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Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 - ?» Forums » General

Subject: Tips for first play rss

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Daniel Hogetoorn
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Tomorrow I'll play Labyrinth for the first time. I played Twilight Struggle very often, but my friend only 3 or 4 times. For him the principle of CDG is still hard.

Therefore I would like to get some suggestions from experienced Labyrinth players:

1. Which scenario should I choose?
2. Which side is more difficult to play? Should I choose that one?
3. What difference does it make to play 1, 2 or 3 decks? What length is preferrable for a first game?
4. Any remarks regarding rules that easily are being forgotten during a first game?

Thanks in advance!
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Conor Hickey
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Labyrinth is more complex than TS and definitely more asymetrical.

Go with the Let's Roll! scenario, you could try You Can Call Me Al but it could be trickier for beginners to handle the US at Soft, at first.

I would say the Jihadist side is harder to start with, they have more options available to them and their operations are a bit more complex. You should probably take them and have your friend play the US.

Play 1 deck for the first game and see how you get on, just treat it as a learning experience rather than a serious game. If, at the end of the first deck, you want to proceed to a 2nd, you could do so (although this affects near-end-game strategy if you don't know for sure which deck is last). 3 decks is way too long in my opinion.

Common rules to check might be placing Cadres, be sure you are familiar with Jihads, some familiarity with what countries can have cards specifically affect them might help etc.
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Carsten Bohne
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TwoShedsJackson wrote:
Labyrinth is more complex than TS and definitely more asymetrical.

Go with the Let's Roll! scenario, you could try You Can Call Me Al but it could be trickier for beginners to handle the US at Soft, at first.

I would say the Jihadist side is harder to start with, they have more options available to them and their operations are a bit more complex. You should probably take them and have your friend play the US.
´

Funny. I agree with the first two paragraphs, but IMHO the US is more difficult for the first play. As the Jihadist, you have options you can chose from, whereas the more reactive stance of the US is more difficult to prioritize...
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Conor Hickey
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dasher47051 wrote:

Funny. I agree with the first two paragraphs, but IMHO the US is more difficult for the first play. As the Jihadist, you have options you can chose from, whereas the more reactive stance of the US is more difficult to prioritize...


It's a preference thing, of course, but I've taught the game to a couple of people, both capable gamers, who found the Jihadists harder due to the spread out nature and the way you have to operate loosely and 'nibble around the edges' whereas the monolithic 'concentrate mostly on one thing at a time' approach of the US was easier for them to get their heads around.

Certainly down to personal preference.
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Jason Albert
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1. Let’s Roll.

2. Personally, I too find the US more difficult. But that’s based on gut, not any kind of careful analysis, so take it for what it’s worth. But really, I’m not sure it matters which side you pick for a first game. Even though the Operations are completely asymmetrical, to be able to play the game with any competence you have to have as deep an understanding of your opponent’s options as you do your own -- you can't play your side, whichever side, in a vacuum. Flip a coin?

3. To start, go single-deck. (Though my favorite game is the 2-deck.)

4. I wouldn’t worry all that much about rules. The smaller things like the aforementioned cadre-placing will soon become second nature. If you go through the example of play in the playbook, you’ll be extremely well prepped. And the rules are excellent for referencing during play.

What’s much more important, I think, is just playing. That may sound glib, but Labyrinth is a game where a grasp of the Operations’ subtleties can have huge impacts on forming a winning strategy and understanding how the system being modeled functions. Seemingly small actions can leave long-lasting ripples in the pond. Major Jihad and Regime Change are sexy, but the simple act of traveling a couple cells to non-Muslim countries can supremely gum up the US’ plans (depending on the game-state, of course.) Knowing when you can ignore a plot only comes through experiencing what happens when one goes off. How does the game change when funding is at 7 compared to 6? Etc.

If I were you, I’d focus more on pushing all the buttons and seeing what they do, than worrying too much about every rule or what events are coming down the pike. For me, there’s great joy in discovery when each card/event is a step onto uncertain ground. When learning a CDG, you only get that opportunity once.

