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Subject: Teaching this game on Sunday. Best method? rss

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Neil Addleman
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Hey there!

I am teaching this game on Sunday to three people who have never played a COIN or Wargame at all but have played plenty of heavy games like 18XX and such.

I have read rulebook and done the tutorial myself. But was wondering best way to teach. Originally was going to do tutorial into full game like playbook says you can do, but heard the full game can be 8-10 hours. Want to cap out at around 6 max if possible. 4-5 would be ideal.

So then thought maybe either I could just skip tutorial and run a short or medium scenario, or run tutorial then tear down and set up the short or medium scenario immediately after.

What would work best considering my desired time frame?

Thanks in advance!
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Tim K
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I'm cautious for you. The COIN games are well-produced attempts at Euro-crossover, but I believe they ultimately appeal more to wargamers than non-wargamers.

That being said, I recommend the Westy's War scenario. Its shorter playtime will limit the heavy lifting. I understand the scenario is considered unbalanced in favor of the U.S., so I also recommend reviewing related posts on BGG to address this.
 
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Neil Addleman
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Would you set up and run tutorial first or should I just teach the game?

Not super worried about it being balanced with first play just focused on the guys learning it and seeing if they like it.

Our second play will be long scenario definitely.
 
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Russ Williams
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Is there no hope of the other players reading through the rulebook themselves before the meeting? Teaching it all is going to be a lot of talking by you...

For any game of this complexity, I'd play a short learning game first so people can get used to the system, rather than trying the medium or long game as a first game.
 
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Neil Addleman
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No two of the guys never read rules beforehand so that won't work.

It's why I thought of running the tutorial then tearing it down and setting up the short scenario. Is that best bet or would just teaching it then doing short scenario be easier?
 
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Tim K
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tweakedsynth wrote:
Would you set up and run tutorial first or should I just teach the game?


At least part of the tutorial is worthwhile if you have the time. I wouldn't recommend the full game with this group until they all agree.

I personally do not find COIN rules difficult. The complexity (and appeal to me) is how complex game play arises from it. But then I am a wargamer and I've mastered longer rules.
 
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Oerjan Ariander
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htjester wrote:
I'm cautious for you. The COIN games are well-produced attempts at Euro-crossover, ...

Er... no. They don't attempt to be Eurogame crossovers; they just borrow some of the physical attributes of Eurogames. Rules-wise and mindset-wise the COIN series are wargames - a fact that has come as a nasty chock to many Euro players who went into the games expecting to set up some sort of points-generating engine, only to find that any such engine you might set up will inevitably be disrupted by Events or enemy action within a few cards' time...

The recommended method for teaching COIN games is to start out playing a few cards where everyone uses standard Operations ONLY: no Events, no Special Activities, just the basic card-determined Faction Order and the basic Operations. Once everyone is comfortable with that, add in the Special Activities and Limited Operations; and once the players get the hang of those add in the Events too. At this point you can either keep playing, or reset the scenario to cancel the effects of rookie mistakes. This is also a good time to discuss the various Factions' objectives in a bit more detail.

The Full scenario (72 cards) takes 5+ hours with experienced gamers. With new players, I would very strongly recommend using the Short (24 cards) scenario, and specifically its historical variant which restricts what cards can appear and also lets the NVA start the game with the life-saving AAA Capability.

Regards,
Oerjan
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Tim K
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Oerjan wrote:
htjester wrote:
I'm cautious for you. The COIN games are well-produced attempts at Euro-crossover, ...

Er... no. They don't attempt to be Eurogame crossovers; they just borrow some of the physical attributes of Eurogames. Rules-wise and mindset-wise the COIN series are wargames


I essentially said the latter myself. If the consistent use of area control and wood bits shouldn't be described as an attempt to appeal to at least some Euro players, I'm curious what are good examples of wargames with Euro crossover intentions.
 
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Oerjan Ariander
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htjester wrote:
Oerjan wrote:
htjester wrote:
I'm cautious for you. The COIN games are well-produced attempts at Euro-crossover, ...

Er... no. They don't attempt to be Eurogame crossovers; they just borrow some of the physical attributes of Eurogames. Rules-wise and mindset-wise the COIN series are wargames


I essentially said the latter myself. If the consistent use of area control and wood bits shouldn't be described as an attempt to appeal to at least some Euro players, I'm curious what are good examples of wargames with Euro crossover intentions.
(emphasis added)

Why does there have to be any such "Euro crossover intentions" at all?

What if they're just wargames that don't have a lot of detailed unit stats that need to be put on counters, so they can use easier-to-pick-up wooden pieces instead?

Regards,
Oerjan
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Tim K
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I'm not following you, Oerjan. When the COIN games came out I thought it was clear that Volko was trying to appeal to at least a small portion of the much larger Euro gamer community. That's all my original comment was meant to reflect. I think we're in agreement to caution most Eurogamers not to expect many Euro mechanics just because COIN has wood bits. I was genuinely curious if there are better examples of wargames trying to appeal to Eurogamers.
 
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Oerjan Ariander
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htjester wrote:
I'm not following you, Oerjan. When the COIN games came out I thought it was clear that Volko was trying to appeal to at least a small portion of the much larger Euro gamer community.

You thought it was, but you presented it as a fact rather than as your personal belief; and by presenting it as a fact you do the exact opposite of cautioning Eurogamers of what to really expect from the series.

And I really don't understand why "consistent use of area control and wooden bits" would make a game a "Euro-crossover" when there are no Euro-style traits in the game mechanics or game play. Area movement isn't exactly a new feature in wargames, after all. Or would you consider Europe Engulfed or Pax Baltica "Euro-crossovers", for example? How about Axis and Allies (OK, it uses plastic bits rather than wooden, but so do several Euros too nowadays)? Diplomacy, in its fancier editions?

Regards,
Oerjan





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Jim Robinette
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I would set up the game and play one side against the bots. You also have the forum here to answer rules questions as you solo it.

In teaching to a group of cadets, I set up the long game, and we played to the first coup. We played a couple of turns just to fiddle with mechanics, and then restarted. They got it very quickly, and the cross-incentives with 'allies' (frenemies) became quickly apparent.

Good luck, and please let us know how it goes.
 
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Russ Williams
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FWIW to learn the game by soloing, I'd recommend not soloing against bots in a first game, since the additional bot rules are harder and more confusing than the game rules themselves. Soloing all 4 factions seemed a better way to learn the game rules.
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Jim Robinette
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Yup, but I’m a lawyer and complicated rules don’t bother me. But good point.
 
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Matt D
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Wow, a lawyer!
 
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Jim Robinette
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Should've said "recovering lawyer," as I teach now.
 
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