Solitaire Games on Your Table - December 2015
Mikolaj Laczynski
Poland
Warsaw
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Welcome to
Solitaire Games On Your Table
December 2015!



It's the last month of the year. How time flies!

An early Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it! I wish everyone lots of health and happiness for this month and the coming year. And lots of gaming time.

If You are a first time visitor - WELCOME! I hope You have a good time and become a regular. If You have been reading, but have not written anything yet, maybe a couple of session reports would be a good way to end the year.

As far as rules go: there are no rules. Post all games in one item? post each play in a separate item? Have anything interesting to share and want to post it in the comments on the bottom? It's Your choice.

Try to write about what You liked about the game or what someone might think as disadvantages.

December Generosity

Last year the theme in December was "Genrosity". I'd like to repeat this theme again this year.

Maybe You have a game in Your collection that You don't see Yourself playing again. Or You saw someone want something You might be willing to part with. Or You just want to make someone happy. Or You want to create a challenge or a giveaway. Make a geeklist item about it and offer to send it to someone who thumbs Your it or posts a comment.

If You happened to receive something (not just this month) there is a place You can write about it - Generosity on BGG.

But don't feel pressured. There's no obligation.

Consider also giving a few bucks to BGG in their annual end of year fundraising campaign. The banner should be near the top of the page.

2014 People's Choice
Top 100 Solo Games


Another exciting December event is the announcememnt of the 2015 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games.
It is run by
Kevin Erskine
United States
Alexandria
Kentucky
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and the winners will be announced shortly. I will update the header when it begins.

The list is up - 2015 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games!

Watching the reveal of last year's winners was lots of fun - 2014 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games.

Which brings me to another topic:
Warning: The results of this contest as well as this list might cost You money!!

Microbadges you might like:
mb - Solitaire Gamer
mb - Solitaire Games on Your Table
mb - Gaming is best solo
mb - 1 Player Guild Member
mb - Solitaire Gamer
mb - 1 Player Podcast

Below are other links You might find useful:
1 Player guild - the headquarters of everything solitaire gaming related.

Solitaire Games on Your Table Monthly Geeklist SUBSCRIPTION THREAD - subcribe to be notified of future SGoYT lists.

2015 SGOYT Challenges SUBSCRIPTION - who says solo games can't be competitive and interactive?

SGOYT made me buy this! - I have a Christmas and the results of the People's Top 100 will have a strong impact on this one.

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

Solitaire Recommendations For Your Table - don't know what game to spend Your money on? Look here.

SoloPlay Variants Posted on the Geek - Solo rules for multiplayer games


The following users will be the hosts in the following months:
January 2016 - Suzy Vitale
February 2016 - Kyle Woelf
March 2016 - Jack Bennett

And remember:
Together we game alone!
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: Solitaire [+] 1-player [+] 1-player-recommended [+] [View All]
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1. Board Game: 48th Panzer Korps [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:9074]
The play's the thing ...
Australia
Point Lonsdale
Victoria
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Going thirty-eight, Dan, chill the f*** out. Mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down.
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While Counterattack magazine sadly only lasted for about 4 issues, the 2 I own are both well done with interesting articles that relate to the game in each.

Decided to break this out. Rules are clear and the game looks interesting, deperate German defence west of Stalingrad as the large but still unwieldy Soviet forces attack to stop the relief of the trapped German forces.

Turn order is combat before movement, though units that didn't attack can move and make 'hasty' attacks in the movement phase.

Soviets win by capturing cities behind the German lines, and the Germans wing by stopping them. Points are also awarded for eliminated units.
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2. Board Game: 504 [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2553]
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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Been playing through this solo just to get a feel for it. Played three games so far. One was simple and un-interesting. Another fast and fun, and the one I"m playing now 976, is stock/majorities/building roads game--hell of a time trying to grok the rules, but I'm rolling now. You almost have to plan ahead with this game if you are gonna play with a group. There is always a paragraph of rules in each game that you go, WTF? But overall the rules are easy and the games are surprisingly fast. Fast as in, that each game has 3 different modules that get put together to make your game. Like doing a Pick-up & Deliver/Build Roads/Military type of game. Where one of the modules will be how you score your VPs, one will be how you get income, and essentially the 3rd one adds flavor, variety to the game. If you aren't careful you can get sidetracked by doing a bunch of cool stuff, but ultimately losing because you weren't focused on what actually gives you VPs.

