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Subject: Fire in the lake or Falling Sky or Pendragon rss

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Daniel Tenbrock
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Since I fist read about a coin game I wanted to try it. I played 4 rounds of solo adp now and I just started to understand the strategies of the factions.
But playing over vassal is just not the same feeling as playing on a board.
After much debating I found myself with 3 options for getting one, sadly none is a perfect fit. Playing wise I fear it will mostly be solitair with the option of sometimes getting 1 or 2 players to the table, full setup seeks very unlikely to me.

Falling sky (72 Euros Online Retailer): I like the period and the Leader mechanics. Additionally play time and ease to learn means i might get one or two friends to try it. Biggest disappointments for me are the lack of something resembling LOCs (i liked the option of restricting movement by controlling locs) and the really small map. I havent played it, but the small map concerns me.

Fire in the Lake (85 Euros bgg retailer): Beatiful map and time period. Size of the map and chomplexity really speak to me, but also gamelength and weight will most definitly result in me playing alone. I have a friend who would like to play this with me, but because of Job situations I only see him ever other month and mostly for half a day to a day.

Pendragon(77 euros store bought): Mostly like Fire in the Lake, but with more chomplexity and fiddlier parts. I really like the idea of changing victory conditions, but saxons and scotty read super samy and it looks very fiddly.

A Distant Plain (75 bg retail): I dont know about this one. The scenario is nice but not as nice as Fire in the lake. Warlords feel a bit left behind as a faction(imho). Time complexity wise its likly just outside the possible multiplayer realm, but inside a margin of error. Atm I think I would rather get Fire in the lake, since it seems to share negatives, but exceed the positives.

Adp and Fs would enable me to get Great western trail or Branching Claw into the budget, whisch is a plus.
Other Coins are uninteresting and unavailabe.
 
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Christian van Someren
Netherlands
Groningen
Groningen
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Fire in the Lake plays quite well 2-player and you can finish the short scenario in an afternoon. If you're looking at the 2nd edition, the new bots are supposed to be a big improvement. And if the theme speaks to you, I can't think of a better choice.

A Distant Plain is also great, but (and this could be a plus or minus) the factions are not so well aligned, making 2 or 3 player games trickier without bots.

Falling Sky is intriguing to me, though I haven't tried it out myself. The big advantage is that this takes a step back in terms of complexity, so it's probably easier to solo and to introduce new players to. Also, the recent expansion looks interesting.

Pendragon has a great theme and looks interesting, but I'm scared off by all the new rules complexities. Some people swear by this one though so I wouldn't rule it out.

In conclusion (and you always get this advice with COIN games), go with the theme that interests you the most.
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Daniel Tenbrock
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yeah theme wise only a distant plain is slightly weaker.
Pendragon has atrocious card artwork and seems really fiddly thats why i would put it on a close place 3.
But I just cannot figure out which of the other two I like more.
I grew up in the region FS is sattled in and was obsessed with everything ancient.
Now I also rly like the vietnam war, making theme an even tie.
And all the other things have their pro and cons.
Solo Fitl is porbably the better game, but it is an instant ko for mp.
FS looks like a 2p game is organsiable, but the small map and lack of loc seems worries me, which in turn makes me interested in pendragon again and so on and so on. If I had the money I would get all, sadly I do not have enoguh money to get more than one.
 
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Chris Laudermilk
United States
Orange County
California
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As always (and as Christian said): Pick the COIN with the theme that speaks to you most.

I have Falling Sky and Pendragon. Pendragon was the first for me that I really played and wrapped my head around the concepts; I had Liberty or Death as my first COIN and was stuck trying to figure it out.

For Pendragon, yes the two barbarian factions (Scotti and Saxons) play much the same with minor differences. As an entry to COIN I think that's more a feature than a bug. Their goals are straightforward for a newbie. Don't worry about the mediocre card artwork, for COIN the cards mostly just sit in their stacks and guide player order. You are looking at the map and your wooden pieces more than anything else (then player aids after that laugh ). The map is gorgeous and that's what you're focusing on.

Falling Sky is my newest COIN and I like it almost as much as Pendragon. Yes, the map is smaller, but it feels right for the game--you are in each other's faces all the time and there is a real struggle for control. Overall complexity is lower than Pendragon.

IMHO you can't go wrong with either of those two. For your other options, the themes don't pull me in, so I ignored them--and can't comment.
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Paul Schroeder

Dubuque
Iowa
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I currently have "A Distant Plain" and "Pendragon". I really like both, and play solo on both.

One note: Both of these games are for medium to advanced gamers only. I can't imagine trying to teach these games to people who aren't already invested in wargaming (or you think would really enjoy a wargame).

For purely solo play, I'd lean towards "A Distant Plain." The methods for playing the factions are more nuanced, and each feels very different in the way they play. I feel like every game is a puzzle to attain my goal while playing solo. I tend to enjoy this one a lot more playing solo.

For group play (unless you have a group willing to play one of these games many times), I'd recommend Pendragon. The Dux and Civitates are somewhat nuanced play, while the barbarians are very straight-forward (at least at start of a game). This let's your group of people with different levels of experience all have a good game because anyone wanting a clear path to their goal can play a barbarian.
 
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