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Subject: Things Are Getting Hot In Here (First Impressions and Other Things) rss

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Gordon J
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Okay, so a few days ago I finally got Cuba Libre and A Distant Plain. Even though I playtested ADP, I had never played CL. So, when the shipment finally came, and I got all the bits sorted, I was ready to jump into Cuba with both feet. I didn't really have any clue about the factions. The Directorio? Who? The Syndicate? Oh, they're probably a lot like the Cartels from Andean Abyss and the Directorio is like AUC and 26th is like FARC, and the Govt is the Govt. So, no big deal, probably not a ton of surprises. It will just be a smaller, shorter, Andean Abyss.

Boy was I wrong.

Again like any COIN game, the basic core rules are there, everything "seems" the same, until, of course you starting reading the individual factions. Of course, the Syndicate is nothing like the Cartels, and Directorio is not AUC-lite, it's just, well, completely different, without being completely foreign, assuming of course you are an Andean Abyss player.

My good friend (Albertaclipper) said don't let the small board fool you, it doesn't mean it's any easier, if anything it makes everything more tense. And he was right, you can't do anything as any faction without rubbing elbows with someone.

I just set up my first game and I am running through the game on my own, playing all factions, and Syndicate had the first turn, and I was like, okay, simple, lets get stacks o' cash on the board, but then I realized there was really nowhere safe to put them, since Directorio and Govt and 26 July all have good ways of taking your hard earned money. Then I had to rethink that, then I was like, okay I'll just plunk down a Casino or two, well, that wasn't easy either. Did I want to give Govt more money during the Prop phase? So instead I ended up doing a simple run-of-the-mill Rally to place some protection and expand, rather than do a flashy move.

14 cards into my first game, Cuba is looking pretty crowded:



and things in La Habana and Havana are heating up, look at those pieces stuck so close together:



You are not safe anywhere in this game, which makes this a little more intense experience than Andean Abyss. Not saying one is better than the other, just a totally different feel, which is exactly what you want from the 2nd volume in the COIN series, just as ADP is different than the two before it. I think the fewer spaces does make it a little easier and the game will be a little shorter, but Prop Cards will come up super fast in this one. Can't wait until I get a 4-player game in.

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Wendell
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I don't have this on the table yet, but yes it sounds similar-but-different-than AA. The economic centers are an interesting difference, as is the lack of LOCs, to name just two.
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Jason Albert
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I also really liked the increasing cost of the Gov Ops -- another reason to sweat (or welcome) the Props.
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Gordon J
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I'm also thinking twice as the Government as to whether or not you take any of those Momentum cards, considering how quickly those Prop. Cards can come up. That's a hard choice.
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Ken Dilloo
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I guess if a momentum came up really early, it would be an easier choice. Pretty new to the COIN system, but I am not seeing an easy decision anywhere. Wow.

It is really hard to gauge how aggressive the Gov and Syndicate should be, early, to push their conditions? How aggressive should the Gov be in provinces? Seems like protecting ECs and cities is paramount.
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Gordon J
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bigloo33 wrote:
I guess if a momentum came up really early, it would be an easier choice. Pretty new to the COIN system, but I am not seeing an easy decision anywhere. Wow.

It is really hard to gauge how aggressive the Gov and Syndicate should be, early, to push their conditions? How aggressive should the Gov be in provinces? Seems like protecting ECs and cities is paramount.


I am pretty new to CL as well. But I know Government probably should be aggressive early since things will only get more expensive for them as the game goes on, and keeping the EC clear is key, the Syndicate can get a lot of easy money by placing pieces on those spaces.
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Ken Dilloo
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Yeah, no doubt. Early win is big for the government. Seems like the syndicate needs to be a slow burn. Pooping out a bunch of casinos seems like a bad idea.....although very tempting.
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Jeff Grossman
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patton55 wrote:
keeping the EC clear is key, the Syndicate can get a lot of easy money by placing pieces on those spaces.


True, but since it doesn't cost the Government any resources having the Syndicate help cover ECs can be handy. One of my playtesters coined the term "mini-casinos" for Syndicate guerrillas on ECs.
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Gordon J
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geebob wrote:
patton55 wrote:
keeping the EC clear is key, the Syndicate can get a lot of easy money by placing pieces on those spaces.


True, but since it doesn't cost the Government any resources having the Syndicate help cover ECs can be handy. One of my playtesters coined the term "mini-casinos" for Syndicate guerrillas on ECs.


I can see why July 26 would want to go after ECs since they could knock off Govt resources and deny Syndicate easy money as well.
 
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