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Lewis & Clark» Forums » Variants

Subject: Ingenious Solo Variant Badge Tweak rss

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Stefan Minor Weaver
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Cédrick,

In short:

The solo variant tweak whereby one collects resources based on visible badges in one’s playing area PLUS solo-specific badge tokens associated with OCCUPIED village spaces?

Brilliance.

Absolute genius.

Massive amounts of respect. (Well, massive respect on top of the massive respect I already have for multiplayer Lewis and Clark. Masterwork of a game. Truly.)

Just the idea of distributing those tiny variant-specific tokens to begin with is the sort of subtly ingenious adjustment that I so appreciate when giving a multiplayer game’s solo variant a try.

And the additional exquisite limitation of a space having to be occupied in order for that badge to count toward a resource collection is the strategic cherry on top.

My wife and daughter are in the city this week and it’s just me and Pup up here in our mountaintop cabin. Had a go at the solo game for the first time this morning, with cup of coffee as compass, frostbitten wind outside whipping snow across altitudinal tundra, cold winter light slanting through kitchen windowpane and gracing Vincent’s magnificent artwork, and a fire roaring in the wood-burning stove behind me.

And yeah, I’m in awe of Lewis and Clark all over again. So clever how the aforementioned tweak (and tweak of a tweak with the occupied space requirement) recreates and incorporates the opponents’ badges element of the multiplayer game while in the process adding a whole new solo-specific strategic element to think about and hopefully take advantage of given the control one has over village action spaces.

The badge tweak combined with the inherent greatness of multiplayer Lewis and Clark elevates this solo variant to the rarefied heights of solo Glass Road, At the Gates of Loyang, and Fleet Wharfside, all three of which are up next on this cocooned day of board game hibernation. Let it snow!

In summary: thank you for this tiny but inspired tweak.
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Darin Bolyard
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Oak Grove
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But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
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In your world, I have another name. You must learn to know me by it. That was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.
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The altitude may have gone to your pen
But I agree that the solo variant for L&C is quite strategically satisfying.
 
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Cédrick Chaboussit
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Niort
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Thanks a lot Stefan
 
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Stefan Minor Weaver
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enthusiasm
Well, I know the video is meant in jest. And I do have a sense of humor. (I keep it in an old clementine crate up in the attic.) But I promise you that the only thing that ever goes to my pen is unrestrained enthusiasm.

When I like something a lot, I like it a lot. In general, I think it’s important to let creators know you really like and admire something when you do. Otherwise they’ll never know. And creativity, regardless of the medium, can be an inherently lonely venture.
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Darin Bolyard
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But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
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In your world, I have another name. You must learn to know me by it. That was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.
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minorweaver wrote:
Well, I know the video is meant in jest. And I do have a sense of humor. (I keep it in an old clementine crate up in the attic.) But I promise you that the only thing that ever goes to my pen is unrestrained enthusiasm.

When I like something a lot, I like it a lot. In general, I think it’s important to let creators know you really like and admire something when you do. Otherwise they’ll never know. And creativity, regardless of the medium, can be an inherently lonely venture.

100% in jest. I totally agree with your sentiments and immediately busted out Lewis & Clark for some solo goodness after reading your post last night. It's one of my favorite and most played solo board game experiences.
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Stefan Minor Weaver
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Mackenzie
How’d you do? That Mackenzie is a “slow and steady” machine. I love how he approaches the Rockies and while I’m fretting about rounding up horses he just calmly walks through them (while whistling, I like to imagine), turn after turn after turn, and keeps going, step after step after step.
 
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Darin Bolyard
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But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
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In your world, I have another name. You must learn to know me by it. That was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.
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I typically play solo with many or all of the challenges mentioned in this post: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/19382796#19382796 Though these are soft limits I impose on myself.

