DaveCon May 2015
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At last, I too am able to have a Solo Con! My wife and son, (whom I love dearly) are off for the weekend leaving me alone to get my game on!




Until now I've just watched as my fellow 1 Player guild members have had fun Solo Cons: Invitation-Only Solitaire Games Cons - Add Your Geeklist Here!

And now, at last, I get to as well!

I'm deciding to lead off with all of my favorites and will try and report on the games as I play them.



The Con organizers have been busy preparing food and special beverages

They have also gotten the main gaming room ready for the attendee






There is now official art for the Con courtesy of my 5 year old son. It's pictures of the gaming area:


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1. Board Game: Forbidden Island [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:596]
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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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Well, back from supper and I have this one ready to go. I'm playing with the randomly chosen "Harpoon Harbor" (I have Arts Cow cards) and randomly chosen Explorer and Engineer. That is funny because my son always makes us choose those two. Fate.
For the theme and the price and the components and the fun factor and the variability (with the cards) this is my #1. It's not the most complex or epic, but it really has it all in a small package.

Here's the set up:


Looks like that Explorer is going to have his hands full...


Arrrgghhh! So close. I had to let one of the treasures go back into the deck and I had 3, which means it gets very hard to find, and keep everything up, so I ended up losing when Tidal Palace went under. My explorers hoofed it back to tha choppa! without the treasure they sought!

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2. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:238]
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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 close. It took just one turn too long to get the engine running. To me this is probably the best, tightest solo euro out there. It even manages to let the theme shine through!

16.12:

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3. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:353]
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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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With my love of Loyang this one has become a new favorite also in the same vein. A thinky but quick (under an hour) playing euro where the theme shines.
I finished my plays with all the base engines on the base game today with #7 Ralph! I did better than last time and scored a 182. On to Snowdonia: Jungfraubahn & Mount Washington and Snowdonia: The Daffodil Line! Though not today

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4. Board Game: Lewis & Clark [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:142]
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Even though I've toyed with variants to how to move McKenzie variably, I decided since this is meant to be a relaxing Con I would just play the standard solo version and have McKenzie start at St. Louis with me.
I guess I'm a little rusty, and it took awhile to get my engine built, but it worked very well in the end. However, it was still a nailbiter down to the wire!



We made it to Fort Clatsop first though thanks to these guys:



Here's the full board:

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5. Board Game: Walnut Grove [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:954]
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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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This was a lighter game to finish the morning after all the brain burning I started off with. It's still thematic like the others, but it is more abstracted than the others are too. Still, I like it for a quick euro style game with tile laying! I like looking at maps and worldbuilding and hence I like tile games in order to see what evolves in the landscape throughout the game.

Here's what the farm looked like at the end:



22 points. A loss 25 is the goal. I just couldn't pull tiles that let me close the fenced areas (1 VP per fenced area), so I only had 4 of those. I also didn't have the greatest coin draws, though I did get two 2 pointers. Light though it is, it's still tough to get all that you want to happen. Sign of a good euro meeple

The town at the end of the game:

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6. Board Game: Take a Hike! [Average Rating:2.75 Unranked]
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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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Another one of my favorite solo activities is hiking. We're up in the northern part of Pennsylvania that they call the "Pennsylvania Wilds." A friend of mine the other day captured it well when she said "We're always about a half hour away from an adventure."

There's a privately funded public park up in the mountains about 30 minutes from my home called Rider Park. The yellow "Katy Jane" trail takes me about an hour, so it's a 2 hour round trip. Not too bad. It was kind of a steamy buggy day today, but still fun. I did use my bug spray and I'm going to be sure to check for ticks! We live in Lyme disease central.



Here's the first vista I came to. The town of Williamsport is obscured by the near hills. The farther ridge is Bald Eagle Mountain and is actually across the Susquehanna River from the town of Williamsport. Nestled on those slopes is the home of Little League baseball!



This is the second vista and it looks up the Loyalsock Creek gorge. Smith's Knob is what is visible in the hazy distance. If you maximize the image you can learn all about what you're looking at!



Now that I'm back it's time to shower and then clean up:





Then on to the next game...I wonder what it will be?
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7. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:107]
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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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I played the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Return to Mirkwood Adventure Pack. I played 2 handed on Easy Mode as usual. My team that has carried me thus far is Spirit Glorfindel, Eowyn and Aragorn (Lore) on the left and Thalin, Legolas and Beravor on the right.

We would have made it if it hadn't been for those pesky Wargs. My super-questors on the left blew through it all, but all the baddies were stacked up at the end. We handled a bunch of spiders (including Ungoliant's spawn), but that Hill Troll came out at the last and there were more wargs! I must have fought the same wargs 5 times and never a shadow effect did I draw. Then the bad guys all jumped us at the end.
It was kind of thematic really. They held us up and the other baddies came rushing in. None of the heroes were killed, but Gollum was either killed or re-taken and so we all fled with threats over 50. Aragorn's team lasted one turn less than Legolas'.



My depressing finish. sauron I was so close! I might try again tomorrow, I'd like to try something else now.
I don't really keep score for this game, I just like to see if I win or lose.
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8. Board Game: Legends of Andor [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:295] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
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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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Now that the expansions are coming out in English I would really like to get back into this one and learn how to play it again. Unfortunately that means starting at the beginning tutorial.

