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Subject: Most horrible rule in the history of all board games rss

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Marc Bishop
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Yes, I called it on this post first: December 6, 2011.

Twilight Struggle, the number 1 game on BGG, suffers from the most horrible rule ever created for a boardgame.

When a phasing player uses a card that allows his/her opponant to play a op point (ie CIA card of JFK assassinated) and that opponant chose to deliberately cause a global thermo-nuclear war by instigating a coup in a battleground country when Defcon is at 2, the phasing player loses the game and the instigator wins.

This is by far the worst rule I have ever encountered in a card, board game or even a 100 piece puzzle. A player may dominate the entire globe, outplayed his/her opponant for 9 rounds, but if a cheap 1 op card (that can't be used for the space race) is played when Defcon 2 is in effect, the other player is rewarded for having aborted the game.

This makes 0 sense.

This is worse than the "War games" card in late phase that hands a cheap victory to any mediocre player not good enough to win, but lucky enough to get a 7 point VP lead and the card.

This is worse than removing the straight line shape from Tetris...


Let's apply this horrible rule to other classic games and see the outcome:

Monopoly
If by picking the "Chance" card "go back three steps" you fall on the "Prison" box, the Anti-trust law is enacted and everyone except the richest player wins since he can afford to hire the best lawyers. (It feels so real!)

Catan
If the robber is moved more than 4 times consecutively (equivalent to the Defcon ladder in TS), Sheriff of Nottingham shows up, kills Robin Hood and everyone loses except the last player to have moved the Robber. (This game is obviously improved by this feature!)

Munchkin and other RPG's
If, from the beginning to the end of your turn, you are carrying more items than your body can withstand carrying (1 head, 2 hands and 1 feet), you are crushed under the weight and die. The player who played just before you wins *insert random reason here* (I feel an expansion here Steve Jackon)

Dominion
If after drawing five cards, you have no Gold or action cards in your hand, the people inhabiting the five green territory cards revolt against your feudal system (for your lack of money and staff available in your hand) and erect the first democracy. Everyone else wins, but you get credited a win in your "For the People" league. (Cross-platform leagues, I should patent this!)

PowerGrid
Expanding your network more than 4 cities in a single turn short-circuits the entire city grid, the National Guard is called in to quell the riots and years of living by candlelight sends the played country back to the stone age. But since the phasing player instigated the crash ended up on the news as a person of "action", he gets a golden corporate parachute and becomes the CEO of General Electric: he/she wins. (I will refuse to play Powergrid unless they add this in their rulebook for I cannot play games that lack realism)

Chess
If your King is checkmated five times in a row, he dies of a heart attack from sheer exhaustion and post-traumatic stress.

So there you have it. Instead of replying to this thread by saying "but those are the rules" like an automaton, I suggest you build your own list of how such a rule could improve any game. Or better yet, please feel free to expand my list of how rules like these would actually ruin other commonly played games and maybe the creators of TS will get the jist of this complaint.

*Readers, you may have noticed the somewhat over the top tone of the opening post. This is for entertainment purposes and possibly comical results. If you feel the urge to bash me a personal insult when replying, its all on you and you probably won't like my reply.




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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Sorry you feel that way; I strongly disagree.
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Wei Jen Seah
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I'm struggling a bit to understand where your complaint lies.

Twilight Struggle as a CDG is really a game about hand management. Working within the constraint of this rule, a player should always be aware of what cards he should hold at any given point in time, and what he should avoid playing.

If you were aware of this rule and insisted on playing a card that would allow your opponent to do just that, how is it a bad rule? It is simply bad play
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First Last
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Maybe it will teach the phasing player to play smarter in the future?

If you're stuck holding that one op card and are forced to play it, you haven't been outplaying your opponent for 9 rounds.
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Aaron Percival
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A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
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Also a terrible rule: getting checkmated in chess.

My point is that TS has rules and you need to follow them to play the game. Don't put yourself in a situation that loses the game.
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Marc Bishop
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whac3 wrote:
Sorry you feel that way; I strongly disagree.


Although you are entitled to your opinion, don't you feel that it is somewhat bland as is?
 
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Marc Bishop
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geekgeek wrote:
I'm struggling a bit to understand where your complaint lies.

Twilight Struggle as a CDG is really a game about hand management. Working within the constraint of this rule, a player should always be aware of what cards he should hold at any given point in time, and what he should avoid playing.

If you were aware of this rule and insisted on playing a card that would allow your opponent to do just that, how is it a bad rule? It is simply bad play


1- Thanks for the explanation of what is a CDG game, but hardly necessary or on point.

2- A good CDG game does not have rules that ruin the game (ie forces players to play cards that give compleat victory to his/her opponant nonobstant all other factors). That was the entire point of my initial thread, which you did not address.

