Board game shelves around the world #39

Hi, I’m Hans and in the board game world I go by Hans Solo. That’s because I am primarily a solo gamer now. I don’t get to game with groups as often as I like so I’ve had to adapt. I have grown to enjoy solo gaming, so much so that I started a video series about the amazing solo variants that are out there for popular multiplayer games. My hope is to show others what solo gaming has to offer. You like playing Five Tribes with your friends? Try taking on Yazid, he is a cruel competitor. You enjoy making dedications with your lanterns in Harvest? The Gandmaster will show you that you are an amateur dedication maker real fast. Solo gaming has its place and I absolutely love it.

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How did you get into this world of non-digital games?
I grew playing Hero Quest with my family. When I was 8, my dad got it for the family as a Christmas present. My dad’s commitment to acting out the bad guy is probably why I get into the flavor text and theme of games today. My family also dabbled into the world of Warhammer Fantasy miniatures but they were too busy painting while I wanted to play. After Warhammer puttered out, my gaming took a long hiatus until my final year of college when a friend pulled out Settlers of Catan. This game reignited my desire to play games and there was no turning back from there.

How often do you play?
I think the standard answer to this question is not enough. Being that I play mostly solo I do have more flexibility to fit games in here and there. I finally started tracking my plays about 8 months ago and the average plays per month in that time has been 18.5, which I am pretty happy about. Now, if I could just find a way to finish those half games I would set.

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Can you tell us something about your shelves?
My game room was recently turned into a nursery with the arrival of my baby girl so I had to rethink my selves and game storage. I was able to come up with a solution that put them in our living room behind the couch and more importantly a solution that was wife approved. The shelves themselves are pretty boring. For me, the emphasis is what is on those shelves. As with most board gamers my shelves have changed over the years. At first I was buying everything and anything just to add to the collection, which turned into bargain hunting, then I was getting games I thought my family would want to play with me. Now my focus is on games that I can play solo or are what I consider to be great games worth owning because they are great.

analog games

What is your favorite game at the moment?
My favorite game has to be Istanbul. Although it doesn’t have the most challenging or creative solo variant and I don’t get it to the table very often, there is something about it. The mechanic of moving your merchant around the board, the fact that the board is ever changing, the multiple paths to victory; it all adds up to an incredible game that isn’t too difficult or too easy. I just really enjoy strolling around the market and working towards getting those beautiful rubies.

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What is your most special or obscure game?
Arkham Horror is probably the game that is most special to me. This was the first game that I bought after being introduced to Catan and the new world of hobby gaming. The idea of your character going insane due to how horrific and terrifying the monsters you were facing was enough for me to pull the trigger and try it out. There is something about Arkham, even now, that ensures that it gets shelf space. It’s an event, a marathon, an epic story that can be rewarding and devastating any time you play it.

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Thank you so much for sharing your story! Something you would like to add?
Solo gaming is not just for the introverts of the world. It really adds a lot to my gaming experience and I feel I truly get to know these amazing games. It is also really amazing to see some of the creative and well put together mechanics that these variant creators come up with. I would suggest solo gaming for anyone who truly enjoys these hobby games.

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