Help me pick my prize!

Supporter

I'm over-the-moon excited that I won the giveaway!

Except now I have a gigantic list of games that I'm interested in and I need some help picking my prize!

My main criteria: I'm looking for a game that I can play solo but also in a group, so it MUST have a solo mode. If I get too many games that need a group to play I will have a hard time getting it to the table.

Here are some of the games that I am currently considering, along with why I'm considering the game. I'll list the Amazon price for reference because I'm not actually sure how Phil orders the games. These are in no particular order:

A Feast for Odin: The Norwegians Expansion ($33.30) - I have the core game and many people say that the expansion takes the game to the next level and balances more strategies. I also suffer from FOMO and feel like I'd be missing something each time I play the base game.

Architects of the West Kingdom ($36.38) - This game has an intriguing theme, interesting art style, and sounds really fun. To be honest, I don't know much about the solo mode in this one. Perhaps someone else can help me decide if it is any good solo?

Spirit Island ($53.99) - 3MBG (one of my most highly respected board game reviewers) lists this as his #1 game. Co-op game, so makes sense that a solo game would still be really deep and interesting. 

Everdell ($54.94) - Beautiful looking game with a cool engine-building worker placement type gameplay. Seems like it would be good solo or with a group. The most expensive option I'm considering.

Imperial Settlers ($33.04) - card driven engine building game. Has intrigued me for a long time. I like the sound of the unique factions and the ability to expand the game with new cards and factions. Multiple reviewers mention that it has a great solo mode. Would be appealing to my board game group as well.

Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North ($42.18) - card driven engine building game with more. Sounds like a cool update to the original game. Not sure if I would go straight for the newest game or check out the original first.

Viticulture: EE ($44.50) - multiple people (including Phil, who I trust greatly) say that this is an excellent game. Has the automa AI for solo play, which works great in Scythe. I'm not as keen on the theme of this one but I am craving an engine building game.

Lord of the Rings LCG ($31.46) - After Star Wars, LOTR is my next favorite IP. Ranked highly on many solo players lists. My wife loves LOTR so she could eventually be interested in playing with me. From FFG so there are tons of expansions available too. Not sure about the replay value for this one.

Arkham Horror: The Card game ($29.00) - Ranked higher than LOTR by many for solo play but I don't know much about Lovecraft. Seems like it tells cool stories and also has tons of expansions.Not sure about the replay value for this one.

Aeon's End ($36.81) - deckbuilding game with a unique "No Shuffle" mechanic. Seems really thematic and also has tons of content available. Not sure about the replay value for this one.

One Deck Dungeon ($19.66) - opposite of some of the deckbuilders I just listed, "Roguelike" game with tons of replay value.

Tiny Epic Galaxies ($22.90) and expansion ($20.84) - I love the theme of this one and Ben rates this one highly. Seems like it would be awesome solo or with a group.

I think that is all I'm considering for now. Help me decide!

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8 months ago

I have Spirit Island and can verify that it is a great game both solo and with others and moderately difficult to beat (especially solo!).  I have Everdell as well and it is a great game but not as well balanced as Spirit Island and not quite as dynamic.  I think Tiny Epic Galaxies and One Deck Dungeon will prove themselves too simple for your tastes on the soloing end.  I beat Tiny Epic Galaxies on my first solo playthrough and traded One Deck Dungeon after a while as I found Friday to be much more fun solo. Can't speak to the others.   

Supporter8 months ago

Seems like you made a great decision!

8 months ago

I've only played TEG, but I would say Everdell!

Supporter8 months ago

Also, just to plug a young and small podcast..... 

There is a podcast called Solosaurus that focuses on solo play. They do have reviews for :

Viticulture 

Spirit Island 

And architects of the west kingdom. If you have time to kill you could hear their perspective on solo play. 

Supporter8 months ago

Hmm just saw this. I’ll start listening to this one right away!

Supporter8 months ago

They are still getting the game of the podcast game, but I do quite enjoy them. 

8 months ago

Yay! Congrats! Now the hard part: choosing a game haha

From your list here, I’m only familiar with a few games. I am a big fan of TE Galaxies, and the expansion for it is likewise fantastic.  I think Tabletop had an episode where they played it, so you may be able to see some gameplay from that (or other channels). 

One Deck Dungeon is actually a pretty good game. I was pleasantly surprised. I borrowed it from our library and played it quite a bit, all solo. But, I could see the excitement wear out after a while if I owned it. Still, it’s a great little game for what it is. 

