- Action / Movement Programming
- Action Drafting
- Action Point Allowance System
- Action Queue
- Action Selection
- Added Mechanics
- Area Control
- Area Enclosure
- Area Majority/ Influence
- Area Movement
- Auction: Dutch
- Automatic Resource Growth
- Bag Building
- Campaign / Battle Card Driven
- Card Drafting
- Card Placement
- Catch the Leader
- Chit-Pull System
- Command Cards
- Commodity Speculation
- Communication Limits
- Cooperative Play
- Crayon Rail System
- Cube tower
- Deck Building
- Deck Constructing
- Delayed Purchase
- Dice Building
- Dice Movement
- Dice Rolling
- Dutch Auction
- Dynamic Currency
- End Game Bonuses
- Engine Building
- Feeding Workers/Characters
- Force Commitment
- Grid Coverage
- Grid Movement
- Hand Management
- Hand-Eye Coordination
- Hex and Counter
- Hexagon Grid
- Hidden Movement
- Hidden Objective
- Hidden Roles
- Hidden Traitor
- Hidden Victory Points
- I Split, You Take
- Increased Value of Unchosen Resources
- King of The Hill
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- Line of Sight
- Lose a Turn
- Map Addition
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- Modular Board
- Move with Cards
- Movement Points
- Narrative Choice
- Network and Route Building
- Once per game ability
- Order Fulfillment
- Paper and Pencil
- Pattern Building
- Pattern Movement
- Pattern Recognition
- Pick-up and Deliver
- Player Elimination
- Point Salad
- Point to Point Movement
- Pool Building
- Press Your Luck
- Random Production
- Ratio / Combat Results Table
- Real Time
- Relative Movement
- Resource Gathering
- Resource to Move
- Role Playing
- Role Selection
- Roles with Asymmetric Information
- Roll / Spin and Move
- Roll and Write
- Scenario / Mission / Campaign Game
- Score and Reset Game
- Secret Unit Deployment
- Set Collection
- Simultaneous Play
- Simultaneous action selection
- Skill with a Doubling Cube
- Social Deduction
- Solo / Solitaire Game
- Square Grid
- Stacking and Balancing
- Static Capture
- Stock Holding
- Sudden Death Ending
- Tableau Building
- Take That
- Targeted CLues
- Targeted Clues
- Tech Trees / Tech Tracks
- Tile Placement
- Time Track
- Tower Defense
- Track Movement
- Tug of War
- Turn Board Game
- Turn Order: Auction
- Turn Order: Claim Action
- Turn Order: Pass Order
- Turn Order: Progressive
- Turn Order: Random
- Turn Order: Roll Order
- Turn Order: Stat-Based
- Variable Phase Order
- Variable Player Powers
- Variable Setup
- Victory Points as a Resource
- Worker Placement
- Worker Placement with Dice Workers
- Zone of Control
Popular Time Track Board Games (Mechanic)
#AuZtralia is a very odd game. It combines an economic game, a light war game, Australia, and Cthulu which is a sentence that was likely never uttered before this game was created!
I picked up the game for a song from someone who was clearing it out. It seemed...interesting...and it was by Martin Wallace. It should be at least decent, shouldn't it?
Let's find out!
This game is a follow up to a previous game #A Study in Emerald (Second Edition) which I have never played. The story is that the old ones have conquered humanity and been in charge since around 1000 AD. However it's now the 1900's and humanity managed to overthrow the Old Ones in Europe and Asia.
In the new age of freedom they find the continent of Australia not knowing that it was the last retreat for the Old Ones. As they start to colonize the Old Ones awaken.
In the game the players will take actions on their action board. Different actions take different amounts of time moving their time marker on the time track:
If your marker is last (on top of another marker means last) you keep taking actions until you pass someone else.
For the first few actions the players will be building railroads, mining resources, bulding farms, acquiring different personalities to help them, and building their army. They may choose to attack Old Ones that haven't woken yet to get them early.
At action space 22 waits the marker of the Old Ones. Once all of the players pass that marker the Old Ones start to awaken and come after the players farms and ports.
