Solitaire Games On Your Table -- December 2019
Jeff Rhind
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Massachusetts
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Welcome to
Solitaire Games on Your Table
December 2019


The Home of “Together, We Game Alone”


Welcome everyone to the end of 2019 and another glorious month of solitaire gaming. Grab a game, pull up a chair and join in because together we celebrate this wonderful hobby and sometimes game alone. The 1PG is currently the largest guild on BGG at over 12,000 members!! That’s exciting. It’s great to see this guild continue to grow!!

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 my User 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.

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!

Need a little help with formatting? Check out the Forum Formatting Guide and Tricks of the Geek.

About Me

I live about an hour south of Boston, Massachusetts and have lived in this area most of my life. I used to work in television and documentary development and production for over 20 years before switching to work in higher education supporting technology in classrooms and meeting spaces as well as handling event logistics both on and off campus. I have been working at Suffolk University on Beacon Hill for over 12 years and now that I have finished up my Bachelor’s in History, I am currently studying for my Master's in Higher Education.

From gallery of jeffrhind

-- Suffolk University Law School (where I work out of) on the left and Park Street Church and Boston Common on the right. --

I became interested in board games and solitaire games when I became a widower shortly after I started working at Suffolk and my daughter, then three years old, wasn’t quite ready to play games just yet. I got into some co-op games that I could play solo and, after that, found out that I could print my own copies of games from the likes of Todd Sanders. Eventually, I got pretty hooked on the hobby and joined several gaming groups while my collection exploded to a number of games that was far too many for my small apartment.

As my daughter got older, we started playing other games. It was then I thought, “Why not create a YouTube channel and show folks all these cool kids games?” Well, that morphed into recording reviews of other games as well. I had to take a hiatus from shooting videos once real life got in the way: family, friends, work, school, and trying to have something resembling a dating life. Plus, I had told myself from the beginning that once it became too much work and wasn’t fun anymore, I would stop. Now, two years later, I’m thinking about attempting to pick up the mantle from where I left off and give it another go. But for now, some written reviews and commentary over on my blog at http://completelyboard.com and http://www.gamenitemagazine.com.

My older video content is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/completelyboard

Plus, you can purchase a micro badge as a fan Microbadge: Completely Board fan

I have been participating in the SGOYT geeklists for many years now and there are some members I am frankly in awe of; their knowledge of games, their in-depth analysis of gameplay, and others for their spectacular photography. Such an incredible group of people here!!

So here I am hosting for the very first time!! I am excited and have some things planned out below. Check them out! And please, please, please, introduce yourself if we don’t know each other already. It’s always wonderful to meet other gamers from all over the world.

Upcoming 2020 SGOYT Hosts
January
Josh Murphy
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Missouri
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Nashville
Tennessee
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level II - If I have seen further, it's only by standing on the apex of other's dice.Microbadge: Tennessee Game Days attendeeMicrobadge: Solitaire Games on Your Table - Together, we game alone...Microbadge: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game fanMicrobadge: "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others." —Pericles
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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
2019 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games - An extensive list of the top 100 solo games as voted by solo gamers
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
SROYT Monthly GeekList Subscription - A subscription thread updated with the latest Solitaire RPGs On Your Table (SROYT) lists

Related Microbadges
Microbadge: I love solo gaming! Microbadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game Alone Microbadge: Rolling for one Microbadge: Solitaire GamerMicrobadge: Solitaire Wargamer Microbadge: Solitaire Games on Your Table - Together, we game alone... Microbadge: Iron SGOYT poster. At least 10 geeklist items posted! Microbadge: Brass SGOYT poster. At least 25 geeklist items posted!Microbadge: Copper SGOYT poster. At least 50 geeklist items posted! Microbadge: Cobalt SGOYT poster. At least 100 geeklist items posted! Microbadge: Titanium SGOYT poster. At least 250 geeklist items posted! Microbadge: Silver SGOYT poster. At least 500 geeklist items posted!Microbadge: Gold SGOYT poster. At least 1000 geeklist items posted! Microbadge: Platinum SGOYT poster. At least 2500 geeklist items posted! Microbadge: Gaming is best solo Microbadge: I'm my own worst enemy - I play multiplayer games solo.Microbadge: SoloCon attendee Microbadge: Solo Eurogamer Microbadge: Solo role-playing fan Microbadge: Solo wargamerMicrobadge: Solo Eurogamer Microbadge: RPG Solo fan

And one last thing….
Have fun everyone!





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101. Board Game: Teotihuacan: City of Gods [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:68]
Board Game: Teotihuacan: City of Gods
Kevin Newman
United States
Weehawken
New Jersey
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I enjoyed my first playthrough of this game last week, so I started off December by playing this again on a Sunday afternoon.

For this game, I had a better idea as to strategy and the power of keeping workers together to get more resources whenever possible.

I mostly focused on the pyramid and building houses on the Avenue of the Dead, while the Teotibot flailed around and did a bit of everything. meeple I also took advantage of the reduced resources at the construction location with the corresponding tech in the alchemy spot.

