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Subject: Fictional setting COIN games rss

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Neil Biggs
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Has there ever been any plans for a fictional setting for the COIN series? There are a few titles in the series that I'd love to have a go at, but doubt I can get them to the table because my regular group are less interested in the particular conflicts (and one in particular has Colombian heritage so doesn't want to go anywhere near Andean Abyss, which is weirdly the modern one that appeals most to me). I have Pendragon, and will likely try to get Falling Skies at some point, but I'm curious if there has ever been an attempt to do an original or licenced COIN game based on fiction. Maybe a Babylon 5 game (Vorlons + allies vs Shadows + allies until they start planet killing..), or possibly one set in something like Robocop's Detroit (OCP vs Police Vs local government vs criminal gangs)? Or are licences too expensive to pursue?
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Jay M
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I would love to see the COIN mechanism applied to other settings (fictional).

But it fits squarely within the card-driven wargame culture. The event cards would have to be totally made up, and I think the "history" aspect gives some meaning to the idea of an "event" happening.

One interesting thought comes to mind about Star Wars: Rebellion (not a COIN game, but there are some parallels between the card events in SWR and a card driven war game). If they can do it there, then you could design a factional COIN around some IP -- but I do think it would have to be something where people bring to the table and understanding of the factions orientation towards each other.



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Brian Train
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There are some threads floating around here about such things, declining towards the same arguments.

"Licenced" = too much $$$ for anyone to tackle, at least IP for anything that is widely recognized.

"Original" = it takes a lot of work to make an involving universe out of whole cloth.
And even then people will say "oh, the theme's just slapped on, it's really 'Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection In Spaaaaace' no matter what it actually is, and will tell you all the Event Cards are far too symmetrical and contrived for an asymmetrical game.
But I have had conversations with people who have gone some distance down the road of making an SF COIN system game.

Brian
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Neil Biggs
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The Expanse is a card driven wargame by all accounts, just somewhat lighter than COIN (which I guess makes sense with a licence, in that you'd want to maximise the appeal/accessibility to recoup the expense).

I wonder what it'd be like to have a series of fictional events to base the cards off of, but then again, I was largely unaware of the real events for most of the Pendragon cards (some of which are hybridised from Arthurian myth with history) - would it be that different? There is definitely a reward of recognition, I know the BSG game has the crisis cards all based on events in episodes so make much more sense to fans of the show
 
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Neil Biggs
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ltmurnau wrote:
"Licenced" = too much $$$ for anyone to tackle, at least IP for anything that is widely recognized.
Yeah, that's a concern of mine - there is a logic for licenced properties being more mass market style, it's just hard not to feel disappointed by many of them! Oh look, another *&%&&^ deckbuilder...

ltmurnau wrote:
But I have had conversations with people who have gone some distance down the road of making an SF COIN system game.
Would love to know if they're still pursuing them - I'm relatively interested in historical films/stories, but I know a few people who find recent events off-putting*. Not sure I'll ever try to own the whole series, but definitely want to play Fire On the Lake, and Distant Plain, and I imagine the latter is maybe the most divisive one for people who question about setting games in recent events. The system is amazing, I'd love to have more avenues for people to become interested in it which is what makes sci-fi intriguing (though it would probably then require a ridiculous number of plastic minis and make the cost prohibitive...).




*Had a very interesting chat with a friend about the XBox game Medal Of Honour which started with the beach landing scenes from Saving Private Ryan - was it trivialising the events for a cheap thrill, or was it a way to give people a perspective on what they soldiers went through? He definitely lent towards the former, I'm more open minded but can see his point of view.
 
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Brian Hoare
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COIN game - Mars Counter Insurgency looks [looked?] very interesting.

I thought that it looked quickly understandable [no need to learn lots of funny names and lore] without getting into IP issues.
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Neil Biggs
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Looks a good setting - curious what happened as there seems to have been no updates to that thread or the blog it links to
 
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Brian Train
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Oh Neil, when we first announced we were working on A Distant Plain, a thread over 150 posts long erupted over it.

GMT P500: A Distant Plain

Bear in mind that this was at the point where it had only been announced that there was going to be a COIN system game on Afghanistan.
It had just been put up on P500: no one had any idea what it would look like, what was in it, what mechanics it would have, what position it would take on any point about the war, etc. there wasn't even a BGG entry for the game yet...