Every two actions of the Old Ones a Revelation card is flipped and every action space the Old Ones may move towards the players.
Oh, so that's why you don't want to leave temples on the board...
The game ends if a players loses their port or if all of the time markers are on or past space 53.
At the end of the game the players score for Old Ones they have killed, their farms, end game personalities, and any Phosphorus they have acquired. The Old Ones score points for face up Old Ones still alive, double points for face down Old Ones, and points for any blighted farms.
If a player has more points than anyone else they win!
If the Old Ones end up with more points than the players then they win and all the players lose!
There are quite a few actions available on the action board and you can take them in any order and as many times as you like. However, if you take an action where you already have an action cube it costs you one gold per cube. That gold is NOT easy to come by so every once in a while you will find yourself using the reset action to get all of your cubes back.
Generally speaking you will start off building rails. You always get 2 rails for the price of one iron and one coal. However, it costs 3 time if you take the option that allows you to build in to the hills and 2 time otherwise.
If you connect your rails from your port to a resource you can take the mine action to acquire those resources. This is going to be the primary way you get resources although there is an import/export option if you need something you don't have access to on the board.
Here you see three coal waiting to be swept up with a mining action.
You can build farms, up to one of each type and getting a gold for each.
A great way to spend that gold is to buy military units. You can buy 2 infantry or 1 of any other unit per purchase action. The units are limited so you can end up in competition with other players for the juicy ones.
Another critical action is acquiring personalities. These give you one time or ongoing effects that can be really important. For example, Jenny Appleseed, shown below, is the only way you can flip a blighted farm.
Finally, there is the attack action. I really like combat in this game and it's a key element to the experience.
When you attack you will be moving your units down your rail line. Most units can go off rails a certain distance when attacking, except the armoured train of course. The attack itself costs time for each of the "main" unit types you bring (infantry, armoured car, artillery). And some units are better against certain old ones than others.
So it would seem to be a simple solution to only bring the ones that are good against the type of old one you are fighting right? Sure, but even a poor fighter can take a hit thereby saving another unit. So maybe you bring them all and spend the time?
Here's the squad I sent out for my first attack against Cthulu. It takes 15 hits to take down. I sent the whole gang for that one!
Once combat starts it becomes a push your luck affair.
You flip cards over from the Chtulu deck and look at their symbols depending on which monster you are fighting. Cthulu at the top there would take a hit from an air ship and causes 1 insanity.
If I was fighting the zombie (in the white circle) he would take a hit from an armoured car and would inflict 1 hit and 1 insanity on my forces.
You assign hits to the units on the top of your stacks as you like and as all units have 2 or more health you can take a few hits before you start losing units. Some personalities can cure hits or give you automatic hits before combat starts.
At any point before the next card is flipped you can choose to withdraw your forces, remove wounds, and put them back in your barracks. Any damage cubes you put on the Old One Stay there (except for Zombies).
If you hit the Old One takes damage equal to their shield value the Old One is defeated and you get the tile and the purple victory points shown on it. If two or more players have injured the Old One the VP's are shared among them.
However, if you take 3 insanity damage your forces must retreat and any wounded units are killed.
This creates an amazing decision space. You just spent 1 - 3 time to attack this Old One. You have 3 units wounded and 2 sanity gone. The Old One has 1 hit left. Do you flip that next card and potentially lose 3 units? Or do you retreat and spend more time to come back later.
It obviously engages the person in the combat but also everyone around the table gets super interested when those critical decision points come up!
Setup, Art, and Components
One complaint about the game is that setup can take a bit. The positive to that is that it is varied and will make the game different every time. In some ways it can also be a bit fun to see the map develop.
These setup tiles are placed on marked spaces on the board then flipped over. The appropriate Old One tiles and resources are placed. If more than one Old One tile would go in the same space you upgrade it to a higher level Old One tile. This is a great way to randomize the map which I haven't really seen before but it is a bit fiddly and time consuming.
