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Subject: Is it possible to play alone? rss

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Eric Edens
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I know from videos it is a timed decision making process for taking cards. Which is meant to keep the quarterbacking to a minimum. I also realize that playing just a single character wouldn't work as you would get overwhelmed. But I play solo mainly. As this is cooperative, could I play alone? Maybe 2 characters and double the timer to decide what to take? Or even use the timer as is and just rush my decisions? Curious. Thanks.
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Isaac Thimbleby
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I'm not sure how well it would work longer term, but Rahdo's runthrough on youtube is essentially an example of him playing two characters by himself.
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Eric Edens
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Yeah I saw Rahdo. I just wonder if the game needs/wants player confusion to balance it out. If one player can decide all moves does it make it too easy?
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Jeff Lozito
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mebesquee wrote:
Yeah I saw Rahdo. I just wonder if the game needs/wants player confusion to balance it out. If one player can decide all moves does it make it too easy?


It seems like a bit of a trade-off in terms of the source of confusion. With more than one person, the confusion can come from different people all wanting the same thing at the same time; with only one, the confusion comes from a single person having to juggle multiple characters tactically and strategically. This is all exacerbated by the inclusion of the sand timer.

So, in a sense, you are (possibly) trading one type of confusion for another.
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César Mendes
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If the missions don't change radically the rules I don't see why you can't play solo controling 2 characters has Rahdo was doing.

It looked to me pretty possible to do it.
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Jason Brown
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I think a solo playthrough with multiple characters wild work just fine. On first appearances it looks like you should remove the sand timer to account for your managing multiple tracks. Of course, SGOYT will have a multitude of recommendations in less than a month.
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I think the timer allows for a lot of flexibility. Say you play solo with 2 heroes and win a mission really easily with the standard 1 minute timer. Well then, how about a 45 second timer? 30 second timer?

Or the inverse, you lost horribly and thought it was way too hard. Well then, increase the timer to 1:30 or 2 minutes. Voilá!
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Steve Marano
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So it would be great if we could get some insight from someone from Riot if this game is worth purchasing if one would be playing it primarily solo. I for one absolutely loved the overviews of the game by Rodney Smith and Rahdo, but my big concern is that controlling two characters over the course of the campaign would quickly become tedious, especially considering that the game is supposedly much more difficult for two players than for more than that.

Anyone from Riot care to comment?
 
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James Palmer
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smarano wrote:
So it would be great if we could get some insight from someone from Riot if this game is worth purchasing if one would be playing it primarily solo. I for one absolutely loved the overviews of the game by Rodney Smith and Rahdo, but my big concern is that controlling two characters over the course of the campaign would quickly become tedious, especially considering that the game is supposedly much more difficult for two players than for more than that.

Anyone from Riot care to comment?


I listened to a podcast about this and appatently while ruleswise there is nothing stopping someone from playing this solo they believe the experience is that much better with multiple people that they thought it best to label it as being for 2 - 4 players, even if it meant losing some sales to the solo crowd. I think that's refreshing as many publishers will do just about anything to widen the range of player numbers on the box.

So yes, you can play solo, but Riot Games believes this will be a suboptimal experience.
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Mike Malley
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Is it "official" that the game is more difficult with two players? That would make me a bit sad inside.
 
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Nathan Tiras
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It's definitely possible to solitaire the game, but I wouldn't recommend it. Part of the interest comes from working with others and I don't know how much fun the puzzle nature of some missions would be to solve solo. It's possible, but your results may vary.

We playtested the entire game with 2, 3, and 4 players. Here are some major takeaways:

1. Mech power comes directly from command cards. The more cards you have slotted, the more power you have. Because each turn, you're drafting 4 cards total, your power level stays the same regardless of the number of players you have.
2. The game plays much more quickly and "arcadey" with 2 players compared to 4. 4 Is more about "Who can do this thing?" whereas 2 player mode is more about "I can do these things, what can you do?" The ramp of danger escalates faster in 4 players because you're unable to cut it off (lower per mech power level) whereas in 2 player mode, you have much more agency, but any mistake is punished much harder because there's only 2 of you.
3. 3 Player mode forces more coordination around who has the next major power spike as one player is drafting 2 cards each turn. It's a different but still cool experience, as drafting 2 cards feels really good.
4. Schematics lead to really spiky and interesting moments. One shots can be game changers (In one playtest I watched a corki destroy 25 minions in one turn. It was bananas) While persistent schematics create freedom in terms of you longer term planning and decision making. In hindsight, it may have been worth it to say 2 schematics per player per mission in 4 player games, 3 per player per mission in 3 player games, and 4 per player per mission in 2 player games, but that literally just occurred to me right now as I'm writing this post, and would have taken a long time to test. Maybe worth trying out on your own?

