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I Went Nuts!

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Nefaro
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I Went Nuts!

Post by Nefaro on Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:07 am

Despite picking up Xia and Heroes of Normandie recently, I also decided to load up on some solo-able "designer" boardgames too.

Here's what I got:
(names are BGG links)

Shadows Of Malice
I keep seeing reviews expounding it's solitaire/co-op virtues.  Evidently the mix of highly randomized monster creation and the large variety of abilities and equipment in the cards makes for some excellent solitaire play that sparks the imagination.  It's artwork is rather minimalist (being an indie company) so the gameplay must be superb from all the good reviews.


Run, Fight, or Die.
This is a competitive dice-rolling game in it's original state, but includes solitaire variant rules.  It will end up doing double duty for me as it's not exceptionally rules heavy and looks to be relatively quick.  Every player has their own pack of zombie minis chasing after them while they try to escape, finding and rescuing the most valuable NPC survivors they can find along the way.  Of course, some of those survivors can be a real hindrance to the "survival" part.  Another one with good reviews.

Legion Of Honor
A new one from the old wargame company Clash Of Arms, this also has both competitive and solitaire play.  You take on the persona of a French soldier attempting to rise in the ranks of Napoleon's Grand Armee.. and survive?  Primarily a card game, it's likened to other narrative solitaire games like B-17 Queen of the Skies and Patton's Best, although those primarily relied on lots of die roll 'encounter' style tables and running a whole crew, instead of cards to generate the game-story for a single soldier's randomized interactive biography.  Definitely some solo role-playing vibe in this one.

It is the odd one of the bunch but after seeing the components in an Unboxing vid, I buckled.  Something unique! I probably won't see it for another week or more and it's unusual approach will probably take me a bit to learn so it may be some time before I have some impressions.


Dead Of Winter
People have been gushing about this game for the few months it's been out.  So much so that the numerous re-print runs had thousands of copies instantly selling out each time.  I had been waiting for them to finally get ahead of the demand and stock it in stores before purchasing, but that still hasn't happened.  So I finally gave up and put in a back order with the publisher in the hopes I'll get a copy in a couple months.

Although I'm not much into all the survival games with a zombiepocalypse on the PC (there's one coming out every week I think!), this thing does look like fun.  I hear the zombie theme takes more of a back stage to the usual survival scrounging and, most notably, the tension and possible back-stabbing between the survivor characters.  The multi-player version has some "hidden traitor" mechanic that may or may not be the case every game, so it creates paranoid and suspicion between players. It has solitaire rules which still look like fun despite not having the hidden agenda paranoia of multi-player. santa



Anyway.. I wanted to confess my game shopping binge of this month and give you some more solitaire titles to consider.  The only one I've not heard many impressions about is Legion Of Honor but the other three are pretty damn popular.  Hopefully nothing new comes out for awhile that I just gotta get.  I wouldn't buy so many at a time, but if you don't snatch up some of the good ones in their available window, they can sometimes be out of print for a long time and the resale prices get ridiculous.  It'll take me a long time to catch up on all the stuff I have. king
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Dukely
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Re: I Went Nuts!

Post by Dukely on Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:49 am

You monster! I just saw Xia on Shut Up and Sit down and now I really want it. Also have had my eye on Dead of Winter I've seen these other games around too. Let me know what you think of them. Good thing I have a b-day coming up, might have to get myself a few of these! I usually buy a few board games together as http://www.miniaturemarket.com/ has good prices and free shipping if you spend enough, so it comes out cheaper then Amazon usually.

I've also been shopping around for 6mm miniatures. I want to paint up a big army and not spend 100s of dollars.


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Re: I Went Nuts!

Post by Nefaro on Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:05 pm

Dukely wrote:You monster! I just saw Xia on Shut Up and Sit down and now I really want it. Also have had my eye on Dead of Winter I've seen these other games around too. Let me know what you think of them. Good thing I have a b-day coming up, might have to get myself a few of these! I usually buy a few board games together as http://www.miniaturemarket.com/ has good prices and free shipping if you spend enough, so it comes out cheaper then Amazon usually.

