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I'm thinking of buying either "AtB: Solo" or "BoB." "BoB" looks less complex and getting started will cost me less money, but "AtB" with the solo expansion has a dedicated solitaire AI and to me that is a big plus. I have too many games that supposedly "can be played solitaire" but really are not much fun that way. I want to find a tactical infantry system that is as fun and addictive as "The Hunters" or "Leaving Earth."

For those of you who are playing the solo expansion of AtB, how replayable is it? Do you find yourself wanting to keep playing? How quickly do you get tired of it?

When I play "The Hunters" it stays on my gaming table for a month or two at a time. I have been playing "Leaving Earth" exclusively since late October. Is "AtB: Solo" less or more addictive? Is the game actually fun to play? Are the firefights believable?

I've watched a gameplay video on YouTube and the AI system looks logical and fairly intuitive. I'm looking for a tactical infantry combat system that will be the last one I will ever buy, because I'm tired of wasting money on 2-player games I will never play. I hope "AtB" is it.
 
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Michael J
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I think CoH solo may meet your requirements. I think it has even more diversity in gameplay than Leaving Earth. It's not an understatement to say that each mission plays out differently every game. It REALLY does. Especially when you add in Rumored Enemies that may or may not be decoys and move to different spots every game. And with lots of map boards and scenarios, there is a vast amount of content to explore.

Additionally, I'm finding that I can use the AI cards in other games, like BoB, to loosely help direct AI behavior and give me a passable AI in games that aren't specifically designed for solo play. NOTE: When I say loosely, I MEAN loosely - the CoH AI deck uses concepts that don't exist in their games so a little bit of creativity is needed to approximate AI behavior in other systems.

Personally, I found Leaving Earth to be a little too static to hold up to repeat playing for the same missions. The only variables that changed were how long tech took to research. But getting off Earth was prerty much the same every single game, plus or minus a few turns of research and unexpected events.
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Moe45673
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ATB solo is probably the most replayable solo game I own. In my top 10 and feels the most like a 2 player game, including bluffing the AI and it sometimes taking the bait and sometimes not (whereas in other systems, the AI will usually do one or the other, but not both)
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Russ Williams
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ATB and BOB have similar complexity. But ATB+Solo is a significantly trickier ruleset: you will almost certainly need to do some reading through ATB Solo's rules forum to grok it. But once you do, it is enjoyable and I went through an addictive period playing it a lot. It is a fun engaging solitaire system.

I did get burned out and took a break from it (partly due to keeping up with rule forum discussions about confusing/ambiguous rules, and needing to download rulebook updates, and I am not a fan of the occasional forum answer "Just do what seems best for the AI"), but I expect to get back into it since I do enjoy true solitaire wargames.
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Matthew Jones
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I think you'll want to take a look at this thread as well. I think it would be very germaine to your discussion here.

Worth getting for solo player? How good is the Firefight Generator for solo scenarios?

I tend to be a West Front player, but I think the AI/Firefight combo is very tough to beat in terms of getting more playability for your buck.
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Ben Bosmans
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Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) + Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansion is indeed "it".

Rather obvious.

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Lyle Chipperson
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The AI is really good, you have the solo missions which are plenty, the production is really good and you have enough variety for a while, as a plus if you get the firefight generator you can besides from create random scenarios you can adapt the single player ones.


Hmm now that I think about it just with the solo expansion you can maybe tweak the solo missions or create your own and have a lot of replay ability , it's all about a bit of imagination
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Tony M
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Thanks very much for the recommendations, guys. The more reviews and AARs I read here, the more I feel that this will be the system for me.

Right now I'm trying to sell a bunch of 2-player games so I can use the money to buy this.
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Kurt R
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Each mission is very replayable in its own right. Depending on the tack you take and how the AI order cards come out, they can play very differently from game to game. I've been attempting the solo campaign-1 and have been playing the same missions over and over several times before moving on to the next one. As I said, they're very replayable plus it makes sense to play the same one several times in a row since you have the units already and now you're familiar with the special rules.

I bought the FF Generator last year but it was probably a year too soon before I even get to it because of how much play I'm getting out of the included firefights.

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Tony M
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dgenclass wrote:
The AI is really good, you have the solo missions which are plenty, the production is really good and you have enough variety for a while, as a plus if you get the firefight generator you can besides from create random scenarios you can adapt the single player ones...


Yes, I do intend to get the firefight generator. The total price of all three elements--AtB, Solo Expansion and Firefight Generator--is rather high for me, but if the replayability is there it will be well worth it.

I used to go to Origins in Columbus and spend several hundred dollars on games just on the hope that they might be playable and fun. Those days are long gone.
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Ben Bosmans
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Now that I think about it...

Even the 2 player firefights are worthwhile to replay them. I use the solo card "spend" mechanic in a 2 player game (playing solo both sides) and I replayed the KV5 scenario 6-7 times and while it has been a while now (due to real life issues), I can replay some of these firefights forever really.

If I were you, I would only buy the basic game and solo expansion and not acquire the Firefight generator yet. You will have dozens of hours to game with the basic box and solo expansion. Time enough to buy the Firefight generator later on.

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Tony M
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Ben_Bos wrote:
...If I were you, I would only buy the basic game and solo expansion and not acquire the Firefight generator yet. You will have dozens of hours to game with the basic box and solo expansion. Time enough to buy the Firefight generator later on.



