$10.00

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User Rating Comment Status
Kevin Bakker
United States
Ypsilanti
Michigan
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10
Jan 2013
My first crack at the COIN system - so much going on, and done well with the theme. Absolutely love this game.
2015-02-18
Owned
Yoki Erdtman
Sweden
Södertälje
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10
Nov 2014
Highly intriguing design. The tutorial in the Playbook was very interesting, but I really wish it had been a complete game, and that it didn't end after just the 1st of 4 Propaganda cards.

I completed the tutorial in solitaire fashion, and loved it. This is one delicately balanced and highly captivating game. I love the theme, and it's such an asynchronous battle. You cannot concentrate all your firepower on one opponent, because this creates a power vacuum for another faction to expand, and believe me, you can expand very quickly in this game.

I would love to delve into this with some actual multi-player games, but even as a solitaire game only it will definitely stay in my collection.
2012-11-18
Owned
Juha Kettunen
Finland
Joensuu
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10
May 2014
I can't imagine a richer and more intriguing setting and theme for a political wargame. Gameplay creates a unique story, an alternative history of stuff that actually went down. Before seeing it in action, I hated the idea of missing Hand Management, but the Card Drafting mechanic of COIN is simply brilliant. This is the best effort of multiplayer wargame with Variable Player Powers and unique victory conditions I have seen. Some factions are natural allies, some not so much, but their goals are never completely compatible or diametrically opposite. Every decision in the chaotic insurgency/counterinsurgency situation takes all the brainpower a player has in this easy to learn but difficult to win epic system.
2014-05-07
Owned
Want To Play
Jay Volk
United States
Richfield
Ohio
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10
Dec 2012
I greatly enjoy this game. Different factions have different goals, and the cards keep you guessing. I would play this anytime.
2012-12-21
Owned
Jon Kolman
United States
Sacramento
California
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10
Nov 2012
My AWESOME 2012 Wargame Secret Santa delivered this to my door! Thanks a bunch WSS!!!
2012-11-21
Owned
Mark Sautman
United States
Evans
Georgia
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10
Sep 2012
I love guerrilla warfare, political, and card games and this is one awesome combination. I also like asymmetrical games. It's hard to balance two different forces, but to do this with 4 different forces is very impressive. Each faction has different victory conditions and plays very differently. The games are tense and each faction has had a shot at meeting its victory conditions. So far, I have played 3 games (each time with 4 active factions, no non-player ones). Each game has been better than the previous.

The quality of the components is top notch all around. The playbook is one of the best I have seen and the tutorial is excellent.

I'm greatly looking forward to the other games in this series.
2012-09-28
Owned
Tom Shields
United States
Tacoma
Washington
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10
May 2015
After six plays.

A creative & impassioned design.

There are extensive designer notes that help you quickly grok what your situation is and some of the unique tools you have to exploit the parasitical relationships the game models and rewards.

To catalog a few things:

- The card handling aspect: no hand management here, nor Euro-style positioning for turn order, nor deck manipulation, which are abstractions that become the game rather than the subject being modeled. But what the cards do is bring an varied juxtaposition of events & opportunities & burdens that are injected into the players world. They also provide a shared mechanism of choice (event or take action or pass) that is elevated by context and influencing player behavior, as well as turn-order variability balanced to the card effect. You also get a look ahead at the next card that will come into play to form a near-term strategy.

It sounds complicated, but it isn't, it's organic & it works. It also makes the choices that arise, and many core aspects of the narrative, many in potentials based on the one and only shuffle of the deck at the start. And I love how this mechanic breaks away from the very concept of 'a turn,' making the game a continuous flow of decisions, tempo shifts, consequences, and struggle. In effect, this mechanism manages the tempo and enacts changing turn-order meaningfully without over-taxing the player, so the game can carry more meat. Anyone with an interest in design must see this mechanic at work. The designer took on a huge development burden to make it happen. The bang for the buck in intellectual work in this game is huge.

- The narrative is so rich it's just over the top. Playing this is an experience. The detailed textures are more granular than TS or 1989, the actions and dynamics are very specific. It shares with both those games that sort of deep, thematic richness and respect.

- You get to have your cake and eat it too; by this, the design brings so many strengths cards bring to games but the focus, always, is on board development. This is a boardgame. The map is alive - with information, with change, with projection of power and opportunity - and the way so much complexity is simplified & readable is a terrific graphic design accomplishment. The maturity isn't only in the graphic design, but in the balance of constraints & sudden action every player has, in terms of the complex abstracted rules, to effect the board. Mature in that I don't feel the runaway churn of, say, Dominant Species; more like it invites you into deeper depths, managing to make an incredible amount of information in a total state of change seeable and paced for legibility. It's simply a wonder, the thingness of the highly complex interactions and abstractions played out. This is conceptual design of a high order.

