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.
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.
Spring Meadow – the most Tetris-like of them all
New York Zoo – fun animeeples and the return of breeding to his games
Cottage Garden – a bit too easy solo, but very relaxing
Second Chance – use coloured pencils for a mindful experience
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.
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 – this thematic Viking game is a masterpiece in mechanisms
Fields of Arle – has just a tiny bit of variety in set up, but it’s enough
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.
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
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
Hallertau – the cardplay makes this a current favourite, but it may end up higher or lower on this list next year
Glass Road – the resource wheel is one of the b