Solitaire Games on Your Table - May 2016
Stefan Schneider
Germany
Stockstadt
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=== Happy 3rd Anniversary SGOYT===




Welcome to
Solitaire Games on Your Table
May 2016


The Home of “Together, We Game Alone”



If you are new to this list and just happened to stumble upon this by accident: Hello! We're glad to have you here! Take a look around, make yourself at home, and join in on the fun!
Feel free to post games you've played, comment on the games posted by others, and join the general discussion at the bottom of the page. If you are a regular: Glad to have you back and.. well, you know what to do!


Microbadges you might like:
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Guidelines
1. Play a solo game, or a multi-player game solo.
2. Post an entry on this geeklist and tell us about it.
3. Be nice, but most of all have fun.
4. See something you like? Give it a thumb.

A recent trend (which is by no means mandatory) is to include a thumbsup and one or two thumbsdown describing pros and cons of the game you have played.
Need to keep the wallet safe somehow and that might help a bit!


=== Happy 3rd Anniversary SGOYT===


Thats right, SGOYT has been going for 3 years now and its astonishing to see how much it has grown since it started in May 2013. Thanks to so many amazing people. And so many amazing and expensive games.

So this months, lets celebrate together. And share with us what you are celebrating. Your first win against the robot in Race for the Galaxy? Your 100s play of Carcassonne? Finding your grail game? Your birthday? The arrival of your first kickstarter? The first time your son or daughter bet you at your favourite game? Your first job? First time you learned about Gary? First house? Tell us about it and lets spread some joy. I will help by giving out a little for everything worthy of celebration!

And of course lets celebrate Mothers Day on Sunday the 8th!



SGOYT Resources
1 Player guild: Home Base for solitaire gaming

SGOYT Monthly Geeklist Subscription Thread: So you never miss another month

2016 Solo Challenges SUBSCRIPTION

2015 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games: lock up your wallet before you click here

Solitaire Recommendations For Your Table: general recommendations by genre

The Solo Games Chain of Generosity: a wonderful way to pay it forward

1 Player Guild Trading Post: buy, sell, or trade with other 1PG’ers

SGOYT made me buy this!: what did you buy and who do you blame?

SoloPlay Variants Posted on the Geek: who needs an official variant?

SGOYT Spreadsheet: all the SGOYT data you could ask for

SGOYT Aggregator: Aggregation of each list's games by Ones Upon a Game, a wonderful tool!


The Monthly "Get To Know You" Discussion Topic - Subscription Thread
has been back for a couple of months now. Why not join in to learn about more about each other and for some interesting discussions.

There's also SROYT, which I completely forgot to add, sorry blush Solo RPGs on your table! Monthly subscription thread!
The geeklist for May can be found here


Future SGoyT hosts:
June 2016 - Koinsky
July 2016 - Ian Davies
August 2016 Eric Miller
September - Enrique Carro
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1. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:250]
Kevin Shaud
United States
Durham
North Carolina
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After getting my clock cleaned in Pandemic: The Cure, I decided to give 1775 a go solitaire. It's a game that I have thought about selling because I just don't get to play it often enough. I decided to play as the Rebels; drawing and seeing their full hands of cards. I didn't draw the British/Loyalist cards until their turn came up. This made for a slight fog of war. I then just tried to play both sides the best that I could when their turn came up.

The Continental Army and the Patriot Militia both played their truce cards in the second round so the game was slated to end after the third round. It was a risky move, but it usually seems like a longer game favors the British. Plus, the truce cards are also good movement cards.

The Patriot Militia had the final turn of the second round and then the first turn of the final round. They were able to make some progress in those two consecutive turns, but the Rebels were still trailing. The British Regulars and Loyalist Militia then went (can't remember which order). This gave the Continental Army a chance to go out in a blaze of glory. They were able to negate Britain's control of Pennsylvania, take control of New Hampshire and take control of New Jersey away from the British to eke out a 6-5 win. Great fun! thumbsup
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2. Board Game: 1944: Race to the Rhine [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:1260]
Ron A
United States
California
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TL : DR My dad drove Red Ball.*

Given that, I suppose it was inevitable that I'd end up with a game that lets you play out the 1944 supply crisis and the Red Ball Express at some point. Aside from the subject matter, you can play with 2 or 3 people AND it has dedicated solo rules-- always a selling point for me.

