Solitaire Games on Your Table - November 2014
Boomerang Phenomenon
United Kingdom
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
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Welcome to the November 2014 edition of
Solitaire Games on Your Table


It's a new month on SGoYT so come in, pull up a chair, find a game you want to play, set it up and have some fun.

Do you fancy leaving the game mid way through to go and do something else and come back to it four days later? That's fine. Want to stop before the end and pack it away? That's OK too. Have you played the rules wrong all game? No worries. Your gaming group doesn't mind one bit.

That's because your gaming group is you. Play what you want, when you want and how you want.

Just remember to come here and tell us all about it.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

HAPPY BIRTHDAY (SORT OF), LET'S CELEBRATE!




It was a year ago this month I sat down and played my first solo board game in nearly 20 years. I will be celebrating this (sort of) birthday by giving out geekgold presents to anyone posting for the first time on SGoYT (I remember what that was like) and to people who help other people on SGoYT. I'm talking about game suggestions, file links, variants, threads, forums, etc, etc. The kind of thing that I really appreciated when I was just starting solo and still do. I will do my best to give presents to everyone who earns them but apologies in advance if I miss you. I'm just a man after all.

I am also celebrating this birthday (re-birth?) by doing another geeklist with all the games I've played in the last year: My Solo Experience - The First Year of Games (Shameless Self Promotion.)

Finally, one lucky contributor to this month's list will win a shiny new game from their wishlist (NB: This will be up to the value of about £30, so no War of the Ring: Collector's Edition or other craziness).

Discovering SGoYT and all the people here has allowed me to get so much more out of the hobby than I ever thought I would. This is my small way of saying thank you. You've been awesome and made me so welcome.

The rules:
Anyone who adds an item to this month's list will be eligible (except me). At the end of the month I will randomly pick someone and that person will get a game/expansion/etc from their wishlist (so make sure yours is up to date) or a voucher for the OLGS of their choice if nothing is suitable.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________

IT'S A CHALLENGE (BUT HOPEFULLY IT'S FUN TOO)

This month's challenge is in honour of Movember (http://uk.movember.com/).



I would like to see evidence of games played that contain components with moustaches. However, I will only be rewarding the truly special so the chaps in the above picture wouldn't qualify. Woman with a moustache - good, alien with a moustache - very good, alien woman with a moustache - great, anything with a moustache not on it's face - superb. Again, I will try and spot everyone who takes part but if I miss you, I'm sorry.

Update 2/11/14: I've decided to open this up to all moustaches on components and players but the level of reward will still depend on how unusual the moustache is.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Update 2/11/14:
As started by Justin last month, please post 1 like and 2 dislikes about the games you play. It's really helpful to those interested in the games and helps to provide a bit of balance to the usual SGoYT positivity (as this can be expensive ).

Here are some useful resources for the solo player:

1 Player guild
Solitaire Games on Your Table Monthly Geeklist SUBSCRIPTION THREAD
Solitaire Recommendations For Your Table
1 Player Guild Trading Post
SGoYT made me buy this!
2014 SGoYT Challenges SUBSCRIPTION

Upcoming hosts for the SGoYT:

December 2014 - ryanmobile
January 2015 - bikefreak
February 2015 - woelf

Now it's over to you. What do you want to play first?
Disclaimer: The host (garyrbrooks) and the 1 Player guild take no responsibility for any purchases you make due to reading this geeklist.
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1. Board Game: 1066, Tears To Many Mothers [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:3119] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
They call me Mister...
Ireland
Donegal
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I bought this through PrinterStudio and did a solo 2 handed run through - a first for me.


Cover art for William the Bastard


Firstly, let me say I am a fan of the theme so bear that in mind. I also love the artwork, I think it's just gorgeous.

Basically, each player has a deck of about 76 cards each. The battlefield is a row of 3 cards or wedges. Each player also has 7 objectives to surmount before they get to the Battle of Hastings. Once at the Battle the first player to claim (do 10 points of damage to) 2 wedges is the winner.


Start of the game


On your turn you can basically place a unit on the battlefield, play an event card, do an Action, sacrifice a unit or pass. To place a unit or play a card you need to spend resources, either by discarding cards in your hand or "tiring" (tapping) a card with resources on the battlefield. If either player ever runs out of cards from their draw deck (seems unlikely to me) they lose the game immediately.


As well as the artwork, I love the historical flavour text.


The 7 objectives are always the same and in the same order and map out both sides journey to Hastings. They require 6 damage each before you can move on to the next one. Whilst these and the wedges are set I believe there is replayability in the game as the deck is large with very few repeats so you'll be using slightly different approaches each time.


