Guide to GMT Games's COIN Series
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New to GMT Games's COIN (COunter-INsurgency) game series? Not new, but wondering about where upcoming COIN titles fit into your interests? This is the list for you! This Geeklist to provide basic information about each and every COIN game.

Complexity of game relative to the other COIN games. (Note to new players: Even the easiest COIN is a jump up from a medium eurogame.)

Availability shows all printings, and current availabaility status, including upcoming release/reprint dates.

Setting and playable factions, including blurb on each faction, including win conditions, so you can see if the game fits your historical interests.

Approximate duration, including variant shorter ways to play, including deck construction changes.

Any extra information that mechanically differentiates this title from others in the series, especially as the title differs from Andean Abyss (since that is the baseline used in some of the rulebooks).


For those new to the series, here are some terms used to describe win conditions for different factions:

Control represents quantitative dominance. This faction has more pieces than all others' put together.

Support represents popular Support (influence) by the ruling faction.

Opposition represents popular Opposition (influence) to the ruling faction, in favor of a certain insurgent faction.



After the list of main games and the COIN Game Series item, look for expansions, then "Unpublished Prototypes" for a look at what we know about possible future titles in the series. (Note: If a game is officially on it's way to being a title, it should receive a P500 listing, and an official Geek page, at which point I'll delete the old "Unpublished Prototype" entry and add the full entry.


Please offer any suggestions for improvement as I intend for this to be an ongoing resource for new-to-COIN players.
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1. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:814]
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COIN Series, Volume I Andean Abyss

COIN Complexity: E Medium

Duration Information from 72 Event cards, and 4 Propaganda cards
2 hours for Quick-Play scenario (official) - 24 Events, 2 Propoganda
4 hours for Short game - ~45 Events, 3 Propaganda
5 hours for Full game - 60 Events, 4 Propaganda

Availability:
2012 - Out of print.
Re-printed November 2018


Colombia, 1994-2008 wrote:

Colombia in the 1990s hosted one of the world’s last Marxist guerrilla armies, brutal drug lords, and right-wing death squads and appeared close to failing as a state. A decade later, its Marxists had lost their top leaders and rural sanctuary, its big drug bosses were dead or in prison, and its paramilitaries were negotiating demobilization. The Government had extended its writ to most of the countryside, restored its popularity, and improved the economy and respect for human rights.

Andean Abyss takes 1 to 4 players into this multifaceted campaign for control of Colombia: guerrillas and police, kidnapping and drug war, military sweeps and terror.

Government: Democratically elected government of Colombia. Has initial Support of the cities. Further reach and deadlier forces, but only when they can find the guerrillas. Wins the game when they achieve broad popular support (Support score of 60).

FARC: Marxist army supported by rural peasants. Has some support in rural departments, and frequently resorts to Terror to build Opposition, and uses Kidnapping to fund their war. Wins the game by building Bases and swinging populated areas from Government Support to Opposition (Bases + Opposition = 25).

AUC: (Yellow) Right-wing paramilitary protecting interests of the wealthy. Opposes FARC, not above using Terror and Assassination, which harms U.S. Aid to Government. Wins the game by having more Bases than FARC (AUC Bases > FARC Bases).

Cartels: (Green) Drug production and cultivation. Can re-locate and set-up quickly and use Bribes to keep opposing factions on back heel. Wins the game by building Bases and making money (Bases >10; Resources >40).


Microbadge: mb

Additional Information:
- First game in series. Other volumes in COIN series use AA as reference point.
- Solo: Player must be Government. (NPC charts only available for other three factions.)



Is this a good template to use for all games? Comments encouraged.
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2. Board Game: Cuba Libre [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:484]
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COIN Series, Volume II: Cuba Libre
Expanded by Cuba Libre: Invierno Cubano – Castro's Counterinsurgency, 1959-1965

Special note: Cuba Libre is the shortest and least complex COIN title, and is frequently suggested as an entry point into the COIN series.

COIN Complexity: S Low

Duration Information from 48 Events and 4 Propaganda cards
3 hours for Short game - 40 Events, 4 Propaganda rounds
4 hours for Full game - 48 Events, 4 Propaganda rounds


Availability:
2013: Out of print.
Re-print available April 2016.