I had a decent lead after the first eclipse and what seemed to be a commanding one after the second one (30+ points ahead). However, like most games, the tides can turn very quickly. Thankfully, while the Teotibot was able to close the gap to a mere two points, I spent my next turn adding three pieces to the pyramid and never looked back.

I ended up winning 153-99, and it felt good to crush the Teotibot to avenge my earlier loss.

From gallery of EmperorGestahl


Now that I've won a game with the basic setup, I will probably start to mix in some of the different tiles and action boards to see how it goes.

<summary> Started off the holiday season right with a game that is quickly rising on my list of favorites. </summary>
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102. Board Game: That's Pretty Clever [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:141]
Board Game: That's Pretty Clever
Marit Alanen
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Day 2 of Dicember! Weeknights mean quick, low-overhead games, so this seemed like a good contender.

From gallery of desertrat2020

At least I was consistent. I know people say they've been able to figure out the strategy for this game and continually score high -- either I need more plays or I'm just not getting it, since I think 238 is my best score so far.
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103. Board Game: Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:850] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Board Game: Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition
Marit Alanen
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Next up: building some railroads and highways. While meteors are crashing to the ground. And volcanoes are erupting. What could go wrong?

This was my first time playing the Blazing Red edition, although I've owned the Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition for a while (and really enjoy it as a quick game that's easy to travel with and teach to others). I bought this version, too, so that up to 12 people could play, if for some reason I find myself in that situation in the future.

I played both expansions, and really enjoyed the added variability they offer to the game.

From gallery of desertrat2020

Meteors crashing everywhere meant an initial score of 39, then a follow up score of 57 once I got a handle on how to mitigate the craters (also: luck)

From gallery of desertrat2020

Lava! Still managed to score 53 and 56 after figuring out how to manage the flows (also: luck)
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104. Board Game: Everdell: Pearlbrook [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
Board Game: Everdell: Pearlbrook
From gallery of Venom Snake


After playing the base game close to 20 times in solitaire, I figured it was high time to incorporate Everdell's first expansion: Pearlbrook. Below the surface lies an aquatic world filled with wonders and noble citizens, waiting to be discovered. You will send your trustworthy frog ambassador on diplomatic missions in the river area of Everdell, but be careful for the grumpy old rat Rugwort is back with a vengeance!

From gallery of Venom Snake


In many ways, Pearlbrook is a textbook example of how to design a board game expansion. It adds a couple of new strategical elements without making the core experience feel bloated. As one might deduce from the title, Pearlbrook introduces a new currency: pearls. These precious underwater gems are hard to come by, the only way to obtain them is by sending your frog ambassador to interact with the locations and citizens below the surface of the river. By discarding a combination of cards and/or resources you are able to trade for pearls, which in turn acts as currency for the Adornment cards.

From gallery of Venom Snake


By paying pearls you are able to activate the Adornment cards. These cards provide both an instant effect when played as well as an end-of-game goal to build your strategy around. Another addition in Pearlbrook are the Wonders, which replace the base event locations on the main board. By paying resources and pearls, players are able to construct these wonders which grant a huge influx of victory points at the end of the game.

From gallery of Venom Snake


I have played Pearlbrook five times in solitaire and I have very, very mixed emotions about this expansion from a solo point of view. Rugwort, the nasty and grumpy old rat becomes something of an behemoth in Pearlbrook in terms of the difficulty ramping up to eleven. A lot of this spike in difficulty comes from the fact that Rugwort can send his frog ambassador to collect pearls regardless of how many critter´or location cards he currently has in his tableau. You on on the other hand is forced to meet a locations prerequisite, for example having three production cards or two blue governance in your tableau before you can even consider sending your frogman on a diplomatic mission. Rugwort is also able to construct wonders, again only paying with the pearls he has collected during the course of the changing seasons. The result is an artificial opponent that handily beats me with score differences in excess of 40 points.

I will continue to play and tinker with the expansion in order to get a clearer picture before passing final judgement.
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105. Board Game: Blitzkrieg! [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:1721]
Board Game: Blitzkrieg!
Simon Maynard
United Kingdom
Exeter
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Normally this is an incredibly quick playing game (when playing with two people). Each turn is executed in a matter of a few seconds. But this is one of those solo systems in which you inevitably have to spend far more time and effort thinking about what the automated opponent does.

Each turn you need to decide in which theatre it is going to place, at which position and with which unit. There is a general set of rules that you must follow but they can be modified depending on which stratagem token has been drawn this turn.

From gallery of Fried Egg


Still, it does provide quite a challenging opponent although lately I have managed to win most of the time on the medium level of difficulty. Perhaps I need to consider going up to the hard level.

Here is recent game in which I won quite convincingly; it wasn't even close.

