Roger's SoloCastleCon
Roger S
United States
Naperville
Illinois
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One theme that always draws me in is Medieval castles, knights, and kings. And I've always been fascinated by castles. I've never been to a real one - hopefully someday. I have a book with lots of cool pictures of the castles of Italy. That's where I would start. So I looked at my collection, thought about some newer games I'd like to play (Rurik: Dawn of Kiev came this past week and Paladins of the West Kingdom needs to get back to the table) and thought this would be a good theme.

And, with this coronavirus threat, I know some of you may be voluntarily or involuntarily holing yourselves up in your own castles, fending off the siege of the rapidly spreading contagion. I've been under the weather this week and spent two days working from home, went in for about half a day yesterday, and decided again today that it's best to stay home. So this little apartment is my castle.

What is a castle for the purposes of this SoloCon? Well, of course a walled city with towers would count as a true castle. But I'm going to stretch the definition to also allow structures like towers and keeps. If it's a defensive building made of stone, it counts. Or some games, like Paladins, just has a castle wall you're building.

If you don't have any games that fit the bill, feel free to continue campaigning from the last SoloCon. Or maybe you're new and want to revisit one of the older themes. That's always okay.

Scoring:
A 1 point for every game that features some kind of castle, keep, or tower
B 1 point if your game also has kings, queens, and/or knights
C 2 points for every game that came from your shelf of shame (ie. unplayed as a solo game) (Exception: If you have owned the game 30 days or less, score only 1 point for this category.)
-OR-
C 1 point for a "shelf of shame" expansion (same 30 day exception - 1/2 point awarded)
-OR-
C 1 point if this game hasn't been played for a year or more
D 1 point for every game that I also have in my collection (link)
E 2 points if the game has a win/lose condition and you win. If there is no official win condition, but you scored what you consider a personal win, take the points.
F 2 points if you stormed a castle and took it over. (Or otherwise defeated it.)
G 1 point if the castle in your game represents a real historical castle.
H 3 points if you've been to a real castle and share your story. I'd love to see pics!

Remember, there are no rules about when you have to stop playing or posting. The next SoloCon is going to be Mar 27, so feel free to post until then. Or beyond. I love seeing old SoloCons get new comments or items added.

Please subscribe to Roger's SoloCon SUBSCRIPTION THREAD
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1. Board Game: Copycat [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1568]
Board Game: Copycat
Roger S
United States
Naperville
Illinois
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Quote the first comment and copy and paste it into your entry for an easy scoring template.
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2. Board Game: Crypt [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1696]
Board Game: Crypt
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
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So funny you picked that theme,and I play this little gem at breakfast. There is a king,but he is dead. Such a shame... Time to go looting my father's crypt!!

A 1 CASTLE(S) - not really
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS -yes,dead king,so that makes me prince(ss)
C 2 SHELF OF SHAME GAME -played it lots of times
-OR-
C 1 SHELF OF SHAME EXPANSION
-OR-
C 1 1Y+ OF SHAME
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION - no. Do I need to spend more of your money
E 2 WIN -errrrmh,my father's ghost was angry
F 2 CONQUERED - no
G 1 REAL CASTLE - no
H 3 CASTLE VISIT -ahem:

When I went with my aunt to Wales, we lived a tiny stone's throw away from Conwy castle. Needless to say,we visited the castle (though it was a ruin), at least twice, and I walked the city walls many times. It was a great experience!!

4VP

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I don't really like to brag,but it's my birthday today. Thanks for bringing forth such a great theme, Roger! I am already planning a few games!
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3. Board Game: Count of Nine [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:9041]
Board Game: Count of Nine
Scott Allen Czysz
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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First time caller, long time listener.

I've followed these solocons for a while, but never felt like I could contribute much. But then I saw castles, and thought "finally!".

Then I started looking for a castle game, and it was harder than I thought, surprisingly, finally having to dig out one of my own designs. But, I did it, I found a castle:
From gallery of Narrow Gate Games

All building images from this game are from the "Nuremberg Chronicle", published a few years ago in 1493.
External image


I've had to dust this game off. It's been a while since I have played it, but it was nice to come back to. The game is a 9 card euro game (no cubes, no dice, no board), 2 games makes a match.

Game 1, I built the Castle:
From gallery of Narrow Gate Games


Game 2, I didn't build much, so it wasn't a high scoring match:
From gallery of Narrow Gate Games



A 1 CASTLE(S) >>>YES = 1
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS
C 2 SHELF OF SHAME GAME
-OR-
C 1 SHELF OF SHAME EXPANSION
-OR-
C 1 1Y+ OF SHAME
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION >>> YES = 1
E 2 WIN
F 2 CONQUERED
G 1 REAL CASTLE >> YES = 1 (but I'm not sure which real castle)
H 3 CASTLE VISIT >>> YES = 1

So, 6 VPs (unless each castle story counts as 1 VP)

A few years ago, for our 25th wedding anniversary, my wife and I went on a North Sea cruise, and the next year, my wife had to go to Scotland for work, so I tagged along. So, in those two trips we saw, visited, and stepped foot in several castles. For those who have never been to Europe, the cathedrals are just as impressive.

OK, onto the stories:

St. Michael's Mount, England:
From gallery of Narrow Gate Games

Built on an island that you can (and do) walk to during low tide. More of a mansion than a castle, but very cool.

In London, may actually have been a prison(?), but looks like a castle:
From gallery of Narrow Gate Games


Dunnottar Castle (ruins) in Scotland:
From gallery of Narrow Gate Games

Looks like a tough one to attack in its day.

Also walked around Stirling Castle in Scotland and saw Edinbough castle from a distance:
From gallery of Narrow Gate Games


I could go on. So many fond memories. Thanks for bringing these memories back to me.


OK, one more, again, more of a mansion than a castle, but it looks cool, and is another great memory: me, with a Harris's Hawk landing on my hand at a very cool falconry experience in Scotland:
From gallery of Narrow Gate Games

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4. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:736] [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game
David Raley
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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For this SoloCon, I decided to pick up where I left off the previous Con: Castle Ravenloft.

I decided to run the next adventure in the set: "Blood and Fog." As this adventure has more exploration than the previous (and features a mad dash at the end), I decide to go with Throgrim for healing and Allisa for speed and exploration.

The dice were quite hot during this run and I can’t recall a single occasion where the monsters missed an attack roll. It didn’t help that this adventure stacks the encounter deck with some rather nasty cards (not that there are many nice cards in the encounter deck).

I did manage to get the zombie dragon in an isolated location and find a good location for the stairs, which meant that all I had to do was run quickly to find the exit. Naturally, Allisa did just that. Alas, she left a wraith behind that sucked the life out of Thorgrim within sight of the exit. Castle Ravenloft claims another victim.

As for a visit to a castle, there aren’t many of those on this side of the pond. The only one I recall visiting was Belvedere Castle in Central Park in Manhattan. I was heading from Penn Station to 92nd Street and decided to walk rather than take the subway system. This naturally took me through Central Park and right by the castle.

There are two things I remember from the visit. The first was that this is the location of the Manhattan weather station (when they give a temperature for Central Park, they mean Belvedere Castle). The other was that I noticed that they were preparing cannons nearby. No, they weren’t preparing to lay siege to the castle. Instead, they were preparing a ceremony in memory of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

After leaving the castle, I resumed my journey and found myself at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As I was moving through the museum’s labyrinthine galleries, I heard a blast from a cannon. I wonder what I would have thought if I hadn’t just been to Belvedere Castle and seen the preparations for the ceremony. I’m sure they don’t fire off cannons in Central Park every day.

