J'ai une âme solitaire: Solitaire Boardgaming Megathread!

Yikes, I saw a twitter link to the coming soon page randomly on Twitter I wasn’t expecting a 13 year old game to still have that.

Well as a consolation, It’s not zombies but have we seen this solo game:

Designers are Ed Ostermeyer and Jeremy White. We know Jeremy from several good GMT games both solo and not. Ed Ostermeyer is not familiar to me.

The trick with solitaire games is to make it feel like a game rather than just a random story generator. The big complaint I heard about B17 Queen of the Skies or the Hunters series is that the player doesn’t have a lot of agency and just sort of rolls the dice and see’s what happens. What I liked about Jeremy’s Doolittle Raid game is that the campaign starts from the early planning and really seems to let you play with a bunch of levers. I’ve only really cracked the manual on that one and haven’t pushed the counters around yet so please correct me if I have the wrong impression. You also get that same sort of agency in the Above the Reich games as it’s completely up to you how you want to approach the formation of bombers in front of you and there is that tactical element right there on the board in front of you. Infernal Machine seems to have some of that holistic design approach I see in those games.

Having now done a two-handed solo run of Return to Dark Tower, yup, that’s good stuff. I need a wider table, though. Those skulls can go sailing right off the table.

Wow, we’ve discovered what it takes for Tom to avoid a piece of zombie culture.

Right? Bouncy damned things.

One of my buddies opined that searching for wayward skulls underneath a couch or against a baseboard is part of the retro charm…

Oh man, that Dark Tower game looks amazing.

I broke down and ordered a insert box for me JiMe box. It’s supposed to handle the core, two figure expansions and the first large expansion. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to really get back into this for a couple of weeks. I’ll be out of town the next two weekends, but I might run thru the initial chapter again some weekday evening now that I have a better handle on things though. But with proper storage I may be able to move onto the dining room table too. Moar room. Mooooaarrr!!!

Thanks all for your posts here. They’ve finally pushed me over into trying some solo-games and even if it’s just a toe in the water, so far it is very inviting.

Just played my first game of Core Worlds with the Nemesis solo pack. I generally dont like deck builders much as i suck at them and lost 37-19 on normal, ie easy, mode. Terrible. But, I really enjoyed the game and love sci fi so will be setting this up again for another go.

First game ive played in awhile and like an addict, had to order a few more. So, coming soon or eventually are:

Core Space First Born.
Planet Apocolypse with one expansion.
Zombicide: NotLD
Spirit Island expansions

This is Maquis a pure solo game from a couple of years ago. Some games just click and win me over at once.

It is a workerplacement game, where the difficulty is not where/how to place your resistance workers but how to get your workers back. Set during WW2 in a small french village, you try to complete 2 random missions and not get caught by the militia or soldiers.

The blue militia is placed by a small set of 10 patrol cards. Card counting is encouraged, there even is a table of all patrol cards. Because if you cannot trace back a path to the safe house, your worker gets arrested.

What’s pretty clever is, that the militia cannot be placed where your worker already is. Every patrol card has 3 possible locations. If all locations are occupied by workers, they will arrest the first worker.

So by blocking out militia, you can build a more or less safe back route. But Pont LeVeque always gets my little dudes.

It is a really hard game, not only the missions need time to complete, you only have 15 turns, but also your morale drops in intervals, and more militia is placed. You can boost your morale, but it’s not easy. You can shoot blocking militia, but the killed militia will be replaced by heavy soldiers and your morale drops. You can add additional safe rooms, but they cost money. You can add new jobs, but it is not easy. You can call for air drops, but there are some dangerous choke points, so it is not easy.

With 10+ missions to choose from, there is a lot of variability.
So, I guess I recommend it, highly.

Does anyone have any strong opinions on the Legendary Marvel series? I bought them for solo play, but never really made the time to play them. And they sit here in my collection occupying space. And while I do have the space, I’ve also been on a bit of reorganisation and cull because there’s so many games now, and so little time to play. And Legendary sits in limbo between keep, or bundle up and give to a charity organisation on the premise they give away the lot together (there’s a few expansions too).

I also have Legendary Encounters: Aliens too, and an expansion.

My gut keeps telling me to get rid of them, and I think that’s the answer. I have some decent deck builders in my collection - Aeons End, Pathfinder ACG, Mage Knight (if you can really call it a deckbuilder) and for Tom’s benefit, yes, I also have Apocrypha.

I’m trying to think of future me, and any games I bring in and what space I have. I certainly don’t need anymore considering the replayability of many of them, but want…? Well, that’s another story.

This won’t be a helpful response to your question (sorry) but I haven’t played any of the Legendary Encounters games and was considering picking up a core box of some flavor next month for solo play. I am also eyeballing Apex: Theropod (a dino-themed solo-friendly deckbuilder.) I would be interested in your thoughts on the general system for solo play compared to your other games listed (which I also own or have owned.)

