Kevin Kees
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I also put this up in the Wargams sub-forum.

I have bought a number of games this year, and found many winners in different categories. Race for the Galaxy, Dungeon Twister, Warmachine (especially Warmachine) are among those that have really satisfied.

Good eats.

While the forementioned Warmachine miniatures game can fill up so much of my time, (fabulous tactics and choices and room for the all-important brilliant, player-driven manoever), I still long for an alternative - particularly one that doesn't need painting to really feel right.

I am solo gamer as much as anything, so solo play is paramount. However, after my last couple of purchases (one on complete impulse...bad boy), it seemed the games once again fell into a category that left me wanting. For instance, Castle Ravenloft plays smooth and fast, but is just too luck driven, and the AI is wanting, as is the all important Interesting Decision-Making Quotient(TM).

I recently broke down and bought Battles of Westeros, being a major Martin fan. They certainly improved on Battlelore (I thought that game was crap), but oy vey I should have seen the sloppiness and fiddliness coming. And the set-up is killing me - and of course its worse solo. There was no need for that nonesense imo. So now I am actually posting rather than lurking.

I am in the market for a deep tactical experience that does not punish me with upkeep and fiddlyness or an over-long set-up time. It can be a dungeon crawl, it can be a battle game...it can have plastic, metal, or cardboard, but aesthetics matter. If you can please keep suggestions to something other than traditional wargames, such as A Victory Denied or ATS or Squad Leader, even better, as I am looking for something slightly off the historical bent these days. Still, if you got a game you think fits the bill, regardless of exact genre, by all means share.

I like fantasy, sci-fi, guns, swords, magicks, tactics, strategerie, smoothness, mechanics that aren't arbitrarily thrown one on top of the other to give the illusion of depth and complextiy, good looks, and brisk set-up time that does not equal such a large portion of the actual game time.

Thank you much for any and all input!

Rheingold
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Randy Weston - The Spirits of Our Ancestors
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With your tastes, I think Claustrophobia is a sure winner. Definitely scores highly for aesthetics, sets up and plays in an hour, provides very interesting decisions for both sides. (I've only tried the 1st scenario for Castle Ravenloft once, so not a fair comparison, but the somewhat similar first scenario for Claustrophobia seemed orders of magnitude more interesting.)

The only question is whether you're OK with playing cards for both sides in a solo game. I wrote a review that takes you through a complete solo play step by step, so reading it might help you decide whether it would work for you.
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Brian McCormick
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Lansing
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This may qualify as "filler" based on your prerequisites, but 2 de Mayo is a fun little 2p game that has asymmetrical victory conditions.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Aurendrosl wrote:
This may qualify as "filler" based on your prerequisites, but 2 de Mayo is a fun little 2p game that has asymmetrical victory conditions.

Great little game, but tougher for solo play (for me at least). Another excellent game that plays quickly and truly lends itself to solo play is Neuroshima Hex!. No AI necessary, because the 'players' don't have anything hidden. Just draw and make the best move for each in turn.
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Richard Milner
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The new Space Hulk Death Angels card game will probably do nicely.

It is a co-op game for 1-6 players as Space Mariens with the aliens run by some kind of system.

Rules are here... http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite.asp?eidm=118

I don't know anything more yet because it is released this week and my copy hasn't arrived yet.
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Michael Hines
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I strongly second Nueroshima Hex. If you like quick chess-like games, you may want to try out Hive or Arimaa. Another really good card game would be Court of the Medici.

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Kevin Kees
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Well, so far I managed to get Claustrophobia (a game I have had my eye on for a while) at my LFGS and I have been enjoying it. A worthy addition to my collection is my first impression. An expansion would do nicely here, methinks.

Hive intrigues, though I have not been into abstracts of late. I will look into the others for certain.

Any other notions still welcome.
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