Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cooperation and solo play with mini gaming ... interesting concept ...

Cooperative play as well as solo play are concepts I'm seeing bounce around more and more out in the blog-o-sphere for mini gaming and I really am intrigued by those ideas. For some this might be old hat but to me these are new concepts as far as mini gaming/wargaming goes. 

The base concept of "solo" play is that one could play out a scenario with some randomly generated enemies.  This could be applied to ANY game system almost.  You'd simply go through scenarios and really think about how they would play out, then you designate the key points where a savy opponent would potentially attack, with what unit types, etc. and bada bing.  As the game plays out roll to see where the enemies are.  This can be done with some simple dice mechanics, it could be done with index cards with some basic random moves that make sense for different units (then shuffle em' up and try to anticipate what is going to happen next).

This isn't a new thing, I can remember doing things like this with Warhammer 40,000 back in the day ten or so years back when I was very interested in tournament play, traveling to GTs and regional RTTs, etc. A few friends and I would sit huddled over army builder ... then off to the table where we'd proxy whatever crazy army we'd just come up with to face our forces one at a time and at the tourney point levels.  But I never translated that to other types of mini gaming and haven't even thought about it for years now.  But what if ... what if ... one was to take those sorts of concepts and apply them to fun, scenario driven games?  It might work great ... I think eventually I will try this out. 

On the face of it that might sound a little boring but depending on the game/system, the amount of thought put into the scenarios, and the moves that the enemy would make, this could be an interesting way to play a game.  Beyond this though the same concepts could be applied to a two or more player game ... to convert a vs. game into a cooperative game.  

I think I'm going to try this out at some point ... though with all I have on the gaming to-do list it might be awhile.  Anyone else done much solo play/cooperative play mini wargaming?


Spacejacker said...

I only play solo nowdays due to location and space. The blog: Solo Nexus is a great jumping off point, highly recommended.

A lot of my posts are solo related, but to be honest I paint and build terrain a lot more than I actually game. I wrote a nacent set of solo battle rules (free on my blog) but you will need to make up your own force lists and stats.

I have yet to land on the "perfect" solo system, but part of solo gaming is figuring out what you want out of it. Do you want an artificial traditional opponent? Do you want a surprising story to unfold around your battle? For me it's the latter and I have moved away from the former recently.

The Lord of Excess said...

Thanks for the link to the blog and good insight on this. I have about 2-4 people to do mini gaming/historicals/sci-fi 15 MM with. Then a group that is about 30 miles away from where I live (so like a once a month game with those guys). But the local guys are variable (outright flakes sometimes!) in attendance so having some options when it is just me ... or two of us would be a great thing. Your blog has been an inspiration for both smaller scale gaming and solo gaming. Anymore I'm more focused on 15 MM than 28s though I will always have a special place in my heart for 28 MM as I've just done so much of it and have so much terrain for it, etc.

6 MM is extremely interesting to me as well though I don't know if I'll be taking the plunge on that till 2013.

Scott said...

Don't you do solo Role-Play regularly with your Videobox account?

The Lord of Excess said...

No that is called "playing with ones self" instead of playing "against" ones self. I love minis but they'll never be as good as videobox ... I highly recommend their services!