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

Subject: Is this game for me? rss

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tfoz 15
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Euro-gamer here. My favorite games consist of Pandemic, Dominion, and pretty much anything Uwe Rosenberg puts out. My primary gaming partner is my wife.

Lately I find myself becoming more interested in war games. I've played and enjoyed Julius Caesar, although my wife wasn't a fan so it only hit the table once. I played Mare Nostrum Empires with some friends and absolutely loved it. I'm getting Memoir 44 for Christmas, in hopes of converting my wife.

With that said, I'm looking for something deeper that I can play solo. I am fascinated with Ancient Roman history, so my research lead me here.

I've read the forums about the complexity of the bots and, given this will be a solo experience for me, I'm curious if this is worth it for solo alone?

My second question is, as this is my first COIN game and my first heavier than light war game, is this an ok place to start? Or would I be biting off more than I can chew?
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tfoz 15
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I've read about playing multiple sides and I'm intrigued by the idea. Is this a pure tactical game where you assess the situation and take the best possible move? Or does advanced strategic planning come into play? And if so, how do you separate the knowledge of a long term plan when playing as the opponent?
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Reuben Lam
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Mostly tactical as the event cards drive turn order and choices. You only See the current event and the next, so you can't strategize too far in the future turns.

The bots are also pretty good at AI decision making and you follow a flowchart for their turn. I usually play with the bots flowchart decisions 90% of the time and reserve the right to veto and override if I think there's a stronger play in the bots favor.
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Scott Vranes
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I own both Falling Sky and Liberty or Death and really like them both - I'm a big fan of the COIN system and play mostly online with Vassal. It works very well.

For the tactical/strategic aspect, I think the strategy is, more or less, presented to you for each faction. How that blends in with your tactical approach is up to you and fluctuates with each card presented. It's strategic, in a sense, but leans tactical, from what I can see.

For what it's worth, I'd highly recommend you pick it up. The COIN system is fantastic.
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Jim Marshall
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It's a great entry point to COIN, as well as a great COIN game, possibly my favourite of the three in my collection - it's more intuitive than Fire in the Lake.

If you're looking for a step up from Julius Caesar it's certainly that, but if your wife did't like JC I doubt she'd like this, but she could prove me wrong!

COIN games play well solo. I've never used a bot, but the card system adds enough unpredictability to make it interesting and it's nice to see the story develop.

 
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Adam Parker
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Pandemic was a great game for my wife and me until things would suddenly end and my wife would say, “But we still have diseases to cure!”

I think Memoir 44 will be a fun time for you all, but consider looking at GMT’s Commands and Colors Ancients too which really adds a lot of flavor to the experience - and can be a fun time stickering together

Falling Sky melds a sense of Pandemic’s coop play with negotiation and some fighting to be sure. It’s a relaxing intellectual experience at times. I think it would make a fun 2-person vs bot game, or a 2-person multi-faction time.

Someone asked whether playing all factions solo without bots is fun too. Absolutely!
 
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Gunnar Holmbäck
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It is an excellent game in several ways so I'd strongly recommend it. The learning curve may seem a bit steep if your background is mostly Euros, but the core system actually isn't that complicated once you get a hang of the basic concepts. As a matter of fact, COIN's complexity lies in the difficult decisions that you're forced to make and how the factions' strengths and weaknesses tie in with each other, not in the rules themselves.

As for solo play it works like a charm, however starting with the bots isn't recommended. Rather, try learning the game by playing all the factions yourself and try the bots once you're more familiar with the system.



 
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tfoz 15
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Thanks for the responses all. I played the heck out of Memoir 44 (mostly solo) over the last two weeks and loved it. My wife played one game and thought it was 'OK'. I'll try to slowly mix in some more Memoir 44 with her.

Based on your feedback, I'm interested in this game for solo. I have enough new games to keep me busy for now, but this will be on my short list.
 
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Aaron Larsen
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I know this reply is a bit late, but if you wife sort of liked Memoir 44, she may well prefer Battlelore which I think is the better game. My wife enjoys playing it because of the fantasy aspects.
 
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tfoz 15
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I appreciate the suggestion. I think I prefer Memoir 44 because of the historic setting.
 
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tfoz 15
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Follow up questions - is the two player game played as 2 vs 2? Once you have the rules down, is the timing on the box accurate?
 
