Forum Replies Created
Great stuff! And welcome to the world of Comic Life #3!12/04/2020 at 23:45 in reply to: Testing my ancient rules with One Hour Wargaming scenarios on blog #134696
It is a great and well nuanced gaming system,combined with the scenarios it is amazing how it all just works so well together.11/04/2020 at 21:10 in reply to: Testing my ancient rules with One Hour Wargaming scenarios on blog #134648
Thirty minute thrashing?
Thirty minute thrillers?
1800 seconds of pure gaming goodness?
I do like HAH-W as an acronym though!
Actually am quite busy during the week (remote working but work is busier than ever) so have not read the Klink reports yet. But I have got some gaming reports coming as my weekends are more free now. My spare time in the last few months has been spent playing PBEM One Hour Wargame scenarios with Dale e.g.
More non-solo gaming in the last two months than the last five years!
PDF is my preference as I can read them anywhere without having to carry a load of rulebooks around. For the others – I have a few hundred rules sets floating from hardback to softback to spiral. I have no real preference between these three. I am not fond of ebooks compared to PDF for rules as I find i can relate to PDFs as they are the equivalent of rulebook pages, while an ebook is the content displayed a different way and find it too hard to navigate. The one I do not like, and I think I have only a few of these, are the ones that come hole punched and you have to put them in your own binder. I don’t like binders very much Or the ones that have charts larger than the rulebook – looking at you Milgamex Ancient Warfare in particular.
I guess I assumed Jack was in hiatus due to other commitments as it tends to happen from time to time. And last time I chased him up after a few weeks silence he got me so well 🙂
p.s. Hello Jack!
@Thomaston – I actually started going down this route about 3-4 years ago, planning to use Pulp alley with the Railway miniatures. I did play a game since then and wandering through Tour Hour Wargames and then to 5Parsecs. So the Man from Uncle is entirely appropriate as I am hoping to get back to doing some Pulp Alley-ish stuff using the same figures and terrain!
@Coyotepunc – 5Parsecs is a great solo system. I am not a big fantasy person so SF it needs to be 🙂
@Daryl, What do i prefer for narrative campaigns? It depends on what you are seeking. For me, it is Future Tales (FT) over 5Parsecs but I will explain why.
Future Tales/Larger Than Life/Lovecraft’s Revenge have an overall story arc where you seek a number of clues to then reach an overall end (that is basically the confrontation with the Big Bad Villain). You have to fill in the gaps but you go from chapter to chapter, where each chapter is made up of encounters with PEF (potential enemy forces but maybe hazards or a chat – not necessarily combat) with an end scene per chapter to try and get a clue. Scenes may be combat though and they can be fairly simple to do (using LTL/FT) or really simple (using the later 5150 combat rules). There is not a lot of character leveling up (think Traveller). But I like how you jump from scene to scene doing stuff and filling out the gaps. I have simplified combat to just be some task rolls rather than play it out but I have some exmaples on the blog that are run throughs of LTL and FT. The narrative, except dialog, is generated all by a spreadsheet so you can see how the narrative is generated. Note I may have understressed combat – combat is at the core of the game but I have found it does not happen as often as other stuff, and also the later 5150 have simplified combat so much it is resolved very quickly without a lot of pushing figures around.
5150 Maiden Voyage does not have the same overall story arc – it is about a team travelling around the universe going from chapter to chapter playing out scenes. There are more types of scenes in 5150 than FT as is is not seeking clues but wandering around, so more can happen. (One dayI hope to include these extra scene types into my FT games) You can improve characters a lot more in 5150 than in LTL/FT/LR as games are over a longer period of time. Also, the aim of 5150MV is to collect enough reputation to to able to retire. Still a narrative, but a wnadering one rather than an overall story arc.
Combat in LTL/FT/5150 happens when you bump into stuff that doesn’t like you – it is just one of those things as you are going through the system.
