BK's Solo 10x10 in 2019 List
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Circumstances last year led to me diving into the solo gaming arena which accounted for a significant number of my plays. Although not ideal, solo play allowed me to continue to enjoy gaming even when I didn't have anyone else to join me.

So I decided to try my hand at a Solo 10x10 List in 2019 in addition to my traditional Hardcore list. Many of the games I played more or less in 2018, but I've left room to add a couple of new comers to the list.

I'll maintain details of my progress on this list and a summary status of My Selections on the official challenge list.


KEY:

___ = needed plays
___ = completed plays

Feel free to subscribe and follow my progress and post comments along the way.

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1. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:641]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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CoB:TCG has been my go-to quick solo game until Terraforming Mars came along, but it is still a great option and has proven its value in my collection and is a good travel game.

Pre-2019 Plays: 53x

Progress:


Jan-13 - robot(12), mb(1)
This morning not only did we get snowed in, I got crushed in the second round. Three triplets and bonuses to my animal bonus.

Jan-13 - robot(10), mb(3)
Shuffled, reset and... repeat. I got to the third round but the AI outpaced me again with two triplets and some bonus cards to my two goods and a barrel.I could just not get anything going in either game this morning. Mercy!

Mar-13 - mb(30), robot(14)
I played a quick post dinner solo game of CoB:TCG amassed points while a little amused at the AI's limited scoring, even in the later rounds. I won easily in this one.

Mar-16 - mb(33), robot(28)
In the afternoon I held pace with the CoB: TCG AI and then pulled managed an even bigger last round than the AI's impressive surge. Recording a nice win, 33-28.

Mar-18 - robot(32), mb(25)
I was clearly winning until the final round when the AI completed multiple triplets calling for a epic finish on my part to win. Good thing I had strong coffee because my last round was on the weak side.

May-14 - robot(35), mb(34)
It was a dual to the end with one of the higher scoring solo games of CoB:TCG that I can remember. The AI finished really strong that last round completing lots of triplets and claiming most of the triplet bonus cards. I only four, but claimed some good points from deliveries, animals and trading in a pile of silver to make it a close game.

May-15 - mb(32), robot(27) - 60th play
I acquired lots of barrels and used wild cards to complete triplets to outpace the AI who always has a strong finish in that last round.

May-20 - mb(32), robot(27)
For the second time in a row I defeated the AI by the same score. This game played out very differently as I never trailed the entire game. We were tied at the end of the first round and I never looked back. I had two plays left at the end but there was really no additional points up for grabs.

May-23 - mb(28), robot(27)
I was clearly leading until the final round when the AI gained most of its triplets. I only needed to muster 5 points and squeezed out 6 for a closer than I would have expected victory.

May-23 - robot(12), mb(6)
In the second game of the morning the AI scored two triplets which was more than I could cover with so little to work with in two short rounds. This was a really quick one to complete my 10x10 solo plays for this year.
Castles of Burgundy has been a fun, quick solo game that is one of the best value purchases I've made in my collection. It is a winner and one I'm sure will continue to see more solo plays this year if the past couple of years are any indication of its accessibility and replay ability.

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2. Board Game: Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:2107]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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A surprise Christmas gift, I'll be enjoying some choose my own adventures in 2019. Of course I remember checking all the books out of the library when I was a kid. Game on!

Pre-2019 Plays: 0x

Progress:


Jan-03 - 11 items/Danger at 3-1/Psch Track at 11
This was my first play which was a little slow as I tried to figure out what was going on. In the end it was a lot of reading. In fact, it felt reminiscent to reading these books when I was a kid with some game elements like tracking your items, remembering your clues and tracking your psychic power and danger levels over the course of the story you choose. I liked it, but more a read than a game. I would have liked a suggested end game scoring system to measure how well you did. That said, this played longer than I thought it would so I had to break it up in pre-work and lunch break to finish. I'm curious to see how the second reading plays out.

Jan-03 - 10 items/DM 3-1/PT 6
After dinner, everyone was off doing their own thing so I thought I'd give this another try. I skipped most of the reading where I was familiar and tried some different choices. The game itself moved along faster the first two rounds. The third round was active and exciting but very familiar while the fourth round I found myself making similar choices although I thought I hadn't. In the end I had more item cards but some bad die rolls and increasing danger levels nudged me towards using some special items to aid me only to come up with even fewer to suffer the same fate with lower counts.

