J'ai une âme solitaire: Solitaire Boardgaming Megathread!

I learned it and played it once through today and enjoyed it a lot. I had no trouble getting immersed into the theme, either. I thought the rule book, the quick start and the turn flowcharts were especially well done. Also glad for the sheer number of encounters available. I do wish there was greater variety of weapons and heroes, but the game does come with blanks which means I could make use of my own ideas or those on BGG. A lot of game packed into a small box.

I didn’t really follow the KS too carefully but backed it. Tried it out a couple times so far and I love the concept, art, etc, but wish there was a bit more variety in the characters. Or at least more of them. I can’t tell if I’m playing it correctly or not though - any thoughts? After I’ve done the few things I want to do each level, I have time remaining that I’d like to spend on more Encounter cards. I’ve been assuming you can skip the Travel/General actions step if you don’t want to do one of those specific actions and just draw 2 Encounter cards to choose between. Does that sound right? It doesn’t specifically say you can skip actions, just says you can take as many as you want. I’m assuming that means 0 is an option.

The quick start didn’t help me at all, but mostly because I was annoyed as fuck that it included instructions like:

  • Shuffle the Encounters deck
    (Note: oh by the way, totally DON’T shuffle the Encounters deck for the quickstart because it’s in a carefully arranged order to tell a story, even though I just told you to shuffle the Encounters deck)

Gee, fucking thanks for that - I’m going down the steps in order. Why does it tell me to shuffle the deck?! I used a post on BGG to carefully put all the cards back in order before realizing the story didn’t really make sense anyways.

You can totally skip travel actions, yeah. 0 is an option.

I personally find the characters to be quite different? The chance to reroll an enemy die is huge, for example, as is reducing food requirement or going back and grabbing cards you would have missed.

Ok thanks! I guess I lean more towards the ‘more’ part than actual variety, as you’re correct. I know I can use the blank cards to make my own, just hoped for more than the base four as part of the game. I’ve tried the Brawler and Hunter so far.

I’d love to see more characters! Hopefully we’ll see some on BGG soon!

Looks like the fulfilment of Unbroken has turned into a bit of a drama generator, with some peculiar comments on the KS page from Golden Bell.

Not sure how it’s going to affect the designer. But the comments Golden Bell have been making would make me very reluctant to buy anything from them.

Also interesting link on how Golden Bell tried to pay less for their shipping than they should:

Last, the post office inspects media mail packages regularly and will charge the receiver full price if invalid items are found. Invalid items like that board game you “hid” under a page of sheet music.

These morons think that a QR code in the manual that links to some music on their website makes it “media mail.” Get real.

Cute.

As a kickstarter of Unbroken, I’ve been following the drama. This was Golden Bell’s explanation of the use of media mail on KS:

One of the ways that the Golden Bell was able to meet this goal was to come to an agreement with their USPS representative to use media mail to ship Unbroken, stressing the multi-media nature of the product. After watching the newly released Score and Narrative Video, we hope you understand that the soundtrack is a media-based primary component of the Unbroken experience. This was done in consultation and with approval of local USPS representatives, which allowed us to maintain the voluntary nature of shipping donations.

That last phrase is a reference to their request for voluntary paypal donations to help cover shipping, which they seriously, and quite stupidly, underestimated. I, for one, believe the critics of Golden Bell are overreacting to a first world issue and they need to get a life. At the same time, I have no interest in helping cover the publisher’s losses because of their own screw up.

So, in short: I probably wouldn’t buy from Golden Bell again, but I don’t see them as villianous as they are being portrayed. Their communications with backers were, in fact, quite good.

Oh, and I love the game, and am quite happy with the purchase.

Well. Their performance on Unbroken may not make them villains, but I’m also hearing some really concerning allegations about them trying to rope novice creators into incredibly predatory and unreasonable contracts. If true, that’s some villainous shit right there.

Indeed, if true.

