Roger's SoloCon for Soldiers
Roger S
United States
Naperville
Illinois
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Last year I didn't really do a theme to mark Veteran's Day here in the US. I was inspired this week when a friend took me to see this:



From gallery of schiavonir
From gallery of schiavonir
From gallery of schiavonir


There are over 2000 flags planted there and most, if not all, have a tag on them with a soldier's name. We were very grateful for the windy day - that's really something to see so many flags blowing in the breeze.

So to those of you that are veterans or have family or friends that are, a very big THANK YOU for your service. It's not a job I could do, so I'm grateful that others have found the courage to take up the good fight.

So the theme for this SoloCon is "Soldiers and Flags." We're looking for games that have soldiers or military units. But since I always try to give an alternate theme - how about flags? If your game has flags of any kind, whether they are meeples, cards, or artwork - it all counts. And if it's a US flag, that's worth points!

And finally, let's hear your stories about veterans in your lives. Or maybe you are one! I don't know many, but I did have an uncle who was in the Navy on a destroyer in the Pacific during WWII. He died when I was in my early 20's, but if he was around today, I'd certainly love to hear his stories about life during the war.

On the new games front - I never did get Coloma: Deluxe Edition because it turns out that I didn't fill out the Pledge Manager! I've backed dozens of games and other items and I've never done that before. Damn, I was really looking forward to getting that during the last SoloCon. So, if you got it, chances are good that it will come up again in the near future. I did get Age of Civilization yesterday which I've also been looking forward to. So that will be our bonus game for the week.

Funny coincidence I realized - Lewis & Clark: The Expedition was valid for the Racing SoloCon, then for the Western SoloCon, and since there's a big flag at Fort Clatsop, it would qualify for this one as well!

Scoring:

A 1 point for a game with soldiers in it
B 1 point for flags (can be added to A)
C 2 points for every game that came from your shelf of shame (ie. unplayed as a solo game) (Exception: If you have owned the game 30 days or less, score only 1 point for this category.)
-OR-
C 1 point for a "shelf of shame" expansion (same 30 day exception - 1/2 point awarded)
-OR-
C 1 point if this game hasn't been played for a year or more
D 1 point for every game that I also have in my collection (link)
E 2 points if the game has a win/lose condition and you win. If there is no official win condition, but you scored what you consider a personal win, take the points.
F 2 points if the soldiers or flags are American
G 1 point if the soldiers can earn or be upgraded to veteran status
H 3 points for a story about a veteran in your life
I 5 points for Age of Civilization

Remember, there are no rules about when you have to stop playing or posting. The next SoloCon is going to be Nov 22, so feel free to post until then. Or beyond. I love seeing old SoloCons get new comments or items added.

Please subscribe to Roger's SoloCon SUBSCRIPTION THREAD

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1. Board Game: Copycat [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1564]
Board Game: Copycat
Roger S
United States
Naperville
Illinois
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Quote the first comment and copy and paste it into your entry for an easy scoring template.
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2. Board Game: D-Day Dice (Second edition) [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:3178] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Board Game: D-Day Dice (Second edition)
JW van der Meulen
Netherlands
Almere
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Learning the rules to this game that was delivered yesterday. Still in the practice runs of Battle Map #01, getting everyone killed so far. But while reading the rule book and cards, and rolling the dice I am really enjoying it already.

From gallery of jwml

I'll report back in later this week when I am ready for map #02: Omaha Beach.

Edit: it's later!

The Omaha Beach scenario was a lot harder than the practice runs. Part of this was caused by a rules mistake, but even when I realised this, it was very challenging. After some terrible losses, I did manage a win though. What I really like about the game is how you have to study the map and make a plan. Of course some dice rolls will be bad and then you improvise. But the better you know the map, the better prepared you are, the better your chances of survival are. And then near the end the losses will get so high that you'll have to make a last attempt to storm the bunker. So you're building up to an exciting finish. There's certainly relief when you made it.

In other news: my session report made the Kickstarter update for D-Day Dice. cool I was very surprised they'd seen it!


