Solitaire Games on Your Table - June 2014
Steve N
United Kingdom
Macclesfield
Cheshire
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cool Welcome one and all! Happy June! cool

Veterans of the SGoYT geeklists will know what to expect. If this is your first visit then well done for finding the brightest corner of the 'geek - prepare to be amazed at the sheer scale of solitaire gaming. Feel free to post comments on any/all of the items (and don't hesitate to add your own). We love talking about our games and it's great to generate some discussion.

Please do consider a visit to the 1 Player guild which is the hub of the solitaire gaming community, and don't hesitate to join - it's a nice thing to do.

If you'd like to be notified of future SGoYT geeklists then be sure to subscribe to the Solitaire Games on Your Table Monthly Geeklist SUBSCRIPTION THREAD. You wouldn't want to miss out now would you?

Forthcoming lists will be hosted by:

July 2014 Woelf
August 2014 petegs
September 2014 Malaiser
October 2014 dr.wheatie
November 2014 garyrbrooks
December 2014 Ryanmobile
January 2015 bikefreak

Thanks to Ryan for the chance to host this month!

Geekgold Giveaway

One of the many great things about the SGoYT geeklists is reading about such a diverse assortment of games. I'm sure I'm not alone in confessing that many are entirely new to me.

To be eligible for this month's geekgold giveaway (entirely optional) please append your posts with three full stars (summarising what is so great about your game) and one empty star (highlighting a possible flaw, or why it might not be for everyone). If you wish to focus your comments on a specific scenario, a specific variant or any other detail (rather than the game at large) then please don't hesitate to do so.

I hope it will be fun.
We might be able to learn a bit more about each other's games.
We might be tempted to look at games that we would otherwise have passed on.
I could end up buying every game that is mentioned.

At the end of the month I will use a random number generator to randomly select an item from the geeklist. If the entry features the stars (as outlined above) then I will award that user 100 geekgold. If not, I will randomly select a new entry until we have a winner.

Have a good month everyone!

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26. Board Game: La Batalla de los Arapiles [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:6728]
The play's the thing ...
Australia
Point Lonsdale
Victoria
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Going thirty-eight, Dan, chill the f*** out. Mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down.
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About to play the intro scenario of this beautiful looking game.

Here are some of the Allied counters -



and some French counters -


It's cool watching the counters march across the map in their uniforms ...
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27. Board Game: BattleCON: Devastation of Indines [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:264] [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
They call me Mister...
Ireland
Donegal
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Aside from a couple of games of Legendary & Sentinels this month (part of the 1PG challenges), some Rallyman shakedowns and a Navajo Wars tutorial runthrough I haven't got much to the table this month, and the World Cup isn't helping.

After getting a few jobs finished today, I fancied a quick challenge before getting out into that good, good weather. Time to crack out Devastation and take some lessons in old school street fighting thanks to Yaron's BattleCon AI: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1138204/battlecon-ai-updated...



As I'm still learning I played out another simple Eligor v Shekhtur.

This AI is tough and that Shekhtur just doesn't stop moving, blimey is she hard to hit.

Started slowly, ducking, diving, testing range, then on the 5th Beat bam! I hit her for 8 damage but she hit me for 6. Next few rounds we chipped away at each other, I even managed to stun her a couple of times so I must be improving, right?

Wrong, a stupid foolish idiotic mistake and I wasted an excellent opportunity to slam my finisher. It wasn't a terrible move but it was such a waste. That sort of deflated me and with her life draining ability she got me down to 1 Life in the next couple of Beats. I held on a little longer and dragged her down to 6 Life. Then in Beat 12 she unleashed a Jugular Drive whilst I tried to Counter Grasp - she hit me for 4, GAME OVER.

The AI is great at teaching the game as it details all the results of each attack and I follow along reading the card effects and comparing what the machine displays.

