Yesterday (Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada for us), I thought I was finally going to be able to get my wife to the table and teach her, Sagrada and/or Wingspan. However, after dinner, I checked in with my wife and 12-yr old daughter, and both turned me down... :(
Solo gaming it is.
I was battling with what I wanted to play last night, but ultimately one thing kept really bugging me; Sid Meier's Civilization. What bugs me is, I have yet to play it multiplayer with anyone yet (my brother-in-law is interested though!), and it's just been sitting on the shelf for a while. I don't feel this game deserves that. So I took advantage of the time, and decided to explore some of the fan-made solo variants on the BGG forums.
The first variant I tried was ok, but part way through it wasn't connecting with me. I'm sure many of you can understand what I mean when I say, when you like a game (or a solo variant) you just get this feeling inside that's saying; "Yes! This is fun!" and your attention is 100% immersed in the game, and time flies by regardless of how short or long the game is. Since this wasn't the case, I stopped and decided to reset and try another solo variant.
I moved onto the "Crazy, but working solitaire variant" on the BGG forums. It is as the title says; Crazy - but working. I liked how, in this variant, they tried to involve as many elements of the actual multiplayer game to the best of their abilities. That's not an easy feat with this game. However, there was enough there that I could still focus on the flow, elements and rules of the full game, but while enjoying some solo play.
Unfortunately, I didn't do so well. The A.I. is (as they say in the post) ruthless! They move in quickly. In this variant the only winning condition that's taken away from the player is a military victory. It forces your focus to be on cultural, economic or technological victory. BUT at the same time, you 100% cannot ignore your military, and as I found out, you need to build up your units quickly before the A.I. moves in. It's not even THAT they move in, it's the FREQUENCY of their attacks that's the hard part. You have to have your civilization on their guard for sure.
I enjoyed it though, and look forward to being able to explore this variant more and allow this game to get on the table more often. :)