Jan-21 - 6 items/DM 5-1/PT 7
I enjoyed exploring a few different story lines but hardly gathered any items and experienced a less than desired story ending as a result [card 152].

Mar-05 - 11 items/DM 4-2/PT 13
Overall I did better. I might have seen a few new cards this go around. Again, I didn't have any of the Clue cards needed at the end to choose a different path and I was 1 "keep this card" short of the alternative story card at the very end.

May-27 - 14 items/DM 4-2/PT 20
I was up early while everyone else was sleeping in, so I took Choose Your Own Adventure off the shelf. I did much better across the board and excited to be so high on the psychic track. This time I managed a different ending which wasn't ideal but I survived... I think.

Jun-06 - 5 items/DM 5-3/PT 5
This was a dismal game for me across the board. Hardly any retained items, miserable die rolls, little psychic power which fit a suiting fatal ending.

Jun-13 - 15 items/DM 3-1/PT 10
I set out to take paths I hadn't taken in a while and explore new ones I came across. I amassed quite a few items yet when I got to the ultimate decision I chose a new path and didn't even need the items. I was heroic in saving the planet but it cost me the ultimate price.

Jul-18 - 18 items/DM 3-2/PT 25
I maxed out the Psychic Track early and amassed lots of items which led to a successful, but very abrupt end. Not as satisfying as one would think.

Jul-22 - 11 items/DM 5-3/PT 5
I grow weary of playing this again but for the 10x10 challenge I did. I rolled horribly, I struggled to get items, I was at the 1 on the Psychic Track until the late boost which still wasn't enough to not suffer a fatal result.

Jul-23 - 16 items/DM 3-1/PT 24
My goal in playing this the last time was to continue to make decisions I hadn't tried where they made sense and where I didn't have a sure option. I did discover some new clues which was good. In the end Chapter 4 was really short and I secured enough items to experience a safe conclusion for myself.
As a kid these books were a Godsend when forced to join the summer reading club. I spent hours reading many of them. I think many of my generation were therefore curious what this game would offer in terms of nostalgia and game play. It delivered in the former but the latter felt more tacked on. This was more an activity of read, choose and often roll the dice and hopefully get a good clue/item. I often felt I was more reading than playing which is not a bad thing it is just not what I want out of my game time. So in the end it was nice for a few plays but it grew to become a burden just to complete my 10x10 Challenge. I'm ready to trade it and allow someone else the opportunity to give it a try.

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3. Board Game: Everdell [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:112]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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After being introduced to Everdell I immediately traded for it and intend to explore it more with my wife in our Hardcore 10x10 list as well as here on my Solo list.

Pre-2019 Plays: 5x

Progress:


May-28 - mb(41), mb(38) - Year 1
I played my first solo game against Rugwort and won by a few points. I had a couple more building points, a coin and 5 prosperity bonuses, but got no special event cards which awarded him 12 points to make it a close one. In Year 2 I will make sure to try a little harder to mitigate those special event points. In this game I never saw the card combos needed, even if I wanted to do that.

May-29 - mb(38), mb(32) - Year 2
I was up early so was up for a few plays of solo Everdell. In the second year special events are more critical. I managed to get two of them but not much else going and lost a fairly close one.

May-29 - mb(40), mb(23) - Year 2
The second game was doomed from the start in my mind as the special event cards were going to be challenging to get. As in the previous game my card points were pretty low and I got zero events of any kind for a crushing defeat.

May-29 - mb(41), mb(38) - Year 2
I got some combos going, my city took shape and I managed one special event. I thought I'd have a fighting chance down the stretch but needed a couple more actions or card play to even it up or win, so lost a close one.

May-30 - mb(58), mb(36) - Year 2
I started the morning off with another solo attempt at Year 2. I got beat convincingly as again I was unable to get any special events which is killing me.

May-30 - mb(72), mb(32) - Year 2
In my second attempt of the morning the coffee was good, but the game was the worst beating yet. Rugwort got 3 of the 4 events plus all 24 special event points do to inability to claim any again. I had 1 of the 2 conditions needed for 3 of the 4 cards but couldn't close the deal on any of them. Ouch!

