J'ai une âme solitaire: Solitaire Boardgaming Megathread!

Just wanted to share that there is a crowdfunding going on for a set of David Thompson games: Pavlov’s House, Castile Itter, Lanzerath Ridge.

I know Pavlov’s house is/was popular on QT3:

I’ve had Pavlof and Itter but looking at Lanzerath, I swear I’ve had that also…I kind of remember playing it but I cannot absolutely recall playing it…wow, I"m getting old. Well, I dont remember, so purchased!

I can’t imagine buying all three of those games for $60 each. That’s like the opposite of a good deal, even if you like all three games. Yeesh.

(Full disclosure: I’ve only played Lanzerath Ridge, and it felt to me like a low-effort stinker with a staggering lack of replay value.)

Well, I found a copy for $42 with free shipping so if it’s a stinker, it’s not too expensive of one!

Pavlov’s House is great, although I’m not enough of a wargamer to want to get more games that are very similar to it.

I do find it weird that this campaign doesn’t include the other game in the series, Soldiers in Postmen’s Uniforms.

I agree. I don’t see any incentive to get on crowdfunding.

Same concerns here about the lack of replayability with Lanzerath Ridge. I would like to try out the other two at some point but not at that price. I will probably play Pavlov’s House on Steam.

I believe it’s because the three in the package are out of print, while SiPU isn’t.

I’ve played Lanzerath quite a bit. I thought I was pretty much done with the game at the standard level, but I found that the playability improves when you add the veteran level mechanic. It adds a deck of cards that creates a bit more unpredictability, tension, balance, and challenge to the game. It’s not my favorite solitaire wargame, but I do enjoy the game at that level.

But I totally agree about the standard level. Once you play the game once, you pretty much know what’s coming and can plan accordingly. The standard level gameplay also becomes “gamey” and abstract, as you can just ignore enemies right in front of you if you know that there aren’t any more enemy cards for that particular queue.

It was your playthrough that decided me against it! :D I had the same thing with Votes for Women and SGS Okinawa - I really enjoyed your playthroughs but at the end I felt I’d seen most of what the games had to offer. Especially Okinawa; I was thinking, ‘Well, I’m not gonna play it any differently than that.’ You kind of play them too well :).

Haha! This actually makes me quite happy, thanks for sharing. One of my hopes is that created content will help people make better informed decisions about games. In some cases that means picking up the game, and in some cases that might mean deciding against the game.

Here we go again…

What’s in Pedro’s Pocket?

Okay, it’s a game tile, but from what game?

Clue 1. The game board:

Clue 2. It’s a multiplayer game, but it’s the only one in its series which has dedicated solo rules (hence this thread). But what series? One GMT pound for the winner:

Clue 3. There is a heavy financial aspect:

Clue 4. The game board revealed:

I’ve yet to try one of these, but I’ve heard great things about them and know there is a really dedicated player base. Are enjoying it?

I haven’t got to it yet, I just opened the box to have a peek. It’s supposedly quite heavy; if the complexity rating on BGG can be trusted*, it’s more complex than any war game I’ve looked at on there.

Really looking forward to it in about 6 months though :)

*I doubt it, at least based on how their rating system works.

Oh, interesting. I’d love to hear what you think about it as you get into it. I know they are quite popular in the local gaming groups. At some point I really want to try one, just because all the cool kids are doing it.

My general feelings about GMT’s difficulty ratings are Real Rating = GMT Rating + 1.5. :)

Funny, I just bought that game also. I always wanted to try that series but have no one to play with so found out about the solo rules and purchased it a few months back. Have not even opened it yet with all my other games but pretty excited to try it.

1862! I’ve played it a few times on 18xx.games, but never solo. It’s really fun.

I just discovered this thread this week and already I’ve got Legacy of Yu in my cart. That looks quite good. I see its on pre-order until late summer.

From what I remember about them, the tactics cards felt like a brute-force fix for the lack of variability by just throwing random complications into each move. Basically, that weird playtester-oriented, “oh ho, you think my game is too easy, then take that!” response, complete with its own deck of cards that would otherwise sit useless in the box. Why do so many solitaire designs conflate replayability with difficulty?

What’s more, they were in Pavlov’s House as well! @Brooski has an excellent playthrough here on the forum, and in this post, he seems to poke fun at the tactics cards:

Later in the playthrough, I think we both agree the tactics cards for Pavlov’s House are a poor addition:

Does Lanzerath Ridge work any differently from Pavlov’s House? Is it the same system where many of the cards don’t even do anything?

EDIT: Ah, we even have a Lanzerath Ridge thread, where I’ve already kvetched about the tactics cards. Man, you know you’re getting old when you find yourself on the lawn yelling at the same cloud you were yelling at a year ago. :)

I remember reading about you hammering on the veteran’s deck, and so my expectations were rather low when I played with them. I definitely concede they aren’t perfect. There is a degree of randomness to some of them that means that their impact on the game can be brutally heavy or not at all.

For example, you might have a veteran’s card that amps up the impact of any MG card you draw (fires twice instead of once, for example) in that next round of 3 cards. Well, if you draw 2 or 3 MG cards in the next round, you’re going to get absolutely nailed. If you don’t draw any, then that veteran card has zero impact. Things like that. Those sorts of extremes generally don’t happen, mind you, but they can end your game on you if the cards are set up right.

But a good number of the veteran’s cards mix things up enough that I found myself liking them. It made the game harder to win and it made the game unpredictable, which means I found myself thinking more about contingencies rather than in certainties. The base game is predictable, and you are going to know exactly what’s going to happen in every round. The Veteran’s deck makes things less certain and can throw tougher problems at you, and I found that made my thinking more complex and meaningful.

Normally I don’t enjoy mechanics that can basically end your game on you, and some of the veteran’s cards will do that. But from a narrative/tension angle, I didn’t mind it in this game, and the game is short enough that it’s a “shrug” if you lose in a half hour because some Veteran card just decided it was time for you to lose. In many ways, the game reminded me of playing solitaire with a deck of playing cards. Sometimes the deck is just going to give you an unwinnable hand, and that’s just part of the game.

My general approach to playing a game is less critical and more “Can I extract fun out of this?” This was the first Valiant Defense game I’ve played, and while I’ve enjoyed it, I’m not in a huge hurry to play more in the series. I am curious to see if others in the series are different than this one. I like more concrete wargames, and Lanzerath Ridge has a number of abstract mechanics that made me feel like I was playing a puzzler rather than defending a ridge in the Battle of the Bulge. But the Valiant Defense games are incredibly popular, and wargamers and non-wargamers seem to really enjoy them. I just think my tastes skew more towards the concrete.

Have fun. Such a great game