Cuba, 1957-1958 wrote:

Castro’s “26 July Movement” must expand from its bases in the Sierra Maestra mountains to fight its way to Havana. Meanwhile, anti-communist student groups, urban guerrillas, and expatriates try to de-stabilize the Batista regime from inside and out, while trying not to pave the way for a new dictatorship under Castro. Batista’s Government must maintain steam to counter the twin insurgency, while managing two benefactors: its fragile US Alliance and its corrupting Syndicate skim. And in the midst of the turmoil, Meyer Lansky and his Syndicate bosses will jockey to keep their Cuban gangster paradise alive.

Government: Dictatorial government of Cuba. Has control of the cities, and moneyed by American mob Syndicate. Wins the game with Support of all Cities, and total Support greater than 18.

26July: Recently landed Marxist army supported by rural peasants, and growing number of citizens. Has some support in east. Wins the game by building Bases and fostering Opposition (Bases + Opposition >15).

Directorio: Havana-based rebel student group. Opposed to Government. Vulnerable at beginning of game. Wins the game by building Bases and having Directorio Control of spaces (Controlled Population + Bases >9).

Syndicate: American mob interests that control Casinos. In the past, contributed to Governement. Wins the game by building Casinos and making money (Open Bases >7; Resources >30).


Microbadge: mb

Additional Information:
- Shortest game in the COIN series
- Solo: May only play as 26July or Government. NPC flowcharts provided for all factions.
- Much smaller board than standard COIN Series size.
- Government has US Alliance track that affects Operation cost, Aid, and Air Strikes.
- Government can gain temporary Momentum effects.
- Insurgent faction can get access to permanent Capabilities.
- Syndicate bases cannot be removed, only Closed.
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3. Board Game: A Distant Plain [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:720]
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COIN Series, Volume III: A Distant Plain

COIN Complexity: NE Medium-High

Duration Information from 72 Event cards, 6 Propaganda cards
4 hours - Short Game - 48 Event, 4 Propaganda (in 4 stacks)
5 hours - Main Game - 60 Event, 5 Propaganda (in 5 stacks)
6 hours - Extended Game - 72 Event, 6 Propaganda (in 6 stacks)


Availability:
2013 - Out of print.
2016 July -
Reprinted October 2018



Afghanistan, 2003-Modern day wrote:

Afghanistan—scene of tribal, ethnic, colonial, and Cold War conflict across the ages. Into this cockpit dropped a multinational post-9/11 coalition to root out al-Qaeda and replace the hardline-Islamist Taliban regime that harbored it. A quick invasion and regime change portended quiet reconstruction and good governance, but it was not to be so. In their sanctuary across Pakistan's border, the Taliban rebuilt for an insurgency that would ensnare the Coalition in the tangle of Afghan rivalries, shifting allegiances, and warlordism that the West could at first only distantly grasp.

Government: Coalition-supported Government that is fighting Taliban insurgency. Does not seek popular Support, but rather wants to Control many regions and create a loyalist oligarchy through favors. WIN: Total COIN-Controlled Population + Patronage >35.

International Coalition: International Coalition working with Government to stabilize and democratize Afghanistan. Does not want to commit too many Troops to conflict. Wants popular Support. WIN: Total Population in Support + pieces in Coalition Available Forces box >30.

Taliban: Pashtun-supported Islamists that has some support from Pakistan. Wants to build Opposition and Bases. WIN: Population in Opposition + Bases >20.

Warlords: (Green) Opium-growing Warlords that represent non-aligned population and ethnic groups. Wants no centralized power structure interfering with tribal regionalism. WIN: Total Uncontrolled Population within Afghanistan >15 and Resources >40.

Microbadge: mb

Additional Information:
- Solo: NPC flowcharts for all 4 factions, but rulebook states solo play as Coalition or Taliban only.
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4. Board Game: Fire in the Lake [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:398]
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COIN Series, Volume IV: Fire in the Lake

COIN Complexity: N High

Duration Information from 120 Event Cards, 6 Coup cards
5 hours - Short Game - 24 Events, 3 Coups ("1965" cards only)
6 hours - Medium Game - 36 Events, 3 Coups ("1968" cards only)
8 hours - Full Game - 72 Event cards, 6 Coups ("1964", "1965", and "1968" cards.


