2020 Top 10 Countdown of solo skirmish games #7


This game should has everything going for it : out of this world production. The terrain alone! Then all those minis! (Granted they are board game quality - albeit top tier boardgame quality - and not true tabletop minis quality but I’ve also seen some pretty blobby metal minis that are not up to the standard of these minis either, so everything is relative). And the game system is fun! You are playing a tactical RPG-lite where you level up your crew and ship at the same time! (Shades of 5 Parsecs). 

So why isn’t this game higher on the list?

The sad answer is, while it’s perfectly playable solo with solid rules for the AI and it's not fiddly at all* ... the provided campaign isn’t much fun solo with one crew. 

It’s perfectly fine to take out for a night of fun with a one off scavenging scenario. That’s always a blast. But the campaign? Sadly, no. Because if I want a one off solo game, there’s less fiddly ones to set up and tear down. 

Which is a pity as the game gives you lots of fun, cinematic moments. You are desperately rushing to complete your assigned mission in the face of an implacable robotic horde while also looking out for #1 by scavenging stuff to sell to upgrade your ship and equipment. Meanwhile the environment around you is throwing you challenges you have to cope with on top of everything else. Really great stuff.

Ah well. One day, I’ll leave the game set up on the table and just blast my way through the remainder of the campaign missions. 

*With the exception of terrain set up of course, but that's why I got the game in the first place.


Next one up is a biggie!

Rangers of Shadowdeep. Shock! Horror! Yes, sadly, even though I've played the first intro mission (and enjoyed it, don't get me wrong) the requirement for some specific minis and terrain has prevented me from continuing. Yes, I know the author says to proxy or wing them. But then again, re-writing the mission to suit the stuff I have makes it a bit too much work... especially when I have so many other games to play that don't require the extra effort on my part. (Yes, it's a First World problem. I know.) And so, despite scoring a nearly perfect game in my first game (having also acquired the magic sword) this game is sadly relegated to Honourable Mention for me. YMMV of course. For those who are willing to put in the work to get the terrain set up, you will enjoy this game tremendously as even the core rulebook gives you an intro campaign and a full-fledged campaign. Just make sure you like the swinginess of using d20s.