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1960: The Making of the President» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Why I love this game after only three plays rss

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Martin Hoefer
Germany
Hambuehren
Niedersachsen
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I am no analytic mind. I don't care for the probability of some card showing up or not. I have no real "plans" when starting any game. Nevertheless I like tactics and strategy in games.

And I like theme. It is the one thing we Germans are not able to get right. Theme in games has always been a strength of others but not those of my fellow citizens. We come up with mechanics, we've always done that. Logic, sense and little to no romance. Yep, that is true for Germans and their boardgames. I love German boardgames, don't get me wrong but I do not have any affiliation for them. They don't suck me in. To accomplish this a game has to have theme.

When I first played "1960: The Making Of The President" I was blewn away. Here it was, a boardgame with a German brain and an American soul! I simply love "1960" for its supreme completeness. This game has character and is a joy to play with its streamlined rules and components that I'd never expected from across the Atlantic.

Of course the most important thing about gaming is ... Gaming! Having time to play boardgames is a blessing, a privilege. It's your free time from everyday problems, from work and other things you could do without.

This pretty much sums up what I wish for in a game. I want a deep, absorbing and thematic experience when I play. This is the reason why "1960: The Making Of The President" is the perfect game for me.

To put it short one has to win the Presidential elections of 1960 as either Kennedy or Nixon. This (in truth) is simply done by area control management. A "Mehrheitenspiel". You'll want to have your wooden cubes in those areas that will score you the most points at the end of the game.

To get them where you want to, you play cards. Beautiful, nostalgic, story-telling cards. You either play the event described on it or you'll invest the campaign points that they're worth. You might campaign (move your candidate token and place cubes), spend points on TV ads or position yourself on issues. If leading an issue at the end of a turn (after playing 5 cards each) you receive momentum markers (they activate events on the opponents cards) or regional endorsements (which makes you take control of "empty" states).

In rounds 1 to 5 you'll spare 5 cards that help you win the "debates", a mini-game in the game. Each card either has a Republican or a Democratic symbol and a value on it. In the debates you simultaneously place those cards to win some extra cubes for placement on the map. If I have a gripe with "1960" it's the debates as it appears too random for me. Maybe I'm simply to dumb to recognize the true "debate-philosophy".

In the last two rounds you'll collect another four cards which let you take support checks in the states written on the cards. Support checks are absolutely cool. I love the thrill when drawing cubes out of the political bag. Yes, I am that easy to satisfy. Drawing cubes of your color lets you place them in the state mentioned on the card. Many a game will be decided by lucky support-checks. Drama! Yes!

At the end of the game you count your votes (number on the states) and hopefully you were lucky Kennedy.

Rereading my "review" I am not sure whether this really is a review or not, but I believe anyone telling about his feelings when playing a game is a "reviewer".

I want to thank Jason Matthews and Christian Leonhard for this gem. I want to thank Boardgamegeek for existing and bringing together geeks from all around the world and letting them share the infinite informations it offers. I'm no fan of globalization but I'll make an exception for boardgames. I don't think a game like "1960: The Making Of The President" would have been possible if you Americans hadn't found out about the great mechanics (and production value) in our heartless games.

The greatest thing is that I have yet to play "Twilight Struggle".
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Jay Sheely
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I loved it after 1 play! I also prefer this one to Twilight Struggle I've only played that once.
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Chris B
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Great post, and pretty much sums up my feelings about the game!
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Maaike Fest
Netherlands
Nijmegen
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hoover2701 wrote:
And I like theme. It is the one thing we Germans are not able to get right. Theme in games has always been a strength of others but not those of my fellow citizens. We come up with mechanics, we've always done that. Logic, sense and little to no romance. Yep, that is true for Germans and their boardgames. I love German boardgames, don't get me wrong but I do not have any affiliation for them. They don't suck me in. To accomplish this a game has to have theme.


I hereby order you to try Agricola
 
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Kris Verbeeck
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this is a review why you like it.
How long do you take to play it?



maaikefest wrote:
hoover2701 wrote:
And I like theme. It is the one thing we Germans are not able to get right. Theme in games has always been a strength of others but not those of my fellow citizens. We come up with mechanics, we've always done that. Logic, sense and little to no romance. Yep, that is true for Germans and their boardgames. I love German boardgames, don't get me wrong but I do not have any affiliation for them. They don't suck me in. To accomplish this a game has to have theme.


I hereby order you to try Agricola


I'm not sure I agree on agricola. I like it a lot but where's the logic in

-infant labour
-breeding animals. why max 1 and allways so if they can
-and a very obvious one. Why can't I plow my land? Just because another farmer plowed too? Worker placement limitations make no sense at all.

All these "tweaks" make agricola the game that it is.
And the theme is well chosen to make actions easy to remember. But logic...


 
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Tomas Lundin
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Agreed, great, thematic and visually stunning game. I kinda feel that the debates are a bit weak, just a few cubes as a reward for the whole planning and saving the right cards? Wonderful. Hard to believe but one game that for some reason scratches the same itch is Cold War: CIA vs KGB. Recommended!
 
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Martin Hoefer
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maaikefest wrote:
I hereby order you to try Agricola


Indeed, I haven't tried that one.

KrisVerbeeck wrote:
this is a review why you like it.
How long do you take to play it?


Hmmm, I believe it took us about 2,5 h the first time. The other two games clocked in at about 2 h. I cannot understand people complaining that "1960" takes too long to play, I think the playing time fits this game well. If you want it quick and dirty you could now play "Campaign Manager" which is a very good game on its own, but I don't really want to compare them as they have quite different approaches to the (admittedly) same theme.

towncrier wrote:
Hard to believe but one game that for some reason scratches the same itch is Cold War: CIA vs. KGB. Recommended!


Have to check that one. Thank you for the recommendation.

 
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T. Wesley
United States
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Great post, Martin.

I like 1960 a lot, but I prefer Twilight Struggle. I got 1960 because it's basically the same mechanics/concept but a different setting. My wife will play 1960, but she won't play TS.
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Craig Sanderlin
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Maryland Heights
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hoover2701 wrote:
I don't think a game like "1960: The Making Of The President" would have been possible if you Americans hadn't found out about the great mechanics (and production value) in our heartless games.


I agree. Ameritrash games have wonderful themes but horrible mechanics. Euros have wonderful mechanics but horrible themes (typically, but there are exceptions).

This game is a perfect example of "You got your Euro in my Ameritrash! You got your Ameritrash in my Euro! MMMMMMmm.... tasty!"
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Tim Pskowski
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maaikefest wrote:
hoover2701 wrote:
And I like theme. It is the one thing we Germans are not able to get right. Theme in games has always been a strength of others but not those of my fellow citizens. We come up with mechanics, we've always done that. Logic, sense and little to no romance. Yep, that is true for Germans and their boardgames. I love German boardgames, don't get me wrong but I do not have any affiliation for them. They don't suck me in. To accomplish this a game has to have theme.


I hereby order you to try Agricola


I might just be an ignorant American for saying this but comparing farming to an election that literally shaped the course of history seems ridiculous.

German/euro games usually have a theme. It is however usually very boring.
Good themes: Cold War, 1960's Election
Weak themes: Farming, running a plantation

Having a theme that makes mechanical sense does not mean you have a strong theme.
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