Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 Hide
29 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: I can't bring myself to solo wargames. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Hilary Hartman
United States
GLENNALLEN
Alaska
flag msg tools
badge
Just your friendly, neighborhood game player and superhero!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Does this mean I'm not a true wargamer?

I just hate setting up a game and having no one to play against. There's no tension involved, no one to counter my moves or plans, no one to challenge me.

I stare at the board and think: "Dude, you could be reading, or surfing the Geek, or watching a movie, or playing a video game, or--even--finishing up some class work."

Anything but pushing counters around the board and playing against myself just seems like a better idea, and not so...boring? I've tried, I've really tried.

I even traded for or won eBay two solo wargames: Ambush! and Mosby's Raiders. They did nothing for me.

So, what gives? Anyone else feel the same? Any way to resolve it? Should I even bother to try and solo games?
8 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Kloth
United States
Wausau
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't play any solo games either.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Smith
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
You play how it suits you and that's fine. I play solo to learn a system or to remind myself of it. Some solo play as they like to recreate what if scenarios and not be rushed or try out new approaches.

I really only learn a game properly though when I'm playing against an opponent as you cannot replace a human mind to emulate the way battles went in my opinion. Combat is a lot about how the human mind works, that's missing in solo games.

And yes of course your a Wargamer if you play Wargames.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Moody
United States
Edmond
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with Hil.

For me, playing a wargame solo is as empty a feeling as soloing in that other aspect of life that demands a partner.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Confusion Under Fire
United Kingdom
Warrington
Cheshire
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Solo wargames can provide a great hobby for those without a partner to game against or for those who lack the confidence to meet a stranger face to face or even for those who either by commitment or choice want to dip into a wargame every now and again.

They are a different aspect to our hobby, so no it does not mean you are not a true wargamer just because you do not find solo games interesting. The two games you have mentioned are of a similar ilk, so you may find a different solo game more of a challenge.

I prefer playing solo wargames because of some of the reasons mentioned above, as there is no opponent the challenge is to beat the game which can be harder than an opponent. There is the social side about playing face to face that a solo game cannot achieve.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hunga Dunga
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
puck4604 wrote:
Anyone else feel the same? Any way to resolve it? Should I even bother to try and solo games?

It's only kinky the first time you do it.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When I play wargames solo, I derive a different kind of satisfaction than I do from playing a competitive two-player game. When soloing, the play is more of a contemplative experience, and in fact bears some relationship to reading a book on the subject. These days, I don't play many games solo, only because I am fortunate enough to have plenty of human opponents willing to play. However, I'll still play a game or two a year solo just to immerse myself in a particular subject. Last year, I soloed a play of Bitter Woods and quite enjoyed myself!

Having said all of that, the fact that you don't particularly care to play solitaire has no bearing whatsoever on your "street cred" as a wargamer!
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hunga Dunga
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kevin Moody wrote:
For me, playing a wargame solo is as empty a feeling as soloing in that other aspect of life that demands a partner.

Tennis?

That's fucking exhausting playing solo.
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Play in whatever way suits you. Some people solo wargames all the time, some not at all. Personally, I only solo games now and then. I have to have some time on my hands and not be tired out from work in order to get into it. Otherwise, my mind wanders and I don't enjoy it. So I might not play at all for a few weeks and then have an easy weekend where I play every night for a few nights straight. But on most weeknights I prefer to putter with games in some other way - surfing BGG, clipping counters while watching TV, organizing game stuff, etc.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I tend to agree, I have little interest in solo gaming for the 'enjoyment' of it. When I do it tends to have one of the following 'objectives':

1. Learn / get a feel for a new game.

2. Try out a new 'strategy'.

3. Playtest a variant / house rule.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Owsen
United States
Redmond
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
+1

Can't get into solo games, either ones that are designed for solo play, or trying to play two-player games solo. If I have enough time to actually set up a game and play with it solo, I'll just try to arrange to play with friends.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Trauth
Australia
Pretty much everywhere
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hungadunga wrote:
Kevin Moody wrote:
For me, playing a wargame solo is as empty a feeling as soloing in that other aspect of life that demands a partner.