I enjoy the Legendary Marvel games, both solo and playing with my daughter. There is a lot of content and variety to explore and combine, as I have bought expansions over time.

That being said, I don’t think they are essential deck builders. If you already have other games that fit that niche, those probably are better and more refined iterations of the concept. If it hadn’t it the table yet, it might be time to go.

I’d say I have fairly strong opinions about the Legendary series! I’ve been onboard with it for a while now, starting with Aliens. Which I like just for how thoroughly it explores the franchise, and also for how it introduces a traitor mechanic in multiplayer. You can play Aliens Legendary solo, but I keep it around for multiplayer with other players.

Since then, I’ve bought pretty heavily into Marvel Legendary, but have had no desire to explore the Buffy, James Bond, or Predator Legendaries. I might even be forgetting a couple. I think there’s a Firefly Legendary? As you might imagine, the system itself does feel a bit generic. You’re always standing in the way of a procession of bad guys marching along a gauntlet. If too many get through, you lose. That’s every Legendary game in a nutshell.

But what I appreciate about the Legendary system is how many gameplay tweaks the designers apply to the formula, almost always with a vivid theming concept behind any given tweak. This is especially true in Marvel Legendary, which gets batshit crazy with the various schemes you’re fighting against, paired with any villain you want. You get some crazy stuff when you mix and match randomly: MODOK launching a city into space, the Green Goblin cloning all the citizen of Gotham, Ultron summoning an Elder God, Dark Phoenix raiding a National Guard armory, Magneto infiltrating SHIELD, Evil Deadpool kidnapping world leaders, Dormammu has recruited the Magma Men to erupt Mount St. Helens, etc., etc., etc. It’s all very specific and specifically expressed within the context of Legendary’s basic gauntlet gameplay. And it’s as zany as I’d expect a comic book to be.

Furthermore, it’s the same crazy slurry on the hero side. And this is precisely why I wouldn’t get rid of Marvel Legendary, despite the fact that I also actively enjoy Sentinels of the Multiverse and even Marvel Champions. In those games, a hero is a deck of cards. In Sentinels, there is no deckbuilding or deck construction; what you see is what you get! In Champions, deck construction between games is all but required; hope you paid for a bunch of cards, because your decks will only ever be as robust as your collection! But Legendary Marvel is a deck-builder that doesn’t necessarily care how many sets you’ve bought. Because all the card shenanigans – and hoo boy are there card shenanigans! – take place as you play, and only among the cards you use to set up the game.

Because unlike Sentinels and Champions, heroes are not a deck of cards. Well, they are, but you don’t bring them into the game as a discrete deck. Instead, you pick five heroes, shuffle all their cards together, and then build your deck from this collection as the game progresses, based on the situation: what you can afford, what you’re fighting against, the luck of the draw, etc. So even though your basic set-up is to, say, stop Dormammu from recruiting Magma Men to erupt Mount St. Helens, the five heroes you select will make for very different games. And any given game will vary based on which cards you buy for your deck. So let’s say you’re using Black Panther, Ms Marvel, Noire Spider-Man, War Machine, and Gambit. One game might be all about Gambit and Noire Spider-Man’s card complimenting each other. Another game might be all about getting a bad-ass Black Panther going. Yet another game might see you focusing on War Machine with Ms Marvel providing support. Or maybe you stumble across some weird synergy between three, or even all five of them.

There is no analogue to this kind of dynamic team-up in Sentinels or Marvel Champions when you play solo. Marvel Legendary’s crazily wide possibility space, which allows for the kind of far-flung absurdity I associate with comic books, is unique among these games. Your deck of cards grows into a crazily powerful donnybrook machine in which up to five different heroes assist each other. It’s absolutely perfect for solitaire gaming because you’re NOT limiting yourself to one hero, and you furthermore don’t have to play multiple hands if you want to cultivate synergies and assists and overlapping or complimentary powers. Marvel Legendary is all about playing with a team of heroes regardless of how many players are at the table.

As such, I’d say it’s uniquely suited to solitaire play.

I did several videos of the gameplay during lockdown, although I think I probably talked more about the game than actually played it. But if you want more specific hands-on demonstrations of what I like about Legendary, just go to my YouTube channel and do a search for the name. You’ll find several short and perhaps helpful videos.


* Someone please tell me they took the Gotham bait in the body of my text!

Apex Therapod was a very strange episode in deck builders. I have it, and I’d characterize it as game design junk. I’m happy to answer more questions if you like, but there’s really no game there. Basically, it was an idea that fell apart even before it was shipped off to be printed. :(


Apex: Theropod

That’s enough to dissuade me!

