No rivet counters allowed!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Thoughts on Solo Wargaming

As a solo gamer I often wonder how other folk actually 'play' the game giving each opposing force a fair chance of actually winning the encounter on the tabletop. For some, (me included) the actual outcome of a game is not really a priority but the fact that a good, interesting game has been played.
Many gamers use random actions for the none playing side by this I mean that the player takes his force and combats an enemy force which is basically moving and firing largely determined by the result of random die rolls. Others simply play as both commanders, fighting to the best of their abilities for both forces.
I plan to play my WWII solo games with a mixture of the two:

Which side do I take to 'win' the game?

Simply put; you won't know until the game is over and one side breaks. After initial deployment I issue commands to each unit (in both forces) for the following 3 moves. AFTER the 3 moves are completed and combat resolved I dice for each force to determine which side I am currently commanding. So to clarify this, if I was playing two German squads vs. two British squads I would issue orders for the next 3 move/phase, (whatever you wish to call them!) after these moves are complete I'd roll a D6 for each side and the higher score would determine which force I HAD been commanding for those past 3 moves.
This simple system encourages the gamer to play to the best of his abilities for both forces as they won't know which side is the one under his command until after the event.

Each squad , support weapon or vehicle will have two cards, an actual marker card and a blank so in other words upon deployment each 'player' will have twice the number of deployment cards as actual units involved in the game.

These are then placed face down on the table (both sides) in positions where the player deems desirable. (remember, you won't actually know which force you will have been 'commanding' until the end of the 3rd move) Once all cards are deployed they are turned up and the blanks discarded. Marked squad cards are replaced with the actual squad figures and initiative for the first move is determined. There you have your starting point, troops deployed and the game begins.

I realise this system isn't great but it does help the player to play both sides to the best of his ability as he won't know which side he will end up 'commanding' at the end of the game. At he end of the game the actual 'win' is still determined randomly but for those who don't really mind too much about 'winning the game it does help to actually command each side without bias.

Any comments or suggestions on the topic would be read with interest!



  1. I mainly play solo at the moment Steve, and find either THW or Ambush Alley rules sets to provide excellent, dynamic games.



  2. Hi Monty,
    I've been looking at and collecting far too many rule sets over the past couple of years! .. as we all probably do but the my favourite set at the moment has got to be Rate of Fire from Crusader Publishing. Nice, simple system that doesn't bog itself down with over complication or too many charts.

  3. Interesting ideas here. I'm lucky enough to be part of a regular gaming group but I would also like to get some solo games played, to help me learn and understand my chosen rules system more thoroughly.


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