J'ai une âme solitaire: Solitaire Boardgaming Megathread!

Yes, I have a game on the go atm! Played a bunch of times and really enjoy it.

Quick and easy to set up, play, and tear down, with nothing too taxing or stressful. Some clever open world and skill-check mechanics, and the ‘choose your own adventure’ style storybook app works well. It’s slick to use, and can serve different content based on season or day. Solid component quality too.

The simplicity won’t appeal to everyone but for me it’s a nice change of pace to the overcomplicated 100-hour campaign token-fest adventure games that never seem to make the table. Maximum charm, minimum fuss. :)

I think it was mentioned upthread by a couple people too. Expensive and took a while to arrive from Finland or wherever but worth it.

edit: was in the other bg thread

Thank you, I searched for the name here but came up empty. Sounds perfect. I don’t have time for sprawling setups what with a small kid and 2 cats and a wife etc. What you write sounds perfect!

The persistence is cool too. Your actions can change locations to provide new opportunities. Each time you play a game you’re on the next month, and the map changes from summer to winter. Events can add temporary cards to locations that you can interact with, if you reach them in time. World quests cycle through a kind of job board, and appear at different places over time.

Each play session you can drop in/out of the ongoing world as one of the different characters, and their growth persists from game-to-game too (basically which cards they have, and the state of their skills). They each have a unique starting quest chain, which is over all too soon unfortunately! :)

And of course it’s ‘legacy’ but doesn’t damage anything, so you can reset the world back to the start state if you really want (though I’m not sure why you would want to).

Hey, I actually own a copy of that game! I’m going to see if I can get on the P500 list for the sequel.

Yup, that was my take, which holds. I played it frequently for a solid (real life) month. There is no overarching story AFAIK and the strategic decisions are very limited, but I did enjoy it. The save system is great, so when I finally put it away, I ‘saved’ my end state, and can just pick up where I left off when I decide to return.

EDIT: Meant to mention that my dog chewed one of the cards, so I messaged the designer on Discord and he mailed me a new one! I paypal’d him a few bucks to cover the postage, but that was right nice of him. He’s active on their Discord and said expansion(s) are planned.

I played Wreck of the Pandora for Qt3’s Starship Week oh so many years ago. Voyage (Ares magazine #6) actually released after Wreck (Ares #2) and I remember it being a bit more involved, with paragraphs not unlike he used in Ambush a few years later. As much as I do have a fond nostalgia for those games, I can’t imagine a reprint being any good – it would have to be a full-on redesign.

I forgot that there are more than one B.S.M. Pandora games out there, I actually own Wreck. Got this bad boy off eBay some time ago as I recall.

On nice, I’m going to read through those today. :)

This new game is apparently more of a modern remake of Voyages than an upmarket reprint. I’d be similarly disinterested if it were the same 1980s version.

I should note that Wreck was a Jim Dunnigan design, while Voyage was Butterfield. Butterfield was a much more inventive designer (IMO) than Dunnigan.

Played Stalingrad: Advance to the Volga. In this game you are the Germans and have to take over areas in and around Stalingrad by moving infantry and tanks and using support to destroy troops in each area to take those over.

The Soviets don’t move but their troops are hidden until you move into their area and then you reveal their strength and a keyword which gives the fight a bit of variation.

Each round you use dice to get more supply to bring troops back that were defeated or buy more artillery or air support or to raise the German morale.

It’s pretty reliant on decent die rolls. The first 3 attacks I made the Soviets rolled either 5 or 6 on all their die rolls. That sucked. And a few of my rolls of 4 die for supply came up with a total of less than 9. Sucked.

But, I think it’s a good game and challenging and the authors are making other games with other battles so it might turn into a cool series of solitaire challenges.

To win you need to control 40 areas and 1 has to be a heavy area by the Volga. My first result was 27 areas. Got a ways to go.

OMG, @Petey, get out of my head! I was just looking at this game over the weekend, very curious about it, but not enough to order blindly from a publisher whose games I don’t know. You obviously played a learning game, but if you stick with it, I’d be curious to hear more.

Have you played Pavlov’s House? Different scale, of course, and you’re the Russians in that game. But I’d be curious to hear how it compares as a way to model the fighting in Stalingrad. From your description, Stalingrad: Advance to the Volga sounds pretty vanilla, like it’s just a set of fixed defenses you have to knock down. That’s a viable format for a game (Butterfield’s D-Day series, for example), but it takes work to make it interesting.

I bought Pavlov’s House when it first came out but never played it and sold it…now I wish I have tried it.

It’s pretty much just like you said, fixed defenses in every area you need to take out. Pretty basic.

But, there are a decent amount of decisions to make. You have a lot of lower power infantry with some decent higher damage tanks and a lot of the infantry cannot take out the defenses without a good amount of support so you really need to decide onto which divisions you allocate the higher level support and if you need to move your tank divisions around more for offensive operations instead of wasting support on the infantry which might not be strong enough.

