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Solitaire Games on Your Table - September 2015
Lorenzo Strambi
Italy
Milano
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Welcome to September's
Solo Games on Your Table


Well Summer Holidays are gone (at least for the most of the European people) and we can start to WAIT for the Christmas one


So the "Just For Fun Challenges" this month will be all about waitings.
Just let us know something related to board games and "waiting".
Like I've waited for about three months to receive the package from my Secret Soloist and... it worth the waiting! Thanks again SeSo!
...or some games you've waited so long to buy and it was just disappointing
This are Just for Fun so don't expect to receive bag on every entries.


Rules

d10-1 Play a solo game, or a multi player game solo...
d10-2 Post an entry on this geeklist and tell us about it.
d10-3 Be nice, but most of all have fun.

And if you want try to add some thumbsup and more thumbsdown just to be wallet-saver

Let's break some records and make September list the biggest one!


Some links you may click
thumbsup 1 Player guild

thumbsup SGOYT Monthly Geeklist Subscription Thread

thumbsup 2015 SGOYT Challenges SUBSCRIPTION

thumbsup 2014 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games

thumbsup Solitaire Recommendations For Your Table

thumbsup The Solo Games Chain of Generosity

thumbsup 1 Player Guild Trading Post

thumbsup SGoYT made me buy this!

thumbsup SGOYT Spreadsheet Data on SGOYT Entries & Users



Future GeekHosts are

October - SBGrad
November - rangerx
December - mikolajl
January - TDB
February - TDB
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1. Board Game: 1066, Tears To Many Mothers [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:6059]
Germany
Köln
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Just finished my first learning game. Sorry, no photos. It is not really a solo game but I tried my best for both sides.

It was just: Wow!

It started slow but when you have some cards in your battlefield this game really begins to shine.

You must play the both factions different. The Normans won by destroying: Harold II Godwinson King of England
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2. Board Game: Adventure of D [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:5510]
I Play Rules Wrong
United Kingdom
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
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I started writing this last night and then the browser crashed for some reason and I was too tired to re-do it.

Played two games of this after getting destroyed by the bot in Race for the Galaxy.

I have been meaning to move up to 'Normal' difficulty for a while but I still played the first game on 'Easy' (maximum of 7 rounds to win).

The Barbarian romped home with a round to spare. I also scored my highest amount of points - 16 (add up all your attributes and double it).

Take that Elzoof!

This showed me that I should give 'Normal' (maximum of 6 rounds to win) a go and so I did.

My Bard got the same result with a round to spare too.

Take that again Elzoof!

Maybe it's time for the 'Hard' level of difficulty?

thumbsup Quick to play, multiple uses for the cards makes the most out of a small package, timer keeps the pressure on.

thumbsdown The art is poor.

thumbsdown Winning isn't always a punch the air moment as you can sometimes know that victory is certain because of what cards you hold in your hand and what items you have, etc.
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3. Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Barbados / St. Lucia [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked]
Benny Grootjans
Belgium
Oostende
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I recently bought this game and after playing a few turns to learn the multiplayer rules on the rust belt map, I decided to give the Barbados solo map a try (it comes with the game in my edition).

I used the one cube rule and scored 85 points.
I checked the forums for scoring in this solo game and this seems to be a very nice score.

So maybe I did something wrong or I had some amazing luck with the cube distribution.

Either way, it was fun enough to try give it another go in the future.
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4. Board Game: Agent Decker [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:4960]
Mário Sousa
Spain
Barcelona (currently)
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Finally I was able to beat the first mission on Agent Decker.

Last friday I decided that it was time to give Decker the skills he needs to be a great spy. With a new strategy, I started to get my self the cards I need to improve my deck, mixing this with KOing dangerous cards that would set the alarm in high levels. Succeeded it and start the second mission.

Starting with a improved deck gets things easier. Since I already had the two Interrogate cards ("draw two cards") there were turns where it was easy to get stronger hands. Keeping this in mind, my first goal was to buy Gear Up to be able to draw even more cards and Recall was also another great purchase. Beat the mission and went to the next one.

