June 14, 2024

UnboxingDay – Insurgent COIN in 2040: An American Insurgency

RockyMountainNavy, 20 July 2023

2040:An American Insurgency by Edward Castronova from Compass Games (2023) is a two-player COIN-like game that is set a near-future America beset by a Second American Civil War. That setting has raised concerns by some about an (offending?) political message of the game. For the purposes of this Unboxing post, I acknowledge those concerns exist but will not address them and instead simply focus on the components of the game out-of-the-box.

2040: An American Insurgency ships in a relatively standard Compass Games 1-3/4″ deep box with the company’s usually glossy cover wrap. The back of the box is also bog-standard with the usual information given.

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Box cover

 

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Box back

click images to enlarge

Opening the box of 2040: An American Insurgency, the first thing I noticed was the half-page of errata obviously inserted as the last step of packing. Finding this was both reassuring and troublesome; reassuring in that an effort was made to clean up issues before shipment but troublesome that the problems were apparently caught too late in the production process to be changed before printing.

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Errata on top

 

Moving the errata sheet aside, the next thing I noticed about the components of 2040: An American Insurgency is that there are no wooden bits. This in part explains the shallower box. I wonder how the lack of bits will be accepted by hard-core COIN fans who have been spoiled by GMT Games and expect that a COIN game includes wood.

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COIN without wood?

 

The rule book for 2040: An American Insurgency is very standard, even uninspiring. Though 24-pages long I was a bit surprised to find the rules covered in a mere 10 pages. The majority of the balance is taken up by an extended Example of Play (11 pages). I am sad to also report that there are some annoying formatting errors (like repeated rules sections) that once again show why a good copyeditor is needed by every game publisher.

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Rule book

 

2040: An American Insurgency comes with three player aid cards though component list states only two. Each faction is given a player aid card (unexciting bullet lists), and the third is the 2040 News Cycle Display. Interestingly, there is no Bot for either faction provided in 2040: An American Insurgency to enable solo play.

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The news network

 

The majority of the box depth is taken up by the mounted 34″x22″ game board for 2040: An American Insurgency. The illustration work is credited to Ilya Kudriashov.

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Deep…states?

 

Some people have commented on the “incorrect” borders between some regions on the 2040: An American Insurgency  game board. The designer weighed into several discussions and explained the adjustments were a necessary game balance mechanism. Understandable, but still unsettling to see at first glance.

Since 2040: An American Insurgency is a card-driven game (CDG), there are 94 Event Cards in three different colors; blue for Federal Cards, red for Rebel Cards, and grey for Neutral Cards. As is expected in a CDG, the cards have both an event and an operations points value.

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Cards

 

Some ink has been spilled is discussions of the “Race Card” in 2040: An American Insurgency. I present it below for your viewing without further comment.

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“Race” card

 

2040: An American Insurgency also includes 20 smaller Story Cards that are used in the News Cycle on the 2040 News Cycle Display.

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All the news fit to print

 

To be honest, 2040: An American Insurgency is a very plain game with merely functional graphics and components. There is no real “bling” to the game. The “gimmick” is that it is a two-player COIN-like game with game mechanisms that add social media, the internet, and the news cycle.

At $59 retail price, 2040: An American Insurgency prices favorably against games in the COIN series from GMT Games. It is more expensive than the no-wood-bits sci-fi COIN game, Robotech: Reconstruction, available from Strange Machine Games for $45 retail. As already mentioned, however, that lower price is in part because the game is not kitted out with wooden bits like many COIN games are. Nor does it include Bots like many COIN-players likely expect.

 

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No flashy COIN here

 

 


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IF YOU ENCOUNTER A COUNTER CASTING A HEX IN A HEX
AND YOU COUNTER THE HEX WITH A COUNTER-HEX IN THAT HEX DURING THE ENCOUNTER,
AND YOU HAVE TO COUNT HOW MANY HEXES ARE IN THE HEX DURING THE ENCOUNTER
ARE YOU PLAYING A HEX-AND-COUNTER WARGAME?

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