View Full Version : solo campaigning revisited
09-24-2003, 11:58 PM
I just now looked at CB's older thread and I'll put in my 2c in a new one since it's been so long.
I'm in year 10 of what started out as an 11th c., 5-nation campaign. It has now grown to encompass most of Europe/Middle East. I've incorporated things like naval actions, prestige, diplomacy, rebellions, income, mercenaries, most of them coming from the variant rules on the Resource Page with a few adaptations--a great resource indeed.
It has been overall very engaging with nations and certain rulers even acquiring "personalities". It hasn't been very historical, though, and my AD 1100 is looking quite a bit different than the historical one.
My best advice is try to keep it simple with a few nations. I keep fighting the urge to add more miniscule rules to cover this or that aspect that I didn't think about before; best thing to do is go back to an existing rule and consolidate thus minimizing record-keeping.
I can get into details, I even have a set of "rules", so to speak, for solo campaigning that has incorporated the best aspects of all the variant rules that have emerged on the Resourse Page over time. Still no detailed siege rules, though, a peeve of mine (sieges, that is).
09-25-2003, 12:14 AM
I'm using an actual map of Europe with the actual cities and towns of the era. I've decided which ones I want to keep and I have assigned them monetary value ranging from 1-10. Routes are per DBA rules, I've maintained most of the roads of the era and made up sea routes.
09-25-2003, 05:30 PM
Yes - but why solo?
09-25-2003, 09:48 PM
Sometimes getting others involved it too much trouble; a solo campaign can be designed and started by one person in a matter of an evening. Then you can add whatever twists you wish without "interference". Solo, however, does not offer the variety and dynamism other players can contribute.
I have to admit that if there were enough people in my area I'd like to run a 6-player campaign. But there's also a lack of players so I had to take matters in my own hands, so to speak.
09-30-2003, 07:02 PM
 I am still trying to see what the gain to the player is over, say, using a PC.
 Have you considered an email based campaign, and perhaps, battles? Evidently there are some on this site. It would still lack the social element but would add the extra of involvement by others.
10-01-2003, 07:04 AM
For me the attraction of solo wargaming is the very fact that I don't have to compromise on the way I want the campaign to 'feel'. Unless one is very lucky with opponents there is inevitably some discussion over style of play, amount of record keeping, etc.
I've recently come back to the hobby after an absence of about 15 years, and whilst things may have changed it was my experience in the past that too many opponents were 'barrack room lawyers' interested in winning at all costs. Solo avoids this altogether.
Whilst I wouldn't suggest that solo is better than face-to-face (at least not for me), it does offer different challenges and rewards.
10-01-2003, 10:15 AM
For me the attraction of solo wargaming is the very fact that I don't have to compromise on the way I want the campaign to 'feel'. Unless one is very lucky with opponents there is inevitably some discussion over style of play, amount of record keeping, etc. I second this opinion. I am in the planning stages of a Greco-Persian campaign that will involve fairly restrictive supply rules. This is something that I've wanted to explore for a while and I'm finally getting to the research. I'm not sure that too many people would be interested in this type of restriction, particularly as the rules will have to grow somewhat with experience.
"You can't move there because I've just changed the transport capacity of an oxcart and you no longer have sufficient garlic ..." is not the kind of thing that will make you new friends ;)
10-02-2003, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by Simon Thompson:
For me the attraction of solo wargaming is the very fact that I don't have to compromise on the way I want the campaign to 'feel'.
Whilst I wouldn't suggest that solo is better than face-to-face (at least not for me), it does offer different challenges and rewards. It is defining the nature of the challenges and rewards which is causing me problems. It is true that with others you have to compromise but that is life. If complex supply rules are of interest then is a wargames campaign the right solution? I enjoy DBA play specifically because it concentrates on getting action on a battlefield. Of course these are individual choices so if people want to go ahead fine for them. I lack the hermit instinct to be a solo player and I suspect this is true of most people. Still email offers new options.
10-02-2003, 09:23 PM
If complex supply rules are of interest then is a wargames campaign the right solution? Well ... I guess a simulation of Ford vs GM might be amusing smile.gif
Supply issues have been, and still are a major factor in conflicts. Conflict simulation without logistics lacks a dimension. It's not my regular fare, but it is an area I would like to explore and many games have modeled it in some detail. Even DBA campaigns acknowledge the humble oxcart.
And yes, the hermit habit is very helpful.
It takes all kinds.