Here you see a setup board:
The players pick their spot for their port in reverse turn order and the board is pretty much set.
One thing to note about that port choice, it is important to know that lower numbered spaces will have their Old Ones flipped first. So if your port is on that side of the board you will want to prioritize armies. You don't want to be caught with no army and an Old One on your door step.
The art work is great! It really invokes the theme of the game with WW1ish era armies going against the Old Ones and the traitor humans. It feels a bit bleak, dry, and dusty. The Old Ones are appropriately Cthulu-y. There are little touches everywhere reinforcing the time, place, and odd genre of the game.
The coal, iron, gold, and phosporus bits are really nice. Well done there.
The tiles, rails, and farms are nice thick cardboard. The cards are nicely finished and appropriately thick. Nothing spectacular but still good.
This game has a solo mode which gives you a solo objective for extra points and some extra starting personalities. You can choose your difficulty by adjusting your starting resources, starting VP, and whether or not tile 14 is setup.
Here was my solo setup.
I have to say that I found solo mode to be quite difficult in my one play through losing 48 - 74. It's not that playing the game was hard or even defeating the old ones. The tricky part is that the Old Ones score DOUBLE the amount for tiles that are not revealed. However, it's quite hard to get to all of the tiles, especially the ones in the back when it's just you.
I still enjoyed the game and I think that more play throughs are needed to see if maybe I missed something in my play through. Too early to give a final judgement.
Other than the setup time which I mentioned above the only other complaint I have with this game is difficulty scaling. I have played it at 1, 3, and 4 player counts.
At 4 players the Old Ones were almost a non-factor by the end of the game. There was no way they were winning.
At 3 players it felt a little better and as I mentioned solo it felt quite hard.
The great variability in player setup is part of the issue. You put random cards in to the Revelation deck and put random Old One tiles down on the board. In a solo game an empty space tile or "nothing happens" revelation can be a helpful break. In a 4 player game it can just feel flat. You aren't even guaranteed to have Cthulu show up at all!
My group agreed in our next 4 player game we'll be taking out all of the "nothing happens" cards and tiles and will also make sure Cthulu is in there as well. I figure that should at least keep things exciting.
Now that I have my biggest complaint out of the way I have to say that I really enjoy this game. I thought it might just be a quirky thing to own that might never get played but to our surprise we really enjoyed it!
There's something about the mixed up genres along with the brain teaser of figuring out the time crunch and the sheer raucus push your luck fun of the combat that really works for me and my group.
The tightness of time looms over everything else in this game. Once you have used 53 "action points" you are done. Early on you have to spend a bunch of time to lay rails and farms to get resources to acquire armies. You might have to consider time in that stage if you are racing against another player to get resources but not a lot.
Once the Old Ones awake you really have to be cognizant of where you are in relation to them. Place 3 farms? The Old Ones might move 4 times before you get a turn again. Do they have anyone close by that could wreck you? Which Old One tile is due to be exposed next?
The other interesting factor is the push your luck combat. From deciding which forces to bring, where to place damage, and when to retreat it's always a bit nerve wracking. Even when it's not your combat it's always fun to ooh, aaah, and ohhh with another player. Sure you don't want them to get those points but they are still humans fighting against the Old Ones and if they fail maybe you're next!
And the game flow makes sense. You land on your port and you have some time to build some rails, farms, personalities, and armies. Then the Old Ones wake and the fight for survival is on!
Overall, I don't know if this game is for everyone. It is NOT a tightly controlled and balanced euro game. The difficulty fluctuates depending on the number of players and the randomness of the setup.
I have had games of it which were ok but not great but I have also had games that were awesome and had tight competition between players and big pushes from the Old Ones. It's the latter that really stick with me. I think a few tweaks to setup which are easy to do can make every game exciting!
For me, this game will be staying in my collection for a long time. I feel like it's a one of a kind mash up. Considering there are expansions in the works I suspect I'm not the only one that enjoys the quirky goodness of... #AuZtralia.
