During the month of July, I played Delve: A Solo Map Drawing Game created by Anna Blackwell. In Delve you create a Dwarven Stronghold and are tasked with finding the void crystal while fighting against possible floods, bad magic, the undead, and ancient monstrosities. Not everything is bad though. You can also create useful inventions and find special artifacts.
The game is played using a deck of cards, a writing/drawing tool, paper (graph paper works great) and tokens. Each turn you explore a new square and draw a card. Depending on the suit, you may get resources which are used for creating defenses/units, trade goods which are used for creating buildings, natural formations like an underground river or a hive of creatures, or forgotten ruins like buried temples or the Halls of a Lich King. During combat, enemies will make their way towards your entrance unless your troops can stop them. If you are able to find the void crystal you win and can stop there or you can continue and see if you can find the imprisoned god, Hudrak, who will grant you a wish.
I had a lot of fun creating my stronghold even though it hurt my hand to draw so small. That is why the game took almost a month to finish as I needed breaks to rest my hand. Unfortunately, I did mess up some rules and, if I’d remembered them correctly, my stronghold may have been different. My husband also found some clarifications on some of the rules on Discord that I didn’t know about until after I had finished the game. I definitely plan on playing the game again and next time I may include an expansion or include world layers or bloodrunes. I may even play it just to create a map and ignore combat, etc. To create my stronghold I used Canson Artist Series graph paper (4sq/in), Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens and Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil (0.5mm). Below is the map I created of my stronghold and a brief history of the stronghold.
The dwarves of Darkhold were brave and strong except for that one guy who wanted to spread his cowardice. But no one talks about him or those he tried to take with him. They happily explored the underground caverns in the hopes of finding the void crystal. Along their journey they fought many creatures, like a cave kraken, the undead in the forgotten crypts, a lich king and his minions, and various ancient monstrosities. They defeated them all but at the cost of many. Many inventions were created, like mining songbirds which protected them from gas effects, dragonfire which made their gunners and cannons attacks stronger, and musical golems which lured enemies to them instead of heading to the entrance. They discovered ancient libraries, abandoned mines, buried temples, golem forges, crystal caverns, portals to the lower depths and their favorite, a magical portal to a wizard's realm that was filled with cats. They even befriended a few sabretooths and brought them back to their stronghold. They also found some volcanic shafts which were worrisome but thankfully they remained dormant. When the void crystal was finally found there was much celebration! But as soon as the festivities were over, the Under-King had another task for them. He wanted them to find the imprisoned god, Hudrak, who was rumored to be somewhere in the lower depths. The journey to find Hudrak took almost as long as it took to find the void crystal and was filled with several monsters and creatures which, just like before, they defeated. Also lots of acorns. Damn squirrels! When they found Hudrak, he was very grateful and granted them one wish. After some discussion, the dwarves of Darkhold asked for their Overseer to become the Under-Queen. Mysteriously the Under-King died and shortly after a new ruler came into power. The first Under-Queen.