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Subject: Introductory Card-Driven Game rss

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C. J. Robinson
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Kalamazoo
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I'd really like to explore the world of card-driven games such as Twilight Struggle and Washington's War, but I'm concerned that they might be a bit much for beginners. What would be a good game to learn/teach/introduce this kind of game system to myself and others?
 
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Twilight Struggle is perfect for beginners. The rules are straightforward with few exceptions, the gameplay is intuitive, and the historical theme appeals to a broad section of people. It was my wife's first CDG, and after a few games, she's already itching to go deeper into the genre. I couldn't recommend it more.
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Martin Wulf

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From my research (not experience, although it is on order), 1960: The Making of the President is good place to start for a beginner...a little more manageable then something like Twilight Struggle right off the bat from what I hear...
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CHAPEL
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For 2 players, the above two mentioned are great. If you have more than 2 players I would suggest Founding Fathers. It is very easy to pick up, and plays pretty quick.
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Alex H.
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No straightforward answer from me. That being said, I would recommend Twilight Struggle IF you are willing to accept a learning curve. The thing about TS (IMO) is that it starts to shine after a few games. I liked it the first time I played it but only after game no 3 did the full fascination kick in. I also know that friends I introduces this game to were initially underwhelmed. The complexity of the deck and the interaction of the cards can make it a little intimidating or take some of the fun away as you are struggling to get a hold of the deeper mechanics.
My first CDG war Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage and while it has a simpler deck with less complexity it is still a deep game because of the double military-policital layers in the game. It is my understanding that Washington's War has streamlined the Hannibal-system quite a bit. So from everything I have read so far Washington's War should be the best way to approach CDG:
- comparatively short playing time
- streamlined rules yet enough complexity to provide for a deep experience
- faster dice-based combat and overall low counter count

However, I am not really trying to argue against Twilight Struggle. The biggest problem for a new player is probably the sheer amount of choices he/she is confronted with at the begining. Only when you get to know the cards better will you understand that some of the apparent initial choices are not viable after all and you will get more direction. If you are willing to go through this potentially difficult initial phase you will find an extremely satisfying game, though.
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Magister Ludi
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Espana 1936 is a simpler CDG...I found it lost it's repaly value after several plays, but looks nice and covers an interesting period of history.
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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Aussie550 wrote:
Espana 1936 is a simpler CDG...I found it lost it's repaly value after several plays, but looks nice and covers an interesting period of history.


Except it's not a CDG in the same sense as the OP is using. You could play an entire game of España 1936 without using a single card (not saying that's an effective strategy). Hard to be card driven when you're never forced to play a card!
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Palladin wrote:
I'd really like to explore the world of card-driven games such as Twilight Struggle and Washington's War, but I'm concerned that they might be a bit much for beginners. What would be a good game to learn/teach/introduce this kind of game system to myself and others?


TS is easy to learn but hard to master. Washington's War is a nice straightforward wargame that happens to be card driven and I think it would make an excellent introduction to the genre.

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