Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Challenging the 10x10 Challenge in 2017

Until recently, I've dismissed the 10x10 Challenge. It was hard enough for me to gather people to play a game, let alone play it 10 times within the year. But I looked at it all wrong. If 2016 was any indicator, I clearly played a lot more solo games. So, it'd make more sense to make a solo 10x10 Challenge for myself. HECK, WHY NOT MAKE TWO?? Well, not exactly...but thanks to the BGStats App (they did NOT pay me to say this), issuing a challenge or two is as simple as tapping a screeWHOA I DIDN'T MEAN TO LAUNCH THAT STOP STOP THIS NO-

Solo Dice Chuckers 10x10 Challenge

Considering that a majority of my solo games involve dice, I've crafted a Solo Dice Chuckers 10x10 Challenge for myself. Here, in no particular order, is my list of games going into this challenge.

1. Bottom of the 9th

Yes, the rulebook had its errors, and a printing error on the card, but Bottom of the 9th is still a game I want to properly play a solo managers campaign on. I've gotten some sort of game done, but I want to complete the full series of games to tabulate the manager points and see if I become that awesome manager. I just need to beat the rules down in my head enough so that I don't have to keep referencing the rulebook, FAQ, or errata.

2. Dungeon Roll

A game in which I've carried one of its dice to my local FLGS just to show off its weight and quality (and yes, all that is true), Dungeon Roll has been faithful in my hobby as one of those quick Push-Your-Luck games that I can set up and tear down quickly. The decisions are simple and light, yet carry enough weight to ponder whether you'll survive long enough down all 10 levels during each of the 3 delves you get in one go. Plus, YOU'RE REACHING INTO AN ACTUAL TREASURE CHEST FOR LOOT!

3. Firefly: Shiny Dice

A more thematic Push-Your-Luck game, Firefly: Shiny Dice has handy rubber mats and missions to attend to. It's all still luck-based, but the dice themselves are so chunky to roll that it compels me to keep playing it, just to roll those FAT FAT DICE. Personally, the cargo and money cards are needless, and all you really need are the mission cards for this very light and simple game.

4. Hostage Negotiator

While I've played this game a lot last year, I still haven't played through most of the other different scenarios in other Abductor Packs. Well, not enough plays of them, at least. I probably have played each at least once. Since each come with some slight rules alterations, it's hard to swap between the two without going a little cross-eyed. Throwing it into the mix in hopes that repetition will bake the rules in, and possibly earn some wins in this hard, hard game. Why are all red dice evil?

5. La Granja

At 9 plays, this game is quite familiar to me. With recent acquisitions, however, it has fallen from the play stack (at no fault of itself). Putting this on the list so that it returns to the play queue, with all of its multi-use cards, donkeys, and wooden dice.

6. OctoDice

Despite its crappy dice (the octopus is the darkest purple it can be), OctoDice is a roll-and-write game that still fascinates me. With modular tiles to change up the game as you please, my hope is to graduate from the beginner mode and aim for the varied games. Really, though...those dice...ugh...

7. One Deck Dungeon

With already 2 games under the belt for this challenge, One Deck Dungeon may probably be the first game I get 10 plays first. Both games were loses, which should prove how difficult this game can get. But with all the items and skills you earn, all the while leveling up your character, there's a real sense of accomplishment per game, whether you reach the boss or not. Chucking so much dice per encounter feels SO good! My goal is to get a few more games in before I officially count them into the campaign mode, where I accumulate my progress to earn skills and abilities for future games.

8. Saint Malo

Another one of those roll-and-write games, Saint Malo's wipe boards appealed to my no-waste-paper ideal. That, and a deal in Amazon landed a copy in my hands. Getting a couple of games in last year, the game's simple 5 dice offer opportunities in every roll in growing your city. While I already feel that games may possibly feel same-sy, I want to play the game more to see if that's really true.

9. Space Hulk: Death Angel

This game. Holy crap this game. Space Hulk: Death Angel has so many close calls and epic losses that it made me spin off fan fiction of how I thought the loss occurred in my head. Never before have I seen one red die do so much damage (well, there's Dead of Winter...), but wins were quite elusive and hard to accomplish. Back in the pile you go, you box full of genestealers and whatever additional expansions (I think I have them all by now) you may have! (See comment earlier on Hostage Negotiator about evil red dice)

10. VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game

With the longest title in this list, VivaJava Dice is a game that brings coffee brewing to a calculated dice-rolling science. The AI is pretty good at challenging you with its rolls (they're just rolls, after all), and the two AIs offer different strategies and varieties to compete against them. With its pad to score, it's a roll-and-write game in its own respect...one I hope to get more out to the table.

