I've been watching Tony A's Blinded General videos on YouTube and I got a simple idea to adapt it to solo play.
Gather five counters of one colour to represent PIPs and one of a different colour to represent the "end of the turn" (I use Poker chips). Put them in a cup or bag. Play the first PIP. Then draw a counter. If it is a PIP keep playing. If it is "end of turn" then move on to combat. You could also use playing cards instead of counters.
For moves that require more than one PIP, keep drawing until you draw enough PIPs. If you draw the "end of turn" simply play the PIPs you drew before swapping sides. This is a little different to Tony's videos but if you rolled a dice you would know how many you had left.
So far this has worked well for me as I often have a tendency to rush through solo games. Thinking about 1 PIP at a time helps me focus on each army in turn.
However, I found that scrambling around in a bag or cup a bit fiddly and awkward. (I’ve got big hands with fat fingers that look like a bunch of bananas!) So I’ve made a gravity powered “PIP Randomiser”.
This is just 6 marbles in a simple small cardboard container with a hole in it, and has ½ a matchstick glued to the inside of the hole-lip to prevent 2 marbles coming out together:-
And here is the “Randomiser” in action:-
Last Edit: Jul 31, 2021 8:14:56 GMT by stevie: ...it's not cos I'm clever...it's cos I'm lazy...☺
I really do like the idea for the PIP allocation jim1973! Thank you for this. Also Stevie, love your PIP allocation device. You really should patent it
I have a question about playing DBA solo in general. I hope I will not get lynched but I do find the feel in the game to be a bit tied to rectangle geometry. Do you relax the rules of moving into contact when playing solo or do you apply them as written? I am kicking around the idea of bringing on some of the rules from Dux Bellorum to medicate this as it, in my opinion, seems to have a bit more organic rules for looking at what is an actual contact between elements etc.
I would really like to hear about your experiences and ideas.
I know, it would change the game a lot, but there is literally no other players in the city I live in so I will not be playing against anybody perhaps ever.
My view is that it is your game and you can do what you like with it! Only if playing against another person or in a competition will things change.
My solo is as follows.
roll for attacker/defender. If I defend I set up board as per DBA rules. If attacker the defender sets up terrain, as per DBA rules except I roll for terrain type, then the quarter is being placed in. Then roll again for a quarter of that quarter, 5 equalling the centre of that quarter. re-roll 6's. Adjust terrain piece is it needs to or can enter another quarter.
I always deploy my camp and army first regardless of whether I am attacker of defender. I then deploy the opposition.
I split the deployment area into 3 sections. Right flank equals 1-2 on die roll Centre 5-6 and left flank 3-4. I roll for each element to to get it's position. Options such as rear support etc roll to see if that is done. I tend to use rolls of 2-6-4 as reserve position. Then tidy up the lines after deployment.
For play I roll for opposition pips and also roll a black dice. 1-2 on black dice Enemy consolidates. Closes gaps, reinforces melee etc. 3-4 Manourvre move elements towards enemy, to out flank etc 5-6 attack, any element that can contact an enemy must do so, move elements up to shoot.
If consolidating and there are pips left over use them to manourvre and then attack, if manourvering and pips left after manourvre attack. If attacking and pips left over after units moved into contact use the remainder for any other option.
For each enemy unit destroyed, plus 1 to the black dice roll, for each friendly element lost minus 1 from the black dice.
I try to play the best option for the opposing general within the black dice roll. If I can se 2 or 3 options, I decide which to go for by rolling a dice.
I have always enjoyed my solo games using the above method, which I adapted from a solo idea I found some years ago in the fantaticus resources on the old web site.
"I would rather have a russet coated Captain who knows what he fights for and loves what he knows. Than he who calls himself a gentleman, and is but little else." Oliver Cromwell
I echo Cromwell, it's your game so do what you want! It's about fun after all.
For me, I play the game as close to rules as written as I can. I don't like cities and rivers are hard work. But pretty much everything else. What I try to do for solo is to limit control so I like to use stevie's random terrain and I randomly determine elements if possible. I also use weather rules.
During the game, I find that having to make decisions with limited resources is what is entertaining. Basic DBA does that with PIPs but the random draw adds that little bit of tension and does make me focus on what's important.
PS Playing some BloodBowl 7s at the moment. For those familiar with the game, limited rerolls makes you sharpen up!
Thank you Cromwell and Jim1973 for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I will go wild with the rules and test out few things and give my thoughts here for those interested. I am going at DBA with 1/72 scale plastic toy soldiers and I am building up towards big DBA sized forces for Republican Romans and Carthaginians.
I also sometimes go with DBSA Fast Play Rules for solo games. They are very open ended but it is easy to come up rulings for any occasions not described in the rules
I feel though that this is getting way out of the original topic.