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Cuba Libre» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Euro gamer, new to COIN, reviewing after one play. rss

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The Mirror
United States
New York
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So, this game is extremely fiddly. Especially while playing with bots, those homies are really not finished being made explicit. Also, there are WAY too many contingencies to consider at any given time. This game with two real players (Gov't and 26th) and two bots took us well over 4 hours, over 5 really. So that's a while. All of the things that make hot Euros climb up the charts like elegant mechanics and mechanical interplay are completely missing from this. They're like "thematic" board games/history lessons with all of the vague aspects of symbolic exchange made absurd. Like Robinson Crusoe but to put you to sleep. "War" is an overstatement, unlike clearer tactical hex war games, you're just kinda hoping that homie can't hurt you, because dang, game one, it's enough to try and just remember what your move options are, let alone your opponents or the freaking bots. Guess who won our game, btw? The "Syndicate," aka American backed mafia building casinos. A dang NPC smoked us because all they have to do is build casinos and not get crushed.

With all of that said, I can't stop thinking about this game, and this game system. I find myself wanting to collect them all (or at least one) and just become a true Counter Insurgency expert. There's chaos and chance, but also such depth and fun involved in this game, and for the life of me, I can't even explain why [BGG Ed.: nice, good thing you're writing a review then, joker]. It's like a brief affair, leaving you anxious and wanting more, though I'm trying to play it cool. Not drop over $100 for the COIN game which looks most interesting to me. Buddy owns CL.

Anyway, I'm sure that this isn't for everyone, but I'm also quite smitten with this system after one play, and I'd love a chance to try again, to spend hours in confusion and adoration again.

modestgoo
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Yani
Switzerland
Zürich
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You played your first game with the bots? You are a brave fellow.
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Benji
Switzerland
Gurmels
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coralsaw wrote:
You played your first game with the bots? You are a brave fellow.


I agree. As has been mentioned often: DONT learn the game playing with bots. Play all factions yourself to learn what they can do and why they do it. Don't overthink it, just follow your first impulse, and you will descover the intricacies of the system. Once you are more familiar with it, using the bots will be a LOT easier.

However, the game is best played with 4 players anyway. Vassal works fine, for instance...
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The Mirror
United States
New York
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May be "brave" but I was playing with a friend who helped to guide the game a bit who has played it before. Also, since I already did the "DONT" it's kind of a moot point at this juncture.

But ultimately, while I think the bots are kind of mediocre, and I have plenty of formal gripes with the system (in comparison to streamlined/elegant Euro mechanisms), I'm very intrigued by the COIN system in general and would like to play more.

Didn't think about playing on Vassal, but that's a great idea. I'd be surprised if I can find enough humans IRL to play through this slog of a game. Though, I've never done it, and I'd worry about my AP in terms of the game as well as my luddite limitations with the Vassal system throwing folks off.
 
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Didier Renard
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You're right, COIN games are not for everyone. They are very demanding and the learning curve is steep, especially as a solo gamer (which I am). But once you get there, I find they are also very rewarding... the system is unique and no euro game comes close to giving the COIN experience!
You did the right thing learning the game with somebody else to guide you (it is just not recommended to learn the game solo with the bots... too much of a challenge).
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Matthew Miyares
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Lorton
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Nice, good to see another newcomer to thr fold!

If you're primarily interested in the system itself, you might want to borrow the Designer notes. They have good historical background, and often make some of the mechanics make more sense.
 
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Yani
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mirror33 wrote:
... But ultimately, while I think the bots are kind of mediocre, ...


Keep in mind that the Cuba Libre bots are a bit weak compared to the recent ones, and are being reworked upon to appear anew in a future C3i, most probably.
 
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Eddy del Rio
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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You piqued my interest. What is a really excellent Euro-styled war game?
 
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Gabriel Conroy
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I have to disagree with the consensus and say that playing with the bots really helped me learn this and other COIN games.
 
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The Mirror
United States
New York
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edelrio wrote:
You piqued my interest. What is a really excellent Euro-styled war game?


Seems like at least one good answer to that is Sekigahara. Another is Maria.
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The Mirror
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New York
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achates wrote:
I have to disagree with the consensus and say that playing with the bots really helped me learn this and other COIN games.


I think the point is that since this was my very first COIN game play that I was doing myself a disservice by playing with bots instead of learning all of the different faction mechanics. Regardless it's too late
 
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Gabriel Conroy
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mirror33 wrote:
achates wrote:
I have to disagree with the consensus and say that playing with the bots really helped me learn this and other COIN games.


I think the point is that since this was my very first COIN game play that I was doing myself a disservice by playing with bots instead of learning all of the different faction mechanics. Regardless it's too late


That's what I meant - this was the first COIN game I learnt and I found that playing through with the bots was the best way to do it!
 
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Jesse Edelstein
United States
Merced
California
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This game does have a lot going on. On the other hand, the rules for all COIN games are closely related, and I have found it's not that hard to remember most of the rules after playing a couple times. YMMV of course.
 
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