From your list, Spirit Island would be my first choice. I’ve been interested in it, it plays solo, and is supposed to be very good.  

If I didn’t have TE Galaxies, I’d go with a more expensive game anyway, simply because I’m more likely to purchase a smaller, cheaper game than a larger one like Spirit Island. 

Good luck in your choosing! Biggest decision of the year haha

Supporter8 months ago

I’m with Phil on being a huge Viticulture fan so that’s my vote.  The engine building is great but I would suggest picking up the Rhine Valley visitor expansion and that helps you focus more on the engine.  I loved the theme from the start.  Having said that it’s an absolutely beautiful game.  And  I never drink wine (only beer and whiskey).  The theme is so strong that we often have wine nights when we play.  

Supporter8 months ago

I’ll be honest: the theme doesn’t really call to me. I’d only be getting the game based on mechanics and the strength of your recommendations. 

Supporter8 months ago

My hope is the theme will shine for you once you start playing it.  Building your winery and fulfilling orders is so satisfying.  

Supporter8 months ago

I am a huge fan of Everdell so I would definitely encourage you to go for that one. They also have two more expansions coming out and one of them, Bellfaire, allows you to play with 5 or 6 people (as well as asymmetrical player powers) if that was something you are interested in (alas, I'm not sure what the availability will be of that expansion). All the expansions they have so far allow you to also play solo. Now I haven't played with the two newest ones yet, Bellfaire and Spirecrest (still waiting on my Kickstarter to come early next year) but just the base game is very solid and has great replayability. I brought it with me to my family Christmas last year and played 5 or 6 games straight on Christmas Eve with one of my brothers. Needless to say we didn't have much sleep when waking up on Christmas morning.

Congrats on another win!!!

Supporter8 months ago

3 votes for Everdell! It’s definitely very tempting. 

8 months ago

Alright, look. You seem like a worker placement guy. I'm a worker placement guy. It's my favorite mechanic by far. I'd rank it like this based off what you have here:

  1. Architects of the West Kingdom (+metal coins, maximize that $60) - Out of everything you have listed, my favorite. Lots of decisions. Expansion coming out early next year. Lots to like.
  2. Everdell - Beautiful game, and while the first two seasons may seem to fly by, the last season has some of the hardest decisions I've had to make in a game.
  3. Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North - Alright, so I haven't played this one, but I hear it's much better than the original IS and there's no deck building! It's on my short list of next games to buy.
  4. Viticulture:EE - I know, I know, I complain about this one, but it's got theme out the wazoo and it's pretty. The game is good as well, just a little luckier than I'd prefer. I've got Tuscany now, so I should give that a try, but the base game is solid. Heck, if you can fit both the base game and Tuscany, that could be a good get.

Let's get a full report of whatever you choose once you get it.

Supporter8 months ago

I’ve actually identified worker placement as a weak spot in my collection, which is why I am looking at all these worker placement games. 

8 months ago

Architects is a solid choice then.

Supporter8 months ago

Option 1A: Norwegians Expansion + A cheaper game (BUT WHAT CHEAPER GAME AHHH)

Option 1B: One expensive game

HELP!

Supporter8 months ago

If I would have won I would probably have picked Spirit Island. Though, Robinson Crusoe would have been another option I would have considered strongly. 

Supporter8 months ago

I should add, I haven't played Spirit Island or Robinson Crusoe. 

Supporter8 months ago

Robinson Crusoe just doesn't excite me the way the ones I listed do. Change my mind!

Supporter8 months ago

I have heard that it is quite hard to win. 

I like the theme, and I hear it is quite thematic. Including all the things that can go wrong. 

I love the art by Vincent dutrait. 

It is highly regarded by people whose opinion I respect, and who like games I like. 

Does this mean you need to be interested? Of course not! But I am. 

Supporter8 months ago

I agree that it’s more interesting than I originally gave it credit for. But I don’t think it’s for me, at least not right now. 

Supporter8 months ago

That makes sense 

8 months ago

The only one I've played of those (and also own it) is Everdell, and I love it. Played once solo and it was a lot of fun! Also played at 2p and 3p and it is great.

Supporter8 months ago

What kind of solo mode is it? Try to get a high score? Or is there an AI you play against?

8 months ago

There's an AI. It's really easy to manage. Whenever you play a card, he plays a card randomly came chosen from the "meadow" by an 8 sided die.