A 1 CASTLE – It’s in the title
H 3 CASTLE VISIT – Belvedere

Game total: 4 Cumulative Total: 4
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5. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:14]
Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy
Amy Bills
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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I played a homemade copy of the 10th Solo expansion. Things were pretty slow in the early rounds. I wasn’t optimistic about my chances to fill the board. I came so close! Only 2 empty spaces!

From gallery of bills933
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6. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:14]
Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
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I played this with the solo expansion I obtained from a GeekMarket a few months ago. And finally I got around to sit down to play it! Yes, I need to learn the rules some more. For being such an important game in my collection, it has been gathering dust on my shelf of shame, and I believe this was the very first time this copy has been played.........EVER.....

A 1 CASTLE(S)YES
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS NOT SURE...
C 2 SHELF OF SHAME GAME BIG OL` YES
-OR-
C 1 SHELF OF SHAME EXPANSION
-OR-
C 1 1Y+ OF SHAME
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION YES
E 2 WIN I LOST
F 2 CONQUERED NO
G 1 REAL CASTLE yeeees....?
H 3 CASTLE VISIT YES

Staying in Wales my aunt and I left Conwy to make some travels to other sites. One of them was Caernarfon castle. We had some time in Caernarfon before taking a train trip (first class) on a steam engine train, over Snowdonia and all. My aunt let me loose in the castle, as she had already visited it, and I got to roam freely around the castle. It was very nice to look at all the rooms, walk the halls, take in the sights. How amazing!

8VP
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7. Board Game: Crown of Emara [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:852]
Board Game: Crown of Emara
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
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This is a very first play for me on this game. A lot of new rules to learn. But with the whole stuff going around in Norway, and I have some vacation now, I might have to revisit this game a few more times during the next week.

A 1 CASTLE(S) YES
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS YES
C 2 SHELF OF SHAME GAME YES
-OR-
C 1 SHELF OF SHAME EXPANSION
-OR-
C 1 1Y+ OF SHAME
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION NO
E 2 WIN NO
F 2 CONQUERED NO
G 1 REAL CASTLE NO
H 3 CASTLE VISIT YES

While I studied in Bergen I lived at the biggest student center of the city. Close by there was a small castle, one that the royal family of Norway sometimes use. One late evening, in the dark, me and some friends decided to walk to the castle. We knew the royal family wouldn`t be there, so we were not disturbing too much. We trawled the small garden and enjoyed the view of the castle in the dark, before we went back to our home.

7VP
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8. Board Game: Tiny Epic Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1191]
Board Game: Tiny Epic Kingdoms
David Raley
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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For my second game, I decided to pull out Tiny Epic Kingdoms, which I haven’t played for a long while. On top of this, I decided to add the content for Hero’s Call. The main reason for using the expansion was that it included content that fit the Con’s theme better than the base game.

The expansion included two relevant new rules: heroes and war towers. I found the rules for heroes to be interesting, but the war tower rules slowed the dummy player’s tower development significantly, which made the game a little bit too easy. As such, I plan to use only the heroes in my next play. The only reason I used them in this run was to satisfy the “castle, keep, or tower” line in the scoring.

I played the Lizardfolk while the dummy played the Dwarves. For my heroes, I played the Knight, the Engineer, and the Necromancer (all retired). For final scoring:

• Retired 3 heroes: 9 points to 0 (the dummy doesn’t use heroes)
• I finished with a tower in the opposing territory: 1 point to 0
• I finished ahead with meeples in play: 5 points to 2
• The dummy did better in the research track: 3 points to 4
• The dummy had more towers in play: 2 points to 4
• Neither of us occupied a capital city at the end

Total score: 20 to 10. If we were not using the war tower rules, I think the dwarves would have completed the tower track, which would have made the score 19 to 16 (assuming the game didn’t end before I could retire the Necromancer).

When Joline mentioned a part with mini-castles, I remembered my visit to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. As this wasn’t a planned outing, we didn’t have time to see everything. Fortunately, the two exhibits I do remember made it well worth the visit: U-505 (a U-boat captured during WWII) and Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle. The castle was assembled from Coleen Moore’s miniatures collection and includes some of the most exquisite miniatures that have ever been made, such as some of the tiniest books ever printed. The exhibit's site is: https://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/exhibits/colle...

