Solitaire Games on Your Table -- February 2018
Solitaire Games on Your Table
The Home of “Together, We Game Alone”
Hello, and welcome to the greatest month of solo gaming! Feel free to participate in any way you like: Post about the solo games that you play, share your latest solo design or variant, comment on entries that strike your fancy, and join in. This is a very friendly group, and we happily welcome aboard every type of solo gamer!
PLAY a solo game, a solo variant, or a multiplayer game solo.
Add an entry to this GeekList and tell us about it. Get the most out of the SGOYT Aggregator by using at least one of the following tags:
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I am a coffee professional (and I'm actually posting this from a barista championship that I'm judging in New Orleans) who got into solo gaming in December of 2016 as a way to more easily accomplish my Advent of Christmas Gaming challenge. I knew that Agricola had a solo variant, so I tried it out.
"This is neat," I thought. "I wonder if there are other games that have the option of playing solo."
The ensuing search was a rabbit hole that I have not yet emerged from. As I said in this year's voting thread for the Top 100 Solo Games:
This guild has been the death of my wallet and the joy of my heart.
February is Love/Heart Month
February, the month of Valentines day, is also CHD Awareness and Heart Month. As Ibbo did last year, I would also like to take this opportunity to mention that this is a great month to consider donating blood - if you are able.
"Giving blood makes it possible for many people to lead normal healthy lives. Every year thousands of patients require blood transfusions in our hospitals, because they are undergoing surgery, recovering from cancer or have been in a serious accident."
So, if you are not constrained by any physical, geographical, philosophical or lifestyle issues please do consider looking into donation. It is even more important if you have a more unusual blood type - I am a bizarre and rare AB- so I get pestered by the Red Cross pretty often.
"And remember, if you're giving, at the very least that is hemoglobin in the bank for yourself!" --Ibbo
Some websites for more info:
This month, GG will be awarded to anyone...
who plays a game and provides a picture of where love or heart or blood features in that game (time to break out that Blood Rage solo variant!)
who tells a sappy boardgame-related love story
All GG donated to this post will be given away in this month's list!
Upcoming SGOYT Hosts
Jessica - the other one
Örebro in Sweden (sometimes Strengelbach in Switzerland)
They are a treasure - I don´t need lots of them...
Yay - Stretch goat!
Interested in hosting a future month's list? Find out more in the first post of this thread and send a GeekMail to Ryanmobile to volunteer. If I can do it, anyone can!
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Wow, first on the list.
So, some shameless self-promotion... as ever for me, it's lots of writing and playtesting of my 'baby'!
The All of Time and Space expansions that are going to cover each incarnation of the Doctor throughout 2018 are going down very well.
The First Doctor expansion has been downloaded over 180 times since last month and The Second Doctor releases on Saturday!
I've already completed AOTAS3 and AOTAS4 (bar edits) and am nearly done with AOTAS5 as well.
I've even started looking at AOTAS6 which doesn't release until June!
(I like to get ahead!)
I've really enjoyed going back to the 1st edition booklets and updating the material as well as writing completely new stuff.
I'm very happy and proud of 2nd edition DWSSG
If anyone wants to pop over and have a look, I'd be very grateful - or follow me and game development (plus lots of Doctor Who goodness) on Twitter @DWSSG01
"Is there any tea on this spaceship?"
As of 2018 I decided to become more and more active in the community. Here goes, I'll track what I play in February here.
[01.02.2018] Here we go! First game of the month is of course The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Black Riders. I have been playing the game for a while now and it's both on my 2018 10x10 Hardcore challenge list as well as my 100 Plays Challenge game. I am loving the expansion as I think it's extremely thematic. I love how they designed unique and fitting mechanics for each story point.
Game 80: Flight to the Ford, normal mode
I won again! This did not come easy though. Frodo went all the way down to 2 health, and poor Pippin died on me. Near the end I took some risk and planned to defend an attack from a Fell Rider with Beorn, and finish it off with Merry so I can quest with everyone else. After getting Pathless Country as the shadow card I had to take the attack undefended on Pippin. Luckily this came way down the road and I managed to pull off a win despite that! I think I am ready to move on to the Road Darkens expansion. I have the box waiting on my shelf, I just need to find the time to sleeve everything up.
So final score time: 34(threat level) + 10*8(turn count) + 0(damage tokens on heroes) + 6(threat cost of each dead hero) - 3(victory points) = 117
Next up is the newest edition to the collection: Star Wars: Imperial Assault. I also have an organiser for the game to reduce setup time as well as keep everything organised on the table itself (I have a small table). I have been doing the [listitem=5847537]2018 Padawan Challenge[/listitem] so these plays are going in there. I really like the idea of the challenge, it's a different way of playing games, focusing on not only the game but a social aspect.
Legends of the Alliance: Search for Darpik, normal difficulty
Continuing the solo campaign with Search for Darpik. This time I got a helper, Luke Skywalker! The crew managed to rescue all the rebels but one. The red one bugged out I think because I could not for the love of god interact with it. I tried different angles, different rounds. I tried after getting the medical pac from the crate. Nothing seemed to work. Anyhow the guy died by the end so whatever. At least we managed to save the others ha! Looking at the glass half full at this point. I really like this game overall, every time I get it out I feel excited! Hopefully this will go on for a long time. At one point I need to paint the minis as well, need to remember that.
[02.02.2018] I am not sure if I should be continuing with this Geeklist item or start a new one. SGOYT is a new thing for me so if I am doing something wrong just let me know. Just so this item doesn't take the hole page by the end of the month, I'll only add my logs with pictures for games that are either new to this list, or those that I really want to share.
Anyways here we go! Another day another game. Now I know Patchwork is a rare game to see around here but here is the deal: I want to play games, I don't have many. Well, that's about it. It's just a casual game to sprinkle amongst my actual solo games to add some variety. Despite all this I actually do enjoy playing the game from time to time. It does get repetitive if you play it over and over again, but occasionally it's a fresh breath. I use the Crown yourself patchwork king variant that can be found in the forums of the game. I have tried a few other but this one was where I landed in the end.
