Played a whole bunch of different games since the Oath post, some old some new.
A few highlights
A really nice co-op game, based on the book. The idea is that you band of dwarves have to (really)work together to complete a number of quests (depending on game difficulty) before re-forging an epic sword and defeating the final quest (one of three, depending on the board status). The snag is that you need to balance moving forward with the quest pile and completing side adventures, because of threats - if you complete a quest whilst there are un-eliminated threats in play, there are major penalties. The components are really nice quality and the other good thing about it is the spawn mechanism for enemies - these covert hexes into dangerous territory once 5 accumulate in any one space, and they then cascade onwards (a bit reminiscent of how enemies leapfrog each other in Andor if you don't keep a careful watch on the punch points). Your team only have 3 or 4 HP so they need to do some side-questing to get some items to help out. Quite a high degree of randomness with spawn levels and Quest draws.
This is one of two sets and includes the more esoteric civilisations, which I thought would be more interesting to play. This is probably correct, but it's also more challenging. It's a card management game, with some clever ways to let you temporarily ("garrison") or permanently park cards (into your history) you don't wish to have in your active deck. I've been playing solo and it's a real beauty - simple table-based mechanic but fairly brutal, because there is an automatic fail state, and critically with a distinctive play style for each of the civilisations I've encountered so far. Really chewy but possible to improve. Fairly lengthy.
The app driven game from Lucky Duck which sees you choose one of three characters to play, the aim being to achieve one of your two destinies before your competitors (or to simply achieve it playing solo). The hook here is that you can't die or lose health - you only lose time. The character destines may take the form of fighting monsters (the most straightforward), collecting and doing something with some items (tricky since who knows where these will be?) or gaining supporters by helping folk out - (intermediate difficulty). The gameplay consists of moving around a medieval village setting talking to NPCs or examining points of interest, and then testing versus three skills - strength, intelligence and awareness /cunning . You never know in advance how difficult the tests are or what the risks/rewards might be. Experience from success is used to lower your status (to ensure more success in future). As you progress, the world may change, NPCs move around, and some interactions may not be possible. The climax to each scenario has you undertaking a multi-part challenge, sometimes requiring you to assign roles to your followers.
I've completed the intro and the first 3 scenarios, but in the last one, which was going totally Diablo-esque batshit crazy, I hit a bug.
Really refreshing to play, just wish solo players could select a more generous time limit as a third option.
Chronicles of crime 1400
This sees you investigate cases of murder and disappearance in medieval Paris. A clever system of exploring the crime scene and linking places with objects (evidence) and people. Unfortunately the final case imposes a tight time limit (maybe the others have limits, just never reached them). Need more work on final 2 cases.
Tales of Arabian Nights
Wow! I assume this is one of the ur story book games. The idea is simple - assume one of the legends from the tales (Ali Baba, Sinbad, Scheheradze etc), travel round the world and have encounters, whilst trying to complete personal quests. Competitively you would win by being the first to reach 20 points of Destiny + Story telling (rewards from encounters and quests). In solo you can make your own rules.
Mechanically you are doing a 3 stage look up for each encounter card drawn:
1 - you roll against the 12 point table specified on the card, to specify what you find
2- you determine your reaction to this (roll playing helps, you may be constrained)
3 - you roll a custom die to determine the final paragraph of the story book to read -1/-/+1, the -1 seemingly giving disadvantageous results. This paragraph might further specify different options depending on skills held. So if you have weapons skills you may succeed in combat, as a simple example.
I chose Sinbad, decided he had to start the game with Seafaring and Weapon skills (+1 I forget), and set off, heeding the Call of the Wild We swash buckled around a bit until we made the mistake of drinking from the Dark River in a forest in Northern Europe. This water must have very strange properties since it converted us into a giant Ape. Oh, well, we could still swing a sword, even with our feet. We then got into more difficulties, because we retained our essential nature and chucking coconuts at the Glass Palace earned us a spell in the clink - fortunately we had a kind jailor and earned Courtly Manners. Further complications ensued when we offended a powerful Efreet and underwent an involuntary sex change. Never mind. We got excited when we visited the Palace of the 100 Closets, and we became Envious which was a little problematic - no stealing or deception skill meant we suffered for our greed. So, we went on Pilgrimage, became Pious and discarded Envious, but discovered that praying in the face of a massive storm simply drives one insane. And so on....
Seriously, the skills and statuses in this are incredible. In future I'm just going to play 20/30/40 encounters, and see how things develop, keeping a record of achievements (numbers of skills, quests, treasures, extremes of wealth etc).
Also, Sanctum solo mode (spoiler, it's good!), Andor (always love/ hate with this one), Path of the Adventurers (KS dungeon dive with an interesting fatigue mechanic and variable formatted battlegrounds), Sleeping Gods (mega successful run earning 10 totems), Bargain Quest, Veilwraith (ugh).
I'm also wrestling with how to re-work another KS game - Legends of Novus and as a part of that how to define success or failure in the context of a solo game.