May-30 - mb(42), mb(35) - Year 2
In the evening I gave it another shot and this time I waited until fall before I started playing cards to limit giving away events and try to set myself up to grab some special events. I really thought I was doing better, and I was, just not well enough to win. Doh! Grr....

Jun-04 - mb(38), mb(20) - Year 2
I was very stingy on playing cards not wanting to give away points with a focus to draw cards to complete special events. I managed to get one but yielding so many points for the remaining special events is just cruel.

Jun-04 - mb(34), mb(33) - Year 2
I finally won Year 2, but I also made a solo house rule. It wasn't necessarily because I made the rule, Rugwort cannot have two of the same Unique Critter/Building in his city if I can't, but had I not made the change I would have lost yet again for the 8th time in a row. There are so many near guaranteed points and I am at the mercy of luck to have a chance otherwise, so I am good with this minor adjustment.

Jun-10 - mb(42), mb(23) - Year 3
I figured I'd get my 10th solo play in to start the week. It was my first attempt at Year 3 which essentially removes one worker of mine in the fall. I didn't play a card until very late spring and just collected resources, cards and coins. Unfortunately I couldn't get any combo needed to get a special event so I suffered a major loss.
I've really enjoyed my plays of Everdell. As for the solo variant in particular it plays quickly and isn't overly fiddly but I feel it is too difficult and over penalizes for playing cards. I am usually okay with randomness in games but given how many points are yielded if you don't complete special events that are largely completed by chance I you can gain the right cards out of the deck with so few turns. I think there is potential there, and I will return to the solo variant I'm sure, but hopefully with some additional variants or revised rules that allow the fuller game experience and more balanced.

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4. Board Game: Forbidden Island [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:657]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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This was one of the first and few games I've bought when it was first released to the market. I loved the idea of a cooperative game and the artwork was stunning. It is a fun multi-player game, but one that I also enjoy solo. I play a random mix of 2-3 characters with a randomly selected island configuration.

Pre-2019 Plays: 74x

Progress:


Jan-04 - Failure / Roasted Refuge / mbDiver, mbNavigator / Elite
My 75th play started off with two Water Rise cards just before collecting 2 treasures. Then things started to get a little messy as I scrambled to get the third treasure and positioning the Diver to save the isolated tile we needed to protect for the final treasure only to see Water Rise dash our plans and sink the necessary spot.

Jan-11 - Failure / Mutiny Towers / mbExplorer, mbPilot / Elite
I had all four treasures and both characters were on the helipad just needing the lift to get off the island with one other tile left and I drew a Water Rises Card to reach the skull and crossbones. Doh!

Jan-31 - Failure / Palm Springs / mbEngineer, mbMessenger, mbNavigator / Elite
Another "snow day" meant everyone else is sleeping in and I am up early for a solo game. Tried three characters and managed to do well until needing to get the fourth treasure while keeping trying to keep the island afloat. Managed to get all the characters with in winning distance but sank before we could get the last card.

Feb-20 - Failure / Barbary Coast / mbEngineer, mbMessenger, mbPilot / Elite
Fairly early on in the game both of my flame treasure tiles sank for a dismal end to a game that was off to a great start with two treasures secured.

Feb-20 - Failure / Barbary Coast / mbEngineer, mbMessenger, mbPilot / Elite
Off to a slower start in the second game of the morning, but as I started to get the cards lined up for success we lost the helipad and watched our hopes submerge into the depths, with two treasures in hand.

Feb-21 Success / Roasted Refuge / mbEngineer, mbExplorer, mbMessenger / Elite
Three Water Rises cards came up during the dealing out of starting cards, so I reshuffled and tried again with the same event, so I just went with it. That made for smooth but uneasy trekking early on knowing that I would probably pay for it later. I managed the water issues while collecting treasures and escaped comfortably, for a welcomed change.

Mar-07 Success / Octopus Bay / mbExplorer, mbMessenger, mbNavigator / Elite
Things were getting soggy quick but so were our collection of treasure cards, so it was going to a close one. Once the last treasure was secured I had two characters with two helicopter cards together while the last was isolated on a flooded tile. I could get all three to the helipad which was taking on water, but needed another helicopter card to win. Boom! There it was and we had liftoff at the 11th hour.

