Twilight Struggle (2005)

Average Rating: 8.33/10
Board Game Rank: 2
War Game Rank: 1
Strategy Game Rank: 2
Year Published
# of Players
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 2 players
Recommended with 2 players
(515 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
13 and up
Playing Time
180 minutes
User Suggested Ages
(241 voters) [poll]
Language Dependence
Extensive use of text - massive conversion needed to be playable
(277 voters) [poll]
(807 voters) [vote]
Primary Name
Twilight Struggle
Alternate Names
Gleichgewicht des Schreckens
Studená válka 1945-1989
Zimna wojna 1945-1989
冷战热斗 (冷戰熱鬥)
황혼의 투쟁
wrong website?
 Customize View
xml RSS Feed 
Facebook Twitter Delicious Google
ObjectID: 12333
Description Edit | History

"Now the trumpet summons us again, not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are – but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle..."
– John F. Kennedy

In 1945, unlikely allies toppled Hitler's war machine, while humanity's most devastating weapons forced the Japanese Empire to its knees in a storm of fire. Where once there stood many great powers, there then stood only two. The world had scant months to sigh its collective relief before a new conflict threatened. Unlike the titanic struggles of the preceding decades, this conflict would be waged not primarily by soldiers and tanks, but by spies and politicians, scientists and intellectuals, artists and traitors. Twilight Struggle is a two-player game simulating the forty-five year dance of intrigue, prestige, and occasional flares of warfare between the Soviet Union and the United States. The entire world is the stage on which these two titans fight to make the world safe for their own ideologies and ways of life. The game begins amidst the ruins of Europe as the two new "superpowers" scramble over the wreckage of the Second World War, and ends in 1989, when only the United States remained standing.

Twilight Struggle inherits its fundamental systems from the card-driven classics We the People and Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage. It is a quick-playing, low-complexity game in that tradition. The game map is a world map of the period, whereon players move units and exert influence in attempts to gain allies and control for their superpower. As with GMT's other card-driven games, decision-making is a challenge; how to best use one's cards and units given consistently limited resources?

Twilight Struggle's Event cards add detail and flavor to the game. They cover a vast array of historical happenings, from the Arab-Israeli conflicts of 1948 and 1967, to Vietnam and the U.S. peace movement, to the Cuban Missile Crisis and other such incidents that brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. Subsystems capture the prestige-laden Space Race as well as nuclear tensions, with the possibility of game-ending nuclear war.

A deluxe edition, published in 2009 includes the following changes from the basic game:

  • Mounted map with revised graphics
  • Two double-thick counter sheets with 260 counters
  • Deck of 110 event cards (increased from 103)
  • Revised rules and player aid cards
  • Revised at start setup and text change for card #98 Aldrich Ames

Upgrade kit for the owners of the previous version includes the following:

  • Mounted Map with revised graphics
  • New card decks
  • Updated Rules & Charts

There are also the deluxe mounted map and deluxe euro-style countersheet upgrades.


  • 228 full colour counters (260 in the 2009 Deluxe edition)
  • 22"x34" full colour cardboard map (mounted map with revised graphics in the 2009 Deluxe edition)
  • 103 event cards (110 in the 2009 Deluxe edition)
  • 2 six-sided dice
  • 1 24-page rulebook
  • 2 full colour player aid cards

TIME SCALE: approx. 3-5 years per turn
MAP SCALE: Point-to-point system
UNIT SCALE: Influence markers

DESIGNER: Ananda Gupta & Jason Matthews
MAP, CARD, & COUNTER ART: Mark Simonitch

Important Errata:

Phase E (Check Military Operations Status) and Phase F (Reveal Held Card) should swap places in the sequence of play, becoming Phase E (Reveal Held Card) and Phase F (Check Military Operations Status).

Furthermore, Phase E (Reveal Held Card) is no longer a tournament rule (and is therefore no longer optional). However, as the cards imply, 4.5F (now 4.5E) and 11.1.1 should be understood only as requiring examination of the bottom portion of the held card - the part with the red stripe - to verify that none are scoring cards.
Reference: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/12971360#12971360

Thumbs Up
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No items found
{{product.numforsale}} for sale {{product.price}}
Thumbs Up
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No items found
{{item.title}} {{item.timeleft}}
More Information Edit | History

Rules PDF

Strategy Guide:

  • Twilight Strategy is a free e-book designed to teach Twilight Struggle to a relative beginner.

Learning Aids:

Online Play:

  • Aid
    • TS Cards, a free iPhone App of card reviewer on App Store
    • Cold War Soundtrack, an online TS-themed soundtrack that plays songs and video clips from 1945-1989

Play by email
Download the excellent Twilight Struggle Game Engine. You no longer need to use the Automated Card Tracking System, but this is still an option. The Excel file now keeps track both the deck of cards in the players' hands, and the board status.


