Matt Smith
United States
Troy
Michigan
flag msg tools
It's a love/hate relationship.
badge
Check out my board game instructional videos on my YouTube channel: "The Game Explainer".
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
June 20, 2013
Solo play of Castaways scenario
Random starting inventions: Spear, Cellar, Furnace, Sack, Bow
Starting items: Bottle (+1 weapon twice), Tools ? (+1 build worker twice)

(I don't remember every single action choice, but I've included specific details where I could, and where I thought it would help tell the story)

After playing this scenario three times with 3-4 players at Origins, and failing miserably each time, I decided to give it a go solo. I choose the Carpenter because I new I would be doing a lot of building. Friday and the Dog joined me on the beach, and we set out to conquer our environs and get rescued.

Having played this scenario several times, I knew protection from weather would be key to my survival. Since I had access to several weapons, I decided to pursue a hunting strategy combined with the Cellar to preserve my food.

Round 1
Dog and I explored to the east and found mountains. It was a perfect area, as it contained wood, animals and a cave for shelter! I even found a pirate saber (+1 weapon). I built a weapon using my meager wood supplies. Friday built the Shovel, somehow managing to hurt himself. I froze in the cold night, but moved my shelter to the cave (the Z-Man rules say to take the exposure damage first, then move the camp).

Round 2
Predators are everywhere, and they have blocked the food source on the beach. No worries, I thought, because I was going hunting! But I wanted to build the Cellar first, so I decided to suck it up and starve one night to conserve food in the long run. After starting the pile of wood for my bonfire, I built the Hatchet, using my determination to avoid consuming wood. I also built the Cellar. Friday built a knife (and hurt himself again). The Dog just hung out in camp. That night I was very hungry, but I appreciated the shelter of the cave.

Round 3
Now that I had a knife, Pirate Saber and a sharp stick, I took Dog and went hunting. We easily killed a fox for 2 food and 1 fur. I think Friday gathered wood. I ate well that night in my cozy cave.

Round 4
Bad weather was approaching, so I decided to start building a roof out of fox fur. I also explored, finding some hills with a food source and animals. I even found some bonus food, which I stored in my cellar. I would be eating good for some time to come! Friday built fire (clever man). However, the rain that evening was stronger than my new roof could handle, so I had to eat more than I had planned, and took damage from the cold (I had put all of my wood on the bonfire pile).

Round 5
The storms are making it harder to explore and gather. Also, the hungry predators dried up another adjacent food source. Fortunately, I had a celler full of food. I decided to build a spear, while Friday gathered wood. I also explored with Dog, finding more mountains, wood and animals, along with some pesky monkeys. My roof kept out the rain this time, and I ate from my cellar. I was feeling pretty good about my chances of rescue.

Round 6
And this is the part of the story where the wheels fell off my rescue wagon. First, a nasty storm blew in. I decided to build up my roof and go hunting with Dog, while Friday tried to build a sack. For some reason, Friday never came back. I'm not sure how someone dies making a sack, so I assumed he tired of my company. I knew I would really miss his help. Fortunately, I build my roof to level 2, and only took a little damage from the storm (no palisade). I had killed a wild pig, so I had more food and fur.

Rounds 7-12
And this is the part of the story where the rescue wagon falls apart. Termites destroyed my camp's wood source, cutting my wood production in half. I also didn't have the sack that sacked Friday, so I was really short on wood. I built my roof to level 3, then 4, to stay ahead of the weather. But I rolled three snow clouds one round, which killed my wood supply. I also lost access to Hills, and two of my tools broke. Later, I had to rebuild the shovel to put out a tree fire that had completely cut off my wood prodution. My wood production/supplies got hit every round from 8-11 by an event, weather, or both. I kept throwing whatever wood I could scrounge onto the bonfire, but it never seemed enough. In round 11 I even went exploring with Dog in desparation, hoping to find some available wood. Instead, I found a barrel of wine and a medallion with a lady.

In the end, I fell two wood short. I survived all 12 rounds, having three health at the end. But my bonfire wasn't quite big enough to be seen. The loss of Friday and sack, and all of the wood-reducing events in a row spelled my doom. Through round 5, I really thought I was finally going to beat this scenario. Losing Friday in round 6 hurt, but if I could have still produced two wood per turn, I would have won easily.

Next time, Robinson, victory will be mine! arrrh
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sky Zero
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great write-up! Really looking forward to getting my pre-order in August.

BTW, how's solo playing with just 2 characters rather than Friday and the dog?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dr. snowMan
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
mvettemagred wrote:
I froze in the cold night, but moved my shelter to the cave (the Z-Man rules say to take the exposure damage first, then move the camp).
I suggest playing by the original rules. Somewhere else in here the designer confirmed there was no intention to change the rule.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ignacy Trzewiczek
Poland
Gliwice
Slask
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice report, thanks!
I confirm - first you move camp, then you get wound for no shelter. So if you move to cave, you get no wounds.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dominic Lauke
Germany
Görlitz
Sachsen
flag msg tools
badge
Sponsored by AR147
Avatar
mb
Nice story. Good luck next time.

One question, why you have to build the shovel twice? Or why you didn't build the Mast?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Smith
United States
Troy
Michigan
flag msg tools
It's a love/hate relationship.
badge
Check out my board game instructional videos on my YouTube channel: "The Game Explainer".
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sky Zero - Thanks! I haven't played solo with two characters yet, but I will! I suspect the main difference will be having to feed two mouths, but having more health to spend on solo actions, and having the special abilities of the second character. While I liked the simplicity of the Dog, having two characters and Friday will provide more options. There were a couple of rounds where the Dog couldn't do anything, because I didn't want to explore or hunt.

Ignacy - Thank you for the rules clarification.

Dominic - I had an adventure card that said some of my tools were starting to break. I drew it again during the Event phase and had to choose two inventions to flip back to the item side. At the time, I needed everything else except the shovel and knife. When the fire event came later, it required one person and a shovel to take care of it. Since I was desperate for wood, I decided to rebuild the shovel so I could get my wood source back. This game provides really tough choices!

EDIT - I didn't build the Mast because I lost access to the terrain type that would allow me to build the Rope, which is a prerequisite to building the Mast. Ignacy is an evil genius. devil
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls