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Leaving Earth» Forums » General

Subject: Drop on/out play possible, and is solo only gaming worth it? rss

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Russell
Australia
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Hi All,

Hadn't heard of Leaving Earth until I saw it on a pre-order page down here in Australia. Upon reading about it, the idea of this game is right up my wheelhouse, except for maybe the playtime, whch is a bit longer than what I can usually find (I prefer up to 60 minute games). When i first rad it, I immediately thought of Kerbal Space Program, which I have on my Mac, but never had the time to properly sit in front of the computer and play.

However, this game sounds that good, it may be my only chance to get a copy locally with the expansion, and I've been after an in-depth single player game for a while, that I'm willing to pay the cost for the base game plus outer planets excursion and take the chance.

What would help me decide is if there is some way I can slowly induct my non-gaming family into playng with me also. I have a teenage son at least (don't think the other one or the wife will give it a shot) I think I could convince to join in, if he could get used to the game gradually.

So what I was wondering was, if I started playing a solo game, is it possible for him to join in and help part way through, then leave again when he has had enough? Or is there some other strategy I could use to introduce the game to him without asking to commit 2 or 3 solid hours to playing?

For those of you who do only play solo, is it worth the cost (AUS$140 total for me) to you as a solo game versus other solo games (ranging from Onirim to Mage knight) out there?

Thanks.
 
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Koinsky
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I'm playing it exclusively solo for several months and it is worth every single euro I spent on it (the cost in euros - with expansions - was close to AUS140$) as long as you like planning and doing - easy - maths.

If playing time is a problem, it's fairly easy to "break" a game in several sessions (something you can't do easily with Mage Knight). You mainly have to keep tracks of your ships location (+time token on it) and composition.

Technically, someone else could join in and leave when he wants, but I wouldn't expect it to work in practice. Either you son will develop a real interest for the game and will probably like to consider his own planning or he won't and I wouldn't count on it much. Anyway, as stated before, this is a most excellent game in solo
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Israel Waldrom
New Zealand
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I can certainly say it is worth the cost for Solo play, which the majority of my plays have been.

As for game length - playing on easier difficulties will make the game shorter, as the missions are much easier to achieve and can be done before the end of the game calendar. There is also a shorter game variant in the manual for the expansion, where you start in 1966 instead of 1956, but with 2 fully tested technologies. I'm sure this could be adapted to the base game as well.
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Bitchy Little Boy
Romania
Bucharest
Sector 3
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... so I can bear with you, please!
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The game involves huge amounts of lengthy planning, when nothing happens seems to happen. This downtime is the major difficulty if you want to play it with several players (and this is why I haven't invited anybody else to play it with me). However, with at least three players, the negotiation/co-operation element should make the game a lot more tense and challenging and take it to a whole new level.

My suggestion is to play the game with others either by email or in instalments. For instance, set it up one evening (take a picture of the mission cards if necessary) and then break up for planning. Play a few years next evening until something game-changing happens to any of you and then take another planning break (and take another picture of the game status). And so on until you have a clear winner or you reach the end of 1976.

I really think playing it this way would be worth it. Still, you can reach your own conclusions while playing it solitaire (and it is an excellent solitaire at the more difficult levels). In my experience, it is not difficult to pack the game during an interruption in such a way as to be able to quickly set it up back when you want to resume playing it.

Oh, one last thing! Don't use the expansion until all the players are comfortable with the base game. The expansion adds a lot of complexity to an already challenging game.
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John Patton
United States
Evanston
Illinois
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First of all, it's a very good game, thematically rich, and shines as a solo game. That said, it's rather mathy as you basically solve simple equations to get anywhere around the solar system. If doing a fair amount of basic math is not up someone's ally this game would be a non-starter, but if that wasn't a turn-off and the theme was attractive it can be a lot of fun.

Second point is that the game is essentially about long-term planning - you plan your budgets, and develop strategies of aquiring technology to reduce the press-your-luck factors of missions you've set out to accomplish. The game does not play on rails and there's much ad-libbing when your research and such doesn't fall into place, but planning ahead and proper timing are essential, esp. with the outer planets expansion.

Now long term planning is something that some people will enjoy as a challenge, and for others it makes their head hurt. You have to judge this with your family. It can also make it hard for someone to "join" a solo game, as they will find you in the middle of choreographed actions already set in motion. On the other hand, the planning aspects make it a good co-operative solitare if two of you played as one, and playing mutiplayer adds a "space race" element (although there's a lot of leeway to make the mutiplayer as co-operative or cutthroat as you like, which is a nice thing).

Worth the cost? Hard to say. It all comes down to theme and patience - if the theme is a plus and those involved have the patience for the math, you really can't do better. As far as a game invoking it's theme it's one of the best ever made. Now, the other games you mentioned, Onirim (which I like a lot) really doesn't compare as this is a much bigger, broader game - but this is not as big and as broad (nor as complicated) as Mage Knight, in fact, rather nicely so.

I have a lot of solo games and in this class - larger thematic games - my go-to's are this one, Mage Knight of course, and Merchants and Marauders, with Robinson Cursoe getting an honorable mention. YMMV.
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Russell
Australia
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Thanks all. Some good food for thought. I don't actually have any other solo games yet. the ones I quoted just seem to bw the popular extremes of solo games, so something in the middle is probably what I'm after.

I can see it'd end up being just me playing, so I'll have to consider if that's enough for me.
 
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Mike Hoyt

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I love it as a solo game.

As for people dropping in/out, I think that is perfectly feasible, as long as you're not too focused on the game aspect.

The game is a race, with a lot of long term planning. If winning that race is the focus, then a player dropping in is at huge (impossible) disadvantage, and if they are going to drop out again fairly quickly they likely won't get to see the results of their planning.

But if I was many years into a great solo session and my son wanted to give it a try I'd welcome him and just ignore the race concept. Give him a couple of the easier missions and help him along with the only goal for him to be accomplishing a mission. Who cares if I've already done it?

In that sense it can be mult-player solitaire and that's not a bad thing. In fact, it's not a bad way to introduce a whole group, let every player score every mission, not just the first person. Once people have the concept of planning and execution you can go to the race aspect (which does add tension), but for a casual drop-in player or newbie, nothing wrong with just celebrating mission success!
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Paweł Bedz
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No problem with dropping in/out. You can play it as cooperative game. So not a single issue there. You can ask Your son to prepare some one specific mission. If he leaves midplay - you just continue.

For me this game is more a simulation than a game. So even if i do not win - i feel very satisfied when i was able to pull of some very difficult mission during gameplay.
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Russell
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Alright, so whether it's FOMO or just wanting something different, my orders are in
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