Board Gaming · Solo Gaming · Solo Month

Designer Spotlight: Scott Allen

Another designer well-known in the BGG Print & Play community is Scott Allen (known as Scott A on BGG). His designs are varied, from simple 9-card games to mint tin designs and beyond. Two things that many have in common is that there seems to be a great sense of theme that gets built into his mechanics (as seen by games like Falcon Master) and that he is always pushing himself to try something new and innovative (such as Count of Nine). I’ve greatly enjoyed his designs so far and am looking forward to the upcoming publication of Pocket Landship (which I’ve heard is getting a new theme) and to see how Count of Nine continues to evolve through the current BGG contest.

Without further ado, here is a selection of his titles on BGG:


  • Pocket Landship
    • 1 Player
    • 5-20 Minutes
    • Pocket Landship is a solo 9 card wargame set in a World War I-ish world. Command a landship (the original British term for tanks) to clear a sector of enemy infantry, artillery, and landships.

      The player chooses either side of the 3 player cards to create either a single high powered landship with a main cannon and side sponsons, or a lesser armed landship plus a corvette class landship or squad of shock troops.

      The player then chooses either side of each of the 6 enemy cards to create the enemy forces – a collection of enemy landships, artillery, infantry, and mine fields arranged in 2 rows of 3 cards.

      Each turn, the player will roll 3 6-sided dice and assign each die to each of their cards to attack the enemies. Then, for the enemy turn, roll the 3 dice and assign them low to high left to right across the front enemy line, then take the assigned actions.

      Each card has its own damage track. When a card is destroyed, it is removed from the game. Win by destroying all 6 enemy cards. Lose if the enemy destroys your landship.

      Cover art and card background images are public domain art from WWI artist Muirhead Bone.

      Pocket Landship was entered in BGG’s 2017 9 Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest.

    • Rules link:


  • Mech Capture
    • 1 Player
    • 5-20 Minutes
    • Introduction
      Our enemy is rich in resources, but weak-minded. Many of their Mechs are bigger, faster, and stronger than ours. But challenge their mercenary pilots and they give up quickly and leave their machines.

      We control 3 of the 6 sectors around their base, and we’re moving in for the kill. As their Mechs retreat to defend their base, we will attempt to surround and capture them. Capture them if you can, destroy them if you must.

      We are closer than we have ever been to a major victory against the Federation. It is all in your hands now. Don’t fail us.

      Game Overview
      Mech Capture is a solitaire print and play card game using 36 cards – no dice, cubes, or other components needed.

      As enemy and friendly units appear on the battlefield, take charge of friendly units and deploy them in pairs to surround enemy Mechs, or in triplets to surround enemy Mechs, Transports, or Long Range Guns at their base.

      A limited number of friendly units may be placed in your Reserves for future deployment. Deploy these units to match the enemy’s displayed characteristic and number of pilots, to capture the Mech and gain its Victory Points. If you exceed their displayed characteristic, the Enemy unit is destroyed so that the Enemy (or you) cannot gain its Victory Points.

      Winning the Game
      By game end have more Victory Points than the Enemy. Compare your victory points from captured units to all remaining enemy units at their base, three sectors, and Enemy draw pile (if any).

    • Rules link:


  • Iron & Brass
    • 2 Players
    • 30-75 Minutes
    • Welcome to the colony of Dugbirch – not a sprawling city of splendor and spires and airships, but an almost forgotten place too far away from civilization and with not enough gold to attract the city dwellers. But, just enough gold to battle over.

      Two rival towns are mining gold and hiring the able bodied to build their towns into cities and their militias into capable armies.

      Iron & Brass (like its inspiration, the Warcraft PC games) challenges players to select the right strategy, then execute that strategy to defeat your opponent. Hoard resources, build up defenses, build up an army, or some of each – all while your opponent is doing the same.

      Iron & Brass is a Print and Play game played on a 10×10 to 16×16 square grid game board. Each player has 14 structures and 24 military units available to build.

      Each player starts with a Headquarters, Barracks, 8 Gold, 1 Crew, and 8 “Advantage” tokens which can each be used as an Attack, Range, Movement, or Heal bonus.

      Each turn, a player may take up to 4 actions, any combination of: Mine Gold, Hire Crew, Move, Attack, Train Infantry, Build Structures or Vehicles.

      Because of limited Gold in the game, players will need to decide how to balance gathering resources with building up defensive structures and building their army. In addition, their army can be built quickly with Infantry units, or more slowly by first building structures such as Foundries, Arsenals, and Steam Works to build up armored units, artillery, and tanks.

      Attacks are resolved by comparing Attack Strength + dice roll (+ Surge “Advantage” if played) to Defense Strength + dice roll (+ Surge “Advantage” if played). Defending units may be destroyed, disabled, or sustain no damage.

      A player wins the game by destroying their opponent’s Headquarters or all of their opponent’s army.

      Cover art was created by Todd Sanders, winning the cover art design contest for this game. Some of the game piece art was created by BGG user “Skoll”. He created images for: “Skirmisher Patrol” and “Iron Infantry”, and because of those, really helped create the look and feel of the rest of the game piece images.

    • Rules link:


  • Iron Infantry
    • 2 Players
    • 10-30 Minutes
    • 1 versus 1 tactical combat game played on an 8×8 to 12×12 square grid game board. Each side has 6 military units, plus a Fortress to defend, and a Cannon Turret to defend the Fortress.

      Set up your units on your edge of the board, then let the battle begin. Each player’s turn is made up of 2 actions: Move, Attack, Heal an injured unit, or Repair and disabled vehicle.

      Attacks are resolved by comparing Attack Strength + dice roll to Defense Strength + dice roll. Defending units may be destroyed, disabled, or sustain no damage.

