Solitaire Games On Your Table March 2019
Derek Winning
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Missouri
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Welcome to
Solitaire Games On Your Table
March 2019


Home of "Together, We Game Alone"

Hello, and welcome to another month of exciting times with solo games! 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!

Guidelines

1 Play a solo game, a solo variant, or a multiplayer game solo.
2 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:

1 Add the <summary></summary> tag to include a short overview. All summaries are recorded, as on Albia's overview page.
2 Add the <rating></rating> tag to rate a game on a scale of 0.5 to 5.0. Only the most recent rating for a game is recorded, as on Albia's ratings page.

3 Be nice, but most of all have fun!
4 See something you like? Give it a thumb.

It's extremely helpful (but not mandatory) to include some thumbsup and thumbsdown describing the pros and cons of the game you played. They're great visual aids to summarize your post, and might help to keep the wallet damage down a bit!

Need a little help with formatting? Check out the Forum Formatting Guide and Tricks of the Geek. It often helps to include the word "medium" in an image tag, [ImageID=##### medium], in order to showcase details. Format however you like, though!

About Me

I am a husband to a wonderful and supportive wife and a father to an awesome three year old daughter. My wife will play some games with me such as Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Carcassonne, Forbidden Island, etc. I am a chef so my work hours are a little wonky, which is one reason solo gaming is so perfect for me. I encourage all of you to check out Food On Your Table. We talk about recipes, give each other ideas, and post pictures for others to drool over.

I am relatively new to hobby gaming. I grew up with the typical games. UNO, Sorry!, Kismet, and more regularly hit the table around our house. I always liked puzzles and word games, and read a ton of Forgotten Realms and Star Wars books. Fast forward to 2016. I'm newly sober (you can read more about that here) and in need of something to fill my free time and keep my mind occupied. I stumbled upon Wil Wheaton's Tabletop and was immediately enthralled. My first purchase was Tsuro, followed by Fluxx, and then Carcassonne. My fourth game was Arkham Horror: The Card Game. After a game with my wife I could tell that she wasn't into it, but I noticed it could be played solo, and the rest is easy to figure out. I joined BGG in April 2017 and the 1PG a few months later, and now I'm here babbling to you all.

National Women's History Month

March is National Women's History Month, so let's focus on the ladies. Let's bust out those games that focus on female characters, whether fictional or non-fictional. I would like to hear about an influential woman (or women) in your life. Mothers, daughters, coworkers, fellow guild members, or whomever you feel like sharing about.

Upcoming SGOYT Hosts

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Kyle
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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!

SGOYT Resources

1 Player Guild - The home base for everything related to solo games
SGOYT Monthly GeekList Subscription - A subscription thread updated with the latest SGOYT lists
SGOYT QuickLinks - A collection of links to every SGOYT GeekList
SGOYT Made Me Buy This! - A list to both thank and jokingly blame SGOYT posters for purchases
2019 Solo Challenges GeekList - A subscription list of every past and current 2019 solo challenge
The 2019 Solo and Coop Unpossible Challenge - A place to set and achieve a difficult personal solo goal or challenge for 2019
1 Player Guild / SGOYT 2019 Solitaire Goals - A place to set and track personal solo game goals for 2019
2018 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games - An extensive list of the top 100 solo games as voted by solo gamers in 2018
2017 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games - An extensive list of the top 100 solo games as voted by solo gamers in 2017
Solo Gaming Awards - A list of links to various 1 Player Guild and solo game awards
SGOYT Aggregator - A site with detailed game and user data from every SGOYT list
SGOYT Spreadsheet - An excellent resource for SGOYT data from 2013-2016
Solitaire Recommendations for Your Table - A list of solo recommendations broken down by genre
SoloPlay Variants Posted on the Geek - A list of all SoloPlay variants to enjoy many multiplayer games as solo games
Solitaire Resources - A list of additional resources for solo gamers

1 Player Guild Trading Post - A place to buy, sell, and trade games with members of the 1 Player Guild
The Solo Games Chain of Generosity - A place to pay it forward with other members of the 1 Player Guild
Solitaire Games - Fair Trade It Forward - A place to pay it forward with solo games
1 Player Guild Hot Deals Thread - A listing of current deals and discounts on solo games
1 Player Guild Auction Watch - A thread with links to BGG auctions for rare and hard-to-find games

