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Subject: Is Government the Most Difficult Faction? rss

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Given that the Coalition spends Government resources it seems like the Government player is uniquely hamstrung compared to the other factions. I imagine this can be frustrating if you are an armchair general who prefers to have a lot more control over your options.

I'm not saying it's not realistic. It creates an interesting tension between the Coalition and Gov and provides an incentive to coordinate action. It also gives the Gov an incentive to do Eradicate actions, which works against the Coalition's goals. SO as the Coalition, you have some reason to keep the Gov well-funded.

But I can imagine some Gov players being quite frustrated over that lack of control.

Brian
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Volko Ruhnke
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Interested to hear what others think!

Note that not only Eradicate but also Govern can work directly against Coalition interest while directly furthering the Government's, and that the Govt runs its Police that the Coalition needs for most Civic Action. Also, Coalition needs those Govt Resources too, for CA.....

Volko
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sloop hmsstarling
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I think it takes an especially nefarious mind, or at least a nefarious way of thinking in an otherwise gentle and caring mind, to play the Government. The armchair general will be very frustrated in this role where there is a lack of direct control and also where purely "military conquest" type of objectives and methods may play into the hands of others, particularly the Coalition.

The Government must often think of quietly hindering the Coalition, playing up the alliance while temporarily aiding the insurgent factions, such as when the Government is first eligible on a card where the Warlord is second eligible and instead of sweeping and activating the Warlord guerilla, the troops and police look the other way and do something else, so that the still underground guerilla can Terrorize and eliminate Support at a crucial moment to prevent a game win by the Coalition. Heavens, there was Terrorism in Kabul, I'm shocked to hear of it with all my police and troops swarming all over the place, that must never happen again, retraining all around, retraining all around …

Or, what if the Coalition has swept into a province with too few cubes leaving some guerillas still underground and forgetting to drag some Government troops along as cannon fodder in case of Ambush, and the Government as first eligible before Taliban, chooses a not particularly favorable event while feigning ignorance after the fact of the dire implications of it when the Taliban can then Attack and Ambush with an underground guerilla, send 2 Coalition troops to the Casualty box where 1 will be permanently lost and raise the ante on the number of provinces that need to be brought into the Support column … Heavens, I was surely no more ignorant of the implications of it all than you who swept without taking along any of my valiant Government troops who would have been only too happy to have assisted you …

Something that must be foremost in the Government player's mind is that the "unwounded" Coalition is only two provinces of Support -- Kabul and any one of the six two-Population provinces -- short of a surge out to win, so anything that can be nefariously or overtly done to reduce Support or cause Coalition casualties are priorities of the Government, the purported ally of the Coalition. These are also a priorities of the insurgent factions as well, but at least they do not even pretend to be allies of the westerners, other than the occasional and fleeting, the enemy of my enemy is my friend sort of thing …

Yikes, this is sounding a lot like real Afghanistan! Yes, the Government player needs to adopt a nefarious mindset, if that is not already a natural state!

Jan
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Sean Moore
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The first game I've been involved in was won by the Government. We did the short scenario (Obama's War). The Government was around a 33 Patron + COIN control (31 needed for auto victory) when the final propaganda popped. My father played the Government, a friend of his the warlords, and I played the Taliban, while the Coalition was a Bot. I know its not the standard 3 player set up in the rulebook, but with the non-player rules running the Coalition it worked just fine. I made myself a target early on by going after the LOC's and hitting the Coalition every time I could (before the 2nd Propaganda round I had put 7 Coalition Cubes and 2 of their bases in the casualties box). The Government and Warlords, plus help from the hurt coalition, beat me back between the 2nd and 3rd Propaganda card. After that it just turned into a 2 way race between the Warlords and Government to victory as the Taliban was so depleted.
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Thomas Herlofsen
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I've reached the first prop card in my solo game as the coalition, and that's no picnic either. The government are spending money like drunken sailors, making my options.. limited.
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Gordon J
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I think of the COIN games published so far, the Government in ADP takes the most moxy to play. I think the Warlords in ADP have the hardest victory conditions to achieve (whereas the Coalition I think have one of the easiest to achieve if you don't get your self 'involved in a land war in Asia'). But Governemnt is the most complicated, and I would never let a newbie play Government. The Govt. in order to achieve their goals has to take a 3-step process: 1) Funnel your troops into a province without Coalition but with decent population and control it 2) Train, put a base, possibly build Support 3) Then Graft, add population markers, add to your Patronage.

The above is not exact, but you get what I mean.

And do this all the while knowing a competent Coalition player will be on your heels to slap a base into your province to block you AND a good Warlord player with just Suborn your pieces away willy-nilly whenever they want to AND you will be the easy target of Taliban attacks as well.

All the games I played Govt. I never never cooperated with the Coalition, they have victory conditions that are much easier to achieve than yours, don't do them any favors, don't let your troops linger with Coalition pieces, move them out, take control of provinces, make the Coalition do their own dirty work.

One of the games I won, I didn't ignore the Warlords, I took the fight to them early and often, and kept them on their heels, you got more pieces than they do, you can take control of their spaces. Plus if they want to get resoruces and you two are sharing spaces you bet a bump if they decide to get them in your spaces (not saying this works all the time, that was just one game).
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Ocean Druen
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I do not have the rulebook in front of me but: why would the government want to increase support as that helps the Coalition?

It seems that the government has good victory conditions. They only need control which is easier than gaining support. Coalition it seems helps the government more often than not with the control issue.

In my current game the government is one away from winning and the next Prop card I think is coming up fairly soon. The Taliban and the Warlord have been beaten pretty badly but as the Coalition player I'm stuck with giving the Government additional points when I move into a Provence to attempt to gain support - I guess I can withdraw troops...
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Gordon J
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DarkTori wrote:
I do not have the rulebook in front of me but: why would the government want to increase support as that helps the Coalition?

It seems that the government has good victory conditions. They only need control which is easier than gaining support. Coalition it seems helps the government more often than not with the control issue.

In my current game the government is one away from winning and the next Prop card I think is coming up fairly soon. The Taliban and the Warlord have been beaten pretty badly but as the Coalition player I'm stuck with giving the Government additional points when I move into a Provence to attempt to gain support - I guess I can withdraw troops...
Yeah, I don't have the rulebook near me either, but I believe Govt. needs Support in order to do Govern Special Ability, to transfer Aid to Patronage. If your transfer Aid to Patronage, you also shift the space from Support to Neutral.
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Mike Owens
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DarkTori wrote:
I do not have the rulebook in front of me but: why would the government want to increase support as that helps the Coalition?
Support is required for the Government's Govern SA, which will either add population (increasing the number of points under Control) or increase Patronage. So Government wants to build Support in order to cash it in later.
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Ocean Druen
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MikeO wrote:
DarkTori wrote:
I do not have the rulebook in front of me but: why would the government want to increase support as that helps the Coalition?
Support is required for the Government's Govern SA, which will either add population (increasing the number of points under Control) or increase Patronage. So Government wants to build Support in order to cash it in later.
Then it seems like it would be better to let the Coalition player increase support, then "govern for patronage" to take everything away the Coalition has been trying to achieve. Just like in real life.
 
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Brian Train
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You're right, that is easier to do, but bear in mind the Coalition is spending the Government's money to build Support through Civic Actions, and the Government cannot do the Gover-for-Patronage trick in a province where the Coalition has a Base.

Brian
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Roger Taylor
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In a way, the Government and the Coalition are each other's worst enemy, but they can only attack each other in an indirect and passive-aggressive way. It's Euro-esque..
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Brian Train
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In playtesting, we called it a "bad marriage...."
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Chris Oldgeorge
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After playing both ADP and CL and coming from a year rich with nice AA games, I also have the feeling that in both new coin games the goverment has the most difficult task of all four. In ADP, there are several tools available to stem the tide of the coalition (who seem to be able to approach their victory conditions faster while you are trying to grasp for yours - and drain your funds in the process), but the best way to secure your position seems to do some pretty devious manuevering to entice the warlords to do your bidding.

Sounds realistic and challenging to me, and actually interesting because usually there are at least two inexperienced players when we sit down to play a COIN game, so having some sort of handicap actually makes for a better experience overall.

On the other hand, the goverment in Cuba Libre seems almost impossible to with win. But then again, I've only played a game and a half, so take it with a grain of salt.
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Nathan Lee
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In about 5 games of CL I haven't seen a government win, but they have always been in it (some strong 2nd place finishes). The key is to not be too ambitious - conserve resources and don't try to do too much. That is how they differ from the govt player in AA and ADP, who can be more ambitious.

ADP govt seems really tricky, so I would have the most experienced player at the table take them. That is actually a good rule of thumb for any COIN game.
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Chris Oldgeorge
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thegreat2 wrote:
In about 5 games of CL I haven't seen a government win, but they have always been in it (some strong 2nd place finishes). The key is to not be too ambitious - conserve resources and don't try to do too much. That is how they differ from the govt player in AA and ADP, who can be more ambitious.
True enough, but there seem to be too many events that shift active support in cities and civics simply cost too much
 
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Gordon J
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Vexation wrote:
thegreat2 wrote:
In about 5 games of CL I haven't seen a government win, but they have always been in it (some strong 2nd place finishes). The key is to not be too ambitious - conserve resources and don't try to do too much. That is how they differ from the govt player in AA and ADP, who can be more ambitious.
True enough, but there seem to be too many events that shift active support in cities and civics simply cost too much
The lesson I am learning with Govt from CL, is to go slow, do just a couple spaces when doing actions, conserve resources, do more events, hold the cities at all costs, and then later, when you are closer to winning hit the countryside.
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Jason Albert
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In reading these threads about who’s difficult, there sometimes seems to be this undercurrent expectation that if you just play it right you should be able to take any faction and race out to a 5-point win at the first Prop. Some of the factions, and I’d include the Warlords, take long-term planning and more than a little finesse. From the get-go, you may need to be thinking less about an auto-victory –- grab it if it’s there, of course, but know that it may never be -- and more about gasping the least when everyone else collapses from exhaustion.

A defensive/blocking/harassing posture may give the impression that the Gov is underpowered compared to more offensive factions like the Taliban or Coalition, but I don’t think that’s true. Since these kinds of muddy, intertwined conflicts aren’t what we as wargamers typically play, it’s easy to grab any color and want to run them like the Germans in 1940. I know I’ve fallen into that trap. The Gov is good at many things, but continually imposing its will isn’t one of them. They’re more like a pebble in a shoe. Grind, grind, grind, and if you do it right, eventually you’ll rip a hole in Afghanistan’s sock that can’t easily be mended.

All of which is to say, I agree, the Warlords and Gov are probably hardest to sit down and immediately see the victory path. At least for me, there’s little experience to draw on. But for my money, that means when playing them I’m learning the most, which I also find more fun.
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Volko Ruhnke
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Vexation wrote:
... On the other hand, the goverment in Cuba Libre seems almost impossible to with win.
Hi! You may be interested in this thread about which factions are winning in CL, including this readout...

bigloo33 wrote:
4 games, 4 government wins. ... Not sure if 26th July strategy has really sunk in here, yet. Seems like they have been trying to do too much all at once.
Cheers! Volko
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Brian Train
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Good observations Jason!
And I like the pebble-in-shoe metaphor.

Brian
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Sergii Arnaut
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Are the coalition action options that say "also you can take gov troops/police" require gov-player agreement?
 
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Conor Hickey
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angel0ne wrote:
Are the coalition action options that say "also you can take gov troops/police" require gov-player agreement?
No, the Coalition player can spend Gov Resources, and move Gov Troops, within the limits stated by his operations. The agreement of the Government player is not required.
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Sam Butler
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Think of it this way -- the Government wants support during an election, then they can break all their promises and funnel all the funds to their buddies when in office, even if it means they lose support during their term...hey, they got elected at one point in time, right? Control is what they *really* want.

The more I think about it, the more I realize just how realistic this system is!!!
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