Solitaire Games On Your Table - August 2014
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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Welcome to the lives of solitaire gamers around the globe.
Come and join us as we chronicle our adventures in the world of boardgames played by one.



Whether you're new or old, here are several links you may find useful:
1) 1 Player guild
Home Base for solitaire gaming. Whether you join up or not, you won't find a better place to discuss solo gaming (aside from these monthly lists).

2) Solitaire Games on Your Table Monthly Geeklist SUBSCRIPTION THREAD
Subscribe to make sure you never miss a month.

3) 2014 SGoyT Challenges SUBSCRIPTION
Just because you're playing solo, doesn't mean you only have to play with yourself.

4) SGoYT made me buy this!
A "support group" for the "unfortunate" "victims" of these monthly lists.

5) Solitaire Recommendations For Your Table
A work in progress that's slowly but surely growing.

6) 1 Player Guild trading post
Deals to be had ...


Forthcoming lists will be hosted by:
September 2014 - Malaiser
October 2014 - dr.wheatie
November 2014 - garyrbrooks
December 2014 - Ryanmobile
January 2015 - bikefreak

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August Challenge
As is traditional I'll be running an August challenge. This month all GG tipped to this list will be given away to people who play 2 player games solo by playing both sides. (No games against AIs you must control both sides.) Feel free to tell us how it went and who much you enjoyed it and if you'll do it again. Or tell us how awful it was and how you'd rather bathe in acid than stoop to such an off-putting experience. What ever the case put it in your entry.

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

On a more personal note I wish to highlight that this month is the Centenary Anniversary of the start of World War One.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

And I'll finish with two of my favourite songs:

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1. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:478] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Bob Hansen
United States
Menomonee Falls
Wisconsin
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I am currently working through the rules for this and this will be the first thing for August for me. I guess this month's contest was perfect for me More to come as the month progresses....

EDIT 1: I have watched the Joe Steadman tutorials on youtube. I went through the print tutorial here on the Geek and played through the examples. Time to set up the first scenario and play through it!

EDIT 2: This went a lot better than I thought. It was pretty easy to solo this playing both sides. There isn't any hidden info in the first scenario so it worked out really well. The Germans barely hung on for a win.

Also, after watching the videos and after going through the print tutorial on the BGG page for the game the game was actually quite easy to get through. Those two sources really made the rules gel when I went through them. I highly, highly recommend both the videos AND the tutorial to anyone trying to learn this game.
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2. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:180]
Andrew Hauge
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Glenn Drover's Empires/Age of Empires III: the Age of Discovery

I really love this game. It has a great deal of fun, interconnected systems that just...make sense to me. Of course, it's also a major multiplayer game, so when this month came around, I decided it was time to do what I could to play it solo against myself. I came up with an interesting (and somewhat effective) solution.

I made a card for each space you could put pawns onto (there's eight different actions). On each player's turn, I drew some of them. In Age I, I drew three cards. In Age II, I drew four cards. In Age III (because strategies are fairly set by then), I let all players choose the actions they wanted to. In effect, I limit each player's options (which makes it easier for me to play all the sides fair-ish), but still give them flexibility to choose. It did wind up taking some time--if I try it again, I will have to make a randomizer app for my tablet or some such thing.

Not sure if it wound up playing out fairly.

First place was Blue (the French), with 85 points...they scored 55 points off of capital buildings alone. I realized just how potent an economy engine can be in this game! Every turn, they had capital buildings that were giving them enough money to purchase a new capital building right off the bat! They didn't even have much of a presence in the New World.

Second place was Orange (the Dutch), with 72 points. They had focused on a "swarm the New World with colonists" strategy early, but wound up in some warfare with Yellow. I was enough of a numbskull to forget to trigger their warfare, too! That might've made a bit of a difference, at least a few points' worth.

Third place was Yellow (the Spanish), with 51 points. They did a good bit of soldiering, and then a nice amount of exploring in Age II. They wound up in a bitter struggle with Orange for control of the few open colonies in the New World. Guess it didn't pay out.

