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Subject: Would you recommend Gaia Project to me? For 2 players and solo. rss

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Marcel
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Hi,

I'm currently on the fence, if Gaia Project would be the right choice for my next game. Maybe you could help me a bit? I think it helps, when I post my current Top 10:

#1: Gloomhaven
#2: Star Trek: Frontiers – The Return of Khan
#3: Eclipse
#4: Star Wars: Rebellion – Rise of the Empire
#5: Renegade
#6: Terraforming Mars
#7: Spirit Island: Branch & Claw
#8: Space Empires: 4X
#9: Star Trek: Fleet Captains
#10: Space Alert

So, I'm primarily a Sci-Fi guy (but I don't mind fantasy as well). I like games where you have to get to a goal and solve a big puzzle on the way to the end (Meaning, that I/we think about: "how can I/we make it; which upgrades/cards or choices do I have to get or do I have to do out of those which are available?") and with much variability. You can find all of this in my Top 10 with Gloomhaven, Frontiers, Renegade, Spirit Island and Space Alert. I also like it, when a game is highly thematic and not too random (some randomness is okay). It's cool, when the players have different powers from the start. I don't mind long games.
Feel free to check my collection for the ratings of the board games I have played so far.

Would you recommend Gaia Project to me? I already watched a few playthrough videos (Rahdo's and One Stop Coop's), but I'm still not sure, if it's the right game for me. I would play it as a 2-player game or solo. Thank you in advance!

 
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Scott Lewis
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I can only speak for myself, but I play Gaia Project primarily solo. I've only played a few games with others (though I wouldn't mind playing more), but have enjoyed it as a solo game. I'm not very good at it, though
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V Vendetta
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Quote:
I think it helps, when I post my current Top 10:

#1: Gloomhaven
#2: Star Trek: Frontiers – The Return of Khan
#3: Eclipse
#4: Star Wars: Rebellion – Rise of the Empire
#5: Renegade
#6: Terraforming Mars
#7: Spirit Island: Branch & Claw
#8: Space Empires: 4X
#9: Star Trek: Fleet Captains
#10: Space Alert


I can't help but think that Gaia Project isn't like any of those games, to be honest... This is usually not a great sign, but let's not kill hope just yet.

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So, I'm primarily a Sci-Fi guy (but I don't mind fantasy as well).


I guess this is good, but you might find the "sci-fi-ness" of this game on the low side - I'll explain why later.

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I like games where you have to get to a goal and solve a big puzzle on the way to the end (Meaning, that I/we think about: "how can I/we make it; which upgrades/cards or choices do I have to get or do I have to do out of those which are available?") and with much variability.


As long as the goal can be acquire vp, and the puzzle how to setup your structures and economy to allow your later half of the game to give you many points... This sounds somewhat promising in this very limited sense.

This game has big setup variability in my opinion - not as big as Terraforming Mars, for instance, but I'd argue the variability in Gaia Project is more managable and less "you kinda lost the game in the opening hand".

You can screw yourself into picking the factions and boosters wrongly, but that is your fault for just being bad (unlike Terraforming Mars in which you can do the most optimal moves and still lose because of an unlucky initial draw).

Quote:
I also like it, when a game is highly thematic


About that... So... This game isn't exactly highly thematic - some joked about "it is Terra Mystica in space" (which is 50% unfair, but has some limited validity as a criticism, IF you think it is a criticism - which I don't).

Theme exists in it, you can tell yourself stories if you want to, but, at the end of the day it is more about the puzzle and the mechanics of it than the theme. I'd say A LOT MORE about puzzle and mechanics, in fact.

There isn't a "lore section" in the manual, there isn't a "real or fictional world or lore" reason for the numbers - there are DEEP reasons for them tho, but they aren't thematic in nature. There isn't a deep meaning to the mechanics - while there might be superficial ones - while there is A LOT OF DEPTH to them strategically.

There's lore stuff here and there if you think about it, but I think this game will be on the drier side for you, specially with the games you linked as comparison.

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and not too random (some randomness is okay). It's cool, when the players have different powers from the start. I don't mind long games.


