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"Solo Wargaming" Topic

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John Tyson23 Aug 2019 2:35 p.m. PST

For me at age 72, Solo Wargaming is my choice of miniature wargaming. I can't game for much more than 2-4 hours and I need to stop for the day. And at my age, since I'm retired, I can start and stop easily, stretching the game out over several days. Unfortunately, there's no such luxury with gaming partners (nor is it fair to another). But, I must admit that I miss the camaraderie – lots! Fortunately, there are several rule sets that make Solo Wargaming possible. I do so enjoy miniature wargaming and I'm thankful Solo gives me the opportunity to continue a hobby that I've been enjoying for almost 40 years.

Do you also solo?

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2019 2:48 p.m. PST

Since my small group of four broke up a few years ago, I game primarily solo. I have also done solo between scheduled games. Now, with the exception of an occasional game with one son in law, my gaming is entirely solo. For the most part, I enjoy it. Like you, I am retired, so I can ta'e my time with a game and perhaps enjoy it more.

Korvessa23 Aug 2019 3:41 p.m. PST

Since I live in the mountains far from other gamers, yes.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2019 3:46 p.m. PST

Most of my games are solo, which are used for playing either by myself or cooperatively with several players on one side against a solo opponent.
Currently my solo rules are for X-Wing, What a Tanker and Wings/Sails of Glory.
My rulesets include the following, and are solo playable:
Star Wars skirmish
Coastal Forces
French and Indian war skirmish
Colonial skirmish
WW2 skirmish
Medieval skirmish
Samurai skirmish
Wild West skirmish
Stargate skirmish

…and these can be downloaded freely from this link

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2019 4:14 p.m. PST

Yep – mostly because I am very busy at work so need to stretch games over days/weeks

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2019 6:45 p.m. PST

Almost exclusively, but I get a lot of gaming in and no one complains about me cheating! ;)


dball5323 Aug 2019 10:18 p.m. PST

Me too, at 66 I am still very much interested in the output of many companies and the new releases they tempt us with, we all know how easily collecting figures can become an addiction. My biggest problem these days is weaker eyesight, but I still manage to paint quite well, I think, retirement and my hobby seem to go hand in hand.

parrskool24 Aug 2019 12:13 a.m. PST

"For me at age 72, Solo Wargaming is my choice of miniature wargaming. I can't game for much more than 2-4 hours "

My position exactly!!!

Footslogger24 Aug 2019 12:52 a.m. PST

I also play solo. IGO/UGO rules work best, although I sometimes have to tweak rules. (In "Blucher", one player rolls the other's initiative dice, and tells him when he's exceeded the score – so I draw cards instead).

However much I try to be neutral, somehow, in Napoleonic battles, the French keep losing.

I'm lucky enough to have my own room with a permanent table, so I can leave a game and come back to it, although it helps if I write myself a note to keep track of where I was up to.

Wargamorium24 Aug 2019 12:56 a.m. PST

John Tyson and dball53

I am in exactly the same position. I no longer have the stamina for big games and am turning to solo gaming as well.

It is a pity we do not live closer to one another so that we could get together for combined solo games.


Ruchel24 Aug 2019 1:12 a.m. PST

Could you recommend a good solo ruleset for Napoleonic wargame (tactical level such as Lasalle or Shako)?

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2019 3:23 a.m. PST

I do get to scratch my itch for miniatures at Hurricon and Recon here in Florida as well as an occasional Historicon. Also getting together with friends to dry run our games for conventions.

But that still leaves plenty of time, especially for those of us who are retired. And some of us dont have regular players around. I must admit, for those times, I usually turn to computer strategy games for solo rather than setting up a gaming table and playing out a scenario.

Shardik24 Aug 2019 4:16 a.m. PST

Yep. I'll play a game over a period of weeks, maybe only playing one turn in a session. Playing with a real opponent is good but tiring

LaserGrenadier Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2019 4:49 a.m. PST

A substantial benefit of solo wargaming is the fact that my opponent shares my interests, has the same attention span, has at least similar intelligence and historical knowledge, and equal modeling and painting skills. I have a dedicated wargaming room and can leave a game up for months if life intrudes.

14Bore24 Aug 2019 4:54 a.m. PST

That's my plan especially if I couldn't paint.

Bob the Temple Builder24 Aug 2019 5:02 a.m. PST

I will be 70 next year, and have been solo wargaming for years. (I do play the occasional wargamer with other people, just in case I'm giving the impression I'm Bobby-no-mates!)

