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Subject: Solo games with 'player' progression rss

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Matthieu Plumettaz
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New York
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I'm moving soon, and I'm trying to anticipate the fact that in the new city I will be, it might take some time to build up / find a gaming group. So I'm looking toward solo games.

The one thing that bring me again and again to games, are the progression from one "game/scenario/episode" to the next one. It can be heroes leveling up, getting weapon/armors, or a sport team improving, or a army getting new unit etc ...
I'm not so focus on a type of game (dungeon crawler, wargame, etc...), it's more about that feeling of playing a game and having your "guys" progress for the next game.

Any recommendation on game that would provide that kind of feeling?
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Tim Royal
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damek wrote:
I'm moving soon, and I'm trying to anticipate the fact that in the new city I will be, it might take some time to build up / find a gaming group. So I'm looking toward solo games.

The one thing that bring me again and again to games, are the progression from one "game/scenario/episode" to the next one. It can be heroes leveling up, getting weapon/armors, or a sport team improving, or a army getting new unit etc ...
I'm not so focus on a type of game (dungeon crawler, wargame, etc...), it's more about that feeling of playing a game and having your "guys" progress for the next game.

Any recommendation on game that would provide that kind of feeling?


Pathfinder: Adventure Card Game is the one that comes closest to what you're suggesting. I solo two characters through the various adventure packs.

Robinson Crusoe isn't as directly related as Pathfinder, but it does have a feel of progression from one predicament to another. I enjoy it solo.

Other suggestions that marginally fit. Archipelago. Friday (Friedmann Friese). Mage Knight.


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Don Smith
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I've enjoyed Navajo Wars immensely. As the game progresses you are fighting to keep the people alive and culturally relevant. At each victory point check you have the ability to add culture cards with additional abilities to take advantage of (e.g. horsemanship increasing the movement capabilities of your families).

The game also features three scenarios which can be played separately or as one long campaign, building the people over time (assuming you don't get wiped out along the way).
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Byron Campbell
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Auzette wrote:
Robinson Crusoe isn't as directly related as Pathfinder, but it does have a feel of progression from one predicament to another. I enjoy it solo.


The expansion definitely has the feeling of progression--it's a linked campaign, with the outcome of one scenario directly impacting the next one.
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Michael F
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+1 for Friday. The whole game is basically a training montage to take Robinson Crusoe from zero to hero so that he can defeat some pirates.

Dawn of the Zeds (Second edition) - Zombie game with a couple of different main scenarios. You progress by researching a cure, developing a super weapon, and dealing with the growing enemy forces. One of the best solo games I've ever played.

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josh willhite
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Galaxy Defenders (I love this game, don't let the campy themes turn you off, it's an awesome game)
Deadzone (they'll be releasing a solo-play deck soon and there are on-going campaign rules in main rulebook)
Myth (there are problems, but they swear they're fixing them, and you might be able to pick up a copy cheap)
Thunderbolt/Apache Leader (DV Games has a pile of solo wargames)
Shadows of Brimstone (cowboys and Cthulhu, I didn't back it so I can't give details, looked neat, but I didn't think anyone would play it in the game group)
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Gary Goh
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Mice and Mystics might just fit the bill. You get to carry over an item from one mission to the next, along with any skills that your mice learn as they level up during each mission.
 
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Russ Williams
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There is the old solitaire RPG classic Barbarian Prince, available now as a legal download / print-and-play.
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Kerstin
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I never played it myself yet (still on the 'to buy' list) but Mage Knight Board Game sounds like something that could be for you, although it's said to be not the easiest to learn, but it's supposed to work great (if not even better) as a solo game.

Also I'm at the moment very much looking forward to Assault on Doomrock which is crowdfunded right now. This might also fit pretty much your despription.

I have not played many of those games myself yet, but started to also enjoy this leveling up type of games quiet a lot, so I'll keep an eye on the recommendations here myself.
 
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Justin R
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Because some recommended it:
Mage Knight is a very cool game, but you don't carry your buffed attributes into subsequent campaigns. That said, if you're ok with progression over the course of the game and not over the course of the meta-arc, it's a very clever design.
 
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Albert Hernandez
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How about a solo RPG? I just talked about doing that on my last episode of the 1 Player podcast.