4 months have passed, but I have kept your mention of Maximum Apocalypse in mind. And here is what I just got for £36 / $44 shipped from the BGG market:

Looks like an awesome amount of solo play content for the price. I’m looking forward to giving it a try!

I finally got to try the tutorial mission in Maximum Apocalypse. It’s the standard zombie apocalypse intro story: you are stuck in a mall, zombies are swarming and you must find fuel and reach a van you can see in the distance.

Better hope the van starts when you reach it.

For extra thematic points, my characters kept rolling the number (8) that spawned monsters at the mall every time at the start of the game. I think I had to kill 8-10 zombies before I even got to step out.

As it’s a tutorial scenario, I eventually prevailed and made it to the van with the required amount of fuel, leaving behind a trail of unrevealed zombies.

It took me about an hour to do so.

I found the rulebook to be adequate, but watching a play through helped me a lot more to internalise the rules.

The game suffers from a lot of set up time to find all the location and scavenging tiles you are going to need, put them in piles and pick up random ones for each stack.

It also has quite a few micro management steps to keep track of during a turn. I found the play mat I got printed helped in keeping track of those.

But the game also tells an enjoyable, albeit very random story of survival. I’m now looking forward to playing the follow up scenarios, just not to having to set it up again.

Good times in zombieland.

Very cool, Wendelius! Eventually you’ll find the different kinds of apocalypses play differently in some cool ways. I see you have Kaiju Rising in there. That one is nuts! I’m not convinced it’s actually do-able, but it sure it nuts! Unfortunately, the sets get pretty difficult, so you need to learn a couple of characters beyond the “flip up cards and play by the seat of your pants” level. Did that collection come with the allies? The allies are a BIG help, but they’re a Kickstarter exclusive, which sucks. So goddamn lame to reserve stuff like that for the Kickstarter campaign when you’re also going to sell something retail.

When you’re comfortable with the game, I would also encourage you to use what I think the rules call the Pandemic variant, where tokens get pushed to adjacent locations instead of just piling up. I like the way it creates a sense of spreading chaos, and it especially feels thematic with the zombies.

I hate it when developers are so insecure they call something a variant that would have really been a solid gameplay concept. It’s one of a couple of rookie mistakes Mike Gnade made when Maximum Apocalypse was first released. For instance, the earliest iteration had the scavenging rules borked nine ways to Sunday, because you could just sit in one place and pull from the deck forever. It wasn’t until this version that he realized that, uh, that kind of screws up the game, which should instead be about moving around the map, exploring, and dealing with the randomly created movement puzzles.

Keep us posted! Aw, man, if I didn’t have the Jagged Alliance game sprawled out on my table now, I’d be really tempted to get Maximum Apocalypse going again.

-Tom

I do indeed have Kaiju Rising. Sounds like it’s going to be “interesting”, as we say in UK. I was thinking of moving onto the aliens once done with my shambling friends. Not sure if there is a recommended order. But I wouldn’t mind trying some of the Gothic horrors to try out the Day / Night decks (I assume it comes into use with that expansion).

I also happened to start with 2 characters (Hunter and Gunslinger) who happen to offer a good mix of recon and midrange fighting. I’m guessing playing with a surgeon and fireman might be a very different experience. More challenging too. Tons of replayability in there.

Ugh. That does suck quite a bit. Especially if they are a cool / helpful gameplay feature, rather than just another faction.

As far as I can see, I have no cards that mention being an ally in my boxes. I also have a few separators with no matching cards.

No allies for me, I think. Never mind.

I went to save the silly scientist who got himself trapped in the police station today. That one took me around an hour and 20’ and was slightly more challenging.

It all started so sedately. No multiple monster rolls at the van in the first few turns. Guess it wasn’t as noisy as it seemed.

The heroes even found the very rural police station early on, which forced them to get rid of the boss early.

But the countryside isn’t the best place to find the fuel required to keep the van running. After that early victory, they ended up having to scour most of the map, battling zombie spawns and their own growing hunger. The poor Huntress and Gunslinger ended up taking starvation damage pretty regularly. They were really scrounging for snacks.