Availability:
2013 - Out of Print


Vietnam, 1664-1972 wrote:

The most wrenching US engagement of the Cold War would be far more than GI versus Charlie. The conflict had set tribesman against nationalist, Buddhist against Catholic, mandarin against villager, and of course Northerner against Southerner—even among the communists. As revolutionary change burned through that ancient civilization, Washington would apply its armament and its operations research. To get out, the US counterinsurgency would have to motor deeper and deeper in. In the end, culture and will would overcome technology and math and signal the end of the primacy of industrial might in modern warfare.

The U.S.: Works to stabilize the host country by building popular support while keeping its force commitment as low as possible. WIN: Total support + number of Troops and Bases in the US Available Forces box >50 [i.e. Forces not in play].

NVA: The North Vietnamese Army is an insurgent faction with material backing that seeks military Control of South Vietnamese Population. WIN: Total NVA-Controlled Population + number of NVA Bases on the map >18.

ARVN: The Army of the Republic of Vietnam represents the democratic (read: anti-Communist) government of South Vietnam. The ARVN works for military Control of spaces (calculated from ARVN and US pieces) and for Patronage - representing the leadership's wherewithal to reward its friends. WIN: Total COIN-Controlled Population + Patronage >50.

VC: The indigenous Viet Cong insurgents of South Vietnam. Their tunneled Bases make them very difficult to dislodge from spaces. They work to establish Popular Opposition while building VC infrastructure. WIN: Total Opposition plus number of VC Bases on the map >35.

BGG Microbadges: mb

Additional Information:
- Solo: Player may be any faction.
- NVA is an insurgent faction that has troops that cannot go underground.
- NVA Rally depends on Ho Chi Minh Trail and Bases instead of (COIN-standard) Population.

* Expansion based on 1972-1975 is under development by Mark Herman and Volko Ruhnke

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5. Board Game: Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:872]
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COIN Series, Volume V: Liberty or Death

COIN Complexity: NE Medium-High

Duration Information from 60 Events and 6 Winters
3 hours - Short Duration - 30 Events, 3 Winters
4 hours - Medium Duration - 40 Events, 4 Winters
6 hours - Long Duration - 60 Events, 6 Winters

Availability:
Dec 2016 - Out of print. GMT has announced a reprint.
Feb 2017 - Reprint showing up at retailers.


American Colonies, 1776-1779 wrote:
"Those who have long too successfully labored to inflame my people in America by gross misrepresentations … now openly avow their revolt, hostility and rebellion. … many of these unhappy people may still retain their loyalty, and may be too wise not to see the fatal consequence of this usurpation, and wish to resist it, yet the torrent of violence has been strong enough to compel their acquiescence, till a sufficient force shall appear to support them…”
- King George III addresses both Houses of British Parliament on October 27, 1775.

Patriots: You initially aren’t powerful enough to counteract the British Army. You will need to pick your battles and initially spread the Militia to key areas. Until you can train a force of Continentals to take on the British Regulars, Rabble-rouse and work with the French to challenge British dominance.

British: - You have to deal with an Insurrection across a massive region. With control of the seas, you have extreme flexibility and can move across the coast and cities at will. You will muster Tories to support your efforts. They will march with you to battle, but they need your cover. The Indians will work with you but, like the Tories, will need you to coordinate and protect them when the Patriots become aggressive. Build Support and reduce Opposition in short order.

French: - You have the ability to be the thorn in the side of the British in North America. Your agents can rally assistance in and around Quebec and you can facilitate privateers to steal resources from the British. When you sign the Treaty of Alliance with the Patriots, you can bring French Regulars to America to March and Battle.

Indian: - You have selected the lesser of two evils in aligning with the British. You will work with them to lower Opposition using Raids but you will be developing your footprint by Gathering forces and building villages. The British can help you to protect them from the Patriots and in return you can assist the British in controlling the region.

BGG Microbadges: mb


-Additional information provided upon release of Playbook PDF on GMT's website-
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6. Board Game: Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:810]
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COIN Series, Volume VI: Falling Sky

COIN Complexity: SE? Low-medium?

