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Subject: Twilight Struggle for Dummies: Lesson Number 1 rss

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James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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I bought Twilight Struggle after hearing about it on the The Dice Tower podcast. I've never played a card-driven war game before, but it sounded like a great 2-player game that maybe, just maybe, my wife would even like to play one day. After getting the box from Thoughthammer (I bought one of their last first edition copies at their reduced rate), I was a little surprised at the quality of the board itself. The graphics were nicer than I was expecting, but the board itself was much flimsier. I wasn't expecting it to be hard to keep flat on the table, but we got out several wooden blocks to put around the edges, and that did the job: (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/137026 - note that this picture is from a game played at a later date)

I played my first full game with my 19-year old brother Timothy who was visiting for a while. If you can call it a full-game. I played the U.S. I had heard how playing the U.S. was usually more difficult for newbies, but by the third round, I was up by 7 points over my brother and feeling good. We didn't really know what we were doing at first - it wasn't obvious when we should be attempting coups or doing realignment rolls instead of just using Operations points for placing influence. The card distribution was kind of interesting as well in this game - Timothy wasn't thrilled about getting mostly U.S. event cards, and I was getting his. However, I find the challenge of minimizing the damage quite enjoyable, and it seemed like everything was pretty balanced overall - the more of his cards I got, the more of mine he got.

I was really getting into the game, visions of an early American victory dancing in my head, and was preparing for playing the Central America scoring card during turn 3. I had played the Castro card in an earlier turn, so I decided the first order of business was to remove the U.S.S.R'.s influence in Cuba. Besides, I was anxious to try another coup and increase my military operations points, and since we were at Defcon 2 at the time, there was almost nowhere else on the map that I was allowed to attempt a coup on. I carefully checked the wording of the rules around where a coup could or couldn't happen, and realized Cuba was fair game. Timothy had 3 influence points there - I had none. Using a card with an operations point value of 3, I rolled the die and came up with a 6, meaning Tim's influence would vanish. Needless to say, I was pretty happy and smugly removed his 3-point marker. Then I glanced at Timothy's face, and realized he was also happy - even after this crushing setback. Did I mention we were at Defcon 2?

I will never forget that Cuba is a battleground country again - ever.

Nothing like accidentally starting a nuclear war to imprint the rules of this game on one's memory. Well, at least we got to bed relatively early that night.
 
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Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
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In friendly play, you can just 'rewind' when that happens and do something else. meeple
 
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James Fehr
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Timothy would have let me "rewind", but actually, I like the idea of having to be careful that what I do doesn't start a nuclear war. There has to be motivation for me to watch what I'm doing.
 
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Fredrik Ulmstedt
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Enköping
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Well, I did the same thing as the soviets... blushblushblush But I think my mistake was even worse, since it wasn't my first game and I actually knew I couldn't coup a battleground country. Heck, I even said it out loud while scanning the board for good coup spots... and then I finally couped a BC in Africa anyway. I was two VP:s from autovictory, and we had been playing for 2,5 hrs.

We did not rewind, we started a new game. I'm sure I will never do it again...zombie..I think...
 
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