I had a great experience busting this out, though it took long enough that I had to leave it overnight. A lot of that was the shuffling I did for each turn, when I randomly picked action cards. I mean, I had to do it for each pawn, so I was shuffling at least 15 times a turn. Blech. Definitely need to program that randomizer.
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3. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:812]
Sascha Döpke
Germany
48161 Münster
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I dedicate this short entry to Volko Ruhnke, he cooks my brain the last two days and i´m very thankful for this. I played all Coin games, labyrinth and a wilderness war. My wife told me i better should go study than reading flowcharts and rules the whole night. I understand why she thinks like this, but for me its just pleasure to give my brain food.
I started with Andean Abyss and this game surprised me a lot, i´m not the columhbian drug war theme guy, but in this game everything makes sense and its pretty hard to play the government.
The game i was looking forward the most was a distant plain, i think now i have a whole idea how all the things work, but from all coin games this is for me the hardest, but also here it makes so much sense. If you have played a game of a distant plain, you think in much more ways about the gulf conflicts and the reasons behind this.
The point which makes the coin series so special is, all the games didn´t have the feel of a wargame. I appreciate to have games which are strategic and very politacally driven, from the mechanics it often feels very euro like and the mix of euro and politics make it for me totally outstanding.
The best news for my last words, today i preorderd Fire in the lake, if somebody asks me which games i will buy in Essen , i would answer nothing cause theses games give me a complete you way of playing boardgames. Thank you Volko Ruhnke for your amazing work.
How would a game look from Volko Ruhnke, Uwe Eickert and Uwe Rosenberg, this is my last thought before i went to bed with a cooked brain.
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4. Board Game: Archipelago [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:325]
Jebb Carrier
United States
Laurel
Delaware
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Got two sessions in tonight.

#3 Edmond Taniar

I let my explorations get away from me in the third turn and accidentally let the surplus workers turn into rebellious savages.

#4 Barbe Bleue

Lost on the beginning of turn two due to a cattle crisis on the export market. . .

Pretty sure I got most of the rules down correctly. Only thing I'm unsure about is how exactly cubes ever get put on the export market. So far it hasn't come up and I can't seem to find anything in the rulebook. Either way, fun game and very challenging. And just really pretty to look at.
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5. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:265]
John Splittist
Switzerland
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Having let my beloved stomp me at Scrabble (the 'letting' part being agreeing to play; although having my QUIZ onto a triple word score blocked didn't help) I launched into a quick play of this lovely game.

And behold:


This is what happens when you forget until half-way through that not every field can grow every crop, even though that information is shown clearly at the top of every card. I couldn't be bothered restarting to get things totally right, and was amazed at the difference it made. What an exquisitely balanced game.

And, one day, I'll play both well and correctly.
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6. Board Game: B-17: Queen of the Skies [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1367]
Bryan Laird
United States
Kankakee
Illinois
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I host a play by forum game of B-17, the game had been on hiatus for a while but I was asked to bring it back. We resumed game play on Friday, flying the Italy Campaign.
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7. Board Game: Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:1746] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Sascha Döpke
Germany
48161 Münster
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This is one of the nicest wargames i ever played, its a lot of dice rolling , but it mostly felt useful. I never enjoyed d day dice really, but this one i enjoyed from the first round. Components are great, so easy and fast to set up, easy to explain and it plays very challenging solo.
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8. Board Game: Barbarian Prince [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:4160]
The One
United Kingdom
Bristol
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As it's been raining most of the day, the kids don't want to be disturbed and my wife's been sorting clothes for charity before going to work, I sat down for some game time.

First on the table was Warhammer Quest, and the boys had a taste of what it meant to be level 2 adventurers. Despite his claims to the contrary, Jeff is a glass cannon. This afternoons foray saw him getting knocked out in the objective room after getting dangerously close on a couple of occasions beforehand. The formerly ambisinistrous Clancy put himself in contention for ‘Most Improved Student 2014’ by leaping into the midst of a gang of hobgoblins, with nay a thought for his own safety, to buy Trevor some space to heal Jeff. The team collected the magically pure water needed to wash away the plague threatening the Empire and all was well in my corner of the Warhammer World again.

Next up was D&D: Legend of Drizzt and this time I thought I’d try the first mission with Cattie Brie. It was fun lithely dodging blows to open up the space to give my foe’s a face full of arrow, but eventually she succumbed to her wounds and fell three tiles from safety. I’m happy to say ‘Next time!’ while shaking my fist at the game because I really am starting to enjoy this game more and more. I’ve even found myself eying up the other titles in the series.

