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For the past few weeks, I've been playing Cuba Libre against Rodney Smith @watchitplayed and I just wanted to make an appreciation post/thread about two things that have made this one of my favorite tabletop gaming experiences.

First, Rodney not only set up the logistics of our game session (We are playing entirely over short video messages), but he also sent me videos to help me with the messaging app. Rodney Smith is without a doubt one of the kindest, sincerest people you could ever meet.

Second, I was skeptical of playing a game this complex over video messages, but it's been fantastic. Both participants have to own the game, but it's really felt like we have been playing in the same room and at the the same table. Highly recommend that COIN fans try this method.

@HenriWhitehead COIN games do *really* well over long distance play whether via video or Vassal play by email. The turn structure is part of why, and I think that slower pace lends itself to the strategic level (vs tactical or operational) focus of the conflicts.

Glad you enjoyed it. Was this your first experience or had you played in person before?

@gpage I usually just solo the COIN games. I've tried Vassal multiplayer, but I think why I enjoyed this particular experience was the conversational aspect of talking through your moves. Also, we would stop and just talk about the board state. I'm not a competitive person, so it's not just about "playing" the game. I think I really strive off of the personal interactions. Video messaging can be clunky, but I found the experience very rewarding.

@HenriWhitehead totally makes sense. have you tried any other volumes in the series? I know that in Gandhi and onward the solo modes were redone (and FitL got an update there). I used to solo FitL years ago and found the experience to be entertaining. I admit, I didn't have a game table at the time so it was primarily done over Vassal so I could save it and not occupy the dinner table for days on end...

@HenriWhitehead This is actually how I taught my friends to play COIN long distance before I discovered VASSAL.

@HenriWhitehead @watchitplayed Do either of you have a recommendation for the best intro COIN game? I've never played one and I'm intrigued. (Is Root a COIN game?)

@eschy12 I would recommend Cuba Libre. Root has a COIN-esque feel because it has asymmetrical factions, but it’s not part of the COIN series. If you go on GMT’s website (the publisher), you can browse at all of the games in the series. Although I would say Cuba Libre is a great starting point, I like the advice to pick the COIN game with the historical setting that interests you the most. That way you are more motivated to dive into the rules.

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