So, I am now playing Sagani, by Uwe Rosenberg. This is the second Uwe I'm trying (first one was Fairy Trail, which is a sure keeper, but more for its 2-players gameplay than for the solo play).
Sagani has simple rules. Each round, you draw a tile picturing a spirit of a given color, and a number of arrows pointing in different directions. You place the tile adjacent to another (no other condition), and put as many tokens on that spirit as there are arrows. Now if at any point in the game, there is a spirit whose color matches that of the arrow in the specified direction, you can cover the arrow with one of the tokens. Cover all arrows, and the spirit is fulfilled: you flip it, earn points, get back your tokens. And the spirit still can be used to match arrows on other spirits.
You see? Easy! Except you have a finite supply of tokens. If you ever exhaust it, and need to place tokens, you must pick tokens from the "red" supply. It shouldn't matter much, but each time you do so, you lose 2 points. So, recovering tokens by fulfilling spirits soon becomes a pressing matter.
The goal of the game is to reach 75 points with less than 25 tiles.
Well. My objective right now is to reach 75 points without exhausting the supply of red tokens. This is not covered in the rules (they don't assume the players of that game could be complete suckers) and I have no clue what to do at this point. I also consistently get more negative points that the additional negative points allow to keep track of.
Hem. Writing the post and checking that very last point got me notice a rule point I had apparently skipped over during my two readings. "Whenever you take a subsequent tile, you can rotate it any direction you like before placing it adjacent to one or more other tiles in your display.". Ha ha! That will certainly ease things up!
I got 77 points with 21 tiles, so I beat the 75 points threshold with less than 21 tiles. It wasn't so difficult after all!
Now what to do? Improving this score seems dubious - maybe I got lucky, but even then, I am not too sure you can "compress" the number of tiles so much far down.
I may try the "bigger" solo variant, but it uses all the tiles (so it will spread like crazy) and it takes one hour...
Or I may consider that this is just another Sudoku-like activity. No need to beat your score, no need to progress, just play and have fun for a while (not that I have fun with Sudokus, I'm terrible at them).
Nothin' like a missed rule to potentially make the game near impossible to beat. 😀 JW, didn't you "experience" that recently? I don't remember which game it was. I do it all the time. My 'reading comprehension' skills are waning (not that they were ever that good to begin with).
An interesting image of the game on BGG:
It reminded me a little of this (M.C. Escher).
Image Source: consciousnessminded.com
So, I tried again (I was pretty excited to do so), and it's obviously much better now. I got 75 points in 30 tiles, which is an encouraging start. I was really wondering why there were so many tiles with arrows pointing upward.
It's fun to see how well the game is balanced, because I was playing according to the rules, only with an additional constraint, and there was no way I could manage the steady stream of new spirits to fulfill.