IanCon - A 5 Day Solo Gaming Convention
Ian Davies
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I have a 10 day holiday and 5 of those days will mostly be by myself so I decided to hold a solo convention. I will be playing a variety of games from my collection. Some are solo games, others are coop, and some have solo variants.

I am hoping to keep this list updated as I play games but I have very limited signal so it may be updated every couple of days.

Sunday 3rd May
This was not meant to be one of the days where I got to play games but I found myself with a few hours while my family were busy doing other things. I decided to play some Bowling Solitaire, Friday, and Pandemic. I had packed a brand new pack of bicycle cards for general card games. My old cards had alcohol stains and teeth marks on them, making them less that useful for most games. The new cards feel so nice but it seems a waste of a new deck just to play solitaire card games.

I started with a few games of Bowling Solitaire before setting up Pandemic and finally playing Friday. I got some odd looks from my parents with all of these games as their experience of board games is Monopoly and Risk. In fact, my Mother actually said Pandemic looked like Risk. I think it was the world map and the cubes.

It was a bad day of results for me. I lost both games of Pandemic and 1 game of Friday plus I managed to score 0 on one frame of Bowling Solitaire. I still had fun but will be hoping for better results for the other days.

Monday 4th May
I spent most of the day with family and didn't get much chance to play games until the evening. The last of my family headed home around 7pm ready for work on Tuesday. I've finally got a few hours to play some games and begin IanCon properly.

Once again I played Bowling Solitaire and Friday but I also played Dominion and Forbidden Island. I scored my lowest score of the week in Bowling but I had set some fairly high targets. I lost both games of Friday. I didn't even manage to leave the Forbidden Island on novice. The rest of this evening was spent creating this Geeklist and updating my plays.

Tuesday 5th May
The weather was pretty bad today which gave me the perfect excuse to stay inside and play some games. I was a bit concerned about playing some of my bigger games due to the lack of space but there was just enough room for Eldritch Horror.


I played a few different games today. The day started with Reiner Knizia's Decathlon before having a few games of Eldritch Horror. I played Can't Stop and Roll For It! in between games of Eldritch. Finally, I finished off the day with Bowling Solitaire and Space Alert. I didn't get all the games I wanted in today but that was mainly due to me not accounting for setup/take-down time for the bigger games.

Wednesday 6th May
Another bad day weather-wise. Another good day board gaming-wise. I started the day trying to beat my decathlon total and quickly found myself coming out of hyperspace to see several threats heading for me in Space Alert. I then traveled back in time to the 13th century and arrived in Greenland. I quickly discovered it was a Forbidden Island so decided to Roll For It! to try and escape the Cursed Island with Friday's help. There were also several Daikaiju in the waters around the island but nothing to divert my attention away from some Bowling.

I was concerned about fitting Robinson Crusoe on the table but after playing Eldritch Horror yesterday I need not have worried.


Thursday 7th May
No games played today as the weather was far too nice. I did, however, manage to have 2 barbeques, go for a hike through the forest, and have a swim.

Friday 8th May
The last day of the solo convention. I only managed to play Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, Carcassonne Big Box 4, and Escape of the Dead Minigame before my family turned up again for the weekend. I did order Mage Knight Board Game online after Ryan informed me that it was reduced on Amazon and had limited stock. Just a shame I didn't get to play it today.

Conclusion
I had a great time doing this convention and would erge other people to try one when they get chance (even if it just a day or two). I managed to have 43 plays split between 15 games.
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1. Board Game: Bowling Solitaire [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:4420]
Ian Davies
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Game 1 - Sunday Afternoon
Completely missed every pin in the first frame but managed to recover a decent score with a turkey near the end.
Final Score - 148

Game 2 - Sunday Afternoon
This was a much better game that only scored slightly higher at the end. I was 3 pins off 6 strikes in a row but only got 3 with 9s for the other 3 frames.
Final Score - 158

Game 3 - Monday Night
This game was all over the place scoring-wise. The overall score was inflated by high numbers after getting spares.
Final Score - 147

Game 4 – Tuesday Evening
Had my worst game of this so far. I had 2 strikes and scored in every frame but still didn't make 100.
Final Score - 97

Game 5 – Wednesday Morning
A better game than the last one but still not up to the standards of the first few games.
Final Score - 125

Game 6 – Wednesday Morning
It went back downhill for this game. Spares on the 9th and 10th frames helped me get over 100.
Final Score - 109
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2. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:639]
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Game 1 – Tuesday Afternoon
Played using this variant.

WIN
Completed in 26 turns.
Longest run without completing a number: 8 turns.
Longest run without moving a marker: 3 turns.
Longest consecutive turns completing a number: 3 turns.
highest number completion in a turn: 2.

