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  • Writer's pictureJW

Solotober 2021 - week #1

Welcome to the first full report. To recapture: during Solotober 2021 my goals are:

  • Play a different solo game every day

  • Play at least 10 unplayed owned games ("the shelf of shame")

  • And: digital plays don't count


October 4: Space Empires 4X

It may not be from my Shelf of Shame, as I've played it once before, but it was my first solo session, which also felt as an accomplishment. Me against the Doomsday Machines. Unfortunately I made some rules mistakes. The first few rounds I gave myself too much income, which led to a rapid increase in technology. Then - to compensate? - I let the Doomsday Machines roll way too many dice. Something they absolutely don't need to annihilate you. Still, good fun.

October 5: Orchard

This is a nice relaxing puzzle game. I don't play it often, but I always enjoy it. I am not good at it, but I don't mind.

After 40 plays I had become a bit frustrated with this game. So many losses, and levelling up was so slow. Then somebody gave me some pro tips:

  1. play four-handed (I had used two characters)

  2. start with the scenario where you protect The Client, as you only have to stay alive

And yes, this got me going again. I started over with four characters, had them levelled up again in no time and was enjoying it immensely. Then I added in the expansion High Caliber Ops, that brought more variety to the black market and it has easily become one of my favourite games.

October 7: Doom Machine [SHELF OF SHAME]

I'm a sucker for tin games, but I'm afraid this one won't be a keeper. First impressions are that it's too random and too hard. I had a session in which I lost a few dice during the first three turns, making any progress impossible. I can see a strategy: many dice on defence and focus on one card at a time to take out. I just don't know how much fun I'll have doing it.

Anyway, I should play it more before making my judgement.

October 8: Terminator: Dark Fate [SHELF OF SHAME]

This is a game I really enjoyed. It is a deckbuilder with a nice twist: whenever the Rev-9 has taken some damage, you can flee it and shuffle it back into the top of your deck. Together with as many cards as you had brought damage to it. Then, you can push your luck by filling the market each turn, and/or slowly do some deckbuilding. Until it appears again and a tough fight will start.

There are some very strong cards available, however, and I am not sure yet if they will ruin the game for me.

October 9: A Gentle Rain [SHELF OF SHAME]

Another relaxing game, and shiny new, so immediately a favourite over Orchard, Herbaceous and Sunset over Water. This one absolutely works as advertised. Plus the tiles are thick and feel so good. A joy to play.

October 10: Terraforming Mars

I'm playing through all corporations with the Prelude expansion added in this year. Going for full terraforming, not the alternate win goal of a 63 Terraforming Rating. By now I know the cards well enough to go for some nice combos from early on.

I forgot to take pictures. Here's what the game looks like:

This may very well be my favourite game now.


So. I eased myself into this challenge with mostly shorter games. Three of them from the Shelf of Shame though, so that's a good start. 👍

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