A 1 CASTLE(S) – The war towers
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS – I chose the Knight as my first hero
C 1 1Y+ OF SHAME – > year since last play
E 2 WIN - Yes
H 3 CASTLE VISIT – Coleen Moore’s Fairy Castle

Game total: 8 Cumulative Total: 12
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9. Board Game: Rurik: Dawn of Kiev [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:1506]
Board Game: Rurik: Dawn of Kiev
Roger S
United States
Naperville
Illinois
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Well, as I mentioned, I've been sick all week, and even though I felt better today, I still just couldn't muster the will to set this game up. I've read through the rules and watched part of a video and I think I'm ready to go...but then I don't set it up. I also have the last episode of Scythe: The Rise of Fenris sitting over there waiting for me to play and then put away. Haven't done that either.

What I HAVE done, though, and it fits well into the theme - is watch a lot of Game of Thrones. When this first came out, I decided to read the books before seeing the show. (When I say "read", I usually mean "listen to audiobooks.") I got through 3 or 4 books and kinda started losing interest. The show kept going and everyone kept raving about it. (Until the final season, I understand.) So, here I am in 2020, one of the few remaining people that has never seen the show. I subscribed to HBO Now and I'm now halfway through season 2 and really enjoying it. (That's part of why I haven't set up Rurik. I sit here staring at the TV instead of setting the game up.)

I did also set out to punch and organize the game. (It's brand new.) Much to my surprise, all the pieces either came in their own bag or in nice custom storage trays. There was NOTHING to punch. The only thing I did in terms of organizing, was take the shrink off a deck of mini cards and split them into 3 decks according to their backs and rubberband them. Way to go PieceKeeper Games!

I'm not sure at this point if I'm going to work tomorrow or working from home another day. If I WFH, I'll need this table for my laptop and work stuff. Which means I need to either finish Fenris or pack it up!

Update 3/24:
Alright, so I finished up my first game last Thursday, but I'm just writing it up now. I scored it last night and lost by a dismal 15-8. And that was against the easy AI. This is one of those games where it will take a few plays to really grasp the strategy, and I think I'll get killed against other people that are smarter or more strategic than me. I don't have many area control games so it's kind of foreign to me. It's odd also to play a game with such a low scoring scale. It seems most games you score in the 80-150 point range. Not many, except for Loyang, have final scores under 20.

This takes up a bit of space, but the components are beautiful. I sure wish I had the skill and patience to paint the minis, at least the characters. The game is reset and I'll give this another go today. I still have not played that last episode of Fenris, so Scythe is still hogging up my entire 6 foot main gaming table. As you might be able to tell, this is set up on two 2x2 felt boards that I can slide off the table and stash under the couch.

From gallery of schiavonir


The game has strongholds which you can build and shows castles in a couple of the territories, but the cover of the rulebook sure looks like a castle to me!

From gallery of schiavonir


Unfortunately, I have no castle stories, never having been to one...

Maybe I should count all the castles I saw on TV when my kids and I binge watched the extended editions of all 6 Hobbit/LOTR movies this weekend. Helm's Deep, anyone?

Update 3/26:
Game 2 went better than game 1 (don't they always?) and I had a little bit more of an objective in mind. I wanted to get a lot troops out on the board and do some building. I had an agenda card to end the game with the most buildings, which I achieved. One thing I have a hard time remembering to do is update the battle tracker. Final score of this game was 19 for me and 15 for the Level 1 AI. BUT - I'm not entirely sure about that battle tracker. It's possible he was ahead of me, which would have put final scores at a 17 point tie. BUT, the tie break is the player who rules the most territories, which was me! So I'm calling this a win.

