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Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection» Forums » General

Subject: Coming from Cuba Libre rss

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brian smolinski

Los Angeles
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I recently took the plunge into the COIN series with Cuba Libre and I'm loving it so far (still learning the solo system however). I'm already eyeing my next COIN purchase and Liberty or Death is winning me over with its theme (not to mention the beautiful game board).

I started browsing the rulebook, but I thought it would be worth asking those who have actually played: what should I know about the major additions/changes to the COIN system versus CL? At a glance, it looks like a significant step up in complexity. CL was no easy feat for me to wrap my head around, but I really want to broaden my counter-insurgent horizons!
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Matt Albritton
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The Brilliant Stroke cards are a very nice addition. They allow an eligible faction to trump an event card and be the only faction to act that round.

When a Winter Quarters card shows up, it is immediately swapped with the current event card and is executed immediately. However, they are always seeded in the last four cards of each year.

The range of movement is very different from faction to faction. With no blockades, the British are able to move very freely. The Patriots and Indians have a harder time getting units to where they are needed on short notice.

The battle rules are not as complex as they appear at first. But if you don't plan properly, you may find that you helped the opposition more than yourself.

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David Goulette
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I have played both but I am still a beginner! I will say that if you have really learned and understand Cuba Libre, then the step up to LoD will not be bad but it will take a playthrough to grok some of the mechanics. I certainly feel like I have a ton to learn. I can't speak about the bots in LoD. I've never used them.

I'll add to what Matt said. You hold the Brilliant stroke card and you get to play it one time in the game. (The French actually have two cards; and the way the French enter the fight is a whole discussion, haha. Nothing like it in Cuba Libre.) The threat of playing the brilliant stroke cards is a big deal because they interrupt the current card and give you something good instantly. But then every faction instantly becomes available so there is a trade-off. And the ability to trump a brilliant stroke with another brilliant stroke is also significant. Certain factions can play a brilliant stroke on top of another brilliant stroke and cancel the first one! Really really cool mechanic.

In LoD you have a really good idea when the Winter Quarters cards are going to show up because they are shuffled into the bottom four cards of each card stack (instead of being shuffled into the ENTIRE stack like in CL). I really like this! I don't like how in Cuba Libre you can have a propoganda card on the second card, or have two prop cards very close together. It makes the Goverment Momentum cards (or whatever they are called) really swingy.

Leaders are a BIG deal. Each faction has a leader on the board and the leaders effect battles and other things. Maximizing the special ability of your leaders is really key. Washington for the Patriots makes winning a battle a huge deal for example. The second french leader you get (Lauzun? or something like that?) is a great attacker, etc. He is a beast in the late game!

Battles are not complicated at all, but it can be hard to tell exactly how well you will do in each fight until you have played through a game. This is because there are a bunch of modifiers on die rolls based on the pieces you have in the fight, the leaders you have, bases, etc.

In LoD, there is a more clear alliance between the two sides than in Cuba Libre. The French share a win condition with the Patriots and the Native Americans share a win condition with the British. This really changes the feel of the game. If you are the French, say, then you have to work closely with the patriots early. Cuba libre has more tenuous alliances and the win conditions are more independent.

The LoD board is more open and movement is somewhat more complicated (not bad though). Make sure you understand how travelling via ocean from city to city works and how you can actually travel through the port cities to adjacent colonies. And if you are the French, you can send your ships to blockade those shipping routs! All the rules about ocean travel took me half of a playthrough to fully understand.

Overall, my initial impressions are that LoD is a better game but both are very cool. I think there is more luck in Cuba Libre and the board state can change quickly. I think it is possible that there is more long term strategy in LoD ESPECIALLY if you team up with your partner faction early and strategize with them. In LoD I always felt there was something I could do. In Cuba Libre I often feel that I am choosing from a few bad choices (but that is actually cool too in a different way).

With all of that said, these are just initial impressions from a beginner. I may change my mind as I play more.

Cheers!
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David Goulette
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Hey Brian,

By the way, any chance you live in the SF bay area? I live in Santa Clara and I am trying to get together people in the silicon valley to get together for some COIN meetups.

~David
 
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Matthew Miyares
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I actually played LoD before CL, so my impressions came in a kind of inverted manner. Going into LoD "cold" was a bit of an uphill climb, but I managed it. With prior COIN experience I think you'll be able to grok the extra mechanics easily enough.

Solo play is a lot more fiddly in LoD, though; I think I may prefer CL for that aspect.
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brian smolinski

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Sorry David, I'm in Los Angeles. Otherwise I'd totally be down for a meetup!
 
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brian smolinski

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Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm very intrigued by the addition of Leaders, Brilliant Stroke cards and the way the Winter Quarters cards are seeded (a big improvement over CL I think).

David, you mentioned the stronger alliances in this game compared to CL - do you think this effects solo play in a significant way? Are the bots designed to "help" their ally?
 
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David Goulette
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the_horror wrote:
Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm very intrigued by the addition of Leaders, Brilliant Stroke cards and the way the Winter Quarters cards are seeded (a big improvement over CL I think).

David, you mentioned the stronger alliances in this game compared to CL - do you think this effects solo play in a significant way? Are the bots designed to "help" their ally?


I don't know. I have not played LoD solo. And even in the live game we didn't use bots. I did have a look at the bot rules for LoD though, and at first glance, they look much more complicated than CL.

My hunch is that the bots in LoD will not be as good as CL because I think LoD will be at its best with 4 players who really work together with their partner faction... at least initially. Then the interesting part of the game will be how alliances break later, and the timing of how you turn away from your alliance toward your own goals. In CL a bot doesn't feel too bad because the board state is so dynamic.

Just some thoughts based on my impressions at this point. I may change my mind in the future. I really need to get a copy of LoD to try solo!

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Patrick
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Liberty or Death is great other than the needlessly complicated battle system.
 
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