However, last night I broke from my usual play style. Seeing Joseph Gravelines (#17) in the first position in the journal of encounters, I snatched him up right away, and exchanged my fur gatherer to pay his equipment cost in order to save my starting equipment for another recruit. I placed my starting Indian on the Craftsmanship space (wood & equipment) for the additional equipment badge. Playing Joseph Gravelines with my interpreter for a discount of 4 pelts each turn, led to gaining cards with equipment badges and recruiting several powerful cards with relative ease. I eventually had a total of 12 cards! I usually like to max my hand at 8.
Still, I found myself finishing several of my moves on the same space as Mackenzie, which resulted in a lot of "leap-frogging".
I only used my expedition leader for water movement, but had recruited 3 different mountain movers, including One Eye (#52). This card was surprisingly useful as a result of Mackenzie and I being neck and neck most of the time. It easily produced two moves in the mountains per activation since Mackenzie and I were both always ahead of my camp.
The cards I finished with are:
-interpreter (starting card)
-expedition leader (starting card)
-wood gatherer (starting card)
-equipment gatherer (starting card)
-Joseph Gravelines (#17)
-John Dame (#13)
-Ebenezer Tuttle (#4)
-Little Raven (#2)
-The Partisan (#35)
-One Eye (#52)
-Hugh Heney (#38)
-Crow at Rest (#49)
I'd also purchased 2 resource boats along the way. I hardly used my interpreter to gather more Indians. As a result, there were only 3 total Indians in play at the end of the game (+1 in the newcomer space). I finished about 8 spaces beyond the fort from activating my expedition leader (3 canoes), leaving Mackenzie about 3 spaces before the fort.
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Darin Bolyard
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But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
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In your world, I have another name. You must learn to know me by it. That was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.
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Here's↓ an interesting idea for 2-player games using the solo-play badges:
2 player variant.
I've personally never felt like badges were in short supply during a 2-player game, but my wife and I have found that this variant does add another strategic element to the game.
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Stefan Minor Weaver
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itinerary
Ah! Thanks for such a detailed rundown. I had the exact same leapfrog issue with Mackenzie. Kept being unable to edge far enough ahead to avoid slingshotting him back into the lead after my bigger expeditions. Got tired of seeing the man’s back.

On the other hand, a leapfrog between my final two camps gave me the one extra space I needed to eventually beat him out with Watkuweis (#45) who, reactivated with a shaman action, paddled me to Fort Clatsop three spaces ahead of the dogged fellow.

One space short and I’d have been toast, with no chance of camping-moving-camping again before Mackenzie ended the game. My convoy was, I admit, way too cumbersome by that point. Desperately needed to beat out Mackenzie then and there, and was able to via Watkuweis to Weuche (#33 over and through the final three mountains) and then back to Watkuweis thanks to the shaman space.

Gravelines was my first recruit as well. In fact, he was my unsung MVP by the time we’d reached Clatsop (funny how recaps of L&C end up sounding like voice-over narrations of historical travel diaries in a Ken Burns documentary). Or, well, the wonderful Watkuweis was my true MVP; but Gravelines, in addition to carrying his weight throughout the journey, allowed me to finagle the final recruit (just a physical body in my card sequence, if that makes sense) I needed to increase movement via Watkuweis by two extra spaces over the course of my final push.

Great stuff. And cool to intersperse games of L&C with rounds of the fleet-footed Discoveries, which gallops. In terms of pace, the two complement each other real well on shelf and tabletop.
 
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Darin Bolyard
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But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
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In your world, I have another name. You must learn to know me by it. That was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.
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minorweaver wrote:
And cool to intersperse games of L&C with rounds of the fleet-footed Discoveries...

I haven't yet had the pleasure of the latter, but am looking forward to trying it out someday.

minorweaver wrote:
(just a physical body in my card sequence, if that makes sense)

Makes perfect sense. Not only did I do the very same thing in order to avoid losing a day (as I found myself with a single remaining card one round, and so I recruited another to even it out), but I will often jump on the first 3 power card I can get my hands on. Most of the time, I don't care what a 3 power card can do specifically (though most of the time, they are all quite potent), but rather am mostly just interested in utilizing it to power other cards.
 
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Stefan Minor Weaver
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journal
I’m a big Discoveries fan. We actually started playing it before L&C. It’s a neat combination of swift pace (you make snap decisions) grounded in the sort of incremental, step-by-step decision-making process that goes into getting your crew on the move in Expedition. Nice wooden dice, too. And Dutrait’s evocative backdrop of a central board, which serves more of an aesthetic than practical purpose, is stunning.

I also like how the theme is less about the epic sweep of transcontinental trekking and more about the introspected intimacy of keeping a nature journal (you earn points not by moving but rather by committing watercolor recordings of flora and fauna into your journal). Discoveries doesn’t care how many hundreds of uncharted square miles you pass through if you don’t take the time to break out your art supplies along the way.
 
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