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Subject: Which is better for Solo Play? Thunderstone or DnD (Ravenloft or Ashardalon) rss

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Fractal Energy
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Hey all,

I have Thunderstone, and mostly play single player. I enjoy it a lot for its dungeon crawlyness. The deck building aspect is also fun, though some of the aspects can make it a pain in solo play (like those games where all the big monsters come rushing out of the dungeon on the first couple turns....).

I was wondering if anyone had any opinions on DnD Ravenloft or Wrath of Ashardalon single player in comparison to this single player. I've never played a dungeon crawler with a board/pieces. The most board/pieces adventure kind of game I've played is Last Night on Earth. But I've always kinda been interested and wanted thoughts on the DnD games before diving in.

Any thoughts are appreciated
 
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Fractal Energy
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In all honesty this game is starting to lose its single player charm for me. I just played a game and lost 94-34. What a fuuuuuun game. I killed five whole monsters!! Good thing there are GOODBERRIES and BLESSED HAMMERS!
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Adam Lucas
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I think that's one of your mistakes right there. Goodberries, Glowberries, and Blessed Hammers are more for replacing your starting cards with something better. The Victory Points are more like sprinkles on your icecream: Nice to have, but doesn't really change things.
The Blessed Hammers cost 8, which could have bought almost anything else in the village.

I think Blessed Hammers should be removed from the pool of possible village cards because it's got a monster cycling effect.

I know that's probably not going to change your mind on looking for alternative solo dungeon crawls, but it could at least help your solo game.

EDIT: Text wall!
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Thomas Staudt
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To answer the OP's original question:

First of all, I love both Thunderstone and Ravenloft / Ashardalon.

I prefer the DnD games solo to Thunderstone solo.

Solo Thunderstone, while the rules are good in the light of no solo game considered at first, feels to me a bit pasted on.
You more or less play it because you want to play Thunderstone but unfortunately noone else is around.

In Castle Ravenloft / Wrath of Ashardalon, the solo game (playing multiple characters, not one) for me comes pretty close to the feel of the old SSI computer games where you had control of the whole party.
Being cooperative games, the solo game is the same as the multiplayer game, so it even helps you get better at / understand the game in general, while solo Thunderstone seems to be a completely different game having the same mechanics.

Hope this helps.
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Sids Creations
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I enjoy both, but lean slightly towards Thunderstone at this time.
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Dieter Görgner
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Unfortunately I don't know Ravenloft/Ashardon yet, but I've played Thunderstone a couple of times when there hasn't been anyone to play with. I really liked it for it's dungeon crawl feel but it really seems to be VERY luck dependent.
A real alternative is the new Lord of the Rings Cardgame, I think. Of course this is depending on lucky draws too, especially if you're playing with the constructed starter decks (and that's the only thing I've done so far, and only with the scenario 1). But since the mechanic is that of a CCG - you can construct your own deck out of your available card pool - I do believe that you can add some strategy here and improve your chance for a win the more often you're playing. Also beating nasty creatures is a main element here, so even if you're not crawling through a dark dungeon, mirkwood isn't too bad either in this respect
Another personal favorite of mine is 'Defenders of the Realm': Lots of monsters are threatening your realm growing in numbers, with 4 boss monsters (here: 'generals') appproaching your capital city with every round of gameplay. Lost two times very close before I would have been able to do my final blow. First time I did recognize a mistake of mine. Avoidance would have changed the outcome, I believe. So this one will often have a very good tension. So if you don't mind to have a BIG game board ...
 
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Matt Sanderson
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I bought Castle Ravenloft the week it was released and have played it solo many times. It's a fairly simple game rules wise and content wise, so if that doesn't bother you, than I would definitely recommend it for solo play. I often play with four characters solo, and as long as you have room for all the cards, and are used to keeping track of multiple characters and don't feel overwhelmed, it can be a lot of fun. There's not much wrong with Castle Ravenloft/Wrath of Ashardalon when it comes to solo gaming. The game itself, however, is open for debate.

I have never played Thunderstone, so I can't make a fair comparison.
 
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Ben Argo
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I've never played Ravenloft, but I would probably enjoy it more than solo Thunderstone, for two reasons:

1) I used to enjoy playing solo Warhammer Quest, before I lost most of the vital components.

2) I can't win at Thunderstone solo no matter what I do to rig the odds in my favor. I've even picked what heroes, items, and monster types are available, and I still wind up losing by a wide margin. I believe I came within ten points of winning once, with the monsters being Humanoids/Dragons/Nature Elementals. I'm willing to accept the possibility that I'm simply not smart enough to out-think the Thunderstone system, but even a dumb player should be able to eke out a win if he stacks the deck in his favor to the degree that I did.

I wouldn't mind that, really, but then there's a solid ten minutes of cleanup involved. Ugh.
 
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Fractal Energy
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Oh god, the dreadful Thunderstone setup/cleanup. Thanks for reminding me of this hahahah
 
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Tristan Hall
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erasercrumbs wrote:
2) I can't win at Thunderstone solo no matter what I do to rig the odds in my favor.


Are you using Nightmare mode? I've only tried the 'Normal' solo mode so far and after about 20 games I only lost on my first go, starting with the basic setup and then mixing everything up with the randomisers. Next time I'm definitely going up to Warrior level.

As for take-down it is a ball-ache. I usually use the same resource piles for each game in the same evening.


EDIT - in answer to the OP, they're both great solo, my preference would be to the DnD system because of its versatility and all the fanmade stuff though.
 
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Ben Argo
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ninjadorg wrote:
Are you using Nightmare mode?


Nope. I need to prowl YouTube and see if I can find a video of someone playing Thunderstone solo to see what I'm doing wrong. I'm buying lots of heroes and weapons, and doing everything in my power to ditch Militia ASAP.

 
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