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Subject: Myth From a Soloists Perspective, some thoughts rss

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Dolem Thorn
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I had wanted to write a complete review of Myth from a soloists perspective. However, as someone who so far has found the game a bit boring due to a lack of play-testing, some of the other negative reviews, and especially Rahdo's (which is not completely negative) covered most of my thoughts. Also, I decided it may not be fair to offer a review from a soloists perspective, as the game box specifically states a minimum of 2 players.

Still, any co-op game can easily be converted to a solo game, and I know during the Kickstarter many people planned to play Myth solo, even primarily solo. I have so far only played by myself, so all my experiences are solo. I'd really like to hear others thoughts on what they think of Myth as a 1 player game.

In Myth, you need to play at least two characters, but managing multiple characters is a challenge because they are all able to move and act at any time. You have to have knowledge of all the heros decks at once, rather than taking turns with a single hero. This may be a fun challenge for some, but it really ramps up the difficulty as you add more heroes. For a soloist with perfect knowledge of cards, the game becomes sort of an optimization puzzle, a la Mage Knight- which may be one advantage over co-op play.

Playing just two heroes would work fine, but Myth seems much more balanced for 4-5 characters. Some of the traps don't work well (at all) with two, and the loitering rule make no sense. The game is such a slog at times I haven't even been able to work up the energy to play with 3.

MCG has mentioned in the past the possibility of creating solo hero rules, but with so many other problems and items on their radar, I wouldn't be expecting those any time soon. I'm not sure I would trust that they would be properly balanced either.

Another problem from a soloists stance is the whole "do what you want" theory of rules. This is the absolute bane of a solo board gamer. When I'm playing by myself against a board game AI, I do everything I can to follow the rules and not accidentally "cheat." Not that I think it really matters in the grand scheme of things, but because it just feels less satisfying to kludge your way to a win, especially once you have the rules down. In Myth, there are so many ways I could bend the rules in my favor, it almost guarantees I won't be satisfied in this way. In a group, you at least have a few other people to run things by, so you can feel confident you aren't "cheating" when making a judgement on the rules.

I'm really interested to hear others thoughts as well! There is something about Myth that makes it really fun to discuss and read about, even if it is a heavily flawed game.

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Miles Fitzpatrick
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I wish you would post something like this for every game.

I'm now just starting to get into solo'in and any insight is helpful. MYTH was a game I was going to pick up for solo'in, maybe I'll wait for a reprint/reversion.

The game just seems to have so much potential.

Thanks
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Uffe Vind
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I think it's smart and wise to wait buying the game until the game have been through re-vision and re-print - so maybe a year or so.
 
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jef stuyck
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Have you thought of instead of tipping the scales in your favor in your judgement, to tip it not in your favor? This way you won't feel like you are cheating and are actually making it harder for you, which would make the satisfactory higher.
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Helmut Apel
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Damn, just bought the retail Version. I got it because i want a good soloable Dungeon Crawl shake
 
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Tyler Tinsley
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The game is not great for solo play. a quality that makes it a great co-op game.

There is too much game for a single player to try and process. when you play alone it takes too much time to think through all the possible actions for all the heroes, so the game actually moves quicker with multiple players.

i'm not sure how i feel about overall game balance with more or fewer heroes. the spawn rate vs the total vitality of the heroes is likely where things could be adjusted for balance. the action point, and threat system are pretty good at balancing the game otherwise.
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John Ziegler
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Personally, I find it enjoyable for solo play. I have played through three story quests (almost four) solo. That's probably about thirty hours of game time, maybe more. While I agree that the traps can be tedious, I think everything else shines. I do recommend the house rule that once a tile is cleared, the heroes just move spontaneously to the next tile, as it really keeps things moving. However, I really feel that I have gotten my money's worth out of the solo play for Myth. It's kind of like Mage Knight with character development.
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Joel Carr
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As a primarily solo player, this actually quickly subsumed my prior solo games with one exception. (I use 2 heroes similar to the OP).

Time: My play throughs of an act are about as long as my solo plays of mage knight.