My PORTABLE WARGAME rules were designed to be used solo and in face-to-face battles, but almost all the play testing has been done solo, and it is my impression that a lot of the users are also solo wargamers.

John Tyson24 Aug 2019 5:37 a.m. PST

@ Ruchel: "Could you recommend a good solo ruleset for Napoleonic wargame (tactical level such as Lasalle or Shako)?"

'General de Brigade – Deluxe Edition.' are the rules I use for my Napoleonic solo play.

Additionally, here are the other rules I use for solo play.

'Post Captain' for my age of sail games.

'Panzer Grenadier' for my World War 2 games.

kevin Major24 Aug 2019 5:43 a.m. PST

Ruchel. I would recommend General d'Armee available from Toofatlardies. The ADC system can bring a level of the unexpected giving both sides a chance to exploit. The flow of the game also works well for the solo player. There is a video of a game played out on LardTV. See for your self.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2019 6:56 a.m. PST


I'm giving a good, hard look at Drums and Shakos Large Battles. It's ‘division ‘-level with some clever activation mechanics that I think are going to work very well for solo gaming.


Whirlwind24 Aug 2019 7:20 a.m. PST

Yes. Most of my gaming is solo.

Could you recommend a good solo ruleset for Napoleonic wargame (tactical level such as Lasalle or Shako)?

The only set I know of at this level with a specfic solo mechanism in is Muskets and Shakos link

Otherwise most rules can be used solo just fine. Rules with some kind of random element to activation/activity are probably easiest. The ones which are a bit more difficult (certainly not impossible) are those with simultaneous movement and/or interactive/interrupt mechanisms.

Timmo uk24 Aug 2019 8:24 a.m. PST


Take a look at Le Feu Sacre by TooFatLardies. It features card activation and is suitable for solo play. You also don't need to paint a mountain of figures; the rules are written for 1:50 (Empire style) but can be adapted if you have larger units.

huron72524 Aug 2019 9:15 a.m. PST

Yes almost exclusively, although, my gaming has hit an almost all-time low. Had a group of 8 buddies years age but careers, women, kids, other hobbies have taken a toll on wargaming. 55 a couple days ago and when I retire in 5 hope to forge some new gaming relationships.

Have my own dedicated 5x10 table so leaving a game up for months at a time is no problem.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2019 10:11 a.m. PST

Although retired and over 70 I have not yet tried solo gaming.
I am fortunate to still have some excellent gaming companions within an easy drive. Besides I wouldn't trust the guy I would have to game solo with. He is unsound.

Ruchel24 Aug 2019 11:12 a.m. PST

John Tyson, Kevin Major, Just Jack, Whirlwind, Timmo uk,

Many thanks for your recommendations. I have many options.I have never played solo games. I think it is difficult to simulate an enemy, and it is challenging for rules designers.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Aug 2019 11:35 a.m. PST

I have several clubs around and plenty of options. For me this hobby is about spectacle and socializing. If my only choice were solo game I would sell my toys and switch to another hobby.

UshCha24 Aug 2019 2:03 p.m. PST

I confess I mainly game with folk. In the development of my rules I did do solo games to test out the system in deliberately complex situations. Its a hobby I have in reserve if I lose the ability to play with mates. To be honest I would have thought that one way solo gamers could "improve" there quality of games is to get fellow solo gamers to layout the "oppositions" attack plans. If you are a solo player of our rules (Maneouver Group) I would be happy to sketch out say a defensive plan and the underlying philosophy underpinning a defense. I would have though that would be a significant advantage.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Aug 2019 2:33 p.m. PST

Building on UshCha's idea, you can play "sei-solo."

An opponent gives you an initial deployment and then a general battle plan. You then ask for updates to their plan via email/skype/face time.

The opponent is to give general orders – you;re not playing by email.

For example:

"Hmmm….based on the situation, I will move the 4th Brigade to behind the hill to act as a reserve, and meanwhile I'll have 2nd division advance toward the river to take the bridge."

pbishop1224 Aug 2019 7:43 p.m. PST

I'll be 70 before the year is over. Since I got clobbered by Harvey here in Houston 2 years ago, I've been out of gaming altogether. Moved into a new home on higher ground and the game room, which for domestic tranquility, was the last room put together, I can now get back to solo General de Brigade wargaming. Health is good and I work full time on a crazy schedule, so time to game is almost all solo now, and I'm perfectly content with it.

