Ian Wakeham
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I read on the GMT update that the solitaire and two player games use a card driven system.

How does this work? Is it simply the flowcharts distilled into cards? If so (or even if not), will previous games in the COIN series be able to be retrofitted into such a system?
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Vez A
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Thanks for asking, Ian.

How it works in a nutshell is there is a small deck of cards for each non-player faction. You draw a card for their action and execute the instructions on it. The instructions look somewhat like the action boxes in a flowchart. If you cannot execute a card, you draw a new one. There's also a mechanism for playing events rather similar to how event play is handled in many of the published COIN games.

Overall there's similarly to a flowchart but there is no flowchart structure of "diamond" conditions and no "yes" and no "arrows". All that gets replaced by the card draws together with certain conditions printed on some cards (such as "attack only if so and so is the case"). So the idea is to cut out that part of the action selection process and that way make it easier to run the bots.

Another idea I've been working with is to have the bots not use any resources. That's another way of reducing the burden of running the bots. Obviously this throws up design challenges of its own. I'm in the middle of designing and trying out this system right now, so I should be able to tell more in a few months time, I reckon.

As to retrofitting, well, I'm tempted to try my hand in that for sure! No promises at this stage.
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Samuel Argento
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A great system, very innovative. I really like this idea.
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Georg Bauer
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Anything that reduces the work load on solo players while keeping up the pressure of the bots (and the characteristics of the faction) is a good thing in my book. One of the reasons some COIN games don't get on the table much is the overhead of work that distracts from my own decision making for my own faction.
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Niko
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The card system sounds interesting, reminds me of Butterfield designs like RAF and the D-Day series.

I'm a big fan of the bots acting like players though, even if it comes with more overhead. An automa style bot that doesn't act like the player and modifies the board state differently can also work, but the fact that the bots largely have the same constraints as a player is something I really like about the COIN games.
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Vez A
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I think you’ve highlighted something that I can see will divide gamers over the card driven bots, Niko. I’ll certainly be keeping the human-like character of the traditional COIN bots in mind when I design the card driven non-players so hopefully the result will satisfy all parties.
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Niko
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masil wrote:
I think you’ve highlighted something that I can see will divide gamers over the card driven bots, Niko. I’ll certainly be keeping the human-like character of the traditional COIN bots in mind when I design the card driven non-players so hopefully the result will satisfy all parties.
Excellent!
I agree that it will divide people as there isn't really a right answer, just personal preference.
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