Trying my hand at a solo game of Alamaze

01/18/2023

Tonight, I created a SOLO game, in order to begin testing the turn orders system for Alamaze.

I have not read the big, thick, lengthy rulebook. Before worrying about the right or best orders to issue, I need to better understand how the issuing of turn orders works via the game’s online interface.

Thus far, I have run five turns in SOLO mode, one turn right after the other. I’m not really studying the various options much at all, instead choosing to just issue pretty much a range of different orders, and then seeing what the turn results are.

Primary Lessons Learned From Turn #1:

1. That I need to be aware – and stay aware – of HOW MANY commands that I issue. I should have remembered this from my Fall of Rome days, but I didn’t. Turn #1’s results sort of gave me a boot tot he head, where me trying to issue commands to so many characters. Clearly, Alamaze demands that players adhere to a limited amount of commands, each and every turn.

Using my favorite PBM game, Hyborian War, as a comparison, in Hyborian War, a player can issue a command for every last character that their kingdom has at its disposal. In Alamaze, however, that’s not necessarily the case. That’s a strong difference between these two games.

2. I made no effort to read the Tutorial advice that the game prints on the turn results. Failing to do so all but ensures that my kingdom will underperform. Again, though, my aim at the beginning is to focus more upon familiarizing myself with the game’s interface, rather than focusing upon the actual game mechanics or upon the quality of my turn orders and turn results.

3. I am not a fan of the parchment background of the turn results. I find it to be distracting. There are good reasons why in the real world solid white paper is the primary choice for most communications of information in physical form. The parchment is “pretty,” but I don’t consider it to be conducive to easy of reading. An option to turn the parchment background on or off would be a plus. That way, those who favor it can retain it, and those that consider it to be a distraction can eliminate that distraction in short order.

4. I learned anew in the present what I recall from my relatively brief amount of time trying my hand at Fall of Rome years ago, with regard to my seeming inherent capacity to spend good in a reckless manner, thereby imperiling my kingdom’s ability to stay solvent, even and especially in the beginning stage of the game. Ouch! The economic aspect of Fall of Rome was never my favorite part of that game, and I have a gut feeling that the economic system of Alamaze won’t be my favorite part of it, either.

5. The game’s interface is helpful, insofar as making it easy to know which commands that any given character can choose from on any given turn. This is not the exact, same thing as the interface being intuitive, per se. My Turn #1 impression is that the interface is a mixed bag. It has its pluses, but everything about it is not a plus, in my book.

These are the main lessons that I took away from Turn #1 of this SOLO game played against no other players.

On Turn #1, I experienced some successes, but many failures, where the issuing of my turn orders was concerned. More failures than successes, by far.

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