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View Full Version : Is there a market for Solo rules for playing Warhammer Fantasy/40K?



Eternus
17-08-2012, 10:35
Ok, from the off, I much prefer playing against a live opponent, and in the main haven't struggled to get games in my area, but sometimes this just isn't possible. Many people have tried playing solo to try out a new unit, or rule or whatever, but some people are not lucky enough to live anywhere near other hobbyists, and it's those people that this is really about.

The question is this: Is the idea of coming up with a decent set of solo rules a good one, or is it unnecessary, as people can just control both sides without having to resort to a system to do it for them?

danny-d-b
17-08-2012, 10:39
I've never seen a solo system but one way I've seen is to play by email using paint for the maps and an online diceroller- it takes away the model aspect but you do get to play people- I'm currenctly envolved in a mordhime email campain (using warseer as the hub) and thinking off possibly running a fantasy online campain afterwords if people are intrested

as said other than this no real way of playing alone

underscore
17-08-2012, 10:51
Some kind or RPG system or something, you mean? I'd certainly be curious...

Eternus
17-08-2012, 10:57
What I had in mind was people who have a battlefield and two or more armies, just no one to play against, and using a response based system for how the enemy respond to your moves.

Dirty Mac
17-08-2012, 11:13
I know what you mean, Because you want the element of chance, as opposed to setting up flank charges by yourself, and choosing what spells to let through etc.
maybe you could create a dice table ,and you have to roll for hold flee SnS or dispell if possible or let through etc.

Eternus
17-08-2012, 11:20
I know what you mean, Because you want the element of chance, as opposed to setting up flank charges by yourself, and choosing what spells to let through etc.
maybe you could create a dice table ,and you have to roll for hold flee SnS or dispell if possible or let through etc.

That's kinda what I had in mind, though the plan was to have broad categories that every unit in the game fit into, and this determines which response table the opposing unit rolls on to determine it's response, so that they behave 'as if' they were controlled by a human player, and not just respond randomly.

I have a thread started in the Rules Development section for this, but wanted to post a poll here to work out whether there's any point in the putting the work in to it if it turns out no one is bothered.

Dirty Mac
17-08-2012, 13:03
no one really speaks there mind here though. look at the army list page, 250 views 2 replies. lots of topics like that.

Eternus
17-08-2012, 13:14
no one really speaks there mind here though. look at the army list page, 250 views 2 replies. lots of topics like that.

That's partly why I included a Poll. Nice and easy just to click away.

Gromdal
17-08-2012, 14:16
I am going to design a solo system for my general (ie a campaign that has him go from hero to lord). Starts out at a few hundred points and then it will pitch him against some units, monsters, then him and his crew vs more, than his army vs etc....

Urgat
17-08-2012, 16:41
I'd certainly be interested in such rules, yeah, because I play a couple games every 6 months or something :( As for the Rules Development forum, it's even more lonely than the center of a purple sun. really no point in posting there at all.

Harwammer
17-08-2012, 17:22
Anyone think dwarves would make good candidate for the 'non player character' army?

Urgat
17-08-2012, 17:52
Depends what you play. With the animosity, the frenzy and the stupidity, greenskins could almost play themselves w/o a player, actually :p

Nymie_the_Pooh
17-08-2012, 19:21
I'd be interested in seeing such rules, but I don't know if I would end up actually using them. I've lived in places where I knew nobody that played and if I wanted to play online I was much more likely to play a video game with friends. I've played Warhammer Quest solo some so I imagine it is possible, but I am too lazy to write up a system. Maybe something like order dice to see if commands get relayed correctly or not. I always thought such a thing was a bit silly in a scifi game with radios and other means of communication everywhere, but it makes sense to me in a fantasy setting where other units are more likely to be looking for visual cues from the general. Where I am now there are other players available, but it might be nice to try a game or two at home as I am extremely antisocial.

Tupinamba
17-08-2012, 21:34
There are solo wargaming rules in the market, and they cover stuff like the probable reactions of certain units to certain battlefield developments, pre-determined general strategic attitudes of the armies etc.

IŽd love to have something cool and adapted to WHFB. While the random element already does its part in reducing the dullness of playing against yourself, having some well thought out specific campaign stuff would be nice. IŽd buy it.

StygianBeach
17-08-2012, 22:43
What about using a deck of cards. Each one says something like Hold, Advance, Attack. Simple as far as AI goes, but it would get things moving.

Spilt the NPC army into 'battle groups', and draw 1 card per battle group to see what its orders are for the turn.

Eternus
18-08-2012, 07:34
What about using a deck of cards. Each one says something like Hold, Advance, Attack. Simple as far as AI goes, but it would get things moving.

