Update on Injawara

I just got Injawara going again, so let’s see what I can do with this game. I’m going to take the game nice and slowly. Each action will have its own paragraph as I carefully plot this out. So right from the start, there’s two challenges needed to be solved. If I’m gonna Sophie’s Choice this, I’m going to tackle the HIV/AIDs problem first.

I get a question regarding Malaria and I answer wrongly… Huh, could have sworn it had decreased in the last few decades. With the maternity problem now on the doom clock, I decide to tackle that next. Thankfully, I managed to answer correctly. Doing so unlocks Education’s special power. I then get another question about HIV/AIDs which I also answer correctly.

Now I must start moving the resources around to solve more challenges. Unfortunately, I fail to answer several questions about education, even using the powerup I got. I use another powerup to buy myself some time to answer more education questions. Thankfully I managed to answer the next question. I then began to answer questions willy-nilly before I failed each one.

So far, I am having fun and learning more about the situation at the same time. I do like a bit of foresight on the developers’ part. One of the questions asks “what is the most deadliest year in terms of international conflicts” and one of the options is 2001. People are bound to pick that without having studied the topic because of the infamous War on Terror kicking off in 2001. And yet, spoilers, it’s not the correct answer. That’s clever.

I soon managed to solve the problems of all eight regions in the game and won with a hefty 227 points. That said, I couldn’t play the game again. But, I managed to play it again and beaten it. That’s all that matters.

Dark Agent: Trial and Error By Fire

So after Injawara flopped, I had to play the next soloable game on Board Game Arena and pray that the infrastructure was better made than Injawara. This game is called Dark Agent, and like before, I will play three times: the first being an initial look at how to play, the second is after learning how to play, and then a third and final play.

After picking an agency and color, I begin the game. Most of the first game is spent swapping satellites and clicking on wherever columns my satellites are on. I got a good idea on what I need to do for the game, namely to take out the opposing spies and earn points that way. Graphics are pretty good looking. I really like the detail and the aesthetic of the game.

Thankfully I found a video educating me on how to play the game in under five minutes. The thing I got wrong is that I won’t be fighting opposing spies, but rather terrorists. Other than that, it seems like I got the right idea with the satellites, so I try again. My second attempt is somewhat better, though I had trouble trying to actually pick a fight with the terrorists.

My third and final attempt at this game had me lose again, but I finally managed to get the hang of the game, for a little bit. This is a pretty advanced game and it’s gonna take a while for me to learn solo. I decide to go for a fourth game where I manage to get a better understanding of how to play, even getting my agents on the map and taking out a bunch of people in one go. I still lost, but I got more than 9 points so that’s okay with me. It’s not as straightforward as Thermopyles, but it’s something.

Okay, screw it, one last game after watching another video on the game. I tried one more time, perhaps with the most understanding of how to play that I had, and I lost, but I lost with twelve points and was able to nab a powerup for three points. After the sixth game, I finally managed to get the hang of the game and managed to get up to thirty points in the process thanks to recognizing how to put spies on the map, how to best grab the Aims (the objectives of the game), and what I need to knock the bad guys off the board.

Overall, this game was much more enjoyable than having to get Injawara to work. Hell, I can even say it’s kinda addicting. I swore to play three games, and yet I played twice that because I learned something new each time I played and got better. This game is a good example of learning how to play firsthand with only two gameplay videos. Hell, I can say this is more enjoyable than Thermopyles.

With that, I am done for the day. Bon Voyage, gamers.

Injawara: The OneShot of Board Games

So, I’m going to do another solo game on Board Game Arena. This time, it’s going to be a game I never touched: Injawara. I have no idea how to play the game, so I will tackle the game at least three times. The first time will be blind, the second time will be with knowledge on the rules, and then the third time being a final “I know everything now” game.

Alright, so the look of the board when I began play looks very amazing and detailed. Looking at the resources I need to move and the eventual challenge pieces I have been given, this game looks at third world country problems, such as child mortality and AIDs. The mechanics indicate a co-op game akin to Pandemic, where you all play against the board, hence why the game is soloable. An interesting mechanic is that to solve a problem, you must answer a trivia question regarding the challenge at hand. As I began to understand the situation, I get hit with a game over.

Now I’m going to look at the rules and see how much I got right and what I need to do overall to beat the game. So, I was correct that this was a co-op game and that it plays like Pandemic, only instead of it being a disease ravaging the world, it’s third world country problems ravaging the third world. So, with that idea in mind and knowing what I can do to fix the problems, I try again.

