…Fritz, yo dawg what are you playing these days…
On the boardgame side of the hobby I have my collection divided into three groups:
To the left of my gaming table is the pile of games that I play solo on a given week. They are the games that 100% will get 3-4 play times a month, usually when things are quiet late at night and I want to unplug from the digital B.S. from the day.
Analog is a GREAT way to filter out all of the digital noise from the day and quiet things down, take them at a slower pace.
Theme is mostly sci-fi fantasy and they have to play solo out of the box, or be REALLY good to use used modded AI rules.
Right now Dark Souls and Pathfinder the Adventure Card Game would be tied for first place. Dark Souls has that Diablo-like-feel of grinding for gear followed by a boss showdown where you risk hours of game-play on a single dice based battle.
The games AI doesn’t care if you play one of all four heroes so it is both a solo game and a multiplayer game. Gameplay is good, but it needs some expansions (on the way) to give us some more bosses to fight. Normal players who play a game a few times and move on would be find with just the core box, but those of playing to git gud need more stuff to fight.
If you let your imagination run with it, and are familiar with making skill checks in D&D and Pathfinder RPG systems, Pathfinder the Adventure Card Game plays as close as you can as an RPG for a card game.
Pick your her(s), go on some quests, get the gear, loot, and magic, meet some unique monsters and slay them. Campaign story is great, characters level up making you feel like it is a pen-and-paper RPG, and there is enough variety in the cards + characters that multiple runs through the campaign are FUN. Works 100% fine solo, expectantly for the lonely role-player, also tons of fun with a group, when you have to make those party decisions together.
Side note, with my Pathfinder Adventure Card game group, I had to pick up a second copy of the game as we have been playing it so much we are destroying the cards, and I’m not putting sleeves on this beast vs. the price of a second copy only my tender hands will touch during solo play dates.
Conan is next, as it truly is what is best in life.
It’s an overlord vs. team game, and there is some solo AI for the overlord to go against the players, but it is half predictable and “OK”. If this was any other game I wouldn’t waste my time solo playing it.
TRUE I am a CONAN fan, but the dynamics of the game really are great- it uses a gem based resource system where you can take multiple action out of turn sequence each turn. It’s more of a tactical miniature game that plays like a board game.
Plus I can crank the Conan theme music for bonus points.
(Also amazing as a group game, but I’m going solo right now.)
Aliens vs. Predator: The Hunt Begins is next, since I’m also a BIG Aliens fan. Any chance to play a Colonial Marine and do it right and I’m in. Rules are OK, a bit clunky at times, and the random bug spawn AI is predictable, but blasting away ALIENS for a few hours works.
I bought the retail version, and thankfully missed the Kickstarter, shame PRODOS games tainted this fine title.
Being a big supporter and believer in the gaming community, I do feel like a hypocrite sometimes when playing this game.
Warhammer The Adventure Card Game along with Runebound 2nd Edition are last on my weekly solo list. Both are card based dungeon/RPG exploring games that play quick, Warhammer ACG is GREAT for how it replicates a dungeon feel in a card game, and Runebound just works solo. I’ve played Runebound 3rd and it’s fun, but it isn’t solo out of the box.
Kingdom Death: Monster
Nothing more to say, works solo or as a group RPG game.
Does EVERYTHING right, but is a commitment to play. Solo-wise I’ll bring it out every other month or so and play it for a few weeks exclusive till my brain explodes with insanity.
Board Game Pile # 2 are the group of games that I bring to the club or play with friend, these get played once a month or so in rotation as there are a TON of games that the guys own that I enjoy playing without the burden of ownership.
Conan is one of them…
Zombicide: Black Plague is another.
For large group games, everything works- lots of action, dice chucking, tense moments, and always a player who goes off on their own and doesn’t stick to the plan (Joey). Have to manage expansion bloat and stay within the time one has to play it.
Even non boardgame players can get into the zombie slaying action.
Bonus points when I can play a wizard character in a game.
Talisman and Claustrophobia get honorable mentions.
Talisman is really only played with a core group of guys are we are cutthroat-basterds playing against each other, and expansion bloat, which we need to play with, pushes it to hours and hours of play beyond normal and reasonable.
Claustrophobia is an amazing game in terms of theme, production, narrative, and mechanics BUT it only works with two players (3 with expansion) and with the gaming group we tend to have a ton of players at the table so games that support 5+ out of the box are best. PLUS the missions are not balanced- both side have a few tough missions to beat based on the scenario.
That said, as a player-to-player game it is my second choice after Conan.
Battletech and Warhammer 40K are a almost weekly staple. Big mechs, Dark Gods, lots of dice, an amazing rule-set (Battletech), and well a Games Workshop rule-set which works when it does, and other times roll that D6…
X-Wing Miniatures is next, Star Wars, pre-painted, and quick playing rules, nothing more to say. I prefer BIG social games where a bunch of us throw down our entire collection and have dozen and dozen of ships on the table vs. one-on-one since I’m kind of burnt out on X-Wing tournament play, so I don’t get as much X-Wing in my diet as it takes a bit of coordination to put down for BIG games.
Chain of Command WW II is also on the table, every other month or so- mainly played with my excellent gaming bud DAVE. Would love to play more of it as the rule-set is EXCELLENT, but don’t know anybody else in the area that plays the system, and most of the time I’m pestering Dave to play Battletech even though he is a much better BT player than me and I get stomped most of the time.
Wings of Glory WW I.
Love the game, easy to play, and a VERY good game mechanic of everybody moving and shooting at the same time so the action is not only always going, but also scales up when playing with lots of multiple players. Give everybody a plane and take to the skies.
In any public gaming pictures you can always pick me out since I’m either the guy with the most man-fur on the arms, or I’m always posing with my miniature in the game.
What’s on my RPG table?