Variant 1: Crown yourself patchwork king
I managed to get a full board! Well, if you count the buttons I placed on the three empty tiles I had on the top left that is. I really like playing patchwork with this solo variant. It's super casual but you can end up in really long thinks because you have perfect information. Basically after the game is randomly set, you can plan out your moves up until the very end. I try to approach the game like chess. Plan ahead up until you know you are in a good position, then execute rather then plan ahead until the last move. Since there is no opponent the plan will never go south but this drastically reduces play time. I managed to get 45 + 7 - 2*3 = 46 points which is incredible!
My favourite PNP these days is A4Quest. I don't think it's that well known, I don't see many people playing it. It's a quick game, takes about five to ten minutes to play, less if you die early on. All you need is some markers (I use 1 cent coins) and five dice for normal mode. Anyways I played the game on and off for the past month or so, managed to win each map with each character. My next goal was to do the same in hard mode. This is my sixth attempt on the third map and I have yet to even come close to success. I initially thought that my decisions had little to no impact on the gameplay and I can only win if I end up rolling immensely good. After so many losses I realise that this is not the case. By changing up my strategy and what stats I focus on, I managed to not only survive more but reach the final boss battle every time. I think I'll eventually get a win. Don't get me wrong, luck is definitely involved!
Game 25: Treacherous Swamp, hard mode
Damnit this is really really hard! I managed to reach the boss again but had to use my crystals for health rather then save them for some extra damage. I did not get enough attack to handle the boss' defences so I ended up doing no damage to it once I actually got there despite a good roll. At least I survived! I really want to get a win on this map before the Kickstarter for Page Quest goes live. I doubt it'll happen but no reason not to try, still having fun with this little PNP.
[03.02.2018] Off we go! Another mission with the Legends of the Alliance app. These days all I want to do is play Star Wars: Imperial Assault. I am hooked on this game. The setup time isn't half bad with the insert and the gameplay is really amazing. I think until I get everything in the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Road Darkens sleeved, this urge to play SW:IA, and SW:IA alone will not go away. I even bought the microbadge with the code I had left from new year.
[04.02.2018] I've been reading on on other entries and decided to add the pros and cons about the games I pay. So let's start with FUSE which I played today. It's a quick 10 minute game, great when you're feeling lazy. Gets you excited, gets you happy, gets you stressed, gets you anxious.
Game 48: Elite mode (23)
It's good to be back! I laid down on FUSE for a while to avoid it getting too repetitive. Now I am back and back with a swing. First time trying elite difficulty and oh boy was this close! I had a second on the clock left when I diffused my last bomb.
Score time: 10(win) + 0*1(full 10 seconds left on the clock) + 64(total points shown on defused bomb cards) + 6*2(fuse cards activated) = 86
It plays in 10 minutes and has nearly no setup time. It's also a great experience to play with multiple players. There are a lot of dice, which is awesome because who doesn't love chucking a handful of dice, one after another?
The only downside is in the long term you can't constantly rely on playing this game over and over again. It does get repetitive and although your decision making improves over time, which means you can change the game up by playing on more difficulties, the deck pool isn't that big enough to have a completely different experience every time. I think this game loses a lot when playing solo compared to multiplayer. The player interaction adds both an extra layer of challenge and entertainment.
Another short game I played today is A4 Quest. As I said I don't want to share the game logs unless it's an important game for me and boy was this one. I'm gonna let the log speak for itself.
Game 26: Treacherous Swamp, hard mode
I can easily say that this is gonna be my final game of A4 Quest for a while, maybe ever. Why you ask? BECAUSE I WON! I FREAKING WON! After so many games finally, finally I kill the boss. I got really good rolls on a few encounters until the boss so I managed to get the boss down to 5 health before I faced it. I had a crystal and a 6 die so I used my low die (4) on the first round and killed the boss on the second with an all in. I HAD 1 HEALTH REMAINING after that first round. This was such a clutch win I am still in shock. I went for crystals every time I could and got health from those. I turned those extra health points to dice rolls so I could afford using my good rolls (with the bad ones) to deal at least some damage on the boss before getting there. I think you have to, HAVE TO take the boss down at least to two thirds to have any chance of getting the win. Anyways I finally did it! Now I shall wait for Page Quest.
PNP, so basically it's free. I love PNP games that just can be played after printing, no preparation required. The visual design is really great, it's vibrant, it's very pleasing. The gameplay is fast, five to ten minutes. Ten is even probably a stretch. At first it seems like you don't make many decisions and the dice decide your actions but after playing it a few times you can easily see different win paths and different strategies, some that just don't work. Despite the very few content there is, they are very unique and provide very different experiences.
It's very luck dependant. Good rolls don't mean you win, but bad rolls mean you lose. You can't build up your stats, you take way too much damage, you can't build up a food pool to reliably rest... The game also lacks content. There are three maps and three champions to chose from which is great but when you consider each map takes about 5 minutes to play through you can finish up rather quickly.
[05.02.2018] I played 30 Rails today, another brilliant PNP solitaire game. I have a strategy that usually gets me above 60, 70 points each time.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The strategy starts in the placement of the stations as well as the mine and the bonus point square. Depending on the mountain line the idea is to leave the major space on the board for the stations 3 and 4. Put 1 and 2 in one corner. That corner will be the bonus point square. The idea is to build the 6th rail there, not connecting the two stations to each other but rather forming one output line. This line will be connected to 3 and 4, getting 4 routes, all having the bonus 2 points. When this line connects to the mines it will already have two stations connected. Anything above this is just a bonus. When I go back and think about it it might make more sense to have the initial stations 1 and 4 instead of 1 and 2. I might need to go back and crunch the numbers to see which one is more beneficial.
I was perusing the 100 top solo games Geeklist to pick a new game to add to my Wishlist. I ended up going back and forth between Mage Knight, Too Many Bones, Limes and maybe a few others I don't remember now. Someone commented a link to ori.avtalion.name where Limes can be played online so I decided, why not? Let's give it a try! Did I like it you ask? I LOVED IT! This game is super puzzley. It's really fun and it's fast! I could see myself playing this game dozens of times. I managed to get just 47 points on Game ID JWgqmg. I could've done better for sure as I did not know the exact rules in the beginning and pretty much learned by playing and testing. but I don't mind it. I might end up picking this up this year.
