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Twilight Struggle» Forums » General

Subject: Any thoughts as to why you like this game? rss

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Paul Farrell
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I own Twilight Struggle but I haven't given it a good rating. It seems like it is just a glorified version of Bridge. Yet, there is a very large community of enthusiastic supporters and it is one of the most highly rated games. I like the history, the component quality and the theme of the game but it just leaves me flat. Any thoughts as to why you like/love the game would be greatly appreciated as perhaps I am overlooking something obvious.

Thanks and happy gaming.
 
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Steve
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Troll-sense is going off, but I'll bite.

Exactly how is Twilight Struggle like bridge?
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Greg
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I like Bridge.
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DB
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slashing wrote:
Exactly how is Twilight Struggle like bridge?


They both have cards.
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Conor Hickey
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Any thoughts on exactly why you think's it's like Bridge?
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Jack
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And that's pretty much where it ends.
 
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Colm McCarthy
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I enjoy it because it satisfies two cravings in one game:

1. Historical immersion.
2. A nice game of Bridge.
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Paul Farrell
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Well, Bridge or any other card game where it's important to memorize the deck. Poker perhaps. That's not really my point and perhaps that has created some confusion. I said that based on some of the posts I read on the Geek forum. I don't mind memorizing a card deck.

Tens of thousands seem to like this game. I thought I might be missing something as I get little enjoyment out of it. I genuinely would like to hear what people like about it. Perhaps it will turn out that this is just not the game for me but I'm hoping otherwise.

 
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Paul Farrell
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BoJack Horseman wrote:
slashing wrote:
Troll-sense is going off, but I'll bite.

Exactly how is Twilight Struggle like bridge?


It covers only up to 1989 so there are NO TRUMPS I'll get my coat


Well said.
 
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Paul Farrell
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BoJack Horseman wrote:
seriously though, to the OP, life is too short IMO to waste time trying to convince yourself you "should" like something you clearly dont. Especially when it comes to a hobby, and free time, which is a precious resource. Why anyone would want a random set of names on the internet convince them to change how they feel when there are thousands of other choices is a bit puzzling to me. You don't like it, thats OK. I think Pandemic Legacy is one of the worst games ever invented, but obviously others don't. I'm not going to waste any time letting someone else tell me "I'm wrong". Might be cocky but I have declared myself the world expert in how I feel about my own experiences. 75% of the time its right. Every time.

Just follow your profile name. You have many options.

PS
Twilight Struggle is awesome! Ha!
PPS
You should ditch Conflict of Heroes for Combat Commander.


You're right of course. I just thought I would use the wisdom of crowds to solve my problem rather than playing until I liked it or sold it for a pittance.

I'll be playing COH next week in a comparison with Old School Tactical. Combat commander you say? Hmmm. Must give that a try. Never too many games.....
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Ivor Bolakov
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It's an incredibly tense game with plenty of uncertainty, a constant drought of good options, a political tug of war where the line is never slack and if you ever pull too hard you annihilate yourself.
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Colm McCarthy
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OhBollox wrote:
It's an incredibly tense game with plenty of uncertainty, a constant drought of good options, a political tug of war where the line is never slack and if you ever pull too hard you annihilate yourself.


Seriously though, yes +1 to this. I like the "what's s/he doing over there? Maybe I should be doing stuff over there" aspect of it all.

It also somehow manages to capture the feel of the Cold War era for me (and yes, I am old enough to remember it well).

I don't play it enough to memorize the cards, so that's never been an issue for me.

I find it quite an easy game to learn and teach.

Edited for excessive use of the word "also" shake
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Karl Hiesterman
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I have many good games in my collection, but to qualify for me as a Great Game I have only one requirement: The game has to have at least three horrible, agonizing, nail-biting decisions during the game.

