Solitaire Games on Your Table - April 2015
Boomerang Phenomenon
United Kingdom
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
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Welcome to the April 2015 edition of
Solitaire Games on Your Table


The Rules of SGoYT:

If you're new to the SGoYT lists it's pretty simple:

1. Play a game solo (absolutely anything you like, any way you like).
2. Come here and post something about it (as much or as little as you like).
3. Have fun (playing games and talking about them here).

If you're an old hand with these lists then just get playing and posting.
Leave your wallets, purses, money belts, etc at the door. They do not like it here.

Try and help us spend less money:

As started in October last year and continued since, please post 1 like and 2 dislikes about the games you play (more of either are welcome too). 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 ).

This month's challenges:




Firstly, it's my birthday this month. The big 40.

To celebrate this I want to see 40's everywhere.

Playing a game with 40 cubes, 40 minis or 40 tiles - post a picture.

Get a score of 40 - tell us all about it.

Wearing something with a 40 on it whilst storming Omaha Beach or trading wood for clay - share it.

Playing Life Begins at 40 solo - I definitely want to know about that.

A story about the number 40 or turning 40 - write it down if you want.

I will tip any posts that embrace the number 40. The weirder, the better.

I will also give away 1 prize of 40 bag - 1 post from the entire month (anything posted before I get up and do the draw on 1st May will qualify) will be picked at random.


EASTER BUNNY MADNESS

As it is also Easter this month so I will also tip any posts that have pictures of rabbits in them. Real or game components accepted. Feel free to be creative.

NB: I reserve the right to give out other GG prizes for any posts, comments, pictures, etc I like this month.




The final voting is now open:

1 PLAYER GUILD AWARDS 2015 - FINAL VOTING - THE POLLS ARE OPEN

PLEASE GO AND VOTE IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY!

Here are some useful links and resources for the solo player:

1 Player guild "Together, We Game Alone"
If you haven't joined the guild, please do. It is a great resource for everything around solitaire gaming!

Solitaire Games on Your Table Monthly Geeklist SUBSCRIPTION THREAD - Sign up here to not miss out on future SGoYT lists.

2015 SGoYT Challenges SUBSCRIPTION - We have a great many challenges going on, just check 'em out.

2014 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games - These are the best of the best of the best in solitaire gaming.

The Solo Games Chain of Generosity - An ongoing list where you can give and get games.

SGoYT made me buy this! - If this list costs you money, go here to tell us all about it.

1 Player Guild Trading Post - Want to get rid of some solo games or trade for new ones?

Solitaire Recommendations For Your Table - Want to know, what to get to the table next?

Solitaire Games on Your Table Spreadsheet - An ongoing spreadsheet that tracks everyone and everything posted to the SGOYT lists.

1 Player Guild / SGOYT - 2015 Solitaire Goals - Do you have any plans for your solo gaming this year? Here's a great place to tell us everyone about them, and see what others are doing too.

Future SGoYT hosts are:

May 2015 - reverendunclebastard
June 2015 - koinskyz
July 2015 - joestin
August 2015 - Iz Nibz
September 2015 - lukather
October 2015 - SBGrad
November 2015 - rangerx
December 2015 - mikolajl
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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Daniel Rodriguez
United States
Rochester
New York
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I had a very enjoyable session with one of Todd Sanders solo games. I love the art on the cards and the game plays well. I ended up with a 70. I will have to run through this a few more times and then maybe graduate to the advanced level rules.
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2. Board Game: 1944: Race to the Rhine [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:1407]
S P
Belgium
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Playing one of my Secret Soloist's present!

I've first tried a two-handed game to get the rules down.
At first I thought "this is easy, I've come up very far in only a few turns, this is going to end soon"...
Yeah, but then I started missing supplies and using counter-attacks to cut supply roads and the game was really on :


Such a great tactical supplying challenge ! It ended badly for Brad's side (white), having all its corps unable to move because of food shortage and supply lines cut because of bad front deployment : impossible to get that back on feet.

You stay on your own part of the map but there's so much interaction : you always have to think of a possible counter attack and where it could cut your lines, and do your move accordingly, while not waisting to much time building a good front.


Then I played a solo game and I had a blast : it flows even better and the game is shorter, and a big challenge.

The end of my first solo game :


Every axis marker was flipped (I left the last one on its number side) before I even reached the first one - so I lost.
Spent too much time and supply on the axis controlled supply towns on the left (Boulogne, Calais, Dunkerke).


thumbsup Not played much but I feel a lot of replayability here : 3 different sides to choose from, each with very different conditions on the map, the game is hard to win, and I think there's more than one approach each time.

thumbsup The solo rules are neat, very well done and flowing.

thumbsup I love this war of supplies, having to maintain supply lines while having to keep moving forward, and using these lines to bring the supplies to the corps. To cross the Rhine in a limited time frame. All of that makes for a great challenge.

thumbsup The board is huge and beautiful. And there's actually the town where I'm playing the game written on the map, in the good langage! The cards art are colorized pictures from back then. Beautiful.

thumbsdown Some rules I wasn't sure about, I thought I've read it but couldn't find anymore : searching in the forums, indeed, some points of rule are written in only one place where it's odd to find them, but in the end it's not much and after all, it's written in the book!

thumbsup I want to play a lot more!
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3. Board Game: 2Ruote [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
Dennis Frank
United States
Bradford
Pennsylvania
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This is a print and play bicycle racing game that I thought I'd printed, though I'd never played it. Turned out that I had printed the rules, but not the components, so it was a bit more work getting it to the table this month.

This is one of the cycling games that I'll definitely be revisiting. The English translation leaves much to be desired, but the examples provided, and a bit of pondering, let me answer most of the questions I had.

The game presents the race as a view of the main group and the riders who've moved ahead or dropped behind. It's like watching on television where you always see the same sideways view of the riders rather than having them move around a course.

It does a remarkably good job of pushing players into using appropriate tactics. I need to play it some more, but after my first two solo efforts, it is one of the games that gives me the closest feel to an actual race.
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4. Board Game: 40 Barrels of Beer [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
Mike Hostetler
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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I turned 40 last Sept and that was a fine birthday and being 40 has been great.

My wife surprised me with taking our camper to a nearby campsite and a lot of our friends and family were camping as well. She did have to let the cat out of the bag a week early because she didn't want to try hooking up the camper without me -- which was a wise decision. Also many more friends came out on the Sunday for a birthday party. She said, "No gifts" but that wasn't adhered to.

Lots of people brought me beer -- all kinds and lots of it. I'm not sure what that says about me... I mean, I don't think I have a drinking problem. It's now April and I'm almost finished with all of it (I have cut back because I'm trying to lose some weight).