But that didn't stop people from having strongly held opinions about it, with nothing but their own imaginations to back them up.
Except for the one guy who posted, five pages in, specifically and only to tell us that he had no interest in Afghanistan... 'cause it was BGG!

Many facets of the game design were revealed during the discussion, which I think in the end was positive, at least when the moonbats went away after we refused to yell back at them.

We were also quite careful in our Designer`s Notes etc. in the playbook to explain our perspectives, the perspectives of the factions and how we built that into the mechanics, all the while trying to be respectful and show our homework when and where we could... which is why the game has sourced notes for the Event Card texts and background, and a reading list.

Frankly, I think we bent over backwards to avoid any appearance of pandering, trivializing or sensationalizing what is obviously a sensitive topic, to treat it intelligently and explain seriously why we thought it necessary to study current events in this way.
It still did not stop people from dismissing all our work in six words or less, but I doubt you'd be able to change such a mind anyway.

Interestingly, I tried to do the same thing with Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 - so far it hasn`t excited any protests or condemnation in France, where one might have expected a reaction... if Americans had been involved in the Algerian War it would have been markedly different I'm sure.
As it is, a leading reaction I've had from American players is that until my game came along, they didn't even know there had been such a war, let alone its theoretical contribution to the doctrine the USA tried to apply in Iraq and Afghanistan....

Brian
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Neil Biggs
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And this is why we can't have nice things... Did any of the obnoxious ones apologise in the end?

I must admit, my reaction when I heard of A Distant Plain was "that's brave" but I was glad it existed - I think we over-simplify everything these days, so anything that tries to get people to try to understand complex events is a good thing. I can't blame people for not wanting to personally play something that affects them personally, games are meant to be enjoyable, but I want some things that let me learn as I play.

Has there been much blowback over Gandhi? Not one I'm planning on buying, but I'd love to play it as an entree to reading up on the factions that sought independence.
 
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Jay M
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ltmurnau wrote:

Oh Neil, when we first announced we were working on A Distant Plain, a thread over 150 posts long erupted over it.

GMT P500: A Distant Plain

Bear in mind that this was at the point where it had only been announced that there was going to be a COIN system game on Afghanistan.
It had just been put up on P500: no one had any idea what it would look like, what was in it, what mechanics it would have, what position it would take on any point about the war, etc. there wasn't even a BGG entry for the game yet...

But that didn't stop people from having strongly held opinions about it, with nothing but their own imaginations to back them up.
Except for the one guy who posted, five pages in, specifically and only to tell us that he had no interest in Afghanistan... 'cause it was BGG!

Many facets of the game design were revealed during the discussion, which I think in the end was positive, at least when the moonbats went away after we refused to yell back at them.

We were also quite careful in our Designer`s Notes etc. in the playbook to explain our perspectives, the perspectives of the factions and how we built that into the mechanics, all the while trying to be respectful and show our homework when and where we could... which is why the game has sourced notes for the Event Card texts and background, and a reading list.

Frankly, I think we bent over backwards to avoid any appearance of pandering, trivializing or sensationalizing what is obviously a sensitive topic, to treat it intelligently and explain seriously why we thought it necessary to study current events in this way.
It still did not stop people from dismissing all our work in six words or less, but I doubt you'd be able to change such a mind anyway.

Interestingly, I tried to do the same thing with Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 - so far it hasn`t excited any protests or condemnation in France, where one might have expected a reaction... if Americans had been involved in the Algerian War it would have been markedly different I'm sure.
As it is, a leading reaction I've had from American players is that until my game came along, they didn't even know there had been such a war, let alone its theoretical contribution to the doctrine the USA tried to apply in Iraq and Afghanistan....

Brian
I own a copy but haven't played A Distant Plain yet. That thread makes me want to play it even more now -- I sorely wish I had been COIN'ed up back when it came out to enjoy it even more. Thanks for all you do.
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Rob Winslow
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COIN Dune would make sense. Doubt GMT could ever get the rights, though.
 
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Brian Train
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ViolentSilence wrote:
And this is why we can't have nice things... Did any of the obnoxious ones apologise in the end?

