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Subject: Solo Impaired rss

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Lance Runolfsson
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When I were a lad. I always had a game set up that I was playing solitaire. Now I'm learning some new games and realize I really should be trying to solitaire them to work though the rules. But even if I set them up I just can't get into it. So I am waiting for my little friends to show up to play. I think computer games did this to me. Even if the AI ain't that great its there ready to play! Had to buy a new computer with WIN 7 on it a few months ago and damn if most of my games won't play even in compat mode. So I really should figure out how to solitaire again. I used to love spending hours pushing cardboard and even miniatures by myself.

Anybody else Solo impaired by computers? Anybody recover from it?

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Sim Guy
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LanceRunolfsson wrote:
Anybody else Solo impaired by computers? Anybody recover from it?


Only at the moment. To recover I just log out.
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Wulf Corbett
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I had to buy a new laptop a couple of years ago, also Win7. But I found the vast majority of my games did run on that, many of which would not run on the old XP one. I installed a shedload of old games, even bought a load of extras (cheap from eBay & GoG). But now it's been months since I played anything. I just never got much out of computer games, and I still don't. I play each one for a little while, get bored, and move on.

Now, I watch 'Let's Play's on YouTube, and let someone who's actually good at playing show me what's supposed to happen. It's like watching a movie with the commentary track...
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Lucius Cornelius
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1. A prolonged social isolation is highly recommended.
2. And when you begin to find yourself a very witty person, talk to him regularly.
3. Eventually, when he/you seem(s) mysterious enough,
you are ready for a solo wargaming session of your/his/her choice.
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p55carroll
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Yeah. I pretty much abandoned wargaming in the mid 1990s, probably because the computer had taken over my life. My whole sense of time shifted to the point where setting up an old-fashioned boardgame seemed to take forever (and then playing it would take another eternity on top of that). I also got used to the computer knowing all the rules and showing me what was legal so that I'd never have to look anything up.

And then there was the ever-ready AI opponent too. Now I only had to make moves for one side; moves for the other side would happen automatically.

I have made a partial comeback to the world of solo board wargaming, though. I started by buying some small, short, solitaire-friendly wargames. Victory Point Games sells some of those. After so many years of computer gaming, it was a novelty to sit down and quietly play an old-fashioned board game again. Looking up rules and calculating odds was kind of a treat. Once I got into it, I didn't want to stop.

Computer games still lure me in and captivate me sometimes. But when I tear myself away, I now find I can adjust pretty quickly to a board wargame.

It can be done. And I'd say it has been worth the effort for me.
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Lance Runolfsson
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sullafelix wrote:
1. A prolonged social isolation is highly recommended.
2. And when you begin to find yourself a very witty person, talk to him regularly.
3. Eventually, when he/you seem(s) mysterious enough,
you are ready for a solo wargaming session of your/his/her choice.


Maybe there is something to what you are saying I actually get FTF opponents a minimum of once and sometimes up to 4 times a week.

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I am solo impaired -
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Lance Runolfsson
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
Yeah. I pretty much abandoned wargaming in the mid 1990s, probably because the computer had taken over my life. My whole sense of time shifted to the point where setting up an old-fashioned boardgame seemed to take forever (and then playing it would take another eternity on top of that). I also got used to the computer knowing all the rules and showing me what was legal so that I'd never have to look anything up.


I suspect that the computer makes one just not lazy but stupid as well. Playing a board or miniature game with another person is mostly more fun. I think that solitaire board games would be fun too if I could just work back into it.
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
I had to buy a new laptop a couple of years ago, also Win7. But I found the vast majority of my games did run on that, many of which would not run on the old XP one. I installed a shedload of old games, even bought a load of extras (cheap from eBay & GoG). But now it's been months since I played anything. I just never got much out of computer games, and I still don't. I play each one for a little while, get bored, and move on.

Now, I watch 'Let's Play's on YouTube, and let someone who's actually good at playing show me what's supposed to happen. It's like watching a movie with the commentary track...


OMG............................zombie
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Wendell
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Fortunately, I still can and do play wargames solo (and FTF, and vassal...). Good point about computer games though, I can see how that might affect your solo-ability.
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Lance Runolfsson
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usrlocal wrote:
Soloing a boardgame can be a very rich experience. Playing computer games solo is very empty in comparison. That's my experience anyway.


I guess part of my problem is that I kind of go for cheap thrills.
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Tom Willcockson
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I'm not sure it is computers as I have always avoided computer games like the plague, but I just cant seem to get into solo play the way I used to. I wish I could but I'll set up some game and make a half hearted attempt but I just cant seem to get into it and I end up putting it away. Not sure whay that is, but perhaps it is just lack of time and energy at the end of the work day. Usually reading a good book just seems easier and it is hard to argue with that, however perhaps I really need to force myself to set aside the time for some solo. Also part of the problem is the size of the game. I'll set up some large game (and I'm even even talking a CDG like PoG or FtP here) and it is just too much, so what I should probably do is concentrate on something smaller like a reasonably sized ASL scenario. I do occasionally enjoy following along with someone else's game on ACTs which is about as close as I get to solo these days.
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Jim P.
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I often play solo to learn the rules for a game that I hope to find another player to play FTF with me. What usually ends up happening, though, is that I find I have learned some of the rules INCORRECTLY; there is nothing like a real opponent to learn a game correctly.
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Lance Runolfsson
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InvisibleRobots wrote:
there is nothing like a real opponent to learn a game correctly.