This needs a castle stormin' kinda beer:



more to come...sauron

Edit (later that night)
I played through Legend 1 and managed a win. I had to back track when I realized I should have anticipated the monster's movement and would have fallen short at the end. It's really important which monsters you take out and which you let go by. Stategery. Fun!
Here's the end of Legend 1:



I don't think I have the energy to tackle Legend 2 this evening, but may have to leave it until tomorrow afternoon.
Next up is simpler fare!
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9. Board Game: Card City [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:4850]
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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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This is a fun quick tile layer and a nice way to end an evening...almost.
I played 2 game and both times scored pretty low. 20 for the first game and 23 for the second. Both "neighborhood" level. 55 or better is the big win "megalopolis." I've only done that once, but I usually do better than this. The yellow Industrial cards are required to be able to expand and they weren't coming out and then they weren't able to be adjacent to Residential cards and so I ended up with empty spaces (-2 VP) and I've never had empty spaces!

Anyhow, here's the results:

20 pts


23 pts
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10. Board Game: Hobbit Tales from the Green Dragon Inn [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:4110]
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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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This is a relaxing way to tell a story to yourself set in Middle Earth! What could be a better end to this gamiest of days?



I had ventured east out of the Shire after a stop over in Brandy Hall to get supplies and some maps for the regions between Buckland and Bree. I had thought it would be easy to stay on the road. Especially as I passed the Old Forest and the Barrow Downs to the south of the road I figured I would be safe if I stayed on the road.
However, chance rainstorms and a desire for shelter out of the wind, hail, and lightning got the better of me and I fled just a little south of the road and took shelter in what I thought was a little dell.
It wasn't.
No sooner had I got into the safest part when the earth seemed to just give way under me and I felt as though I was swallowed by the earth itself!
I didn't slide that far thankfully but I did come to the bottom with an abrupt and painful jolt.
It was then that the howling began.
Could this get any worse? I was trapped in a hole with wolves hunting me! Surely I would be easy prey down in this hole. But fear makes mountains out of molehills and they weren't the marauding werewolves my imagination made them.
For, they were easily scared away by my rescuer! The storm had passed on to soak the South Downs and wouldn't trouble us any more. And with a "Hey come derry dol!" Tom Bombadil's head appeared at the upper end of my hole. I could see this now since the clouds had passed away and he was crowned with starlight.
He hauled me out with many a "come now my lad" and a "ring a ding dillo!" He set me back on the road and I walked for another hour before finding a nice sheltered spot on the north side of the road.
I passed the evening uneventfully but woke up stiff and sore from my fall. Also I realized by the light of day how dirty I was. But with nothing to wash in I just kept going and hoping for the baths at the
Prancing Pony.
I began to enjoy my walk and the sun rose slowly in the sky. It was still early in the morning when I noticed a great bear emerge from the trees away to my right. He was probably 100 yards away, and most likely well over 300 pounds. Amazingly he took no notice of me (it must have been the smell) and shambled over the road and into the trees on the other side
(Incidentally this is a true story for me. I went for a walk in Muncy one morning and a sizable bear just walked across the road. It was a back street near the highway and wooded. The smelly part wasn't true though! )
I waited a long time until I was sure he had passed. I continued on to Bree and stayed at the Pony. Clean, re-outfitted and full of energy I set off up the Greenway. It's been safer now that King Elessar has returned. I made my way up to Fornost. That has become quite the bustling city! A little too much for this country hobbit. So I struck out west towards Lake Evendim with some others who were going that way. Two were hobbits from the South Farthing who were there on business.
After a few days journey we came to Old Annuminas by Lake Evendim. The Dunedain have begun a great work there as they seek to restore the kindgom of Arnor. I was able to gather some news and do some siteseeing and decided I would head south to the Shire on a boat! I must have some Brandybuck blood in me to do that. It wasn't as bad as I had thought. I may have to learn more about them!
At last I finally made it back here to the Green Dragon to be able to tell you all this tale!



*This was a somewhat different game than others. hardly any monsters even triggered (just 2) and I succeeded in both of my rolls, so nothing bad happened to me! Also, I got some really easy to work with start and finish cards. The premise is you're at the Green Dragon telling traveling tales and the "Many Meetings" card makes that easy!
Have a good night!
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11. Board Game: Legends of Andor [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:295] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Mordor
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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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Back from church (we had a fellowship meal that was quite tasty), and I decided to tackle Legend 2. New villains, new items and new quests! It was quite fun, and I thought I had a part of it figured out, but didn't read the Quest Card carefully enough!



Apparently I'm supposed to take out this "Skral" on the tower last, because as soon as he's down you end the Legend. Oops. The other 2 goals: keep the castle from being overrun (it wasn't when this happened) and get the medicinal herb to the castle (I didn't do that). So I got 2/3. The big guy on the horse is supposed to be the Prince. So...I guess he just ascended the throne a little quicker than was to be expected.

Oops.

The map at the end:



Edit: Oh, now I'm off to find a new organizer at Gander Mountain (outdoor products store with fishing equipment) for this game. It's a beast.

There might be one or two more games tonight after the little guy goes to bed. We'll see.
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12. Board Game: Micropul [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:2166]
Mordor
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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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While the little guy gets his bath and tick check, I'm continuing with some lighter con games. I love this art for Micropul and as a solo game it hits a sweet tile laying spot.



And I even managed to get 80 pts, which I consider the good score barrier.
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13. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:208]
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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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Settling in for the evening and I thought I'd have a go at at least one more. I also thought I'd share the opening offer, so when I get my lousy score you all can tell me what I did wrong! I haven't grokked this one yet.



I do like how quickly this game plays yet has some good thinkiness to it. I wound up with 21 points and what I thought was a good strategy. I exploited what I could in any case.

Here's what it looked like at the end:

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