From gallery of Fried Egg


thumbsup A unique game
thumbsup Quick playing yet with some agonising decisions
thumbsup A good degree of replay-ability, especially if you have the Nippon expansion (and I do).
thumbsup A challenging solo opponent
thumbsdown But quite fiddly to manage and often you find yourself being unclear as to exactly what they should do in a given turn.
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106. Board Game: Marvel Champions: The Card Game [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:111]
Board Game: Marvel Champions: The Card Game
United States
Alameda
California
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My Spidey senses are tingling...

Full disclosure, Spiderman is my clear favorite of the Heroes included in the Marvel Champions base set so I have spent more time swingin' around with him than anyone else.

I was getting frustrated trying to beat Rhino-Hydra yesterday playing my most tried and true combo of Justice Spiderman. I had the winning web slinging combo in hand twice when I was brought down first by scheme and then by massive attacks. The other games were slaughters... But in typical comic book fashion defeat forced an introspective discovery of new things within the Hero that lead to a victory over the villain.

Rhino continued on his rampage until he was stopped in his tracks by an Angry Spider! I remade my Spiderman deck with Aggression. The attacks came so quickly and viscously that thwarting schemes did not need to be considered. The game ended on my turn four! To understand how shocking this was you need to play against Rhino-Hydra. It is a killer, especially when Madame Hydra enters play...

I alluded to this play in another thread, but what I have done since then is played the same match-up multiple times to see if what happened was a fluke. It was not a fluke. Angry Spider combines all the direct damage capability included in the Aggression Aspect with Spiderman's 8 damage Swinging Web Kick and control cards like Backflip and Webbed Up to outpace the villain (With solo HP) without much hanging around. With this configuration no game should last more than 5-6 turns as long as you are willing to sacrifice a little to make sure your hand empties every turn for maximum web coverage.

This was the end of the fourth and final play of the evening. HULK SMASH Rhino!
From gallery of Tokhuah


A couple of random observations:

Angry Spider seems to break from the need to consider the importance of a balanced deck. It has me thinking Avengers Mansion is actually too slow. This is important because the Mansion is generally considered an auto include. When LCG deck archetypes can remove or consider removing perceived power cards it is good for game diversity.

On a personal note I get a sort of electric charge when playing this style of deck that focuses on all out pressure balanced on a tightrope of evasive tactics to avoid falling off the ledge long enough to deliver a decisive blow. It is like being in the chill of night at the scene of a crime to then, much like a streak of light, play the right combo just in time.
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107. Board Game: It's a Wonderful World [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:678]
Board Game: It's a Wonderful World
Kai Bettzieche
Germany
Ladenburg
Baden Württemberg
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Yesterday my copy of Wonderful World arrived.

WW actually is a multiplayer game with each player building his empire.

However, there is a solitaire variant.

And: Boy, this is tough!

According to the game's rulebook, a score below 60 is conidered "rookie" as in "you're not worthy to be a ruler!"

And .. yeah .. I played two games and ended up with 30 and 37 VPs ..

hrmpf ..

Right .. I noticed my "mistake": I started out with an empire card for experienced players.

I played once again with an empire card for beginners.

Score: fourtysomething .. still not worthy .. hrrrmpf ..

<summary>
To be honest, I'm more of the ameritrash / miniature skirmish game player and only few Euros can catch my interest.

Engine builders, however, can!
And WW DOES!

This is a brain burner requiring long term planning with always the same decision: do I plan to build this building for VPs and/or ressource production or do I scrap it right now for an immediate ressource?

Playing as different empires makes you want to go for different buildings, too, as your starting ressource production dictates in a basic way the major development of your nation.

The solitaire variant puts a nice twist on the drafting mechanisms, as you get a number of cards at the beginning of a turn to play with. You may discard 2 cards, draw 5 new ones and keep 1 of the new cards.
So basically for the price of 2 cards you buy 1 new card from 5 available ones.

As said before: WW has managed to capture my interest .. and I'm still looking for ways to get more than 60 VPs in the first run ..
</summary>

Rating: A solid <rating>4.0</rating>

thumbsup Engine Builder
thumbsup Tough decisions
thumbsup Great, beautiful, sturdy components
thumbsup Legacy play without the requirement to trash important components
thumbsdown no thumbsdown to give
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108. Board Game: Navajo Wars [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:1361]
Board Game: Navajo Wars
Dominic Sumich
Australia
Redland bay, Queensland
Queensland
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So I finished my first game of Navajo Wars. I finished the play book and then worked through the last few cards on my own. No pictures as I forgot to take them oops!

I lost with a 'Major Defeat' as the rules state. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and recommend it for solo gamers, not just war gamers.

I'll be getting this one to the table again this weekend and I'll take plenty of colourful photos for a nice post and review, happy gaming all!
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109. Board Game: Tavarua [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:2714]
Board Game: Tavarua
Dominic Sumich
Australia
Redland bay, Queensland
Queensland
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So after a lot of heavy gaming I wanted something lighter to play. I opted for Tavarua and this time decided to start the campaign.

