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Black Leaf

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A thread for me to do some LPs of solo board games. Mostly older games, because that's my preference. Pretty much exclusively Ameritrash because Euros are rubbish.

This is likely to be a mixture of print and play and games that are otherwise easyish to get hold of; it's a bit pointless telling you about great games that cost £200 on the secondary market.
 

Fenris-77

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So you're going to get exquisitely detailed about how much you like to play with yourself? Excellent. I'm in.

iu
 

Black Leaf

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To start with, I give you 1981's Barbarian Prince.

I shall be taking on the roll of the Barbarian Prince himself, Cal Arath (crazy name, crazy guy). My father has been assassinated by usurpers (boo hiss!) who now occupy the palace which is rightfully mine (double boo hiss!)

I need to travel to the Southern Lands to raise 500 Gold, then return home and use it to buy an army. Simple enough. I have 10 weeks, after which the usurper's powerful overseas allies will arm and all is lost.

This game is notable for two things. Firstly, it's an interesting (and in my view largely successful) attempt to recreate the feel of a RPG sandbox hexcrawl in automated board game form. I have a goal, but it's entirely up to me how to achieve it from searching ruins to robbing people's houses. Secondly, it is notably brutal, random and deadly to a level that would make a Tomb of Horrors survivor run home crying to mummy.

For this, I will be using the 40th Anniversary edition (the same game with a few tweaks, extra events etc.) which you can find for yourself free on Boardgamegeek.

Day 1

My loyal servant Ogab (no surname for commoners!) has arranged for me to be smuggled to the Southern Border by a merchant caravan. It pains my heroic soul to skulk away in the night like a common thief, but vengeance requires patience. I roll out of the caravan into a ditch and look around me. It seems I am in some kind of mountain range. This pleases me not. I forgot to bring food in all the excitement and mountains make for poor hunting.

Still, my first task must be to make my way south over the Tragoth river before the usurper's royal guards (actually mercenary scum) find me. I only have a pitiful 2 gold to my name so much work is to be done.

I have crossed the river!

Hunting is good in the hills I find myself in, which pleases me. I have another mountain range to the south to cross tomorrow.

Day 2

The Southern Hills are not like the ones back in the Sweet Northlands and I find them rather confusing. Indeed, I fail to find a route into the mountains.

While I am searching I hear a growl from behind me and before I can react I find myself attacked as if from nowhere! Fortunately the Gods are with me and I slay the Great Hunting Cat. I quickly skin it (I hear that certain towns will pay well for such vanities) and settle myself to sleep.

Day 3

I manage to find my way into the mountain range. Thankfully, I merely need cross it to find my way to the road on the other side. As I am transversing the mountain path I see an entrance to one side. Judging my the skulls carved around it, it is some kind of ancient tomb although I do not recognise what race it could be. Naturally, as a noble son of the North I enter it in search for treasure!

I walk cautiously downwards until I find myself in a chamber. Judging by its state, I fear it has been looted already but the foolish tomb robbers seem to have overlooked a secret compartment at the base of the ornate sarcophagus.

Ow! Ow! Ow! My bloody finger! It seems whoever built this tomb knew the coward's art of poison. I suspect this will not heal easily.

Still, my haul is good. I add 60 gold to my possessions and a charming trinket, which I shall use to aid necessary negotiations with the foreigners.

Safe in the tomb, I sleep with only the dead for company.

Day 4

I have crossed the mountains and found myself on a road. I shall be using it, as I have no wish to cross the infamous mountains of Zhor unaided.

As I head down on the road, I notice a merchant caravan camped up for the night. I will not attack these foreigners. This is because it would be dishonourable and not at all because they have seven guards and I don't fancy those odds.

The merchant's goods are grains and of no interest to me. But their gossip is very interesting indeed. I hear that the supposed Baron of Huldra Castle is actually a double bastard and has imprisoned the rightful heir with a hill tribe in the Badlands!

Naturally, I despise false usurpers. I do not have the men to mount a rescue attempt right now but this is something I will resolve if I get the chance.

Day 5

I travel safely through the North Pass.

Day 6

I am informed by a fellow traveller that the Temple of Zhor is a day's travel away. It would be good to have some divine aid, even from Gods that are not my own.

Day 7

I arrive at the Temple of Zhor late in the evening. I shall buy some food from the clothed men today and shall see about paying my respects tomorrow.

Day 8

I spend the day waiting in line to pay my respects to this Zhor. I have spent much on herbs and sacrifices. It does no good to make enemies of strange gods.

