Solo gaming - How did it start for you?

So, I have never really been anything of a solo gamer. I have dabbled a little, mostly on my phone, usually in order to alleviate some boredom on a train journey or the like. My love of board games has stemmed entirely from enjoying the have a group of my friends around a table, laughing and sharing an experience together. I believe that is somewhat routed in my coming to board games through my mother from a young age as part of a large family: games were always something done with 3+ people as a family activity. Likewise I have been fortunate in almost always having a fair number of board game lovers in my vicinity so have rarely been short of players for my games.

However, along that same vein, a few years a go I might have told you I had no real interest in two-player games, preferring to have multiple people around a table. Since meeting my lovely partner though, it has prompted me to reassess that and have found great joy in exploring that slice of our hobby with her: it has been eye-opening in what that can allow/inspire in design and it has been a blast.

The last 6 months or so I have started interacting with the broader board game community online, and have been surprised and intrigued by the number of gamers who regularly play games solo. Likewise that a significant proportion of games will come with a solo mode as standard. So, seeing as it is this week's challenge and my curiosity was already piqued I guess this will be the week I try playing an actual board game solo.

My question is what first prompted you to try playing solo and how was your first game?



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Supporter3 months ago

I've told this story before but I'll repeat it again because it's kind of funny. 

My wife really struggles with my board game hobby/obsession. She thinks it is too expensive and that it takes up too much room in our storage closet. She is clearly wrong on both counts. 

Anyway - she was complaining to me that I never play any of the games that I own, and even though I never play them I keep seeking out and acquiring more games. Which was true. 

So in order to prove her wrong I decided to start playing some of my games solo. And it turns out lots of my board games had great solo modes. And it turned out that I really enjoyed it. 

Im trying to remember what game I tried first. It might have been#Star Wars Imperial Assault actually. I realized then that solo gaming was something that I really liked.

Ever since then I started building my collection with solo gaming in mind. Previously I would look for games that I would eventually want to play with my family. (I've long since given up on this dream. They just aren't into board games right now) Now when I buy a new game I consider solo opportunities first, game group possibilities second, and then maybe years from now playing with my family. 

So. From spite to a true enjoyment. That's my story!

3 months ago

Haha, I had heard you mention it but the full story is excellent. I am glad you have found a new way to appreciate the hobby!

Supporter3 months ago

What prompted me? It was this community haha

With and being prominent solo gamers and consistently sharing their experience, I wanted to try it out so that I can give a more well-rounded perspective when talking on the forum. Since then, it's grown on me to a point that I actively seek games with great solo modes.

My first solo game was #Viticulture: Essential Edition against the Automa. It was SO tough to win that I ended up playing 2-3 sessions in a row out of determination. Didn't win and slept past 1 AM, but it was a nice intro to that side of gaming for sure :)

Supporter3 months ago

I didn't know you stayed up late to try and win! That's awesome!

3 months ago

Haha, that's a great story about Viticulture, the drive to win is strong! Have you now managed to best it?

Supporter3 months ago

I think I won once out of 6 games... and it wasn't the best feeling other because I was pretty sure that I had forgotten to make a payment at some point (darn memory issues when playing solo lol)

3 months ago

Still, as long as you feel like you are getting to try interesting strategies and feel somewhat proud of how you played even when you lose then it's probably quite good that you don't win too often. Keeps that motivation high

Supporter3 months ago

Glad I could help give you a push over the edge....LOL

Supporter3 months ago

I was driven too it when I left those I gamed with. I think the first game I ever played solo was #Agricola (Revised Edition) though I played #Scythe at around the same time.

I have, however, since that time learned to love and admire solo gaming as a activity worthy in it's own right. I prefer my games to be pretty heavy, and my current favorite is #Star Trek: Frontiers.

3 months ago

Do you have any games that you prefer to play solo rather than with multiple players?

Supporter3 months ago

I have aquired games that I expect to never try to play multiplayer. Some of these I have played, and some are still in the states. But, they are multiplayer games that I expect to only ever play solo.

They include:

#Star Trek: Frontiers

#Navajo Wars

#Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain

#High Frontier 4 All

3 months ago

When you say 'expect' is that because you don't foresee yourself finding people to play with or that you don't think the multiplayer is good enough for you to want to try it?

Supporter3 months ago

It depends

Sometimes it is just because I think there would be too much downtime in a multiplayer game, sometimes because finding the time to play a super long game with others can be hard, so I don't see myself finding players for some of them. Sometimes it is just because they are so engaging solo, I am sort of selfish and don't want to try to teach it, but I might play it multiplayer if someone already knew it.

3 months ago

Haha, they all make a lot of sense. Are there game syou currently play solo that you would be really interested in getting a group to play?

Supporter3 months ago

Yes, a few, #Spirit Island for one.

3 months ago

That is one I really want to play

Supporter3 months ago

It is so so good.

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