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Subject: Starting with Solo Play rss

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Brother Leon
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Is this suitable as a solo only game?

- If i buy the game and the solo expansion would i be able to learn it as a just a solo game?
- how much of the game do you 'miss' in solo?

I have never played a Euro style game before but the theme and presentation of this game is phenomenal. Grateful for views.
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Dan Regs
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My response to similar question in this thread still applies.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1117940/is-it-worth-it-j...

Solo is great with some tweaks, but probably doesn't stand on it's own. Adding in other players totally changes the game so I suppose it's possible for someone who likes solo to not like multi-player or vice-versa. Personally I've enjoyed both.

Specific Game Elements that you 'miss' in solo?

(1) Deducing hidden victory/ending conditions.
(2) Player Negotiation
(3) Bidding for turn order
(4) Accusing each other of being the bloody separatist arrrh
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Freierfall Sonnenflieger
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I'm not entirely sure I understand your first question.
The game plays rather differently solo and with others. While the solo variant is very fun (IMHO) and can be used to learn the rules, a very big part of the game is (or rather: can and should be) negotiation with other players. As in cosmic encounter big. Aliances, backstabing, auctioning for allocation of play order and bribing and blackmailing is a huge part of the game, if you want to play it that way (IMO thats great about the game.) It also has elements of "semi cooperative" play, a few people seem to have quite a lot of problems with this.

If you play it solo, it's more of a typical euro - you do things alone, without much interaction with others players, and try to get the most points the best rank in the rating. Most of the time, the solo-missions have a certain number of rounds as the game ending condition, and you try to acomplish certain goals. A certain nuber of coins, towns etc. To make first place/gold medal, in many of the scenarios you need a lot of luck with the drawn development cards.

all in all:
you miss something if you play alone, BUT it also is a totally different game. With a group it's not a classical Euro, because it can be pretty "in-your-face" confrontational and heavy on auctions and negotiation. Solo, you have something of a typical analytical points maximation engine building euro-experiance, because there are no other players you have to deal with.

--
if you have a lot of spare money, it's worth it for solo play only IMO. But I would be constantly sad if I couldn't play it with a group, knowing of the plentiful options you have...
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Brother Leon
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thanks for comments - let me expand:

- will it be very hard to learn modifying the base rules to solo rules from the get-go?
- will there be many cards (of any type) that i have to remove/skip if playing the solo scenarios
- regardless of how it compares to the full multi-player experience, how does it compare to other solo games? (Death angel, LOTR LCG, Arkham Horror, Gears of War being my reference points)

I appreciate its an expensive game but the production looks top quality. I can always trade it/sell it. My wife my even play it - she plays monopoly!
 
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Chad Ackerman
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It's currently my favorite solo game in my collection. But most importantly to me is that it also scratches my "Settlers of Catan city-building" itch, so that I never have to sit through a bad game of Settlers ever again! Lol. Many people have criticized some of the solo scenarios, saying that some of them are too difficult or perhaps even impossible to win at the highest goal levels. That doesn't bother me because I'm satisfied by trying to beat my previous high scores.

The tile art is gorgeous and I LOVE seeing how the archipelago shapes together throughout each game. It's so rewarding to reflect back on, whether win or lose. That's very likely the main selling point for me.

There are a few evolution cards worth taking out that are geared toward having opponents even though you aren't instructed to in the rules. Also, there are a few instances where you might have to make some assumptions on the rules, but I've been able to find all my answers on here without much hassle. The games is a nice sandboxy experience. It's definitely worth checking out!

It's up there among the best solo games in my collection with games like Mage Knight, Robinson Crusoe, and Eldritch Horror. I like the solo play with Archipelago more than solo rules for Suburbia board game, if that means anything to you... Actually, it's about as awesome as the solo campaign that was offered on the Suburbia iOS which was a unique design for its digital implementation (again, if that means anything to you).
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Brother Leon
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i don't mind it being difficult

i am working my way through the rules and will decide after that between this, freedom the ubderground railroad and robinson crusoe
 
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Kevin Eastwood
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I primarily play the game solo and find that it's a great game to have in the collection. If you do get to play with others it's amazingly tense as you don't know who is vying for what goals and when the game will end.

Now, I see your other 2 choices to play, and I also have RC in my collection. RC tells more of a story than Archipelago, and the events really beat you up, conversely with Archipelago the events can be swatting a fly and occasionally be devastating if your resources are not well prepared. Archipelago has more to offer in terms of specific goals to try to achieve with the solo expansion (some gold goals I find are high luck to achieve). I find the exploration to be more rewarding in Archipelago, and I like to see my empire expand on a map.

So, if you're like me and are thinking you'll mostly play it solo - pick it up because it's that good, and if you get lucky and can play with others than it's icing on the cake. If you're only going to play it solo and never play with others, I'd recommend getting RC first.
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