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Tales of the Arabian Nights» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Ali Baba goes Solo rss

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~Ryan McSwain
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Alright. I had a little spare cash from a birthday and decided to be selfish with it--the German reprint of Tales of the Arabian Nights from Troll and Toad! After many an evening of work-while-movie-watching and quite a bit of money at my school's printer, my game was thoroughly Englishized--thanks patk!

My wife has promised me a game soon, and I have a group lined up to play eventually, but my first foray into Arabia was solo. I recorded how it went for all y'all interested. It's the first session report since 2004, so I think it shall be fun for all.

Once I get a few games in, I'll write a proper review, but suffice it to say--this game is incredible. It uses a combination of the board, cards, dice, tables, and paragraph-book to produce more-or-less random encounters. Once you meet your pre-set victory conditions in story points and destiny points and get enough ca$h, you head back to Baghdad to win.

One question--it says in the rules you have to finish a solo game before you "complete the deck." Does this mean one time through, or three times through (morning, noon, and night)?

I set the game up and in I dove. As Ali Baba, I began to explore the world of Lots o' Tales. I immidiately ran into a problem--the tables had different results for civilized and uncivilized spaces.

So--a trip to BGG! Problem solved. (The Edition Erlkonig game board printed without highlighting those spaces, so I looked at the Mayfair board and marked it appropriately. I used a sharpie and made tiny "C"s next to the spaces that were civilized. I regret this method, so I hope to find some kind of itty-bitty stick to cover them up with and to mark the cities.)

I got back to my exciting Arabic life. After several quest extensions, I completed the Hag quest. I began to really aquire the mad skills, but money was not in abundance. I used the merchant system once. Then I ran into a problem. I had the opportunity to enter a Place of Power: The Valley of Diamonds. Unfortunately, once I got there I had no idea what to do.

So--a trip to BGG! Problem solved. (Although the rules are not clear on this point, the encounter table has an entire section, E, dedicated to the places of power. Use it like you would the others. Thanks LoneCleric!)

I made off like a total bandit, pockets full of diamonds and such. I completed a few more quests, found some loot, "leveled up," and made the mad money. After a quick trip to the Cave of Wonders, I was fabulously wealthy and far exceeded my destiny and story point goals. I returned to Baghdad and everyone was all like, "Ah-lee! Ah-lee! Ah-lee!"

End results:

Destiny Points: 20. Goal: 10
Story Points: 16. Goal: 16
Wealth: Fabulous
Skills: Beguiling (master)
Courtly Graces
Luck (master)
Major Magic
Piety (master)
Quick Thinking (master)
Scholarship
Storytelling
Weapon Use
Wisdom (master)

Quests Fulfilled: Hag
Enchantress
Beggar

Places of Power Visited: Valley of Diamonds
Cave of Wonders

Treasures: Protective Talisman (after encountering BOTH djinns!)
Carnelian Idol

So, all in all, a fun game that I can't wait to play with the right group. The mechanics work exceptionally well, even the merchant rules which are apparently not everyone's favorite. I would recommend using at least the quest rules, because then you have a bit more of a purpose in where you go--otherwise you just wander.

If you get a chance to try this game, do it! Just remember that it takes a lot of work to make the Erlkonig edition playable for speakers of English only.
 
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Mik Svellov
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Impr3ssion wrote:
One question--it says in the rules you have to finish a solo game before you "complete the deck." Does this mean one time through, or three times through (morning, noon, and night)?

It is answered in the rules:
"To win the Solitaire game, you must fulfill all three victory conditions:
that is, you must fulfill your formula, gain Fabulous wealth, and complete 2 quests.

You must do this before you finish the deck.
(If you believe yourself to be an expert game player, increase the number of points
in the formula or start with the Deck marker on the "Night" side.)
"

Expert gamers should start with the deck marker on the "Night" side - so it should follow that players who doesn't consider themselves 'experts' should start with the Deck marker showing "Noon" or even "Morning".
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Jorge Arroyo
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Nice session. I myself have been playing wrong, and finishing the solo game after one run through the deck... but it was fun (if shorter)...

And I do love the merchant rules. I think they give a nice purpose to alll the wandering around, and are very original... but then again, I love pick and deliver type of games

-Jorge
 
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~Ryan McSwain
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Thanks, Great Dane, for pointing that out--I had assumed from that rule that I wasn't cheating, but I thought I'd ask the experts. Since this was my first time, I started with the morning marker and was able to finish the game a short time after starting a noon deck.

maka, the merchant rules do provide some purpose in the wandering, and is the closest to a sure-fire way to accomplish an objective. Everything else is so hit and miss! After I had lost all of my wealth a couple of times, I used the merchant rules to get myself back to a better fooring.

I suspect that you would have a good chance of winning the game before other players if you played by the merchant rules. Anyone ever seen someone play as a merchant?

I used the quests to provide direction--I would chain together a quest until it was almost a sure thing before trying to complete it. This had me running all over the board, which was fun. When I convince my wife to play, we'll probably start with the basic rules, but I'm considering throwing in the quests so that she'll feel like she has some control over the game.

~Ryan
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Mik Svellov
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We have never used the Merchant rules.
There are plenty of great merchant games around but very few adventure games. So we always play with the quest rules - even beginners.
 
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Clarence Chambers
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Must...have...this...game. I'm just too lazy to go to all the trouble of translating the German edition.
 
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~Ryan McSwain
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The hardest part for me was finding a copy of the German version--several of the online retailers were out and I couldn't figure out how to order it from the others. I finally found it at Troll and Toad, but I think they have since run out.

It took some a lot of time, but patk has made it easy enough to convert the German version. There are paste-ups for the cards and map, and the charts, rules, and Book of Tales are great.

Until someone (c'mon Valley Games!) does a reprint, your best bet is to go the German route.
 
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Ken
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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I just got a copy of Geschickten aus 1001 Nacht. Yay! I've emailed PatK, but haven't heard back yet.

Any tips on putting together the translations/paste ups (whenever I get them)?
 
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~Ryan McSwain
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Here is my advice:

I spent a ton of time and effort printing these things off "by hand" at my school (not stealing, I had to pay). It is probably worth the price to just go to Kinko's with a lot of it.

Otherwise...

Find the cheapest possible printer for the rules and Book of Tales--there are a LOT of pages here, you'll see what I mean. I used my school's printer, which didn't charge extra for double-sided prints (!) and also had a binding machine.

Print the charts on cardstock, I'd recommend different colors for different charts. Each player also has his own sheet--I used each players' color for the cardstock.

For the map and cards, I printed color on regular paper and used scotch tape to stick it to the map. I cut the tape with scissors instead of tearing it with the thing so the edges would be smooth.

By the time I had done everything else, I got lazy on the counters and just printed them double-sided on cardstock. It works allright, but there are several sites you can find through the geek that tell you how to make counters look great. I'm actually considering using those colored glass stones instead of chits--I think it would look cool and be less of a pain. Red and yellow for skills, clear for status with other info sharpied on, and each players' color for the rest. I dunno, just a thought.
 
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Clarence Chambers
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Thanks for the tips, guys, but I just don't think I would ever be able to find enough time to make a set of my own.
 
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