Mar-24 Failure / Palm Sprints / mbEngineer, mbExplorer, mbNavigator / Elite
I mananged the shoring upkeep well and had secured one treasure before I got caught watching the helipad sink before my eyes. Doh!

Apr-17 Failure / Treasure Island / mbDiver, mbMessenger, mbPilot / Elite
I possessed 3 of the 4 treasures with the cards for the forth in hand ready to claim the treasure on the next turn with the ability to get off the island for the win when the helipad sank before my eyes in a crushing close but no cigar moment.

Apr-23 Failure / Mutiny Towers / mbDiver, mbMessenger, mbNavigator / Elite
I did well shoring up flooding problems but struggled to do much else. I only secured two of the treasures before needed tiles sank into the depths.
Forbidden Island continues to deliver a fun multiplayer and solo experience for me. As a solo game it plays fairly quick and I've been challenged playing three characters at once. Perhaps next time I'll play most with a full allotment of four.

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5. Board Game: Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:2611] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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I won this game in the 2018 Gen Can't Raffle and continue to wrestle with the suggested first abductor trying to figure out how to manage my cards and limited decisions to win. I recorded a successful game but I got a couple things wrong in the rules. I'd like to win and then move on to other abductors during the challenge.

Pre-2019 Plays: 10x

Progress:


Feb-06 - Abductor: Lijah Ramone - Failure
I learned this round the value of discarding cards for the guaranteed +1 conversation point, but unfortunately suffered from bad dice rolls when playing the stronger cards. I saved 5, lost 3 and had two left over before the game ended. I have a little ray of hope I might legitimately win this soon.

Mar-22 - Abductor: Lijah Ramone - Failure
My struggles to successfully negotiate a hostage abduction scenario continue. I was doing well, trying some different things, rescuing hostages but in the end I was unable to do much to mitigate the remaining circumstances to improve my career. I rescued 6, lost 1 and had 3 remaining when Lijah escaped.

Apr-22 - Abductor: Lijah Ramone - Failure
The first game I lost miserably, that is all that is worth mentioning.

Apr-22 - Abductor: Lijah Ramone - Failure
The second game I got all the way to the end but failed to negotiate half of the hostages given how many were added.

Apr-22 - Abductor: Lijah Ramone - Failure
In the third game I had 3 rounds left and had half the hostages saved but then had to add a hostage to an empty space only to have them die on the next roll for a crushing hattrick of losses. At least I saw a glimmer of hope of ever winning this game in this last play.

Apr-24 - Abductor: Lijah Ramone - Success
Finally! I was down to the last round, can only roll one die and I had two spare cards I could use if given the opportunity. All I needed was one shield to successfully nab the abductor for my first legit win and I did it! Mercy!!

Jul-12 - Abductor: Barrett Mullins - Failure
This was my first play against Barrett and boy was he mad. I didn't get much positive movement in this game what so ever, it is surprising that I even rescued the three hostages that I did before losing the fifth in a last ditch effort of the last round.

Jul-12 - Abductor: Barrett Mullins - Failure
In my second play against Barrett I called out his BS multiple times which was good but he was still mad and the game ended much quicker with the same result with him killing 5 hostages to my 3 with one remaining.

Jul-12 - Abductor: Barrett Mullins - Failure
I was back after lunch to try again. Food didn't help as it only took 3 rounds after a big gamble on my part to lose 4 hostages to my one save. Youch!

Jul-12 - Abductor: Barrett Mullins - Failure
I couldn't let that be the last taste in my mouth so I setup for one last play to finish off my 10x10 plays. This time I did much better and was even at 3 saves to 3 losses but again came up short in my negotiations and lost a fourth.
It was nice to finally get my first legit successful negotiation and then be able (in my own mind) to move on to a new abductor. Barrett thus far has already felt to like a different experience and I'm enjoying the sense of confidence I've gained that the game isn't all luck. I still have more training to do to get better at wielding my cards better but I'm optimistic and look forward to more plays and more abductors.

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6. Board Game: Orléans: Invasion [Average Rating:8.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.30 Unranked]
Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
Ohio
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I tried the initial solo variant and was underwhelmed. It was good for learning the game but was too easy. Perhaps it was a fluke, but I'm adding it here to explore it and some of the solo variants while my wife and I explore some of the other variants in our Hardcore 10x10.

