Knowing me, knowing Uwe

A-haaah. This week Cadet Stimpy inquired: Where is JW in the Best Uwe Game Thread on BGG? This "best thread" turned out to be a request for suggestions on what to buy next. Being a cheeky monkey I gave him my zen-like answer “Most of the time I'm not interested in my opinion.” But then I thought about this attitude some more. Sometimes not interfering with the world is also an act of selfishness. So let’s put a hologram of this monkey on stage and let him perform. A-haaah.


Disclaimer: I have not played every game by Uwe Rosenberg (Le Havre, Nova Luna and Sagani come to mind), and some not solo (Agricola). I am not including any games with fan-made solo variants either. Finally, my ranking for multiplayer would be different.

Solo polyomino


Let's start with my least favourite selection of games for playing solo. I only play them when I am too tired for anything that needs brainpower, and funnily enough, not the best ones even then. For those moments numbers 3 and 4 are perfect.


Just so you know: even the easy ones can be played strategically, thinking many steps ahead. I’m just too lazy, or if I am in the mood for that kind of game I pick one of his other boxes.


New York Zoo
New York Zoo
  1. Spring Meadow – the most Tetris-like of them all

  2. New York Zoo – fun animeeples and the return of breeding to his games

  3. Cottage Garden – a bit too easy solo, but very relaxing

  4. Second Chance – use coloured pencils for a mindful experience

  5. Indian Summer – the best-looking one is also the hardest

The Patchwork Automa (not made by Rosenberg himself) was a disappointment for me. The scoring system is stupid.


Endless possibilities


The next series of games gives you a lot of freedom on how to reach your goal. Some even turn into a complete sandbox for solo, where you can just try “what will happen if I follow this strategy”. I prefer more limited options. Not surprisingly, the one I put in the number one spot gives you a slight suggestion what to try this time, right from the start.


A Feast for Odin
A Feast for Odin
  1. A Feast for Odin – this thematic Viking game is a masterpiece in mechanisms

  2. Fields of Arle – has just a tiny bit of variety in set up, but it’s enough

  3. Caverna: The Cave Farmers – one of the very first games I played solo, a cool sandbox


Short and sweet


The last selection contains shorter games that will still provide your brain with a good workout session. They all have randomness in set up, but after a while you’ll find out that most of the time you’ll be able to score consistently if you just adjust your strategy. Brilliant designs.


At the Gates of Loyang
At the Gates of Loyang
  1. Nusfjord – this worker placement game packs a lot in 30 mins, and is euro heaven when you play a campaign with the advanced solo rules

  2. At the Gates of Loyang – in fact this one does not fit any category and may be the best one ever, except there’s always a new “hotter” Uwe game

  3. Hallertau – the cardplay makes this a current favourite, but it may end up higher or lower on this list next year

  4. Glass Road – the resource wheel is one of the b