5Parsecs is similar to 5150 but going a different path. 5Parsecs is structured around a campaign turn which is basically 3 parts:
1. do a bunch of stuff with the characters – healing, level up, look for jobs, doo some exploring. Each of these is resolved with a dice roll and looking up on a table.
2.Have an encounter – this is a tabletop battle with an enemy. The reason for the encounter varies and the objective of the encounter may not simply be destroy the other side.
3. post encounter buy stuff and have some random events.
Then a new campaign occurs.
There is no specific story arc. There are quests but they are a number of encounters that then provide a bonus when done.
Characters can level up fairly quickly and become quite powerful over a few encounters.
There are a lot of tables to provide the campaign turn narrative. My post, except the encounter, was done entirely by dice rolls on the tables.
So you have, for solo play
FT – good at overall story arc but is a bit narrow as it is focused on that. Combat happens along the way.
5150:MV – wandering the universe creating the narrative as you wander and bump into things. Combat happens along the way.
5Parsecs – excellent as a tabletop encounter system with detailed campaign narrative generated around each battle. A turn is narrative then battle so a bit more structured.
What I do really like about 5Parsecs is the focus – if you want a system where you want battles to play out surrounded by a narrative, then that is the way to go. If you want narrative and combat occur along the way, then the THW stuff.
Starport Scum is a little different to 5Parsecs – it uses different combat mechanisms to the 5Core series (5 core is all about scoring 1 or 6 on dice) or 5Parsecs (falrly standard attributes but 5Parsecs 2nd Edition specifically designed for solo tabletop battles and campaigns). But Starport Scum is similar-ish in scope of what is achieves to 5Parsecs but operates with different tables and slightly less narrative than 5parsecs (summing it up in one sentence there!). Starport Scum is not specifically designed for solo play but could do so – it is more aimed at a few players running a character or two each. While 5Parsecs the characters improve, SS split everone into Goons, Aces, Heroes etc. I didn’t comment on your other thread as someone had suggested Starport Scum for Judge Dredd and I agree. It get closer to the feel of Judge Dredd than the other stuff. I have the rules but not played them so cannot help you much – there are reviews and I am sure some game run throughs out there. But reading through Scum just now, I am actually surprised how similar it is in scope to 5Parsecs and it would actually not be hard to skim the Dredd feel onto 5Parsecs. I am now tempted to put on my list playing a Starport Scum campaign! I know I am not helping but you may be better going with 5Parsecs rather than SS for solo Dredd.
I had actually forgotten about the note she wrote (in the last image on the blog) until I got out the One Hour Wargames book when we were moving earlier this year. The note was inside the front cover and brought back the memory! I also think my daughter did a victory dance. She still remembers she won.
Note that I have packed up nearly all my books, including rules etc for the next year or two while renovating. I kept about half dozen rules (out of about two hundred) that I thought I may do some gaming with in the next year or two. One Hour Wargames was one of those books. On the flip side, I do have a lot of rules as PDFs!
