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OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

All discussions regarding Board, Card, and RPG Gaming, including industry discussion, that don't belong in one of the other gaming forums.

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YellowKing
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

Post by YellowKing »

Starting to dig into the pile of games I bought this past week during the sales. First up, THE PRINCESS BRIDE ADVENTURE BOOK GAME!

I won't go into how the game is played, as you can watch Rodney's Watch It Played video. From a high level, however, you're essentially moving and positioning characters and playing cards to complete objectives in chapters based on scenes from the movie. The game consists of 6 chapters played in sequence, and failing to complete a chapter twice means you have to start the entire campaign over.

So let's get to my impressions - to take a page from the Solosaurus podcast, I'll list the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:

The Good:

- The minis are fantastic, and a primary reason I bought the game. I'm having a blast painting them and they are full of detail, closely resemble their movie counterparts, and even have the character names engraved in the base. Super cool.

- The game does a great job of making you feel like you are playing through the movie. For instance, to complete one objective in the boat sequence, you have to make sure Buttercup is in the water while Fezzik is at the railing trying to save her from the shrieking eels. And they cleverly made Chapter 3 Westley's journey in meeting Inigo, Fezzik, and Vezzini. While the overarching theme of positioning characters and playing cards is the same across the book, each scenario feels very different which keeps things refreshing.

- Like many of Ravensburger's games, it's a friendly introduction into cooperative games. I'd say this one is even more cooperative than most in that each player can control any character, and trading cards between players is a huge necessity. I would say this one tends to the lighter/easier side, but that's OK for the family theme they were going for.

The Bad:

- The game does not seem to scale well at all, even though it's listed for 1-4 players. I don't really see how one player could get all the available cards required for objectives, since there is no way to obtain new cards at the beginning of your turn when you can actually use them. A few bad draws in a row, and you could find yourself stuck and unable to do anything while the plot cards kill you. This even happened in my 2-player game where I essentially just got stuck because I could not draw a black card to save my life and lost. That said, I'm afraid 4 players might be on the easy side. I may try a 3 player game next to see if that's the sweet spot.

- The game is really heavy on luck of the cards you draw. Other than being able to trade one card per turn, there's really not a whole lot of ways to mitigate bad hands. This can get a bit frustrating. A bad run of plot cards can also really screw you over with little you can do about it.

The Ugly:

- Read the rulebook VERY CAREFULLY. There are lots of drive-by rules that are super easy to miss. For instance, the fact that each player starts with four cards is not listed in the setup, but instead in an introductory paragraph at the back of the book explaining specific scenarios. It's also easy to overlook/misread rules in the chapters themselves - I made a couple of chapters super hard on myself early on because I was overly restricting myself due to misreading the chapter specific rules.

All that said, it's a neat little game that fans of the movie should certainly enjoy. It will probably feel a bit light and lacking in strategic choices for experienced gamers, but I enjoy a good theme and IP tie-in even if the game itself is not super challenging. My initial hunch is that replayability is really low, so I'd say this is better just as a nice little family game to have in your collection rather than something you're going to pull out on the regular. However, someone on BGG also pointed out that the spine of the box has "Adventure Book Game 1" on it, hinting that we may see more games like this based on other IPs. If so, that would be really exciting and I think it would be quite cool to have a series of these on the shelf.
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

Post by $iljanus »

To all you Atomic Bonds (Fallout expansion for those not in the know) owners have you been soloing with two characters to play under co-op conditions or going true solo with one character? I don’t mind playing two characters if that makes things go smoothly. Sometimes the wasteland is best tackled with a friend. My copy just arrived today and I hope I can carve out some time to play. Hopefully....
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

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Siljanus wrote:To all you Atomic Bonds (Fallout expansion for those not in the know) owners have you been soloing with two characters to play under co-op conditions or going true solo with one character?
I went with two characters. It's not that much more upkeep, and I liked the ability to play off of each other and split up when it made sense.
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

Post by hepcat »

Ditto. Two characters allows me to flesh out my party a bit more. Plus, the game is stupid simple to play, which I love about it. The only thing that I sometimes struggle with is the codex as cards go in and out of play, and I sometimes forget about a quest line I should be following. But that’s my issue, not the games.
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

Post by YellowKing »

Next game up: Back to the Future: Dice Through Time

Man, I'm sorry I kind of dismissed this game as the "inferior" Back to the Future game. I had that initial impression based off an early preview, the rather ugly game board, and the fact that it just didn't look nearly as thematic as Back in Time.

However, Dice Through Time is a TON of fun.

The gist of the game is that you are traveling through time resolving events, which will earn you items that have to be returned to their proper location and time. You win the game by returning every item to its correct place and time, and you lose the game by running out of time due to events and paradoxes stacking up. You accomplish your actions by rolling a dice pool and spending the rolled symbols on various actions.

I LOVE games with a "dice symbols determine your actions" mechanic. I like the puzzle nature of trying to figure out the most efficient use of what you have available, particularly when the game gives you mitigation mechanics for bad rolls. Dice Through Time does this with its "Mr. Fusion" mechanic which allows you to combine two like symbols into any other symbol, and it also has a wild symbol (wrench) that can be used as any symbol when resolving an event. Both of these serve to make the chance of a turn where you have no good options pretty rare, and even if you do have a turn where you just can't spend a die you can always leave it in your location for use by another player "in the future."

