J'ai une âme solitaire: Solitaire Boardgaming Megathread!


I have EA Ardennes on order right now! I need to play several more games of Tarawa and work through Peleliu first. Then I’m waiting for the Omaha reprint this year.

Butterfield is a brilliant designer. The games are hard but really make you think and keep you on your toes.


My only issue with EA is game length (and I think it owuld be the same for the D-Days games). I can’t keep a game set up overnight, so that limits the long scenarios to lonely weekends. I’m working on a solution for that, though.


One nice thing about the solo expansion to Conflict of Heroes is that you can play a solo firefight in an hour or two. Well, I can now, anyway. My first game did take me a couple of days, as I was still learning the rules, especially the AI rules. (And I spent a day before that just reading the rules.) But now I whiz through scenarios with few if any rule lookups. I make a move, turn a card to check if my guy is Spent, turn a card to see what the AI does, turn a card to see if the AI guy is Spent, rinse and repeat until I lose. :)

I own EA Ardennes but haven’t played it yet. It looks great, but that’s a big rulebook! I do enjoy D-Day at Omaha Beach, but it takes a lot more time than CoH/solo. Ditto with RAF and Fields of Fire.

Right now I’d say COH/solo is my favorite solo wargame. That said, I wish it had more scenarios in the box; it ships with only 10 scenarios, and I’ll have to buy the Firefight Generator if I want more. Fortunately, a new solo CoH module is supposed to be released in a couple of months; I’m not sure whether it will pertain to the Guadalcanal game or the Kursk game. As I mentioned earlier, the downside of CoH is that you have to buy and learn the base game as well as the solo expansion, so there’s a significant investment of cash and time up front before it starts to pay off.


Add me to the list of people yet to get my copy of EA: Ardennes to the table. I’m also looking forward to picking up the planned reprint of D-Day at Omaha Beach this year. I love RAF and acquired a copy of Ambush recently, so I’m all aboard the Butterfield bandwagon.

It seems inevitable that CoH is in my future, but more than learning the game and the solo system, picking up Awakening the Bear, the Solo expansion, and the Firefight Generator is an expensive proposition.


I made a cat-proof board gaming table just for that! I have D Day at Tarawa going in it right now!

Picture thread of it.


Ha! Well I AM thinking of something like this, but my solution needs to be a little more involved (vertical surface and magnets!, and it will have to fit in a bag for storage between sessions). I’m currently trying to price it as low as I can and see if it’s feasible.


I have no idea where you’re going with this but make sure to show us the results! :)

I love my ugly little table.

A lot of people use picture / poster frames for games that have paper maps like the D-Day at series, maybe that will give you some ideas. If I had to play these games in one long session I never would. Right now I play 1-2 turns most nights. Maybe 5+ on a weekend day if I have a lot of time.


Used an eBay flash coupon to pick up Dawn of the Zed’s 3rd Ed and looks like it was delivered today! Also picked up Sylvion to hit the $75 mark.


Just wanted to say that this is awesome and I need one. Cats hate boardgames.


I just hit a pair of freighters eight times in one encounter - an eighty percent hit rate! Which almost never happens.

Unfortunately, of the eight hits, five were duds. I hit a severely damaged freighter three times in my second run at it, needing one more point to send it to the bottom, and all three of those hits were duds.

The only way this gets worse is if I pull a USS Tang and hit myself with one of my torpedoes. I bet that one wouldn’t be a dud.


GMT have sent me a shipping notification, something I was lead to believe they didn’t do! A tracking number and everything. So Comancheria is on its way (along with the Labyrinth expansion). Happy days.


The crap weather in Portland delayed my Comancheria delivery from today till Monday…yet another weekend without it. Thank heaven for NFL playoff games.


It seems all the big online retailers got copies of Comancheria in stock so I bought a copy from Miniature Market. I don’t think it will get here until next week sometime but in the meantime I’d love to hear some impressions from those of you who already have it.


Played a few games of Viticulture EE tonight solo. Never played with others. First game just feeling it out, trying a few things, only had 8 VP’s after turn 5 but pushed out another 9 by the end of turn 7. Almost hit the magic 20 for the victory. The 2nd game, the stupid Automa kept blocking my harvesting…and like an idiot ,twice I used my monster meeple in the summer season so I could not push through to do any harvesting. I made more wine the 2nd game but could not upgrade my cellar to the highest level and my only order cards were high level wines…so I ended up with a whopping 6 VPs on the 2nd try.

Kind of happy I did not improve from my first game so it stays a bit challenging but the 2nd game was impacted more from the automa so I’m pretty happy there is that variety and randomness. Fun game solo.

I then put Tavarua on the table. This is a surfing competition board game. Supposedly the solo game is good so I will be working on this one tomorrow.

Comancheria is going to have to wait till I"m in full thinking mode.


I am brand new to the wonderful world of solitaire gaming. I love to play games (computer and board), but I’ve really been “stuck” with just computer games or solo-playing obviously multiplayer games, which leaves quite the bad taste in my mouth.