Each game represents a month of a year in which you are trying climb the rank to be number 1 by the end of the year.

In the campaign you actually play against AI opponents. Depending on the month it could be one AI or up to 3 AI.

If you win, you move up so much and if you lose you drop down in ranking. If you hit 60, you're out of the competition altogether. Each month has modified rules. This makes every game fresh and exciting, using these new temporary rule sets.

So the first month was a long board competition against one AI. The AI creamed me with a VERY VERY lucky successful ride of a barrel. This nets you a big boost to your score. The cards just lined up perfectly for the AI. So I've lost 3 points and am at 53 points. I'm going to have claw my way back with a few first place wins. The campaign is fun, quick to setup and adds variety and additional challenge. Highly recommended!

Here's the end of the game where I was still riding a wave and the yellow AI was paddling out for another wave:

From gallery of Annanicolesmith


A lot of fun all around and I will return to the campaign on and off through out this and next week.
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110. Board Game: Town Center (fourth edition) [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Board Game: Town Center (fourth edition)
Dominic Sumich
Australia
Redland bay, Queensland
Queensland
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I played two games of this one tonight and got a miserable score both times due to some bad draws out of the draw bag. I got 48 points in the first game and 35 the next. I love this challenging game, but the randomness of the draw can really impact on you, which isn't ideal in a beat your own score scenario.

Imagine you were going head to head with another opponent and on the second turn you drew a cube you couldn't afford and your opponent didn't. Doesn't exactly seem fair, I wish there was a little more luck mitigation, but I'm not sure how this could be mitigated in honesty.

Anyway here's the end of game city from the low scoring 35 point game:

From gallery of Annanicolesmith


Happy gaming and until next time :-)
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111. Board Game: Sword & Sorcery [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:341] [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Board Game: Sword & Sorcery
Bryan
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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Still working my way through this one. There are a lot of things to keep track of here that I can't seem to get all down. Granted I'm moving slow as life has been busy recently. Hoping to finish the first scenario this weekend.

I'm very much enjoying the mechanics of the game. Enemies act only when a card tell them to at the end of a hero's turn. This leaves some variability to the games as you don't know when the enemies will act.

Continuing down the path. The Archer misses the first shot but his ability allows him to take a shot at another enemy. The arrow is true but not enough to vanquish the foe.
From gallery of usfbrown


The valiant knight is able to clean up the scraps.
From gallery of usfbrown


Working as a team, the three defeat all enemies. What waits at Story Event 1???
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I don't know. I haven't gotten there yet! Don't spoil it for me

From gallery of usfbrown


This minis are beautiful! I really need to paint them.
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112. Board Game: Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917 – 1947 [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:3019]
Board Game: Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917 – 1947
Dob Razil
France
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Things have been going fast.
On Sunday I put a few games on a game trade site. In the next minute/hours, I had gamers contacting me. I also contacted a few others.

Two days later :

Gone Legacy of Dragonholt and Ghost Stories

and for the same price I got

Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917 – 1947 !!

I have already spent 3 hours going through the playthrough in the playbook, and am at half of it. There's a lot going on here. I think I'm done with the basic rules. I know have to understand the specificities of the four factions. And then getting the bots rules right. And then practicing... That could look like work, but so far I've had much fun.
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113. Board Game: Marvel Champions: The Card Game [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:111]
Board Game: Marvel Champions: The Card Game
Mike
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Took this for another go. I'm still working through each hero with a starter deck. This time it was Iron Man Aggression.

Hero: Iron Man (Starter - Aggression)
Villian: Rhino (I and II)
Encounter: Masters of Evil

This being my first experience with Iron Man, I figured the plan was to stay in Alter-ego mode as much as possible until I got my suit together. This is not really possible in solo. The scheme gets out of hand quickly if you don't give Rhino someone to punch. As I was realizing this I also noticed that without armor Iron Man is a bit squishy. Quickly, my health was down to 1 and the scheme was moving up as well, but my suit was coming together. Pepper Potts and the Mansion had me ramping up and I eventually got things under control. A well timed stun just as Rhino went into his second mode really let me turn the corner. This was the first time I had to reshuffle my deck (Iron Man can really cycle through cards), thankfully that extra encounter didn't doom me and I took Rhino down from the air with both of my guantlets.

Another great experience with this game. Iron Man truly felt different and I like that the system forces you to balance building your suit while managing all the other problems. Once you have that suit together though, bad guys beware. This is a great game. On to Captain Marvel next.
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114. Board Game: Star Trek: Five-Year Mission [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2471]
Board Game: Star Trek: Five-Year Mission
Jeremy Yoder
United States
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I know someone here plays this game, so whoever you are, I'd love to get your thoughts on my thoughts here.

I was surprised to get this game for an early Christmas present, as I never planned to buy it myself. I love Star Trek (the original and DS9) but had seen low ratings so kept passing it. But now that I had it, I'd at least try it.

