So, there was one final order in 2020, as Miniature Market did an end of year sale on their sale items. Now, I will say, I didn’t only pick up sale items, but I did pick up two games that I’ve been looking at for …
Tag: Aeon’s End Legacy
So this is for that person who loves their games, to be huge, awesome, epic. Fairly often story driven, fairly often taking up the whole table, and fairly off a campaign style of game. These are the people who like plastic minis on the table, probably will even paint them. Could also be referred to as Ameritrash or Amerithrash gamers as well. I will say that some of these games might be harder to find, because a lot of the more minis driven games have been Kickstartered so might only be available via a secondary resale of someone’s original purchase.
This was one of the first games by Awaken Realms that I took note of. I didn’t actually back it the first time around, so I’m waiting on my copy from the second Kickstarter for it. Plus, this one is available in retail now, still might be tricky to find. This is a semi-cooperative game where each person has their own secret objective. In the game you are trying to survive an alien incursion onto your space ship, kill them off, and pilot back to earth. But of course, the aliens are out to get you and the engines and navigation are off-line. Plus, you might not want to end up on Earth, but to go to another planet instead, or you might have a rivalry with another character, so you won’t kill them, but you won’t help them in an alien flight. This game looks beautiful on the table with all of it’s minis and the game play is good as well.
Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon
Another game by Awaken Realms, this one you’ll be able to find on the secondary market only, as I’m not 100% sure it’ll ever come to retail. But this is an epic campaign/adventure game in a wyrdness filled lands of Avalon, where the Menhir that King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table lit in the time of legends are starting to go out. A group was sent out from your town to explore and try and find somewhere or someone who could help in the lands, but they’ve been gone a long time. Now you and you and a few others in your town are being sent out to find them as the wyrdness and the tainted creatures start to come closer to the town. Can you survive? This game has a great story and is extremely hard as you push through it, trying to figure out how to survive, when to fight the monsters, when to run away, when to push into exhaustion and when to stop and rest. Overall, an amazing game, but like I said, it’s going to be harder to find.
Folklore: The Affliction
Maybe you want something that is a bit more standard fantasy, this game of ghosts, werewolves, and vampires, is definitely that, and definitely more D&D like. Greenbrier Games has created a DM less RPG type game, with set piece battles, travel and exploration and story that you can unfold as you go. This one is for that person in your life who is a bit more of a crunchy gamer as this really does straddle that line of being Dungeons and Dragons like with the dice you roll for attacks and damage. This one definitely has some challenge and survival to it, but as compared to Tainted Grail the difficulty level is easier and the story while dark is less dark. This one also doesn’t have the minis, though you could get them, and same with Tainted Grail actually, not that many minis. This one is also available via Greenbrier’s site, so one that you can get, it also might be available in some retail locations. There are a lot of small add-ons you can get as well for it, or big ones, such as minis.
This one is kind of a campaign game, but not really. In this game you are going through different scenarios in time and a multiverse, almost like an escape room. You are trying to figure out puzzles, deal with threats that come up, and interact with characters. You’re doing this as you race against the clock. Granted, only your consciousness is being sent back in time, into another body, so you can always try again. I know that some of the scenarios (and there is theoretically a campaign throughout, but not really) aren’t as good, but the four that I’ve played thus far have been a ton of fun. The puzzles are engaging, and while it can be a bit slow playing through part of the game that you’ve played before, it gives you a chance to checkout new parts of the story and world and decide what direction you want to go. I know that I always loved to delve possibly further in that I should have to see what I could find. Overall, a really cool game that has a lot of interesting scenarios.
The 7th Continent
This one has two different versions, there is a Kickstarter version that might be fairly hard to find, though I’ve started to see more show up on the secondary market, and there is a retail version. Both are going to be good, the retail version is just going to have some less content. In this game you awaken on the 7th Continent, an interesting land, knowing that you’ve been cursed. You then have to utilize cards, push your luck and explore the lands. Basically no minis in this game, but what is really interesting, and Tainted Grail does a similar thing, is what you explore the map as you go, and each curse might drop you into a different part of the map, but you’ll know what might be off in one direction if you head that way in future plays of the game. The first curse, for that reason, is extremely expansive and takes you all over the map and can take a very long time while ones after that are a bit more focused, so I will say, if you get this one or give this one, if the first curse is taking forever and you’ve sunk what you feel like is enough time into it, move onto the next one.
Now, i could go on further. Pandemic Legacy (any of the seasons) and Gloomhaven are two that I’ve talked about before that would certainly be epic games. Clank! Legacy, Aeon’s End Legacy, Reichbusters, deep Madness, Apocrypha, Dragonfire, Blood Rage, Zombicide, Mansions of Madness, Marvel Champions, Sword & Sorcery. All of these games have an epic feel to them at times and in their own way. So if none of the ones I’ve mentioned sound that interesting, you can spend some time going through those to see as well what might work best for yourself or who you’re giving the gift to.