Duration Information: from 72 Events and 5 Winter cards

2-3 hours - short scenario "The Great Revolt" - 45 Events, 3 Winters
4 hours - main scenario "Reconquest of Gaul" - 60 Events, 4 Winters
5 hours - long scenario "Pax Gallica?" - 70 Events, 5 Winters

Availability:
2016 - CURRENTLY AVAILABLE


Gaul - 54-52 B.C. wrote:

Winter, 53 BC: In a series of brilliant and brutal campaigns, Caesar has seized Gaul for Rome. But not all tribes rest subdued. In the north, the Belgic leader Ambiorix springs a trap on unwary legions while Caesar is away. In the south, an ambitious son of the Arverni seeks to unite a Celtic confederation in revolt against the hated Romans. And what of the influential Aedui? Their republic appears content to shelter under Roman protection – but can they be trusted any further than any other Gauls? Meanwhile, along the Rhine, Germanic warbands multiply.

Roman Republic - The Romans are not angling for popular support, but rather are subduing tribes, occasionally dispersing whole tribes and selling them into slavery. Roman resource constraints principally represent the need for local sources of corn in distant Gaul, and they are reliant on the Aedui to supply their war.

Arverni tribe - The Arverni are the most implacably anti-Roman. In addition to seeking to raise the mass of Celtica in revolt against Rome, they are seeking specifically to kick the legions out of Gaul. Arverni special abilities include entreaties to other Gauls to switch sides, and scorched-earth devastation to deny provisions to their enemies.

Belgic tribes - The Belgae similarly are looking to free themselves of Roman occupation, but they are most concerned with military control of their own area of Gaul. With a reputation for ferocity, they can rampage their warbands to frighten enemies off or induce their surrender. They can enlist German warbands to fight temporarily alongside them.

Aedui confederation - The Aedui also are trying to become top Gaul, but in their case by riding the Roman coattails. They must leverage the Romans’ need for local friends and local supplies, the Aedui access to profits from trade with Rome, and their Celtic influence to suborn individual tribes and warbands over to their cause.

Germanic warbands
- A non-playable faction that can be called upon by Belgae, or by other factions through Events.




Additional information:
- "The Great Revolt" short scenario is particularly recommended by designer for 3p game
- This is the first COIN game with an Ancient setting
- Romans are the "COIN" faction in the game, and the only faction with "troop" cubes (Legion)
- Entirely new Battle command to represent pitched warfares
- March command now costs equal to number of origins of marches, not destinations
- Roman faction must appease Senate (track) or face negative effects
- Fifth faction, the Germans, is an NPC and cannot be piloted by a human
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7. Board Game: Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:1529]
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COIN Series, Volume VII: Colonial Twilight

COIN Complexity:

Duration:


Availability: Retail release pushed back to August 2017.

Setting: Algeria, 1954-1962.
Quote:

Factions:

FLN: Front de Liberation Nationale - Native insurgent group interested in attracting citizens to their banner in their fight for an independent Algerian state. Win condition based on Opposition + Bases (similar to other COIN game factions).

Government: The colonial authority and French military leadership. Win condition based on Support of Population and sufficiently high Commitment Level (see below).

Additional Information and Changes to Base System:
- The first COIN game to be capped at 2p.
- No more eligible/ineligible status for players; players are eligible every turn.
- Action "menu" looks different (horseshoe) but is functionally identical to original format.
- Performing Event or LimOp allows player to keep 1st Eligible status.
- Players only ever know one card at a time (no "look one card ahead" mechanic).
- No LoCs/Economic Centres (Brian Train's info uses Canadian spelling!)
- Influence states are Support/Neutral/Oppos (like A Distant Plain)
- Terror does not change influence.
- Commitment Level track represents France's desire to hold onto the colony.



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8. Board Game: Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:1592]
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COIN Series, Volume VIII: Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain
by Morgane Gouyon-Rety and Volko Ruhnke


Isle of Britain, 4th-5th Centuries wrote:
This crucial period in history saw the end of the Roman Empire in Britain and the seeds of the modern nations of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany. Volume VIII in GMT’s COIN Series transports us into the 4th and 5th Centuries A.D. and to the embattled Isle of Britannia. Pendragon – The Fall of Roman Britain covers a century of history from the first large-scale raids of Irish, Pict, and Saxon raiders, to the establishment of successor kingdoms, both Celtic and Germanic, depicting the political, military, religious, and economic struggles of Dark Ages Britain.