I also scored on the game front. 2 friends got me $40 at CSI. Of course I had to add $60 to it to get free shipping. I got games to play with the kids (and we do). A fellow gamer friend got me Splendor, which I like and certainly haven't played enough. My non-gamer wife surprised me with 7 Wonders. I've never mentioned the game to her before, but she did a lot of research and liked how many people said that it's a great game for families. And, ironically she likes it and so does our 11 yr old daughter! We've played it 16 times since then, and 8 times since the beginning of 2015. So, yeah, it's a hit.

Since I've turned 40 I've kinda embraced my interests more. I'd rather play a boardgame than watch TV, for example, so that has sent me into the world of solo gaming -- sometimes I just play a game by myself while everyone else is on their device. I'm ok with that and they seem to be too (or they are so absorbed into their world they don't noticed a Decktet in front of me). I used to play games on my tablet but they don't interest me as much -- not even Ticket to Ride or Small World.

So embrace 40! I think it's been a top age for me thus far.

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5. Board Game: 404: Law Not Found [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:11558]
Koinsky
France
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On the paper this is not a solo game: it is competitive with some hidden informations. Thus, it doesn't seem to be suitable for solo.

The KS campaign ended more than a year and half ago. The physical boardgame was due to be delivered last year in May. I finally received my KS copy this week and gave it a try, playing 2 players.


The story takes place in a space ship. You're playing Robots. They received a nasty firmware upgrade and dysfunction a lot.


Among the crew, there are Monkeys who are slightly clever than humans. The later became so lazy (served by Robots for so long) they hardly think or act by themselves.
The game controls the Humans and Monkeys actions through a brief AI action chart.
Every turn, a new event is drawn and has an impact on the story.

At the beginning of the game, each robot receives 3 directives (a draft phase of cards); the first one who accomplishes all 3 is the winner. To achieve directives, you play a series of actions cards (kind of space alert like, without the timer). You don't have to order them by number, though


The game is definitely full of humour and well thought - I would guess the designer has a mathematical background - and is a lot of fun to play. I'm in the process of translating the directive cards to play with my French fellow (actually, I began to translate the PnP a year ago, then forgot about it...).
Meanwhile, I had so much fun playing this solo rehearsal, I've got the feeling it would be fantastic to implement a solo variant for the opponent Robot. Don't know yet if it is feasible...
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6. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:46]
Phil McDonald
England
Staffordshire
UK
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This and Kingsburg are (off the top of my head) the only fillers that I enjoy. Filler usually denotes a game that I can't be bothered to play, like 'party game' or 'abstract'.

But 7 Wonders is just a good clean system that works well with it's theme. My only criticism is that the game finishes just when it starts to get really interesting... but that's just a function of my preferences.
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7. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:227]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Played solo 3-handed. First player missed the first two mergers and was never able to recover. Third player seemed to have the game going their way, but the second player made a late comeback and won handily.

Easier than I thought it would be to not consider what tiles the other players had as I just focused on the player at hand. That may have caused me to miss a few longer term plays as I tended to play turn to turn with a few exceptions.

I do love Acquire, wish I could get it to the table more often.
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8. Board Game: Adaman [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:9917]
Adam Gastonguay
United States
Pottstown
Pennsylvania
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Due to an evil evil evil evil member of this group, I ordered a Decktet from Artscow for a low low price and it arrived yesterday.

That being the case, I played my first 2 rounds of Adaman at lunch today. This is a very "simple" game that I can't even IMAGINE winning. Both times I finished with a loss with exactly 52 points. Both with the Lunatic and a different 8 point personality left. The second game looked promising as I didn't get stuck with as many aces in my resource pile, but I just couldn't get the right suits in hand. I have a feeling it's going to take a long, long time to get a handle on how this one works to get past this wall.

thumbsup Very simple to pick up and plays in ~10 minutes.
thumbsdown You probably won't have the awesome sale I had. cool
thumbsdown 52 again! ARG!
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9. Board Game: Adventure of D [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:6996]
Jason (sans nation)
Germany
March
Baden-Württemberg
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Been a while for this one (which is typical of my 10x10 list, this year). Played a couple of games, but - even on easy - I couldn't bring in the win. Got really close to defeating the villain, on my second go - managed to discard the eight points worth of power cards to defeat him... but this left nothing in my hand. In the solo game, an empty hand is an empty heart (life bar). Had no more rest timers in the bank. Ah well. This one remains charming, clever and fun.


Beware Baqem, the bane of the solitaire gamer... Draw a white check card and it's all over. The git.
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10. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:128]
Brian Sturk
United States
Hudson
New Hampshire
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First time playing a full game against my AI program. Rust belt, 3 players. I won with 1 AI coming in a close 2nd. The other AI was eliminated near the end of the game. I think the next time I will play that map 4 players.

Also, I need to break out poker chips, the paper money is awful.
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11. Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Barbados / St. Lucia [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Tina
Germany
Köln
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Played two times the Barbados map.

The first game was a tight win with just 20$.
At the second game I had more luck with the goods cubes and got a 48$ win.

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12. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:25]
Kevin Eastwood
United States
Windham
New Hampshire
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Working on my 10x10 this year... So far I've liked, but not loved Agricola - I'm still trying to find the game here that most people highly regard. Finished last night's solo game with a 67 and quite the farm.

I'm not sure where this fits in the pecking order for Uwe games that I own - perhaps....

1. Le Havre
2. Glass Road
3. Loyang
4. Ora et Labora (not enough plays to be critical at this point)
4. Agricola

I'm intrigued by Fields of Arle, but resisting... for now

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13. Board Game: Alea Iacta Est [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1374]
Glaya B
United States
San Mateo
California
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Ordinarily, I don't like dice games, because I don't appreciate it when the outcome of an action is determined by random chance rather than how well I was able to plan and make choices. However, after I watched the Rahdo video for this game, I thought it had enough meaningful decision space to consider giving it a try, so I added it to my wishlist.

I was lucky enough to receive a stack of games for my 40th birthday last week, and this was among them. I brought it out yesterday for a Solo-2P game to try it out.

I played Brown vs. Green, with Brown starting as Player 1. Brown got an early advantage by picking up some high value Province tiles. Green countered by gaining a number of Senate tiles that worked well together. For a while it seemed that everything was falling into place for Green.

Eventually, however, Brown managed to turn that around by picking up several Senate tiles that gave extra points for all the multicolored Province tiles already collected. Brown continued to focus hard on gaining more high value Province tiles. Green switched to gathering extra Patricians in an attempt to catch up on points, but in the end it wasn't enough. The final score was Brown 62 - Green 46.

