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GMT COIN Series» Forums » General

Subject: Are they all just Amebae-like? rss

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Kristopher
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters.
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I Played a bit of Falling Sky at a Con this weekend - it was my first introduction to the COIN Series. (And the specific reason why I wanted to play it.)

Didn't care for the theme, but was very interested in the system. However, I felt that the gameplay seemed very amebae-like in the sense that the factions just kind of tugged and pulled at each other all over the board without really making any headway to one side or the other. I realize you don't get the full experience of the game at a con, nor can you ever hope of find the nuances/strategies the first time playing it.

But I'm wondering - are all the COIN series games like this? This... spongy? (does that make sense?) Is this the nature of these games - more attritionary than outright conquest for one side over the other?

 
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Brian Train
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Another metaphor I've seen used and you might like is "bucket of crabs" - someone gets ahead and the others conspire to pull him back.

I think it really depends on who you are playing with.
If the other people view this game, or games in general, as a traditional wargame, this is the kind of game they are going to have.

Since you are new to COIN, you might like to read this

http://ludobits.com/the-5-worst-mistakes-ive-made-when-learn...

and especially Paul Dussault's final comment, way at the bottom of the page.

Brian
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Gabriel Conroy
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I am clearly unusual in this regard, but I found playing along with the bots was the easiest way to understand how to play the game, and also great fun. I started with Cuba Libre and Fire in the Lake.
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Jim Allard
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The quick and simple answer to your question is: 'yes'.

That is the nature of counter-insurgency operations and, for that matter, insurgencies in general.

JimA
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Gabriel Conroy
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JimA759 wrote:
The quick and simple answer to your question is: 'yes'.

That is the nature of counter-insurgency operations and, for that matter, insurgencies in general.

JimA


I think this is true. However you do see some dramatic collapses and takeovers sometimes in these games. I've seen the NVA take over most of S. Vietnam, and the Directorio push other insurgents off the island of Cuba.
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Brian Train
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JimA759 wrote:
The quick and simple answer to your question is: 'yes'.

That is the nature of counter-insurgency operations and, for that matter, insurgencies in general.

JimA


Yes +1.
This ain't the Russian Front.
Also, remember these are games that show mixed military/ political/ psychological conflicts all on the board at once.

Brian
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Kristopher
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters.
mbmb
Wow, from one of the designers themselves! (And one of the really cool and awesome things about BGG and the internet in general.)

Thanks for the article. I found I sort of like the system, and would play more. Fortunately, the guy that was running it at the con suggested maybe the group playing could get together once a month or so, just to keep playing it, and learning it. So maybe I might have more experience with it.

I don't have any myself, and as I mostly play solo, I would get one to play with a bot - exactly what the guy said NOT to do. I tend to not like to play both sides of a game. I might as well just play Monopoly by myself!

But I'll definitely see if I can't get more experience learning them. Quite quite different than the hex-and-counter wargames I'm used to!

Thanks!
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Brian Train
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Welcome to the COIN side of the pillow, Kristopher.

Yes, these games are different from hex-and-counter games (which is my background too, since 1978).
But they are popular right now, and you have a contact with a regular group, so that will help you to find opponents.

Another thing to mention is that I am finishing off Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62, the first COIN system game for 2 players, not 4.
This might make you change your mind about taking both sides in a game.

(I've also hit on an experimental method to make these 4-player games 2-player:
https://brtrain.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/spielenexperiment-t...)

Brian

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Rex Stites
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JimA759 wrote:
The quick and simple answer to your question is: 'yes'.

That is the nature of counter-insurgency operations and, for that matter, insurgencies in general.

JimA


I would push back against this a little bit and say that it's more of a superficial appearance than anything because of the nature of insurgency (as noted above). You don't win/lose an insurgency/counter insurgency by creating a military front that slowly marches across the map. As a result, the military forces tend to expand/contract throughout the game, but that doesn't mean that there's necessarily a similar expansion/contraction of who is actually winning.

Of course, among new players especially, there's a tendency for the games to devolve into a whack-a-mole situation of everyone ganging up on the leader as players are not familiar enough with the game or system to be able to build up and protect a position.
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Kristopher
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters.
mbmb
rstites25 wrote:

Of course, among new players especially, there's a tendency for the games to devolve into a whack-a-mole situation of everyone ganging up on the leader as players are not familiar enough with the game or system to be able to build up and protect a position.


Well, I kind of learned that right away with Falling Skies playing the Belgic. I immediately attacked Rome in the main province where it seemed apparent that that was the obvious first move - kicking out the majority of troops to maintain my delicate positional control. I should have just harassed and ambushed, while slowly building up behind them and giving them no place to run. Again, a newbie jumping to attack instead of looking where a more subtle approach would have been better.
 
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