Legendary Encounters

This makes me very interested in the Marvel version. I tried Aeon’s End earlier this year and while it was fairly enjoyable as a co-op combat game, the one-handed experience felt awkward. Playing two-handed proved way too taxing to be enjoyable. I can’t maintain the contents and order of multiple decks in my head at once!

I’ll be checking out those Youtube videos

I never liked any of the Legendary games, tried many of them. All solo. Really enjoyed Aeon’s End though. And yes, APEX was not that good…I shipped it to someone for free.

Thank you Wendelius and Tom.

And Tom, the way you wrote about Legendary, it has me now wanting to play the game. And yes, that was the other factor that went into me wondering if I kept Legendary or not is that I own Sentinels too. And while Sentinels is ok, it is cumbersome with all the modifiers that takes away from what should be a snappy game over and done with in 30 minutes I’ve yet to try the Oblivaeon scenario, that’s like a boardgaming bucketlist right now when I make a few days of it. But the beauty of Sentinels is being able to grab 3 random heroes, a villain and a location and go for it. Which made it my go-to for superhero themed boardgaming.

I wasn’t aware/or likely forgot about the traitor mechanic for Legendary:Aliens which makes me think this might be a new game I introduce to my gaming buddies one night. Definitely a lot of food for thought.

So yes, it looks like Legendary stays. Both Aliens and Marvel.

Regarding Aeons End: I enjoy it. I don’t love it and would struggle to recommend it if someone were to go out and buy it. There’s elements about the game I wish were done better. Especially those stupid flimsy dials for Gravehold’s health and the Nemesis health. It can be a bit to set up, and it isn’t a game to play while tired given the taxation on the short term memory. Two handed is harder, and I’d never play with more than 2 breach mages at once. I wouldn’t feel bad about not liking the game, it really isn’t for everyone. To me, it is good as a solo deckbuilder in my own limited collection of solo deckbuilding games.

The main problem I have with solo Legendary, and this may just be Aliens (the only one I’ve really played), is that it seems much more difficult the more players there are. Even if the players are equivalently ‘good’ at the game.

In solo you are essentially upgrading a single deck after every Alien turn, rather than splitting the attention between multiple decks/players. So that single deck progresses a lot faster into being overpowered. They try to address this with the hive deck size depending on the number of players, plus I guess you only have the one health pool… But I dunno, it still feels like losses rarely happen with 1 or 2 players whereas with 3 or 4 things seem a lot trickier.

Anyway, something easy to compensate for if you’ve got the attention span, I guess - just solo play as 4 if you want the full challenge.

I’ve been tempting by Legendary and Sentinels of the Multiverse for a while, but I’ve never taken the plunge. Now I’ve watched a couple of Tom’s YouTube videos on Legendary, and he certainly refutes one criticism I have read on BoardGameGeek – that it’s too easy.

I might download the iPad app of Legendary Marvel to give it a try, assuming that’s the same as the game you’re discussing here. I’ve read various criticisms on BGG (the game re-uses art too much, the art is weak, the game is too simple, etc), but Tom’s videos made me more interested.

I don’t doubt there are issues in some of the set-ups with different player counts. That’s part of the Legendary system, though. The set-ups are going to be so varied and crazy that sometimes a higher or lower player count might have an advantage.

But one thing I bet you’re running into is the fact that Legendary has a concept of “assists” that goes out the window if you’re only playing a single hand. You’re knee-capping one of its basic gameplay systems if you have no one to actually “assist”. There a solo rule for assisting yourself, but as with any boardgame about synergies among characters, playing a single hand is going to undercut some of the design. :(

Those are just randomizer apps on the Apple store. They’re just little programs where you enter which sets you own and then you can press a button to come up with a randomized combo of villain, scheme, and five heroes. They don’t actually let you play the game. As far as I know, there’s no digital version of the Legendary games.


I did notice that you were using an iPad randomizer app when you played, but I’m referring to the free iPad and Steam app called “Legendary DXP.” It uses a fantasy setting, not the Marvel universe, but the rules seem basically the same. Of course there’s paid in-app content, but one can play the basic game free. Very mixed reviews on Steam for the port, though. Linkage:

I played through the tutorial and then played a solo game myself. I didn’t fully grok the rules, so I lost, hitting only one tactic and scoring just 17 VPs. I liked it, and I like that the app tracks VPs as XP for leveling me up for some purpose. There’s also a campaign in the app. I don’t know whether there are options to play more than one hand, which I gather from your video makes the game more interesting. There’s an “advanced solo” setting, so I’ll check that out my next game.

Hey, it’s free, and it’s a good way to sample the mechanics. I’m liking it enough that I might spring for the physical game, as the Marvel universe does appeal to me.