8 points

A 1 Soldiers
B 1 Flags
C 1 Shelf of Shame Game (a week)
D --- Roger's Collection (not anymore cry)
E 2 Win
F 2 Americans
G 1 Veteran Soldiers

From gallery of jwml

Exhibits F and G.
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3. Board Game: Crowbar!: The Rangers at Pointe Du Hoc [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:7729]
Board Game: Crowbar!: The Rangers at Pointe Du Hoc
Jessica
United States
Rochester
New York
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Crowbar!: The Rangers at Pointe Du Hoc

I've been a bit absent from the SoloCon scene right after I started to post... Blame it on planning for the November SGOYT list and just being unusually busy in general. But here I am!

From gallery of Albia
From gallery of Albia


I only played through a single turn of this new wargame the other day. It took me a full hour since I was also learning the rules, but what an experience! I absolutely loved it and found all of the decisions to be really challenging.

More Details on Solitaire Games On Your Table

Hopefully I can finish up at some point over the next day or so! There are dice mechanics that involve pushing one's luck, random events, and plenty of choices about how to advance the most efficiently.

My grandfather was a member of the United States Cavalry sometime around the 1940s and early 1950s. And I'm not talking about mechanical cavalry... He was on horseback! I went through all the old photos and slides a few years ago.

That was a fun experience, and very touching: He passed away when my dad was only about 12 years old, so he really enjoyed looking back at his father's early days. I also wrote down all of the captions on the images.

I don't know about his history about getting deployed, or even if he was. However, he was assigned to an Alaskan regiment that created some of the early roads and bridges in the wilderness. Now those are some awesome photos!

Thank you to all of the veterans out there.

A 1 SOLDIERS
B 1 FLAGS
C 1 SHELF OF SHAME GAME
-OR-
C 1 SHELF OF SHAME EXPANSION
-OR-
C 1 1Y+ OF SHAME
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION
E 2 WIN
F 2 AMERICANS
G 1 VETERAN SOLDIERS
H 3 STORY ABOUT A VETERAN
I 5 AGE OF CIVILIZATION

GAME TOTAL: 7 POINTS
SOLOCON TOTAL: 7 POINTS
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4. Board Game: Navajo Wars [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:1367]
Board Game: Navajo Wars
Bryan Mosher
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
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From gallery of firstbass


I don't always check in, but if I do there is a good chance that Roger's SoloCon will help motivate my current solo play.

I'm working through the tutorial of Navajo Wars and will report back when I know more.

A 1 SOLDIERS (yes, in the abstract)
B 1 FLAGS (yes, see above)
C 2 SHELF OF SHAME GAME (on a technicality: I previously owned this, sold it, and then just received the P500 reprint)
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION (yes!)
E WIN? (tbd)
F 2 AMERICANS (yep)
G VETERAN SOLDIERS (don't think so, but we'll see)
H 3 STORY ABOUT A VETERAN (see below)
I AGE OF CIVILIZATION (no)

My father, who passed in 2013, was a staff sergeant in the US Air Force. He was stationed at Taipei in Taiwan, Clark in the Philippines, RAF Upper Heyford in the UK, and Shaw in South Carolina, where I was born.

What's my story? Hm. He did not like to talk much about his time in Southeast Asia. But he was an eager board gamer. He particularly liked Carcassonne. Still, once I tried to get him to play Memoir '44 with me, and he was not interested at all. He was pretty clearly an anti-wargamer.
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5. Board Game: Russian Railroads: American Railroads [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked]
Board Game: Russian Railroads: American Railroads
Roger S
United States
Naperville
Illinois
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What a funny title for this game. It's the American version of a Russian theme, I guess? Are the coins still rubles?

Maybe it's the American board that I don't play very often, but I had a really slow start, picking up just a few points in each of the first 3 rounds. My final score was 200, which is pretty low considering the game comes with markers for 300 and 400 points. None of my tracks got very far and I never manged to trigger the stock market, so I didn't take any points at the end. (I don't think having 0 steps to Emil's 1 step counts as second place.)

