Playing Solo



  • I’m curious what people’s thoughts are on the matter. Wife is going outa town, which is usually a good chance to get a game in but all play other players are busy so I’m considering just setting up and going at it solo. Has anyone here attempted doing a solo game? I feel it could be a good chance to learn more strats…



  • @Guymyer:

    I’m curious what people’s thoughts are on the matter. Wife is going outa town, which is usually a good chance to get a game in but all play other players are busy so I’m considering just setting up and going at it solo. Has anyone here attempted doing a solo game? I feel it could be a good chance to learn more strats…

    That sounds like an excellent idea, but honestly will be hard to execute.  I have tried doing this in risk many times, but Ive always found myself wanting to try one strategy out more than the other, and so I end up being bias and letting one side win easier than should be.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    I think if you are playing against yourself you have to have good notes about what each side wants to accomplish and that the other side responds to your movements in the best possible way. You have to take your time, ask what if, and explore the possibilities.

    Marsh


  • 2019 2018 2017

    I tried that once, but it drove me slightly crazy. Whatever ingenious plan I devised with one side, I knew that the other side would see right through it.



  • Sadly my regular partner is not available most the time so I find myself playing against myself. Usually in order to make it interesting you have to make a plan with each nation or you are going to be biased. It is very hard to not be biased in this game especially if one nation is doing exceptionally well. I find that the first 2 rounds are super boring because of how scripted it is. I’d imagine playing risk with yourself would be hard, and usually if I am playing by myself I an driven insane after about 6 rounds.



  • What i normaly do is just get online on tripleA and find someone to play against.
    There are normaly some guys around that want to play and even if you dont finish the game it is better then playing against yourself.



  • I’ve thought about this because many people do this with chess. Unlike chess however this game isn’t as simple as moving a queen this way or your king that way. This game(especially global) is more about misconception and disguising your strategy as best as possible. Take the Spanish beachhead for instance. Your opponent cannot know it’s coming or it won’t work. So how would you go about playing the USA and setting it up for three turns but at the same time you play Germany for three turns and you can’t be there thinking “I wonder where that fleet is going to land”? You know exactly where it’s going. I don’t see it being possible to play a fair game with any misconception what so ever.



  • I’ve never done it, but if I were… my attitude would be to do the best thing available from turn to turn for each nation, without planing to far ahead.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    To expand on what the previous posters have said, playing solo a strategic-level game that covers several years of WWII poses the major problem that such a game involves long-term planning…and you can’t hide each side’s long-term plans from yourself if you’re playing both sides.

    There are ways, however, of managing this when you’re playing a regional-level game that focuses on a single large campaign in which one side is basically the attacker, one side is basically the defender, and the game is played as on a “use what you’ve got” basis with no unit purchases.  Something roughly on the scale of the A&A games D-Day or Guadalcanal or Battle of the Bulge, though of course you can use the same technique for other campaigns.

    Here’s the basic technique I’d suggest, using as an example the Eastern Front in mid-1942 (and therefore using just part of the Global 1940 map board).  Historically, mid-1942 was a time when the front had more or less stabilized during the fighting over the course of the previous months; the Germans were building up for a summer offensive, but unlike what had been the case during Barbarossa the previous year they were not strong enough to attack along the whole front.  (In real life, they decided to strike towards Stalingrad and the Caucasus region.  We all know how that turned out, but that’s not what this example is about.)  The Russians, for their part, had managed both to halt Barbarossa and to drive it back to a certain extent in late 1941 and early 1942, but by the spring of 1942 had reached pretty much the limit of what they could do with the limited resources they had at the time.

    In the scenario I’m using as an example, you’d be playing both the German side and the Russian side.  Both sides know that the Germans are the ones who are going to go on the offensive, and thus that the Russians are going to be in the role of the defender.  (In 1941, 1942 and 1943, the basic pattern was that the German offensives occurred in the summer and the Russian ones in the winter.)  The two questions both sides have to consider are thus: where along the front is Germany going to attack, and therefore where should each side concentrate the bulk of its forces?

