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Subject: GCACW Solitaire? rss

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Tobias Eriksson
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Hi,

I guess this question applies to the entire series, not just SJWII, since they share the same rule set as I understand it.

How are these games played solitaire? Is there an opponent AI included, or do you basically play both sides?

I'm not very familiar with playing 2 player games as solitaire, it just seems strange to me do play them solitaire as you know the other sides battle plan.
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Over 50 Gamer
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I am a big fan of this series and play most of my games solo. You do however just play both sides...there is no AI. It is one of the better two player games to play this way though because of the random nature of move allowances and assault allowances...things never go as planned. So you can have a general overall plan for each side but both sides will be modifying theirs in response to what the opponent was able to do. Also is good practice for when you are able to do a face to face game.....understanding the implications of combat and fatigue over several days is critical in this game.
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Stephen Rochelle
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By and large, you already know both sides' battle plans due to the scenario constraints. Over 50's comment then covers the rest: the uncertainty of the initiative system and movement/assault activations means that your plans are constantly subject to change.

In the course of the scenario write-ups that I've been doing (all of which are solo), I regularly encounter points where my plan could and does shift entirely within a single impulse:

"OK, Union initiative. 2nd Division can step forward and hit here. Movement check is... woah, big number. Why stop here? Where else could they go? Oh, hey, let's go that way and with a second activation, blow through that hole way over there."

It's very different from soloing an IGO-UGO system (not that people don't solo those regularly, either); much less division-of-mind is needed because the planning horizon is so much closer.

There are some scenarios that respond less well to solo play because of hidden information (most commonly setup location), but (1) they're well-marked and (2) many of them provide the historical setup as an aid to solo play.
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Chris Montgomery
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Another way of putting it is that the game requires you to think strategically, but plan tactically. The game is played in very small, short, bits of initiative and creates a more fluid tree of evolving decisions. One of my strategic goals - just as an example - is that when I am on the defensive, make sure that I full "front" of units and zones of control - it makes it feel distinctly un-ACW, but it is an important consideration to stop units from slipping past your line and obtaining what I call a "free flank". Not all the scenarios even allow you to do this due to their objectives, but it's something to think about when you decide if a unit should lurch far out in front. It's not just what is most important right now.

But as for solo play, this one is a great choice for that. There is no hidden information in the standard game (or even the advanced game unless you use optional rules). There is also no set activation sequence - so each player obtains the same information at the same time. A very solo-able game.

Edit: I just wanted to add that *learning* this game solo can be daunting. It is very nuanced, procedural, and different units have different rules and modifiers. It takes a while - even with a teacher - to get the rules right. When playing solo you are bound to forget things that in a two-player game someone would catch.
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Eddy del Rio
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cmontgo2 wrote:
Another way of putting it is that the game requires you to think strategically, but plan tactically. The game is played in very small, short, bits of initiative and creates a more fluid tree of evolving decisions. One of my strategic goals - just as an example - is that when I am on the defensive, make sure that I full "front" of units and zones of control - it makes it feel distinctly un-ACW, but it is an important consideration to stop units from slipping past your line and obtaining what I call a "free flank". Not all the scenarios even allow you to do this due to their objectives, but it's something to think about when you decide if a unit should lurch far out in front. It's not just what is most important right now.

But as for solo play, this one is a great choice for that. There is no hidden information in the standard game (or even the advanced game unless you use optional rules). There is also no set activation sequence - so each player obtains the same information at the same time. A very solo-able game.

Edit: I just wanted to add that *learning* this game solo can be daunting. It is very nuanced, procedural, and different units have different rules and modifiers. It takes a while - even with a teacher - to get the rules right. When playing solo you are bound to forget things that in a two-player game someone would catch.


Are the old tutorials still available on MMP's GCACW support page still a good means to learn then game?
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Chris Montgomery
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edelrio wrote:
cmontgo2 wrote:
Another way of putting it is that the game requires you to think strategically, but plan tactically. The game is played in very small, short, bits of initiative and creates a more fluid tree of evolving decisions. One of my strategic goals - just as an example - is that when I am on the defensive, make sure that I full "front" of units and zones of control - it makes it feel distinctly un-ACW, but it is an important consideration to stop units from slipping past your line and obtaining what I call a "free flank". Not all the scenarios even allow you to do this due to their objectives, but it's something to think about when you decide if a unit should lurch far out in front. It's not just what is most important right now.

But as for solo play, this one is a great choice for that. There is no hidden information in the standard game (or even the advanced game unless you use optional rules). There is also no set activation sequence - so each player obtains the same information at the same time. A very solo-able game.

Edit: I just wanted to add that *learning* this game solo can be daunting. It is very nuanced, procedural, and different units have different rules and modifiers. It takes a while - even with a teacher - to get the rules right. When playing solo you are bound to forget things that in a two-player game someone would catch.


Are the old tutorials still available on MMP's GCACW support page still a good means to learn then game?


I believe so - for learning the basics. Patrick Pence made some great video tutorials, too. The basic game's essential rules haven't changed that much.

Note that each module will have its own set of module-specific rules, too - and scenarios often have scenario-specific rules. It is all well organized, but until I got the rules down really well, I found it really helpful to stick with a single module and play the scenarios in it quite a bit. For this purpose, SJWII really packs a lot of benefits. Minimum special rules overhead, fun scenarios, and *two* modules in the same box - basically a two-fer. The Panic rules are the most complicated in it, and they aren't that difficult to internalize.

Welcome to this game series. It really grabs a lot of gamers and doesn't let go . . . not my favorite series for simulating ACW operationally, but my favorite *game* on the ACW for sure.
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Hans Korting
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I am new to this series and have only played it solo. Am having a great time with this game. Have played the Cedar Mountain scenario a couple of times now, and they all turned out differently.

Patrick's videos are really useful to give you an idea of what to expect. Would be great if he picked it up again and made some more.
 
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