Tennis?

That's fucking exhausting playing solo.


You ought to try hockey or baseball, then - not to mention football ( awfully tough blocking yourself- but i guess it makes for good video on YouTube.

Seriously, though- I have played solo, and have never based my game purchases on who I thought would have a game -- but rather if the subject was interesting to me. Of course, I never really got to the point where I wanted to start a thread on it, anywhere.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Halfinger wrote:
You play how it suits you and that's fine. I play solo to learn a system or to remind myself of it. Some solo play as they like to recreate what if scenarios and not be rushed or try out new approaches.

I really only learn a game properly though when I'm playing against an opponent as you cannot replace a human mind to emulate the way battles went in my opinion. Combat is a lot about how the human mind works, that's missing in solo games.

And yes of course your a Wargamer if you play Wargames.


I couldn't agree more. I basically have to solo a game to learn it as most folks I end up playing with rely on me to be familiar with the system.

I also agree fully with not learning a game properly until you play against an opponent.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When I first played wargames, I would play some of them solo, but I quickly tired of doing that. I discovered that I could learn to play a game, but my play would be poor with just myself for an opponent. Opponents bring new styles and twists to play and so force you to improve your own.

However, some folks really do seem to get a lot out of playing wargames solo. I'll read and re-read rules and even take notes or make play aids, but that's it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Noneofyourbeeswax
msg tools
puck4604 wrote:
I just hate setting up a game and having no one to play against. I stare at the board and think “you could be…finishing up some class work”. Any way to resolve it?


Finish your class work first.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Bobek
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've solo gamed boardgames a few times as well as miniature games. I solo gamed the boardgames more to learn how to play them. The miniatures games I played because the toys were begging me to use them. Their voices get so loud when they're ignored for too long. You hear them too, don't you?!zombie

When I'm my own opponent, I simply change "hats" as it were and try to do the turn as if I were trying to solve a chess problem. When I change sides, I start over with a "new" problem.cool

With miniatures games, I may leave my "opponent" to decide what they want to do by die roll. That's especially true if I'm playing a patrol style scenario. But, I've done it when I have a massive assualt vs. a small defense force. When hordes of Russian infantry and tanks just keep coming, I can focus on defending because the attack ia a given.ninja





And playing solo gives more time for photos if you like that!
4 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hilary Hartman
United States
GLENNALLEN
Alaska
flag msg tools
badge
Just your friendly, neighborhood game player and superhero!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for all of the comments and examples of why you either do/don't solo wargames.

Learning a game is the one reason for soloing a game which seems so glaringly obvious, yet one I had never really considered. Not that I am, by any stretch of the imagination, some kind of rules genius! Far from it, actually. Maybe I should set up a scenario and run with it to test drive a system more often, and it would save those first game musings of "So, how do these (combat, supply check, LOS and elevation, insert your own) rules really work?"

Definitely one option for soloing I will consider in the future instead of just plowing through the rules and hoping everything comes out the way it's "supposed" to in the game. Haha.
5 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joachim Pehl
Germany
Daubach
Rheinland-Pfalz
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
puck4604 wrote:
Thanks for all of the comments and examples of why you either do/don't solo wargames.

Learning a game is the one reason for soloing a game which seems so glaringly obvious, yet one I had never really considered. Not that I am, by any stretch of the imagination, some kind of rules genius! Far from it, actually. Maybe I should set up a scenario and run with it to test drive a system more often, and it would save those first game musings of "So, how do these (combat, supply check, LOS and elevation, insert your own) rules really work?"

Definitely one option for soloing I will consider in the future instead of just plowing through the rules and hoping everything comes out the way it's "supposed" to in the game. Haha.


I can't speak for wargames, since I don't play them unless you count Memoir 44 or things like Twilight Imperium 3D, one of the reason is that I will most probably have no opponent, but solo gaming is great in order to learn and later teach a game.