The third went very smooth and it was kind of easy to beat it. But then at the end I noticed a mistake that probably made things easier: I forgot the effect of the Dormitory card (it says that only the face up cards slide to the right). Since I wasn't sure if it was too relevant or not, I decided to continuing with the game.

At the fourth mission (which I completed it very fast with the alarm at 9), I made a combo that allowed me to end that mission so fast that I felt weird. That's when I noticed the biggest mistake I did: I forgot the the limit of 3 cards from Gear Up's effect (I drew 6 cards in the last combo). After that I remembered that in the last turn on the previous mission I drew 4 cards that ended the mission. By this time I decided to end the game since I was already very wrong...

So the final score was:
- Mission 1, Alarm 43
- Mission 2, Alarm 35
- Mission 3, Alarm 36.
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5. Board Game: Agent Decker [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:4960]
Brock Poulsen
United States
West Valley City
Utah
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I played s few games of this over the weekend. I really enjoy it as a quick solo deckbuilder. It tells a fun story and has some interesting mechanics. And the price is right!
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6. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:11]
West Ward Hough
United States
Katy
Texas
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I played a solo game of Agricola for the first time in at least 3 years, and was reminded of why I hadn't missed it. What a brilliant multiplayer game, and what a forgettable single player experience. For my playing style, this game is the worst of both worlds - high score and puzzle. The only randomization comes from the very limited variation in actions and occupations/improvements, which means a part of me will just want to plan turns and turns ahead. Not my cup of tea.

I was pretty rusty (haven't played Agricola even multiplayer in 1-2 years) and scored a 35. I rushed through the first round and had forgotten that in solitaire you feed your family three, not two, so I ended up taking a couple of beggar cards (which I later mitigated with the Mendicant - still wasting an action). I got my house to stone and had a good farm working, but didn't get enough wood to fence enough in (I had too many stables dealing with the too many animals I had picked up).

Well, I mentioned that I hadn't played this solitaire in a few years, so I should have known I wouldn't like it...so why did I play it? I've seen a LOT of heart here for At the Gates of Loyang and Glass Road, so I figured I'd try out my only Uwe/high score game. I realize that the mechanics are different, and given that I don't see Agricola on this list much, it is obviously not the preferred game of this broad type. I'd appreciate anyone's comments selling me on their favorite and why (if at all) I might like it given my disdain for solo Agricola. Because we all need more on our wishlists, right?
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7. Board Game: All Things Zombie: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:3310]
Scribes
England
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Play 1 of Game 2 in my (hoped for) 3x10 this month.

Only my 2nd play of this game - and the first was in January, so this game had the constant referral to the book on how to handle events.

The Scenario Win condition needed the 2 characters to search buildings for a weapon each. Instead of weapons they found 11 zombies - ran away (a short distance) and got caught soon after when they failed an activation roll. The Star Character then died in a 10-on-1 melee. zombie

After the loss I checked the Item & Zombie deck and it looks like this play was doomed from the start (for a 'first' play) - entering buildings would have spawned lots of Zombies, and IF the dice favoured characters out-running Zeds and doubling back to search buildings, in 12 item cards there were no weapons; only 2 ammo crates, 1 medkit - and 9 empty buildings.

Update: 2nd play was a couple of weeks back; Scenario 2, ignoring the barricaded building - the Zombie side of this game is Spawn & Chase, while 3 of 4 survivors have to last 15 rounds... they managed 10 rounds before the 2nd survivor was lost. Once again it was the Star in a 7-on-1 melee.

Need to change games as just not drawn to this one this month, and if I am on the edge of a gaming slump then maybe playing something else will counter that.

thumbsup Good quality components & artwork.
thumbsdown Rule-book lacking in places eg Char entering a board has a free move; not clearly mentioned in the rules, only the forum.
thumbsdown Deck-check shows they are Zed heavy and Item light (50% are empties).
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8. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:596]
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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I finally pulled this bad boy off the shelf again. After seeing
Vez A
Germany
Kiel
Germany
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showcase his COIN games the last few months, I had to put this one into action for a couple of reasons:

1) I got the C3i extra goodies for this, the updated 'bots, and the 'bot Government, so you could play any faction, which I have wanted to do since I got the game. So, in my current game I'm playing FARC.