My 1st game I randomly picked 3 crew members, who turned out to be Kirk, Uhura and Scotty. They did ok, but no healing options was hurting me. Also, I found I was frustrated with the dice as I could rarely mitigate them, making me seem almost entirely at the whim of fate (though I could pick the dice colors.) About halfway through, I saw where it was going and gave up, then re-read the manual, and was very glad I did!

I'd completely missed that you can choose not to re-roll dice already on your action box. THAT would obviously make a big difference, giving me the choice to "locking in" certain rolls on following turns!

So the next day, I went all out and tackled the game with all 7 crew members as I wanted to try all their abilities, have a healer, and I loved the image of having them all work together. I also thought I'd just go all the way for the highest level (I believe it's "Admiral") and/or just see how far I could get.

Knowing that extra rule, and having a healer, made a ton of difference, as I opted to not roll certain dice, and was able to effectively use Uhura's ability, as well as others. I also realized I shouldn't burn through all the Blue alert cards first, or I'd be stuck with only Yellow and Red, so at times I'd draw those.

I made the highest level of Admiral, cementing a win, but then kept going as I'd ran out of blue cards by then. Didn't last too much longer, but I think I ended up with 27 points by the end, and only needed 20.

Anyway, all that to say, I enjoyed the game more than expected. It's not mindless, though it's certainly no brain burner, so I can see pulling this out when I just want to chuck some dice with practically no setup.

However, I admit, if I didn't love TOS so much, I probably wouldn't. But for me, there's just something about seeing all those wonderful moments from the series than makes me smile, such as Bones with his hands covered in cement, with the card titled, "Curing a Rainy Day" as I knew he had just saved the mother Horta's life and I could hear his incredulous voice talking to Kirk.

So to the other person who plays this game, did I make it too easy on me with all 7 chars? How many chars do you recommend? Do you always have a healer? And what are your thoughts on the game?

Pic of mid-game...

From gallery of JYoder

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115. Board Game: Marvel Champions: The Card Game [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:111]
Board Game: Marvel Champions: The Card Game
Jaime Robertson
Chile
Santiago
Santiago
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This Sunday I played Marvel Champions, after a month waiting for my copy.

I played the demo/tutorial Rhino vs Spider-Man & Captain Marvel. Normally I play the coops using the 2 players rules.

From gallery of mithoron


I forget to change Captain Marvel to Alter Ego, so she recieved a K.O. blow from Rhino but Spidey could defeat Rhino at the end with his amazing Swinging Web Kick .

From gallery of mithoron


thumbsup So far, so good.



<summary> Good game, I undestand the hype. But something is missing</summary>
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116. Board Game: D-Day at Tarawa [Average Rating:8.20 Overall Rank:2598]
Board Game: D-Day at Tarawa
Clément Hervieux
France
Troyes
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Hello every one !

So, this is my first contribution to the monthly SGOYT. I've read it for years now, and bought some games because of it. Too many games maybe, because some of them are still unplayed. So, in an effort to rectify that, I'm willing to play at least once every game I own. Contributing to the SGOYT may help me to achieve that.

The first candidate was D-day at Tarawa, a game I own since December 2014 blush

I've played D-day at Omaha Beach before, but only the first scenario, that I never managed to win blush

At first, Tarawa seems pretty similar, except for Japanese actions which were completely new to me. So was the close combat system, but I didn't find it very difficult to understand.

I played the first scenario, from turn 1 to 10, and it took me nearly 3 hours. I had to check some minor rules point very often, and I'm pretty sure I've made some mistakes.

Anyways, Tarawa feels very different from Omaha. You're not stuck on the beach under heavy fire, and it's even possible to land on a Japanese unit and engage close combat immediately. Although, close combat seemed to be the only way to progress, most of Japanese units having the "cc" requirement, natively or from depth marker.

I nearly lost because of the catastrophic loss condition, but I think I've won this first game. I had to check at multiple times the victory conditions, which are not very simple. Here is the situation at the end of turn 10 :

From gallery of popok


From gallery of popok


<summary>Rules very similar to D-day at Omaha Beach, but a very different feeling. Eager to play it again, hopefully more smoothly.</summary>

thumbsup A nice addition to the D-day system
thumbsup A unique feeling
thumbsup Close combat
thumbsdown For a first game, it's hard to check for every Japanese position, even unoccupied ones, during the Japanese fire phase


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117. Board Game: Lisboa [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:66]
Board Game: Lisboa
Joss Ives
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
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Hey gang. This is my first SGOYT post. Happy to join you seasoned veterans.

I borrowed Lisboa from a friend and gave it a couple of spins on my under-table tray, which can fit solo Lacera games as long as I use a bit of creativity.

From gallery of josseroo


I'm still gathering my thoughts, but based on my initial impressions, I thought it was a good, but not great solo experience. I don't need to buy it and probably won't borrow it my friend again.

I won the first game at the level 2 tier and then used an influence starving strategy (see below) to clobber Lacerda and win at the highest tier, level 4.