I had a LOT of fun playing this one. The rules are incredibly simple, but they allow for good strategic alternatives for nearly every turn. There is just enough chance to make the outcome unpredictable while still leaving enough room for tactical manipulation (e.g. re-roll chips) that the player isn't totally at the mercy of luck.

thumbsup A dice game that has all the thrill of rolling a handful of dice while maintaining the player's ability to make meaningful strategic decisions.

thumbsdown The box insert was not designed specifically for the game, so the pieces don't really fit well.

thumbsdown No official solo variant.
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14. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:433]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Played the solo variant and got worked. I didn't even make it to the first scoring card. I need to decide if I want to spend the time to figure out how to play differently to account for the restrictions within the solo game.
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15. Board Game: Alien Uprising [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:6219]
George Pattison
United States
Odenton
Maryland
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Lately, I have been learning how to play this game. It reminds me a lot of Dawn of the Zeds and Zulus on the Ramparts from a strategy point of view. The gist of it is that you’ve got a crew that just crash landed on a planet, and your ship is in the process of being surrounded by bugs and in danger of being overrun, a sort of reverse XCOM. The only thing that’s keeping them off of you is the unstable force field generators that make up your perimeter fortifications and the skill and dedication of a wounded crew.

The game uses an action die movement system like Fantasy Flight’s War of the Rings where every character takes a turn, but what they can do is limited by a set of die rolls made by the first character which changes from turn to turn. Unlike War of the Rings where you can’t reroll action dice, the first character has a limited amount of rerolls that comes with the risk of adding more enemies to the board that one can use to shape and plan the actions that crew will take during the turn. Also, the characters have a lot of different skills cards and items plus special powers that they can use to influence the action dice and combat dice. How well you do is really dependent on how you efficiently you play the skills, items, and powers.

There are four ways off the planet, two ways to live and two ways to die horribly. To live, you have to fix the homing beacon and find the homing beacon amplifier thus speeding up the rescue ship, or you have find the missing pieces of ship, repair it and take off. The missing stuff is out in the debris field mostly outside of your shields, and there are alien scavengers out there trying to run off with the stuff you need. There are also bugs of various types mostly outside the perimeter trying to get into your ship; and if they do, you die. Also, if it takes too long for you to get organized and get off the planet, they breed, and you die. Most of time, you die. So, it’s a game where success is best measured in how long you survive, because you’re probably not going to win on medium difficulty.

It took me about three plays this week to get the rules down without making mistakes. There are a lot of moving parts. The basic turn order is the bugs and the planet try to kill you, you act, the bugs try to break your perimeter and kill you, you learn how hopeless the situation is, and the bugs breed.

In my last game, I played four of the crew, because my table won’t fit any more than that. The crew was Captain Jake Comet, Science Officer Allie Blade, Engineer Ivan Starr, and the lovable Security Officer, Corporal Diezel. The Pilot, Navigator, and X-14 must have perished in the crash.

Right from the beginning, it got nasty. The aliens swarmed on the first turn, doubling their numbers. Then, we got hit with alien fliers that mortally wounded Allie Blade who was out in debris field in her ghost armor which to make her invisible. Apparently, it leaves a more visible distortion when viewed from above. Anyway, she managed to find the energy transmitter which can be used to power the shields remotely, but decided to work on repairing the homing beacon when she took it back to the ship-- the energy transmitter is useless without energy crystals. Then, she went out and ran into an alien ambush behind the ship. Luckily, the ghost armor worked in that case.

Meanwhile, that big bald security officer with a New York accent was covering Ivan Starr as he reinforced the shields in two sectors. During that assignment, Diezel used sonic grenades to kill two large parties of aliens that were trying to break through the shields and picked up a section of hull plating that he was using as moveable cover. And, the Captain spent this time using his laser sword to root out an alien that had tunneled up next to the ship and was threatening to get in. The aliens gestated twice bringing an alien leader into the port sector and the rescue ship got three sectors closer. 15 more to go. Luckily, there were no ship icons on the Alien Troops cards which control alien movement, so I didn’t pay for not repairing the homing beacon.

From there, it got worse. The aliens were showing assault in all sectors the next turn, and Diezel and the engineer spent the time doing their usual covering and fixing by fixing the shield to block an archer on the starboard side from getting a free shot at the ship. That left the front sector a little weak. The idea was to channel them into that area and mow them down with the concentrated firepower of the crew. Meanwhile, the Captain was fighting with yet another tunneler to the port of the ship which he only wounded, and the science officer made an important discovery in the rear, the homing beacon amplifier.

Then, the expected assault happened. A large mass of slashers backed by archers broke through the sector in front of the ship, and another one led by a large brute broke through to starboard. All the other shields held. The aliens gestated yet again. It was looking like this was going to be a six turn game, and the rescue ship came a little closer from event draws. There was still no ship icon on the alien troop card. Thank goodness. I thought that meant that the deck was getting friendlier. I was wrong.

In the following turn (turn 4), the sunset behind the hills turned the air bitterly cold, and we had to dump some items to keep warm. The Captain and Diezel being fairly healthy decided to keep their stuff and took the cold hits, while Allie Blade got rid of the now spent Ghost Armor, and Ivan Starr parted with his sonic screwdriver that hadn’t done dip. Diezel used his “Die, Bugs, Die” skill card and emptied his heavy blaster into the party lead by the brute wiping them out while Starr fixed both shields in front and to port to keep all the archers from taking pot shots at us and the ship. Meanwhile, Allie Blade made it back to the ship and got the homing beacon fixed with the booster installed just in time to fight off a tunneler that had gotten into the ship from the front sector. Then, the large party of Slashers in front got right up next to ship threatening to end the game a turn or so sooner. And, the aliens gestated again limiting our action dice rerolls from a Gestation Card rule, and the ship moved only from the homing beacon booster.

In the next two turns, Diezel got into position to block the aliens from entering the front of the ship while the rest the crew got into covered positions in that sector and adjacent to it and took out the large pile of slashers with laser rifle sniper fire and heavy blaster automatic fire. The situation was beginning to look manageable, but the rescue ship didn’t move except by the homing beacon booster trigger. I saw no events or alien troops cards with the ship icon at all, so the rescue ship got barely past the halfway point. And, the flipping one gestation card a turn rate could not be stopped, so it was exhausted ending the game in a loss. The crew was overwhelmed and was never heard from again despite my best efforts.