Synergy: Ok, I bring this up because in games like LoTR LCG and this there is a fair amount of cross deck/hand synergy which is where (for me) a tremendous amount of fun is had. It is the I do this which allows my other me(playing solo) to do this and so on... The way the hero cycle and darkness cycles weave, and the ability to save a cards(yes I mean cards, I'll explain a little down) for the next cycle allows for some planning. So often in mage knight (which is an excellent game) I was stuck doing what I could do with the hand I had which really was not what I wanted/planned to do. Similar in LotR LCG you get a bad hand and two and things fall apart, there is little you can do... but muster on through another round and hope you get a good draw...

I find in Myth, I can control via actions when the darkness cycle acts. This Means I can fit in 0-3 hero cycles in between darkness attacks allowing for me to draw 0-15 cards for each hero.. allowing fun synergies to arise. This interaction, Balancing darkness and heroes, is where for me the game truly shines.

That being said:

Difficulty/Balance: Ok this is where I am not sure what to say. First and foremost you make your own difficulty. Is this good..
A)allows me to finish an act and feel good about my characters slowly slowly slowly slowly slowly slowly leveling??,
or is this bad,
B) not challenging enough and I just push choices/ objects around...

I think the problem lies in the balance.

I concur with the OP, the game seems more balanced for 3-5. I upped the difficulty on a recent playthough by dual lairs (I have two base sets, both my kids wanted to play the acolyte, and I knew the extra minis would be handy). At one point of time, my threat was maxed on both characters and yet I was still overwhelmed with enemies... and the darkness threat penalties kept on coming. This is because spawns are not according to # of players but enemy types(Initial spawns are...), and thus the threat distribution to the players is unequal. Is it(was it) doable, yes. (I eventually cleared enough minions around a lair to get line of sight and be able to take 1 lair out..., but at that point of time I had Yardu, 3 captains, 12 minions, and it was a long battle of attrition) Is it fun?

I find: when the game is balanced and hero cycle, darkness cycle threat mitigation "meta"-game is in full swing, the game is a pure delight for the mental puzzle.. when the balance falls outside that range (either too easy, or too difficulty).. the fun is there. but much less so... I thinks this is the main problem with myth as a solo game, and honestly, as a game in general.

This is definitely not the razor edge maximization game of Robinson Crusoe (my favorite solo game)... but nor is it the lotr LCG where bad/good draw on the adventure deck or your own can easily ruin(in a good or bad way) that session (Another of my favorite solo games).

Finding that happy balance for enemy #s, lair #s, and which traps to omit when playing with X # of heroes is something that once found, will make a truly marvelous solo game. That being said: this has become my almost nightly solo game (It has the shiny newness going for it), and I will find that balance eventually.
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Rob Davis
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I think that the difference between multiplayer and solo with this game is really huge. Playing it with other people is when it's really shined for me. Sharing that adventure, the team work, the decision making, and most importantly the mistakes and unexpected events. I also feel more invested in what I'm doing b/c I'm only playing one Hero - who is me!

When you play in solo mode though, it really stops being an adventure and becomes a puzzle. Take each Hero's cards... sort them by relevance... decide what order to play them in... map out who'll move where... reconsider all of the previous steps two or three times for the optimum outcome... It all just really bogs down, and I don't think that it's through any fault of Myths.

It also has a skewed effect on the way I play/treat my Heroes. I'm not invested in them in a one-on-one basis, so when it comes to splitting treasure, I'm going to give stuff to whoever can make the best use of it, even if that means one Hero is wearing all of the green/blue stuff and/or one Hero is stuck w/just his starting gear. Of course this has a huge effect on how I approach fighting, b/c I'll leave the weaker Hero in the back so he doesn't die. This is totally acceptable to me in solo play, but I'd never expect one of my friends (or myself) to just sit in the back and hide for an hour during a multi-player game.

tl;dr: to me: Multiplayer = social, adventure game. Solo = methodical, puzzle game. Both have their upsides, but the fun is in the in social part.
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Michael Cozzolino
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I play solo and i am having fun with it. But a lot of that comes with knowing how to handle the issues.
4x6 Traps - if im doing a story i dont even put enemeis on it. Just place the trap and get off the tile as soon as possible.
The balancing of the traps is insane. The traps that only need to be disarmed once have a TN of 5, but the ones you disarm 4 times have a TN of 7. Really?. (True for 6x6 too) So you either have a trap that you walk up to and disarm it so it never does anything or one that takes forever to disarm. Darkness falls is the worst trap ever.