In any case, it was a pretty quick game once I set it up and refreshed myself on the rules. One thing I worry about - the game comes with 8 meeples per color. Emil gets 6 to use and 2 in reserve on the board. I suspect that I was doing the same - playing with 6 and keeping the other two on the side. HOWEVER, the rules state that you start with 5, keep 2 aside, and put one back in the box. Why? I have no idea. Obviously Emil needs all 8, but they wouldn't have known that back when the base game was produced. Anyway, I'll have to look at old pics and see how many meeples I used in previous games.

This is my 9th play of RR (I count expansions under the base game) so that means just one more play to make it into my H-Index of 10. I'm excited about that. I am going to reset and get another game in tonight.

From gallery of schiavonir

With Navajo Wars taking up my main gaming table, I busted out the card table for this one. Some games really stretch the capacity of the card table, but this one fits nicely.

From gallery of schiavonir

My rather sad railroads. But note the big American flag!

Game 2:
I tried some slightly different strategy and managed to push my railroads out a little further, which enabled me to get up a few spaces on the stock market. Industry suffered. In the end, the result wasn't much different, gaining only 6 more points to end at 206.

From gallery of schiavonir


I'll give this at least one more shot.
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6. Board Game: Airborne In Your Pocket [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:11101]
Board Game: Airborne In Your Pocket
JW van der Meulen
Netherlands
Almere
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Up next was this Zombie in my Pocket-retheme. The zombie one is also good fun, but both are way too light to play often. Explore a tile, draw an event card, suffer the consequences, hopefully find an item. Next turn.

The Airborne-version does add a lot of replayability with its advanced rules (bringing secondary objectives and character cards), scenarios, bunker commanders and optional rule cards. At first I thought the game was easy as I just won everyting, but you can still lose in 5 minutes. Playing a full game until winning is closer to 12 minutes and that's nice.

From gallery of jwml

I played an American soldier, so that's another USA-flag in the pocket.

Score: 8 points.

A 1 Soldiers
B 1 Flags
C 1 Shelf of Shame Game (just a week)
D 1 Roger's Collection (at least, the first edition)
E 2 Win
F 2 Americans

16 points in total.
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7. Board Game: Snowblind: Race for the Pole [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:3293]
Board Game: Snowblind: Race for the Pole
Needed something simple last night while I finished an audio-book, so four games of Snowblind it was (it goes quick, so a game with each nation). I played a game on normal difficulty to remember how to play it. Then, looking at my former plays, I moved up to Hard difficulty. Won 2, lost 1. Couldn't seem to get past 24 points. Managed to get it with all three of my wins. My attempted rescues of downed explorers unfortunately failed.

From gallery of briezee


A 0: Sailors and scientists, but no soldiers.
B 1 England, Germany, Japan, and Norway
C 0: Played 10 months ago
D 0: Nope, not in Roger's collection
E 2 3 out of 4 games, taking the point.
F 0: No Americans, but in real life, an American naval admiral was the first to fly over the south pole.
G 0: No soldiers, so no veterans
H 0: My parents are veterans, as well as lots of friends and coworkers, but I have no stories of them related to that status.
I 0: Not Age of Civilization

Total: d10-3
Solocon Total: d10-3
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8. Board Game: Chandragupta [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:5352]
Board Game: Chandragupta
Jay Jasper
United States
New Mexico
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I started setting up the first battle in Chandragupta this evening, my first attempt at a classic type hex and counter war game. Oh. My. God. So many little chits of so many different units. How do real war gamers organize this stuff? It took me all evening just sorting and placing one side. It was relaxing, except for when I needed to use a magnifying glass to make out what the unit was. :o

I doubt I’ll even manage to play through a single turn before I have to put it away. Which is a drag, because I want to send in the elephant chariots!

I know it doesn’t look like much, but that’s an evening’s work. And there are elephant chariots in there. I’m still sorting the other side...even more elephants!

