Played a little bit of more of Kingdom Death Monster solo. I’m slowly making less and less mistakes in the rules (the rules are not hard to grasp, but there are some subtleties around the use of survival that are easy to forget).
I’ve made it to year 5, so now I can finally start to craft armor/weapons that start to bring a LOT more control and strategy into the combat. Also, terrain is becoming much more important once you move into the second monster hunt (the antilope).
And I’m finding myself spending as much time in the crafting phase as in the combat phase, although it looks like with repeated plays there will be a couple of gear pieces it’s probably good to beeline for and thus the crafting phase won’t be so complex. But right now, not knowing what anything does, there’s a lot of reading to decide the proper course of action (I’m not reading everything, but still it’s a lot). The crafting phase is excellent and is perhaps the real core of the game, since there’s a lot you can do here to influence chances in combat.
The game is still fiddly as hell, mind you, but some patience and the play aids I printed are helping a lot in keeping everything under control for a solo player
So far I’m still loving it, perhaps more after a couple more sessions than on first impressions, and I think it’s actually a pretty clever design, except for the issues regarding hit point and status tracking I mentioned before, where a deck of hit card with effect would be more interesting and elegant, and other effects should allow you keep the card for direct reference, even if it meant their chance of reoccurring would go down. Noting things down on apiece of paper is really not necessary in this day and age. but that’s pretty much it and it’s a minor gripe (having cards instead of notes would add even more fiddliness) so I’m a little bit baffled there are so many people criticizing the core mechanics here.
I haven’t yet gotten to play my copy of Gloomhaven (I want to play this with a group). Really looking forward to it, though.