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Subject says it, but...

So I'm a recent COIN convert. With a background in playing medium-to-heavy Euros and abstract games mostly, I hesitantly agreed to join my friend in his first multiplayer run-through of Cuba Libre and while I was mostly just confused through the 5 hour long game (we used bots and took our time), I realized that I was simultaneously really enjoying myself. Later I couldn't stop thinking about the game. Just out of curiosity I picked up Falling Sky as another "entry level" COIN game for more diversity and am just blissfully swimming in the world of the Gallic Wars (a time period that--frankly--I could care less about before this). Starting to wrap my mind around the mechanisms more and more as I play the different factions, I'm sure sound strategy is a ways off.

But now Pandora's box has been opened, and I'd love to know of games *(non-COIN)* that I might also enjoy given how deeply I've fallen for this system. In fact, I'd say that this has finally opened my eyes to the potential value of "theme" in games; something that I've always seen as icing at best and an excuse to muddle game mechanisms and rules up at worst, but I'm blown away with these COIN games and the transportive mire I get happily bogged down in.

Thanks in advance for any recs.
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Volko Ruhnke
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Quote:
... swimming in the world of the Gallic Wars (a time period that--frankly--I could care less about before this)

Thanks M, that's a great compliment and wonderful for me to read!

I'll leave the recommendations to others--there are so many possibilities!

Enjoy, Volko
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P. Fowler
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I would say if you're not looking for a particular time period, Volko's CDG Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? is a good thematic game. It very much captures the tensions of the asymmetrical struggle between the US and the Islamic Jihadists. Plus it plays solo (which is a plus for some) and it's just been reprinted by GMT.
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Volko wrote:
Thanks M, that's a great compliment and wonderful for me to read!

I'll leave the recommendations to others--there are so many possibilities!

Enjoy, Volko


I'm honored to have you respond directly. You've created a stunning system, thank you. Though I will say, I'd love to hear about other card driven games (or perhaps other sorts) that you find interesting/compelling.

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Turbine2k5 wrote:
I would say if you're not looking for a particular time period, Volko's CDG Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? is a good thematic game. It very much captures the tensions of the asymmetrical struggle between the US and the Islamic Jihadists. Plus it plays solo (which is a plus for some) and it's just been reprinted by GMT.


Yeah I've also been looking into Wilderness Wars, but mostly I was inquiring into games that may not be quite as closely linked. Sorry, I could have been more clear, but I was busy geeking.
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Benji
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Besides the obvious Twilight struggle, I REALLY like Wir sind das Volk. Even tough the system and the focus is different from the COIN games, they seem to have a kind of a "philosophical" connection in their approach. That game looks way too small for what it is.
 
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Adam Parker
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For a massively themed and solo playable game - see GMT's "Churchill".

A brilliant game.

For a combat oriented game with a non traditional engine - see GMT's "Fast Action Battles - Golan '73".

Both block and counter games and with exceptional gameplay value.
 
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Alex P
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Depends what kind of experience you're looking for - e.g. I just recently re-bought all of the Band of Brothers series (going to be gifting my old copy to a friend). It's a squad-based tactical game with very short rules (for the genre) but which produces historical results. Even before adding in optional rules, you'll tend to want to flank positions out of the natural desire to keep your troops effective (and alive).

The revised edition should be on store shelves soon (the three boxes are Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles, 101st; Band of Brothers: Ghost Panzer, eastern front; and Band of Brothers: Texas Arrows, expansion that requires either previous box.
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Volko Ruhnke
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mirror33 wrote:
volko wrote:

Thanks M, that's a great compliment and wonderful for me to read!

I'll leave the recommendations to others--there are so many possibilities!

Enjoy, Volko

I'm honored to have you respond directly. You've created a stunning system, thank you. Though I will say, I'd love to hear about other card driven games (or perhaps other sorts) that you find interesting/compelling.

Turbine2k5 wrote:
I would say if you're not looking for a particular time period, Volko's CDG Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? is a good thematic game. It very much captures the tensions of the asymmetrical struggle between the US and the Islamic Jihadists. Plus it plays solo (which is a plus for some) and it's just been reprinted by GMT.

Yeah I've also been looking into Wilderness Wars, but mostly I was inquiring into games that may not be quite as closely linked. Sorry, I could have been more clear, but I was busy geeking.

Wilderness War and Labyrinth are firmly in the CDG genre, so not that closely linked to the GMT COIN Series family (except via me).