Sock Puppet of the Week Subscription - A subscription thread updated with the latest 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the Week
The 1 Player Guild's Collective Acquisition Disorder Subscription - A subscription thread updated with the latest 1PGCAD lists
SROYT Monthly GeekList Subscription - A subscription thread updated with the latest Solitaire RPGs On Your Table (SROYT) lists

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1. Board Game: Mother [Average Rating:2.63 Unranked]
Derek Winning
United States
Missouri
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Let's talk about my mom for a minute. I would not be what I am without her. I won't trash my father here but even though he was technically "around" when I was a child, my mom did all the work. She worked full-time, overnight in the burn unit at the hospital (she's a nurse). We always had a hot breakfast, a sack lunch, and a hot dinner. Did I mention she can cook? The whole reason I am a chef is because of my love of cooking. This love comes from spending time in the kitchen with my mom growing up. Both my brother and sister have a love of cooking as well thanks to her.

I was an incredibly difficult child to raise. I acted out a lot and put my mom through hell. I know this, but she still keeps a positive attitude about it and just says "you were going through a lot". She's a saint. One of the reasons I used to say that I didn't want any children was that I was scared they would be like me. I don't have the patience that would be required to raise a mini-me. Luckily my daughter takes after my wife so I dodged a bullet there.

These days she's a wonderful grandma to my daughter, and my brother and sister's combined 4 (soon to be 5 any day now) kids. I don't always agree with her but I wouldn't change her in any way. She's an amazing mother, a wonderful role model for my daughter, and a bright spot in my life. I think I'm gonna go call her to tell her that I love her.
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2. Board Game: The Peculiar Game of My Wife and I [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Derek Winning
United States
Missouri
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I am not sure where to start. I guess the best place would be to say that unequivocally, my life would much worse had I never met my wife. She is my best friend, an awesome mother, and a support that I didn't even know I needed when I first met her. We will be celebrating our 7th anniversary next month and we dated for two and a half years before we got married. I cannot believe she has stuck with me for almost ten years. I keep telling her that she needs to trade me in for the new model, but she just gives me that look she always does.

I am an extremely sarcastic person, to the point where people used to just think I was a dick when the met me. I've since got better at easing into that side of me, most of the time. To find someone who could take my sarcasm, re-season it, and send it right back to me at a moments notice, is a thing of beauty. If strangers heard us talk they might not understand our connection because we constantly make fun of each other, but that's part of what makes her so perfect for me. Even typing this, I realize how odd this may sound.

When it came out that I was an alcoholic, my wife did not miss a beat. She was never angry (or at least she didn't show it). She merely said her piece, asked if I was ready to get help, and stood by me every step of the way. She never pushed or forced anything, knowing that this was something I had to do for myself, or it may not stick. I can't thank her enough for the stability she provided during this incredibly tough time. Without her and my daughter, I cannot say with any certainty that I would still be sober. But this is not to say that if she left me tomorrow I would start drinking. She has helped me to develop the tools I need to stay sober, with or without her.

My daughter is a couple weeks away from being three and a half years old. My wife has proven to be an amazing mother. She's patient, loving, understanding, she teaches her so much, and is just all around wonderful. We're getting to the age where our munchkin can get a pretty serious attitude, and my wife has stayed calm, focusing on teaching her to breath and calm herself. I love my daughter so much, but then I see how my wife loves her and it makes me wonder if I don't love her as much as she does. I can't wait to continue to raise our little one together with my wife. We're in for a lot over the next couple of decades.

I'm not sure how to sum this up. My wife rocks, I'm lucky to have her, and she makes me a better person.
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3. Board Game: All My Children [Average Rating:4.65 Unranked]
Derek Winning
United States
Missouri
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More to come...
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4. Board Game: Middle-earth [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:1074]
simon cogan
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I'm still adventuring in Middle Earth with this fantastic game and blast from the past – 1995 – now almost a quarter of a century old! In fact as I reflect back over the last month (all I need is a pipe and some Longbottom Leaf), I get more and more impressed with the original design.

I've had lots of new adventures and continued to create and refine some new solitaire rules to enhance Sites, Factions, Quests and I've also posted more session reports, started a ‘There & Back Again’ Blog and designed even more dream cards – such as my new Battle cards to recreate the massive combats from the book and films. My ‘hidden’ Locations are really working well, and mixed with my Travel rules, new Agent rules, the Environment cards and my Inn deck, really make it a more than a ‘hack and slash and grab MP’ experience.