BattleCon is such a great game, neat and tidy and quick, I just need to get my wife to learn it (and love it! - it's a long shot but it might just work) and/or wait a couple of years till both the kids can read and make them play - I might even get good at it by then!

Neat simple tidy game where I rarely consult the rulebook
A lot of game in one box
I love the artwork and design
From a solo point of view probably better with human opponents
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28. Board Game: Blackbeard [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2692]
Justin
United States
Plano
Texas
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I decided it was time to buckle down and get this one learned. The first time I tried to learn it, the poorly organized (in my estimation) rulebook kept me from getting very far. Something like simply carrying out an attack on a merchant ship seemed to require flipping between 2-3 pages.

I downloaded Crazy Mike's rules summary and proceeded to keep both resources handy as I tried again. And I'm happy to report a much easier experience understanding the rules. They're still not great, but the summary helps keep my perspective above the details.

6-10-14: I decided to scrap my first game and just dig in solitaire at the recommendation of
Chris
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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As far as the solitaire rules, not much changes. You're given a set of guidelines on how to have 2 dummy players behave. Each controls just one pirate at a time and up to 3 throughout the game. So basically, I'm doing the same thing I'd be doing controlling multiple "pirate overlords". However, you do indeed play strictly as Captain Blood who seemingly starts a bit stronger than his counterparts.

In spite of this, I lost my first battle with a merchant ship off the southern coast of Florida. I took two combat damage which makes me weaker against a fairly formidable ship. I think I'll be moving into the Gulf of Mexico to take on another merchant I suspect is there. Meanwhile, Captains Davis and Roberts are also in the Atlantic and Caribbean respectively tracking down merchants and a King's Commissioner by the name of Baker has been rumored to be sailing in from Europe. I need to gain some notoriety and strike a deal with that nation before he starts coming after me.
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29. Board Game: Blenheim [Average Rating:5.98 Unranked]
Andrew Taylor
Scotland
Kintore
Aberdeenshire
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Continuing my trend of playing old wargames I've had for years but never got round to playing, I broke this out to play for the first time. It was the magazine game which came with Wargamer Magazine #4 back in 1977 and uses a system similar to SPI Thirty Years War Quad game to fight the battle of Blenheim between the Anglo-Dutch and Imperial Allies under Marlborough & Eugene vs the Franco-Bavarian Armies under Tallard, Marsin and the Elector of Bavaria.

Finished playing this evening UK time so still June and quite enjoyable. The game ended with a marginal Allied Victory - obviously I'm no Marlborough!

Very small footprint and not many counters so easy to get to the table
Fairly simple rules - it is from 1977 after all, but has some interesting dynamics around disruption and demoralisation of commands.
Quite a lot of die rolling and flipping of counters for disruption and recovery. Probably more of a pain for me as I had the game set up using magnetic counter holders so every time I had to flip a counter I had to slide it out the clip, turn it over and back in again. Don't think the counters would stand up to many plays that way.
Missing some more modern rules around command control, facing, etc which would be expected when fighting battles from this era, but if I wanted that I could play MiH Great Battles, Great Leaders version if Blenheim. I have played that, it was more realistic but not enjoyable. This was more fun and much quicker.


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30. Board Game: Bonaparte in Italy [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:5950]
The play's the thing ...
Australia
Point Lonsdale
Victoria
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Going thirty-eight, Dan, chill the f*** out. Mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down.
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Played the Arcola scenario for a French win.
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31. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:154] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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Dave (davekuhns) is killin' me with all his tile-laying goodness this month....we need to get together and play some of these!

So, I had to get in on the action with my first game post this month.

I played one of my Top 10 games using the SoloPlay variant....and failed miserably. yuk

Man, I'm out of practice. The more you know the tiles, the better your score will be...well, that and some semblance of good strategy. whistle

I had scored 68 points at the end of the Meeple Placement phase. Not too bad, but could have been a little higher. And while I had a nice trio of Cloisters set up for the endgame, I played my farming area quite poorly.