From gallery of DonkeyJay


Soldiers? By the cupful! Are there flags? Probably somewhere in the bags of counters there’s a flag. I’ll let you know if I find one.

A 1 SOLDIERS
B 1 FLAGS
C 2 SHELF OF SHAME GAME Nope
-OR-
C 1 SHELF OF SHAME EXPANSION
-OR-
C 1 1Y+ OF SHAME
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION laugh Nope
E 2 WIN laugh laugh laugh no way!
F 2 AMERICANS not even a dream in a young man’s pocket
G 1 VETERAN SOLDIERS hereditary soldiers
H 3 STORY ABOUT A VETERAN maybe later
I 5 AGE OF CIVILIZATION
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9. Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:457]
Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game
JW van der Meulen
Netherlands
Almere
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To get away from WW2 for a while, I picked another game from my shelf of shame. I got this one second-hand and the figures are painted, which is nice and easy (I haven't painted in 20+ years and back then I made an awful job of it).

This is an SF game where your soldiers fight mutants. I've just done the intro scenatio so far, one-handed, as I have to learn the rules. I felt a bit overwhelmed at first, but it turned out to be very streamlined. The hand management of your cards is good fun. You use them for actions (mainly movement, attack, or a combination) but they are also your health counters. You lose one for every wound you get. Which one to throw out?

Attack is with dice, and you can spend ammo tokens for combat bonuses. You'd rather not, as there's not much to go around. After your turn, the enemy spawns, advances and/or fights you. Hopefully you managed to take cover so you can roll extra die in defence. Which I promptly forgot. I took cover, but forgot the bonus. So the mutants had some extra luck in fighting me. It was still very exciting. I was sure I was going to lose, then my chances turned and I was really close to winning. Then I lost to the weakest of opponents.

From gallery of jwml

Serves us right for all those genetic experiments, I guess.

Today's score:

A 1 Soldiers
C 2 Shelf of Shame Game

3 points, for a SoloCon total of 19 points so far.
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10. Board Game: Age of Civilization [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:1884]
Board Game: Age of Civilization
Roger S
United States
Naperville
Illinois
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After putting RR away, with Navajo Wars sitting out still, I had an empty card table, so why not pull this out? I made my own PnP some months ago from screenshots from Tabletopia so I've played this a bit and I thought had kind of figured it out. You need 20 points to win, but there's talk in the rulebook of scores of 35. Despite my "experience", I scored a dismal 13 points. I just couldn't manage any synergies.

From gallery of schiavonir


So I have to admit, I was very surprised to open the box and see how much stuff was in there. I didn't follow the KS campaign very closely, so maybe all this was spelled out, but it has wooden coins when I expected cardboard. My PnP had something like 19 civilizations which I thought was a lot, but the final version came with 51! I didn't compare Wonders, but there seems to be a lot more of those two. But best of all, in addition to the standard solo mode, it comes with another booklet detailing a progression of solo scenarios, each of which has a unique setup and slight rules tweaks. I am eager to try those out. That is super awesome! (And I was happy with the standard solo game.)

And although this game specifically counts for the SoloCon, there are military strength points and battles that occur, so there are some abstracted soldiers here.

Only problem with this game - there's no blue player!
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11. Board Game: Nemesis [Average Rating:8.44 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:8.44 Unranked]
Board Game: Nemesis
JW van der Meulen
Netherlands
Almere
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As I wrote on our website Solitaire Times, it's pretty easy for me to find something from the shelf of shame to match the theme of one of these SoloCons.

From gallery of jwml

Using these cons to go through my pile of unplayed games is good fun. Well, to tell the truth I am glad to play and participate again at all.

There's a soldier character in Nemesis, so today I sat down and learned the rules. Took me over an hour. Set up: another hour. Playing my first game and dying: 12 minutes, tops.

From gallery of jwml

I had just started exploring the space ship. My first encounter with the alien species got me infected with a larva. I tried to get to the Surgery to remove it. Then I drew the event card "Eclosion". I had to look up this word in a dictionary. You learn something new every day. Then I was dead.

