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Subject: Best solo board wargame to start for a newbie? rss

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Aaron Killough
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Hi guys, brand new wargamer here, just getting into the hobby! I don't have a whole lot of free time, so I'm looking for your recommendations for the best solo board wargame that I should start with. I don't really have a preference as to historical period, so any era works. I'm looking for something that's fairly easy to learn but that is also challenging and has good replay value. Thanks everybody!
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Matthew Banner
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Welcome. I would recommend Battles of the Bulge: Celles from Revolution Games. It has a small footprint and few counters and an easy rule set. Chit-pull activation makes it solo friendly and enhances replayability. It is also inexpensive.


edit: Here's some geekgold for an avatar.
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Rich M
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I would recommend Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) Conflict of Heroes 2nd Edition and the Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansionthen add the Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator to add even more replay value. The quality of play and game production is top notch and worth every penny.
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Global Nomad
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The 16th century São João Baptista, also known as Botafogo (Spitfire) was a Portuguese galleon warship considered the most powerful warship in the world at the time.
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why not a PBEM ? gives you more options if it is about time.
Any wargame can be played solo, even card driven. COH is a nice option as mentioned here.
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Juno
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If you are (like you said) a "brand new wargamer" with no experience at all, the most accessible "solitaire only" wargames I've played are:

-Ottoman Sunset or other games from "States of Siege" family. You can see all the SoS games here but I think that OS (and maybe Zulus)it's the sweet spot between gameplay and accessibility.

-Agricola, Master of Britain. It's just a little more heavy but more meaty than SoS games. It has a clean rulebook, and the gameplay pays off in spades.
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Thomas Chipman
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Rockin Rocko wrote:
I would recommend Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) Conflict of Heroes 2nd Edition and the Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansionthen add the Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator to add even more replay value. The quality of play and game production is top notch and worth every penny.


man, that's quite the investment for a cat that's new to the wargame scene. I mean, it is a nice solo solution, but I can't say I'd recommend that to someone who isn't even sure if they like the genre yet.
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Mark Shilling
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The Hunters

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/113873/hunters-german-u-...

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Mark Sockwell
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Silent Victory: U.S. Submarines in the Pacific, 1941-45 gives a great narrative about the US submarine war in the Pacific.
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Michael McLean
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coil23 wrote:
Welcome. I would recommend Battles of the Bulge: Celles from Revolution Games. It has a small footprint and few counters and an easy rule set. Chit-pull activation makes it solo friendly and enhances replayability. It is also inexpensive.


edit: Here's some geekgold for an avatar.


+1

Celles is inexpensive, easy to learn, and a genuinely great game.
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Nicola S
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Welcome!

If you are looking for a first (as in ‘easy to learn’) purpose-built solitaire game, also cheap and easy to get, one of these two would be my first pick:
Battle of the Atlantic
Fall of Berlin

Or also this one (actually two games in one):
Islands of the Damned: Wake Island and Peleliu

Stepping up in complexity (but not by much), and introducing concepts more akin to ‘traditional’ wargames (hexes, zocs, supply, etc):
Panzers East Solitaire

Another move could be to this:
Mrs Thatcher's War: The Falklands, 1982

HTH and let us know what you’ll eventually choose.


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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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Are you (the OP) ok with Print-and-Play games?
 
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Any of the Field Commander series. They have their faults (being rather random) but they are increadibly newbie friendly at the same time, very easy to learn and play.
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Tim Korchnoi
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My Little Man's first real wargame play: Barbarossa Solitaire
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+1
Islands of the Damned: Wake Island and Peleliu
Field Commander Series

I would stay away from Fleet Commander Nimitz though. Islands is really easy only a few pages of rules and plays fast and furious.

You might want to also take a look at Strange Victory in Four Roads to Paris
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Kurt
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Sherman Leader is easy to get into yet there is also quite a bit of depth to the game, resource management and the campaign system.
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SIMONE DONNINI
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Any game of the COIN series. They play wonderfully solo
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Leo Zappa
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simone007 wrote:
Any game of the COIN series. They play wonderfully solo


But maybe not good beginners’ games.

I know that despite being a war gamer for forty years it took me a bit of time and effort to wrap my head around Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar and with that one, I at least had an experienced player to guide us through the game. I have to think trying to master a COIN game by one’s self would be a daunting task.
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Rosecrans man
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Make that another vote for Islands of the Damned and the D-Day games.
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Jay W
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Rockin Rocko wrote:
I would recommend Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) Conflict of Heroes 2nd Edition and the Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansionthen add the Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator to add even more replay value. The quality of play and game production is top notch and worth every penny.


I'm with this guy. Conflict of Heroes has everything you need to get started.
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Judd Vance
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Who's the master?
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"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
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Aaron Killough wrote:
Hi guys, brand new wargamer here, just getting into the hobby! I don't have a whole lot of free time, so I'm looking for your recommendations for the best solo board wargame that I should start with. I don't really have a preference as to historical period, so any era works. I'm looking for something that's fairly easy to learn but that is also challenging and has good replay value. Thanks everybody!