Spilt the NPC army into 'battle groups', and draw 1 card per battle group to see what its orders are for the turn.

The thing I don't like about this is that it doesn't represent what a human opponent might do unless it accounts for what the enemy are doing, which is why I prefer a method which categorises the unit you are making the decision for, and the unit they are responding to, and has this decide which set of actions are most appropriate, before determining by a random method which one they go for. This way you could have a fair idea of how a unit will respond to your own moves, and each option might be one a human opponent might try, but you can't be sure which option is used until the decision has to be made.

There has to be a balance between optimal response by the system, and total predictability, which would make it pointless. You can predict 99% of the time how some players will respond, but playing against players like that isn't really a test is it? Unless of course you can't counter what you know they're going to do because it's a killer move...

As an aside, I also thought this kind of system could be a challenge for a pair or team of human opponents to face together, allowing the system to control the enemy, a bit like co-op play on a turn based strategy computer game. A different way of playing to glaring at each other across the table for a change.

Cap'n Facebeard
18-08-2012, 07:49
I think you will find it extremely difficult to make rules for enemy reactions that are at all convincing or entertaining. Most of the games with solo rules that I have seen revolve around mindless NPCs whose ability to win is through numbers, or because the players have to complete tasks as well as fight them. I am thinking mainly of games like Zombie Plague (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/7514/zombie-plague).
I really don't see how you could create a system for an ememy force that wouldn't be either too predictable (ie, enemy charges if you get within X") or too random (ie, I've drawn the Hold card for my Warriors, but the Advance card for my chosen). I would be interested if you could prove me wrong though!

Urgat
18-08-2012, 09:13
Well, certainly it'd have to be done through either cards or a table you roll on. It'd have to take into account the unit type. Can't see how it'd take into account the larger picture, or terrain (unless obvious stuff like "if ranged unit, hold behind the wall"). Let's call IBM so that they adapt Deeper Blue to Warhammer? :)

Jind_Singh
18-08-2012, 17:34
I guess all that you could is set the army up - and then say if a unit has 2-3 options (good options) about what they can do just roll a die and see what they do - adds some randomness to the game.

Eternus
19-08-2012, 07:32
I guess all that you could is set the army up - and then say if a unit has 2-3 options (good options) about what they can do just roll a die and see what they do - adds some randomness to the game.

That would be the idea. The actions available would be appropriate to the unit taking the action, and the unit they are responding to, via comparison of their respective categories, distance between them, proximity of other units and the game objective (so that a combat orientated unit defending an objective can't just be lured away to chase a bait unit, just because they're geared for combat),

jspudz
11-09-2012, 15:49
Eternus / all,

You guys still thinking about this? I was just kicking around the idea of starting the same thing because 1. I am new to 40k, and 2. Not alot of people playing it where I live.

So my basic thinking was to use a deck of cards to perform actions for the AI of the opposing army. Sounds like that was shot down here. I was trying to keep it simple kinda like the game Legend of Drizzit (that can be played solo).

Anyways I would be up for helping out if anyone is thinking about doing this.

MLP
11-09-2012, 16:27
I think it could be done for sure. You'd probably have to have "personallities" for units and a bit of randomness for it to work though.

For example:

Black Orcs
Combat style: Advance to Melee
Charge attempt: when within 75% maximum range of a viable target
Target Preference: toughest visible unit
Charge reaction: Always hold

Dwarf cannon
Combat style: shooting
Charge attempt: never
Target preference: Monster, War Machine, Monstrous Inf/Cav/Bea
Charge reaction: Always hold

Wood elf glade riders
Combat style: shooting, combat
Charge attempt: when within 75% maximum range
Target preference: Skirmishers, war machines
Charge reaction: Flee

IcedCrow
11-09-2012, 17:39
You would need to do a lot more than apply a personality to a unit. You'd have to adopt a personality to a player as well.

I've played against very conservative orc players and very aggressive orc players. Their AI settings would be vastly different.

However this does give me a very good idea for a software package...

Lars Porsenna
11-09-2012, 17:48
Really like MLP's suggestion here. I don't play Fantasy nearly as much as I'd like (my next Fantasy game was moved to 10-13-12...which happens to be the same day as my friend's wedding...), so solo gaming would allow more than I get now (unlike 40K, which I can get a game anytime). I like the idea of canned responses to take some of the bias away from the "opposing" army. Now all I have to do is clear the gaming table...

Damon.

MLP
11-09-2012, 17:57
You would need to do a lot more than apply a personality to a unit. You'd have to adopt a personality to a player as well.

I've played against very conservative orc players and very aggressive orc players. Their AI settings would be vastly different.

However this does give me a very good idea for a software package...