Last number to be claimed was 7

Game 2 – Tuesday Afternoon
Played using this variant.

LOSS
Completed in 34 turns.
Longest run without completing a number: 6 turns.
Longest run without moving a marker: 3 turns.
Longest consecutive turns completing a number: 2 turns.
highest number completion in a turn: 2.

Last number to be claimed was 5

Game 3 – Tuesday Afternoon
Played using this variant.

WIN
Completed in 23 turns.
Longest run without completing a number: 3 turns.
Longest run without moving a marker: 3 turns.
Longest consecutive turns completing a number: 3 turns.
highest number completion in a turn: 2.

Last number to be claimed was 8
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3. Board Game: Carcassonne Big Box 4 [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked]
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Game 1- Friday Afternoon
I played with 3 teams. The game was very close and 2 tiles made the difference between 1 team winning or coming last. Fortunately for them the tiles kept coming out for them and not their opponents.

Final Scores:
Red = 140
Yellow = 180
Blue = 96

Game 2 – Friday Afternoon
Using this variant it is possible to make 13x12 grid when playing with all the tiles so the biggest complete loop is 11x11.

I completed a 9x9 grid and had 44 pieces that could not be placed.

Game 3 – Friday Afternoon
Using the same variant I completed an 11x11 grid and had 39 unusable pieces. The grid was completed with the very last piece.
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4. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Ian Davies
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Game 1 – Monday Night
I played this variant - Variant: Soltaire Dominion.
The 10 randomly generated decks were - Smithy, Witch, Militia, Woodcutter, spy, market, mine, garden, moneylender, and council room.

I managed to get 24 victory points but my target at that point was 26 so I lost by 2 points.
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5. Board Game: Eldritch Horror [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:47]
Ian Davies
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Game 1 – Tuesday Morning
I randomly drew Mark Harrigan and Charlie Kane to face Yog-Sothoth.
The first mystery was The Beyond One. I managed to solve that mystery after 6 rounds but had been ignoring the monsters spawning at the gates.
The second mystery was Where the Old Ones Broke Through. The soldier headed directly to the easiest gate that had only 1 monster.

Unfortunately he kept losing the strength test and eventually picked up the cursed condition. The politician tried to join him but ended up in a space with 4 monsters. He tried his best but lost all his health to those monsters. The doom tracker was very close to 0 and the mythos effect combined with some really bad dice rolls killed the soldier and advanced the doom tracker to 0. The investigators survived through 11 mythos phases before succumbing to the terror that is Yog-Sothoth. There were 18 monsters and 3 Epic monsters on the board at the end of the game.

Game 2 – Tuesday Afternoon
This game was played with Akachi Onyele and Trish Scarborough against Cthulhu. I played on the easiest possible settings (using the Mythos cards with ice and, where necessary, the cards with no symbols). Cthulhu awoke with 3 turns to go and in just 1 turn managed to turn both investigators insane.

Once again the board was full of monsters but this time it was because I kept losing the combat encounters. I managed to solve the first mystery – The Deep Ones Attack! I was unable to beat the second mystery – Watching the Stars. Both investigators went insane while on the same space as Cthylla but could not beat it before Cthulhu awoke. I think my strategy was better this time but the dice did not like me. I even managed to lose the Blessed condition on the same turn I gained it due to a dice roll.
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6. Board Game: Escape of the Dead Minigame [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:6183]
Ian Davies
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Game 1 - Friday Afternoon
I gave this game a try as I had all the components I needed.

I thought I was doing quite well until I failed to kill zombies on a few turns. I ended up being overrun with 80% of the car repaired.
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7. Board Game: Forbidden Island [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:596]
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Game 1 – Monday Night
I drew the Messenger and Navigator and started pretty strongly. Unfortunately I lost one of the treasures to the floods and was unable to leave the island.

Game 2 – Wednesday Evening
Randomly picked the Pilot and Navigator. The pilot drew 3 Water Rises cards on his first 3 turns. That lead to a couple of cards being lost to the ocean but it did mean that I was free to do whatever until the decks ran out. I managed to retrieve two of the treasures fairly quickly but the other 2 proved problematic and required 2 reshuffles of the deck to get them. With the water only 3 bars from death and with every tile between the treasure and Fools Landing being underwater the sight of 2 Helicopter Lifts cards was a blessing. The navigator flew back to Fools Landing where the pilot was waiting and using the second Lift card they both left the island with their treasure.