And I think I have achieved in making a more immersive, story-driven game without making it more complex.

The solo rules have now been released as a separate document and can be found here:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/176951/middle-earth-s...

The playmats and reference sheet can still be found here:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/174072/adventure-play...

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/174099/solitaire-vers...

My latest adventures were based on the Alatar Challenge deck and the Pallandro ‘Dwarven Quest’ Challenge deck (with a few tweaks and additions to put it into line with my solo rules and deck format) and used all my player aids and solo rules. In my first 2 sessions, Aragorn and his trusty Rangers of the North defended Arthedain and Bree from all kinds of invaders from Angmar. In the latest 2 sessions, Thorin Oakenshield and a band of hardy dwarves tried to reclaim their kingdoms and treasure from greedy dragons and such.



The Ranger games were a real triumph of storytelling with quests, setbacks and built to a decisive final battle. You can read about it here:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2151115/defending-north...

The adventures with Thorin and his company were also amazingly immersive and thematic, even though there was no final battle. There were encounters with dragons such as Smaug and wintery expeditions over the Misty Mountains however, and in the second game all the dwarves (except Balin who ended up as lunch for a Giant Spider) ventured into Moria – never to return... You can read about both games here:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2153404/reclaim-erebor-...

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2158006/journey-dark-mi...

I'm very grateful to Gesine of the 'Cats & Chits' channel on YouTube who has put up some videos of my rules and tried them out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnIE8EEquQ8&t=2080s

You can find my Blog about my return to MECCG and Tolkien’s beautiful world here. Please look it up and subscribe to join me on my weekly adventures:

There and Back Again

What I love about MECCG is that it's dripping with theme and storytelling – and I hope with the rules I’ve been testing and developing, even more immersive. It’s such a great way to spend an afternoon.

See you next month...

'The Road Goes Ever On'




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5. Board Game: Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:580] [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked]
Nick S
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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It's still February for me, but it has snowed 39 inches this month -- the 4th snowiest month ever recorded here -- and I'm ready for it to be over, so I'm going to post in the March thread instead.

I picked up Railroad Ink at my FLGS last week since they finally had a copy in stock. I'd played the base version solo last week (score: 42), but wanted to try the rivers and lakes expansions.

I think rivers make the game a little more difficult because it's basically a 3rd route type. Like the highways and railroads, you can't cross them unless a die tells you to. Fortunately, you don't have to actually use the river dice if you don't want to -- but you still have to use the regular route dice. I didn't do too well in the game with rivers, and scored only 46 points because until round 6 I completely forgot about using the special routes. Oops!

Then I swapped out the river dice with the lake dice and gave that a try. That one went a bit better and the lakes were quite a bit easier to maneuver around than the rivers were. Having the ability to link different route types with the stations on the lake tiles really opens up the board and I'm sure good players will be able to find ways to link all 12 exits. The image below is what I ended up with that game -- though scoring is incorrect. At a minimum my expansion points should only be 9 instead of 10, I'm not sure what I was counting. Hopefully everything else is right.



In my solo games I prefer to have an objective I must accomplish or an automa player I have to defeat, but unfortunately this is the other kind where you just play the game and get a score. Railroad Ink doesn't even give you a range to tell you how well you did, which I'm guessing is because the game is no different solo than against other players. As such, it's not really one I would recommend for solo play unless you really like Railroad Ink or just want a semi-relaxing way to waste 20 minutes. Depending on your mood, throwing the dice and drawing the results might be mildly therapeutic...
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6. Board Game: Samurai Spirit [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1152]
Florent Leguern Conciergerie Easylife
France
Crolles
France
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Ha, so, like I had said, I wanted to tackle that little game/gem again. It ended up tackling me. Tsk.

I couldn't really find completely suitable Lego minions - but at least, I have a nice geisha that our heroes will have to protect. I know, it's a bokken-wielding aikido Master. What about it ? ninja


This is what setup looked like : random heroes, placed randomly.


And the end of the firs turn already saw the destruction of one farm, having started with 7 fences ! Yeah, I'm on easy.


Already one transformed hero as well at the end of that first turn ; not really such a great thing, I'd say, but well...