<summary>Another thinky, intricate game from Vital Lacerda. In this one you are trying to maximize your points scores from placing buildings into a 4x4 grid, but it is, of course, not actually that simple. A compelling mechanism in this game is a follow action, which allows you to perform half an action on another player's turn if you spend the appropriate token.</summary>

Rating:
<rating>3</rating>

The bot, "Lacerda", has completely deterministic moves an you can look quite far ahead.
thumbsup This means that you have a lot of opportunities to influence what Lacerda does (where he builds, etc).
thumbsdown In general, I prefer knowing what the bot is likely to do, but don't like it to be deterministic multiple turns ahead.

In general
thumbsup Like most Lacerda games, the game's mechanisms are highly interconnected and accomplishing productive things tends to involve many puzzly steps.
thumbsup Thanks in part to the additional information provided by the rulebook, the theme was very well-integrated.
thumbsdown One of the major resources in the game is influence. Your only opportunity to gain influence completely on your own is by buying a ship (max 4 per game). All other influence gaining opportunities happen for both you and Lacerda and his influence gain is automatically whatever level yours is, plus possible additional bonuses. I would have preferred if Lacerda's influence gains were more decoupled from yours.
thumbsdown There is an annoying broken strategy, by which you can fairly easily win at the highest challenge level. Lacerda gets to perform one state action and one main action on his turn according to the character that he has rotated to. He will also follow your main action if he has the appropriate follow action. To perform the main action, Lacerda needs to spend influence, and if he has insufficient influence, spends VP instead. However, it is fairly straightforward to manipulate the situation in the first half of the game such that Lacerda has 0 influence and 0 VP, thus Lacerda is only taking state actions and not main actions. Once the second half of the game begins, Lacerda will have sufficient VP that this strategy is no longer possible, but by this point you should have a sufficient lead that it won't matter.
thumbsdown I REALLY dislike game end scoring cards that are based on the game state and not what you have personally accomplished. Egizia does this and so does Lisboa. In this game, for example, there are game end scoring cards that give you 1VP per building in a certain row or column on the building board. Although you have some influence on how many VPs you get from this, you can also score maximum VP for this type of card without having contributed anything to it yourself.
thumbsdown The game doesn't provide much pressure in terms of a time clock. Lacerda had little influence over when the first-half-end and game-end happen. You could force it to happen early by collecting 2 or 4 sets of rubble, respectively. Or you could stall and let 3 of the 4 card-action draw piles empty. I usually like when you can have a lot of influence over the game, but I would have liked some time pressure in this game.
thumbsdown This game is LONG! Each game was 2-2.5 hours. This is not inherently problematic, but if you boil the game down to it's bones, it is about maximizing the points you score from playing buildings into a 4x4 grid. As is typical with Lacerda games, there is a web of interconnected mechanisms that make the task more involved than it might appear, but the game feels long in terms of what the underlying central mechanism is.

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118. Board Game: Marvel Champions: The Card Game [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:111]
Board Game: Marvel Champions: The Card Game
I played a couple of games with Spidy vs Rhino. Lost the first , won the second. Also just messed around and I have to say I have really enjoyed my play throughs. Some big positives are easy to setup, very fast to play, and the flow of the game is quick and back and forth. It really makes you feel like you are in a duel with the villain and surprises will pop up. So far it is a keeper....... I am curious on how they expand this and how much of a money sink it will be.

HOWEVER, for me it has not quit replaced Legendary. Maybe it is unfair because of all the content for Legendary... but I am trying to put my finger on it. But, they will both remain in my collection for sure, and time will tell which one is played more than the other.

From gallery of PanzersEast
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119. Board Game: Derelict Dirigible [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Board Game: Derelict Dirigible
Stuart Detsky
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Many people only know Button Shy as the publisher of Sprawlopolis. But they have a Board Game of the Month club with various tiers ranging from access to PNP versions of games to getting a wallet game each month + either expansions to existing games or a smaller card game + games with various parts that are released over several months. I am a member of the club at the highest level and have found the ratio of gaming goodness to dollars spent to be very good.

In 2018, one of the monthly games was a series of solo Roll and Writes called Legends of Dsyx which have the same graphic design and all use simply one sheet of paper and a number of D6's (D6, Dsyx... get it?). Although you don't get access to them now as part of BGOTMC, they are all available at PNP Arcade (I believe for $1 each).

