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Sails of Glory» Forums » General

Subject: looking to get into, can you play solo? rss

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jerry baker
United States
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I am a big xwing fan and I love the jack Aubrey series.

I was thinking about getting into sails of glory.
is it easy to learn? can you play solo?
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Xander Fulton
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Lake Oswego
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Ehh...it's about as solo-able as any multi-player wargame with 'blind information'...IE., "not very". That doesn't mean "impossible", but you kind of have to try to 'play both sides'. And given the 2-turn-plot mechanic...it's not really great at that, aside from exercises in 'how close can I get an in-game result to the historical outcome' sort of explorations. Interesting, potentially...but as a game? Not really any mechanic to allow that to work well.

As far as 'easy' - well, if you like X-Wing, you'll find this one a lot simpler (in some ways) and more mind-bending (in others).

Simpler:
- No 'list building', really...what "upgrades" exist are very few, and not slotted into lists so much as custom rules you might want to apply to certain ships to reflect historical nuance. Scenarios are more along the lines of 'what battle do I want to reenact, today?' more than 'what card combo will win me a match in the current meta'?

- Somewhat building off the above, no real "collectability" (game mechanic-wise). IE., there aren't ships you have to go out and buy because they have a card CRITICAL to a list you want. Honestly, the core set is 100% of the game - you can buy that, and nothing else, and have a great game you can play forever. Other ships add some variety, allow you to play bigger battles - different periods of history, different wars, etc - but pure variety. Nothing "game changing" (thus, nothing "game breaking", either).

More mind-bending:
- Rather than ships having 1, sometimes 2 actions...all ships start with *4* actions you have to plot each turn. And rather than 2-3 different choices, you've a stack of something like 8 or so actions to slot into those 4 openings.

- Ships lose effectiveness over time...unlike X-Wing (and Armada), where, barring an unlucky crit, your ship is in perfect fighting condition until it pops. Here, you take damage that quickly reduces how much firepower you put out, and then begins eating away at your available actions (which is so much more important in this game than X-Wing...it takes actions to "change speed"!)

- It's impossible to exaggerate how important the "plotting maneuvers for a turn ahead" is. It gives the ships a feeling of 'momentum' that is an ENORMOUS pain to deal with - even the best captain will sometimes be frequently surprised by an unexpected sharp turn by the enemy that puts the move you plotted 2 turns back into a catastrophic position. FWIW, I really, really hate this (sooooo many more collisions than X-Wing) although I understand the reason for it - and it does feel like it makes sense for a 'simulation', but...good, gods it is hard to plan around.
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Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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Yup, if only to learn the mechanics. Part of playing the game is the outwitting of your opponent, shifting your tactics to the situation.
 
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Kevin Duke
United States
Wynne
Arkansas
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While was has been posted is accurate, I would also add that the game actually includes a few 'solo' scenarios and, using their style, it would not be hard to create more.

These are mostly along the lines of having the active player go after shipping that is anchored, possibly with shore batteries or forts in support (there is an expansion that includes battery tiles). This way you are doing the maneuvering work on the active ships while the "other side" is static but still shooting at you as opportunity arises. It's not a bad way to learn the game and, depending on what your harbor layout is like, may even represent a real challenge on your sailing skills.
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Airborne Engineer
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Over at the sails of glory forum there have been several versions of solo play rules to model the movements of enemy ships.

http://www.sailsofglory.org/showthread.php?3647-Solo-Rules


One person is even working on an app to control opposing ships for a good solo play game.

http://www.sailsofglory.org/showthread.php?4116-Solo-play-ap...

Haven't tried any but their battle reports will give you an idea if you would like them.
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Keith Rose
United Kingdom
New Malden
Surrey
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Firstly, its very easy to learn. Regarding solo play, I've used one of the solo movement sheets (the one with the quadrants is best IMO - can send a copy if you wish)& its quite good - basically provides you with a fairly intelligent move from your AI opponent dependent on wind direction and relative position of your ship to the AI ship - works quite well IMO.
After that the shootings quite easy - most solo rules specify ball is used, but you can obviously be a little more intelligent - using dismantling shot if you wish to reduce the maneuverability of the opponent or canister if you're aiming to board for example. Crew actions are also specified in a specific order, which again is a logical use of the actions available & would probably be mirrored by a human opponent.
Thus IMO if you have some knowledge of the period (and as a Jack Aubrey fan I'm guessing that's the case) the solo game is quite good - and you could recreate many of the scenarios from the Aubrey books.
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