That's what I'll tell myself when I know I should be working through the rules on the map.
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Robert Wesley
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THAT is exactly how many of us felt 'gypped' or 'betrayed' and ROBBED when XP came along with SP1 & SP2 of which totally ruined the majority of the games I used to enjoy playing at the 'times'. I've around HALF-a-dozen of these that would play afterward, with fixes or patches and the NAUGHT MUCH "Like".
angry

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Eric Lai
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My wife says I am solo impaired.
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Justus Pendleton
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usrlocal wrote:
Soloing a boardgame can be a very rich experience. Playing computer games solo is very empty in comparison. That's my experience anyway.


Interesting. I find soloing a board wargame to be totally empty whereas reading a book about the subject can be a very rich experience.
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InvisibleRobots wrote:
there is nothing like a real opponent to learn a game correctly.

Au contraire!
There is nothing like letting the designer correct your mistakes, as Philip Sabin did in the first AAR I ever wrote (for the Battle of Issus refought with Lost Battles)
And even without this benefit, I'm willing to take much more time looking up rules or BGG threads when playing solo, because when playing with other people I would not want to let them wait.

But I guess playing against the designer (I never had this chance) would be the best of all, unless he/she is too polite to point out your mistakes
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Tom Stearns
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Lance,

I have always enjoyed solo gaming, but I also found myself lacking the fortitude to continue after so many years. Part of the problem was my aging out of date collection. With the help of BGG my collection has flipped to being very contemporary with tons of great options. Vassal for me has been a (pardon the pun) game changer. I have a variety of ftf opponents just an email away and can play ftf or pbem. Takes up no space and utilizes the advantages of computers. You can also Vassal solo to help with learning the rules. I still have a solo game up on my table even with a variety of active Vassal games going on.
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TomW731 wrote:
I'm not sure it is computers as I have always avoided computer games like the plague, but I just cant seem to get into solo play the way I used to. I wish I could but I'll set up some game and make a half hearted attempt but I just cant seem to get into it and I end up putting it away. Not sure whay that is, but perhaps it is just lack of time and energy at the end of the work day. Usually reading a good book just seems easier and it is hard to argue with that, however perhaps I really need to force myself to set aside the time for some solo.

That part of it is called aging (or overworking or parenting, if you're young). It gets harder to get into anything the way you used to (back when you had energy to burn and all the time in the world).

But IMO, one shouldn't just give up. No matter how hard things get, you still gotta do 'em as long as they're things you value.

Quote:
Also part of the problem is the size of the game. I'll set up some large game (and I'm even even talking a CDG like PoG or FtP here) and it is just too much, so what I should probably do is concentrate on something smaller like a reasonably sized ASL scenario.

Exactly. I got to a point where my interest in even medium-sized wargames dropped off sharply. Life's just too short for that (and not getting any longer). Smaller games with quick scenarios are all I go for anymore. The only exception is something like A House Divided, where the game might go on awhile but is simple enough that I can just jump in and play a few turns whenever the mood strikes.

I got rid of FtP, and I don't care if I never see PoG. I'll probably never get around to playing The Civil War either.

What worked for me thirty years ago doesn't anymore, and I'm happy with that. Think what you will about my having Mustangs set up on my table right now, but I'm having fun with it.
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hoostus wrote:
usrlocal wrote:
Soloing a boardgame can be a very rich experience. Playing computer games solo is very empty in comparison. That's my experience anyway.

Interesting. I find soloing a board wargame to be totally empty whereas reading a book about the subject can be a very rich experience.

I find that when I'm reading a book on a battle or campaign or war, I get antsy to get some vicarious hands-on experience with the subject via a solo wargame. And when I play a wargame, I get curious about the subject and want to read something about it.

Neither pastime is fully satisfying. They play on each other and add up to a satisfying hobby.
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gohrns wrote:
Part of the problem was my aging out of date collection.

I find that a really great game never goes out of date.

My collection is a mix of old and new, and I enjoy one as much as the other.
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hoostus wrote:
usrlocal wrote:
Soloing a boardgame can be a very rich experience. Playing computer games solo is very empty in comparison. That's my experience anyway.


Interesting. I find soloing a board wargame to be totally empty whereas reading a book about the subject can be a very rich experience.

This was always the root appeal of the magazine games to me. I would often read about some obscure (to me anyway, at the time) military conflict or a certain battle, and would be intrigued by the situation. The subject game from a magazine allowed me to put myself in the place of the commanders and experience some of the same things that they did. SPI used to advertise their games as "Paper time machines" and this is what they were talking about. Some of the games did a better job than others, but the ones that did best gave me an extra insught into the whole situation and enhanced the experience, at the solo level especially. Reading about the event is great, but a truly good game on the subject can immerse you in the experience.
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Tom Willcockson
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
That part of it is called aging (or overworking or parenting, if you're young). It gets harder to get into anything the way you used to (back when you had energy to burn and all the time in the world).


Yea I know, I just don't want to admit to it. Need to do simpler solo games (also have Mustangs & must try that as well), but mainly I have to set aside a block of time and make myself do it. I was punching out the counters for Virgin Queen last night with the goal of setting it up, but ended up reading the scenario book "game as history" section instead.
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Lance Runolfsson
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gohrns wrote:
Lance,

I have always enjoyed solo gaming, but I also found myself lacking the fortitude to continue after so many years. Part of the problem was my aging out of date collection.


Tom,
That's one of the reasons I got to thinking about it. I bought some "new" games and traded for some others. So I have all this new stuff piled up to work through. I have one opponent that will play the more complicated stuff (relatively speaking)hes good for about 3 nights a month. I have two other opponents collectively good for 8 nights a month that pretty much want stuff that can be taught in a half hour and played in two or less (which is where I am most of the time any more).

I burned out on PBEM some time ago. Seems like the only way to compensate for down time is have a lot of games going.

Thanks
Lance
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