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Subject: Why COIN series is so popular? rss

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Joe Kong
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I can see that Andean Abyss is rated high in wargame rank. The other 3 games on GMT P500 are already made the cut in very short time. I personally pre-ordered Fire in the Lake because of my interest in Vietnam war.

So why does COIN series is so popular?

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Volko Ruhnke
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I'm the wrong person to answer it, but I certainly appreciate the question!
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Ed Bradley
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It's two things for me:

1) I'm really interested in these kinds of asymmetrical and politically-charged conflicts. They don't get a lot of air time.
2) The game itself is mechanically satisfying both in terms of weight and fun.

I don't know whether or not I'll feel the need to own more than one but I'm very much looking forward to at least trying A Distant Plain and Fire in the Lake.
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Thomas P. Felder
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All that Ed posted, plus
3) COIN games can be played solitaire as well as with up to four players
4) They don't feel necessarily like war games, but are euroesque from a certain point of view, such being attractive to a wider range of gamers
5) in general, CDGs are in for a high replay value
6) So far, the conflicts covered are far enough (time/distance) not to hurt any feelings, but close enough to be interesting.

Points 1-4 influenced my buy decision mostly.

However, out of the four so far I am not sure if I would pick more than one (I actually will have two, at least, because Fire in the Lake is a "must have" for me and I alredy own Andean Abyss).

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Stephen Stewart
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Its the best of all worlds...

1. Kinda like a wargame where you have Direct conflict.
2. Kinda like a Euro where you play your own game with you own VC.
3. Kinda like an Economic game where your resources are a limiting factor and need to be managed well enough, but not to the point where you need to be an accountant.
4. Artwork,rules, components, mounted map! And Volkos quick responses to all threads regarding the series makes it badass!!

Ty Volko and everyone behind the Coin series support. This is (AA) a game iwant to play immediately after finishing...(have done just that online!) No game for a long time has given me this desire to replay....i loke the semi random "Oh Hell is the game going to end feel

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Gordon J
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I love it because you can play it solo and up to 4 players. A normal two player wargame can be fun, but having 4 people makes it more festive, more talk, more game banter, and negotiations. Sometimes it's just fun to get 4 people together around a board.
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PJ Killian
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1) It's new and different, mechanically speaking. It's a different system than wargamers or Euro gamers have seen before.
2) It's new and different, thematically speaking. You don't see a lot of treatments of these sorts of political-military conflicts in board games.
3) Like a lot of newly popular games on the 'Geek, it's a hybrid of multiple game styles rather than a game that would exclusively appeal to grognards/Euro-gamers/'Trashers. In this case, it's a game with a wargame theme and Euro mechanics, in the same way that Eclipse was AT theme and Euro mechanics.
4) It works pretty well for any number of players between 1 and 4.
5) The physical presentation of the game is really quite nice.
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Jeff Gringer
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Good discussion.

For me, I see three big reasons. Game-wise, it's an incredibly elegant and effective game engine that produces a lot of tension and friction for the decision-makers. This compelling stuff keeps the player very engaged. The decision on the simple components are outstanding.

Simulation-wise, while I'm not really a hand's-on practitioner, I think it does depict a lot of the elements of modern COIN, with the opportunity frequently (however unwelcome) to experience Groundhog Day.

Subject matter: Volko has touched on conflicts that, with the exception of Vietnam, have rarely been designed into games. I frankly knew zilch about Colombia beyond the headlines. But now I see what a tough fight it is/was. And it also helps to explain actions of factions that on the surface don't make sense. Like how AUC were not just blood-thirsty paramilitaries, but they filled a vacuum left by the Gov (and their foreign supporters).

Good stuff.
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Gordon J
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TheFlatline wrote:
Andean Abyss was a "must buy" for me in addition because of the really, really interesting quirk of immediate benefit vs long term gain in the cards. It really intrigued me. I dig those kinds of dilemmas.


That has to be one of the most interesting choices one has to make, especially for Government, and especially in a Solo game, of taking the benefit of a long term card or taking an Op. + Special and actually getting something done right at that moment.
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Brian Train
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I started designing games on COIN in the 90s, back when it was still called "Low-Intensity Conflict" by many. I worked on these conflicts because they were contemporary, relevant, and important to our world. COIN has been practically the default mode for conflicts after 1945, and very few people were designing games on them. For me, it was a way to try and understand what was going on in the world around me.