2) I'm sick of Cuba Libre. Don't get me wrong, I love the game. But for the last year-ish I have taught numerous newbies a COIN game, and of course that is always Cuba Libre. Great game, but I've played that so many times now, I don't want to touch it for awhile. Also I think the Syndicate is probably the least interesting COIN faction to play, and when I play CL I dread having to take them.

So I'm playing Andean Abyss because I wanted to get a different COIN to the table (I'm hoping I'll round up 3 other players to give this a whirl--it's time some of my COIN friends graduate to AA).

My game so far:



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9. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:596]
P. Fowler
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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After watching a few episodes of "Narcos" on Netflix, I figured I'd get out my favorite 4-way drug war simulator. Picked the AUC randomly and got started. Lots of jockeying in the mountain Departments, but in the end with Govt getting 1st Mountain Battalions, the bot was able to consistently kick out any insurgent that dared challenge its control. Meanwhile, the Cartels got an early Mexican Traffickers and I had to spend a lot of time trying to keep their Bases off the map. FARC really wasn't a big issue, but towards the end Govt pulled two more of their Bases off the map.

Result: Stalemate
AUC: +1
Govt: 0
Cartels: -1
FARC: -6
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10. Board Game: Antiquity [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:206]
Brett Burleigh II
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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THE friggen' Monolith...

The Wait... an introduction:

Once upon a time, we lived in Philadelphia, PA. I found a great gaming group. We met weekly. Then we started to break out heavier games on the weekend days and dive in head first, while still doing light to medium weight on the weekly Wednesdays. We played High Frontier twice, and the winds of fate called us back home to Ohio.

Before we left, my friend,
Mathew Tate
United States
Bryn Mawr
Pennsylvania
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<-- this dude here, was going on a business trip to Canada (the Great North). He mentioned a boutique game shop... one that held new copies of rare euro games, La Valet ďcoeur. He said that they may have Antiquity... Google-fu told me they did!

So I slapped a 100 marked greenback into his hand... and I waited.
It was March. I'd see him in June, at Origins (being Columbus meant it was in my back yard).

It was March, and we packed it all up, and moved in April, and then set it all up again. Shortly sheet the move, I got a picture of the game in shrink! Eeee! It's gonna happen! Oh wait, the box is too large to fit in my buddy's carry on! Oh no! Luckily, a coworker is sympathetic to the cause and muled it back to the US for him, for me... and then May came...

... and every day of May, I thought about Antiquity. And then June came. Finally!
So, it's Wednesday morning, I'm checking in at registration, getting my Badge.
I get a text. "I'm here... good news / bad news" and no responses to my reply of "?????!!!??"

I walk across the way, ready to get some gaming on.
I prepare for dire news.
Apparently, the bus had a leak of water somewhere in the luggage stow.
He hands me his stack of Star Realms cards, warped, and wet.
He tells me that his Armada fleets were spared.
But... Antiquity only fit on the bottom of the suitcase. The foundation sized brick it is...
And the water that destroyed other games... somehow, didn't (!?!) Kill Antiquity!?!?
He jokes, it must have been the shrink wrap. Well, it must have been.
The game is bone dry. The box is as pristine as if just off the shelf.
My eyes melted add I looked upon the brilliance, fellow apes around me shrieked in glory, awe and fear...

We talked about it in February, bid Farwell in March, acquired in April, waited in May, played in June. After traveling from Canada to Philly to my home in CBUS, the eagle had finally landed.
[The first time I played, we both lost... although I held on for another 4 turns before being strangled under the weight of my own graveyard laden cities].

That was the wait.

Now, my son is bouncing off of the walls, ready to go to the Park.

So I guess you'll have to wait for me too get back and type up my solo play report on this beast of a game. I think I played around 3 hours before I finally crushed the invaders.



--more later, including pics and the report!


OK… OK. Weeks later… We're back from the park…

Here's a wrap-up of my solo sesh report:

I had a heck of a time trying to find the full solo rules, although finding the setup strip was easy… with a little sleuthing, it was a done deal.