[11.02.2018] Quick update: I have not played any new games to add to this list so my daily contributions are now less to none. I am in Istanbul for the week so I'm guessing all I'll be doing will be playing PNP games or maybe even Limes.
[25.02.2018] Another new game hits the table and it is The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Road Darkens. Ok, maybe it isn't completely new but still. I managed to get the game sleeved after finally finding the time to actually go out and buy more sleeves. I wanted to go for a two handed play for this expansion (with the decks given at the back of the expansion rulebook), but I didn't have the time to learn the rules for two handed play so went with the good old single deck approach. I used the same deck given in the rulebook of the previous expansion. I used to dabble into deckbuilding when I only had the core set, but now I feel my time is better spent playing the game rather than deckbuilding. It's not that I don't enjoy it, my laziness gets in the way. A few things about the expansion so far:
I actually really like that each quest has one type of encounter deck. I'm sure this will make setup a lot easier going forward with the campaign mode later down the line.
I enjoyed the new mechanic introduced in the first quest, placing damage tokens on location cards that cause an effect after they are explored just increases the tension of the game. When you have a few of those damage tokens on a location card, all you do is wait for your inevitable doom, brilliant! I also loved the planning phase during the Council of Elrond, found it very thematic, despite playing it totally wrong!
Game 81: The Ring Goes South, easy mode
Great start to another expansion, getting Henamarth Riversong and Steward of Gondor in my opening hand is just insane. I really enjoyed this first quest. I mostly dealt with wargs this entire game, I'm guessing that will not be the case going forward. When I first revealed Great Warg Chief I discarded a lot of location cards. A few things really shocked me as I played through the Ring Goes South. I managed to pass through The Hunt is Up! and Watcher in the Water in one turn! I think this was mostly due to me playing the first quest wrong. I basically set aside a single card every turn and playing normally otherwise. Because I dealt with the wargs pretty easily, this might have actually helped me in to fill up my side of the board and generate some income on my heroes. I kept thinking it made no sense to face enemies while in the House of Elrond but I played through anyways. I'll be more cautious next time. Anyways overall great start nonetheless, I guess after a few more plays, correct plays, I'll get a better understanding of the difficulty of this quest.
So final score time: 23(threat level) + 10*7(turn count) + 1(damage tokens on heroes) - 1(victory points) = 93
[26.02.2018] End of February is nearing and I am guessing this is the last update to this Geeklist item that I will be doing as I am pretty doubtful that I will play another new solo game anytime soon. Anyways up last is Legends of Andor. This is the one and only game Zeynep picked up and we had a heck of a time with it playing two and four players. I saw it in a few top solo games lists and gave it a try a few months ago playing the solo variant of Legend 3 that can be found on the official website of the game. I had quite a different experience now compared to my first time trying out, I guess luck is involved in this.
Very easy to tell a story with this game, lovely mechanics with the time passing by (not everyones cup of tea) and lot's of choices with most of them being bad ones.
Easily the best looking board I have seen. I am one of those who believe yes, mechanics is the most important thing in a board game, but only when the game looks good enough. This one though, takes the 'good enough' portion a bit too far. Definitely in a good way!
Takes time to actually set up and start playing. I hate the god damn numbering convention used in this game. Where is number 32? Now 15? Ok, 14 is here, 13 is next to it, where is 15?! Who the hell knows?!
A lot of components in a lot of bags just bugs me. I think an insert can fix this but I don't have the time or patience.
Solo Variant for Legend 3: After my first attempt at the solo variant I was sure that this was gonna be a tough battle. Bot was I wrong! I won the game in three rounds! coming only up to the letter G. My "Schicksal" card was to get a runestone and defeat the Skral that got placed on the stone. Since I play the sorcerer I always go for the triple runestone play so that was my plan all along. I got the three runestones that were pretty close to each other, rescued two of the three villagers and defeated the Skral in the first two turns with the help of Prince Thorald. I then rushed to the forest to plot 60 with the prince and defeated the Witch in 1 blow. At this point I had full Starkepunkte with the +1 bonus I got from a gray token and the gold I collected by defeating a few Skral's while heading over there. This was an insanely quick game! Loved it!
[28.02.2018] Probably the last game for this month is definitely worth posting as well! It's been really fun tracking some of the plays here on SGOYT. Throughout February I logged 35 plays, 30 of them being solitaire. The 30 plays were logged for 9 unique games with the most played being Limes.
Game 83: The Ring Goes South, easy mode
With cautious play I managed to win this time without any real issue. During the first quest I managed to get Faramir out on the board which was really good for me. I played safe until the third quest where the board filled up quite fast. I managed to get it all under control right in time before reaching Doors of Durin. After that I dealt with the sea creature in the first round rescuing Frodo, and full on quested on the second for the victory.
So final score time: 42(threat level) + 10*6(turn count) + 2(damage tokens on heroes) - 1(victory points) = 103
Board Game: Limes
[Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1851]
4th time scoring a 52, which is my highest score yet.
I was finally able to try this one out. A few rules mistakes so I’m not gonna really count this play but I only got a 191 even with the mistakes! BRUTAL!
I used the explore motive and focused on searching. I realize now I needed to sink a few merchants here and there to keep the seas in check which bit me late in the game.
I managed to sink the Marie Celeste, which gave me a wonder, and I found some good treasures:
But at the end of the day it wasn’t enough. My scouring the seas score was zero!
I am really excited to play this again. For a first play it took 2 1/2 hours so it is the perfect immersive single evening game.
All my Dragonholt sessions for February will go here!
SESSION REPORT - Day 5
Today there was a traveling festival! I woke up to the happy sound of voices, and couldn't wait to get moving myself! I first visited the Village Green and participated in a few festival activities. Afterward I went to the Willow Grove and was a witness to a wedding ceremony! This has definitely been a great day after all the horrible things that have happened to the village.
After the ceremony I thought it time to check in with my old friend and let her in on some details I learned about the royal family. We chatted briefly, but she didn't seem too concerned about what I had learned.
I stopped in at one of the taverns on my way back to the inn. It was quiet and mostly empty. I moved on to the inn where the wedding reception was taking place. I played with the children, I played a game with my traveling companions, I talked to a new acquaintance maybe hoping something more can come from it (nudge nudge).