Good luck! It’s a great game.
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Daniel Hogetoorn
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Thank you all very much for your tips. I'm looking forward to the experience.
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Jason Albert
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Oh, one thing I just remembered. In our first game, we confused/conflated alignment and governance a couple of times in Muslim countries. In retrospect it’s blindingly obvious, but during the typical clod-footedness of a learning game, we messed it up. Possibly something to watch for, but maybe it was just us being thick.
 
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Carsten Bohne
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DeDaan wrote:
Thank you all very much for your tips. I'm looking forward to the experience.


Have fun and tell us how it went...
 
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Paul Bradshaw
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dasher47051 wrote:
DeDaan wrote:
Thank you all very much for your tips. I'm looking forward to the experience.


Have fun and tell us how it went...



Seconded.....I have only ever played this game solo and therefore only ever as the US, but I find it a blast. Look forward to hearing how you get on.
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Agung Waspodo
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DeDaan wrote:
Tomorrow I'll play Labyrinth for the first time. I played Twilight Struggle very often, but my friend only 3 or 4 times. For him the principle of CDG is still hard.

Therefore I would like to get some suggestions from experienced Labyrinth players:

1. Which scenario should I choose?
2. Which side is more difficult to play? Should I choose that one?
3. What difference does it make to play 1, 2 or 3 decks? What length is preferrable for a first game?
4. Any remarks regarding rules that easily are being forgotten during a first game?

Thanks in advance!

Good for you and your friends.

1. I would prefer Let's Roll at first,
2. I would be playing US when friends asks for Labyrinth, but I also agree to the arguments that each side have some difficult-to-grasp actions. I often get first-timer question like "can the cells fight troops head-on like the troops' ability to remove cells" that needs explaining of the principles of asymmetric warfare, I personally find it more effective to explain more subtle rules when playing the US,
3. I would ask them to play 1 deck at first, once most of the cards are understood then use 2 or 3 decks,
4. When the going becomes easier sometimes we, in our gaming group, tend to forget the end of turn sequences and jump to handing out the next cards.
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Daniel Hogetoorn
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Hi all,

Back from the game! We both enjoyed it very much. I played US, my friend the Jihadists, and as suggested, we used the Let's Roll scenario. Since we both didn't know the cards, quite a lot of events didn't happen, but that will be something to reckon with next time.

Only 2 questions remain:

- Is it correct that the game ends immediately when there are not enough cards to deal? Or should we have reshuffled, dealt the remaining cards and played a last turn?
- Per event the governance of Saudi Arabia went to Good Neutral. The US tried War of Ideas which resulted in putting an Aid marker there. However, the next roll succeeded. Does the marker disappear now? Or not, since government didn't shift to Good (it was Good already)?

Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Daniël.

NB: Thanks again for all your tips. It was a real fun experience.
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Carsten Bohne
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DeDaan wrote:
Only 2 questions remain:

- Is it correct that the game ends immediately when there are not enough cards to deal? Or should we have reshuffled, dealt the remaining cards and played a last turn?
- Per event the governance of Saudi Arabia went to Good Neutral. The US tried War of Ideas which resulted in putting an Aid marker there. However, the next roll succeeded. Does the marker disappear now? Or not, since government didn't shift to Good (it was Good already)?

(...) It was a real fun experience.


Good to hear you enjoyed your first play...

Regarding your first question: Yep, the game ends immediately.
Question #2: Sorry, don't have the rules with me right now...
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Volko Ruhnke
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Alrealdy at Good, so no shift to Good, so Aid marker stays. (7.2.2.3)
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Daniel Hogetoorn
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Volko wrote:
Alrealdy at Good, so no shift to Good, so Aid marker stays. (7.2.2.3)


Thanks a lot. Then at least we didn't make any rules mistakes at all (however, we produced loads of tactical and strategical stupidities :-)).
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David Thornton
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DeDaan wrote:
(however, we produced loads of tactical and strategical stupidities :-)).


Just like the "real" War on Terror!
 
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