There’s a lot of fun to have with roll and write board games. These games have a reputation for being lightweight, but many of them are delightfully complex. But what about those of us who don’t have a gaming group to take some of these roll and write games for a spin? The good news is that some of these games play smoothly with only one player. We’ve played a bunch of them and have some recommendations! Let’s dive into the best solo roll and write games.
The first on our list of the best solo roll and write games is Troyes Dice. As roll and writes go, this one is not the heaviest. In Troyes Dice, play the role of the Champagne family in the Middle Ages. Over the course of the game, you build and populate Troyes while protecting from raids and setbacks.
the game is played across 8 turns, which are themed as days. During each of these turns you can take two actions, meaning you have 16 actions to take in the game. The design of the game is clever, utilizing clear dice that take on the color of the board space you place them on. The color the die take on impacts each roll.
The game itself is fun, but one of the highlights is the downloadable challenges provided by the designers. Each of these challenges provides alternate rulesets to keep the challenge fresh.
Welcome to the Moon is the latest installment of the Welcome to the… Series. Let’s get one thing out of the way up front: this is not exactly a roll and write. Instead, it is a flip and write: a similar structure of game that involves flipping cards instead of rolling dice.
The game stretches across eight adventure sheets. On each turn, you will flip three cards from three different stacks. This combination of cards determines whether or not you can complete missions and build out your base.
What I love about Welcome to the Moon is that it is simple to pick up but surprisingly deep on multiple playthroughs. There is a lot of strategy that goes into building your moon colony, and the game offers many different ways to strategize and build.
See Also: The Best Dice Towers
One of the common themes among the games on our list is that they represent roll and write versions of previously released board games. This entry in our list is exactly that. Fleet: The Dice Game is the roll and write version of the popular board game Fleet.
In Fleet: The Dice Game, you are on the open waters of Ridback Bay. During the course of the game, you’ll build your fleet over the course of 10 rounds. In each round, you have a phase dedicated to your boats and a round focused on the town.
In the boat phase, you roll to add to your fleet. in the town phase, your rolls add new buildings to the wharf. Your choices can help you catch more fish, add to your fleet, and run up the score – as long as the dice favor you.
Three Sisters is brought to you by the designers of another game on our list: Fleet the Dice Game. In fact, if you’ve played fleet you’ll notice that there are a lot of similarities in the mechanics of each game. The rounds, turns, and scoring are similar outside of the very different themes. That said, swapping out your fishing boat for a small garden is arguably a more satisfying version of this game.
In Three Sisters, you roll dice to obtain resources and plants for your garden. The game follows the age-old system of planting three crops in close proximity to allow them help each other thrive. In this game, you farm a combination of corn, beans, and pumpkins along with flowers and other plants.
One of my favorite aspects of this game is its inclusion of bonus actions. In addition to the set number of actions you take each turn, you can earn additional bonus actions based on how you spend your points. Couple all of this with one of the best solo player AI and you’ve got a killer solo roll and write board game.
Dinosaur Island: Rawr n’ Write is the roll and write version of Dinosaur Island. Published by Pandasaurus Games, Dinosaur Island Rawr n’ Write is one of the heaviest games in the genre. In this game, you roll to develop resources that will help you expand your own version of a Jurassic Park-style dinosaur attraction.
This game is worker placement at its core. You can hire workers to help you research new dinosaurs to clone, work in your park, and expand your attractions. Along the way you’ll need to balance growing your park with preventing your dinosaurs from eating your guests.
The game might be meatier than your average roll and write, but it is a lot of fun once you pick it up. It offers tremendous strategic options greatly increase the replayability of the game.
Cartographers is one of the most popular roll and write games out there. Its popularity is based on its unique mechanic of drawing a map of the territory you discover. There are countless examples of beautiful maps created by players exploring the world in Cartographers.
Gameplay consists of four seasons. Each turn, you will carry out the edicts of your queen while exploring and mapping the northern lands. Your actions will earn you reputation stars, which determine if you win or lose. the mechanics of the game are fairly light, but your maps can be as complex as you choose.
For many people, Hadrian’s Wall is the perfect roll and write board game for solo play. It is crunchy, but not so complicated that it is difficult to learn. Published by Renegade Game Studios, Hadrian’s Wall puts you in the role of a Roman general charged with building a milecastle along Hadrian’s Wall.
Stretching 80 Roman miles, Hadrian’s Wall stood a sign of the might of the Roman Empire. In the game, you will construct a fort along the wall, hiring workers to improve your defenses or build buildings for civilians to help with construction.
The game is played over six rounds, with each round representing a year of construction. During each round you will have the opportunity to build and grow while fending off raiders. This is one of the heavier roll and writes available, but in my view it’s also one of the most balanced. This game is finely tuned to allow you the freedom to vary your strategy during each playthrough.
Conclusion: The Best Solo Roll and Write Games
Each of the games on this list makes for a great option for solo play. I recommend considering the theme that calls to you most and giving it a try. If you’ve got more than one that appeals to you, take into account the weight of each game to find the right fit. Do you have a favorite solo roll and write? Let us know about it in our comment section below!