My final game of the night was Barbarian Prince, a game that I usually enjoy but always seem to overlook when selecting something to play. Or, judging by tonight’s session, maybe my subconscious blocks it out. I started in the Ruins of Jakor’s Keep, failed to find a river crossing and was set upon by three Mercenary Royal Guardsmen, all before my evening meal. I managed to kill one of the thugs before the tale of brave Prince Cal is brought to a premature end. Still, could be... worse?

Final score: Games 2 – Dave 1

I'm calling it a win (I enjoyed myself).
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9. Board Game: Bios: Megafauna [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:2167] [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked]
John Hedges
United Kingdom
Penrith
Cumbria, UNITED KINGDOM
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I tried this with the more involved AI in the living rule book. It was a much better solo experience than last time.

The AIs MMM (Sea creature) species was dominating early but changes in the environment reduced it to a single water biome completely surrounded by land. An global catastrophe wiped out his main land based species and I got a big lead. The two-tuskers came back strongly and dominated the end game landscape but they couldn't quite catch up with my VPs.

Final score, a win, 27 to 24.
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10. Board Game: Birds of Prey: Air Combat in the Jet Age [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:5453]
Keiron
United Kingdom
Sittingbourne
Kent
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Just taking the F-16 for a spin; some target practice against an F-5.

Love this game.
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11. Board Game: Blood Rush [Average Rating:6.07 Unranked]
Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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Javier Martin, Game #2


This one if from this year's 2014 Solitaire Print and Play Contest. This is a solo micro game using only 14 cards and two dice. You play blood thirsty monsters attacking a village and looking to claim seven victims before the Inquisition arrives.

There is a fairly even mix of luck and logic puzzle solving, but with gameplay being 5 minutes or less, I still find it more than a fair ratio. The fun comes in using the monsters' different abilities to outwit the luck of the draw.

I played three times right after playing Deepwail, and the total time for all five games was about 30 minutes (including shuffling, setup, and cleanup), and I feel like I had a good gaming session under my belt.

Game 1 = Victory, Inquisition at 4
Game 2 = Defeat, only 2 Victims claimed
Game 3 = Victory, Inquisition at 4

Here is a pic of the game in progress and a couple of my PnP cards close up:


Claiming Two Victims



Locations



Monsters



Villagers


There are four Locations each with a random (and unknown) Villager assigned to it as a protector. You must place all four of your Monsters at any of the Locations (including your own Lair) and have more strength than the Villager plus its Location's strength.

But you can manipulate the Villagers by exchanging two of them or by having the Vampire summon a Villager to his Location. One of the Monsters can move. There are lots of different combos to play around with to help you win.

Very fun game. It's super small (and that makes two solo micro games in the contest, Elevenses for One being the other). I enjoy the logic puzzle nature of this one. Good stuff, IMO!

Solitaire Tracker
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12. Board Game: Blood Rush [Average Rating:6.07 Unranked]
Arne Hoffmann
Germany
Essenbach
Germany
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Having been defeated by LAND 6, I turned to another entry in the 2014 PNP solitair contest:

BLOOD RUSH, trying to kill seven victims within appr. six rounds. Man, did my monsters perform badly. I did not get a grasp at the subtle ways in which one should assign monsters to locations in order to kill a victim.

Gameplay is rather easy: 4 of the 5 villagers are assigned to the four locations face down with the one at location 1 being turned up. You then throw a die which usually allows your monsters to use their special power ( if not exhausted) in one or all of those locations. You then assign your monsters to the locations, in any quantity you like. Afterwards the locations are resolved in turn. If the monsters are stronger than the villager, as determined by symbols printed on the cards and the locations, they gain a victim. My monsters repeatedly failed here which ment that the villagers could play out their special actions, exhausting my monsters, lowering my already sparse count of victims and speeding the game up to 5 or 4 turns only.

Boy oh boy, this game did crush my bones in only 10 minutes and I have no clue how I should go and tackle it. I like it! arrrh

Still waiting on my table and having to do so at least until tomorrow: Supermarché where I will try to run my KWIK-E-MART with success.