Pre-2019 Plays: 29x

Progress:


Jan-07 - The Dignitary - Success
A year and a half ago I attempted the first solo scenario and was underwhelmed. I thought I'd revisit it again for the 2019 10x10 Solo Challenge, but again it felt like it took me longer to setup than to play it. I collected 8 (hard level) citizens in 12 rounds with 15 money in reserves. Now, I did get to play with my upgrade character chips which was really nice. I am going to move on to the next solo scenario in the box which looks to be another level of difficulty up.

Jan-07 - Capital Vierzon - Failure
After dinner I setup the next solo scenario which is significantly harder. Mercy! I completed the first and easiest (?) objective and the second. However I was only 11/12 for III, 5/25 for IV and (2+1)4=12/28 for V. I will be camped out on this one for a while until I solve this challenge.

Jan-08 - Capital Vierzon - Failure
I was determined to get at least a couple things right this go around which I did, but I lost sight of needing to pay 10 coins BEFORE the start of Round 9 and came up 4 coin short. I delivered 12VP in goods to the capital and had established a building company in Loches but missing this goal ended the game short.

Jan-09 - Capital Vierzon - Failure
I poured my coffee this morning with determination and a plan to be creative which almost yielded success. I completed the first four objectives and was 13 points short on the fifth. Had I gotten 1-2 traders in my last draw I would have been able to almost close that gap for the win. I'm getting closer!

Mar-20 - Capital Vierzon - Failure
I completed the first three objectives and was 4 coins short of the fourth and 8 points short on the fifth. That is about as close as I got last time but I'm puzzling through this and finding more opportunities to worth with on being more efficient and productive. Victory is within sight!

Mar-20 - Capital Vierzon - Failure
I played a quick game I had setup already at lunch and my speed play ended in a similar result to this morning but 12 money and 12 VP short of completing the 5 objectives.

Apr-01 - Capital Vierzon - Failure
I was hopeful this was the play to finally complete this scenario successfully. I was ahead of pace the entire game but it came down to the final round and putting those two tokens back in the bag was agonizing. I completed 4 of the 5 objectives with only 12 points towards the 28 needed for the final one. I had two citizens and four houses but only a 2VP multiplier. I was one space short of the 3VP, but even that wouldn't have been enough. Two of my three buildings were not used.

Jun-11 - Capital Vierzon - Failure
I started off well and then made one misstep that cost me an extra, unnecessary move that may have been the difference in the end. I completed 3/5 objectives only amassing 22/25 coin and 12/28 needed building + citizen points at games end.

Jun-12 - Capital Vierzon - Failure
This is the closest I've gotten. I completed the first 4 of 5 objectives coming up 13 VP short on the last one. I played an efficient game with perhaps a couple of less than optimal moves. I continue to inch closer.

Jun-12 - Capital Vierzon - Failure
In my replay I didn't fair as well. I completed 3 of 5 objectives only collecting 19/25 in coin and 18 of 28 in VP. My struggle to win this scenario continues.
I continue to enjoy this game and expansion both as a multi-player and solo option and it is likely to be a Top 10-20 game for me. After all the plays of it for the two 10x10 Challenges I'm seriously considering the next expansion. I've got to figure out how to solve this Capital Vierzon scenario. I'm close, but have some more squeezing to do.

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7. Board Game: Scythe [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:10] [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Gifted for Christmas I am looking forward to learning and challenging the AI for this one.

Pre-2019 Plays: 0x

Progress:


Jun-30 - mb(mb83), mb(mb78) - Easy
Two morning reading rules and a couple hours over a few days to grasp the rules and inch my way through my initial play and won on the easiest level. It was a positive experience and I'm optimistic about its solo play ability and the potential it could have should I be fortunate enough to get it to the table with more players.

Jul-03 - mb(mb87), mb(mb78) - Easy
My second play went much quicker. I played Phase I in the morning before work and finished off Phase II after dinner. I focused on my mission card which required no mechs which made me nervous playing catch up down the stretch. The Automa ended the game when I needed another turn or two to position myself to do the same. Ultimately I came up short, but I have a much better grasp of the actions.