(This review was originally published on our site Two Moms Game. Click the link to read the review in its original, recommended format)
A fast-paced worker placement and commodity game for 1-5 players
Designed by: Fabio Lopiano
Published by: Braincrack Games and Capstone Games
Situated on the banks of the Adriatic Sea, Ragusa (aka modern-day Dubrovnik, Croatia) served as a critical trading port over the centuries since its founding sometime in the 600s. Because of its location along the Mediterranean, Ragusa was a strategic target for many would-be conquerors, and this game mirrors that long history. Players mimic the historic struggle for control of this enterprising nation as they fight to collect resources, ship goods, and build their city walls.
On the surface, Ragusa may appear to be an unassuming euro game. It has all the hallmarks of the typical euro: worker placement, goods production, selling goods, and an evolving market based on demand. And then it throws it all on its head with some clever twists.
*This is a general overview and not a comprehensive how-to-play
In Ragusa, players place houses at the intersection of hexagons spaces (hexes) on the central map to gain access to resources and to complete actions. Shipping and selling goods drives the market economy, making some of the production action spaces more or less valuable throughout the game.
Ragusa is played over a set number of turns based on player count. On their turn, players:
1. Place house on an available space (cost check after placement and gaining access to resources)
Rural Hexagon Spaces (Hexes)
Action: Gain access to resources
Cost: 1 wood per house of the player’s color on the hex
Action(s): Gain advanced resources, sell or ship goods for points, build walls/towers, end-game scoring benefits, and more!
Cost: 1 stone per house of the player’s color on the hex
Note: players do not decrease their resource cards to pay for placement – see detail below.
2. Activate City Hexes (If Applicable)
Active player chooses which hex to activate first and does the associated action
Hexes with ⟳ symbol reactivate for all players who have a house on the hex in clockwise order
Hexes withsymbol do not reactivate
Continue until all hexes at the intersection of the active player’s house placement have been activated
3. Game ends when the final houses are placed
What do we think?
Ragusa is a different sort of worker-placement game with unique mechanics that makes it refreshing to play. We always say that a sign of a good game is one that you want to discuss afterward to figure out what worked and what didn’t work. This is definitely one of those games, and we haven’t found one strategy that overpowers all others. In reading through the rules and watching a few playthroughs, we initially thought this game would be lighter than it ended up being. There’s a lot of nuance to it, and that’s mostly due to the unique mechanics.
Resources - do you want to try something new?
Resources management is interesting in Ragusa. Most board games have players collecting little piles of resources on or around their player mats (we put ours in little silicone cupcake liners). In Ragusa, players do not actually gain the resources but rather gain access to them. This is important because the basic resources (wood, stone, silver ore, grapes, olives) are never consumed (except fish can be exchanged for other goods). This is managed via the player mat and numbered cards (see image). As players gain access to additional resources, they rotate the card to increase the value. The wood and the stone resource cards have handy iconography to remind players how many houses of that player’s color are allowed on a hex border. In the image example, a player could place up to 3 houses on the border of a rural hex and up to 2 on a city hex.
Reactivation - you won't get bored on other player's turns
Another twist to traditional mechanics is that the active player almost always triggers “reactivation” actions for the other players. It works like this: on their turn, a player activates multiple hexes by placing houses at the junctions. Houses placed along city hexes not only grant actions to the active player, but also reactivate for all players that have a house on the hex. This means that even when it isn’t your turn, there’s something to do, especially as the game progresses and the city fills with houses.
This is a really neat mechanism that has the same upside and downside. On one hand, it’s great to always have something to do during other player’s turns. It’s engaging and keeps the game interesting. On the other, it means you have to pay close attention to other player’s turns, and we found ourselves getting mixed up a few times near the end of a 4-player game about what was happening and whose turn it was. It’s not a big deal in a two player game, but with more players – especially distractible players *Emily* – you might want to designate an “active player” marker (a water bottle? Dinosaur toy?) to pass around.