Update 17-8-14:
Must have been a bad day for digesting rules yesterday. Saw that I also missed some crucial parts of BLOOD RUSH's rules. Especially, that you win an encounter if you have a monster in the lair. This made for some nice manipulation of the event day. Ended with 4 victims when the inquisition showed up. Still have no clue how to combine locations and monsters and their abilities in order to increase the victim count. Maybe I should not be afraid of the priest weakening me - had him showing up as the open card in the forest most of the time. This will see the table more often as it currently still is a nice little puzzle, battling odds and my brain.
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13. Board Game: A Blood-Red Banner: The Alamo [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:8210]
Michael Gerstbrein
United States
Granby
Connecticut
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This summer has been very bad for me getting to play any sort of solitaire games at home. So taking a cue from

Ryan Mayes
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
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I'm setting a goal for myself to play at least one game a week (I'm not quite as ambitious to do as many as him).

So I've recently trimmed my collection down to where I think I want it. I have a slew of Victory Point Games that I want to play and that I had bought recently during their 4th of July sale (that reminds me, I forget if I deleted the hot deal post) and from CSI back in May or June. I haven't played any of them yet. But I'm a big fan of the State of Siege gameplay. Must be the fact I work with spreadsheets all day that I enjoy the whole "track" mechanism.

So after finishing my tasks, I sat down at 1:00am determined to play a game. First up for me is Toe-to-Toe Nu'klr Combat with the Rooskies. Then I realize it is 1:00am and instead play A Blood-Red Banner: The Alamo. This game is a very quick simple version of the State of Siege system (not one of their numbered ones in the series) where gameplay will take all of 10 minutes. The cards have all sorts of interesting Alamo facts (being Texan, this is always neat to see) and instruct you which of the 5 Mexican Generals advance and how many attacks you have as a defender. There are sometimes additional effects as well.

The game set up perfectly for me and all 5 of the armies ended up being in the three western most tracks. This allowed me to station my two leaders at the corners with the ability for them to also shoot at the track between them. Great, I think. My dice thought otherwise. I picked up a dice tray with felt so I can play at night and not disturb the family, but CLEARLY it was at fault. I couldn't hit a thing and the Mexican armies had no issues storming the walls and the center. So 12 cards left and a the worst level of losing (Major Mexican Crushing Victory or something like that). Oh well.

I'm just excited to have played something. I also did punch Toe-to-Toe and hope to get to that in the next few days.

UPDATE

Feeling aghast at Ryan's comments below (angry) I felt the need to make the Alamo relevant. So after my three plays of Toe-to-Toe last night, I pulled this game out again and managed to get 5 plays in.

8 Cards - Mexican Major Victory
12 Cards - Mexican Crushing Victory cry
10 Cards - Mexican Crushing Victory gulp
12 Cards - Mexican Crushing Victory zombie

And... and... and.... Drum roll please...

0 cards - Texian Moral Victory surprise

I've never done better than a Mexican Pyrrhic Victory before, so this was awesome!

And more importantly, take that Ryan!! The Alamo will be remembered!!!!

Know I am only jesting with Ryan, please.
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14. Board Game: Bowl-O-Rama [Average Rating:6.73 Unranked]
Craig McGlone
United States
Chillicothe
OH
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Had a great couple days of gaming. I just hadn't had the time or gumption to play lately but something got into me the last couple days. Started with this fast and light bowling game from plaay.com.

You basically roll dice and look up the results on individual player cards and/or results charts. There are different ways to play ranging from obtaining a whole game score from a single die roll to a dexterity based style where the result depends on where your d20 stops on a cardboard bowling alley and the result of the die.

I used the dexterity style as I found it the most enjoyable. The game came with 8 bowlers who may be actual pro bowlers. I'm not familiar with the PBA Tour. I divided them up based on their averages to form "Lenny's Tire and Lube" and "Ron's Salvage" for a friday night match play league game.


Haack (196) def. Haulley(187) 2 Points for Lenny's
Leclerc (187) def. MacArthur (135) 2 points for Lenny's
Diaz (257) def. Gruenberg (162) 2 points for Ron's
Wayne (244) def. Conrad (165) 2 points for Lenny's

Total Pins: 789 for Lenny's 744 for Ron's
1 point for Lenny's

Lenny's wins 7 to 2




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15. Board Game: Box Cars [Average Rating:5.58 Unranked]
Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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I stumbled across this game the other day. It's a Yahtzee style PnP game using 10 d10!! You are trying to make trains. Each die value you roll represents a type of car. Your train has to have at least 1 engine (roll a 1) or you don't score the round; and, if you don't have a caboose (roll a 2) you will lose 10 points for the round. You get 10 points if you have a mail car. Beyond that, you get lots of points for having multiples of a car type.