There was this nice little combo in place, where I was able to force a combat with Heibachi thanks to Kyuzo's bandit ability. Three times did it yield one with a force of 3, allowing me to use Heibachi's kiai ! Helped quite a lot to rebuild the palissades. Not to mention that thanks to Katsushiro's innate ability transferred to Kyuzo, I was able to manipulate the top deck in such eventuality.


Alas... even though I managed to hold on quite nicely despite evil odds, and having sent four (!) chiefs to discard thanks to both Kyuzo and Kikuchiyo's abilities and Kiai, I ended up overrun nonetheless, Kyuzo sustaining a fatal wound in the endgame, and the last farm being burnt to ashes...




thumbsup Excellent theme - it might be related to the Seven Samurais movie, it's almost a pretext if you've never seen it or its US remake
thumbsup The powers of each samurai : the innate ability, and the kiai. Trying to control both to your advantage is a huge amount of fun
thumbsup Components are top notch ! Not to mention the general design, where each little element fits so well, like the borders on the bandits that you align on the right side
thumbsup It's hard, but never unfairly so. There's a whole load of tactics and thinking
thumbsup Neat insert and smallish box

thumbsupthumbsdown The small parts are still a bit loose underneath the Hero cardboards.

thumbsdown It can get a bit overwhelming when there's many heroes to manage, especially once the second turn is well underway
thumbsdown Gosh, does it take space on the table ? Each samurai needs both their sides for the cards, but okay, it looks nifty

Among those games that I seldom play, which should I play next this afternoon and tomorow morning ?
Terraforming Mars
Bottom of the 9th
Sans Alliés
March of the Ants
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7. Board Game: Night of Man [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:6590]
James Kenlon
United States
Florida
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Just got this yesterday, still need to get the solo rules pdf from 'Wargame Vault'
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8. Board Game: Antiquity [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:199]
calvin chow
United States
seattle
Washington
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Just picked this up and have played it 5x solo and 2X multiplayer... The solo variant on BGG works ok, and it’s kind of fun to try to hurt yourself with the AI...
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9. Board Game: Chariot Lords [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:5128]
Squeak 'n' Squawk
United States
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So, over the years, I collected quite a number of wargames of various kinds. I am not the collector type, I bought them with the intention of playing them all. Like many people, I often used buying as a substitute for playing during dark times, or when I had no one to play with, or just because I wanted a game on every interesting subject of military history.

I hoped to find opponents in the new cities I always seemed to be moving to, and figured I could always play them solitaire if need be. They looked so cool, and they all had stories to tell about this campaign or that part of the world - or a fascinating era.

The trouble is, my gaming hobby started off as something to do with my friends. Later in life, as I moved to areas where I knew no one, I tried to put things in reverse - instead of gaming with friends, I tried to make friends by gaming. On the whole, this really didn't work at all. Sometimes I would have some acquaintances for awhile to game with, but even then, they didn't tend to be wargamers.

I made a decision a couple of years ago to stop deluding myself and concentrate strictly on games I could and would play solitaire. And the brutal fact is, I just don't generally enjoy playing 2+ player wargames solitaire. A lot of wargamers do; I have on occasion in the past, when I lived with someone, which somehow created a different sort of atmosphere in the room. Playing solitaire with someone else there was kind of like reading a book or surfing the web while your partner does their thing - a solo activity but with a social context.

But on the whole, I just never was really into playing wargames solitaire the way so many wargamers are. So I have been culling them, and culling them, and culling them. Hundreds of them.

The ones left are the ones that I find it particularly hard to part with for one reason or another. Chariot Lords is one such game. I love the history of the ancient world, and this game takes you there in a rules light yet flavorful way. The subject is the Biblical era - between 1,500 B.C. and 600 B.C. This is the first age of empires, featuring the Egyptians, the Hittites, the Assyrians, and many more, battling it out until the coming of the Persian Empire and the classical age.

I decided to pull this game out and see how it held my interest compared to games intended for solo or co-op play. I had played it once 4-player many years ago, but we didn't get very far before time ran out.