Reflecting on this failure to survive, I realize that there is no room for a conservative action dice rolling and selection in this game. That leaves the player with too few actions a turn to fix the ship and hold off the alien horde. In my game, I had only one time where I rolled triples and got the extra dice. In that turn, we did some amazing things. That actually broke the back of the alien assault at the end of the game. So, I decided to see what the probability of rolling triples across two rolls with the five red dice. From 23 sample rolls, I found that I was able to get extra dice 39%. That’s far better than the 16% that I got in this game. I’ll have to try the game again playing for triples and see if it changes for the better.

It’s an interesting game, but it’s to be survived rather than won or lost. For me, a better measure of progress might be how close the crew got to being rescued or escaping.

thumbsup The cards can generate a lot of different possibilities, and the game is short enough that it looks like you don’t go through all decks that often.

thumbsup Lots of interesting detail.

thumbsup Rules are included for adjusting the game’s difficulty.

thumbsup Sturdy and well finished components.

thumbsdown Imprecise use of language on the cards and rules led to confusion over how certain portions of the rules and the cards work. Thankfully, there was a lot of transparency as to intent to resolve these things, but it’s still frustrating.

thumbsdown Everything that’s supposed be a dark blue came back from the printers as black. On certain cards, it makes it difficult distinguish between cards with dark blue and dark green backgrounds.

thumbsdown Big footprint. It's a cardapolooza.

thumbsdown A “heavy” blaster that’s only considered heavy because it’s a two handed weapon, but does less damage on a per shot basis and in melee than a regular one that is one handed. Does that make any sense?
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16. Board Game: Ambush! [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:758]
Steve N
United Kingdom
Macclesfield
Cheshire
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Mission 3: A Cold Morning in Belgium

And it started so well...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The mission saw my squad bivouacked in a small village with orders to be on the lookout for German scouts. I sent out my first patrol and started pottering about the scrap in the NE corner of the map. As I did so the village was subject to a number of random artillery strikes, one of which scored a direct hit on a building that Private Goldberg was holed up in. At least he died quickly.

As my patrol continued to pick their way around the map it was with some alarm that we heard the rumble of distant tank tracks. Tanks!? Nobody said anything about tanks in the briefing! I might have brought some heavy weapons if I'd known!

Before I could get my men to react (by running away!) the German Panzer rumbled onto the eastern road into the village at top speed. Half of my squad had just made a hasty exit from a building at the eastern extreme of the village and it now seemed as though they would be caught with their pants down in the middle of the road. The tank was not for slowing down.

Fortunately the other half of my squad was in the jeep (doing a sweep of the far side of the village) and so in a rather desperate bid to save their buddies, they blazed across the map and screeched to a halt out of sight near the tank's inevitable entry point.

As the tank rumbled by (firing an MG burst at Lieutenant Blake - one of the few men still in cover) plucky recruit Private Evans ran up to the beast and threw a grenade straight into its open hatch. The muffled explosion saw the tank heave to a halt and silence reigned. Evans grinned.


And then the pendulum swung...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
German soldiers ran onto the map from all corners of the compass and, although I picked off the odd one from some carefully chosen positions of cover, they all seemed to be wanting to make a beeline for the bridges in the SW of the map. Even when they got the chance to return fire, they invariably continued running to the bridges. What could they be up to?

I made good use of the jeep (again) to speed my men down to the wooden hut overlooking the bridges. Meanwhile another squad began picking their way through the southern woods (on foot) to intercept a couple of Germans who were making slow but steady progress through the undergrowth.

From the hut, my men were able to pick off most of the Germans as they ran into the open to gain access to the bridges. The few that made it began making some checks of the structures (looking for explosives perhaps?) but I never did find out what they were up to because they weren't quite able to finish the job.

Unfortunately while they were busy engaging the Germans on the bridge, the two in the woods emerged (having given my squad the slip). Unfortunately they got some shots of their own off and they managed to score a direct kill on a U.S. Runner who had previously entered the fray in search of a friendly officer.


And from triumph (so it seemed) to tragedy...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Eventually the threat was eliminated and that left a single enemy soldier hiding in one of the northern buildings. He was the only one that hadn't shown any interest in the bridges and so my men began manoeuvring in that direction in order to see him off.

As they got into position to stake out the house (to wait for a good moment to assault) the German dashed from the house and found cover by the shell of the disabled tank. Seizing the moment, Private Cook (one of my best men) charged forward to assault straight away. Despite having the upperhand and more than one attempt he wasn't able to take down the German (cursed dice!) and he was fatally shot as the panicked soldier sought to make a desperate last stand.

But worse was to come.

As the village grew quiet I sent a small squad of men to make some final patrols of the eaatern fringes while they awaited the mission's end (it still wasn't clear how that would come about). As they ambled through the woods, three more Germans appeared at the villages northernmost outskirts. In so doing they really caught my men unawares and in rather limited cover.

Although I was able to put down some fire from one of the nearby buildings that I still had occupied, my exposed men were not alert to the threat and, regrettably, those Germans just couldn't miss. One by one my men fell and there was just nothing that I could do.

Eventually Captain Arthurs brought the situation under control by pitching a grenade into the midst of the Germans but the damage had been done.

As the radio crackled into life to notify us of our exit point, the dead and dying lay all around. I did manage to load one of the casualties into the jeep (for all the others it was too late) and so it was that just four of my original squad survived to fight another day.


Halfway through the game I really felt like I had the upperhand and so it was really disappointing to lose quite so calamitously near the end. Although I rolled terribly I definitely made some tactical blunders which made the experience all the more frustrating.

Oh well.

Next up the notoriously punishing night-drop mission...
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17. Board Game: Android [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1140]
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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I also picked up Android recently. Mainly because of you people, since someone said Android had a solo variant. In fact, there are several solo variants. So, I looked up BGG and found ANDROID: HUNTERS. It's a beast. 30+ pages of rules. Very in-depth. But, not so bad to learn, since half the rules are only used depending on what investigator you are using. So, I had to learn the Android rulebook and then had to grok the solo rules book. It was worth it. There is a lot to remember for ANDROID: HUNTERS.

In the game you are trying as usual in the base game trying to prove the guilty is guilty and the innocent as innocent, except everyone else in your department doesn't want you to discover the truth or expose the truth. So they are all working against you.



In fact, they want you to fail so bad they have sent a Hunter against you, an NPC investigator that runs around the board laying traps, play dark cards on you, and basically trying to slow you down (and it does a pretty good job of that):



Throughout the game you have to dodge traps laid by the Hunter, find clues, uncover the conspiracy, deal with personal problems, all the while trying to find the killer.