- The asymmetry of the factions is stark & dramatic. This asymmetry doesn't arise from player choice (like Brass, etc that create asymmetry out of player choice & interdependent economies), but is emphatically carved - in the extreme - in the available actions, resources, economies, victory conditions, and player piece counts & representations. And it works. Ideas seeded the game, but man alot of hard work went into it. This is no kickstarter pipe dream. This is inspiration & disciplined development. It deserves to be a system.

- Highly, highly interactive. Total enmeshment. Conditional alliances & such are clearly seeable and the game is designed to foster this in overt and subtle forms.

- The historical modeling is fascinating. The economies involved are asynchronous too and are as vital and suddenly elastic as the territory control fought on the map. The differences in scale the game models (bribing individual units to large infusions of foreign aide) work together brilliantly.

The solo ability is through the roof - the bots are brilliant, creating a challenging & surprising tableau to surf. It's a long game, one to plan ahead for rather than pulling it out at a gameday. Though one really must be able to leave it out on the table rather than packing & unpacking it.
2014-06-21
Owned
David Stoffey
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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10
Dec 2014
Love the COIN series. Absolutely love it. It successfully encompasses a difficult to simulate conflict in history. Have you ever heard of a game that portrays the Columbian Wars of the past 30 years? Probably not outside of this game. However, it makes the conflict accessible to the wargame community in a quick and deeply strategic manner. My group can get through the full game in 2-3 hours and that time is always tense, nail-biting, and an absolute blast.
2014-12-29
Owned
Greg Denysenko

Rochester
New York
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10
Aug 2012
After 2 plays at WBC, I would say this is one great game. The 4 different factions with separate objectives and the topic itself is a winner in my book. I played and won as both the UAC and FARC so it seems that one side does not dominate. Both games the cartel came within inches of winning the game as well. The government player seemed to struggle a bit, so I am looking forward to see if perhaps they have the tougher role. All in all, kudos to Volko!
2012-08-05
Talon Amores
United States
West Warwick
Rhode Island
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10
Sep 2012
The components are great, the subject matter interesting, the solitaire rules work well, the four factions feel different and varied. But most importantly? They give you actual bags to properly store your stuff! Rarely do I encounter this in board games now and days.

In all seriousness, this is a fantastic game. Having an understanding, if not appreciation, of the subject matter will bolster your experience, but even if you know nothing about the Colombian insurgency, it's still a blast to play!
2012-09-19
Owned
Tim Roberts
United Kingdom
Colwyn Bay
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10
Oct 2012
Fantastic multi-player card-driven area control game set in 1990s Colombia. The factions (Government, FARC, AUC, Cartels) are asymmetrical in the way they play and what they need to achieve in order to be victorious e.g. the government needs to gain a certain amount of political control whereas AUC need to have placed more bases on the board than FARC. Designer Volko Ruhnke has introduced an interesting form of card-driving mechanism whereby cards are revealed and two factions have a choice on how they are played (for operations or events) and the decisions they make have a knock on effect on how their opponents can play. This aspect of the game feels innovative and requires the player to make numerous strategic choices. The balance of play is near perfect as each side tries to meet their winning criteria whilst simultaneously attempting to prevent their opponents from achieving their's and this keeps the game very close and tense. 'Andean Abyss' has taken its place in the evolution of CDGs and should be played by anyone who's serious about gaming.
2012-10-12
Owned
Stian Johansen
Norway
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10
Oct 2012
Sleeved
2014-02-25
Owned
Paul Thompson
United Kingdom
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10
Nov 2012
Hugely expansive depiction of recent Colombian history. A dizzying level of strategic decision making. I can't wait for Cuba Libre.

This game gets better and better.
2013-10-16
Owned
Don't Blink
Australia
Brisbane
QLD
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10
Feb 2013
I love all the factions Special Abilities, I love the complexity of the game, intricacies of the rules. Would always be up for a game!
2013-01-12
Owned
Want To Play
dominant gamer
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10
Jan 2013
Heavy strategic game. Tons of things going on during the game. I love how the cards drive the game. Reminds me of Dominant Species how things can change in one move. Great game.
2013-01-21
Owned
Sturmo
Belgium
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10
Jul 2013
Love this game! Solitaire play is also very nice. Great value for money...
2013-07-03
Owned
Sean Moore
United States
Virginia
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10
Jul 2013
Interesting topic for a board game and it works so well.
2013-07-30
Owned
Gregory Miller
United States
Granger
Indiana
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10
Dec 2014
Really like this one. Four diverse factions. Great art direction and theme. This was a game I held off on ordering for a long time due to it's complexity. By my second playthrough though, everything just "clicked" and I became a fan.