Objective E for the Saxons



Game in play


I really enjoyed my runthrough. There are many decisions to make between using actions, placing units, playing events, locations for units, etc. I was rooting for the Saxons but it ended up a Norman win taking the third wedge to win 2-1.


Game end, wedges gone


There were some cool moments in the game: Saxon archers injuring William then being destroyed by Walter Gifford a Norman Noble marksman. The King of the Scots aiding the Vikings. Knights breaking through routing a Saxon unit. English spies. Etc.

I think I'll be getting this out again solo.


EDIT: Oops (again) I almost forgot, moustaches:

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2. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:292]
Jason (sans nation)
Germany
March
Baden-Württemberg
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"The British are com- Shit! They're here!" The 1775 War of Independence, played out through the Cubist lens of Pablo Picasso?

Way more fun than it sounds.

I continue to be impressed with just how well this plays as a solitaire game. It feels very different, each time. This one saw the English win in the fourth round; six territories to five.

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3. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:292]
Thayne Weston
United States
Nibley
Utah
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Thanks goes to
Jason (sans nation)
Germany
March
Baden-Württemberg
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for posting on this very list ( post #41) that this game was a solo option. Play both sides to the best of your ability.

I was curious, and having only been able to play the game twice, gave it a try.

It was a great game overall, British had a double warship movement early that allowed them to have a nice presence in the middle of the map. By round 3 the British were up 6 to 3. The loyalists couldn't muster the truce though. The colonialist were able to break out of Massachusetts, as well as beat the last of the pesky loyalist in the south. Turn 7 was about to end with a colonial victory. Having two larger armies attacking the British hold on New Hampshire and New Jersey. The British rolled amazingly well in both battles which resulted it a tie.

This worked as a great solo experience, I highly recommend it. If nothing else I was able to figure out the game much better.

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4. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:171]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Played this using the solo variant in the forums. Works ok, but you lose the ability to plan for combos and there's a few cards tough to adjuticate playing solo.

Kennedy won a narrow victory due to Nixon's horrible luck on campaign day support checks.
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5. Board Game: 2 Hour Dungeon Crawl [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked]
Jason Doyle
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
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Excellent...I finally have some good solo rules to use with all the Dungeons & Dragons boardgame pieces and all the other random maps and miniatures I own.

Will update further when I'm done but it's neat little system, you track the party on the map and then move to a battle board to resolve combat. Looks really easy to mod and fiddle with too.

Maybe I'll make the "big bad" for the first game be a giant floating moustache...just need to find a suitable mini
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6. Board Game: 2 Hour Dungeon Crawl [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked]
Adam Gastonguay
United States
Pottstown
Pennsylvania
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Pulled this out while my daughter was asleep. In true THW fashion, the dice can give you the easiest game ever, or doom you.

My first game pit my three heroes into a Troll's lair. In the second room, we stumbled upon another adventuring party who decided to slay us. Two rolls later, we were all dead. 10 minute game that took 15 to set up. angry

So I tried again. This was in a Ghoul warren and was much more successful. Didn't end up finding the Ghoul, only fought one group of Goblins, but even that was tough, no cannon fodder in this game. Had to sprint after looting the Treasure room as PEF's followed us, but made it out alive. Got some potions, but not much else.

Likes: Easy and quick and scratches the dungeon crawl itch.
Dislikes: Choosing a "difficulty level" is difficult as all creatures can kill you easy and it takes several jaunts in a dungeon to get magic items enough to get bonuses against them. Also, I may have spent more time trying to find the right paper minis than actually playing.

11/17
Got down in the dungeons again, this time to Explore a Feral Vampire den. Went deep enough into the maze (LOTS of 'T' junctions and intersections, few rooms) to make the town proud of me, and turned around to head back, but heard a lot of noises coming from the entrance. One of them turned out to be....The Big Bad (which would only appear on a roll of snake eyes!). Luckily, there were no minions with him, so it was only a Rep 4 Vampire against a Human Warrior, Elf Thief and Dwarf Shooter. I smited him, but found no treasure on his remains. I left the dungeon with only 1 bronze piece to show for it, and the stories we told only made my Elf and Dwarf feel good enough about themselves to start their own groups.

I began going down another dungeon using the same group (why roll up new ones when so little happened before?) but this time we are charged with taking on a Petty Demon (!) and having to Kill Him to succeed! Much more challenging. I was only able to make it 4 tiles in before I finished for the night.

