Crusaders Games

Solo

An increasingly popular element of board gaming is the ability to solo play, and this page takes a look at my favourite games i play in this category, either designed specifically for this style or adapted. A storyline or journey is very important here to increase the enjoyment, and my comments focus specifically on the solo game elements :

 

1. Too Many Bones – Chip Theory (2017)

A dice based outdoor adventure where you select gearloc heroes to beat a tyrant. The core box contains 12 specific solo encounter cards to generate a one gearloc adventure, which is a wonderful design move, and is a great way to learn a specific gearlocs skills. However in addition you can quite easily control two gearlocs yourself and play a full game using all the encounter cards. This game is wonderful solo, and the fact it is dice based with solid health chips makes for a really nice change, as it is very tactile to play, and its component quality is superb.


2. Darkest Night 2nd Edition – Victory Point (2018)

The world has been ravaged by the evil necromancer, and is covered in blights, tainting the seven core locations. This is playable using 4 heroes, although a 2 hero option is now provided, and choosing from 29 heroes who each have their own theme and attributes to try out, gives the solo game so much variety. The production on this 2nd edition is amazing, and the game features a darkness tracker which builds tension and increases the difficulty as time progresses.

 

3. Aeon’s End 2nd Edition – Action Phase (2017)

Save the last town of Gravehold from destruction by taking the role of spellcasters, opening breaches to cast attacks at the huge nemesis monster, while building up aether to get yourself more powerful cards. This is a straightforward, easy to set up and play deck builder, with the 2nd edition artwork looking excellent, and the mechanics of preparing your spells and timing your attacks is great fun. This is best played solo using 2 spellcasters, and easy to do and as each one gives you different special abilities there are a lot of combinations to try out. The nemesis monsters are all different and have unique cards which provides great theme and different challenges.

 

4. Runebound 3rd Edition – Fantasy Flights (2015)

In this wilderness adventure game your hero travels across a world map to complete quests and develop their skills. A time tracker is built into the game together with a variety of final enemies to defeat, and it has adventure specific story cards which help generate different themes to your adventures. As you progress during the game your hero will add new skills and equipment giving a real sense of development. Whilst designed originally as a competitive game, a solo and co-operative expansion called ‘Unbreakable Bonds’ was added in 2017 uplifting it into a great solo adventure.

 

5. The 7th Continent – Serious Poulp (2017)

Investigate a strange island to solve a series of curses, this exploration game slowly reveals a landscape map of cards as you move around the land, learning skills and crafting tools on your way. Arguably better as a solo game than multiplayer, you will constantly be faced with decisions, which actions to take or objects to keep, and the game builds a storyline, with some of your decisions becoming permanent game changes. You can easily save your game position to return later which makes it so accessible. Every decision seems vitally important as you never want to waste too much energy.

 

6. Thunderstone Advance – Alderac (2012)

This deck building card game is designed for competitive play, but does have a fairly basic set of written solo rules which needs a bit more balancing to make it more enjoyable and a little more tactical. What I like most is that by selecting which monsters you want to populate your dungeon with, you can create different challenges and themes to play against. It is also light on rules, and quick to set up and get playing > Thunderstone Solo

7. Lord Of The Rings LCG – Fantasy Flights (2011)

This card game is more a strategy challenge than an adventure and is the most varied solo game i have, with over 75 different individual quests that can expand the original box set. The deep variation of the player cards, from which you will select up to 50 as your support deck at the start of the game, means you are always tweaking which allies or equipment to bring along to help you beat the scenario. On top of this you have a whole host of main heroes to select, from four different spheres, each having a differing focus of stronger abilities to work with. My webpage focuses on my preferred quest scenarios using a single deck solo game > Lord of the Rings

 

8. Gloom of Kilforth – Hall or Nothing (2017)

This fantasy adventure game sees your hero move around a map of card locations, encountering events, completing quests, meeting strangers or fighting monsters. This game is perfect for solo play, you have a storyline to your journey, a built in time tracker from the expanding gloom and it distills an adventure into one session with an ancient boss to beat in the finale. To get the best from the game, use your imagination as you play to convert your encounters into a storyline, and for roleplayers this is an easy concept. This game will play differently each time, but eventually you may need new encounters to provide more variety.

 

9. Sword & Sorcery – Ares (2017)

This fantasy adventure game is story driven, and using the event cards effectively comes with a built in timer, which helps it become a viable solo game using two or three heroes. It features lovely miniatures, and the game tiles are excellent, splitting into larger areas than the usual small square grids, they also have an easy to use line of sight system and lovely artwork, and the area control helps make the game smoother to play solo than other dungeon crawlers. The adventures are pre-written, and it is all very interactive and engaging, and enemies have a really good intelligence action card system.

 

10. Nemo’s War 2nd Edition – Victory Point (2017)

This is specifically designed for solo play and merges an adventure storyline with strategic battling against the ships which slowly fill the seas of the earth. You will captain the nautilus to sail the seas to search for treasure, discover scientific knowledge and wage war, and each game you can choose one of four motives for success which change the end goal emphasis. The game flows smoothly and its not overly complex, with most actions allowing you to wager extra influence on the dice roll by gambling the welfare of the crew, ships hull or nemo himself. It has great theme with adventure event stories, and replaced the Robinson Crusoe game on my solo list.

 

11. Mage Knight – WizKids (2011)

You explore a hex map with your powerful mage, recruiting an army and leveling up to defeat your final objective. This adventure game has a complex and involved rule set, which always taxes my brain, and I have to be in the right mood to play. However, the card manipulation and crystal power up is such an addictive and rewarding experience that eventually i am drawn back for another go.

 

12. Descent 2nd Edition (2012) – Fantasy Flights

Descent 2nd is now playable solo using either the three co-op scenario packs, or the ‘Road to Legend’ app. Played using two or more heroes the app will control the enemy responses and provide a story campaign to play through. With many expansions available, there is a huge choice of heroes to combine, and each new pack you get also unlocks a new scenario in the app to play through too.  It provides a great balance in being not too rules intensive, but allows for a fun dungeon crawl.

Quicker & smaller solo games …

Warhammer Quest Adventure Card Game – Fantasy Flights (2015)

This card game works well for solo play by controlling two heroes, offering up tactical choices and story development. It is an excellent card based and relatively quick dungeon experience, and you will combine and play off each character’s strengths to beat the scenario. The game is limited in the number of written quests it provided, but a delve option allows you to play with a more random generated dungeon which is great fun. I have written 4 extra scenarios myself focused on playing solo with two heroes > Warhammer Quest Adventures

One Deck Dungeon – Asmadi (2016)

A tiny box game that features dungeon exploration using a deck of cards, combined with dice rolling and manipulation. You search through a dungeon over 3 levels to find and defeat a boss monster, the deck of cards acting as a timer and providing doors for you to open and investigate. Fighting monsters or avoiding traps involves rolling your dice, representing your skills, and allocating them onto the cards to block reactions and damage.