Solitaire Games on Your Table - March 2015
Arne Hoffmann
Germany
Essenbach
Germany
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Herzlich Willkommen zu der 22. Ausgabe der
SOLITAIRE GAMES ON YOUR TABLE


Spring time is converging upon those of us in the Northern Hemisphere and the first 22 shades of green do appear. A good time to rest from all that shoveling of snow. Take up a cup of good tea or #insert beverage of your choice# and sit down for a nice solitaire game or 22.

But do not forget to share your gaming experience, your likes and dislikes, your great moments in triumph and loss as well as your trial games - digesting rules and gaming systems - here with us. Right here in this list - yes, you found the correct place. Any format is welcome, whatever matches your style and experience best. Pictures, Prosa, Poems? All welcome, no must - diversity it is!

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Challenge:
In light of spring, the continuous mention of the number 22 and green being my favorite shade of colors, I offer shiny GG to everyone featuring a green 22 in one of his or her gaming pictures. I know you are a creative lot so lets see what you can come up with. Multiple pictures of the same item will not be awarded.

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thumbsup Hot or Not thumbsdownthumbsdown:
It is a fact well known to those who know it well that this list does offer great gaming advice*. So please share with us one thing about the game that puts a spring in your step and two that leave you cold.

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Helpful resources for us soloists:
1 Player Guild - Together, we game alone: Not signed up yet? Do so - it is a great resource for everything around solitaire gaming!
Solitaire Games On Your Table monthly geek list subscription thread: Sign up here to not miss out on future SGoYT lists.
SGoYT Spreadsheet: Statistics about the hippest games and users in our monthly lists.
2015 SGoYT Challenges Subscription: We have a great many challenges going on, just check 'em out.
Solitaire Recommendations for your table: Want to know, what to get to the table next?
1 Player Guild Trading Post Wanna get rid of solo games or trade for new ones?
2014 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games: These are the best of the best of the best in solitaire gaming.
2015 Secret Soloist Gift Exchange: Sign up during March and participate in our SECRET SOLOIST Game Exchange!

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Future hosts**:
April:
May:
June:
garybrooks
reverendunclebastard
koinskyz
July:
August:
September:
joestin
Iz Nibz
lukather
October:
November:
December:
SBGrad
angerx
mikolajl

2016: queue not opened yet

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* Warning: It is also a well known fact that this list drains your wallet quicker than snow melting in a desert. Our group therapy can be found here: SGOYT made me buy this

** Any questions on what it is like to be the host? The answer is just a GM away.
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1. Board Game: 7 Days of Westerplatte [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:4428]
chris leko
United States
Brooksville
Florida
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I set this one up more than a few weeks ago and never got around to playing it (as evidenced by the dust on the game board when I finally did sit down and play).

I told myself i wasn't going to play anything else until I got this played, so I've been in kind of a no-game funk this month. I think this is my first game posted here.

This was the first time I've played this, but I went in knowing it was kind of a light tower-defense game. And that's basically what it is.

Does it win any awards? Nah, probably not. Does it have a place in my collection? Maybe. I might play it now and again, but I don't think I'd be past selling it for the right price/trade.

Basically the game tasks you to defend Westerplatte from an invasion of german forces during WW2. What the game ends up playing like is a tower-defense game where you see diminishing resources lead to the player having to make decisions about what to leave go and what fire to put out.

In some ways it reminds me of the decision tree of Pandemic or Flashpoint. Like those games, I think this probably works better as a solo game than a multiplayer game (though I had to remember what order my pawns went, but I went in color order, so it wasn't too big of an issue). I played on easy and barely scratched out a win.

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2. Board Game: Adaman [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:10303]
Mike Hostetler
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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Got my Decktet deck from Arts Cow today so of course I had to give it a go:



I lost -- pretty bad. I couldn't get the Personalities out early enough. I only scored 46 points.