Some shots of my Pick Up & Deliver game:

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3. Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:17]
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
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Working on solo variant ideas. It would be nice if I didn't have such TERRIBLE associations with 7 Wonders these days, but it should be (slightly) easier to come up with a solo AI.

My first iteration was more feeling out what strategies would work for me and what strategies would work for an AI that didn't involve a flowchart. I think I'll start with tables and work my way towards a card-based Automa system that works a little like the one for Between Two Cities—basically each automa has a simple evaluation for determining what kind of building card is taken. I have in mind certain factors, but it's best to choose a random factor each time (with some factors figuring in more heavily into the mix than others).

For instance: military dominance. When does the AI choose red buildings for this purpose?

Or science cards. When does the AI choose green over red?

Similarly for blue and gold.

Right now my AI always takes the first resource card it comes across which definitely threw a lot of wrenches into my plans alone.

So yeah, this will take some thought to apply appropriately.
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4. Board Game: A.D. 30 [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:6279]
alex w
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Can't really understand the basics behind this game.

Was very interesting the first time I tried it. So I will play this again this Christmas holiday with my son.
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5. Board Game: Adventure Land [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1334]
Arne Hoffmann
Germany
Essenbach
Germany
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"Komm mit mir ins Abenteuerland, ....." is a well known tune from the successful German pop band PUR. Have to admit that I never really liked their songs during the eigthies and still not like them much 30+ years later.

But I do like games by Kramer/Kiesling and rhis new take on family games by HABA certainly got me interested. And when the baby super store, where we were shopping for the last missing pieces to be prepared for the family addition to come, had this on display, my wonderful wife got it for her big kid for Christmas. And being a true juvenile boy, I did nor wait for Christmas to get it to the table.

Played three handed to get the rules down. Though this being an abstract with random element of where items appear on the board, a solitaire ruleshould be managable. In this first of three scenarios you score by either defeating creatures, collect gold or take up companions to your group. Beginning of your turn, two cards reveal where new items are placed on the board. Afterwards you either move one of your pawns twice or two once. Simpleas that. Move as far east or south in a straight line. Pick up anything on the final square or fight a monster there. The one limiting rule: an adventurer can never move back north or west. This simple twist makes this a nice optimization and double guessing game (with more players). Easy rules, nice challenge in this first play.

Am looking forward to trying it with more over Christmas.

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6. Board Game: Adventure of D [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:7212]
Suzy Vitale
United States
Dist of Columbia
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Played tonight using my Solo Variant: Epic Adventure of D variant.

Got to Elzoof pretty quickly. Then Master Ernie gave me a hard time. Took me three attempts to finally knock him off. Next turn, with three events on the map, I defeated the Troll Shaman which allowed me to discard an event on any location. Yes! With just one event left, I was able to safely (no shadows, phew) to the Mountain of Proph to deal with Master Baqem.

Sadly, I had bad luck.



I lost on the very last turn! Too bad, my Super Beefy Priest would have scored 21 points.



Still, it was great fun! A perfect way to end a Monday.

meeple
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7. Board Game: Adventure of D [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:7212]
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
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This is my favorite of the "Island of D" series (Island Of D, Island Of D 2: The Shadow of Dawn, The Dungeon of D, and Adventure of D). You can think of them as milli-games with adventuring as a theme, and travel through a card layout using multi-use cards in hand as a mechanic. It's interesting to watch Jack Darwid's growth as a designer throughout the series.

We began with the Island of D: of the games, the only one to use a d6. Luck was almost entirely unmitigable, even if the ideas behind the dual use cards and the traveling layout were somewhat solid. There was also a lack of a variety of monsters.

In Island of D: Shadow of Dawn, the die roll is removed in favor of the first true iteration of the power card mechanism and a full card map layout. The cards represent locations and are laid out in a grid (you'll find this mechanism in games like Mistfall, Gloom of Kilforth, and others), and you can move a little marker to adjacent spots. Every location has an action or series of actions you can take, or actually are required of you.