Here is the board at the end of the first phase:



As you can see, I had my Farmer cut off from the entire western half of the board, especially since I had planned to build mostly north and west.

Still, things were moving along nicely as I moved closer to completing the board. I was able to finish all of the features I had Meeples on. But I made another poor choice by playing a three-sided Castle tile in the bottom right corner forcing me to look for a tile that didn't exist any more to play adjacent to it. I should have discarded that tile and worked my way south rather than trying to make a connection in between.

Didn't matter, though, as I got stuck with a second empty space on the far west border as well. I lost 16 points from the unused tiles causing my final score to be below the minimum level of 120 points.

Here is the board after final scoring:




+68 = Meeple Placement
-16 = Unused Tiles
+10 = Cloister Bonus
+ 4 = Large Castle Bonus
+ 2 = Infrastructure Bonus
+42 = Final Meeple Scoring
110 Points, Fail




EDIT 13-Jun-2014: Here is the link to the SoloPlay variant. I forgot to do this in the main post. Also, I used the I&C expansion with this play.



EDIT 13-Jun-2014: GAME 2

Okay, I had to try and redeem myself. Eh...only slightly better. At least I reached the minimum victory level.

This one started out better. I had a nicer setup for my Farmer. He wasn't going to get blocked in anywhere. Plus, while I couldn't score for them in the Meeple Placement phase, I had several 2-tile Castles strewn about for endgame scoring.

My Big Meeple scored a solid 30 points on a 10-tile Road with an Inn. And I had two decent sized Castles early on as well. I ended the first phase of the game with 63 points. Here's how it looked:



Onward I built. I had all seven Meeples on the board again and was able to complete all of those features by the end of the game. Unfortunately, I could not complete my grid. I lost 16 points again for Unused Tiles.

My saving grace was my Farmer who scored me 26 points on his own. This put me just over the Level 1 Victory threshold. A win, yes. But nowhere near my 181 point high score total. Here is the endgame after scoring:




+63 = Meeple Placement
-16 = Unused Tiles
+10 = Cloister Bonus
+ 6 = Large Castle Bonus
+ 2 = Infrastructure Bonus
+61 = Final Meeple Scoring
126 Points, Level 1 Victory


Solo Tracker Geeklist Link



EDIT 24-Jun-2014: Here are some stars based on the SoloPlay variant:

Classic, tile-laying goodness. Watch your world grow and expand as you play. Ooohh...pretty.

It's like a jigsaw puzzle...with points!

SoloPlay variant is challenging enough for repeated play and works with just the base game or by adding in one or more of the early expansions: the River, Inns & Cathedrals, Traders & Builders. Lots of variety!

For some, a point attack style game just ain't their thang. (but not for me...I enjoy it)
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32. Board Game: The Cards of Cthulhu [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:3162]
Stephen Slotten
United States
Saint Charles
Missouri
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Played four games yesterday:
As Thief - Loss
As Journalist - Win
As Doctor - Loss
As Big Game Hunter - Win

So, 50% win percentage so far.

Great Art
A fun, light experience, with a bit of tension
Short play-time
A bit mechanical

In short, I think it's a fun solitaire experience and great for when you want to play something, but don't want to unpack something like Field Commander, Dawn of the Zeds, Robinson Crusoe, etc.
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33. Board Game: Castaways [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1245]
Kevin Erskine
United States
Alexandria
Kentucky
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Okay first off, this falls under the "Lessons learned that must never be forgotten." category.

Over the last few years I've gotten games that looked interesting. Then for some reason, I didn't get around to playing them. Sometimes it was because something I really wanted came along like a long ago purchased Kickstarter or one I was really excited to get. Or I read a negative review and I started wondering why I bought it. Well before I know it, I've traded it away without having tried it.

