This issue crops up in Pandemic, LOTR and Scotland Yard. When players have the same goal then there will always be an optimum path to victory. An experienced player will always – whether intentionally or unintentionally – lead the group. How do you solve this group solitaire issue. For me the only way is to have secret information. BUT how do you have secrets when everyone is working together.
This is my one minute resolution: COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN
Imagine a team of characters divided on an island, in and underground bunker, in a forest, or anywhere where they are not in sight or hearing range. Any other form of communication is down. The players of the game control a team of characters. These characters perform actions – could be worker placement or role selection. Each players simultaneously chooses the action they think the group must take to solve the issue and reach their goal. Players cannot communicate what they are going to do. If players try to do the same thing they could potentially cancel each other’s actions. For example, one person tries to fix the power the other player tries to fix the power from a different location and we get a result that is not optimal. There could possibly be a break in ‘radio silence’ now and again allowing for some transfer of information but this would be few and far between.
That was my brain on fixing the solitaire coop issue – I wonder if it will make sense when I read it in the morning.