If you want to play against an artificial intelligence:

In Magnificent Style: Civil War game depicting Pickett's Charge.
Astra Titanus: Sci-Fi game. You have a lot of ships and are going up against a huge behemoth.
Ottoman Sunset: WWI game. You are the Ottomans and trying to prop up your decaying empire.
Field Commander: Alexander: Covers campaigns of Alexander the Great


These games have no artificial intelligence and are two player games that play well when you play both sides to the best of your abilities:

Hold the Line: Battles of the American Revolution
Fading Glory: 4 battles from the Napoleonic Wars
A House Divided: The entire American Civil War in 4 pages of rules.

Last year, I played 30 solitaire games in 30 days. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions on them. Not all are beginner games and some are out of print and expensive:

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/232121/barteus-con-2017-c...
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Cameron
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JayOBedlam wrote:
Rockin Rocko wrote:
I would recommend Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) Conflict of Heroes 2nd Edition and the Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansionthen add the Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator to add even more replay value. The quality of play and game production is top notch and worth every penny.


I'm with this guy. Conflict of Heroes has everything you need to get started.


These CoH games are expensive. Also, they are not very enjoyable solo. Better to start with something more affordable, and more solo friendly.
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Chris in Kansai
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StevenE wrote:
Are you (the OP) ok with Print-and-Play games?


What would you recommend if he was?
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Judd Vance
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Oh yeah, one more I recently got and really like: A Spoiled Victory: Dunkirk 1940. If the topic interests you, this one is a blast!
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Ben Bosmans
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JayOBedlam wrote:
Rockin Rocko wrote:
I would recommend Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) Conflict of Heroes 2nd Edition and the Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansionthen add the Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator to add even more replay value. The quality of play and game production is top notch and worth every penny.


I'm with this guy. Conflict of Heroes has everything you need to get started.


The best solo AI bot in existence for several reasons.

Here is why:.....

The basic CoH game has an ideal system for a bot because play alternates between the 2 sides with EVERY hex move or shot.

So the CoH AI bot is based on programmed cards that decide what to do in 6-10 possible steps.

As these cards contain the following position and state of the AI units, position and state of the human units and overall map situation...

You create a very long string of very small steps taken by the different AI cards that doesn’t include huge mistakes but makes long term play logical and very human like.



It is quite unique since it works both in defensive mode and offensive modes for this AI.

And WAY ahead of solo games that only rely on a single DR to decide what the AI will do next.

It is a further evolution of the DDay series from Johnny Butterfield and which he advanced in Enemy Action: Ardennes, BUT Gunter Eickert changed the system to a more fluid one with an internal dynamic they call the “emergent behaviour” of AI, meaning ... the AI reacts through its cards and analysis of the changing board situation.

Apart from being a great solo mechanic, the firefight designs had to be an enormous amount of work to tweak this.

The fact that once you understand the programming logic on the AI cards, it is a breeze to play. Easy and truely a masterpiece in solo design.

The SURPLUS from this specific solo system was that it ELIMINATED the rather dreadful AP system of the CoH base game: the new CoH designs allows you to hop from one unit action to another without limits, which was simply too euro or chess like in the original CoH design. The change did wonders.

So the solo spent mechanism is now being used by most CoH players even in the 2-4 player games and it will be introduced in the rules as of Storms of Steel.

Gunter Eickert promissed the Guadalcanal solo expansion this year. But that’s the only negative point by AG ... they have a very long waiting time to deliver.




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CactusJuice wrote:
JayOBedlam wrote:
Rockin Rocko wrote:
I would recommend Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) Conflict of Heroes 2nd Edition and the Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansionthen add the Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator to add even more replay value. The quality of play and game production is top notch and worth every penny.


I'm with this guy. Conflict of Heroes has everything you need to get started.


These CoH games are expensive. Also, they are not very enjoyable solo. Better to start with something more affordable, and more solo friendly.

Whatever do you mean? The solo expansion for CoH is one of the best if not the best solo wargame of all time. Expensive yes, enjoyable solo? Very.
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Ben Bosmans
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borsook wrote:
CactusJuice wrote:
JayOBedlam wrote:
Rockin Rocko wrote:
I would recommend Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) Conflict of Heroes 2nd Edition and the Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansionthen add the Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator to add even more replay value. The quality of play and game production is top notch and worth every penny.


I'm with this guy. Conflict of Heroes has everything you need to get started.


These CoH games are expensive. Also, they are not very enjoyable solo. Better to start with something more affordable, and more solo friendly.

Whatever do you mean? The solo expansion for CoH is one of the best if not the best solo wargame of all time. Expensive yes, enjoyable solo? Very.


He only rated the basic CoH game, so didn’t play the specific solo expansion, which - as I explained above - changed the AP spent mechanism of the base game completely.

I can understand people prefer other tactical games for various reasons, but in solo mechanics in using a bot, this one made a home run.

In many, if not most, previously mentioned solo designs the AI action is only based on a die roll or a card drawn with one instruction. In the CoH solo system the AI actions are decided by the changing board situations and units with every single hex move taken and this by a 6-10 programmed card instruction coming from 55 different cards with both defensive or offensive cards.

While this creates for a steady planning of the AI, the replayability is through the roof as each long row of different AI cards played will never be the same ... BUT it still retains a logic without much errors as the CoH steps are so small (one hex move per side), before it gets to the next AI card.

Once you understand the card system, the AI play is very fluid and fast but of course you have to ... play it first to see it come through..


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