I play with 2 characters and progression for me is keep everything and treat my team as a party of all 5 but i only play with 2. So I'm constantly upgrading all my heroes. This is a coop board game, i don't want to put Diablo/PSO type hours into it. I want to feel like i have progressed and found items.

Darkness deck at times can be completely unfair to a team of 2. Cards that say if heroes are within 5 spaces, do this or not within 2 spaces do this. Its always going to trigger. Getting punished for no reason is stupid.

Status effects with 2 heroes is also a nightmare. If you dont have an acolyte you will die due to poison. I treat status effects a little different.
Prone - cost 2 MPs to remove or is removed in refresh
Poison - it is DoT. The time equals the number of darkness symbols rolled.
Frozen - removed when the enemy is killed.
Curse - removed when the enemy is killed.

One house rule i made
If the last kill drops an item you get it. It doesn't magically turn to gold.

For actual co op i think i would just play slaughter field and probably also for solo going forward after I'm done progressing my heroes.
No darkness deck
No traps - i would never place a 4x6 tile when playing with others. Traps are great in theory, but walking is just not that exciting.
Only greens and Blues on draws. I would house rule in having a pool of 3 blues face up to choose one or take a random one off the top. The game is about progression. Pulling an item is always exciting and it should be focal point.
I would also add in after each kill you get a white treasure

As far as should a non KS person get this game. For the price you are getting about the right about of stuff, but the problem is because the game requires so many of one monster you don't get any variety, (and you don't even get enough minions or ones that others call for). So i would say 'No'. Backers got a fun game at a great price, especially if you sell the stuff you don't need. Backers got the full game, non backers are getting the starter set.

Like most of the game you have to house rule it for you, especially for 2 heroes. Rahdo pretty much hammered it for that reason, and he had great points. Board games are suppose to be streamlined and balanced. I know a lot of people on BGG dont want to house rule games, even the least bit. They want to play it as it was intended. I don't have issues, so i can make the game fit me and my group. If that's an issue avoid this game.

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Judy Krauss
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After reading the OP's post, I was going to write a really long reply, then I read Joel's post and realized that he wrote most of what I was going to write. So, read his post and then add the following to get my opinion.

I bought Myth to play solo. I like the theme of a bunch of adventurers sitting around a campfire and telling tall tales about their past adventures. And the gameplay fits with that very well, by letting you choose what happens next and what dangers to face, in most cases.

One advantage of playing solo is that I can take my time and immerse myself in the story as it is created. And if all of my characters die (so far, I have been mainly playing with 2 characters), well, that makes a good story, too. It's sort of like when I was a little kid playing with a group of friends and we would make up our play adventures as we traipsed through the woods (There's a dinosaur coming over the hill -- shoot/run! Or, Giants! Hide! Or, we need to hit that exact spot with a stone or we can't cross this ravine without the trap going off and crushing us all!). Myth sets off my imagination to want to play out adventures in the game, and it doesn't matter whether they are contiguous or not, or whether the characters "advance" quickly, because each adventure is a separate embellished story of "remember when we fought the" whatever. That is also why it doesn't matter to me whether I get to keep items or permanently change my character decks. The stories aren't meant to be one long story, but instead a bunch of adventures from different times in the lifetime of the adventurer.

If you have ever read any Conan stories (either the books by Howard or the comic books - especially those by Roy Thomas) -- that is the type of story telling I am referring to. The "cartoony" look to the artwork and figures fit right into the stories, IMHO, and I really like the look of the miniatures and components, with a couple of caveats:

1) The rulebook, out of the box, is a mess. It should have been edited and blind playtested before being printed. It looks good, but it is not usable as written. The FAQ (mostly compiled by BGG people) and the Heroes Guide that are available on the megacongames.com site help a lot.

