Can we design a better solo mode?

I’ve been thinking about a new solo mode that I wanted to share and get opinions on.
Having had a baby recently, time to play Memoir with my wife has been slim/none. I have tried what I feel are the 2 main ways to play Memoir 44 solo:

  1. Play both sides to win, use a normal hand of cards for each
  2. The Stuka Joe method where you use a shared hand of cards for both players with several different rules for drawing and using cards

Method 1 didn’t resonate with me because I have pretty good memory and I can instantly memorize which cards the opponent has and it’s difficult to play without playing in the favor of one side.
Method 2 on the other hand fixes the card issues, but creates an entirely new problem: it feels like I’m playing the Stuka Joe game more than I’m playing Memoir. This could be down to me having issues getting it into muscle memory, but I’ve tried to come up with a solo mode (which I have not yet tried) which I’d like to discuss and see if there are any obvious flaws that people point out.

Memoir 44 Solo Mode

Setup:

Split playing deck into 3 stacks, one for the green cards, one for the 2 ambush cards and one for the remaining grey cards. Check scenario rules and draw green cards up to the hand limit imposed by the scenario for both players.

How to play:

You have to play both sides to win, and on any given turn, make the appropriate action that you think could bring you closer to victory or inflict maximum damage to the opposing side.
At the start of a turn when playing one side, roll 1 die. If it’s a Star (1/6 chance), you may decide whether to draw a grey card and immediately play it or to play one of your green cards. If you get to play a grey card, you do not draw at the end of your turn.
When attacking in close combat, before rolling your own dice, roll 2 dice for the opposite side. If they rolled 2 Stars (1/36 chance), play one of the ambush cards against you and discard it. You can decide what the maximum number of Ambushes played per game (2, 4, no limit, your choice). I’d choose no limit since the chance of them occurring is slim either way.

Tweaks

  • If you decide you want to use more grey cards, roll 1 die and use a grey card if the result is either a Star or a Grenade (1/3 chance)
  • If you want Ambush to come out more frequently, roll 2 die and use Ambush if the result is either 2 Stars or 1 Star and 1 symbol matching the attacking unit.
  • At the beginning of the turn, the die roll you make to see if you can use a grey card also allows you to (instead of playing a grey card) copy your opponent’s last played card, so it’s basically a Counter-Attack card

Feedback wanted

Please feel free to poke holes in my logic and tell me how to improve and build upon this solo mode. I’d very much like to have a way to play Memoir alone that I can enjoy as much as possible.

2 Likes

I’m in between zoom meetings so can’t really comment on your method, neither Stuka Joe’s one. But I can quickly present an alternative.

What I can say is, playing the regular game against myself wasn’t very satisfactory. Not because I remembered the cards, not really sure why.

On the other hand, I recently got Commands & Colors Napoleonics (which is similar to M44 as it uses the C&C system), and I did enjoy playing the regular game against myself. Granted, the game is more complex and you have more decisions to take.
But then I found the “Power of Three” method to play Napoleonics, by Richard Borg himself, and it’s very enjoyable. It keeps enough cards hidden for each side so you won’t really know what the opponent will do at any turn.

Here it is: https://gmtwebsiteassets.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/ccn/2-1-21UpdatedSoloNapoleonicsupdate.pdf
This is the best way I have found so far.

I bet it won’t be to difficult to adapt it to Memoir 44 rules. Give it a look!

Edit: I’ll add this too, as another alternative: Solitaire Command and Colors - Ancients - Commands and Colors System

2 Likes

This is exactly what I felt playing both solo modes that I mention previous to my suggestion, glad I’m not the only one. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the links, I’ll definitely read those C&C Ancients / Napoleonics solo modes! I think at first glance, I had thought of something similar to this but thought it would be too many actions with cards (i.e. too many card draws and discards, reshuffles, etc), which could be made worse by the Ambush cards being able to come up more often since you burn through more cards, but maybe in practice this doesn’t feel wrong.