All this in about 20 minutes.
I really like that it only takes about a minute or so to get this going on the table. You don't need minis or maps or anything, as you could get this going with only dice and pencil and paper if you need it to. The randomness can get annoying, but tweaking the tables to get something you would like more of (more low level fights, more high level fights, etc.) is totally easy, and I'm sure the scenario books coming soon will add even more depth (ha! a pun!).
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7. Board Game: 2 Hour Dungeon Crawl [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked]
Shaun Austin
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
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I was actually going to purchase a replacement copy of Red Sand Blue Sky using the two Hour Wargames discount Code, when I saw this advertised.
I had seen it appear on this list earlier in the month and it piqued my interest then.
There was just something that attracted me to it, so it ended up in the shopping cart when I was checking out.
(Yes, I like Dungeon Crawlers and own or previously owned quite a few of them over the years.)

Although, I felt like just jumping in to a game I decided I would read through the rule book and do all the suggested tutorial bits.
I highly recommend this method as it is a good way to get an overall feel for the game and retain some of the less common rules.

Actions are resolved using the standard Reaction system that this publisher has in all its games, however you can see that there has been effort put into the Dungeon crawling components that wrap around the game engine.
There are a wide variety of character races and professions to choose from. All of the standard tropes are there, along with some I consider unusual.
Armour, Weapons and Items also have a reasonable amount of choice although I wouldn't say it is comprehensive.
However there are plenty of supplements planned for future release and to be honest, for a core game set, there are more than enough options.

I really like the way exploration is done using dungeon tiles and then combat is conducted on the Battle Board. This gives the option to save on table space and helps with the party dynamics. (The party can be split up and have to face events on their own!)

So I didn't have enough time to play an actual game but with the minimal requirements to actually play, this is staying on the table until I do get the time.
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8. Board Game: Advanced Heroquest [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:2176]
The One
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Since rolling a group of characters and taking them through a mini campaign in Warhammer Quest back in August I’ve been itching to get Advanced HeroQuest back to the table.

I remember playing a friends copy this game back in my early teens in school, and although I’ve had the opportunity to dabble with this game over the years I didn’t get my own copy until last year. Now that I’ve got a bit of time on my hands again I decided that there was no time like the present and set forth to pursue my dreams of riches and glory.

For the purposes of easing myself back into this system I used the pre-generated characters included with the game; Heinrich Löwen (Human Warrior), Magnus the Bright (Human Wizard), Torallion Leafstar (Elf) and Sven Hammerhelm (Dwarf). In addition to their starting equipment Magnus the Bright takes an addition phoenix feather in lieu of a silver key as I figured the healing would be more useful, along with the components for his Dragon Armour and Flames of Death spells.

And off we go. As the characters descend the steps into the chilly darkness they find themselves in a long corridor with a t-junction at the far end and no other features. Heinrich and Sven lead the party to the junction, revealing a long corridor to the right and an even longer corridor to the left, both disappearing round corners into the darkness. However, the party barely have time to take this in as a pair of slightly surprised skaven warriors are lurking just around the right-hand corner. The two warriors immediately attack, but these aren’t the cutesy, ickle bunny wabbit skaven of WHQ, but rather the full fat ratmen with big pointy teeth that really are a threat to the above ground races of the Warhammer World. Although Heinrich is able to dispatch his opponent without injury, Sven isn’t so lucky. The ratman recovers from its surprise and launches into the dwarf clamping its teeth round his forearm and trying to finish the job with his sword. Heinrich tries to help, but in the cramped corridor he isn’t able to land a blow. By now Sven is gritting his teeth and growling both in pain and anger as he clubs the skaven repeatedly between the eyes with the butt of his warhammer,; as it’s jaws loosen Sven is able to pull his jaw free and finally deliver the killing blow. Looking down at it, the bloody, pulped, still twitching body seems to say ‘Welcome to the brutal reality of adventuring chumps! Population 4, for now…’

Contuining right and rounding the corner the party find themselves in another long corridor, but this one has two doors and ends in a T-junction. Opening the first door reveals a large room containing four skaven warriors and a champion. Getting the drop on them, Heinrich and Sven are able to dispatch two of the warriors in fairly short order while Torallion lets fly an arrow which slays the champion. Before being able to dispatch the remaining skaven Sven is reduced to 1 wound, and has to be healed by Magnus, using one of his two phoenix feathers. Although Torallion is unable to retrieve either of the arrows he shot during the combat the party is rewarded by finding twenty gold pieces hidden around the room.

