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1960: The Making of the President» Forums » General

Subject: Possible reason for Nixon's edge... rss

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John Cabral
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I have only played 1960 3 times. This is what I gathered in those 3 games and reading posts on BGG about the situation. Of course, having only playing 3 games, how can I come to a conclusion on how Nixon might have an edge in the game? Simple... I think the edge is given to Nixon for people who have not played the game often. Many of the people who have posted that Nixon has won most of, or all(like me), the games seems to be people who haven't played many times.

What makes Nixon have an edge for people who haven't played often enough? Some people have mentioned Nixon starting in the West is the reason and I think this is absolutely correct. Besides California, there isn't much incentive to go into or try to win those states over. The Nixon player starting there will most likely move towards the East while giving himself the edge in most of the states in the West. An inexperienced Kennedy player(like me) won't view the West as very important, except for California. The problem is, all those states in the West add up. There just doesn't seem like a big enough incentive for an inexperienced Kennedy player to leave those important states in the East and try to gain advantage in the West.

My first game, I was Kennedy and hardly moved from the East. I don't think I ever went into the West at all. I kept seeing the Nixon player going for the big states in the east so I battled it out over there. The second game, I was Nixon and moved my way to the East and started battling for those big states. But this time I had the luxury of having the edge in the west because the Kennedy player wasn't going for many of those states. I realized this was happening. In my third game I was Kennedy. I actually moved into the West and took the edge in many of those states and let the Nixon player take the edge in the East. Now, I went back into the East and battled it out. I still lost, but I made a couple of bonehead moves. It was a little while ago since I had played that third game, but I remember losing by very little and actually having a chance to take a bigger state in the end. I would have won by a decent margin, but instead lost by a narrow one. If I had paid attention, I would have won. It was a killer!

I was thinking about this game and wanting to play it again, I came on BGG to look up the debates on who had the edge again. I remembered my games and what I had thought about them. Of course, I don't actually mean that all of my games have only been played in the East and West. I also understand that the issues and everything else do matter in the game. For inexperienced players, I do believe the Nixon edge is due to his starting position in the West.
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Jason Martin
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I have been saying it for ages...it's all about the west for Nixon, he has a solid foundation with which to attack from.
 
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Jeff Kayati
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I'm hardly an expert on the game, but I'm just not seeing an edge to either Nixon or Kennedy. I've won (and lost) as both. Nixon may have an advantage out West, but that can be overcome with Endorsements.

With the few times I've played 1960, and I do really like the game, it seems the key is hitting those issues early, hard, and then hitting them again and again.

With enough Endorsements, Kennedy doesn't need to head West to campaign.

Just my thoughts from a handful of games.
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Marc Nelson Jr.
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Nixon's 83-EV edge in the non-California West is offset by Kennedy events which give him an advantage in big states like Illinois (Cook County, Eleanor Roosevelt, Suburban Voters), Texas (LBJ, Houston Ministerial Assn., Suburban Voters), New York (New England, Mid-Atlantic, Suburban Voters), Michigan (Eleanor Roosevelt, Suburban Voters) and Pennsylvania (Mid-Atlantic, Suburban Voters).

Playing my wife, Nixon and Kennedy are currently running exactly even in 32 games. I don't keep stats on GameTableOnline, but the game seems to be pretty even there as well (I lose two-thirds of the time, no matter which candidate I get).
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John Cabral
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marcnelsonjr wrote:
Nixon's 83-EV edge in the non-California West is offset by Kennedy events which give him an advantage in big states like Illinois (Cook County, Eleanor Roosevelt, Suburban Voters), Texas (LBJ, Houston Ministerial Assn., Suburban Voters), New York (New England, Mid-Atlantic, Suburban Voters), Michigan (Eleanor Roosevelt, Suburban Voters) and Pennsylvania (Mid-Atlantic, Suburban Voters).

Playing my wife, Nixon and Kennedy are currently running exactly even in 32 games. I don't keep stats on GameTableOnline, but the game seems to be pretty even there as well (I lose two-thirds of the time, no matter which candidate I get).


I do think the game is balanced as well. I just think that most people who are inexperienced tend to have games where Nixon wins. After 32 games, I'm sure it is much more even as you have pointed out.
 
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Adam O'Brien
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I think you are absolutely correct that the West is Nixon's ace in the hole, but as stated by others, a savvy Kennedy player will be able to mitigate that advantage, resulting in the game, as a whole, being even.

I will add that in addition to the EV advantage of controlling the west, there are several cards that benefit the leader in the west. Most notable are "Gathering Momentum in the West" and the "50 Stars" cards. I always try to place cubes from events in HI and AK because of the 50 Stars card and because no one in their right mind will ever go campaigning there (except possibly if Kennedy is using "KennAir" in the west).

Overall, the east is more valuable, but you can't let the west go without a fight.
 
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Richard Maurer
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I agree that Nixon is strong in the West but not invincible. A good Kennedy player can slowly slip in influence cubes from certain events or the debates to snatch up some wayward states before Nixon can play Gathering Momentum or get an endorsement. Once Nixon is committed to fighting for the Mid-West, East, and South, it is highly unlikely he will return to reclaim these lost states.

In addition, the West really doesn't afford Nixon much of an edge. They are low number states and can hardly compare the much higher states in the Mid-West, East, and South. Having played both Nixon and Kennedy, I find both sides equally matched and the balance usually shifts thanks to a good hand of cards or focusing on an area (issues or regions) when their opponent is too busy elsewhere.
 
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Jason Martin
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absurdjohnny wrote:
I think this is absolutely correct. Besides California, there isn't much incentive to go into or try to win those states over. The Nixon player starting there will most likely move towards the East while giving himself the edge in most of the states in the West. An inexperienced Kennedy player(like me) won't view the West as very important, except for California. The problem is, all those states in the West add up. There just doesn't seem like a big enough incentive for an inexperienced Kennedy player to leave those important states in the East and try to gain advantage in the West.



The kennedy player needs to multitask, whereas Nixon can take one step at a time.

Kennedy has to gain footholds in the East and either the South or the Midwest, while chipping away at the western states, whereas Nixon can just sweep East, and fortify.

I find that in general, Nixon gets to fortify, while JFK is always on the attack.
 
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