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Subject: 1 or 4 players, and a few other questions rss

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Joe F.
United States
North Carolina
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So this game looks interesting, especially with the new price, but given the few reviews (glanced over the rule book) have a few questions for those that have the game.

1. Does this play solitare at all? (I doubt it)
2. How well does it play with 4 players? Is it 2 vs 2 with each player controlling a squad to support the other on this team?
3. How many 4 players missions are included in the base game?

thanks all, I seldom have just one person to play, so if I get this it would be primarily for 1 or 4 players and not 2 or 3.
 
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Jeffery McCulloch
United States
Buda
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Nordiska wrote:
So this game looks interesting, especially with the new price, but given the few reviews (glanced over the rule book) have a few questions for those that have the game.

1. Does this play solitare at all? (I doubt it)
2. How well does it play with 4 players? Is it 2 vs 2 with each player controlling a squad to support the other on this team?
3. How many 4 players missions are included in the base game?

thanks all, I seldom have just one person to play, so if I get this it would be primarily for 1 or 4 players and not 2 or 3.


1. I find it plays very well solitaire due to the orders and being at the mercy of the phase cards, initiative changes, and the occasional event. I would say that it is important to "stick to the mission" for each side. I found it difficult to cheat, because of the constraints. You certainly want to go solitaire to test strategies in preparation for a live opponent. It does not do well when trying to run as if you were four players.

2. The more players the tougher it gets with more orders, even less team coordination, etc. This is not a bad thing, though.

3. If you can find missions with about 20 VP per player you will do well with most scenarios. You can go with less, if you demote leaders and skip some equipment.

Hope this helps.
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Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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I cannot add much to that answer except that it does work as a team game (I have played one game of two teams of three players each - it was a riotous swirling battle) but I have had the most fun with the game with one opponent at a time.
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Leg Infantry
United States
Massachusetts
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Joe,
I agree, Jeff is pretty much dead-on. It plays solitaire due to the cards and there is a need to keep to the orders. I find that some orders are easier to play solitaire than others but there are enough orders to see you through with two sides played or four sides played.

In case you are interested, here is how I play each side. Be aware this is a departure from the rules, as there are no rules for solitaire and I have worked with this system, refining it for over a year. First, I do not turn over the orders until it is that players turn. Therefore, the first player does not know the orders of the 2nd or 3rd, etc. players -at least for one turn.

I pull the story cards normally - in case there is an event.

Next it is all about the amount of cards in each player's hand. Without getting too involved, I divide each hand in thirds. Each player, in their turn, only gets to turn over a third of the hand. They play a card from those turned over if they can. If they can't, they take a card, one by one, from those in the hand but not turned over. If they can play a card from those previously face down cards - fine, but they lose the dog-tag action. Yes, there is a penalty for not getting it right the first time.

Play continues around in the same manner. When the second phase comes up a player is able to reveal the 2nd third of cards unless already revealed. If they can play the card - fine otherwise they must, one at a time, turn over unknown cards.

If all the cards will not work, then a player does much of what the rules say and discards all their cards and draws from the deck until they find a card that will work.

All of this acts to limit the knowledge of the player as they do not know what the opposing side is capable of doing in each phase. It is why the player does not place all the cards for all the phases down at once.

There are a number of other portions to how I play but that is the core to solitaire play - and it work for two, three or four "players". I have not tried with more than that, but the concept would not change. It is why I keep the game up all the time, except when I bring it to friends houses to play (can't be two places at once - physics).

It is one of the few games not specifically designed for solitaire play that gives a good representation and an action packed game.
Hope that is helpful.
Mitch
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John Di Ponio
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Lake Orion
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Great idea for SOLO Mitch! I am going to give that a try this week!
 
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Vance Strickland
Canada
Nepean
Ontario
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MitchA wrote:

...
There are a number of other portions to how I play but that is the core to solitaire play ...
Mitch


That sounds really cool. Would you care to expand on the other portions?
Thanks for sharing.
 
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Leg Infantry
United States
Massachusetts
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Vance,
I doubt I can lay out all of the solitaire rules I use right here but I can add a few things. Please understand, some of the things I will put down will fly in the face of how others play. One thing I like about SMG/DDS is that people can change what they want to suit their perception of reality.

First, I do not tailor make squads or team when I play. No one ever asked me to accept a soldier in my unit prior to him getting there. He just arrived and would be incorporated into the unit. Because of that, I generally play less with the points and more with the number of men (I temper that with their weapon)and the weapon they carry. I works well in solitaire.