The Dux represent the original Roman Army in Britannia: with the most powerful units in the game and a network of strong fortresses ringing the island and tied by efficient roads, you must strive to preserve the stability and prosperity of the provinces and punish any interloper daring to challenge the peace. If you can build up your prestige and maintain order, you may be able to keep the island in the Empire. You can rely on the civilian militia to assist you, but—as your peerless cavalry dwindles—you must resort to the traditional Roman offer to barbarians of land for service in your forces as Foederati.

The Civitates represent the Romanized aristocracy ruling the ancient Celtic tribes from lavish villas and prosperous Roman towns, chafing under the distant authority (and taxes) of Rome, mistrusting the uncultured and semi-Barbarian army, and yearning to settle century-old accounts with their neighbors. When the Barbarian storm comes down upon your island, you may find yourself with a fundamental choice: strive to protect your lands, wealth, and way of life via the despised Army and untrustworthy Foederati, or sacrifice Roman comforts to face down the Barbarian challenge.

The Saxons represent various Germanic groups including Angles, Jutes, Frisians, and Franks who harried, settled, and eventually took over swaths of Britain. As outsiders, you face a steep challenge just to come ashore against the might of the Roman army and navy. You will chip away at the Saxon Shore system, ravage the provincial economy to weaken the Britons’ capability to wage war, and see some of your best warriors serve as Foederati (often against yourself), but recognize that the more Saxons living on the island—whoever their paymaster—the more opportunities for advancing your nation.

The Scotti, named for the marauding groups of Irish raiders, also represent those Celts native to the island of Britain who differed from the romanized Civitates by remaining true to the old ways. As the Scotti, you see the disintegration of Roman Britain as an opportunity not so much to expand as to seize riches and renown to assert yourself at home. Raid ceaselessly, surprise and plunder poorly protected communities, kidnap for ransom, and show your military prowess against your unfortunate neighbors across the Irish Sea and Forth-Clyde isthmus…

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9. Board Game: Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917 – 1947 [Average Rating:8.31 Overall Rank:3303]
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COIN Series, Volume IX Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917–1947



COIN Complexity: Medium

Duration Information from 72(?) Event cards, and ? Propaganda cards
? hours for Short Scenario[/url] - ? Events, ? Propoganda
? hours for Medium Scenario - ? Events, ? Propaganda


Released July 2019

British India, 1917-1947

India had always been defined by its diversity, home to a wide array of cultures, languages, religions, ethnicities, and polities. Gandhi’s movement was one of many that evolved in those decades. The image of Gandhi in the popular imagination—Gandhi the saintly figure, the father of free India—oversimplifies the past and overlooks the important contributions of others. These ever present fault lines threatened to split India apart. The Muslim League increasingly agitated for Muslim autonomy and was willing to compromise with the British to achieve it. Across India, revolutionary Hindu groups formed and challenged Gandhi's nonviolent approach by waging armed struggle against the British. Periodic eruptions of terror and assassination were met by mass arrests and British reprisals. These may have restored order for a time, but such repression only fueled the next uprising. British power in India was always a balancing act, an act that became increasingly difficult to maintain as resistance across India grew. In the end, was it Gandhi’s nonviolent movement that ultimately toppled the Raj? Or was it the accumulation of years of unrest of all types that ultimately led to the decolonization of the largest dominion of Imperial Britain? (- Publisher blurb)

1 to 4 players compete to determine the future of India; will the transition to home rule be a peaceful one, will India be split apart by partition or civil war, or will it remain firmly in the grip of empire?

As Gandhi and the Indian National Congress, you have a host of nonviolent tools to break the British grip on India, but how will you achieve your goals while keeping the vast subcontinent united? You need to convince the people of India to shed their reliance on the British and reclaim their independence as a free nation. You need the support of the Muslim League but how will you keep the Muslims from splintering to form their own state? While you have rejected violence as the means to achieve independence, the Revolutionaries have not. How will you restrain their activities while avoiding being swept into British jails during martial law raids?