For my 1st game, I bowed to the family connection and played Bradley, since my dad was in the 12th Army Group. In hindsight, that was probably a mistake. Monty and Patton have limited supply bases along their route to the Rhine, Bradley does not. There is even more truck driving for Brad vis a vis the other 2 commanders.

Since this was my 1st game I wasn't really keeping track of how long it took me to get across the Rhine. Mechanics are fine, there really isn't anything too complicated about them.

The game is fun, but it really works better with other people than as a solo game. Playing solo there is no interaction with the other commanders, and the play tends to become rote after a while. It's great for learning the system.

Components are gorgeous-- a BIG mounted map, markers that almost come out of the counter sheets by themselves, and lots of beautiful wooden pieces--although those fuel drums tend to roll around your table.

* Here's the longer story about how my dad ended up driving Red Ball:

He was 18 when Pearl Harbor was bombed and realized that EVERYBODY was going to get drafted. Since he figured it would be better to drive the process than get run over by it, he went to a recruiting office and asked to take the standardized tests. When the test results came back, they wanted him in the Army Air Corps as a pilot. But then he reported for a physical and they saw he wore glasses, and that was a no-no-- glasses and oxygen masks didn't mix, or something like that.

However, his test scores qualified him for the Army Specialized Training Program. In the middle of the war, they sent him to Purdue, trying to cram 4 years of college into 18 months. But the Army came to its sense and realized they needed grunts NOW more than they needed officers 18 months from now, and took almost all of the people out of the program.

Even then, my dad landed on his feet. In high school, he built his own short wave radio and got a Technician class license. Instead of being a private in a infantry regiment, he was made a radioman Tech 5 (Sgt) in the HHQ company of the 327 Combat Engineer Battalion of 102 Infantry division.

By now we are up to 1944, and the 102 goes off to war. They leave from New Jersey and go straight to Cherbourg France in Sept. That was at the height of the supply crisis so everybody that had a blue card (truck driving experience) was sent to drive for Red Ball. Here are some stories about the 102 driving Red Ball.

I'm not sure if my dad voluntarily signed up for Red Ball (or was volunTOLD), I'll have to ask him next month when I see him. I DO know he spent all of his runs driving artillery shells to the front.
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3. Board Game: 51st State: Master Set [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:254]
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Woke up late this morning to the doorbell and found this sitting on my front porch. There hadn't been any indication they'd started shipping the pre-orders yet, but no complaints from me! I've been in a bit of a board game slump the past couple weeks as work and life have been draining all of my energy and brainpower so this was a very welcome surprise. Watched Rodney Smith's rules video, reviewed the solo rules and set it up.

Man this seems like a thinker. The amount of different uses for each card was a little overwhelming, but the rules are very straightforward so I'm sure I'll pick things up after a couple more plays. I kinda get a Loyang vibe from the solo game though the AI gives it a bit more interactivity. No idea how it compares to solo in Imperial Settlers as I never got around to picking that one up, but this is definitely a keeper for me. The AI beat me 46 to 36 this time, which was a closer score than I expected but I take it with a grain of salt as I likely got a couple things wrong.



I'll probably play a couple more times with the base set of cards to get the rules down before adding in either of the included expansions. Really looking forward to seeing what Ignacy came up with for the additional solo variant(s), as they weren't included in the box and from what I can see they haven't been posted on Portal's website either.

thumbsup The art and components are gorgeous. I love that Portal includes dual sided player boards with male/female character art on either side.
thumbsup Lots of decisions to be made on each turn with cards that can be used multiple ways and a lot of different resources to manage.
thumbsup Additional solo variants on the way!
thumbsdown The virtual player is a meany.
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4. Board Game: 51st State: Master Set [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:254]
Stefan Schneider
Germany
Stockstadt
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It arrived on saturday and I was really eager to start playing. Managed to play two games sunday evening and two this morning. I was a bit skeptical if I'd really need this one since I already own Imperial Settlers but since I love that, I decided to preorder anyway, mainly because the exta solo variant was unlocked. Really curious about that one! But its not available yet.
And it turns out preordering it was the right decision! Amazing game!