Good, I feel like this is a fair description of the game in a lot of ways.

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Feel free to check my collection for the ratings of the board games I have played so far.


Just did it. Your list in the "10 bin" has basically no games like Gaia Project. Your "9"s and "8"s have 2 or 3 games that kinda give me hope that you might like Gaia Project. The vast majority of the others that I know of aren't similar at all... BUT you also do not seem to inherently dislike consistently games that are similar to Gaia Project in any way I can say.

Since you don't describe the games you rate I can't tell more than that.

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I would play it as a 2-player game or solo.


The solo seems OK, maybe a bit fiddly. The 2p game works as well as the bigger play counts.

AND NOW you tell me if you are discouraged or not.

I feel like you'd like other games... Like Pulsar 2849 (https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/228341/pulsar-2849).
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Greg H
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I’ve had a great time with Gaia Project and Spirit Island solo. I love Terraforming Mars multiplayer but found the solo got dull after about 10 plays. I’m not familiar with the others on your list.

Gaia Project has zero randomness outside your opponents actions once the game gets going: it has a highly variable setup that gives a ton of replayability (on par with Spirit Island with the different spirits, adversaries, and scenarios). After setup the automa does take random but semi-predictable actions.

As far as the puzzle aspect, I haven’t seen anything better than Gaia Project solo. There’s a website that can give you consistent automas for a limitless number of setups, and I’ve really enjoyed going through the different setups and trying to come up with the optimal strategy.

I’ve played Gaia Project twice multiplayer, both teaching games, and won both by large margins. I think it would work best 2 player if both players are equal skill level / interest. It’s a lot closer to chess or Go in terms of being a skill game over luck, and experienced players can easily lap new players.

Overall I’d enthusiastically recommend, for solo alone!
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Leigh - 1onthebox
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Gaia Project is my current #1 solo game and I share several of your top 10 games, including Frontiers and Terraforming Mars.

I wouldn't call it a thematic game however I buy into the space empire building.
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El Guapo
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I've only played it 2 player and it's very good. It scales well because you use less map tiles with 2.
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Ross Hebden
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sigmazero13 wrote:
I can only speak for myself, but I play Gaia Project primarily solo. I've only played a few games with others (though I wouldn't mind playing more), but have enjoyed it as a solo game. I'm not very good at it, though


Hahaha sigmazero is clearly my spirit animal. I also primarily play solo and am not very good at it.

But I love it solo.

From the OP list I have played gloomhaven and spirit island. I don't actually like Gloomhaven as much solo (mostly too much annoying upkeep and not enough of the fun reward of multiplayer gloomhaven). But I like spirit island as a solo game. GP is a fantastic game if you appreciate a decent amount of puzzle and very little luck (even with the AI cards it's pretty clear what you're looking out for from the solo opponent.)
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Marcel
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Thanks to all of you so far!


VeteranVandal wrote:


Quote:
I like games where you have to get to a goal and solve a big puzzle on the way to the end (Meaning, that I/we think about: "how can I/we make it; which upgrades/cards or choices do I have to get or do I have to do out of those which are available?") and with much variability.


As long as the goal can be acquire vp, and the puzzle how to setup your structures and economy to allow your later half of the game to give you many points... This sounds somewhat promising in this very limited sense.


Aquiring VP would be alright. With Eclipse and Terraforming Mars it's basically a race for the most VPs and in Terraforming Mars it's all about the engine building to get there. Just recently we played Through the Ages (the new edition), and we really liked it and in the end, it's all about the VPs you get. I also have Tzolk'in (which is also about gaining VPs) in my collection and rate it a 9 and although it's been a while since I played it, I always enjoyed the game and for a short period, it was my number 1 in my Top 10. But I was never very good at it.laugh

Quote:
This game has big setup variability in my opinion - not as big as Terraforming Mars, for instance, but I'd argue the variability in Gaia Project is more managable and less "you kinda lost the game in the opening hand".

You can screw yourself into picking the factions and boosters wrongly, but that is your fault for just being bad (unlike Terraforming Mars in which you can do the most optimal moves and still lose because of an unlucky initial draw).


