Monday, February 11, 2008

Going Solo

I've been getting pretty frustrated lately with the lack of gaming in my life. Sure, I feel pretty lucky to have such a kick-ass gaming group in the gaming wasteland that is Portland Oregon, but just one night a week doesn't cut it.

I plan to play more games with my kids, but I don't get anywhere near the level of gaming satisfaction from that as I need. Though as time goes on that will change.

Gaming with the wife is more painful than it's worth. At least the kids are interested in playing games. My wife, I love her dearly, but she just doesn't game. It's sad really.

So I decided to start gaming solo as much as I needed. Gaming solo isn't anywhere near as enjoyable as getting together with your friends, throwing some beer and pizza down your throat and taunting one other mercilessly while pretending to kill his toy soldiers using your toy soldiers and a bucket load of dice. If there is a Nirvana, let me tell you, that's it.

However, beggars can't be choosers so solo gaming it is. With that in mind I decided to try to make some headway with what are widely considered some of the most solo friendly rules in existence. Those from Two Hour Wargames. Specifically their game 5150. Alas that did not go so well. 5150 (and frankly most of THW rules) is a game that I want to love. I really do. It has so much going for it. But the mechanics are just flat not fun. I know there are a lot of THW fans out there and I say more power to you. I own a lot of their games myself, but every time I try to play them it's an exercise in frustration. The Reaction System is great in theory but I find it tedious and annoying in practice.

I considered using the Stargrunt II rules (which are now a free download by the way) because they are a fantastic set of rules that do a great job of capturing ultra-modern combat. But they don't cater well to alien races and the combat system, while really good, doesn't have a lot of room for extreme variation or bizarre weapon systems.

So now I'm thinking about using the No Limits game. It uses more familiar mechanics and has the additional benefit of being completely free. It has a complete figure, equipment and force creation system that looks clean and straight forward. You can just hustle over to Wargames Unlimited to get it or one of their other free games if you are interested.

Since I'm mainly interested in doing a heavily narrated campaign I'm creating a journal for tracking my characters and their games. So, with that in mind I have started another (undoubtedly pointless) blog to act as my journal. If you can spare the brain cells that will commit suicide because you forced them to read my drivel, just head on over to Holden Salvage. But don't say I didn't warn you.


Cristin said...

Sorry babe! You can't have it have a wife with good looks, funny sense of humor, the ability to multiply and replenish the earth...don't you think that's enough???

Steve said...'s never enough... :o)))

Solo wargaming is good, I do a lot of it between "normal" games... you could check out the Solo Wargames Yahoo group - they have a lot of useful hints/tips and various mechanisms to intoduce surprise and fog of war - they're rule-set agnostic - so kind of fit into any game..

In addition - try and get Featherstone's "Solo Wargaming", Asquith's book with the same name, and the Charles Grant "Programmed Wargames Scenario's" book... loads of idea and stuff in these...

Larry said...

Thanks for the comment Steve. Your blog is outstanding, definitely going on to my regular reading list.

I particularly enjoyed your latest post on the free mapping software.

I have considered picking up the very books you mention on numerous occasions but never did because I hadn't really committed myself to solo then. They are definitely on the shopping list now though.