This is one of those games where I find myself contemplating my next move while I'm not even playing.
2014-02-28
Owned
Paul L
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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10
Sep 2014
The learning curve is initially more like a wall, but once the game is in motion, it all swiftly clicks into place and becomes somewhat intuitive. Once you achieve a degree of familiarity with your faction's capabilities, the game's careful assymetric balance quickly becomes apparent and you are free to immerse yourself into the theme. Being a GMT game, the rule book is typically clear and well written. This is a superior game that I am pleased to finally be able to sink my teeth into.
2014-09-19
Owned
★ Siddis Vicious ★
Norway
Stavanger
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That's not my opinion. That's science. And science is one cold-hearted bitch with a 14-inch strap-on!
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10
Jul 2015
The game that kicked off the COIN series. When I first got this to the table I had already played Cuba Libre and A Distant Plain, so it was very nice to just skim through the rules and start playing against the bots. I almost exclusively play the COIN games against the bots and I'm loving every minute of it. Looking forward to giving the updated bots from C3i #28 a go.
2015-07-21
Owned
Want To Play
Kevin Bacon
United States
Stevens Point
Wisconsin
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9.7
Oct 2014
This would get a 10 if it weren't for game length. I love playing this game solo, and it is great for two and four players as well.
*Revised - Upped .2 points - game length isn't as terrible as it used to be.
2014-10-25
Owned
Pete
Australia
Fitzroy North
Victoria
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"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die."
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9.6
Sep 2012
Simply amazing! There is a ton of stuff going on with this. Needs multiple plays to become halfway decent, but still awesome game.
2012-09-27
Prev. Owned
Stefan Daniels
Canada
Surrey
British Columbia
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9.5
Sep 2013
I'm giving this an initial rating of "8". THIS is a game. Wow! Kind of puts a lot of others to shame, IMO. 4-players, each with different player powers and win conditions but everything is SO well-thought out and put together. Initially, I thought that the cards did not allow for any long-term strategic planning, but they don't seem to really destroy long-term planning, rather, they 'annoy' when things go against you. In general, I've found that if it's my eligible 1st turn, I'd much rather take Operations + Special Activities over some Event.

Anyways, once my group has really allowed the rules to set in over the next couple of plays I can see this game really starting to climb in my ratings and I'll be sure to update when it does; it's only a matter of time.

UPDATE: I've now played a few f2f games (once as the Cartel and once as AUC which I won!). This is a PHENOMENAL game. Everything feels so well thought out, so necessary and so frustratingly handicapping in that you never quite have enough resources or operations that you can do. Just awesome. We're going to play this again next week a few times to get a further feel for the game but now that we've got the mechanics down I can see so many different ways that this game could go.

Update (Sept.2013): Okay, I've played over 40 games of this over the past bunch of months. I'm giving this another bump (9.5). While I LOVE the card mechanic it does somehow seem to hinder real strategic planning. There are a ton of short and even longish term tactical play simply because you cannot have anyone get out too far ahead on any turn since that pesky Prop card could show up.

The Gov't Player needs to be the strongest player at the table by far. They really are the glue that holds a good game together. The person who can manage small resources effectively should be AUC and I do agree that they seem to be the hardest to win with even though I've done so on a few occasions. However, my personal favorite faction is the FARC. What's beautiful about this game is that for our gaming group, each faction loosely or strongly ties to one of our personality types. And while we've all played the various factions we've gravitated over the long-term to specific factions that we play over and over again.

I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to the next few COIN series games. I've definitely going to have to try them but this is just such an excellent embodiment of a game concerning the details of a rather murky and messy situation that is Columbian politics.
2013-09-12
Owned
Chris Oldgeorge
Greece
Athens
Attika
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9.5
Sep 2012
Magnificent start for the Coin series. A very well balanced "event-driven" (is that a new term OoO) game, that is easy to learn and apparently rather hard to master. Double thumbs up for managing to balance the game with assymetrical forces and victory conditions.