For a lot of people board gaming is a social activity, but 2020 has made that less likely and harder to do at least in bigger groups. For some people with serious medical concerns or just general concerns about Covid, that isn’t an option, or …
Now, let me set a few ground rules. The game must have an official solo version, it can’t be something like Pandemic Legacy Season 1, which I played solo, but officially, by the rules, isn’t a solo game. I will say though, I haven’t played all of the games on this solo, but it is an official option, and I’ll call out when I haven’t done it, might be for one of several reasons including I started it not solo, so for a game on the list, that’s the only reason I haven’t played it solo. But as we’re in a time when for some people solo gaming might be their only option, here are 10 games from my favorites that can be played solo, officially.
10 – Onirim
Technically you can play the game with two players, but it’s a solo game through and through. It’s a fun puzzle type of game as you are trying to escape or sort a dream before the nightmares can get you. But to do that, you need to play down colored cards in pairs of three of the same color, you just can’t have the same symbol back to back. And beware the pesky nightmares, that can ruin a good hand or will you push your luck in other ways to deal with the nightmare? The game plays fast, and app for it is great, but I like playing it with the physical game, even though there can be a lot of shuffling. There are also a lot of expansions/variations that you can play out of the box as well, so it gives you good variety in the game.
9 – Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game
The name is a mouthful, but the game offers a lot of interesting fun solo. In it you play as Harry Dresden and two other characters when solo and you build out a hand for each of them. So really it’s a multihanded game at that point, but compared to the normal three player game, I believe that you end up with less cards to work with, and in a game where cards are at a premium, it makes is very tough still even with perfect information. The game is definitely a puzzle to be solved at that point in time, and with a few lucky die rolls maybe it’ll be an easy solve, but you never know. If you’re a Dresden Files fan, I’d say that it matches the books well, if you’re not, I think the game is interesting, but probably not as strong.
8 – Welcome To…
This flip and write offers you an interesting game that you can do solo as you build up your perfect Stepford, I mean perfect town. It does one thing that isn’t my favorite in a solo game, it’s a beat your best score sort of game, but it works well as a solo game. You have a lot of choices to make as you have to use two cards from a combination of three. Now, this is the solo mode that comes out of the base box, I do believe that they created another solo variant for the game at a later time that might be even better or give you another challenge for winning besides just trying to beat your best score. It’s a good solo filler game.
7 – Arkham Horror: The Card Game
This is the game that a future game on the list is loosely based off of, but this one holds up well on it’s own. In this game you construct a deck for your investigator and then you send them off to investigate some weird goings on and solve the mystery that is happening. I like it solo because as compared to some where you are just trying to beat a point total, in this one, you have a clear objective and with only one player, the game moves along really nicely. I have played this one player and two player, and while two player is fun because you can share the story, at one player you have no downtime. And there’s a ton of content for this, so you’re not likely to ever run out of material to play in the game.
6 – Aeon’s End: War Eternal
One of a few deck builders or deck constructions games, Aeon’s End: War Eternal is a really fun game and works really well solo. On Malts and Meeples, I played through a game of it solo and it worked well to play it two handed. You can play up to 4 breach mages, but I think that two works fine and is easy to keep track of. But because you aren’t shuffling the decks that are being built ever, it keeps the downtime of not playing the game to a minimum because you’re always just flipping for the next turn. The game has a lot of cool mechanics, and I think that the not shuffling the deck is one of the coolest, and I really like the turn order mechanic as well where you’re just flipping from a deck so you never know who is going to go next.
5 – Xenoshyft: Onslaught
I’ve played this one solo, kind of, I’ve played it solo in the app, and while the game worked well solo, the app is horrible and I’d strongly recommend not playing it that way. It definitely doesn’t work on a phone and maybe would on a tablet. But it’s a game that you can find and have a variety of how you play it depending on which character you pick. I expect that it’d be more challenging solo, though, you only have to make it through 3 rounds at each difficulty level. The downside is that the health of your base is way lower. The game offers good challenge and I like the somewhat silly nature of the game because it reminds me of Starship Troopers and a bit of Ender’s Game as you’re defending a base against bug monsters.
4 – Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon
The downside to putting this one on the list is that it’s going to be extremely hard to find. It was a Kickstarter at the end of 2018 that delivered at the end of 2019. There are going to be some copies on eBay, but I’d expect them to be expensive, but I really like this game solo. It’s a massive story driven survival game where you are sent out from your little farming village after the real heroes of the town have gone out and not come back. Can you fend off the Wyrdness that is creeping across the lands of Avalon and solve the mysteries that the game presents to you. The game is done in chapters, and I find the chapters to be a solid bite of the game that you can play in a sitting or two and get interesting and good story. It’s going to be spendy, but it’s really good.
3 – Mansions of Madness: Second Edition
When you want a mystery to try and solve, Mansions of Madness: Second Edition gives you that. I have played this solo once I believe, and I thought it worked pretty well. Board Game Geek users don’t think it’s bad at one, they just like it at higher player counts, and I think the most heavily story driven games I find that to be true, but it works well in a pinch. As you’re playing against the app which is laying out the mystery, you might find that you’re not having enough time to do everything, and that’s even the case with multiplayer. The app lays out the board and mysteries as well, so even if you’ve played a scenario once and lost, you can play it again and you’ll notice little things that are different about it. I really like this game, and because of the app integration, it’d be a really good solo game.
