J'ai une âme solitaire: Solitaire Boardgaming Megathread!

Whoa, so there is a digital version of the Legendary Card Game! But stripped of all licensing, which makes perfect sense. Having seen how crazy things get with the Aliens and Marvel sets, I’m curious how much of that wackiness they managed to get into this digital version. I’m going to have to check this out.

Thanks so much for the heads-up, @spock! When I’ve had a closer look, I’ll be sure to report back.

-Tom

Happy to be of service, @tomchick ! I’ll be interested in your reaction to the app, in particular whether it represents the physical game well.

After a couple failures, I’ve finally beaten the first couple of levels of the campaign in the Legendary DXP app. I’m getting the hang of it. It always feels as if I have no hope, that I’m building my deck too slowly. And then suddenly I hit a combo that ramps up my attack, and striking the mastermind draws me new cards that give me a new combo, etc.

My biggest complaint about the app is that the cards are pretty tiny, even on my big iPad. I suppose that’s better on the Steam version. Still, that might push me to get the base Marvel Legendary physical card game. (And yes, I know this is a thread about board games, not boardgame apps; sorry if I’ve slightly derailed it!)

Apology not accepted!

I do love how digital versions are giving us the option not only to “try before we buy”, but sometimes even to “instead of buy”. So it’s hardly a derail when you find a great way to test a boardgame before shelling out the $30+ bucks.

-Tom

Interesting, these posts encouraged me to give these apps a shot and then discovered maybe the 007 game license is somehow cheaper - there is a (separate) Legendary DXP: 007 app for Android and Apple (no Steam version for now). No idea whether the game or the app are any good - I’ve only ever heard of the Marvel one and I have no idea whether DXP = Marvel or is it just another Legendary game? Or is the 007 just the same game with different theming?

Spotted on BGG – someone calculated (and charted) that last year was the first in which more games were published with solo modes than without.

i think the bigger story is that the number of board games being published has plummeted since 2017. Is that actually true? Does that comport with anyone’s lived experience?

It looks like it goes from a peak of ~750 in 2017, to ~720 in 2018 and 660 in 2019. Possibly those latter two numbers would’ve just been blips on the radar.

But then in 2020 and 2021 publishing and manufacturing games got a whole lot more difficult.

I think the first time I rage quit a board game. Hostage Negotiator. I rolled blank after blank. I just hate dice sides that are empy blanks… It is so painful to roll a blank.

Even worse, rolling 3 blanks with three dice. Only 5 and 6 count as success or you could turn a 4 by discarding 2 cards.

I think I am done, hm, I have Final Girl in the pipeline. Maybe I should cancel it. I got my fill…

That’ll happen. And usually that kind of defeat takes all of about 15 minutes to manifest itself, and isn’t worth getting too worked up about.

Final Girl’s dice are slightly more forgiving, fwiw. (I think it’s that a 3 or 4 can be turned into a success by discarding, instead of just a 4.)

One of my (many) issues with Final Girl is that it’s a very swingy game, and not necessarily by virtue of anything you can control. Some games will be brutally difficult, some will be cakewalks, some you might lose right out of the gate, others you might win right out of the gate. There is nothing that “tunes” or “regulates” the level of pushback or challenge, nothing to try to engineer a certain type of experience. So sometimes a die roll or card draw will shut you down and there’s not a thing you could have done.

C’est la Derniere Fille! Not a design so much as the intersection of a bunch of components. Which can make for some fun narratives, and has an excellent presentation gimmick, so I can understand its appeal. But I can also understand your frustration.

-Tom

Yep, fair point.

But yeah…dice-chucking games aren’t for everyone, and may not be a game for @newbrof. Because bad dice luck is gonna happen. What I appreciate about Hostage Negotiator is that when I have spectacularly bad dice luck, it at least doesn’t penalize my time, because things go south so quickly that it’s easy to set up and go again.

Ordered a retail copy of Massive Darkness 2 and I’ve played 4 games solo now. Really enjoying the one-off adventures of this one. Seems like so many dungeon crawl games are campaign based these days, but with a busy schedule I like being able to just play a single game.

The AI is a little lackluster if I’m honest (it lacks the punch of the double activations of Zombicide), but the different player classes are really fun!

I’m looking forward to playing more for sure!

While I enjoy Final Girl and HN, I have to be mentally prepared to roll and lose in order to want to set it up. I’m sure better players than me can reliably engineer wins, but my approach is generally to play conservatively and set up a handful of impactful turns that might still produce a 3 in 5 shot at winning. It’s only fun when I’m enjoying the narrative along the way. And I’m not in the mood for that kind of experience very often.

Wow, thanks for spotting the Legendary James Bond app, which is free on the App Store. It is indeed another Legendary game, with mechanics similar to those of the fantasy-themed Legendary DXP I linked earlier. But there are differences, not just in theme but also in gameplay.

The Bond game lets you permanently buff cards, and it has “missions” that behave differently than the enemies in the fantasy game. Also, while both games have a tutorial, the Bond campaign begins as a second tutorial, because you win by defeating the Mastermind tactic just once. (It gets harder as it progresses.) Now that I’ve played both games for a couple hours, I’d say the Bond game (tutorial plus campaign) might be easier for a newcomer than the fantasy one.

I don’t think the art in either game is great. The fantasy art features some odd proportions. The Bond art is simply screenshots from the movies, but Bond movies look better in motion than in stills.

Still and all, these are great free ways to try this Legendary thing. Of course they have the usual free-to-play shenanigans (“energy” that replenishes slowly over time, premium currency, unlocks, etc), but there’s a surprising bit of free content.

I like dice chucking, like Elder Sign or Planet Apocalypse … but those empty die faces. I tried again, got my 3 dice for 1 round, failed to achieve anything, next 2 rounds escalted 2 times +1, so I lost my 3rd die again. Could not talk him down, stuck on 2 dices, way off the threshold to get a 3rd one.

My very first game went way better, rolled almost constantly 1 or 2 successes every time. Freed all hostages minus one, could not get the last one and the timer ran out. But since then (total outlier with so many successes) I just can’t roll anymore…

Before I got the game, I thought the cards would help with the dice. But to activate, you also need success. The reroll-card is OK, but you can reroll 1 die, and then it is only a chance of 1:3 to roll a success, pretty bad odds.

Don’t know what to make of it, there must be a way to play “smart” … but you need some good rolls.

I missed a rule that you can discard a card for 1 CP … not sure if it makes a difference, it could help. I wish they had this rule on the back of the card. I think in Final Girl, they have it, so that’s when I played HN and the back of the card missed that rule, I did not check the rulebook.

Hostage Negotiator I think I am done. This is such a disappointing experience. 50% fail rate per die is too much. I played the professor case file. Even if I get to use 3 dice - more often than not I miss with all 3 dice. The math is totally skewed against the player. I rage quit now… I will cancel my Final Girl order at Game Steward, this system is just not for me…

It’s a really terrific game system that creates some good opportunities for tactics and in campaign games for an over-arching strategy. I’ve put maybe 30 hours into the game over the last year, and while I still lose games, I don’t lose too terribly often. (It does have some tricky rules that I’ve seen get missed a lot with discards not being re-buyable until the next turn and things like that.)

Diff’rent strokes.

in HN or FG? I still don’t want to give up so fast. I rage un-quit and try to stay calm. What I did was when I failed a test, I threw in the next card for a test, and then the next until I burned through all my cards and maybe only 2 cp left for the next round.

You really need to stay calm as a negotiator!

I like this session report