It's funny - you know you've had a board game on the table a long time when you order some accessories during your first game and they come while you are playing your second game. I got the plastic player trays and they are really awesome for both storage and game-time organization. And Kirk even intercepted my order and tossed in a surprise gift! Nice folks over there at PieceKeeper Games!

I'm looking forward to breaking this out multiplayer whenever that is safe again. The only problem is our group is typically 4-6 players, so sometimes I *really* want to play a certain 4p game and then dammit, more than 4 people show up!

From gallery of schiavonir
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10. Board Game: Castle Panic [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:988]
Board Game: Castle Panic
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
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Microbadge: I play a little Prince in DeilandMicrobadge: I love solo gaming!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Solo EurogamerMicrobadge: "The time has come, apostle."
It`s been a while since I played this. Boy did I suffer! In the end I managed to win, though. Yay!

A 1 CASTLE(S) YES
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS YES
E 2 WIN YES
H 3 CASTLE VISIT YES

In Croatia my friends and I visited a tiny, rundown castle, just a small ruin. The road to it was washed away, so we had to walk carefully to the castle. We then took time to climb the tiny tower to look over the land. Fun fact about Croatia and bridges. While I am used to bridges over rivers and oceans, they have bridges over valleys filled with forests. And right smack in the middle of the forest you can suddenly see a small castle. There are many tiny castles like that strewn around.

7VP
18VP in all till now.
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11. Board Game: Proving Grounds [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:3811]
Board Game: Proving Grounds
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
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Microbadge: I play a little Prince in DeilandMicrobadge: I love solo gaming!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Solo EurogamerMicrobadge: "The time has come, apostle."
OK, I am bringing this in, because I am the daughter of a queen in this game, AND I won. I actually finished my first foe in two rounds, and after that I was hacking them down left and right. Then I could step onto the throne as the next queen!

B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS
E 2 WIN
H 3 CASTLE VISIT

I am running out of castle stories, and think this is just about the last one, or second to last.

Visiting Berlin when I was 15 on a German study trip, we visited Sanssouci. We didn`t get to go inside the castle, but all around. And that nice, big park by the castle, what a view! It was really worth the trip to get to see such beauty up close. The castle was grand, and we walked all around it, studying the outside facade. A fair opposition to our other sight that made an impact on that trip...

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Sachsenhausen....


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12. Board Game: Villages of Valeria: Deluxe Kickstarter Edition [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Board Game: Villages of Valeria
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
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Another game with a castle in it. And that is just about it. Oh, yeah, a knight stopped by, but he walked away from the Village, it wasn`t appealing enough for him...laugh
I was hoping for King`s Herald, but he was a no show.

A 1 CASTLE(S)
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS
H 3 CASTLE VISIT

Final castle story. I believe it was a castle, or maybe a palace of sorts, I visited in Valencia years ago. We got to walk through the castle at all the displays. I only have vague memories from the visit. At least I remember I got stopped from taking photos, since I hadn`t seen the sign about it.

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13. Board Game: Root [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:34]
Board Game: Root
Chris
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Burnsville
Minnesota
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Played Root again, it's my first game in a while since I've been pre-occupied. Starting to get in a better headspace with all this and buckling down for the long haul for social responsibility's sake...

In this game, the Marquise de Cat are the new rulers of the forest and rule from their keep in a corner of the map. Their goal is to turn the forest into a well oiled industrial machine.

From gallery of ogoctopus


I played the Eyrie, the birds who once ruled the forest and are struggling to take the kingdom back. They have an old royal council and are very set in their ways. They have to perform specific actions in specific order and suit or there is Turmoil!

The woodland alliance is a loose group of woodland critters that are fed up with the fighting of the birds and cats, and just want freedom from the ruling classes.

They spread sympathy and build forts to get their peices on the map, and are guerilla fighters. They can still win a lot of battles even though they are always outnumbered.

From gallery of ogoctopus


I played several rounds gaining ground against the cats, only to have the alliance pop up in my back door. I ended early with the cats bearing down on my one of my last 2 roosts.

