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Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar» Forums » General

Subject: My first COIN rss

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The Mirror
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Hey so after two rounds of Cuba Libre under my belt and some preliminary research into the COIN system, I was hoping to get the community's guidance as to whether Falling Sky or Cuba Libre would be a better entry point to the system in terms of ownership.

Or perhaps another one?

Thanks in advance.
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Scott Vranes
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I have only played FS and LoD, and I love both of them. I'm not as interested in the CL time period, so I'd say whichever historical period interests you the most.

Great game system, though. Absolutely love it - looking forward to Pendragon as well.

As for complexity, my limited experience is that they're quite similar with different trimmings. FS and LoD are the same system, but with different tweaks. As for complexity, I'd say they're about the same, overall, but others may differ on that one.

For me, it comes down to my interest in the historical period. I like reading up on each card's writeup in the Playbook - learn a little history there.

Good luck!
 
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P. Fowler
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Either are good, although Cuba Libre is favored, partially because its form of political influence over local populations carries on to all the other games except for Falling Sky.
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Tucker Taylor
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As noted, Cuba Libre's a marginally better introduction to the system. Falling Sky has a bunch of things that aren't very much like other COIN games at all: allied tribes are sort of a hybrid of bases and political influence (Opposition/Support), combat is much different, there are Leaders, etc.

I think Falling Sky works better as a game than Cuba Libre, though.
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David Goulette
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It depends on you and your situation. I have played LoD and Cuba Libre both solo and live (and I've read the rules for ADP and started a solo game) so take my advice for what it's worth. I own falling sky but haven't opened the box yet.

First thought:
If you plan to play solo mostly, or have a group that you are sure is ready for any level of complexity, and is willing to give the game 2 or 3 plays before they make a final judgement, then get any game that sounds interesting thematically. Personally I am drawn to the theme of ADP and LoD. But you and your group may differ.

Second thought:
If you are going to try to convert some non-wargamers (say some euro gamers) to give the game a try, then I would suggest Cuba Libre. It is the simplest to learn but it has a ton of replayability and soooo many different ways to play (and the game is by no means simple, just simplest among COIN). Tactically the game is easy to pick up for an experienced gamer, but understanding strategy, negotiation, timing, etc. takes multiple plays. HOWEVER, I would say that if you play it repeatedly with a group, you will more quickly get into the meta-game of Cuba Libre where you are playing the players, where there is a lot of table talk etc. (I have not had this experience personally yet, but I can easily see that this is possible from my limited experience.)

(Side comment)
In fact, I think the meta-game of COIN may be where the game really shines. I can see so much potential for deals, backstabbing (at just the right time), etc. But unfortunately we spend so much time grokking the mechanics....



 
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Troy Creamer
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I would say Cuba is the best intro into the system. Falling sky has some unique things to it and some simple supply rules and a fifth faction to understand. Cuba has a few spaces to worry about / simple operations/ and few ECs/LOcs which all relate to other volumes where there is a lot more or more complexity to each. Falling Sky is the most unique COIN game to date in my opinion so things you learn in falling sky might not relate to other games. However if your group is really really into the theme of a certain volume then that trumps everything since they will be willing to push through the learning curve of any of the COIN games.
 
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Tim
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I've only just opened up FS and have not played CL so cannot really comment on the differences or which one is best. However, what I can comment on is that if you get FS (and this probably goes with the others too), play through the Playbook tutorial first and then jump in playing all sides without using the bots. Don't worry or think about strategy at this point, just move some pieces around. This was the advice I first found and after just some quick playing around I am getting the basics down and understanding the options for each.

Cheers,
Tim
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Troy Creamer
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Yes playing through the playbook is Key to learning 100% agree and just playing it solo as all four sides and just moving pieces is SUPER helpful.
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The Mirror
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Thanks for the advice guys! I'm not a history buff nor do I really care for the reenactment per se, though I don't mind how the games are thematic. I'm mostly looking to get to know the system and start dabbling in war games in general. As I said in my original post, I have a friend who owns CL who is very invested in learning as well. So I think I'll just try a variant so we have more to play with over time.

To be honest this is my first earnest forray in to war games since Risk and Strattego as a kid (unless Dominant Species counts) and I've very much enjoyed (though mostly in a state of strategic bewilderment) my first two CL plays and look forward in learning more about the strategy and the meta game as I progress.

Thanks all for your thoughts.
 