    Let’s assume, as part of the game scenario, that Germany has three options: launch an offensive against Moscow alone, launch an offensive against Stalingrad alone, or launch simultaneous offensives against both cities.  In the first step of the solo gaming process, you take the role of the German general staff and you basically work out three force-allocation plans, meaning one for each of the three offensive options I’ve described.  Let’s say that Plan A will be the Moscow-only offensive, Plan B will be the Stalingrad-only offensive, and Plan C will be the Moscow-and-Stalingrad dual offensive.  There’s no decision about which plan will be used (we could imagine, for example, that Hitler hasn’t yet made up his mind), but the details of the force allocations for all three plans do get locked down at this stage.  Plan A, for example, might involve placing so many tanks in such-and-such a territory prior to the attack, and so forth.  Once the three plans are drawn up, you’re committed to their details and they can’t be changed.

    That’s step one.  For step two, you now switch sides and become the Russian general staff.  Your intelligence services have informed you that the Germans are preparing for an offensive, and they’ve provided you with stolen copies of Plan A, Plan B and Plan C.  You know exactly what the force allocation details are for each of the three plans (because you yourself worked them out in step one when you were playing the German side), but you don’t know which one of the three plans will be implemented (because Hitler hasn’t yet decided which one to use).  As the Russian player, you now have to decide where you will position your own forces in order to meet the upcoming German offensive, whose location you don’t know.  Will you position the bulk of your forces in front of Moscow?  That would be the best possible move if the Germans end up using Plan A, but the worst possible move if the Germans end up using Plan B, and only a partially-good move if the Germans end up using Plan C.  Will you position the bulk of your forces in front of Stalingrad?  Again, the wisdom of that option will ultimately depend on which plan the Germans use.  Will you split your forces between Moscow and Stalingrad?  That’s arguably the best option for countering Plan C (if that’s what the Germans end up using), although a counter-argument would be that if you concentrate on defending either Moscow or Stalingrad you’ll end with a split result if the Germans use Plan 😄 a more or less guaranteed Russian victory at one city and a more or less guaranteed Russian defeat at the other city.

    Anyway, the point is that in step 2 you have to commit yourself, as the Russian side, to one particular defensive strategy, with its force allocation details worked out and locked down ahead of time.

    Now we get to the final step before the actual campaigns starts: Germany decides which of its three plans it will actually use.  This has to be done randomly because, if you were given the opportunity to switch back into the German role and make the decision yourself, you couldn’t avoid being influenced by your knowledge of the defensive dispositions to which the Russians committed themselves in step 2.  (You didn’t have that knowledge when you were doing your step 1 planning because step 2 hadn’t taken place yet, but you do have that knowledge now that you’re at step 3.)  Step 3, therefore, simulates (via a dice roll) a situation in which Hitler makes his final decision (implement Plan A or Plan B or Plan C, none of which can be changed) in one of three sets of circumstances

    • German intelligence is in the dark about where the Russians have positioned their forces, and therefore Hitler basically takes a guess and makes his decision on the basis of that guess.  A random dice roll which happens to select the perfect plan for the situation would represent a good guess by Hitler, whereas a bad guess by Hitler would correspond to the other dice options.

    • German intelligence has good information on the Russian defensive force dispositions and makes a good recommendation to Hitler, and Hitler sensibly chooses the right plan for the situation.  This would be what a good plan-selection dice roll would represent.

    • German intelligence has good information on the Russian defensive force dispositions and makes a good recommendation to Hitler, but Hitler dismisses their recommendation and chooses the wrong plan for the situation.  This would be what a bad plan-selection dice roll would represent.

    Steps 1, 2 and 3 having been completed, you then set up the opposing forces on the board using the German offensive plan to which you’re committed and the Russian defensive plan to which you’re committed – and then you fight out the campaign and see who wins.  Even before the fighting starts, however, you’ll probably be able to take satisfaction of either having been successful as the German side in setting up an attack where the Russians didn’t expect you, or take satisfaction as the Russian side in having correctly anticipated where the Germans would attack.



  • Wow, a lot of good posts. Didn’t expect such detail. Yeah, it’ll be hard to design strata that span multiple turns. I was thinking take each nation at a time and not strat too much or have a set strat, but then buys would be hard to place.


  • Customizer

    I’ve done this on occasion, set up and play the board by myself.  I usually don’t make it to completion.  Basically what I do is try out different reactions by one side to another side’s movements.
    For example, I might try a somewhat standard German starting move and try out different ways for Russia and England to react to it.  Then I run through a few rounds and see how successful it may be.  Then I might re-set it up and try a different approach.
    The problem with this is if the battles don’t come out the same.  Like say in the first try, Germany takes Paris and really romps the French with little casualties.  Then they have more units for their next adventure.  Then in the next try, Germany struggles and the French put up a tough fight.  Now they have Paris but with much less resources left over.  So whatever the British or Russian reactions might be could be affected and I won’t get a really good idea of the difference in strategies.
    Still, it’s kind of fun when no one else is available to play and I have the time to spend.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Or just accept the unavoidable bias and test something new and challenging. For example:

    Can I make a G1 and J1 DoW work for the axis?