You have to watch your morale as you get an attack bonus with higher morale and if it gets too low you lose that bonus and the Russians get a defense bonus.

There are other optional rules like isolated Russian units doing less defense and needing to use engineer support to attack heavy urban areas. Also there is a Pavlov’s House unit that gets a specific ongoing defense strategy if you ever reveal it.

I will play another game now that I have some better idea of strategies and see how it goes.

Just dipping my toes into the hobby for the first time. This was my third or fourth play of The Lost Expedition on Easy. Got some great movement cards on the first morning.

And I won on the second morning (with the unfortunate loss of Isabelle). I was lucky that the final card to come out (and the first in sequence) was a movement card I could pay for, as I was boned otherwise. On to Normal difficulty next!

Getting set up for the Big Game tomorrow. It’s 1984 so I have limited planes to choose from. This is my first game after the introductory campaign, so looking forward to it. I had a good time last time around, but I’m not sure that I don’t prefer puzzling out how the systems/mechanics work to playing the actual game. We’ll see.

I love that Tintin style artwork in Lost Expeditions so much! It reminds me of being a kid in third grade, after we’d just moved to Little Rock, Arkansas from the Bay Area. I was in a new school where I didn’t know anyone or understand the massive cultural implications of the move. But I remember spending recesses and lunch in the library, flipping through those Tintin books, not really interested in reading them – comic books were never my bag – but absolutely fascinated at the distinctive Belgian tone of that artwork:

The dog gets its own spacesuit? Nine-year-old Tommy Chick’s mind was blown.

I struggled with Lost Expeditions when I first got it – so much bald math! – and then again when Osprey released the expansion with dramatically different printing so you could always tell an expansion card from a core card. Osprey eventually replaced my set, and now me and Lost Expeditions are pretty fast friends. I even consider myself a Peer Sylvester fan, although the Judge Dredd reskin looks absolutely dreadful. :)

Oooooh, now you’re talkin’ my language! Please report back. And more pics wouldn’t be amiss.

I have nothing to contribute regarding boardgames but I just want to point out Snowy not only gets a spacesuit, but the suit has a sleeve for his tail. That is the best thing I’ve seen all week.

Great story :) Yeah, Lost Expedition looks so good, and the cute art belies the fact that it’s a damn hard game. I really struggled to get it my first few times through. Hopefully it has clicked now.
I had a look at the Judge Dredd variant artwork and it does look pretty bad. Maybe it grows on you after a while. I did like the idea of the Slough of St Louis though.

Good session with Thunderbolt-Apache Leader today.

Cards, clockwise from top left are: Mission & Year (draw enemy battalions until their value equals 33 or more, what map tiles to use, make the enemy pop up (hidden units) odds a teeny bit lower), Modifiers (I have 25 Special Operation points with which to buy planes), and then the two battalions I’d like to prioritise as they give me maluses until they are dealt with:

I’m restricted to pre-1984 by the mission, so I have a pretty basic fleet (no Apaches, no unmanned drones etc):

Enemy battalions are laid out as follows, and are likely to advance at the end of each day, with consequences to your mission modifiers (pilot stress, SO points deducted, how many weapons you can carry etc):

Alpha team are go. A big part of the game is selecting your weapon loadout from a decently wide array of missiles and bombs. I made a mistake here as the battalion I was targetting was in a zone which should have removed two weapon loadout points from each plane.
The map tiles have ridges, which block line of sight and force you to take stress checks when crossing them, or force you out of cover to higher altitude where ground forces can shoot at you with impunity. The tactical game is bascially threading your way through the map and weighing the odds for dropping the most appropriate bombs for the situation:

Exiting the map having made a complete cock-up of the situation. I only got the battalion down to half strength before running out of ammo, which meant I had to go back with a different team later to finish the job. I made a really egregious error in that I forgot that using the A10’s autocannon was an option - a really good one! I guess I’d better stay away from the A10 Warthog thread until I sort myself out:

I need to work on my alluring-counter photography, but these bad boys were a mainstay - get an A10 pilot with +2 to Strike and you only need to drop one of them, then roll 4+ on a d10 to hit each enemy in the hex (in turn), rather than pew-pewing away at them all individually:

I got through 2.5 days worth of missions out of 4. The setup time bleeds into weapon selection, so it seems to take a while before you get to the point where you’re actually launching the attack, but that’s all part of the game. Enjoying it so far.

Question for the group - in a ‘campaign’ game like this, do you prefer to stick with it as your main game until the campaign runs out of steam, or do you mix and match games freely? I might be playing this for a while.

All set up for a learning game tomorrow. I tried playing a game during the week, but was exhausted after initial setup and could only stare dully at the cards. Setup went much more smoothly this time.