As the room has only one doorway the party leave to try the other door across the corridor. Obviously alerted by the sounds of the previous fight, the two skaven in this room ambush the party, quickly knocking out Heinrich. Magnus steps in, using his last phoenix feather to revive Heinrich, while Sven attacks one of the ratmen and Torallion lets fly with an arrow that wounds the second. Clearly riding the effects of the enlivening Flames of the Phoenix spell, Heinrich lands a critical hit on the skaven who knocked him out while Sven dispatches his opponent. A search of the room, and the empty room beyond reveals nothing of interest, so the party leave after retrieving Torallion’s undamaged arrow.

Back in the corridor and Magnus is nearly killed by a block of falling masonry. Although the shower of dust that precedes gives some warning it’s not enough of a forewarning for Magnus to be completely clear of the area, and he is caught a glancing blow which nevertheless leaves him unable to participate in much more adventuring. Out of healing, and having just received such a stark reminder of how quickly their situation could turn to tragedy, the party decide to call it a day and head back to the relative safety of the town.


The main things I noticed when compared to WHQ:
-I'm glad I had serious names, for this is a serious game.
-Even a few skaven shouldn’t be taken lightly.
-I was almost loath to use my arrows. Arrows cost money, replacement adventurers are free.
-It’s a much more tense experience; every risk needs to be calculated, no more charging in.
-I actually like flicking through rulebooks to consult tables, it seems to help build the tension.
-In Warhammer Quest you’re characters are living the high life, here they’re scraping an existence.
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9. Board Game: The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1472]
Jason Ritz
United States
Kelseyville
CA
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As we were all waking up on Thanksgiving morning, I thought it would be interesting to try Pyramid of Horus as a solo.

The special rules I used:
A) Goal of the game- get one of each type of treasure and get out.
B) Used alternate mummy movement- each gets it's own die rolled and they always move.

I played twice and lost twice. Turns out this works as a very quick game and honestly kind of fun to play solo. I almost made it out the second time!



thumbsup I love the push your luck aspect to the game. Though many like the Temple of Chac better, our family enjoys the variety in the treasures better in this one.

thumbsdown Can be kind of random. Note the unlucky pulls for the boulders in my photo. Both games were like that.
thumbsdown Those minis need to be painted. Those little colored discs to snap in the bottom are terrible. I painted mine, but if you need to, thankfully the prepainted minis can be bought relative inexpensively now.
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10. Board Game: Age of War [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1565]
Robert B
United States
Parsons
Kansas
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Barteus.con Solitaire Convention Day 4 (final day)

I've had Risk Express on my watch-list for years, but never found a copy for what I wanted to pay. This game will have to take its place.

Played the Simple Solitaire variant found here. The variant plays quickly, but needs a bit .... more to it. Took over all of the castles, except Edo, for a total of 33. There are several other solo variants posted, I'll have to take a look at them as time permits.

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11. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:25]
mike belliveau
Canada
st eustache
quebec
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So there will be no soloing tomorrow. A friend is coming over early for a gaming session. On the menu:
Gears of War: The Board Game
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
Agricola

So this evening i had a solo run of Agricola to be ready for tomorrow. Oh look at what i found.


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12. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:25]
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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I don't have Agricola, and I've never played it.
Wondering what other soloists' opinions about playing this game, just in a solo sense?

Is it worth it to just play solo?
Also would it fit on a 33" by 33" table?


Been considering At the Gates of Loyang too... just solo.

I've read a ton of comments on both.
Wondering about randomness for replayability too. Because I like having random differences between plays.

Thanks.
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13. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:25]
Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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It's been a long time since I played this game, too long... 3.5 years to be exactish. I just used the basic E deck and, honestly, I think that's the only one I've ever used when I play solo. I managed to score a whopping 37 points... ouch

I had a lot of fun though. I need to do a podcast episode on this just so I can get it on heavy rotation for a few weeks.

thumbsupTons of variety
thumbsupTons of expansions
thumbsdownTons of moving bits around between rounds.
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14. Board Game: Alba Longa [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:5092]
Casey Nedry
Japan
Yamashina
Japan
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The adventures of Pancho and Lefty continue in a romp through Alba Longa. Pancho jumped out to an early monetary lead but Lefty focused on growing his crops and producing workers and eventually won the day.

Liked the weather cards functioning as a built in timer.

angry Based on reading the rules, the game seemed more complicated to play than is actually the case. I am a slow learner though.

angry In the 2 player variant, the non-player board doesn't seem to offer that much interaction. Basically it functions as a vent for warrior actions.

Very pleasant game overall. I thought the mechanics and theme were integrated really well. Hope I get to play it with my gaming group sometime soon.

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15. Board Game: Alien Uprising [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:6204]
Kevin L. Kitchens
United States
Gainesville
Georgia
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Decided for something more geared to single player. Picked this up via auction for the KS version. Some of the extra bits seem superfluous.