I believe this is a matter of personal taste – you might enjoy going through more cards to always have a fresh choice and reduce the chances to get a case when you only have cards for the sections you can’t play… If so the Napoleonics solo mode seems to be great, but on the other hand if you just rather not mess with the cards any more than you would on a normal game, this solo mode could be interesting.

1 Like

I was asked to post a French version, so here is the first draft. I don’t speak French, Google Translate did all the work so if any French speaking community members would like to make some corrections, that is fine! In the end I will generate a PDF with this text for both versions:

Solitaire Memoir 44

Installer:

Divisez le jeu de cartes en 3 piles, une pour les cartes vertes, une pour les 2 cartes Embuscade et une pour les cartes grises restantes. Vérifiez les règles du scénario et piochez des cartes vertes jusqu’à la limite de main imposée par le scénario pour les deux joueurs.

Comment jouer:

Vous devez jouer des deux côtés pour gagner, et à n’importe quel tour, effectuez l’action appropriée qui, selon vous, pourrait vous rapprocher de la victoire ou infliger un maximum de dégâts au camp adverse.
Au début d’un tour lorsque vous jouez d’un côté, lancez 1 dé. Si c’est une étoile (1/6 de chance), vous pouvez décider de piocher une carte grise et de la jouer immédiatement ou de jouer l’une de vos cartes vertes. Si vous jouez une carte grise, vous ne tirez pas à la fin de votre tour.
Lorsque vous attaquez en combat rapproché, avant de lancer vos propres dés, lancez 2 dés pour le côté opposé. S’ils ont obtenu 2 étoiles (1/36 de chance), jouez l’une des cartes Embuscade contre vous et défaussez-la. Vous pouvez décider du nombre maximum d’embuscades jouées par partie (2, 4, pas de limite, votre choix). Je ne choisirais aucune limite car la probabilité qu’ils se produisent est mince dans les deux cas.

Tweaks

  • Si vous décidez d’utiliser plus de cartes grises, lancez 1 dé et utilisez une carte grise si le résultat est une étoile ou une grenade (1/3 de chance)
  • Si vous voulez qu’une embuscade sorte plus fréquemment, lancez 2 dé et utilisez Embuscade si le résultat est soit 2 étoiles, soit 1 étoile et 1 symbole correspondant à l’unité attaquante.
  • Au début du tour, le jet de dé que vous faites pour voir si vous pouvez utiliser une carte grise vous permet également (au lieu de jouer une carte grise) de copier la dernière carte jouée de votre adversaire, donc c’est essentiellement une carte Contre-Attaque

With the fantastic Steam app and Vassal, I can not ever see playing solo. Just my 2 cents.

Thanks for your input, David.

I have not yet learned how to play on Vassal, but I’m sure it’s fun. I guess the question is finding other players and that takes time! I have had good experiences with Memoir 44 Online finding quick games but the steam app is Windows only and currently I am on MacOS and Linux most of the time. Not to mention I have to pay a cost per game, when I’d rather just pay for the digital edition of the game once like I do for the rest of my games.

I find it a bit insulting that they do not spend time developing the app even though there are multiple players I know that purchase the battle tokens regularly. I’m sure they don’t have the resources to do it, but it looks like it will die a slow death :confused:

Vassal is the most promising option for digital playthroughs, but I’ll be honest, when I installed it it looked scary and complicated!

1 Like

Tabletop Simulator too! but you have to bring your own friends because It’s not like the app where you can just find games easely

this could help.

1 Like

Just a small note - M44Online is available for Mac & Linux from the DOW site.
You are correct, though, that paying for each play is a bit of a nuisance. A pay once model would be better.

Interesting, I have Table Top Simulator but I am unable to find the Memoir '44 module. Is it possible that it was removed?

Here:

It even has the Air Pack, but not the New Flight Plan sadly.

Edit: found this too!

1 Like