From gallery of jwml

Edit: I have played it some more and I think it's better co-op. Playing two-handed I had more ways to survive what the event deck threw at me. You've got an extra objective, but only one of your characters needs to be alive at the end of the game. I (barely) managed a win this way.


Score:

A 1 Soldiers
C 1 Shelf of Shame Game
E 2 Win

4 points, making 23 for this SoloCon. thumbsup

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12. Board Game: Unknown [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:5319]
Board Game: Unknown
Straightening out the Un*o*n games in my head. The Soldier is only suggested for the Scout mission, and I've already played that twice, so randomly drew a mission to play a new one. Randomly drew the Water mission and pulled the suggested characters for the mission (all of the story missions have suggestions for teams of 4 - not that I've ever done anything but pick missions randomly), and then added the Soldier to make it a 5 role game.

Roles and Mission (status at end game):
From gallery of briezee


The reasoning behind the recommended use of the botanist and doctor became very clear. The water needs time to percolate to the Base once it starts flowing, so the base needs a lot of food. Testing the water would need a bunch of cubes, so the doctor halving that helps immensely, because I also needed medicine to grow the monster lair food to stretch out the food for the base, especially after a pair of elite strangers got into the base early in the game and consumed 6 of the 7 food there.

I got fairly good at aligning the survivors into a supply line when a new batch of food was fully mature to get it back to the base, as it was too far away to get there through the efforts of one survivor. I really could have used more scrap this game - most games I find I have too much of it, but between having both spawn pits out by mid game and using some scrap for a trap and armor, I ran out of it and could really have used it to create barriers to more efficiently funnel water and reduce the number of turns required while it filled up dead end halls that were closer to the water tile.

Inefficient water flow:
From gallery of briezee

(Orange task tokens used as sub when blue mission tokens ran out)

I did pull off a win of one of the more difficult missions so I'm quite happy with myself.

A 1 Has a soldier character.
B 0: No flags
C 0: Last played 49 weeks ago. 9 Dec 2018
D 0: Roger used to have it.
E 2 Yay!
F 0: Unspecified locale and character demographics
G 0: Just a soldier
H 0: No stories of Vets
I 0: Not Age of Civilization

Total: d10-3
Solocon total: d10-6
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13. Board Game: Michael Strogoff [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:3675]
Board Game: Michael Strogoff
Rosie Basset
United States
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Microbadge: Doctor Who fanMicrobadge: Instant Human - just add coffeeMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: Butterfly loverMicrobadge: Basset Hound lover
Not the soldier you had in mind, but soldiers none-the-less. I have a 10x10 challenge that I'm WAY behind on and this is on the hard core list, so 3 plays. Once it's set up it's easy to play a few times in a row. Especially since I usually lose. No pics, but I always play BLUE.
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14. Board Game: March of the Ants [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:1721]
Board Game: March of the Ants
Roger said I could bring ants to the party. I'm terrible at this game, though last night, I lost even quicker than usual. The centipedes came in force and my puny cards could do nothing to stop them. I'm going to have to play this game several times in a row at some point to see if I can't grok the strategy.

Centipede wiping out my few remaining ants. Strength 3 centipede against my 2 itty bitty remaining ants. Gave them 2 ferocity (the highest splat card I had). If the centipede had drawn a 1, I could have survived for one final turn, but alas it drew a 4. Crushed. The Stoney Mound colony is no more, with a loss at the end of phase 3.

From gallery of briezee


The score was closer than normal for me - being wiped out early means the centipedes had few chances to score. laugh

From gallery of briezee


A 1 Of the six legged variety.
B 0: Ants can't draw.
C 1 1 year + shelf of shame, last played 11 June 2017
D 0: Second game of this solo con on his previously owned shelf.
E 0: Hahahaha, no.
F 0: nope
G 0: no veterans
H 0: no veteran stories
I 0: not Age of Civilization

Total: d10-2
Solocon total: d10-8 (Low scoring con for me. )
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