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Subject: Solo dice games with character? (a la History.com's Expedition game) rss

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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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I've been enjoying this online dice game called Expedition, which I had noticed someone post about in the Source of the Nile forum: http://www.history.com/expedition/game/

I'm wondering if there are other dice games like that, which can be played solo and have a similar kind of style or character as that game. I'm not looking for the same theme, necessarily, but any game where it has that kind of challenge and narrative to it. In Expedition, I really like how the theme is integrated into the dice choices... You need so much food per the number of porters, and so many porters to carry the food, and different weapons to kill different animals, and some medicine and money, etc. And you get bonuses or penalties depending on the number of miles/days you travel compared to the target and how much money you end up with, etc. Anyway, I like dice games and I think that's a really cool one... I might even try to make a "hard copy" version of that, though I'll have to figure out how to make a scorepad to track things properly.

I've played Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age and that's great as a multiplayer game, but the solo game is just trying to get the most points you can in 10 turns, which isn't that interesting to me. In Expedition, yes, you are also trying to get the most points, but a big part of the challenge and fun is to even make it to the end of the journey, which can be hard to do. So I really like the narrative aspect of that goal, which makes it a lot more compelling than the Roll Through the Ages type of thing for a solo game.

Any suggestions?
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Delve: The Dice Game relatively new, but fun with a lot of potential I think.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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Here are a few games you might check out:
Barbarian Prince
Island Of D
Island Of D 2: The Shadow of Dawn
The Dungeon of D

And a website:
Fabled Lands
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Tony Ripley
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I thought that Expedition dice game as pretty cool too. It got me thinking a lot about making something of my own - so I'll keep you posted.

My youngest likes to play "Cities of Doom" with me, but that is 2 player. Again, there I am trying to come up with a solo play version.

Also, in the spirit of expeditions, there are a set of dice from Flying Buffalo called "Adventure Dice". There are dice for weapons, weather, passages, traps, etc. so you can create a solo adventure.
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p55carroll
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For some reason, this thread makes me think of The Sorcerer's Cave. And you can download a free PC version to play solo.
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Justin Hwang
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That Expedition game is quite fun and cool. I guess I really do enjoy Yahtzee type games... I've played Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age, Delve: The Dice Game, and of course Yahtzee and I enjoyed them all!

I probably played Delve: The Dice Game 100 times literally because I made it into a computer version as a programming exercise. I have to admit that though it is addictive, it's not quite challenging after a hundred games... (this is not a criticism as I expect few games will stand up to this many plays, especially when you can play it in 5 minutes on computer)

I agree that lack of "goal" in RttA, compared to the other games is a weakness but it has other strengths that I like- mostly the fact that it has more meaningful choices to make, rather than having only one obvious choice.

Anyways, I would like to see more of these simple yet addictive games!
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Ah yes, I had meant to try out Delve. Thanks for reminding me! And yeah, RTTA is quite good for what it is... I love it as a multiplayer filler, just not so much for the solo game.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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shininiu wrote:
I probably played Delve: The Dice Game 100 times literally because I made it into a computer version


Would you be able to share that? I was planning on making a quick Vassal version to try it out, but I've been super busy lately. It'd make it easier for me to try the game out if there's already a computer version.
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Drew Chamberlain
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shininiu wrote:
Anyways, I would like to see more of these simple yet addictive games!

I second this.

Catan Dice Game is not bad every once in a while. I wish there were more simple theme based solitaire card games that had the same feel as these dice games as well. I saw my son playing solitaire and felt bad that with stacks of expensive, great looking, fun, 2+ player games in the house, when we have a few minutes to kill alone, we don't have the same options.

I asked about good solo games at my local game store and they said they didn't know of any at all (I was actually buying one at the time - Hero: Immortal King – The Den of Dementia) but he recommended just playing computer games
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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MaytagMan wrote:

I asked about good solo games at my local game store and they said they didn't know of any at all (I was actually buying one at the time - Hero: Immortal King – The Den of Dementia) but he recommended just playing computer games


Ah, there are a lot of good solo games, or games that can be played solo, at least. Here's my GL for that: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/35907 But specifically solo dice games with some character to them... not so much.

Catan Dice Game isn't terrible solo, but again, it's just going for the most points within a time limit, and it's much better to play against others.
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Justin Hwang
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Grudunza wrote:
shininiu wrote:
I probably played Delve: The Dice Game 100 times literally because I made it into a computer version


Would you be able to share that? I was planning on making a quick Vassal version to try it out, but I've been super busy lately. It'd make it easier for me to try the game out if there's already a computer version.


I asked the designer, Mr. Chamberlain for permission and if he's willing to upload it on his Delvegames server.

There's absolutely no graphic whatsoever on my version. Mainly to accommodate those who want to play a few quick games without anyone noticing... Also, it's my first practice with Visual Basic, you get the idea.

If you want to try it out, geekmail me with your email (that takes .exe files) and I'll send you the file. (I'm not a lawyer but I guess it's okay to do that???)
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Tony Ripley
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MaytagMan wrote:
shininiu wrote:
Anyways, I would like to see more of these simple yet addictive games!

I second this.

Catan Dice Game is not bad every once in a while. I wish there were more simple theme based solitaire card games that had the same feel as these dice games as well. I saw my son playing solitaire and felt bad that with stacks of expensive, great looking, fun, 2+ player games in the house, when we have a few minutes to kill alone, we don't have the same options.