Same here. 5 years ago I played a game with my 8yo daughter and she beat me. We used the medieval rules. At the time I wrote a blog post on it:
With such a low score, I think your plan may need to include bribery, oops I mean rewards (Someone once said to me that you should never bribe children, so I never bribe my children (“You will get ice cream if you do this”) but reward them (“If you do this, you will get ice cream”))21/12/2019 at 00:14 in reply to: WW2 East Front 6mm solo game on small table on blog #128382
When I got back in WW2 gaming, I was putting too much stuff on the table for my enjoyment. After a few years I realised that was the problem and now try to make sure I do not have to many units to play with. It seems to work for me. It does mean the games are more like vignettes of a bigger battle than a large battle in itself, but I have found I really enjoy that.19/12/2019 at 10:18 in reply to: Battle of Zama solo report 2'x2' table with own rules on blog (last one for now) #128278
I would like to think I am finished with the combat interactions but I know I am definitely not finished *testing* combat interactions 🙁 I am fairly done with any up to about 600AD as that is the years I have played all the games. So it covers chariots, pikes, elephants, archers, cataphracts, heavy and light infantry, heavy and light archers etc. The rules cover later than this but I have not tested Medieval games so such things as Vikings, Huns, Longbowmen, Knights etc remain an unknown in actual play. I think the rules will manage fine as I had this epoch in mind while writing them, but they still need testing. I am very tempted as my next goal to play some games from the book “As Told in the Long Hall” as I get to play about 15 scenarios set in England from about 600AD to 1100AD which will test some of the early western medieval interactions. It includes Hastings which i have in my mind whenever I made combat changes so hopefully the rules will survive a Hastings replay 🙂
Warbands are my nemesis. While the combat value, combat reaction etc and movement rules for them have not changed, I vacillate on how to easily represent them in the rules. I have finally just recently gone with creating a “Medium Infantry'” type that is for Warbands and some other infantry that were also exceptions such as Samnites and Thracians. Having a hew troop type got rid of about 4 exceptions in the rules.18/12/2019 at 08:32 in reply to: Battle of Zama solo report 2'x2' table with own rules on blog (last one for now) #128214
I am biased as I wrote the rules 🙂 so I would say the combats are all fairly plausible. I have probably played around 150 games with the rules and my constant tweaking to the rules are only ever to get them closer to what I think are plausible results. These days the tweaking is less, and the changes more to tighten up the mechanisms than to change results.08/12/2019 at 03:09 in reply to: Battle of Metaurus solo report 2'x2' table with own rules on blog #127763
Yes, it turned out to be a very interesting game, unlike what I expected to happen!02/12/2019 at 11:35 in reply to: Battle of Cannae solo report 2'x2' table with own rules on blog #127473
Hello Guy and Steve
The rules would take 30 minutes if you did not know them well. I still refer to a few of the reaction tables and a lot of games are 15 minutes. The longest would be 30 minutes. Most are over in 20. It is about 3-4 turns in total. As a unit can react and then do an action (governed by the reaction tables) so it is not IGOYGO alternate turns and units tend to see a lot more action than 3-4 simple turns.
Cannae was 15 minutes, and likely due to the outlier dice rolls. It would have taken maybe another turn and maybe up to 10 more minutes without them (Heavy infantry Vs Heavy infantry tends to be a little slower than other combats). It was solo. I tend not to use the programmed opponent for historical battles and only for random point based battles. I have thought about using the programmed opponent for historical battles but still enjoy simply playing both sides to the best of my ability.
I really like 15 minute games. There are only 10-12 units and the narrative is intense for those 15 minutes – every die roll drives the narrative immensely and makes a difference.
If you do get around to reading or even playing and you have any questions on the rules feel free to ask. They are a fairly dry read and some make not make sense in parts. Well, they make sense to me 🙂 but maybe not to anyone else!21/11/2019 at 09:08 in reply to: Battle of Trasimene solo report 2'x2' table with own rules on blog #126880
I think for the first few games I can use some 1/87 railway figures and use some WW2 terrain not in storage or an SF boardgame board. If I get past the first few games I may invest in more stuff 🙂 But maybe not if it does not look sooo bad.
My favourite rules are Armati II, great game and difficult decisions throughout the game. I have not played them in about 4-5 years though. My own rules, Ancient Battlelines Clash, are really just an attempt to produce a solo friendly Armati II-like game that plays in about 20 minutes 🙂
Well said Hayes.19/11/2019 at 21:21 in reply to: Battle of Trasimene solo report 2'x2' table with own rules on blog #126781
Thanks Jack. I do have a WW2 6mm game to post, am thinking about a small 6mm WW2 campaign, and starting a 5 Parsecs from Home campaign (this last one will be interesting with me having no suitable SF skirmish figures!).10/11/2019 at 07:42 in reply to: Battle of Ticinus solo report 2'x2' table with own rules on blog #126253
Yes, I am in the camp that for ancients, flanked units fighting to the front and side are effectively goners.