That said, I'm happy with the deck that came from ArtsCow. Colorful and clear. My only complaint is that the deck box it came in fits tight. The cars have a hard going in and have an almost impossible time coming back out. The deck I build has many duplicate reference cards -- I'm going to take a few out. That will make it easier.
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3. Board Game: Adaman [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:10303]
Mike Hostetler
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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When I was checking out my 10x10 list and noted that Adaman was on there. Oh I better play some games of it.

Played three -- and I'm getting better. 54, 48, and 60. Yes, 60 -- that means I had one Crown left. I couldn't do anything about it.
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4. Board Game: Adaman [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:10303]
John Splittist
Switzerland
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First few games with my brand-spanking Decktet.

Has a real Onirim-esque feel to me. Love the aesthetics of the deck. Looking forward to exploring more games.
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5. Board Game: After Pablo [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:4317]
Jason Moore
Germany
March
Baden-Württemberg
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No, it isn't a solo game, of course, and I actually learned to play it against a pal yesterday. I was so absorbed by it that I played it two-handed just to get a feel for some of the strategies and risks before we break it out again.

For me, this was the "grailest" of Grail games. I'm just in love with the designer's Cave Evil, I have a copy of his The Mushroom Eaters that I'm waiting to grab from The 'Guru... and there's something like only 140 copies of After Pablo in existence (although a print and play option now exists).

The best and worst thing I've done, this year, is discover the Geek Market link up the top there. (Antiquity, Die Macher, The Great Zimbabwe, it's only a matter of time...) I contacted a seller regarding the possibility of "wiggle-room" on a price, and we came to an accord. (Thanks, again, Daniel.) Which is where the niceties end, when it comes to this story, as the game itself is a bloodthirsty war where you play an enterprising drug baron attempting to secure control of the cocaine market from Columbia, via Mexico, to the U.S. border and beyond. The game is very simple to play, with every little detail making perfect thematic sense.

I absolutely love it.


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6. Board Game: After the Flood [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:2006]
Kurt R
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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No, not playing this game, just using its title thematically. I had some minor flooding due to burst pipe at the end of February down in my dedicated solo/overflow gaming area. I had to have part of my wall cut out and replaced, so I decided to take the opportunity to put some better shelves in. I settled on our hobby's preferred gaming shelves, the Ikea Kallax.

So, I went from
to this...


I then had a fit of organizing and did a massive spring cleaning, the likes of which I haven't done since 2008 so I called it my "7 year home organization itch" (and no, I cannot come to your house and do it; get your own 7 year itch).

Ironically, after getting these new shelves, I've decided to cut down on my owned games and try to focus on a few. I'm suffering from a case of rules fatigue lately where I just don't have the energy for rules heavy games, and I'm tired of having to remember rules I've forgotten. I petered out in the middle of learning D-Day at Tarawa so I figured I'll wait till I get my 2nd wind. Not sure where my solitaire interests will turn but my dedicated area is back up and running.

If anyone wants to thumb bomb my current auction, it'd be much appreciated; bidding on items even more so.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/188876/just-got-new-s...

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  • Wed Apr 1, 2015 3:36 pm
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7. Board Game: Age of War [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1555]
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
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Played twice using this solo variant: AoW Solitaire Varient — which is by our very own

Dave Daffin
United Kingdom
Ledbury
Herefordshire
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I scanned some of the other solo variants, and also ran into AoW Solitaire Varient, which has a great "Divine Wind" rule: if you rolled all the battle lines of a castle on your first roll, you win the castle.

I'm still thinking about the merits of these two variants. I will need to play a lot more I think.

