Friday, May 12, 2017

2017 Challenges - First Third of the Year Progress

A third of 2017 has already zoomed past, and it's been more than 120 days since I started those two challenges for myself - the 10x10 Solo Dice Chuckers and 10x1 Solo Heavy Games! Where do I stand in both?

Solo Dice Chuckers 10x10 Challenge Status - 35% Complete

1. Bottom of the 9th (0/10 plays) - The solo campaign continues to elude me. When I think about how a full playthrough requires me to play through 6 smaller games and amassing all the manager points from all of them at once, it sorta overwhelms me. This is clearly the one that may be completed last.

2. Dungeon Roll (6/10 plays) - With games playing very quick, it's simple to bang out a couple at a time. And with some of the newer heroes from later expansion packs still unplayed, it's a good enough excuse to crack out the treasure chest and start dungeon delving. And the new heroes don't level up because they're NICELY overpowered. Still a challenge, but wow.

3. Firefly: Shiny Dice (2/10 plays) - One that I still find to be "okay," Shiny Dice still has those "oh I forgot that step in the rules again" moments when I may score or roll out-of-turn, then I become doubtful at where I was, then I lose interest. Still 8 more plays to get through.

4. La Granja (0/10 plays) - Quite surprised, since before the challenge, I was able to get this to the table more frequently. I'm sure once I clear out some more games from this list, I'll take this game out again in time.

5. Hostage Negotiator (0/10 plays) - It's not that setup or the gameplay is slow for Hostage Negotiator...but it's been rare for me to win in this game. While there are ways to mitigate dice here, the cost and risk is often high. I've yet to reach a comfortable balance for me to make decisions without them biting me in the ass.

6. OctoDice (10/10 plays) - The first game to get cleared, OctoDice offered quick games with a variety of paths to score. I tried the default setup, then was interested in the varieties of changing up gameplay. In addition, I tried to play the same random setup multiple times, just to see if different choices would lead to more optimal combinations (it DOES, eventually). Am I still happy to own this? Despite its crappy dice, it's still a decent roll & write, so it'll stay in my collection.

7. One Deck Dungeon (7/10 plays) - A game that I continue to gradually make (less and less) mistakes, One Deck Dungeon is still fine to play. For the first few games, I played it campaign-less, and only the last couple I've started to do the campaign. It wasn't until after the second one did I realize I had to stick with one type of hero. So, I guess it'll have to be "Paula the Paladin."

8. Saint Malo (6/10 plays) - I believe I only got more into this game after getting myself a GOOD dry-erase marker, because the ones that come in Saint Malo are BAD. SO VERY BAD. Like, "marker lines are not solid and starting to dot like morning dew" bad. Really, any other dry-erase marker will do. I actually just leave mine in the box now. But wow, the solo rules for this work quite well, and still offer a challenge. Still odd that it's on the bigger end of the spectrum for roll & writes, but the dry-erase boards are VERY good quality.

9. Space Hulk: Death Angel (0/10 plays) - One I most certainly want to bring back to the table. I did 1-2 more games before issuing the challenge, so it's not terribly difficult to set up, but I want more plays of this with the newer expansions.

10. VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game (4/10 plays) - Since the game comes with two AIs to play against, I've divided this up to 5 plays against each. After 4/5 plays against Omniblend, the win-loss ratio is even at 2:2. Hoping to break that tie in my favor, then it's on to Saccharine, Inc.!

Solo Heavy Games 10x1 Challenge - 10% Complete

1. CO2 (0/1 plays) - Still a WALL of rules to go through and fully understand. May heavily rely more on gameplay videos and additional guides to get this boulder moving.

2. A Feast for Odin (1/1 plays) - The only game in this list I've finally gotten a game in of. In fact, I got a SECOND game of this not too long after. Still definitely want to get more games of this great puzzler, as there's always a different route to lead off to when scoring points!

3. Fields of Arle (0/1 plays) - For some reason, it's harder for me to get my moves going in Fields of Arle. I've PLAYED a game before some time ago, but I just don't bring this to the table a lot for some reason or another. I've gotten setup time down to 6.5 minutes, so there's really no reason why not.

4. The Gallerist (0/1 plays) - This game is just simply GORGEOUS, but it just needs so much table space. I WILL get you played this year. I MUST!

5. Healthy Heart Hospital (0/1 plays) - Out of all the games in this list, this is the game that got played the most last year. Still have yet to get a win from this, but every game has been either brutal or close-but-brutal. Love the art style of this game. And the laser tokens? So awesome...

6. Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Cracy (0/1 plays) - I've only had one play of the solo variant of this game, and it's a TABLE BEAST. But wow, it's such a tapestry of a tale when you lay out the family tree. I want to play it again, just to see how my next relations will fan out.

7. The Networks (0/1 plays) - Probably second to Healthy Heart Hospital, The Networks got some decent plays out of it, too. I love the solo mechanism of the cards, eliminating cards to induce the "push your luck" element well. They really make you work to get a win, and I haven't figured out a consistent way to crack that nut, but I'm game to try again.

8. Robinson Crusoe (0/1 plays) - I've gotten exactly 1 play out of this last year, and it took me 5 hrs between two nights - the first game ever where I had to take pictures to effectively "pause" the game and resume it the next night. It was epic, it was grand, and I want to do that again in half the time.

9. Rococo (0/1 plays) - While not a game with an official solo variant, there exists one in BGG that I want to play. And the theme is so lovely that I just have to get this to the table soon.

10. Troyes (0/1 plays) - The solo variant here deserves much more plays. It's a challenge against the AI, and it can be quite difficult. And only recently I've realized it was designed by Shadi Torbey, the SAME Shadi Torbey of Onirim/Sylvion/Castellion/Urbion/Nautilion fame. That alone should bring the game to the table more often!

How's everyone else doing in your 10x10 challenges?
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