10-03-2003, 04:31 AM
Originally posted by Joe Mauloni:
[QB] [QUOTE] For me the attraction of solo wargaming is the very fact that I don't have to compromise on the way I want the campaign to 'feel'. Unless one is very lucky with opponents there is inevitably some discussion over style of play, amount of record keeping, etc. I think this thought has a great deal of merit. I am resigned to the fact that I must travel 150km to play wargames. Luckily, my regular opponent and I trade the drive. But that still leaves, typically, a month or more between games.
A solo campaign is an appealing way to play the game and maybe even do it the way only I want, without that compromise of other interactions (not always a bad thing, but necessary).
(waiting for my DBA rules to arrive).
10-03-2003, 01:31 PM
I have something of the same problem. Living in Southeastern New Mexico, more than a hundred miles from any major population center and working at a small college, that makes large demands on my time, does not afford me much opportunity to play face to face opponents. Solo gaming has to fill the bill. :D Though I am trying to cultivate a few opponents here in the hinter lands (which by the way is where I grew up). Maybe, someday I'll be able to make one of the major tournaments. I did, when I lived in Ft. Worth, Texas (while going to grad school), some years ago. Back then we played WRG 5 or was it 6, I forget, and a lot of Fletcher-Pratt. I would love to get ahold of some Fletcher-Pratt naval rules again. For a number of years out here I gave up on gaming and then discovered it again on this web site. Maybe some day I will face to face with some of you. I think it would be a lot of fun. smile.gif
10-04-2003, 05:06 AM
Here is a link re: Fletcher-Pratt:
Hopefully this is what you were thinking of.
Even with the distances, gaming is important to me, and the other option I suppose is the online version - the only problem for me is that I run a Mac at home, so that leaves me to the traditional. Solo may not be so bad!
10-04-2003, 12:51 PM
I ran across a solo campaign idea that sounded interesting and, since we're on the topic I'll toss it out here.
Player A selects a campaign he'd like to play. Player B does the same. Player A provides strategic/political decisions for B, B does the same for A. Tactical battles are handled solo by each player who the communicates the results to the other.
This would allow A to play Hittite v Egyptian while B did a 100 Years War for example. The idea is not to "beat" the other player, but to get some variety into solo campaigns.
10-04-2003, 03:10 PM
Thanks Grant! I will write or call Dorcey. Sadly, no web address or e-mail address was listed.
Joe, the idea does sound interesting. But how would using the same armies, eg. both using Carthaginians v. Romans, or some such, with a later comparison of results as you went along? I think that would be fun too.
10-04-2003, 06:20 PM
But how would using the same armies, eg. both using Carthaginians v. Romans, or some such, with a later comparison of results as you went along? I think that would be fun too. Bill you seem to have a knack for improving my ideas :D The system is quite flexible and would seem to mesh very well with DBAs quick and simple play style.
Do I detect a note of interest? ;)
[ October 04, 2003, 15:21: Message edited by: Joe Mauloni ]
10-06-2003, 12:42 PM
I have a lot of interest but time may be a problem. Not only do I have a more than full teaching load :D , I'm also up to my ears in committee work :( (particularly assessment :mad: )and taking a course online on how to do online courses more effectively smile.gif . Maybe in the summer when all the committee work more or less shuts down I would have time. But it does sound like an awful lot of fun ;) .
10-31-2003, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by konstantinius:
Still no detailed siege rules, though, a peeve of mine (sieges, that is). Hey K,
You may want to take a look at the Perfect Captain's crusader-era ruleset. They had some pretty cool Ideas on siege/assault that look eminently adaptable to DBA. Never really worked on the conversion, but struck me as quite viable.
Basically similar to the current BUA rules, but the size of the city modifies how many units that can garrison, rather than the one unit in the center rule in place currently. The besieger moves between and attacks from zones outside the BUA. For a small castle there may only be two. For a larger city there may be 6 or 8. Larger cities may also have a citadel - think inner BUA.
The link to the P Capt site should be on the resource page, if not drop me an email and I'll email you the files.
If you ever need an OPFOR for one of your games, drop me a line I havenít played FTF DBA in ages.
12-10-2003, 06:59 PM
There were once some siege rules - DBO - included in SLINGSHOT; they linked into DBA.
12-14-2003, 02:21 AM
Any idea about the issue #?
12-14-2003, 09:26 PM
At a wild guess 1995 but really I cannot recall. If anyone has the CD of the first 20 years a search should find the article.