Both plays of Dave's variant without Divine Wind were losses:

12 - 20
12 - 21

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8. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:27]
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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So after almost a year, and now that I'm becoming familiar with euro games (Loyang, Snowdonia and Lewis and Clark) as well as Plano...I thought I'd break this out again. Also I was disenheartened last time by my -4. This time I did much better, though still not a solo "win." I scored a 27! I only had 2 empty spaces, and several sheep and cattle and 1 pig, with a 4 room clay hut and 2 kids. Yeesh that's tough.
I got the "wet nurse" minor improvement which lets you immediately place a kid when you build a room. It took me awhile to get that though because I wanted the clay maker (mixer?) minor improvement so I could get the cooking hearth asap and start making more food. That was an improvement on the last game, being able to make more food.
I am now more organized, though now everything won't fit into the box angry

Edit: Actually my playing happened on Thursday night (3/26/15), and I still managed only a 23, but I was messing around with the opening moves. I got frustrated and peeked at the strategy forum and saw that my theory of starting with more fields is a good idea. I didn't have a chance to get back to it yet. Soon!

Oh, and I got a smaller box to fit just the resources in, and it all fits in the box now!
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9. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:27]
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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Woohoo! I did it! I broke 50! Once I learned the most efficient opening move:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
To plow and sow right away and to do the fences/animals near the end.


...it seemed to flow from there. As you can see, with the Bakehouse Minor Improvement and the Hedge Keeper Occupation, I managed to get a few more than 50 points to total 53.



(gotta work on that empty spot...)
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10. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3904]
P. Fowler
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Alright, so I'm pretty late on this one (like a couple of weeks), but I got to give Airborne Commander a shot, the solitaire game of D-Day's paratroopers published by a friend, Max Michael. Right now it's in Kickstarter mode with 14 days left, but it's pretty solid for a solitaire game. Lots of tough choices, but enough constant info to keep you strategizing.
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11. Board Game: Aliens: This Time It's War [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:3908]
Joke Meister
Hong Kong
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Managed to get this to the table (actually, it was the floor as I couldn't get access to the table ) last night using solo rules developed by Raygun1966 and converted by Darkwynd (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1313325/solo-variant).

I played the harder variant where the Aliens player gets an extra card per battlefield as I figured the Aliens would need that extra card advantage. Good thing I did as the game went down to the wire and I only managed to win with Ripley the sole survivor. Everyone else got torn apart!
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12. Board Game: American Megafauna [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:3429]
Adam Gastonguay
United States
Pottstown
Pennsylvania
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All this Eklund talk got me to print out a bunch of his rulesets and to download the Vassal boards and give them all a go to see if they're worth tracking down. I could kick myself, because back in the late 1990s, I bought his Zepplin game and could have gotten all these other ones, but had no idea what I was doing at the time. Ah well.

I set up the solitaire version of this, and picked the DogFace mammals as those to try and survive a few billion years. I started in a nice Lycopod Meadow where I foraged for food, but it couldn't hold too many of me, so I spread out to a Podocarp High Forest. I evolved a prehensile trunk, presumably to hunt for roots under all those high trees. Life seemed pretty good.

The Meadow (or my Eden as I thought of it) changed a bit, becoming a Herbaccous Browse, and my poor stomach was having trouble digesting these new plants. Luckily we still had our forest, so what could go wrong?

Land Crocodiles, that's what. As far as I could tell by the rules, they came from the south and landed on my biome since the extreme south couldn't support them (was a water tile). They also immediately filled it. During the Herbivore Cull phase, I was wiped out and really had no ability to retaliate. There were no biomes that I could survive in (either water or needed a gut mutation), so the crocs ate me out of existence. I existed for 30my (5 turns).

I presume not all games are like this, so I'm not totally disheartened. Besides, I loved the story it told as the world changed (and I apparently did not since the genes I could choose from I couldn't get at the time).

thumbsup Science!
thumbsdown A loss with absolutely no power to stop it
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13. Board Game: American Megafauna [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:3429]
Steve Carey
United States
West Coast
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For years, I've been biased against this title as a cruder, over-bloated, and too lengthy predecessor to one of my all-time favorite games, Bios: Megafauna.

Needless to say, I was wrong. Very wrong.

