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Twilight Struggle» Forums » General

Subject: TS is the wargame, or not. rss

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Jeon Yang-seop
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Hi, guys.
When the boardgamegeek was updated, at first, TS was not classified in the wargame category. But, lately it is in the wargame again. Actually, some people say that it is a great wargame, others say it is not. What is the correct? Is this game not only the wargame, but also the normal boardgame?

Jeon
 
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I think there are two main points regarding this debate:

1.) There are no armies or combat units.
2.) Twilight Struggle is a Card-Driven Game, and its predecessors in this genre are all wargames with armies (someone correct me if I'm overlooking something).

I don't care much about the debate but I'd say #1 trumps #2, and #2 is the main reason why TS is often considered a wargame.

For me it's just "my favorite game."
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Johnny
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Meh... It's a great game no matter how you choose to classify it. And really, what's the point of doing so? It is what it is, not what you call it.
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Kristian
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The fact that GMT is the company that put this out only adds to the debate. I wonder if we'd be discussing this if Rio Grande or some such had released it? Would we be having this debate about Pandemic if it had been released by GMT?
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Jason Matthews
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-Johnny- wrote:
Meh... It's a great game no matter how you choose to classify it. And really, what's the point of doing so? It is what it is, not what you call it.


Whew, I didn't know we were going to delve into Wittgenstein here.

I actually enjoy this debate. In part, I think its an interesting illustration of how the hobby has evolved. When I started, boardgamers were defining themeselves AGAINST roleplayers. Wargaming was the dominant form of boardgaming, and maybe that's why we didn't ponder this questions quite so carefully for games like Civilization or Republic of Rome. We knew they WEREN'T roleplaying games, and that was enough.

Now boardgaming seems interested in introspection. The rise of the Euro game, the splitting off of the "Ameritrashers" and the grognard traditionalists seems to have created a bit of an artificial Balkanization.

I say artificial, because I don't really know that many gamers who don't dabble in all three. There is a hobby term that nicely skirts all of these issues and that is CONSIM (or Conflict Simulation). In the early days, before the web was all the rage, many of us were on a list serve called CONSIM-L. It pretty much covered the gamut of boardgaming. Consimworld obviously caters to "wargamers" but I think that term has always been understood in the broader application of CONSIMS, and a game like Age of Rennaissance has a dedicated following there.

So, while these semantic debates are amusing, I don't support their use to further divide gamers from one and other. That's particularly true with the cross-pollination in evidence across the hobby. Why not borrow ideas from CCG's for Euros? Why not apply Euro standards for downtime to multiplayer wargames? Why not mesh American-style thematic elements into European style games?

I think we all win with this kind of innovation. But people tend to use labels to cubbyhole people and ideas. Twilight Struggle obviously barrows liberally from two schools in the hobby. Because of that, no matter how it is classified, it will always be a close call.

Jason

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Jeon Yang-seop
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Thank you for all your replies. Actually, I don't care whether it is in the wargame or not. I want to know how people classify this game. I think that no matter what it is, the most important thing is that I really enjoy this game!!!
 
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Moshe Callen
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I think of a wargame as a game depicting war in a more or less realistic non-stylized many. The Cold War was in amny ways a war but a highly unconventional one and so conventional military units wouldn't work for it.

So if one accepts the premise that the Cold War as awar in the sense of a conflict between nations then yes it is a wargame. If one does not, then it isn't.

The Cold War is most certainly not a conventional war, although it frequently threatened to become one. I admit as a kid, I never really thought we'd see aworld-wide nuclear-armed conflict but the threat was always there. So I see the Cold War as a war in which opne combat on any but a small scale was impossible for both sides. Still it many ways it was a slow often stale-mated global conflict and in that sense it wasa war. TS is a realistic depiction of that conflict and so in that sense a wargame.

Yet all this hinges on using a more abstracted definition of war.
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Roger Hobden
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JasonMatthews wrote:


Twilight Struggle obviously borrows liberally from two schools in the hobby.

Jason




How about : Grand Strategic Political Wargame ?

Remember "The Origins of World War Two", by Avalon Hill.

No one at the time even questioned the fact that this was a wargame.

A guy called "Carl Philipp Gottlieb von Something" mentions that "war is the continuation of politics", but during the Cold War it was the reverse. All of us babyboomers knew that every country was either allied or neutrals in a great war between the two superpowers.

As has been mentioned by many others, the debate seems to be lingering because of a too restrictive definition of what should be included in the concept of " War Game " (victory by definition, as they would say in "The Propaganda Game", by Robert Allen and Lorne Green).

Roger

PS Can't wait for your game on the "second hundred-year war". Any game with the potential to reverse the battle of the Plains of Abraham and create a French Empire from Montreal to New Orleans will rejoice all the french-speaking gamers in the Province of Quebec.
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Jay Gauthier
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Most, if not all, wargames have territory control as a major part of their gameplay, right? TS is a territory control game, with war themes, which is probably why people might think of it as a wargame. But territory control alone doesn't make a game a wargame. See Smallworld or I dunno, Tigris.

That said, I think it blurs the line, which I think is great.
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Richard Maurer
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JohnRayJr wrote:


For me it's just "my favorite game."


Here, here, I couldn't have said it better myself. Now let's stop debating and get back to more TS playing!
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