A 1 CASTLE(S)
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS (Eyrie)
F 2 CONQUERED (Conquered an alliance fort)
H 3 CASTLE VISIT

I've visited a few castles in England and Scotland. I was very young so I have no idea which they were. I went on a trip from the US to England and Scotland on my way to Turkey when I was 5. Then we went back to the UK when I was 10 with my grandfather. One of my best memories of him, now passed.

Total of 7 for what promises to be a low scoring con for me. I hope to get to some solo gaming soon. The start of this one was my busiest time at work all month and I had a little bit of a rough time with the crud coming to America and hyper-focusing on the news / Reddit. I'm hoping to settle into some more solo gaming and painting quickly.
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14. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:173] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne
Chris
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Burnsville
Minnesota
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Took Roger's advice and tried out Carc Island.

Here's my end state with 49.

From gallery of ogoctopus


I think I have to just go for BYOS since I don't have Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals and it seems to be OOS everywhere.

A 1 CASTLE(S) (Walled City per Roger's ruling)
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS (when the meeple's on a city it's a knight)
C 1 1Y+ OF SHAME (oh yeah!)
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION
E 2 WIN (BYOS first score)
G 1 REAL CASTLE (Southern France)
H 3 CASTLE VISIT


Fort Snelling is about as close as a castle as you can get in Minnesota. Feel free to rule against Roger.
External image


From wikepedia
Quote:
Fort Snelling, originally known as Fort Saint Anthony, is a United States military fortification located at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a National Park Service unit, includes historic Fort Snelling.

The fort is designated as a National Historic Landmark and has been named a "national treasure" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Not as old as what you Euros are posting on but still it's a national treasure. It's a subject in Minnesota history in grade school and was a destination for field trips as a child. I've been back there to the state park and the fort as an adult. I lived less than a mile from there in the early 2010s.

For us, this is really old. It was there in 1805 before the city's infancy in 1867, and now it's surrounded by the Metro Area entirely.

9+8

Total 17
Maybe not so low scoring afterall... now off to my collection to browse for more castle games.
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15. Board Game: Ragusa [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1926]
Board Game: Ragusa
Bryn
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Okay! So I'm finally getting on board with one of the last couple SoloCons. I pulled out Ragusa today and tried to redeem myself after losing in my last game of it.

I like this one. It's not a game that blows me away, but it is definitely unlike any other I have. It's a little bit action selection, a little bit area control, and a little bit resource management. With the added wrinkle that players who have already placed buildings in certain spots get those reactivated when you place one there.

From gallery of Dubious Bryn

Unfortunately, I did not redeem myself—I'm blue and lost by one point! And green was right behind me.

I knew this one would be a tough game from the start—the bots claimed all of the spots around the Cathedral right at the outset, so that was a whole scoring category I wouldn't have access to. I tried to make up for it through trade and wall building, but couldn't quite pull it off.

From gallery of Dubious Bryn

I really like how this one looks on the table.

A 1 CASTLE(S): I think the wall building should count—I'm defending a whole city!
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS
C 2 SHELF OF SHAME GAME
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION
E 2 WIN
F 2 CONQUERED
G 1 REAL CASTLE: It represents the city now known as Dubrovnik, I believe. Which I'd love to visit someday.
H 3 CASTLE VISIT: I'll see about including a castle-esque story in my next entry. Do fortresses count?
TOTAL: 2 points.
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16. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:173] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne
Chris
United States
Burnsville
Minnesota
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Played again and this time did much better. I was using the discard tiles all wrong.

I didn't complete the 7x7, and I didn't get more than 130 which is the threshold for winning. 99 total.

