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Marco’s Video Blog Episode #2 – Solitaire Wargaming

19 July 2013 3 Comments

Marco's-Blog-Illustration0:00 Intro, recap about games played, with some one-sentence microreviews thrown in;
05:43 Behold the map of the monster game!
08:09 The truth about counter magnets, finally revealed!
13:08 MAIN COURSE: Multiplayer wargaming in solitaire mode: motivations, games that work in that mode, general ideas, suggestion, tricks, and tweaks
32:09 Conclusions; what to expect next.

Marco Arnaudo
View all posts by Marco Arnaudo
Marcos website
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3 Comments »

  • Jim Mathews said:

    Great job! Excellent points and insight. Keep it up!

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  • Charlie Theel said:

    Enjoyed it, good job.

    For my money, Thunderbolt Apache Leader is THE solitaire wargame.

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  • Stephen Loniewski said:

    Very interesting blog, Marco. I’m glad to see you doing this.

    I’m looking forward to you tackling the Battle for Normandy monster. Will you try to incorporate the new expansion from GMT? I think it includes a couple more maps and lots of extra counters.

    As to solitaire wargaming. Like you, I too am mostly a solitaire player. I’ve been doing this since I started in the hobby in 1969. The reason is mainly a lack of suitable opponents who have both the time and the inclination to spend an afternoon or evening (or sometimes both) playing what is essentially a military/intellectual exercise. Marriage and families have both been guilty of whittling down my stock of opponents.

    Another reason is my approach to wargaming in general. For me a wargame is more a history lesson than it is a game. When I play, I play to win…the battle, not the game. Some opponents view it as a game and will play it that way, doing anti-realistic things to further their cause because the game lets them get away with it.

    I would rather have the game show me the challenges faced by the commanding generals in a battle or campaign and give me the opportunity to overcome those challenges within the context of the game. I don’t want to win because I’m better at memorizing a deck of cards than my opponent but because I’m better at exploiting each card as it comes up in game play.

    Having said that here is a short list of qualities that, in my humble opinion, make some games unplayable solitaire meaningfully.

    1) Hidden counters/Hidden movement — I can’t think of a way to play these games if they involve units not visible to both players at all times except by scrapping the “hidden” aspect. If you do that you radically change the designer’s intent and turn the game into something different from what is advertised.

    2) Bluffing/Misinformation/Deception — Games that require one opponent actively to bluff or deceive the other opponent in regards to the size and/or location and/or intentions of their forces can’t be played solitaire and remain true to the designers intent. This includes games in which the use of dummy counters is integral to the design.

    3) Auctioning — By this I mean a traditional free auction in which bidding continues until only one bidder remains. This applies mostly to Euros than to wargames in general. It’s kind of difficult to simulate a spirited bidding round between two or more participants all desperately trying to purchase the item up for bids when there’s just one of you. Many Euros feature modified auctioning in which only one bid may be made, etc. and these can be made to work solitaire.

    Having said this I do acknowledge that Enrico Viglino (calandale) runs a continuing seminar on playing multi-player games solitaire and does it quite well, I think, using rolls of the dice to simulate the actions of the various opponents.

    Those are my thoughts on the subject. I’m hoping you keep up the good work, Marco, with many more blogs to come.

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