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Subject: Strictly SOLO player on the fence rss

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Rob Poutney
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I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger and buying this one.
I just wanted to ask a bit about SOLO play as I would be playing this strictly solo and never with a group.
I know solo play has been touched on a bit already in the forums but I always like to hear more if possible.
I've never played Shadowrun: Crossfire, but I noticed that it says 1-4 players whereas Dragonfire says 2-4.

Is there a reason why Dragonfire would not play well with less than 2 players? I can see no reason why it wouldn't be perfectly ok to run a party of 2 or more characters and have fun solo, but is it very hard to manage when you have 3 or 4 characters going?
I know technically you can do it. And that many are doing it. I guess I just want to know if its satisfying enough this way when you will only ever play solo. Solo play isn't optional for me. I'll never play this with a group.

One more general gameplay question...

Overall it seems just a bit like gameplay is basically flip a monster card, kill said monster, and then flip another (while updating your own cards)until end condition is met. Is that about it, or will it be more immersive than that once I actually get playing the game?
DC Comics Deck Building Game by Cryptozoic felt this way to me a bit (flip baddie, kill, and repeat) and I really didn't enjoy it.

Thanks


 
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Brendan McGuire
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Originally Dragonfire was designed to be a 4 "character" game played by 3-4 players to mimic a typical D&D group. Community appeal got the designer to work it for 2 players with the hope that 1 player would be able to control 2 characters. I don't think it was ever really considered for solo play because there is technically a hidden element (which can be ignored) that players are not allowed to see each other's hands.

That said, I love it solo. I am finding playing 4 characters ideal because it is just too hard with 2 (although some prefer running just 2 character for the challenge). Playing 4 does take some management, but that is really a subjective pain point. I find it no more burdensome than the Warhammer Quest Card Game... maybe a bit more.

Hope this helps!




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Vince R.
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It's basically the same as far as player count as Shadowrun Crossfire. Either way you'll be playing multi-handed to cover all of the Character Class types needed. So you can play two handed with both characters covering two roles, 3 handed with one character doubling roles, or 4-handed. Beyond the player count, it does differ in some mechanics, but I'm finding the added stuff a lot of fun...maybe just because it's new over SCF, I'm not sure, but I'm enjoying DF.

Between the two games I've tried all versions of the above and have enjoyed them all. 4 handed seems to be the most unique experience though. Either way, once you are used to the game mechanics/rules, it's not hard to play 4 handed.

As far as "flip, kill baddy, flip" it's a bit more than that! It is incredibly tactical and no two sessions play the same. And it is somewhat unforgiving in that you NEED to make the right decisions with each card...do I attack the encounters in front of me? Someone else? Save this card for an assist off-turn? Save this for another round? ....on top of all of the regular types of deck building decisions.

It gets deep on decision making and is definitely not repetitive! I do recommend watching some play-throughs of this and SCF though. And read the FAQs/Errata etc.

This is pretty much my go-to solo game, with only others tossed in if I want to play something quicker.
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Tony Graham
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Dragonfire is pretty easy to play 2 handed. I only play with 2 characters when I solo and have a decent win ration at 60%.

Flip monsters and solve the puzzle on how to best distribute the damage. It is better if you give your own narrative to it but that is the basics. There are other deviations such as protecting an NPC which adds slight variations.

I like it for the campaign, slow character leveling, the challenge, and easy setup and teardown. But for the most part. Flip and attack.
 
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Steve Beeman
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Go for it. You just have to play two characters which isn't bad, or try and do a four character game to get a full experience of each class.
 
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Chris Lawson
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RPoutney wrote:
I've never played Shadowrun: Crossfire, but I noticed that it says 1-4 players whereas Dragonfire says 2-4.

My understanding is that SC has one (and only one) encounter specifically for one player. This is the reason why it says its for 1 to 4 players. All the other encounters are for 2 to 4 players.

Perhaps the other SC players could confirm if this is true.
RPoutney wrote:
Overall it seems just a bit like gameplay is basically flip a monster card, kill said monster, and then flip another (while updating your own cards)until end condition is met. Is that about it

While you do flip cards and kill monsters I would say it's more than this.

In general, you flip a bunch of cards and then each character has a turn dealing damage to the encounters. This is very much a puzzle as you need to
(i) Determine the best order to deal the damage and to what target.

More often than not, you are attacking encounters in front of other characters and the party does need to work together to maximise the damage. The timing on how you play the cards from different players is part of the skill on how best solve the current situation (i.e. puzzle) in front of you.