Deeply entertaining and highly recommended. Not sure yet if the experience is that good with less than four players.
2012-09-29
Owned
Timo Ollikainen
Finland
Kuopio
Pohjois-Savo
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9.5
Mar 2013
Absolutely Great four (no more, no less) player game! The different victory conditions are forcing the players to negotiate, to form alliances and to backstab each other.
2015-05-04
Owned
Want To Play
Jin TS
Malaysia
Petaling Jaya
Selangor
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9.5
Nov 2012
This is not a normal board game. It is extremely unique and not any that i have personally experienced before. The game mechanic is slightly complex, especially to new players, but not too difficult to grasp. However, this is a game that requires massive amount of thinking and analysis effort, no joke. It's a really exciting and innovative game that's fast becoming my gaming group's latest favorite game. You have to play it and experience it before you can tell if you like it. It's a game with many possibilities and potentially lead to analysis paralysis if players are taking it too seriously. Also, it is a long game, easily one hour per player or it could be even more. Great theme, interesting game mechanic, challenging game play, high replayability, quality cards, bits and board, and extremely engaging. The only reason why it hasn't scored 10 is the play time...it's a long game when playing the full game, but players may always opt for the shorter version.
2012-11-17
Owned
Dario Completa
Italy
Pescara
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9.5
Jan 2014
Great game. Theme & strategic depth.
2013-07-20
Owned
Martti Lauri
Estonia
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9.5
Aug 2013
Oh this felt really good. Seems like all the hype is right on this case and I really-really want to play this one again.
PS. The initial excitement might make a poor judgement, but there it is at the moment.
2013-08-26
christian lecuyot
France
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9.5
Nov 2013
Amazing game. Great new mechanisms. I love it. Only defect, it is a very long game. But a good short variant exists.
2013-11-09
Owned
roblax roblax
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9.3
Feb 2013
For sale 40€
2014-05-25
Prev. Owned
Ocean Druen
United States
Buffalo Grove
IL
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9.1
Dec 2012
Lets not get into the argument if this is a wargame or not (because it is). The question is does it portray irregular warfare (and COIN operations) in a satisfactory manner. There is no doubt about this in my mind. There is no "military victory", it is about economics and public opinion (and in many ways this is what warfare is really about anyway).

I'm not sure if the sides are "even", the government player definitely needs to to have some XP with the game as they may have the toughest job balancing all the factions.
2014-01-10
Owned
Mike Owens
United States
Chattanooga
Tennessee
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9
Jan 2013
A tremendously innovative card-driven game. I prefer the 2-player game with 2 "bots" due to the pace of play & reduced downtime between actions.
2013-01-29
Owned
Want To Play
Igor Sangulin
Croatia
Zagreb
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9
Nov 2012
I
2014-11-06
Owned
Want To Play
Joel Eddy
United States
Coeur d'Alene
ID
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9
Aug 2012
Innovative. Fantastic. Thematic. Exciting. Gorgeous. Etc!
2012-10-22
Owned
Rex Brynen
Canada
Baie d'Urfé
Quebec
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9
Aug 2011
Owned
Fred W. Manzo
United States
New York
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9
Aug 2011
I played a proto-type of this game at WBC. For a complete review of my experience with it, check our site "The Boardgaming Life."

Now, I’m far from an expert at Andean Abyss, but I’d say it is the most innovative Card Driven Game I’ve ever seen. But, it might be a bit abstract for old school wargamers. So if that doesn’t faze you, I’d recommend jumping right in. Just think of it as a cross between "Here I Stand" and "Labyrinth."

In Andean Abyss 4 players vie for control of 1990’s Colombia. They run the forces of the central government, the Communist guerillas (FARC), the right wing militia (The AUC) and the drug cartels. Each has its own abilities, limitations, costs and victory conditions. Andean Abyss uses an area movement system and variously shaped blocks to represent factions, units and bases. And while there will be a winner, there will not be a player who sweeps all before him.

Keep in mind that although each faction has rather long lists of operations they can performal, not everything can be done at once and during some turns nothing much can be done at all. This is not a "rebels versus the government" game, but a 4 way asymmetrical struggle where each side is for and against each other side, even within a single turn. In effect, players are juggling 5 or 6 balls in the air simultaneously and whoever drops the fewest will win.

This is a remarkable game. After playing it more than a few times, I expect my rating to move up.

2011-10-06
Nik Knight
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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9
Mar 2012
Only one FTF game and several solo and PBEM Vassal games. It is the game that allowed me to really starting digging into consims and wargames. While it can take a while, I find it engrossing and replayable.