The starting situation and the Turn Track showing turn chits for upcoming nations




This game has its roots in two predecessor games - Britannia and Ancient Conquest. The Britannia family of games feature 4-player action where each player controls groups of tribes or peoples over time, with one or more new ones appearing on the scene every turn, each group having its own objectives for scoring points. Ancient Conquest is a game I never had, but I have it on good authority that it came up with the idea of using colorful language to make victory point objectives more flavorful. The result, in the case of Chariot Lords, is that each player (color) has a list of nations that they play, and each nation has some very flavorful text to describe how you earn points with them.

Lots of specific short term objectives give solitaire play a direction - and historical flavor




A new twist added by Chariot Lords is having turn chits, one for each nation, which are drawn from a cup one by one each turn, to see which nation goes next. This really adds an element of unpredictability to the game, since unlike Britannia, you can't plan out way in advance what you should do. The chits pull you along into unexpected directions. The Egyptians defend quite differently if the Canaanites might get two turns in a row!


The starting nations on Turn 1 - and some leaders




In the first image you can see the game's Turn Track, with turn chits on there from nations not yet in play, like the Assyrians, Cimmerians, Achaeans etc. - and of course Judah. Judah is kind of special because it has a Godly/Ungodly counter to track whether it has divine protection or has fallen out of favor. The major empires tend to have their own god counters in their capitals - capturing one hurts the empire's prestige.

The Mitanni attack the Kassites




So, a colorful game with nice art, lots of period flavor, very specific short term objectives to aim for in each nation's turn, chit-pull to shake things up and let you play in the moment and not get bogged down trying to plan deeply for every side - I figured this was as good as it was going to get for trying to solitaire a game designed for two or more players. I put on some Middle Eastern "world" music (of which I have a goodly collection from my days of hosting 12-hour 6-player games of Advanced Civilization) and gave it a go.

And it just couldn't hold my interest, except for when my girlfriend was hanging out with me, doing her own thing. Left to my own devices, I'd rather play a computer game, or a dedicated solo game like Nemo's War or Mage Knight.

Depressing as this lesson was, it gave me new resolve to resume selling off my wargame collection, which effort had fallen into a hiatus in the past year due to health problems. If Chariot Lords couldn't hold my attention, what chance did a two player wargame on the Kokoda Track campaign have? Or a Vietnam game? Or a Desert Storm game? It was time for them to go.

I still can't bring myself to let go of Chariot Lords; it really is such a cool game, that even if I don't get the chance to play it for another 20 years, I will still hang onto it in the meantime, just in case. And who knows, I may end up living with someone again someday, and play it solitaire then.

Egypt invading Kadesh by sea using its fleet power to bypass strong Canaanite defenses in Philistia





If you are the type who can enjoy "playing both sides" (or all four in this case) solitaire, then, if you have any interest in the ancient world at all - get this game. It has 900 years of stories to tell, from a time when empires rose, swept across the rocky hills and fertile valleys, and then collapsed into sandy, windswept ruins. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair...no don't despair, the Chaldeans come on next turn, and you get Nebuchadnezzar as a leader! ATTACK!


While I am at it - here are some musics you may find appropriate if you are playing games set in this era. These are just individual tracks, the albums themselves are well worth checking out.
















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10. Board Game: Shephy [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:3632]
Cang Ling Yee
United States
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Shephy at its core is a simple solitaire card game where you try to increase your own flock from 1 to 1000 before the enemy flock grows to 1000

Been having some fun and rediscovering this game with the variants posted here recently:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1694590/post-loves-7-varian...

Set up space is small and it can be played in under 10-15 minutes


Sometimes bad card draws can lead to an unwinnable situation, but the game plays so fast anyway that frustrations are kept to a minimum. The variant enhanced replayability a lot, and I enjoyed them
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11. Board Game: Witch of Salem [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1773]
Kevin Eastwood
United States
Windham
New Hampshire
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I've got this one... I know who the Great Old One is, I've got everything together, I just need 1 turn to use the Necrinomicon and reveal, send the other person to battle and it is a win.

Flip. You've got to be #$@%$&^$ me! Not this time. Curse you Necron!

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12. Board Game: Scythe [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:10] [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked]
Kevin Eastwood
United States
Windham
New Hampshire
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After my bitter loss in Witch of Salem I had to redeem myself. Cruising along for a win... oh wait... Automa 68 me 63. Well good try... ummmm I forgot the secret objective card which I never dealt, and that would have made the difference with a 4 point swing both ways. Not my night.