If you know Imperial Settlers, you can (for the most part) start playing right away. There are not many differences between those two. You don't have faction specific decks here but every card has a distance that you have to be able to cover in order to build it. Some other small differences, but very easy to learn when you already know Imperial Settlers.
Though at first I thought the rules didn't make any sense for player who didn't know this system at all, because they didn't even mention how to set it up in the rules at all. Then I found the extra Setup instructions still in the box blush Made more sense after that.

Not sure if this will replace IS for me, I still like that one, too.
The components here are really great and the artwork is pretty good, too:

This is me at the start of the game, with my starting cards.

Setup is also really easy, since you only have one deck. Okay, there are two extra decks in there, the New Era and Winter deck, after a few plays you're recommended to shuffle in one of them. So far, I haven't done that, need to get more practice first.

I lost three of the four games I've played, which was to be expected. I still need to get to know the cards better, it was easier in IS to play a card. But probably I'm just way more used to that. So I had problems keeping up with the virtual opponent. In my last game, I won, but it was close, I only had one VP more.

Will play it some more later today. And hopefully the new solo variant will be available soon.


thumbsup Beautiful components, great artwork.
thumbsup Very accessible.

thumbsdown So far the solo variant is only to beat your virtual opponent, no campaign yet.

<summary>Easy and accessible game. Might completely replace Imperial Settlers for me!</summary>
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5. Board Game: 51st State: Master Set [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:254]
Benny Grootjans
Belgium
Oostende
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Played a solo game of 51st state master set yesterday. I botched a few of the rules, so I didn't count my score.

thumbsupArtwork...I very much like it.
thumbsupthumbsdownGameplay as a multiplayer game is rock solid, solo it has some work concerning the rules.
thumbsdownNot the best rulebook ever written. The solo rules are not fully thought out (no mention of razing the virtual player, does the virtual player start with 4 cards?) There are a lot of opinions out there, but it's not in the rulebook.
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6. Board Game: 51st State: Master Set [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:254]
Marc Maier
United States
Darien
Connecticut
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Victory!

Faction: Merchants

Me: 49 (rating = "Human")
AI: 27

My pre-ordered copy of 51st State Master Set arrived a couple of days earlier than expected. I had some extra time that evening and got it to the table. Even though I never played the original, my many plays of Imperial Settlers helped me to jump right in. As I anticipated, the mechanics are similar with a few minor exceptions.

The main change from IS is the lack of faction-specific decks; everyone plays with the single deck of common cards. After just this one session I can see how this makes this current incarnation of 51st State easier for new players to pick up. With IS, there is a bit more of a learning curve as you figure out what your faction is good at. 51st State factions are differentiated a bit in terms of base resource production and conversion rates, but these are right there on the player board. In Imperial Settlers, you really need to know the potential of your faction deck to play well; in 51st State you just play and inherent production/conversion abilities tend to guide your play on their own.

The fact that the game is a race to 25 points as opposed to five rounds was a surprisingly significant change to my eyes. One is always wary that the opponent (or the AI in the solo game) will rush ahead and score before you can get your own points engine going. In Imperial Settlers, everyone knows that you have to switch over to scoring at some point in the fourth round and certainly in the fifth. Everyone has roughly the same time table for building and then running the engine. In 51st State, it seems like there is more flexibility and tension around the decision to shift to mostly scoring points.

Faction locations in Imperial Settlers are invulnerable to razing (unless playing the Japanese) and this also leads to a certain complacency about whatever engine you happen to build by the end of the game. There is a sense of inevitability to the scoring once folks get certain faction locations up and running. With 51st State, every location is vulnerable to being razed based on its distance, so the engine is never safe. There is a much greater sense of having to make hay while the sun shines because that nice scoring location will not last if other players decide it needs to be taken out. This is true even in the solo variant where it is much easier for the AI to successfully raze player locations than in Imperial Settlers. The solo player is pretty much guaranteed to lose a location each round unless they get lucky with the AI attack draws.

I find this more wide open razing mechanic in 51st State to be very thematic, much more so than the “bulletproof” faction locations in Imperial Settlers. There is a real sense of danger and menace appropriate to the dog-eat-dog post-apocalyptic setting in 51st State. I find it easy to imagine that one faction’s discovery of a valuable location would soon draw the attention of competitors who will do their level best to deny you the advantages of the find.

