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Subject: Game as simulation of Cold War rss

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James Champion

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Wondering how people here feel that the game is a good simulation of the Cold War. Is it good overall? Is it a good simulation but not accurate? Is is accurate but not a good simulation? Is it neither?
 
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Nicolas Wauthoz
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I feel it's a good simulation of the mindset of those who participated in the Cold War (particularly from the American point of view) and it's really good at conveying this paranoid and particular feeling but, on the contrary, it's not very good at simulating what really happened.

For example, the Soviets will always (or nearly always) be much stronger on the board than historically. Likewise, the power of US economy is not a factor in the game. Some have already pointed that the fact than De Gaulle or Willy Brandt are events favoring the Communist player is questionable at best.

To be fair, the designers have mentioned that Twilight Struggle took some "fantasies" of the Cold War as true, like the domino theory which proved false. They did not attempt to make a real simulation of the Cold War as it really happened.

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Joe Kundlak
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But as a good game on Cold War? For me probably the best there is!
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Max DuBoff
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It's a great game, but it's not a great simulation. The word "simulation" is usually pejorative on this site precisely because a good simulation does not make for much of a game. Rather than attempting to simulate historical patterns of influence, TS uses abstracted historical events for its cards.
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Sean Conroy
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If you think of it as the CIA and the KGB having complete control over what happens in the game, then yes, it is a great simulation of what could have happened. sauron
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Kaiwen Zhang
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has anyone attempted to artifically create a game log using twilight struggle to historically represent what happened? ie. what moves would be made by which side in which order with which results to be historically accurate.
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Ioan Mitiu
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Not really ...
guywithgzus wrote:
Wondering how people here feel that the game is a good simulation of the Cold War. Is it good overall? Is it a good simulation but not accurate? Is is accurate but not a good simulation? Is it neither?


It fully simulate the "Cold War paranoia" - so I'd say that from this point of view is extremely well-done ( and this is likely to be one of main explanation for its success ).

But as a simulation in sense of "historical one" it is actually more the opposite : as long as competent player will try to prevent some key enemy-events at any cost ...

I'd use the term "alternate-history game-builder" instead.
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Pete Hooper
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The true test, though, is to ask "is it fun?"

The answer is a resounding "YES!"
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Bill Eldard
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thingol wrote:
To be fair, the designers have mentioned that Twilight Struggle took some "fantasies" of the Cold War as true, like the domino theory which proved false.


Hmmm. I wonder how the folks in Laos and Cambodia felt about that.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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guywithgzus wrote:
Wondering how people here feel that the game is a good simulation of the Cold War. Is it good overall? Is it a good simulation but not accurate? Is is accurate but not a good simulation? Is it neither?


I think the game first and foremost puts you in the mind of some of the american leaders at the time. They were the ones who worried about the domino theory. They were the ones who thought all communists were directed from Moscow. The domino theory is an integral part of the game (you can only spread your influence to neighbours of countries in which you already have influence). Most communist leaders (like Fidel Castro) automatically gives the USSR influence, although most may have been independent. The game is not a simulation, but what is? I don't believe there is any simulation model or game that is good enough to answer 'what if' questions on something as complex as the cold war. When someone makes a game, they have already decided on what they think was important to represent in the game, so any game will just present the designers viewpoint (or the viewpoint they want to convey). Twilight Struggle's viewpoint is that of certain american leaders in the cold war.
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Nicolas Wauthoz
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Eldard wrote:
thingol wrote:
To be fair, the designers have mentioned that Twilight Struggle took some "fantasies" of the Cold War as true, like the domino theory which proved false.


Hmmm. I wonder how the folks in Laos and Cambodia felt about that.


Is it the installation of a communist regime in the neighbourhood or the instability caused by the Vietnam War which brought these countries to communisme ?

The domino theory implied some more important effects, like the fall of Thailand or Indonesia.

Well, maybe "proved false" is too strong a word but i don't think it's taken seriously by political analysts or historians.
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Shawaron .
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Hmmm. I wonder how the folks in Laos and Cambodia felt about that.


Or for that matter, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Romania in 1989.

(I think I got that order correct)
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Gabriel Conroy
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Shawaron wrote:

Or for that matter, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Romania in 1989.

(I think I got that order correct)


I'd say that's about the only time the domino theory turned out to be valid - except that I've only ever heard it referring to US strategic thinking, not USSR.
 
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