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A Distant Plain» Forums » General

Subject: First time COIN player, advice? rss

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Carlos Gomez
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I did a lot of research and wanted to try the COIN series so I got ADP as a birthday gift not too long ago. Any tips or advice on how to best learn how to play it? It would be my first COIN game and I wouldn't mind trying to learn it and play it solo or through Vassal if it's easier to pick up that way. Thank you in advance!
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Philip Jelley
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Hungerford
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Set the game for the extended example of play and run through that, resding up rulescascyou go along. Finish off the game by playing all four sides yourself, not using the bots, then read the rules from start to finish. Play it card by card and do not worry about long term strategy.
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Matt R
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Adding to what Philip said, I recommend you then play a game or two all by yourself (solo) but WITHOUT the bots until you get a good feel for the basic gameplay mechanics and some basic strategy.

Once you are comfortable with playing all sides (at a basic strategic level mind you) then you are probably ready to either introduce the bots (if playing solo) or introducing it to one or more new players.

The COIN series is really not that difficult to learn or to play. The difficulty comes in "learning" how to play each side as they have (mostly) different actions they can take and they all play differently from one another. Then you're ready for the "real" game which is learning all of the complexities in faction interaction, long term strategy, etc.
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Vez A
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An additional thing I'd recommend is, when you are beginning to learn the ropes of a faction in a COIN game, look first at their particular victory conditions and look at how they earn resources (sometimes these are one and the same thing, as e.g. with the Taliban bases).

Then think what does the faction need to do to reach some such goal. You are so to speak reverse engineering from the goal to the means.

You'll notice that pursuing the above goals often requires a multi-turn process of setting up the conditions to score a goal, and then scoring it later (if the conditions still apply --for the other factions will be seeking to intervene). Here a COIN game is not unlike chess. In my view, this "multi-turn process to an end" structure is what makes these COIN games feel so strategic and deep.

A second bit of advice. The COIN games are known for incorporating salient but crucial detail on what the requirements for executing certain key actions are. Thus, the Taliban will require a guerrilla with the UNDERGROUND status for certain actions; and the Coalition needs police AND troops AND control to be able to raise support. Pay attention to those kinds of details when you read the rules and the faction foldout play aid.

It's a lot to take in and the light will gradually dawn over the whole, but it's very rewarding ---and historically educational as well!
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Andrew Wallwork
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I managed to learn LoD and Falling Sky by myself reasonably well (enough that I can play a game with an idea of my strategy) but for some reason I have struggled to learn ADP. Not sure why that is aside from the fact that it seems (to me at least) a little more complicated than the other 2.
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Ron A
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First thing to do-- ask yourself this question: "Will I be playing this game mostly solo or do I want to play the majority of my games against live people?"

If solo, then yes, I would say follow the advice given here, read the rules, go thru the playthrough, etc.

If you want to play against people most of the time, find or start a Vassal game. Preferably a game with Skype being used.

When I got ADP I read the rules, went thru the playthrough, all that. But it was only after I played vs 3 other people over Skype that a) playing solo I was doing some things WRONG, and b) really understood how the flow and play of the game goes. Being able to talk real-time with people that already knew how to play made things SO much easier.

Good luck!

PS

If you're not sure how to start/find a Vassal/Skype game:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/127518/distant-plain/for...

Post here in the ADP game page Play by Forum thread,

OR

GO to the NEW Subscription Thread to the Monthly Vassal/Cyberboard/Skype Request List, find the entry for the current month, and make a post there. COIN games fill up all the time.
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Carlos Gomez
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Realistically I'd most likely be playing alone and when I feel like I won't be dragging the game down, I'd try to play through Vassal
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