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Plan Orange: Pacific War 1930 – 1935» Forums » General

Subject: 1-2 Players? Solo play? rss

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Barry Miller
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Hi all, I'm unfamiliar with EotS series and just stumbled upon this game in my mailbox. I love playing solo games of all sorts, hence this question...

The published "stats" show Plan Orange as a 1 to 2 Player game. Yet paragraph 1.0 on pg 2 of the rulebook strongly suggests that it's [only] a two player game. Also, I couldn't find any specific mention in the RAW that modifies the game for solo play.

So how does this game play solo? (And I'm not talking about the typical way a wargamer plays a 2-player game solo - we all do that, I guess. I'm talking about playing a game designed for solitaire play, such as the 2nd Ed of EotS is).

BTW, I "stumbled" upon this game because I purchased C31 #29 only for Mark's article about his game, Churchill. Churchill is in my current play rotation (and BTW is another great game (1-3 player) that has a solo mode). So I was surprised to see Plan Orange included as I didn't pay attention to the contents when I ordered it. Serendipity!

Now of course, I want to buy Empire of the Sun!!! That would make it six Mark Herman games I've got. (And wargames are only a small portion of my collection).




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Robert Fix
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Re: Solo play?
In the #29 C3i article about the game, it states something to the effect that if you know how to play Plan Orange, you can play EotS. You might want to check if the "bot" in EotS is usable with Plan Orange
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Barry Miller
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Re: Solo play?

Yeah, I was thinking that. But I don't have EotS and won't until it's back in stock.

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Wendell
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I haven't tried Plan Orange yet. But I have played Empire of the Sun solitaire without a bot, by playing both sides to the best of my ability. I suspect you could do the same with Plan Orange.
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Francisco Colmenares
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There are no bot specific rules for Plan Orange. You would play solo the way we all normally do. That said I wouldn't rule out bot rules sometime in the future.
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Barry Miller
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colmenarez wrote:
You would play solo the way we all normally do.

As I mentioned/alluded in my OP, I already play many of my 2-player wargames this way (and have been for 25 years), so this answer doesn't address the question. The fact that the published player count shows that the game can be played with either 1 or 2 players is the question.

For a game to officially be listed as playable by one player, it must either be a solitaire game, or have a solitaire mode written in the rules. Given that I can't find solitaire rules in the Rulebook, and also considering that the game is rated "Low" for "Solitaire Suitability", makes me wonder why it shows "1" as one of the official player counts?

Going with the rationale that any wargame can be played solo would mean that all wargames would list "1" as an official player count.

Or is there a way to play this in solo mode that I haven't found?

Thanks!


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Rick Thompson
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bgm1961 wrote:

The fact that the published player count shows that the game can be played with either 1 or 2 players is the question.


Just curious. Outside of the player count on the BGG page (which anybody can submit an update for), where is it published that this is either a 1 or 2 player game?

I am not trying to be snarky or contrarian, but I can't find in the materials sent with C3i #29 or in the descriptions where it says anything other than this is a 2 player game.

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John Steidl
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DownriverRick wrote:
bgm1961 wrote:

The fact that the published player count shows that the game can be played with either 1 or 2 players is the question.


Just curious. Outside of the player count on the BGG page (which anybody can submit an update for), where is it published that this is either a 1 or 2 player game?

I am not trying to be snarky or contrarian, but I can't find in the materials sent with C3i #29 or in the descriptions where it says anything other than this is a 2 player game.


I believe the OP is referring to the BGG listing, which shows it as a 1-2 player game.

It was not designed as a solitaire game, nor does it include a Bot AI or other solo rule systems. That said, I would still consider it a 1-2 player game. My only rationale is that some 2-player designs play just fine solo, while others are "don't bother". Of course that distinction is based on personal taste, but that's what the poll is for. Even within games that have official solo rules, there is a huge difference between a game that is designed, ground up, to be played solitaire, vs. a game that's had some solo rules (such as bots) grafted on to a fundamentally 2 (or more) player design. So again, I still always look at a poll and read comments/reviews to get a better sense of whether I would enjoy a game in solo mode.

I find Plan Orange and EotS to both be quite enjoyable solo - even without the AI in EotS (which you cannot use in Plan Orange.) But anyone looking for a solo game system, or who feels that all CDGs are unplayable solo, should definitely look elsewhere.

On a different not, I also think that Plan Orange makes an excellent introduction to EotS. Hawkeye's note in the comment section outlines the reasons nicely.
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Barry Miller
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DownriverRick wrote:
Just curious. Outside of the player count on the BGG page (which anybody can submit an update for), where is it published that this is either a 1 or 2 player game?

jsteidl wrote:
I believe the OP is referring to the BGG listing, which shows it as a 1-2 player game.