After all this celebrating I walked across the street to the other tavern and watched some gnomes participate in an archery competition. It was entertaining and just what I needed to end my day. I walked back to my room, crawled into bed, and couldn't help but feel at peace.
Who would've thought that just taking part in village activities could be a thoroughly entertaining activity for nearly an hour? While it doesn't seem I've done much in process of my original mission I have learned a few things and shared that information.
The checklist from Fantasy Flight with achievements has been a fun addition. Giving me little story things to look for as I'm reading.
SESSION REPORT - Day 6
As I was slowly waking there seemed to be a lot of commotion. I looked outside wondering if the wandering gnomes were still in town, but didn't see them. I dressed and walked downstairs to find the inn empty and half eaten breakfasts on tables.
Walking outside I learn there's been a dragon spotted. I visit the guard station and the countess to see what I can do to help. Against my better judgement I decided to go after the dragon myself.
After a long battle victory was obtained for the people of Dragonholt. Somehow I managed to return back to Dragonholt with plenty of time left in the day. I decided to try some foodstuffs I purchased from the market a few days ago. After what was apparently a spiritual awakening I found myself lying on the ground in the village green.
Deciding it was time for some actual food I visited the other inn letting an old man tell me stories from his youth for what felt like hours. I ended up not eating there, but walked over to the tavern instead. There were musicians playing. Being the bard that I am I decided to join them and obtained a free meal out of it!
After the music was over I listened to some stories from other tavern patrons and shared a few of my own. Since it was getting late at this point I made my way back to the inn I was staying and spoke with the innkeeper for a while before heading to my room.
It was a very full day, but at least it ended on a peaceful note.
I didn't get to play at lunch today so I was itching all day to get to it. Glad I had time after the kiddo went to bed! I've told EVERYONE I know about this game because that's how much I'm enjoying it.
SESSION REPORT - Day 7
When I made my way downstairs for breakfast I saw my old friend waiting for me. It looks as though there will be a masquerade ball at the manor in which I was invited to attend, and it was strongly encouraged that I wear a mask. While I had acquired a mask previously it would be nice to have options. My friend told me to meet her at the library later for a mask.
I visited the inns and taverns around town talking to others who traveled to town for the ball. I learned about the three families that have been working together to help all their subjects.
After spending the day in town it was time to prepare for the ball. I returned to my room for a brief rest and then went to the manor. They had an area outside the manor set up for everyone to put their masks on in secret before entering the manor. I decided to wear the mask I acquired during my earlier adventures.
Upon entering the manor I found I could recognize several of the villagers even with their masks. I was approached by someone that was apparently expecting someone else in the mask I wore, but told me they were running from town due to recent events and the role they played in them.
This mask was apparently a good choice to maybe find some more information about who was plotting against the Countess and her family. I mingled with the guests until spirits of the dead appeared to tell us about their passing. At this point we learned that several people mingling with the villages were bandits!
Chaos followed and we learned who had been after the family. Fighting began and I did my best to keep the peace. A war between families would not be the answer.
In the end, I did manage to help the family and keep peace among all involved, but because of how previous events unfolded it was apparent that I was not welcome to stay in Dragonholt.
I quietly left without saying goodbye knowing that my adventure will continue elsewhere.
Wow! That went quick! Probably because I played almost every day... I had a great time with this, and I'm actually thinking about starting another game of it. Not right now, and maybe after I've played a few other solo games.
I'm thinking I'll finally dive into Mice and Mystics next.
Also thinking for my next play of Dragonholt I'll play a character that's out of my norm. I also wonder how it would play if I used dice to make the decisions for me. Could be entertaining at least!
Regardless of where I go from here, I'm extremely happy with this first play! I've told SO MANY people about it, and I really can't wait to dive in again with a different story!
Sometimes I'm the shark; sometimes I'm the swimmer.
excuse the horrible photo of a most gorgeous game
I began filming this morning for a video on this 1995 "dead" CCG which is based on Arthurian legends. Certainly lots of blood and heart in this game, though you can't tell from this photo.
A few days ago I posted a video which highlighted some of the gorgeous card art--much of it picked up from medieval illuminations and art.
The solo version I'm playing is really house-ruled; though the rules come with a paragraph devoted to solitaire play, the 'rules' on that as written amount to little more than playing both sides.
While keeping as close as possible to the original, I have added the concept of "glory" (which is sort of like a collective "valor" value from the game). That's probably the biggest change.
You'll need to manage hoarding your glory points to get ready to "quest for the grail" vs. spending the glory to buff up a knight sufficiently to be able to conquer 3 quests on his own.
Thus far, the game play isn't too complicated. The variety of options on cards offers enough choices though the rather simplistic combat (dice rolling with one modifier) can get a bit repetitive if you're engage in mortal combat that goes on too long.
This game was a curiosity and not a grail game for me but I'm glad I found it and have been enjoying the process of learning it and, now, filming it.
My Little Man's first real wargame play: Barbarossa Solitaire
With the 75th anniversary of Von Manstein's Backhand Blow just around the corner I decided to dust off this old friend (last played in 2010 ) This has always been one of my favorite operations of World War II and I really enjoy the T3 System / Schwerpunkt Series (I own them all after finally tracking down Velikiye Luki last year). Part my of my plan is to also play Duel on the Steppe: The Winter Campaign in the Ukraine, Jan-Mar 1943 too but we'll see how that goes
This game is quite solitaire friendly with variable activity points available each turn as well as tactical chits you drawn randomly from a cup for each combat.
For more information here is my review: A fun, frenzied, fast flowing fight!
The first game turn literally starts today and the tank corps are rushing forward for Mother Russia toward Kharkov at this time!!!
I haven't played The Hunters, B-17, or any other games that use a similar system, but after playing 7-8 games of Target for Today I can say that I'm a big fan of this type of game. I was initially hesitant about a game where you make only a few decisions and let the system take you for a ride, but I find it extremely enjoyable, and even meditative after a long day at work. The ability to not have to fiddle around with too many components and rules makes it extremely easy to setup and get playing.
Jason (sans nation)
Coals to Newcastle...
Nuts to you lot...