Glanced over a few of the rules (mostly city construction and fields phase) as a refresher. Got setup and started. I had a really nice spread between the 3 tiles. I got down to business in short order.

I sent immediately a supply chain for lumber. Also, a fishery and a stone mine as well as the 3 cart shops necessary to make it all happen.
((… If you've never played this, if you ever want to play this, you absolutely MUST prepare early to keep lumber trickling in. Period. Wood is a finite resource, and most Fields buildings require wood (Note: Marketplace will trade you 2:1, not an entirely bad deal).))



I built Forced Labor the following turn, Harbor as well, another House. Forced Labor really let me cycle thru men without long delays. Of course, it polluted the countryside accordingly, but it gave me options to expand with speed.



The following turn I made a foobar. Before I did it, I realized my other option was the better pick, but committed anyhow: I built Faculty of Biology. I should have built a market, and traded the 2 stone for the seed… (There's not a lot of room for blunders in this game, nor room for non-critical buildings)

I built an Inn early on (turn 4?), letting me expand my zone rather nicely.
Ever outward.
Harbor is so important to this front.

Around turn 5, I built my second City. Nice. This let me control almost most of the border for the right side tile. Everything would be sealed on that tile once the stables were completed!


Resources stacked upon my worker, ready to go out into the Fields and construct my second city!!

The second City became a dumping grounds for Graves, initially. It also became a way for me to spend some of the luxury goods my society was producing, as my primary city was full, and accumulating Graves like a pro.

It was also going to be where I built my Cathedral, but I didn't get around to it until it was too late for it to fit! Arrrrggghhh. shake

So now I HAD to build 3rd city, which was fair since I was lining up a San Giorgio win.

Look at all of that pollution!! Yikes!!
I neglected to mention, but I managed to trigger around 60% if the events, missing only a couple of them (I played on easy AI).

Thorughout, I was taking on a ton of Graves… Forced Labor meant I was polluting the idyllic countryside left and right… Before the game's engine really chewed me up (I took on 9 Graves during the final round), I managed to use stables to "surround" my opponent. I ended the game on Turn 11.


Notes & Thoughts:

Beautiful. I friggen live this game. I really can't wait to play it next!
I showed pictures to a friend at my aging club, to which he responded how ugly it is. It is not photogenic, certainly not in the lighting I was playing with (late at night). But the aesthetic I feel is very nice. It has a nice vibe and theme that carries throughout the game. I really appreciate the design of it. Haters gonna hate.

This game can be quite punishing, and in more than one way. If you are not maximizing the usage of each resource, you'll run out of space on wasted buildings, and, well, resources, which are super tight in this game. It is very rare that you will find yourself with more resrouces than you know what to do with… and if that is true, build another City!

I suppose that if I was playing against another player, I spent a little too much time feeding the resource machine, not driving myself towards the end goal. I can see how the difficulty of surviving/eking out an existence really makes it tough to devote resources towards victory-especially when there is no immediate benefit by doing so...

Still, I played this game for close to 3 hours, taking my time, watching something on the TV intermittently, and drinking a nice heady stout and maybe a little green (for inspiration, and all of that whistle).


I must say that after all of the wait for this game, I am so in love with the design. Brutal, tight, quaint, beautiful.
Now, I am considering the ultimate pimping, or perhaps clipping the 1200 chits to make maneuvering them around such a small area a little less fiddly. Fiddly. I didn't say it once until the very end (where I repeated it for effect) laugh

Anyway, if this is one of your Grails…… Yes. It rightfully should be.
Also, if this is one of your Grails, and you're ever in Columbus, OH…. send me a GM. I'd love to teach you!
……Origins 2016, anybody?

-BRRR!
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11. Board Game: APBA Major League Baseball Master Game [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked]
Ian Holden
Canada
Stittsville
Ontario
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Dug out my old version - huge boards! - with the 1991 season. I never really played this much as a board game -- had started various seasons using the computer version over the decads but never really finished any project. But thinking about a small tournament using some of the '91 teams and playing it manually - will help to better understand the nuances the system.