First you can ensure that you got the rules, second you know already some of the questions that will arise during the first game and lastly since you already know some part og the game, the first session will be moving faster which means more fun for everyone.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
puck4604 wrote:
....Learning a game is the one reason for soloing a game which seems so glaringly obvious, yet one I had never really considered. Not that I am, by any stretch of the imagination, some kind of rules genius! Far from it, actually. Maybe I should set up a scenario and run with it to test drive a system more often, and it would save those first game musings of "So, how do these (combat, supply check, LOS and elevation, insert your own) rules really work?"....


When trying to read the rules book(let) for a game I'm not familar with I find that at some point my eyes start to 'glaze' over (especially if it's a 'heftier' set of rules). At that point I find it helpful to set up the game and try to play out a turn or something. That will often 'raise questions' about how to do things which will then 'motivate' reference to particular sections of the rules. That usually 'works' better for me than simply 'slogging' through them from sections 1.0 to 157.0.

Sometimes I wish the 'heftier' rules were provided in two separate formats - a 'guide' and a 'reference manual'. The 'guide' would be more 'conversational' in style, giving more an 'overview' of how the game 'works'. The 'reference manual' would lay out everything in gruelling 'legalese' detail so as to avoid any possible ambiguity. Unfortunately we often get one of the other. I prefer the 'guide' style, but have to admit that that type of presentation often leaves more ambiguities to be sorted out by the players.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

xx
msg tools
Spot on.
I've been playing wargames for 30 years. Every once in a while (every 5 years?) I set up a game, thinking I'll solo it (I'll 'study it'). I review the rules, often set up the game, begin thinking about what I want to do...

and when I start to move my first piece, I immediately think to myself 'What in the hell am I doing?' and I pack up the game and go read a book.

Even more than bored, or lacking tension, I feel pitiful when I try to solo a game. I feel like a social reject, doing just about the nerdiest thing imaginable.

Objectively, I know its not true-that soloing a wargame is no more solitary than reading a book, or playing the piano, or watching tv. Subjectively, that doesn't change a thing.

Paraguay
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
deadkenny wrote:
puck4604 wrote:
....Learning a game is the one reason for soloing a game which seems so glaringly obvious, yet one I had never really considered. Not that I am, by any stretch of the imagination, some kind of rules genius! Far from it, actually. Maybe I should set up a scenario and run with it to test drive a system more often, and it would save those first game musings of "So, how do these (combat, supply check, LOS and elevation, insert your own) rules really work?"....


When trying to read the rules book(let) for a game I'm not familiar with I find that at some point my eyes start to 'glaze' over (especially if it's a 'heftier' set of rules). At that point I find it helpful to set up the game and try to play out a turn or something. That will often 'raise questions' about how to do things which will then 'motivate' reference to particular sections of the rules. That usually 'works' better for me than simply 'slogging' through them from sections 1.0 to 157.0.

Sometimes I wish the 'heftier' rules were provided in two separate formats - a 'guide' and a 'reference manual'. The 'guide' would be more 'conversational' in style, giving more an 'overview' of how the game 'works'. The 'reference manual' would lay out everything in gruelling 'legalese' detail so as to avoid any possible ambiguity. Unfortunately we often get one of the other. I prefer the 'guide' style, but have to admit that that type of presentation often leaves more ambiguities to be sorted out by the players.




Was playing Kutuzov - I like the style of the rulebook, but I did wish I could look in ONE place for things like:

What are the effects of taking and holding an enemy depot? To find that out, I have to look through the whole rulebook. Worse, the glossary for Depot says see duchies, which has the word depot and a rules section number, that just tells me how to identify a depot, but not what the interaction with a depot is!

Was looking up the rules on how to adjust the Imperial Attrition level, and they tell me to use 'the same procedure to adjust faction morale' - come on! If I read those rules, it talks about faction morale, the words imperial attrition are not in that rules section, and I have to flip back to the rules on Imperial Attrition Adjustment to get some terms, and flip back to faction morale to 'mentally' swap those terms, while at the same time the rules for faction morale apply to both sides, while Imperial Attrition applies only to the Imperial faction.


