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Subject: Luck reducing balance on Twilight Struggle rss

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TS CHENG
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Hello all. I am a big fan of Twilight Struggle. Although I am not a veteran, I feel like this game could have better modifications without losing its own fun. Here is some of my thought:

1) Dice rolls affects coups and therefore the game greatly. Although risk and uncertainty is what the designers want in coup, I believe most of the players dislike when the roll is 1 or 6 as it is too extreme and absurd in a heavy strategic game. Here is the modifications:
D0: no modifications
D1: „sober dice“, use a cube dice with faces 2,3,3,4,4,5 (with 1 and 6 removed this dice make the coup result more predictable.)
D2:“naughty dice“, use a cube dice with faces 2,2,3,4,5,5 (also with 1 and 6 removed but this modification has a more uncertain nature than D1 but produces similar results from original dice setting)
D3: „balanced dice“, use a cube dice with faces 3,3,3,4,4,4 ( extremely balanced outcome and make coups predictable, but it would lose much fun)
D4: „Tetrahedral dice“ with face 2,3,4,5 (another simple alternative to tackle the problem)
Remark-The dice modifications above only apply for coups and realignment rolls. For space race, war cards and other event cards like „Submit“ normal cube dice would be used. Thus any modifications in dice is actually introducing one more „coup/realignment „ dice in the game.

2) Not only dice rolls increases luck factor but also the distribution of neutral event cards. Twilight Struggle has a very good mechanism that no matter how the US and Soviet event cards are distributed the game is still balanced and playable. But it does not hold for the case for neutral event cards as it can be played by both parties as Event or as Ops without any consequences. The easiest way to modify is to adjust the Ops point for neutral event cards.
N0: no modifications
N1:
UN Intervension (1) -> (2)
Nuclear Test Ban (4) -> (3)
Olympic games event changes to „... if the opponent boycotts, decrease Defcon by 1 and play it as a 2 Op card. ( instead of 4 Ops)“
Cuban missile crisis (3) ->(2)
Submit (1)->(2)
ABM Treaty (4)->(3)
Wargames (4)->(2)
Remark-It is often the case that lucky players draw most 4 Ops neutral event cards and poor players 1 Ops cards. Thus I think N1 is the simplest but essential modification.

Among all neutral event cards, there are two cards, in my opinion, cannot be balanced only by adjusting its Ops. They are „Red Scare/Purge“ and „Wargame“. I will give a brief list of possible modifications below.

3) „Red Scare/Purge“ is always a game changing card which occurs too early (in early war) and too devastating for opponents. Despite its event, it is also a big, fat 4 Ops card which randomly goes into one‘s hand. Especially in action round 1 when every move is vital, a random dealed „Red Scare/Purge“ destroy most of the fun for both parties.
RP0: no modifications
RP1: Remove „Red Scare/Purge“ from game
RP2: changes „Red Scare/Purge“ (4)->(2) and changes the events to „Next time when your opponent play a 3 or 4 ops card as operations, reduces the Ops by 2.“(It stays on board if the opponent does not trigger the event in the current action round, similar to the case of „Marshal Plan“ and „Warsaw Treaty Pact formed“ indicating the allowed play of „NATO“)
RP3: Remove „Red Scare/Purge“ from game and add an US early war event card „Red Scare*“ (4) and a Soviet early war event „Purge*“ (4), both having the same event as the original „Red Scare/Purge“.
Remark-RP2 weakens „Red Scare/Purge“ in both Ops and event, while RP3 preserves the feature of „Red Scare/Purge“ by replacing with US and Soviet unique event cards.

4) „Wargame“ has been a controversial event card. It often leads to a sudden and random timing victory. While the VP gap for in-game VP victory is 20 VP and the VP gap for final scoring is 1VP (even 1VP makes one win the game), the middle gap in between is „Wargame“-victory with VP gap 7 VP. Without doubt it is a strange VP gap and a too random victory timing.
W0: no modifications
W1: Remove „Wargame“ from the game
W2: changes „Wargame“ into „... give your opponent 10VP...“(instead of 6VP)
Remark-Some like „Wargame“ as it serves as a transition of victory VP gap, some dislike it. Thus I put two modifications here.

I would like to test these modifications (and also for others to try) but I only own the PC version of Twilight Struggle on Steam, where I cannot test my suggestion as it could in real board games. Therefore welcome to try any combinations of the suggestions and please tell me what you think about.
 
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Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
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Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
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Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
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I like the fact that the random elements give a weaker player a slim chance against me, and allow me a chance at beating even world-class players.

Anecdotally, I have won a game in which RSP was used against me three times and I didn't draw any of the critical Early War USSR cards, and I have lost a game I played well against a lower-ranked opponent when every single die roll went against me. I enjoy the variation.
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Gianluca Spessato
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After all these modifications, seems to me that the balance of the game go to the air. Your more interesting proposal is about a new dice, that seems to me could change the strategic level of the game, but I doubt could be fun for a player. Good luck and bad luck are well accepted in a game like TS, in my opinion.
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Dan Carey
United States
Woodinville
Washington
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You could always buy a copy of the board game and test your options yourself.
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Eruantalon _
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In regards to dice I'd go for a d12 with 1,2,2,3,3,3,4,4,4,5,5,6, sounds like the best solution, minimazing chance for lowest/highest result in favor of the middle ones (please note you can almost exactly simulate such a die by rolling 3 dice and taking the middle result).

In regards of events - nice idea of slightly changing some values, but probably won't matter THAT much. Some solution similar to Making of President would be most useful, I suppose (boosting die rolls for a player with weaker hands) but have no idea how exactly to do it...

I would consider "copying" few key events the way u'd suggest to handle RS/P. Have 2 copies of Brush War, ABM, RS/P... (Junta, although although strong would become defcon sui if copied, so I'd rather not).
 
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