Monday, August 29, 2016

Micro Rome

Among the print and play games there are gems for solo play that should not be omitted.
Micro Rome by Michael Bevilacqua, and it's expansion Aegyptus is such a game.

The game is fairly simple. It contains 17 two sided cards. The player draws a card, selects which of the two available sides to use, and places it over previously placed cards following simple rules (at least 3 fields of the earlier placed cards need to be covered, buildings need to be covered completely, etc.)
Expansion brings 8 new cards, new placement rules and scoring possibilities.
And that is it. Simple but effective and highly addictive.
Micro Rome can be played as light pastime in 15 minutes, or as a serious brain burner, in which case it will take more time to decide the best placement of the drawn card.
Anyway, no solo gamer should be without a copy of this game in the collection. Files for this game are free on BGG, so go get them.

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Alien Worlds with 6 years old

Looking for the game to play with my six years old son, I recently discovered a SF game called Alien Worlds by Echidna Games.

It is a very simple game, but it has possibilities for tactical decisions, and that is just what I was looking for.

Similar to SBH, it uses stick for measuring distances, but here it is just one stick that measures 1/6 of the playing field. Model can "leap frog" stick for ease of movement. Shooting is possible up to two sticks. For combat resolution player rolls 1d6, adding and removing one or two modifiers. There is no defense roll. Very simple, but still satisfying. My kid had a blast.
We played using pre-painted Star Wars miniatures.

In other news, my Boardgames collection is now richer by another solo game - it is Imperial Settlers by Portal Games.

Friday, July 29, 2016

River crossing

Song of drums and shakos is till my favorite Napoleonic skirmish game. And my Lone shako solo rules still performs perfectly as enemy AI.

In my last game, I decided to try to move some Polish troops over the river and through the ambush prepared by British rifles.

The gal of the polish side was to cross the northern river, then move across the bridge and rush into the village.
But early in the game, rifle fire took it's toil on several Vistula legion soldiers.
One brave polish Voltigeir reached marksman proximity of rifles officer, but missed. A kill here could make a game take completely different turn.
But when the brave voltigeur was killed, my squad fell below half of the starting value, morale start affecting them and they fled north of the river.
Victory for the British.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New arivals

This month, I got me a new board game and a new SF rulebook.

The game is Carnival Zombie. The best way to describe it is a Castle Panic version for big kids.
I played a couple of games and I have to say that I really like it, although the complete campaign lasts too long to be played on one go.
In the future I think I will be playing just one night battle at the time.

I also purchased wargame PMC2640 by Polish publisher Assault Publishing. This is a SF game played at company level.
The reason for acquiring the book was the claim by the author that it has fully developed solo rules.
After just reading the rules, I am not 100% happy with what I see. Book keeping system is a bit complicated, players will need several different counters, it will be hard to use them in 6mm on 1 foot board.
Solo system is design to fight "mindless" opponents - bugs or rebel militia. Enemy will act more or less random, situation on the table is not used into consideration.
But I will have to try to play it to give my final decision.

Finally, one thing unconnected with gaming.
I was recently introduced to the book Stories of your life by Ted Chaing. I have to say that it is the best SF book I have read in last couple of years. Last night I stayed awake until 2am just to finish one story, and that didn't happened to me in some time. Highly recommended.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Dungeon of light and darkness

2016 BGG Solitaire Print and Play Contest started two days ago, and it already delivered some really interesting titles.

This year, I will try my game designing skills with the game called Dungeon of light and darkness.

It is a push your luck tile and dice placement dungeon crawl game.

Somewhere among the tunnels of Dungeon of Light and Darkness, lies famous Fountain of knowledge. Many have tried to find it, but none succeed. And no, there are no monsters in this dungeon.. But the light goes on and off in its chambers in mysterious ways, and this is enough to drive explorers crazy and forever lost. Can you become the first man in centuries to drink from the long lost fountain?

Here are images of some game components in full color and in ink saving black and white version.
 

Game files can be downloaded from contest WIP thread, or directly from here:

First draft of the rules:

Full color components front:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_68vh2U4DoKWDJPdm1OLWlIWkU...
Full color components Back (not necessary to play the game):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_68vh2U4DoKNF9JMjhVU3ZLbW8...

Low ink version components front:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_68vh2U4DoKdEtzTG9LTTJ0czQ...
Low ink version components Back (not necessary to play the game):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_68vh2U4DoKa3ppTy05VjJTcEU...


Friday, May 20, 2016

Dragon Rampant

Dragon Rampant is a relatively new set of rules written by Daniel Mersey and published by Osprey. It is fantasy version of the older Lion Rampant rules.

After reading the rules, I was certain that I will like the game, considering that it uses the same mechanics as Song of Blades and Heroes system - you roll for activation of every unit, but if activation fails you suffer turnover - your turn ends and opponent gets the initiative. Dragon Rampant is something in the line of SBH bigger battles and this is good.

For my first solo game, I decided to go with my usual suspects 10mm humans Vs. Orcs by Copplestone castings.
Orcs commanded by me had 5 units - Heavy spears with general, Orc horde (Bellicose), heavy wolf riders, archers and reduced unit of trolls (elite foot).

Humans had unit of levelheaded knights with general, unit of elite foot warriors,  unit of sharpshooters and unit of light spears. Having in mind similarity between this game and SBH, I decided to use for enemy activation Opportunity/Trouble system from SBH Solo by Mats Lintonsson.
After that, I will move the activated units in the best possible way, until I play enough games to be able to write micro AIs in the way suggested by Mats.
Starting position. I deployed my orcs first. For humans, I decided the position of each unit by dividing table edge into 6 parts and then rolling d6 to see where will each unit start. I got 3,4,4,5. Humans positioned itself in the center. 
This is photo from the middle of the game. Orc side was devastated by some terrible rolls, and things do not look good for me. Orc mob is already destroyed, general is battered while my units on the left wing stay where they are, unable to activate.
  
Human elite foot first destroyed my general and then the trolls. With only two units remaining on the table, and enemy approaching, I decided to retreat.

Dragon Rampant (as well as the Lion Rampant before it) is a really good game. Activation mechanics makes it also very suitable for solo play.
There are also some interesting looking scenarios mentioned in the book, so for the next game I will definitely try one of them.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

News and the lack of it

The reason for the long break between the posts is the fact that I have recently put more of my gaming time into board games, and there is much less story there than with wargaming or RPG.

I had a chance to purchase Friday and Onirim on the local used games market.

I was really excited to be able to play Friday, but the game itself was a bit of a disappointment. Not that the game is bad, it just wasn't exciting enough for me, and I had no reason to play more than couple of games.

On the Other hand, from Onirim I had no expectations, especially having in mind that I acquired first edition of the game (with only 3 expansions comparing to the 7 in the second edition) and the edition in German language (lucky for me, Onirim is language independent game and the rules in English can be downloaded from internet). So, Onirim was quite a surprise for me.
I could not believe how atmospheric can a set of cards be in a solo game. I really have that feeling of wandering trough the labyrinth of nightmares.

At the moment I am playing base game with the addition of Towers expansion, and I can not get enough of it. I am still to try other expansions.

Also, June 1st will mark the start of the 2016 BGG Solitaire P'n'P Contest, so I am preparing my candidate.
So far just a quick teaser picture:
Game will be called Dungeons of Light and Darkness, and will use tile and dice placement push your luck mechanic. Elements are ready, game is playtested from my side, and now I am working on writing the best rule-book possible. But more about this game in June.