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Subject: This is my favorite Uwe Rosenberg to play solo rss

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Øivind Karlsrud
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Now I'm sure. Finally I have tried Ora et Labora and Caverna, in addition to all the other big Rosenberg games. Among them, A Feast for Odin has been my favorite solo experience, so far. I think I know why, too. The homestead, exploration boards and houses give me these small, manageable puzzles to solve. Can I fill in enough spaces to increase my income before the end of the turn? Can I surround this bonus space before the end of the turn? It's a bit like playing Go in the sense that overall strategy is guided by intution, but there are all these local puzzles to solve. Mage Knight (my favorite solo game) is also like that. You can follow an overall strategy, but each hand of cards is a small puzzle to solve. What's the best I can do with this hand? In Ora et Labora, I felt the puzzle was too hard to manage, and it made my head hurt, just thinking about how to get most points from settlements etc. In Caverna, OTOH, I felt there's not much of a puzzle to solve, once you have decided on your strategy, especially when there are no other players to take the actions you need. E.g. it's not hard to figure out how to get a new dwarf, if that's what you want. The only pleasure I would take from playing Caverna solo again, would be to see if I could come up with a better overall strategy and beat my own score, and that's not enough for me (which is not to say that I wouldn't enjoy it multiplayer). A Feast for Odin gives me just the right amount of brain burn from turn to turn to make the journey exciting and keep me interested, without having other players to compete against.
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I agree,
Rosenberg's solo offerings have been improving in quality over time. You didn't mention Fields of Arles and I'm not sure if you've played it but it is one of my favourites. It's a close tie between the two of them for me when it comes to solo play.

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Aernout Casier
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I love Uwe too much to even try and kid myself into believing Ora & Labora won't be the next game I buy...
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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AernoutMJC wrote:
I love Uwe too much to even try and kid myself into believing Ora & Labora won't be the next game I buy...


Have you seen this poll: Rate Uwe Rosenberg's Harvest Games for Solo Play! [Poll]?
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Øivind Karlsrud
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patrocles wrote:
I agree,
Rosenberg's solo offerings have been improving in quality over time. You didn't mention Fields of Arles and I'm not sure if you've played it but it is one of my favourites. It's a close tie between the two of them for me when it comes to solo play.


Funny you should mention that, because I was just about to break out the rules for it, and try it again. I've only tried it once, and want to see if I like it as much as A Feast for Odin, now that I have tried that.
 
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It's a very different experience - I find it a relaxing activity. Less puzzly and more fluid, laid back.
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I've actually never had the desire to play a board game solo before, but GAFBlizzard's weekly challenge and the amazing design of this game have really elevated this game to the only board game that I will play solo. It's crazy, but this game is really better solo than it is with any other player count (at least until expansions), and the huge decision tree in the actions, mini puzzles with tetrising, and variability in occupations are really what make this game as great as it is. I looked into other games like Mage Knight and Fields of Arle for solo, but they seem to be a bit less open, and without support from someone as awesome as GAFBlizzard, I don't really have interest in them.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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NorthernPolarity wrote:
I've actually never had the desire to play a board game solo before, but GAFBlizzard's weekly challenge and the amazing design of this game have really elevated this game to the only board game that I will play solo. It's crazy, but this game is really better solo than it is with any other player count (at least until expansions), and the huge decision tree in the actions, mini puzzles with tetrising, and variability in occupations are really what make this game as great as it is. I looked into other games like Mage Knight and Fields of Arle for solo, but they seem to be a bit less open, and without support from someone as awesome as GAFBlizzard, I don't really have interest in them.

I have Fields of Arle set up on my table now. What I miss is the tetris puzzle, which gives me some immediate goals. In Fields of Arle I don't know where to start. I think it's very open.

Mage Knight is still my favorite solo game. You should try it, if you get the chance. When I draw my hand of cards and start to think about all the possibilities, time just disappears. Mage Knight and A Feast for Odin are among the few games which give me enough puzzles to think about that I don't miss opponents.
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oivind22 wrote:
NorthernPolarity wrote:
I've actually never had the desire to play a board game solo before, but GAFBlizzard's weekly challenge and the amazing design of this game have really elevated this game to the only board game that I will play solo. It's crazy, but this game is really better solo than it is with any other player count (at least until expansions), and the huge decision tree in the actions, mini puzzles with tetrising, and variability in occupations are really what make this game as great as it is. I looked into other games like Mage Knight and Fields of Arle for solo, but they seem to be a bit less open, and without support from someone as awesome as GAFBlizzard, I don't really have interest in them.