But let's talk about the power card mechanism. Power cards are not only numerical cards you can play to execute tests against a target number, but they're also your hit points, they're your randomization, and they're also monsters. How? As you travel, you need to put down a card from your hand representing a possible monster you'll encounter (monsters are weaker on high-number cards, and stronger on low-number cards) and draw a card. If it's lower than or equal to the danger level of the new location, you have to fight the monster.

Thus as you travel, your health goes down, providing an attrition mechanism during your turn so that, while you can move and take actions to your heart's content, they all have a card cost. Being able to dictate the kind of monsters you'll meet means that you don't have to take chances if you don't want to—but on the other hand, not taking the occasional chance means you'll likely run out of time to defeat the Big Bad.

Power cards are also tied into one of three character traits: intelligence, agility, and strength. You get certain advantages being able to match your type of power card to the type of test, but it's not necessary, thus further mitigating luck.



But it wasn't until the Dungeon of D that dual-use cards came into power, as well as special character powers and skill development. The ability to use other character cards as additional skills for your character is a brilliant way to recycle even the ones you aren't using to represent your character. In Dungeon of D, you additionally had the concept of levels increasing the difficulty of monsters (something that wouldn't show up in the Adventure of D). And you also had the first instance of power cards that could also be used as items. It's quite a nice set-up, although still a bit lucky in its final showdown with the Big Bad.

The final game in the series, the Adventure of D, is different in its environmental nature from the Dungeon of D, calling back to its above-ground roots in Island of D and Island of D 2. Thus, lack of dungeon levels. But now the power cards are so, so much more interesting. They act as encounters (monsters, masters, tests of skill), items, traveling monsters, and basic power cards. The final encounter may be a bit of a let-down, since the Big Bad in the previous games was always so difficult to deal with, but at least if you're duly prepared you can take the Big Bad down.

And yes, this is where the
Suzy Vitale
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Dist of Columbia
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variant of mopping up the remaining Bad Stuff in the realm is a nice way to finish the game.

Yes, that is Totoro.

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8. Board Game: Adventure of D [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:7212]
Suzy Vitale
United States
Dist of Columbia
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Saw this game sitting on my coffee table this evening as I was heading up to bed, and I thought "oh I'll just play one quick game..." I love being on vacation when you can get away with staying up late for some random fun.

I drew the Ninja hero and it took me awhile to get to the Tower. I went in a little cocky and things did not go well. I had to escape and my HP=0, and I decided that I would tweak my Epic variant in such a way that if you go for Elzoof and are forced to escape, you lose instead. Makes Elzoof a little more intimidating. So, I lost. But it was great fun!
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9. Board Game: Adventure of D [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:7212]
Suzy Vitale
United States
Dist of Columbia
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Got in another (non-epic) game of this while I wait for the hash brown casserole to finish. I beat Elzoof in 6 turns as the Scholar, scoring 17.



Now I'm off to the in-laws to do the usual Christmas stuff, and probably play a few mind-numbing multi-player party games. Merry Christmas, everyone!
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10. Board Game: Agent Decker [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:4770]
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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Perhaps my last game of 2015. Probably my last PnP of the year. A quick 60 card deck builder spy game. You're an agent trying to complete a series of missions that get progressively harder. So far it's good, but needs a few more plays.

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11. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:27]
Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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The other day, I stuck a foam core divider in the box to make a section for all the cards. Then, I made small dividers for each type of card. Now, the game is easy to play and it's easy to pull out a deck and experiment. It gave the game more awsome.

Off course, Agricola doesn't need it. It's such a fun game. What I like is the huge variety of cards that exist and that is even if you only own the cards in the base game.