There is a lot to like in Ragusa. Gameplay is streamlined, yet the weight of the decision making increases as the game progresses and spaces become more limited and the reward for having more houses on a hex increases. If you play for the first time and feel like you’re zooming through your houses, don’t worry it slows waaaayyyy down in the second half.
Pro Tip: The first time we played Ragusa through, we played it like we would any other worker-placement game- get as many resources as early on as possible so that later you can do cool things. It turns out that a better idea is to streamline your resource gathering so that you can get some houses in the city pretty early on. That way, you get maximum benefit from other players putting their houses on your city hexes with the “reactivation” mechanic. If you take too long to build up a ton of resources, you could miss out on a lot of “free” actions.
2-Player vs. 4-player
We do have a regular section below for player count, but we also want to highlight it here because we felt it’s important for the experience of the game. So far, we have played with 4 players (shoutout to our COVID-approved game group Kyle and Brittany!) and the 2-player variant with power houses. 2 player vs 4 player games are very different as far as feel and strategy.
The 2-player variant has each player add 2 black houses to their pool called “power houses”. These give you the ability to leverage the other player’s houses and amplify your action one time, but then they don’t “belong” to you for the rest of the game (or during end-game scoring). It’s like a massive, one-shot boost that is great if you need a ton of something like walls or commodities (wine, olive oil, silver bars). The addition of a unique mechanic to the 2-player version is a nice touch and definitely makes us want to play again and again.
At 4 players, the board is a LOT more crowded and encourages both competition and playing off one another. With 4 players, it’s a lot more important to get houses onto the city early so that you can benefit from others going there. At the same time, you have to think a lot more critically about whether a placement is more beneficial for you or one of your opponents. Playing at a higher player count definitely makes the game heavier from the perspective that paying attention to your opponents becomes a lot more critical to your own strategy and success in the game.
There is also an issue we ran into at 4 players where there seems to be a first player advantage. The first player at the beginning of the game is always the first player, which means they lead placement throughout the game. If the other players follow their lead (especially in the early game), then they get more of the reactivation bonuses. It can be overcome by the other players choosing to place elsewhere, but there are just a few spots that make the most sense to start out in the city. This didn’t impact our enjoyment of the game because it’s just another piece to fit into the strategy, but it is worth noting.
I really enjoy Ragusa. It plays fast and there is always something going on so there’s no worry about downtime while Emily takes foreverrrrrrr to take her turn. The worker placement is really neat and it’s very satisfying to get to do a bunch of things on your turn.
I will admit that it took me a bit to wrap my head around not consuming resources, but once I did I really appreciated that only needing access to resources kept the game smooth. Taking physical resources and consuming them would bog the game down to almost an unplayable level I think.
This game fills a great niche in our game collection. At two players it’s not quite as heavy, mostly because there are more choices available and less competition for spaces, despite using more houses. We can get through a game – including the very quick setup and takedown – in about 30 minutes or less, which is great for us with trying to fit it around the kids and general life. I wouldn’t quite call it a sandbox game (where players have a million choices and can wrack up a million points) but it has that kind of feel for me. There’s no one way to win that I can tell, which for me makes for a good, re-playable game.
The only real complaint I have was that I had a hard time tracking what was going on in the 4-player game for the last few turns. I do tend to get distracted sometimes (Sarah might say this is an understatement) during other player’s turns. I got more than one, “Emily, it’s your turn” reminders. So on those last few turns don’t go to the bathroom, start petting your friend’s adorable fluffy dog, or accidentally zone out thinking about your next few moves.
We were pleasantly surprised by how quick the first play went. We played the first game 2-player with the 2-player variant and found it very approachable. New gamers might need a bit of extra time, but for experienced players (or a mix), it should have a fairly low barrier to entry.
The rule book is well organized and easy to understand the basic gameplay. We liked the big, clear pictures that spelled everything out really well. The first time we played we realized we had misunderstood the cathedral scoring, which seems to be a pretty common blunder and is clarified on BGG here.
After our first play we placed much less emphasis on rural hexes getting only the bare minimum of necessary resource access and focused on the city spaces. This definitely bumped up the feeling of getting to do a lot of stuff and is really where the game shines – the activation of multiple hexes and with other players getting to reactivate their houses.
