Nusfjord - incredibly tight worker placement
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Lookout Games
Player count: 1-5
Set-up time: ± 5 minutes
Play length: ± 30 minutes
Win condition: beat your own score, vp-threshold and improve your rank in the campaign
how the solo game works
in Nusfjord you'll take the red player colour and add 3 blue workers, plus 3 yellow workers if you choose a more challenging mode. Take the solo tile and put the first player marker on the first round space as a tracker.
You'll start on a red space for round 1, and can thus only collect and use red workers. at the beginning of the next round, move the first player marker to the next space. blue and red will alternate, causing your workers to stay on their space for one extra round before being collected, blocking the space for your other workers.
For the more challenging mode: flip the solo tile to reveal rounds spread out over 3 colours, leaving your workers on the board for 2 extra rounds.
There is a campaign that will have you play 3 games in a row, with a VP threshold to win and discarding built cards in between so you'll be forced to adjust your strategy in every game.
At the beginning of the rulebook solo play is referenced, which is then explained at the back of the book in a clear way.
missing in solo
This game seems practically made for solo, so I'm not missing much opposed to multi-play. However, you won't be able to buy more shares than you own yourself, rendering some market cards useless.
There's no upkeep, just the deceptively simple mechanic of alternating two player colours every round, and only being allowed to take back the workers you'll be using this round. So no need for a fancy automa, you'll be blocking your own spaces the whole game. This makes everything about your own play, which is excellent for immersive purposes.
I can think of one pretty huge negative, and that is: availability. Both base game and the expansions are incredibly hard to come by. Which, in terms of being able to play a game, is sort of crucial.
Minor negative: there's no insert and too much cardboard to not have an insert. Then again, does anyone expect an insert with Nusfjord?
None are needed in my opinion.
I hunted this game down because I heard nothing but positive things, and now I'll add to the positivity, because what a brilliantly crunchy yet quick game this is, with a refreshingly simple rule set and a high replayability. The solo campaign is pure beauty in all its simplicity, and no easy feat. And I haven't even had a crack at the advanced mode, where you'll be using three player colours and thus will be blocking your spaces for a whole extra round. I cannot wait to get this to the table again!