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13. Board Game: USN [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:9958]
Tim Korchnoi
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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Having played 1942 a few times, I am now going even further back in the way back machine to try this oldie. The rules don't seem too tough and there are a number of smaller scenarios. Plus I like how the game covers 1941-43 which were the critical years in the PTO. I also hope to maybe glean some ideas for my own carrier game design as well.
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14. Board Game: CO₂: Second Chance [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:866]
Gustavo Ruiz Santicchio
Argentina
Buenos Aires
Almagro
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Finished my last game of the solo challenge.

My solo goal was build 10 plants at the end of the game.

At the end of the 4th decade I completed my solo goal, used 32 turns and finished with 400ppm and 25 VPs, my best score so far because also complete my 2 coop private cards and complete 7UN cards.

My victory epithet was: Brilliant Heroes of the Earth.

I'm thinking on doing a solo unpossible challenge to complete all the solo cards of the game but I'm going to play with the variant of the scientists only gain 1 knowledge at summits, because always finished my games max out in all types of energy and at the bottom of ppm track.

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15. Board Game: Anachrony [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:47]
Phil C
Wales
North Wales
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Played my first two full games of this last night.

I liked the game itself, crunchy worker placement, with the added strategy of leveraging your future resources for use in the present.

However, I'm not convinced by the Chronobot. I won both games on the medium difficulty, which leads me to believe I'm doing something wrong.

Help me figure out what that might be.
As a caveat, I used Amena both times, and I've a feeling the issue is her ability (no losing exosuit spots after impact) is way overpowered, especially against the Chronobot.

The strategy for me was to load up on getting a ton of points from the evacuation action. My last game, it was 6 VPs for 2 anomalies, plus 2 VPs for each uranium & unused warp tile pair. So I just waited until I had the two anomalies in the late game, loaded up on uranium and cleared the timeline, then evacuated and an easy 24 points was mine.

The Chronobot meanwhile is very effective pre-impact. Building, scoring points etc.

Though he puts out a lot of warp tiles (1 a round usually), and isn't great at picking them back up. Rolling a one when the tile is in the right place for a time travel action doesn't happen often, and the chances of him running out of exosuits before I pass also isn't that likely, as it's at least 6 actions pre-impact, and 4 post, and he doesn't always place the exo-suits so it's usually more than that. Which means both times he has ended up with 3 anomalies. Again the clearing doesn't happen that often as the 1 tile has to be in the right place, and you have to actually roll a 1.

Hmm, I wonder if I'm not supposed to move the number tile on the chronobot board when he can't perform the action?

My main issues with him seems to come post-impact, where he kind of loses focus. Building seems to be his most likely action, but once the capital action tiles have been flipped, there are only two building spots an era, so more often than not he's just gaining 1 VP, and 2 water (which is almost worthless at this point,as he has loads).

The 5 VPs for each set of resources is a brilliant touch, but it's pretty simple to block him from getting the neutronium so he never completes a set, and so his huge pile of other resources is worthless, come the end of the game.

In the last game, the only action spots left to take during the last era were recruit actions, but still he insisted on trying to build to gain 1 measly VP.

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16. Board Game: Village [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:132]
Andrea Schoembs
England
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Got the Village: Inn expansion for my beloved Village game and played it 2-handed. There's also a solo-version but it adds too much randomness in my opinion.
 


As I'm going to play it tomorrow in my boardgame meetup I wanted to test how the different guest cards work and how strong or not they are. Basically I find that the game does not need an expansion but I like that it adds another resource (beer) and the guest cards give some objectives.


I played by avoiding the pub and my AI going to the pub frequently (that old boozer). By not going to the pub you'll have to go strong on other parts of the village but you can still win the game (which I did). I was afraid that the expansion is overpowering but I'm happy to find it's a great addition to the game.


Inspired by a custom made LEGO tile holder from
David Bancroft
United States
Elk Grove
California
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I made tile holders and some other add ons for the game. Currenly working on a horse cart to hold the grain sacks and a market stall to hold the customers tiles.

 


I apologise for the bad quality of the photos (in lack of a camera I used my smartphone).

I'm afraid the add ons turn the game in a bit of a table hog but it should work as the venue of my meetup luckily has big tables.
 
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17. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:320]
Edgars Zakis
Latvia
Riga
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Hello!