05-20-2004, 11:18 PM
I'm resurrecting this thread as no-one ever took Konstantinius up on his offer:
I can get into details, I even have a set of "rules", so to speak, for solo campaigning that has incorporated the best aspects of all the variant rules that have emerged on the Resourse Page over time. Still no detailed siege rules, though, a peeve of mine (sieges, that is). [/QUOTE]
I've been playing "Britain AD417-" using the solo resources from the Fanaticus pages. It's a good way to keep me playing with no f2f opponents - otherwise I would just paint, paint, paint.
The map of Britain works well for a campaign at this time. Historians wonder if, in 417 when Constantine (the usurper, unofficially "the III") got Gaul under control, he then turned his attention to the northern frontier and set about a "re-conquest". So I am a general given the job of subduing the Picts in the north, the Saxons who have a toehold in the east, the Brits in the west who are the breeding ground of usurpers in this period ... and I haven't made a Scots-Irish army yet :) London is the central(ish) linking point.
[aside] Who *are* the Brits in this period? In 407(?) they were told to look to thier own defense. Did the legions return? How many limitanei were left behind? By 428 or so (some say) the Saxons had permanent settlement. What went on? There are so many versions. The historical wargamer raison d'etre is to know "what they looked like", "how they fought", but this is next to impossible in this time and place :-(
I have been trying not to tinker with rules up to this stage. I like the De Bellis Solitarius programming, and the versions of programmed leaders are working. I want to run them through more than once before I depart and say "I know better".
I agree sieges are annoying. The Barker rules allow a field army to depart a city when besieged. Can an army enter it's own city when it's under siege?
I like the fanaticus page schematic for four player campaigns that includes a frontier fighting point. It makes it harder to move allies around though - allies move 2, where they have to get to is always 3 :). Changing the standard move from 2 to 3 was a bad move though. I will probably have to give up the frontier point idea which is a shame because it injects a lot of 'historical' reality.
Anyhow, if you are around Konstantinius, I am very interested in hearing about how you run solo campaigns.
[ May 20, 2004, 21:19: Message edited by: Cremorn ]
05-23-2004, 01:54 AM
I use quite a few of the alternate campaign rules and I think it'd take too long to include everything.
Two major things are the use of diplomatic ratings and prestige points.
Diplomacy is based on ratings 1-6 varying from sworn enemy to closely allied. It affects the decision of whether or not to send allied contingents when asked, based on each other country's factors. It also affects whether or not a nation will attack another, if too friendly one cannot attack.
One way ratings change is diplomatic missions, which are closely related to prestige points that will follow below. Missions cost income and they target one specific issue i.e. "increase Dipl. Rating by one", or "attack such and such", or "form alliance with me". They're decided by a d6 roll with chances depending on the DR of the two involved and the prestige of the applicant.
Another is war; i.e. every nation increases its rating of the nation with most prestige points acquired at the end of the year. Conversely lost battles deduct PP and so does loss of territory without offering battle.
This is mostly out of Stephen Montague's "Diplomacy Rules For DBA Campaigns".
Diplomacy is also affected by prestige which is won per DBA rules after each battle. Very high prestige (20 and up) improves your diplomacy roll by one. Prestige is also lost with each lost battle or loss of territory. Players/nations with 4 or less PP have to take a rebellion roll at the beggining of the year and there's a little sub-rule section how to work out rebellions (it basically ties you up at home for that year in order to suppress it).
There's a naval component as per John Meunier's Naval Rules which adds flavor; I've also tried the more complicated but excellent De Bellis Oceanus by P.J. Raper. If you have time to paint 12-elemement fleets in addition to your armies, this one is for you. It cames with fleet lists for the armies that are entitled to navies. Time concerns and paperwork made me to quickly turn to J. Meunier's set which solves the naval conflict on a d6.
I also use Fate of a General, Horse Archery Variant for my Seljuks (they also get to do KMDT as well as extra recruitment up to extra 2 LH elemements), the Guerrila Warfare Variant for the Welsh and Serbs, and there's basic resource management with areas assigned monetary values 1-10.
I always try to add or change and thus I haven't concluded exactly the versions I like. Still trying for a better way to work out sieges. The recent Storming Works on Campaign Variants seems promising, I'll certainly playtest it. It could help to play out not just pitched battles (rare in Med. Europe anyway) but also the various sieges that most of the warfare of the era (end 11th c.) was about, at least in England and France.
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