I must admit, my reaction when I heard of A Distant Plain was "that's brave" but I was glad it existed - I think we over-simplify everything these days, so anything that tries to get people to try to understand complex events is a good thing. I can't blame people for not wanting to personally play something that affects them personally, games are meant to be enjoyable, but I want some things that let me learn as I play.

Has there been much blowback over Gandhi? Not one I'm planning on buying, but I'd love to play it as an entree to reading up on the factions that sought independence.
Apology?
Well, it's just nice when they stop barking and go away... an apology is not required, though I hope they gave the game a look when it actually came out.

There are a few other threads on the Distant Plain BGG entry where people do talk about their feelings about playing (or not playing) a game where a loved one, a friend, or they themselves were personally involved.
No consensus of course, peoples' responses were highly individual - how could they be otherwise.
Certainly once the game came out and people saw it for what it actually was, and how it actually treated the subject matter, they had something real to deal with and the reactions were less strident.

There was and is a real challenge to designing a game on a conflict that was still underway - when the game actually came out, there was still more than a year to run before ISAF officially ended its combat role at the end of 2014.
It's important to show your work, I thought, so at least people could understand later where you were coming from and what you had to work with at the time.

Gandhi?
I'm signed up for the P500 on that one, since I am interested in the idea of non-violent factions, but I haven't been following its development.
Again, because most (and the most vocal) wargamers are Americans I didn't expect much of a reaction - though there were a couple of lively discussions about colonialism generally... Empire good, Empire bad....

Brian
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Brian Train
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Race Bannon wrote:
ltmurnau wrote:

Oh Neil, when we first announced we were working on A Distant Plain, a thread over 150 posts long erupted over it.

GMT P500: A Distant Plain

Bear in mind that this was at the point where it had only been announced that there was going to be a COIN system game on Afghanistan.
It had just been put up on P500: no one had any idea what it would look like, what was in it, what mechanics it would have, what position it would take on any point about the war, etc. there wasn't even a BGG entry for the game yet...

But that didn't stop people from having strongly held opinions about it, with nothing but their own imaginations to back them up.
Except for the one guy who posted, five pages in, specifically and only to tell us that he had no interest in Afghanistan... 'cause it was BGG!

Many facets of the game design were revealed during the discussion, which I think in the end was positive, at least when the moonbats went away after we refused to yell back at them.

We were also quite careful in our Designer`s Notes etc. in the playbook to explain our perspectives, the perspectives of the factions and how we built that into the mechanics, all the while trying to be respectful and show our homework when and where we could... which is why the game has sourced notes for the Event Card texts and background, and a reading list.

Frankly, I think we bent over backwards to avoid any appearance of pandering, trivializing or sensationalizing what is obviously a sensitive topic, to treat it intelligently and explain seriously why we thought it necessary to study current events in this way.
It still did not stop people from dismissing all our work in six words or less, but I doubt you'd be able to change such a mind anyway.

Interestingly, I tried to do the same thing with Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 - so far it hasn`t excited any protests or condemnation in France, where one might have expected a reaction... if Americans had been involved in the Algerian War it would have been markedly different I'm sure.
As it is, a leading reaction I've had from American players is that until my game came along, they didn't even know there had been such a war, let alone its theoretical contribution to the doctrine the USA tried to apply in Iraq and Afghanistan....

Brian
I own a copy but haven't played A Distant Plain yet. That thread makes me want to play it even more now -- I sorely wish I had been COIN'ed up back when it came out to enjoy it even more. Thanks for all you do.
You've very welcome!
I hope that you do give the game a try.

Brian
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Brian Train
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brandysta wrote:
COIN Dune would make sense. Doubt GMT could ever get the rights, though.
The closest you can get to "COIN Dune" right now would be Battle for Baghdad, which is not a simulation of the Iraqi insurgency but is something that gives a framework where something like it could emerge... and it is inspired by the DUNE game.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/575975/conventional-look-un...

Brian
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Jay M
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ltmurnau wrote:


You've very welcome!
I hope that you do give the game a try.

Brian
I will, no doubt -- I'm part of a very active COIN group and A Distant Plain is one of the most desired ones to go back and play. Most of the group got started with Fire in the Lake, and we've recently been working through all of them. Everyone agrees that he can't wait for A Distant Plain.