A big setup variability sounds very good! And it's normal for the first games to make (some big) mistakes or to not know, what choice would be best for me from the start of the game. All that belongs to the learning curve.


Quote:
About that... So... This game isn't exactly highly thematic
Theme exists in it, you can tell yourself stories if you want to, but, at the end of the day it is more about the puzzle and the mechanics of it than the theme. I'd say A LOT MORE about puzzle and mechanics, in fact.


Although I love thematic games, it is not a must at all cost. I also like games where the theme doesn't shine through as much as in most of the games in my Top 10. For example Lords of Waterdeep (just as an example; that's a totally different game and mechanic of courselaugh), which doesn't really feel like a Dungeons and Dragons game, but it's a cool game nevertheless. Or Twilight Struggle, which is absolutely not our theme, but it's a very good game (I rated it as a 10). So the theme aspect is probably not the decisive factor, as long as it's a good game.


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There isn't a "lore section" in the manual, there isn't a "real or fictional world or lore" reason for the numbers - there are DEEP reasons for them tho, but they aren't thematic in nature. There isn't a deep meaning to the mechanics - while there might be superficial ones - while there is A LOT OF DEPTH to them strategically.


That doesn't sound too bad. In fact, I have to admit that I never read the lore sections in games. But I like it when I feel like I'm really doing something and not only for the mechanics. For example, in Through the Ages, it really felt like I was building my civilization and not only for the mechanics. Or in Spirit Island, it felt like I was this Spirit, which wanted to drive off the invaders. But the theme doesn't have to be as strong at all times and if it's a big puzzle, that is cool too. I don't know if my writing makes any sense or is like a paradox.laugh

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Just did it. Your list in the "10 bin" has basically no games like Gaia Project. Your "9"s and "8"s have 2 or 3 games that kinda give me hope that you might like Gaia Project. The vast majority of the others that I know of aren't similar at all... BUT you also do not seem to inherently dislike consistently games that are similar to Gaia Project in any way I can say.


Quote:
AND NOW you tell me if you are discouraged or not.


Before playing Twilight Struggle, I never would have thought to really like it. My buddy got it because it was number 1 on BGG for a long time and we wanted to see if it would also be a game for us. And suddenly we both rated it a 10. So I was and am wondering, since Gaia Project is so highly rated and placed on BGG, if that could happen with this game, as well.

Quote:
I feel like you'd like other games... Like Pulsar 2849 (https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/228341/pulsar-2849).


Thank you, I will have a look at it, too.
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Marcel
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GregH87 wrote:
I’ve had a great time with Gaia Project and Spirit Island solo. I love Terraforming Mars multiplayer but found the solo got dull after about 10 plays. I’m not familiar with the others on your list.


That is quite encouraging that you like those games as well. Although I also love the solo mode in Terraforming Mars, as well as the multiplayer (I only tried it with 2 players so far).

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Gaia Project has zero randomness outside your opponents actions once the game gets going: it has a highly variable setup that gives a ton of replayability (on par with Spirit Island with the different spirits, adversaries, and scenarios). After setup the automa does take random but semi-predictable actions.

As far as the puzzle aspect, I haven’t seen anything better than Gaia Project solo. There’s a website that can give you consistent automas for a limitless number of setups, and I’ve really enjoyed going through the different setups and trying to come up with the optimal strategy.


That sounds good, too. The Automa really does sound a bit like Spirit Island. And I love a good puzzle, when it's rewarding.



Quote:

I’ve played Gaia Project twice multiplayer, both teaching games, and won both by large margins. I think it would work best 2 player if both players are equal skill level / interest. It’s a lot closer to chess or Go in terms of being a skill game over luck, and experienced players can easily lap new players.


Since my buddy and I both would be new to the game, we would be on an equal level. Although I would probably play it solo, as well. But since I usually need a few plays (sometimes maybe more than that) to get going, I think our level would quickly equalize again.


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Overall I’d enthusiastically recommend, for solo alone!


Thanks for your reply.
 
