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Subject: So an upcoming COIN game is Roman......... rss

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Jacob
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(from GMT's instagram)

http://instagram.com/p/qkkQdeIXcZ/?modal=true

http://instagram.com/p/qFU4tLIXWP/?modal=true

...specifically the Gallic Wars. I'm curious if anyone really thinks this is a good idea, it just seems extremely round peg-square hole. I mean, the thing I've admired about the COIN series so far is how the designer's have had the courage and knowledge to cover very underrepresented, misunderstood, and complex conflicts of the modern era in a way that is entertaining, approachable, and thought-provoking.

Trying to portray the Gallic Wars as an insurgency analogous to to those that have been covered by COIN already seems like a pretty difficult historical reach, at best. Beyond the historical basis, I just don't see the COIN system as a good fit mechanically. Aren't there enough Caesar-in-Gaul games already that cover the conflict in ways that are much more historically appropriate?

Even if it turns out well as just a game, but I'd still feel like there was a wasted opportunity to cover a far more overlooked and appropriate topic. What about the supposed Angolan one? Or what about Nicaragua, Somalia, Kosovo, Chad, Ethiopia, Palestine, Chechnya, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland...or if there truly must be a pre-20th century COIN, how about The Peninsular War? Who thinks of Caesar and Vercingetorix when they hear "counter-insurgency"?

I'm already a bit skeptical about how the seemingly cemented 4 player dynamic will work with the far more bipolar Vietnam War, though I'm still really excited for Fire in the Lake to ship. I would like to see the designers explore the dynamics of other player counts.

Talk about pasted-on themes...
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Mike Szarka
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Since I'm not particularly interested in 20th century counter-insurgency, I applaud the attempt to see if the game engine will work for other eras. I don't think adapting a successful engine to another era qualifies as "pasted on" in any sense at all.
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I don't see why it wouldn't work out. A lot of what happened in the Gallic Wars was flipping the loyalty of the various tribes against each other, as well as alternatively working with and fighting against the Romans.
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I'm all for trying out new things, so, in principal I applaud this effort. In practice, I seriously wonder if there's anywhere near enough data to create a COIN game from the Roman era. Will this be another GBOH scenario with designer notes along the lines of "we have no idea who was involved or what happened but here you go..."

My response is strongly flavored with the notion that COIN games are reasonably accurate because of the research involved (and, frankly, the availability of data).

I would assume this will lean heavily on the game side and less on the simulation. Maybe a good candidate for COIN lite?
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Brian Morris
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goodpoints wrote:
I'm curious if anyone really thinks this is a good idea,


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Michał M.
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First COIN which is something more than MEH form me!
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The Tak
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Don't even know what COIN is, but I'm interested now!
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Conrad Bendixen
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I'm of two minds:

The rational part of myself says that we simply don't have enough knowledge of how ancient conquerors subjugated nations. We won't be able to model how small events can lead to greater movements, and we simply don't have a level of knowledge of how non-military events affected military outcomes.

The emotional part of myself says:

JasonRMax wrote:
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Ryan Powers
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goodpoints wrote:

Talk about pasted-on themes...


Not sure where the jump from different era to pasted on comes from.

Situations involving shifting loyalties and heavy asymmetry where one side has an army capable of winning most straight up engagements seems pretty much in line with the COIN system to me.

Not sure I'm personally interested in this one, but that's for other reasons.
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Mike Oberly
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It does seem a little odd, but probably best to see how it plays out. I'm sure Volko is still doing his Angolan one, etc (but will it be as good as Angola...that remains to be seen)
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Greg S
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I don't understand how anyone can trash a game that is, at best, several months or even years in the future.

We don't know a single thing about it yet except for the subject and game system, and already someone dislikes it.

For all we know, it could turn out to be a classic; but I suppose everyone is entitled to an opinion, even when it's based on nothing.
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Brian Morris
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More from GMT's Instagram.

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goodpoints wrote:
(from GMT's instagram)

http://instagram.com/p/qkkQdeIXcZ/?modal=true

http://instagram.com/p/qFU4tLIXWP/?modal=true

...specifically the Gallic Wars. I'm curious if anyone really thinks this is a good idea, it just seems extremely round peg-square hole. I mean, the thing I've admired about the COIN series so far is how the designer's have had the courage and knowledge to cover very underrepresented, misunderstood, and complex conflicts of the modern era in a way that is entertaining, approachable, and thought-provoking.

Trying to portray the Gallic Wars as an insurgency analogous to to those that have been covered by COIN already seems like a pretty difficult historical reach, at best. Beyond the historical basis, I just don't see the COIN system as a good fit mechanically. Aren't there enough Caesar-in-Gaul games already that cover the conflict in ways that are much more historically appropriate?

Even if it turns out well as just a game, but I'd still feel like there was a wasted opportunity to cover a far more overlooked and appropriate topic. What about the supposed Angolan one? Or what about Nicaragua, Somalia, Kosovo, Chad, Ethiopia, Palestine, Chechnya, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland...or if there truly must be a pre-20th century COIN, how about The Peninsular War? Who thinks of Caesar and Vercingetorix when they hear "counter-insurgency"?