Jul-04 - mb(mb79), mb(mb69) - Normal
During the afternoon I squeezed in another solo play this time playing east and west with two new factions. I am feeling more comfortable working the actions and to do what I want but made the mistake with the end game near of having my workers clustered together which cost me points and possibly the win.

Jul-05 - mb(mb89), mb(mb49) - Normal
Early morning coffee game of Scythe against the AI, swapping factions from the last game. I was on the verge of placing 2-3 of my last remaining stars and lost a close battle that awarded the AI its last start. I found my workers crowded together and I had to retreat another due to the loss in battle that significantly limited my end game scoring. It was a brutal defeat.

Jul-07 - mb(mb89), mb(mb58) - Normal
I was beat so bad the last time with this combination that I wanted another match to redeem myself. And indeed I did limiting the AI to only 2 stars and feeling strong the entire game with the exception of a few combats for which I was under equipped.

Jul-08 - mb(mb123), mb(mb63) - Normal
I was playing a faction with an adjacent enemy AI faction so my plan was to build the tunnel and expand in the far corner of the board. I felt it was going to be close in the end but after fending off two attacks it afforded me to run up my popularity and spread out to maximize my points for the win.

Jul-09 - mb(mb89), mb(mb53) - Normal
I had lots of good ideas and intentions but seemed to get forced in different directions or distracted and the end game was upon me before I knew it. I got a beat down. If only I could of held down the factory.

Jul-10 - mb(mb89), mb(mb85) - Normal
This was my first play with this faction out of the Invaders from Afar expansion. I thought I had this one won without question only to be disappointed in the end game scoring that I had lost or that it was even that close. Yikes.

Jul-11 - mb(mb78), mb(mb76) - Normal
This one I knew was going to be close. I was surrounded by mechs on all sides and managed to defend two attacks but fell during the third. I held the factory and managed to score two flags with just enough resources to edge out my automa opponent.

Jul-11 - mb(mb75), mb(mb70) - Hard
I thought I'd finish my 10x10 Solo plays by ratcheting up the difficulty level to Hard. It was looking bleak down the homestretch but I maneuvered a couple more stars late and really would have liked to hold the Factory in that late battle which would have been enough, but I lost a close one.
I originally passed on all the hype knowing I wouldn't get enough plays at the table with my group to justify the cost. But after hearing about the solo play I was game and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I've played all the factions so far. I don't have a favorite yet, I'm just enjoying playing the game. I've graduated to the Hard level and will hang out there for a while. I'll probably even leave this one setup on the table in the basement for more solo play through the summer. I've already added a couple more expansions to my Wish List including the latest one for the campaign experience.

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8. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.41 Overall Rank:3]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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TM has quickly become one of my most played games and may well be or soon will become my most played solo game. I'm thoroughly enjoying the addition of the Prelude cards and the additional maps.

Follow my solo play tracker: BK's Terraforming Mars Best Solo Scores

Pre-2019 Plays: 59x

Progress:


Jan-02 Helion - Success(80) on Hellas
My first game of the new year was a solo game of TM over coffee before work while the girls slept in. I didn't get any plant production so had to mostly buy my greenery the hard way but also managed a few cities to help boost end game scoring. I maxed out the temperature objective and was producing 15 heat per round which helped boost my spending down the stretch.

Jan-19 Inventrix - Success(90)
I hadn't been able to play any games all week so I was up early on Saturday for a solo play of TM. Resource management was really streamlined in this game and I got 16 greenery out in this game around 3 cities for a decent total, although relatively low for me compared to other plays with this corporation.

Jan-22 Credicor - Success(68)
I was out of the gate and rolling thanks to help from my initial hand and Prelude cards. However, as the game neared its end I was nowhere near where I thought I'd be on the terraforming rating tracker. I scrambled to place one more city and some more greenery but ended with a relatively low score. I may have invested too much in cards that generated end game points and the neglect of resource generation.

Jan-30 Teractor - Success(78) on Hellas
It was hard to judge how I did in this game. I focused on the primary objectives and got to 50 on the TM track in 12 short rounds and had two cities and around 10 greeneries.