Unfortunately, it appears the game doesn’t want to load for me. Despite loading it again and again, it doesn’t fully load and allow me to play. I tried just one more time, but I got locked out. And I know it’s this game in particular because I opened up Thermopyles thrice and got it going just fine. What a poor case of programming. And unfortunately, that is where I’m going to have to end Injawara. Because for some reason, Board Game Arena just doesn’t want me to play it. There seems to be only one way to fix it and that’s by going into Hotseat mode, but the second time I tried, Board Game Arena conveniently made it a premium feature. So, yeah, it’s as though I am not allowed to play this game again and I’m pretty frustrated and disappointed at Board Game Arena. This game gets so little Google search results that I’m convinced it’s a game that time forgot. At this rate, playing Cactus Solo would be a better use of my time than trying to get this to work. Because at least that I can play!

Maybe Injawara is supposed to be played this way. You only have one chance to save the world. You fail? Too bad. It won’t fix itself. Damn… Legacy Games don’t even have that claim to fame since you can always just buy another board game or use a Virtual Tabletop. Perhaps it’ll be fixed one day, and I’ll return to it with a fresher perspective. Until then though, I’m just gonna assume that I had destroyed a world because of my experimental playing.

The bottom line: game is interesting, just wished I can play it some more.

I’ll get a different game going in just a bit.

Tomb Voyager

So, I’ve been enjoying Geek Gamers’ videos and, recently, Geek Gamers released rules for a solo game of Tomb Raider. I tend to experiment with solo options and one of my very first sessions was based around testing out my own Solo Rules (on top of testing out rules for a Pathfinder solo campaign), so I decided to play the rules. You can read up on them here and you can hear about it from the creator of the rules herself here.

So, I’m gonna be using the premiere card set for this game to start off with understanding the rules. Using all six card sets (the three canon and the three fanmade ones) would create a night of me sorting through the sets, something that my experiments with Once Upon A Mythic Time has taught me can get tedious if you decide to use more than one set. Besides, the game tells me that an average difficulty is about twenty location cards and given how my idea for my location deck is all the Tomb cards mixed with the generic cards, that leads to about 25 cards. Another reason may be that the expansions have different rules to play with. For instance, Slippery When Wet, the second card set, mentions something about “oxygen rules”, which heavily implies a new rule.

Speaking of rules, I decided to locate the rules for the vanilla game just so that I can use it as reference in case the solo rules don’t tell me anything. Now, funny enough, the vanilla game has its own solitaire rules, but it’s not as expansive as the one I’m using. And so, we begin our game by shuffling every deck thrice and picking out my character at random. I pull out Lara Croft the Spelunker and my game begins. Continue reading

Onirim Review

So Tabletop Day is approaching us, which means I should get around to doing some solo board gaming. Now, it may be cheating to use a Steam game for this, as it’s pretty cheap to just launch a game, play against computers and say “hey, I’m solo playing!”, which is why I never talk about Roguelikes despite having a collection of them.

But this game in particular is very notable and I just can’t let it pass by me. Onirim is a game that is explicitly solitaire. Its Steam version is free to play and the expansions are dirt cheap. But what is this game about? How do you play?

Well, it’s a card game where you must unlock eight to thirteen doors by matching three colored Location Cards. Now, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, as there are many complications to this, ranging from playing the cards in a way where the symbols on the upper left corner don’t match, the occasional Nightmare Card that you draw that forces you to hamper yourself in some way if you don’t have a Key Card, and drawing cards that all have the same symbol.

You do get some help with this in the form of the Key Card. On top of being a Get Out Of Nightmare Free Card and being able to automatically unlock a door provided you draw it and it’s the same color as the key, you can also discard the card to get a peek at the top five cards, rearrange them in any order you wish, and discard one of them… But that’s all the help you can get. Personally, the expansions add to the gameplay experience, since they give you more variety in play options. The Glyphs expansion add a new kind of card called Glyphs which, not only adds one more symbol so that you have a little more breathing room, but like the Key, draws the top five cards, but puts them at the bottom and if there’s a door, automatically opens it. Another expansion adds two new kinds of cards: Crossroads give you multicolored cards that you can use for any row of cards while Dead Ends are just that: dead cards that you can’t discard on their own and need something else to discard it, namely a Nightmare Card to discard your entire hand. Lastly there’s the Door To The Omniverse expansion which adds a multi-colored door to the mix while also adding Denizen Cards which, at the cost of discarding a card, will be added to your arsenal and will help you do things you wouldn’t normally do, such as being able to play the another symbol in a row, trading one location card for another, or being a Get Out Of Nightmare Free Card.

Overall, the game is engaging, and I recommend playing it at least once. I will say that this game definitely requires some card counting if you want to be really good at the game, but thankfully the game does help you somewhat by counting how many cards are in the discard and how many Nightmares and Dead Ends are still in the deck. It is very hard to master and win, I will admit, but once you win for the first time, it will feel satisfying. Go ahead and check it out.

