue is on my table right now.

I'm using the advanced rules and 4 firefighters (which adds more dangers, too):
Paramedic
Driver/Operator
Hazmat Tech
Imaging Tech

I am using the "front-side" of the board.

I'm stopping for a few minutes to check the forums for some rules questions I have about character turn order (must the characters take their turns in the same order each round?) and Hot Spots (do they ever go away or are they permanent once placed?). Okay, hot spots are permanent and and characters must stay in the same order throughout the game (and if a character change is made, the new character takes the turn of the one replaced. Back to the game...


I lost horribly! I had rescued 2 people and lost two people, and my Paramedic was taking 2 people out (carrying one and leading one that she had healed). The ambulance was waiting 2 spaces away; the next turn they would have been saved. But it was not to be. At the end of her turn, an explosion caught them. So with 4 people lost, I had lost the game. But, there were still people to be rescued, so I kept playing anyway. Again, my Paramedic lost the person she was leading out. A couple more were lost before anyone could reach them. But my Hazmat tech brought out someone, so I thought the next person could call the ambulance over and save him. Unfortunately, at the end of the Hazmat tech's turn, the hot spots caused a chain reaction of flare ups which caused explosions, which damaged the walls enough to (use up the black blocks) bring the building down on everyone.

I guess the guy waiting for the ambulance outside somehow didn't ever make it, either...

So, final score 2 saved. shake
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3. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:463]
Judy Krauss
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Now it's time for some Cthulhu Mythos fun! Will report back...



I took Jenny Barnes (the dilettante), Kate Winthrop (the scientist), and going on a hunch (which turned out to be accurate!) Sister Mary (the nun) into the museum in search of Elder Signs to block the gate to keep Azathoth from entering this realm and devouring everyone. I usually take Joe Diamond (the private eye) but something told me I would be needing Sister Mary's ability to use locked dice.

My hunch was correct, the museum was constantly flooded with monsters, many of them locking dice, and the Sister's ability to ignore lingering effects came in handy, too. Jenny wasn't as useful as usual, given all the locked dice, but Kate did a good job of ignore terror effects while clearing locations that would have brought even more monsters if she wasn't a scientist who doesn't believe in monsters!

On the last turn, I needed 3 more Elder signs and Azathoth was in danger of waking, but I got lucky with my replacement locations, bringing up two that granted two Elder Signs each if cleared successfully. With the help of some clues and special abilities, my investigators closed the gate!

If I was playing with the expansion, I may have lost because I did "buy" 2 Elder Signs during the game with the trophies that Kate and Sister Mary had accumulated.

Also, I used my "Clockless Variant" (See the rules in the comments below) which while making things more difficult in some ways, does allow an investigator in the same space to give one item (or clue) to the active investigator there.

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4. Board Game: Dinosaurs of the Lost World [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:3497]
Judy Krauss
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I haven't played this one for 25 years, give or take a year or two. And I've never played it solo. Setting it up now and reading the rules.


This game is definitely not as much fun solo as it is with 2 or more players. Without the player interaction, it is mostly just wandering around looking for stuff (and losing it) and getting beat up by dinosaurs and other prehistoric beings. In the solitaire rules, a player has up to 40 turns to get off of the plateau and escape the lost world, but I lost fairly quickly due to a cruel little solitaire rule:

"1. Anytime the player is instructed to lose a Tool and he does not possess one, his Expedition is killed and he loses the game."

I suppose I could argue that I am not a "he" so it doesn't apply to me, but in that case, none of the rules in this game would apply to me, which would make playing it absolutely pointless...

It's an interesting game, with cool graphics (some done in comic book layout form), but it's not much fun solo, IMHO, despite the efforts made to not change the rules too much for solitaire play.

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5. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:609] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
Judy Krauss
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Okay, I took some time off to eat, sleep, do some essential chores, play with Corey


...etc., but now the solitaire gaming is starting up again with Castle Ravenloft set up on my table.

I will report back.

----

I played Scenario 2 with the ranger, rogue and wizard. I forgot how much table space this game uses! I had to set up a side table (a TV tray ) to hold the card decks and all the miniatures and other stuff, so I could keep the main table free for the expanding map layout.

