Initiative in Solo Games

For discussing the Pulp Alley Solo rules and deck....

Initiative in Solo Games

Postby rags » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:26 am

"Ignore all the normal rules for Initiative in Pulp Alley."
So saith Dave in the Solo Rules thread on this forum. "Instead, you simply choose one side to activate first -- your own side or the opposing side (bots)."
In some solo games, this is fairly easy, especially if the scenario was written for solo play, in which case there may be a special rule determining that one side -- the attacker, for instance -- will activate first.
However, when adapting a 2-player scenario for solo play, you will usually need to make a decision, and it's frequently one that could affect the outcome of the game. For example, I just ran "Death Trap" as a solo game, and that is just such a scenario. Who activates first can have a big impact in that scenario, and I just didn't feel right about making the decision arbitrarily.

There is also this to consider:
There are, in Pulp Alley, quite a few things that can affect the starting Initiative roll. Random Scenario Events, Resource Points, League Reputation, and Vice Alley locations can all make a difference, and that's an awful lot of game-play elements to toss out the window.
In my own solo games, I have returned to the Initiative roll, at least when adapting a 2-player scenario. This allows me to leave in all those elements I mentioned -- snitches, random events, and so on -- that make for a richer game experience (in my opinion, anyway).
I follow the following formula:
If the Bots win the Initiative Roll, they will always activate first.
If the Player League wins the initiative, they can decide which league activates first.

During the game, I use the same approach, based on which side seems to have the momentum -- from scoring plot points, winning fights, and so on. If the Bots have the momentum, they will always activate first, and if the Player League has it, they may decide.

How are you handling this in your solo games? Do you have a system, or just decide arbitrarily?
Thanks in advance,
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Re: Initiative in Solo Games

Postby Dave » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:19 pm

I don't think there's anything wrong with letting an arbitrary die-roll decide who goes first. Quick,simple, and unpredictable.

When I play solo I make 99% of these decisions based on what I think will make it the hardest for my league to succeed -- simply because I enjoy the challenge. So that's my system.

Whatever makes it fun for you is definitely the best way to do it. :D
David Phipps, Pulp Alley

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