These games have asymmetry built into them from the ground up because all wars are asymmetrical, but insurgencies most of all. The COIN system does abstract a fair amount of detail but in my opinion that's not so important; it does an excellent job of presenting the essence of the conflict, the divisions and inequalities of methods and motives among the factions (limited by practicality to four).

I'm glad to see that so many other people get this - it shows Volko has succeeded in the grand manner.

Brian
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Jeff Gringer
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It also shows that you succeeded, Brian.

ltmurnau wrote:
I started designing games on COIN in the 90s, back when it was still called "Low-Intensity Conflict" by many. I worked on these conflicts because they were contemporary, relevant, and important to our world. COIN has been practically the default mode for conflicts after 1945, and very few people were designing games on them. For me, it was a way to try and understand what was going on in the world around me.

These games have asymmetry built into them from the ground up because all wars are asymmetrical, but insurgencies most of all. The COIN system does abstract a fair amount of detail but in my opinion that's not so important; it does an excellent job of presenting the essence of the conflict, the divisions and inequalities of methods and motives among the factions (limited by practicality to four).

I'm glad to see that so many other people get this - it shows Volko has succeeded in the grand manner.
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Brian Train
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modest

Thank you Jeff.
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Stacey Hager
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I haven't played any of them...but Cuba Libre will soon be on my doorstep. Why start with that one?

1. I'm interested in the history being modeled.
2. It is a smaller, faster playing game than the others.
3. I felt that this COIN title would have the best chance with my playing group.

It was a no-brainer for me on this title. I can't wait to receive it.
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Jason Albert
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I think it’s probably pretty telling the answers in this thread run the gamut from aesthetics to the mechanically pleasing to the educative to the poignant. Good art connects, while at the same time being hard to pin down.
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Don Smith
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I agree with almost all of the above comments - I have very much enjoyed Andean Abyss as both solo and four-player.

An additional aspect that attracted me initially, which thankfully has not come into play in any of my games, is that the game system allows for players having to leave before the game is over (or leave and come back). Obviously you try not to have this happen, but occasionally real-life rears its head and someone has to bail part-way through a game.

In AA, as long as it is someone controlling of the three insurgent factions, the "non-player bot" system and flowcharts take over the decision making for them and the game just keeps moving along. If I understand correctly, in future games all factions will have non-player capability.

Edit: formatting
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Benji
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Because its the most innovative and exciting design to come out in a long time, and it's just the perfect mix of thematic wargame and elegant eurogame mechanic.
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Joe Kong
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I am tempted. Waiting for Fire in the Lake may take me into 2015. Play time of Andean Abyss is too long. I am more interested in Cuba. If A Distant Plain is about Soviet war in Afghanistan, it may catch my eye.

A hard decision...

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Wendell
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joekong_hk wrote:
If A Distant Plain is about Soviet war in Afghanistan, it may catch my eye.



It's not, it's about post-2001.

Though a game on the Soviet/Afghan war would be interesting too.
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Joe Kong
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wifwendell wrote:
joekong_hk wrote:
If A Distant Plain is about Soviet war in Afghanistan, it may catch my eye.



It's not, it's about post-2001.

Though a game on the Soviet/Afghan war would be interesting too.


Yes, that means my choice is limited to Cuba Libre.

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Bumping an old thread since I have recently bought AA. Here's why I bought it (in order):
1) The theme is very interesting. I only knew a little bit about Columbia (watched a couple of cartel documentaries, roughly knew the situation from news coverage). I had a rough understanding that the country has been in a state resembling civil war forever. Once I saw the game I dug a little deeper and was fascinated. I watched "Plan Columbia" and a couple of youtube videos on FARC/Paramilitary, landmines and the "Narco Subs" one -> hooked
2) Watched a couple of videos about the game and the mechanics seemed pretty cool. Card+future card for all factions to play off which also determine the turn order and chances to block others out of actions...very nice.
3) The game can be soloed. I have a pretty hard time convincing anyone to play games that resemble wargames, more so if they are only available in English. Being able to solo also means I can get the rules down pat before even trying to talk my friends into giving this a try
4) Found a quickplay setup. This was actually quite important to me. Playtime seems rather long so anything to speed it up for the first couple of plays is very, very welcome.

Incidentally #2 also means that it's a lot less language dependant than other CDGs. There is no hidden information so you can translate and explain the cards in place. Quickly explaining/translating the available ops for each faction isn't hard (and in fact some BGGer has already done it for German). I do enjoy the "poker" aspect of TS etc. but no hidden information interests me quite a bit and I probably prefer it.
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