Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wargames Designed To Be Played Solo

Recently, there have been a number of interesting games which have been designed to be playable as solo, whether it be by dice generated tables or card driven. Two recent suspects that have brought me to make this post are 5150 Star Army, as reported on by Tiny Solitary Soldier's blog, and the Gears of War Boardgame by Fantasy Flight Games. Both games, while certainly playable with more than one player, were designed around the idea that one player could tackle the game with the 'bad guys' as it were, controlled by the game mechanics.

This is something I have always been interested in, as much of the time I have 'available' for gaming is after my kids have gone to bed, or early in the morning on weekends, or late at night (or early in the morning again, depending on how you look at it) on school nights. So, not really available so much as there. In the past, I have always tried to just honestly play the other side of the board. In some games, such as Space Hulk, the enemy really lend themselves to it. How much though really goes into the Genestealers. What I usually did to compensate for this was just give an extra genestealer or two on each 'blip.'

Having a game available designed to do this from the very start really seems to cut out the middleman, so that I could enjoy a game whenever I darn well feel like it. What other games can you guys think of, and what are your opinions of how well they work?


Mike Howell said...

I certainly think it's possible if the enemy's actions were deterministic and simple enough to execute quickly and accurately. The dealer in Blackjack would be a good example of this.

The corollary to this would be coop wargames against an automated enemy. Board games (Pandemic, Ghost Stories) do it well, and it's tons of fun.

eriochrome said...

DnD Coop games also can be played solo. As can the Death Angel Space Hulk Card Game from Fantasy Flight.

Mik said...

Fantasy Flight's excellent Arkham Horror is another solo game (as well as their not-so excellent but still fun Red November).

I've got a lot of 5150 (first edition) under my belt and it works as a solo (or a co-op) game rather well.

kenchan13 said...

Gears of War is one the best Solo-co-op board games ive ever played, Me and my 7 year old have played through maybe a dozen times, fun scenarios, same level different every time (thanks to random board layout and each board having a special ability) and i have never played
the video game yet easily get whats going on and am having a blast. I cant recommend this game enough. Put it this way, this is the first board game i won that i sleeved the cards and bought one of those separator trays for all the bits (as apposed to baggies) Thats how much i love this game.

sonsoftaurus said...

For some old school action, the Ambush! series and B-17: Queen of the Skies were fun solo boardgames.