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Subject: Army of One: Solo (1 agent) tips and small handicap. rss

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Mike Hill
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After getting half way through the campaign with a three man team and deciding to start over in order to train more powerful units, I saw a post on the geek talking about playing the game true solo (1 agent) and thought I'd give it a shot, barring the fact that some missions don't allow for it. I thought I'd play a handful, possibly out of order, with campaign rules anyway. Including online missions.

My experience with GD is largely positive. I like the tactics and player growth, squad interplay and classes, I just think its an absolutely brutal experience that kicks off right at the first mission and doesn't let up. I'd love to play it with original rules the way it was intended (i.e. original combat rules, no way to get more ammo except by Devices and Searching in rooms that are specified by the mission, etc.) but, as I said, the brilliant designers behind this game have crafted an experience that I would like to experience past mission 4, so for the sake if my sanity (and my walls, as I'm not sure they want dice shaped holes in them) I've decided to play test a quickly thought up variant for the one man against the aliens game.

GD already does a good job at balancing this, but in the first mission, if you lose all your ammo you are screwed. It's a little bit of a brick wall considering it happens pretty often, and you can't negate it without an extra ammo device or a special ability that you likely haven't leveled to the point of having yet, in addition to there being no place to search on that level. So I thought some standard, multiple pieces of gear for the one man army sounded like an ok idea that might not throw it too far out of balance.

The untested rundown:

Give your one agent (I'm going to try it with the Marine):

1 Health Kit
1 Extra Ammo Kit
+ Devices allowed by the scenario (For the first mission, I gave him a land mine)

Additionally, find a way to randomly scatter two Gear Caches on the board, in addition to any Alien or Improved Caches already in play as per the mission. I use the little locked door chits. I rolled two blue dice and placed them next to the corresponding teleport point, just like signals. They are simply a random generic/class specific device (i.e. don't shuffle in the Infiltrator's gear if playing with the sniper) It takes an action, when adjacent, to open the gear cache.

This is simply to tip the scales considering the somewhat brutal difficulty. I will give it a shot and, if it becomes far too easy this way, scale it back to maybe an extra gear and no chaches or something. Will update with results and experience this week.
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Byron Campbell
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For me, the main issue with the 1-agent game was the time--with only one agent turn per round, you burn through the events very quickly. If the mission is to survive the final round, easy peasy, but if you need to accomplish something within that time period, forget about it.

Having an extra health and ammo bucket on hand certainly seems handy, though (especially the health, if you did not select a Biotech agent).
 
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Mike Hill
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The question too is, would the player be braver and take more risks knowing they have all this gear to aid them? That could factor in, but you're right, only 10 turns, and being targeted by every enemy, will make it difficult to squash TPs. I will report back after the operation is complete.

 
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Silver Bowen
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The event system in GD would benefit from a doom clock (like Elder Sign). Simply only resolving events once every 3 turns would go a long way towards making solo agent play doable. Just use a few spare counters or a die to keep track. Add in a free ammo/health kit and Agent B is your uncle.
 
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Skaak
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silverbowen wrote:
Simply only resolving events once every 3 turns would go a long way towards making solo agent play doable.


This idea makes me wonder if playing a single agent as if he/she were multiple agents would help with the fast-advancing event deck problem. For instance, activate the agent three times (with three close encounter cards, of course) prior to drawing the event card and then evaluate any signal teleportation as if you were playing with three agents (although I worry this would not be balanced due to the inability to strategically maneuver agents to intercept signals; it might be worth using "agent activations - 1" or similar for evaluating how many signals to teleport in).
 
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Silver Bowen
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Skaak wrote:
silverbowen wrote:
Simply only resolving events once every 3 turns would go a long way towards making solo agent play doable.


This idea makes me wonder if playing a single agent as if he/she were multiple agents would help with the fast-advancing event deck problem. For instance, activate the agent three times (with three close encounter cards, of course) prior to drawing the event card and then evaluate any signal teleportation as if you were playing with three agents (although I worry this would not be balanced due to the inability to strategically maneuver agents to intercept signals; it might be worth using "agent activations - 1" or similar for evaluating how many signals to teleport in).


I'd try it w/ three turns and 1 agent signal teleports first, then if it's two easy do two turns and 1 agent teleports. Just because that seems easier to keep track of to me.
 
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