Battle of Thermopyles

My apologies for not doing a lot of solo gaming this month, but rest assured, there’s a good reason for it.

When I was doing my Chainmail campaign, I didn’t realize the rules I was using were so archaic that I had trouble understanding it. To remedy this, I took the base of those rules and units and converted them into new, simplified rules so that it can make playing easier.

Basically I took what I did in the first session and expanded it into its own ruleset that I’ll probably publish if the interest is there.

But sadly, this has eaten a chunk of time that I could have spent working on the campaign for SGAM. Thus, I decided to make up for it by doing a Solo Boardgaming Voyage. The game this time? Thermopyles. Historians might be familiar with the word, but for those who don’t, allow me to briefly sum up what this game’s about.

You are Leonidas, leader of three hundred Spartans against a massive horde of invading Persians. The last stand is over at Thermopyles, which is where the game’s name comes in. Thus, game’s objective is fairly simple: beat the Persians. With that in mind, let’s begin.

So after playing a refresher game, I am now able to tell how the game is played. The overall idea is to play cards and match or exceed the number that the Persian cards have. Exceeding by a ton is a good thing. The game is played over seven rounds. Unfortunately, I spent half those rounds running from a threat I couldn’t beat.

This is a game of keeping resources, something I have a hard time doing. I either keep burning Support (which adds a D6 to the number your Spartan has) or the Persians have such strong cards. There was one time where I nearly won, getting the Persians down to their last two cards, but I had such weak Spartans that I couldn’t even beat them.

Thermopyles is one of those games I can’t stop replaying. I blame the fact that I play a lot of Roguelikes and every time I die, I just get a strong resolve to play again just to make sure I win. Eventually I created a strategy where, if I have low cards, I just retreat to a Round where I can get a free Support, so that I might spend my own Support to bolster the numbers.

In the end, however, it boils down to picking a low-number Spartan and hoping my dice land on a 6. However, after many trials and tribulations, I managed to conquer the Persian fleet and felt extreme reward for beating the Persians.

I really like this game. It’s quick, easy to understand, and while hard, it’s not to the point where you can get frustrated. Best of all, you can play the game for free on Board Game Arena, so give it a try if you like the idea of this game.

Well, bon voyage for now. I’ll definitely get to work on that Chainmail Campaign soon.

I’m the King of Tokyo!

Alright, so today, I’m actually going to play King of Tokyo solo, as promised a while back. Why King of Tokyo? Well, it’s a very simplistic game and perfect to test out this Solo System. This was actually the key inspiration to why I even decided to spin off into Solo Boardgame and Solo Wargame Voyages, since there’s solitaire options for both that I needed to explore before I dive back into RPGs.

So, after a brief refresher of the rules from Wil Wheaton, I get the game ready with the assistance of the Solo System. I’ll play this game as the Space Penguin and I’ll face off the bonus characters that didn’t come with evolution cards, so that I could simplify the game. Time for me to flip over the dominant personalities of my opponents!

Unfortunately, most of them get “Same As Last”. Except for one, who rolled the Specialist. However, I am willing to interpret the two as best as I can. One of the opponents aims to obtain fan points by rolling instead of conquering Tokyo, while another will merely aim to take over Tokyo whenever they have the chance. The Specialist, however, will aim to obtain Energon Cubes (I like to call them these…). Continue reading

Cards Against Humanity Solo: You Laugh, You Lose!

So, I decided to broaden my horizons and play a solo board game instead of an RPG. The reason for this is me getting Tabletop Simulator, which allows me to play board games without having to actually clear the table to get the game out, and then have the board game lay around while I type out the play-by-play commentary.

Originally, I was gonna play King of Tokyo with the assistance of a solo card system to emulate another player, but I’m instead gonna play Cards Against Humanity. Why? Because I am contractually obligated to play it.


As you can see with the messy haired man in the leather suit holding said contract and the fairy-tale themed sample cards, we’re playing a different deck, with cards based around the TV show Once Upon A Time (not to be confused with the card game). That said, however, the two sample combinations are hilarious enough with our without the show’s context.

And this inspired me to make a solo game out of Cards Against Humanity. The rules are pretty rough draft, so bare with me on this. You draw a Black Card face up, then flip a White Card face up. If the combination makes you laugh, you put the two cards to one side of a table where their points will add. If you don’t laugh, however, you put only the white card to the opposite side where their points will subtract. If you go through five white cards without a single one making you laugh, you then get to put the black card to the “didn’t laugh” side.

At the end of the game (when either deck runs out of cards), you tally up the points. Cards you laughed at add while cards you didn’t laugh at subtract. White cards are worth one point whereas black cards are worth two. The aim is to get the lowest amount of points possible. Alright, everyone got that? Good. Let’s begin!

Continue reading