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Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?» Forums » General

Subject: Toes in the Water rss

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David Hughes
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Dave Longworth and I played a toes-in-the-water learning game of Labyrinth last night. Here are the headlines.

1. I guess I spent 90 minutes in total over the course of the day reading the rules, in 10 minute snatches.

2. Dave hadn't read them, so we spent around 30 minutes figuring stuff out by walking through the player aid charts.

3. Maybe 30 minutes, tops, to rip, punch, shuffle and set things up.

4. We got through 3 turns in another 90 minutes; but the third took us maybe 20 minutes. I reckon par is 15 minutes, making a one deck game a 2 hour affair.

5. It looks good set up, even drawing favourable comments from the non-gamers who were plying us with refreshments.

6. There's plenty of game here at first glance. I had the Jihadists, and got off to a flying start with the Opium card that brings in ALL the Jihadist cells. As is his wont, Dave grokked things very quickly, and started grinding his way to a win through the War of Ideas. I was all at sea - couldn't roll less than 4 to save my life, but that's just an excuse, as I was aimless, and out-played.

Then the Third turn's cards gave me a chance to steal the game - two WMDs, the free move to Schengen card, and a transform a cell to a plot card. So, I picked up a WMD, moved two cells to Paris on my penultimate round, moved them to the US on my last round, and laid the plot. Dave had only one "3 Ops" card remaining to block the plots, so it's 50/50 for the ball game...he guessed correctly, foiled the WMD, and we called it a draw right there. A very engaging way to spend a few hours.

7. We both felt that the game is very promising, and worth more play. I can see that after a few complete plays the cat and mouse struggle could be very tense. And the fact sometimes the players will play right past each other could add to the drama.

There you go - didn't have to mention politics or Twilight Struggle at all.
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Joel Tamburo
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Hi Dave!

I'm glad you see the promise as it is rich.

My first game was as the US and man did I get punked! Did the Afghanistan Regime Change and it was torture managing to get rid of the Regime Change marker. Meanwhile Somalia went IR as did Saudi Arabia (now THAT was due to a pure misplay on my part, and it was ultimately fatal). Basically things deteriorated culminating in Sudan going IR and an Oil Price Spike.

Great fun, and I saw I have much to learn.
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Mitchell Land
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And here I thought to myself...why is there a Zac Brown Band card in the game...
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Good report.

I played my third game today, and my first as the U.S. My opponent got the Opium card early which allowed him to flood the board with cells. Depsite my best efforts to lower funding while also reducing the number of cells in play, I just couldn't do it; he spent most of the game with just about every cell in play (though it did work to my advantage in some sense as I was able to play numerous JIhadist cards for the Ops while ignoring the events that required available cells to trigger).

THIngs were looking pretty grim for me for a bit, but luck went my way when I went for a Regime Change in Afghanistant late in my turn. My next card draw gave me both UN Nation Building and the "Good Turnout" card (I forget the exact name). I played them both on my first action phase and Afghanistan went from Poor Ally to Good ALly almost instantly. I think this knocked my opponent off his game for a bit as I seemed to have the edge for the rest of the game, limiting his ability to Test Muslim countries while improving governemnts where I could.

We never actually had a winner though as I had to wrap it up just before our final draw would have emptied the deck. We aagreed to call it a tie but dealt otu the cards to see what we would have had in our hands for the final turn. I think he would have won as he had a 2-card advantage and better OPS values in his hand.

The more I play this game, the more I like it.

Brian
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David Hughes
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Thanks Brian, yours too.

Know what you mean about the game; it arrived yesterday, I played it face to face last night, and it's on the table solitaire already today. And watching the ease with which the AI is swarming all over the board, I think it might be time to slow down and read the play book.
 
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