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Subject: First game of Campaign Manager 2008 rss

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Alexander Belyakov
Russia
Moscow
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Yesterday my girlfriend and I had our first game of Campaign Manager 2008, which had come into my mailbox earlier this week. We played the beginner variant, with the preconstructed card decks and preselected first four states. Below are our initial impressions - not enough for a full review, but enough to throw out some thoughts.

1. The rules are fairly easy and straigthforward. It took me about 10 minutes to explain them to my girlfriend, and I usually go through rules very thoroughly.

2. The two preconstructed decks are identical to each other, and seem to be pretty simple. On the other hand, I skimmed over the rest of the cards after the game, and it doesn't seem that the other cards are that much more complicated. Despite this, there are certainly ways to play combos and wait for the right moment to play several cards in a row and win an important state. At certain times it seemed that the game degraded into a back-and-forth battle over one state until one of us got luckier than the other one. However, with the drafting rules the game should be a lot more interesting.

3. The news deck and the Going Negative dice rolls can be unfair at times. I got pretty lucky with the news card draws, while my girlfriend wasn't so lucky. She thinks that was the main reason she lost in the end (she didn't want to acknowledge my political genius).

4. Our first game went on for about 1.5 hours. We took our time, and I had to explain cards to my girlfriend from time to time (her English is not as good as mine). So, with practice, it would be possible to play this one in 40 minutes, but I don't know how long the drafting process would take.

5. The scoring track is a bit inaccurate, but it does give a great visual representation of the current results. In the end I had to do a recalculation to see whether I went over 269 or not (it turned out I hit 269 exactly, though it looked like I went over, so we had to continue the game). This is absolutely no biggie.

6. If you compare this one to 1960: The Making of the President in terms of how rich the theme is, here the gameplay feels a bit more abstract. But take into account that we're not Americans, so both these games are about foreign history for us. Twilight Struggle's theme hits the sweet spot for me in this respect.
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Remus Rhymus
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Pennsylvania
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I had a similar 1st game experience. My game also lasted well over an hour and we found there was too much back and forth on big states. Since then, my love for this game has increased with each play. The deck-building (and knowing your opponent) is where the strategy comes in. With the deckbuilding and some experience, the play time decreases considerably and at 30 - 45 minutes, this game really hits a sweet spot as a deep 2-player filler or lunch-hour game.
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Dan Dolan
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Highland Lakes
New Jersey
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There is a scoring chart downloadable here on BGG that is much easier touse then the given one. It has multiple copies of the scoring track so all you need is a pencil.

Don't be afraid to jump in and play the regular version. It's easy to construct a deck and it really adds quite a bit to the game.
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Doug Adams
Australia
Oakleigh
Victoria
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belyakoff wrote:
5. The scoring track is a bit inaccurate, but it does give a great visual representation of the current results. In the end I had to do a recalculation to see whether I went over 269 or not (it turned out I hit 269 exactly, though it looked like I went over, so we had to continue the game). This is absolutely no biggie.


We had this problem last night (my first game). It took some careful alignment to figure out Red was one shy of a win. I'll trim up the burrs on my score chips and see if that helps.

Fun game though. We went with the drafting variant ... I went for Seniors/Women/Clinton Democrats and a lot of economy stuff as Obama, and squeaked in by one point. Those cards that fill up the white spaces are very nice...
 
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