This is an awesome solo experience if you have the time. There are special rules just for this solo game and special rules you have to follow for the Hunter. It's a bit to take in, but wow, what a great game. Hats off to the guy who designed this. Great thing is, the experience is different for each of the 5 investigators, so there is a lot of playability here.
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18. Board Game: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:2272]
 
Christopher Ebert
United States
North Fort Myers
Florida
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Date
4/09
Difficulty
Easy
Apex
Acrocanthosaurus
Boss
Hatzegopteryx
Outcome
Victory
Score
24


Notes/Comments:
4/09: That was a fun fight! I got a bit better with deck management. Faced the boss 3 times, and got him finally on the second to last round. I also forgot to mention, I'm using an old rule that the Alert cards cause the Alert actions to happen in the hunting ground regardless if I have an ambush set or not. It just makes things happen more since I rarely make ambushes. I have thought about not using it though, so that the game feels a bit different using Apex's that rely on a lot of ambushes. I dunno. It's fun so far. Still really enjoying this one.

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


Apex - Game Tracker Spreadsheet
mbApex - Solitaire Tracker Geeklist Item
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19. Board Game: Archipelago: Solo Expansion [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
Andreas
Germany
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Archipelago is my favorite euro. I played it with the Archipelago: War & Peace expansion shuffled in. Unfortunately the game doesn't get on the table that much. So, today I decided to re-fresh my memory on the rules and played a very quick scenario. Tom Hat.



The game ends as soon as you buy your 4th card. And since you have to buy a card at the end of each round, this game only lasts 4 rounds. Btw I hate that rule. Why do I have to buy a card? This rule makes you earn goods only to sell them again so you have money to buy a card. In the beginning that means you lose two of your three action tokens only for that.
Anyway... this was more of a rules re-freshing game. And it worked really good I must say.



Fruits is what I need to score points here. But only the last hex tile which I pulled had fruits on it. So I ended the game with exactly 1 fruity cube.

But the funniest thing is that I ALWAYS pull Mel Gibson:



I love that card. Don't care what it says, it puts a smile on my face every time.

thumbsup I am no Eurogamer, I love some Catan but only with Catan: Seafarers BUT Archipelago is a fantastic game!
thumbsup Probably the most beautiful looking game out there! Is there a Geeklist for beautiful games?
thumbsdown I really don't like that have-to-buy-a-card-at-the-end-of-your-turn-rule.

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20. Board Game: Archon: Glory & Machination [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1851]
Glaya B
United States
San Mateo
California
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One more game of Archon against my AI, and this time it was much more of a challenge. In fact, the AI was ahead for the first 2/3 of the game. I only managed to pass it in the final Season, ending with a win of 88-73.

What made it extra hard this time is that the AI nabbed my favorite building (Chapel) before I could get it. That made me change my whole strategy.

The picture below shows the end of the game. (The picture isn't flipped; I had to play with the board sideways to fit it on the table.)



I think the AI rules are as well tuned as I can make them at this point. They're probably ready to be typed up and posted.

Edit: File for AI rules now available.

thumbsup Agonizing, meaningful decisions at every turn due to extremely tight resources.

thumbsdown Even with all the pieces carefully bagged and separated in plastic tubs, setup and cleanup take excessive amounts of time because of all the bits and cards.

thumbsdown The game still takes me a full 2 hours to finish. I was hoping I'd be able to go faster. I'd like to get it down to 90 minutes.
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21. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:274] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Windsor
Ontario
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For my 100th game of the year I broke out this beast:



Cards on a side table that I built for our deck:



Dice tray on a chair beside me:



Playing with:

Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion - Arkham Horror: The Black Goat of the Woods Expansion - Arkham Horror: The Lurker at the Threshold Expansion

Heroes:

Carolyn Fern - Wilson Richards - Rita Young - Dexter Drake



Villains:

Hastur (Old One) - Lurker at the Threshold (Herald)

Starting gate in Wizard's Hill with a Dimensional Shambler.

Red Skies over Arkham.

Turn One:

While Carolyn, Dexter and Rita gathered clues around Arkham, Wilson hopped a train to Dunwich and took care of the Dimensional Shambler.



Another gate opened at Gardner's Place in Dunwich.

Turn Two:

Carolyn, Dexter and Rita scrounged more clues in Arkham. Wilson took care of the Gug in Dunwich at Gardner's Place and then entered into the gate to Another Dimension, where he promptly became lost in a labyrinth.



Two gates opened, one in Independence Square and one in the woods that swallowed up Dexter and spirited him off to the Dreamlands before drifting out into the streets.

Turn Three:

Rita sprinted to the Unnameable to gather a clue, while Carolyn visited the General Store for some whiskey. Wilson entered a gate to Another Dimension where he found a quiet spot to rest up and heal. Dexter, off in the Dreamlands, made a Blood Pact with the Lurker at the Threshold, gaining enough power to seal the gate on his return. He then cast a Find Gate spell to return to Arkham, with more help from the Lurker. Unfortunately the fickle Lurker stole his clues. Upon his return to Arkham Dexter managed to close (but not seal) the gate, and found that the Lurker had bound a man named Richard Pickman into Dexter's service.



A gate opened at the Witch House. Dexter's pacts with the Lurker were causing doom over Arkham.

Turn Four:

Carolyn went to the Silver Twilight Lodge to gather a clue. Wilson found himself pushed to the limit in Another Dimension, losing strength but finding more clues. Rita took the train to Dunwich, finding money under the Bishop Brook Bridge. Dexter attempted to tackle the Tcho-Tcho in the Southside Streets. In spite of a making a Soul Pact with the Lurker and casting a Steal Life spell in an attempt to gather enough power to seal a gate, Dexter was defeated by the Tcho-Tcho, waking up in the St. Mary's Hospital to find he had developed consumption.



A gate opened in the Woods.

Turn Five:

Carolyn went to the Science Building at Miskatonic University, where she found a powerful weapon capable of killing creatures all across Arkham. Unfortunately when she attempted to use it, it malfunctioned, killing no creatures but knocking Carolyn out. When she awoke at St. Mary's she had double vision from the injury. Wilson returned from the other world, but was unable to close the gate. Rita found two clues in Gold Spring Glen over in Dunwich. Dexter headed to the Uptown Streets where he entered a gate to the Dreamlands. In the Dreamlands he avoided a procession of creatures and gained a clue.

A gate spawned at the Black Cave, six gates open in Arkham, things were getting desperate.



Turn Six:

Rita entered the gate to R'lyeh at Wizard's Hill in Dunwich, but found herself delayed at the top of a fathomless abyss. Dexter ran for safety from the Dreamlands after evading the procession of creatures, returning to the Uptown Streets. Carolyn broke open the ancient book "De Vermiis Mysteriis" and found a spell that closed the gate in Dunwich at Gardner's Place. Wilson killed a zombie in the woods and finally closed the gate to Another World.