Game has been on my radar since release. Punched, sorted and oddly clipped ( they didn't round off the larger tiles ).

Reading rules to play today.
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16. Board Game: All Things Zombie: Final Fade Out [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Adam Gastonguay
United States
Pottstown
Pennsylvania
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Episode 1: Patient zero (Scenario 1 From Hospital 911 book)

I got lucky and rolled up a Rep 5 Citizen. I was in a hurry, so I forgot to give myself attributes, but I had Pep of 3 and Sav of 4. That would come in handy.

"Harry, are you okay? I know having two of us in this room that is CLEARLY made for only one person is rough, but clawing at the door like a mental patient isn't going to make anything better."
When he turned to face me, I knew something wasn't right. Luckily I didn't watch the news, so my first instinct wasn't to say "Ebola!" Instead, I thought Rabies and 28 Days Later and how I need to watch that again and why am I thinking that when it's staring me in the face? I backed up until my back hit the wall. "Um, Harry? Do you need to lay down?" I looked at the bed. It was the only object in the room. As I thought about this, I wondered what I was doing at such a lousy hospital. You would think they'd put a CHAIR in here, for crying out loud. Instead Harry just stared at me,animal hunger in his eyes. I knew I had to get out of the room, but he was right in front of the door.

And I wasn't going to risk him activating first. I had the initiative, and I was going to use it.

"I think you should lay down, Harry." Pushing with all my might, I grabbed the bed and wheeled it straight for the door, pushing harry out into the hallway, bending the hinges backwards. Successful challenge test! I crept out into the hallway, as Harry was slowly getting back up. Blood smeared the floor and wall, but I think more was coming from whatever internal hemorrhaging was happening before I caused bedlam (ba-dum-CHING), so I wasn't too worried, no just to get to the elevator. In the hallway stood two patients, who seemed awfully surprised to see a guy come flying out of a doorway and me stumbling behind. PEF resolved as two terrified Patients.

"Beg your Pardon." I said as I sprinted for the end of the hallway. The pair, leaning on their IV poles like wizards telling me I shall not pass, simply stared in shock. Harry stood up and began shambling after me. "Hate to do this but," with both hands together in a sign of peace, I hammer punched the weaker looking of the two across the jaw, sending him sprawling to the floor, "not all that much." I hopped over his limp body and repeatedly hit the elevator button. When I glanced back, I saw the poor wizard was not moving. Maybe I'll pull him into the elevator when the damn thing finally opens.

"You KILLED him!" I turn to the woman, the other who had been blocking my path. She was staring down at her brethren in the coven with the same shocked expression as if she kept that mask in a jar beside the door every morning. Woops, he passed 0d6 on his Recover from Knock Down Test. I didn't mean to. I swear! I began sputtering apologies when I noticed that Harry was walking into the frame. He, too, seemed awfully interested in the non-moving member of our round-table discussion about how much of an ass I was. I knew this wasn't going to end well, and all I could think was how awesome it would be to hear some MUZAK about now! Three activations now.

I turned away when Harry began eating the man. At least this finally got the woman to move. She ran as fast as her IV cord let her, and I think she dove into a nearby room. I can't quite remember because I was futility hitting the elevator button as if the whole thing was run by a pump and I was slowly raising it with each push. Finally I was able to stumble into the empty elevator and have it close behind me, the last image I saw during my stay at this hospital being my roommate Harry eating the only evidence I had that my gym teacher was wrong about my fighting skills.

The tension as I waited for the elevator was palpable. I actually lucked out accidentally killing that guy! I felt awful doing it, but since it took 4 turns for the elevator to show up, it was the only thing that kept me alive.

I'll post episode 2 tomorrow, as I played the second scenario tonight as well.
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17. Board Game: Ambush! [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:760]
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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I guess this qualifies. It's been sitting on my table for the last week because my squad got wiped out, and I didn't want to wipe the board and start over. (though I did get a special dispensation from the former head of VG to restart the scenario.)

I pulled this out the other week because frankly, all my looking at solitaire games has pretty much been me trying to find something that had the same kind of impact that this game had/has. First played it about a decade ago, and loved it.

STILL a great game. Yes, looking up the paragraphs tends to get a little repetitive, but I think it keeps the tension of the game going with the unknown of what you are going to find.

Edit: As far as mustaches, if you click the picture of the box of the game, it takes you to a user whose avatar has a mustache. (and beard.)

Edit2: Okay, according to the update I'm supposed to give 1 Like and 2 dislikes about the game.

