Thematic Solitaires for the Spare Time Challenged

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2014 Best Thematic Solitaire for the Spare Time Challenged – The Verdict

Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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We have a winner.

18 nominated games entered the arena and after ten days of voting only one is left standing. It rose head and shoulders above the others and didn’t just beat them, but stomped them into the ground and can now call itself the 2014 Best Thematic Solitaire for the Spare Time Challenged.


Before getting started I’ll briefly recap the criteria for the nomination and voting for this prize:

1 The game must be thematic.
2 Only the game’s qualities as a solo game should be considered.
3 Only the parts of the game that are playable within an hour should be considered.

And they’re off

At 14:14 (CET) on the 22nd, five minutes after the voting post went live, the first four games were off to a start:

Myth
Samurai Spirit
VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game
Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game

Of course with just one vote for each, it was still too early to tell much about the final result. Things didn’t stand still for long. At 14:23 two games were starting to pull ahead, but still just by a very small number of votes:

1 Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game (4 votes)
2 Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game (3 votes)
3 Lagoon: Land of Druids (1 vote)
3 Myth (1 vote)
3 Samurai Spirit (1 vote)
3 Tiny Epic Defenders (1 vote)
3 VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game (1 vote)

At this point I hadn’t voted myself, but my favorite was Mound Builders, which no one had voted for. The second game I was rooting for was Onirim (second edition), which while in my opinion not that thematic is still one of my favorite games, also had no votes.

12 minutes later that had changed though and both games were charging ahead.

1 Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game (5 votes)
2 Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game (4 votes)
3 Mound Builders (3 votes)
3 Onirim (second edition) (3 votes)
5 Lagoon: Land of Druids (2 votes)
5 Myth (2 votes)
5 Tiny Epic Defenders (2 votes)

Onirim continued its sprint and at 14:51 Legendary, Onirim, and Warfighter was sharing the lead at 5 votes. The next sprinter was Lagoon, and at 15:37 the top five was:

1 Lagoon: Land of Druids (7 votes)
1 Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game (7 votes)
1 Onirim (second edition) (7 votes)
1 Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game (7 votes)
5 Mound Builders (4 votes)
5 VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game (4 votes)

At this point it seemed that we would have a four horse race with everyone else left in the dust, and VivaJava was racing to push my favorite out of the top five. Things were about to change, and by the evening Lagoon had stumbled and risked being swallowed up by the pack, while Warfighther had pulled ahead.

1 Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game (22 votes)
2 Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game (17 votes)
3 Onirim (second edition) (12 votes)
4 Lagoon: Land of Druids (9 vote)
5 Mound Builders (8 votes)
5 Shadowrun: Crossfire (8 votes)
5 Tiny Epic Defenders (8 votes)

At this point 121 users had given their votes, which was about two thirds of the votes given in the vote for 2013’s best thematic solitaire for the spare time challenged, so one might have guessed that most of the votes had been given at this point.

When I got up the next morning Warfighter’s lead was getting more commanding.

1 Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game (40 votes)
2 Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game (21 votes)
3 Onirim (second edition) (19 votes)
4 Shadowrun: Crossfire (14 votes)
5 Lagoon: Land of Druids (12 vote)
5 Mound Builders (12 votes)

At this point I was starting to conclude that Warfighter would win, but the rest of the placements were still up for grabs. Lagoon had continued its fall and Shadowrun: Crossfire had taken its place as number four, while Onirim was catching up to Legendary.

When I got up the next morning Warfighter had raced ahead and left all the others look like they were standing still and at this point it had just over one third of the total votes.

1 Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game (93 votes)
2 Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game (28 votes)
3 Onirim (second edition) (25 votes)
4 Mound Builders (17 votes)
4 Shadowrun: Crossfire (17 votes)

Lagoon had finally bitten the dust and Mound Builders had caught up to Shadowrun, while Onirim was trying to do the same to Legendary. By the end, however, both of my darlings lost their battle and the final result was:

d10-0d10-1 Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game (109 votes)
d10-0d10-2 Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game (34 votes)
d10-0d10-3 Onirim (second edition) (26 votes)
d10-0d10-4 Shadowrun: Crossfire (21 votes)
d10-0d10-5 Mound Builders (17 votes)
d10-0d10-5 Myth (17 votes)
d10-0d10-7 Lagoon: Land of Druids (14 vote)
d10-0d10-8 Tiny Epic Defenders (11 votes)
d10-0d10-8 VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game (11 vote)
d10-1d10-0 Hapsburg Eclipse (10 votes)
d10-1d10-0 Pandemic: The Cure (10 votes)
d10-1d10-2 Heroes Wanted (9 votes)
d10-1d10-2 Run, Fight, or Die! (9 votes)
d10-1d10-2 Samurai Spirit (9 votes)
d10-1d10-5 The Cards of Cthulhu (4 votes)
d10-1d10-6 Blocky Mountains (2 votes)
d10-1d10-7 The South Shall Rise Again (1 votes)
d10-1d10-8 The Red Dragon's Lair (0 votes)

With 109 out of 314 votes Warfighter was head and shoulders above the rest and this result together with the praise I’ve heard about it made me pull the trigger a couple of days ago, and right now it’s hopefully making it’s way from the UK to my house in Denmark.

So a huge gratz from me to designer Dan Verssen and his company DVG. Personally I’m rather pleased to see a small company that seems to be run by enthusiasts take the prize.

Happy new year everyone
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