1- 2- 3- 4!- A- A- 5!
Now that my wife has me playing 'The Colonists of Natick' whenever I get the piecepack out, I have had to resort to solo games if I want something different. One Man Thrag has received quite a few plays now (over 20), but it is one of those games that is both enjoyable and frustrating. Who doesn't feel that way about Dungeon Crawls???
Naturally, this depends on the PiecePack you purchased (or made) but I should say that a colorful piecepack will enhance this game a lot.
The standard piecepack is all that is required. There are no extra components, extra piecpacks or scoresheets needed.
The rules are easy to understand and start with a well written story that sets the scene for the game.
The four Null tiles are used to setup the game clock. I have found that a diamand looks better than the square of the original rules. Place the Black Pawn on the top square of the clock.
You then organise the remaining tiles into four random facedown stacks of each suit.
Place the Red, Blue and yellow stacks in front of you as the Beast draw piles. The Black tiles go into a pile on the right that will help Thrag recover points.
The Coins are also separated into suits. The Red, Blue and Yellow are placed into random stacks in front of the tiles of the same suit. The black coins are placed face up in front of the black tiles, with the null, 2 and 4 kept separate to form Thrag's hitpoints.
Take the remaining pawns and put them next to the corresponding coin stacks.
Initially, the setup takes some time, but after a few games, it is quick and easy. Playing multiple games also speeds up setup time as there is no need to mix the pieces during play.
You have twelve hours (turns) to "Slay all the wizards' beasts and get Thrag home in time for breakfast."
Each turn you must draw three beasts, one red, one blue, and one yellow.
Roll all four dice and put the colored ones beside the corresponding Beasts. The Black die is your attack.
You must then pick at least one beast, and fight it, however he can choose to fight more than one beast if the odds are right. Defeating all Beasts will end the fighting for that turn. Losing a fight will cause you to lose hitpoints.
You then draw a black tile for a chance to gain hitpoints.
If any tile stacks are depleted, reshuffle the discard stacks into new draw piles.
After each turn, move the black pawn clockwise around the outer spaces to track how much time has passed
Fights are resolved by adding the beast's tile number to the dice roll and comparing it to your dice roll. You may take a coin from the corresponding stack and use its value to increase your roll as well.
Choosing what to fight and when to fight is one of the more tactical parts of the game. Although it may seem like a gamble sometimes, paying attention can really improve the odds. A couple of plays will have you finding tactics to increase your chances of success.
You may also use a special weapon (the pawn of the same color) to force a reroll of the beast's die. This can be a blessing or a curse. There is a varient that allows you to use the black pawn to reroll your own die. That can be even worse . . .
Although there seems to be a lot of decision making, some of the results really do come down to plain old dumb luck. This is the frustrating part of the game. If only the dice had rolled differently???
However when you win, then the game is totally enjoyable. (especially if it was because of decisions you made)
And this is why I like this game.
Although Luck can really ruin a game, no matter how tactical or wise your decisions. Sometimes, the tactics and decision making can pull you through. And when it does, you feel great.
The theme is easy to get into and is well suited to the piecepack components. Each section from beasts to weapons are perfectly matched to the theme and enhance the experience.
In general I have won about 1 out of every 3 games, but some of the early losses were from poor decisions.
I rate this game 7.5 and would recommend it for any solo gamers out there.
One Man Thrag is the first game I played with the piecepack set and still one of my favorites Nice review...