Like: I really really like Ambush! I like the way the game allows you to become attached to your squad - if you continue to use the same characters. (It helps if you name them for people you either know, or have some kind of visual identification with versus just some random name.) I like how you develop a history with them throughout a campaign and can become emotionally involved in their triumphs and successes, as well as feel for them in defeat.

Dislike 1: You need to look up Every hex, for every character that crosses through that hex. (You can get away with only looking it up once - however need to redo them whenever the condition changes.) I can see how this would get tiring after a while. *I* think it draws out the tension of the game, not know what's going to happen. However, I only have played this once before, a decade ago, so am back into it.

Dislike 2: Not sure. Let me get back to it.
(During second playthrough)
So far, the same enemies seem to be appearing the same places they were the first time through. I am even specifically trodding a different terrain path. The random events seem to be either flavor text for the scenario, or whether or not you are aware of the upcoming enemies. So I guess the replayability of the scenarios might be less than other games. (but there are 8 scenarios in the main game, plus I have 2 expansions so, I'm not worried.)
(After More playing)
Okay, so while the enemies are still in the same places as my first playthrough (until I got TPKed), some of them don't seem to appear, depending on the route taken or the rolls. So, whereas the first time I had activated a whole bunch of Germans, and gotten my squad wiped out, this time I'm doing MUCH better, but having a hard time activating them, and thus have less Victory Points. I seem to have to Search and Destroy, not knowing whether I will be able to get enough VPs to win. So the replayability factor - I WANT to be able to win, but yet don't want to play the scenario over for fear of essentially metagaming it and knowing where and what is coming.

I don't know. Is that a good thing or bad? I almost feel like I have to do stupid things, like walk standing upright out in the middle of an open field in order to activate/find the Germans.
Helloooo, boys! Here I AM! Come shoot me!


Edit3?: Update on the Mustache. I ended up shaving it off. I forgot how much I dislike my mustache (it's BLONDE!) and when I'm sneezing into it, etc.... I'll let you fill in the rest.

I still kept my "awesome" mutton chops! I'm hoping someone will mistake me for Wolverine.
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18. Board Game: Ambush! [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:760]
Ryan Mayes
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
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Well, I started learning Ambush! for my two week break from school. Last night I pulled out the game and sorted everything. I Have an unplayed copy which is pretty cool. The box is pretty mangled, but everything inside is virtually untouched. A bunch of the counters where still attached to each other. The game does have a pretty musty smell though. Better than smoke, in my opinion.

Today, I printed out the updated rules and some squad sheets (thanks Albert). I used a utility knife to trim the edges of the paper so the printed rulebook would fit in the box. I wish I had some A4 paper.

I read through half the rulebook today, and it's really easy to understand. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the game is pretty straight forward. It's just a really long rulebook and I only had 5 hours of sleep last night, so halfway was all I could do. I don't have anything I need to do tomorrow, so I can get back to it first thing in the morning.

Here's a question for those experienced with Ambush! Is the game basically used up after I finish (beat) all seven scenarios? That's what the rules said, and I find that very interesting.
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19. Board Game: Ambush! [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:760]
Steve N
United Kingdom
Macclesfield
Cheshire
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Snapped this up on ebay over the summer and have finally got around to playing the first mission. Spoiler alert!



Spoiler (click to reveal)
Encountered the first enemy soldier (a sniper hiding in the tree line across the stream) the instant my first private entered the map. Thankfully I had the advantage so I ducked out of sight behind some trees and waited for the chance to bring in the rest of the squad. I'd decided that I wanted to track south (and not cross the stream) so I elected to start a firefight with the sniper. I hoped that my superior weight of fire would see me score the hit first, and it worked. The sniper went down before he'd got a shot off.

Crossing the road I found an injured US soldier (a survivor of the squad that preceded mine). He explained that his submachine gun was a bit further on (towards a nearby building) and so I edged forwards nervously before finding his discarded weapon. From there I planned my assault of the building (expecting it to contain the enemy) and had my squad take up suitable firing positions. As soon as the enemy were spotted (two soldiers) I had my officer give a plucky young recruit an extra turn which he used to run up to the window of the building and toss a grenade in. Thankfully he hit the mark (both soldiers incapacitated) and so, yet again, the threat had been neutralised before I'd taken any incoming fire.

As I rounded on the second building (further to the east) there was a hairy moment when two of my squad were recrossing the road to regain the cover of the trees. A random event check turned up two Germans in a hex that was adjacent to two of my own squad members that had already taken up their positions. Although an assault seemed like a good option, a fortuitous burst of automatic fire took down both Jerries in one go.