Rolling 0 is bad as it represents a breakdown. You can't re-roll those unless you have a 9.

I was unclear about how those breakdowns work. Do I need to have 1 9 per breakdown or does a single 9 cover all breakdown dice?

I was also unclear as to which dice I can re-roll. Can I re-roll after I set aside a die. I played that I could, but in hindsight that was probably wrong. My score was 365.
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16. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:426]
John Splittist
Switzerland
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First Pyramid!

Oh, wait - wrong month.

Fresh from Kaufhof and onto my table comes Camel Up. Played four-handed to get the hang of things.

The set up (isometric view ):


And the resolution - the winner is the gentleman with the interesting head-dress:


For a game with stacking, multi-coloured camels and a novelty dice-dispenser, it sure is pretty brain-burny. It has more than the whiff of Knizia about it, with the complex interplay of small numbers, but is slathered with chrome and theme.

Fun, but, other than this month, not a solitaire I suspect.
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17. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:426]
John Splittist
Switzerland
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Another four-handed game of Camel [C]up. This one was close the whole way to the end, but in the final reckoning the lady who wagered big and early on the overall winner and loser ran away with it.

I'm not sure whether the randomness in this game just overwhelms everything else, or I'm just too dumb to work out the permutations, but every time a consensus (ahem) amongst the players emerged as to something that could never happen -- it happened.
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18. Board Game: Car Wars Compendium [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:3402]
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Windsor
Ontario
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My first two-player game playing both sides!! I used to play Car Wars at lunch in High School with a group of friends, so this really brought back memories.



One side was a heavily fire-proof armoured Police Car with turret mounted recoilless rifle and linked front machine guns. The other side featured a Comet station wagon with front-mounted auto-cannon, rear-mounted flame cloud ejector and a pair of platform-mounted heavy-rockets, plus a lightly armoured Sidewinder with front-mounted light lasers.



As the Police Cruiser approached, much gunfire was exchanged, with the Comet taking damage to its rear end, but retaliating with its Heavy Rockets, causing significant damage to the front of the Police Cruiser.

As the Police Cruiser caught up to the Sidewinder and Comet, it side-swiped the Sidewinder, sending it into a minor skid.



The Comet fired a Flammable Cloud to block LOS and attempt to damage the Police Cruiser.



Unfortunately the Comet, in an attempt to outmaneuver the Police Cruiser, ended up in a spinout, while the Flammable Cloud was ineffective against the Cruiser's fireproof armour.



As the Police and the Sidewinder continued exchanging fire, the Comet spun to a halt and begun to reverse into position to rejoin the chase.

Unfortunately the lightly-armoured Sidewinder succumbed to the Police Cruisers machine guns. The Police Cruiser executed a beautiful Bootleg Maneuver to turn 180 degrees.



The Comet had turned into position and was beginning to accelerate towards the rapidly approaching Police Cruiser.



This was going to end one way or the other, as the two remaining vehicles sped head on directly at each other, guns blazing. The Comet managed to destroy the remaining front armour on the Cruiser and take out one of its front-mounted machine guns before the imminent impact.



The impact was devastating, destroying the Cruisers remaining machine gun and damaging its power plant. The Comet took the worst of it though, and a final blast from the Cruiser's turret-mounted recoilless rifles killed the driver and set the vehicle on fire!



==========================

This game is a real brain burner, and a lot of fun. I am glad to get it back on the table after 28 years!! Went 3x scale to use hot wheels cars, which required some crafting of roads, smoke screens, mines, spikes and debris, but was well worth it. I also bought a set of apocalypse survivors at 1/57 scale in case I need pedestrians - here if anyone is interested: http://www.meeplemart.com/store/p/19490-Wargames-Factory-Apo.... Sad they split the miniatures into a box of men and a box of women, would like to have both in one box. Miniatures are slightly bigger than 1/64 hot wheels scale but work just fine.

Can't wait to get this on the table again, maybe tomorrow.

I have roped Moe and perhaps another local gamer into trying this game out soon. Hoping to maybe run a campaign if they like it!
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19. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:159] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Chris Valk
United States
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Got in a few plays of the base game this month using the Secret Solitaire Boardgamer's variant:



You are limited to laying tiles on a 7x7 grid and is scored as usual. The game ends after you've either filled the grid or drawn three non-fitting tiles. Try to beat your best score. Fun and relaxing.
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Ryan Mayes
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
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So today I played Case #27 from the Solo PnP Contest. It's a very interesting game, although I think I'd call it more of an activity.