      A player wins the game by destroying their opponent’s Fortress or all of their opponent’s army.

      Iron Infantry was an entry in the 2015 Mint Tin PnP design Contest.

      Iron Infantry is a mini game based on the steam punk inspired game “Iron & Brass”.

      All that’s needed to play is the 8 units per player, 2D3 (1,1,2,2,3,3) dice per player and a checker or chess board, or any other 8×8 to 12×12 square grid board.

    • Rules link:


  • Iron & Brass: Duel
    • 2 Players
    • 10-30 Minutes
    • Iron & Brass: Duel is a 2 player, 9 card “nano-game” originally created for the 2016 9 card nano game contest. The game is an infantry skirmish card game. Each round of the game is a 3 vs 3 infantry encounter.

      Each player will have 6 soldiers – 1 on each side of the 3 cards. These soldiers are labeled A, B, C, D, E, and F for clarity. Each soldier (card face) is also named alphabetically to give it more of a human touch.

      Each soldier card has 2 actions per side, for a total of 12 actions per player.

      All battle resolutions are:
      1) Determine # of dice to roll: Attacker’s dice +/- Defender’s modifiers
      2)Roll the determined number of dice, 1 or more “6” = opponent card side (not the entire card) is defeated. So, in effect, the game will play as if each player has 6 1-sided soldier cards, but in reality, each will have 3 2-sided soldier cards. Hope that makes sense.

      The game challenges each player to decide which soldier actions to play, where to play them, and when to attack.

    • Rules link:


  • HIghlands
    • 1 Player
    • 15-45 Minutes
    • Highlands is a solo boardgame set in middle ages Scotland, in a time of rival clans, factions, and kingdoms. Play as a king/earl/jarl striving to gain reputation and power as you build your empire in the highlands. Along the way, you will explore, decide how to expand, and encounter rival armies and a variety of creatures from the realm of the faes.

      Highlands started as an attempt to create a Scythe-like solo gaming experience, but with a smaller footprint and less upkeep. Start with a Castle, a King, and two Workers. Then, hire more Workers, build a Cathedral, train a Soldier and a Knight, explore, encounter Faes, complete missions, and defend your Castle from the Enemy.

      Highlands is played on a custom hex map 12 chess pieces, a 27 card Encounter deck, an 18 card Mission deck, and a handful of cubes.

      Highlands won 4th place in the Best Overall Game category in the 2017 Solitaire Print and Play Contest.

    • Rules link:


  • Falcon Master
    • 1 Player
    • 15-30 Minutes
    • Introduction
      Man can build bridges and castles and towers. We can refine ore into wonderful tools and machines. But to truly hunt, we look not to man’s creations, but God’s – the falcon.

      Use the tools and skills at your disposal to become a master falconer. Learn skills, obtain a falcon, take time to train it, then build your reputation with successful hunts.

      Game Overview
      Each turn the player will decide to take one of the following 5 actions:
      – Go to town (to buy, sell, or barter items, work for gold, or obtain skills),
      – Stay home to build items,
      – Stay home to train a falcon,
      – Stay home to tend to an injured falcon, or
      – Attend a falconry hunt/tournament.

      The player will need to balance finances (gold amount) with learning skills, training their falcons, and hunting with their falcons.

      Falcon Master is played with a deck of 50 cards, plus about 25 tracking cubes in 28 turns total over 4 seasons.

      36 cards are Item cards. 10 cards are Hunt Resolution cards used to determine outcomes of hunts. 4 cards are used to:
      – track the turns through the 4 seasons,
      – track player Gold amount, and player Reputation
      – hunt
      – aid in hunt resolution (reference card)

      A master falconer cares for falcons, hunts them successfully for a variety of prey, and has demonstrated the skills required for falconry. To win:
      – Earn 12 Reputation points,
      – Successfully hunt with at least 2 different falcons, and
      – Successfully hunt at least 3 types of prey: dove, Quail, Pheasant, or Duck.

      Reputation points are gained by successful hunts, training your falcons, and by gaining skills important to the art of falconry (selling items built with your skills).

      Falcon Master was an entry in Boardgamegeek’s 2016 Mint Tin PnP Contest, and won the following:
      2nd place Best Overall Design (tie)
      2nd place Best Theme
      2nd place Most Innovative Mechanic.

    • Rules link:


  • Count of Nine
    • 1 Player
    • 5-20 Minutes
    • Count of Nine is a solo, 9 card, economic, city building Euro-style game.

      You are the Count(ess) of the small territory of Nine. Search your land for resources to build basic structures that will provide more resources. Use these structures and resources to build up your small village into a powerful economic force.

      Count of Nine is played with 9 double-sided cards containing up to 2 resources and up to 2 structures on each side of the card. There is no board, no dice, no cubes, no meeples, just the 9 cards, so it makes a great travel game.

      The goal is to score the most victory points in a match, which is made up of 2 separate games.

      In each game, first select one of the 5 “high structures” that will be your goal of the game. The 5 high structures are: Castle, Cathedral, Monument, Harbour, and Town Square.

      Then, play through the deck of the remaining cards (called a round) and use resources on adjacent cards, and resources provided by already built structures to build additional structures. Play multiple rounds to get everything you need to build your selected high structure. Continue playing to accumulate additional victory points.

      Victory points are awarded several ways:
      – Victory points marked on some of the structure cards
      – 1 victory point for each different structure built
      – 2 victory points for each pair of identical structures built
      – 5 victory points is a second “high structure” is built

      Final score for each game is total victory points minus the number of rounds played. Final score for the match is the total of both games.

      Count of Nine was created for the 2018-19 Card Nanogame Print and Play Contest.

    • Rules Link:

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