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Subject: "Sudden Frost" and sorted propaganda cards in COIN I-IV rss

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Ulrik Bøe
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Liberty or Death introduced to new mechanics that I'm considering using for earlier games as well: resolving the prop/coup card immediately when revealed, and sorting the piles so the prop card is always in the lower third of each pile.

It always feels a bit gamey when an insurgent can suddenly execute a full terror op knowing that the guerrillas will hide again right after, or the coalition surging away ~12 points just in time to win the game. Are there any downsides to simply resolve the prop phase industry?

Sorting the piles means that you won't have drastically short campaigns, nor long, drawn-out ones. Those types are sort of interesting, but not really fun. What do the games lose if there are always, say 8-16 cards instead of priskrig 0-24 cards? (If each pile is 12+prop.)
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Chris Smith
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The other titles have this option. I'm on an iPad so I can't check them all, but Cuba Libre has a sudden propaganda option. I know there's something similar mentioned in A Distant Plain.

In my opinion, it's the only way to play. Definitely avoids some serious AP for those who can benefit from the card.
 
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Brian Train
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Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 does not have this option, because it does not have the "look one card ahead" mechanism in it.
You deal with the Prop Round when it pops out of the deck.
Hope you were ready!

I recommend (but do not insist) that players seed the Propaganda Round card into the bottom six cards of the first batch of 12 when making up the deck, so that players will have a first campaign at least 6 cards.
Seeding the Prop card into the bottom of every batch just encourages a different kind of card-counting and the attendant AP.

Brian
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Rex Stites
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Venser wrote:
The other titles have this option. I'm on an iPad so I can't check them all, but Cuba Libre has a sudden propaganda option. I know there's something similar mentioned in A Distant Plain.

In my opinion, it's the only way to play. Definitely avoids some serious AP for those who can benefit from the card.


I believe these were additions made for the 2d printing. I don't believe any of the original games contained this option.
 
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Brian Train
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The original versions of the games did not have this switcheroo option; instead, there were just certain things you could not do on the final card before Propaganda: limited Ops only, no Sweeps or Marches.

They also offered the "no look ahead" option for the Event Deck but apparently that was dropped in the 2nd printings as insufficiently analysis-producing ("...for a game of reduced decision-making complexity").

Brian
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Harold Buchanan
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LoD was the first to have the instant Campaign card. It was also the first to seed the Campaign card in the last x cards of the Campaign.

Note that I also provided the "Winter is coming" option to treat Campaign cards the traditional way. Since then Volko has made it an option so that all games allow for both options. We will see over time which alternative players prefer.

As Brian said, it was all too complicated for him so he just made a 2 player game ;-)

HB
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Brian Train
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hankhankhank wrote:

As Brian said, it was all too complicated for him so he just made a 2 player game ;-)

HB


Yes, exactly!
At the heart of it all, I am a simpleton....

Brian
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Ulrik Bøe
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I think that designating the instant prop option as the "less complicated" option meant that few people played it - the typical coin player likes complicated game situations (not the same as complicated rules), so that's an apparently easy way to increase the complexity of the game space without increasing the rules overhead. Only, I now don't think the optional rule makes the game any simpler at all, it merely eliminates the situation where one player gets to take a full op with perfect knowledge that the others won't get to react. Ill be doing the " simple" way from now I think.

I do appreciate Brian's point about sorting the decks giving more predictable prop rounds. For some games it's appropriate (winter won't come in May!), but the modern coin games doesn't have the same 1 campaign = 1 year model. So I won't do that.
 
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Oerjan Ariander
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ulrik wrote:
I think that designating the instant prop option as the "less complicated" option...

You're mixing up the purposes of two quite different options here.

The instant Propaganda option has never been designated as, nor intended to be, "less complicated". Its purpose is purely to remove the "last-card Kingmaker" effect.

It was the "No Reveal" option, where you never see the next card (including Event cards) until it is played, that was described as having "a learning game of reduced decision-making complexity" in the early COIN games. Note the "a learning game" part: this option was only intended as a first introduction to the game (much like the small learning scenarios common to hex-and-counter wargames), not as the standard play mode.

The reason why the "No Reveal" option was removed in the reprints was that the early COIN games have so many Events that can either virtually guarantee victory for one Faction or cripple another Faction for the rest of the entire game if the "wrong" side gets to play them, that many new players came away from their "less complex learning games" with the impression that the outcome of COIN games was entirely decided by the luck of the draw and that the players had no real input. (There are quite a few threads about that from 2013-2014 here in the BGG forums.) And they weren't wrong, either. Being able to see one Event card ahead, and Pass if that next card is more important than the current one, does mitigate the luck of the draw very considerably... except, that is, for the "last card Kingmaker" effect which can only be used if the Faction knows that the next card is the Propaganda.

Brian's Colonial Twilight OTOH can use a No Reveal system because it is explicitly designed to be played that way. Its Sequence of Play is different, and its Event deck has very few (possibly none) Events that could guarantee victory or permanently cripple the enemy.

As for seeding the Propaganda cards in the bottom of each Campaign, it might not make thematic sense for the modern-era COINs. It does however rein in those Factions that benefit most from short late-game Campaigns: AA's Cartels (convert Shipments into Bases/Resources, then hope that the next Propaganda arrives before Govt or FARC can Eradicate or Kidnap the Cartels back below their victory conditions), CL's Syndicate (Casinos open automatically during one Propaganda; pray that the the next Prop arrives before anyone else can close them again) or FitL's US (maximize Support and withdraw as many Troops and Bases as allowed; wish for another Coup before the ARVN can Govern the Support away). If you have a problem with Cartels, Syndicate or US winning too often, seeding the Propaganda or Coup cards is an effective remedy.

TL;DR: All of these changes from the original games to the reprints and new games - removing the "no reveal" option, introducing the "sudden Propaganda" option, and seeding Propaganda or equivalent cards - are intended to reduce the effects of the luck of the draw and put more emphasis on player skill.

Regards,
Oerjan
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Ulrik Bøe
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Oh right, I mixed those up. I think it was to early in the morning.

So would you recommend seeding the prop cards even in the modern games?
 
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Oerjan Ariander
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In AA, CL and FitL, yes. Maybe not in ADP.

Regards,
Oerjan
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Ulrik Bøe
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Even in ADP the Warlords may benefit from a short campaign - getting resources from a prop phase, and then redeployment can often create uncontrolled population.
 
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