First play of this mini-grail-game that I was lucky enough to pick up on the geek market - from none other than our own Stefan. I've wanted this for a while but it's been prohibitively difficult to get hold of (if you want a laugh, check Amazon marketplace sales. I swear some folk must think there's a donor kidney in the box too.)
It's very rules light, which saw me make a couple of minor assumptions about how to play, rather than real mistakes, in the first couple of rounds. Not that I ever really play to win, but this was very much just a play to get the feel for how it worked - and what I wanted to do to play well.
Plenty of euro mechanisms in this that I enjoy - and I rather like the spatial puzzle, perhaps more so than in any other tile-laying game. I made plenty of boneheaded decisions, such as keeping my pastures small - believing they'd be manageable rather than limiting, as they were light on produce. Didn't consider what I needed to do on the rondel a turn or two ahead, which saw me ratchet up VP debts with my friendly neighbours.
Final score was a pitiful 11 points. 25 is the minimum to win.
I really enjoyed this; it's about as light as Nusfjord, another gem I picked up last year, and has the same level of play time and decision-making to be a real draw. I can set it up and play it out in an hour or less. That's getting rarer and rarer in my collection.
So, who decided this should be out of print?
When empty, please refill with tea.
Well, it's technically February here yet but since this game takes place in the future, I'll allow it.
After learning the basic game 4P last weekend, I set it up again to play solo, adding in many of the advance game modules. I'd like to take a moment to tell you all that this game really isn't that difficult. "Difficult" being a relative term, I'll clarify by saying that if you find Leaving Earth difficult, then you'll also find High Frontier to be difficult. For those of you who don't find Leaving Earth difficult, here me out. The basic game of High Frontier is really just Leaving Earth but with a giant amazing game board instead of vintage-y illustrated square cards. High Frontier has many different advanced modules you add to the basic game. You can add as many or as few as you like, so the game can scale up in complexity as you're ready. Because COMPLEX is what High Frontier is, not difficult. Complex games take time to learn, but anyone can do it. So if you've always wanted to learn to play High Frontier, don't be intimidated! Get out the Training Guide, set it up and give it a go. If I can do it, you can certainly do it. OK, PSA over.
There are several solo scenarios in the reference book, but I didn't really feel like trying any of them. Instead, I set up the end game scenario cards, picked one and decided to play a solo/MP hybrid just to see if I could get the game flow down. I picked Search for ET Life, and I decided that I wanted to go to Enceladus.
I chose the ESA faction for this game, mostly because I wanted to play the color green but also because their boosting ability looked good. I added in all of the support cards, colonists, Bernals and freighters (though I never built one). I spent a good hour or so building my first stack - including astronauts - (I had to read all the card details), and finally I boosted it up to my Bernal. If I understand the rules correctly, a Bernal is basically just a space station. You are allowed to boost your stack to your Bernal instead of LEO in the advanced game, and that gives you an advantage of starting your first burn from a better position. The Bernal (that little green ring in the pic below) also gives you a bunch of benefits, none of which I actually used.
I need to upgrade a few of my items before making the attempt at Enceladus. So I looked for an M asteroid I could industrialize. After doing a super cool flyby/slingshot around Venus, I headed to Lutetia. Let's just say I had a bone to pick with this part of the Solar System...
I rolled successfully (and no one here to see it!) and built a factory. I refueled and rocketed off to Enceladus. I had to roll through some radiation checks and a scary skull check, but I landed! (Well, hello there little microscope.)
AND THEN I rolled a "1" and found ET life!!!
I refueled and then headed back to Earth. Huzzah! I am amazing. I got 4 VP and a ticker tape parade (probably).
OK, some final thoughts/thumbs...
I like this better multiplayer. I know that I wasn't playing a solo scenario, but the auctioning, the bantering, the collective cheering/sadness over dice rolls...it was a blast multiplayer.
Also, if I'm playing solo, I think I would rather play Leaving Earth than High Frontier. Leaving Earth is a more relaxing experience. High Frontier feels like work for me. Literally. See this card? This is partly what I do for a living, I work on diamond anvil cells (DACs) and DAC experiments.
Part of the joy of this game is planning/building your stack and planning your route on the most beautiful game board EVAR. Comparing this to Leaving Earth again, I prefer the game board to lining up all those square cards. [Leaving Earth art is also so beautiful too, but in a very different way than High Frontier.]
I don't like the tiddlywinks. Sorry, mama likes her bling.
Like all of Eklund's games, this is thematically brilliant and the science is spot on.
Easier to learn than the hype would have you think.
One last thought, I've learned three Eklund games over the past two weeks and Bios: Megafauna (Second Edition) is hands down my favorite. It plays well solo or multiplayer, the cards are cool, the theme is outstanding, the components are gorgeous, the rule book is good, and the graphic design is extremely intuitive. There is something about Megafauna that feels more intuitive than Genesis or HF, not sure what it is but my brain really gets Megafauna. Genesis was a lot of fun MP, but kinda boring solo. Anyway, I guess for me, Eklund is better with other people (and you won't hear me say "[insert word here] is better with other people" too often).
Well, I'll be taking a bit of an Eklund break now. I felt like if I learned several of them at once, it might be easier just having my head in that dedicated space. Not sure if it worked, but my head is read to be somewhere else now! Probably the Lake District!
So, yesterday I received my copy of Massive Darkness. I read the rulebook and felt quite familiar to most of those common CMON mechanics. Transmuting items and those mob rules sounded quite fun. After watching a short playthrough of the tutorial I felt well prepared for my first play.
I chose Bjorn, the Shadow Barbarian to be the first contender in retrieving those scouting reports. Soon after I open the first door an Orc Flayer Mob showed up. Bjorn didn't get them down on first try and got some retaliated hits. Wow, this game might be brutal if those dice rolls aren't in your favor!
After the next round Bjorn finished them up, picking up some loot on the fly. Transmuting brought some useful gear but the event card made Mr. High Troll spawn at Level 2! Ugly son of a... stinking like ... through the door .
Some rounds and a death later that stupid troll guy was slain. With some more equipment Bjorn had to kill a mob a Goblin Archers bevor leaving the Tutorial!
This was a really nice short-ish tutorial which showed how some game mechanisms work. Feels quite a lot like Zombicide. So, if you are familiar with CMON games this one is quite accessible.