Here's a session report explaining how I did it...
Using Rory's Story Cubes to drive an RPG

You might want to visit and join the 1 Player guild and the Solo Roleplaying guild.

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Ryan
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Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations and Thunderbolt Apache Leader both feature pilot progression as your pilots fly missions in a campaign, increase experience, and improve their skills.

Space Infantry also features campaign progression as your troops fight through a bunch of futuristic battles. Unlike the two games mentioned above, experience points in SI allow each unit to improve in up to three different ways.
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Captain Spaulding
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JJRR_Esq wrote:
Because some recommended it:
Mage Knight is a very cool game, but you don't carry your buffed attributes into subsequent campaigns. That said, if you're ok with progression over the course of the game and not over the course of the meta-arc, it's a very clever design.


This brings up an issue I have with the Pathfinder card game, which I know is super popular, but I consider the most over-rated game I've ever played. Yes, you can advance (a little) between games, but I find the game to be such a tedious luck-fest that that one element makes it far, far from worth it. I just don't understand why people think it's such an innovation to have upgrades take place in-between sessions of the game, rather than during the game itself. For example, take the game Friday - a solo game where you spend the whole game developing and upgrading your character - and the game ends in a reasonable amount of time. Play again, and you can upgrade your character in a different way. Pathfinder takes multiple, boring, games to upgrade just a little bit - the progression feels the same as other games, with the difference being that it takes so long to upgrade just a smidge, that you wouldn't want to do it all in one sitting. Just because they call it "persistent" or whatever - bleh - I call it broken and dull. Also, all the various traits; luck, constitution, survival, etc, are so abstracted it may as well be red, orange, green, etc. It basically comes down to flip over a card... orange. Is my guy good at orange? No, he's good at blue. Too bad. I just can't express enough my dismay at the praise for that game. Never once did I make I decision that felt strategic instead of just obvious. And even the obvious decisions are pointless when the roll of a twenty sided die can mean win or lose at any point during the game. Crap. Crap, crap, crap, I say!
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josh willhite
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Mr_Bickman wrote:
JJRR_Esq wrote:
Because some recommended it:
Mage Knight is a very cool game, but you don't carry your buffed attributes into subsequent campaigns. That said, if you're ok with progression over the course of the game and not over the course of the meta-arc, it's a very clever design.


This brings up an issue I have with the Pathfinder card game, which I know is super popular, but I consider the most over-rated game I've ever played. Yes, you can advance (a little) between games, but I find the game to be such a tedious luck-fest that that one element makes it far, far from worth it. I just don't understand why people think it's such an innovation to have upgrades take place in-between sessions of the game, rather than during the game itself. For example, take the game Friday - a solo game where you spend the whole game developing and upgrading your character - and the game ends in a reasonable amount of time. Play again, and you can upgrade your character in a different way. Pathfinder takes multiple, boring, games to upgrade just a little bit - the progression feels the same as other games, with the difference being that it takes so long to upgrade just a smidge, that you wouldn't want to do it all in one sitting. Just because they call it "persistent" or whatever - bleh - I call it broken and dull. Also, all the various traits; luck, constitution, survival, etc, are so abstracted it may as well be red, orange, green, etc. It basically comes down to flip over a card... orange. Is my guy good at orange? No, he's good at blue. Too bad. I just can't express enough my dismay at the praise for that game. Never once did I make I decision that felt strategic instead of just obvious. And even the obvious decisions are pointless when the roll of a twenty sided die can mean win or lose at any point during the game. Crap. Crap, crap, crap, I say!


I was just turned off by the walls of text on every single card.
 
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Andy Dunks
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Shadows of Brimstone, soon to be released, might be right up your alley. You can check it out here and on Kickstarter. The rulebook has been released for download.

I also really like Nerdook's solo version of Descent II, which you can find on the forums here and print yourself. It is quite workable with just the base game, and if you really like it, get the expansions too.

Galaxy Defenders is also good.

Shadowrun Crossfire is a deck-building game which can be played solo, which is to be released next month, and the Lord of the Rings card game by FFG has been popular for years.

Of these, I'm most excited about Shadows of Brimstone.
 
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