Well this game fell into that category. A negative review scared me. So I almost traded it a couple of times, but the trades fell through. So recently I decided that I wouldn't trade it. I owed it a chance It also makes a lot more sense to try it and I like to think I'm an intelligent guy.

Anyways, today I finally played it. It's actually really good. It has a lot of decisions to be made each turn and it tells a story. The knock I'd heard in a review or two was that it was too easy. Well I lost, badly. Perhaps it won't have the replayability of Robinson Crusoe. But it also sets up faster, it is a bit more forgiving on bad rolls and has a great push your luck mechanism.

Great Theme. Each event, exploration card and salvaged items tells part of a story.
Variable setup helps with variability. You will never have the same story.
There are many decisions each turn which are simple to understand, making the game easy to play the second time around. Also as a part of the decision process, the energy management aspect is a great mechanic that works so well with the rest of the decisions.
If comparing it to Robinson Crusoe, it only has one scenario. The single scenario is more varied than RC, but RC has different scenarios that truly change the game significantly.

So going forward, my promise to myself is that I will do all I can to never trade a game again without having played it first. The only exception to that rule might be games that require others. I might give up on ever getting others to play it.
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34. Board Game: The Cave [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1917]
Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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I played this last night. I didn't play the solo scenario. Instead I took three players in solo to learn the rules. It's a neat game. I really like the idea of exploring the caves and dealing with what you find. There must be opportunity for more solo variants with this game. It just feels like the kind of game that would.
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35. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:23]
Sascha Döpke
Germany
48161 Münster
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Okay wife i will go on an Big Adventure And all i brought back is a piece of Wood And a stupid dog.

I love this game, when my wife saw all the components she asked me : Is it so funny pushing wooden animals ?
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36. Board Game: Circus Train (Second edition) [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:3335] [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked]
J Y
United States
Peoria
Arizona
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I played a game and a half of the Circus Train basic solo game last night.

I'm going to continue tinkering with it before moving on to the advanced game with the events and everything, but it'll be on the table for a but.

Fairly simple and short to play.
Many ways to play which helps longevity.
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37. Board Game: Cities [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:2517]
Kuhns, party of four!
United States
Muncy
Pennsylvania
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...the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.
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I got this for $1 and shipping on ebay. This goes along with my tile laying kick (I also just traded for Oceania which has yet to be shipped). I played New York and scored a 54. Apparently the maximum score is a 94 (http://martynf.com/cities/More/). So, not very close.

I enjoy the tile laying that makes a map that looks about as real as a boardgame can make it. I like maps, what can I say? These maps aren't quite real looking enough, though it is a little fun to imagine the city that is laid out. I like the concept though and like the look and the changes made for Limes.

fast tile laying with some good decision making at the highest level of play.
lovely art and sturdy components.
portable? Especially if playing solo, it doesn't take up much space.
the end result isn't quite what I'd hoped for.
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38. Board Game: Cobra [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:4096]
Aamir Zakaria
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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This was one of the first 2 or 3 S&T issues I ever got. I recently pulled it out to play with a friend (after sitting idle on my shelf for 36 years or so). We never made it through the game, as we were still learning the rules, but I'm slowly finishing the game myself. I realize now that the Allies need to take more lower strength attacks. I've been playing so much Blue & Gray with attacker effectiveness rules that I've been timid about attacking at anything less that 3-1. In this game, the Allied units are strong enough that they can take a beating and keep on attacking.

It's a 2-player game that plays well enough solo
It's nostalgic of the S&T / SPI era
It's got enough rules to be a "real wargame" without having so many rules to be more work than fun
There is some bookkeeping that needs to be done on your own (keep track of command points, overruns, weather)
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39. Board Game: Codeword Cromwell: The German Invasion of England, 8 June 1940 [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:4134]
Jason Doyle
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
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This one has just this moment landed.

Currently unpacking it onto the table, will have to update.
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40. Board Game: Codeword Cromwell: The German Invasion of England, 8 June 1940 [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:4134]
Rich Dodgin
Scotland
Edinburgh
Midlothian
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Am several turns into my first game and loving it!

