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Subject: Do your games usually end with final victory on the final coup card? rss

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Chris District
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My friends and I are a few games in, which is by no means a significant data sample, but it seems more and more like all of our games will probably go to the last Coup card. As soon as one person gets ahead, the other 3 immediately tear him back down. Even though a faction has been into its victory margin here and there (particularly ARVN--it feels like we've spent half our time pulling ARVN back down) there hasn't really been a situation where there has been real concern about someone stealing the game half way through.

Those who have played more games than we, do your games tend to go to the final Coup?

If not (and this is a much broader question), what faction seems to take it earlier on, and/or what do they do to avoid the king-of-the-hill effect? Is it really just getting kind of lucky and making a huge move *just* before a favorable Coup card? Or is that it?
 
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Russ Williams
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FWIW (small data sample here...) I played a solitaire medium game yesterday as VC vs 3 bots, and ARVN ALMOST won on the 2nd of 3 coups (they had 50, not 51, I recounted COIN control a couple times to be sure!) (Then ARVN did have over 50 at the start of the final coup.)

Before that I'd only played twice, the short scenario (soloing all 4 sides to learn the game, then playing US+ARVN vs 2 VC & NVA bots, and both of those went to final coup. In the first one, all finished negative. In the second one, US had over 50, but I as a player of them both had to use the lesser of US & ARVN.

(Edited for clarity and a correction.)
 
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Dan Carey
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Of the six games I have played, they all went to the final coup card.
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Chris District
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I haven't played the bots yet, but I read all of the documentation, and my impression of the bots is that they are not designed to play the same way a human player would. Instead, they appear, to me, as though they are designed more specifically to prevent the human player from winning. I didn't observe many bot rules that looked like they would necessarily put the bot(s) in a position to get their victory condition, at least not very aggressively. There priority seemed to be on attacking the others and reducing their scores, even in some places specifically the human player as a trigger for a given Op IIRC.

If that is the case, then Oerjan did his job because the bots should make it challenging for the player to win

Of course this is ALL without any actual play experience vs bots, so I am talking out of my you-know-what right now. I have the full game setup sitting on my table waiting for me, so my opinion may change completely once I actually physically give it a go.
 
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Oerjan Ariander
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If you look at Eric Guttag's solo AARs, quite a few of them end in early bot victories

The bots don't fight as human players would, that's true, but that's largely due to their ability to execute a full Op+SA when a human player would be restricted to a LimOp. This makes ARVNbot in particular pursue its victory goals quite aggressively, via both Govern and Transport SAs. If NVAbot is lucky with the timing, it too can grab lots of VP in a single March Operation. USbot and VCbot tend to be a bit slower VP-wise, since many of their VPs are created during the Coup Phases (via Pacification/Commitment and Agitation, respectively).

As for specifically targetting the players - not that much, actually. The various ”if X is a player" items either apply only when Faction X is threatening to win early, or else are low down in their respective priority lists so they don't come into effect very often; and they invariably concern that bot's allied Faction. The majority of the time the bots will strive towards their own goals, and they attack their enemies without worrying about whether those enemies are bots or humans.

But yes, they are fairly tricky opponents... and maybe even more challenging as your allies

Regards, Oerjan
 
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Chris District
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Your answers please me.

And i can't wait to solo this thing.
 
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Stephen Stewart
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SeattleDan wrote:
Of the six games I have played, they all went to the final coup card.

Ugh...

AA can end sooner and usually does.
 
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Larry Haskell
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Oerjan wrote:


But yes, they are fairly tricky opponents... and maybe even more challenging as your allies



Playing as solo US, I really came to dislike my "ally" ARVN-bot. What a prick that guy is.
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Jacob Williams
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My last game ended on the second coup card.... mostly due to bad plays.
 
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Chris District
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gamedog wrote:
Playing as solo US, I really came to dislike my "ally" ARVN-bot. What a prick that guy is.