The priests thank me politely and tell me that the omens are good for me to make more sacrifices tomorrow. I fear they are having a joke at the Northerner's expense, but I dare not take the risk of offending Zhor. I shall be back.

Day 9

I am invited to meet the High Priest. He offers to use his influence with Zhor to help me with tomorrow's rituals.

This is getting expensive.

Day 10

While waiting for my sacrifices I get talking to a local priest. He seems like he may be afraid of the stranger, but I do my best to put him at ease. He replies rudely that his fear is not of me and leaves the queue. This is the last I see of him.

I give my offerings and am told that the High Priest requires a personal audience with me.

It seems my patience has paid off! The High Priest feels that my quest is a just one and promises the support of the Temple of Zhor.

He gives me 300 gold and a Shield of Light, to blind the eyes of my foes. He warns me that the power of the shield is not infinite and eventually it will dull. I swear not to use it unless necessary.

All praise be to Zhor!

Day 11

I bid farewell to the Holy Men of Zhor. I believe I shall miss them. Perhaps even Southerners can be noble in their own right. But it is time to move on. Travel is uneventful today.

Day 12

I cross into more mountains. I hope I do not get lost here. With all this gold I am able to carry less food in my stores.

Day 13

I am through the mountains quickly and offer a prayer to Zhor for my good fortune.

Day 14

More mountains, although thankfully the last for some time.

Two weeks into the adventures of Cal Arath. Will he return to reclaim his rightful crown? Join us tomorrow to find out.

(It's worth noting that I've been pretty lucky so far. This is a good run. More commonly I've failed to leave the starting hex).
 

Brock Savage

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The Convenient Skill

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There was at one time an android app, but it seems to have disappeared (possibly because it was illegal), but it did make the game a lot easier to play (and die horribly in about 100 ways!).

I think I only 'won' once, by complete fluke I might add.
 

Brock Savage

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There was at one time an android app, but it seems to have disappeared (possibly because it was illegal), but it did make the game a lot easier to play (and die horribly in about 100 ways!).

I think I only 'won' once, by complete fluke I might add.
As I was reviewing the rules I was thinking, This would make a sweet little video game. I thought the games were free content for anyone to do what they liked with it.
 

The Convenient Skill

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I think there are restrictions around video games/apps somewhere buried in the copyright/use text IIRC.
 

lgm

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I hadn't heard of this game before. It looks really great. I see an android app with the hex map. I think it would work for me better since my laser printer doesn't do color. I have to have color on my hex maps.
 

Black Leaf

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As I was reviewing the rules I was thinking, This would make a sweet little video game. I thought the games were free content for anyone to do what they liked with it.
It's limited permission only. Specifically you only have permission to distribute the game for free "in the form of electronically reproduced graphics, text or word processor files".

They're politely ignoring the TTS mod, but I think anything commercial will be a step too far.
 

Brock Savage

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It's limited permission only. Specifically you only have permission to distribute the game for free "in the form of electronically reproduced graphics, text or word processor files".

They're politely ignoring the TTS mod, but I think anything commercial will be a step too far.
Aw man, I completely forgot to check TTS for a mod. That just saved me the hassle of printing this stuff out. I might even be able to play sometimes this week.

TTS is Tabletop Simulator. It's $20 on Steam and worth every penny if you enjoy board games. There are free user created mods for just about every game imaginable. I don't think it is too demanding on older PCs, either.

 

Black Leaf

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Note that TTS doesn't have the 40th anniversary rules/events.
 

Black Leaf

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Further Adventures of the Barbarian Prince

Day 15

I tire of these mountains. An endless grey landscape with nothing to distinguish it.

Day 16

I am finally out of the mountains, among some ruins legends tell me are the Ruins of Pelgar.

It seems they are less isolated than stories claim. A gypsy caravan is parked up nearby. I go to meet the occupant, who turns out to be a young man of intemperate disposition who attacks me with a knife instantly! I dispatch him quickly. He is either a fool or a madman to attack a hero of the North. He only has a handful of gold, perhaps explaining his desperation After a short hunt I settle down to sleep.

Day 17

It seems these ruins are already claimed. The entire place is swarming with orcs! I am spotted by a warband, led by what I think is a demi troll. With his three orc subordinates this is more than I can reasonably handle on my own, even with my shield and I am forced to try and persuade them to let me go, alas to no avail as they close in.