The Cricket Team have taken out 2 Germans with their cricket bats, the Germans have been terrible shots, and that's it so far... but I have a feeling it's all going to escalate fairly soon... great stuff!
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41. Board Game: Codeword Cromwell: The German Invasion of England, 8 June 1940 [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:4134]
Rich Dodgin
Scotland
Edinburgh
Midlothian
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Played another game of this today and really starting to get a feel for it, so the gameplay is flowing.

The narrative created is amazing (only other game that comes to mind in terms of such a great narrative is Fields Of Fire).

*** spoiler alert - don't read any further if you're playing the game and don't want to know about the events ***

.
.
.
.

On turn 11 I had to play event 115 which meant 5 stukas dive bombed the village... and killed off 3 characters, 2 groups of villagers, and 2 home guard.

The German invaders were able to advance en mass to the church, and the last few villagers were gunned down in turn 12. A brutal ending but one that makes me love this game even more.

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42. Board Game: Codeword Cromwell: The German Invasion of England, 8 June 1940 [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:4134]
Rich Dodgin
Scotland
Edinburgh
Midlothian
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Loving the narrative this game creates!

Turn 12 and Daisy races from the barn to the church to help the Doctor, and 2 home guard members who are trying to hold back a huge wave of Germans. She grabs a shotgun and starts blasting. The turn ends with everyone else in the church dead and Daisy wounded. Turn 13 she takes out one more German before meeting her maker under a hail of bullets. And the village falls...

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43. Board Game: Conquest of Planet Earth: Apocalypse [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Boomerang Phenomenon
United Kingdom
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
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First game using the components from the Apocalypse expansion.

I played The Fome Guild Mages and managed to collect the necessary 8 terror points by the time the Human Tech Track had only reached 6 (10 and it's game over).

I didn't get to use any of the coastal resistance cards, in fact I only saw about half a dozen new cards but one of them was a new ally so I got to use that new mini.

I still love this game. Quick(ish) to set up, quick to play, not too mentally challenging but each play is full of variety.

I'm really glad I bought the expansion, although the only negative being the extra game boards that came with it. They were so warped that they are totally unusable (not that I really need them).

I've starred this before and I haven't used enough of the expansion components so far to give any more.
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44. Board Game: Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1438]
Boomerang Phenomenon
United Kingdom
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
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I had another fun game of this and won pretty easily.

Used the Rantillion Beetlemen and got reasonable location draws and 2 event cards that gave me a total of 3 terror points towards my total.

Managed to avoid an early nuking with an event card which was also lucky.



I've nearly played all the alien races now and still like it a lot. Looking forward to playing more than one race and I've just ordered the expansion.

- quick to set up and play
- great theme and it come across in the cards, minis, etc
- simple but effective combat
- not strategic or much of a thinky game (but I don't always want that)
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45. Board Game: Coral Sea: Campaign Commander Volume II [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:5894]
Andy Cowen
United States
Union Springs
New York
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I was pleasantly surprised by this game. It actually does quite a good job at modeling the conflict. Which is great, since to my knowledge this is the only game in print that covers the campaign in the South Pacific. Supply and planning really matter in this game; the Japanese captured Port Moresby only to be recaptured by a counterattack by Australians that barely managed to evict the dug in Japanese. A late move by the Japanese captured Noumea to secure the win. I was probably too aggressive early on as the American player. I might check out other games in the series.

Covers a fascinating period of naval history
Truly innovative, a unique game system
Seems balanced and competitive
Common rule set for all games in the series
Requires logistics planning, if you're not careful your carrier task force can be stranded for several turns.
Map could be prettier
Generic naval units, no named ships
Instead of having separate chit sets for land and naval combat resolution, some chits are back printed. Which makes it a hassle to set up the cups for each combat. They should have provided separate chit sets. Larger battles can drag on.
 
