In defense mode
As the coronavirus threat is keeping me inside, not so much in fear of falling victim to the disease but of becoming a potential carrier to others, I am considering games to play. I don't have the original Pandemic, so I will spare you the annoyance of seeing it mentioned for the hundredth time as the game du jour. Instead, I was inspired by Roger's Solo Con, because it is castle-themed.
As he says, "some of you may be voluntarily or involuntarily holing yourselves up in your own castles, fending off the siege of the rapidly spreading contagion". Indeed we are, Roger, and to respond to the theme of the con, I am playing Kaiju Siege.
Kaiju Siege is a solitaire PnP about defending a Japanese castle from a roaming Kaiju. On each turn, you will first roll a die to see where the Kaiju will move to. It moves along the perimeter of the castle, and blocks your access to one of the available actions. Then, you place your workers. You begin with two peasants and two warriors, and in the course of the game you can fetch reinforcements, as the Kaiju will most likely consume a few.
In the next phase, the Kaiju attacks. It bangs on the castle walls, and brings them down. If a peasant stands in the way, he is lost. If he stands close by, however, he can prevent one point of damage and save the day. Finally, your workers execute the actions you sent them to perform: repair walls, bring more people to help, forge weapons. If you have a warrior on the wall where the Kaiju attacks, and he survives, he can attack back and reduce the monster's health points.
The Kaiju will attack according to the rondel it has on its board, so you can more or less predict where it is going to hit and place your meeples accordingly. I played against the easiest one, but because it requires to roll a 6 for the final blow, I failed. Sessions are quick and tense, as, after a while, you start losing workers and run to repair walls before they completely crumble.
The game comes with many different Kaiju types you can play against, and many daimyos you can play as (each of them has special abilities). There are also missions you can try to complete, if you get tired of just trying to defeat the Kaiju. This is, I think, one of the finest Print and Play games out there, with very beautiful Japanese-style illustrations. If you live in the US and don't want to build it yourself, you can order it from the Game Crafter.