After some time of lurking in these geeklists and just reading, I'm ready to jump in. So I'm starting with a bit of introduction and a cheating item.

I am one of those people who actually have a stable playing group and we play board games quite frequently. However, lately I've been eyeing solo gaming due to several reasons:

1) I have quite a lot of free time during workdays, so there are not many options related to finding gaming partners, therefore if I want some gaming it's solo.
2) There are many good games that are either true solos or are very good when played solo, so I don't want to be missing out.
3) Even with a gaming group it's not always possible to synchronize the schedules.
4) Sometimes I just feel like doing things alone and on my own pace.

So there it is. Because of these reasons I have started trying either solo options of known games or getting some new games for my solo gaming. Needless to say I really am having a good time in these sessions.

So my first, cheating, item. It's cheating because I actually played it at the end of February, but as I 99,9% won't be playing it solo again, I feel I need to add it, especially because it showed me what doesn't work for me in a solo environment. Don't get me wrong - I love R&B, it's still a 10 for me and I will always be willing to play it with those few friends of mine who also like it. However, as a solo game it made me realize that I don't like a game when you have 100% information which turns the game into a (supposedly solvable) puzzle. I'm not a big puzzle person in general and I just don't have the patience to optimize everything and spend a lifetime thinking about the most optimal strategy. Of course I could try to ignore it and just go with the flow, but I can't get that nagging voice out of the back of my head (The Voice: "You know, you could do better if only you just spent a bit more time thinking and planning..." Me: "Yeah, yeah, sod off.")

Again, don't get me wrong - in my heart I am a Eurogamer and long, thinky cube pushers are my thing. However, they always have at least some random element (I'm considering other player turns a random element, too, as I can't be sure what will they do and what exactly will be my options after their turn). So I realized I want at least some small randomness in my solo experiences, too. I tried Agricola and At the Gates of Loyang, and they worked really well, because they are thinky at heart, but with minor twists, mostly because of cards. I am, however, happy that I tried R&B, so now I know I don't want to play it like this again and also I am more aware of my solo gaming preferences. Oh, yeah, and just for the record I did horribly at both my games. I actually didn't even know I could get such a low score in Roads & Boats... whistle
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18. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:116] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Jack Reilly
United States
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Currently blazing through this game, specifically the Black Riders Saga expansion. I'm on the final quest, having guided Frodo out of the Shire, snuck past the Riders at the Prancing Pony, and now trying to get Frodo to the Elves to cure his mortal wound.

I will say, I struggled with this game and sold it several times only to reacquire it. But I am absolutely loving it now with a larger card pool.

I also have Heroes of Terrinoth that I want to play more, as the first quest is a total snoozefest, but Lord of the Rings keeps taking all my time and attention.
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19. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:353]
Kaitlyn Morgan
Canada
Kanata
Ontario
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After a long while away, I decided to go back to the island and help Robinson Crusoe defeat the pirates and other hazards. I figured it was only right since it is Friday after all.



I got lucky off the bat, getting some easy wins over some hazards, but my luck turned and I had some nasty defeats. I ended up depleting the Robinson deck and added the required aging card in. It turns out said aging card was the worst possible one, worth -5 points. It came up in a fight and it basically put a nail in the coffin for that game.

Having refreshed myself on the rules and suffered a crushing defeat, I started again. This time, I was more pragmatic in my approach. I even made it to the yellow phase. However, that damn aging card reared its ugly head again, and I lost.

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20. Board Game: Gem Rush [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:4442]
Andy
United States
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Gem Rush is great. It doesn't always get a ton of love, maybe in part because of its "VPG Classic" charm - with the pizza box and misaligned printing. The coins are really nice though, and the 2nd Edition they just put out looks super good. Still, the rough-around-the-edge-ness can grow on you.

I like these sort of "geographic engine builders" where you are creating an engine within an area that is also open to (and sometimes you want to defend against) other players. Great Western Trail and Chuddyk's Impulse come to mind as other games in that "vein." But this one is a real "gem." You play as a dwarf delving deeper and deeper to score points by spending different colored gems (on cards in your hand) to clear out a network chambers. Each chamber has a different special ability that can be activated if you end your turn there.