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Marcel
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From the OP list I have played gloomhaven and spirit island. I don't actually like Gloomhaven as much solo (mostly too much annoying upkeep and not enough of the fun reward of multiplayer gloomhaven). But I like spirit island as a solo game. GP is a fantastic game if you appreciate a decent amount of puzzle and very little luck (even with the AI cards it's pretty clear what you're looking out for from the solo opponent.)


I also play Gloomhaven mostly with 2 players. I tried a few solo scenarios, but I like the multiplayer definitely better, as well.

Decent amount of puzzle and very little luck sound good, too. Thanks!
 
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Marcel
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And thanks for all the other replies! I will definitely think about it.
 
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Gianluca Spessato
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Why not Space Corps? The scy-fi theme is present, there is a dedicated rule book for the solo play, and it is substantially based on resource management. More, the card decks ensure an incredibly longevity to the game.
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V Vendetta
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Aquiring VP would be alright.
(Cites Eclipse, Terraforming Mars and Tzolk'in as examples - all of which I considered in my answer)

I suspected you'd be ok with it.

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A big setup variability sounds very good!


Good. The first Gaia Project game... Will be quite challenging to say the least. And you'll honestly screw a rule or two for sure...

Quote:
Although I love thematic games, it is not a must at all cost. I also like games where the theme doesn't shine through as much as in most of the games in my Top 10 (...) Or Twilight Struggle, which is absolutely not our theme, but it's a very good game (I rated it as a 10). So the theme aspect is probably not the decisive factor, as long as it's a good game.


This was actually the big one. If you can get past this, I've very close to saying I'd recommend it. In fact, when I saw the rating for "Twilight Struggle" I was "hmmm, that isn't sci-fy, which seems like good news, while it isn't really all that similar". If you can go out of your average taste and like a game, you might be good to go.

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But I like it when I feel like I'm really doing something and not only for the mechanics.


Eh, you'll probably be fine with NOT doing this in Gaia Project, I suppose.

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Before playing Twilight Struggle, I never would have thought to really like it. (...) So I was and am wondering, since Gaia Project is so highly rated and placed on BGG, if that could happen with this game, as well.



I'd argue it could happen to GP, even with your inherently bizarre taste - take this as... A compliment? Anyway...

So I'd finally answer: yes, I do recommend it for ya. Good luck!
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Jason Stone
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Go on....you know you want to.

You won't regret it.
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Marcel
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hieronymus62 wrote:
Why not Space Corps? The scy-fi theme is present, there is a dedicated rule book for the solo play, and it is substantially based on resource management. More, the card decks ensure an incredibly longevity to the game.


Thanks for the recommendation! I will look further into that as well. It does look interesting, but on the other hand it has left me somewhat cold so far. Don't know why Maybe I just have to watch some playthroughs of this. It is a game from GMT after all, and the ones that I've played have been great so far.


Quote:
The first Gaia Project game... Will be quite challenging to say the least. And you'll honestly screw a rule or two for sure...


I don't expect to play everything correctly for the first few games in any game that is on the heavier side. Also, I'm a frequent visitor in the rules sections on BGG to see if I played everything correctly and ask questions if I don't find the situations that I'm looking for.

Quote:
This was actually the big one. If you can get past this, I've very close to saying I'd recommend it. In fact, when I saw the rating for "Twilight Struggle" I was "hmmm, that isn't sci-fy, which seems like good news, while it isn't really all that similar". If you can go out of your average taste and like a game, you might be good to go.


Yes, this was one of the games which surprised me the most so far, as well. And that is very encouraging.

Quote:
I'd argue it could happen to GP, even with your inherently bizarre taste - take this as... A compliment? Anyway...

So I'd finally answer: yes, I do recommend it for ya. Good luck!


Hahaha thank you, yeah I do think my taste in board games could be described as bizarre. And thanks for the recommendation and guidance, too! Well, I think it will be my next game then.



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Go on....you know you want to.

You won't regret it.