(ii) Determine the optimum card or cards to purchase for your next turn (as purchased cards go into hand).

Again, this is part of the skill on solving the puzzle. Do you save the money you have or do you need a card ready for your next turn (or for your allies next turn)?

It might depend if you like puzzle type games as if you approach this as just killing monster then I don't think you will get far.

As for how immersive you will find it, that's a difficult one as you might find that it depends on how much effort you put into it to make it immersive.
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Vince R.
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xris wrote:
RPoutney wrote:
I've never played Shadowrun: Crossfire, but I noticed that it says 1-4 players whereas Dragonfire says 2-4.

My understanding is that SC has one (and only one) encounter specifically for one player. This is the reason why it says its for 1 to 4 players. All the other encounters are for 2 to 4 players.

Perhaps the other SC players could confirm if this is true.


Confirmed, there is one "run" in the box that is for one player...I admittedly never touched it because it seemed kinda crappy. Otherwise you are playing at least two-handed.
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Barry
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In regards/response to some people's perception of the lack of immersion, that is definitely possible. The game is very puzzly and it can be easy to stop thinking about a group of traps, monsters, and locations as your unique adventure. However, the mechanics of each are pretty thematic - Tokens make it feel like you are fighting hoards of monsters, locations make it feel like you have been forced to split the party, etc.

My suggestion to anyone who starts losing the feel of the theme, is to slow down and enjoy the game. In multiplayer groups, narrate how your 3 glory and 1 arcane are taking out a level of 4 on a monster. In solo games, think about the scene unfolding. This game has a strong D&D theme. It is not D&D by itself and doesn't try to be. At its core it is still limited to the components and game design that it has, but has pretty successfully made a DM-less mechanical approximation of D&D.

If it is still hard to enjoy the theme, I recommend modifying the game somehow to make if more fun. More magic items, starting market cards in your deck, seeding the encounter decks to make an adventure stronger, etc. You could make it so any time a card of a certain color is drawn, it is replaced with a zombie card you set aside for example to make it feel like a ridiculous tomb full of zombies.
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Rob Davis
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There are plenty of cheap D&D minis available. Buy a bunch and use them to replace your character stands and the monster tokens.
 
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Tony Graham
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davro33 wrote:
There are plenty of cheap D&D minis available. Buy a bunch and use them to replace your character stands and the monster tokens.


I have been seriously considering doing this. I am normally not a mini fan but I do think it would add a little personal touch having a character mini.
 
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Rob Poutney
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Well I must admit that I hoped you guys would twist my arm a little. And you did.
I ordered it.
Thanks for the help. I look forward to trying this out!
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Bruce Gazdecki
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I'd also like to thank everyone.

Seeing that to play this solo would require me to play multiple characters helps me steer clear.
 
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Nathan Rine
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Bruiser419 wrote:
I'd also like to thank everyone.

Seeing that to play this solo would require me to play multiple characters helps me steer clear.


Is a co-op game...
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Santiago Atehortua
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Tbh you would only have to play 2 if you want to play solo, but it's not easy
 
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Santiago Atehortua
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Awesome! You'll definitely enjoy it once you get through the rule book. There's a slight learning curve but with the forums and the book you should be good. Just read the rulebook slowly because there's a few vague things haha with answers that may be on another page.

I've played 3 games with my gf, and just started my first solo game. Went in with 4 hands and I'm taking it slow. Finished scene 1 in under an hour. And I mean I'm taking it slow haha. A lot of little things to manage but very fun
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Rob Poutney
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Midknitegamer wrote:
Awesome! You'll definitely enjoy it once you get through the rule book. There's a slight learning curve but with the forums and the book you should be good. Just read the rulebook slowly because there's a few vague things haha with answers that may be on another page.

I've played 3 games with my gf, and just started my first solo game. Went in with 4 hands and I'm taking it slow. Finished scene 1 in under an hour. And I mean I'm taking it slow haha. A lot of little things to manage but very fun


Yeah I imagine it will be a little tricky managing a few characters at the same time, but its not something I'm new to. I'm currently running 3 characters solo for Sword & Sorcery by Ares Games. I doubt Dragonfire has more upkeep etc. than that.
 
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Jon Olsén
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Compared to S&S, Dragonfire is a walk in the park concerning upkeep and bookkeeping.
 
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Scott Kahler
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I've been playing solo with 2 characters and find a run through takes me 30-45 minutes. I can spend a lot of time looking at upgrades though if I'm sitting in a place with a lot of exp.

While I think 4 characters would be interesting, I think it would extend the game play time.
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