That's right, you can leave items in the past for players in the future at the same location to use. It's a neat little gimmick that really nails the time travel theme, and can help a player who couldn't be as efficient as he wanted at least try to help the next player a bit.

So having played both Back to the Future games, what's my verdict? I think they're both a blast and both deserve a spot in your collection. Back in Time is the better group game and is much more thematic. But Dice Through Time is the better solo game, sets up and plays fast, and has a much higher replayability due to its ability to scale difficulty for a greater challenge. Those who don't like efficiency puzzles may not get as much fun out of it as I did, but I know for a lot of solo players that's right up their alley.
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

Post by $iljanus »

YellowKing wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:42 am
Siljanus wrote:To all you Atomic Bonds (Fallout expansion for those not in the know) owners have you been soloing with two characters to play under co-op conditions or going true solo with one character?
I went with two characters. It's not that much more upkeep, and I liked the ability to play off of each other and split up when it made sense.
Sounds like a plan to start off with. I certainly can see myself wandering the Commonwealth with my faithful robotic friend or a misunderstood ghoul partnering up with a chatty super mutant.

Edit: I've at least set up the Commonwealth Map (expanded) and I'm reading through the Atomic Bonds expansion. Really liking how they deal with factions and looking forward to how the new modification and workshop upgrades play out. The assisting die is a nice addition and makes it worthwhile to play two characters.

I'm playing a disgruntled Enclave soldier, Max, who took off after the crowd he was running with was a bit too much in love with fascism. Occasionally he has a "Make America Great Again" attitude but he's evolving his views thanks to his companion who got him out of a nasty encounter with a Deathclaw, Oliver the Super Mutant. Oliver's prized possession are some old books that he's accumulated over the years.

Max: Hey Oliver, what's in that bag that you're always carrying around? Not human body parts I hope, ha ha!

Oliver: Heh, you're lucky I don't stuff you into it but you'd probably give me indigestion and that's pretty hard to get for a super mutant.

Max: Well, spill it. What's in the bag?

Oliver: (managing to look a little embarrassed for a super mutant) They're, ummmm....books.

Max: Oh, we had some of the classics in the Enclave! Hannity's Live Free or Die and Trump's Art of the Deal. Hey, are you okay? You're not looking too good...

Oliver: (takes a few deep calming breaths and reaches into his bag) Here try this, Max.

Max: Ooooh, I never read a book written by a woman before. The title is pretty cool sounding too. "Becoming". I'll give it a read!

Oliver: I think you'll like it. And there's more where that came from too if you're interested! (wisely decides not to tell Max about the smaller sack in the bag which has some, umm, delicacies when he feels munchy)
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

Post by Skinypupy »

“Hey, that new version of Descent looks really cool! Descent 2nd edition is easily in my top three games of all time, so I’ll definitely be all in on this!”

::Sees price tag of $175 for the base game::

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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

Post by hepcat »

Yeah, that’s just too much for a core game. I don’t know what they’re thinking, to be honest. Release a core at a hundred and then expand, expand, expand. It’s worked for them in the past. I guess they see what Kickstarter projects with minis are going for and want some of that sweet, sweet moolah.

Edit: also, I’m not sure I like the new art style of this version of Descent. Looks a little TOO stylized for my tastes.
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

Post by Smoove_B »

I guess you can't blame them. I'm guessing they're looking at $100-125 KS launches and thinking there's room for them to get in on the boutique board gaming crowd. CMON has been stealing their lunch for years now; this might be their response.
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

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I'm not going to lie, I'm probably going to buy it anyway. But when I watched the preview and saw the 3D terrain was INCLUDED and card sleeves, I was prepared for sticker shock.

I must say I REALLY like what Freedom Five is doing with offering a standee version of the game for an affordable price, and a minis version for those who can spend a bit more. I love my minis, but ultimately it's just cosmetics and I think "minis inflation" is running wild. They're putting a lot of fun games out of reach of people because they insist on putting 50 miniatures in the box.

I will be the first to admit that I'm 100% guilty of contributing to the problem.
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

Post by hepcat »

That's where I stand. I think more developers should offer a standee version for those who balk at the high prices on some of these minis-centric games.
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

Post by Skinypupy »

YellowKing wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:23 am I'm not going to lie, I'm probably going to buy it anyway.
I'll admit there's a chance I may (very begrudgingly) do so as well. I think Descent is where board gaming really "clicked" for me, and I really love the game, the world, and the overall aesthetic.

Even if I do pick it up, I'll still think it's a completely ridiculous price.
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Re: OO Solo Board Gamers Guild

Post by YellowKing »

I impulse pre-ordered WARP'S EDGE after seeing it hyped in the solo gamer group on FB and watching a One Stop Co-Op Shop playthrough.

While the space theme doesn't really appeal to me much, the bag building mechanics really intrigued me. It looks like a nice blend of strategy, luck, and efficiency that I love. And the quick playing time is also a big plus.
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