Thursday, 10 January 2008

Oota Goota, Solo?


We're talking about a very delicate, intimate matter over at Gameshark.com this week- playing with yourself.

Now, just go ahead and admit it. You get that new game but game night is 4-5 days away. It's 12:30 AM and you've read through the rules, punched out the pieces...so you make sure the front door is locked and think "I'll just set it up to see what it looks like". Then you think "I'll just play a turn or two to see how it goes. Before you know it, you're playing the game by yourself.

Don't worry, it isn't nearly as shameful as watching scrambled porn channels or subscribing to Maxim Magazine.

I wonder how many BGGers had "their first" soloing AGRICOLA?

150 comments:

kriz said...

http://www.gameshark.com/features/423/Cracked-LCD-35-Solitaire-Gaming.htm
and not to a close up on Han Solo?

Joe Belanger said...

I always thought that it was "Oota Goota, Solo?"

Of course, the correct answer is "Who give a fuck?"

Michael Barnes said...

Jesus, what do you guys think this is, BGG? Fixed both "concerns...

Michael Barnes said...

Kriz, I've been meaning to ask...is your image two naked girls kissing the flippers of a black sea turtle?

pat h said...

I can't count how many games of Squad Leader I played solo. It was even more exciting than Ambush - another game I like.

Shellhead said...

Okay, I admit it. Sometimes I have the free time, and I want to get a better handle on the rules, so I will set up the game and play a few rounds. It actually helps a lot when I'm teaching other players how to play on game day.

And once in a great while, I have a ton of free time, like on a weekend where I don't have anything scheduled, and my girlfriend is visiting her family. So I have been known to set up a game and play it by myself, just for the fun of it, and not just games that have a valid solitaire option, like Arkham Horror. There are a few games in my collection where this is the only way I get to play them anymore, due to certain quirks in the tastes of my regular players.

Some games work well that way, as long as I play each position independently, without relying on hidden information like what cards the other "players" are holding. It also works well when there are typically one or two best options for each player on each turn. That's how I keep my Jyhad skills sharp without driving to the far side of town every week.

And I've found that games where the hidden information is extremely valuable don't work at all solo, like Fury of Dracula. Or games with a lot of interaction between the players, like Shadowfist or 4-player Dungeon Twister.

One time, when I was really bored, I played a 12-player game of Zombies!!! I had all of the expansions, and I just wanted to see one huge game that would potentially cover all of my tables. It was a long game, but still kind of fun, because it really conveyed the feel of an entire city overrun by zombies in a way that a more typical 4-player game wouldn't.

At this point in my relationship, I don't even have to wait until I'm alone. If my girlfriend is tying up our computer with her latest game (right now, it's some fashion game which she admitted is basically the computer equivalent of playing with paper dolls and their cutup outfits), I might sit down with Prince of the City and test out my 10-player variant with adjusted target numbers. She'll ask, are you playing by yourself, and I'll say yeah, I'm working with a solitaire variant. And she smiles and goes back to her cutup dolls.

Thaadd said...

Paper dolls. On the computer.

Oh well, Internet spaceships is not such higher ground to be snooty from.

Michael Barnes said...

Heh. FURY is one of those that's pretty much impossible solo.

A lot of things that have hidden info (like CDWGs or block wargames) work OK if you're like me and can't remember what the other sides have. Then you just check the cards and see if they've got any kind of counter. Just play "best possible move" and it usually turns out OK.

C&C:A is suprisingly satisfying solo since there's just a few counter cards...I can't wait to solo a couple of those Epic scenarios.

Some of my solitaire favorites- UP FRONT, TALISMAN, DUNGEONQUEST, any Columbia game, TWILIGHT STRUGGLE, TIDE OF IRON, LORD OF THE RINGS, BLOCK MANIA, BONAPARTE AT MARENGO...lately I've been _really_ digging ORIGINS: HOW WE BECAME HUMAN and it's a great solo game. Nothing beats ASL, I think, for solo play. It's a great way to study the game and particular scenarios/situations.

It's funny, because a lot of Euros actually work best to me solo...anything that works as more of an efficiency puzzle is usually more fun by yourself than with other people. I thought PILLARS OF THE EARTH might be OK after a solo play, when I played it with others I hated my brain for containing the rules.

I know this dude who runs DESCENT solo pretty frequently...and the legendary Will Kenyon admitted to me that he solos TI3...with 8 players...

Joe Belanger said...

Barnes, you are full of shit!

druenkree said...

I also play solo just to get use to the rules .Matter of fact I am going to try a couple turns of Warrior Knights tonight while the girlfriend is at work ( so she wont bug me to let her try it).