  • 2018 2016

    Honestly I think you would be basically left to the first round only. Testing openers and different setup. I do this often with some printed map files in sections of course and just draw the movements on the maps. Then use a David Skellys dice simulator to see how the combats would come out or you can roll them your self. See attachment for example.

    German open moves land.pdf


  • 2018 2016

    you can basically make copies of this and just write the units and use a red marker for the battles. I often do this in an effort to maximize the opening moves.



  • For newbies, it’s an intensive way to get used to the board and rules, and get a feeling for sizes and positions of fighting groups. In fact it took me more than a week to play 4 rounds because I had to re-read all those rules and exceptions every time they occured. And I’m aware that most probably I have mistakes in my gameplay. So in playing alone, you intensify habits and errors (e.g. I was not really aware of the importance of convoy disruptions and thus just forgot playing them in collection phase).
    Four eyes see more than two. But this way you don’t have to bore your pals by reading hours for details of a possible effect of a planned move.



  • back in the days with Game table Online you could play against AI, aka the artificial intelligence. Now, I have been bussy with mountain climbing the last years so have not catched up the development in that area, but as I remember, the AI was real stupid when it come to strategies, so we had to give him some benefits, like the AI started with more units, and I would also claim that the computer outright cheated on the dice rolling.

    So, where am I going with this, man ? Well, making a solitaire game out of A&A Global is a real challenge, and yes we are talking spacewalks here man, its at that level, but I firmly believe it can be done. As Marc mentioned, the classic solitaire games you find at BGG usually are very simple, where you play one part, and the other part are card or dice driven. So basically, you must choose to play either the Allies or the Axis, and the other side must be played either by an AI if you can hook up your pc, or by cards and dice.

    To sum it up, some years ago I was totally hooked on the game Diplomacy from PB, man, and I bet you are pretty confused now, right ? But, in Diplomacy you had to wright down an essay on a paper what units you would move, and where to move them. So why not use that mechanic in a solitaire game ? The dice we use got 6 different outcomes, so you just wright down 6 different strategies that the other side could use, then let the dice decide which of them to use. Now, since the beginning moves are pretty common, you can make cards with 6 different openings for the nations you dont control, and use this cards next time you play alone again.

    So, to give an example. You play the Axis, and the Allies are controlled by mr. Dice. Of course you can name him what you want, mr Nobody, or mr Invisible etc. I used to call him Willy, so that name is taken, OK ?

    Turn 1.
    Germany start, and since you control Germany, this is pretty straight forward. You buy what you want and move where you want, and if it comes to combat, I strongly recommend you to use a cup or dicetower when mr. Dice is supposed to be rolling. If you dont posses that, use your left hand.

    Now Russia goes, and since you are not supposed to control Russia, you need to wright down on a paper 6 different purchases, with 6 different strategies, and then roll a dice to see which is chosen, and then your arm must be helpful and give Russia a hand. I cant stress this enough, but if you are righthanded, you should use your left hand when moving the Russian units. For the Russian purchases, I suggest nr 1 is all infantry, nr 2 is one artillery, the rest inf, nr 3 can be a Tank, an Art and the rest inf, then nr 4 is a Fighter, the rest inf, and by now I figure you got the picture. For the strategies, I recommend the all inf buy goes together with a defensive strategy, while the more offensive units buy, the more aggressive strategy. You get the picture.

    Next is Japan, and you control it so its straight forward.

    Then its USA, and again you need pen and paper. Make the first 3 choices be KGF with rational purchases, and the next 3 should be KJF with heavy naval buys.

    Then you go on, you control the Axis, and mr Dice control the Allies, now what do you think about that, can it work ?

    edit, oh I forgot, since mr Dice is at a great disadvantage, he need some extra NO income, and I would even let him reroll the dice some times. But you figure this out, man

    more edits, if you dont love to wright an essay every turn, just use the terms from Diplomacy.
    A is Army, F is Fleet. Bel is Belorussia and Len is Leningrad
    If you want all your units in Belorussia to go to Leningrad, you wrote A Bel > Len
    If you just want two Inf to go, you wrote 2 Inf Bel > Len
    If you want the Tank to continue to Archangelsk, you wrote 1 Tank Bel > Len > Arc

    I guess you figure it out, man



  • Maybe - if you’re patient - a turn-by-day (power by day) game can make it less biased.