Fast tutorial, still with good insights on the powers of the enemies
Great components, both in quality and design
No right now. I'll keep one-shotting the next adventures first before starting the more or less hated/critizised campaign.
It has been 134 years since Porfirio Díaz took the Presidency of Mexico and never let it go, now thanks to his spearheading of the country in computer science, He rules all life in the country as an AI.
Hordes of people apply for entry to the country daily, as all are accepted here, after all once inside they all will be the same as Porfirio Díaz demands.
Thanks to the establishment of free eternal life there are some folks remaining that witnessed the last time someone opposed Porfirio Díaz, a young hacendado called Francisco I. Madero.
They all say the same "He should have ended the depression early and shouldn't focus only on Loyality Points"
This one was played with Ricky Royal solo rules.
Retains the you vs Díaz flavour of the OG rules. I love the feel of playing against a government that can do anything.
The edge cases are better implemented and the double dice per colum helps with the distribution a lot.
Since Díaz uses black and orange cards for the strawman, there could be a case that a ranch gives him a point that helps against me and an orange card comes and takes care of it for me.
This will probably the variant I will continue to use, the edge cases are easily fixed, don't get me wrong Pax-o-matic is better but you can really game it
Spoiler (click to reveal)
"love blood story"I have a funny anecdote, in university my proyect group developed a couple, one time a blood donation truck came to campus and the girl had very strong fellings about giving blood so she literally told the dude that there will be no sex and the relationship would probably not progress much if he didn't gave blood, he obliged.
As for me, in the immortal words of Meatloaf...
When I saw this month's SGOYT theme, "my sang n'a fait qu'un tour" (I guess you don't say "my blood made only one turn" in English), meaning I reacted instantly.
So here is my first game of the month.
Generally I try to get some blue and red dependencies
in the beginning, which I could do to this time, and
very quickly I took some 3 points cards to try to make an efficient
Basically I thereafter try to kill a maximum of people. Bad
luck or what, I could not do it much. Police
officers helped me but I needed time to get checks
or bury dead bodies, and all in all my strategy was but a
dead end : a 93 points score
Beside the bloody red table and the butcher presence, there's more to the theme in this post than meets the eye. 1 GG for the user who finds it.
Taking it out for a spin. We will see...
If last night's game was a failure (of interest, of attention-span, of everything?), tonight was a success (or as much of a success as you can get at this game while still losing ).
I definitely shouldn't have forced myself to play last night. I thought I was in the mood; obviously I wasn't. Because tonight was fun and enjoyable, and how it should feel to play a game! Last night felt a little like a slog.
Took out 34 ghosts and brought forth this game's incarnation of Wu Fend (The Dark Mistress)...and immediately died. The final moves that brought forth this dark and evil ghost also filled every open spot on the player boards, with every taoist down to one qi, and they tumbled like dominoes.
Losing is never as fun as when I'm losing at Ghost Stories!
(Soundtrack: just the television in the background)
Name's Death Angel, but you play a squad of BLOOD Angels. Their name is related to their history, and I won't copy here what you can find on warhammer wiki.
I played with yellow, green and black teams, with the cards replacing the die.
Everything went quite well, I had some luck and the card system makes for a less punishing game. You can see which values have already been drawn, and you can spend a support token to reshuffle the cards. I did not take the time to print and cut the beautiful cards made by magic_erwt, but will do it.
I reached the final stage where I got surrounded
and finally one marine died despite having a support token for his defense.
Ended the game with five marines. Quite nice win, clearly made possible by the card system.
<summary> A must for solo gamers. The card system variant reduces randomness.</summary>
And another epic battle.
And an epic win
My team at the end of the fight :
I had chosen Quark to be able to get an Energy deck with only clubs. THAT was powerful. Combined with Doc Octopus ability to draw an additional card, and K.I.T.T's ability to move characters around and boost them, I got rid of most enemies with Doc Octopus and a bit with Weeping Angel.
The Director's team :
I again made a Resistance and Target deck. Resistance was useless due to my club only deck, and no Target could trigger thanks to K.I.T.T. and Doc Octopus.
Katamari was activated three times, and removed HP from Weeping Angel despite her not being damageable with an opposing character. If Stitch had not been a sub at this time, he would have been destroyed, despite its invulnerability to damage.
But being able to deal 14 damage (4 damage + 3 boost tokens twice) each turn often means you are going to get rid of this kind of problems
I like the battle, but also the drafting phase. I feel that's where a lot of the overall strategy is decided.
For next times, I think I will randomly determine the two types that will constitute the Director's deck after I have chosen my characters. Here, the Resistance were useless against my one suit deck.
A quick dice game since I don't have the time for now to dive into something thicker.
I always play with the same map, starting with the same castle, the grey one, in order to have a quicker start. I reset twice due to very unlucky dice rolls at the beginning. Since it's a beat your own score game, I don't want to have a too bad start.
Even with that, I made only 35 points.
I don't even feel like I played badly or that I was unlucky with the hourglass die. Someway I must play suboptimally. I don't know if I'll check that.
<summary> Quick roll and write game. I think there are better, free pnp games.</summary>
Don't touch me, but please Do!
Shadowrun: Crossfire Campaign Mission IV
If they thought the mansion offered them a crowded scene, they were wrong. When multiple teams are caught in a fight, then you have a crowded, and most of all a very dangerous, scene. The team is about to experience a Freefire Festival!
Mission I: Against the Ancient (Introductory) Link to Mission I here
Mission II: Close the Portal (Normal) Link to Mission II here
Mission III: Crossfire (Normal) Link to Mission III here
Mission IV: Freefire-For-All (Normal)
Mission V: Extraction (Advanced +5 Karma) Link to Mission V here
Mission VI: Two Corridor Assault (Advanced +5 Karma) Link to Mission VI here
Mission VII: Crazy Katie’s Combat Towing (Advanced +25 Karma) Link to Mission VII here
Mission VIII: Into the Ork Underground (Advanced +30 Karma) Link to Mission VIII here
Mission IX: Pandemic (Very advanced +40 Karma) Link to Mission IX here
Mission X: Dragon Fight (Very advanced +70 Karma)
Mission IV : Freefire-For-All + GANG LEADER
Zurgo: “It’s obvious that we are not the only one doing the dirty work. But let us show the others that we are superior. Perhaps we can keep one alive so it can spread the word of the Legendary three, and Juzam!”
