Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Memoir '44 solo – second attempt!

In the wonderful TV series 'Dad's Army' Captain Mainwaring always covered up his mistakes by saying 'Ah, just waiting to see who'd be the first one to spot that!' I just wish that I could say the same today ... but I cannot!

Ross Mac pointed out a rather obvious flaw with my original solution for using the MEMOIR '44 Command Cards in my forthcoming solo battles. My solution was not so much simple as simple-minded ... and I have had to re-think it. That said, I think that the newer solution is probably better. I have modified the playing aid so that it now looks like this:


The left-hand location has a 1-in-6 chance of being 'selected' by the two D6 dice, as does the right-hand location. The central location has a 2-in-3 chance of being selected.


My 'new' solution works in the following way. Side A deals a card into each location face up.


The player then selects which of the three Command Card options they would prefer and they place it on the central location. The other two Command Cards are placed in the left- and right-hand locations. (In this example the player has swapped the left-hand and central Command Cards.)


The two D6 dice are thrown, and score determines which of the three Command Cards is selected. (In this example the score of 5 means that the Command Card the player preferred was the one that was 'selected'.)


Once the player has completed the actions on the Command Card, all three Command Cards are discarded and Side B then repeats the procedure.


This solution gives the player more influence on what might happen, but there is still a degree of randomness and unpredictability ... which is what I want.

16 comments:

  1. Interesting. I may well give that a try with 'Battle Cry'.

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  2. Tim Gow,

    If you do use this system, I would like to hear your feedback.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. I like the look of this as it could easily be adapted for any solo game. Thanks for posting!

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  4. Ooh, I shall have to give this a try sometime.

    I wonder how you could introduce the command and control options offered by the different hand sizes in a scenario? Also, I assume that for Russians the card selected becomes next turn's card :)

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  5. Hi Bob,
    Your system looks interesting, but it does not offer the side with superior command (larger hand size) any advantage.

    The system I've been using since 2005 is this:
    At the start of their turn, a side rolls 1d6. If it is less than or equal to their hand size for that scenario, draw two cards. If it is three or more under their hand size, draw three cards. Otherwise it is considered a command failure, draw one card. Play one and discard all.
    I allow a side to save Ambush and Counterattack cards and replace them immediately with another draw. Ambush must be played at the first opportunity, but Counterattack can be held until a propitious moment.
    This takes a lot of the control out of my hands, but it mostly prevents knowing what the enemy has in their (next) hand. I use a similar system for solo Battle Cry. Something to consider.
    Regards,
    John

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  6. Given those odds, why not just roll a single die and make it a roll of 1 for the left card, 6 for the right, 2-5 for the middle one?
    (I'm always interested in ideas for solo mechanisms and also for keeping things simple)
    For the hand size issue, how about drawing as many cards as the hand size and picking the 3 cards you lay down from that?

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  7. Steve's Wargame Stuff,

    That is very much the point. I can forsee myself developing my own sets of Command Cards for other wargames rules using something similar.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Hi Bob, I used something similar for a while (ie, ranked cards and then diced to see which was used) with CCA, but have misplaced the file. With the system I used (which was adapted from one on boardgamegeek)you could vary the difficulty of the 'AI' by giving the opposition more or fewer cards to choose from. The AI won three of the five games I played, if I recall correctly. I'll try digging it out and once I do so will post on my blog and send you a link.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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  9. Kaptain Kobold,

    I was trying to design a generic solo system, but if I were doing it solely for MEMOIR '44 scenarios I would need to add extra locations (and change the dice odds somewhat) to include a larger 'hand' of Command Cards or possibly allowing a player to discard one or more Command Cards from their 'hand' before the dice are thrown.

    I like the idea for the Russians! It could be used for any side that has poor communications.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. The Ferryman (John),

    My solution is solely a generic one so that I can try to use the extended MEMOIR '44 rules for battles that are not included in the published scenarios.

    If I were to use the published scenarios I would need to take account of the larger Command Card 'hand' size, and what you suggest would make perfect sense. It has the advantage of being very easy to understand and reflecting the original design philosophy of the game.

    Thanks very much for sharing your ideas. They were very helpful.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Fitz-Badger,

    You are absolutely correct! I do only need a single D6 die.

    The reason why I used two 2D was because my original (and unpublished) solution had five locations with different odds for each location. When I dispensed with the two outer locations I stuck with two D6. A sheer oversight on my part ... and version 3 of the chart now only uses one D6!

    I had not looked very deeply at the problem of larger Command Card ‘hands’ because I did not intend to use scenarios from the books, but if I do I will probably allow players to discard the excess Command Cards in their ‘hands’ before using the chart.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Prufrock (Aaron),

    It is nice to know that other people are thinking along similar lines.

    I was unaware that there were any solo variants of C&C:A about, and I will now do a search to look at what is out there. Thanks for the tip about looking at the boardgamegeek website. I will try there first.

    If you do find the link you are looking for, please send it as I am sure that other blog readers will be interested in it as well.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  13. Hello again Bob,

    I managed to dig out a copy of the file, from 2008.

    I've posted it on my blog if you (or anyone else) would like to take a look. It's not especially sophisticated, but you never know, a different perspective might spark something at your end!

    http://prufrockian-gleanings.blogspot.jp/2012/06/commands-and-colors-ancients-solitaire.html

    Best wishes,
    Aaron

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  14. Prufrock (Aaron),

    Many thanks for including the link to your blog. I hope to spend some time reading the relevant blog entry later tonight.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  15. Good stuff. I'm enjoying the discussion, even if it really is only a thought exercise for me at this point. I too will look at Prufrock's link.

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  16. Sean,

    It is by discussing possible solutions and exchanging ideas that developments arise. I have learned a lot from this process ... and hope to continue to.

    All the best,

    Bob

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