Another gate opened in the woods, sending Wilson careening into Lost Carcosa. Dexter's pacts with the Lurker were driving him close to madness.

Turn Seven:

In a desperate attempt to turn the tide and start sealing some gates, Carolyn made a soul pact with the Lurker. She managed to evade a Mi-Go in the Miskatonic University Streets and enter a gate to the Dreamlands. In Lost Carcosa, Wilson's cries echoed through the empty streets, leaving him cursed. Dexter attempted to take down the Mi-Go that Carolyn had evaded but was driven to madness by the sight of it. He awoke in the Arkham Asylum with amnesia. A wizard attacked Rita in R'lyeh, but she quickly dispatched him with her dynamite.



A gate opened at the Historical Society, six gates were now open, one more and Hastur would be free to attack Arkham. The dark pacts with the Lurker were starting to take a physical toll on Carolyn and Dexter.

Turn Eight:

Dexter stayed at the Asylum, healing his mind and gathering power with his dark pacts. Carolyn and Rita found their way back to Arkham from the Other Worlds. A Dark Young blocked the gate back to Arkham from Lost Carcosa, but Wilson snuck past and returned home.



Unfortunately the seventh gate opened and Hastur was unleashed on Arkham.

The Final Battle:

Our heroes faced down the Great Old One, Hastur. Carolyn with an axe, Dexter with his magic, Wilson with a shotgun and an ancient artifact, and Rita with her fists and cunning.



One by one they succumbed to madness, first Wilson, then Rita, then Dexter. Finally, with Hastur brought almost to his knees, Carolyn went mad, leaving the world to fall at Hastur's feet.



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

I love this game! What a great 100th play of 2015. With the sun now coming up over Toronto, I wish you all a happy Tabletop Day and am heading off to bed.
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22. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:274] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Getting the Band Back Together!

The Heroes:

Violinist Patrice Hathaway (with criminal skills, her powerful ability to share clues across the board, and the Fire of Asshurbanipal which raised the gate limit to 9), singer Marie Lambeau, trumpeter Jim Culver (a member of the cult of the Black Goat, and armed with a Tommy Gun) and photographer Darrell Simmons (with the powerful Mi-Go Brain Case), with the assistance of the Bureau of Investigations.



The Villains:

Cthuga (whose presence creates a searing heat the makes travel in Arkham dangerous) and The Dunwich Herald, with The Lurker at the Threshold and The Black Goat of the Woods.

The Setting:

Arkham, Dunwich and Innsmouth





The First Gate:

At the Graveyard, with a Witch. Clue at the Unvisited Isle. Citizens were urged to lock their doors as the outskirts of town were filled with monsters.



Doom 1/13
Deep Ones Rising 0/6
Gates 1/9

Turn One:

Marie hit up the Historical Society for a clue. Patrice went to the Unvisited Isle for two clues, but lost sanity and stamina fleeing from an ancient stone surrounded by bones. Jim picked up a clue at Hibbs Roadhouse, narrowly avoiding being arrested as a bar fight broke out.



Darrell acquired a mission at the Curiosity Shoppe.

A gate appeared at the Unnameable with Wizard Whateley.

Doom 2/13
Deep Ones Rising 0/6
Gates 2/9

Turn Two:

Patrice hustled some money in the street then found a clue at the Science Building. She found a mysterious machine, but chose not to activate it. Jim headed to Independence Square to gather a clue, but was injured by a poorly thrown horseshoe. Darrell bought Holy Water at the Curiosity Shoppe. Marie picked up clues in the Woods, and retrieved a .357 magnum that she saw an old man stashing in a tree.

A gate appeared in the woods along with a Gug and a Goat Spawn. Clues appeared at the Historical Society and the Newspaper. Marie was drawn through the gate to Another Time.



Doom 3/13
Deep Ones Rising 0/6
Gates 3/9

Turn Three:

Jim took out the Witch in the Rivertown Streets with his Tommy Gun.



Darrell headed to the Newspaper, where he gathered a clue and filed a story, getting paid $5. Marie, in Another Time, found two flasks but elected to drink neither. Patrice joined the Silver Twilight Lodge and found another clue.

A gate opened on the Unvisited Isle with a Shoggoth. A clue appeared at the Science Building. A curfew was announced in Arkham.

Doom 4/13
Deep Ones Rising 0/6
Gates 4/9

Turn Four:

Darrell returned to the Curiosity Shoppe, buying a Ritual Blade. Marie traveled through Another Time, gathering a clue from an old man with a pipe. Patrice traveled through the gate at the Graveyard to R'lyeh, where she lost some sanity running from the sound of a monstrous roar. Jim hit the Merchant District Streets, breaking curfew but avoiding arrest, to defeat Wizard Whateley. As a reward he learned a new powerful spell, the Curse of Azathoth. His partner in the dark arts, Darrell, gained a Whither spell.



A gate opened at the Historical Society with a Star Vampire. A clue appeared at the Silver Twilight Lodge. The curfew in Arkham ended, but the death of a noted author reduced each investigator's clues.

Doom 5/13
Deep Ones Rising 0/6
Gates 5/9

Turn Five:

Marie returned to the Woods from Another Time. Patrice continued her travels through R'lyeh, but slipped and fell into a pit, delaying her return to Arkham. Jim traveled to the Woods to help Marie face the Gug and Goat Spawn. He defeated the Goat Spawn, but the Gug knocked him unconscious. He awoke in the Hospital with a head wound.



Marie sealed the gate in the Woods!



A wandering gate appeared at Wizard's Hill in Dunwich with a deadly Lloiger. A clue appeared at Gardner's place. Darrell had a crippling accident at the Curiosity Shoppe.

Doom 6/13
Deep Ones Rising 0/6
Gates 5/9
Seals 1/6

Turn Six:

In R'lyeh, Patrice was further delayed as she was overcome with noxious fumes. Jim returned to the Woods to fight the Gug, but was defeated again, waking in the Hospital with a back injury.



Darrell purchased a second Ritual Blade at the Curiosity Shoppe. Marie defeated the Gug in the Woods.



A gate tried to force its way open in the Woods, but was prevented by the seal, raising ire amongst the Deep Ones in Innsmouth.

A gate appeared at the Esoteric Order of Dagon in Innsmouth with a Cthonian. A clue appeared at Devil's Reef.



Doom 7/13 (Martial Law declared in Innsmouth)
Deep Ones Rising 1/6
Gates 6/9
Seals 1/6

Turn Seven:

Jim headed to the Woods, where his fellow cult members gave him a crowbar. Darrell used the Mi-go Brain Case to switch places with the Lloigar in Wizard's Hill, where he entered the gate to the Dreamlands and became lost in a forest. Marie went to the Science Building where she gathered a clue and learned a Whither spell. Patrice evaded a Mummy in R'lyeh.