Play Time, Best Number of Players
Ragusa is really quick playing at about 20 minutes per player. We can knock a two player game out in about 30 minutes which is awesome for naps or when the kiddos bedtime routine is straight out of a horror film. Even though the playtime is quick, it is still a satisfying game and doesn’t feel like a filler or quick game at all.
The four player game does take a bit longer, we played a 4 player game with teaching in about an hour and a half. The major slowdown at higher play counts comes from multiple activations on the hexes on the last 2-3 turns of the game. We do think it played better at 4 just because of the increased pressure and more interaction really makes the reactivation mechanic shine and that seems to be the real heart and soul of the game.
We love how fast Ragusa plays at 2-player. There’s minimal set up and clean up which means we can just jump in and start playing relatively quickly. It’s not a great game if there’s a lot of interruptions though. Since you are constantly doing something, interruptions will stop play for the entire table, not just one player.
Ragusa is also a pretty compact game for its physical size. Yes there’s a decent sized game board, but all the other components are pretty compact and there isn’t a ton of them, so if you are playing on a small table to be closer to kids fighting the neverending bedtime battle, this works really well.
4: Likely to play again
*See our rating scale on our site
So I've had #Mistfall sitting on my shelf for a little while that I had bought to be a somewhat heavier co-op experience. I decided that a good way to learn it would be to try a solo game. It is kind of an adventure-combat game: I kind of imagine it as an early draft of Gloomhaven. You and you little band of heroes journey across a 'map' made up of varoius randomised tiles. In the beginner game these are in a straight line and you just progress through them but in later games you choses where you go. You will have a certain number of rounds to complete your mission, represented on by the time track. Each round you move your band of heroes and interact with whatever is on the tile, usually a group of monsters that need stabbing.
(About to embark upon their very exciting looking quest)
In the beginner game your mission is just to get to the end and beat the big bad but in others I believe it is a little more complicated. However the adventuring is not what this game is about, this is primarily a deck-building combat game and it has some pretty innovative systems. The first of which is a very cool 'enemy focus' system. Each round some enemies will likely appear, there is no board or figures to represent them, just cards. The first enemy will then move in front of the hero with the highest 'enemy focus', at which point that players enemy focus will be halved, the next enemy will then move in front of the hero with the new highest enemy focus (which might be the same hero) and so on until all the enemeis are distributed. Heroes gain enemy focus for most actions they take and heroes can theoretically take as many actions as they have cards for. This makes for some really interesting tactical decisions and is thematically brilliant: if you are hacking and slashing away then of course the enemies are going to focus on you, whereas if you sitting back and just shooting one arrow a turn then you aren't anyones priority. As such the tougher enemies can try to draw the majority of enemies to them, keeping the support characters safer. However, going up the 'enemy focus' track also gives your enemies advantages: either 'enraging' them unlocking their more powerful abilities or in the extreme triggering more enemies to appear. As such, you have to really weigh up if that awesome combo is worth it.
Example of a card: you can only use one regular action a turn but as many fast actions as you feel like (cards will be discarded or moved after you use the them so you can't reuse the same card)
The other very cool system is how you improve your deck: every time you kill an enemy you receive some 'resolve' which goes into a shared pool. At any time on your turn you can use resolve to purchase a card from your characters specific deck of upgrade cards (each character also has a personalised deck of starting cards). When you buy a card it goes into your hand and may be used immediately. As such you get to make some really interesting decisions of 'do I buy the thing that will be really effective right now or the card I think will make my deck better long term' which is awesome.
Now, as you can see from the card above, this game is stuffed full of icons which you really do have to memorise for the game to feel smooth
And there are a LOT.
Also, the rules book is just this huge block of text which is an absolute slog to get through. I think it is written in a such a way that you can work out exactly what you should do in a given situation but it takes some work.
So how was my game?