Sisay: “Put your razors sharp boys. I accepted some extra hard options. Extra Hard – Extra Rewarding! Let’s show them we are a team of 3 Superior Runners, and one guy called Zurgo!”
Freefire-For-All Mission highlights
The team was still in a good shape after an easy Crossfire mission. The two first waves of obstacles were cleared in no time. The team actually enjoyed this Freefire madness. Zurgo was making some stupid moves every time he killed someone. And Juzam and Thrun where holding a small headcount competition. Which Juzam won with ease (5-2).
Only Sisay didn’t share in the fun. At least one had to stay focused to keep control over the situation.
The final scene the action exploded completely. A big final wave of Obstacles showed up. All different breads and with all kind of specializations.
Only one Decker showed up. It had a very nasty ability. But since he was the only Decker out there. It didn’t took much efect.
While in the previous scenes the obstacles didn’t aim verry well. These new ones did. But they aimed mostly on each other.
Sisay: “Luck is at our side boys. Who cares who does the killing, as long as the obstacles are cleared!“
Juzam: “Actually I DO care”!
The mission for the Obstacles was simple: < Event - JUST SURVIVE >. But well… they Didn't.
A big turn from Sisay tipped the battle completely in favor of the team. She found a perfect target to Hack! The Deckhead stood no chance against ‘Hack Their Comms’. Rent-a-Trooper was then taken care of. And thanks to some assistence from Juzam, the Gunslinger Adept also took lethal damage.
After Sisay’s killing spree there was only one Conflicted Elf Ganger remaining. This Elf had a perfect chance to flee while the action was concentrated arround the obstacles engaged with Sisay. But instead she found it expedient to steal from the dead Obstacles. A big mistake. She was killed by Thrun, who was still playing the headcount game.
Thrun: “Did you counted that one? I may not win this round. But it is always good to have an extra kill for the statistics, right.”
Team member Introduction : Juzam ‘The Djinn’
Male Troll Mage
Juzam ‘The Djinn’ - A true manipulator and a loner, but can be counted on when needed
Before Juzam joined the team, he was a ruthless Organlegger. One could follow his traces by following the reaped dead bodies in the Underground district. Juzam had a small business, trading in organs and cyberware harvested from formally living Wageslaves.
It may surprise, but Juzam is Thrun’s younger brother. While Thrun is a friendly, civil and well-spoken Troll, Juzam is the complete opposite. Juzam has a particular dark edge. He is rude, sadistic, brutal and vicious.
As brothers do, they help each other out when needed. Between Thrun and Juzam this is a one way thing. Thrun does help Juzam with launder the Scrip (a non-corp approved currency) he earns with organlegging into , just to keep in touch. But for Juzam this is just easy business.
When Sisay told the team she was looking to recruit someone with good knowledge of the Underground. Preferable someone for whom killing is a second nature and someone good with Magic. Thrun proposed to invite Juzam to the team. For Thrun this was a good chance to get more connected with his little brother. And for Sisay this was exactly the candidate she had in mind.
Juzam is enormous. He breath evil and is a cruel assassin. He used to work alone, and he certainly has some difficulties working in a team. But he does see the benefits. He earns much more then before, and he has plenty opportunities to satisfy his urge to kill.
Like in the Walt Disney animation movie The Sword in the Stone (you probably don’t know it, it’s from before The Awakening) a certain wizard called Merlin had an Owl pet, Archimedes. Juzam also has one, called Strix. And this little winged companion is a legend on its own. It is told to little children as a scary story. When you see Strix, the next thing you see is dead! I wish I could say it’s just a story, but no, it’s real!
The first time Sisay and Juzam got in touch was when Juzam sold Sisay a pair of Sonar Eyes with build in AR (augmented reality) connectivity. Eyes that allow to see though walls and at the same time give you overlay information on whatever it detects. This was a couple of year before the team got together.
All my characters have a name that's borrowed from Magic the Gathering. Here for Juzam’s MTG reference:
The Lion of Judah has won (Rev 5,5)
First, let me say how awesome you guys are. I play solo since November 2017 (thanks to Robinson Crusoe!), and since then this has become the thread I'm reading the most.
And now it’s time for my first entry. I played the solo mode of „Summit – The Boardgame“. You play a mountaineer with two sherpas and your goal is to reach the summit and make it back to the base camp alive.
This is how the setup looks:
You then basically play tiles from your hand as you climb up according to your movement value, which is slowed down due to items, oxygen and food you carry (this is quite a clever mechanism, carried out on Scythe-like playerboards). After each round you have to roll two dice and probably solve an event and spend food. If you run out of food or oxygen, you can get those things from your sherpas, as long as they have enough in store. If you roll a blizzard die, the blizzard marker goes up and if it reaches the top of its track, you loose.
I played on the “Trying”-level, which was actually quite easy. I finished in 18 hours (=rounds). This is how the game looks in the end:
Easy setup (once you sorted the competitive event and item cards out)
Component quality is great (especially the player boards are very well done)
Reasonable playing time (maybe 40 minutes in the solo mode)
Quite thematic (a lot of different items and events, which fit the theme well)
Original topic (mountain climbing is rarely used in board games)
A lot of luck involved (doesn’t trouble me, it kind of fits the theme)
Rules are unnecessary complicated (they mixed competitive and cooperative modes)
Maybe not the best solo game, this game cries for player interaction
I surely will play it again on a harder difficulty level. Overall, I like the game and will keep it for a while.
January 30th 2017, Noon.
That was when I opened Gloomhaven. I played daily, multiple times through the end of February.
It's been a year, so I figured it's time to dig in again.
As so often happens, someone suggested, "this character duo is not very good" and then I felt compelled to try it out.
It's a problem that started in City of Heroes. It was an MMO that predated WoW. It was a mess for a long time. The designer kept changing things for what were increasingly emotional reasons. Sometimes I'd even say spiteful.
All sorts of problems arose from the design, but over the years, after the designer left/was fired, they'd made a lot of progress. Then NCsoft shut them down. Sad.