For something off the beaten track and brilliant, have a look at Angola: more into the straight wargame mode, but requiring multi-player interaction and using cards in a different and intuitive way to show the challenges of command in an internal war. Drawback is that it really needs 4 people to work.

Volko
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Michal K
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As for other Card Driven games which I can wholeheartedly recommend:
1) very quick (1h per scenario), popular, intense but card Driven: Commands & Colors: Ancients

2) much more focused on politics, economics but with great deal of battle still: Paths of Glory

I play both extensively, especially Ancients as this is my favorite period. And for Gallic Wars, here would be CCA scenarios:
http://www.commandsandcolors.net/ancients/maps/77-gallic-war...

(the ones "Written by GMT Games" in Author are official ones; others are fan-made)

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Volko Ruhnke
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Nice link, thanks Michal!
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The Mirror
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mk20336 wrote:
As for other Card Driven games which I can wholeheartedly recommend:
1) very quick (1h per scenario), popular, intense but card Driven: Commands & Colors: Ancients

2) much more focused on politics, economics but with great deal of battle still: Paths of Glory

I play both extensively, especially Ancients as this is my favorite period. And for Gallic Wars, here would be CCA scenarios:
http://www.commandsandcolors.net/ancients/maps/77-gallic-war...

(the ones "Written by GMT Games" in Author are official ones; others are fan-made)



Thanks Michal, I actually just got C&C:A in a trade but haven't had time to play yet. Glad to hear that I may enjoy it in a similarly emmersive way as COIN games. Always nice when the answer is already on my shelf.
 
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Adam Parker
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Another vote for C&C:A. The best ancients wargame (and series) I've ever played. The simple to grasp card driven command system will really excite you.
 
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Adam Parker wrote:
Another vote for C&C:A. The best ancients wargame (and series) I've ever played. The simple to grasp card driven command system will really excite you.


Oh also, after reading your Churchill review and reading up on it more in general I think I'll pick it up...this is a pricy hobby but cheaper than high end audio recording gear.
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LOL!
 
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mirror33 wrote:

Oh also, after reading your Churchill review and reading up on it more in general I think I'll pick it up...this is a pricy hobby but cheaper than high end audio recording gear.


I was not a fan of Churchill. You are playing to win, but not by too much. In principle, that sounds good, but points come from so many different places (with many dependent on die rolls) that it made the game to difficult to predict. I loved the game mechanisms, however.
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Melric wrote:
mirror33 wrote:

Oh also, after reading your Churchill review and reading up on it more in general I think I'll pick it up...this is a pricy hobby but cheaper than high end audio recording gear.


I was not a fan of Churchill. You are playing to win, but not by too much. In principle, that sounds good, but points come from so many different places (with many dependent on die rolls) that it made the game to difficult to predict. I loved the game mechanisms, however.


I feel like that's the balance with Falling as well (not that it's easy to be winning by much as far as I can tell thanks to some fairly disruptive events) but there's a sort of implied diplomacy at play at certain times, coupled with a tendency to stymie the plans of any leading faction within arms reach of meeting their victory conditions in advance of winter.

Haven't played yet, but it's on it's way!
 
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Oerjan Ariander
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The difference is that in Churchill you need to stymie yourself, as having too big a lead means that the runner-up wins the game...

/Oerjan
 
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Oerjan wrote:
The difference is that in Churchill you need to stymie yourself, as having too big a lead means that the runner-up wins the game...

/Oerjan


Yes, and that's what makes Churchill with all its potential sources for points kind of a bean-counting game for me, at least if you play to win. The idea about the factions and their need to co-operate is great, but I did not like the execution either.
 
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While I find Commands & Colors: Ancients a very good game, I don't find it similar to the COIN series.

For me the essence of the COIN games is keeping your opponents in check, while at the same time trying to outmanoeuvre them. I find that Pax Porfiriana (and Pax Pamir) give me that same feeling. And, like the COIN series, the Pax games feel very thematic and have a high replayability.
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RvdH83 wrote:
While I find Commands & Colors: Ancients a very good game, I don't find it similar to the COIN series.

For me the essence of the COIN games is keeping your opponents in check, while at the same time trying to outmanoeuvre them. I find that Pax Porfiriana (and Pax Pamir) give me that same feeling. And, like the COIN series, the Pax games feel very thematic and have a high replayability.