But they kept a path relatively clear and finally made it just before things turned really bleak. Victory!

Oooh. I hadn’t heard of that one. Sounds interesting. Where can I find more info on it:?

Speaking of rules, one of your answers on BGG helped me confirmed I was correctly interpreting a rule. Thanks!

I have another question I couldn’t really find an answer for that you might know the answer to.

When we flipped the Zombie Horde at the police station, it had the following effect (spoilered in case anyone doesn’t want to know about the boss abilities):

Short range
Draw: Place a monster token on all adjacent map tiles

I wonder whether I misplayed it. As you can see in the screenshot above, I only put tokens on revealed map tiles (which, because I found the station so quickly, meant only 1!). I believe the rules never cater for putting tokens on unrevealed tiles.

But do you think that was correct? Also, draw is a one time effect, right? Not every draw phase?

My version of the base rulebook mentions only being able to scavenge once per turn. Hopefully, I’m not missing any other fix.

Sounds like the initial rules could have gone through a few more playtesting iterations.

Jagged Alliance! I have found memories of playing that on the PC so long ago. Does the boardgame hold up in comparison?

Definitely in order of difficulty. I seem to recall there’s not too much wiggle room if you progress that way.

Page 28 of the rules book. You should be using the rules book with the Gothic Horrors logo on the front, as I believe it’s all of the revised stuff since the first release. Also, there are a couple of rules that are only in the appendix. Lame, but at least they’re in there somewhere.

You read rules very differently than me. :) What the rules never cater for is NOT putting tokens on unrevealed tiles. Why wouldn’t you? To me, a reference to adjacent tiles that doesn’t specify whether they’re revealed or unrevealed means adjacent tiles, period.

But don’t take my word for it. I haven’t played recently enough to know off the top of my head. That might be worth a Google search if the rules book is unclear.

In the context of monster cards, I believe that is correct.

That was the fix along with, I think, the cards that deplete the location, shutting down the ability to scavenge at that spot. Make sure you’re shuffling those in with the other “empty-handed” cards. That’s a fundamental part of building the scavenge decks, arguably even more painful than the ambushes.

I am surprised how true this is of so many boardgames that get published. Usually Kickstartered boardgames.

So far, it’s a pretty typical dungeon crawl with a campaign. I’m not sure it does anything to capture the feel of actually playing the videogame, though. But it does have a few unique twists. Seems the campaigns are pretty short, so I’ll know more soon enough, but at this point, I wouldn’t say it’s anything to get excited about. I’m mainly into it because it’s not the usual fantasy silliness. It’s nice to have some milsim silliness instead.

-Tom

What do we think of Too Many Bones as a solitaire game?

Yep. I googled that and couldn’t find an answer.

But you are right about the Gothic Horrors rulebook. It has been revised and provides more guidance. For instance, the first page adds the following note:

Rule interpretation
If you ever have differing opinions on a rule interpretation or situation, always go with what makes the most thematic sense or what makes the game harder.

And they added a FAQ that says:

Don’t infer rules that are not written

The threshold to spawn on all tiles is met by both. I should have read that manual.

I’ll likely replay the scenario with those rules.

It also adds the Pandemic variant on Pg 28 (will use it) and confirms in the expanded glossary that draw is an effect that happens as soon as a monster is drawn.

So that’s indeed the manual everybody should use of possible.

For scavenge blockers, I could only find a reference to drawn tokens when using the new spawn bag. It also lets you tweak the difficulty by adding / removing safe tokens and ambushes. Another thing I’ll use next go.

Thanks for the recommendation. The setup time is still up there, but the game takes you on a cool adventure.

If you refer to this Qt3 games podcast, I think you’ll find @tomchick likes it just fine and sold @Vesper on taking the leap too. Not sure whether Vesper also plays it solo, but it’s meant to be very good that way.

This is the kind of podcast that makes me a bit sad though. Having to invest hundreds of dollars to get a cool game is not a viable way to stay in the hobby for me. So I had to pass.