Japanese version box art is better
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46. Board Game: Core Worlds [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:604]
Shaun Austin
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
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24 June
Decided to play the simple solo variant with the Galactic Orders expansion.
Wow!
This variant actually makes this a very good solo game.

The Victory objective is a combination of goals that work well together.
First you are trying to reach a certain number of victory points (High score), you also have to defeat the opponent (Comparative score) and conquer two core worlds (mission objective).
There is a lot to consider, but it all fits together well and will direct your choices through the game.
You can't just do random stuff or be hasty in decisions ... and it all works thematically as well.

You only play one player (The discard becomes your opponent) so it is fairly simple.
There are a few times where cards are useless, but you can just ignore them as they will end in your opponent's pile anyway. They do not effect the game balance, but you could remove them if you wanted to.

I did not pay enough attention to the Factions and lost the game because of it.
However I can easily see where I went wrong and firmly blame the fact that it was my first time with this variant.

23 June
Having obtained this a few weeks ago I decided to play a two player standard game to help me get an idea of how the game should be played.
This has appeared on the SGoYT lists a few times, which is why it eventually ended up in my collection ...
I did not use the Galactic Orders expansion nor the Solo variant at this stage.

This game is very very enjoyable!!!
The first thing that surprised me was just how easy it was to perform the turns and immerse myself into the theme.
Everything had its place and it all fitted together very well.
The little player boards, counters and card locations make the process easy to follow.
The procedure and timing makes sense and is very intuitive.
The artwork is excellent and really invokes a feeling of a massive space opera.
I really did feel like a Barbarian Space Lord invading my way to the core worlds, building up my forces and trying to outdo my opponent.

The fact that I didn't get to see all the cards that are available in the game was another unexpected bonus.
"What surprises will I encounter next time ...?"
The way the game play ramps up is very cool as are the little bits to stop any runaway leader problems.
I would agree that this looks like a very good multiplayer game and has limited solo credibility, as it stands.
However there is a solo variant available and I will reserve my final opinion until I get to try it out.

Very good deckbuilder with a lot of different cards.
Some really good ideas implemented to make it different to other deckbuilders on the market.
Artwork really immerses you into the theme.

Playing multiple sides is not a good solo experience and a solo variant should be used.
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47. Board Game: Cruel Necessity [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:1807]
Miah
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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Victory. Sweet victory!

I played the First Civil War and achieved a Minor Victory (5 VP) for the first time. I am learning the rhythms of the game now. I was able to maintain a pretty good defensive state throughout the game, and made better use of my Zeal to drive up the government tracks. I still haven't been able to buy any Achievements, but it doesn't seem impossible anymore. This game is a major challenge for me, but I'm getting there.

Cruel Necessity is a nice simulation of a civil war, where you need to dominate not only the battlefield but the hearts and minds of the people. You can hack away at the Royalist forces to your heart's content, but if you aren't paying attention to the government tracks you will start to feel their effects sooner or later.

The challenge level is just right for a solitaire game. At first it feels like there's no way to beat it, but after a few games you start to feel significantly better. My Minor Victory today felt pretty major to me. But I can see how I could do better, and can't wait to try it again.

The rules are tricky at first, but they make sense and are very coherent. There aren't a million exceptions to every rule. I only had to look at the rulebook once today (not counting checking to see if I won). It's a very sensible system.

The Tactical Battles could have been a lot more interesting. Adding more varied effects to the Battle Deck would have done a lot to spice them up, but giving players a little bit more control would have been even better.
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48. Board Game: Cruel Necessity [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:1807]
Scott Cole
United States
Bolling AFB
Dist of Columbia
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I am now well into my second play. I am thoroughly impressed with this title. Everything works so well, from the historical texts on the cards to the excellent integration of combat and named units. Every turn is filled with very difficult decisions, as reinforcing your fortresses on the map cause your political standings to suffer and vice versa. Maintaining that balance while putting out the fires the events cause is very difficult, frustrating and, when it goes your way, ultimately satisfying. I have this set up in my office at work so I can play at lunch, and I find myself thinking about it while at home, and in the morning very eager to come to work so Oliver Cromwell and I can take it to the evil, tyrannical King Charles and his cronies. Did I say "eager to come to work"?....yes I did! Cruel Necessity is that good!