AMF was easier to digest than I had been led to believe, the Living Rules file (2010) playing a big part in that, along with my familiarity with BIOS.

Some prep time and note-taking really paid off!

Playing solo, 2-sided (dog-face and dino-croc), I used the standard setup with a random deck. There will be 41 turns for the full game, so I hope that the various types of cards will somewhat balance out.

For the tile auctions, I'm rolling a die (0, 0, 1, 2, 2, 3) from Die Macher to determine each species' bid, with ties being broken by indicated teeth (per standard rule). If a species is restricted from bidding on a card, the other species gets it for 1 gene (if it rolls anything other than a 0, unless the purchase is obvious).

260 million years ago...

The initial setup is intriguing as the two different species grow their populations and then expand, jockeying for position while taking into account their size, DNA, and teeth.

So far (game in progress), neither species has a discernible advantage at this early stage. But I wanted to post and say that I am having an absolute blast with this game!

thumbsup Eklund delivers once again with a freakishly fascinating, scientific, historical, story-telling gaming experience.

thumbsdown thumbsup The components are quaint but somewhat flimsy (especially the box).

thumbsdown thumbsup Quite chaotic, the Earth can be a harsh host. But the chaos helps with solitaire play.

thumbsup As the 'parent' of Bios: Megafauna, AMF has quickly earned my admiration and respect. I am soooooo glad that I picked this up!
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14. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:813]
George Pattison
United States
Odenton
Maryland
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Trying out the new bots from Issue #28 C3I by Oerjan Ariander. It's first time that I have had a chance had to play the Cartel. A propaganda card popped up on the first turn of the deck which put the Government much, much closer to victory. AUC got a sanctuary in Panama when Darien popped up next. FARC is now at the edge of his first onslaught on the cities of Columbia, and it doesn't look like the Gov bot is going to be proactive. I could be, but there is plenty of time left until the next propaganda card comes up.

thumbsup Yep, now you can play any side solitaire. I hope A Distant Plain and Cuba Libre get the same treatment.
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15. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:46]
John Splittist
Switzerland
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Finally a win with my tagstorm deck. I took terrible risks, though, to advance and score a Breaking News and Market Research on the same turn. My deck doesn't use 2 of the 3 cards in the illustration, which I am coming to think is a mistake...
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16. Board Game: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2372]
 
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
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If you're wondering why I've been so quiet, this is why: Ava Watches Gargoyles

This is the last game I'm getting for quite some time. Fortunately this was bundled in with Castaways and Walnut Grove, before unfortunate financial things happened, and it's not like I lack games to play.

I played, entirely by accident, the "good for new players" apex predator Acrocanthosaurus atokensis on the Emergence beginner mode, so I got the hang of the game and managed to beat the boss of this particular game session, Tyrannotitan chubutensis, even though the first two attempted afflictions of pain upon the boss were both viruses and thus didn't count, resulting in three more rounds of combat before the thing went down.

I wish there was more variety in the Evolve cards, but there is plenty of variety in prey, big game, and titans. And there are a bunch of different bosses and minions, and nine different apex predators that vary in difficulty from easy peasy to "brutal", and which are all supposed to play very differently. The Acrocanthosaurus gives a little taste of everything and is very flexible.

I did not like hunting the Ankylosaurus. No. I did not.

Next step is to play the full game, which adds Environment cards and makes it harder to ambush prey, and makes certain prey more dangerous. And it also integrates the boss into the hunt deck so said boss can pop up at more inconvenient times than after you've had six rounds to prepare.

And yes, the theme is strong in this game, I feel. The interesting thing is that the VP cards (prey, big game, titans) give you "evolve points" that you can spend to buy new cards into your predator deck that are specialized for one predator, but they can only do so once, and then they are out of the game. I scored 17 points, but since the solo goal is to beat the boss, I'm not sure that matters so much.