Although I played them each when they came out, I decided to knock off all 12 back-to-back-to-back-etc. My overall thoughts are:

thumbsup While each involves the rolling of D6's and using pen and paper to write something, they play very differently in a great way. Dragonvault is a sort of tower defence game where you setting traps for heroes walking along a path. Gryphon Delivery Service is a pick and up deliver game. Spellcraft Academy is a type of word search creation game.
thumbsup Even though they play differently, some aspects are maintained in most of the games such as a timer track, dice rolls being used to draw icons in boxes, etc.
thumbsup They play in roughly 30 minutes, which I think is the sweet spot for a thinky roll and write
thumbsup The graphic design is also very consistent and clean


thumbsdown Almost all of the games are "beat your own score" except that only three of the games have any sort of method of judging how you performed. Without a larger community to compare against, I have no way of knowing how well I played, which is disappointing
thumbsdown Only one game has a win/loss condition (which is also one with a final score to strive for), but it is quite easy to win
thumbsdown In order to keep everything on one sheet, the rules are pretty streamlined which leads to many edge cases and rules questions. While many of the answers are intuitive, some of the games (such as Mushroom Ale) are frustrating to suss out the rules

Overall, I quite enjoyed my plays and if you think you might like these, $1 for each is a pretty good deal. My favourites would be Dragonvault and Lockpicks. Amongst the small group of players in the Button Shy Discord channel, Goblins, Guns & Grog is very well liked.
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120. Board Game: One Deck Galaxy [Average Rating:5.95 Unranked]
Board Game: One Deck Galaxy
Travis Morton
United States
Brackenridge
PA
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From gallery of knuckles29

The Hungry Nebula (*) - Loss on 1st Reshuffle

Got the rules questions I needed answered and was attempting the game with the Timtillawinks Scientists (Space Bucaneers imo).
I was getting progress, just as I was about to claim my second colony, yes it was that bad of a run, I had to reshuffle to add the influence.

Nebula claims that you need to pick a Resource, and exile the rest of the cards it was holding for ransom... well it was 10 cards. That triggered the Defeat condition for my less productive Race.

Definitely giving it more plays, but the hard part is learning from a prototype rulebook and learning as you both play and search for answers.

<summary>While having more moving parts than One Deck Dungeon, this one is the one that appeals to me more. Light Civ games are an underrepresented genre in my collection</summary>
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121. Board Game: Pandemic: Fall of Rome [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:402]
Board Game: Pandemic: Fall of Rome
Anthony S
Canada
Saint-Laurent
Quebec
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I had played this game once with some friends and it was the usual learning game muddle (though not actually that bad).

I borrowed the game from my friend in order to try and get a better understanding of its particular mechanics and game flow.

Played it for the second time this month in solo mode and won.

Roles: Praefectus Fabrum / Consul / Praefectus Classis
Difficulty: 5 Revolt! cards (4 revolts occurred during the game)
Ending Decline level = 4
Victory via 5 alliances.

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122. Board Game: Skies Above the Reich [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:2510] [Average Rating:8.38 Unranked]
Board Game: Skies Above the Reich
Frankie Bones
United States
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Mission number 6 in my failed 1942 campaign saw my pilots finally "destroy" a bomber. The first 5 missions, I was only able to force two bombers to fall out of formation.

So, I fell short of the needed VP to NOT LOSE the campaign.

I think this is a very compelling solo wargame. It has just the right amount of tension although I am still struggling to see a strategy. It seemed like my fighters were doing minimal damage on bombers throughout the entire campaign so back to the drawing board on that.

I look forward to moving on to the 1943 campaign where things get a little more interesting with the maps and aircraft upgrades.

This is a great game with great components and probably the best rulebook in the business.

From gallery of BrokenAxe
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123. Board Game: Ultra Quick Soccer [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
 
Matthew Simpson
United States
Elkridge
Maryland
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I am playing the 2018 World Cup Version.

Played a game last night of Honduras vs the US.

The game is similar to their basketball game in that you find the 2 teams that you are playing, record their offense and defense skills, and record them. Then you modify each teams offense based on the other teams defense, roll 2 dice and crossreference that modified offense number with the die roll. That will give you the teams score.

Honduras had a weak defense, and that moved the USA into a better offense chart, while the reverse was true of the US. (They had a good defense.)

USA won 4-2.

There are some differences though... There is a "pressure" rating. If the score is within one, you look at that chart and crossreference it with 2 dice. And they also have home and away ratings.

Tons of simulation possibilities quickly.
Tons of teams
The ratings are alphabetical instead of numberical. Makes it tougher to have to keep looking things up.
Not as many teams as the basketball version.
There is no "game" here. This is a simulation through and through. But I enjoy that, and I find myself cheering for certain teams.

Price - Great. Under $10 gets a ton of play.
My plan is to recreate the CONCAF qualifying from Round 1. It should be interesting!!
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124. Board Game: Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon [Average Rating:8.83 Overall Rank:204]
Board Game: Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon
Matthew Simpson
United States
Elkridge
Maryland
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Continuing the adventures of Beor. Chapter 2, and I went West. No spoilers.