My heroes didn't quite make it. The monsters in the Chapel room were too much for my heroes (who had already used up their two health surges). I was going to play that I needed to get the Icon back to the staircase (which is what I think was meant by "recover the icon" although it was actually stated in the Adventure rules), but it turned out not to matter!

I'm starting to get annoyed with the lack of line-of-sight rules and with the different rules for tiles and squares in these D&D Adventure games. Although it supposedly makes the game play faster and easier, I find myself wondering if I am playing correctly since it seems so ridiculous at times, and also losing my suspension of disbelief and therefore not being able to really care what happens to the heroes. And even though I downloaded the latest edition of the rulebook, the rules are still pretty ambiguous in places.
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6. Board Game: History Maker Baseball [Average Rating:8.20 Overall Rank:3627]
Judy Krauss
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Up next: the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates vs. the Baltimore Orioles in Game 2 of the World Series. I will be using the historical starting line-ups for both teams as well as the historical umpires. Replays rarely follow the real-life results, though, so anything may happen! (Real life results: Baltimore won 11-3)

(I've already played Game 1 of the series:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/166993/item/2980176#it...
a few days ago)

History Maker Baseball, like most sports replay boardgames, plays very well solo by just playing both sides to the best of my ability.

----

The game started off with a bang! In the first inning, Baltimore scored 5 runs: from a Grand Slam Homer by Brooks Robinson, followed immediately by a solo home run by Davey Johnson. By the bottom of the 9th inning, the score was tied at 7-7. It took four extra innings to break the tie, with the Pirates winning 10-7.
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7. Board Game: Dice of the Living Dead [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:8509]
Judy Krauss
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Pennsylvania
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I'm getting a late start, today. Overslept and then it turns out I really did have other things that needed to be done first. But now let the gaming begin!

Dice of the Living Dead is a free Print and Play game that I usually play in October in anticipation of Hallowe'en, but it is fun to play anytime. There is a version that is inexpensive and easy to print up:


plus there are fancier versions if you want them. You can download the rules and versions of the playsheet from the files section on the game page here at BGG. All you need are the rules, the game sheet and a bunch of dice in various colors (mostly a bunch of two different colors, with maybe one each of 2 other colors).

UPDATE: I've reached the first "safe house" (The Mall). I'm down to 11 party members with 3 of them infected (I gained and lost a couple of party members along the way). I am almost out of ammo. And unless I find some more supplies (or lose some more party members) I won't be able to feed everyone at the next safe house, assuming I can get there!

(I know, I am playing VERY slowly! I got distracted by something else for a while. )

Final update:


After leaving the last safe house, I only had one infected party member left to try to make it along the long road to get out of town, but I was "lucky" enough to pick up another party member, who, unfortunately got bitten by the first party member who turned into a zombie!
So one infected person managed to make it out of town, which is still counted as a win, because there is a possibility of a cure!
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8. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:302]
Judy Krauss
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Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Okay, Friday is next! Let's see if I make him tough enough to fight the pirates...

----

I won (on Level 1 difficulty). It was close, though. I had only one life token left and my second pirate ship was the one that doubled the cost of life tokens needed to buy extra cards. Luckily I drew cards that had the Exchange, Copy, and Draw extra card special abilities. I was also very lucky to draw a Destroy card right before the aging card with the Stop penalty came up!

53 points. My best score yet! (My previous best was 52, and many of my scores were in the negative numbers )
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9. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:1991]
Judy Krauss
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Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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I have the Dungeon Roll Kickstarter edition with the promo Guild Leader adventurer/die plus the 1st character set expansion, so I have many different adventurers to choose from.

Today, I decided to go delving with one of the base set adventurers, the Occultist/Necromancer whose special power allows switching clerics and mages, and her ultimate power uses skeletons as fighters..

EDIT: I just realized that the pic of the Necromancer card I posted had different rules than the one in the final game, so I removed the pic.


After the first delve I had enough experience for my Occultist to level up to a Necromancer. I used her Ultimate ability once for each delve, which really came in handy although I found that I didn't need her specialist ability at all. With the help of some treasure, she managed to return to the tavern after each of the three delves, obtaining 18 victory points and the reputation of being a Village Hero, which isn't great, but it's okay.


JudeCon 1 is now officially over! Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my reports on my solo plays. Your thumbs and comments made JudeCon be less of a solitaire experience for me.
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