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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Not a Wargame rss

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Stephen Allen
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I'm surprised that TI3 is not considered a wargame. I know that war and conflict is are not the goals of the game, but they do make up a significant part of it.

There has been a huge amount of heated debate over whether Twilight Struggle is wargame or not. In my book TI is much closer to a wargame than TS is. Yet TS is given the mantle of "wargame" (personally I disagree. If TS is a wargame then so is Go. But this is beside the point!)

I'm interested to know what other people think.
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Leo Zappa
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On the one hand, I have to agree that there sure is a lot more fighting in TI3 than TS (especially if using the Shattered Empires expansion for TI3). There is actual combat (well, not actual - you know what I mean!) in TI3, with dice rolling and units being destroyed and all that. There's no war in TS except as represented by a couple of card events (e.g. Vietnam for the US, Afghanistan for the Soviets).

OTOH, TS is about a "war", the Cold War, and it's mechanics are very similar to some true CDG wargames, such as Sword of Rome, Successors, and the like. TI3 also can be played without a shot being fired - I have won such a match (albeit not using the SE expansion).

I was one who didn't really think that TS should have been classified as a wargame (after all, 1960: The Making of the President is mechanically quite similar to TS, and nobody ever considered calling 1960 a wargame), and I really don't think TI3 should be considered one either. I am still of the school of thought that a wargame should be a game where combat is both simulated in a meaningful way (i.e. pieces representing military units moved in ways to represent armies coming to battle, and resolving battles using some mechanism) and the sole means of pursuing a game strategy (i.e. the sides must fight - there can be no bloodless victories). Neither of these games fit this definition.
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Nick Short
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TI is a civilization building game. Just like all civilization building games, there is conflict and fighting. But those are just one of many tools. In a wargame, the fighting is the primary focus of the action, not just a tool.

You can win a game of TI without ever fighting a battle (it's not common, but quite possible). That's not true of wargames.
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Sander Spenkelink
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Well battle is a part which makes the game more interresting but we have had a game in which a player won without going in battle.

So you can win without battle, alltough in my opinion battle is the most interesting part.

Especially when you see your epic fleet with 2 warsuns 10 fighters 2 ground forces 2 dreadnaughts 3 cruisers and 1 destroyer vaporize on 2 carriers with 12 fighters. I suck perfectly when throwing the dice. zombie
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Martin DeOlden
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Early battle is not a good idea though as it does in most cases just take out the aggressor and the victim from any chance of winning the game while the other players wait and build up the two at war early on will be to weak to compete.
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Brandon
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My vote is pro-wargame.

Wars aren't just platoons trudging over land and firing at foreign peoples.

I'd say war can encompass a wide array of conflicts between persons/nations/identities. Hell, wars today aren't fought like wars just 30 and 60 years ago. There was a Cold War that wasn't fought with arms. There's pricing wars in business, and hell, you can even war with feelings inside yourself.

To say TI3 doesn't encompass some notion of what war can be is not seeing the forest for the trees.
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Shawn Driscoll
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My vote is that TI3 is not a wargame. It is too open-ended. Players can choose more to role-play their race rather than roll-play their fleet. Also, TI3 can end in various ways. For example, five of the six players may last throughout an entire game.
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Stephen Allen
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I agree with most of the views here, that TI3 is not a wargame.

What makes the debate interesting is that TI3 contains a wargame as a subset of the main game. It is possible to play it as a traditional wargame by stripping off the non-war rules (though not a very interesting one. Go and play Axis & Allies if you want that sort of thing)

This makes a mild argument for it being a wargame, just not a traditional wargame (like A&A).
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Martin Larouche
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I do not think of TI3 as a "wargame", at least not in the traditional sense of wargames.

TI3 is more in the current trend of "civilization" games. You control the fate of a civilization, where war and combat is just an aspect of it.

In video game forms, Command and Conquer is a wargame. So is Advanced Wars. Sid Meier's Civilization and Master of Orion are not...

TI3 is closer to Master of Orion and Civilization.

The object of the game is to become the "king" of the universe... not obliterate your opponents to oblivion.
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Daniel Berger
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Do units blast each other to bits by rolling dice? Yes? It's a wargame.

TS is a card driven area control game.
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Scott Lewis
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I think the answer to "Is TI3 a wargame" is dependent upon how the term "wargame" is defined.

Rolling dice to destroy other units is not necessarily the only (or even the best, depending on who you ask) definition of a wargame. Some wargames have no dice at all!
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Martin DeOlden
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War may be a part of the game but it is not the object of the game. If the right objectives come up you can win without ever going to war. TI3 has parts of a lot of styles in it that make it a great diverse game. Politics, civilization building, War, and bidding. It is not anyone of those types but has aspects of all of them built in.
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Trent Y.
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For me, to be a wargame, the game itself must be winnable through the destruction of your opponents through war itself.

While that is possible in theory, it's not possible in reality. Somebody will achieve a VP win through Objectives long before you to can wipe out all your opponents.

Objectives are the key to victory. Not war. War is merely a tool in the game to get Objectives.

 
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Colin Hunter
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Part of the problem is the stupidity of the subdomain thing. I voted TI3 as Thematic, as I feel it is Ameritrash first and thematic is the stupid name for the Ameritrash category. If I could have voted for two categories I would have voted Wargame, but I couldn't. Also as is stated before TS is a directly related to many wargames, TI3 isn't really.

edit: as a note I'd strongly consider marking Go as a wargame believe it or not, but that is a whole different kettle of fish.
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