The extra step in the resource utilization process did not bother me as much as I thought it would. Where in Imperial Settlers you simply spend your pieces of wood directly to build and activate locations, in 51st State, you must first convert the pieces of wood to pieces of cardboard (contact tokens) which you then spend to do things. In practice, this means things take more actions to accomplish which gives opponents more opportunity to attack you. You must plan ahead a bit more. If you build a nice scoring location, you’d better be sure to have the resources necessary to activate it already in hand, because once you build it, opponents will be aware that you can score with it. You want to minimize the time between the construction and the use to at least get some points out of it before it’s burned to the ground.

In the base solo variant, one can finesse this a little bit by waiting until later in a round to build locations you want to save. The AI will pass after razing one location, so I found it prudent to build locations simply to provide more possible targets. The AI’s attack would be more likely to hit right off, and then I could get down to business constructing the locations I really needed to use that turn.

In this session, I randomly chose the Merchants faction. At first it didn’t seem like their inherent production of one fuel resource per round would make a big difference, but the fact that they can convert it to three blue contact tokens proved to be significant. They can jump right into making deals while all the other factions have to find a way to product fuel using locations. Since deals in the base game are invulnerable to attack, the Merchants seem to have a bit of an advantage in the solitaire game. They will always have lots of resources to work with, so the challenge is to keep scoring locations in play long enough. Of course, you can’t simply rely on deals because locations score a VP each at the end of the game. Also, the VP you get for developing over existing locations can be significant. Indeed, the Appalachian faction’s inherent brick production indicates that this is their primary route to points.

In this session, I actually didn’t draw that many scoring cards which used fuel resource of blue contact tokens, which was frustrating since I was always sitting on a lot of them. I finally did get a Gas Cultist and a Convoy built in the final rounds which gave the points to end the game. By this point, I had more deals than I knew what to do with, so I was pleased when locations allowing the discarding of deals for points turned up. Both Hideout and Negotiator let me turn several of my deals into points. Indeed, I was making deals simply to provide fodder for these cards, maintaining the resource production from the remaining deals.

I scored more points from development than I had anticipated primarily because the AI had an open production location producing development tokens. These provide great flexibility in that you don’t have to match type. Despite that fact that using an AI open production location gives the AI a VP, I used this several times figuring that the point I gained for the development offset the AI scoring. This proved to be the case, although the AI was well ahead of me for most of the game until I shot ahead in the final two rounds.

I will need to play 51st State a few more times to form a definite opinion, but after this inaugural session I can say that it feels just different enough from Imperial Settlers to warrant its own place on the shelf. I’m looking forward to more solo plays and exploring the world of the game and the different factions.
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7. Board Game: A.D. 30 [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:5467]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I have not come across to many Christian board games. A.D. 30 is a solitaire game where you are trying to create the events of Jesus journey from his baptism to his entry into Jerusalem. You need to get at least one of three leaders, Judas, and Jesus into Jerusalem as well as recruit all apostles to try and make it as historical as possible. If Jesus piety goes to 0 due to temptation the game ends, or if a leader or Jesus makes it to the end of the journey without the others then it shows a possible different history. If Judas makes it before Jesus or the leader the game continues but a different history will occur but I think you can still win. My first game I had 17 points and the second I had a maximum 21 points, and the three conditions met for the historical outcome. Both of those scores were considered victories.
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8. Board Game: Adaman [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:9065]
Mike Hostetler
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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Last night my wife and daughter were watching something cheesy on Netflix so I decided get out a couple of games I hadn't played in while.

I'm surprised that I hadn't gotten my Decktet deck out this year, considering I had a lot of Decktet plays (and entries on SGOYT) last year. So it was a bit past time.....

I played a couple games of Adaman. It came back to my fairly quickly. I did well in the first game, but was left with that dang Huntress at the end. The second game was much worse -- I started with a full top row at the start and it didn't let up. I did end up with just the Huntress again on top.... but that was more luck than skill that I did that well.

<summary>A random game where card-counting/knowledge of the Decktet helps a lot.</summary>
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9. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:413]
Peter Kossits
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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I'm still having lots of fun soloing through this game with my bot cards. I've played through the entire starter kit by now, but I thought it might be fun to revisit some of the earlier scenarios to compare how the newer bot plays them and to make sure I haven't broken anything along the way.

This is scenario SK 1 Retaking Vierville. US (me) have to keep the 4 buildings indicated in red clear of German units.

This is the situation about halfway through.