Anyway, enough for the gushing. I played using the Netherlands deck. I thought I had a bunch of good occupations and improvements and that gave me a strategy to play. My strategy was apparently not very good though. I only managed 32 points. I had 3 begging cards and I built a bunch of minor improvements, but none of them gave VP. I only managed to by sheep and cattle on the last round and I finally felt like I had an engine going. If only I'd had one more round...
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12. Board Game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:224]
Lillian Mizutani
Canada
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Second posting to the SGoYT (in general):

I tried a new solo variant posted on the Geek by bbblasterfire. Basically the goal is to build two farms of similar score and the key is to keep everything as equal as possible. Obviously I goofed since one farm earned 10 more points than the other one. Oh well, try again next week.

As I'm also trying to complete my 10 x 10 challenge and the Advent Christmas challenge simultaneously you may see a lot more entries from me than usual
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13. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Ron A
United States
California
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FINALLY got back from week long trip to find this sitting in mail box.

Wow, it is HARD! I never seemed to have enough cards for the required tasks. Of course, this was my 1st (learning) play, so I expect things to get better with time.

Very fun, AMAZING artwork, in fact, the art sold me before I knew anything about the gameplay. The art is very evocative, and there are lots of different poses for soldiers on both sides. The terrain is all very thematic as well. MORE big pluses: relatively small footprint, no record keeping, and it comes in a small box, so easy to take with you on the road.
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14. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Rich Dodgin
Scotland
Edinburgh
Midlothian
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Picked up my KS copy from the Post Office this afternoon and found time to play a couple of games. First one, I lost horribly, but second one I started to get a grip on how the game worked and scored 10.5

This is a great game with awesome artwork, decision based gameplay and enough randomness to offer decent replay ability.
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15. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Sean McCormick
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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This qualifies as my first deckbuilder. I'm always a sucker for card games and for good art, and I think the mechanic of having to commit your limited troops to engage in fights where they will clearly be killed nicely captures the commander's dilemma, even if the mechanics lack any simulatation detail.
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16. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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I played this one in the church lobby tonight while the kiddos did their Wed. night thing.

I've been messing around with a house rule that swaps out the officer from your starting deck with Officer Godwin, the guy who sends Disorganized cards to that deck and cleans out yours. It seems to be the only way I can get through a game, or at least get far enough to develop some strategies.

Today I won a Medal of Honor victory, so this is probably not the correct path to take. However, it did take me a long time to actually get rid of the 3 initial Disorganized cards because I found his 2-card draw to be quite useful, especially when chained with jeeps. I think other officers may give me the ability to deal with those cards in other ways. I may switch up and go with a different house rule that says you can't draw 3 static defenses on the same turn. Anything can happen in a mixed deck, and doing that just sucks. If you are leaving 2 of them out of the board and you draw 2, well, that'll teach you, but drawing 3 (or even 4!) in a turn is just a brutal way to die.

Anyway, I am seeing more possibilities open up. Especially when I failed to take on a single disorganized card this entire game.
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17. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Stefan Schneider
Germany
Stockstadt
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I just got this recently and had to try it out this morning. I've now played a few games of this, it plays fast and makes a nice puzzle.
Every round you draw 5 cards (if you have some left from previous turns, you can get more than 5 this way) and mobilize your troops to fight against other soldiers and tanks, seize your objectives and get more reinforcement.
My very first game was abysmal. I didn't pay attention the first few rounds and all my troops that would have been able to gather reinforcements were killed off. That made the end very foreseeable.
I had to try again and still made some mistakes because I tended to overlook the unit type of the soldiers I would attack, if they are armored or not, I was quite astonished when I won that second game with ease. Then, after I went climbing, I decided to set it up again.

I was good enough this time to actually get a medal this time. Though I just barely got the Distinguished Service Cross, but thanks to that, my efforts had been noted and I'll be assigned my next mission soon. Looking forward to proving myself again.

Airborne Commander is more a hand management game than a Deck building game for me, there were just too many turns I couldn't buy new cards.
It makes for a really nice filler game, its quick to set up and it doesn't take up a lot of space. I can even play while lying on the couch, yay!

Not sure yet how much staying power it has, but so far, I do like it. And once you make sure to really look at the symbols, it plays quick enough without the need to check any rules.
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18. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Kevin
United States
Kalamazoo
Michigan
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Played my first game of Airborne Commander today. Didn't do too well but I did get through the entire mission deck. Messed up a few things here and there but the rules take a bit to get used to. ( Took me forever to find the rules for the medic...until I glanced at the back of the rule book..☺️)
I really enjoyed the game. Simple enough to get going, it plays quick and there's plenty of decisions you make all along the way. It kept my interest up throughout.

