RogerBW's Blog

November 2018 Solo Mini Convention 19 November 2018

I spent another Saturday playing solo games. St Theoktiste of Lesbos, whose feast day is 10 November, supposedly spent 35 years in solitude, so seems an appropriate person to commemorate in this way. (Not to mention there aren't that many Lesbian saints.)

With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

Well, the first step was to clean the gaming tablecloth.

While that was going on, I had a bash at the November Rallyman challenge; there's a dedicated fan on BoardGameGeek who posts a course each month, and since the drivers mostly don't affect each other it's possible for everyone to have a go. No photos as I was doing it virtually on the laptop (I wrote some command-line tools to run the dice and card decks).

Next up was Colt Express. This is not, of course, a solo game, not even slightly. The new Bandits expansions are, in theory, a way to run one bandit automatically, but only one, and not with any expansions. But I reckoned that this was not beyond the skill of a dedicated bodger.

I left out the Horses and Stagecoach expansion, but played as the Marshal, with all six automated bandits.

There were various minor rules quirks, and the whole thing is quite poorly translated, but it didn't take a great deal of effort to make everything hold together, and I've started a BoardGameGeek thread with my notes and experiences. (Four out of five Marshal goals; I suspect a fair winning condition is to get all five.)

I went on with Renegade, this time against a "real" foe (Alpha-Moby). I had a solid start, and thanks to a very strung-out server map I ended up automatically succeeding at the second goal. But the final countermeasures card was Roman Road, and I didn't have the command points to get anywhere near achieving it. Ah well! Still a victory, if not a great one. I'm really enjoying this game, the expansions are on the way, and I plan to get a review together soon.

For a break, something a bit lighter: Sagrada, which is still beautiful. And at which I still seem to be incapable of winning the solo game, even on extra-easy mode.

I returned to V-Commandos, doing the "GREEN" mission: a single terrain area, with three documents to be scooped up before the place is overrun with enemy soldiers. This came out rather more smoothly than the last training mission: I had a free choice of commandos, and so was able to take the officer who can give extra action points to other commandos, the medic with the silenced Sten, and the scout who can squeeze through gaps in walls. (Each character comes in two versions with different abilities.) This made it possible to move up quickly, suffering only one spotting check (which was failed), but then nobbling that soldier and turning off the alarm. We had to shoot a couple more, but were able to get in and out before the enemy could bring in enough numbers to be a problem. Which is the way this sort of raid is supposed to go!

Finally for the evening, Star Realms Frontiers against the "Assimilation" challenge (in super-easy mode). The rules for this seemed oddly phrased (just when is an enemy base supposed to be activated, for example?) and split across multiple places (the general section on challenges in the rulebook, a double-page spread on this specific challenge, and the card itself), but while I took some damage I was able to nobble the enemy without too much difficulty, particularly since for a wonder I was actually able to buy a bunch of cards from the same power and thus use their alliance bonuses. It's too long since I've played this; opportunities for two-player games, which is where it mostly shines, don't often come my way. (But Frontiers can play up to six, if you add the starter cards from a standard Star Realms or Colony Wars box, which I haveā€¦)

[Buy Colt Express at Amazon] [Buy Renegade at Amazon] [Buy Sagrada at Amazon] [Buy V-Commandos at Amazon] [Buy Star Realms Frontiers at Amazon] and help support the blog.


  1. Posted by Chris Bell at 01:38pm on 19 November 2018

    'S no good; Solo Mini Convention sends me off in quite the wrong direction.

    Today I was wondering about the design of Mini tandems, possibly with either panniers or a very large wicker basket at the front.

  2. Posted by Dr Bob at 01:59pm on 19 November 2018

    How do you do Star Realms for 6? I've done it for 3 as a communal trade row and also as a Y shaped trade row with each person only buying things from 2 arms of the Y. Do you do anyone attacks anyone? Or only attack the person to your left?

  3. Posted by RogerBW at 04:55pm on 19 November 2018

    Chris: yes, that's fair enough. I welcome suggestions for better nomenclature.

    Dr Bob, there are several official options apart from free-for-all, but they're all single trade row: attack the surviving player to your left plus bases of the player to your right, or teams of 2 or 3 on each side. Hydra Teams have a common Authority pool and all team members play at once, though they can mostly only attack their counterparts; they can give each other Combat to attack bases; they can give each other Trade to buy cards.

    There's also the 6-player-only Emperor format: two teams of three, Emperor and two Admirals. Admirals attack their opposite numbers until they're defeated, then gang up on the enemy Emperor; Emperors can attack anyone. Pay a trade to move a card from your discard to a teammate's discard.

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