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Subject: POLL: Solo vs. Solo rss

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Hunga Dunga
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Most of us solo wargames for various reasons. What is your opinion of games designed solely for solo play vs. two-player games that have high solo playability?

Poll
What type of designs do you prefer to play solo?
Two-player wargames with medium to high solo playability
Wargames designed solely for solo play
      340 answers
Poll created by Hungadunga


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Paul Sevigny
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I also enjoy solo-ing multi-player games - by the time each "player's" turn gets around I've forgotten enough things that each turn stays interesting.
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Michael Lucey
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Ellington
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I have not played a 2 player game solo since I began using vassal.
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Sam Carroll
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Urbana
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Most solo games feel far too puzzly for my taste - the one exception so far is Mage Knight Board Game. But I'm fine soloing most 2-player wargames.
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Eric Walters
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Chesterfield
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This was a difficult poll for me to answer. I had to answer two (or more) player games as that is what I solo most--usually to get rules and strategy/tactics under my belt before playing opponents in a serious game. But this really isn't playing solo for solitaire's sake. For that, the custom solitaire games are far better and I love them for what they do best.

I have a pretty hefty/healthy pool of FTF opponents where I live, so I only play solo to learn the rules when I prep for games. We are all older and working our way through the wargame "bucket list," since we've got more games than we'll ever play before we kick the bucket. So we don't often play the same game more than just once or twice.

But there are those rainy days when I'll drag out some of my favorite solitaire games, titles like Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic, Tokyo Express, and Phase Line Smash, or even some of the newer DG titles....
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Michael McLean
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I prefer a game designed for solitaire play when I'm playing solo - IF it's a good game on a topic of interest.

But I enjoy playing multi-player wargames solo as well.
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Ben Bosmans
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That depends only on the game itself.

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David Heldt
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Poll
Han Solo
Hope Solo
Napoleon Solo
      126 answers
Poll created by davepanzer
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Severus Snape
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Though I have yet to master the learning curve, what Mark Herman has done--is attempting to do--in Churchill is much appreciated. His "Bots" look like a way of trying to take the average wargame and make it "work" for solo play.

goo
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Severus Snape
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"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me." Blaise Pascal
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davepanzer wrote:
Poll
Han Solo
Hope Solo
Napoleon Solo
      126 answers
Poll created by davepanzer
If it is the original Napoleon Solo, then it is a tie between him and Han. If it is the new guy, let Han Solo blast him and blast him good.

goo
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Robert Wesley
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bentlarsen wrote:
Though I have yet to master the learning curve, what Mark Herman has done--is attempting to do--in Churchill is much appreciated. His "Bots" look like a way of trying to take the average wargame and make it "work" for solo play.

goo
While for some 'project', then how about an "updated" version of the 'Politco'-aspects from the TSR: A Line in the Sand ?
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Robert Wesley
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Re: POLL: Sulu vs. Sulu
bentlarsen wrote:
If it is the original Napoleon Solo, then it is a tie between him and Han. If it is the new guy, let Han Solo blast him and blast him good.

goo
/kiss\ ~"Daughter VS Dad, the 'Preacher'!" surprise ~"Father...SULU!?!"
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David Heldt
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bentlarsen wrote:
If it is the original Napoleon Solo, then it is a tie between him and Han. If it is the new guy, let Han Solo blast him and blast him good.

goo
To do that he'd have to shoot first--
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Andrew Kluck
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Soloing multiplayer games to learn the rules is a must, after that I feel like its playing Thumb Wars with yourself even if the game is great.

Solo designs can do incredible things others can't, so I miss that when playing a game solo anyway.
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Wayne Melnick
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Scoobysnacks wrote:
I have not played a 2 player game solo since I began using vassal.
I have not solo'd a wargame since email became common.
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Gary Goh
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I have soloed the Global Campaign in A World at War twice, and I enjoyed every minute. On the flip side, some solo games give me a feeling that I am playing against a robot which leaves me cold.

So yeah, solo-ing multi-player games works better for me.
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Drake Coker
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Many solo-only games are exercises in beating the odds. They can definitely be fun, but often the design is built around the idea that you have to play well and get lucky (or else the game is "too easy").

Not all multi-player games work well with a solo 'bot. Often there is quite a bit of effort involved in running the 'bot. Never-the-less, I generally find them to be a little more interesting.

This was a difficult question for me, but I came down on the side of 2-player solo.
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Pokey 64
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I used to solo two player games. Didn't have much of a choice. Eventually I got tired of knowing exactly what the enemy was thinking.

Fortunately designers are catching on that solitaire only wargames sell like hotcakes and are becoming much more prevalent.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Olvenskol wrote:
Many solo-only games are exercises in beating the odds. They can definitely be fun, but often the design is built around the idea that you have to play well and get lucky (or else the game is "too easy").

Yes, I definitely lose interest in a solitaire game once I have figured out a strategy that seems (near-)optimal and the only question after that is to replay until the dice are nice, which I am not going to waste my time doing. I don't mind if it is like a puzzle as long as it takes time to solve, but I prefer if there is just enough variation to make the puzzle unique each time so that it is not just replaying the same strategy over and over. That is why I think a solitaire game almost must have something like the random setup and events in Fields of Fire or lots of scripted scenarios like Ambush!. If it is just the exact same historic setup over and over it will quickly just be about rolling well.
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Lawrence Hung
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Actually, I enjoy more playing solo with two-player games than games designed solely for solo. It is the process of thinking about strategy and tactics, the system itself and the victory conditions that I was indulged in. While playing games designed solely for solo, I always think the computer AI is a much better opponent than paper one. Very few solo AI in board wargames are smart enough. One big exception so far I hanged onto was Mark Herman's The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BC. Smart AI in computer game is also hard to come by but the recent Wars and Battles is pretty good. I play this game solo more often these days.
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L. SCHMITT
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It depends on the game itself !

Paper AI is sometimes hard to beat, for exemple in Tokyo Express or in Carrier. The AI is not really creative but its tactics are efficient, more than anything I never saw in a naval computer game.

Sometimes, it is much easier. After 1 or 2 games, Peloponnesian War is no more a challenge as you have cracked the system and understood how to turn the AI' expeditions into no-return journeys. The balance system is all that saves a design far more interesting with 2 human players.

Randomness is no issue for me in a solo game as long as you have to make and balance decisions. OK for Fields of Fire. Not OK for B-17...
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Claudio Hornblower
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2 (or multi) players with high solo suitability.
Why cutting my chances? Also, it's nice to have a rules' feedback when played in 2 (or more), has a positive effect whenever I solo play.

Probably there are only 2 solo wargames exclusives so far that are really "must", to me: D-Day at... Butterfield's franchise, and Fields of Fire.
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Bolo75
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A difficult poll for me to answer as well, I came down on the side of solo-only game designs but I often play both styles.

The best/most effective solo design I am aware of is the enemy unit activation and movement for Raid on St. Nazaire! Quite elegant and provides a great solo game experience.
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Wendell
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Second the comments about a general preference for solo'ing 2- or multi-player games vs playing designed-as-solitaire games.
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Iain K
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I've yet to find a solo board game design that's worth the effort expended in modeling an opponent. It's much easier, and often less gamey, to simple play a two player game solitaire.
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