- beautifully integrated theme
- Fluid design that plays quick
- Gut wrenching decisions
- Dice are too small ( I was gushing, so I had to include some kind of negative :wink: )
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49. Board Game: Cruel Necessity [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:1807]
Marc Maier
United States
Darien
Connecticut
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Marginal Defeat: -5

I played this session with the "Boot Camp" doctrine detailed by Gamebreaker in his strategy post on the Cruel Necessity forums. I thought it was a good idea to play with a pared down set of objective, ignoring achievements and focusing solely on the military with only enough attention political track to stave off 4F. Alas, I was unable to resist the siren song of achievements at a crucial point, which definitely hurt my military position.

I also played using the optional dice roll system to resolve battles to save time. I have to say, I found that this let me focus more on the meat of the game, so I will probably use it in all my future games. The tactical battle sequence is an interruption in the flow of the game to me, and since most result in a draw, I kind of resent them now. The dice seemed to generate the same results in a much quicker time frame.

I did make it all the way to the end of the third civil war, although I needed a lucky battle result to do so. Midway through the silver deck, the event card Battle of Naseby was drawn, and the various activations thereon would serve to push a fourth political marker into the F-range -- I already had four sitting there. But the battle came first, the roll generated a major victory! With the two BP thus garnered, I moved the Ireland political marker up one spot so that when the event card activations moved it down, it would not be in the F-range. Without this battle victory, the game would have ended right there.

After this I panicked a bit and spent a few turns putting zeal into politics. This then whetted my appetite for achievements seeing as how I'd gotten some markers close. But in the meantime, events on the map were not going well, and I was forced to abandon my political ambitions. In part this was due to the Irish Troubles which had appeared and rapidly undid much of the political advancement I'd managed to gain. The game was too far advanced, however, for me to do more than just hold my ground. I had lost Edinburgh and Dublin and was never in a position to take them back. I did hold onto Hull and Bristol just barely, but that was it.

Just prior to the end of the silver deck, I had to spend actions taking care of Deviltry markers which had proliferated. I took out four of them in a single turn, and so kept my score from sinking too far, but I was still on the lowest tier at the start of the gold deck.

I did manage to gain one gold achievement before the end. This was mainly because events had played out such that I was close enough on enough tracks to make a go of it. So my score was a bit higher than it would have been had I totally ignored achievements. But I think I need to do another session of "boot camp" wherein I do not even put the achievements out on the board. I will just play the military game and only put zeal into the political tracks when absolutely necessary to stave off the 4F defeat.
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50. Board Game: Cuba Libre [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:480]
Paul Dodds
United Kingdom
Reading
Berkshire
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After playing Andean Abyss in May and getting my first win I figured I'd try and break my duck with the next COIN title.

Unlike Andean Abyss, where I felt my several defeats were giving me a good idea of some strategies to try, my defeats as the Government in this game still didn't give me any clear ideas on what approach to take.

It seems really difficult to get Total Support to 18 by the first Propaganda card to stop American support declining so I'm instead trying to get an iron grip on the cities at the start of the game to at least try and avoid losing all American support during that later campaigns. The 4 resource cost for every action is a killer.

I finished the first campaign with my starting Total Support of 16 maintained so fingers crossed....Hoping to finish it at the weekend.

A fine addition to the COIN series and the game plays sufficiently differently from Andean Abyss to present a different type of challenge.

Still to play A Distant Plain - perhaps July?
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