(Update 1/31/14: After two more FtF games, I can say this is a very good, nay, great game. I rather play it FtF rather than PBEM but will not turn down the chance for that either.)
2014-01-31
Owned
Want To Play
Filipe Cunha
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
RJ
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9
Sep 2013
240
P:4
2013-10-08
Owned
Want To Play
Derek Long
United Kingdom
London
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9
Nov 2012
This is a fantastic game: the interactions between the factions are very subtle and the dynamics change a lot according to the order of events. The card mechanism is a very clever design - the agonising choices between acting on the current card or passing to act on the next are a fantastic feature.
2012-11-02
Owned
R Stites
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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9
Mar 2014
First volume of the COIN series. Despite the fact that new volumes have introduced new twists on the gameplay and interaction of the factions, the game remains fresh and in the argument for best COIN series game. It's probably the best introductory game, as all the basic concepts are there (CL lacks a network of LoC to facilitate movement).
2015-07-17
Owned
John Rogers
United States
Union Gap
Washington
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9
Jul 2015
The COIN system is a brilliant way of engaging players in the internal political strife of a given country. Most war games concern themselves with boots on the ground and subsequent tactics; the COIN series dares to ask the socio-economic, religious, ideological, and political questions driving the conflict. The nuts and bolts of these designs are equally incredible: an ingenious method of card-assisted play and turn order, menus of asymmetrical actions and goals, and a level of player interdependence rarely seen in games.

Andean Abyss is the series' first installment and still my favorite. More of a free-for-all than later iterations and perhaps a little more straight-forward in faction actions, relationships, and goals. There's just something about the setting, topic, and players involved that fascinates me.
2015-07-19
Owned
Mark Evans
United States
Berlin
New Hampshire
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9
Sep 2012
4 Player Game at best, 1-4 otherwise.
2012-09-11
Owned
Steve Carey
United States
West Coast
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9
Dec 2013
Have you ever started watching a motion picture thinking it's not going to be to your liking, and then when the film is over you are simply awestruck?

One of the best Playbooks every published. The only thing missing in the box is a shorter scenario.

Plays solo just fine without the programmed AI (which I have yet to try as I am fully absorbed with the standard game already), especially when learning as there are so many intriguing things here.

2-player ftf is excellent (again, without AI yet).

Very creative, multi-layered, and fun game that brings an obscure topic alive.

Has motivated me to research the Colombian Conflict, a fascinating yet tragic chapter in human history.

Besides launching the COIN series, AA has the potential to be a landmark design, it's that good.
2012-09-23
Owned
Esteban Vasquez
Colombia
Medellin
Antioquia
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Colombia is waiting for you, would you take the risk? (Video in my profile)
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9
Oct 2012
Is my game about my own country!!!
Yeah it talks about some of the worse parts of it but it also talks about the good things that we do to fight those bad moments.
Is an intense game of careful planning, strategy and over all FUN.
2013-02-07
Owned
Jason Albert
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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9
Apr 2013
Employs a *very* smart card-assisted turn-order/event system which creates often excruciating decisions. Never played with the AI, but with four, the wide-open diplomacy system can make for strange bedfellows and ratchet the tension even further – the best laid plans can always be undercut. Multiple strategic paths to victory for each of the four factions and variability with the prop rounds make for little down time. Even when your faction is getting the shaft on Ops opportunities, there’s always something to be considering, countering, and worrying about. Clean and tight first entry in a very promising system; can’t wait to check out Cuba Libre, A Distant Plain, and everything else coming down the COIN pike.
2013-09-17
Owned
Andy P
United Kingdom
Worcester
Worcestershire
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9
Apr 2013
Simply an amazing design. No decision is small or trivial.
2013-04-14
Prev. Owned
Scott Hinze
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
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9
Jan 2014
[brotherjo]
2013-01-15
ROMON Paul
France
BOOS
Normandie
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9
Jul 2013
Boîte plastifiée.
Etiquettes OK.
Protections cartes : MG standard.
Bloc ROSENBERG.

Avis personnel : première partie immersive et passionnante. Le jeu peut vite devenir addictif et donne envie de s'essayer à toutes les factions. Le système renouvelle merveilleusement la mécanique du card driven.
La durée de vie paraît être infinie. De plus, le contexte géopolitique est hyper prenant et d'actualité. Une très bonne expérience ludique pour public connaisseur.
2014-12-08
Owned
Martin Boisselle
Canada
Boucherville
Quebec
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Within the realm of color, the shadows often assume responsibility for the awkward shine of yellow.
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9
Oct 2012
Solo is long...

Need to play it with other players.
2012-10-17
Prev. Owned
J Anderson
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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9
May 2013
Top-tier new series. Well done designers! Excellent story-line in combination with solid design.
2012-10-15
Owned

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