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Subject: Solo Difficulty Underground Railroad vs Robinson Crusoe rss

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Steve Nicholls
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Either of these would be a MAJOR step up for me in terms of complexity, but while Mage Knight would provide the theme I'm after the above two appear to be a step or two down in rules complexity.

This is not a 'which is the best game' question; it's a 'which game is a light/medium gamer less likely to give up on?!' type question.

So I'm looking for rules elegance, logical sequences, and the least fiddliness

All input appreciated.
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Freedom is definitely the "lighter" more accessible game and has excellent and clear rules. I would not consider it being fiddly but there is some stuff you need to take care of. Such as placing the slaves on the market cards, counting the possible money from contributions etc. I really enjoy playing Freedom solo.

That being said, RC is the best solo game i've played so far. I love the game. However there are some issues with it. Issues which based on your post will be serious for you.

Rules elegance - there is a huge learning curve (at least there was for me) mostly because of the poor rulebook. However, the FAQ and BGG forums have come a long way to mitigate the issues and you can find most of the questions/problems resolved by now.

Fiddly - it really isn't fiddly although it takes a bit to setup.

To love RC you need to invest in it. Time wise and emotionally because it can be brutal. Maybe too random sometimes.

Based on what your saying Freedom would be my choice for now.

EDIT: I should point out that both games are quite difficult. It's just that Freedom is much more accessible then RC.
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Theo Stang
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I don't think Mage Knight is overly complex. It's just that the rulebook isn't put together in the best way and it can be quite fiddly.

If that's the type of theme you are after I would be inclined to recommend you go after a game you want then to get a game you may not "connect" with. Also if you are playing solo missing a rule occasionally will not really detract from the experience. It's still a fun game.

Also though I've never played RC from what I've read it sounds just as complex. (I could be totally wrong here)
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Moe45673
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The rules for Underground Railroad are really quite straightforward. I made a video with my thoughts and i find it's the game that keeps on giving. Just finished a playthrough today and enjoyed the heck outta it, as usual.

Between the two games, it's definitely what you want

http://boardgamegeek.com/video/44961/freedom-underground-rai...
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Josh Bodah
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Robinson Crusoe didn't feel overbearing. The solo variant is very well integrated (you basically just get two extra workers). I didn't find it much fiddlier than something like Agricola. The rules are well laid out but there's quite a bit there as it's a unique game

Mage Knight is more complex than Robinson Crusoe because there are more exceptions to consider. RC is fairly elegant for what it is. That said, it's hard, long, and is involved. I would check out the rulebook for it just so you understand just how much is in the game
 
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Steve Nicholls
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hiimjosh wrote:
Robinson Crusoe didn't feel overbearing. The solo variant is very well integrated (you basically just get two extra workers). I didn't find it much fiddlier than something like Agricola. The rules are well laid out but there's quite a bit there as it's a unique game

Mage Knight is more complex than Robinson Crusoe because there are more exceptions to consider. RC is fairly elegant for what it is. That said, it's hard, long, and is involved. I would check out the rulebook for it just so you understand just how much is in the game


Thanks but of the choices before me, it would be FUR at the moment. Pity there's not a 'Mage Knight Lite'.
 
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Adrian Zettlemoyer
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I have all the games mentioned. All great games. I have to say, Underground Railroad is probably the right choice.

Of the three, I think Mage Knight is probably my favorite, but everytime I think of playing it, I just think about set up and time commitment. It's not that bad setup once you've organized everything (I have, thanks to the forums here), and everytime I have played, I have been rewarded with a fun time, but still, it prevents me from pulling it out too often.

Crusoe does a great job with story as well, but for me (just my opinion) it is a little too fiddly for what it does. With Mage Knight, I feel like the fiddliness made sense, for RC, it hasn't gotten there for me yet. And again, there is a lot of setup for a weeknight kind of game.

With Freedom, it sets up quickly (especially compared to these two), the rules are much simpler - as there are less actions, but it does convey a story and it makes your brain work. Maybe eventually you will get caught in a "Ok, I always do these actions" kind of play, but I haven't seen it yet. And if that happens, I will have gotten my money for it.

All three are great games, but I think UR will be the one you want right now. Eventually you should try all three.
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Justin Green
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dirtybacon wrote:
I have all the games mentioned. All great games. I have to say, Underground Railroad is probably the right choice.

Of the three, I think Mage Knight is probably my favorite, but everytime I think of playing it, I just think about set up and time commitment. It's not that bad setup once you've organized everything (I have, thanks to the forums here), and everytime I have played, I have been rewarded with a fun time, but still, it prevents me from pulling it out too often.

Crusoe does a great job with story as well, but for me (just my opinion) it is a little too fiddly for what it does. With Mage Knight, I feel like the fiddliness made sense, for RC, it hasn't gotten there for me yet. And again, there is a lot of setup for a weeknight kind of game.

With Freedom, it sets up quickly (especially compared to these two), the rules are much simpler - as there are less actions, but it does convey a story and it makes your brain work. Maybe eventually you will get caught in a "Ok, I always do these actions" kind of play, but I haven't seen it yet. And if that happens, I will have gotten my money for it.

All three are great games, but I think UR will be the one you want right now. Eventually you should try all three.


I pretty much aggree with this.

Both Robinson and Freedom are difficult games to win, but Freedom is much easier to learn and much smoother to play.

To me Mage Knight is the ultimate solo board game experience (at least so far), but it may be a good idea to work up to it - not even becuase of the complexity, but because you may find most other solo games disappointing by comparison.

