The Top Ten Solitaire Boardgames of All Time

@Terry welcome, first off. Just didn’t want you to lost in the shuffle of a bunch of newcomers that swarmed another thread to review-hate.

I’d heard good things about the ST:F version of Mageknight. I think Tom’s review even mentions it. If I had the room that is something I’d probably be all over. I’ve had Gloomhaven for over a year and still haven’t unboxed it. 5 teenage kids between me and my wife means there is maybe 1.6 square feet of available tabletop at any given time. If I’m lucky. :(

Thank you, lostcawz. As a newcomer, I appreciate the warm and friendly welcome!

That sounds great! I’d skipped Frontiers because I’d already played tons of Mage Knight and had almost no Star Trek context when it came out. I’ve seen a bunch of Star Trek at this point and playing vs an AI deck of Khan is pretty dang intriguing.

Welcome to Qt3, @terry.

Welcome! Stick around. Talk tabletop games with us!

BTW, those of you waiting for Apocrypha to ship, here’s the best tutorial video on youtube I could find. It’s very thorough and a little too dry at times, but he hits up the rules well.

And then when you’ve absorbed that, Tom Chick played one of the Candlepoint scenarios:

Cool. Thanks for those. Started reading the fan made rules file on BGG. Then stopped. Videos will be better.

BTW, go to @tomchick’s excellent playthrough to hear and watch the rules invoked correctly and explained nicely.

Stay to hear him charmingly refer to Dr. Zeez by his proper last name throughout…

It’s bizarre that they go to the bother of making a pre-built tutorial deck, and then don’t do a proper tutorial with it. Even the official “how to play” video for it doesn’t actually tell you how to play. I gave up on it half way through and watched this instead, which is infinitely better even though it’s not using the tutorial scenario.

Hey, @Terry, glad you brought up Star Trek: Frontiers, because I am definitely a fan! Maybe not Top Ten of All Time fan, but still a fan. Andrew Parks is a truly talented designer, and if there were any solitaire play in the Marvel minis boondoggle he’s making, I’d probably be all over that. But when Parks adapted Mage Knight into Star Trek: Frontiers, he did a fantastic job breathing life into the game, and addressing a lot of my Mage Knight complaints.

I do think it gets a bit weird with the theming, and I say that without even really knowing much about Star Trek. But I seem to recall weird counter-lore things happening and thinking that Star Trek fans would might strenuously object. Stuff like, uh, Romulans teaming up with Ferrengi or whatever, or Wharf working on the USS Deep Space Nine. That sort of thing.

Uh-oh, there’s an expansion? Damn you, @Terry!

-Tom

You can tell I like a game when I keep accidentally using the lore.

-Tom

Several of my personal favorite solitaire games:

  1. Coffee Roaster
  2. Twice As Clever (doppelt so clever) / That’s Pretty Clever (Ganz schön clever)
  3. Onirim
  4. Spirit Island
  5. Sentinels of the Multiverse

I tend to play bigger games with friends cooperatively, that’s how I played through several PACG seasons, I would prefer the simpler mechanics as a solitaire game.

Got it for 50€ at the end, but I don’t know how long it will take to arrive.

It’s not like I don’t have other things to put time into!

As someone who enjoys Mage Knight + expansion(s) I have always waffled on whether getting Star Trek Frontiers + expansion is worth it.

Pros: great theming (I like Star Trek)
Cons: from what I read the gameplay is so close to the same it’s not worth owning both.

For me, I would say there are 3 factors that differentiate Star Trek: Frontiers from Mage Knight:

  • As you’ve already noted, the Star Trek theme is compelling. You really get the feeling of exploring the galaxy, and the endgame of attacking the Borg (or Khan, in the expansion) makes more sense to me than attacking cities in Mage Knight (which always came across to me as malicious).

  • Star Trek: Frontiers has a “Diplomacy” resource that can be used to recruit crew members (similar to recruiting allies in Mage Knight), but it also can be used as a resource to win planetary encounters. If, for example, I do not have sufficient long range attack to win a planetary encounter, but I have Captain Picard and/or diplomacy skill tokens/cards, I can win the encounter (sustaining no damage) without having to use Long Range Attack or Attack. Again, the Star Trek theme of peaceful diplomacy really comes alive.

  • With Mage Knight, blocking is all or nothing; either I block all of the attack, or none of it. In Star Trek: Frontiers, your ships have a “Shield” resource, enabling a partial block of incoming attacks. To me, this enhances your strategic options and encourages riskier play. It also supports the theme, as shields in Star Trek are notoriously leaky when it comes to blocking damage.

My two cents, for what it’s worth.

UHH…I just bought Mage Knight Ultimate and now I see this info. I mostly play wargames solo but thought about all these top solo games that are not wargames and now this thread is costing me much needed VR gaming money.

Buy Tabletop Sim on Steam and play boardgames IN VR! ;)

Thank you! I see there are copies on Amazon but it’s >$100 for base + expansion…

In order not to drive by too terribly I am slowly putting together my own top ten…I’m a bit out of practice though as unlike many others I find myself less likely to boardgame alone with excess time and more likely to play videogames or game with family.

Another favorite solo game of mine that I would recommend to anyone is Fallout from FFG.

Yes, the scoring system is a bit random, which can either cause games to end abruptly or drag on forever, but the game really nails the Fallout feel in terms of its narrative, side quests, levelling up, and the slightly goofy sense of humor of the Fallout universe.

Supposedly, the scoring system is going to be addressed in the Atomic Bonds upgrade coming out later this year.

I wish FFG would unleash its expansion assembly line machinery on this game. It has one - New California - and it is excellent, but there is so much content that could be explored with more expansions.

They don’t tend to do a lot of expansions for games that aren’t selling well (because expansions sell worse than base games). I’ve never heard anyone recommend Fallout as a multiplayer boardgame, and I suspect most people don’t buy them to play solo. So I would guess that in this case, the base game probably sold well for a little while due to the license, people realized it had issues, and interest died down. My understanding is that Atomic Bonds also bolts on coop play, which might revive some interest. Maybe it’ll get more content then.