Michael Barnes said...

I did WK solo a couple of times. The system works OK, you just don't get the diplomacy and the voting is one of those things you kind of have to "pretend" your way through.

Shellhead said...

With the votes in Jyhad, first I check to see if a given "player" has a direct interest in that vote, either gaining or losing something as a result. If not, then I check to see if that deck shares a sect alignment with the one calling the vote (camarilla voting for camarilla) or even a sect antipathy (camarilla voting against sabbat). If not, then that "player" abstains from the vote.

mtlawson said...

A good short article, Mike. Too bad that Ambush! didn't get some props, tho.

--Mike L.

druenkree said...

"I did WK solo a couple of times. The system works OK, you just don't get the diplomacy and the voting is one of those things you kind of have to "pretend" your way through."

Thats when my split personalities come into play.

Danger Mouse said...

Heheheh, scrambled porn. Do they still do that?

Michael Barnes said...

I've actually never played AMBUSH...but really, it might be the kind of thing where I'd rather just pull out ASL, at this point.

kriz said...

Kriz, I've been meaning to ask...is your image two naked girls kissing the flippers of a black sea turtle?

Geez...this is like BGG...alright I'll take it down...sorry my avatar offends.

For the record though, its two SCANTILY CLAD girls smoking cigarettes, lying next to a corpse. It's a little busy for an avatar I admit. Here's where I got it from, pic is at the end: http://girlsandcorpses.com/issue1_pictorial.html

Michael Barnes said...

Wow. Just wow. I really don't know what to say. All I can think of is Linnea Quigley's necro-sex fantasy monologue from RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD.

But hey, it's perfectly acceptable content here Kriz, I ain't gonna sanction you for it.

notbillysparkles said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh....

Chainsaw Warrior...

It HAS been too long.

I'll be heading over to www.chainsawwarrior.co.uk/home.htm
for a little game. I'll see if my lazy ass can be bothered to set up the board sometime this week.

I got an appointment with Darkness--bitch betta have my money.

Billy Z.

the*mad*gamer said...

Return of the Heroes and Prophecy are good solo games.

kriz said...

Also, I sit in the dark and solo my drinking...but I always pretend at least 4 others are with me. Its practice for when I have to deal with real life.

How I wish that sea turtle could love me back.

kriz said...

All I can think of is Linnea Quigley's necro-sex fantasy monologue from RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD

Hehe, my all time favorite movie. Its funny, because I stumbled across this picture, and eventually the site it came from, doing a Google image search for Return of the Living Dead. It came up in a forum somewhere with someone commenting the pic looked like a cross between RotLD and Sweet Valley High.

the*mad*gamer said...

For the record though, its two SCANTILY CLAD girls smoking cigarettes, lying next to a corpse.

Those are your typical modern women, the only reason they love that guy is that he lays down and don't talk back! HA!

Michael Barnes said...

Yeah, that online CHAINSAW WARRIOR salvaged many a boring day back when I didn't have a real and exciting job. It's a really good implementation...BTW, as if the title weren't awesome enough, the expansion is called LIFE, DEATH, AND AN AMERICAN CHAINSAW. What, my friends, happened to the days when THAT was what got gamers' attention instead of penguins and medieval villages?

Weeks- good picks, I didn't even think of RoTH...that's an awesome solo game, even if you just run one character. PROPHECY works really well too, but I still like running a 3-hand TALISMAN better.

Shellhead said...

I always want to see huge chaotic multi-layer games but can never get enough people to agree on one game. So although I once got five other people to play Wiz-War with me, I have played it solo with 8-players. The beauty of playing a big game solo is that the downtime is a non-issue. The tough part is keeping track of the imaginary grudges.

Also, I bought some extra bases from SJ Games and painted them in new colors so I could have 9-player Strange Synergy games. So far, only solo, as my best showing with the real game was a 5-player game. Not enough local fans of both boardgames and comics, I guess. Of course, I had to ditch the silly character tokens that came with the game. I found a website for somebody's big Champions campaign and downloaded that artwork for my Strange Synergy counters.

Michael Barnes said...

Shell, you and Poor Ol' Steve Avery are two of a kind...I swear you guys have the exact same taste in games.

vialiy said...

I've actually never played AMBUSH...but really, it might be the kind of thing where I'd rather just pull out ASL, at this point.

And you'd be right. Ambush! is heavily scripted, doesn't feel at all like ASL, even solo.

Juniper said...

