J'ai une âme solitaire: Solitaire Boardgaming Megathread!

Cool, that dude co-designed Legions of Steel! That’s some bone fides!

Anyone here receiving/playing Earthborne Rangers? Would love to hear some first impressions.

So here’s something interesting,


Against the Shadow is an expansion to the War of the Ring card game by Ian Brody. That game by itself isn’t solitaire in my mind at all. It looks like what this expansion does is entirely rewrite the evil side for playersto solo or cooperate against. I wonder how successful they will be in converting this to that solo experience.

Tried a solo game of Expeditions, the newest Stegmaier game. Not a big fan of the solo version…I might like playing with others but I have no others, so it’s solo only…and this one is not my fav. Out of all his games, Viticulture is best IMO…at least for solo. Scythe was ok but I just think his games are decent but not great. Worth a shot to buy and play but never top of the tier.

Sick of these more basic strategic/tactical games. Going to have a go at EA:Kharkov.

Stonemaier deserves a lot of credit for developing the concept of solitaire bots, as well as for the obvious work they’ve put into including them with their games. The problem for me is that the company has yet to develop a game that plays well as a solitaire experience. : (

Now we’re talkin’! I’ve had both Enemy Action games (Ardennes and Kharkov) queued up, but haven’t quite made the leap to learning them well enough to play. Please weigh in if you get to spend some time with it!

3 posts were split to a new topic: Skoventyr: Is the Oniverse expanding to embrace…Danish folklore?

At the moment playing some solo boardgames has become even more important for me than it already was. Gaming time is the time when I don’t think about my work (which I love but sometimes have to get away from) or the sorry state our world is in. After Essen I really have started to carve out more time to set up a game and just lose myself in it.
The White Castle is a joy to play. Some criticize the automa as being too tough but I don’t care. I just like the flow of the game and as you only have nine actions per game you try to make every move count. I don’t know if it’s the final nail in the coffin for A Feast for Odin or if it prepares me for it. AFfO is a game I try to love but at the moment I just like it somehow and before I set it up there are games I’d rather play. I know it’s good but maybe just not for me.
Yesterday I played Nemo’s War again after a long time and this is a game in which I suck but I still have fun.
Samurai Spirit is an alltime favourite of mine. I very rarely beat it but it’s so fast and easy and has this “one more try” feeling for me.
Sideroom Games has a lot to offer: Black Sonata, Maquis, Mechanical Beast and For Northwood are just great little games.
I promised @tomchick to write something about Cyberion which I bought in Essen. I wanted to take some pictures but at the moment I’m just so happy to play when I’ve time for it that I’m just too lazy to document anything (even if it’s just taking a few photos). But you can find good pictures at bgg. So far I’ve just played the base game and I find it more accessible than Stellarion where I found myself very often referencing again which card power does what. You have to repair machines with your robots. You do this by playing robot cards (basically suits in a card game) according to the requirements the machines have (play two 2s, three times the same colour etc.). Each robot/suit has a special abitlity which gets stronger when upgraded. Upgrades are paid for with repaired machines.
Like I said, I’ve only played the base game but I bring it out far more often than its predecessor already.
In Essen I met the designer of the Oniverse games, Shadi Torbey. We talked a bit and I told him how much I’m looking forward to the re-release of Urbion. I’ve got the first edition and I think it’s my favourite in the Oniverse series, because the gameplay is so simple and fun. He showed me a prototype of the new version. It will have the new box format, reworked art and more expansions.
So, that’s my way too long report.
And thanks again @tomchick. You’re the reason I looked into solo boardgames (I think it was the review for Darkest Night or for Onirim). Darkest Night is still one of my favourite games.
I’m so happy to have gotten into this hobby. And over the years I found some other people who are into boardgames.

Since you didn’t mention the outcome, should I assume a loss? What was it that got you? Your crew zero’ed out, didn’t it? I bet it was that or your hull? : )

Thanks so much for checking in! I’ve been seeing Cyberion trickle into online retailers over the last few days, so the long national nightmare of my Oniverse collection being incomplete is nearly over!

