TableTopTakes – Fleet The Dice Game Solo
So, I am going to do probably a second one of these reviews after playing multiplayer, but right now I’ve just been learning and playing Fleet The Dice Game, solo. Mainly because it is a bit of a beefier roll and write game so I wanted to learn it before I taught it to others. And I have to say, while learning it, there is definitely a lot to learn and keep track of. But let’s see how it plays.
How To Play Fleet The Dice Game Solo
So, game play solo to multiplayer doesn’t change up too much. I’ll get to the solo rules at the bottom. But this is going to be a combo filling fishing game. The main focus is to catch fish because each fish gives you a point. But to do that you need to get boats and licenses of the different types for when fishing happens.
But there’s more beyond that, there is also a town phase where you can build up buildings. Or you can sell fish at the market which gets you coins, which I’ll talk about soon. Or you can go to the wharf and work on getting a king crab boat or chartering a boat for your own fishing.
And finally, there are coins. Coins fill in on a track, mainly filling in squares. As you go, that then allows you fill in stars. And whenever you do, that is when you get ahead in the game. A star then allows you to fill in a spot in town, one the wharf, or on the fishing boat tracks.
In the end, everything gives you points. Normally you fill in spots by drafting dice. And you do in solo. But the rival captain in solo doesn’t have their own board. They fill in your board from the bottom up. If you’re unlucky that can really limit what you can do, or fill a building immediately before you can.
What Doesn’t Work?
The biggest trick or thing that might not work as well for this solo is remembering where you are at. Since fishing takes place every other round, it can be tricky to remember sometimes. Now a lot of that is that I forget to fill in the little spots to let me know what phase I’m moving to. If I got better at that, it’d be much easier to keep track of. But because this is a bigger roll and write game, it makes it a bit trickier.
Combos work really well in this game. But I don’t think that they are too overpowered. I didn’t find myself just going with the Market action, which just gives me coins too often. Mainly, because every other thing gave me something I want as well. There is even a building that just gives you six points, but six points can be a lot. But the stars are where you really get the combos, the rest of it is more building an engine.
I do think that the stars might be my favorite part of the game. It felt like being able to do two things on a turn, which sometimes it was, versus just one thing. Though, sometimes, if you just go coins, you still really only did one thing.
I also like how pesky the solo captain can be. She manages to mess up fishing plans, but if she has to take a market action, she gets rid of your next star, and that sucks. It makes the game feel very challenging. But she also isn’t too hard to keep track of. I wish maybe there was a reference card as to what she prefers and the order she goes, but once you need to reference the rules less, you can leave it on that for her.
Who Is This For?
The solo mode is for solo gamers. I feel like a lot of solo gamers are going to like Fleet The Dice Game because it offers a really good challenge. I’ll probably take more about the overall game later like I said, but with solo experience, most solo gamers will handle it fine.
The solo experience is easier to keep track of than it is with a lot of larger games. But it’s not going to feel too simple if you play a lot of solo games. And compared to a lot of roll and writes that you can play solo, Metro X, Ganz Schon Clever, Railroad Ink, Fleet The Dice Game offers more challenge.
Newer players to solo games or to roll and writes will find it more challenging though. The game has more bookkeeping that you need to do for the solo character than most other solo roll and write games. Mainly because most others won’t have a solo AI.
Final Thoughts on Fleet The Dice Game Solo
I want to play it more, and that’s a good sign. But I also want to play it with other people. Mainly because I feel like it’ll move fast and the dice drafting will be more interesting. That is one piece of the game that isn’t a negative or positive as the solo experience goes. You know what the AI will take, so you can either draft it out from under them if you really don’t want them to have it, or not. It’s an interesting manipulation but a simple one.
But, I do think after a few plays that I like the game as a solo one quite well. It feels different was a solo roll and write experience because of that AI. And I feel like I’m just getting into the strategy. And I don’t think there is a set strategy. Thus far I’ve gone fishing heavy, and it’s yielded solid results, but could I push money more, or could I push buildings more? There’s a lot to explore, which I really like. This makes me realize I need to get Hadrian’s Wall to try another complex roll and write.
My Grade: B+
Gamer Grade (for solo): B+
Casual Grade (for solo): D+