In 2013, Dale Hurtt on his Solo Battles blog discussed creating finite state machines to assist with unit actions for solo play. His example was for Saga, but in April 2014 I built a programmed opponent for my ancient rules and tested them out with a few games. I have been meaning to get back to them to test them out further but was side tracked into other projects.
In 2014 I also considered for my annual November solo challenge doing 30 games in 30 games. Alas, I was busy and did not do anything special. The idea hung around though.
I already had built an excel spreadsheet that randomly created a complete game setup – the two opposing forces, the terrain and the programmed opponent deployment and orders for each side. A database would be a better option but the last time I touched anything like that was 25 years ago. Excel may be an ugly substitute but it works.
I only had about 40 armies to choose from. I prefer to play historically matching sides. So I took the DBA 1.1 enemies list, converted it to match my ABC army lists and now can create a complete random setup that ensures a modicum of historically matched pairs. I also created about another 35 armies lists (some were in various states on completion anyway) to create a decent spread of historical opponents. This all took a few months and many many hours when I could have been gaming instead, but I love doing this sort of stuff as much as gaming.
The focus of the 30 games with random armies is three fold:
- To test out the programmed opponent with different types of armies
- To get some of my little used figures on the table
- To play some games!
Of course, I have not played any games yet and may have jinxed it by writing it down. It may end up being 3 games in 3 months!
I have generated the first three games and so it may start a few days before 1 October:
- Early Republican Roman Vs Later Selucid
- Mid Imperial Roman Vs Early Saxon
- Viking Scandinavian Vs Later Gaul and Briton
I am looking forward to 2 and 3 as I have never used the well painted Imperial Romans I got in 2012 and the Viking figures (painted to a below wargaming standard) I obtained about 4 years ago and managed to base last year.