The Top Ten Solitaire Boardgames of All Time

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.

Speaking of Andrew Parks, what do you think of Dungeon Alliance? I like how this game doesn’t rely on randomness much, reminded me a bit of Desktop Dungeons. .

This is what I come to Qt3 for. Good stuff, Tom!

I’ve been an avid solo gamer since… forever (only child here). Here’s my top picks:

  1. Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
  2. Shadowrun Crossfire
  3. Space Hulk: Death Angel
  4. Conflict of Heroes - Solo Expansion
  5. Rail Road Ink
  6. Myth
  7. Battletech
  8. Utopia Engine/Four Against Darkness
  9. Thunderbolt-Apache Leader
  10. Bottom of the 9th

Honorable Mentions: Pathfinder Mummy’s Mask and Memoir 44

Speaking of Apocrypha, does @tomchick or anybody else recommend these things to manage a Saint and its halo during and between campaign missions?

They sold a branded binder like that as an addon, so yes, it’s basically the intended approach. And it’s probably the best solution given that position of fragments matters.

Hmm, then I will order some. Funny though, they’ll get here before the game itself! 😥😥

I’ve been watching a couple videos about the game to hit the ground stumbling when the game gets here. Super excited to play it.

I also realized during my recent games of Ghost Stories, I need a dice tower because I have limited space to roll well. This would work with Apocrypha too.

Nah. My feeling is binder sheets are going to be more trouble than they’re worth. If you can keep the cards lying on a table in position – and of course you can because you’re playing a card game – you don’t need a plastic sheet to do it for you.

Also, it’s not like there’s any persistence to the position of slotted cards between games. At the beginning of every game, you take the cards you’ll be slotting (deaths, fleeting fragments, and enduring fragments), and you arrange them however you like to best suit you for that game. It’s not like you need to remember who had which card where.

-Tom

Ah, this is the most pertinent part of my consideration for the sheets. I was most concerned that I would have to maintain the character state, card positioning specifically, between missions. I’m actually relieved I don’t.

I thought you did have to. But Tom’s played it more recently, so he’s probably right.

I’ll throw my list into the ring:

  1. Arkham Horror the card game. I don’t actually own this anymore because it was costing me too much money to keep up with new decks, and I really don’t like deckbuilding. But driving a couple of netdecks through the campaigns solo is some of the most evocative boardgaming I’ve ever experienced.

  2. Robinson Crusoe - I also no longer own this one, but I pimped up my 2nd edition with custom tokens, deck boxes, user-made missions, etc. I loved this game and generated many stories with it, mostly involving death due to animal attack, death due to rain, death due to hunger, death due to bees, etc. I had the Darwin expansion too, which was soooo hard, but so imaginative and beautiful.

  3. Finished! - I still have it! And I still play it. I’m going to include Friday further down, but this is my favorite FF solo game. It’s a math puzzle but has cute little wooden coffee and candy tokens. And it’s so tiny, you can throw it into your bag and take it anywhere.

  4. 7th Continent - I think I’m like Tom in that I admire this game more than I enjoy playing it. But I do get sucked in every once in awhile. I still haven’t even beaten the Goddess curse, but I’m close!

  5. Apocrypha - I bought this a couple of months ago with the sale. I’ve played through half a dozen missions, mostly in the Anima chapter. I really like the tightness of the rules and the evocative nature of the storytelling. I’m less thrilled with mission structures that start to feel a bit repetitive and character progression that is pretty random.

  6. Friday - The best solo deck construction game. Take that Mage Knight.

  7. Spirit Island - The only reason this game is so far down the list is because I prefer to play with other people. (See also Aeon’s End, Pandemic, and Mansions of Madness.)

  8. Neanderthal - Eklund tries to include a solo mode in most of his games. This one actually works pretty well.

  9. Navajo Wars - If I’d played Comancheria it would probably be on my list, but dear god how evocative is this game. I read Hampton Sides’s Blood and Thunder after playing it and learned heaps of history I hadn’t known at all. It’s kind of a survival horror game, but that’s appropriate given the subject matter.

  10. Oh My Goods! Longsdale expansion - The Longsdale expansion adds a campaign that you can play solo. Since it’s the size of a couple of decks of cards, I took it with me to Argentina and played it when I was holed up in the attic of a ramshackle AirBnb outside Bariloche for a couple of days trying to fight off a fever after the airline lost my bag and I had to walk 10km from town because taxis don’t run there on New Year’s Day and I couldn’t find an ATM that would work with my bank card anyway. It saved my sanity, though I have to confess I find it hard to play now because it feels like a fever game.

EDIT: I decided to pla drkng game were i drink once fr evry time I typd “evocative” in ths post. Pretty druk now

That’s exactly me and my #1, LotR. It’s hands down the most satisfying solo play I’ve experienced, but practical needs of money, time, and space won out.

I’m sure I could google this, but why would Arkham Horror need money to keep it replayable if it’s a solo game?

It receives regular expansion content in cycles of mid-size box and then 5 or so followup packs with the rest of the storyline. You technically wouldn’t have to keep up, but if you’re netdecking, people are going to assume you have access to the latest player cards.

All of them so far have actually been 6 packs plus a big box per cycle…and then (after the cycle is completed) an expanded DLC patch sort of thing for each cycle in the form of a “Return to…” big box. Those last are, of course, completely optional, but they give you some nice variant versions of the quests in the cycle and some further upgraded deckbuilding options.

Oohh, I haven’t played the game so I wasn’t connecting the dots about the net decking. Got it.