I think Twilight Struggle has this in spades. The constant need to be everywhere at once, and half the cards you play have a benefit to your opponent that must be mitigated or dealt with. It creates tons of tension. That's what I love about TS
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
Tens of thousands seem to like this game. I thought I might be missing something as I get little enjoyment out of it


If you don't like deck memorization, it's a tough sell. Twilight Struggle is basically crisis management. It is rare that you have an amazing hand - you have opportunities, you have crises, you want to do a bunch of stuff but maybe can't do it all because of what your opponent is up to. There's just enough luck that every game goes a little differently, although some patterns will be more common than others among good players.

I think a poker analogy is not that horrible: sometimes you take risks, sometimes you've got to go all-in (Twilight Strategy says, "Summit offers you the grim choice of a chance at 2 VP or nuclear annihilation!"), sometimes you just fold and try your luck with another hand (region), you can feint or bluff, and some days you just don't get the right cards.

For some reason I got the impression you'd like 1775: Rebellion, then checked your collection and saw you rate it an 8. I think that fills similar urges but in less time and with fewer headaches. Twilight Struggle has a lot of "tricks" you can do to defuse dangerous cards, while the other games I'm familiar with in your collection (1775, 1812, Fading Glory) are a little more strategically straightforward.
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Eric C
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I'll give this a shot...

The first time I played this game, I didn't like it. The mechanics were interesting but the events seemed kind of random. I remember sinking a bunch of influence into Egypt, only to eventually be blown out by Muslim Revolution, and being pretty annoyed.

However - a couple more plays and I started to really love it. The hand management, the event management, the deck management and the board management all line up to create a huge amount of strategic depth. Knowing the cards (or at least the important cards) and playing around them creates a lot of interesting tactics, plays and counterplays.

Despite a more-or-less static starting position and a single deck of cards, the game can go all sorts of ways depending on player choice and the order in which the events get played. Some games, Asia might be pretty static - other games it will be a constant, back-and-forth knife fight. Some games, you might end up ignoring South America after a very early scoring round - other games, you'll be dropping coups and realignments all over the place while you try to scramble into Brazil.

The game marries this depth and complexity to a HIGHLY thematic set of events and overall feel. It has a lot of depth, rewards repeat play, and enjoyably simulates the political struggle going on during the Cold War.

Having said that, I'd echo what the other posters here are saying: "Life's too short to play games you don't enjoy."
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Todd Adair
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I'll give this a shot too...

I think the game takes time for the ah ha moment.
It might take 2, 3, 10 games...

If 2 novices play it's like 2 10 year olds sitting down for their first game of chess. Just moving the big power pieces wherever.
The game loses feel and you get the wipeout feeling.

If it's 1 novice vs 1 experienced player it's like a Dad using opening moves and strategy in chess... so no longer does that 10 year old just need to do the obvious move he thinks about what he saw and starts to react. It's where you learn wow yeah I can't just load up here because he might have the counter to that.

Then when it's 2 experienced players this game shines. That's when it become poker and chess and hand management with some random in one game.

I think most people are used to less aggressive hand management games. Those which play in a solitaire like fashion. In say Dominion the worst you worry about is curses or hand shrink not like half your plan disappearing.

When it gets to I can do this and he might do that but he might not have that card and so he might do this instead and maybe I should do that.

It's digging for ways to stay just ahead and force fear and concern to your opponent.

Not for everyone but perhaps the best game I've ever played.

But it can't be rushed it's not a immediately I get it after one game game.
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Paul Farrell
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Thanks for the excellent comments everyone. I definitely fall into the novice player category for this game as would my opponents so that's probably a big factor in my opinion. I'll put it back in the game rotation and make sure I get a good number of plays. Your enthusiasm for the game is infectious and inspiring BTW.
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Mark Langford
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Re: Any thoughts as to why you like this game?

Yes, it's brilliant!
 
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Gregory Wong
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slashing wrote:
Troll-sense is going off, but I'll bite.

Exactly how is Twilight Struggle like bridge?


Because I'm usually the dummy.
 
