10 Solo Plays with the Paper Tales Board Game

February 24, 2020 | Sessions | 4 comments

Find out what happened after my 10th solo play of Paper Tales, and how my specific ratings have changed over time.

There is a lot to like about the Paper Tales board game. In particular, the included solo mode with the expansion, Paper Tales: Beyond the Gates, makes for a challenging experience. Although my plays have been spread out, I managed to complete my 10th play today! How did I do? Perhaps I still have some learning to do, which is fine by me. Ha!

Game Overview

Game Name: Paper Tales
Publication Year:
 Masato Uesugi
 Christine Alcouffe
Solo Mode: Included in Paper Tales: Beyond the Gates

Perhaps one of the elements I don’t necessarily discuss in detail is the randomized buildings. This set of tiles is used to choose 3 random options during setup.

A set of 4 standard buildings is always available so that there aren’t too many limitations. It all creates a nice mix!

Late Game Strategies

I had a plan this time around! The Lich King may have recently won by a single point, but I was much more prepared than before. Then again, I wasn’t.

The Relic of Light might be one of the most beautiful units in the deck, and she was all mine! Unfortunately, she came out during the final chapter and wasn’t all that useful.

It’s interesting to try to plan each turn, only for the solo card draft to toss in a curveball. Or just a fastball. Ha ha!

With all things considered, I felt reasonably confident in the last set of wars. Things had to go well with my units.

Session Overview

Play Number: 10
Expansion: Paper Tales: Beyond the Gates
Solo Mode: Included with the Expansion
Play Details: Level 2 Difficulty Level
Required Play Space: 22″ x 22″
Setup Time: 5 Minutes
Play Time: 20 Minutes
Outcome: 39-49 (Loss)

Oh, dear! I didn’t exactly finish within range of the Lich King. His panorama was pretty awesome, and he pulled ahead with a ton of bonuses. Quite a resounding loss!

An Analysis of Some Poor Decisions

I wondered how I fell so far off-course. My final score is usually reasonably close to that of the solo opponent, the Lich King. So what happened here? Part of it boiled down to the way I kept blocking him from drafting the units that granted him the most points. I ignored a lot of other useful bonuses that would have helped me out even more.

My focus also went all over the place. First I was heavily into a building strategy, but I turned into a militaristic leader. With only 4 rounds to go through, though, switching strategies can be very problematic!

The trick is to find a cohesive set of units from the start and build a tale from there. I let that disappear from my view, and it cost me. I could hear the terrible Lich King cackling in the background. Or was he closer than that?

The New Lich King

Run! I was surprised to see this Calico Critters duo charging across the table. Word had it that this chipmunk was attempting to put his spin on the Lich King.

At least this was far from terrifying! I mean, who could cower before a silly ghost costume? No skeleton here!

Perhaps the most dangerous part was the lack of control over the reins. Maybe that explains why the Lich King is the leader of the underworld: He couldn’t control his pony.

This pair made it home safely, though, with no damage to anyone or anything in the process! Thank goodness.

The 10-Play Rating Update for Paper Tales

My rating system changes a little bit over time, though I plan to go into more detail about it in the future! I typically reevaluate every game after every 10 plays to see how my opinion changes. Rating every play individually doesn’t say too much, but the long-term effects usually indicate some interesting trends. Onto a new look at Paper Tales!


10 Plays


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


More Paper Tales

Explore related posts about Paper Tales and Paper Tales: Beyond the Gates!

Continue the Conversation

What do you think of Paper Tales? Do you agree with my assessment of what led to my downfall? Maybe this is just a sign that I’m destined to continue to fall apart at times. The good news is that I’m determined to keep trying to do well. There is always next time, and the Lich King can’t rule forever… Especially when the Calico Critters take over!


  1. I adore the art in this game. I used to do a bit of paper pieceing for scrapbooking; I did several intricate ones (this was pre Cricut, which I had for awhile). I used a how to draw Disney characters book, a giant one, to make a few patterns and cut them out and assemble, like Chip and Dale, and others.

    So I love the art! I feel there is some gameplay similarity in some ways to Nations: The Dice game, and so I likely won’t ever get Paper Tales, but it’s possible, especially as my dice games have exploded of late.

    I enjoy your reports on it, and I’d definitely play it. I love that the more gruesome characters aren’t gruesome, and maybe scary, but not horrible. The deathly ones make me think a bit of some of the paper crafting for Day of the Dead.

    • That sounds like a lot of fun, Sara! I always have high hopes of trying out other creative hobbies, though I’m happy to keep board games at the top of my list. There never is enough time for everything!

      I’m slowly finding similarities in my collection, too, and will probably downsize at some point. It’s good to recognize when you don’t need a game. I’m sure your wallet appreciates you. Ha!

      The art style is very approachable. A few of the characters are rather frightening, but you’re right: Nothing is over the top nor terrifying. Plus I like to think that I’m hiring them to help me out. They’re vaguely friendly!

  2. I’m fairly certain it’s just my limited thinking, but I feel like only having one villain to beat in the Lich King would reduce replayability? You have some nice high numbers associated with the game, so I assume you don’t feel that is the case?

    • Great question, Derek! The Lich King is static only in his representation. There are a few ways that he differs between plays. First, you can choose to give him 0-4 bonus cards during setup. These bonuses allow him to earn victory points in other ways. The more bonuses, the more difficult he is to beat. And it definitely holds true! This ability to customize him and randomize the bonuses also adds some variability.

      Next, each round features a unique chapter for the Lich King. There are 5 types, and 4 unique cards for each type. These differ in the number of immediate victory points, amount of army strengths, and drafting bonuses. This is really where the heart of the variety comes in because these cards help to guide decisions about which units to pick.

      Let’s say you play back-to-back with exactly the same units, in the exact same order in the draft. Change up just one of the Lich King’s cards, and the choices you make about which units to draft will likely guide the plays in different directions. Granted, you’re not looking at the world’s most unique experiences, though I don’t see myself getting bored with it!

      Coincidentally, I’m working on my first proper review of a board game… And it’s for this one! It should be posted today, and it will include more information about reusability and variability. I hope all of these details answer your questions!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy