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Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan» Forums » General

Subject: What's your method of playing solo? rss

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David Lindsay
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I held off pre-ordering Sekigahara because GMT had rated it very low for solo play, which I thought made sense for a block game. After all, concealing information is the main appeal of a block game. Now I see that many of you have successfully played, and enjoyed, playing Seki solo. How did you do that when, I assume, you knew what the blocks were? Or am I missing something? I've played lots of games solo, so I know how that works. I just can't figure out how you'd play solo with blocks. Thanks.
 
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Paul Franklin-Bihary
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Agreed. It is, to me, a teaching exercise. You must 'pretend' that you don't know what your opponent has and play accordingly. It is still a great way to figure out the game, and surprisingly enjoyable, but not nearly as great as the two-player version.
 
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Adam Parker
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LordHellfury wrote:
Doable, but not as enriching of an experience as having another person playing opposite you.


True.

But here's what I sometimes do:


1. General Principle

- Each side plays to the best of its ability. There is enough tension and strategic option within the game to allow a competitive solitaire experience in this manner.
- All regular rules apply except as modifed below.
- The Discard Pile is played face down at all times.


2. Turn Order Determination

- Both sides reveal their hands and play their largest value card. If a side has multiple cards with the same value, it may choose which to play freely.
- Roll 1d6.
- On a dr of 5 or 6 the Turn Order goes to the side with the lowest value card.


3. Movement Phase and Entering a Defender's Location*

- To avoid foreknowledge of the defender's abilities in potential combat, where the attacker wishes to move into any defender's location.
- At the start of the Movement Phase, randomly discard half of the defender's cards rounded down.
- Redraw all discards to create a new defensive card hand.
- Move all attacking forces as desired, including entering a defender's location for the purposes of a future Battle.


4. Playing a Loyalty Card

- The attacker pre-selects the first Battle to resolve in that Combat Phase.
- Determine whether the defender holds a Loyalty Card(s).

- On the declaration of that first Battle, roll 1d6 for each Loyalty Card.
- On a dr of 1-4 that Loyalty Card must be played at some point in that Battle.
- On a dr of 5-6 that Loyalty Card cannot be played in that Battle.

- On playing the Loyalty Card, roll 1d6.
- On a dr of 1-4 the Loyalty Card is resolved.
- On a dr of 5-6 the Loyalty Card is placed back in the defender's hand, and cannot be played until the next Battle, or not at all that Combat Phase if no further Battles remain.


********

The biggest challenge when playing this game solitaire are the moments alluded to in the Rule 3: when you know that you really want to attack but you also know that the defender is weak card-wise in a very important location of the map.

There's no easy way around this, *and I've only begun to play with Rule 3.

Otherwise, even without any of the suggestions mentioned above, the game plays very smoothly and fast, with a generous dose of entertainment.

I'd love Matt though to come up with a solitaire-friendly system of some sort, for whilst Sekigahara is a very fine game of head-head play (I'll be getting somes sessions in finally this weekend), the solitaire player lurks with cash behind every game on the store shelf
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Joel Toppen
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This method works for me:

I play one side, then bang my head against the table hard 3 times. Then i play the other side. It works good as I tend not to remember what I was doing as the other side. It works good as I tend not to remember what I was doing as the other side. It works good as I tend not to remember what I was doing as the other side.
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Adam Parker
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LOL - which of course, is the basis of your forthcoming solitaire game Navajo Wars!

Does the table have to be hard?
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António Vale
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I've found that with block games the best method is to set up the game as if for two players, and then switch table sides as you play: particularly if there are large numbers involved, most of the time you won't be certain of what blocks were where after switching, especially if you wait a little while.

That said, I find I can play CDGs (and even Combat Commander!) and other block wargames like East Front solitaire, but I think Sekigahara is particularly unsuitable for it. Too much depends on the uncertainty on what your opponent has, not just in blocks and cards but on the combination of the two; this is especially the case with the loyalty challenge cards. In my opinion, Sekigahara solo is best for testing out different strategies and seeing how they unfold rather than actually play the game.
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Peter Collins
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David_R_Lindsay wrote:
I held off pre-ordering Sekigahara because GMT had rated it very low for solo play, which I thought made sense for a block game. After all, concealing information is the main appeal of a block game. Now I see that many of you have successfully played, and enjoyed, playing Seki solo. How did you do that when, I assume, you knew what the blocks were? Or am I missing something? I've played lots of games solo, so I know how that works. I just can't figure out how you'd play solo with blocks. Thanks.


Trust me. With my short term memory, it's not a problem.
 
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Adam Parker
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NB: The following rules clarification from Matt in the thread about running Sieges:

mcalkins wrote:
Adam Parker wrote:
musici wrote:
Hi Adam

The 8.9.2 rule 'When combat is designated, and not before, the side that owns the castle may choose whether to be inside or outside of the castle...

This was the rule I was using to say that it was okay for the non-active player (defender) to choose whether he wants to stay in the castle or come out and battle...


Look, to be honest with you, this rule slipped me up right at the start. And it does make sense for the defender to decide whether to suddenly open the castle gates and force a battle on the attacker.

This will be interesting to see - and it adds a whole new conundrum to the game.

It's a core issue!


Yes, the besieged defender may choose to fight outside the castle anytime combat is declared by either side. (Even if they chose to defend inside the castle last time.) The choice is always the besieged force's whether to remain inside the castle in a combat situation.


This is a whole new ball game for me as a solo player. There will be times when just as the defender's inability to fight competitively will be known, so too will an attacker's (especially if besieging a castle).

In a 2-player game Siege, the attacker needs to decide whether he has enough Impact to kill either one or both defending blocks in the castle. If not, he can stay put and continue the Siege, maybe rotate some cards out of his hand, or move away.

However, now there's an added danger: What if the defender decides to sortie out of the castle to force a Battle?

The risk factor of being in a Siege location just jumped exponentially! How does the solo player counter foreknowledge of the attacker's card hand?

By randomly redrawing some of its cards, most likely. But this is something I have yet to test. I guess, I'm going to have to give it a go.

Castles and Sieges are key to this game. They're Victory Locations after all. Finding a fair and competitive way to handle them will be essential for the solitaire gamer...

Hmmm.
 
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