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Subject: Terraforming Mars v Scythe v Vinhos for solo? rss

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Enon Sci
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I'll be brief:

Trying to decide between a few of these titles. Likely going with Vinhos and Scythe (choice isn't always mutually exclusive!), but I wanted to ask: as a solo experience, which of these are the best?

I tend to play 2 player, or not at all. I rarely play solo. That said, I'd like to purchase a title that would work well at the 1-3 player count. Everything on this list certainly fits for quality 2-4, but I'm unsure how their solo games rate. Many solo experiences feel tacked onto the more robust multiplayer experience.

What I like in solo play:

1. Failure states. Solo games where you're playing to merely beat your past score are occasionally enjoyable, but not enough to pull off the shelf often.

2. The Unexpected. Glass Road has a fantastic solo game because it uses randomization in the action selection to separate one's desire from what they can actually accomplish (you can read my review of this here).

3. Easy set-up. Subjective, but to give a baseline: Caverna would be too much, as would an expanded Eldritch Horror (placing out all the cards, tokens, monsters, etc). These are still great experiences solo, but the cumbersome set-up makes them not exactly impulse plays.

p.s. Full disclosure, I know a lot about all three of these games, but have zero clue about their respective solo games. I know they all have them, and I know Scythe uses an automata, but beyond that I am clueless. Most of the videos and forum elements I've explored have been geared towards multi.

Poll
Which of these very different games offers the most robust solo experience?
Terraforming Mars
Scythe
Vinhos Deluxe Edition
      29 answers
Poll created by Anarchosyn
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Jeff Woodman
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I can only comment on Scythe but I'll let you know it's a beat your score solo experience with a fantastic Automata (card driven opponent). I like you prefer a win/loose solo game but Scythe is tight. I'm thinking of running a version where it's more of a race for stars before the Automata gets them, this would scratch that win/loose itch.

But I'd feel amiss without mentioning the new Arkham Horror LCG that was released. Quick to set up (once you organize it, I'll usually organize one night and play the next if I'm constructing a deck, you can set up and play if your deck is good to go)
 
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Thanee
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d) First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet

Bye
Thanee
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Enon Sci
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Thanee wrote:


Nope. Well aware. Zero interest.

Robinson is enough for me.
 
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Thanee
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Ok.

Then replace it with any other great solo game, that is actually meant for solo play and does not have the solo mode tacked on.

There are so many of those around, why choose anything else?

Bye
Thanee
 
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John Burt
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The solo game in Terraforming Mars is very good, and it has a failure state: if you don't finish terraforming by generation 14, then you lose. If you're good at the game, you can usually achieve this, and then it becomes a "beat your score" exercise. As to variability, this is huge in TM owing to the different starter corporations and the random card draws. I can set the game up in about 5 min.
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Enon Sci
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Thanee wrote:
Ok.

Then replace it with any other great solo game, that is actually meant for solo play and does not have the solo mode tacked on.

There are so many of those around, why choose anything else?

Bye
Thanee


I'm not entirely sure I haven't selected three great solo games already. Perhaps you misunderstood my inquiry, but understanding how good (or bad) the solo options are in the three listed games is chiefly my aim.

If all three are indeed subpar I'd be interested in hearing that.
 
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Dennis Ku
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The solo play in Scythe is okay, but I much prefer the TM solitaire experience. I find the massive number of cards keeps me on my toes more. Have you considered Viticulture? Its solo deck and play was even better, in my opinion.
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Enon Sci
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futhee wrote:
The solo play in Scythe is okay, but I much prefer the TM solitaire experience. I find the massive number of cards keeps me on my toes more. Have you considered Viticulture? Its solo deck and play was even better, in my opinion.


Wow.. I almost forgot about Viticulture (and not because I overlooked it, but because I purchased it a month back, fully expanded, but included a pre-order item in the order which won't release till Feb, I imagine). So, in a way, I have Viticulture "in the post," but have yet to play it.

I wasn't aware it even had a solitaire mode. What makes it more enjoyable than Scythe's automata?
 
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Ryan Gore
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I personally do a lot of solo gaming, and I can say that what you have asked for describes Terraforming Mars to a tee. Once you get to a certain point in the game, it's an anxiety race to the finish, and while it will get easier for you with multiple playthroughs, it never stops feeling like a true feat. You will most likely fail many times before you succeed, and I don't think I've ever beaten it before the final round. There are so many different strategies, and over 200 different cards! You will certainly never have the same game twice.
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TheGore4 wrote:
I personally do a lot of solo gaming, and I can say that what you have asked for describes Terraforming Mars to a tee. Once you get to a certain point in the game, it's an anxiety race to the finish, and while it will get easier for you with multiple playthroughs, it never stops feeling like a true feat. You will most likely fail many times before you succeed, and I don't think I've ever beaten it before the final round. There are so many different strategies, and over 200 different cards! You will certainly never have the same game twice.
While I agree with the overall feel of playing TM solo, my impression after ten games is that it's actually hard to fail. If you concentrate on the terraforming goals, you will almost always make it, especially because there are so many paths to victory.
I've only failed once so far, and if you're playing the Credicor Corp, it's actually impossible to fail*, unless you badly misjudge when buying cards.

*: I've found that with Credicor you can win the solo game without ever buying a single card. This means you should only ever buy a card if you're sure it will increase your score or accelerate the terraforming.

Anyway, Terraforming Mars is pretty awesome for solo play, despite this.
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