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8. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:307]
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Game 1 – Sunday Afternoon
This was played on Level 3.
I won the game and managed to beat both pirates with plenty of health to spare.
Fighting = 46
Aging = -5
Pirates = 30
Life = 35
Hazards = -21
Total = 85

Game 2 – Sunday Night
This was played on Level 3.
This game was lost in the yellow phase. I was unable to beat a hazard but I couldn't afford to pay with life points.
Fighting = 34
Aging = -5
Pirates = 0
Life = 0
Hazards = -42
Total = -13

Game 3 – Sunday Night
This was played on Level 3.
I managed to beat both pirates with only 1 life remaining. I was lucky the cards drawn were favourable to me.
Fighting = 43
Aging = -5
Pirates = 30 (7 cards to get 16, 9 cards to get 35)
Life = 5
Hazards = -24
Total = 49

Game 4 – Monday Night
This was played on Level 3.
I lost this one in the yellow phase after drawing an aging card that required life points I couldn't pay.
Fighting = 28
Aging = -10
Pirates = 0
Life = 0
Hazards = -48
Total = -30

Game 5 – Monday Night
This was played on Level 3.
I lost this one after drawing 3 aging cards on the same hazard. I was nowhere near being able to pay for it with life and I did not have a high enough fighting total after spending all my life points trying to beat the hazard. I did manage to make it to the red phase.
Fighting = 32
Aging = -15
Pirates = 0
Life = 0
Hazards = -39
Total = -22

Game 6 – Wednesday Night
After having Friday’s help on the Cursed Island I decided my last game of the night should be as Friday helping Robinson escape the island and the pirates. In particular, the 8 card - 30 point pirate and the 9 card – 22 point pirate with only half the cards counting.

It was played on level 3. The first 2 phases seemed perfect. When I could not beat a hazard I was able to use every spent life point to discard cards. I still ended up with some bad cards that I seemed to keep drawing while beating a hazard and not having a destroy ability. I was also able to get rid of every aging card that was added to my deck. I beat both pirates with 2 lives to spare.

Scores:
Fighting cards – 40
Aging cards – 0
Defeated Pirates - 30
Life points – 10
Remaining Hazards - -21
TOTAL = 59
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9. Board Game: Greenland [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:1537] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Ian Davies
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Game 1 – Wednesday Morning
It has been a while since I last played this game so I had to reread most of the rules. Playing using the solo variant and all optional rules.

Things were looking pretty bad for the Thule from about the half way stage with none of the dice going their way. During the last event they lost their last unallocated hunter but did have some colonists. The Tunit were doing really well then a couple of bad rolls lost them most of their hunters. The last event also killed their sole remaining unallocated hunter. They also had a colonist. The Norse were hit twice in a row with decimation events that led them from 11 hunters to 2 going in to the last round. Before that point they were coping well.

In the last round the Norse moved all their workers to Vinland for double points at the end of the game. Unfortunately they lost one of them and so it probably cost them more points than going for a different card. The Tunit had a successful roll in Markland so survived to the end of the game and added extra victory points to the total. The Thule rolled a 3 in Markland but were able to re-roll it. The second time it was a 6. They lost their sole colonist and had no hunters so became extinct. Unfortunately in a solo game all need to survive so I lost the game on the final roll of the dice.

Had I been successful I would have scored 29 points (9VP from trophies and 20VP from population).

Game 2 – Wednesday Afternoon
What a difference a few hours makes. This time all the dice rolls were going for me. I was on for a lot of points until the last turn when the event decimated my hunters. The Norse and Tunit had full families and the the Thule were only 4 short.

The game ended in success with only 1 biome in South Greenland and the 2 New World cards left on the table. There were casualties on the last turn that have affected the score but they are unavoidable in this game.

Final score = 59 points (12VP from trophies and 47VP from population).
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10. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:73]
Ian Davies
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Game 1 – Sunday Afternoon
I played with the Researcher and Operations Expert. They managed to have 4 turns each before I lost. I dew an Epidemic card that caused Shanghai to gain 3 cubes. after adding the discarded cards back on top of the deck I then drew Hong Kong and Taipei which both had 3 cubes. This caused several outbreaks and left me close to losing. On the next turn I drew Shanghai again and did lose by running out of cubes.

Game 2 – Sunday Afternoon
I played with the Quarantine Specialist and Dispatcher. I lost after running out of cards. I had cured 3 diseases and was 1 turn each away from winning. I lost this game because I spent too long trying to eradicate the yellow disease rather than trying to cure the other diseases.
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11. Board Game: Reiner Knizia's Decathlon [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:2985]
Ian Davies
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Game 1 – Tuesday Morning
Gave this game a go after breakfast. I felt I needed something simple to get me started today.

I managed to complete each event so I got a fairly good score.

Totals
100 Metres – 34
Long Jump – 29
Shot-Put – 30
High Jump – 22
400 Metres – 29
110 Metre Hurdles – 23
Discus – 22
Pole Vault – 30
Javelin – 20
1500 Metres – 31
Total = 270

Game 2 – Wednesday Morning
I had a few bad events this time including one that I faulted on 3 times.