3- Cards like these are not management, its more bad balance... no its actually more like throwing the board on the ground.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Prisme wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Sorry you feel that way; I strongly disagree.


Although you are entitled to your opinion, don't you feel that it is somewhat bland as is?

Not at all.

TS offered multiple paths to victory:
1. inducing your opponent to start a nuclear war
2. instant win via VPs
3. Control of Europe at Europe scoring
4. most VPs after final scoring

One has to balance defense and attack for all of these.

TS is a great game.
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Marc Bishop
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The Pope wrote:
Maybe it will teach the phasing player to play smarter in the future?

If you're stuck holding that one op card and are forced to play it, you haven't been outplaying your opponent for 9 rounds.


How about removing the rule and then we'll see who is smarter for the entire duration of the game?

If you are dealt 8 cards and you have to play 7, that means that holding a 1 op card that could end your game must either be played when not at Defcon 2 (which a good USSR player will not allow past action 1 or be used in conjunction with the UN intervention card - which seems like a huge waste). A player that holds 2 such cards automatically loses the game if the USSR player is smart and keeps the Defcon at 2... does that sound like a brilliant game, no, it sounds like a whack-a-mole game.
 
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Georg von Lemberg
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Prisme wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Sorry you feel that way; I strongly disagree.


Although you are entitled to your opinion, don't you feel that it is somewhat bland as is?


Bland? But he "strongly" disagreed. That's hardly bland now is it?

[edit for typos]
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Marc Bishop
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whac3 wrote:
Prisme wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Sorry you feel that way; I strongly disagree.


Although you are entitled to your opinion, don't you feel that it is somewhat bland as is?

Not at all.

TS offered multiple paths to victory:
1. inducing your opponent to start a nuclear war
2. instant win via VPs
3. Control of Europe at Europe scoring
4. most VPs after final scoring

One has to balance defense and attack for all of these.

TS is a great game.


I was talking about your initial comment as being bland, not the game.
 
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Marc Bishop
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gvonl wrote:
Prisme wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Sorry you feel that way; I strongly disagree.


Although you are entitled to your opinion, don't you feel that it is somewhat bland as is?


Bland? But he "strongly" disagreed. Tthat's hardly bland now is it?


If he adds nothing to the discussion other than his "strong" disagreement, he has added nothing to the discussion. Before I posted this thread I already knew that some people either agreed or disagreed with me. Those that wish to actualy formulate arguments to their opinions are welcomed to post them. For those who simply say, I agree or don't... well, I already knew you were out there.

I notice you haven't added your two cents on the actual forum subject matter, any reason?
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Moshe Callen
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Prisme wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Prisme wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Sorry you feel that way; I strongly disagree.


Although you are entitled to your opinion, don't you feel that it is somewhat bland as is?

Not at all.

TS offered multiple paths to victory:
1. inducing your opponent to start a nuclear war
2. instant win via VPs
3. Control of Europe at Europe scoring
4. most VPs after final scoring

One has to balance defense and attack for all of these.

TS is a great game.


I was talking about your initial comment as being bland, not the game.

I saw nothing of substance in your OP to address other than a matter of tastes.
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Marc-Andre Blanchet
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My group has fixed the problem. Every player gets 2 operations per impulse, and we don't use the cards. Also, we don't roll for realignments, we just add up the bonuses and compare results. We also disallow coups attempts, because we feel they are too random. Finally, every space on the Space Race tracks gives 4/3 VP's instead of the various payouts and powers.

The game is much improved.
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Marc Bishop
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Percy0715 wrote:
Also a terrible rule: getting checkmated in chess.

My point is that TS has rules and you need to follow them to play the game. Don't put yourself in a situation that loses the game.



Simply stating "those are the rules" does not make the rule a good or bad one.

You have not justified your opinion/argument.
 
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Marc Bishop
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whac3 wrote:
Prisme wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Prisme wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Sorry you feel that way; I strongly disagree.


Although you are entitled to your opinion, don't you feel that it is somewhat bland as is?

Not at all.

TS offered multiple paths to victory:
1. inducing your opponent to start a nuclear war
2. instant win via VPs
3. Control of Europe at Europe scoring
4. most VPs after final scoring

One has to balance defense and attack for all of these.

TS is a great game.


I was talking about your initial comment as being bland, not the game.

I saw nothing of substance in your OP to address other than a matter of tastes.


And yet, here you are three posts later... how contradictory.
Why would you comment on something that you have no interest in commenting on?
Nevermind, I don't really want to be answered, its for another thread.
 
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suPUR DUEper
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Please refresh my memory. What card(s) are you referring to?
 