I have Fields of Arle set up on my table now. What I miss is the tetris puzzle, which gives me some immediate goals. In Fields of Arle I don't know where to start. I think it's very open.

Mage Knight is still my favorite solo game. You should try it, if you get the chance. When I draw my hand of cards and start to think about all the possibilities, time just disappears. Mage Knight and A Feast for Odin are among the few games which give me enough puzzles to think about that I don't miss opponents.


I generally pick some combination of buildings that I haven't done before as goals and then meander my way towards them, leaving open the option to abandon my goals if the logic of the game seems to lead to a slightly different direction. As I said, I find the two games fill very different niches. It's funny because for me FoA is a really fluid, relaxing experience but it's the one with perfect strategic information. aFfO is the one which throws little things at you to adapt too.

 
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patrocles wrote:
I generally pick some combination of buildings that I haven't done before as goals and then meander my way towards them, leaving open the option to abandon my goals if the logic of the game seems to lead to a slightly different direction. As I said, I find the two games fill very different niches. It's funny because for me FoA is a really fluid, relaxing experience but it's the one with perfect strategic information.

I do enjoy Fields of Arle solo, although I'm more hooked by A Feast for Odin and Mage Knight. BTW, I think Fields of Arle is Uwe Rosenberg's most thematic game. All the mechanisms seem to have a thematic justification. A Feast for Odin is at the opposite end of that spectrum, especially with the tetris puzzle. You can rationalize it (you need different kinds of goods to develop your society, etc.), but in Fields of Arle, you don't really have to stretch your imagination to feel the theme.
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oivind22 wrote:
NorthernPolarity wrote:
I've actually never had the desire to play a board game solo before, but GAFBlizzard's weekly challenge and the amazing design of this game have really elevated this game to the only board game that I will play solo. It's crazy, but this game is really better solo than it is with any other player count (at least until expansions), and the huge decision tree in the actions, mini puzzles with tetrising, and variability in occupations are really what make this game as great as it is. I looked into other games like Mage Knight and Fields of Arle for solo, but they seem to be a bit less open, and without support from someone as awesome as GAFBlizzard, I don't really have interest in them.

I have Fields of Arle set up on my table now. What I miss is the tetris puzzle, which gives me some immediate goals. In Fields of Arle I don't know where to start. I think it's very open.

Mage Knight is still my favorite solo game. You should try it, if you get the chance. When I draw my hand of cards and start to think about all the possibilities, time just disappears. Mage Knight and A Feast for Odin are among the few games which give me enough puzzles to think about that I don't miss opponents.


I got to play co-op multiplayer Mage Knight a week ago, and it didn't quite reach Feast for Odin's level of amazingness for me. Maybe it was just the scenario I played (4p co-op), but it felt very much like I had to follow a singular path, and figure out how to sculpt my deck/hand to kill all the stuff in the path. I guess it boils down to tactics vs strategy: Mage Knight has great tactics, but strategy didn't seem too interesting to me, whereas Feast for Odin has both great tactics and strategy, since there are so many ways to branch out into with Feast. Mage Knight might be different solo though, so I should probably give it a shot at some point.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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NorthernPolarity wrote:
I got to play co-op multiplayer Mage Knight a week ago, and it didn't quite reach Feast for Odin's level of amazingness for me. Maybe it was just the scenario I played (4p co-op), but it felt very much like I had to follow a singular path, and figure out how to sculpt my deck/hand to kill all the stuff in the path. I guess it boils down to tactics vs strategy: Mage Knight has great tactics, but strategy didn't seem too interesting to me, whereas Feast for Odin has both great tactics and strategy, since there are so many ways to branch out into with Feast. Mage Knight might be different solo though, so I should probably give it a shot at some point.

Every time I have played Mage Knight, there has been a lot of options I didn't explore, and I suspect those options are viable, so I think there is a lot of strategy. I would have to try those other strategies to see if they really are viable, though. Still, it's probably not as open as A Feast for Odin. But it's the tactical puzzle which really excites me, in both games.
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