I am deeply offended by Kriz' avatar. Does no one think of the children who come here to read about AGRICOLA preorders, or statistical analyses of game ratings, or the best white running shoes to wear with tan Dockers?

Michael Barnes said...

I _always_ think of the kids when I post here and I try to do my part in keeping them away from the human disaster that is BGG and the current state of the board gaming community. I'd much rather my hypothetical kids see the word "fuck" or even Kriz's avatar than be even aware on any level of the kind of idiocy and anal behavior that goes on over there. It's much more offensive to me.

Juniper- everybody knows that those 1985-model white Reeboks are the best to wear with those tan dockers...you know how those guys are, they found a style of shoe they liked 25 years ago and simply replace 'em when they wear out. Younger nerds seem to favor the all-black version of the same shoe.

Shellhead said...

Btw, is there a preferred pronounciation for BGGers?

Baggers?
Beggars?
Biggers?
Boggers?
Buggers?

Dennis Ugolini said...

Younger nerds seem to favor the all-black version of the same shoe.

Get out of my mind! (Or my closet, I suppose.)

druenkree said...

"Btw, is there a preferred pronounciation for BGGers?"

Well some of them are tea baggers.

gary sax said...

I solo lots of wargames...

KingPut said...

One of the reasons I had kids was that I can play games with them (or I pretend to play games with them). When my daughter Ghost was about 7 or 8 years olds she wanted to play Risk. So I pulled out Risk and rather than playing the stupid 2 player rules with the Allies we played Risk with 2 of her American Dolls. Early into the game Ghost and the 2 American Girl Dolls started ganging up on me. But than Ghost got bored or something and went to watch T.V. So I kept playing the game until my wife came home and found me playing Risk with 3 dolls.

Lagduf said...

Ambush! is a quality game, despite being so scripted. Yes, it does not have a lot of replay value since you'll basically know where everything is after you beat it. Thats why you play through the campaign, have loads of fun, and then put the game away for a few years...then once you've forgotten where everything is in the game you can start all over again.

Ambush! is fun. It's low-medium complexity, offers over the top action, but still rewards careful play and good tactics.

You can get a used copy for like $15. There is NO reason not to try this out.

Nice that you talked about Arkham Horror. Thats pretty decent Solo. The only other PURE Solo games i'm interested in at the moment are Silent War (reprint) and the first volume of Steel Wolves.

I guess most of the good Solo stuff is wargames? B-17, Patton's Best, etc

Juniper said...

I once tried playing ARE YOU A WEREWOLF? solo, but I drew a villager card and then got lynched on the first day. Totally unfair. Now I understand why people are so critical of elimination games.

Mr Skeletor said...

Solo play is essential if you buy a new game that you will later have to teach.
Nothing worse than some asshole inviting you to play a new game that he has no real idea of how it works.

Dogmatix said...

@kriz: If you haven't seen it before, pick up an issue of the UK mag Bizarre, self-billed as the world's "only tits and corpses magazine" It's a cross somewhere between Maxim and Fangoria, and often funny as hell.

@Skeletor: I agree completely. I made the mistake of mentioning to a new group that I had just received Wings of War for Xmas [and perhaps didn't make quite clear that I hadn't broken the shrink yet]. Yet somehow it's ended up on the schedule for this Saturday though they've not played it either. Now burning through a few scenarios so I'm not *exactly* the prat you describe on my first day playing with these guys.

Max said...

Every time you solo, god kills a kitten.

Anonymous said...

Hey Skel, I resent that!

The first time I played Fearsome Floors with my family not only I didn´t have any idea about the game, I also forgot the rules at my place!

Horacio Silva

Mr Skeletor said...

Did it work?

Anonymous said...

It went ok; but my troubles started when they wanted to play again and I wasn´t able to remember all the "rules" I just pulled out of my ass.

Horacio Silva

mtlawson said...

Linnea Quigley....

Wow. I knew a guy in college who used to have a major infatuation with her from Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama. (Or maybe it was the beer talking.)

Yeah, if you're into ASL, Ambush! is going to feel scripted. Then again, that's the point. Replay value isn't that great, but if you wait a couple of years and you've forgotten what the stuff means, then you can play it again. There's also the issue with trying to actually win the darn scenario, and as they go up in toughness, it takes several tries to actually beat one.

If you think of Ambush! as a version of an adventure section of a Black Isle game (Baldur's Gate I/II, for instance), then you'll have a better feel for things.

--Mike L.

muebles madrid online said...

Thanks for this article, really worthwhile material.

Indian Pharmacy said...

I don't what to think about that game because I like the realistic things and this one is unreal, just look at that image in there...

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