So, I just picked up Zulus on the Ramparts from Victory Point Games

And I haven’t been able to stop playing. I’ve got about 40 play-throughs in the last week, and loving every minute, despite only achieving 6 “Victories”.

It makes me want more. A game designed from the ground up as a solo player game can be a great experience, especially if you’re like me and have no real “community” nearby to play face to face.

What are some of the other “must play” solo games out there? I’ve seen the Robinson Crusoe game mentioned, but it appears to be hard to find. I see the same designer has a new game coming about the colonization of Mars, a topic that is right in my wheelhouse. I’ve seen Comancheria mentioned here, but not altogether interested in that topic.

What say all of you? Also, any tips on finding or trying to start a game group in my community? you’d think with a population over 65,000, there’d be several, but outside of a few teen-based D&D-type groups there doesn’t appear to be any. Anyone tried boardgaming using the Internet as the “table”? How’d that work?




For online, both Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia have things to recommend them. TTS uses mods that are made by the community as recreations of their favorite games and downloaded through Steam’s Workshop. You can get pretty much every game ever made through there (with varying degrees of successful design).

Tabletopia is less grey-market, but a bunch of their games require a weekly or monthly subscription to play. Also fewer players. But when you do manage to get a game, it’s tends to be pretty slick.

For face-to-face gaming, try Meetup. I found a great group of folks that can get 5-10 people out on a weeknight and upwards of 20 on some weekends. I live in a populous area, so YMMV, but it can’t hurt to try.


I’m unsure if the second edition of Robinson Crusoe has been released in the US yet, but it should be in stock in the next month or so. If Mars is more your style, First Martians is being printed now and should probably release in the second quarter. I think First Martians will be great, but I’m a little cautious, particularly with games that involve an app.


If you like WW2 as a topic, anything by John Butterfield. D-Day at series or other.


I pre-ordered First Martians, but I already have Robinson Crusoe. It’s a great game with a lot of content and I’d recommend trying it before trying an app driven game that could take away some of the magic from the system (or not, but I’m also wary, as you).

Enemy Action: Ardennes!!! I mean, I didn’t play the D-Days games, but EA is a very reactive system while the enemy in the D-Day games seem more passive from what I’ve read (they are in my wish list, though). But yeah, this Butterfield guy has an amazing body of work. I’m myself stoked for Spacecorps.


tpholt, now that you’ve discovered Zulus on the Ramparts, you’re at the brink of some really awesome games. It gets way way better than Zulus!

I think Robinson Crusoe is a mess, but it’s gotten an expansion and maybe a second edition. I presume some of the issues have been straightened out.

The trick with solitaire gaming is finding a) a game built from the ground up for solitaire rather than a multiplayer game with some half-assed bot scripting, and b) something that fits the level of commitment and detail you want. Going backwards through this thread should offer you plenty of suggestions. Also, keep in mind that 90% of “co-op” games are actually solitaire games!

One problem for me is that I don’t have a lot of patience with the typical solitaire AI of just throwing a flood at the player and tasking him with holding it back using limited actions. Pandemic is godawful for so many reasons, but mainly for this. It’s like rolling a four-sided die against a six-sided die and trying to accumulate a higher number. Ugh. This is how the various states of siege games work, which you saw in Zulus on the Ramparts, but they have a wide range of styles that adapt to the idea that you’ve got a d4 worth of actions to hold back a d6 worth of enemies. I love Ottoman Sunset for its historical strokes and simplicity. It’s about on the level of Zulus at the Ramparts. The zombie theming in Dawn of the Zeds is unparalleled, but it’s super detailed, having been designed by a guy who makes wargames.

If you’re into heavy games, you have a lot of options. You’re probably right to avoid Comancheria, which is really detailed and it requires a serious commitment to learn. It’s got a unique approach to AI, but if the subject matter doesn’t work for you, it’s probably not worth the time it takes to invest.

There are, of course, plenty of good solitaire wargames, but you have to be into wargames. An epic sci-fi game called Struggle for the Galactic Empire is a bit, well, abstract given the scale (each turn is a generation, each space is something like 10,000 light years, and each chit is a massive fleet of thousands of ships), but it’s also got a cool AI system. The abstraction gives it some nifty ways to play with things like alien invasions, rebellious systems, and political intrigue.

Fantasy Flight’s Lovecraft boondoggle, Eldritch Horror, isn’t heavy so much as finicky. I like it a lot as a game about flipping cards and making your own adventure/horror movie. The Aliens Legendary game is another cool card-based approach to making your own adventure/horror movie with a set of cards for each of the four movies. Dan Verssen does a bunch of solitaire games called the Leader series. They’re really good as military hardware porn/campaign games. Hornet Leader is probably my favorite. Steer clear of his Warfighter games, which are a mess built around selling expansion packs. Shadi Torbey’s Oniverse games, published by Z-Man, are all excellent and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone; they’re lightweight and playable in short slices of time, but they’re so approachable and enthusiastic and charming, and they fold in lots of nifty gameplay variations as you ramp up to playing the full game. Start with Onirim.

If you want to find out more, you can read reviews of a lot of these on the front page. I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch, too.