Thanks!
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Sam Lee
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The Maniac wrote:
Hi,

I'm currently on the fence, if Gaia Project would be the right choice for my next game. Maybe you could help me a bit? I think it helps, when I post my current Top 10:

#1: Gloomhaven
#2: Star Trek: Frontiers – The Return of Khan
#3: Eclipse
#4: Star Wars: Rebellion – Rise of the Empire
#5: Renegade
#6: Terraforming Mars
#7: Spirit Island: Branch & Claw
#8: Space Empires: 4X
#9: Star Trek: Fleet Captains
#10: Space Alert

So, I'm primarily a Sci-Fi guy (but I don't mind fantasy as well). I like games where you have to get to a goal and solve a big puzzle on the way to the end (Meaning, that I/we think about: "how can I/we make it; which upgrades/cards or choices do I have to get or do I have to do out of those which are available?") and with much variability. You can find all of this in my Top 10 with Gloomhaven, Frontiers, Renegade, Spirit Island and Space Alert. I also like it, when a game is highly thematic and not too random (some randomness is okay). It's cool, when the players have different powers from the start. I don't mind long games.
Feel free to check my collection for the ratings of the board games I have played so far.

Would you recommend Gaia Project to me? I already watched a few playthrough videos (Rahdo's and One Stop Coop's), but I'm still not sure, if it's the right game for me. I would play it as a 2-player game or solo. Thank you in advance!



Hi there, Fyi, I just bought GP recently and I have played terraforming Mars, spirit island and star wars rebellion.

My view as follows:
1)A goal? There is no campaign. You win the game by achieving highest victory point like tfm.
2)Puzzle? There a lot of different strategy to win and within each strategy there are myriad of options. The key strategy involves building stuffs on different planets. Some planets are more expensive than others. Very high variability and replayability due to Modular board (spirit island) and different tiles for scoring (scythe and teotihuacan). No take that element like star wars or tfm.
3) theme? Almost zero. No character background. Mostly mechanics. Quite dry.
4)Random level. Very low. Mostly affect scoring. Not like tfm which is card dependent.
5)Variable powers. Yes there are 14 factions to choose from and each are quite different but no so extreme like spirit island. More variable than corporation in tfm.
6)long game? Longer than tfm and spirit island but shorter than star wars.
7) No coop. It's competitive. Scale well.

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Marcel
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Hi and thank you for your description of the game and the comparison to the other games on my list. It's cool to see, that you also played and liked some of the games that I like. And I can see in your collection, that you rated Gaia as a 10 which gives me a feel that this is really worth a try. I ordered it yesterday and will see if it's for me or not. I hope for the former.

1)That's okay, not every game needs a campaign.

2)The puzzle aspect sounds very promising! High variability and replay value are very nice, too.

3)As I stated above, it's cool when a game has a theme (and a theme which I like would be a big plus), but there are games, which took me by surprise in spite of the theme, like Twilight Struggle, Through the Ages or Tzolk'in . The last one is a bit on the drier side (not meant in a negative way), too, but because of the cool mechanics and the look of the game, I liked it a lot. But Tzolk'in is also a fairly quick game with an hour if I recall correctly (it's been a while).

4)Good Although I like the tons of different cards in TfM and trying to solve that "puzzle" of terraforming the planet solo, which doesn't work always for me. And with 2 players we don't mind the randomness of the cards too much. We try to make the best out of them.

5)Sounds cool

6)Yes, it's probably not for every board game night because of its length (and because there is a ton of other board games on the shelfblushlaugh), but that's totally okay.

7) Very good. Although we like coop games as well, competitive is also great.


I'm excited to try it!
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Marcel
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I just wanted to let you know that I've already played Gaia Project a few times solo now, and so far I really really like it. I played the first matches against the normal Automa (with the proposed races) but I was clearly beaten by it, which was a bit frustrating, also because I played so badly.laugh

Then I tried the easier level of the Automa and this time it was a much tighter game and therefore even more fun, although I lost again, if only by a few points. But this time, I think I played a little bit better and hopefully soon I will manage to beat the Automa.

I can't wait to try it with 2 players, but so far this is a great game! (At the moment, I would rate it as an initial rating of 9.5! Time will tell if it stays there or will drop or maybe rise even more) Thanks guys for the great advice to give it a try!
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James Ataei
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Great to hear! I’m so glad you are enjoying it.
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