The remainder of the mission was pretty plain sailing and it wasn't long before I'd secured the two buildings that were the mission objectives. All I needed to do to trigger the mission's end was to get a soldier to the high ground in the south-east corner of the map. This I could do with little difficulty but I hesitated to do so when I realised that despite taking no losses during the mission, and despite earning 4VP for holding the necessary objectives, I would be finishing the mission 1 VP short of the victory threshold. This seemed rather perplexing. I had earlier failed to drag the injured friendly soldier to safety (he died of his injuries on the way) so I missed out on the 2 VP that a successful rescue would have earned. This was the only thing that had gone against me in what had been a very good (and rather fortuitous) first outing.

I undertook a few patrols (i.e. I wandered aimlessly) hoping to trigger the arrival of more enemy soldiers, but none appeared. As there were still two sightings unaccounted for I figured they must come about through random events (events that my dice had selected against) and a cursory glance at the mission card revealed this hypothesis to be correct. I looked up the appropriate event (a crashed plane) reasoning that I would like to save myself the tedium of finding more hexes that would allow me to roll for the event legitimately. In this way I found the crashed plane and secured the VP I needed for a rather odd (and slightly unsavoury) first win.

It was a fun experience all the same and I'm looking forward to Mission 2.
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20. Board Game: Among the Stars [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:495] [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked]
Jason Leidich
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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Since I put a lot into this game and it hasn't really hit the table much I decided to go a few rounds with the SoloPlay rules again. I picked up the stretch rewards from the last KS campaign so there are plenty of cards to go round. Since I have so many extras I decided on starting with the Expert rules and added a few custom rules of my own for the additional cards and races in the set.

I drew 3 race tiles and chose one for each game. I shuffled in all of the 3, 4 and Special location cards, except for the Large locations (I was worried about fitting them in on the restricted Station layouts) and the Ambassadors. I may throw the Large Locations in next time and I'd have to think of a way to smartly incorporate the Ambassadors. I also used the Event cards for a game and the Alliance Inspection, choosing those over a conflict set. In retrospect, since they are not conflict sets themselves I may add in the Events with a conflict set in the future rather than instead of one. The Alliance Inspection cards may not return as it made things really swingy - as in it swung my score down 8 points and the AI made out like a bandit.

In each game the AI would follow the basic SoloPlay location rules or simply lay the most points. For locations that gave a bonus for being in a 2x2 grid I favored them if they were the second card to fit the grid requirement and then weighted the next two choices toward earning the bonus.

Game 1
Ludons. Station #18: Used Events instead of conflict. Experimental Reactor. The Events added a nice twist.

AI: 98, me: 93

Game 2
Monzeerian. Station #10: Alliance Inspection instead of conflict. Experimental Reactor.

AI: 95, me: 86

Game 3
Debos. Station #14. Regular conflict set.
AI:82, me:92

Likes: My biggest like is the Soloplay rules give me a way to play the game until I can get my group interested. The sci-fi theme really appeals to me and like with Suburbia I enjoy looking for ways to get the most value out of my card choice. The puzzle aspect of the solo game also really appeals to me.

Dislikes: By it's nature, it's fiddly to set up, I had absolutely no desire to separate out any of the expansions (esp. since they didn't bother to mark most expansion cards with any kind of symbol or the like). However, this is mitigated a little bit since I sprung for the custom tuck boxes on the last KS (but I'm also a little ticked because I miscalculated and ended up a box or two short). Since I'm mixing in all the extras my draw stack has to be split into two piles. However, once through the initial set up it's easy to reset for another go.
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21. Board Game: Android [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1140]
Michele Esmanech
Italy
Milano
Milano
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Ok, this is not a game we often see in the SGOYT geeklists, but it is a game I take out sometimes, playing with multiple characters and seeing how the story develops, but tonight I finally played an easy solo variant using 1 character.

There are very few variants to the normal rules, so if you know how to play the game you can play this variant just by reading the few rules changes I described here: Simple easy solo variant



In the end I lost.. But it was a nice game nonetheless



Edit Nov.13th
Louis Blane went back to the murder at the estates case.
He had a negative hunch on the replicant Eve, that he was interrogating at LAPD HQ, since there was something that just didn't convince him, about her story.... Yet, he had to let her go, as he had no hard evidence against her.
All went smoothly, as he even reconciled with Sarah
Spoiler (click to reveal)
who ended up expecting a baby
, and even solved an old, twenty year old murder case, so both his plots ended positively.
He was so sure of Eve's being the killer, that he asked the guys, over at human's first to help him frame the replicant, by taking out Haas: what's a rich boy's life worth, compared to the example of a punished replicant.
Only 3 suspects remained, and Blaine was determined to retire Eve.
As for the murder case, though, in the middle of week 2, Noise hacked the LAPD's computers, and Luois lost all evidence stacked against Eve.
He only had 3 days to re-build the case against her, but he couldn't find enough evidence to frame her, and free poor ol'miner dude, especially since all leads were on the moon, and going up the root would have taken him too long.