2) There should have been 1 more of each type of Minion included, and 2 more of each Captain (to play Slaughterfield scenarios), at least 3 of the Soulless (or cardboard proxies), an "Orc" Boss, and at least cardboard proxies for the Arachnid Boss' Larvae.

3) The colored lines on the map tiles are difficult to see, especially in low light. I suspect that the entire color scheme of the map tiles were printed darker (and murkier) than what was intended. If the lines (including the grid lines) were even just a couple of points thicker, if would have made a big difference in visibility.

4) The choices of Quest cards and Stories included with the base set leaves much to be desired, given that some of them require things not included in the base game, and others "chain" into continuing a quest that isn't included in the base game.


Mostly, I just play the free-form chapter quests and usually only play one tile at a sitting. Therefore a "game" can continue through several sittings until I decide that that story is over (or all my characters have been killed!). Using the downloadable character sheets comes in handy if you don't want to leave the game set up, or if you want to play with different characters and then go back to the previous characters and story, later. Also, the user-made Movement Tracker cards are handy: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/101655/movement-tracke...

I have lately been making up my own quests where it is as a legitimate goal to "escape" and/or to reach a destination to accomplish a goal, as it is to kill everything in sight. I may spend time with more structured Story quests (with the pre-made Act quests), later, once my stretch goals and add-ons arrive.

I have been messing with a couple of house rules:

1) I really don't like how loitering works, especially with only 2 characters, and I am still working out whether to just ignore it, or figure out how to change it significantly.

2) Traps can be brutal and almost not do-able for only 2 characters. I have sometimes just ended up not clearing them and instead going to the next tile. I am working on making some new traps or significantly changing how the existing ones work, are cleared, and give treasure.

3) In a 2-character game, I am considering letting the archer start with 1 arrow already equipped. I haven't decided because the rules are unclear about whether the Archer can do a melee attack with no arrows (like smack a monster with her bow or just kick it).

Anyway, I like Myth well enough now that most of the rules have been clarified, but I am somewhat disappointed by what was chosen to be included and left out of the base set. I am glad that there is still a box of stretch goal components that I will be getting because it will "fill in" the missing parts for me (I believe that MERCS plans to make most of it available in expansions for those who buy the game retail).

I was really looking forward to Myth and I was hoping it would become one of my top favorite games. As it is (and assuming I get my stretch goal components), and with the FAQ and other player aids, I have rated Myth an 8. Some of what I like the most about Myth, though, are things that other players don't like (for example, not keeping items or leveling up quickly), and vice-versa. So, IMHO, Myth plays well solo, if you like to take your time and immerse yourself in the game.


Here is a pic of my solitaire set-up for the "Stolen Treasure" Chapter quest using the Soldier and Archer:



(The cup, metal tokens, card rack, stretch goal sleeves, and movement tracker cards didn't come with the game.)


EDIT:

vazzucious wrote:

Status effects with 2 heroes is also a nightmare. If you dont have an acolyte you will die due to poison. I treat status effects a little different.
Prone - cost 2 MPs to remove or is removed in refresh
Poison - it is DoT. The time equals the number of darkness symbols rolled.
Frozen - removed when the enemy is killed.
Curse - removed when the enemy is killed.

One house rule i made
If the last kill drops an item you get it. It doesn't magically turn to gold.


I just read this (he posted while I was typing), and although I play much differently than he does, I think that these house rules seem like a good idea for solo-play with 2 characters. I especially plan to try the "Prone" house rule, because the Prone effect can effectively make one of your characters useless for a long time, otherwise.
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Jeremy Steward
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Ive been soloing with 4 characters without much problem. I think fact that there are no turns makes soloing pretty smooth myself.

I definitely agree that the game just isnt really balanced, nor does the game really work as intended at 2 players.