2 – Marvel Champions: The Card Game
I’ve played this one solo a few times and while I’ve only beat it multiplayer, that is because I was learning it more so playing it solo. The game is a lot of fun, you feel like the superhero that you’re supposed to be playing with the actions that they have and equipment. The deck building aspect is interesting as well because you can really change up the character with the aspect that you give them, maybe you want Iron Man to be defensive or a leader or aggressive, by swapping out some of the generic cards, you’re able to build the character so that they focus in a unique way. If you’re a Marvel fan and a board game fan, I’d say that this game is a really good choice, and the solo mode for this time works extremely well.
1 – Gloomhaven
This is one of them that I haven’t played solo, but you can, even though you need to play it two handed solo. I can see the solo working really well and I know it’s very popular solo, because you can really work on synergies and strategies that you might not be able to do in a multiplayer game. They recommend in the rule book for solo that you play up a level of difficulty for that reason because you’ll know precisely how fast both the characters are going. Now, with Gloomhaven , playing is solo, I’d say that the Gloomhaven Helper app is a must, and I’d even think the Foreteller app with the 51 base Gloomhaven scenarios and coming soon the side scenarios being read to you, it’d offer more feeling of discovery and immersion. Now, Gloomhaven is, of course, massive, so I’d recommend getting an organizer and even leaving it set out if you can.
What are some games that you like to play solo? I know that I have more on my list, such as Aeon’s End Legacy, Folklore The Affliction and 7th Continent that I need to play. Plus there are games like Sword & Sorcery and Legends of Andor that’d work well solo but didn’t make the list for me. Now is really the time if you can dig into a bigger adventure game to tackle one of those solo as we probably won’t be able to have many in person gaming experiences for a while.
Are there any games that I should checkout for solo play? Do you think that any listed don’t work well solo?
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This is more of a house keeping post to help myself focus in on what I want to do with video streaming and give all of you an idea of what you can expect.
My Reason for Doing This
This is a two fold thing.
- I wanted to play more solo or solo playable board games.
- I want to help create interest in this type of game and in the hobby in general.
Now, to unpack that a bit more.
I Want to Play More Solo or Solo Playable Board Games
Why don’t I just play them? I could, but I like to talk through my strategy. I’m not someone who just looks at the board in silence when I play. In a competitive game I will, but in a solo or cooperative experience, I’ll talk through my plans. I find it weird talking to myself. Even if no one is there while I live stream, I feel better talking to that invisible audience than I do to myself.
I want to help create interest in this type of game and in the hobby in general.
I think part makes a lot of sense. I have gotten further into my interest in table top gaming, both RPG and Board Games because of content like podcasting and video reviews and game plays. I want to add that content on our website and onto YouTube as well so that more people can find good content on solo games and board games in general.
What Isn’t It Going to Be?
Right now my plan isn’t for it to become another review channel. And I don’t plan on it becoming a how to play channel. The Dice Tower does an amazing job with tons of reviews, and Watch It Played puts out a lot of great rules videos, so you can find them easily on YouTube.
Now, let me add in a little more information with that, I am not just going to sit down and start playing a game without any rules talk. But I’m not going to spend a lot of time going over the rules ahead of time. I’m going to talk about the game that I’m going to play, and then go through the rules as they come up in the game. So it might not teach you precisely how to play, but especially early in games, you’re going to see more rules talk and then the game go faster as time goes on.
Is It Just Going to be Board Games?
As of right now, probably. But that’s going to be for right now. I hope to add in RPG content as well eventually. Whether it’s more character creation videos, game play, or what else it could be, I’m not sure. Eventually I want to grow what I do with these videos beyond just a stream every couple of weeks or sporadic into something more consistent. When that happens, expect the content to become broader as well.
YouTube, why not Twitch?
Because I’ve done some streaming on YouTube already so I know how that works, generally. Expect to see some hiccups with that, but right now the plan is YouTube. I could see doing both YouTube and Twitch or having different content on both mediums, but right now, YouTube is the plan.
Hopefully this gives some clarity as to what I’m doing. I think it is something that I’m going to have a lot of fun with. I also want to ask for patience with this as I’m sure there are going to be a lot of ups and downs, especially to start.
So the last question I want to ask:
What Games are I Going to Stream?
I am planning on throughout the year playing a number of games, a lot of campaign or legacy style of games, some I’m planning on possibly doing are:
Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and 2
Aeon’s End Legacy
Arkham Horror LCG
Legacy of Dragonholt
Mansions of Madness
And there are so many more I’m interested in doing. As you can see, I have a pretty big backlog of games that I can work on, so it should hopefully be a fun time.
The reason I’m writing this now is that my desktop should finally be coming at the end of this month, so expect some test streams early in February before we really launch into a lot of content. I might start with a few hands of the game Onirim to get everything figured out, and I’ll let you know when that’s happening.
If you have questions or suggestions about streaming, let me know, and I’ll try and answer them.
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