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Subject: Newbie-friendly? rss

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Sven
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Hello fellow Geeks!

I am not really a wargamer. I am very interested in quite a few, but scarcity of opponents, high prices and the sheer length of many wargames has so far kept me away from wargaming most of the time.
Twilight Struggle has really captured my interest though. I am very interested in the theme (additionaly, the theme not being WW2 or American Civil War increases the chances of convincing potential opponents) it seems to be rather short and I have heard many good comments, even from more euro-orientated gamers.

So, a long story cut short:

I have never played a card-driven wargame. Is Twilight Struggle a good introduction to this system? If not, what would you suggest?
 
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L. Scott Johnson
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It's a great game to start with if you're not familiar with card driven war games, and probably even more so if you're hard-presses for opponents who are "into wargames".

But the time frame isn't really short, except by way of comparison to most war games. It still takes a good 3h to play.
 
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Steve Hope
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I think it's a great "first card-driven game". Good theme, highly abstracted conflict, doesn't take too long...The one thing you WILL want to be aware of in any card-driven game is that there are almost unavoidably some on-the-fly rulings which are necessary. Because there are so many different cards that do different things, it can be tricky to know exactly how to execute every card in an unusual situation.

There are two ways to deal with this. First is to sort these things out as they arise with your opponent, which is easy to do in any casual game. Second is to pore over the FAQs and errata on the web to keep track of these "edge case" rulings, which allows you to be sure you are playing as the designers intend. Neither way is necessarily better, unless you plan on going to tournaments.

Take the plunge! It's a very fun game!

Edit: Yecch. Grammar.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Twilight Struggle was my first card-driven wargame, and I found it easy enough to understand. The USSR is easier to play, so between two newbies USSR will probably win the first few games, just make sure you swap sides.

3Hrs if you do the full 10 turns, but less if USSR wins early, which probably will happen the first game...
 
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Alpha Mastrano
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I agree with the other posts, this is certainly a good intro to GMT's range of CDG's, even my non-gamer gf could play reasonably well. (Great theme, too. Cold War without the `war', who'da thunk it?). Our first game actually lasted >3hrs, but she has a little chronic-fatigue problem and she likes to take her time thinking (5-8mins per move!).

Just remember that the very nature of CDG's means that only players who have had several games (and know which card does what and cancels which) can make decent long-range plans, so to speed up play and make the game more enjoyable, try not to be too strategic in your first game. I mean, it's not like Magic, where the interplay between cards are crucial, but the cards and events do interact with each other quite a bit.

Another reason why I think TS is a good intro is that you don't actually move any `units' around. The influence markers generally stay where they are (they get removed and replaced often, but only moved to a different country rarely). Wargames can get a bit fiddly in this regard and newbies can find it pesky to move stacks of little cardboard counters around. I plan to try Wilderness War, another (relatively) low-complexity CDG from GMT, with my gf this weekend. There doesn't seem to be a lot of interaction between cards and the events are all avoidable (unlike TS, where enemy events occur anyway...), but let's see if she can take the counter-pushing...

Have fun!
 
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Sven
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Thanks for all the replys!
I guess you lot convinced me.
A playing time of two to four hours is no problem. Only games that go beyond four hours worry me a bit. I don´t have the option to leave a game set up for a few days to play it in multiple sessions.

I perused the rules yesterday evening and I think I´ll treat myself to a copy of Twilight Struggle next month or so. My retailer doesn´t have it in stock at the moment.
 
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L. Scott Johnson
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Jason on CSW just indicated that a second printing (which would include corrections or clarifications to the rules, board, and cards) is "pretty imminent", so you may want to wait and pick up that edition -- depending on your collectible tendencies.

CSW link:
http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@122.NGeObIdoVwt.0@.1dcfd...
 
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Sven
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Thanks for the info! I´ll see if I can get the new printing.
 
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Chris Atkins
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TS is easy for a new gamer to understand...but the game itself is VERY hard on inexperienced play. Even the smallest mistakes can end up costing you a boatload of VPs.
 
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The Real and Only
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How big of a factor is keeping up with the errata when trying to determine how hard it is going to be to learn this game.

I just bought the game and was a little bit dissapointed to discover so many errors in the production.

Does it distract from learning the game, or is it pretty much a non issue.


 
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Patrick Thornbury
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I didn't find the errata (other than the mapboard errors) to be all that bad. As long as you have the corrected starting setup, you shouldn't have any problems. Occasionally you might have to refer to a card specific clarification, but that's not too frequent. This was my first experience with a CDG and I thought it was pretty painless.
 
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L. Scott Johnson
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You can play very well without the errata -- just play the cards as printed.

You only need the rulings list if you want to play the official version (instead of the printed version).

Be prepared for a few disagreements on interpretation, though. Most of the issues that arise can be resolved by careful analysis of the texts, though these may not always match the official interpretation.
 
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Allen Doum
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Tanakor wrote:
Thanks for the info! I´ll see if I can get the new printing.


I would imagine that a new printing would be at least a year away. While the errors are unfortunate, there are only a few cards that you have to watch out for.
 
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David Wilson
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This game is VERY newbie friendly.. Of course, my first two games were played completely wrong as I trusted my opponent to know the rules. There are only 8 pages of rules.

The actual erratta to the game is primarily spelling errors or a correction about cards that are supposed to be removed after play, etc.

The FAQ contains all of the erratta, and most questions that might come up in play. As with CCG's, an occasional problem arises in interpretation of a card's text or how one card combines with another.

I will state that it is NOT a wargame, even if it is about the cold war. There are no actual combat units, leaders, etc. So if you are expecting it to be a wargame like Paths of Glory, We the People, or something like that, you are looking at the wrong game.

The game is great, my current favorite, and is better (in my opinion) than any game GMT has ever published. but then, I'm speaking about my likes and dislikes.

David "the preacher" Wilson
 
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Ben Harris
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Sven,

You asked the same question that I had.

The last "war" game I tried was Hammer of the Scots (solo just to get the hang of it mind you) and that did not go over so well.

I am considering picking up the second printing as well.
 
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Allen Doum
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Quote:
I would imagine that a new printing would be at least a year away. While the errors are unfortunate, there are only a few cards that you have to watch out for.


The first printing is now sold out at GMT, although it may still be available at some outlets.

The second printing is on a quicker schedule than I indicated above. It will still be a few months, however.
 
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