I'm already a bit skeptical about how the seemingly cemented 4 player dynamic will work with the far more bipolar Vietnam War, though I'm still really excited for Fire in the Lake to ship. I would like to see the designers explore the dynamics of other player counts.

Talk about pasted-on themes...


Sounds great. Might be my first COIN purchase...
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Brian Train
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Well, I'd be interested to see how this comes out.
The Romans were the masters of "divide and conquer", so we could see this rolling out many interesting ways in terms of mechanics and Perverse Incentives.
Though they were also OK with building pyramids of skulls when they needed to!

And all the other modern examples you cited are hardly wasted opportunities; it's not as if the COIN system will allow for a given number of games, then stop working, like some kind of magic lamp.
It's just that no one has gotten it together to design a Nicaragua, Somalia, etc. COIN system game yet.
Games that look good but fail their P500 or other tests are wasted opportunities, in my view... (which is one reason why I started to roll my own, over 20 years ago).

And the 4-player dynamic is not immutable...

Brian
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Kurtis Swekla
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anyone know what the next planned COIN games actually are? other than these instagrams and Volko previously mentioning Angola, there hasn't been any real word on a 5th volume or 6th volume.
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Brian Morris
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Roman history is one of my favorites to wargame. Sword of Rome and The Republic of Rome are two of my favorites on the era. I've been wanting to see the COIN series go back to some of these eras and was thinking Renascence Italy would be a good fit. An era often eurogamed but rarely wargamed.
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MikeOberly wrote:
It does seem a little odd, but probably best to see how it plays out. I'm sure Volko is still doing his Angolan one, etc (but will it be as good as Angola...that remains to be seen)


It will be different, and cover a lot of the things that happened over years while Portugal was still in charge. Angola is about what happened when the Portuguese bugged out.
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Blake Neff
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doughboyca wrote:
anyone know what the next planned COIN games actually are? other than these instagrams and Volko previously mentioning Angola, there hasn't been any real word on a 5th volume or 6th volume.


Iron Butterfly (about the Philippines under Marcos) has been in the works for some time. There's also games on the Irish War of Independence and the Iraq War forthcoming, though I don't know which ones will be P500'd first.
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Steve Zaccardi
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I am very interested in this title. Something that looks at the Roman era in a different way than what we've seen previously will be refreshing to say the least.

Hey GMT! Put stuff like this on twitter, not everyone follows Instagram! cool
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Dave K
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Strikes me as a little odd and certainly not what I expected out of the series. I'm sure there will be interest in this, but I probably have enough games that take place in that time period personally. Still, I'm sure it will find a place in many peoples' collections.
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Roger Hobden
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COIN + ROME = great idea !

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Jacob
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Mighty Eris wrote:
I'm of two minds:

The rational part of myself says that we simply don't have enough knowledge of how ancient conquerors subjugated nations. We won't be able to model how small events can lead to greater movements, and we simply don't have a level of knowledge of how non-military events affected military outcomes.


Agreed, it's ineffectual to apply modern concepts of insurgency/counter-insurgency to such ancient conflicts. Certainly, there are threads of similarity, but why not explore those commonalities by treating the Gallic Wars as they are rather than Gallic Wars-as-COIN? And as you put it so well, I think the COIN series excels at modeling "how small events can lead to greater movement". COIN games have this remarkable ability to explore connection and narrative within conflicts that are commonly depicted like the cards by themselves: a disjointed collection of images and headlines.

I would probably really enjoy a game that did explore Roman provincial government and rebellion, depicted as its own unique topic. This is why I think Wilderness War is actually so great: it's very apt to provoking consideration of the historical development of low intensity warfare, yet it remains a game that aims only to depict the French and Indian War in and of itself.

ltmurnau wrote:
Well, I'd be interested to see how this comes out.
The Romans were the masters of "divide and conquer", so we could see this rolling out many interesting ways in terms of mechanics and Perverse Incentives.
Though they were also OK with building pyramids of skulls when they needed to!

And all the other modern examples you cited are hardly wasted opportunities; it's not as if the COIN system will allow for a given number of games, then stop working, like some kind of magic lamp.
It's just that no one has gotten it together to design a Nicaragua, Somalia, etc. COIN system game yet.
Games that look good but fail their P500 or other tests are wasted opportunities, in my view... (which is one reason why I started to roll my own, over 20 years ago).

And the 4-player dynamic is not immutable...

Brian


I just don't see how this topic wouldn't be better served with a system more specific to it. Definitions of insurgency and counter-insurgency seem to rely so much on concepts like non-state actors, revolutionary politics, and global stability that just don't really apply to the Roman world.

True, certainly a concept is a failure if its ultimately not marketable, but it seems like the popularity of the COIN series has shown that people are interested in games exploring modern civil conflict.

I hope so, I'm really interested in the idea of how the dynamics of the conflict itself can be represented with varying player counts.
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David
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l think the OP raises Some interesting points. One of the main attractions of the COIN for me is the interesting 20th Cent theatres that don't get a lot of treatment.
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