For Northwood! Starting The Noisy Year with All the Bills

Jul 7, 2024 | Sessions | 2 comments

Convince different animal rulers to become allies across a series of scenarios beginning in summer with For Northwood!

As is a common statement these days, it’s been far too long since I last enjoyed For Northwood! A Solo Trick-Taking Game! This delightful experience of visiting animal fiefdoms and having little conversations is so much fun, and I finally found the inspiration to start playing through the scenario booklet. The Noisy Year was sure to be exciting!

Game Overview

Game Name: For Northwood! A Solo Trick-Taking Game
Publication Year:
 2021
Designer:
 Wilhelm Su
Artist:
 Wilhelm Su
Publisher: Side Room Games
Solo Mode: Designed for Solo (Included in the Base Game)

A total of 8 animal rulers are visited with card-based conversations that determine whether they join up as allies. In the scenarios, special rules exist to change things up just a little bit in a series of charming vignettes. It’s up to this team to convince animals to do paperwork! Ha ha!

Beginning the Fun of Conversing in the Woods with the Animals in For Northwood!
R

First Play

April 28, 2023

Complexity

2

Latest Play

July 7, 2024

Expansions

0

Setup Time

Almost None

Lifetime Plays

14

Play Time

20 Minutes

:

High Score

20

1

Game Area

24" x 18"

;

Low Score

9

Out Into the Woods

The theme is one of the nicest ones around, focused on simply talking with various animals. A perfect score is the ultimate goal, yet even the failures offer up laughs.

I always like thinking about how my delegation talked about flowers or leaves for far too long, boring an already antsy pony. Or talking about galloping to a duck!

Gameplay never feels like the bad luck is a catastrophe, and that’s coming from someone with dismal scores. Ha!

After playing the standard full game for a long time, it was about time to explore the included scenario booklet at last.

Planning the Various Fiefdoms to Visit and Convince in For Northwood!

The Noisy Year

In an aptly titled scenario booklet, various challenges throughout the year provide little twists to the rules.

There is a Community Play dedicated to playing through everything throughout the year, aligning seasons along the way. At last, I had the inspiration to play!

The first summer scenario is about convincing rulers to review bills and get through a mountain of paperwork with a clever special rule about duplicate values.

So nice! I had a laugh at the flavor text and figured I would see how the King of Eyes fared with his bat-tastic plan…

Exploring the Scenarios with a Summer Challenge in For Northwood!

Hello, Can You Hear Me?

Upon several visits to the fiefdoms, it was determined that animals were absolutely not interested in paperwork. Ha!

I failed to meet the target number by the slimmest of margins time and time again during one play, leading to a pretty empty forest of allies. But I took it in stride!

Clearly, this was just not the time to bring up going through bills. It was even the Lady of Flowers herself, a duck, who was most resistant… Due to duck bills, I guess!

The play time was quick enough for me to reset so I could try my hardest to get this motion to pass with my allies.

When It's Impossible to Convince Animal Leaders to Do Paperwork in For Northwood!

The Trickiest Bunch

Finally, things were looking good! I managed to convince a few rulers early on with sheer luck, thanks to the perfect card coming out during the final round. Would it last?

Somehow, word must have slipped that these bills were not in any sense related to duck bills, thereby allowing me to finally get the Lady of Flowers on my side. Yeah!

My final ruler was the Queen of Eyes, and I had the wrong hand to match up with her requirements. But I had a plan…

With the help of a visiting ally, good luck, and a better bit of planning, the entire woods finally reviewed those bills!

Carefully Plotting Conversations with the Most Finicky of Rulers in For Northwood!

Copycats and Getting Inspired to Play a Game

Throughout this month, I’ve been trying to link up the solo games I play with others posted to the current Solitaire Games on Your Table list. Come on over to read, lurk, or post! Everyone is welcome. Yet I’ve found that this sort of challenge is helping me figure out what to play in a way I hadn’t expected to enjoy as much as I do!

Normally, I steer clear of challenges that set a schedule for playing certain games a certain number of times. I respect those that it works for, and if that’s you, good luck and have fun! I get caught up in feeling like I have to do something, so my hobby time turns into a chore or work. I’m only sharing my perspective to explain why copycatting is working.

Right now, I still get to choose what I want to play, only there is a little incentive to link back to the person who inspired me. And it’s almost like a little scavenger hunt! This play actually isn’t in that chain, although seeing the community play made me interested in joining in. Nope, my next solo game is going to tie into chickens, and I know what that is!

A lot of the time, this hobby can sometimes feel like it’s all about copying the latest buying trends and having everything that everyone else has. But there are also positive ways to be inspired about playing what you already have. I know I’m called the Breaker of Wallets, yet I hope I also help bring older solo games to your table sometimes. Enjoy!

Session Overview

Play Number: 11-14
Solo Mode: Designed for Solo (Included in the Base Game)
Play Details: Summer 1 Challenge
Outcome: 17, 19, 10, 20 (1 Win & 3 Losses)

With a friendly ally standing by to help out if things went wrong, I had the best time with my other animal friends! This conversation flew right on by with the deck of cards and I ended this session with an exciting victory. Now, I definitely plan to keep playing through the seasonal challenges to enjoy every little nuance this game has to offer! So cute, yet also very thoughtful at the same time!

When All the Cards Work Out for a Resounding Victory in For Northwood!

%

10 Plays

Affordability

Price & Value

10

Functionality

Challenges & Mechanics

10

Originality

Design & Theme

10

Quality

Components & Rules

10

Reusability

Achievement & Enjoyment

8

Variability

Distinctness & Randomness

5

+ Pros (Positives)

  • All of the artwork is charming and delightful with a very relaxed, carefree sort of atmosphere to make it relaxing.
  • Gameplay moves along quickly, yet involves plenty of meaningful choices in order to have a chance to score well.
  • Trick-taking doesn’t seem like a solo sort of experience, but it’s presented in an excellent way that works.
  • Different rulers bring out different abilities, and it can be quite the puzzle to figure out just when to activate them.
  • The scenario booklet is amazing with seasonal challenges that change the rules enough to add interesting puzzles.
  • Even the losses are enjoyable since the theme is all about conversing with animals without any conflict or violence.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • Bad luck can pop up at any point and isn’t always easily mitigated, making it impossible to reach the highest score.
  • It can be a little tricky to keep track of all of the available ally abilities to figure out who might be best utilized.
  • The full game can feel repetitive after a little while, and the scenarios seem rather necessary to maintain variety.
  • Play time can feel just a touch too long sometimes, especially when conversations are lost early on.

More For Northwood!

Explore related posts about For Northwood!

Victory Conditions

Score 20 Points

  • Overall Goal Progress 100% 100%

Goals and Milestones

R

Score 20 points with the introductory game.

R

Score 20 points with the full game.

R

Score 20 points in the Summer 1 Challenge.

Continue the Conversation

What do you enjoy about For Northwood! A Solo Trick-Taking Game? Have you played through The Noisy Year, or do you plan to? I’m having a blast with this one again, and playing along with the community is an excellent idea! Maybe it will take me a few plays to reach my goal, yet it’s always worth it to see these adorable animals chattering away!

2 Comments

  1. I’m new to your blog. This is a very enjoyable format. I have Northwood and only tinkered with it one time. I need to really try it again.

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I hope you have a great time when you try this one out again. The full game itself is very enjoyable, but I’m excited to play through these seasonal scenarios. Good luck!

      Reply

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