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Subject: Solitaire Resurgence rss

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There really seems to be a solitaire resurgence in the past year or two.

D-Day at Omaha Beach
RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940
Fields of Fire
B-29 Superfortress
Field Commander: Rommel
Field Commander: Alexander

Oh and:

The Kaiser's Pirates
Zulus on the Ramparts!
Israeli Independence

Is it just randomness, or is there something behind this? Is there a real desire in the wargaming community for more solitaire games? Personally I love solitaire games, even when they feel less like a game and more like a laborious simulation.
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Michael Cox
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Don't forget Struggle for the Galactic Empire.

Not sure if there is a big demand but I think a lot of the newer ones have sold fairly well.
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Wulf Corbett
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And Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic.

Success breeds success. Get one good, popular, fast-selling game of any otherwise rare type, and others will follow. Which is a good thing in my view
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Christopher
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cragwolf wrote:

Is it just randomness, or is there something behind this? Is there a real desire in the wargaming community for more solitaire games? Personally I love solitaire games, even when they feel less like a game and more like a laborious simulation.


Fact is that for some (most?) people who really like to play wargames, it is difficult to find life opponents to play as much as you would like to play. The result is that we (oh, am I a wargamer now?...) look for other ways to play the games we would like to play: PBEM, Vassal, solitaire play,...

A wargame developer would be a wargamer him/herself, and as such know of this "problem".

Some of those wargame developers might be a bit like me: preferring to play a game solitaire which has a real solitaire rule set and solitaire mechanics, rather than play a 2player game with both sides.

And yes: solitaire only wargames are born... I mean re-born, as they existed before: Ambush!, B-17: Queen of the Skies,...


 
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Christopher
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Wulf Corbett wrote:

Success breeds success. Get one good, popular, fast-selling game of any otherwise rare type, and others will follow. Which is a good thing in my view



And, according to you, which game was the "one good, popular, fast-selling, solitaire only" wargame that started the "hype"?
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Maybe not just one, development times for wargames can be long, so no doubt a few of these were in development at the same time. But I think Field Commander: Rommel was the first of the new batch I noticed, with B-29 Superfortress shortly thereafter.

EDIT: And, by the way, I hope you haven't introduced the word 'hype' in a negative sense. The interest in solitaire games seems perfectly sensible and well-founded.
 
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Christopher
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Wulf Corbett wrote:

EDIT: And, by the way, I hope you haven't introduced the word 'hype' in a negative sense. The interest in solitaire games seems perfectly sensible and well-founded.


Oh, no, be sure that I didn't!
By all means, the wargames I play most often are Ambush! and Fields of Fire. I am completely with you, when you say:

Wulf Corbett wrote:

Which is a good thing in my view
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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cragwolf wrote:

Is it just randomness,


First I thought this was going to be an attack on solitaire games for being too random.
 
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p55carroll
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Every time this type of wargame comes to the foreground, I get momentarily excited. I wonder, Could this be a really good game--one that I might enjoy playing and replaying for a long time to come? Because if it were, it'd be a dream come true: a satisfying wargame that doesn't require an opponent.

I almost never have an opponent for wargames anymore. I used to, long ago (in the 1970s). But since 1976, I think I've played wargames face-to-face about three times altogether.

I've played a few times by mail or e-mail, and I've tried computer wargames. The AI in computer wargames usually leaves a lot to be desired. Distance gaming is alright, but it can be slow or awkward. And I don't see myself scheduling a block of time and playing online in "real time."

That leaves solitaire wargaming.

So far, I haven't found a game designed for solitaire that I like very much. I've sold a couple of them, and I kept one (Mosby's Raiders) just in case it called out to me again someday. But I've pulled it down off the shelf and leafed through the rule book only two or three times, and I've never had the patience to set the game up and play it. Basically, I don't like having to run a manual AI and play a game at the same time.

So, I play two-player wargames that lend themselves to solitaire. Most of them do. Right now I've got a scenario of Lock 'n Load: Heroes of the Blitzkrieg set up and ready to go.
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
The AI in computer wargames usually leaves a lot to be desired.


That is true. I think the problem is that computer games are almost always (consciously or unconsciously) designed for two players, and then the AI is written to take one of (usually either) of the sides. I think this is doomed to failure. Maybe if they designed it from the start as a (mostly) solitaire experience, then the AI wouldn't be so challenged, and we might have a great single-player game on our hands.

The other thing that bothers me about computer wargames is that the graphics are still poor compared to what I see in most board games. Unreadable fonts, restricted resolution, overly busy graphics, are some of the problems I encounter. They seem to ignore the principles of good design, and the efficient display of quantitative information. Being proficient with Photoshop is not enough, in my opinion.

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So far, I haven't found a game designed for solitaire that I like very much.


Have you played D-Day at Omaha Beach? I very much recommend that one.

Quote:
So, I play two-player wargames that lend themselves to solitaire.


Argh, I just can't do that any more. It just doesn't feel right.
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I play wargames for the pleasure of beating people and the pleasure of getting beaten. The wargames buzz is of outhinking your opponent or someone pulling a doozy on you that you file away for future reference.

For a solitaire game you are learning the best percentage choices to make. More complicated mechanics will lengthen the time it takes to work this out, but at the end its a fairly sterile exercise. I need the exchange of childlike insults with fellow geeks to hit the spot.

I can understand why people with no FTF opponent would play mind you.
 
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michael connor
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Don't forget: Nemo's War.
 
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James Carlton
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Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943 has been playing pretty well solo so far too.
 
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p55carroll
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Crom Cruach wrote:

I play wargames for the pleasure of beating people and the pleasure of getting beaten. The wargames buzz is of outhinking your opponent or someone pulling a doozy on you that you file away for future reference.


That's not me at all. I play wargames for the same reason I used to play army in the backyard when I was a little kid--for the joy of make-believe.

But having left my childhood far behind, I find that I do end up thinking about what moves would be best. So, there's a bit of problem solving involved as I play.

Quote:
For a solitaire game you are learning the best percentage choices to make. More complicated mechanics will lengthen the time it takes to work this out, but at the end its a fairly sterile exercise. I need the exchange of childlike insults with fellow geeks to hit the spot.


That "fairly sterile exercise" taxes my brain sufficiently. What you describe is pretty much how I play any game--solitaire, face-to-face, or whatever.

The banter with fellow geeks would likely annoy me. And I never "play the players" (i.e., try to read people or fool them); that just goes sharply against my grain.

Quote:
I can understand why people with no FTF opponent would play mind you.


I could probably find FTF opponents; I live just outside a major city. But for me it'd have to be just the right opponent, and it's not important enough to me to bother seeking out FTF play.
 
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Patrick Carroll wrote:


I could probably find FTF opponents; I live just outside a major city. But for me it'd have to be just the right opponent, and it's not important enough to me to bother seeking out FTF play.


If you're like me, you just spawn opponents.

 
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