My wife and I did splurge on Gloomhaven (still much cheaper) which provides 70+ hours out of the box. Judging by the Shut Up and Sit Down review of Too Many Bones and what I recall of Tom’s comments in the podcast, I think just the base game of Too Many Bones would get stale quicker than that.

Like Quinns said though, TMB is a game you buy to treat yourself. It might well be worth it for you.

Dude that Jagged Alliance game looks awesome! I want it!

Is there no other way to get it other than the Kickstarter that’s already done?

I went through my first play of Deck Box Dungeons yesterday.

What is it? A dungeon crawler that fits in a small deck box.

Once opened, the box contains stat tracker cards, double sided hero, gear, class, monster and dungeon tile cards. It also contains a selection of items (potions, rings, …) You can buy with the loot you collect. The non card parts are made of meeples, regular six sided dice and special dice to represent the monsters.

Not bad for a tiny box.

As you might have noticed above, the game also comes with a downloadable app. But the app is only there as a random dungeon generator and to give some quest flavour text, ensuring you can replay the same scenario and explore a new dungeon every time.

It also tells you which of the melee and ranged monsters are going to be represented by the monster dice in that scenario.

Never fear if you aren’t into companion apps (though, in this specific case, it’s only there for layout purposes; it’s not intrusive), you can also download quest PDFs that serve the same purpose. However, I guess you would lose the random dungeon generation and some of the portability (assuming printed out PDFs) if you do so.

At the start of the game, you pick a pair of heroes, gear for each and a class. The combination of all 3 gives you their stats and abilities.

Then you set up the initial dungeon tile and off you go dungeon crawling.

Your turn is comprised of 2 main actions for each hero (mainly movement, fighting and skill checks) and some free actions (like trading items or spending your acquired treasure in the shop).

Inevitably, you will enter a room where monsters spawn, using a clever little system. Monsters come in 3 colours, corresponding to specific monsters for the scenario. They are coloured green (I’m not scared), blue (Huh) and red (bosses. Hope you are prepared).

When a spawn occurs, the game will tell you to roll X dice of certain colours. And that not only determines whether you are fighting melee or ranged monsters, but also their hit points.

Needless to say the game is random and you never quite know how tough the next room will be.

Combat is fairly simple. You get to try and hit monsters at the right range for a number of dice matching your skills and gear, apply modifiers and hit on a 6. Unless you rolled a natural 6, the monsters get a chance to try and defend.

When you score a hit, you gain energy, which will power one off special class skills. When you kill a monster, you get cash.

The monsters fight back using a similar system.

Go deeper and explore until you solve the main quest or die in the attempt… Which is what I did in the third room on my first adventure.

RIP bold yet under-prepared explorers. You will be avenged.

From that first play, there is a lot to like in that little game. You can take it anywhere and it doesn’t require near the space of a dungeon crawler on the table.

The monster dice aren’t nearly as evocative as big plastic minis, but they give you as much game info. Whatever the dungeon crawler, you are pretty much always looking at another reference card for monster stats anyway.

Through the app or user generated scenarios, you can create a lot of different adventures with a small box. Neat.

Minus points might be that the monster AI is not as well defined as in the likes of Gloomhaven. So what to do on the monsters’ turn and what order to activate them in feels a bit hazy.

Secondly, the base box only supports 1-2 players. If you want your mini dungeon crawler to support 3 or 4, you will need to get a second deck box.

Finally, the manual in the box is… Lacking. Not good. Pretty much useless.

There is a v1.02 of the manual available on BGG for download. It contains slightly better info and a useful FAQ.

The best game info I found was in this video though:

The game was kickstarted, but is currently available on the official website. Not sure for how long.

https://www.deckboxdungeons.com/

More to come hopefully after a successful run.

I like TMB as a solo game but it’s fricking difficult. I can’t make any progress at all without using the ‘easy’ rules, or whatever they’re called. Love the production value and the characters though. I’d highly recommend it if you like the art and the feel of heavy poker chips in your hand!