Hello wargamers! I am super new to wargaming. My cube-mate and I have been playing Nuklear Winter '68 in our workspace for about a week, and I think I'm hooked. Like, I'm seeing hexes and counters when I close my eyes. Oh boy.
I am looking for a good solo game to play at home. I have kids and cats, so maybe something that can be played in an evening? I'd like it to be WW2 or newer (modern is fine). I'm an ameritrash gamer by blood so I love a good theme (thus Nuklear Winter is my first game). Sci Fi or Fantasy would be cool too. I'd also prefer it to have varied scenarios vs. being a singular battle.
I've heard a lot of buzz about Conflict of Heroes with the solo expansion - any good? What about a CDG? How is it that there aren't any fantasy themed wargames??
Thanks for the recommendations, hope this is ok to post here.
I would recommend Fields of Fire. Being new to wargaming may actually help you, as the concepts are fairly unique and throw some more experienced wargamers. That said, it's a design that really gives you a feel for tactical combat.
Sometimes I'm the shark; sometimes I'm the swimmer.
I highly recommend Struggle for the Galactic Empire, a solo-designed hex-and-counter style sci fi wargame. I did a video review of it talking about its design and appropriateness for 'new' wargamers, as well as showing examples of gameplay.
You can't play in a night but I have a cat and young kids and I managed to keep it covered up easily whilst recording the video over a period of weeks as well as when I play otherwise. As long as you end your play time at the end of a turn, it is easy to pick up again.
There are many scenarios and you should start with the first one, as that is plenty hard and they ramp up quite a bit!
Check out games designed by John Butterfield. D-Day at Omaha Beach has already been mentioned and is a great solo game using an interesting system that is completely dice less and relies on card draws to run the AI and on comparing equipment of attacking units to defender requirements to resolve combat.
I haven't tried the later games in the D-Day series (Tarawa and Peleliu), but they add their own twists to that same system. They are also supposedly a lot harder to win.
Enemy Action: Ardennes is great, and might fulfill your CDG question. Cards are used to activate formations and add combat tactics which help you win fights. Combat resolution is again dice less, this time based on chit-pulls. This one not only lets you play solo as the Allies or Germans, but also allows for 2 player games.
For Sci-Fi I recommend Space Empires 4X. It has various solo modes, ranging from defending your empire from massive (but pretty stupid) Doomsday Machines to running AI empires that research technology and build fleets similar to the way you do. The expansion adds more scenarios, you should be able to try them using rules found on BGG with just the base game too. One of the great strengths of the game is the fog of war and tech tree which forces you to engage enemy fleets early to find out what tech they have so you can hopefully develop and deploy the right counters to it.
I've heard a lot of buzz about Conflict of Heroes with the solo expansion - any good?
It's amazing. The only solo game I've played that really feels like you're playing against a real person. Highly recommend. Pair it up with the CoH Firefight Generator for unlimited variation in gameplay.
Based on what you said and to complement what others have already suggested, here are a few more worth looking into (and generally speaking they can be had for a reasonable amount of money):
Battle of the Atlantic Fall of Berlin This have recently been reprinted by One Small Step. Both game use similar mechanics in that you use cards to determine what you can do in a turn, as well as drive the enemy's reaction. They take up very small place and play rather quickly (30 minutes or so once you have the rules down)
First Team: Vietnam This is long OOP but can be had for a song on e-bay. Great solo game in my opinion and much overlooked. Make sure you download the revised rules by one of our masters:
"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
From the file section. The rules as they come in the magazine do require a bit of interpretation. This one plays a bit more slowly but does not have a huge footprint either. Ah, no cards here. And no hexes but point-to-point movement
Panzers East Solitaire Recent game published in one of Strategy & Tactics line of magazines. I think it delivers a good experience and makes for a challenging game. Some claim it is not a good representation of the Eastern Front offensive, but I personally found it a very well crafted games and much prefer this than full authenticity if it comes at the price of not being playable. Also this one may need you to leave it set-up as it is a bit long to be completed in one session.
Kido Butai: Japan's Carriers at Midway Very small game on Midway. Lots of chance given by die-rolls, but an interesting experience nonetheless (uses basics of all WWII carrier games) and very quick + minimal footprint and set-up times.
The Chosin Few This one feels a lot more abstracted but it is an interesting game nonetheless. As for your post, this one also fulfills your requirements in terms of footprint and playing time. Worth checking out but a bit pricey for what it delivers (if you can find it second hand it would become worth to get it). Here you have cards that once again tell you what you can do and drive the enemy AI.
Let us know your next steps, but above all: have fun whatever you choose!
TLKoS also covers a not a very well known conflict, the components have a nice retro feel and a very interesting dice system. The Battle for Moscow is a must have game and is regularly praised for its simplicity and fluidity .
I'd like to add Night of Man with the solo expansion to the list. Yeah, you need the additional part to play against an AI, but to me it is totally worth it. The AI behaves reasonable to make a good opponent, but still is nasty enough to provide tension. It's not exactly hexes, though, but squares. But the counters are gorgeous
Sometimes I'm the shark; sometimes I'm the swimmer.
I'd like to add Night of Man with the solo expansion to the list. Yeah, you need the additional part to play against an AI, but to me it is totally worth it. The AI behaves reasonable to make a good opponent, but still is nasty enough to provide tension. It's not exactly hexes, though, but squares. But the counters are gorgeous ;)
I'm currently playing and filming Crete 1941: Operation Mercury. This is a game that comes with World at War Magazine, issue #47. It's about the German invasion of Crete, where the player takes control of the German airborne forces, but there are also air units and lots of surprises on the Allied (AI) side. The game is not complex at all and I'm having a blast with it!
Hi, Mike. I have Operation Battleaxe, but haven't given it a spin yet. Don't have Ie Shima, though. For some unexplained reason, I have yet to do a video on an area-movement game, which is weird, because I really like the genre (in the old days, I loved the old Turning Point Stalingrad). Area movement games should definitely televise well, compared to some hex and counter games with towering stacks. How about your upcoming Stalingrad game, is it solitaire friendly? Cheers.
You get 2-3 hours to play a wargame and you have kids? Lucky guy! I have a 2 year old and twin baby girls, and only get that time rarely. I'm allowed Tuesday nights, and one Saturday every two weeks by SWMBO. So....I set up games that may take a very long time to complete solo, taking a quick turn whenever I can get 10 or 15 minutes to sneak off into the war room and play.