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Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar» Forums » General

Subject: Which COIN? rss

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Craig M
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Okay, I know this is a common question and there is no right answer, but I'll ask anyway. Which COIN should I get? I'm intrigued by the system and want to try it but torn between the different offerings.

I read and watched the reviews for FS a couple of weeks ago, and was impressed, but I can't get a physical copy at my local store.

I've just watched some reviews of FitL and was also impressed, but heard one mention of an 8-hour playing time for the full war version. That would mean it only got played once a year, on holidays. Three to four hours would be fine. Do the shorter scenarios do it justice?

I'm not put off by relative rule complexity, but I do need a manageable play time. I have slightly more interest in the Vietnam era, but that is not enough to make it the deciding factor.

Cuba Libre also got favourable reviews and has a more manageable play time but one reviewer suggested it had less depth than FitL. I may never play any of the COIN games enough to plum their depths but would at least like to see what the system can achieve in terms of subtlety.

I am not particularly interested in solo play, but would give it a go, and I am theoretically interested in the bots, because I will probably try to design a bot for a game I am developing.

I would be very interested in Vassal play of any of the titles, probably at PBEM pace, but I would like to have a hard copy even if I mostly play on Vassal. If any of you would like a Vassal opponent and could cope with a newb, let me know - preferably it would be a four-player game, rather than 2-plus-bots.
 
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Gordon J
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I think they are all good. But be warned FALLING SKY and LIBERTY OR DEATH are different than the rest of the COIN games, they have some more complicated combat rules than the rest of the COIN games. Go for Cuba Libre or Andean Abyss first. But if theme appeals to you then Fire in the Lake is really good as is A Distant Plain (but both of these are a little more advanced than AA or CL).
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Craig M
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Not too bothered by complex combat rules (might be a different matter when I actually start playing). I get the impression FS has a more manageable play duration, but I could probably sell the theme of FitL more easily to potential players. The reviews for FS are really encouraging, though...

In terms of strategic depth, is FS on a par with FitL? One problem is that the available FitL reviews have generally been made well before FS even existed, so they don't discuss the differences. On the other hand, some of the FS reviews imply that FS represents a step forward in elegance - a maturation of the system, as it were.

I guess I will have to try both at some stage.
 
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Oerjan Ariander
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The full FITL game, 1964-1972/73, takes a long time to play. 8 hours is doable if most of the players are experienced; if all are new to the game it takes longer. (If all players are very experienced and focussed, the Full scenario can be finished in under 4 hours... but that's rare.)

The Medium scenario ('68-'72/73) is half as long as the Full one; the Short scenario ('65-'67), is shorter still. It is probably a good idea to play one of them while learning the game, instead of diving straight into the Full scenario.

Generally speaking, play time for COIN games drops quite fast as the players get comfortable with the system.

Regards,
Oerjan
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Mike Bertucelli
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ALL! but I may be a bit bias.
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Todd Carter
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Both games are great and well worth your time to get into. If you think you can get more people to play FitL and you don't mind rules complexity, I'd go for that. (It's still my favorite of the COINs anyway.) However, the short scenario does favor the US in my experience. So, I'd play with a couple of the official variant rules to hold them back a little bit. (For example, shuffling the COUP card in the last half of the 8 cards and forcing them to place killed blocks back onto the map instead of reserves.) For details see: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1458735/us-variant-mark-and....

For new players, the short scenario would probably take over 3 hours. But this shortens to above 2 hours with experience. FS by comparison has a scenario with only 2 winters and that plays really quickly. (I'd estimate about 2 hours with inexperienced players.)

Have fun
 
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Oerjan Ariander
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plainscape wrote:
For new players, the short scenario would probably take over 3 hours. But this shortens to above 2 hours with experience. FS by comparison has a scenario with only 2 winters and that plays really quickly. (I'd estimate about 2 hours with inexperienced players.)

Well... looking only at the number of Winter/Coup/"periodic reset" cards (they have different names in the different COIN games) in a scenario is misleading IME. What takes the most time in COIN games are all the choices and decisions that the players have to make (and new players also need time just to identify what choices they have available); while the "reset" sequences consist of more steps than the Event card plays do, they usually require fewer player decisions.

The shortest scenario in Falling Sky only has 2 Winter cards against the 3 Coups of the FitL Short scenario, but OTOH the FS scenario has 25-30 Event cards to play while the FitL scenario only has 16-24 Event cards (or 20-24 if the option to seed the Coups in the second half of each stack is used).

OTGH FitL offers the players more choices and options on each individual Event card than FS does: FitL has more than twice as many map spaces to do things in, and it also allows more ways to combine the various actions. That makes each Event card take a bit longer in FitL than in FS, even though the game mechanics themselves are probably simpler in FitL.

Regards,
Oerjan
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Harold Buchanan
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Pick the history that most interests you - the rest will fall into place.
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Craig M
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Thanks for all the opinions guys... Leaning towards FitL with the short scenario and the rebalancing tweaks...

Now let's see if I can get a copy. I am starting to think COIN stands for Can't Obtain It Now.
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