Well you could easily modify it to have random choices somewhere, this was just a simplified example. I actually got the idea from the way I program AI for enemies in computer games. What sort of software package are you thinking of? I'm intrigiued :-)

jspudz
11-09-2012, 18:03
I agree 100% with where MLP is going. I also agree with IcedCow, in that you would have to adopt this personality with the gamer. However this got me thinking, what if we randomized *both*. That being the personality and the action. A quick google search unbelievably turned up a hit for this exact same thing. A set of solo rules for use with 40k using a deck of playing cards (wow I might have actually had a good idea for once in my life)!

Who thinks this set of old rules could be updated for 40k and possibly converted to be used with MLP idea of giving them actions for fantasy? I'm a bit rusty on fantasy have not played for a long, long time. And I'm new to 40k so I'm seriously reaching out here to you guys to get your thoughts.

http://web.archive.org/web/20021112033759/http://www.thewarp.net/war/millenium/scenarios/40k_solo.htm

The Low King
11-09-2012, 18:11
i dont see the point beyond some kind of scenario like a last stand against zombies, the moves need to be predictable.

If you cant get games just play online, there is a whole host of programs availible.

One Man Assault
11-09-2012, 18:17
I think the best way to do this is not via individual regiments. Rather, the table that determined the ai behaviour should apply to the entire army. For example, a result might be left flank hold, centre charge, right flank aim to out flank. This way the enemy army could act cohesively.

Meatballer
14-09-2012, 13:46
What about "Player Decks"? we folk who want to see this happen can make a set of instructions based on our imagined actions. You have and army list included with your deck.. Like you turn over

Meatballer Deployment: Infantry set up with one flank to a terrain feature, other flank occupied by Doomwheel and Plague Furnace Unit. Slaves and Clanrats in front, Stormvermin in back. Characters in front, Cannons somewhere out of the way with good sight lines.

Meatballer Turn 1: rear infantry retreats back 3 inches. front infantry aims to be 24 inches away from nearest enemy. Doomwheel travels up least guarded flank. Wizards cast offensive spells, maximum 3 dice casting. ETC ETC

See what i'm saying? Good Idea?

Crymson
14-09-2012, 14:17
Have you guys seen Chronicles of Blood?

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?cPath=5578_6255

IcedCrow
14-09-2012, 16:30
Well you could easily modify it to have random choices somewhere, this was just a simplified example. I actually got the idea from the way I program AI for enemies in computer games. What sort of software package are you thinking of? I'm intrigiued :-)

I was thinking something along the lines of how sensor boards work for chess against computers. I write games as well so AI is something that can be a lot of fun (or frustrating) and to incorporate it into a solo warhammer engine would be something that would be a blast.

Then I researched the cost of the sensors needed to make this happen and the cost is not feasible currently. It would cost about $2000 to wire up a table with the appropriate sensors and calibrated tracking chips in each model on top of electronics and controller interface to a laptop before development could even start. That's using prebuilt sensors. It could be cheaper if I knew electronics a little better and could create my own sensors (would knock the price down to about $400) but alas I do not.

Urgat
14-09-2012, 17:15
Sensors? We're in the kinect age, my friend :)

IcedCrow
14-09-2012, 18:13
well i'll leave that up to someone brilliant who can get a webcam to be able to look at a table, and visually determine what pieces are what and feed them to a computer. That is well beyond my ability. Especially when you have conversions and non conventional pieces.

Eternus
27-09-2012, 16:20
I've been thinking about this again, and am now going along the following lines: Units could have ratings which indicate how good they are in combat, at shooting, and their overall power level. These would translate into a Melee Rating, Missile Rating and Uberness Rating. You have a list of possible actions for unit types (i.e. Infantry, Cavalry, Flyers, Warmachines etc) and consult the relevate table to see what action the unit takes. You decide which action to carry out based on the difference in ratings between the unit taking the action and the enemy unit they are responding to.

The idea is that units will only carry out actions that they should have a reasonable chance of success with, so an average Melee rated unit is more likely to charge an average or poor Melee rated enemy unit than a high Melee rated unit, without additional support. Equally, a unit will only shoot at enemy units when the Shooting rating is not too outmatched by the enemy Uberness rating, so that they aren't wasting firepower against units they are unlikely to be able to hurt.

Now, this system (once I can call it that) will govern inter-unit actions, but there should also be consideration given to army deployment styles and army strategy, but that'll come later. At the moment I want to come up with a solid idea for determining how units respond to each other in an appropriate way. It will also need to have elements which cover the ratings of supporting units, so that sufficient support for either side will alter how the enemy respond, to prevent units being baited easily, and drive units to support one another.

Is this making sense?