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Campaign Manager 2008» Forums » General

Subject: underwhelmed after one play rss

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Pasta Batman
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I love Twilight Struggle, and got CM2008 hoping I could capture a little bit of that TS excitement in a short game my wife would play.

So, we played a single game with the suggested starter decks, and our mutual opinion was just 'meh'. It felt like musical chairs as to who would win the big states. Small states were too easy to just run over. The cards seemed too weak to try creative strategies. In the end we just kept leap-frogging each other in the overall vote count, and my very narrow final victory just felt random.

No doubt we missed out on some strategies. In particular, the 'demographic' mechanic didn't come into play too much. We also didn't try the deck building aspect, which doesn't sound like much fun.

On one hand the first experience with this game was so boring that my inclination is to trade it away immediately. On the other hand, it's heritage and the fact that it won the '2010 International Gamers Award for General Strategy:Two-player' makes me wonder if I'm being too hasty. Are we missing out on gobs of intricate and exciting play here? Maybe the starter decks are just too neutered?
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D L
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Perhaps you'd be better off with this game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?.

But in terms of CM2008, the real strategy actually comes via deckbuilding. In any case, it's still fairly simplistic compared to TS.

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Jason Hyman
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I had the same feeling after my first game with the starter decks. However, after playing my second game with the deck building, I liked it more. It really is a game about building your deck using the strategy you want to try, applying that strategy successfully, and managing your hand to utilize it effectively. Even with that, it is not that complex a game, and I don't think it is meant to be, but it does give you some interesting decisions in a short amount of time.
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Max Jamelli
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jphyman wrote:
I had the same feeling after my first game with the starter decks. However, after playing my second game with the deck building, I liked it more. It really is a game about building your deck using the strategy you want to try, applying that strategy successfully, and managing your hand to utilize it effectively. Even with that, it is not that complex a game, and I don't think it is meant to be, but it does give you some interesting decisions in a short amount of time.


I agree with all of this. The starter deck is there to give you a chance to learn the way the game works. You can probably play through 2 decks worth of shuffling to get that mechanic down and start over building decks.
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Pasta Batman
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Thanks for the feedback guys. Deck building might have saved this for me, but that mechanism is a bad fit for the niche I was trying to fill (TS-lite game to play with spouse). My bad for not researching more first.

I already accepted a trade offer, but it might help others if someone came up with some more advanced pre-built decks to supplement the starter deck. Maybe this has been done - not sure why I didn't think of this before.
 
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Max Jamelli
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pastabatman wrote:

I already accepted a trade offer, but it might help others if someone came up with some more advanced pre-built decks to supplement the starter deck. Maybe this has been done - not sure why I didn't think of this before.


I think the random "luck of the draw" element makes the player think on his feet when building the deck. Playing an "advanced" deck would be similar to playing the starter deck imho.
 
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Pasta Batman
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sigtaulefty wrote:
pastabatman wrote:

I already accepted a trade offer, but it might help others if someone came up with some more advanced pre-built decks to supplement the starter deck. Maybe this has been done - not sure why I didn't think of this before.


I think the random "luck of the draw" element makes the player think on his feet when building the deck. Playing an "advanced" deck would be similar to playing the starter deck imho.

So, are you suggesting the actual game after the deck building wouldn't feel much different? I thought perhaps some interesting dynamics might be introduced by the non-starred cards (like the variety you see in the Twilight Struggle decks).
 
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Jake Waltier
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pastabatman wrote:
So, are you suggesting the actual game after the deck building wouldn't feel much different? I thought perhaps some interesting dynamics might be introduced by the non-starred cards (like the variety you see in the Twilight Struggle decks).

I believe what Max is saying is that pre-building decks would remove the luck element from the deck-building portion of the game, which gives the game its distinctive flavor. Imagine playing Dominion with pre-built decks. (It's different from Dominion, but it would hurt the game in the same way.)
 
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Max Jamelli
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TwentySides wrote:
pastabatman wrote:
So, are you suggesting the actual game after the deck building wouldn't feel much different? I thought perhaps some interesting dynamics might be introduced by the non-starred cards (like the variety you see in the Twilight Struggle decks).

I believe what Max is saying is that pre-building decks would remove the luck element from the deck-building portion of the game, which gives the game its distinctive flavor. Imagine playing Dominion with pre-built decks. (It's different from Dominion, but it would hurt the game in the same way.)


This is basically what I'm saying. I was thinking you wanted an advanced "pre-sorted" deck. Part of the frustrating part of the deck building process for me is when I draw 3 cards I really like and I can only pick 1 of them. When that happens, I know I'm going to have to adjust my strategy from the get-go.
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Christopher Yaure
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I see the appeal of deck-building less as a random element and more as a strategy element. Think of deck-building as the initial part of the campaign when the campaign manager develops a strategy (go negative, lots of press support, be very active (draw 1 card cards), focus on interest groups, control the debate (move the issues marker cards), etc.). Then, the rest of the game is tactics, putting the strategy into effect.

The random element of deck building is important in the long-run, to keep the game from becoming too repetitious.
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