The bot really shocked me in this opening. I have been used to being able to take all or almost all of the victory locations on the first turn and then defending.

The latest bot just tore onto the board on Turn 1, broke almost all of my starting forces and promptly took 3 of the 4 victory locations.

2 turns later, I've managed to stabilize things up in the north, but the two buildings at the bottom looks like they will be a nightmare to get back.

The image above looks a little too tranquil. This is what it looks like inside the Melee.



Yes, I think I'm dead here. Casualties have been pretty high for the Germans, but you can't argue with the result.



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

...and it's over. Finished it before heading off to bed. Really thrilling game - came down to two close combats in the very last turn and I had to win both. Needed 9 on each one of them and managed to pull through.

There is nothing better than ASL when it comes down to the last roll of the last turn. I live for those games.

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10. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:413]
Peter Kossits
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Hard to believe that I'm still playing this one so much over 2 months after buying it. The games, especially the recent ones have just been that good.

I'm just having one last play through all of the Starter Kit 1 scenarios to fill some small scenario specific details in my solo bot rules before I move on to trying it on Beyond Valor. Or, I may take a little break and play something else for a while.

This is SK2, The War Of The Rats. I'm playing the Russian defender against the bot German and it is a 6 turn slugfest for control over 3 large buildings in Stalingrad.



I defended the left part of the map very lightly leaving only a few conscript squads in Building A as speedbumps. The bot detected my defensive set-up and just as a human player would, began to roll up my left flank while firing all along the line elsewhere.

For 3 turns my defenders held pat. The Germans had taken one of the three buildings yes, but reinforcements had come in. My troops were literally swarming around building B and building C seemed unassailable.

And then it happened. A German squad and leader manage to infiltrate the northern tip of Building B. The close in fighting continues for a while. I bring in defenders off the front line to help out and finish off the attackers. But in doing so, I make my line weak and the bot no longer fears crossing the road to get close. Germans come streaming in from all directions and come close to surrounding building B. The German flamethrower fires furiously sending all Russians in its path fleeing (the FT had 5 shots in the game and scored results on each of them). In a single turn everything has changed!

In the final turn, the Germans need only to clear 3 hexes for the win. Alas, I have good defensive fire and manage to prevent the attackers from getting close to all 3 - the bot does manage to get into close combat on 2 of the 3 hexes though and eventually wins both of those. At the very end of the game, Building B has fallen to the Germans and all that remains of the Russian defense is a single squad in building C.

Close. Very close.


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11. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:413]
Peter Kossits
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Yes, I'm still playing this game solo using my patented ASL solo bot every day since I bought it. Almost 3 months now!

The real reason I'm posting this though is because I noticed something really weird. You see that dark shadow cutting across the board in the photo? Well, that shadow wasn't actually present when I snapped the photo. Totally bizarre. I looked at the board - no shadow. Looked at my iPhone camera screen - dark shadow. The camera must be seeing and recording something in the infra-red spectrum...or something.



Anyways. This is about my 5th play in a row of Scenario 3 - Simple Equation. I'm making one final run through all of the scenarios to get the bot rules finalized before finally putting them to rest. This scenario has been really causing a problem for the bot as attacker. When I play this as attacker I can win fairly easily, which is a good thing - the scenario is unbalanced and is supposed to be a lesson for new players in how to concentrate force but when the bot took over I've always been able to snuff out his attempts. Until now. I added one sentence to the rules and it did the trick.

This is a really fun play. The bot is playing the attacking green Americans and I am the defending blue Germans. The US are attacking left to right and have to control 25 building hexes by the end of the game - which basically means sweeping the Germans off of all of the buildings along the entire front OR breaking through on one side of the board and making it to the end.

We're about halfway through now and the US bot has 5 out of the 25 building points required, but he has a very strong game going and I have a feeling he may win. He/it is trying a very shrewd flanking maneuver over on the top of the board while pinning me down everywhere else and there's not too much I can throw his way. My best weapon - a HMG - has just been put out of action and my best and only half-decent leader may have to flee his starting position. My German position is starting to crack.
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B Wu
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
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Time to give my first ASL campaign game a shot! CGs are a series of ASL scenarios linked together, with lots of decisions to be made between games about purchasing reinforcements and shifting forces around the map. They're typically played out on large, historically accurate maps rather than the smaller geomorphic maps that individual ASL scenarios use.



