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Fire in the Lake» Forums » General

Subject: First play of COIN - is going solo a crazy idea? rss

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Jay W
United Kingdom
London
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I've had FitL sitting on my shelf since last xmas gathering dust, and as I'm on holiday now I'm taking some time to play solo games. However, I've heard that FitL is a seriously complex game.

I've not had the pleasure of playing a COIN game yet. Will it be over the top to try and play my first game solo? Or should I hold off until I've got some other players around, or am able to get onto a teaching game?

If I do go ahead with the solo play, what are the pitfalls I should look out for - easily missed rules, basic strategy tips, etc.

Many thanks for any advice you can offer.
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Jason Sherlock
United States
Anaheim Hills
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I did my first COIN game, Andean Abyss, solo. FITL is a bit more complicated.

My advice is to try to go solo as best as you can, and expect to make a lot of mistakes the first few times. Just accept that there will be a lot of errors and that those initial games are purely a learning experience.

You can always ask any questions that come up on the boards here. There are plenty of people who are willing to help out.
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Dennis
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
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I'd heavily advise to play your first solo game by playing all factions yourself, not by using the official solo bot rules.
The bots are really great, but they add a ton of complexity to what is already not an easily grokked game.
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Jonathan Entner
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I agree with what he said: play all the factions yourself, don't try to figure out the bots on top of trying to figure out the game too. But I would say that if you feel stuck as to what to do for a particular faction, checking out what the bot would do might help to resolve things for you. In our experience as new players, feeling overwhelmed with the number of things you can do and finding it hard to figure out what is best to do in a given situation was one of the harder parts of getting a handle on the game. This was my first COIN game too, and I started solo to learn it (so I could teach my usual opponents how to play), and I did get it figured out. But it will take a few games until you really feel comfortable with it.

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G Geisler

Santa Fe
New Mexico
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I've only played it solo as all four factions--the playbook is very helpful and so are the strategy guides you can find in the file section of the Fire in the Lake BGG page.
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Didier Renard
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Saint-Louis
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Another vote for playing all factions on your first couple games. You will likely pack the game quickly if you try playing with bots the first time, especially if you have no prior experience with COIN.
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John
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RindFisch wrote:
I'd heavily advise to play your first solo game by playing all factions yourself, not by using the official solo bot rules.
The bots are really great, but they add a ton of complexity to what is already not an easily grokked game.


This.

Definitely do this the first few times. It's also a lot of fun actually.
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Michael De Meirleir
Belgium
Hamme
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I'd have to concur with the others.
Playing all factions a few times, before reverting to the bots, helped me to get a better grasp on Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar.
 
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Jason Sherlock
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michaeld wrote:
I'd have to concur with the others.
Playing all factions a few times, before reverting to the bots, helped me to get a better grasp on Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar.


I guess that I am the lone voice for using the bots right off. They really helped me to better understand the rules. Also, Vassal helps a lot for the first games, as it keeps track of your victory points.
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Eric Guttag
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West Chester
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Hey Jay,

Playing solo is fine, but as others have said, play each Faction. However, you can use the bot chart to help you understand how each faction would play in a given situation if there were no other competing factors. Also, consider the bot chart that tells you when a Faction would choose the Event (including whether unshaded or shaded) and under what circumstances.
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Jason Sherlock
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If you want to follow along at home, I have played out a full game and posted explanations and pics.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1666016/bots-take-bots-ii
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