When we first began playtesting 2 player mode, we were pleasantly surprised that the game felt balanced and fun. We were expecting to design an entire separate set of 2 player rules, and due to the above takeways, it wasn't actually necessary for a good experience.

That's my 2 cents, hope it helps!
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Nothing in your response tells me you can't play this just as well solo. Now, what I mean by solo is 1 player playing 2, 3 or 4 mechs at the same time. The decision points should be the same, only that the timer puts stress on you to figure it out all by yourself which card works better for which mech.

RiotFpMcgee wrote:
It's definitely possible to solitaire the game, but I wouldn't recommend it. Part of the interest comes from working with others and I don't know how much fun the puzzle nature of some missions would be to solve solo. It's possible, but your results may vary.


Why would the puzzle nature of some missions change if I were playing solo with 3 mechs for example?

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Mr Suitcase
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Logus Vile wrote:
Nothing in your response tells me you can't play this just as well solo. Now, what I mean by solo is 1 player playing 2, 3 or 4 mechs at the same time. The decision points should be the same, only that the timer puts stress on you to figure it out all by yourself which card works better for which mech.

RiotFpMcgee wrote:
It's definitely possible to solitaire the game, but I wouldn't recommend it. Part of the interest comes from working with others and I don't know how much fun the puzzle nature of some missions would be to solve solo. It's possible, but your results may vary.


Why would the puzzle nature of some missions change if I were playing solo with 3 mechs for example?



I think this would work for you, given what I've seen. Your planning will be much more cohesive, but you can mitigate this with a timer. (perhaps not just using the timer to draft cards, as in the game, but also using it to program the cards that you've drafted).
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Chris Cantrell
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Logus Vile wrote:
Why would the puzzle nature of some missions change if I were playing solo with 3 mechs for example?


Well, to be clear, you definitely can. I, personally, like the experience better with others and you obviously miss out on a lot of that if, well, you're by yourself. Because of that, I didn't want to market it as a solo experience - even if it meant we were missing out on some sales. But the game can be played with one person; it is doable. I just don't find it ideal. To each their own, though.

If you do play it single player, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the experience.
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Riot Kades wrote:
Logus Vile wrote:
Why would the puzzle nature of some missions change if I were playing solo with 3 mechs for example?


Well, to be clear, you definitely can. I, personally, like the experience better with others and you obviously miss out on a lot of that if, well, you're by yourself. Because of that, I didn't want to market it as a solo experience - even if it meant we were missing out on some sales. But the game can be played with one person; it is doable. I just don't find it ideal. To each their own, though.

If you do play it single player, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the experience.


I'm not trying to be difficult but I'm not clear on what the issue with solo is. You said
Quote:
I, personally, like the experience better with others and you obviously miss out on a lot of that if, well, you're by yourself. Because of that, I didn't want to market it as a solo experience
What is the "that" you mean? Player interaction?

Because at this point, I think you are talking about the experience of playing with other people that is relative to all board games. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Can Pandemic Legacy be played solo? It's not marketed as such, but nothing changes if I play it solo compared to multiplayer except player interaction. The gameplay stays the same. Correct? How is MvM different? When it comes down to it, what would change in the actual gameplay if I were to play it solo with 3 mechs?

My point is I would like to play with my gaming groups but I also like to play games solo as well. However, it's suggested here by Riot that the game changes when played solo.
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Chris Cantrell
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Nah, you're not being difficult at all, Logus. Fair question.

Yes, player interaction is part of it. You can play Pandemic alone and the game still works. You can play MvM alone and the game still works.

Even when experienced players are managing two different command lines, it gets slightly wonky (though, definitely still doable). This is part of why the 'quarterback' problem isn't nearly as pronounced as I initially feared it would be. Each person has a decently meaty puzzle in front of them in trying to get their command line and mech to do what they'd like. It's not easy to look across the table and 'solve' another person's command line without some experience - and even then, it can be difficult. Managing two command lines feels a bit like this, as well.

If solo games are your thing, there's nothing in MvM that is preventing you from playing with just one person. But since I found that experience to be sub-optimal, I made the call to only market it to players in groups of 2-4. A pet peeve of mine is when games tell me they play 'with 2 players', only to find that after you've bought it, the two player rules sorta work but the experience is extremely janky and unwieldy. It was obviously done to sell units since the quality of the game drops off so significantly. That was what I was trying to avoid. But you're right, there's nothing preventing you from controlling 2 (or more) mechs and playing through the entire game by yourself.
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Riot Kades wrote:
Each person has a decently meaty puzzle in front of them in trying to get their command line and mech to do what they'd like. It's not easy to look across the table and 'solve' another person's command line without some experience - and even then, it can be difficult. Managing two command lines feels a bit like this, as well.