Whoa, talk about burying the lede! Why didn’t you say so sooner? This is incredibly cool not only that you got to meet Torbey in person, but that you got an Urbion 2.0 demo from The Man himself!

Hey, here’s a question for you, @countzero: Do you know if there’s new artwork in the Urbion update? Like you, I have a treasured original printing of Urbion, thanks to the incredible kindness of @marquac, but I can’t imagine they’re replacing any of Elise Plessis’ art. Is she doing new artwork? Does it even need any new artwork? I guess if there are “more expansions”, that means Plessis has been commissioned for more art!

At any rate, I can’t get too excited for a game I’m already privileged to own. Besides, I’ve got plenty of excitement stored up for Cyberion. And despite my niggling complaints, I’ve really come around on Skoventyr. Inpatience – Torbey’s publishing company for the Oniverse games and Skoventyr – has proven itself aptly named for how eager I am to get my mitts on whatever they’re doing!

That’s great to hear! I’m looking forward to Cyberion, as well!

Ditto, that! This article got me to try the solo mode of a few games that were gathering dust during the pandemic, and I was hooked. My wallet does not thank him.

Actually I had the impression that I did quite well. Hull, Nemo, Crew, everything was rather ok. I just didn’t get that many points. When I finished (explorer on sailor difficulty) I had 183 points and thought “Ok, that can’t be so bad” but it was a failure. As there was nothing to search for in the oceans I guess I should have relied more on drawing adventure cards. But I just have to play more often to find out. I’ve had the game now for some years, play it, find it very good but then it goes back to the shelf and next time I play it I have to get into it from the start again.
Regarding Urbion: Elise Plessis still does the art. From what I’ve seen the new artwork seems a bit… softer? I don’t have a word for it. But some people seemed to find the original art ugly (which I never understood) but the new design isnt’t a completely new direction. And as you said: The expansions will need new artwork, so maybe they wanted to try a slightly reworked consistent design. It was funny. I went to thank Torbey for the good time I had with his games and he was very welcoming and friendly. And it was one of this convention moments when two people need some time to find out they speak the same language (German). When I said that I’m looking forward to seeing what the new version of Urbion will bring he said: “Well, as you already know the game…” and got the prototype out. It was a bit like “Here’s the good stuff from under the desk” :-)

Oh wow, I’ve never heard of the Oniverse games before now. I must try one! Which one would you recommend for starters? I’m thinking maybe Onirim, 2nd edition? The box I see on Amazon doesn’t clearly say 2nd edition, but the fine print says it’s a “new version” that has seven expansions and an appendix: Amazon.com

Also, I’d probably mostly play solo, but I have family members who might play this sort of game co-op. Which is best for co-op with two people?

Sorry to pester you with questions, lol, but this game series looks like just my kind of thing.

I am not 100% but I don’t think any of those games support coop except in the sense of “we will both look at this solo game and make decisions by committee”.

Thanks for your reply. Poking around BGG, I see people recommend some games in the series for co-op play, others not. Onirim seems to be popular as a co-op game; others not so much. It’s not a deal-killer for me, because I’ll play mostly solo, but co-op would be a plus.

Edit: To get the game by Sunday, I had to order in the next hour, so I went ahead and ordered Onirim. Can’t wait to try it! If you all end up recommending other ones, I can try those too. Sorry to bother you all. :)

Some of the Oniverse games have rules for two players (Onirim itself not if I remember correctly) but I never tried that. I think most people play the solo games together. For two players coop I can recommend:
What probably comes closest to the Oniverse games is Tranquility. You have to work together with limited to no communication. It’s for 1-5 players and like the title suggests it’s a very calm and relaxing game.
Romeo and Juliet, is a beautiful game where you have to bring the two lovers together without letting their families meet, too. All that with limited communication. I haven’t played it often, yet but the games we played were fun. The box design is made like a stage, you can choose a difficulty and from what I’ve seen so far I think I can recommend it.
Then there’s Sail which came out this year. I will probably play it tomorrow (it was part of my Essen SPIEL loot), so I can’t say a lot about how it plays. It’s a cooperative trick taking game where you have to navigate your ship around islands and prevent attacks from the kraken. The combinations of the cards for each trick determine the actions you can take with your ship. So you have to communicate by playing cards and hope your partner knows what you try to achieve./end-nonsologames

