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Author Topic: Solo ancients woes  (Read 1206 times)

Online Will Bailie

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2021, 05:16:17 PM »
Have you looked at "Infamy, Infamy"?  While it isn't specifically designed for solo play, it isn't that hard to adapt, due to the card/chit activation process.  There is a big emphasis on the Romans expending effort to locate enemy (barbarian) forces, while the barbarian side tries to time their ambushes for maximum effect. 

Richard Clarke of TFL has posted several videos which are effectively solo games, where he explains the rules mechanics.  A good way to check out I,I before you buy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIxcVigJvgQ&t=7s

Offline Easy E

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2021, 07:55:57 PM »
It sounds like there are a couple elements of solo-playing you are missing to really make it a rewarding experience for you.  There is too much certainty! 

Take a look at some of my blogs about making solo-play more interesting:

Scenarios:
https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2020/06/wargame-design-solo-wargaming-scenarios.html

Deployment:
https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2020/05/wargame-design-solo-gaming-deployment.html

You may also want to look at how The Men Who Would Be King handle it in the Mr. Babagge section of the rules. It is solo-play for Colonials but with a bit of tweak could easily apply to your Romans vs Celts.  Here is a general review of the game here:

http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2016/12/review-men-who-would-be-kings-osprey.html
Blood and Spectacles Publishing Blog:
https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/

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Offline Norm

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2021, 03:36:00 PM »
Sword and Spear by Great Escape Games may hold some prospect of mixing it up a bit.

Offline Polkovnik

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2021, 03:46:03 PM »
I think the games that work best for solo play are ones with significant command and control restrictions. If you can activate everything in your army with no restrictions, then each game between the same two forces is likely to play out in a similar way, and just turns into a dice rolling exercise.
When there is is some sort of random element to what you can activate or some sort of resource management mechanism (such as in DBA or as suggested above Sword & Spear, although as the author of the latter I am slightly biased  :)) then each turn or phase you have to think about what you can activate and how that will fit in with your overall plan. The games will vary a lot more as you are having to adjust to what you can do, based on the random C&C mechanisms, rather than being able to do everything you want.
I'm not much of a solo gamer but I did play some solo games of S&S when playtesting and I found it works well.

Offline Mammoth miniatures

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2021, 03:50:31 PM »
Maybe have a look at one hour wargames - specifically reduce your rule complexity but increase the variation of your scenarios.
if all you're doing is lining up troops and mashing into each other over and over again that that's going to get tiring very fast. But what if your romans started off as nothing but a scouting group trapped on a hill in danger of being surrounded by a celtic force, and they have to outlast the celts in order to wait for reinforcements? automatically you've changed the dynamics of the game.
unbalance your forces - ancient armies were rarely if ever well matched.

Online Samsonov

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2021, 08:16:28 PM »
Thank you for all your helpful posts.

The suggestions of using scenarios is a good idea. I was just doing stand up fights as I tested the rules but it did not occur to me the degree to which a scenario can diverge from a stand up fight.

Trying more diverse armies might also work. The options I had until today in my chosen scale (3mm) are Romans, Celts and Germans, but as it happens Odzail Osmy previewed Sarmatians today, so that would provide a very different challenge.

I need introduce more command and control into the rules. More things need to be out of my hands. Anyone got a link to a good set of chance cards? Might as well try others before making my own.

I have looked at Infamy, Infamy and it looks excellent. However, that game seems more of a skirmish ruleset (I am not sure how many models a single base is meant to represent but from what I can establish it is not many). I hope to get into that shortly but in a different scale. Using the ambush point mechanism, but with the ambush coming from off table could be worth trying though.

I have some other rules I am yet to try, including To the Strongest and Rally Round the King. I will investigate all the others mentioned also.

Offline Easy E

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2021, 10:06:20 PM »

I have some other rules I am yet to try, including To the Strongest and Rally Round the King. I will investigate all the others mentioned also.

3MM is an interesting scale choice.  True army sized engagements! 

Let us know what you discover in your journeys!

Offline mmcv

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2021, 12:23:17 AM »
If you drop down to 2mm you may have a bit more variety on offer. Irregular miniatures have a pretty wide selection, and a bit of paint can go a long way to making them look like what we you need. Though at that size you really are just painting formations rather than figures. Alternatively up to 6 or 10mm the options increase considerably. Interested to hear what you find in your experiments.

Online Samsonov

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2021, 07:59:11 AM »
As it happens I just came across a new line of 2mm 3d printed models which I am very tempted by: https://projectwargaming.com/collections/2mm-ancients?fbclid=IwAR0HvMnUWRfXLMISux0HBppGh8P8ykh4LCfx6xP4b6t18NMPVXBu_bXhT4E

Offline Ruarigh

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2021, 10:21:45 AM »
I have some other rules I am yet to try, including To the Strongest and Rally Round the King. I will investigate all the others mentioned also.

Rally round the King works really well for solo games, and the campaign system is great for solo campaigning. I highly recommend it even if you have no intention of adopting any of the fantasy elements.
The greatest revenge you can have on a man that steals your wife is to let him keep her.

Offline Belisarius

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2021, 11:02:43 AM »
A quick way is to cut 2 x coloured A4 pages into cards . Write the units unto them , shuffle , and place them face down on the table . Manoeuvre them for the 1st turn and uncover them as they come into enemy range . Can lead to very interesting engagements.

Online Will Bailie

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2021, 04:30:19 PM »
I have looked at Infamy, Infamy and it looks excellent. However, that game seems more of a skirmish ruleset (I am not sure how many models a single base is meant to represent but from what I can establish it is not many). I hope to get into that shortly but in a different scale. Using the ambush point mechanism, but with the ambush coming from off table could be worth trying though.


I, I is definitely aimed at the 'large skirmish' level of game.  One of the ideas of the game is to focus on the decisions to be made by a Roman centurion with a small patrol.  If your focus is on large battles, then it's likely not going to satisfy you.

Online SteveBurt

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2021, 10:35:40 AM »
To the Strongest works well solo because of the card activation; you are never sure how many times a unit will get to act or when the turn will end. Also plays fast - a true ‘big battle’ set

Offline mmcv

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Re: Solo ancients woes
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2021, 01:00:16 PM »
To the Strongest works well solo because of the card activation; you are never sure how many times a unit will get to act or when the turn will end. Also plays fast - a true ‘big battle’ set

I agree, I've only ever played it solo thus far and gives you interesting decisions to make throughout. Also because most units can only take a couple of hits before being wiped out there's less of a long grind between units and you're encouraged to pull disordered troops back and allow them to rally or bring in fresh lines of troops to give them a break. This offers some interesting tactical decisions even in line up and bash away battles. There are a number of scenarios they've been developing too for more interesting games. Also plenty of army lists to provide inspiration for new projects and more interesting matchups beyond infantry heavy forces.

 

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