This game could really have used a play mat and it could have used much larger text on the cards. Readable cards win over cards that are mostly picture any day, for me at least.
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17. Board Game: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2372]
 
Ross Allen
Thailand
Klongluang
Pathum Thani
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played my first full game of Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game and just won, beat the boss during the 2nd to last round. This is the best deck builder experience I have had, close, lots of decisions plus great art work. With a few more plays I am sure this will change to my favourite deck building games as a minimum.

thumbsup best deck building game I have played solo (as in best single play though).
thumbsdown the box insert is basic and lacking
thumbsdown I struggled with the rule book.
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18. Board Game: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2372]
 
Ross Allen
Thailand
Klongluang
Pathum Thani
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So I played another 3 games of Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game afterwards finding out that I have played all 4 of my games incorrectly. The rule book is not the correct rule book, the correct one must be downloaded from the website, but I cannot find it on the website but know beforehand the link on bgg to get it

The main differences are there are 4 foot prints not 3 for both game trail and evolve, can add 3 dinos to ambush per turn as oposed to 3 total, and also the environment deck has 9 not all 12 cards.

I also played boss battles incorrectly, after each "battle continues" I drew a new environment card, I should not have done this.

Anyway my first game I played T. Rex vs T. Rex and managed a win I liked the enemy minion artwork here.


End position.


Dead Boss.


Minion Artwork which I like.

My second battle I played as Quetzalcoatlus Northropi agianst the boss Tarbosaurus Bataar, these played in a different way, some environmental specific cards, I liked this deck as it makes you play in a different way, I managed to win, but this was luck, due to infiltrate cards against the boss.


End position


Dead Boss

My third game I played as Velociraptor Mongouensis vs Mapusaurus Roseae. Velociraptors are an interesting deck, I think it is designed to be an ambush deck as there are a few cards that have "if in ambush" or "if a _ is in ambush". the Alpha male and female are the infiltrator cards, and can grab cards from the discard pile, this made the boss battle fairly straight forward with respect to my previous games, as boss gets an affliction due to infiltrate and due to card effect gets lots of hunt value. Also, there are apex cards that are not hatchlings that are 0 evolve cost, this is interesting as they are weak but are useful due to certain card effects should you fill up your deck with weak cards or pass to get strong cards? this one I scored and finished with 29 points.


Start Layout

I also played 3 games of Shephy this is a cool little game, I like the artwork won 2/3 the one I lost was pretty much straight away! this gives you plenty of decisions in the way of planning. which order do I play the cards in? Should I play these bad cards in the hope of drawing good cards to rid my hand of terrible cards?


1st game 2010 points

Second game I thought I had a chance of a huge high score, at one point had 5000 points but needed to used discard events so finished with below end.


3rd game 3000 points

So on Thursday morning after breakfast, but before the trip back from my Business trip, I had exactly 35 minutes free so I pulled out Bullfrogs. it is a beautiful game but I didn't really know what I was doing due to time restraints and finished with the below final position.


final score 45 points Isaac 16 total score 29 points. Rank = Footman Frog.

Edit: I forgot to put my thoughts of these games so here goes.

Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game the rules issue isn't particularly bad as I have played with the rule book provided that are not the up to date rules. With not having all the environment deck every game this will give a bit of variety. I think this is the place to add variety along with the evolution deck as there are only 5 different cards there so its fairly easy to find a tactics and you no longer need to think from game to game. The variety in Apex decks are great, and with different bosses the game has a lot of variability.
Shephy I was concerned thee replayability would be poor in this but I was wrong. The planning decisions you need to do are puzzly, having to figure out the combo that is optimal. The high score aspect also brings me back again and it is short as well 15-20mins. Definitely one that can travel with me often.
Bullfrogs I have only played this once but I want to play again! I like the artwork and the decisions to make. There are decisions for the AI Isaac you have to make are also interesting. Have to decide which direction to move Isaac or where to move his frogs as the loser moves first.