If I like this, I am considering the purchasing the latest Master game edition which replaces the awkward boards with a nice booklet. If I can stomach the crazy shipping cost of it to Canada -- shipping is the same price as the booklet! Yes, I know European or Australian costs are even worse.
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12. Board Game: Arctic Scavengers: Recon [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Glaya B
United States
San Mateo
California
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I'm finally starting to get some free time to myself again, after returning from vacation and taking care of a bunch of backlogged obligations, not to mention getting drafted for unexpected overtime at work. Hopefully my schedule will settle back into a more predictable routine now.

Today I played another five games testing out my AI deck variant for solo Arctic Scavengers. I added a couple new rules regarding captured cards, and it makes the scoring less swingy, but I'm not sure I'm completely happy with the timing of the skirmish rounds yet. It's definitely at a stage where it's playable, but I think there's still room for improvement.
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13. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:193] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
Jonathan Arnold
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
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I grabbed a copy of AH at my "local" (well, I drove 45 minutes to one that had it in stock and on sale...) B&N for the red dot sale and didn't waste any time it getting it on the table. I watched a few play throughs and it didn't seem so bad. I played with a single investigator (Michael McGlen, the mobster), just to keep the things I needed to keep track of at a minimum.

I thought things were going pretty well but it quickly got out of hand. I just didn't close gates fast enough and before I knew it, 8 gates were open and Azathoth showed up, ending the game. I figured with his longer doom track I'd have a better chance, but I think that may have been wrong

But I had fun. It wasn't too much to keep track of, although sometimes the rumors and environment complicated matters. Not sure really what I'll try next time as far as strategy goes, but there surely will be a next time!

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14. Board Game: Artifacts, Inc. [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:940]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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Played 2 games of the solo variant here to see how it played. It was quite enjoyable, though I beat the AI far too easily so need to try on harder difficulty to see how that goes. A lot of potential though!
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15. Board Game: Ascension: Year One Collector's Edition [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Jason
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
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A game I've played rather a lot on the iPad, Ascension was attractive due to its artwork, quick play time, interactivity - and solo variant. The collector's edition - which was attractive to me due to the fact it's so damn attractive - includes everything from the first year of the game, right down to those impossible to find promos.

Looks amazing, so far, but the tin will be a bit of a pain to shelve...



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16. Board Game: Ascension: Year One Collector's Edition [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Kevin Eastwood
United States
Windham
New Hampshire
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I was so excited to get this in the mail - I ripped off the shinkwrap on the tin and opened it up and saw my rulebook corners were messed up - then upon closer inspection I saw that my tin was severely dented in the bottom corners... pfffft shake - so I had this on the table, and now it's being exchanged for another copy, which should arrive tomorrow (along with my expansion for Warhammer: Conquest, which was a steal at $15.

UPDATE:
I got my replacement, which was perfect - no major dent in the tin. I was definitely excited to open this and sleeve the 350 cards before settling into 3 solo games of this tonight. I was able to defeat the AI twice 76/68, 67/64, and recorded a loss of 49/56.

The cards and the board are beautiful which makes it a million times better than playing the app. I absolutely love this game. Now I have to wait for season 2.

UPDATE #2:
So, I believe I'm officially obsessed with the game - 28 plays already!
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17. Board Game: Astra Titanus [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:2880]
B Wu
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
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Haven't had time to get Mistfall on the table during the work week, but I did have time to learn Astra Titanus and play through a few times. As a fan of Ogre, once I heard this described as "solitaire Ogre in space" I knew I had to give it a shot.

So far, so good; I played the first scenario and won handily, as the AI made some slightly nonsensical moves. I got a little worried about the challenge and longevity of the game after that, but then I tried out the second scenario (against a tougher Titan) and got utterly demolished the first time around - I sent my forces piecemeal at the Titan and they got picked apart without doing any meaningful damage at all.



