The Solo Experience

I’ve never been the type to really get into solo games. Sure, I’ve played a few here and there, mostly roll and writes. Lately, as COVID starts to ramp up again, I’ve seriously started considering trying many of the solo variants some of my games have. Having recently cleaned up my workbench in the basement means I now have space where I can leave a game set up without any chance of it being disturbed, allowing me the flexibility to take a solo game at whatever pace I desire.

So, where do I begin? Tidal Blades recently arrived, but this is a game I know will get a fair amount of table time with the kids and me. Scythe? Again, the kids dig that one as well. So many games on my self have Automata, but many don’t have a campaign per se. Gloomhaven? Unfortunately, you need to progress to a certain level in the game before you’re supposed to play those.

Chatting with Doug of Victory Condition Gaming today led me to settle on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Change is Constant and City Fall. A game I can set up and play through the books over time and tell a story with my play. The fact that it’s TMNT also helps. So tomorrow, I embark on my journey into the world of solo gaming. We’ll see how well I take to it.

Is that enough, though? To be honest, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and have had some good conversations about Chess since I posted my article on how Queen’s Gambit makes me feel about the game. Reflecting on that last episode and considering some great points from comments on The Boardgame Spotlight, I’ve decided I’m going to try my hand at some chess puzzles. Who knows, maybe it’ll rekindle my interest in the game and get my confidence up to playing some games and reading into some historical games.

Why stop there? I’ve got table space now. So I’m also going to set up one of my Tak boards and do some Tak puzzles as well. The game is young enough where maybe I can keep up with the evolving strategies. It’s such a great game, so I may as well enjoy it as much as I can.

As you can see, I’ve bitten off quite a lot. Why not? It’s not like I’m going anywhere anytime soon. Sure, I’ve got family to play other games with, but there’s a limit to how much I can convince them to play. More massive games are off the table for the most part, so solo may be the way to go for those that offer it.

I’d love to hear from some solo gamers out there and what you’re playing. What games work best for you? What games say they perform solo but really don’t work that well at all? Are there games that you’ll only play solo even though they can support more players? Leave a comment below and help a solo newbie out!

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