Something awesome happened today!! ... I got my FIRST solo win in Raiders of the North Sea.
It only took a year (literally). But it confirms that Shem Phillips games can actually be beat. I was starting to wonder. LOL
Here's the setup. As you can see, I played with the Hall of Heroes expansion .
Let me tell a bit of a story...
When I finally was able to get my hands on a solo deck (by some miracle), I was completely unable to beat the AI. But boy did I love it. Shem's solo modes in his games are excellent. When I purchased the HoH expansion last summer, it was such a cool addition to a game I already loved so much. Seamless integration, amazing player boards, very cool new ways to gain townsfolk and crew, new townsfolk/crew cards, additional ways to gain VP and plunder through quests and of course, MEAD!
However, when I played my first solo game, the expansion made it even harder! I couldn't figure out how on some forum posts I had seen that people felt the HoH expansion actually made solo easier??? It didn't make sense to me. I tried it a few times, because I loved it so much, but finally relegated myself to playing solo with just the base game until I could get some wins under my belt. "I guess I just need more practice" I thought.
That just wasn't happening. The wins eluded me regardless.
I honestly haven't got the game to the table in quite a while. Partly because new games keep coming in, and also because I'd subconciously lean towards some I at least had a chance of winning solo. LOL It definitely wasn't because I didn't love the game.
Fast forward to earlier this week when ROTNS went on sale on Steam. I've realized through my purchases of other games I own, like Scythe that the digital versions can have their place in a gamer's collection. When you don't have time to get the physical game to the table, or the table is unavailable that day, you can still get some practice in with the digital versions. So now that I had, ROTNS digital, I played 6 or 7 games within a few days. And I sure missed it.
Today it's the Family Day holiday here in Ontario, Canada. Around lunch time, my wife, daughters and I (and Jasper our dog) went for a nice hike on the trail behind our house and along the river. It's a winter wonderland here (and a big dump of snow on the way tonight apparently). I always feel so relaxed and refreshed after a nice hike, so I sat down with my tea to play a game on the PC since we had time before watching a movie together this afternoon.
But because I had that time, I thought, "No way! I want to get a game to the table!". And RoTNS along with the HoH expansion was my choice. (Boy did I ever miss playing this game!! It's so good.)
I know, "Get to the point!" right?... How did I get my first EVER solo win??
The answer honestly- play it properly. LOL
Because it had been so long since using the HoH expansion, I dove into the rule book a couple times for the odd reminder. But then something caught my attention when it came to the quests. In the book it says to "place a quest tile after a RAID". When you play solo with HoH, any remaining quests on the board count as 1VP each for the AI. So by the end of my solo games the couple times I played with the expansion, the AI was pummeling me.
For whatever reason today, the wording caught my attention unlike before when I played solo and ONCE with my youngest daughter when I first got HoH. I've learned a great deal since then to watch the specifics in the wording in most rule books. Naturally I popped onto BGG to see what the forums say to confirm my suspicion. Right there was the answer - Quests are placed after a raid. That's it! They are NOT replaced once a quest has been completed. Before, I would replace a quest EVERY TIME a quest was completed. No wonder I couldn't win!! (The real rule actually will make the multiplayer more fun too I think LOL)
I felt so stupid. I think I just get too excited sometimes and misread things?? I don't know. But my of stupidity was quickly tamed as it turned into excitement, when I tallied up the final score vs the AI this afternoon. With a "decisive" 3-point victory!!!!! LOL I raised both arms in the air and went into the living room to tell my 12-yr old daughter right away (Because she knows I can never win RoTNS).
And here's the proof... Blue wins 68-65. Wow.