The second time, I sacrificed a few ships to put a few dents in the Titan's drive capacity, massed a larger force closer to the objective moon base, and waited for it to come to me. This was far more successful and I managed to destroy all the defensive lasers and stop the Titan in its tracks. Unfortunately, I didn't stop it far enough from the moon base, and I wasn't able to damage the spine mount weapon, so even though the Titan was a bit of a sitting duck for my forces, it destroyed the moon base a couple turns before I could finish it off.



After three plays (admittedly not enough to form a real impression), I feel generally positive about this game. It does seem like Ogre is a bit more dynamic (with more variety in the defensive units - for instance there's no analog to the mobility of Ogre's GEVs in this game, nor the long-range firepower of Ogre's howitzer). The card-driven AI is pretty clever though, as is the hyperspace jump-out/jump-in movement mechanic. Not hard to see this getting a bunch more plays from me, especially given how fast it goes and how little rules overhead there is.
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18. Board Game: AstroNavis Merchant [Average Rating:6.37 Unranked]
Jason Doyle
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
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Fun little game. Just played once though the basic game before moving onto the Advanced version which looks like it adds a few more things to keep it interesting.

Astounding victory after a last turn delivery of some vehicles, and a lucky long distance load of advanced electronics earlier on in the game.
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19. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:209]
Moe45673
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Played an evening session of this a few days back. It was good but I wasn't immersed like I usually am. I felt like I had to keep fighting the card offer. I'm saying this quite a bit lately, but this is more an aspect of my state of mind than the game. I feel I could have excelled had I been riding the strategy wave this game requires.

Endgame (17 but a loan brought me back one):


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20. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:209]
Adam Garbett
United Kingdom
Walsall
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Got in a couple of games of this either side of a nice curry takeaway so overall a good evening!

Game 1 ended 16.15 which is a frustrating score to end on.
Game 2 ended 16.5.

I still haven't hit 17, and it felt today like I was playing better but I still didn't make it. I know it's coming though. At least I've got rid of my impulse to just head straight towards growing leeks. I only went for beans this time whistle

I enjoy this game. It's quite short but has a good amount of problem solving throughout.

Coming up for me this week should hopefully be delivery of Enemy Action: Ardennes and a deluxe counter clipper cool
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21. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:209]
Happy Gondorian New Year!
United States
Muncy
Pennsylvania
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...the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.
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This game is so incredible. It never fails to please. Today is perhaps my most satisfying victory at it, and yet even if I had scored lower I would still have enjoyed it. I was given one heck of a challenge to start:



I didn't have a regular customer until the end of turn 3! I limped along just moving 1 space per turn and getting ready for my customer and then I had 2, then 3 and was able use them to get fields (which came out and up in timely fashion) and then start satisfying casual customers too. At one point I used the card to get me 4 cards from the offer, which was probably the turning point. Then I was rolling. Moved 3 spaces each turn pretty much until the last turn.

Final score?


18.8!
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22. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:209]
Marc Maier
United States
Darien
Connecticut
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Session 1

Score: 12.2

This was my first session of Loyang in many months, and I was distressingly rusty as evidenced by my worst score ever. I knew it wasn’t going to be a good one by turn 3 when I was unable to advance on the score track for two straight turns.

Part of the issue was bad luck in the initial AI card draw. Many, many helpers came up and went straight into the discard pile, followed by two markets, then a bunch more markets. By the time the opponent board was filled with the required cards, half the deck was in the discard pile and it was nearly devoid of markets. The only one available cost $2 and had two spaces requiring two veggies for a trade. The early lack of markets limited my options severely, and I was not able to get many field going.

In desperation, I purchased a veggie from the market, which is primarily what kept me from advancing on the score track for a couple of turns. The situation was not helped by a major mistake on my part: I picked up two early regular customers so I could get the $2 bonus for casuals, but was unable to fill one regular at one point which cost me $2.

Things turned around for me a bit in the final few turns, but I was too far behind already, resulting in my terrible score.


Session 2

Score: 12.7

After my horrible first session, I immediately set up for a second hoping to apply the harsh lessons I’d learned. I felt as if I played much better, but was surprised and dismayed by a final score only marginally better. I really am rusty at this game.

