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Subject: Rec Requested: best solo game about operating one "thing" rss

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Andrew
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Hello, denizens of Wargames!

I'm considering breaking into the weird, wild world of wargaming. For a few reasons, I want a solitaire game. I'd really like one that plays fluidly and doesn't occupy a lot of table space.

What follows is a list of games that fit my criteria for a solo game about operating a "thing," as opposed to managing a battle or a war. I think it's a matter of scope and intimacy.

Silent Victory: U.S. Submarines in the Pacific, 1941-45 Here, I like the idea of running a submarine. There's something really appealing to me about managing the finer points of a self-contained unit. I expect this would be the series I'd go for, but I don't know which of the games in the series is the best or easiest to recommend. Help appreciated.

Thunderbolt Apache Leader From what I know, I like the mission-management aspects of the game, as well as the scope of the game. I list this also because I've heard it's a great solitaire game, as opposed to a fine-simulation. Hornet Leader also appeals.

B-17: Queen of the Skies At a glance, this looks like something I'd be interested in. Because it's old and hard to find, I'm not considering this one. It's here for the sake of reiteration.

Thanks!



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Gamien Omen
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ad2017 wrote:

B-17: Queen of the Skies At a glance, this looks like something I'd be interested in. Because it's old and hard to find, I'm not considering this one. It's here for the sake of reiteration.


Check out Target for Today. Very similar to QotS from what I hear.

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Andrew
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Gamien wrote:
Check out Target for Today. Very similar to QotS from what I hear.


Ooooo, ahhhhh
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Gamien wrote:
ad2017 wrote:

B-17: Queen of the Skies At a glance, this looks like something I'd be interested in. Because it's old and hard to find, I'm not considering this one. It's here for the sake of reiteration.


Check out Target for Today. Very similar to QotS from what I hear.



In addition to Target for Today, check out B-17 Flying Fortress Leader and B-17 Bomber Squadron: A Solitaire Game of the WWII Daylight Bombing Campaign over Europe.. Of these three, Target for Today is most like B-17: Queen of the Skies.

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Andrew
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B-17 Flying Fortress Leader does look good. Thanks!
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Enrico Viglino
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I found Silent Victory (Europe is the only one I tried) a little
less mind-numbingly dull than B-17. You still don't get to make
many real choices though.
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Kristopher
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There's a number of those "Leader" type games from DVG, that have a "control one thing" aspect.

Also see Patton's Best if you can find it.

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Andrew
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calandale wrote:
I found Silent Victory (Europe is the only one I tried) a little
less mind-numbingly dull than B-17. You still don't get to make
many real choices though.


Hmm. Not many choices? I'm interested in making decisions -- what about these titles lacks choices? Roll dice, consult tables, things happen?
 
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Alan Sutton
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I haven't played it but have preordered the 3rd reprint on the GMT P500. This game seems to have been the biggest success in your category in the last couple of years:

The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43

 
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How about starting with something like D-Day Dice [2nd Ed]. You can still make a late pledge on Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wordforgegames/d-day-di...

You manage a small number of Allied soldiers, it's relatively light, but full of action and decisions, and is a good intro to the broader genre.

I love Silent Victory, but I recommend staying away from it as it's not very 'introductory' and is more strategic level planning with minimal 'action'.

Thunderbolt Apache Leader is awesome, highly recommended.

You might also want to check out Enemy Coast Ahead: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/142889/enemy-coast-ahead...




 
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Jim Cote
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Thunderbolt Apache Leader is good, but you are operating multiple aircraft of different types, as well as each pilot. Might be a bit outside the OP's quest.
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brian hunt
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DVG does a lot of solo games and remain in print or are somewhat easily attainable for the most part...price tags can be a bit hefty at times but you can usually trade or buy someone else's copy relatively cheap.

Silent victory and b17 can be a bit hard/expensive to find you can also try ambush; fairly easy and cheap for the main game.

GMT has the hunters/the hunted on p500 due to come out later 2018 you can jump on those and should be similar to silent victory.

