X-Wing is great to play with friends, but they can’t be around all of the time. Or it could be that you’ve only just got the game and want to try it out before you join in with everyone else. Sometimes, you’ve just got to go solo, and it could provide an interesting variation on your play. Thanks to some fan-made rules, it is an option for the game, but it does make you wonder: is it as fun? In this post, that’s what we’re going to find out.
First, you actually have two options for your solo match. The first is a new set of rules that you can find online. The second sounds much cooler: a variable AI to run the enemy ships for you. There are various options that are pretty easy to set up, and you can find something to run on just about anything: laptops, tablets, Android or otherwise. (Note: there is also the option of VASSAL, if you’re alone and have an Internet connection, but this isn’t “solo play”, as it allows you to play against others).
Now, the AI on these programs isn’t perfect, but it does provide a more hands-off system that involves rolling fewer dice, and you don’t have to get to grips with many more rules. There are also adaptations you can make to offset some of the more…unorthodox moves you can get, such as increasing the enemy’s points. This also allows you to adjust the difficulty of each session nicely.
Another change you can make if you’re finding the games too easy is to set yourself a time limit, and a very specific objective: destroy all of the ships. This is particularly great in a dogfight situation, as some of the scenarios (read: asteroids) don’t work so well with random movements. Overall, with AI I’ve found that even in sessions where it didn’t feel like a real game, it gave me a chance to practice different manoeuvers and chasing ships. So, it’s worth doing, but perhaps not as straight-forward as a traditional session.
Another scenario that is excellent for solo play is the fan-made campaign, Heroes of The Aturi Cluster brought to you by dockingbay416.com and created by Josh Derksen. It’s the most fun you can have outside of the traditional game. It deserves a whole review of its own, but to summarize: the enemy is an Imperial AI with decision “statcards”, so the whole campaign can be played with variable numbers of Rebel players. Plus, it stands up to multiple re-plays, and it’s free (bar printing costs)! I’d highly recommend it for any form of play, but for solo it’s probably the most fun option. It’s even a great starting point for new players, as it’s very accessible.
If you find yourself alone and craving some X-Wing action, you can relax in the knowledge that you have various options available to you. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but for my money, the most fun is Heroes of the Aturi Cluster. Long live the fans!