I also suggest checking Cool Stuff Inc out, as they're similarly priced and have the free shipping option.  They've been very fast with their shipping in my experience, too.

http://www.coolstuffinc.com/

Xia's rules are pretty easy for a game with it's subject.  It's easier than Merchants & Marauders and I didn't think the latter was terribly heavy either.  

I got in some Shadows Of Malice spurts here & there today.  Thus far it's a decent co-op game, but my early impression makes me think that the Mage Knight Board Game and Darkest Night (for example) are a bit more fun.  There is a lot of dice rolling in Shadows of Malice but I think it gets a bit too much at times and could've used more card decks to take some of the randomization load off and lend them more detail than a few numbers.  It's a pretty good game from what little I've seen.. just think there are at least a couple that are more enjoyable doing a similar theme (and with better art/components).

The best part of SofM is the monster ability cards that can give your random monster all kinds of special stuff (such as Undead, Death Gaze, Blood Leech, and many others). You can roll up a monster with 0 to 3 of them so they can make for some interesting combos and make you desperately want some immunity equipment/potions at times. Without those monster abilities, the combat is rather dull. When I roll up a monster with zero abilities, I'm crestfallen. I suppose I could just house rule that they all come with a minimum of one each but I'd probably have to make adjustments elsewhere to offset the increase in overall difficulty. Tough balancing adjustments.


I've also been shopping around for 6mm miniatures. I want to paint up a big army and not spend 100s of dollars.

6mm?!  Sweet baby raptor jesus, man!  I'd go permanently cross-eyed trying to paint details on something that small.  

I am tempted to get some small Carthaginian and Republican Roman minis to bling out Command & Colors.  But I'm gonna stick with my 'To-Paint' list and consider it for a distant future.  Still got all those cold war jets to paint, amongst others.
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Dukely
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Re: I Went Nuts!

Post by Dukely on Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:16 am

Nefaro wrote:The best part of SofM is the monster ability cards that can give your random monster all kinds of special stuff (such as Undead, Death Gaze, Blood Leech, and many others).  You can roll up a monster with 0 to 3 of them so they can make for some interesting combos and make you desperately want some immunity equipment/potions at times.  Without those monster abilities, the combat is rather dull.  When I roll up a monster with zero abilities, I'm crestfallen.  I suppose I could just house rule that they all come with a minimum of one each but I'd probably have to make adjustments elsewhere to offset the increase in overall difficulty.  Tough balancing adjustments.

That sounds cool, a case of good mechanics in a less then fun game. 


Nefaro wrote:6mm?!  Sweet baby raptor jesus, man!  I'd go permanently cross-eyed trying to paint details on something that small.

Just confirmed my order! Ordered about 7 units from a British company, came out to like 15 pounds with shipping. Knowing UK mail it will take a month to get here but I'll post up some pics when they do.
 


I saw the price tag for Xia and have been scared off. Im thinking about getting 1914: Glory's End / When Eagles Fight and maybe Thunderbolt Apache Leader since Phantom and Harrier leader are so hard to find. Got $100 bucks for my birthday so might as well! I need to remember to buy more solitare games. I make the mistake of buying games for 3 or 4 people. I almost never get that many people interested in a game and If I did, it would have to be easy to teach and play fast. I'll check out the website you mentioned too.


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Re: I Went Nuts!

Post by Nefaro on Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:10 pm

You'll get much more use out of co-op games since they are essentially meant to be played solitaire.

I'd recommend picking up Thunderbolt Apache Leader if you can.  The earlier print runs sold out and became tough to find for a bit, but there was a recent reprint.  So I'm not sure how long it will be in regular circulation until it becomes scarce again.  


I wouldn't say Shadows of Malice is less than fun.  Just that many parts are done better in a few other similar games that happen to look better.  It's biggest advantage is the randomized monsters and providing a good solo challenge.  

SofM's biggest drawback is trying to keep track of all the different odd dice mixtures in the combat rolls.  You can have a mix of 0-1 rolls (called d*) along with d2, d3, and d6 stuff required for combat rolls, and you're using d6s for it all.  So that can be overly cumbersome to keep track of.  With such odd low die roll mixes, the game desperately needs custom dice.  There are a couple user-created printable dice graphics on the Geek that look great but I dunno if I want to go purchase all the supplies and spend the time creating my own set of custom SofM dice if I'm only gonna be playing the game once in awhile.