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Mooseulie Ferenczy
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Really? That's your big complaint about Twilight Struggle? It is a little frustrating, but I don't think there are that many of these cards for either player (not that familiar with the deck and I've only played once). I think the situation in which you are forced to cause a game ending scenario are so rare that it should not be a problem, especially since an experienced player should be familiar enough with the rules that they are able to find some way to avoid it.
Now that thing where a player can discard an opposing player's card that doesn't meet the prerequisites with no penalty? That one is just infuriating, even if it is just as rare. (The first move in my first game was the Soviet Union discarding Nato to coup Iran away from me. I kind of resent my opponent being given 4 ops points for free when the whole balance on using an opponent's cards is that your opponent gets the ability. Especially such a high valued card).
Or how about the fact that the Soviet Union is in such a better position by comparison to the United States? That is kind of silly. After my first game, I have started demanding that we bid for control of the Soviet Union since I'm not convinced that the extra OPs aren't necessary for the US to compete.

Edit: stupid typo and not catching it in time before someone notices.*grumble grumble*
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Jay Sachs
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Sorry the rules bother you so much. Many people enjoy the game with the rules as writen, and don't share your opinion. I suggest you play something else.
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Marc Bishop
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TedW wrote:
Please refresh my memory. What card(s) are you referring to?


-Lone gunman
-Summit (if opponant wins roll, can move Defcon any direction by 1)
-CIA created
-Olympic games (if opponant boycotts and Defcon 1 is reached, he/she wins) oh the strategy in that victory!cool

I would even add:
We will bury you and Duck and cover. If you have used your space race and end up with one of these cards by stealing a card from your opponant (ex: US sells grain to Soviets) and the Defcon is at 2, you automatically activate your opponants event and again lose by random bad luck.
 
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Marc Bishop
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jaysachs wrote:
Sorry the rules bother you so much. Many people enjoy the game with the rules as writen, and don't share your opinion. I suggest you play something else.


Thank you for your suggestion.

I hope this is the reply you expected.
 
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j0frenzy wrote:
Or how about the fact that the Soviet Union is in such a better position by comparison to the Soviet Union? That is kind of silly.
Agreed
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Marc Bishop
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j0frenzy wrote:
Really? That's your big complaint about Twilight Struggle? It is a little frustrating, but I don't think there are that many of these cards for either player (not that familiar with the deck and I've only played once). I think the situation in which you are forced to cause a game ending scenario are so rare that it should not be a problem, especially since an experienced player should be familiar enough with the rules that they are able to find some way to avoid it.
Now that thing where a player can discard an opposing player's card that doesn't meet the prerequisites with no penalty? That one is just infuriating, even if it is just as rare. (The first move in my first game was the Soviet Union discarding Nato to coup Iran away from me. I kind of resent my opponent being given 4 ops points for free when the whole balance on using an opponent's cards is that your opponent gets the ability. Especially such a high valued card).
Or how about the fact that the Soviet Union is in such a better position by comparison to the Soviet Union? That is kind of silly. After my first game, I have started demanding that we bid for control of the Soviet Union since I'm not convinced that the extra OPs aren't necessary for the US to compete.


I agree with all of your remarks. Although I have read and experienced the other unbalanced facets of TS, my thread aimed to make a post about the specific possibility for a weak player to get a cheap win thanks to badly conceived rules that short circuit the entire game experience (ie global domination and winning the cold war)
 
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Jared-
Are you playing the second edition with the China variant and extra cards? That seems to help the US alot.


Many cards can kill you in TS (and I mean that in a good way). I was way up as the Soviets in the last turn of my last game but then Voice of America pummeled me in the final scoring.... I lost like 15 points on that one card. OTOH, if I would have hit my space race card and landed on the moon, I might have pulled out a victory....
 
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Prisme wrote:
j0frenzy wrote:
Really? That's your big complaint about Twilight Struggle? It is a little frustrating, but I don't think there are that many of these cards for either player (not that familiar with the deck and I've only played once). I think the situation in which you are forced to cause a game ending scenario are so rare that it should not be a problem, especially since an experienced player should be familiar enough with the rules that they are able to find some way to avoid it.
Now that thing where a player can discard an opposing player's card that doesn't meet the prerequisites with no penalty? That one is just infuriating, even if it is just as rare. (The first move in my first game was the Soviet Union discarding Nato to coup Iran away from me. I kind of resent my opponent being given 4 ops points for free when the whole balance on using an opponent's cards is that your opponent gets the ability. Especially such a high valued card).
Or how about the fact that the Soviet Union is in such a better position by comparison to the Soviet Union? That is kind of silly. After my first game, I have started demanding that we bid for control of the Soviet Union since I'm not convinced that the extra OPs aren't necessary for the US to compete.


I agree with all of your remarks. My thread aimed to make a post about the specific possibility for a weak player to get a cheap win thanks to badly conceived rules that short circuit the entire game experience.


A truly good player wouldn't let himself get into this position.
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