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Cuba Libre» Forums » General

Subject: How well do the AI flowcharts work for this game? rss

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I am very interested in the theme, love insurgency/south american/socialist-communist revolution themes.

But the thing is, 95 percent of my gametime will probably be solo.

And I dont really like the idea of "playing all the factions" myself. I never liked the idea of playing myself in chess, and I dont think i can do it with this.


The flowcharts seem promising though.

Im just concerned about some things

Are they too predicatable/exploitable?

Are they annoying/cumbersome to use?


I took a couple quick glances at them through some youtube videos and they dont seem that bad. But then again i also havnt played the game yet.





If it helps, my only solitaire experience thus far in board games has been space hulk death angel (which i enjoy) and apache/thunderbolt leader. One thing I didnt like about apache/thunderbolt if anyone has played that here was micromanaging the stress/experience of the pilots. The actual solitaire gameplay was great, but i ultimately ended up selling it because it was too much recording and micromanaging. So im already batting 1/2 when it comes to solitaire games (I know, not a huge sample size lol).

But man, ive been eyeing this game for a while now.
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Didier Renard
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I have discovered the COIN series in 2016 and this is my highlight of the year. Like you I play maybe 95% solo these days and I dislike playing multiple sides on my own. From this perspective I can heartily recommend the series.

The usual recommendation is to pick a game starting with the theme. Lucky you if you are interested in the Cuban revolution because Cuba Libre also happens to be the easiest game to learn the system!
However I will put one caveat: you don't seem to have extensive experience playing complex boardgames, and COIN games can appear daunting at first. So my main advise here is, don't try to learn the full game solo at once! Rather go stepwise, that is, start with the multiplayer playthrough (coming in the box) and a short game (in the variants section) playing all sides by yourself. Correct, I don't like that but made an exception for this game! This is really needed to get an understanding of all operations and special abilities (there are some commonalities but also many specificities across the 4 factions, so this is a lot to learn initially). Chances are that you will have no clue what to do after reading the rules, so this step is intended to smoothly familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of the game.
Next, you can go through the solo playthrough (coming in the box) to familiarize yourself with the flowcharts and then finally start your first game solo. So yes, I awaited until my 4th play if this game for a truly solo experience.
Now is a good time to address some of your questions related to the flowcharts!

Are they too predictable/exploitable? Yes they are perfectly predictable and exploitable in Cuba Libre. The latest game in the series, Falling Sky, introduces some uncertainty for playing events, which reduces a little bit predictability. As to Cuba Libre, is it a problem? Clearly no, because you are playing one faction against three others, and the bots tend to help each other to screw you (plus they cheat a bit as they can always play full ops with special abilities). So you better try to exploit the system if you hope winning this game. Also, while the flowcharts are 100% predictable, the game state is not because this is an event driven game. The situation evolves sometimes a lot from turn to turn, and you ever get knowledge of the next event only. So you constantly have to adapt to the situation and make the best out of what you are given.

Are they annoying/cumbersome to use? Yes initially. Trust me, you DON'T want to learn both the basic game rules AND the flowcharts at the same time, too much of hassle. Be prepared to consult this forum regularly at the beginning (most of the questions for COIN games are related to the flowcharts). But after a while they become second nature and easy to handle, so that's ok.
Let me draw attention to an unpleasant feature of the system, though: you play one faction yourself and 3 using the flowcharts, so you spend more time running the bots than focusing on your own game play. This can be slightly improved with the two player setting, by controlling two factions. I actually like this setting because it adds more control and you can optimize your moves by taking advantage of two factions. But doing so, you lose a little bit of the original idea, which is in fact the hallmark of the series: controlling one of 4 rival factions, with some loose "friends" and clearly identified enemies, each struggling to achieve their own specific objectives and overcome the other factions, because in the end only one will prevail! This is truly a masterpiece, something I had not seen before and the main reason for my love of the COIN series. I simply enjoy watching those 4 factions evolve on the board, through events or military operations. Sure the bots make some stupid moves (and occasionally some brilliant ones), but the struggle is ever present and this makes running the bots less of a burden.

Wow, this response was much longer than I initially intended, but there you have it! I hope it helps you make the right decision about this game. If you play and like it, chances are you will probably want more in the series. I have now played two other COIN games, Falling Sky and A distant plain, and found out I like them more because Cuba Libre comes with a smaller map, which makes things swing sometimes too much from turn to turn. But then as said above, I consider it the best introduction game to the COIN series!
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Thank you for the detailed reply.


Yeah just looking at the board and the game in action it looks great. Im just worried that in action I will not like it


Especially since there are games out there with comparitevly "simpler" AI systems, like conflict of heroes that I can get instead. Obviously thats a completely different type of game though.
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Ryan Buckmaster
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I totally agree with boulou, do the walk throughs first. And make sure you have 3 to 4 hours to play.
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Didier Renard
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Chaosduck7 wrote:
Thank you for the detailed reply.


Yeah just looking at the board and the game in action it looks great. Im just worried that in action I will not like it


Especially since there are games out there with comparitevly "simpler" AI systems, like conflict of heroes that I can get instead. Obviously thats a completely different type of game though.


I own CoH and like it too. Its solo system is indeed excellent and much simpler to run. But this being a more classical wargame, the gameplay feels completely different!
Other solo systems you might want to look into:
D-day series (I own D-Day at Omaha)
RAF: Battle for Britain
Navajo Wars

Navajo Wars might be my second highlight this year, a very special game and solo system. It is out of print unfortunately but the next one in the series, Comancheria, should be released next year.
 
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Bob Gibson
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I can only speak to the COIN series games, Fire in the Lake and Cuba Libre. Cuba Libre definitely has an easy to follow flow chart, and I would highly recommend it as a solo vs. bot game. I've played several solo games so far and have found it very straightforward.
 
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