Completely agree. The same is true for all the other mentioned (almost) purely "war" games. The COIN Series is about more than "just" moving army units around. That is why i recommended Wir sind das Volk. The Pax series is indeed a great example too.
 
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Benji68 wrote:
RvdH83 wrote:
While I find Commands & Colors: Ancients a very good game, I don't find it similar to the COIN series.

For me the essence of the COIN games is keeping your opponents in check, while at the same time trying to outmanoeuvre them. I find that Pax Porfiriana (and Pax Pamir) give me that same feeling. And, like the COIN series, the Pax games feel very thematic and have a high replayability.


Completely agree. The same is true for all the other mentioned (almost) purely "war" games. The COIN Series is about more than "just" moving army units around. That is why i recommended Wir sind das Volk. The Pax series is indeed a great example too.


Hmm... I really need to play Wir sind das Volk! then.
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RvdH83 wrote:
While I find Commands & Colors: Ancients a very good game, I don't find it similar to the COIN series.

For me the essence of the COIN games is keeping your opponents in check, while at the same time trying to outmanoeuvre them. I find that Pax Porfiriana (and Pax Pamir) give me that same feeling. And, like the COIN series, the Pax games feel very thematic and have a high replayability.


Oh! I've kind of sniffed in the direction of some Sierra Madre games and the Pax series recently, but haven't tried them. Do you have a preference between the two?
 
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Roel van der Hoorn
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mirror33 wrote:
RvdH83 wrote:
While I find Commands & Colors: Ancients a very good game, I don't find it similar to the COIN series.

For me the essence of the COIN games is keeping your opponents in check, while at the same time trying to outmanoeuvre them. I find that Pax Porfiriana (and Pax Pamir) give me that same feeling. And, like the COIN series, the Pax games feel very thematic and have a high replayability.


Oh! I've kind of sniffed in the direction of some Sierra Madre games and the Pax series recently, but haven't tried them. Do you have a preference between the two?

Well, the Pax games are totally different from each other. Way more different than the COIN games differ from each other in my opinion. There's also a third one coming up (Pax Renaissance), which I'll pick up for sure.

Personally, I like Pax Porfiriana a bit more than Pax Pamir, but others I play with prefer Pax Pamir. I've played Pax Porfiriana way more times than Pax Pamir, so maybe it's because I know the game better. Pax Porfiriana feels a bit more free in terms of cards that you can play, but Pax Pamir has a spatial aspect to it, which is absent in Pax Porfiriana.

If you find artwork a very important aspect of a game, you may want to check that out first, as some people don't like the artwork of Pax Porfiriana. The artwork in Pax Pamir is way more consistent.

Either way, I recommend watching a playthrough, if you're into that. Also, use the living rules if you start reading the rules. Sierra Madre Games tends to add improvements and clarifications, which makes using the living rules really worthwhile.
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RvdH83 wrote:
mirror33 wrote:
RvdH83 wrote:
While I find Commands & Colors: Ancients a very good game, I don't find it similar to the COIN series.

For me the essence of the COIN games is keeping your opponents in check, while at the same time trying to outmanoeuvre them. I find that Pax Porfiriana (and Pax Pamir) give me that same feeling. And, like the COIN series, the Pax games feel very thematic and have a high replayability.


Oh! I've kind of sniffed in the direction of some Sierra Madre games and the Pax series recently, but haven't tried them. Do you have a preference between the two?

Well, the Pax games are totally different from each other. Way more different than the COIN games differ from each other in my opinion. There's also a third one coming up (Pax Renaissance), which I'll pick up for sure.

Personally, I like Pax Porfiriana a bit more than Pax Pamir, but others I play with prefer Pax Pamir. I've played Pax Porfiriana way more times than Pax Pamir, so maybe it's because I know the game better. Pax Porfiriana feels a bit more free in terms of cards that you can play, but Pax Pamir has a spatial aspect to it, which is absent in Pax Porfiriana.

If you find artwork a very important aspect of a game, you may want to check that out first, as some people don't like the artwork of Pax Porfiriana. The artwork in Pax Pamir is way more consistent.

Either way, I recommend watching a playthrough, if you're into that. Also, use the living rules if you start reading the rules. Sierra Madre Games tends to add improvements and clarifications, which makes using the living rules really worthwhile.


Decided to pick up Pax Pamir to see how I feel about the basic system. I actually prefer the aesthetics of Pax Porfiriana, but the Claire of Pamir just seems like a better place to start.
 
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