As a gentle introduction to CGs, most of which have reams upon reams of extra rules to digest, I started playing the Starter Kit CG, Decision at Elst - actually on VASSAL while on a work trip, which I then transferred it to a physical version when I got home. This CG simulates a British attempt to drive through the Dutch town of Elst during Operation Market Garden; there are six possible individual games that make up the overall campaign, and the goal is simple: the Brits have to get at least 10 squads across the length of the map and take control of the town steeple which dominates the otherwise flat terrain. The map is mostly orchards, grain fields, and polder, a waterlogged kind of terrain type that can offer minimal cover for infantry but slows movement hugely (and can immobilize reckless or unlucky vehicles).

I just finished up the first CG date, which was fairly disastrous for the attacking British. The Germans have only a few squads for the first game, and by necessity have to spread them across the entire width of the map. The north flank is important as it serves as the entry point for German reinforcements; the central area features the best road network; and the south flank has less polder and is thus more navigable for vehicles.



As the British, I had a major thrust in the south supported by several vehicles with a slightly smaller attack in the center, but German offboard artillery decimated the southern flank right off the bat. In the center it looked like the Brits were on the verge of a surprising breakthrough, but a German heavy machinegun stack (with the 9-2 leader in the photo above) that was encircled and isolated in a stone building refused to give up - rather than trying to break out, it dug in and in one devastating phase destroyed the main British threat to it (a key leader and two full squads). The British offensive in the center never recovered after that and failed to gain any more ground. In the north, a weak feint attack was easily repulsed. The Brits did manage to grab some buildings in the south despite the early setbacks, but failed to cut off and isolate the one remaining German squad. That sort of thing has major ramifications for the setup in between campaign game sessions.



All told, the Brits lost an astonishing 15 squad equivalents (!!!) to the Germans' 6, though trading three weak Shermans (two lost to Panzerfaust strikes) for two Panthers wasn't so bad. As a CG neophyte, I don't have a sense at all of how meaningful this outcome will be for the overall campaign. The British did capture some valuable ground in the south, but that's probably the least strategically important area of the battlefield.

Playing Starter Kit rules was interesting - I was often frustrated by the number of unavailable options (Bypass movement, Dash, Fire Lanes, Spraying Fire, Snap Shots, Armored Assault, to name a few), but on the other hand the absence of some other rules opened up new possibilities (no SW MG CA limitations made the German HMG, with its ROF of 3, a truly lethal force; no Snipers meant I was free to take low-odds potshots at will; and simplified LOS rules meant the German artillery observer in the steeple had essentially a God's-eye view of the entire map). Looking forward to playing out the rest of the CG! Setup for the second scenario is pictured above, along with the map showing each side's control areas and no-man's-land.
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13. Board Game: Agents of SMERSH [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:1105]
The play's the thing ...
Australia
Point Lonsdale
Victoria
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Playing 1st edition, but am using the Book of Encounters.
Playing with 3 agents, one of whom has gotten slopy, and one of the others has developed a love interest with an enemy agent.
Enjoying the story telling element to this. No closer to getting DR Lobo though!
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14. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
Paul Bach
United States
Rocky Hill
Connecticut
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Played this twice today. Very bad games. 30 points each time.

This is quickly becoming my least favourite Rosenberg game. I am not one for seeing synergies and capitalizing on them and the added stress of the harvest phase where I have to feed everyone or take a begging card really makes this not so fun as Fields of Arle or At the Gates of Loyang. My first game I didn't take any Begging cards and got 30 points, in my second game I took three Begging cards hoping to capitalize on some aggressive playing and I still got 30 points. Can't win for trying.

I will keep it and maybe try the app for a while to get more frequent plays in, but I am not feeling it for this game.

This was game #20 on Day 20 for my different solo game a day streak.
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15. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:3349]
Ron A
United States
California
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This month (right NOW, actually) I am celebrating SoCo Part Deux --an invitation only 1 player solo convention, my 2nd solo convention. Wife is away on a biz trip, so I will see what happens this week in the solo world.

I think I have around 5 dozen plays of AC by now, this time I decided to try and see how far I could stretch things. Normally I won't let troops die just to grab objectives. This conservative play usually see me accumulating tons of troops, which means at the end of the game I will have 14 or 15 troops and never get to see any 1 individual trooper very often. This is bad if you have somebody like Major Godwinson, you want him coming up all the time.