Here's how it works: Someone's been murdered and it's up to you to find the killer! You have a little booklet that you use to write down clues and solve the case. The first person who asks how you're doing is the victim. His hair color determines the murder weapon, and then you have to speak to four other people. Each one is suspect and you use a few things to narrow down the killer.

Well, poor James at the Lowe's asked me how I was doing so he was dead. Upon closer inspection I found out he was poisoned! A few minutes later I spoke with Dierdre who also worked at the Lowe's. I made her for the murder right away. She was near the scene of the crime and she possessed the murder weapon!

Later I discovered another possible killer. It was Steve at Junktiques. He owned some poison but unfortunately was in his store all day, so his alibi checked out.

The last two suspects were my friends Andy and Mandy. They seemed rather unlikely killers which made me happy. I didn't expect murder from my friends. They also owned poison! There's so much poison in this town. It was rather coincidental that Andy had been to a hardware store around the time of the murder but he was ruled out.

My fierce detective skills proved Dierdre was the killer. However, it was ruled an accident. That made me rather happy because she was so nice.



This was pretty fun. My wife laughed at me and enjoyed hearing about what happened. But like I said earlier, Case #27 is more like an activity. The designer said one of his goals was to give a reason for the player to talk to strangers. It worked. I had to strike up a conversation with Dierdre and Steve. I also had to figure out if they owned more than a shelf's worth of books. Dierdre said she read a book everyday on her lunch break so I felt safe in assuming that she owned enough books.

It was pretty plain from the moment Dierdre greeted me that she was the killer. She was the only person I spoke too who was at the scene of the crime.

Still, it was a fun thing to do today.
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21. Board Game: Catan Dice Game [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:5995]
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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More civ Yahtzee! I did pretty well here and managed a 70. There's really not much in the way of story or anything to this, but it is a good little filler.
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22. Board Game: Catan Dice Game [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:5995]
Justin
United States
Plano
Texas
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My wife came back home early from her trip and my parents are still in the gaming guest room, so I played a couple rounds of this on the ottoman after grabbing it earlier today to play with the family.

It's super simple yahtzeeish dice rolling, but I found the decisions to be more numerous and interesting than I anticipated. You're basically building along a preset path and have to gather the materials for each step of the way. There are a few detours along the main path that let you attempt to build big cities for big points.

Will I play this a lot? Probably not, as it's simply a game of beating your high score, but I'm glad I bought it.
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23. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:24]
chris leko
United States
Brooksville
Florida
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So I'm a Uwe FanBoi, so I had to buy this when it came out. I know it's not the best for solo gaming (due to no randomization and all), but I figured I might be able to convince someone to play it at some point soon.

Figured I'd give it a go solo, using the solo rules included in the rules.

I have to say I'm very impressed with the game engine. There's a lot of flexibility built into it, and the scoring system isn't as punishing as Agricola.

I still did terrible (scored 64 points) but it was better than I was expecting. There were a few minor rules I forgot here and there (my buildings, for one), but I really enjoyed the experience. There is a lot of information overload at the start (I started with the "full" game, and not the intro one), but I think there's a lot of paths to take through it. It has a decision tree that's a bit closer to Ora et Labora than Agricola (though 'Gric's is still very wide, this is a bit wider).

I'll probably play it a few more times, and maybe get up to 100 points before I come up with some sort of randomness to add to the game (perhaps randomly removing 1/2 of all the building tiles.. well, not the furnishing ones... before the game... or perhaps creating some sort of shifting draw stack like in Glass Road...).
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24. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:362]
John Splittist
Switzerland
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Picked this out to play tonight almost at random and found a copy of these solitaire rules I had thoughtfully printed out and added to the box.

Not bad. I lost by the skin of my teeth -- or, rather, by a couple of the points the FOE scored for finishing first.
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25. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:362]
John Splittist
Switzerland
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A few more plays using the "August 2006" solitaire version. Spanked by the AI each time.

This version plays nice and smoothly and I think it preserves some scope for playing better or worse (rather than lucky or unlucky)

I would be tempted to put together a pretty version of the rules if I could work a graphics program...
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