All the games will be coming with me next trip and Apex and bullfrogs are on my table now Apex is set up ready for me!
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19. Board Game: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2372]
 
Ross Allen
Thailand
Klongluang
Pathum Thani
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Played another 2 games of Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game 1st game i played as Acrocanthosaurus Atokensis against the boss Hatzegopteryx Thambema. Round 1 a harbinger hatched due to emergence my hand is a titan carcas, carcas x3 and hatchling x3. I first killed a 3/3 hunt/evolve and then baught the harbinger, one of the infiltrate cards, for 9 evolve. Nothing much happed for the emergence rounds 2 and 3 so at Round 4 tropical storm turned up from the environment deck and I accepted the alert drew the boss took a flesh wound and in my hand is the harbinger boss got a sevire trauma for infiltrate so now need 8 hunt to inflict the killing blow to the boss. The rest of my hand, including harbinger, totaled 12 hunt so the boss directed me to eliminate a hatchling played and then the boss gained a virus! Won on turn 4!

end of round 4

my second game, I played the same apex and boss due to the shortness of the last but played on brutal difficulty, no emergence evironments, this came down to the final turn, I had a chance to beat the boss earlier but after a 17 hunt hand my next hand was 5 so boss with 2 flesh wounds ran away to recover 31 points win (16+15 for difficulty)

I still want to play as Acrocanthosaurus Atokensis some more as I don't feal I have explored this deck enough. I like the new rules regarding environment deck as this gives some variety. Before my next play I need to look at the rules regarding fleeing boss battles so I can get a larger score!

Next up after a session of duplicate bridge in which finishing 2nd after a disastrous 1st half (37%!), I played a game of Bullfrogs. went better than my last game, I avoided where possibe putting Isaac's (the AI's) frogs on the log and finshed with 32points and the rank of knight frog.

end position

Next up was my first solo atempt at Patchwork using a dummy player and the crown yourself patchwork king variant or variant 1 for short! I felt you could plan what the dummy player did so you can plan well and managed to complete my grid on the last move of the game! Finished with 31 points. Excellent!

game end board complete! Excellent!

Finally just before bed I went for the dreamy game of Onirim with my first playthrough using the door to the oniverse expansion. This made the game a lot easier without adding an additional challenge except an extra door which any colour can fetch/unlock. I think this is a good expansion to add to others which are difficult to win. Finished with 22 cards remaining.

end game labyrinth
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20. Board Game: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2372]
 
Jack Bennett
United States
Rougemont
North Carolina
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Grabbed this recently because I've been in a deck-building mood lately and this looked like it'd be a good one solo. Plus, you know...dinosaurs, right?

So far I've played the emergence (learning/tutorial) scenario and then one standard game. Both with the acrocanthosaurus.


Like this, but with skin.

Both times I played against the...uh...the cards are downstairs. Little guy, has minions that eat your eggs and hatchlings.

Emergence scenario went well. Mainly just figuring out the rules and the where all the cards go and what order you do things. I beat the boss, but then during my second game realized that I'd cheated as the boss is immune to viruses which I didn't take into account.

Second game was a loss. But a good lesson. The acrocanthosaurus deck is pretty basic, but there is some synergy with the cards if you can pull it off. All I bought from the Evolve deck were eggs, which I think is what lost me the game.

The boss came up early and I ran. Spent the rest of the game trying to get most of my better dinos in my deck. Hunted 30 or so points of stuff overall, including one Titan with a successful ambush, which was fun! Then the boss came up again and I felt ready.

I slapped him around a few times, but he did the same to me, causing some severe traumas and flesh wounds. One of my successes was a virus which I correctly ignored, so that was a wasted turn. Eventually I got 4 damage on him (takes 5 to kill him? Six maybe? I got him close, whatever). By that point, though, I was pretty beat up. I hadn't bought any Evolve cards that I could use to heal or ditch wounds, so my hands just kept getting worse and worse over this one prolonged fight. Eventually I drew a hand with two hatchlings and four flesh wounds and the fight was over.