A couple of things I have realized as I have played this.
1. It is tough to keep track of everything going on. I have started making notes of what places I have exhausted, and what places I need to go back to.
2. The story is superb. It is a bit detailed though, so I am starting to record facts and paragraph numbers so I could go back and re-read to get an understanding.
3. The dials in the Menhir's are irritating to me. I try to change them, and they fall, or move too far. I am trying to just use the token and a time piece.... This might go to a die pretty soon.
4. Solo is a lot of fun, but I want to see the other characters. I am going to try to introduce "guest characters" in chapters. Chapter 2 is the same encounter requirement for solo or 2 player... I think I might bring someone else into the adventure for a bit.
5. I keep making stupid mistakes. Last night I was stuck... and I realized I had not placed a location card... Ugh...
6. Cheating is ok. Sometimes I die... then replay the battle with a new draw. I am not resetting this game and starting over from the beginning. ;-)

It is a lot of fun, and I find myself thinking about it throughout the day/night. Well done AR!!
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125. Board Game: Bios: Genesis [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1694] [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked]
Board Game: Bios: Genesis
Krista Donnelly
United States
Beltsville
Maryland
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Technically these plays are from November, but I couldn't find the time to post then, so here they are on the December list.

I usually get in a nice long string of games over Thanksgiving since we're hosting guests instead of traveling. This year was no exception. I started with Nusfjord and decided to start playing the 3-game campaigns. I played a campaign through the first deck (Herring) and lost with 84. I kept doing worse each game. But I decided to move on to the second deck of cards (Mackerel) and did much better, ending with 104. I liked the more subtle options in the Mackerel deck and look forward to trying the Cod deck and Plaice deck out.

Then I moved to A Feast for Odin, my traditional Thanksgiving-themed game. I played 4 games of that with the Norwegians expansions added in. I was rusty in the first game and only scored 91. Each game I deliberately set out to explore different islands and selected a different starting shed. I pretty much scored in my goal range of the 120s: 123, 128, and 119. The 128 is my new high score! I like the new additions that the expansion brings, but do suspect that they boost the scores some. I still don't know how to score in the 140s. I think it must require a better use of the occupations.

Then I decided to pull out Bios: Genesis. I had learned to play this in a great multi-player session taught by Adam, but only remembered the broad outlines of play. I knew the rules were difficult, but the game play itself wasn't too hard. I decided to read through the rules and the play aid while playing and make my own rules using simple language. This gradually evolved into more of a strategy tips and easily forgotten (by me) rules listing. 6 hours later I had finished my first game, had a lot of notes and a fun time. I had created an earthworm that died on the very last turn due to a comet impact and Medea's Revenge. The earthworm survived, but I lost the only green biont so only 1 player was in it at the end.

Then I wrote my notes up better, reviewed the rules and realized I'd let the AI parasites run wild in that game, attaching to an organism regardless of whether its home row was active or not.

My next game was down to 3 hours. I found some more subtleties I was getting wrong.

1. While in my first game I only did one buy per organism per turn, regardless of how many bionts it had in it, in this game I had the owner of the organism complete as many buys as bionts were in it. Afterwards I saw that each owner of the biont got the buy in the organism. While not huge in a solo/coop game, it did mean I didn't properly space the buys out between owner/AI parasite (if any)/foreign gene occupier which can make a difference since they all buy from the owner's pool of catalysts.

2. I forgot that you got a re-roll on the Auto-catalytic roll if you were occupying a refugia of your own color.

3. A couple time I forgot to make the Darwin roll for the parasite.

4. I forgot that if a parasite generates catalysts on its Darwin roll, they go into the pool of the owner of the organism.

But I did get a terrestrial win by creating amphibians with every organ except the divided heart!

Then I typed up my notes.

My third game took only 1.5 hours. By this time I was seeing strategies to try. I created an early earthworm (created the precursor bacteria on the first turn!) but lost it to a terrible cancer roll before I got the cancer shield. I still had time to create a sea star however and ended with a marine victory.

This game left me with one question that I still have to research: if you make landfall (upgrade from a marine to a terrestrial macroorganism), does your purchase limit re-set since you now have a new organism? Or if you already made the number of purchases allowed by your bionts, are you done for the turn? I really want the purchase limit to be re-set for those times when I have leftover catalysts. It can make or break you getting a drought shield or a UV shield before the next event.

I'm finishing up my fourth game and it's looking very good. The organisms created in my last game:

From gallery of kldonnelly


Snails were created later and tied the Velvet Flatworms for Trophic Dominance but won the tie-breaker.

From gallery of kldonnelly

Velvet Worms were created first but lost some organs to cancer before recovering.

From gallery of kldonnelly

Flatworms were created late but were worth a ot of points because they were the only marine macroorganism.

From gallery of kldonnelly

This bacteria was created on the last turn from Interplanetary Dust. Green had tons of catalysts and spent them all as enzymes and then had a favorable auto-catalytoc roll.

Note from the presence of the red and yellow domes (bionts) that I used Red Queen actions to absorb the AI parasites in as foreign genes/endosymbionts.

Despite the length, I really enjoyed these games. I suspect it will always be about 1.5 hours for me to play. If I get it down to an hour, it would be better but it's still faster than most games of Elder Sign take me.

It made me add Bios: Origins (Second Edition) in the High Frontier pledge manager.

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