So, this time, let troops die, grab more objectives, and hope I get a Medal of Honor victory or the Mission Deck runs out before my troops do.

Started out OK, I was recruiting AND taking an objective without having to sacrifice troops. Then the deck turned bad and I started losing troops. Usually I like to have at least 2 Pathfinders in my hand, but when the 2nd and later Pathfinders came up I had more pressing matters to attend to. First a 2 Parachute officer died, then my 1 and only Pathfinder died so I could get objectives. Next I sacrificed a bazooka to kill a StuG. Yikes! I didn't think I had any Recruiting troops left! Not to mention I was up to 6 Disorganized cards.

Finally, the end of the Mission Deck came, and just in time! I only had 2 PFCs and a machine gunner left alive.

11 VPs (4xObj, 1 tank and 4 dead inf) vs 6 Disorganized cards = WIN!
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16. Board Game: Airborne Commander [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:3349]
United States
Alameda
California
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I ordered Airborne Commander (AC) a few weeks ago and I have been totally immersed in it since it arrived at the drop zone. Very compact and easy to set up and start playing, AC has been my solo-solo during the second half of the month. So far I have one Medal of Honor but have gotten close a few other times. Disorganized cards are a real killer so I typically will sacrifice soldiers and draft new ones rather than keep my numbers up and take one of those deck jamming cards. Tough choices... Today, Memorial Day I will be playing AC more and with the solemn realization that sacrifice of life is necessary to win a war. To all of those people who died before us to maintain our safety and freedom, I thank you.

Image includes the soldiers who died during my one Medal of Honor finish (on the right and left boarders):



EDIT: of note, on the final turn I actually did a bit of overkill and actually exceeded the win condition. I wish I could have held over the extra point for that 11 point game yesterday...

I hope this game is compact enough to include in my luggage for a trip to Europe scheduled for late summer. If not, I will have to make do with Wipers Salient.

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17. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:162]
Andrew P
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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Played using the Zorg Solitaire Variant. Since the variant only supports the base game, I left all of the expansions in the box, except for the extra alien tech cards from the expansion packs. It was nice to get to play for the first time in ages, although I did miss using the faction tiles and the asteroid belt.

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18. Board Game: All Things Zombie: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:3920]
Bryan Bear
United States
Oklahoma
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I picked this game up recently because it looked like a fun game that got closer to the zombie theme of survival than some of the other games that I have played. I set it up to play using the first scenario it recommended, For A Few Bullets More.




As the girls traveled around looking for weapons, I was getting a little worried because sometimes the gunshots brought more zombies than they killed off. We got lucky though, and in the second house we managed to search, we found a crossbow!



Tonya took to the weapon right away and started using it as her primary weapon. Plus, the good news was that we had completed half of our first mission, which was to find a new weapon for both Beck and Tonya. Tonya was taking out zombies left and right with the crossbow, covering Beck as she searched through houses trying to find another weapon to use. Finally she located a pair of double pistols and they were able to get away with only a wound between them.



So, I won the first scenario and it was fun. However, I do need to say that I had one other attempted play but never finished because I could not figure out the rules. It seems like the rules are straight forward, but I had to do a lot of page turning and rereading throughout this play, so be aware of that.

thumbsup Fun Game
thumbsup Had a great Walking Dead feel to it
thumbsup Small footprint and quick setup
thumbsup Enjoyed many of the rules that just seemed to make sense
thumbsdown Rules are a little tough to follow. Lots of tables and sometimes you are adding things to the rolls while other times you are trying to role under a number. It was just a bit tough to wrap my head around.

I did 20 sit-ups and 10 push-ups as my offset to play this game.
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19. Board Game: Ancient Terrible Things [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1427]
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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I got the 2nd edition of this game as a gift from Sapper_SB earlier this month. The solo rules are freely downloadable (and they also come with the expansion set).

I played a couple of practice games which I didn't finish due to the solo rules being holey and ambiguous in places, but managed to find the clarifications across several threads in the forums on boardgamegeek.

Here is a link to the updated 2.0 base game rules:
http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/115774/ancient-terrible-th...