As the Muslim League , you have also adopted nonviolence as your tool for achieving independence, but seek a different goal than Gandhi’s Indian National Congress. Concerned for the fate of Muslims in a future India dominated by Hindus, you fight for the establishment of a free Muslim India—the promised nation of Pakistan. But how will you foster support for a separate Pakistan without allowing India to slip into a bloody civil war between Muslims and Hindus?

As the Revolutionaries, you seek the immediate end to British Rule in India. You are willing to use the traditional tools of violent rebellion—terror and assassination—to achieve your ends. India is vast and its cities and provinces offer many hiding spots from which to plot your next strike. But each move risks violent British reprisals and the ire of the nonviolent factions. How do you keep the British off balance while not playing into the hands of Congress or the Muslim League?

As the British Raj, you face the difficult task of governing the large and populous colony of India. Can you maintain order and support for the colonial government in the face of determined resistance? You have the resources of a great imperial power, but the eyes of the world are on you; every arrest risks interference from London. How can you maintain both control over the colony and the continued support of its people?


Microbadge: none as of Jul 2019


Additional Information:
Gandhi offers a fresh perspective on the history of insurgency with the addition of a new type of faction to the COIN Series, the Nonviolent (NV) faction, while retaining the multi-faction, asymmetrical, card-assisted system of earlier titles in the COIN Series. COIN veterans will be able to jump right in.

Other features include:
- Gandhi as the game’s sole leader piece.
- Nonviolent operations and special activities.
- Nonviolent activists that are active on a Railway or Protest space, but generally immune from Raj actions until engaged in protests (or caught up in post-terror reprisals).
- Protests that erode support but leave activists vulnerable to arrest by Raj forces.
- A Hindu-Muslim Unity track that measures tensions between these two communities, affecting operations.
- A Restraint track that reflects shifts in colonial policy in response to events on the map, from resolve to restraint, affecting the cost of several actions, and affected by other factions.
- British Viceroys who come and go with each passing campaign and have their own unique effects on each faction.
- An out-of-play jail space that holds nonviolent forces arrested during martial law. Pieces can be kept in jail over several campaigns, but at a cost to the Raj.
- Independent Princely States that are never controlled by any faction, yet offer a haven for violent and nonviolent insurgents alike.
- Non-violent factions that do not use resources, but are limited by other factors.
- Short and medium-length scenarios that allow for the study of different periods of the struggle against British rule in India.
- Support for solitaire, 2-player, 3-player, and 4-player games.
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COIN Series, Volume X:
All Bridges Burning
by VPJ Arponen




Finnish Civil War, 1917-18 wrote:

"The year is 1917. Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II has abdicated and Russia slides toward an ever deepening internal crisis. On the western edge of the vast Russian Empire, the uncertainty in Russia is giving rise to a power vacuum in the semi-autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. For many across the Finnish political spectrum, the turmoil in Russia looks like an opportunity to fulfill the dream of Finnish national independence. Yet the competing factions are unable to agree on a common political vision for the country. By January 1918, a bloody civil war will have broken out in Finland.

The White Senate - Government. Can make use of some German firepower.

The Reds - Bolsheviks. Can make use of some Soviet units on the map.


The Social Democrats - Wants a more peaceful approach to unite a nation.

Non-Player Faction wrote:

The Germans - A non-player faction that the Government can make some use of.




Additional information:
- The first 3p COIN game.
- First COIN to use two non-players factions (similar to the NP faction Germans in Falling Sky)

- No player order on cards; similar to Colonial Twilight, player order will depend on previous action choices
- Only 47 Event cards (much less than the more common 72/120 counts).
- Solo system is card driven with its own deck of cards.


Duration Information: ?[/u]


Availability:
2017 - Not yet in P500 queue.
Dec 2017 - Entered P500 queue.



Sources:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1828479/three-faction-c...
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1836586/sneak-peek-upcoming...
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11. Board Game: People Power [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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COIN Series, Volume X People Power



DESCRIPTION FROM GMT GAMES PAGE FOR PEOPLE POWER

You can say that the story of "People Power" in the Philippines started with one airplane arriving in Manila, and ended with another one departing. On August 21, 1983, exiled opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. returned from the United States to his homeland. He expected to be arrested, but also fatefully contemplated, as his plane approached Manila, the possibility that he might not survive the homecoming. Tragically, moments after disembarking, he was shot dead by a conspirator on the airport tarmac.