"Optional cards 105, 106 and 108 all have issues in the 2009 Deluxe edition. Depending on when your copy was produced you may have a slip of paper describing the corrections for 105 and 106.
As of late January 2010, all new copies now contain an extra three corrected copies of these cards. The new cards are also available for download from the GMT web site."

C3i issue #18 includes cut out markers for Twilight Struggle.
C3i issue #19 includes a late war scenario for Twilight Struggle.
C3i issue #21 includes an official rules variant (Chinese Civil War).

Redux map: Mahaffey map.

Other Awards


  • game: mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mbmbmbmbmbmb mbmbmbmbmb
  • inspired by that era: mb
  • card driven category: mb
  • Cold War Games fan: mb
  • endless wargame debates: mb mb
Sort: Nickname | Year Published
Pg. 1 of 5 » 5
Twilight Struggle
English Collector's Edition
Publisher: GMT Games
Artist: Chechu Nieto
Year: 2016
Size: 10.00 x 13.00 x 4.00 inches
8.00 pounds
Release Date: January 2016
Link Image
Twilight Struggle
English Deluxe Edition 2015
Publisher: GMT Games
Artist: Rodger B. MacGowan
Year: 2015
Product Code: 0510-15
Size: GMT standard box
3.80 pounds
Release Date: Dec 14, 2015
Link Image
Twilight Struggle
English Deluxe edition 2014
Publisher: GMT Games
Artist: Rodger B. MacGowan
Year: 2014
Product Code: 0510-14
Size: GMT standard box
4.00 pounds
Release Date: Mar 1, 2014
Link Image
Zimna wojna 1945-1989
Polish fourth edition
Publisher: Bard Centrum Gier
Artist: Rodger B. MacGowan
Year: 2014
Size: GMT standard box
3.53 pounds
Release Date: Dec 2014
Link Image
Gleichgewicht des Schreckens
German Second Deluxe edition
Publisher: Udo Grebe Gamedesign
Artist: Rodger B. MacGowan
Year: 2014
Size: 12.60 x 9.41 x 2.76 inches
Release Date: Nov 2014
Link Image
Thumbs Up
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No images found
Thumbs Up
Category: Language:
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No videos found
{{video.numrecommend}} {{video.title}} {{video.language}} {{video.username|truncate:"10"}} {{video.numcomments}}
Thumbs Up
{{data.config.moduletitle}} Relationship:
[] [Forums »] [Post »] [Search »]
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No threads found
{{thread.numrecommend}} {{thread.subject}}
Last Post {{thread.lastpostdate|truncate:"10"}} Posted {{thread.postdate|truncate:"10"}}
{{thread.user.username|truncate:"10"}} {{thread.numposts-1}}
Thumbs Up
{{data.config.moduletitle}} Relationship:
[] [Forums »] [Post »] [Search »]
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No threads found
{{thread.numrecommend}} {{thread.subject}}
Last Post {{thread.lastpostdate|truncate:"10"}} Posted {{thread.postdate|truncate:"10"}}
{{thread.user.username|truncate:"10"}} {{thread.numposts-1}}
Thumbs Up
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No posts found
{{post.numpositive}} {{post.title}}
Title | Hot | Recent
[Browse »]  [Upload File »] Language:
Pg. 1 of 26 »
8 Twilight Struggle Cards in Historical Order
[url=https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1506830/who-won-twilight-struggle-historically]This thread[/url] asks who would win a game of Twilight Struggle if events played out historically. I created this file to see if it could help with that question. It lists all of the Twilight Struggle cards by year and highlights them based on their period (light yellow Early, orange mid, light green Late).
6 Regolamento Italiano Esteso - con note per principianti
Twilight Struggle: Regolamento Italiano Esteso - con note per principianti Il testo (Versione Deluxe - Regolamento Esteso) è completamente revisionato, riordinato, riassunto da Domitilla D'Amico, con particolare attenzione a chi gioca le prime partite. Si è notato infatti che i nuovi giocatori non afferrano il meccanismo generale durante le primissime partite. La logica del gioco viene quindi meglio spiegata, dando priorità ai concetti fondamentali (evidenziati con un triangolino rosso), e presentando le chiarificazioni necessarie al gioco avanzato solo in seguito. Il metodo è testato con numerosi gruppi di gioco. Aggiunte varianti del gioco, regole riguardanti le più comuni dispute come da Faq v5.1 ed aforismi di personaggi storici all'inizio di ogni paragrafo. Il manuale è di 20...
12 Reglamento ordenado
La idea de este archivo fue comprimir y ordenar todas las reglas del juego sin variantes en solo 2 hojas para que cualquier jugador que conozca o no Twilight Struggle pueda jugarlo de una manera rápida sin tener que lidiar con el manual. Se agradecen likes, comentarios o cualquier aporte que pueda mejorar este documento.