Feb-01 United Nations Mars Initiative - Success(86) on Elysium
I felt I was hitting on all cylinders right after touching down on the planet. I wasn't playing many cards but I was establishing water and greenery consistently and cranking up the heat from midgame onward.

Mar-01 Teractor - Failure(58)
Other than the first round I never had much money to spend. I invested too much in cards and cranking up my energy and didn't really get things going until the last two rounds which proved to inadequate to succeed in my mission.

Mar-09 United Nations Mars Initiative - Success(86) on Elysium
I was lean on cards but working the mission efficiently and surprisingly got the exact same score as I did last time I played this corporation on the same map. I didn't see a lot of cards that I liked but I was trying to focus more on etching a few points each round if at all possible.

Mar-21 Credicor - Success(76) on Elysium
My 60th solo play was a success as I took advantage of my corp's benefit with each of my 5 cities and only one card. I had far fewer pricier, one time events than normal.

Mar-25 Inventrix - Success(72)
Things were slow going but I was calm knowing things usually pick up in the last half dozen rounds, but it ended up being an even slower buildup which left me squeezing out points in the last two rounds to achieve what I did accomplish. Mercy!

Apr-19 Helion - Success (81) - 70th play
I was working the standard project benefit the entire game working the three terraforming objectives with three of my own cities in play. I was hoping for a higher score, but this is one point better than last time I played this corp.
Terraforming Mars has unquestionably established itself as a staple solo game for me. I'd love to see it get more multi-player games but that continues to be a challenge with no on in my household interested and opportunities with my gaming friends are slim. I enjoy the mix of boards and the Prelude cards are a nice jump start to the game for me.

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9. Board Game: Viticulture Essential Edition [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:20]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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I started playing the automa last summer when my wife started working and I was looking for more variety in my morning solo games and was drawn in by the challenge. It has pushed me to experiment and try some different things to see how all the levers in this game work to where I actually started winning.

Pre-2019 Plays: 15x

Progress:


Apr-25 - mb(21), mb(20)
It was not looking promising until the very end of the penultimate round when I managed to set myself up with a visitor card for exactly what I needed in the last round to pull off the best winery operation.

Apr-26 - mb(21), mb(20) - Solo Campaign Scenario #3
I saw a posting on the Solo Challenge #3 scenario where you try to acquire 6 workers by EOY 3. I thought I'd give it a try and succeeded at that and went on to easily tie the AI with a year to go. I had an option to gain another point so the win wasn't in question, but I had tons of money and workers left over with no other options for points, so closer than I would have liked given my position in the penultimate round.

Apr-27 - mb(20), mb(16) - Solo Campaign Scenario 1
Tonight is the only free evening I have all week and the house was empty so I started the Viticulture solo campaign scenario failing 16-20 on the first attempt. You don't get a mama card but you start with three grapes of your choosing planted.

Apr-27 - mb(20), mb(17) - Solo Campaign Scenario 1
I started with a bonus marker and played the same planted grapes, but a different papa card. I felt this was a better attempt, but still came up short of that last fulfillment. I'm still trying to figure out how to get that last order fulfilled.

May-02 - mb(21), mb(20) - Solo Campaign Scenario 1
This was my third attempt at the solo campaign scenario 1 which I successfully accomplished with some room to spare. I managed to hire a couple more workers midgame to help with the effort which proved to be the right decision given I've tried to do this with a streamlined staff in the first two attempts.

May-10 - mb(23), mb(20) - Solo Campaign Scenario #2
I successfully completed the second scenario on my first attempt. I already played Scenario #3, so my current campaign score is 5. On to Scenario #4.

May-13 - mb(20), mb(16) - Solo Campaign Scenario #4
Starting out at a -5VP was a little daunting and it proved to be enough of a starting deficit to keep my from pulling off the win. I got lots of additional workers but came up an order too short.

May-16 - mb(20), mb(12) - Solo Campaign Scenario #4
I built the windmill early hoping to gain a few points with the vines I knew I'd have to plant. But I got the wrong kind, the lower value kind and those requiring more buildings so it was an even harder challenge to get an engine going in the amount of rounds I had to work with. I finally fulfilled two orders in the last round just to scrounge up the VP I scored.

May-17 - mb(20), mb(15) - Solo Campaign Scenario #4
I know I need to focus on plants and wine early but building prerequisites and high wine values required lots of fund raising and construction firs which put me too far behind to reach my goal.

