A month and a half ago I bought Runebound to add a game to my collection. The intent was to use it both for solo play and when people come over. So far I have only tried it solo, and am positively surprised.
It seems solo playable games have been a growing thing at the moment. After listening to Uncle Atom’s and Wargamer: Fritz’ takes on the subject I wanted to dip my toes into this. I like my boardgames, so an addition was welcome too. Right now apart from friendship breakers like Monopoly and Risk I only have a few mini games and Mice and Mystics. (Actually there’s no “only” about Mice and Mystics, it’s just sort of bookmarked for special occasions as the story is so intriguing.)
I had been drooling at Zombicide a while, Black Plague to be specific, and was almost going for that for a moment. Silver Tower was also a very close one, but in the end I wanted to see more than just GWs stuff. Runebound was one of the games I came back to, and in the end I found it to be quite cheap compared to, e.g. Zombicide, the nature of the game also lets on a broader set of scenarios than Zombicide (depending of course on how wild expansion designers dare be). Runebound also allows for a deeper fluff experience as you can combine different games to expand your impression of the universe.
So far I have played five games all by myself (without Eric Carmening it too badly) and I am enjoying deeply. I have only been facing Margrath the dragon with four different heroes but they all seem different enough to warrant quite different game styles. I started with the fightier characters, with a more apparent approach and the wizards elude me a bit – giving me an initial thought of depth after cursing that the game was too easy for solo play. With only five games at hand it might be just down to luck. (Multiplayer games I project to be very hard.)
The big surprise for me is how relaxing it is.
While setting up and pushing through a game takes around 60-90 minutes: That’s including all distractions caused by hares in the flat. But sitting there rolling dice and trying to play both enemies well and getting your hero to the point where you can take down the arch villain takes you very far away. It’s also very different from sitting and painting – I get almost that cosy relaxed feeling I get from plowing through a good book two hours straight. Right now that exact feeling has been a hit.
Do you solo play boardgames? What’s your impression of it?