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Rodger Samuel
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Not sure about the time--haven't played enough. As for the two-player game, it can be played with each player running two of the factions, and I'd recommend that initially.

However, there are "bots"--i.e., flowcharts--included to run any of the four factions, so it is possible for two players to each run one faction while the bots run the other two. Nevertheless, it seems to be generally accepted that the bots are somewhat difficult to operate, but much easier once one has a solid understanding of the game--hence, the recommendation to play multiple factions initially, to get a good feel for how the game works.

This also applies to playing solitaire. Until you have a good grasp of the game, play all four factions. Once you have a good feel for the game, you can pick one faction to play and let the bots run the other three.
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Tucker Taylor
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DrZaat wrote:
This also applies to playing solitaire. Until you have a good grasp of the game, play all four factions. Once you have a good feel for the game, you can pick one faction to play and let the bots run the other three.

Counterpoint: running the bots can give you a) a better sense of the rules and b) a better sense of strategy, along the lines of "is this move i'm about to make actually better than the move the bot is making?" Especially when you're starting out it can be hard to figure out what you're supposed to actually be doing.
 
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Jeff K
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This is most certainly not a 2v2 game. It is an every man for himself game. Ostensibly, it is 3 players vs the Romans, but each player is vying with the other for supremacy. Deals and short alliances can be made, which is where the heart and charm of the game lie.

As a result, it plays best with 4. Although with the bots it is true that it works with any number. Personally, I would suggest you avoid this game if you feel there is never a chance that you can get it to the table with 4. Otherwise you are really selling it short, and you are not going to really see it shine.

Also, M44 is not really a good gauge for this game. This game is light years above M44 in complexity. The decision trees are far, far deeper. COIN games, while they may seem light at first blush, are really for people who want to step up in the next level of the genre. They are actually fairly complex. I just wouldn't want you to be surprised by this because not many people have mentioned this. If they are not familiar with the genre, new players tend to feel really lost at first as to what to do.
 
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Rodger Samuel
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JazzFish wrote:
Counterpoint: running the bots can give you a) a better sense of the rules and b) a better sense of strategy, along the lines of "is this move i'm about to make actually better than the move the bot is making?" Especially when you're starting out it can be hard to figure out what you're supposed to actually be doing.


I understand what you're saying, and it may work better that way for some; however, it seems like the VAST majority of the questions about the game have to do with the bots, not with the rules in general. People seem to have a fair amount of difficulty learning how to run the bots.

I know I'm not alone in feeling that beginners may have an easier time of it if they play all factions to get a grip on their separate goals and abilities. Subsequently, it's easier to adopt the bots and understand how the flow charts operate.

p.s. Jeff, it most certainly is, or can be, a 2-faction vs 2-faction game, when played by two players--which is what the question was concerned with.
 
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tfoz 15
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Xookliba wrote:
This is most certainly not a 2v2 game. It is an every man for himself game. Ostensibly, it is 3 players vs the Romans, but each player is vying with the other for supremacy. Deals and short alliances can be made, which is where the heart and charm of the game lie.

As a result, it plays best with 4. Although with the bots it is true that it works with any number. Personally, I would suggest you avoid this game if you feel there is never a chance that you can get it to the table with 4. Otherwise you are really selling it short, and you are not going to really see it shine.

Also, M44 is not really a good gauge for this game. This game is light years above M44 in complexity. The decision trees are far, far deeper. COIN games, while they may seem light at first blush, are really for people who want to step up in the next level of the genre. They are actually fairly complex. I just wouldn't want you to be surprised by this because not many people have mentioned this. If they are not familiar with the genre, new players tend to feel really lost at first as to what to do.


I was worried about losing the diplomatic feel during solo games so that is something for me to consider.

I realize this is a big step up from Memoir 44, which is what I was looking for. Something a bit more complex and strategic. I think it fits the bill in that respect, just a matter of player count for me.

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Rodger Samuel
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If you do progress to using the bots, you can still have some diplomacy--especially if you and your wife played the "natural allies," e.g., Rome vs Aedui, or Arverni vs Belgae. In such games, there will be points where one might be able to negotiate some sort of limited cooperation [like retreat permissions thru the other's territory] because they suit both players.

Sure, it's more likely with four human players, but it could happen with two humans and two bots.
 
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