    I used to play chess alone (by years), and the best way was play a move soon as I awake - after a full day and a good sleep it’s easier dont focus (remember) on your ‘other side’ strategy.
    With A&A can work great.

    (and it’s a nice mind exercise)


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    It’s also a great cure for sleep when you get hold of a problem and can’t let it go and you’re up til 4AM furiously scribbling notes about contingencies and running battle calculations…

    Marsh


  • 2018 2017 2016

    I have played many times this way for years. Regardless of who’s turn it is I assume the role for that nation and and do my best to succeed as that player. I don’t see knowing what my opponent is going to do as any sort of problem at all because I play the game the same way when there are other players there. Before making a move I consider every possible move that my opponent can make and I make my move accordingly. Whether it’s an offensive move or defensive I consider all options and I’m rarely ever surprised with my opponents move. I think the reason I’ve gotten so adept at that is because of all the games that I’ve played solo and I’ve spent so much time at the table planning the moves for the other nations both friend and foe. The key to playing this way is to have a place to play where you won’t be in anybody else’s way. That way you can play one move or one turn or hours at a time without having to clean up the game so it doesn’t get disturbed. You just pick it up where you left off the last time you played.

    The good news is I have won every game I’ve ever played this way. The bad news is that I have lost them all.

    I have nothing but time on my hands right now because I’m recovering from major surgery so I’ve spent the last couple of weeks setting up a game room with a table large enough to fit a G40 board. I purchased AA1914 a few weeks ago to relieve my boredom so I went online to try and find out more about the strategy for the game and that’s how I found you crazy addicts hell bent on global domination. You’ve all inspired me to upgrade my games with pimped out maps and playing aids and that has given me something to do for the next few months until I can get back to work. I have my game set up now and I play a turn or 2 per day in between reading the forums and searching for more industrial complexes online. I’m also thinking of getting some zeppelins for my 1914 game to see if I can even the odds a bit on that one.

    Maybe I have too much time on my hands right now if I can spend hours thinking about tiny zeppelins. :roll:


  • 2017



  • Simple fix for playing solo is just wait a couple days between turns. That way you won’t remember what the hell your other self was thinking, oh wait that might just be me because I’m over 50  :?


  • 2019 2017 2016

    I’ve done it a few times (I thought I was the only one who’s that pathetic, it’s nice to see I’m not alone  :-)).

    I honestly don’t think I gained anything from doing it. No matter how hard you to try to distance yourself from yourself you always know what you’re planning.  Only a flesh-and-blood opponent can truly test your strategies.

    Bite the bullet, get on Triple A, and play online. That’s my advice.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13

    @StuckTojo:

    I’ve done it a few times (I thought I was the only one who’s that pathetic, it’s nice to see I’m not alone  :-)).

    I honestly don’t think I gained anything from doing it. No matter how hard you to try to distance yourself from yourself you always know what you’re planning.  Only a flesh-and-blood opponent can truly test your strategies.

    Bite the bullet, get on Triple A, and play online. That’s my advice.

    Agree here. Never the same against opponents. But worth it doing a couple of turns to see how certain buys and moves will work for start of game. Also helpful if game is new to you and you need to get to know set up, countries. and rules.



  • The AI is so bad on TripleA that it is only usable for first time players who are learning about the game.  I would love if the new AI methodologies for AlphaGo was applied to master Axis and Allies.  I wonder how much time it would take to become great at this game.  That would be a good use of Google’s coding time.

    A bit off topic, but is there a way to make the simultaneous army movement of Diplomacy feasible and balanced for Axis & Allies?  I liked the system of blindly planning where your armies and fleets would head.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    @Arthur:

    The AI is so bad on TripleA that it is only usable for first time players who are learning about the game.

    I think the AI is mediocre for 1942 but it is awful for the political aspects in G40.


Log in to reply
 

Suggested Topics

  • 6
  • 14
  • 34
  • 13
  • 4
  • 18
  • 20
  • 2
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

45
Online

13.7k
Users

34.1k
Topics

1.3m
Posts