Yes, that is what I wound up doing: I only bought the base game and solo expansion for now. They arrived last Sunday (!). There are some new concepts for this old dog to learn, but I find the solo system to be really fascinating. So far I am just playing the first scenario over and over.

I thought the Academy website said there will be new scenarios offered there, but I have not seen any. I would like to see more 1-map scenarios because my gaming space is limited.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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I know that Band of Brothers is coming up with their own solo expansion ruleset, but for the moment I think Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) is it and I just ordered it plus the Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator and Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansion together as a bundle.
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Charles Ting
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freddieyu wrote:
I know that Band of Brothers is coming up with their own solo expansion ruleset

Do u know when that might come out?
 
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Peter Kossits
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I have a feeling he meant Lock and Load. That one is imminent.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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charlesting wrote:
freddieyu wrote:
I know that Band of Brothers is coming up with their own solo expansion ruleset

Do u know when that might come out?


Saw this when looking at the BOB forums:

https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/52991/band-brothers-ai-de...

I remember reading a post by the author Jim Krohn on a solo AI, but I am not sure this is it or if he is adapting it for a true expansion...

EDIT: found his comment in this thread: AI defense deck
 
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Russ Williams
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freddieyu wrote:
charlesting wrote:
freddieyu wrote:
I know that Band of Brothers is coming up with their own solo expansion ruleset

Do u know when that might come out?


Saw this when looking at the BOB forums:

https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/52991/band-brothers-ai-de...

I remember reading a post by the author Jim Krohn on a solo AI, but I am not sure this is it or if he is adapting it for a true expansion...

EDIT: found his comment in this thread: AI defense deck


A fan created an AI deck for BoB; as far as I've read in multiple places (including that thread), it's not as impressive as CoH's but is seemingly better than nothing.

Jim Krohn (BoB's author) wrote in that thread about developing a more serious AI system for BoB:
Jim Krohn wrote:
It is on my list....

I have made progress, but it is not done yet.

He's made similar statements for a while (as well as noting that he wants to create something better than CoH's AI player, and that this is a hard problem to solve), so I understand him to mean that a full-fledged solitaire expansion for BoB is not imminent, but rather is one of his many ongoing projects with an indefinite time-frame.

---

The LnL expansion Lock 'n Load Tactical: Solo (soon to be published? already published?) is based on CoH's AI system.
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Ben Bosmans
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Well Russ, here is my thought on the competition of this COH solo play...

As everything in this world, new grounds to discover is ALWAYS a big plus to mankind. AND I welcome every effort being made for other systems.

HOWEVER , I think that the problem with putting this elaborated Card Bot system in other games is that these other games don't have the actual simple "step by step" resolution of the basic CoH system.

You might have the impression they have comparable dynamics but frankly they have very different rules and phases.

For example: another BGG member took the effort of creating such a card driven AI system for ASL. The problem though is that ASL has such an incredible complex and dynamic Sequence of Play (even in its most basic forms), it has a complete different dynamic/feeling to play it in solitaire mode.

I tried to play ASL in solo mode many times and frankly I get a headache each time I need to switch sides in every interruption impulse in ASL.

Even COH Solo had its mode of "well I keep turning some cards and I check all lines to no avail" for a few turns, but eventually it stays dynamic and quite frankly is FUN.

So my guess is that the COH solo expansion is so good because it is tailored and even hand crafted 100% to fit the game's simple but highly dynamic "pulse" modes. I am not even sure Eckert can deliver the same success for the Guadalcanal game components !


Once you want to apply this to other games with different sequence of play, you will certainly run into more trouble than initially thought.

I am afraid that the goods will be delivered but in a rather watered down mode of play UNLESS they really tried to adapt it 100% to the new systems. I am certain that hardcore fans of these other systems will be pleased (any solo alternative is welcomed on BGG), but it won't be easy, that's sure.
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Russ Williams
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Ben_Bos wrote:
HOWEVER , I think that the problem with putting this elaborated Card Bot system in other games is that these other games don't have the actual simple "step by step" resolution of the basic CoH system.

I certainly agree: the simple "step by step" nature of CoH seems very well matched with the style of AI deck in the Solo Expansion!

Quote:
Once you want to apply this to other games with different sequence of play, you will certainly run into more trouble than initially thought.

Yes indeed, for more complicated systems like ASL, I agree that the solo expansion would also presumably need to be more complicated.


(It's worth noting that CoH itself ALSO had to be modified/simplified for the Solo Expansion to work so smoothly. I.e. changing the AP system.)

Even Band of Brothers has a somewhat more complicated turn structure than CoH, so even though overall BoB has similar complexity (or is even simpler and faster than CoH), it seems to be apparently harder to make a nice AI player for it due to its turn structure. (Although I am unsure if someone has tried porting the CoH style deck to BoB. I have not investigated the fan-made BoB AI so I'm unsure how it works.)

FWIW: There is a surprisingly simple but reasonable solitaire expansion Combat Leader: Solitaire Module (which is actually much simpler than CoH's solo expansion) for Combat Leader: East Front '41... but that base game itself is much simpler than CoH's (it's extremely stripped down/abstracted), so probably less satisfying for many players wanting more "flavor".
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