By the way, just cross-referencing -- I posted over in Colonial Twilight that I got my first play of it this weekend. Two COIN vets and we loved the way the two person initiative worked. It was more tense (with stakes) than the four person mechanic.
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Ron A
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ltmurnau wrote:


Interestingly, I tried to do the same thing with Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 - so far it hasn`t excited any protests or condemnation in France, where one might have expected a reaction... if Americans had been involved in the Algerian War it would have been markedly different I'm sure.
As it is, a leading reaction I've had from American players is that until my game came along, they didn't even know there had been such a war, let alone its theoretical contribution to the doctrine the USA tried to apply in Iraq and Afghanistan....

Brian
Clearly, none of those people ever saw the film, Battle of Algiers!

 
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Brian Train
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Race Bannon wrote:
ltmurnau wrote:


You've very welcome!
I hope that you do give the game a try.

Brian
I will, no doubt -- I'm part of a very active COIN group and A Distant Plain is one of the most desired ones to go back and play. Most of the group got started with Fire in the Lake, and we've recently been working through all of them. Everyone agrees that he can't wait for A Distant Plain.

By the way, just cross-referencing -- I posted over in Colonial Twilight that I got my first play of it this weekend. Two COIN vets and we loved the way the two person initiative worked. It was more tense (with stakes) than the four person mechanic.
Excellent, thank you!

Oh, and if your group wants to experiment, I made some short and largely untested rules for four-player play of Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62.
One group in Belgium tried it and found it very interesting!

https://brtrain.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/spielenexperiment-i...

Brian
 
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Olli Juhala
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ViolentSilence wrote:
Has there ever been any plans for a fictional setting for the COIN series? There are a few titles in the series that I'd love to have a go at, but doubt I can get them to the table because my regular group are less interested in the particular conflicts (and one in particular has Colombian heritage so doesn't want to go anywhere near Andean Abyss, which is weirdly the modern one that appeals most to me). I have Pendragon, and will likely try to get Falling Skies at some point, but I'm curious if there has ever been an attempt to do an original or licenced COIN game based on fiction. Maybe a Babylon 5 game (Vorlons + allies vs Shadows + allies until they start planet killing..), or possibly one set in something like Robocop's Detroit (OCP vs Police Vs local government vs criminal gangs)? Or are licences too expensive to pursue?
I did kinda think Lord of the Rings would be one fictional setting that could work as a COIN-game, what with the highly asymmetrical nature of the involved groups and their respective victory conditions. And War of the Ring shows that the main story provides a pretty good framework for a wargame.
 
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Galatolol 1
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Quote:
I did kinda think Lord of the Rings would be one fictional setting that could work as a COIN-game
But there are only 2 camps.
 
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Olli Juhala
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Galatolol wrote:
Quote:
I did kinda think Lord of the Rings would be one fictional setting that could work as a COIN-game
But there are only 2 camps.
Saruman and Sauron, Gondor and Fellowship
 
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Tucker Taylor
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Shader10 wrote:
Galatolol wrote:
Quote:
I did kinda think Lord of the Rings would be one fictional setting that could work as a COIN-game
But there are only 2 camps.
Saruman and Sauron, Gondor and Fellowship
The problem is that the Fellowship is playing a different game than anyone else. It'd be kind of like War of the Ring, where the Fellowship player is trying to win a game of LotR Co-op before anyone else can win a game of LotR Risk.

Rohan's a better choice, especially pre-Two-Towers Rohan where they just want to be left alone in their valley. Or maybe Men and Dwarves, there were some significant battles fought up near Erebor that we just don't hear about in the books.
 
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Regarding Middle-earth, the war in the North between Arthedain, Cardolan, Rhudaur and Angmar would be perfect for a COIN game.
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David Goulette
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You might want to look at the upcoming game Root. Apparently it has some COIN elements but with a fictional setting.

There have been a few positive reviews of the game.
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Root is great (I played a demo of it last fall), but I don’t think it is very similar to the one COIN game I have played (Cuba Libre).
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Galatolol 1
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Author of Root, Cole Wehrle, claims that Root was his take on a lighter COIN game.
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