I am loving your torn-paper “house mods” in Imperium, @Pedro! I have to get very particular with my card layout to get a good groove going when I play solitaire boardgames, so I completely understand putting out labels like that, especially when you’re confronted with so many similar card backs.

BTW, I use to hate the Imperium card backs because I thought they were directionally agnostic. You know, where you can’t tell up from down until you flip the card over? Hence, “directionally agnostic”. I hate that in a card back’s design. But I eventually discovered I was wrong about Imperium! Can you spot from the back whether a card is upside down? It’s pretty subtle, but I can’t miss it now.

(Let me know if you need a hint.)

I’ve been playing a fair bit of Imperium myself, lately! A close friend who lives in another state has a copy, and we’ve been picking pairs of nations to try solitaire games, to compare notes, and scores. We had a grand time banging on Rome and Carthage (Cartage rules, Rome drools!) and now we’re messing with Greek and Persia. The goal is to work our way into the funkier nations of the Classics set and then eventually get to Legends. I really really love how David Turczi’s bots give each nation so much personality. I normally bristle at the arbitrariness of “automa” systems, but this is the exact opposite of that: Turczi personally tailored an AI system for each nation, and it makes such a difference. It’s still an automa, but it’s brimming with thematic whys and wherefores!

Sorry I missed this before, but firstly, thanks for all those Thunderbolt Apache Leader shots! For a guy who doesn’t clip his counters, those are some pretty nice pics! :)

And isn’t it cool having your aircraft separate from your pilots? I always hated how aircraft and pilots were jammed together on the same card in Verssen’s other Leader games. And hoo boy, those terrain layouts! What a great venue for all those wonderful ground-pounders! I love all the smoking ruin aftera
mission. Whee!

In answer to your question, I have to mix-and-match my games, especially when one of them is a campaign game. When it comes to my own attention span, campaign games can be a bit much for sustained play, especially when you’re running through the same “loop” over and over. (And this is also true of videogames centered on tactical battles, such as Xcom and Phoenix Point.)

For instance, I recently got into Skies Above Britain, and I was absolutely loving it*, but there’s no denying it gets repetitive. And if you’ve only got one table, this can be an issue. Am I supposed to keep Skies Above Britain on my solitaire table the whole time? Because what a pain in the butt to pack up a campaign-in-progress, not to mention trying to unpack it weeks later.

Of course, the solution is to have multiple solitaire tables so you can take a break to get in games of Fields of Arle and Arkham Horror and Deep Madness while Skies Above Britain or Apache/Thunderbolt Leader waits patiently for your return. But that invokes a whole other real estate question than the one most boardgame struggle with.

* As I may have said before, Skies Above Britain is my favorite Star Wars game for how recreates George Lucas’ cinematic technique of intercutting among several separate but dramatically linked action scenes

I kept coming across instructions like, ‘shuffle the remaining cards and place them on top of the Nation Deck,’ and going, wtf is the Nation Deck, and looking in the rules for 5 mins. Hopefully this remedies that until I get oriented :)

Ohhh, looks like the bottom right and top left of each card is marked consistently? Pretty nice!

That’s a great idea to enhance the solitaire aspect, love it! I’m hopefully on the same path - I have Legends here also and hopefully will get to bust it out some time. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Macedonians and Persians are themed differently in this game. Luckily, coming from computer games, I at least know a bit of background with these two, so it should resonate.

I’ve played two campaigns now and had new campaign cards out on the table for this weekend before deciding to take a break. I really enjoyed my time with it so far, though I got a ‘Great’ rating last weekend so I probably need to check up on the rules to see what I’m misinterpreting in my own favour. There are a very small number of cards for mission events so those are getting a bit samey already, I’d have liked to see more of them. Having a good time, but I agree with you about sustained play. I need to check out Skies Above Britain but I’ve already got the rest of the year’s gaming sorted out so it’s time for some buying discipline now.

Oh no. Another thing for the list ;) I must say I’m pretty amazed at the amount of paraphernalia that accumulates around the boardgaming experience. I already bought one table, and then it occurs that maybe some kallax cubes would fit nicely nearby etc. I’m trying a lot of suff out, so I bought several hundred card sleeves, and now it looks like I’ll need a burger flipper or some similar implement to peel them off the table. Of course the solution to that would be a neoprene mat… ;)

As you noticed, I haven’t got a counter clipper, but I have some wargames on the list that might require that, and of course I need to buy some counter tweezers for the day I break out a proper wargame and start stacking counters … but essentially I am ignoring stuff like clippers, storage solutions etc for now in a bid to keep myself in the black :)

But yeah, two (or more) solitaire tables is the dream :)

Hope you manage to fit in some gaming this weekend!

I’m sure you guys know but there’s another expand-alone Imperium on the way soon. This one has 14 civs.