Decision games has the dday series

Enemy coast ahead: Doolittle raid is relatively new and if you want a beast of a game there is always fields of fire.

Coin games are soloable due to bots...but not really my thing.
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Matt
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ad2017 wrote:

What follows is a list of games that fit my criteria for a solo game about operating a "thing," as opposed to managing a battle or a war. I think it's a matter of scope and intimacy.


At first glance it may not seem to fit your criteria, but give Fields of Fire some consideration.

The 'thing' you operate is an infantry company, which has a lot of components (infantry, leaders, radios, signal flares, helicopters, anti-tank sections, telephones, machine guns...).

People lament the rules, and it's not trivial to learn - there is a barrier to entry. But it isn't anywhere near as difficult as some pretend. I watched a couple of playthrough videos and picked it up pretty easily.

What you get in return is a really fine, replayable campaign game of organisation and leadership, brilliant victories and painful losses. You're not fighting 'battles' per se - you're some guys fighting your own particular war as part of something far larger around you. And the fact you level up different parts of your company rpg-style (and lose them again to casualties) gives your company a unique persona that develops with their exploits.
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Michael Olsen
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chaochou wrote:
People lament the rules, and it's not trivial to learn - there is a barrier to entry. But it isn't anywhere near as difficult as some pretend.


In my opinion Fields of Fire is incredibly difficult. It is one of the rare cases where I have had to give up learning a game.

This game is not for a newcomer in wargaming in my opinion. I have been playing wargames for almost 5 years and I get completely thrown off by the military jargon used in the rules.

Edit: A slight rephrase.
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Joe R

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TAL is certainly an excellent game. Kind of pricey, but the box is chock full of goodies and the goodies are high quality goodies. Interesting conundrums (conundra?) to ponder as well.

Since you are just starting out, you might want to give a gander at some of the States of Siege games. These too are solo games and not all of them involve managing a battle or a war. (Though, to be clear, I am not entirely clear what you mean by that phrase -- almost all wargames involve managing either a battle or a war after all.)

Case in point is Constantinople, which is a self-published States of Siege game available as a PNP right here on BGG. (If I were better at this, I would post the link here, but I have no idea how to do that. Sorry. But just search on Constantinople and you will get there.) Game comes at a good price, involves little arts and crafts to print up (depending on how fancy you want your components to be) and has only 4 pages of rules. You manage the Byzantine Empire from 330 AD to 1453 AD via 50 year action cards. Yes, there is a military component, but you are actually managing the resources of the empire (dynasty, economy, monuments and the like) while fending off various barbarians.

The SoS engine has its detractors, but this elegant little game seems to me to minimize its weaknesses and gives a decent game in an hour or less with little footprint. One map which is 11 x 17, one letter size display and a place to roll dice. Nice game. Not a detailed simulation of empire, but a nice little game.
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Enrico Viglino
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ad2017 wrote:
calandale wrote:
I found Silent Victory (Europe is the only one I tried) a little
less mind-numbingly dull than B-17. You still don't get to make
many real choices though.


Hmm. Not many choices? I'm interested in making decisions -- what about these titles lacks choices? Roll dice, consult tables, things happen?


If you want decisions, go with non-solo designs.

But, these are among the worst at this even among solo games.
For B17, you're pretty much just watching things unfold and rolling
dice. The Hunters (sorry - confused it with Silent Death) is a little
better, but there are solo designs which give you an opportunity to at
least optimize more against the situation. I'd suggest States of Siege
if you want a challenge in optimization (although again, the choices
won't be meaningful, because you can calculate them out).


Really can't think of a 'one thing' game though.
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Robert Morss
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Nemo's War
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UBOOT?
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Andrew
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Thank you for the informative, helpful responses! I haven’t had a chance to look closely at these game suggestions, but it appears that each of them would work (though it may be true that Fields of Fire is beyond the scope of being suitable for entry-to-wargaming).

I’ll look closely later today. Thanks again!
 
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