From gallery of ogoctopus



A 1 CASTLE(S) (walled city)
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS (Meeple on city)
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION
G 1 REAL CASTLE (Southern France)


Total 21
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17. Board Game: The Knight of Destiny: An Arthurian Quest for the Grail for Four Against Darkness [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
Board Game: Four Against Darkness: The Knight of Destiny
David Raley
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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For my third game, I decided to try Knight of Destiny, a Four Against Darkness adventure. Here you play a knight/paladin who seeks the Holy Grail. As you quest, you will be hindered by the forces of Morgana and Mordred.

Unlike most Four Against Darkness adventures, you don’t head into a dungeon but instead journey overland. This involves starting each turn by rolling on a journey table (which then generally sends you to one of the secondary tables).

The progression of this run was strange. My first three encounters sent me to the Grail Castle, which is not what you want in the early game. These encounters resulted in a knight coming out and challenging me.

All of my battles in this run involved challenges from knights. That’s right, I somehow missed every minion encounter in this adventure. Alas, all of those challenges eventually killed me, thus causing me to fail the quest.

A 1 CASTLE – Alas, I was rebuffed each time I found it.
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS – This knight was apparently destined for death

Game total: 2 Cumulative Total: 14
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18. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Castle [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:578]
Board Game: Carcassonne: The Castle
David Raley
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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Next I decided to take a hand at Carc Island. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my copy of standard Carcassonne, so I decided to instead use the more thematic Castle version. Rather than play on the 7x7 generally used for Carc Island, I choose to bound three of the sides by the wall (which reduced the number of tiles for 49 to 46).

Overall, I had one empty spot and scored 135 points, which isn’t bad for the first time I attempted this variant with the Castle.

A 1 CASTLE – It’s in the title
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS – Knight meeples are placed in towers
C 1 1Y+ OF SHAME – Definitely at least a year

Game total: 3 Cumulative Total: 15
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19. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game: Krang Character Expansion [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game: Krang Character Expansion
Bryn
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I bought the Krang character last week, and since he arrived today I figured I’d see how he played relative to the other mage knights in what I think is the best scenario: Solo Conquest. In the end, he seemed fine, but his two cards, though interesting, weren’t that game breaking. In the end, there was one unit—ONE UNIT—still alive and defending the second city at the end of the third night. So, while I enjoyed this, it’s not one of my best scores. 102 points only.

From gallery of Dubious Bryn

Conquering a keep!

From gallery of Dubious Bryn

Conquering a city! Unfortunately, the second one held out.

A 1 CASTLE(S)
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS: Mage knights!
C 2 SHELF OF SHAME GAME
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION
E 2 WIN
F 2 CONQUERED: Four keeps and one city—I'll count this one.
G 1 REAL CASTLE
H 3 CASTLE VISIT
TOTAL: 8 points
Running Total: 10 points

From gallery of Dubious Bryn

From gallery of Dubious Bryn

Five years ago my wife and I visited Puerto Rico, and we loved it. One of the highlights was visiting the various fortresses that had protected the entrance to the harbor during its Spanish colonial period. I very much recommend visiting Puerto Rico if you get the chance, especially if you live in the US—it is part of our country, after all, and I think we should appreciate it!
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20. Board Game: Castellion [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1497]
Board Game: Castellion
David Raley
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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For my next game, I decided to visit the Oniverse and bring Castellion out of the archives. As I’ve pretty much forgotten how to play this game, I decided it best to run first run a game at the introductory level and then another at the basic level. During the course of this game, I was reminded why this one went so long without play.

And yes, I did lose both games.

A 1 CASTLE – You build a castle
C 1 1Y+ OF SHAME

Game Total: 2 Cumulative Total: 17

After that beating, I decided to play the patience game whose name most fits the current theme: Beleaguered Castle. I believe that I haven't played this one in fifteen years ago (when I insanely plays all 225 games in Morehead’s Patience book).

I actually played this four times, one using a physical deck of cards and three other games with apps. The first three games ended with the cards hopelessly entangled and I could no longer make any plays. On the final run, I finally managed to untangle the cards and place them on the foundations.