A gate appeared at the Marsh Refinery in Innsmouth with a Maniac. A clue appeared at Y'ha-nthlei.

Doom 8/13 (Martial Law declared in Innsmouth)
Deep Ones Rising 1/6
Gates 7/9
Seals 1/6

Turn Eight:

Darrell was bitten by a serpent-faced robed figure in the Dreamlands. Marie traveled through the gate at The Unnameable to the Plateau of Leng, where she found a perilous path home, losing stamina but returning to Arkham. Patrice finally passed through the gate back from R'lyeh to the Graveyard and sealed it.



Jim took some damage from Cthuga's heat to travel all the way to the Unvisited Isle and enter the gate to the Abyss, where a screeching voice cost him some sanity but provided another clue to the madness.

A gate appeared in Independence square with a Proto-shoggoth.

Doom 9/13 (Martial Law declared in Innsmouth)
Deep Ones Rising 1/6
Gates 7/9
Seals 2/6

Turn Nine:

Marie stayed at the Unnameable, waiting for Patrice to gather another clue so she could seal the gate. Patrice visited the Silver Twilight Lodge where she gathered a clue and her fellow Lodge members removed the Cthonian from the Esoteric Order of Dagon. Jim was driven mad by the shadows on the edge of his vision in the Abyss. He was lost in time and space and had acquired a mania to go with his head wound and back injury. Darrell squeezed through a grate to push further into the Dreamlands.

Another gate tried to appear in the Woods, but was prevented by the seal.

Doom 9/13 (Martial Law declared in Innsmouth)
Deep Ones Rising 2/6
Gates 7/9



Turn Ten:

Patrice visited the Witch House, gathering a clue but losing some sanity as she heard strange scratching sounds from the closet. Jim remained lost in time and space. Darrell returned from the Dreamlands and closed the gate in Backwoods Country but was not able to seal it. Patrice finally had enough clues to allow Marie to seal the gate at the Unnameable.



No gate appeared, but doom spread across Arkham as Miskatonic University launched a new research ship. Countless clues appeared all along the coasts of Arkham and Innsmouth.

Doom 11/13 (Martial Law declared in Innsmouth)
Deep Ones Rising 2/6
Gates 5/9
Seals 3/6

Turn Eleven:

Jim returned from being lost in time and space but was knocked out by the Proto-shoggoth in the French Hill Streets, waking up in the hospital with memory loss, a head wound, a back injury and mania.



Darrell used the Mi-go Brain Case to send the Proto-shoggoth to Backwoods Country and return to the French Hill Streets. Marie traveled towards the Hospital but was stopped in the Uptown Streets by the heat wave caused by Cthuga. Patrice returned to the Silver Twilight Lodge where Carl Sanford led her through the Lodge's secret tunnels to the Train Station. She was headed to Innsmouth to gather enough clues to seal the remaining gates.

No gate appeared but a surge of monsters entered Arkham and Innsmouth, driving up the level of terror in the cities. A clue appeared at the Unnameable.

Doom 11/13 (Martial Law declared in Innsmouth)
Deep Ones Rising 2/6
Gates 5/9
Terror 1/10
Seals 3/6

Turn Twelve:

Darrell killed the Maniac in the Merchant District Streets.



Marie was healed at the Hospital and took advantage of her ancestral magic to reduce the doom in Arkham. Patrice took the train to Innsmouth and gathered 2 clues at the Innsmouth Shore while avoiding arrest. Jim joined Darrell in the Merchant District Streets.

Another surge of monsters entered Arkham, and the Proto-shoggoth wandered into the void in Dunwich, triggering the awakening of the Dunwich Horror.



Doom 10/13 (Martial Law declared in Innsmouth)
Deep Ones Rising 2/6
Gates 5/9
Terror 3/10
Seals 3/6

Turn Thirteen:

Marie Snuck past a Star Vampire and killed the Warlock at the Historical Society, gaining two clues.



She entered the Gate to R'lyeh where the vision of the stars gave her another clue. Patrice headed to Falcon Point in Innsmouth, where she gained four clues before she was dragged to Devil's Reef by the Deep Ones. At Devil's Reef she witnessed the Deep Ones drag a boat full of fishermen to its doom, costing her precious sanity. Jim gave Darrell his Find a Gate spell before killing the recently arrived Hunting Horror. With Darrell's Mi-go Brain Case and the Find a Gate spell the band might just be able to seal enough gates before Cthuga awakes. Darrell traveled through the gate to the Abyss on the Unvisited Isle. In the Abyss he found fresh water and regained some stamina.

Another monster surge drove the terror in Arkham even higher, while a terrible experiment at Miskatonic University left the streets filled with even more monsters.

Doom 10/13 (Martial Law declared in Innsmouth)
Deep Ones Rising 2/6
Gates 5/9
Terror 4/10
Seals 3/6

Turn Fourteen:

Patrice traveled to Y'ha-nthlei where she gathered 4 clues. She gathered yet another clue reading strange glyphs on the walls. Jim headed to the Miskatonic Streets to deal with the aftermath of the strange experiment. With his Tommy Gun, and some sanity saves by his Golden Trumpet, he managed to kill a High priest, a Child of the Goat, a Deep One and a Deep One Hybrid. Darrell cast the Find a Gate spell to return to the Unvisited Isle, and under the shadow of a Cthonian managed to seal the gate, finally gathering enough proof of the strange events in Arkham to permanently join the staff of the Newspaper.



Another surge of monsters emerged from the gates, strange sightings were everywhere as the Dunwich Horror pushed the doom even higher. A ghoul wandered into the void in Innsmouth, pushing the Deep Ones even closer to rising.

Doom 11/13 (Martial Law declared in Innsmouth)
Deep Ones Rising 3/6
Gates 4/9
Terror 4/10
Seals 4/6

Turn Fifteen:

Jim lost his last shred of sanity facing the Star Vampire, waking up in the Asylum, his addiction to morphine returned. Darrell used the Mi-go Brain Case to switch places with the ghost at the Marsh Refinery in Innsmouth. He successfully battled the remaining Dark Young and entered the City of the Great Race where things began to fall into place and he gained a crucial clue.



Marie returned to the Historical Society from R'lyeh and, using Patrice's last clues, she managed to seal the gate.



Patrice returned to Devil's Reef where she gained four clues. With the one clue gathered by Darrell in the City of the Great Race, it should be enough to place the final seal. Patrice felt a strange compulsion to jump into the sea to her death, but doing so would seal the fate of her companions, and all of Arkham. Staring at the placid surface of the sea, she searched her reflection for traces of the infamous "Innsmouth Look". After hours had passed, she felt certain that she was not tainted by this fetid place and managed to resist the urge to end it all.