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Anton Tolman
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Paul, I would +1 what Karl said earlier and what Bojack said. The first time I played this game, I was amazed. The subtlety of play and the multiple ramifications of each decision were amazing to me. The struggle for key battleground countries, the scoring that you cannot avoid, the fact that decisions you make echo into future turns, the ever present threat of annihilation that limits your ability to further destabilize the world through coups and military actions (and trying to figure out how to push your opponent into that corner), and so forth. I should also note the real tension that often occurs when trying to choose between ops, events, headlining, etc. is also great as is the fact that sometimes your best option is to do something that will also benefit the enemy.

If you haven't checked it out, you really need to look at the documents on www.twilightstrategy.com -- amazing website. Some posts have referenced it, but it will deepen your understanding, although you will need to play several times before you really understand everything they are saying in the strategy discussions. I would encourage you to keep it in the rotation and review some of those documents before your next play.
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Ben Kyo
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I think everyone else has covered the whys well enough.

My first six games were against a much more experienced player. After two games I could see it had potential, but wasn't convinced and didn't like the theme or the card knowledge requirements. After six games (two wins) I rated it a 7 and didn't play again for a long time. When I revisited it, something clicked. I was able to throw away all the advice I'd heard and read and tried to use without really understanding (see Twilight Strategy, and elsewhere) and actually get my head into the game. 30 games in it became a solid 8, and about 50 games in I'm beginning to think I should rate it a 9, which is the highest rating I've used, and only given to a few games so far.

I'd say 80% of my games have been online and asynchronous.

If you are in any doubt about the depth of the game, try reading any of the general/strategy threads that contain concrete examples and discussions of different approaches to specific hands. Contributions from really skilled players can be real eye-openers. I find that kind of content much more interesting than, for instance, the specific card breakdowns at Twilight Strategy (which is still useful for beginners!).
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Paul Farrell
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dranton wrote:
Paul, I would +1 what Karl said earlier and what Bojack said. The first time I played this game, I was amazed. The subtlety of play and the multiple ramifications of each decision were amazing to me. The struggle for key battleground countries, the scoring that you cannot avoid, the fact that decisions you make echo into future turns, the ever present threat of annihilation that limits your ability to further destabilize the world through coups and military actions (and trying to figure out how to push your opponent into that corner), and so forth. I should also note the real tension that often occurs when trying to choose between ops, events, headlining, etc. is also great as is the fact that sometimes your best option is to do something that will also benefit the enemy.

If you haven't checked it out, you really need to look at the documents on www.twilightstrategy.com -- amazing website. Some posts have referenced it, but it will deepen your understanding, although you will need to play several times before you really understand everything they are saying in the strategy discussions. I would encourage you to keep it in the rotation and review some of those documents before your next play.


Thanks Anton. I went to the site and have bookmarked it. It looks like it will be very useful. I do appreciate all the comments everyone has made. TS was one of the first games I bought when I started gaming four years ago. I don't think I have given it a fair try.
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Michael Cabral
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I would also watch some YouTube videos with commentary.

Chase Knight was posting his games of the Reddit Twilight Struggle World Cup. He explains his motives and critiques or commends his opponent's moves. Chase also explains the major turning points in his losses or how we solidifies his winning position.

https://www.youtube.com/user/chasebt694
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David Williams
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OhBollox wrote:
It's an incredibly tense game with plenty of uncertainty, a constant drought of good options, a political tug of war where the line is never slack and if you ever pull too hard you annihilate yourself.

Just like the Bridge games I played in college.
 
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giovanni ciampi
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I liked the theme and the illusion of variety i felt in the mechanics and the cards. Too bad that i woken up way too early from that dream. Now i won't stand playing it not even once again.

A little hint: if you want to enjoy this game, don't read any guide. Or try to play as much as you can before doing so. The moment you read a guide and realize what you need to do to play to win, 50%+ of the game simply vanish and you are left with a long streak of OPs and a bunch of cards upon which the whole game is balanced. Don't do that.
 
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