my solitaire game experiences
Phil Dreizen
United States
Kew Gardens
New York
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I'll be keeping track of games I've played solitaire, adding to the list as I play them.
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1. Board Game: Zombie in my Pocket [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2483]
Phil Dreizen
United States
Kew Gardens
New York
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There's something very appealing about the game: it's cute, it fits in your pocket, it has a modular board. But there really isn't much game here. The decisions are: do you cower to gain some health? Do you draw another card to get an item? Do you avoid taking a lot of damage by retreating? I suppose that's enough. My biggest problem with the game is that the zombies never feel like zombies - they just feel like another event that deceases your health.

I still like the idea of it though. There's an economy to the components. I like the way the draw deck models the passage of time. I do like press your luck, which the draw to get an item essentially is.

I intend to play some of the scenarios and see if that adds some more to the game.

 
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2. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:73]
Phil Dreizen
United States
Kew Gardens
New York
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First time playing a coop like this solo. It was really fun. That the game is, essentially, a puzzle really came through when playing it solo. All the fun (and frustration) of the communication aspect of the game was gone, so it played quite different than as a coop. I also found it to go *much* faster. Definitely a great solo game.

As to this first play, here's a mini session report: Setup: I played 2 chars: Scientist (I chose this) and Dispatcher (randomly selected). Used the events from OTB, with 2 events/char. I played with 5 Epidemic cards. With an event card that dropped a research station in Asia I eradicated the red disease very quickly. Some dicey escalation happened to the mideast while I was treating Africa. I actually pulled 2 epidemic cards in a row, which wasn't all that bad. I managed to prevent a single outbreak from happening the whole game. Scientist cured 3 of the diseases, with the Dispatcher curing the black disease. 11 cards were left in the player deck when I finished the game.

--phil
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3. Board Game: Barbarian Prince [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:3669]
Phil Dreizen
United States
Kew Gardens
New York
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Clunky, but simple, early 1980's rules, that are extremely luck based. And the game is so brutal it was made for masochists. You think this is the story of a heroic Conan type character, but it's mostly about a guy getting kicked around by a cruel, horrible world. That said, it generates some very rich, albeit depressing, narrative. And the system - clunky as it is - is quite an achievement.

So, I definitely enjoyed this one quite a lot. Enough so that I wrote a session report for my second game:
The anti-climatic death of an incompetent tragic prince (a session report)
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4. Board Game: Dawn of the Zeds (Second edition) [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:1262]
Phil Dreizen
United States
Kew Gardens
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That was pretty awesome. The rules might have got in the way a bit too - but it was a learning game, and I still enjoyed it. I definitely felt the pressure of the incoming zombie hordes, sadness at the death of my heroes, and a complete uncertainty about what was the best things to do. A lot of decisions about who needed to sacrifice themselves to slow down the invasion. Victory barely seemed possible.

Cons: I'm not sure that I like the rule about heroes not being able to occupy the same space as civilians. Seems unthematic and probably entirely mechanical.

I still search for the game that truly feels like a Romero movie. Dawn of the Dead does feel like the one part of the movie where they closed off the mall [based on a partial play from months ago]. Nothing I've played has quite captured the post-apocalyptic world aspect of zombie movies. But this game did a great job capturing the trope of defending against a massive horde of zombies without enough ammo at the beginning of an outbreak.

I wonder how this plays as a coop?

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5. Board Game: Dawn of the Zeds (Second edition) [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:1262]
Phil Dreizen
United States
Kew Gardens
New York
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I did way better on my second game (did I get a rule wrong, I wonder?) I managed to station Mr.Johnson on the mines where he supplied me with a lot of ammo. I also had civilians on the farm getting me supplies. I tried to keep the Sheriff nearby so that I could get free search actions on the farm, and to cover the civilians there. Some bad rolls and a lot of barricades meant that my supplies stayed low most of the game, but I always managed to have enough for the events.

Since so many battles I had was at range, my infection levels stayed fairly low, and I had a lot of turns with no zombies on the board. (I had only 1 outbreak the entire game). This allowed me to prepare for the next wave of zombies those "you gotta be kidding" cards trigger, barricading key locations on almost every track.

Though I had a pretty smooth victory, some dramatically bad things happened. Outbreaks are fun and thematic, because the zombies can pop up in locations that already have units on it. I lost a group of civvies that way. And in spite of barricading himself in the mines, Mr.Johnson ultimately did die, even after cutting up the zombies adjacent to him pretty good. He took the zombies down with him. An unlucky but selfless death I would say.

Both my plays have been in tutorial mode. My next play will be "classic nightmare" mode.
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