In solo/co-op modes, the deck of gem cards also acts as a timer, with you removing 2 cards from the deck after each turn. You have to score a predetermined number of points before the deck runs out (and the mine collapses) This scoring approach is a clever twist on the old "score as many points as you can and then see where you land on a on a spectrum from 'Fine.' to 'Ultimate Heroic Victory!'" because the game has you pick your target/goal before the game starts - this simple twist switches that "good/better/best" scoring to a straight win/loss condition.

It really is a "diamond in the rough" because despite some of the production issues there are a lot of nice little touches. The ambigram logo on the card backs is fun. [picture] All the gems have their own exotic names: blue permafrost, green electrum, purple soulstone, etc. The red gems are "Fire Rubys" but they aren't actually hot - they're sapphires (safe fires? shake)



The game has a nice theme, and creates a sense of adventure and tension as the gem deck runs low. The last few turns where you are trying to eek out just a couple more points to reach the target number of points can and the last few card draws are always very dramatic.

In my most recent play I managed to scrape by with a journeyman victory - 40 points - and had a real adventure in the process. After clearing 2 chambers in my first turn only to arrive at an empty room with nothing but 2 yellow "Star Tears" cards in my hand - it was just a gemini (gem and I? shake).

At the far end of the room was a passage leading to another chamber, but the path was blocked by a large crystal door - it was agate. shake

On the western side was another room with what looked like a large dining room table set with a lavish feast. But I didn't enter that room - I didn't have an apatite. shake

I decided to head east instead, through a passageway that required blue gems to move through - it was "pay-topaz" (pay-to-pass? shake)

That led to a small room in the middle-eastern part of the map I was creating, which had walls covered in sharp crystal shards - it was a Diamond Qatar (diamond cutter? shake)

To the north was a room where two trolls were arguing about the nature of some sparkling powder covering the floor. One said, "I'm telling you, it's ground up diamonds!" The other said, "Yeah, how do you know that?" To which the first one responded, "Chris told us!" (Crystal dust? shake)

I decided to avoid the trolls by heading south through a passageway leading to a chamber covered with Permafrost ice crystals. In the middle there was a frozen pond, and large goldfish could be seen swimming below the ice - they were winter kois (turquoise? shake)

I was able to throw 2 diamond dust cards into the pond to score a total of 40 points for the win!

The solo game is the coop game with only one character. The game is great multiplayer too, and includes a competitive mode as well as co-op. It has gone over well with everyone I've played with. My 7-year old kid really "digs" it. It comes naturally to her because she's a minor shake


(Standees are reversible with female character on one side and male on the other. I played using a female dwarf character in honor of Women's History Month)
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21. Board Game: Dice Hospital [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:1048]
Rich Dodgin
Scotland
Edinburgh
Midlothian
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I played a couple of solo games using the awesome automa created by
Mark
United States
Indian Land
South Carolina
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and really enjoyed the experience as it feels like you're playing against an opponent. It will also be easy to make the game easier or harder by changing the number of cards from each of the three difficulty levels. Highly recommended!


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22. Board Game: Grimslingers [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3636] [Average Rating:6.48 Unranked]
Jeff McCarroll
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Set-up completed last night. Skimmed the dual rules as watched a couple videos. Ready to give the Tall Tales a go this evening.
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23. Board Game: Crypt [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1672]
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
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My first March play, and my first SPRING TIME outdoors play.

I scored 43, so I did pretty well. I lost all my servants twice during the game, but retrieved them, ready for a new round.

It was nice to sit outside and play, but it got cold fast, so I won`t do it too often just yet. With the small dice it was nice that I had a playmat underneath the game.
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24. Board Game: NATO Air Commander [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:8239]
Tim Korchnoi
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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Using this as a filler whilst I await the arrival of First Strike '62. It is a certified 3F game (fast, fun, furious) and will set the mood for the 1962 confrontation in the other game.
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25. Board Game: The Gallerist [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:59]
Kent Smith
United States
Bar Harbor
Maine
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Second play of the Gallerist trying it out. I achieved Master Gallerist w/ $206 total at the end. The first game I didn't achieve a single objective, but this one worked really well being intentional to make sure I achieved the curator and seller goals, get enough reputation tiles, and manage Lacerda's ticket taking. Careful management of how many tickets I lose to Lacerda's Kicked Off moves was the key. It came down to the last turn to hit the goal for the curator. If I had missed that, I would have missed all levels of victory even.
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