Second, sighting was an issue and I made comments to that effect a while ago. That has been changed in the rules and now works well both solitaire and against an opponent. You must sight the nearest soldier.

Third, the biggest issue (again to me - others may differ) is Combat Contact. I play that once it is entered by however many soldiers you want (normally) the sequence changes. I take the cards you have in your hand and subtract the cards of any leader not within 10" (for SMG) and then add the fight card of each soldier to get the final initiative number. Drawing is one card per soldier, in sequence. Results are figured for each soldier. What I find is that there is more give and take in Combat Contact. Additionally, leaders who are no where near the combat have not effect on the combat. Finally, close combat is a dicey/chancy thing so when two soldiers are fighting one soldier I draw to see who gets the combat result (amongst the two soldiers). You do not get to shoot everything and pick the soldier you want to kill. You get to choose who you fight. I can just imagine a leader saying - "No, don't use your bayonette on that soldier, use it on the other one." Close combat is too fast, too close, and men are working on instinct. Leaders are doing leader tasks. They are figuring out what comes next or actually leading (in close combat themselves) which means less orders and more staying alive. Again, it is how I play close combat solitaire but has also been adopted when we play in our group. More realistic in my opinion and less (I have the best leader - I get initiative - I have 5 cards and will kill your leader before you can do anything.) I will add that initiative is done by soldier, not side, so that two US soldiers could go before a German soldier gets a chance to pull his card. If the German is killed - he never pulls a card. If the German is pinned (and would only get one card he never gets his second card) even if he survives all close combat.

Well, that is probably enough for now. As I said - that's how I play - others can play as they want. There are some other aspects but probably for another time although most of them are common sense changes that I have made.
Hope you have fun playing - I have - and after all that is the goal.
Mitch




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Vance Strickland
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Thanks for all of that Mitch. You don't play very differently from what my group and I play.

We don't pick and choose the best soldiers for the mission either. The para drops on D-Day were scattered enough that they had to build fighting forces with whomever showed up first. I have no idea how many kill cards any of my soldiers have for example.

I'll give your ideas a spin.

Thanks again.
 
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George Anderson
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Pennsylvania
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I have built a solo engine for SDD that I am currently still tweaking. It is loosely based on the ATS Robot that I developed for Critical Hit a few years ago.

I'm not ready to send anything out yet because I'm still tweaking it. So far the "Bot" player has been giving me a run for my money.

I was trying to develop this for SMG, but there were some hurdles that I had trouble overcoming. SDD inherently solved those problems for me.

My intention is to revisit it for SMG once I get it working well for SDD.

George
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Peter
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George_Anderson wrote:
I have built a solo engine for SDD that I am currently still tweaking. It is loosely based on the ATS Robot that I developed for Critical Hit a few years ago.

I'm not ready to send anything out yet because I'm still tweaking it. So far the "Bot" player has been giving me a run for my money.

I was trying to develop this for SMG, but there were some hurdles that I had trouble overcoming. SDD inherently solved those problems for me.

My intention is to revisit it for SMG once I get it working well for SDD.

George

If you need some feedback I'd be happy to give your system a spin when you are ready. I've worked professionally on artificial intelligence (AI) for computer games, but none so far for board games.

Board game AI is a topic I want to think about more and try soon. I've been thinking about differing gaming personalities as a nice way to organize my thinking. For SDD, I've been using the basic "play both sides" solo play. It is fun and fast, but lacks the surprise of a real human opponent. Lately, I've played more by assigning one side (the "AI" side) a distinct personality, like "charge in to get into melee" or something like that, and seeing how that plays out.
 
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Ray Gaer
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Fullerton
California
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If you are looking for AI personalities and behaviors check out The Solo System, it might be what you're looking for. It is a set of PnP cards that I've found useful for solo play.
 
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Jeffery McCulloch
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Raygun1966 wrote:
If you are looking for AI personalities and behaviors check out The Solo System, it might be what you're looking for. It is a set of PnP cards that I've found useful for solo play.


After seeing your post I bought two copies from The Game Crafter. I'll give it a spin after all the bugs are out of SHOW.
 
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Ray Gaer
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Chad the designer of the cards is very active in the 1 player guild and he's very good at giving replies to questions and feedback. Let us know how it works for you. Enjoy!
 
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