The Onirim series is very dear to me, and here’s the story of how I discovered it:

As for which to start with, that depends on what kinds of games you like. Onirim is the first, but not necessarily the best to start with. I might just suggest you get Stellarion, which is the most recent and should be pretty easy to find. But then I’d want to ask you whether you have any preference for some mechanics over others. For instance, I think Aerion is a lovely little design, but I can’t really wrap my head around dice poker, so that one falls a bit flat for me. I really hate roll-and-move as a concept, so I had some serious side-eye for Nautilion until I’d played it a few times. But if you like tower defense, Sylvion and Castellion are both as smooth as ice cream to start playing, with the distinction being whether you like decks of cards (Sylvion) or bags of tiles (Castellion). But, really, you can’t go wrong. I feel like the Oniverse is that rara avis of a game series without a stinker in the whole line-up.

Thanks, Tom! I like tower defense, and after reading your post, I ran over to BGG to peek at Sylvion and Castellion. They both look like the sort of thing I love.

I also started watching an instructional video you posted. I’ll return to it later.

I just did order the first game because the dream-nightmare theme appealed to family members, and it being Halloween and all, I hope to get one of them to try it. One of my missions in life is to get more family members playing board games. But I think I’ll order one of those tower-defense games too. They are inexpensive as board games go.

Thanks for the link to your earlier post, Tom. That was a terrific read. I also watched much of your video on how to play Onirim. I like your advice about laying out the discards by suit. Earlier I’d seen another guy recommend at least separating out the Nightmares so you know how many are left. But as you say, nothing in the rules precludes organizing the discards the way you do. I also like your advice to use the expansions.

I played my first couple games and lost both, even using the Little Incubus to discard one Nightmare. In the first game, I misplayed repeatedly and wound up with 5 doors when the deck ran out. In the second game, I made more intelligent decisions, and I came very close, opening 7 doors. The library was the suit that held out on me. I really enjoyed that game. My back started hurting – a problem I have with all boardgames – so I had to take a break, but I’ll be back at it tomorrow. I’d kinda like to win a vanilla game before trying an expansion, but we’ll see how it goes.

Edit: I stretched out on my couch and played a third game on my coffee table. Pain-free gaming! I thought I won this one, without the incubus no less! But perusing my Labyrinth, I see I violated the Golden Rule not once, but twice. So many sun icons, so few spots to play them! So chalk this up as a loss by disqualification. I’m getting the hang of it, though. Fun, challenging, quick — great stuff.

Edit again: I promise to stop spamming this thread, but I finally won my first game, without the incubus. So now I’m going to try the expansion with the little critters, the one in the back of the book. It looks fun, and Tom seems to like it a lot. Also, I love the feel of the cards, but already I’m worried I’m marking them, so I may sleeve them. Forgive me!

Ok @DT , tell me how you got to a 10/10 for The Gods Will Have Blood.

I also have a copy (157/200!) And played a bunch this weekend, and was wildly disappointed.

I felt that it barely even qualified as a game, and had very little replay value.

The entire idea and concept I think is very compelling… But this feels like the first barebones version to figure out how to build out those systems of reputation, bag building and deduction.

I’ve already put my copy in GeekMarket

Has anyone picked up 20 Strong from Chip Theory Games?

Mine arrived this morning and I just completed a lunch-hour game with the Solar Sentinels deck. For something that plays quite quickly and requires only minimal table space (I work from home but prefer to setup a game on the empty part of the desk next to me, rather than move to the dining room), it packed in quite a few “interesting decisions”.

You need to be okay with some ballpark probability calculations (dice rolling is at its core), but there’s some good chin-scratching to be had in deciding which enemies to engage, where to apply damage, and when to use items.

My copy arrived today. I haven’t played a game yet, but one thing stood out to me. After playing Hoplomachus, they swapped the probabilities on the blue and green dice. In Hoplo, a blue dice “hit” probability was 3/6 (or 1/2) while a green dice “hit” was 4/6 (or 2/3). It has been swapped now in 20 Strong.