Since the design was so constantly in flux with devs trying to close power levelling loopholes and players constantly finding new ways to do so, there were often threads about how this or that superhero type was underpowered.
My friends and I would almost always go roll those characters immediately and often discover they could melt faces as well as the next guy.
So, random stranger intimated that maybe Mindthief and Tinkerer would be a really hard combo to pull off and that old instinct kicked in.
I rolled up a level one Tinkerer and Mindthief. I gave each the remove two -1 cards perk and a minor stamina potion. Always buy a minor stamina potion. The MT took a poisoned dagger and I gave the TK a heater shield.
If you haven't read my numerous comments on the solo bump, which I did not use here, I'll try to sum them up.
The solo bump isn't balanced at low levels. I also think the logic is wrong. For instance, if I had been playing at 2, my MT would have been reduced to 0 in the first round. I refuse to believe it was the design intent that your character could be reduced to 0 in the first round of the first scenario. It's a math thing. Do more damage, take more damage but your deck still sucks and you have level 1 hp. Not to mention your gear is crap. It can be done, but that sort of difficulty increase doesn't seem fair to me. I also suspect, given my limited experience and what I read, that four heroes are significantly easier than three, especially if there's a scoundrel.
As characters level, get gear, and the party changes composition, adjust the difficulty as desired. You have nothing to prove.
So, no solo bump.
MT moved forward with shield to absorb the melee alpha strike. Tinkerer positioned to take one of the three attackers. In the next rounds, the MT used his self heal and switched from sheild 1 to heal 2 on attack. He used his bottom half stun one round, then used the ice on the next round to power a second stun. Tinkerer used poison and heals, as well as some ranged damage.
Room cleared, MT long rested and the TK opened the door to the next room, stepped through, soaked some damage, then long rested. At that point, MT came through the door and dropped a rat swarm.
More stuns, some pushes and a switch to the +2 attack on melee attack aura for the MT and we cleared the second room easily. MT cleared a damage trap using his move/heal, then long rested on the next round. TK opened the door to draw out the enemies.
Rat moved forward, took some more hits, did a little damage and stopped archers from shooting the important people.
TK cleared the skeletons from range, MT rushed forward and it was only a couple of turns after that.
Both are pretty versatile. The Mindthief has always been a surprisingly good main tank.
The Tinkerer, who I assumed I would hate because "ewww Clerics", is pretty great.
I'd like to try a Music Note and Sawblade duo next. They should be hard to kill, but I don't know if they'll be able to pull it off with level 1 gear.
Yesterday I reported about my first play of this and that I really enjoyed what the tutorial could offer. And because I became so addicted to and curious about the "real" game I played the first quest "Scorched Earth" with three heroes (Bjorn, Sibyl and Elias).
The game started terribly with Elias dying at turn three because I opened the second room and I drew two Goblin Archer cards, which means that they had an extra turn (and the monster turn after that).
With such a bad start my confidence in getting this quest done fell a bit flat. But some killing, looting and transmuting later my people were prepared for the battles of Level 2. Annoyingly a Dwarf Messenger spawned there and due to some bad dice rolls he survived spawning a level two mob of orcs. I really had some trouble getting rid of that mess but everyone survived with some scratches. Fortunately they found some health potions to recover and they moved on to Level 3, where a Hellhound was waiting.
But also the hellhound, a giant spider and some mobs couldn't stop my already good equipped group of three. Somewhere here on Level 3 the difficulty skipped into my favor - some good dice rolls, better skills and epic loot from transmuting made the game get much easier. One got the feeling of being slightly overpowered. So on Level 4 mowed down some more mobs and a final Liliarch before exiting the quest.
Wow I really, really liked the way this quest proceeded. Like in the good old days when playing Elder Scrolls or other RPGs on PC. Starting as a weak sucker and becoming a master of all traits. I don't care that the difficulty decreased in the progression of the quest and I was happy when I could chuck 4 dice against the bigger bosses, adding the different bonuses from weapons and skills. As always in CMON games the luck of the dice rolls plays a serious role in the completion of a game but I'm also fine with that!
Epic feeling of starting as a peasant and becoming a king (A bit like Mage Knight on crack )
Clear rules so far (without having the FAQ). This results in a smooth gameplay.
Mobs, Bosses, Characters, Loot and Events feel versatile enough to increase the replayability
/ Completing this quest took me nearly 3 hours, which is rather long. And staying up until 3 AM during the week gets me in trouble with my wife
<summary> I expected a good, straight forward one-shot dungeon crawler and I got what I wanted so far! </summary>
Did not find the time to play Mage Knight last month, so for the first day of February, I take it out.
Without hesitation, to carry on this month's SGOYT theme, I choose Arythea, the Blood Cultist !!!!
I'm not sure I want to play a Solo Conquest, and then remember there are other solo scenarios.
I print the Solo Scenario Collection and set up a Return to the Void game.
I kill two Orcs, get a wound and a skill, once again perfectly month thematic
and even dare a dungeon right from the start. I meet a Gargoyle and get some wounds. Ouch.
I go to the Core tiles but get stucked ! I must move before the white token reaches me !
I get stucked on the other side too.
So I run back east.
I get a nice combo to kill the green desert dragon.
I go by a fire dragon that scorches me more.
I have a hand with only wounds except one.
Luckily, it's a move card, and I can move 5.
and go next to the portal.
A close win. Level 5 with 14 wounds in the final deck.
I got the feel of Mage Knight in an hour playtime, and a situation different from Solo Conquest.
Arythea plays very differently than the other MK. Some people complain there's only one card changing from one MK deck to another. I think it makes a difference, but the main one resides in the sets of skills, which differ much.
Played the first three chapters of this second expansion to Oh My Goods! It is quite refreshingly not exactly the same as the scenarios in the first expansion, with the goals being a bit more story-driven and allowing more freedom in choice of strategies. Also, one of my biggest grief with the first expansion was that in the solo-game there were only two helpers chosen randomly, and the VPs of the helpers were often crucial to win the game. In some chapters, the wrong helpers chosen at the beginning could make the difference between a winnable game and an almost impossible one. Canyon Brook introduces a plethora of new helpers, many of them with special abilities, which is a nice feature.