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"Insurgent Earth Solo vs Kontraband Solo -- difference?" Topic

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Schogun16 Jan 2023 6:43 a.m. PST

Both Insurgent Earth: Resist or Die and Zona Alfa: Kontraband are designed for solo/co-op play. Both are designed by Patrick Todoroff.

Besides the setting, are the systems different? Is one any better than the other?

Also, Zona Alfa has its own solo/spawn rules -- what is different in Kontraband?


Personal logo Dentatus Sponsoring Member of TMP Fezian16 Jan 2023 7:06 a.m. PST

Answered this over at LAF, but

Zona Alfa and it's solo/co-op supplement Kontraband use a D10 dice mechanic.
The free solo supplement, Lone Wolves, was put together early in the lockdown right after the ZA's release.
Kontraband was developed later and is a larger, more refined supplement.

Exploit Zero (formerly known as Hardwired) Nightwatch, and Insurgent Earth use a completely different system. (D6, D8, D10 polyhedrals)
That were all designed specifically to be solo/co-op play.

Schogun16 Jan 2023 8:39 a.m. PST

@Dentatus --

Thanks. I hadn't received any responses to my post on LAF so I thought I'd try here.

I'm looking at various solo systems for one that is the most "intelligent" when it comes to controlling various troop types and battlefield conditions. It can be decision trees of if/then statements but there has to be some randomness so the tree isn't predictable. Probably the Holy Grail of solo games, yes?

So besides the different dice mechanisms, is one system more intelligent and unpredictable than the other? Being both from Patrick Todoroff, are the systems similar in nature, so I don't have to look at (i.e. buy) both books?


cloudcaptain16 Jan 2023 9:17 a.m. PST

The games are flavor specific so I own all of the above. They are not generic sandbox rulesets like it seems you might be leaning towards. You can definitely tweak the setting to your taste though. Every setting is so specific that you will want to get all the books. They are not close repeats of one another that you can get by with just one.

It is not hard to run Zona Alfa as both "Stalker/Roadside Picnic" in its original form….or in "Annihilation/Southern Reach Trilogy" mode with Western Gear. You just reskin it to your liking at that point. The AI elements are more tuned into basic logical actions and difficulty that increased based on your actions/pacing/choices in the game. Do you want to try for that last bit of loot knowing your group is beaten up already? Oh crap here comes a wave of Zombies to stop you from getting that loot.

The AI in Insurgent Earth do a good job of recreating Battlefield Los Angeles or Fallen Skies style situations. The more noise and drama you cause, the stronger their response.

Hope I addressed all your points. I own all of these rules and they are great. You can take your warbands through campaigns with RPG elements and have your buddies join in on the co-op side or go solo. The randomness will keep the games fresh for you.

Dentatus is Patrick Todoroff :)

Personal logo Dentatus Sponsoring Member of TMP Fezian17 Jan 2023 9:51 a.m. PST


Kontraband was written specifically for Zona Alfa with its D10 mechanics.
EZ/NW/IE use a different system based on a range of polyhedral dice. Each is setting specific and designed from the ground up as solo/co-op games.

If you want to run Zona Alfa solo or Co-op, I'd recommend Kontraband. If cyberpunk skirmishes or fantasy monster hunts are more your thing, go with Exploit Zero or Nightwatch. Post-Alien Invasion? Then look into Insurgent Earth.

Is the AI 'intelligent'? I'd say 'No.'

All of them, regardless of dice mechanics, use trigger conditions in the game and have conduct or behavior guidelines for enemy activity. No decision trees or 'If/Then' flow charts. So I'd submit the enemy AI is as 'intelligent' as the player running them.

Of all them, I'd say the AI in Insurgent Earth is the most "complex". But even then, the players run the adversaries against themselves.

Hope that helps.

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