Or maybe by our reply posts we have answered his question and shown it is a possibly a niche and not for most. That makes us then sad or genius or just different (depending on the state of our egos) 🙂10/11/2019 at 03:48 in reply to: Battle of Bagradas solo report 2'x2' table with own rules on blog #126248
@Jack, yes getting some games in. Played a great WW2 6mm game in early October and the blog post is only 30 minutes from being done – just need to caption some images. I will try very hard to get this last bit done.
Game 1 was in 2012 so not too much commitment. And I think I have played the recent four of them over the last 3 years! I have about 150 in the list I would like to play. Last month realised that if I went at the rate I have been going for the last few years, I would be dead before getting anywhere near the end!
And hence stopped the WW2 blog post and focused on the ancient games….I know “stop with the pointed sticks already and show me a game with bullets!”.09/11/2019 at 09:47 in reply to: Battle of Bagradas solo report 2'x2' table with own rules on blog #126220
Hello Steve, I cannot take credit for painting the figures, I used to paint a lot but realised I am not fond of painting but love playing. The figures were accumulated from eBay over several years when the Oz dollar was really strong against the Sterling and the US dollar. It hasn’t been for about 4 years now 🙁 but the flip side is that it forces me to use them now and keep collecting more 🙂
Just wait until I pick up and move to Brisbane!
Threat or promise? 🙂
If you did move, think how happy it would make Ivan seeing his rules actually being played non-solo!
I have been playing mostly solo for the last 10 years. I will also second Jack’s points but add/extend one as well. I have not found it necessary to have an ongoing campaign following a unit is needed to be interesting (although Jack does mention to me that I *must* do so. He may get his wish soon as I am probably soon going to do a 5 Parsecs From Home campaign). But I do believe something equivalent to this is important. I found that for the first four years, it was replaying the same battles with different rules that kept me interested in solo playing – uncovering how different rules worked was fascinating. I then moved onto playtesting my own rules. So that was (and still is) interesting in seeing how they play and tweaking them after every game 🙂 I have also done a series of related games, so not quite a campaign with the same unit but something like the Operation Jupiter scenarios, or a sequence of fights centred on a particular operation. So not a campaign with the same unit, but something similar just the same that helps maintain the interest.
And you do have gaming friends Jack, they just live thousands of miles away from you. No idea why 🙂
A favourite that matches what you are looking for would be Gangs of MegaCity One, the Judge Dread miniature boxed set from many years ago. It has all you want so would be a contender, if you can find it 🙁 I don’t know of any other that meet all your requirements.
I can second the recommendation for Programmed Wargames Scenarios by C. Grant. I have used it a couple of times but had a great time and wish I had more time to use them more.
Advance to Cover is definitely more complete and a bit more playtested. The Advance to Cover activations (whether cards or dice) were designed to be very solo friendly as that is how I tend to be play them. If you do get around to thinking about using them more, fell free to ask me questions!
I have created a few rules over the last 7 years, all a little different form one another. To answer your question i will quickly give some background. Advance to cover (from January 2015) was the last of the Advance series and attempted to combine Battalion and Company rules into one set. I used this set the most for 20mm and 6mm. It is based on always rolling 1d6 and adding/subtracting modifiers. Firing, morale etc is done by units that are normally 3 bases (3 figures in 20mm representing a section; 3 bases in 6mm representing a platoon). Card based activation.
Post January 2015, after playing a fair few games with my children, I got enamoured will rolling a number of dice, the “to hit” number of each die is the same and with adding and subtracting the number of dice rather than rolling 1d6 and adding and subtracting to the die. Only really interesting in rolling a small number of dice (one to five) rather than buckets of dice. I started rewriting Advance to cover to incorporate this mechanism and then got sidetracked (to to lack of time) into working on games I could play in a lunchtime. So I took the Company level Advance to cover draft rules based on number of dice, made it work for 6mm where a base (section) rolled 1-3 dice rather than a platoon and activation is via a dice roll rather than cards as it seemed to work better that way due to the small number of bases on the table. I also made it work on a 12×12 grid so I could play at lunchtime on a 24cmx24cm table. This rules were lightly tested in mid-2018 and called Platoon advance to cover. So they work similar to Advance to cover but one unit to one unit, multiple dice rather than one die and dice activation rather than card activation.