Another gate tried to open at the Historical Society but was prevented by the seal recently placed there by Marie, driving the Deep Ones into a frenzy of activity. The Cthonian shook the earth and Marie fell and broke her hand.

Doom 11/13 (Martial Law declared in Innsmouth)
Deep Ones Rising 4/6
Gates 3/9
Terror 4/10
Seals 5/6

Turn Sixteen:

Patrice was stranded in Devil's Reef with just enough clues to assist Darrell in placing the final seal. Marie was in the Hospital with a broken hand. Poor battered Jim was in the Asylum with a head wound, a back injury, memory loss, mania and an addiction. With doom pressing in, and the Deep Ones closer and closer to rising, Darrell was the troupes final chance. If he could just cast his Find a Gate spell and then seal the gate at the Marsh Refinery this nightmare would be over (for now). The spell went off without a hitch. All that remained was to place the final seal.



Success! This band of musicians and their photographer friend had finally done it. They had saved Arkham, and the world, from Cthuga's fiery embrace.

Doom 11/13 (Martial Law declared in Innsmouth)
Deep Ones Rising 4/6
Gates 2/9
Terror 4/10
Seals 6/6
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23. Board Game: Assault on Doomrock [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1782]
They call me Mister...
Ireland
Donegal
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For those of us about to rock, we salute you!

The Stinky Warrior and Unstable Rogue set out to Assault Doomrock.

As all good adventures should, they started off in the Item Shop where a natty suit of Rogue's Armour of Doom was bought from a friendly shopkeep. Only once they'd left the shop did the rogue admit to nicking a Stone Skin potion as well. Well, they couldn't go back there again.

With a bit of time on their hands they decided to explore the area and were soon having an interesting conversation at the wrong end of some pointy weapons. Robin the Bandit he said his name was (be careful, he wears green leggings!). However, when he realised they were merely poor adventurers, he kindly gave them 1 silver and sent them on their way. Things were looking good.

They were also offered a job in some stables but decided against it...

They travelled onwards to the Mage's Tower to make use of his scrying orb and see what lay in wait for them down the road ahead, and bought some leather armour to boot.

After attacking an enemy patrol at the abandoned mine, and blowing the entrance to lower the chance of a flanking attack they headed deep into the Thick Forest, which is where the Zombies attacked!



Having levelled up and equipped some nice items the zombies weren't too much of a difficulty and reminded me of one of the things I love discovering in this game. The rogue ended up with this neat combo:



Cards with a lighting symbol can be used during the initiative phase (i.e. before the enemies act). The card under the die with 1 is Vanish, which makes the hero hidden but also makes the manoeuvre card useable in the initiative phase. Which meant that the Rogue could Vanish, Move next to an enemy, Poisonous Stab that enemy and then Rainbow Blast them or another one and all before the enemy has done a thing. Nice.

Anyway, that battle went well. Unfortunately, the second adventuring phase did not go so well. We pushed on to Doomrock but ran out of decent places to camp - the only available spot was an Unexpected desert. This meant entering the second battle (against Shadow Reapers with their nasty shield regeneration and warping skill!!!) we were rather weak but with a heap of a stack of expose markers.

So with the first hit the Stinky Warrior fell immediately. The Rogue bravely battled on but it was to no avail.

Another fail.

It's a very neat game with innovative pared down ideas. However, I am now wondering if Mistfall will kill this one for me. Time will tell.
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24. Board Game: Astra Titanus [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:3763]
Robert B
United States
Parsons
Kansas
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I've been looking forward to this game, first-play this morning.

Scenario: First Encounter

The Titan destroyed one objective, Starbase Tau. The Terran Defense Force did eventually destroy the intruder, but at the loss of 1 frigate, 1 missile destroyer, 1 heavy cruiser, 1 battle cruiser and 2 battleships.

I'll probably have a better strategy next time. The Hyperion Class Titan has only one spinal mount weapon, so I ignored it until the end. However, by that time, several of my good ships had been destroyed and I was in the position of needed to roll a 6 with only a couple of ships to score a hit (the other ships couldn't penetrate the armor). This made the game drag a bit at the end, but I like the theme and am anxious to give it another go.
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25. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:263]
Jason Leidich
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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I'm setting this up now for some play tomorrow (well, later today). Hopefully I can get some time in at lunch and if not then after I get the mini-me off to bed...
______________________________________

So... I forgot we had tickets to the Hershey Bears game tonight, my wife said I could take someone and she'd stay home with our son (Liam, who turns 1 next week). I couldn't find anyone to go on short notice so we decided to try bringing Liam along and leave after the 1st period so we could get him to bed at a reasonable time. He was so jazzed as we entered the arena, bouncing and laughing. We stopped in the shop and I picked him up a small stuffed Coco the Bear (mascot) which he was enamored with. All was well and good until the Bears scored about 7 minutes in. The place erupted and so did Liam. The noise spun him into tears so I walked him around a bit and we left after the period ended.

I guess he wasn't ready for that. We actually should have known, he's cried when I let out a mild roar stretching and yawning before and when we tore the 3M film off the windows today after it started warming up. He did like watching some highlights on YouTube earlier today and has sat with me during some Rangers games. He even threw his arms up mimicking a player who had just scored in the video. I think we'll probably try live hockey again when he's closer to 3.

I played this after we got home.

I was pretty happy with my final score, re-familiarizing myself with the game after a while I expected to do rather poorly but I finished with a 17/7. I had a rough start with no regulars in the offer but I managed to pick one up in a two-pack with a market stall. I decided to put the stall on top so I could stock some fields first and also picked up a casual customer the next turn. It ended up going pretty well by the end, I managed to complete 2 regular customers and added two more on the 8th turn so I was able to serve them each twice. I also completed 3 (or was it 4?) casuals. I'll leave this on the table for now so I can get a few more games in.

______________________________________

4/2: 16/13, I actually thought I was doing a little better but I ran out of steam in the last few rounds.

4/3: 16/11, OK, so apparently I'm just getting worse at this. I made a few clever (or so I thought) moves but suffered another drought on regulars, lost a few in the offer due to the second row wipe and came up empty on 2 of 3 2-packs. Next game I'm going to try to be more aggressive with the 2-packs as well.

4/4: One more game before I get into some new stuff. I was a little more aggressive with the 2-packs as planned and I also was a little more strategic about skipping a regular to serve a casual customer. Early on I was short on cash - in fact, on the first turn I didn't even advance on the prosperity track. This landed me a final score of 17/9.
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