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Fatal Alliances: The Great War» Forums » General

Subject: How do you solo that kind of game? rss

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banana
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Hello everyone,

I have a series of questions I'd like to ask FA or WiF players, experienced or not. If you stop by, please answer the questions, they might very help a small project of mine on helping solo gaming of this game.

1) The main question is: for those who solo this game, I wonder, how do you come with the strategical as well as tactical decision?

PS: I only played FA for now, though I got my hands on WiF a few weeks ago and read the rules. So most of the examples I give below are taken directly from my gaming experience.

I know soloing wargames is often to "do your best as each side" and WiF/FA do not have a lot of hidden information. From my limited experience, I could quote:
- the US and CW entry pools. Though the CW pool is just a count down that should be reached very soon (by the time France and Russia are being declared war on or shortly after). The US pool is not that secret, considering the choice of US entry options will give out the current level entry
- the screening / un-screening of ships at the start of battle is done secretly

You still know the current position of all enemy units and current state of politics, morale and industry (production) of each side.

Still, there's things that crammed in a single mind can not be mutually ignored. A few examples come to mind, but their are many others one could come up with. Still, answering this few other questions will help a lot.

2) Let's say the German-mind wants to conduct a Switzerland-through attack on France instead of a lowlands-through attack. Your French-mind is well aware of this, because ha has access to every plan the German-mind make. How do you cope with this situation? Do you deploy German and French units at the start of the game with a kind of randomness? Or do you make unilateral strategic decisions, like "what-if Germany had done a Tannenbaum operation" and thus place the French forces according to the Dyle plan?

3) So how would you screen/unscreen each side ships during a naval combat? Is it that deterministic?

4) How do you fly combat air patrol to target hexes (for strategic bombardment, ground support, ground strike)? Your French-mind knows exactly where your German-mind stukas are going to strike! or how do you decide between combat air patrol and interception? Or for bombers strategic warfare, or ground strike? What drives you choice?

Thanks for your input!
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Steven Dolges
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As someone currently trying to play the game solo, here are my thoughts:

1) While things like fleet screening could be difficult to manage with secret information, it isn't hard to just accept you are going to go with the optimal choice, which may end up feeling very subjective. Sometimes it won't occur to me until the Central Powers impulse I made a bad move during the Allied impulse, and vice verse. That sort of thing is like playing an opponent, you sometimes make a mistake and don't realize until it's too late.

Knowing the entry chit pools isn't a big deal. You can kind of guess in a real game anyhow. Doesn't really impact my decision making.

In a normal game, there really isn't much in the way of hidden information anyhow.

Ultimately the answer to this is that for each side, I have goals and objectives in mind. I will execute actions to fulfill those goals and react to the die roll results as they come. I can't control the dice, so it will leave me in situations I didn't necessarily account for, like a major attack going pear-shaped.

2) I try not to counter-think myself. In order to attack through Switzerland I likely need to put forces along the border first, signaling intent. It's not like the Swiss units will go up in smoke super fast due to terrain. For each side I try to account for crazy things and play cautiously either way.

3) Don't have a real answer for you, other than to try to play optimally for each side for whatever purpose seems most beneficial. You could always try to do some die rolling for the decision to be made.

4) I haven't gotten to the point in the game where this will come up. I may end up using some sort of die roll mechanism. Keep in mind, sending CAP to protect the weakest link in a line can force the attacker to look elsewhere, so you can kind of play it through anyway.

As a general comment: Playing solo is really an experiment in watching a game unfold. You 'win' and 'lose' simultaneously and it is not a real competitive game. Most of my enjoyment comes from watching the events unfold and challenge myself to come up with a new strategy or decision that will make a dramatic change in the game. It's also a learning experience to get familiar with the game before my next in-person session, whenever that will be.

Basically, don't sweat it. Enjoy yourself, laugh at rolling snake-eyes, and appreciate the grandeur of the system!
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Jakub Kircun
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banania wrote:
4) How do you fly combat air patrol to target hexes (for strategic bombardment, ground support, ground strike)? Your French-mind knows exactly where your German-mind stukas are going to strike! or how do you decide between combat air patrol and interception? Or for bombers strategic warfare, or ground strike? What drives you choice?

The biggest issue here is where does the defender place their CAP in anticipation of ground or strategic strikes. So far, in my solo game, I've rarely, if ever, used CAP by the defender, unless there is the certainty of a bomber strike (such as during ground combat announcements). I feel that's how I would play the game if it was face-to-face, and therefore use FTR interception whenever a strike location was uncertain.

I think one of the biggest challenge for solo-players will be how to allocate Political Points. That's where to you have to play the game for the optimal effect. For instance, if you see that Mexico is edging towards an alliance with Germany, then the Allied player should probably react and start assigning some political points to Mexico to reverse the trend. Thankfully the random political roll does add a lot of uncertainty and will help with the solo effort.
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