A lot of game issues, like unintentional loitering dont really pop up at 4 players - although the traps based on AP are just plain designed poorly.
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Orlando Neto
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I can't remember now but in the Ks they said the game will have some pure solo rules with darkness cicles adjusted for only one hero on board. I'm not with the rulebook now, but anyone can confirm it?
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G√ľnther
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topera wrote:
I can't remember now but in the Ks they said the game will have some pure solo rules with darkness cicles adjusted for only one hero on board. I'm not with the rulebook now, but anyone can confirm it?



https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1700755582/myth-0?ref=c...

Quote:
Can Myth be played solo?

It can be played by one person using two or more Heroes without changing the rules one iota.

If you want to play just one Hero against the Darkness, then yes. The game can be played solo. However, it requires a little tweaking to the Darkness AP and Bosses. We plan on releasing these tweaks as a pdf once the game is produced.

Last updated: Sat, Mar 30 2013 2:00 PM CEST

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Brian M
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I think the biggest challenge to solo play is simply fitting that many cards and boards in front of you in a manageable manner. I've only been playing solo to test rules and variants out, but I suspect that if we ever really play it we'll play with two heroes each, which will have the same problem.

Quote:

Status effects with 2 heroes is also a nightmare. If you dont have an acolyte you will die due to poison. I treat status effects a little different.

I've been considering a general houserule that during the refresh phase, if the tile is cleared, heroes clear all status effects, can be placed anywhere on the board, have their threat set to 0, and the next tile is automatically revealed.

Quote:
Darkness falls is the worst trap ever.

I'm still trying to figure out how to houserule Darkness Falls. I'm leaning to making it a number of successes equal to the number of heroes -1 to disarm (so only 1 success with 2 heroes), and just removing the AP 6 trigger entirely - it just stays around until you either disarm it (and get the 3S reward) or leave the tile (and get no reward, but the trap goes away).

I have a feeling more traps will need tweaking as well, but I'm not sure on them at all.

Quote:
Still, any co-op game can easily be converted to a solo game,

Go ahead, come up with a Hanabi solo variant, I dare ya.
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Dolem Thorn
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Quote:
Go ahead, come up with a Hanabi solo variant, I dare ya.

It involves large quantities of alcohol and blacking out. Not very safe, and plays way too long.
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Ben Nietzel
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It seems most people seem to agree the issues with traps is a) there is a vast difficulty gap amongst the various traps in general and in relation to the number of players. I feel like MCG's, at least on this issue, actually tried so hard to create so many options that it become counterproductive and created convoluted traps. That said, I do like rolling a random trap, as it provides structure (trap is chosen for you randomly) amidst the free form choice (have a trap or not).

Frankly, I wonder if it's really necessary to have a trap table for each type of table. I realize some might benefit from the space of a 12x12 vs a 6x6, but in doing that, there seems to be some traps that work and some that don't. I think an easy solution is to have trap table of 6 traps for a 1-2 player game, and 6 traps for a 3-5 player game (or a table for 1=-2 and a table for 4-5, and if you have 3, you pick the table you want to roll on). Pick the 12 best (clear, well functioning, doable) traps, split them in into the ones that work the best for the player numbers and be done.

Thoughts?
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Michael Cozzolino
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StormKnight wrote:
Go ahead, come up with a Hanabi solo variant, I dare ya.


HAHA. I just got Hanabi and before I play with friends I like to kinda play a few turns to make sure I know how it plays. I drew my first hand and looked at the back of the cards and thought Ok so this is what the game feels like.
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Chris Parsons
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I think Myth is a lot of fun *single player*, i.e. *playing 2-handed solo*. I have not hit the issues with specific traps yet, but my research leads me to believe that issues exist with small or large groups, depending on the trap, and there have been lots of solutions offered thus far. Traps should not be considered a deal breaker.

So let me compare recent "single player" experiences:

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Easy to play solo/1-handed. Not very exciting. More options with 2-handed solo, but increase in options only has a limited affect on fun, but comes with a bigger affect on manageability. Takes a medium amount of space on a table.