8 Zimna Wojna plansza, Twilight Struggle redesigned board print&play
Adaptacja rosyjskiej planszy do Zimnej Wojny autorstwa Konstantina Sokolova (kotdesign) w moim tłumaczeniu. [ImageID=2738434] ---------- "kotdesign" redesigned board game for Twilight Struggle translated to Polish.
3 Twilight Struggle Japanese card list
Twilight Struggle 4-page monochrome card list, including optional cards of deluxe edition.
0 Twilight Struggle Hebrew Rules
תרגום חוברת החוקים למשחק מאבק דמדומים. מתוך הגרסא העברית בעיצוב מחודש.
4 Twilight Struggle Deluxe Edition - Foam core Insert Plan
This is the SketchUp plans for a Twilight Struggle insert that I made. The foam core used was 1/8 inch(3.175mm). The plans were done in fractional inch sizes(sorry metric). File was saved in SketchUp 2015 you may be able to get it convert to metric. If you upgrade it, or use parts of it don't forget to give credit please. Thanks Jon.
22 Twilight Struggle Rulebook Index (for Deluxe Edition 2014)
As an exercise to aid in teaching myself the game and learning the rules interrelationships, I created an index for the TS Deluxe Edition (2014) rulebook. Card names are included in the index and found in italic font. Major sections are identified by boldface font. The index itself is page numbered starting at page 33 so that it marries up to the TS Deluxe Edition 2014 rulebook. Hope it proves helpful to others.
5 Twilight Struggle Late War Scenario Labyrinth Board
This is a further evolution of a file I put together some time ago (https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/112587/twilight-struggle-visualized-labyrinth). This time, I wanted to make an actual playable board. On a whim, I chose to use the start conditions of the Late War Scenario. There are several other elements missing from this version of the board (like turn and space trackers). That is intentional, and those will come later. What I would love is some help with auditing it--I'm really bad about missing small things and could use an extra set of eyes to check whether all my starting influence numbers are right.
14 Early War Tuckbox
Late War tuckbox.
Thumbs Up
[Browse »] [Summary »]
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No lists found
{{list.numpositive}} {{list.title}} {{list.username|truncate:"10"}} {{list.numitems}}
{{list.lastreplydate|truncate:"10"}} {{list.postdate|truncate:"10"}}
Board Game Rank: 2
War Game Rank: 1
Strategy Game Rank: 2
Num Ratings: 21673
Average Rating: 8.33
Standard Deviation: 1.64
Num Views: 2629371
GeekBuddy Analysis: Analyze
Similarly Rated: View
Avg. Game Weight: 3.5
Fans: 2919
Personal Comments: 5598
Users Owning: 28776
Users Wanting: 1211
Users Trading: 395 [find trade matches]
Has Parts For Trade: 25
Want Parts In Trade: 20
Price History: View
Total Plays: 59270
Plays This Month: 93
Linked Items
Relationship: Sort: Category: Mechanic:
Pg. 1
Num Ratings 20
Average Rating 7.45
Average Weight 4.00
Num Owned 99
Prev. Owned 0
For Trade 2
Want in Trade 24
Wishlist 49
Comments 4
Year Published 2011
Num Ratings 16
Average Rating 7.84
Average Weight 0.00
Num Owned 51
Prev. Owned 1
For Trade 1
Want in Trade 16
Wishlist 26
Comments 6
Year Published 2013
Num Ratings 27
Average Rating 7.26
Average Weight 4.00
Num Owned 142
Prev. Owned 1
For Trade 2
Want in Trade 26
Wishlist 46
Comments 8
Year Published 2012
Num Ratings 17
Average Rating 8.12
Average Weight 3.00
Num Owned 238
Prev. Owned 1
For Trade 2
Want in Trade 38
Wishlist 139
Comments 23
Year Published 2015
Linked Podcasts/Periodicals
Pg. 1 of 4 » 4
Boards Alive Monster Mash-up - Episode 4
96.68 MB
The Game Pit - Episode 56 - The Bumper Review of 2015 (with Top 5s)
186.69 MB
Low Player Count - Ep 14 - Free Form
63.85 MB
Ep_006 – The Crew is Forced to Choose 5 Board Games
60 MB
RJ51: Jocs de taula i política amb Jason Matthews
91.74 MB
Low Player Count - Ep 11 - High Player Count for Two
60.3 MB
Our Favorite 2 Player Games!
68.07 MB
What Did You Play This Week Podcast Thing Week 39!!! Viceroy Review w/ Eric Booth
49.92 MB
Low Player Count - Ep. 8 - Popular Mechanics
100.12 MB
Low Player Count - Ep. 7 - The Good, The Bad, and the Dummy
58.77 MB
Thumbs Up
Web Links
Category: Language:
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No Web Links Found
Link {{cat}} {{lang}}
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: wishlist [+] own [+] 2-player [+] want [+] wargame [+] coldwar [+] carddriven [+] political [+] cdg [+] gmt [+] [View All]
User Information
Use this tool to rate games, save comments, and manage your collection.
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.