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Alex P
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Phytoman wrote:
I've only just opened up FS and have not played CL so cannot really comment on the differences or which one is best. However, what I can comment on is that if you get FS (and this probably goes with the others too), play through the Playbook tutorial first and then jump in playing all sides without using the bots. Don't worry or think about strategy at this point, just move some pieces around. This was the advice I first found and after just some quick playing around I am getting the basics down and understanding the options for each.


I played a whole game that way after running the Playbook sample - excellent way to find out which rules you haven't fully understood yet.
 
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Jacob Williams
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Cuba Libre without a doubt.
 
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Adam Parker
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I would recommend Falling Sky for the following reasons:

1. It involves more military maneuveting than other COIN games. It feels more "war"-related to me as a result.

2. Its card deck is almost 50% larger than Cuba Libre making games more varied and challenging decision making-wise.

3. Its map breadth offers more scope for strategic thinking.

4. It introduces players to the concept of command and control.

5. It's a fine introduction to war gaming in an historical rather than modern epoch.

6. Its chrome is apt if not downright clever, whereas Cuba can -at times- feel generic between factions due to the card deck.

6. Its victory conditions are very easy to grasp.

7. It probably has the tightest rules set of any COIN game to date with minimal errata.

Hope this helps!

PS Don’t get me wrong, Cuba Libre is a fine game reviewed by me here at the time, as “COIN at its best”. It’s just that IMO, COIN may have just gotten even better
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David Goulette
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Adam Parker wrote:
I would recommend Falling Sky for the following reasons:

1. It involves more military maneuveting than other COIN games. It feels more "war"-related to me as a result.

2. Its card deck is almost 50% larger than Cuba Libre making games more varied and challenging decision making-wise.

3. Its map breadth offers more scope for strategic thinking.

4. It introduces players to the concept of command and control.

5. It's a fine introduction to war gaming in an historical rather than modern epoch.

6. Its chrome is apt if not downright clever, whereas Cuba can -at times- feel generic between factions due to the card deck.

6. Its victory conditions are very easy to grasp.

7. It probably has the tightest rules set of any COIN game to date with minimal errata.

Hope this helps!

PS Don’t get me wrong, Cuba Libre is a fine game reviewed by me here at the time, as “COIN at its best”. It’s just that IMO, COIN may have just gotten even better


This sounds pretty cool!

Ok I retract my previous answer. Get them both. Don't think. Get out your credit card and buy both now. GO!
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The Mirror
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Adam Parker wrote:
I would recommend Falling Sky for the following reasons:

1. It involves more military maneuveting than other COIN games. It feels more "war"-related to me as a result.

2. Its card deck is almost 50% larger than Cuba Libre making games more varied and challenging decision making-wise.

3. Its map breadth offers more scope for strategic thinking.

4. It introduces players to the concept of command and control.

5. It's a fine introduction to war gaming in an historical rather than modern epoch.

6. Its chrome is apt if not downright clever, whereas Cuba can -at times- feel generic between factions due to the card deck.

6. Its victory conditions are very easy to grasp.

7. It probably has the tightest rules set of any COIN game to date with minimal errata.

Hope this helps!

PS Don’t get me wrong, Cuba Libre is a fine game reviewed by me here at the time, as “COIN at its best”. It’s just that IMO, COIN may have just gotten even better


This helps a lot. Thank you. I'd already just decided to take the leap with Falling Sky if for no other reason that every COIN review that I've read or watched seems to consider the system to be fairly even in quality and I'm looking for a bit of variety in my gaming group. That said, I appreciate the extremely cogent and specific reasons why one might be interested in this game specifically. I'm sure my group will enjoy this and having a COIN game myself will allow me to become more familiar with system in my own time.

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David Goulette
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Mirror,

I thought I should add that if you have a dedicated and organized group, you might also try playing games through Vassal as well as live. I like vassal because you can think things through (oh... and since it is free that is pretty nice too!). It is a great way to learn the game. I have only played solo Vassal but people play via email/forum. You could use this in the future to try out games before you buy.

~Cheers!
 
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Jim Marshall
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Both good games, but FS for me is more open and fun (more manoeuvre, more combat, unpredictable German tribes, sneaky Aedui, super-powerful Roman legions, leaders, larger number of units / buildings ....)

CL is certainly good, but each faction's options (especially the mob) are maybe a little more restrictive.

FS tends to play longer, although they both have scenarios of differing lengths.
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