Final score: 16, and Eve escaped.
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22. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:45]
Adam Gastonguay
United States
Pottstown
Pennsylvania
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Got to do a little playing while the Nipper was sleeping, and since I was in the attic getting decorations for my wife, I grabbed this gem since I only recently found out that there was a solo variant made that seemed to have some traction.

So rather than play a game I already played this month, I did my best to see if we can get
Boomerang Phenomenon
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Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
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's challenge of 600 games before December, I gave it a shot.

Pulled out my old "Make as much money as possible" corp deck and took on the Netrunning AI. Erm. That AI apparently knew I drew a lot of agendas into my HQ. She ran on it twice before I could put any ICE on it. As a matter of fact, I hardly drew ANY ICE, and I was looking at a 5-0 deficit early on in the game. Once the Ice showed up, I was able to score a few small agendas, but she was still raking in enough cash to get past my Archer ICE (which cost her 7 bits to crack!) several times to get my R&D and eventually pull that last Agenda to destroy my company.

This is great! I loved this game, but no one within a two hour drive enjoyed it, which is why it was put into the attic (we hope to move early next year and find more gamers). Now I have a reason to keep this going!

thumbsup Really thematic and not fiddly at all for a LCG (at least with my base game + 3 expansions)
thumbsdown I still suck at deckbuilding in ANY game (I'm looking at you LotR)
thumbsdown The AI always plays with the same deck. I suppose I could build one of my own, but see note above.
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23. Board Game: Animal Upon Animal [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:802] [Average Rating:6.85 Unranked]
d b
United States
De Forest
Wisconsin
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Was out for a tree lighting (by Santa) and fire truck parade. Heading home we decided to stop at the new thrift store. Wandered to the games section, of course. I like to blame my 1yr old. Been to these before and never find anything good. Was looking the same this time until... On the bottom shelf (of course, right) I found this gem. One on my list for when the little guy gets bigger. (along with Rory's story cubes)

I crack open the box. Looks brand new. Didn't bother to inventory given the price. It was Black Friday after all. $0.90 yep less than a buck even with tax. cool

My guess is it fell out of Santa's bag.

Played and beat my wife. Then failed at stacking 14 animals solo. My wife was able to pull it off.

I also picked up 23 copies of trivial pursuit and 16 copies of scene it for gifts.

Edit: it was complete and little man found a mystery die. Not sure where he found it or what it went with. I'll have to take a pic.
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24. Board Game: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:2268]
 
David Bate
United Kingdom
Staffordshire
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It has dinosaurs. Must try it.

Downloaded the rules and 1 player demo game, then printed on ordinary paper. It took a couple of evenings to cut out the cards (I had 1 1/2 eyes on the TV). Found a 'few' sleeves to and married the two together.

It took a while to work out that play-through video I had watched, which for some reason didn't match up with the rules, were in fact based on a much earlier version of the game. No wonder I got confused. But after finding Rick Royal's video run through series I was off out the starting blocks.

First impressions of the game is of a neat little deck builder considering the limited card pool available to the demo. The image work is top notch, enough to satisfy any dinofan.

I didn't really encounter many problems until I encountered Tarbosaur boss way too early and ate his way through my hoard. I was saving them for something special! That put me back some what especially as ELE was fast approaching.

Made some progress before the Tarbosaur turned up again. This time I was ready for him and took him down in three rounds.

Game Two
A slow start and an equally slow mid game. Tarbosaur appeared once eat a juicy bit of prey in hoard then left. The countdown to doomsday ran out and I failed to get enough humff to pass one round against the Tarbosaur.
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25. Board Game: Ascension: Apprentice Edition [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1733]
Boomerang Phenomenon
United Kingdom
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
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Played this again today for same reason as Star Realms.

Now I have the app how does it stand up?

I played using the great variant created by
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Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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I managed to win by a score of 62-47. This is definitely my favourite way to play this solo.

The game is still fun to play and the physical version is great and I much prefer it to the app.

However, the app will still probably get more plays as it's so convenient. I was also considering getting expansions for this but I think that I may just buy them for the app version.

Like:
Quick, straightforward deck builder with a theme I like.

Don't like:
The app is easily as good as the physical game and the expansions are a lot cheaper for the app too.

The art isn't to everyone's taste....but I seem to quite like it.
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