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Subject: Does any COIN game play better solo than the rest? rss

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Todd Adams
United States
Medina
OH
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I'm thinking of picking up a COIN game for solo play. I played and enjoyed Liberty or Death, so that would be my first choice, but I'm wondering if any of the others stand out more as a solo game.
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Christian van Someren
Netherlands
Groningen
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I would recommend Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62. Having only one bot makes everything much more manageable.
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Didier Renard
France
Saint-Louis
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I have played a few of them (solo exclusively) and they all feel similar for solo play in my opinion. The first COIN games were designed for 4 players, which is the key determinant to your question. The main problem for me is that I spend more time running the bots than playing my own faction, so in practice I solo two-player games (i.e. control 2 factions).
I haven’t played Colonial Twilight and it is indeed the COIN game that on paper would be best soloable. However, it allows playing solo one side only, so this is a no-go for me. The next game in the series will be designed for 3 players and include a new solo (card based) system, so this might be ultimately the best option for solo play.
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Jesse Edelstein
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Portland
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I have written several reviews of solo COIN games -- see here if you're curious. Basically they are all pretty strong solo games, though solitaire play is always a different sort of experience than a tense multiplayer game. One drawback common to all of them is that they all have a faction which is less fun to play than the "main" antagonist factions.

Also note that AA, CL, ADP, and FitL are all being upgraded with new printings due in late July (or upgrade kits if you have an existing copy), while Falling Sky is getting some upgrades from the expansion Ariovistus. I believe all of these games will be getting new bots as part of this expansion plan. Some of these bots are already available (for AA and FitL) but you have to track down the right issue of C3i.

I don't mind running the bot "AI", but others will disagree with me in this regard. It's true there's some overhead in running the bots, especially in some edge cases. I would recommend accepting that you will not get everything exactly right on your first few plays, and that's no big deal.
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Colin Taylor
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Taking a look at your collection, I would just say to take a close look at the bot instructions (if you are planning to play that way) of the game that most interests you, before buying. From what I can tell, any COIN game would be the heaviest AI experience you have, so be sure that is what you want. I think the bots for FitL ran around 10-12 pages of text. Ultimately, I wasn't able to grok them. My feedback and examples of alternate rules layouts, that I believed would help a player, ended up going nowhere, so I decided to move on. Obviously, I don't know you, and you may end up loving them, but I would just say be sure to understand what you are getting into first.

Thanks,

Colin
 
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David Goulette
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Personally, I hate the bots. I do enjoy playing solo though. I just take all sides and see what happens. Some people love this some hate it. If you are interested in doing this, then any game is great.

If you are going to play with bots, then go with Colonial Twilight (or Labyrinth, haha).

I did a poll about how people prefer to play COIN solo. It was interesting:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1777282/poll-do-you-prefer-...

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Juan Valdez
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anaturalharmonic wrote:
\I just take all sides and see what happens.
That's what I do.

My win condition is to stalemate the game, that is, have all the factions end up with the same number of VPs (or whatever). This can be surprisingly difficult. I've done this with FitL and with DiskWorld. I have found it's an excellent way to learn the rules inside out.
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Erik
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I have only played COIN games solo and here my experience:

I owned FS, but sold it as I found the bots much too defenseive (I played only as Romans). The upcoming expansion might fix that but as I don’t own the game anymore that’s likely moot for me .

Bought LoD after selling FS, and I’m enjoying it, but the bots are just acceptable I think. A bit less prone to adapting than I’d thought. Lovely map and components however.

Now I’m eyeing Pendragon, as from what I’ve read, those bots seem quite anvanced and also keep looking at what’s coming on the next card (wil hi how LoD does not).

Anyone else has any similar experience, or can confirm or deny if I should invest in Pendragon to satisfy my hunger for solo COIN
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Oerjan Ariander
Sweden
HUDDINGE
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As one of the bot designers: Frankly, if that's the level of adaptible opposition AI you're looking for... then you want a computer game, not a board game. There is only so much pre-planned contingency we can cram into a single-page flowchart. Sorry.

Regards,
Oerjan
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Erik
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I am very grateful and happy that there are bots at all in these games - absolutely thankful for that.

If anything, the LoD solo experience has made me even more interested in testing the Pendragon bot.

Thank you for your work!
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Gus I
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I play my solo games on vassal. In that case the screen-board layout makes a big difference.

ie the board has a different aspect ratio than the screen. So a layout where the card position doesn't constrain the zoom level is preferable.

That said just pick the game that interests you most.
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