Lord Of The Rings LCG: Can be played solo/1-handed but any quest above "difficulty 1 or 2" is nearly hopeless, even in "easy mode". 2-handed solo is the only viable single-player option. It provides a massive amount of depth in deck construction (building two synergistic decks from 4 spheres of cards is challenging in the current card pool). Playing 2-handed is very complex to manage, takes a lot of table space: it gets cluttered quickly and it's hard to keep track of everything going on so mistakes happen a lot. It's moderately rewarding, but so difficult to win, and so time consuming, I'm not sure it's *fun* unless you're really good at deck-builders and don't mind a 1-in-10 win ratio.

Myth: Can be played solo/2-handed easily. Very limited card pool, and very clear tactics for each hero, plus relatively compact game set-up make it very easy to mange the whole game solo. The option to set-up tiles to match the tactics available to the two chosen heroes allows you avoid situations that just don't work for your heroes -- this is similar to a good GM knowing not to throw pit-trap after pit-trap at a party of full-plate-clad warriors. For example, if you want to play an Archer and an Acolyte, you can chose bigger tiles with more terrain features so you can maintain range and avoid being swarmed.

I've seen some people in this thread say that Myth is hard to run by yourself with 2 heroes, and as you can see, I simply don't agree. Running any game by yourself presents more challenges than with a group, but as far as Myth goes, I have to say it is one of the easier and more practical options.

Perhaps complaining that you can't play "pure solo" (i.e. 1-hero) might be valid, but doing so would eliminate one of the best parts of the game, the free-form turn system vs. AP meter. It's a game of choosing the best combination of actions that are both economic and most likely to yield the biggest reward (be that treasure or just survival). This is what was at the heart of old school RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons early editions: Resource management and economy of actions vs. likelihood of successful outcome. In this way, I believe Myth is a classic dungeon crawl in every sense, and that aspect of it can only really be enjoyed with more than one hero in the party.

I personally play solo/2-handed all the time, but then I add an extra twist: I occasionally "meet another hero on the next tile", swapping, for example, an Archer for a Brigand which may better suit the next tile's challenges. My adventures are epic and involve all aspects of the game. It's a lot of fun. Most fun I've had soloing any game so far.
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Stephen Thomas
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If you want a Solo game, pick up Galaxy Defenders! . by far the best game on the market this year.. 2 games im fully looking forward to are XIA (3 players min.) and SoB! Shadows of Brimstone, which will be solo playable.
 
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Random Fleming
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super... wrote:
The game is not great for solo play. a quality that makes it a great co-op game.


With Castle Panic, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Galaxy Defenders and Lord of the Rings LCG as notable exceptions.
 
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Random Fleming
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StormKnight wrote:

I've been considering a general houserule that during the refresh phase, if the tile is cleared, heroes clear all status effects, can be placed anywhere on the board, have their threat set to 0, and the next tile is automatically revealed.


Threat is set to 0 when the heroes clear a tile. (MCG Official response)
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Tyler Tinsley
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Randomfleming wrote:
super... wrote:
The game is not great for solo play. a quality that makes it a great co-op game.


With Castle Panic, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Galaxy Defenders and Lord of the Rings LCG as notable exceptions.


I like many co-op games but the simple ones run the risk of one player bossing other players around thinking they know the best play. I think this game does a good job of Being just complicated enough to prevent that. I think pathfinder and LOTR lcg do good jobs of this along with playing well solo.
 
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Shawn Hubbard
United States
Texas
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I enjoyed solo play except for finding table space for all the boards. I run 3 heroes and its a tight squeeze.
 
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Joel Carr
United States
Ruckersville
Virginia
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I want to eventually pick up galaxy defenders for solo play... although I dislike the mini's/ mini artwork (weird that artwork can really affect whether i want to play a game or not). SoB hopefully will be a blast solo, but I do worry about lots of dice tossing for every little thing slowing the game down.

I played around a wee bit last night solo and still am amazed at the fun I have when things get a bit crazy. I had 8 ranged crawler attacks last night against my apprentice+acolyte, thanks goodness for the illuminate ongoing and the sphere of deflection ongoing or he would have gone down.

I will say after many plays I am not very impressed with the interrupts. or, it seems rare that I have the optimum opportunity to use them.
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