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Subject: Recommendations for two player rss

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Mark J.
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Questions from a new player. How well does Fire in the Lake play with just two? Does it matter if we use the bots or not (we prefer not to add the extra complexity)? Any particular scenario or campaign better for two? Any house rules or adjustments needed to balance the synergies in favor of the COIN player?

Thank you for your responses!
 
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Todd Carter
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I've played a lot of games with two players and generally, I've had it so that one side are the insurgents and the other is the COIN player. The COIN powers definitely have the advantage with this line up because normally the ARVN holds back the US. So, it's wise to set it up so that the shaded AAA is already out (even if playing non-historically) to somewhat balance things out. Also, in a short game, I've shuffled the COUP cards into the latter half of each pile so that their arrival is a bit more regular. I haven't tried any other modifications, though.

Also, pay attention to the special scoring rules under 1.5. I'm just mentioning them because I've definitely messed those up before!
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Jason Sherlock
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I like 2 players with one either taking US and ARVN and the other taking either VC or NVA. 2 bots "helping" their allies.

Having bots keeps you from having total control of your side, and I think that it makes the game much more enjoyable.
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Russ Williams
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I've played 2-player several times (one player controlling VC/NVA and one player controlling US/ARVN) and enjoyed it fine. And that is indeed faster/easier than having each human control only 1 faction, plus 2 bots for the other 2 factions. The bots do slow things down (regardless of number of human players).

I don't have enough experience to comment on balance, but indeed be sure not to miss the asymmetrical rule in how victory checks are handled for COIN and insurgents.
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Fred Shugars
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Having played 2 player with no bots I was wondering if using 2 bots makes the game faster. It seems there's a lot of down time when controlling 2 factions in trying to figure out the interactions of the 2 factions.
 
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Paul Thompson
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I'd say no. It would probably be slower. Even when you have a good handle on what order the bot decides things, you have to do lots of checks to work out what the bot will do.
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