Can't wait to get another game going!
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19. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Kevin
United States
Kalamazoo
Michigan
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Got in another game tonight. Even better now that I have the rules down pretty good. Pulled out a Silver Star victory. Had some tense moments when I had few men and a lot of Axis units in front of me and three static defense cards stacked up as well. Some timely support by a mortar and the sacrifice of a few good men got us through. Things improved after that for the most part.
Great little game- fast, engaging, creates some tension. Well worth the 35-45 minutes it takes to play.
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20. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Byron Campbell
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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My first play of this. Boy, is it tough. I survived the deck, but ended with a score of -1. Unlike many deck builders, you hardly ever have a chance to recruit new cards. Also, you can save cards in your hand between turns--you always draw 5 new cards, so you can slowly build up your buying power, but the game didn't last that many rounds, so I don't know how effective this would be as a strategy.

Here's my endgame scoring for captured objectives/destroyed units:

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21. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Byron Campbell
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I got some requests in my last post for more pictures of this game so here it is.

After checking out a strategy thread in the game forum (read at your own risk), I completely turned my luck around and scored a Medal of Honor victory, which occurs if you score 12 vp before reaching the end of the mission deck. The key was keeping cards in hand when possible and being willing to sacrifice privates to avoid disorganized cards.

I am really liking the game so far. It gives me a feeling similar to Friday. I also played another game of Pandemic: The Cure with 4 heroes, which was much more interesting (and a loss).

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22. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Stefan Schneider
Germany
Stockstadt
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Gary? It's safe to read, no pictures included, I promise!

Player another game of this. I love this more and more. Not sure how long that will last, Friday also got boring for me at one point.
But for now, this is my go to game when I want something like that.

You need to balance your deck, buy new cards and make decision on how to best defeat the Axis cards.

This was the first time I was sure I didn't make any mistakes at all. I made sure to always look at the armor symobl and not surpress armored units. And the very best thing? I won!

If you have at least collected cards worth 12 Victory points at the end of your turn, you win. I only had 11. Then it was the last turn, I played the last Axis card to the Battlefield. And I killed off three of my soldiers to capture the last objective. Which gave me 13 VP! A Medal of Honor! Actually a proud moment! I think....

Well, the game end either if you have at least 12 VP at the end of your turn or the game ends after the firefight when the last Axis card is played.

Not sure which takes precedence. If its the latter, then I only got another Distinguished Service Cross, since you have to substract your Disorganized Cards from your VP, that would take me down to only 11 VP.

Anyone knows how to rule this?

Anyway, great game! Looking forward to playing this some more and get better at it.
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23. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Kevin
United States
Kalamazoo
Michigan
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Another enjoyable 35 minutes, came out with a Silver Star victory. I finding myself thinking after each game how I should have played some attacks differently, recruited a different unit, etc. I love the fact that the game rolls along and creates tension, but is done pretty quick. No matter what level of victory I manage to get, I'm having fun, getting frustrated, thinking about what I should have done better...hey, it's a winner when you get to that point!
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24. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3895]
Byron Campbell
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I earned a festive campaign ribbon with an ending score of -2. Not my best run; the first few rounds were brutal, so I was forced to earn a few disorganized cards, which messed up the rest of the game.



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25. Board Game: Airborne in my Pocket [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:4758]
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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Hey, buddy, can you spare a role?
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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So, even though It was on my list for LAST MONTH (and I guess, since I played it today for the first time, I technically made it) I'm going to be exploring this a little bit this month.


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The game's really fast. Once you know the basic rules, doesn't take more than ten minutes to play a game.

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Very glad there are Advanced Rules, plus a whole bunch of Scenarios, as well as Expansions galore for this. It FEELS like it wants more, you know? I enjoyed the Basic Game the few times I played it - lost 3 times I think, and pulled out an easy win once. But it wanted a bit more to the game.

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