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21. Board Game: Rise to Nobility [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1484]
Board Game: Rise to Nobility
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
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It has a Castle. A White Castle, even. And in the name lies nobility!

That`s just about it with this game. But it`s a good game, and another little shame in my collection, since I don`t get around to play it all that often.

A LOT in the box and A LOT to set up in order to get it ready for play. I think this is my second solo play and 4th time ever playing it, and I have a lot to learn about it. But I almost finished my goal. I was missing one Trobils...

A 1 CASTLE(S)

Just 1 shake
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22. Board Game: Valley of the Kings: Premium Edition [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Board Game: Valley of the Kings: Premium Edition
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
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I am not sure this will fit into your bill, Roger, but I am scraping the bottom here....

It has Kings in the name, and as far as I understand I am a King (technically Pharao) who tries to fill my tomb with great gifts to bring to the Afterlife. I didn`t bring in a Character card. Maybe next time...

B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS
(D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION...doh! Another one you got rid of!yuk)

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23. Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:123]
Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig
A 1 CASTLE(S) Yes
B 1 ROYALTY/KNIGHTS No, the game is named after one, but that's the only appearance in the game
D 1 ROGER'S COLLECTION No, previously owned.
E 2 WIN I'll take it. I scored 78 points: The Duke of Castle Building
G 1 REAL CASTLE ?? The game is inspired by Schloss Neuschwanstein, but the castle you build of course looks nothing like it.
H 3 CASTLE VISIT I've been to many, so I'll share the first pic I come across.

From gallery of mebririth

These are the castle ruins of Valkenburg in The Netherlands. We visited the marl caves (also very impressive) and the ruins and had a nice walk around Valkenburg.

Points: 6 or 7?
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24. Board Game: Castle Itter [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:4735]
Board Game: Castle Itter
David Raley
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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When I read this con’s theme, I knew that I had to defend Castle Itter. This game portrays one of the last battles in the western theater of World War II, where a mixed force defended a castle from an SS assault. As I had only played this game once before (with a complete loss), I decided it was best to remain at the beginner difficulty.

I must be starting to get a grip on this game, as I managed to keep the enemy at bay. I was getting worried near the end as quite an array of mortars and machine guns were accumulating along the edge of the board.

In the end, I survived and completed both major side objectives (the tank crew escaped the destruction of the tank and Borotra escaped). This helped me to complete the scenario with 25 points. I suppose that means that next time I will have to bump the difficulty to Veteran.

A 1 CASTLE(S) – We are defending a castle
E 2 WIN
G 1 REAL CASTLE – An historical battle at a castle in Austria

Game total: 4 Cumulative total: 21
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25. Board Game: Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:61]
Board Game: Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
David Raley
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Germantown
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I finished this SoloCastleCon with a trip to Dragon Keep. What could go wrong?

Naturally, I used the Renegade app to play this in solo mode. It can get tricky balancing the primary objectives against the quests assigned by the AI. I tended to give the quests priority (I failed only one), which I am sure hindered the development of my deck (though those quest rewards likely also kept me alive).

I managed to collect only a total of 16 gold in this run: 7 spent for a backpack, 7 given to the companion that gives you a pair of tomes in return, and 2 converted to VP at the end. Those two tomes made up almost a third of my card VP.

Fortunately, I did collect a monkey idol and two artifacts before heading out. Also, between quest rewards and cards, I managed my clank fairly well (I managed to trash both Stumbles and acquired a pair of clank reduction abilities).

This is the first game where I reached 10 threat before I found the exit. The result (i.e., the AI reaching the exit) was not a surprise. Fortunately, I was already close to the exit and escaped on the following turn.

All told, I finished with a score of 106. I'll call anything above 100 a win considering that this was my first attempt at the back of the board - it can get nasty back there.

Alas, in this game you only burgle the keep rather than storm it.


A 1 CASTLE - Dragon Keep
E 2 WIN

Game Total: 3 Cumulative Total: 24
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