That hand was so crap, but luckily that meant my NEXT hand was awesome! And then the meteor hit and everything in it died. I had one chance to try and get a helpful card, but there were only eggs in the Evolutions.

The extinction came and I had one last chance to take down the boss. It didn't go well. I had a card that lets me draw cards equal to the number of wounds I have, but unfortunately to use that during a boss fight means that only the hunt cards I draw are any good (I can't use an egg or Evolve card after playing it without losing the four hunt it offers; in Apex the order of cards played is pretty strict unlike other deckbuilders where your resources are just sort of added to a pool you can spend from at any time). I had a 4-card hand from the Extinction event, and none of it was going to help against the boss so I didn't kill him. Game over.

Good learning experience, though. I hadn't really realized how heavily weighed down with wounds you would get fighting a boss. And so hadn't bought any of the cards you can heal yourself with. I'll know for next time.

Overall the game is pretty good. It doesn't do anything NEW for deckbuilders, but it mixes and matches some decent aspects of some of my favorites. And it's very playable solo. Plus, you know...dinosaurs.

The rulebook is crap, though. Still bothers me to no end, but not NEARLY as much as one of the Emergence environment cards using "to" instead of "too." I mean come-the-hell-on people, even a spell-checker would catch that crap.

There are still some rules I'm not sure I'm playing correctly due to ambiguities in the rulebook and on cards. Maybe someone can help:

1) Viruses say they go back to the top of your deck "when you discard your hand." When do you do this? During step 7 it distinctly says to play every card in your hand. Does the virus just go to the top of your deck at the end of every turn?

2) What about during a boss fight? When you fight the boss you could be left with cards in your hand. The rules DO say here to "discard your hand." Would a virus go on top of your deck at this point?

3) I assume during a boss fight that you don't resolve the actions on any of the wounds (they're not called wounds, but I forget the name) you have in your hand. You discard them and draw a new hand and keep fighting. Only the wound cards you have in your hand when the fight ends (due either to running or failing) would then be played during step 7, right?

Ok, never done the thumb thing, let's try it:

thumbsup Very soloable deckbuilder.
thumbsup Dinosaurs, right?
thumbsup Good integration of theme, which is tough for deckbuilders.
thumbsup Most of the art is good.
thumbsdown But not all of it.
thumbsdown Set up is tedious.
thumbsdown Grammar is just to hard.
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21. Board Game: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2372]
 
Christopher Ebert
United States
North Fort Myers
Florida
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Date
3-25
3-30
Difficulty
Easy
Easy
Apex
Acrocanthosaurus
Carnotaurus
Boss
Utahraptor
Hatzegopteryx
Outcome
Defeated
Defeated
Score
18
18


Notes/Comments:
3-25: Well worth the wait for this game. I love deckbuilders and this one really impressed me so far. Want to get a couple more games under my belt before I make a final thought on this game to make sure it's not just "new game is awesome"

3-30: Decided I wanted to win a game with each Apex marked as "Easy" difficulty to play. So I'm no randomizing which Apex I play as until I get a win with all three before moving on the the moderate Apexes to play. I wound up in almost the same circumstance as before where I was fighting the boss during the extinction event and lost. Somehow, I still got the same amount of points that I did last time.

thumbsup Many Apexes to choose from with different styles of play
thumbsup Beautiful artwork
thumbsup I love that the boss is randomized
thumbsdown rulebook had to be scrapped and had to print out the right one
thumbsdown another kickstarter coming up with a new version of the base game with a board and starter token and such... gotta start saving already... cause I know I'm gonna want it. (thumbs up to the expansion though)


Apex - Game Tracker Spreadsheet
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22. Board Game: Archon: Glory & Machination [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1941]
Glaya B
United States
San Mateo
California
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I managed to clear off my dining room table enough to fit this game, so I gave it another try vs. my AI. I was able to maintain a comfortable 10 point lead throughout most of the game, even though the AI was gaining Magister cards faster than my previous version. By the final scoring, I crushed it 89-61.