I'll add in a few more thoughts since Freedom and Robinson are very different gaming experiences.

The aspect that Robinson excels at is telling a story. If that's what you're interested in it's hard to find a better game. However, if you're interested in going deep into thought and solving a solitaire puzzle, you may find that the rules ambiguities and constant exceptions in the rules make the game not worth the trouble.

Freedom is more similar to the majority of cooperative games in that it could be described as 'puzzly.' When I've played it I often find myself thinking several moves ahead trying to figure out the best combination and order to make my moves. If this is what you want out of a solo game, then I'd recommend Freedom over Robinson regardless of learning curve.
 
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Chris
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Note that freedom is pure co-op. You are totally free to play 4 characters yourself in it as much as a single one. Same is true for RC I I think.

So fundamentally I think your question is invalid based on the games you picked.

Freedom is fricking awesome though.
 
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Steve Nicholls
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
Note that freedom is pure co-op. You are totally free to play 4 characters yourself in it as much as a single one. Same is true for RC I I think.

So fundamentally I think your question is invalid based on the games you picked.

Freedom is fricking awesome though.


My OP is invalid. Priceless.
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Brian Lyons
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I just got done playing Robinson Crusoe solo,and im a person that struggles with rules and usually run away from anything remotely complex,and I didnt feel that way with RC.
Once you set it up,read through the rule book "which I think does a great job explaining most things" and it helped me to watch some videos of some rounds being played,It came rather easy.

I played some other solo games like pandemic,Wrath of ashardalon,gears of war,while I really like those games,,This one seem to grab me more than the rest and I just didnt expect that. When I was looking to buy it,the theme of it was just ok with me,Not usually what I go. But after hearing countless reviews and people here saying how great it was,I had to try it and im glad I did.

As for the Freedom game,that theme does not appeal to me at all. LOL,I guess its like RC,everyone says Freedom is great also "it very well might be" But that theme does Nothing for me,So I cant help you there!
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Steve Nicholls
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ProfitOfDoom wrote:
I just got done playing Robinson Crusoe solo,and im a person that struggles with rules and usually run away from anything remotely complex,and I didnt feel that way with RC.
Once you set it up,read through the rule book "which I think does a great job explaining most things" and it helped me to watch some videos of some rounds being played,It came rather easy.

I played some other solo games like pandemic,Wrath of ashardalon,gears of war,while I really like those games,,This one seem to grab me more than the rest and I just didnt expect that. When I was looking to buy it,the theme of it was just ok with me,Not usually what I go. But after hearing countless reviews and people here saying how great it was,I had to try it and im glad I did.

As for the Freedom game,that theme does not appeal to me at all. LOL,I guess its like RC,everyone says Freedom is great also "it very well might be" But that theme does Nothing for me,So I cant help you there!


I know what you mean re RC - undoubted quality - just that the set-up/play time/curve would kill me I know. I'm with you re the theme for UR... probably why I've been delaying pulling the trigger on this one.
 
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Kevin Eastwood
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As primarily a solo gamer I didn't personally find RC that interesting (I'm still under 10 plays but forcing myself to continue playing it to see if it will eventually click for me). Sure there's a strong narrative, but when I'm done with a game I never felt like I went on an adventure.

For Mage Knight, I love the gameplay because of the strong decisions required to use your cards. The game also provides some narrative, although for me it's more abstract than RC or a game like Magic Realm (which has a beast of a rulebook).

If I had to choose for light/medium, I couldn't recommend Mage Knight or RC, but instead would point you to a game called Runebound 2nd edition. Interesting choices with how to use your dice to move, easy to understand battling system, and it's just fun to play. Yes it's OOP, but you may be able to find a copy somewhere.

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Steve Nicholls
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eastwoodk wrote:
As primarily a solo gamer I didn't personally find RC that interesting (I'm still under 10 plays but forcing myself to continue playing it to see if it will eventually click for me). Sure there's a strong narrative, but when I'm done with a game I never felt like I went on an adventure.

For Mage Knight, I love the gameplay because of the strong decisions required to use your cards. The game also provides some narrative, although for me it's more abstract than RC or a game like Magic Realm (which has a beast of a rulebook).

If I had to choose for light/medium, I couldn't recommend Mage Knight or RC, but instead would point you to a game called Runebound 2nd edition. Interesting choices with how to use your dice to move, easy to understand battling system, and it's just fun to play. Yes it's OOP, but you may be able to find a copy somewhere.



I tried and traded Runebound. Perhaps if they release a 3rd Ed I'll give it another go.
 
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Captain Spaulding
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Robinson Crusoe is probably my favorite solo game, but I found it more difficult to learn than Mage Knight. Mage Knight's definitely a bear to learn, the rules could be organized better, but at least they're clear and it just requires reading through a long rule book. The rules for Robinson Crusoe had me scouring BGG for clarification, which, in combination with some of the errors on the cards made me nearly gave up on the darn thing before I got through a game of it because it just literally made no sense.

I traded Mage Knight because of the sheer amount of space and time that game takes (and Robinson Crusoe is no slouch in either regard either.)
I reached a point with Mage Knight where I realized my favorite part of it was the character upgrades which get added to your deck, and it occurred to me, distilled down to it's essence, was basically the game Friday, albeit the theme of Friday is exactly the same as Robinson Crusoe. Point being, Friday has seen many more plays than either of those games, takes 30 min to learn, 30 min to play, way less space, is portable, and costs probably what the tax alone would be on either of those other games.
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