I asked about good solo games at my local game store and they said they didn't know of any at all (I was actually buying one at the time - Hero: Immortal King – The Den of Dementia) but he recommended just playing computer games


Amen! I have started teaching my youngest to play Cribbage so we can get in a quick game now and then (and sneak in some math during the summer. whistle )

I hear the Call and I must obey - I will design, create and post a solo dice game back here in 1 week (public goal setting can sure produce some adrenalin!) Start the Clock!
- Dice
- solo play
- good theme
- decisions / options to keep balanced play and interest

Onward,
Tony
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Thanks, Justin. But I just looked at it again and I think it'll be quick enough to just make a Vassal version, so I'll do that sometime soon.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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So I finally tried out Delve: The Dice Game today. Very cool! I like it a lot, and it definitely has a similar thing to what I'm asking about, where there is some character to it and more of a goal-oriented thing. Great job, Drew! And I look forward to trying the expansions for that.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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I think Justin's computer version works great, so I won't bother with a Vassal version. There is one bug, though... If you click on the Rogue to do damage, it inflicts damage on the Cleric instead. Pressing R works correctly.
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For a dice game you might try Star Trader's Luck
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Heh, so I was about to try putting together an actual dice version of the Expedition game using some blank dice I have, and I realized that they're not using "6-sided dice" as depicted, at least for the black die. There's Food, Money, Machete, Rifle, Pistol, Medicine, Fever and Ammo. So that's an 8-sided die. Those stinkers! Well, I don't have a blank 8-sided die, but I guess I can just use a regular 8-sided die and make a chart for the different things.

But I'm also realizing that I don't have any idea what the distribution of the other dice might be (or if they're even 6-sided!). There's 10 miles, 20 miles, 30 miles, Porter, Mosquito, Croc, Lion, Snake and Fever. Nine different things. Any idea how those might be distributed over 5 different dice with (let's assume) 6 sides?

Ah, it's probably not even worth the effort when I can just play it online, but I do think something like that would make a great dice game to have in "hard copy" form.
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Cinq-O is a tiny game to keep in the car. You just try to beat your high score.
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Tony Ripley
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...adrenalin fading...reality sinking in again...concepts clamoring for attention! which is it to be?

- battle-centric
- scientifically inclined
- exploration

D6 only? (like you noted Eric, the computer was using some fourth dimensional sides or something to come up with all those values...)

...all still a blur; I hear drums coming from the jungle somewhere behind the impenetrable curtain of vines and trunks that line the shore. Yes, a river, I'm on a river...
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Tony Ripley
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the 1 week challenge - update

...the fever induced visions have coalesced into a clear mission; I must locate the passage to the Atlantic. It is the only way to effectively by-pass the slave traders. I will need a strong and able expedition crew; there is only one unsubstantiated map, I only have vague descriptions from the locals here at Lake Tanganyika that this outlet from the lake joins a mighty river. How far do we go? Why do these locals fear to travel the river beyond the sight of their village?

(This is going to be close - I am working to get the "play area" and the reference info all on one sheet. Also trying to finalize keeping an edgy balance between number of turns/rations/moves required)

Get you pith helmet and expedition notebooks ready!

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Tony Ripley
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The 1 Week Challenge has been Met!

with...

The Challenge of Lukuga River
(and I didn't get Sleeping sickness, malaria or eaten by crocodiles)

Become the explorer and see if you can paddle where H M Stanley has gone before. Go back to the time of late 19th century exploration.

(this Solo Dice game will be posted on my site until it a submission here is approved)

www.gamealogical-institute.com - see the link in the Recent News section.

all feedback is of course welcome!

Onward,
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Hey, you did it! Nice. It looks cool. I'm going to throw together a quick Vassal module to try this out with.

Quick question, though... Is there really a need for rolling the 2 d10? As far as I see, the same things could be accomplished with one d8. 5-8 and there's an event, and for the Hunting table, use >2, >4 and >6 on a d8 for the same odds as >25, >50 and >75. I think anything to make it simpler with fewer necessary components would be good. In which case, maybe everything could be done with d6s and one d8, although that would require some adjustment with the attacks and cataract table. Anyway, I'll play through it before adding any more comments.
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Tony Ripley
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Eric,

you're right about the dice. I went back and forth between going only d6 or having the variety. I figured most folks would have "gaming dice" and this provides a way to use them.

Also, I liked the "oh, almost" factor you get with rolling a 49 or a 51 for instance, if 50 is the make or break mark. Additionally, when you are really getting low on Rations, it more fun to "wish on" 74 possible good outcomes than just 2.

The one crew/d10 vs a whole attacking canoe/d6 was my way of emphasizing the disparity between Stanley's crew with gunpowder weapons vs the primitive weapons they faced. In fact suddenly killing someone in the native canoe often sent one or more canoes heading back to the banks of the river.

enjoy!
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Tony Ripley
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Grudunza wrote:
Hey, you did it! Nice. It looks cool. I'm going to throw together a quick Vassal module to try this out with.


A vassal module?
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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http://www.vassalengine.org Vassal is a way to play board games on a computer. It's not automated... you have to enforce the rules and draw the cards, etc. But for me, traveling in a motorhome without my supply of dice, it's a quick way to throw together a working version of the game to try out. If you don't mind, I can share it when it's done.

Yeah, I understand about using the d10s. It is nice to be able to use other dice and they give some distinction to different aspects of the game (roll d6 for this and d8 for that and d10 for that, etc.). Still, I'll probably just use a d8 for that for now unless you can work in a way to use the 2d10s where the more specific numbers are integral to the game.

Another question...

Is there a significance I'm missing about the divider lines every 5th village?

I think you might reword this line: 1) Reduce your expedition rations by 1. (not for each canoe, but from your total)

From your total what? I understand there are rations in each canoe, and cumulatively they are your "total", but perhaps you might just say, "1) Reduce the rations from one of your canoes by 1."
 
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