RogerBW's Blog

Second 1 Player Guild UK Meet 23 October 2018

The 1 Player Guild is a group of solo game players, communicating through BoardGameGeek. After the first UK meet back in January, I organised a second one at a library near home.

With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

This was a bit smaller than the last meeting, with six people able to make it in the end, so we stayed as one group all day. We started with Rallyman, which I'd asked to take a look at as there's a new edition coming out soon; one builds up a time penalty based on the speed of the car through each turn, which one needs to trade off against completing the course in the smallest number of turns. It's a rather lovely optimisation puzzle, and I now worry that the new edition (intended to support direct head-to-head racing rather than rally-type time trials) may lose something unique in the conversion. Still, I should get to try it out this week at Essen…

(Rocket and colony marker borrowed from Alien Frontiers to accommodate extra players. Course notes: V4-V1:L0-L1:V0-V6, followed by J1-J4:V3-V2:C7-C6:J5-J6:C5-C4:L3-L2:J7-J8.)

Next was a game of Scythe – which I'd never played before. I can see the appeal, I think; it's a worker-placement game much more than a wargame, so one should calibrate one's expectations, but the turns go fast (I'm very impressed with the game design here) and one always has meaningful choices. But it's also big and expensive, and the encounter cards seem divorced from the rest of the game.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue next, using Tragic Events and the base map; we had a few bad moments, but pulled enough people out in the end. This continues to be one of my favourite games.

Some guild members in Washington DC were meeting at the same time, so we joined them by video link for several games of Codenames. Setup was a bit fiddly (if we do this again I think we should probably set up and print word grids in advance) but the games worked and we all had a good time.

Back on our own, I set up Mysterium, and was able to give effective enough clues that there was no doubt at all of the identity of the true ghost… being able to use the Eiffel Tower card to signify the architect definitely helped, though.

We'd thought about doing Captain Sonar with the Washingtonians, but they didn't have a copy available. So we played a couple of games later, 3 vs 3 in real-time mode. It's been too long since I did this; honours were even.

We moved on to Sub Terra, which impressed me much more here than when I've seen it demonstrated before. I felt that the use of real caving symbols made things needlessly obscure, but it was still a tough and enjoyable resource-management puzzle with an atmospheric physical presentation. Two got out alive; we needed four to win.

Finally, Evolution: Climate, which offers some interesting twists on the standard Evolution. I still came last, but it was a bit closer this time, and I enjoyed it more.

All in all, a good day of gaming in very pleasant company. The library room is a bit pricey for six, but the room could have taken twice as many without being crowded; this may happen again.

[Buy Scythe at Amazon] [Buy Flash Point at Amazon] [Buy Codenames at Amazon] [Buy Mysterium at Amazon] [Buy Captain Sonar at Amazon] [Buy Evolution: Climate at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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