That tells me that even though I made the AI slightly harder compared to the first version, it's still not tuned to be enough of a real challenge. I'm making further tweaks to increase the difficulty. In particular, I will concentrate on making it more competitive during end-of-season scoring, which is where I gained most of my points.

thumbsup The different Magister abilities combined with the tight resources make this a game with lots of interesting decisions.

thumbsdown The game took a full 2 hours, which is too long for what it is. I'm hoping that a significant amount of the time was due to my constant analysis of how the AI was working, and that once I have the AI rules perfected my time will speed up.

thumbsdown There are so many cubes and tokens and cards to manipulate, the game is awfully fiddly. Plus, it's hard to reach the entire length of the board to manipulate everything (such as the various card decks), because the board is so big.
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23. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Jason Moore
Germany
March
Baden-Württemberg
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Continuing my new life goal of not working at the weekend, I've had this on the table for most of the day (with everything but the board from Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion mixed in). I've played a heck of a lot of Eldritch Horror over the past few months - and I adore it - but sometimes you just feel the need to answer that deep, low, original call from Cthulhu.

This was my number one in the solo guild vote, although I'm ashamed how little it's got to the table. What I've rediscovered today is that the game isn't complicated to play, once you've nipped through a couple of turns, its no more complex than EH. Sure, there's a tad more to do with the systems, but it isn't hard by any stretch. Plus, I think playing so much of EH has sharpened me up for this main event. I've felt in competition shape since opening the box (which is the biggest hurdle I have with this one; that initial commitment).

I still rate this higher than EH; there's something about the tighter, more cohesive narrative that comes from this more intimate location. I'm not globe-trotting, things aren't as disparate here... Everything I do feels like it has an important knock-on effect elsewhere. The recent battle-cry about EH being simpler, about setting up quicker is, I think, largely redundant in the wake of the Mountains of Madness expansion. They certainly take up the same table space, for me, at this point.

I also realised, today, that if I was honestly only able to have one game in the collection, it'd be this.

So... where next with the expansions? I want Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror Expansion, as I like the story behind it, but it doesn't really add to my existing decks. Is Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror Expansion a better deal for that? And which of the smaller expansions do people prefer?

Not that I'm buying them this month. Oh no. whistle

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24. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Chris W
United Kingdom
Oxfordshire
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A great game of Arkham Horror with the Curse of the Dark Pharaoh expansion. I played Ursula Downs (the Explorer) and Vincent Lee (the Doctor) as my investigators. And Rhan-Tegoth as the Ancient One, just waiting to spoil our days.

Things began quite well, with Ursula beginning the game really tooled up with a total +7 combat rating. Vincent less so, but he had cash so was able to buy stuff in. Ursula also stole a quick march on clue tokens, doubling her stock in one fell swoop.

Then things started to go wrong. Ursula first lost half her clue tokens, went bonkers and then lost her .38 revolver. The 'Distrubing the Dead' rumour stoked up the terror level and before we could say "I want my mummys", Rhan-Tegoth awoke and scoffed us both.

Brilliant stuff. And the Dark Pharoah expansion added a nice sense of theme to the game, with building getting buried in mysterious sands, strange Egyptian items appearing and bandaged dudes popping up all over the place.
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25. Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:565] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Andrew Taylor
Scotland
Kintore
Aberdeenshire
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Also been playing this solo (another 10 x 10 challenge game). Tried the two different solo approaches - one as per the rules from one of the expansions and the other as per 'Mo's Realms Solo Variant' posted by

Mo
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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which is similar to Star Realm's Nemesis Beast solo play. Interesting variation and found the scoring a lot lower for both sides - still lost though. Provides a nice bit of variation so will play some more using both solo rules sets to see which I prefer.
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