Blackhorse MP24 Aug 2019 8:34 p.m. PST

My games are about 50/50. I'd like more games with opponents but, alas, life has a tendency to intrude, so I'll take what I can get.

huron725, looks like we're in the pretty much the same neck of the woods, if you're interested.

epturner Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2019 4:35 p.m. PST

It all depends. I like the human interaction, but the reality is when I am at my civilian job, I'm on 3rd Shift. When I'm playing Modern Army, it's all situation dependent.

I do get in a fair bit of solo just because it works with my current schedule.


LT Sparker25 Aug 2019 6:43 p.m. PST

Interesting thread! Yes I'd say more than half my games are solo since a recent career change has given me less time to attend club nights.

At least with solo game I get a chance to win! Seriously though, I think the only drawback is the lack of society, there are few actual wargaming drawbacks to solo games with most rules if you get organised. Plenty of easy mechanics to randomise one side's play – it could be as simple as 1-2 Left flanking, 3-4 Up the middle, or 5-6 Right flanking. Or pick a passive or predictible force as the defender – Russians, Austrians perhaps, with a low command value.

Top tip with frequently revisiting the same game is to print off a card with the flags or symbols of the 2 protagonists on it, and leave it that side's flag uppermost when leaving the game, so you know which side is up next.

Addressing the lack of society can be addressed by taking plenty of pics then blogging about the game – makes you feel part of the community, as I do with my solo, and other, wargames:

grenadier corporal Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2019 1:18 a.m. PST

Although a mere 61 solo gaming is my main way of doing it.
It wouldn't be easy to find opponents here in Vienna anyway, but the advantages of solo gaming have been pointed out already. If I am enthusiastic I game, if not I take a break.
My rules, my figures, my world!

tshryock Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Aug 2019 12:25 p.m. PST

I'm exclusively solo gamer – that's just how it worked out. I tend to stretch games out over weeks on my permanent table. Though I do worry when I start arguing about rules with my opponent…

I develop a general plan for each side before the battle and carry out orders as best I can for both to stick to that plan.

Fredloan29 Aug 2019 7:09 p.m. PST

What are some really good solo game rules for Naps?

John Tyson02 Sep 2019 9:32 a.m. PST

Fredloan, you've probably already read the comments above, but I'll go ahead and repeat my preference.

The Napoleonic rules that I solo play with is,
"General de Brigade – Deluxe Edition."

Other folks say they enjoy,
"General de Armee."

14Bore02 Sep 2019 1:33 p.m. PST

About to start one with Empire III, not for the faint at heart for sure.

captaincold6903 Sep 2019 7:23 a.m. PST

I'm maybe a couple years into WW2 miniatures gaming and I find it damn near impossible to get into a group or to maintain a group.

I got into a group a little over a year ago, but it's now dissolved due to the guy who hosted is going through a divorce. I think he and some of the others are still gaming as they are long time friends and I think I'm the odd man out, but it was fun while it lasted.

There is another "local" group but while they are located maybe 15 miles away it can take 45 min+ to get there an back and they meet during the week. Also, they are pretty cliquish and it looks like it's hard to get into their little circle. I've tried to reach out to that group (via FB) to drum up some interest, but no bites. I've given up on them.

So, here I am, playing solo. I'll be moving soon so hopefully where I end up it will be a little easier to find a group or create one.

Tony L04 Sep 2019 1:17 p.m. PST

Hi All,

Retired for just over a year, my son now married and not much going on but solo gaming.

I have started searching for scenarios that are on the smaller side and trying to fine tune them for live play, when ever that might be.

I did get in part of a game with someone I have been trying to recruit for a while. Total newbie. Went well and he was obviously into it so a load of potential, but has no figures!

My son got me into Napoleonic gaming a few years back. Prior I was ACW junkie with a decent sized group but after relocating with my job, I am now left be group-less.

Been trying Map campaign movement to generate tabletops but still need people regularly.

Being new to Napoleonic gaming my painted forces are still rather small after almost 3 years, 14 French Battalions and 13 British, 2 Cavalry each as well as 8 guns each.
Bunch more on the paint bench. :)

Small scenarios are not easy to find without spending money and even then most are for larger battles.

Game testing will do for now and I will continue to search out new players. So, anyone in north eastern Ohio, please chime in.

Regards to All,
Tony L.

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