This episode would embolden and mobilize the opposition to the Marcos regime and set in motion a chain of events that would conclude with the departure of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos some three years later, after more than twenty years of autocratic rule. This is a story of greed and corruption at the highest levels of government, of a dictator who ruled with an iron fist, and of a grass-roots opposition that stood up to him, revolted, and eventually drove him from power in disgrace. It was a revolution that displayed that there is great power in a united, determined group of individuals. Just a few short years before the Iron Curtain fell in Germany, Filipino patriots showed the world the power of a people united to topple a tyrant. At its heart, it is the story of "People Power."

People Power: Insurgency in the Philippines, 1983-1986 is volume XI of the highly-praised and popular COIN series originally designed by Volko Ruhnke. This is one of only two games in the COIN series that feature three separate factions, instead of the customary four.

The first faction is the Government, symbolized by the personal rule of Ferdinand Marcos, his wife Imelda, and his political cronies and military forces.

Second are the Insurgents, split into two blocs – the communist New People’s Army (or NPA) and the Moro National Liberation Front (or MNLF but more commonly referred to as Moros). The NPA sought a national uprising from both the urban and rural populace, while the Moros wanted a separate nation founded on Islamic autonomy.

The third and final faction is the non-violent Reformers, embodied by Aquino’s widow, Corazon. She, along with her allies and supporters in that moment of tragedy, revived a platform of social justice and unrelenting momentum that would irrevocably change the Philippine political landscape immeasurably.

For players new to the COIN Series, or for those looking to teach the the series to their friends, People Power will serve as an excellent introductory game. It was designed for simplicity and quick play, utilizing many of the basic COIN Series mechanics. The 22" x 17" map aids in introducing the game to a new player, as it presents only two types of terrain - Cities and Countrysides (where the latter amalgamates the rural settings of the island nation as well as much lightly-habitable terrain of jungles and mountains). Don't let the fast play and basic systems fool you, though. There are still plenty of strategic puzzles and inter-player backstabbing to be had! Also, People Power includes a new feature for the COIN Series - a Key Personality mini-hand procedure that represents the effectiveness of various generals and power brokers adding a new dimension to player actions and decisions.


As with most of the COIN Series games, People Power immerses players in an unfolding dramatic narrative that pits insurgent forces against a government that seeks to defeat them, while a third or fourth party seeks to thwart both. For you COIN Series veterans, here's a brief synopsis of how People Power presents the inter-faction dynamics:

The Insurgents (NPA and Moro) share Operations, but each has separate Special Activities that focus on each of their specific strengths. Victory comes in the form of controlling spaces and instead of Support or Opposition, Insurgent “Resistance”.

The Government dominates with Support, but also through Patronage. Their Operations and Special Activities allow them to operate against both the Insurgents (as in previous COIN volumes) and to subvert the activities and thwart the plans of the non-violent Reformers, as well.

The Reformers (the historical victors) win by having more Bases than their opponents, but also through Opposition. Their Operations and Special Activities tools are not as powerful or intimidating as their armed foes, but are crafted to provide them with persuasive social impact in a war of ideas.

Here's a bit more detail on some of the COIN Series modifications and additions that you'll get in People Power:

Any Operation can be performed with any Special Activity; there are no restrictions.

Propaganda Turns have been replaced by a two-turn Election cycle.

The Personality Cards are representations of political, military and cultural figures; the “Newsmakers” of their time. They are inserted in the game by giving each faction a mini-hand of sorts which have a dual purpose of either enhancing a players turn such as adding more resources during the game or at the very end of the game by either augmenting certain victory conditions or even minimizing the enemies’ own.

The game includes a bonus scenario that starts with the aftermath of 1981 and the first Presidential election since the lifting of Martial Law. This not only adds another Election cycle, but also an opportunity to ask “what if," as 1983 might have ended with Aquino’s arrest or remaining in exile instead of his assassination.