If you are planning on playing this game SOLO, I suggest reading the following threads:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1487485/forgotten-secrets-r...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1498990/solo-game-map-explo...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1521503/could-someone-post-...

in addition to the official solo rules found in the expansion:
http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/117820/ancient-terrible-th...

BEFORE attempting to play.


The game looks like it will be fun, and I plan to play some "whole" games solo soon.



May 23, 2016

Played 3 solo games and won them all fairly easily. I have posted a request for confirmation/clarification of some of the solo rules.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1580422/some-questions-solo-...
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20. Board Game: Ancient Terrible Things [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1427]
Kevin Eastwood
United States
Windham
New Hampshire
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Third game of the evening while I was watching Harry Potter and I ended up clearing the board without any major issue. I like the fast setup of the game compared to Elder Sign, but I feel that Elder Sign has more depth - especially with the expansions - so this will end up on my trade list.
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21. Board Game: The Ancient World [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:969]
Stéphane Bourdeau
Canada
Granby
Québec
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Played against Ava's Ancient World AI
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
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I've translate the interface first.



Then I had a lot of fun trying to beat the engine... I've finally succeed at my third tentative.



thumbsup The five AI Citizens are randomly placed at the start of each round... Sometimes they blocked actions, sometimes they force you to plan the best possible way... I like that!

thumbsup The AI is very simple to manage. One button action for the 5 Citizens action, one button action for removing one Titan from a random column. At the end of each round, you also remove the rightmost Empire card ... The AI will have a pile of 12 cards at the end of the game (6 Empire and 6 Titan cards). Just have to compare your score.

thumbsup Well Done!!!
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22. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:765]
Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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Welp, that hurt.

Now on my 7th play (or so), I sat down to solo Andean Abyss.

I've learned my lessons about leaving AUC in the north uncontested, and was prepared accordingly. But, of course, war rarely goes according to plan.

I put some pressure on AUC early, moving into Arauca and establishing my own base to prevent an AUC-wash in that mountain region. I also pushed into the northwest Department of Choco to apply similar pressure on FARC. In fact, I removed all guerilla presence from Choco and was feeling pretty good, having also secured the extra capabilities of the 1st Division combined forces, and the planning genius of Generals Ospina & Mora.

Then FARC moved fairly early, striking into Bogota unexpectedly, and terrorized the capital. Not Bogota alone, but also several other smaller cities as well as Santander. Government Support crumbled, and in the mad scramble to recover public confidence, the Cartels quietly build a network of grow ops, while FARC massed forces in the south-central areas, with the tacit support of Ecuador.

Second Prop card and the Government (me) was undone. Cartels +3, FARC +2, AUC -7, Govt (me) -8.

The final gameboard:


FARC's core:



The urban spine of the Cartel monster:
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23. Board Game: Android: Infiltration [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1267]
John Splittist
Switzerland
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The FLGS had this on the ding-and-dent table for $not-much. Everything intact, just out of shrink. I had been looking at this for months a while ago, but it slipped off the radar.

Put it through its paces with three competing characters: Gabe, the inside man, and the cyborg driver. Gabe misfired at the beginning (didn't understand a rule), and was always chasing the game. The driver forged ahead and picked up some great downloads. The inside man pottered along behind picking up the crumbs, and was the first to retreat. He was also the only one who could both add up and work out how wounds and movement interacted. So he was the only one to escape.

Nice, light, and looking forward to playing solo (with some of the adjustments often mentioned here).
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24. Board Game: Android: Infiltration [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1267]
John Splittist
Switzerland
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Two games last night. Solo rules: one character, 5 cards per floor, must reach the second floor, need to escape with 20+ zB to win. In the first game I was assisted by my son, and I forgot to shoot the NPC so we lost with one turn remaining. The second game was all me, and a win (just). Without an NPC to inflict wounds it was a lot easier to make the choice to grab the Prototype and bug out of the Executive Elevator.

It's early days yet, but I keep thinking this should be more evocative... Perhaps when I have complete confidence in the rules I'll see the story come through a bit more.
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25. Board Game: Android: Infiltration [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1267]
John Splittist
Switzerland
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On a whim, took this on a trip. Really, the components could fit in a very modest space (particularly solo-only, where you won't need more than one character card/standee).

I think I'm beginning to see the stories that can come out of playing this. It is rather light. Not absolutely Yahtzee Hackers, but in that mould. A fun activity.
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