Machine Messiah

A few new acquisitions in the last few days (with one still to come early next week, which I’ll post about separately as it’s not really new).

From gallery of garrylloyd

I played a couple of solo games of Spots the other day and my near-legendary (lack of) dice rolling skills made it a hard introduction as I lost on both occasions to my AI opponent “d0g” by a score of 2-6, although on the second occasion I had another two dogs ready to land when a one-in-six chance of d0g ending the game came up, which I half expected.

Anyway, I’ve now had a couple of plays of the new Shadi Torbey Oniverse game, Cyberion, and I suspect this one is going to be quite popular. In Cyberion, you are the owner of a factory in which The Devious Cog has sabotaged all the machines and you need to use your worker robots to repair them before time runs out. However, you need to be able to repair at least one machine each turn or you trigger an emergency and you need to use up a failsafe token to be able to continue. If you are out of failsafe tokens (and you only start with one), it’s game over. Luckily each machine you repair can then be activated to soup up (upgrade) the programming on one of the five types of robot and these give you extra options when you trigger (discard) a robot of that type. You have 25 machines to repair and 50 robots with which to work. Once you’ve used all 50, shuffle them up into a new supply and continue. However, if you use them all up a second time before repairing all the machines, you lose.

This is quite a neat card management game and you have some flexibility in how you upgrade your robots in order to best assist you. Do you concentrate on maxing out one robot type (which rewards you with an extra failsafe token) or getting multiple types upgraded one or two notches first. My first play of the base game resulted in a narrow defeat with two machines unrepaired when the robot deck ran out for a second time. The second game saw me romp to victory with 19 robot cards left in the deck and two failsafe tokens still in my grasp – although my card draws turned out to very helpful each turn so I’m not expecting it to be quite so easy every time. However, I suspect the base game is designed to be relatively straight forward which is why, as is always the case with Oniverse games, there are several modules to mix things up.

From gallery of garrylloyd

Halfway through my second game and, this round sees my hand of five robots unable to mend any of the five machines to the right of the machine deck. However, I have a couple of completed machines on the left that I can use to upgrade one of the robot types and triggering their abilities could help me achieve what I need.

One over Par

Having suggested this evening to nickster1970 Avatar meepleonboard (@nickster1970 at BGG) that a couple of plays of The Bogey would help him raise his H-Index, I decided that I would lead by example and play this excellent solo game that utilises just an ordinary deck of cards.

The aim is to play all cards in the deck to as few columns as possible with each column only containing cards of one suit in descending order (skips allowed) but, after each turn, The Bogey automatically plays the next card in the deck to potentially muck up your plans and, if you ever start a twelfth column, you lose.

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Part way through the game, I’m already up to nine columns but my hand has four cards (everything but the Ace) that can be played safely. Thankfully, the remaining twenty cards were all able to be played with me just having to open one more (tenth) column so that counts as an advanced win. Good fun.

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Ticket to Tube Town

It’s two years since I last played Metro X but as my friend, airzonk1 Avatarron E (@airzonk1 on BGG) put this as his number 1 solo game for 2022, I decided I had to dig it out to play. My previous games were on the Metro City map but this time I decided to go for the Tube Town map.

This map seems quite a bit trickier with more intersections to navigate over and, with a limited number of skip cards, I thought it unlikely that I would complete very many lines. However, it did seem to come together ok and a couple of fortuitous cards at the end allowed me to complete two lines I’d pretty much neglected for most of the game. I ended with 41 points which seemed quite good although I’ve not compared it to anyone else’s scores. However, I felt pretty pleased with this play and may well see if I can get hold of the other maps that have been released to date.

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Tiny Epic Galaxies

Tried solo Tiny Epic Galaxies for the second time this evening. This time, I was pitted against the Hades Rogue Galaxy (hard level). I say “hard” but I felt reasonably in control. There were a couple of moments when the luck of the dice roll could have pushed Hades over the top, but I eventually triumphed 23-19.

I do like the game solo and have still to play multiplayer but I just feel the opponents so far aren’t quite challenging enough – assuming I’ve not got a rule wrong somewhere along the way.