We have crafted People Power to deliver a simple and fast game that will challenge and delight both veterans and newcomers to the COIN Series. It's designed to be fast, fun, nail-biter of a game that never plays the same way twice. Like all of our COIN Series games, People Power also transports players to a (perhaps unfamiliar) historical setting and immerses them in the issues and conflicts of that place and time. Although it is first and foremost a competitive game, we believe it also presents great value with its historical insight and analysis about those fateful years that brought a country to the brink of civil war, then resolved the drama with an unprecedented reawakening of democracy, freedom, and hope.


Game Components:

17x22 inch mounted mapboard
One Event Deck
Card-Driven Solo-System Deck
79 Wooden Pieces
12 pawns
One full-size, full-color counter sheet
Rules of Play booklet
Playbook booklet
Three 6-sided dice
Three foldout play aid sheets


Game Features:


Number of Players: 1 – 3 (includes full solitaire system)


Time scale: 6 to 9 months per campaign of 10 cards
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I: Andean Abyss
II: Cuba Libre, exp: Cuba Libre: Invierno Cubano – Castro's Counterinsurgency, 1959-1965
III: A Distant Plain
IV: Fire in the Lake
V: Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection
VI: Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar
VII: Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62
VIII: Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain
IX: Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917 – 1947
X: All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918
XI: People Power


Projects past and present that have been reported:
?: Shattered Star (Somalia)
?: A Terrible Beauty (Ireland)
?: Thunder Out of China (China)
?: untitled (Angola, 1965-74?)
?: unknown (Yugoslavia, Post WW2?) Source, Brian Train
?: Of Snow and Liberty (Canada, 1807-1867)


Do you have any information on future releases? Please leave a comment or send me a Geekmail!
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13. Board Game: Cuba Libre: Invierno Cubano – Castro's Counterinsurgency, 1959-1965 [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
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Expansion for Cuba Libre
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14. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2540]
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Prototype: Shattered Star by Oerjan Ariander

What we know so far:


- Somalian conflict
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15. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2540]
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Prototype working title: "Thunder Out of China" by Brian Train

What we know so far:

- China-Japan warlords war 1937 to 1941

- "Japanese, CCP, KMT Central, KMT Warlords - but the emphases are different" - BT

- "Unlike Andean Abyss, which was 1 counterinsurgent and 3 insurgents, this is 3 counterinsurgents and 1 insurgent but they all still hate each other." - BT
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16. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2540]
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Prototype: The Iron Butterfly
Designer: Ken Tee


What we know so far:

- Marcos-era Phillipines
- potentially a 3p (three faction) game (source: Volko Ruhnke, in comments)
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17. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2540]
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Prototype: A Terrible Beauty
Designer: John Welch

What we know so far:

- Ireland, 1918-1922
- Possible factions: British Army, the RIC, the IRA, and the "Republicans"
- "Treaty Negotiations" will be an important mechanic for the British player



Information from:
- John Welch forum reply
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18. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2540]
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Early design proposal: unnamed Angola COIN
Designer: unknown

What we know so far:

- Volko Ruhnke originally planned to design "Bush War" (working title) as Volume 2 of the COIN series, then later abandoned the project.
- Volko has mentioned in comments on this Geeklist item that another designer is working on an Angola project (circa 1965-1974?)
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19. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2540]
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In design: untitled Yugoslavia, post-WW2
Source: Brian Train
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20. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2540]
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Prototype: Intifada: Insurgency in Palestine 1982-1983 (In Italian)
Designer: Gian Carlo Ceccoli

Source: Jeremy Avery (Geeklist OP), private Geekmail from designer.
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21. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2540]
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Prototype: Gangs of New York
Designer: Harold Buchanan

Source: Designer's twitter account


What we know so far:

- A picture from ConSim play test have been posted by Harold: https://twitter.com/HBuchanan2/status/748572264816250881,
- The game will play 4 players in two hours (i.e. the shortest duration of all COIN games).


Thanks to Michael McCarty for bringing this to my attention!
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22. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2540]
Jeff Gringer
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Baltic Dominance

"Dominium maris baltici was one of the primary political aims of the Danish and Swedish kingdoms in the late medieval and early modern eras. Throughout the Northern Wars the Danish and Swedish navies played a secondary role, as the dominium was contested through control of key coasts by land warfare"

New COIN game covering the Swedish War of Independence in the early 16th century, pitting Swedish Nobility, Commoners, Danes, and Free City of Lubeck (Hanseatic League).

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