I was careful to avoid taking regular customers until I was sure to have the veggies to fill their orders at least on the second turn after acquisition. I satisfied some casuals early to build up cash.

I also kept the left side of my board lean, the better to get cheap two-packs. I made sure to use up markets with repeated trades when necessary, and I was able to purchase a two-pack nearly every turn. Unfortunately, these did not produce useful cards much of time. For instance, twice I drew two regular customers when I already had two working on my board. Keeping a third regular would have been foolhardy, so I was forced to dump these two packs for no gain.

In addition, I never managed to get a good mix of veggies. I had no regulars who needed wheat, for instance, and found it difficult to obtain and plant the others. I did managed to fully satisfy two regular customers, though, as well as several casuals. While I did not play well enough to get into the upper scoring levels, I feel as if my score should have been better based on how I played. Obviously, I need more practice — good thing Loyang is a great solo game!
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23. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:209]
O' Ibb
Ireland
Donegal
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Is there a prettier sight?


I thought these two might make nice partners in a double quick play session and I was not wrong. Whilst I enjoyed myself I did not do myself proud.

Mackenzieeeeeee!!!! Beat me on this occasion, I struggle for movement cards in the character journal and on top of that made a couple of silly miscalculations - dropping back out of the mountains during one encampment phase having just set myself up for a big mountain push being one.

This game trips along so nicely, is a joy to look at and read and I have much to learn. The wrestle of using cards for strength or action or goods is mesmerising.

One thing I missed on previous plays - when you camp you only return Indians used on your character cards to your boats, not the ones placed in the village is that right? I previously assumed it was just all Indians used but that slight change makes a fair difference.

Second up was the old SGoYT (& Made Me Buy This!) fave Loyang. I'm still an apprentice at this one and it shows in my scores:


15.13 (I had a loan), not too shabby but lots to learn


Eighteen - for me - seems:

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24. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:209]
Jason
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
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After remaining in the doldrums and being unable to decide if Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game is actually any good or not (buy Alien over it, if you're in any doubt - the first one is sublime), I needed to go to something new.

It's always a pleasure to play a new game and, after that first time out, know it's the start of a love affair. I've been sceptical of this one, for a time, and kept at arm's length by the prohibitively high price whilst it was scarce. I think Agricola is really good, but Le Havre is outstanding. This was certainly something I needed to try, at least.

Yeah, it's good. Really good. The solo game has a card tableau you can buy from, which doesn't even feel like a concession or compromise from the multiplayer game. I was a little flummoxed, initially, setting up, until I realised that a couple of phrases in the rules were misleadingly opaque. You only used the tableau to gain cards and the "dummy" player was far less than the sum of its parts.

What I really like, though, even though it feels a little contrary, is that this is a game in which you compete for a score, but it doesn't feel like I'm playing to beat my own previous best. Given that it's a game about market forces and income, the fact that points are synonymous with wealth, and thus success, means that the points feel like a purpose, rather than reductive win condition. (Which looks way too pretentious, reading it back...let's just say that the system feels thematic, to me at least.)

First score was a (lousy) 14 points, with 9 cash left in the coffers. It'll do. So, it's a bit of a brain-burner, although didn't leave me in need of a lay down, like Le Havre did, and it's got some fabulous components (although the T-boards are thin). Thrilled with it.



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25. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:209]
Jason Leidich
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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Was feeling a bit euro the other night so I pulled this out for a quick game. What gets me about this game is that I'm pretty much constantly surprised by my score at the end of the game. This is simply an observation and not a bad thing.

I start out rough, can't get much going, there's now way I'm going to get a decent score... 17.x... wow!

I start out extremely well because the offer lines up nice and I get an engine going immediately... 15.x... wha!?!

This game was one of the latter. Cards in the offer gave me an opportunity for a quick start. I spent on an extra field right away which also helped me trap a regular customer in the top row for later. I had my farm going pretty quickly and felt like I was going to really blow it out of the water. About half way in though I didn't get too much more in the regular customer camp though I did manage to fill a few casuals.

I finished the game with a 16.16. Not a terrible score but I was pretty disappointed with it after how well I thought I was doing!

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