AAAAAAAAHHHHHRRRRGGGGGGGG!!!!!!! yukyukgulpgulp
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Aber
United States
Shawnee
Kansas
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmb
I don't usually solo wargames, although the one exception that I have are The Gamers civil war games. I like the order acceptence system that, even if I know what is coming, still makes it chaotic enough that I'll still enjoy it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Paraguay wrote:
Spot on.
I've been playing wargames for 30 years. Every once in a while (every 5 years?) I set up a game, thinking I'll solo it (I'll 'study it'). I review the rules, often set up the game, begin thinking about what I want to do...

and when I start to move my first piece, I immediately think to myself 'What in the hell am I doing?' and I pack up the game and go read a book.

Even more than bored, or lacking tension, I feel pitiful when I try to solo a game. I feel like a social reject, doing just about the nerdiest thing imaginable.

Objectively, I know its not true-that soloing a wargame is no more solitary than reading a book, or playing the piano, or watching tv. Subjectively, that doesn't change a thing.


Though I've made a big deal about solo wargaming around here, the fact is I can relate to this too.

It never occurred to me to play a wargame solo until my regular gaming partner was unavailable for a stretch of time when I had a new wargame I wanted us to play. Figured I'd read the rules and punch the counters, of course. But once I did that, I thought I might as well set up the game and see what it looked like. Looked pretty cool, and I wasn't sure I understood all those rules I'd read, so I figured I'd just "playtest" a turn or two to get the feel of the game.

It was so much fun that I ended up playing more than just a turn or two. And by the time my opponent returned, I was in a good position to teach him the game.

That was about a hundred years ago. Since then, I've played many wargames solo. But every time, I start out telling myself I'm just learning the game so I'll be able to teach it to someone. I have to use that excuse on myself even if I know darned well I'll never play the game with anyone else. Otherwise, it just feels too weird to be sitting there playing a board game by myself.

SL/ASL was great for me in that respect: Since I never finished learning the game, I had an excuse to keep playing it solo for some fifteen years!

Curiously, there's nothing at all weird about playing a game against a computer AI opponent, however--unless I have to manually move the pieces.

I once bought a chess computer that only displayed coordinates. I'd have to manually make moves for both sides with a physical chess set. When I bought it, I'd hoped it would give a more realistic feel to the game. Instead, I found I wasn't comfortable using it. Every time I reached over to make the opponent's move, I'd feel a little sick or foolish or weird for sitting there playing a game by myself. Yet, I can play chess with Fritz 8 on my PC, and it's no problem. Or load up a chess game on my PDA and happily play at lunchtime. As long as the computer makes the opponent's moves, I feel about the same as when I'm playing another person.

Same thing happened with designed-for-solitaire wargames like B-17: Queen of the Skies and Mosby's Raiders. Because I had to move the opponent's pieces, it just felt too weird to me, and I never learned to like it. But I'd be delighted to play those games on a computer, if the opponent's pieces moved automatically.

It's a psychological phenomenon I can't explain. Doesn't seem logical, but there it is.

I still consider solo play essential, however, for learning a new game well enough to teach it to someone. (And if you accidentally have fun doing it, you don't have to tell anybody.)

3 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Wargamer204 wrote:
I've solo gamed boardgames a few times as well as miniature games. I solo gamed the boardgames more to learn how to play them. The miniatures games I played because the toys were begging me to use them. Their voices get so loud when they're ignored for too long. You hear them too, don't you?!zombie

When I'm my own opponent, I simply change "hats" as it were and try to do the turn as if I were trying to solve a chess problem. When I change sides, I start over with a "new" problem.cool

With miniatures games, I may leave my "opponent" to decide what they want to do by die roll. That's especially true if I'm playing a patrol style scenario. But, I've done it when I have a massive assualt vs. a small defense force. When hordes of Russian infantry and tanks just keep coming, I can focus on defending because the attack ia a given.ninja





And playing solo gives more time for photos if you like that!


Hey! some of those minis need painting! Less time soloing, more time painting.
3 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
B. Marsh
United States
Ammon
Idaho
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Back in the early 80s when I was just a kid that was the only way I could play, now days VASSAL is about the only way I play.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.