Guys, thanks for your replies. Actually, I'm not referring to the player count shown by BGG! Though normally provided by the publisher, I never consider any game data shown in BGG as official. I'm referring to the official Plan Orange game data panel, printed on the back of the magazine itself. Here's an image for those who don't have the issue handy (C3i #29). Note the light green circle I drew:



Am I losing sleep over this? Certainly not. But I asked my OP question for three reasons:

1) Realizing that EotS can be played solo, seeing the "1-2" player count on the back cover of the magazine immediately caused me to wonder if the same solo system was incorporated into Plan Orange. It was when I couldn't find any mention of solo play in the rules that I decided to start this thread.

2) I'd really love to have a "reason" to move this game up in priority. "Whuh?", you ask?
My "Games to Play" list borders on anxiety inducing! I have games to bring to my Meetup group. I have games to play when the kids come visit. And the rest I play whenever I can grab an opponent, or solo. Though almost always, it's the solo opportunities that prevail.

So when I sit down for a solo session, my preference is to play a game designed for solo play before playing a game designed for 2 or 3 players. I simply have a more rewarding experience winning or losing a solitaire game, rather than playing both sides of a two-player game only to see how things turn out.

Don't get me wrong - Depending on my mood, and the subject of the game - I love playing a two player game solo. But the mood and the subject have to synch-up or the game won't move up in priority. And that's my issue with Plan Orange. I really have no interest in a hypothetical 1930s naval scenario. But I do have a HUGE interest in WWII Pacific Warfare (and am anxious to get EotS).

Realizing that Plan Orange is a cousin of EotS, and a game designed by Mark Herman, overrides my lack of interest. But even this override isn't enough to move it up on my list of two-player games to play. I'm still itching to get Normandy '44 to the table, and without a solo mode for Plan Orange, N'44 and three other games will beat it.

And when I have an opportunity to get only one or two solo wargaming sessions in every 3 or 4 months is the issue. So if Plan Orange has a solo mode, it'd automatically move up on my "To Play" list.
Sorry for the long-winded whining I'm doing here!

3) And finally, I intend to do some box-cover art to upload here very soon, so want to make sure I get the player count correct!

Thanks all, for listening!



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Gary Logs
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It is not a solo play design like EOTS. But you may want to add a category to it as a trainer for EOTS since it has very similar mechanisms that can take a while to digest. You would be able to dive into EOTS solos much quicker I'd think since ERASMUS solo system also adds a learning curve above the play mechanics. Just a thought.
 
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Rick Thompson
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bgm1961 wrote:

DownriverRick wrote:
Just curious. Outside of the player count on the BGG page (which anybody can submit an update for), where is it published that this is either a 1 or 2 player game?

jsteidl]I believe the OP is referring to the BGG listing, which shows it as a 1-2 player game.

Guys, thanks for your replies. Actually, I'm not referring to the player count shown by BGG! Though normally provided by the publisher, I never consider any game data shown in BGG as official. I'm referring to the official Plan Orange game data panel, printed on the back of the magazine itself. Here's an image for those who don't have the issue handy (C3i #29). Note the light green circle I drew:

[imageid=2869487 large wrote:


Am I losing sleep over this? Certainly not. But I asked my OP question for three reasons:

1) Realizing that EotS can be played solo, seeing the "1-2" player count on the back cover of the magazine immediately caused me to wonder if the same solo system was incorporated into Plan Orange. It was when I couldn't find any mention of solo play in the rules that I decided to start this thread.

2) I'd really love to have a "reason" to move this game up in priority. "Whuh?", you ask?
My "Games to Play" list borders on anxiety inducing! :) I have games to bring to my Meetup group. I have games to play when the kids come visit. And the rest I play whenever I can grab an opponent, or solo. Though almost always, it's the solo opportunities that prevail.

So when I sit down for a solo session, my preference is to play a game designed for solo play before playing a game designed for 2 or 3 players. I simply have a more rewarding experience winning or losing a solitaire game, rather than playing both sides of a two-player game only to see how things turn out.

Don't get me wrong - Depending on my mood, and the subject of the game - I love playing a two player game solo. But the mood and the subject have to synch-up or the game won't move up in priority. And that's my issue with Plan Orange. I really have no interest in a hypothetical 1930s naval scenario. But I do have a HUGE interest in WWII Pacific Warfare (and am anxious to get EotS).

Realizing that Plan Orange is a cousin of EotS, and a game designed by Mark Herman, overrides my lack of interest. But even this override isn't enough to move it up on my list of two-player games to play. I'm still itching to get Normandy '44 to the table, and without a solo mode for Plan Orange, N'44 and three other games will beat it.

And when I have an opportunity to get only one or two solo wargaming sessions in every 3 or 4 months is the issue. So if Plan Orange has a solo mode, it'd automatically move up on my "To Play" list.
Sorry for the long-winded whining I'm doing here!

3) And finally, I intend to do some box-cover art to upload here very soon, so want to make sure I get the player count correct!

Thanks all, for listening!


I don't know how I missed the player count... I'll chalk it up to the lateness of the hour when I posted...
And I do understand where you are coming from. Much of what you said is true for myself, and I'm sure many others.
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