Board gaming is an interesting hobby.

Just a decade ago you would have gotten some weird looks trying to explain your fringe hobby, and now, just like Dungeons & Dragons everything has gone main stream.

What about solo-board gaming? Is that almost legit? There is an entire sub culture of gamers who game alone- some by situation due to location or scheduling, and others by complete choice.

You could count me among their ranks…

Board gaming, and by extension wargaming, and role-playing are social events for me. I enjoy making cool stuff happen on the table with other players, laughing and creating a narrative that we can all go home happy with.

Yet, much of my board gaming is also done solo, as an often times odd work schedule has me up late at night (1-3 AM) and being on a computer all day means I try to stay off it when home.

Perfect time for some solo board gaming…

More and more games are going co-op or allow a single player to solo with the same full experience. As an example, Dark Souls the Board Game can play 1-4 players with the game AI controlling the encounters and monsters. From the game perspective the experience is the same, regarldess of the players.

Zombicide Black Plague is great like this also.

Advantages and disadvantages to solo gaming?

A BIG plus is that 100% you will never be disappointed by the other players. Nobody will go off handle and ruin the game, check out, or meta-play it.

You can also enjoy the game at your own pace. Take as long as you like plotting and planning your turn. Roll the dice and enjoy calculating the results. Explore when and where you want to explore. You control the tempo of the game.

I also find that solo-gaming let’s me set up the experience and really immerse myself in the game. I can arrange it so everything faces me, everything within my reach. Appropriate theme music and snacks if needed.

Disadvantages?

The big one, and the main one for me is to play the game and accept the results, regardless of the outcome. Live and die by your choices and the dice, or cards…

Without any other players it easy and very tempting to do a re-roll or stack on some gear you forgot about before rolling, or a rule that would have helped. It’s easier to hijack the narrative and story.

Thoughts on solo gaming?

A new and emerging part of the board game industry?

100% YES IMHO.

 


2 Comments

Eliran · October 11, 2017 at 7:03 PM

I always find solo gaming a great way to learn the rules, and as you said, build the narrative! I’ve been doing a solo campaign of Space Hulk for awhile now(need to get back to it), but it’s been a blast. I’ve found more dungeon crawler games are best for soloing: D&D Adventure System and Space Hulk are the best for soloing. I tried Descent solo, but it gets cumbersome trying to juggle all the stuff the Overlord and players wanna do.

    Wargamer Fritz · October 12, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    Descent iphone or android app helps make Descent solo, still a bit clunky but playable. Agreed with Space Hulk- I need to get that one the table again. Top solo games for me right now at the moment are Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Dark Souls, and TIME Stories. I’m also solo playing Conan but that is with some HEAVY modification with a semi AI overlord. Kind of more seeing how the game plays and exploring different things the characters can do.

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