100 Metres – 23
Long Jump – 29
Shot-Put – Fault
High Jump – 20
400 Metres – 40
110 Metre Hurdles – 26
Discus – 30
Pole Vault – 32
Javelin – 9
1500 Metres – 22
Total = 231
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12. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:38]
Ian Davies
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Game 1 – Wednesday Night
I played the second scenario for the first time. I cannot work out where I am going wrong with the first scenario and it is starting to annoy me so I decided to try a different scenario. I randomly chose the Carpenter as my character and included Friday and the dog. I managed to build the 5 crosses in 7 turns.

This was a much better experience than my previous games. I don’t mind a game being hard so long as I can see a way to beat it but I just cannot beat the first scenario and that just gets frustrating. This time the cards were on my side and with the aid of several additional builders it became a fun game.

Scoring:
Life – 5 (5 points)
Weapon Level – 3 (6 points)
Palisade Level – 0 (0 points)
Roof Level – 1 (3 points)
Crosses – 5 (15 points)
Fog – 6 (-6 points)
TOTAL = 23 points.

Game 2 – Friday Morning
Played scenario 3 (Jenny Needs Help) as the explorer with Friday and the dog.

Not having to worry about actual weather really helped and the animal dice seemed to be on my side. I built the raft on turn 5 and while Jenny was resting I battles a few animals and chopped down some trees to gain the resources required for the lifeboat. My last action of turn 8 was to build the lifeboat. Had I of failed Jenny would have died in the weather phase (an event card put the normal weather card in to play and I had no roof or spare wood).

Final scores:
Health = 6
Weapon = 4 (level 2)
Roof = 0
Palisade = 0
Saving Jenny = 5
Building Lifeboat = 5
TOTAL = 20
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13. Board Game: Roll For It! [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:2740]
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Game 1 – Tuesday Afternoon
Played using this variant and a 10 minute timer (based on Escape).
Completed all cards in 8 minutes and 8 seconds.

Game 2 – Tuesday Afternoon
Played using this variant and a 10 minute timer (based on Escape).
Completed all cards in 7 minutes and 34 seconds.

Game 3 – Tuesday Afternoon
Decided to create my own variant. I haven't added a thread for it but it works as follows: complete as many cards as you can in 36 rolls. Try and beat your score.
Why 36? because there are 30 cards and I wanted the chance of completing all cards but didn't want it to be too easy. Plus there are 6d6 in each colour set so it makes it easy to keep track of the rolls.

Managed to complete 16 cards with a total score of 116.

Game 4 – Wednesday Afternoon
Played using my variant mentioned in Game 3 above.
Scored 70 from 9 complete cards.

Game 5 – Wednesday Afternoon
Played using my variant mentioned in Game 3 above.
Scored 75 from 10 complete cards.

Game 6 – Wednesday Afternoon
Played using my variant mentioned in Game 3 above.
Scored 69 from 9 complete cards.

Game 7 – Tuesday Afternoon
Played using this variant and a 10 minute timer (based on Escape).
Completed all cards in 8 minutes and 32 seconds.
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14. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:155]
Ian Davies
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Game 1 – Tuesday Night
I did the first simulation using the online scenario cards. I miscalculated resources a few times but luckily I also took the cautious approach and fired the cannons even when I thought the threat was dead. The only damage taken was due to one of those miscalculations. I should have fired 3 weapons at an enemy but one of them had no energy to fire.

Trajectory Boards Randomly Chosen:
T6 – Red
T7 – White
T4 - Blue

Threats encountered were:
T2 – Stealth Fighter
T3 – Pulse Satellite
T5 – Amoeba
T6 – Frigate

The Frigate did 3 damage to the blue section of ship.

Final Score: 24 – 3 – 3 = 18

Game 2 – Wednesday Morning
I did the second simulation using the online scenario cards. I got the actions spot on this time except for refueling the central reactor when it was only 1 cube short of being full. I ended with full shields but completely empty reactors and no rockets. One of the androids even managed to look out of the viewport but I’m not scoring that at the moment (still in the learning phase).

Trajectory Boards Randomly Chosen:
T5 – Red
T1 – White
T2 - Blue

Threats encountered were:
T2 – Leviathan Tanker
T4 – Fighter
T6 – Asteroid
T7 – Gunship

Final Score: 24
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15. Board Game: Tsuro of the Seas [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1158]
Ian Davies
Wales
Cardiff
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Y Ddraig Goch Ddyry Gychwyn.
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Game 1 – Wednesday Afternoon
I played using my solo variant.
I ran out of space after 16 turns. There were only 2 Daikaiju left.

Game 2 – Wednesday Afternoon
I played using my solo variant.
I avoided all Daikaiju for 27 turns and survived with an empty sea.
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