May-17 - mb(20), mb(20) - Solo Campaign Scenario #4 - 25th play
I managed to get the prerequisites built and my fields going by end of round 2 which allowed me to focus on leveraging fall visitor cards and fulfilling orders. It took some creativity but I managed to orchestrate just enough points for a draw, despite forgetting that I start with bonus tokens for previous scenario losses.
I discovered the solo campaign with its variety of challenges. I'm nearly half way and enjoying the different twists that I have to puzzle through. This has become an even more engaging solo experience and the guys at Automa Factory have done a wonderful job with this. I've got more solo games for the challenge to play, but I will come back and finish off the campaign to get my score.

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10. Board Game: Zombies!!! [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:5412] [Average Rating:5.82 Unranked]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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My daughter and I discovered this shoot-up and get to the chopper dice roller at Lexicon and I've been enjoying it mostly solo since trading for it.

Here are the solo rules I've been using: Zombies!!! 2nd Edition Solitaire Rules by Ricky Royal

Pre-2019 Plays: 5x

Progress:


May-03 zombie def mb(9)
I ran into a dead end and had to back track. I got some help from some nice cards and made good time to finally place helipad but by then I could hear the footsteps and groans on all sides and had 1 bullet token. The pressure proved too much as my attacks were weak and I was overrun with fear.

May-07 mb(56) def zombie
I finally felt like I was leveraging cards and making meaningful decisions rather than just rolling and moving with hopes of staying alive. Things were clicking in such a way that I thought I'd get a big score, but then I found myself surrounded and took a lot of hit points just to escape with enough life to find the helipad and get to the center with one life token and no bullets.

May-08 mb(85) def zombie
This is the first time I managed to get to the helipad with more than one "Shotgun Guy Lives" and multiple life tokens for some big points. I created a loop and a few outlets to give me some running room which worked well looking back.

May-09 mb(56) def zombie
I was cranking until the last few rounds when massive amounts of zombies were added to the board. I did some serious attacking to hack my way out of the hoard and managed to get to the chopper with two life tokens left and 16 zombies.

May-21 mb(102) def zombie
My highest solo score yet. I had two guys left for 60 pts, 22 zombies and 4 life tokens for another 20 pts. I had good rolls, I played cards efficiently and had zombies in pursuit chasing the entire time.

May-22 mb(62) def zombie
I lost my first guy early on so I was scrambling but managed to get some room to move and collect some hearts and bullets before getting to move 10 spaces followed by another 5 from another card that allowed me to back track and place the helipad without having to watch my back and escape for the win.

Jun-20 zombie def mb(5) +Z3.5 cards
I introduced some of the Zombies 3.5 expansion cards that I picked up at Origins that made sense for solo mode and had the opportunity to push my luck with a few. I liked some of the new twists, unfortunately playing one of them put me in an interesting bind that I couldn't get myself out of and I lost the game.

Jun-21 zombie def mb(9) +Z3.5 cards
I was doing well the first handful of turns then I found myself in some crowded situations where my fighting skills were lacking and it took everything I had to get free. I saw the helipad but died as soon as I stepped on to it. So close.

Jun-24 mb(52) def zombie +Z3.5 cards
I almost pulled off this long solo play (only 1 tile left) with an extra shooter guy for even more points but lost an attack as I approached the helipad with a fresh set of tokens with my last shooter which set me up for an expected victory.

Jun-25 zombie def mb(7) +Z3.5 cards
Completed my 10x10 solo plays of this game during this morning's scurry along streets and in and out of buildings. I tried to get tiles out and avoid fights early which made for a bit of a horde that created a challenge once I found myself in a dead (pun intended) end. I hacked my way through but ultimately died in the entrance to the hospital where I had hoped to pick up 4 needed life tokens.
In a way I'm surprised how much I've enjoyed this game as a solo option. It isn't a real deep game and you are at the mercy of the dice rolls most of the time but it does a good job of simulating the genre of a relentless pursuit of the oncoming horde where you aren't a ninja master with an endless supply of fire power so you run, dodge, fight, heal and struggle for your life. Adding the 3.5 some of the expansion cards has been a nice change. I see this being a regular solo stop going forward.

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