Solo Heavy Games 10x1 Challenge

As a bonus, I've also created a Solo Heavy Games 10x1 Challenge - to play 10 solo games at least once in 2017. For me, that's a BIG deal, but I'm sure at one point I can make enough time for myself to play some of these quality heavy games! In no particular heavy order...

1. A Feast for Odin

Oh my! Well, I recently finished my first game of this, but I definitely want to bring A Feast for Odin back to the table again! So much cardboard, and so many actions to perform! And the puzzle aspect? I won't ruin much more, but I plan to definitely play more games before writing a review on this because OH WOW!

2. CO2

Not the first Vital Lacerda game on this list, CO2 attracted me with its theme about saving the environment. But with it came a nearly-impossible rulebook to follow, so until I finally get all that down, this game will remain unplayed. But I want to worry about the planet enough to save it from its fossil fuels! This year, though...definitely this year...

3. Fields of Arle

I played this game once in 2015. Since then, I haven't successfully brought it out. I've mostly suffered with severe AP in starting - there's a LOT to do. But, having recently played A Feast for Odin, I can't very well use THAT excuse again. Will look forward to playing this at least TWO more times this year, when time allows.

4. Healthy Heart Hospital

My first Victory Point game (hopefully not my last), the artwork in Healthy Heart Hospital looked like some dated daytime hospital drama. And I loved it. Also, the laser-cut components...all that soot! I was able to get some plays of this interesting game of treating patients you draw as cubes from a bag. And the pile of tombstone tokens reminded you of the dangers of letting your patients die. This game is wonderfully long and places Victory Point Games in a new light for me. Can't wait to play this again!

5. Legacy: The Testament of Duke De Cracy

I played the solo game once for Legacy, and my entire coffee table was engulfed in my wildly-eclectic family tree. Truthfully, it's just a game about laying out the family tree to prove your heritage in the bvest way possible, and I loved that as a theme to a game. But I'll definitely need to find a bigger table...or play on the floor.

6. Robinson Crusoe

I'm not sure if I was a tad crazy at the time I played this game once, but it took me two focused nights to play my one game of Robinson Crusoe. When it comes to rules, I'm a little dense in grasping them the first time around. But after 2.5 hrs the first night, It'd be a shame to tear down the game after playing halfway into it. So, I snapped up pictures of every portion, carefully bagged up everything, and re-assembled the game again the next night, only to play another 2.5 hrs to the bitter end when I died. I'm hoping the second time around, I play it all within one night. And with other scenarios. I DID buy into a load of their expansions...not including its official expansion. Which I still want.

7. Rococo

While it doesn't have an official solo variant, Rococo still has a user-created one that's well-liked in Boardgamegeek. And the theme of tailoring dresses fascinates the creative being in me to no end. Throw in the Victorian environment and you have my full attention! It's a game I most certainly will get to the table as soon as I get the chance!

8. The Gallerist

One of the few Kickstarter games I was VERY glad I backed, The Gallerist has players become art dealers, showcasing their acquired artwork in their own galleries like a real art gallery! The dual-sided artwork allows the art to shine in an isometric view and sit in your own gallery tableau like the piece of art it is. And the CHUNKY cardboard tokens give the game a quality heft that many other games simply cannot match. The solo mode has a clever timer system that ticks down faster depending on your own actions, so that's also a clever thing. But the art...OH I WANT TO PLAY THIS AGAIN!

9. The Networks

Probably the least heavy-like game in the list, The Networks earned a spot here because I felt it needed more plays. The game of managing your own network and its time slots with its punny parodies of popular programs make each game a riot from start to end. And the nice dual-use of the network cards to dictate what resources are burned off gives a great no-dice push-your-luck mechanic that forces you to decide whether you think the cards you want will stick around or not the next turn. It's really quite the challenge!

10. Troyes

A game I finally got to play once more last year, Troyes is a game originally with no solo variant. But since I realized that the official solo variant was written by none other than the Oniverse King Shadi Torbey, I've since renewed my vigor in playing more of this game solo. While the decisions are a beast to choose, the game has you challenging Roy in populating Troyes while fending off any brutes and forces per round. An interesting dice-drafting mechanic that I hope to get another play of again soon.

And that's it! What do you have in YOUR 2017 Challenge list?

[In the next article, there will be a FIRST QUARTER progress! What games got played? What games continue to be ignored? FIND OUT NEXT TIME, SAME GAMERITIS TIME, SAME GAMERITIS CHANNEL!]
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