We've played a handful of games, and we chose to play the same factions each time just so that we could at least learn *one* thing properly, and thereby speed up our games a bit.

The guy playing ARVN has been a pain in the ass, especially to his US counterpart. In fact, the last game we played, on ARVN's very first turn of the game, he was doing some Op, and he put too many pawns down, and then said out loud, standing right next to the US player, "wait, no, I only have to do 5 of these to get resources down to Econ."

Needless to say, ARVN didn't do particularly well the rest of that game. It was hard for him to keep COIN control anywhere when the US was continuously moving forces OUT of those cities/provinces.

By the end of the game, we all agreed if ARVN had behaved that way during the actual war, the US would have decided "you know what? you guys are worse than Communism" and pulled out.
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Per Sylvan
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District wrote:
gamedog wrote:
Playing as solo US, I really came to dislike my "ally" ARVN-bot. What a prick that guy is.


We've played a handful of games, and we chose to play the same factions each time just so that we could at least learn *one* thing properly, and thereby speed up our games a bit.

The guy playing ARVN has been a pain in the ass, especially to his US counterpart. In fact, the last game we played, on ARVN's very first turn of the game, he was doing some Op, and he put too many pawns down, and then said out loud, standing right next to the US player, "wait, no, I only have to do 5 of these to get resources down to Econ."

Needless to say, ARVN didn't do particularly well the rest of that game. It was hard for him to keep COIN control anywhere when the US was continuously moving forces OUT of those cities/provinces.

By the end of the game, we all agreed if ARVN had behaved that way during the actual war, the US would have decided "you know what? you guys are worse than Communism" and pulled out.


What a great story.. This game seems to be doing just the thing that you would want to see from a Vietnam game
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bestia immonda
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I only played FULL GAME with 4 players;
3 out of 4 ended at the third Coup card, one game ended at the very first Coup card ( albeit it was the very last one, so it was a long playgame segment )
 
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Wendell
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ASLChampion wrote:
SeattleDan wrote:
Of the six games I have played, they all went to the final coup card.

Ugh...

AA can end sooner and usually does.


Why "ugh"? I think that shows competent play - nobody let somebody run away with it.

I've played 4 or 5 games and all have been won on the final coup.
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Eric Guttag
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As Oerjan points out, the bots are tricky, tough competitors. Also, in 1-player games, and unlike multi-player games, you're trying to avoid having any of the bots be across their respective Victory finish line when the next Coup Card arrives. In other words, the human player in a 1-player game has to plan and play to reach the Final Coup Round without the bot ending the game earlier. As all 3 of the bots are each trying to get across their respective Victory finish line, that presents a serious challenged for the human player to "stay alive" to the Final Coup Round. So it's more likely that the 1-player game, especially if it's the Long Scenario, will end earlier than the Final Coup round.

By contrast, in a multi-player game, and especially a 4-player game, it's much more likely that more than one Faction will "gang up" on any of the players that looks like they're heading across the Victory finish line. In fact, of the 4-player games I've completed, only one has ended prior to the Final Coup Card.
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Oliver Ludwig

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I somewhat despise the king of the hill factor.

i'm still in one game as the US, as soon as i had surpassed my victory conditions, arvn started to work together with nva and vc like they have been best friends forever - which was completly killing the theme.

i like games with a narrative, so where is the logic here? ok, i could imagine it like the south vietnamese leaders only look after themselves instead of the country and profit from US presence.

any ideas to limit king slaying? maybe forbid game diplomatics between the 2 completly oppossed sides, so at least there's no illogical coordination?

i only play online and haven't really used the deception rules yet, which are hard to implement online.
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Volko Ruhnke
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Hi Oliver! Here are two ways to avoid that effect if you dislike it:

1) Play with two players, no bots, US+ARVN vs NVA+VC. Each player uses the worse victory margin of their 2 Factions.

2) Play with four players in two US+ARVN vs NVA+VC teams, with team victory by the worse victory margin within each team.

If you try it with four, please let us know here how it goes!

Thanks, Volko
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