Roll forward to this year and the game I played used the Platoon advance to cover rules but I did not use a grid and simply converted all grid references to centimetres with 1 grid square = 4cm. This was for a 48cmx48cm board. For a 2’x2′ board I am aiming to go with 1 grid square = 2″ (5 centimetres). So you can use Platoon Advance to cover without a grid very easily (with the one change I think I would make artillery templates a circle rather than a square).
Because they are much the same family you could easily mix parts of each that you liked. The firing and morale etc should produce very similar results even though one is based on a single die roll and the other on multiple dice. Conversion between the two for ranges is very easy too – in Advance to cover infantry move 6″ (or 6cm in 6mm), in Platoon advance to cover they move 2g. If you wanted to convert between the two 1g=3cm. I felt that on a 2’x2′ 3cm was too slow for 1g with the small number of bases on the table for Platoon Advance to cover (5-8) but with a more units 1g = 3cm would probably work better as a game.
Sorry for the long ramble, the short answer is you can mix them 🙂
Actually Jack, no need to apologise – the gun was the only unit I diced for. The hill was sooo tempting i diced to see if a unit would go there (yes), and then which one (Gun), and then if it would get any support (no). I have the scenario and forces generated for the next game but haven’t set it up yet.
That is very impressive!
I keep meaning to improve my 6mm terrain. It is OK and serviceable but I am always looking for the energy to improve it. For the last few years if I have the time and energy, it goes into playing and not terrain building!. I originally bought some 6mm on a whim and did spend some time putting some terrain together from bits of wood, paper buildings and carpet tiles. The fields are a thin doormat cut up. It had the grooves already and was quite flat – perfect for 6mm! Even the colour was fine,
I rolled to see if the gun would actually deploy on the hill, and it did. The force ratio was not that great and so yes, it was always going to be a challenge for the Russians. The Stug is an early one so the armour is not so great but even then the AT Rifle is not great and at a distance is lucky to get a pin, close up on the flank it has some chance of a kill.
Thanks for the comment – responded on the blog before I saw it here!
Maybe not hundreds, maybe not even 10s! I do think there will be more coming in the next few months though as they are short to play and only a few hours to write up.
I played Triumph a few times when it was released in draft and did like the unit interactions, probably because there were more different types of units compared to DBA 2.2. I played the earlier Triumph version and the released version now has a different mechanism for shooting. I would prefer to play it over DBA 2.2 but I am a ambivalent DBA player anyway! I have DBA 3.0 but not played it but do like the further differentiation of units into Solid/Fast.
Hello Jack, Yes, DBA is very good at the highlighting the nuances with the different unit interactions. I have a love hate relationship with DBA where I can admire how well crafted it is but not suspend my disbelief enough to believe I am playing an ancients battle.
My rules are sort of like a very fast Armati game with some unit reactions to make it a little more solo friendly. It is designed so each game does not last more than 20 minutes, while DBA is 45 minutes to an hour. In my rules, Skirmishers are destroyed by other units, except Elephants, Scythed Chariots and other Skirmishers. They have a chance to destroy Elephants in melee but if they don’t they are destroyed. It makes for fast game!
Thank you both, it is glad to be back and pushing figures.
I cannot think of any off the top of my head, but I always look at this guy’s 6mm ww2 reports with IABSM for the terrain:
I am like John – I tend to write overviews that highlight the mechanics of the game and what worked for me. Realising different gamers like different things, I tend to focus on describing the system and then people can make up their own mind whether the rules are suitable for them.