In other news, I Kickstarted the Agents of SMERSH reprint last year, and that should be showing up in the next month or two.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/111105/agents-smersh

It's another co-op game, similar to Arkham/Eldritch Horror, but in a nutty old James Bond cold war spy kind of way. Heard good things. In the meantime, I have an assload of games yet to bust out. If any of the solitaire ones stand out as exceptionally fun I will let you know.
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Dukely
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Re: I Went Nuts!

Post by Dukely on Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:26 pm

Nefaro wrote:In other news, I Kickstarted the Agents of SMERSH reprint last year, and that should be showing up in the next month or two.

Yeah I saw that game awhile back looked pretty cool, let me know how it is.

Nefaro wrote:In the meantime, I have an assload of games yet to bust out.  If any of the solitaire ones stand out as exceptionally fun I will let you know.

Ok great, I'm always intrested in hearing about good games.

I recenlty became interested in Carthage: The First Punic War from GMT. Only thing is its hard to find and when I do the price is around $150. Let me know if you see a copy somewhere for a decent price. Im gonna order Apache Leader for sure and maybe Android: Netrunner, Its easier to talk people into playing card games in my experience.


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Re: I Went Nuts!

Post by Nefaro on Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:33 am

Android: Netrunner is an excellent 1v1 card game.  I played the original CCG it's based on back around '98 or so.  The game is so fun because each person plays the game quite differently but still against each other.  I think there is a Vassal module for this one too.

Another old CCG-turned-LCG I picked up in recent times is Doomtown.  That one has some interesting concepts too.  Both have some learning curve to overcome when you first start, compared to most card games.


I just received Dead Of Winter.  The artwork layout looks gorgeous.  Though it says "2-6 players" on the box, it comes with a solitaire variant.  In the middle of watching Ricky Royal's solo playthrough on YouTube.  Makes learning the rules go much faster after you've seen someone else playing it. Cool


I played Run, Fight, or Die with my nephews yesterday.  Fast game, easy to learn.  Dunno if I'd use it for the solitaire rules much unless it was for something quick to open & play.  I generally prefer my solo stuff to be rather heavy on content.  Been waffling about picking up Dawn of the Zeds for a zombie solitaire game with lots of detail but on the other hand I could spend that money on getting one of the later Zombicide games to add to my original.  That one can do double duty as both solitaire and group game plus it's easy to teach. Not quite as detailed as Zeds, though.
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Re: I Went Nuts!

Post by Dukely on Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:02 pm

Nefaro wrote:Android: Netrunner is an excellent 1v1 card game.  I played the original CCG it's based on back around '98 or so.  The game is so fun because each person plays the game quite differently but still against each other.  I think there is a Vassal module for this one too.

Im thinking of ordering that tomorrow along with, Strategy and Tactics #277: Ticonderoga - Battles for Lake George since its about battles that took place near me. Also interested in picking up 1914: Glory's End / When Eagles Fight after playing Bloody April.

Nefaro wrote:Another old CCG-turned-LCG I picked up in recent times is Doomtown.  That one has some interesting concepts too.  Both have some learning curve to overcome when you first start, compared to most card games.

That looks good too! I like western themes, they work well for card games.


Nefaro wrote:I just received Dead Of Winter.  The artwork layout looks gorgeous.  Though it says "2-6 players" on the box, it comes with a solitaire variant.  In the middle of watching Ricky Royal's solo playthrough on YouTube.  Makes learning the rules go much faster after you've seen someone else playing it. Cool

Very true! It helped me a lot when trying to learn Bloody April.


Nefaro wrote:I played Run, Fight, or Die with my nephews yesterday.  Fast game, easy to learn.  Dunno if I'd use it for the solitaire rules much unless it was for something quick to open & play.  I generally prefer my solo stuff to be rather heavy on content.  Been waffling about picking up Dawn of the Zeds for a zombie solitaire game with lots of detail but on the other hand I could spend that money on getting one of the later Zombicide games to add to my original.  That one can do double duty as both solitaire and group game plus it's easy to teach.  Not quite as detailed as Zeds, though.

I've been looking at a few zombies games here and there. I'll have a look at some of those.


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