Solo Wargaming

Posted: 29 August 2009 in Reflections

I’m looking into solo (and same-side) gaming again. There are a number of reasons for this…

  • It’s getting harder and harder to make any regular commitment to a night out at the club.
  • My internet link is browning out with increasing regularity, and when it is working there are generally two kids playing MMORPGs upstairs, which rules out net gaming.
  • A system that works solo should also work for two players on the same side, which would mean I can play with Nick instead of against him.
  • I’m starting to think about what to do with my time when I retire; that will be in Italy (don’t much fancy being old in the UK, but that’s a whole other topic), so opponents are likely to be hard to come by.

Rummaging through my pile of games dormant and active, I’ve come up with several possibilities. I plan to try them in turn, and see which works best; I suspect each will be good for a different type of game.

  • Two Hour Wargames has a number of options. The background for 5150 doesn’t appeal, but All Things Zombie, Legends of Araby and Warrior Heroes are languishing next to it on my hard drive in PDF format. If you go to the site you can download a couple of their games free, as samplers. My mind immediately raced off into possibilities of hybrid games with the THW reaction and campaign systems driving the game, but using the rules for Savage Worlds or Warhammer 40,000 outside of that. However, I shall try the THW system first, as I should understand the game before I meddle with it. Looks like it will work best for skirmish wargaming (which is where RPGs came from originally).
  • Mythic is designed from the ground up as a roleplaying game without a Game Master, and (sensibly) is split into the RPG itself and a “game master emulator” which can be applied to any system. Looks like it will work best for mystery type scenarios, but could work well for face to face or PBEM RPGs as well.
  • A hybrid Warhammer Quest / Savage Worlds dungeon crawl game looks like it would be quick and easy.
  • Considered but rejected: Solo dungeons using D&D 4th edition or Dungeon Bash (D&D 3.5 add-on). The latter in particular is good, but the complexity is off-putting – until I retire, at least, whatever game I pick needs to be something I can set up, play, and pack away again within a maximum of two hours.

Watch this space for adventures in solo gaming. First up, Warrior Heroes, under the Talomir category.

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