I am fortunate, managing to escape with only light wounds after blinding them with a shield. I run wildly and find myself alone in some hills. Worst of all, my shield has dimmed. It seems the Gods are capricious with their gifts.


Day 18

Despite the ticking of time, I must rest. Too many wounds will not leave me in a fit state to deal with the dangers of this land. I fear that my poisoned finger will forever stay blackened but the rest need merely time.

Day 19

Hunting Cat! Badly hurt. Too weak to say more.

Day 20-25

I am finally healed. For some time I thought I would be in the arms of my ancestors but have come through as best as can be expected. No however, time is of the essence.

Day 26

I have found myself on what is known by the locals as the lost road. It is true it is quiet, but I do not see how it is lost.

Day 27

The road has been worn away here, it is barely a mud path.

Day 28

I have a new ally, be it one bought by coin. Luzmuth is one of the Dwarvish peoples and has all the legendary taciturness of his race. Still, I do not hire him for his tongue but for his arm and he seems quite proficient with an axe. It took some negotiation, but he has agreed to join me for 2 gold a day. I feel I have got a good bargain here.

Day 29

My companion tells me of another road roughly to the north of here, so I carry on into the hills in the hope of finding it.

Day 30

We have reached the road to Tulith! Perhaps we shall find help among those good people.

Day 31

We have been ambushed by bandits! I shall show these scum how a Northman (and his dwarf) fight.

We are forced to retreat back the way we came.

Day 32

We are forced to camp by the road to rest. Thankfully, not all the locals are hostile. We are hailed by a travelling merchant. He has healing potions for sale! I am skeptical, but buy one each as I go off to hunt. I am weak, but we need some rabbits.

THE JOURNAL ENDS HERE

Notes: Ouch. The Healing potions would have indeed healed all wounds, but after the evening meal. And Cal rolled a double six on his hunting roll, giving him 1d6 Wounds and finishing him off.
 

Black Leaf

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Planning to do this once a week.

Next week will be Star Smuggler, which is similar to Barbarian Prince but in spaceeeee!

Then a complete shift as I play Rogue State and try and maximise my Juche points as the glorious supreme leader of North Korea.
 

Black Leaf

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Next up, it's time for Star Smuggler!

This has a free p&p version and a TTS version. (And the TTS version uses the updated assets from BGG).

It's obviously inspired by Barbarian Prince (and published by the same company Dwarfstar) and works in a similar way. It is however way more crunchy. Interesting bit of trivia; the designer of this (one B. Dennis Sustare) was a co-designer of Bunnies & Burrows.

Prologue

Welcome to the private journal of renowned pilot, raconteur and favourite with the ladies, Duke Springer.

Of course, if you're reading this, it wasn't very private. But I hope you find it of interest and amusement, whether you're one of my many admirers, a talented pickpocket or even a future archelogist. Unless you're a member of law enforcement, in which case say hello to your wife for me.

As I sure you know, I'm a pilot by calling, but a merchant by necessity. I have a lovely little ship, The Casanova. Small and nippy, great at getting places it shouldn't. I like it a lot. Unfortunately, so do my loan company, Crooked and Bastard. And entirely unreasonably, they think the fact they paid for it means that they have a claim to ownership until it's paid off.

The full principal is 120,000 Sector Exchange Units. The interest is 300 Secs, paid off weekly. I have 450 Secs. You see the issue. Oh, and because Crooked and Bastard are the kind of people you'd expect to loan money to spacesport scum like me paying off the principal doesn't reduce the interest until it's all paid off.

450 Secs into 120,000. Tall order. So it's lucky I'm an outstanding kind of guy.

Merchanting hasn't been kind lately. So I've decided to see if prospects are better on the shadier side of the business, if you get my meaning. And when I say decided, I mean this morning.

And so I start my new career sitting in a dingy bar in the Regari system. Regari has seen better days. If I'm being honest, it's a bit of a dump. But hopefully that means I should be able to pick up a few bargains.

Regari.jpg
 

The Convenient Skill

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I always wanted to give this one a try but never got around to it.

It's looking more like TTS will let me play games I have physically (or like the above freely available) but not the time to setup and leave for extended periods.
 

Black Leaf

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Note: I am abandoning this because the rules are too confusing even for my high tolerance! A great idea, but excecuted badly. Watch out for another game next week.
 

Ynas Midgard

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Fair enough, I guess. It's basically why I've been thinking about playing solo Traveller instead of Star Smuggler.
 

Black Leaf

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For my next game I need to add it to TTS myself. Does anyone have experiencve with that?
 
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