This is why it appeals to me as a solo player. There is a puzzle there that sounds fun to solve (although it seems our misunderstanding had to do with precisely the fact that you think it isn't fun and wouldn't recommend it). However, this is a from someone that plays Mage Knight, Apocalypse Chaos (incidentally, is also a programming game but with dice), Shadowrun: Crossfire solo.

Thanks for the discussion.
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Andrew Cargill
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Logus Vile wrote:
Riot Kades wrote:
Each person has a decently meaty puzzle in front of them in trying to get their command line and mech to do what they'd like. It's not easy to look across the table and 'solve' another person's command line without some experience - and even then, it can be difficult. Managing two command lines feels a bit like this, as well.


This is why it appeals to me as a solo player. There is a puzzle there that sounds fun to solve (although it seems our misunderstanding had to do with precisely the fact that you think it isn't fun and wouldn't recommend it). However, this is a from someone that plays Mage Knight, Apocalypse Chaos (incidentally, is also a programming game but with dice), Shadowrun: Crossfire solo.

Thanks for the discussion.

This is the way I see it too, I think that it's correct to market this as 2-4 players though as the game won't be true solo, but I don't see why it can't be soloable with 2 mechs. Any cooperative game can essentially be run as a solo experience, just takes a little juggling sometimes which to be honest can be a part of the fun. Majority of my games too are cooperative games games usually marketed 2+ players. I can see why Riot may see this as suboptimal when playing solo though as it takes a lot of the fun banter & interaction between players away and turns it into a puzzle/optimisation experience, it will be interesting to see what the 1 Player guild reaction is to this game...

Though I do think this will be a blast personally to play solo, my only concern is will it become a little like Legends of Andor in that once you complete a puzzle/mission it's solved & you can replicate? I'm guessing not due to the luck elements from card draw/dice rolls and the amount of different characters you can replay as.
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Dean L
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It occurs one option might be to draft with the timer, then programme each mech in turn, covering the board of the other. That might get close to the multiplayer experience, though not sure it'd be more fun!
 
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Deano2099 wrote:
It occurs one option might be to draft with the timer, then programme each mech in turn, covering the board of the other. That might get close to the multiplayer experience, though not sure it'd be more fun!
fun is subjective. The point is, the game can mechanically be played solo. It seems the disagreement here was whether it was considered fun that way. Also, I understand that they didn't say it was 1-4 because playing one mech wasn't playtested and was not the aim of the game. However, playing 2 or more mechs by the same player doesn't seem to change the gameplay. EDIT: as an example, the aforementioned Apocalypse Chaos says 1-4 however to play it with only one hero takes away the best mechanic in the game which is dice sharing. Playing solo with 2 heroes or more opens up the gameplay greatly because now you can exchange dice with other heroes and the puzzle really opens up.

I haven't read the online rule book, only watched some videos. Why would I have to cover the other boards before placing the drafted cards?

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Steve Marano
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Logus, you hit the nail on the head. As the one whose question initiated this excellent exchange on playing the game solo, I realize now that I should have been more specific. I had just taken it for granted that one would have to assume the role of at least two players. So my question was more about how 'tedious' playing multiple roles would be. Full disclosure: I have very little experience with this style of solo play - i.e. playing multiple roles in what was intended to be a multiplayer cooperative game. So my question - intended for the designers - was whether they thought that playing two (or more) 'hands' was a reasonably easy thing to manage.
 
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Andrew Cargill
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smarano wrote:
Logus, you hit the nail on the head. As the one whose question initiated this excellent exchange on playing the game solo, I realize now that I should have been more specific. I had just taken it for granted that one would have to assume the role of at least two players. So my question was more about how 'tedious' playing multiple roles would be. Full disclosure: I have very little experience with this style of solo play - i.e. playing multiple roles in what was intended to be a multiplayer cooperative game. So my question - intended for the designers - was whether they thought that playing two (or more) 'hands' was a reasonably easy thing to manage.

This game seems very similar to other games like Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game, Zombicide: Black Plague & Mansions of Madness: Second Edition where solo play works quite well, but you generally need to manage more than 1 hand/character, I think YMMV as it comes down to the player end of the day I think.

Previously they've stated solo is fine but they see it as a 'suboptimal experience'
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