I had an okay time, it is a really enjoyable puzzle to try and figure out, I didn't get all the way to the end just due to time constraints but I had fun murdering monsters and upgrading my character. It certainly helped in terms of learning the game and my ability to teach it later on. However, I did miss having other player to strategise and celebrate with.
I will probably give it another go when I have more time and see how it feels.
Have any of you tried this game either with a group or solo? How did you find it?
@WadeB1977 has been asking if and when I'd ever get around to playing #The Gallerist solo. I just gave it a go and wanted to do a little first impressions posts of my thoughts about it. I picked this game up thanks to BGA and their lovely giveaways. I wrote my first impressions awhile back. While I thought it was a good game, I wasn't exactly ready for the heaviness. @drossaphus had given me some excellent advice and videos to watch before giving it another try and I had a much better time the second time around. That all being said, it's been a month since my last play and while I don't think I totally forgot everything, there may have been a few minor things I was doing horribly wrong with my solo playthrough lol. Anyways, here are my thoughts! (PS I didn't use pictures like @R0land1199 did in their lovely review of #Maracaibo lol)
Changes from Multiplayer
The setup for #The Gallerist solo is the same as it is for a 2 player game. The main differences lie in the AI player, "Lacerda." Cute name right? ;P Lacerda doesn't collect any contracts or money nor does he take any actions outside of the International Market section so he requires no influence track marker or player board. When Lacerda lands on the International Market location, he places an assistant on a market spot in a specific order as described in the rulebook. The net effect is the elimination of that spot for you to take later on. The way the AI moves is pretty simple. He starts of in the spot directly across from where you first place your pawn. You start as the first player and following your turn, Lacerda moves clockwise around the board. He always leaves an assistant behind for purposes of a time track. Anytime you kick out Lacerda or his assistant from a spot, you have to remove one ticket of the color that has the most tickets remaining in it's stack. The game will end when all of the tickets are gone. You finish out the current round and then the human player takes one more turn at a different location from where they are.
For the human player turns, the game plays identically to how it does multiplayer. I won't rehash all of the rules for simplicity sake, but it felt just as tedious if not more so because there was no one there to help remind you to say pull meeples from the bag or give yourself tickets as needed. Those were 100% my own fault lol. Of course with Lacerda's turns being completely predictable, you can plan ahead a few turns which is nice. However, It was a tad boring to move him around because it's not like he really affects the board in a meaningful way other than with regards to the time.
I did very much enjoy the challenge particularly with the time aspect. Towards the end of the game, it took some VERY careful planning (and possible bending of the rules lol) to ensure I could do what I needed to do to at least attempt to win. It seemed the best way to do that was to hit the International Market pretty hard and always ALWAYS leave assistants behind whenever possible. It's definitely a solo mode where you have to plan ahead to where Lacerda is moving and try to make sure you can take additional kick out actions. Particularly the option of taking the location action which requires you to constantly have influence available. Because of the way Lacerda works when it comes to you kicking out his assistants, the game played very quickly. I wrapped up the game in about an hour.
How to Win
This is where a picture would have been great lol. The rulebook lists out 3 levels of winning with increasing difficulty. I was just aiming for the lowest "Apprentice" level which required me to:
1) Achieve at least one of each of your Curator and Art Dealer goals
2) Acquire at least 4 Reputation tiles
3) Acquire at least 1 Masterpiece
4) Have at least 160 money
I wound up completing both 1 and 2 but missed out on a Masterpiece and only managed 155 money.
Getting the highest level of win conditions, "Master Gallerist," seemed completely impossible. That required:
1) Get at least 35 money in total from Curator and Art Dealer goals
2) Acquire at least 5 Reputation tiles
3) Acquire at least 3 Masterpieces
Currently I just don't see there being enough time to be able to complete all that. Maybe when I have a lot more plays under my belt I won't feel that way.
I think I prefer The Gallerist just a little more as a multiplayer experience vs the solo mode. I think it moved a little bit too quickly as it was (at least for a noob like me) hard to prevent kicking Lacerda assistants out constantly. That being said, I do want to play it again and see if I can continue to improve.