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Subject: Generic Twilight Struggle rss

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I like Twilight Struggle, but I dislike that certain events are more or less fated to happen (or can happen only in a certain way). So Fidel Castro will always rise to power, and NATO will always happen with the same countries, and De Gaulle will make France suck for the West, etc. etc. etc.

Has anyone come up with a more generic set of cards where a charismatic communist could arise in *any* country? I suppose the system already sort of accommodates for that because you could use the op points on the Castro card to make a coup happen in another country,

It just feels too scripted. After I played a few times, I felt like it was the same game over and over. One of the things I love about wargaming is the opportunity to create an alternate history. So long as the events are on the cards, and those events are what happened, we're doomed to recreate history rather than make it...
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Greg Moore
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It is possible that an event never happens.

Your strategy can be to make some of those type of events less affective.
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Enrico Viglino
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Cold War

Summit

Supremacy

Not really TS, but same subject matter,
handled in a much more generic fashion.

And (I shudder to include this) Superpower.
 
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calandale wrote:


For a good simulation of the average 'Supremacy' game, obtain the game, set up the board, spend seven hours concocting intricate plans, manipulating stock markets, researching tech, etc, then imagine one player at the table has fallen slightly behind the rest and nuked the world. Everybody loses. Game over.

As an acerbic comment on the human condition and the Tragedy of the Cardboard Commons, it's an interesting experience. As a game, it isn't.
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Enrico Viglino
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wolvendancer wrote:
calandale wrote:


For a good simulation of the average 'Supremacy' game, obtain the game, set up the board, spend seven hours contacting intricate plans, manipulating stock markets, researching tech, etc, then imagine one player at the table has fallen slightly behind the rest and nuked the world. Everybody loses. Game over.

As an acerbic comment on the human condition and the Tragedy of the Cardboard Commons, it's an experience. As a game, it isn't.


Sounds like my only opposed game of Twilight Struggle

A couple thoughts -

a. I remember there being ways of preventing people
from nuking the world.

b. I'd think two player wouldn't be so silly.
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Like almost all CDG;s TS has a "flaw" in the design. Historically all the events on the cards happened yet in the game, not all the events will be played.

The deck is also essentially limited to actual events. If you want some variation you might need an alternate set up and probably a bunch of alternative history cards.

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wolvendancer wrote:
calandale wrote:


For a good simulation of the average 'Supremacy' game, obtain the game, set up the board, spend seven hours contacting intricate plans, manipulating stock markets, researching tech, etc, then imagine one player at the table has fallen slightly behind the rest and nuked the world. Everybody loses. Game over.

As an acerbic comment on the human condition and the Tragedy of the Cardboard Commons, it's an experience. As a game, it isn't.


We never played supremacy with the nukes.
 
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No disrespect meant to the OP but I hear this a lot about CDG's. The inability to allow for unrestricted play of an alternate history. How many games really give you that?

I suppose for me it sounds like someone complaining that Chess is too scripted because the same old units are in play and many games of it can be similar to one another (especially if the opponents play a similar style each time they play). Put another way, a good hex and counter wargame may play somewhat 'scripted' given that certain units are always started in a certain area (possibly against smaller/inferior units). Fighting in the Ardennes in any number of Bulge games comes to mind. The Germans are almost always going to break out somewhere along the line and the Americans have the task of staunching the flow before they hit the Meuse.

I really can't say I've played two TS games that played out too similarly...at least no different than any two chess games I've played.

If you find the game 'scripted' then try an off the wall strategy that counters or minimizes a certain event or situation. This may help breath more life into what is a good game but has obviously left you looking for more. If it's just not for you then C'est la vie, at least you gave it one more try.
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I find Twilight Struggle enough wildly ahistorical as it is. A deep redesign (not just the cards) would probably be needed for that to work.
 
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Neopeius wrote:
So Fidel Castro will always rise to power, and NATO will always happen with the same countries, and De Gaulle will make France suck for the West, etc. etc. etc.


These things do not have to happen. There are ways to help prevent them from happening, or from severely limiting their impact if you happen to find the cards in your hand.

That being said, I like your premise and I think that one successful implementation of this is in Unhappy King Charles where up to 6 random Alt-History events are inserted into the deck. You never know which ones they are going to be, so it keeps you on your toes.

That kind of mechanic would be a very cool variant/expansion for TS.
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Neopeius wrote:
NATO will always happen with the same countries

Heh, NATO is automatic ops play for me. Way more valuable than the event.
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JoelCFC25 wrote:
Neopeius wrote:
NATO will always happen with the same countries

Heh, NATO is automatic ops play for me. Way more valuable than the event.


Yeah - so long as it's not the Ruskies playing it.
 
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TedW wrote:
Like almost all CDG;s TS has a "flaw" in the design. Historically all the events on the cards happened yet in the game, not all the events will be played.

The deck is also essentially limited to actual events. If you want some variation you might need an alternate set up and probably a bunch of alternative history cards.



I've always assumed with CDGs that all the events do happen, but not necessarily to the same degree of importance or impact on the larger stage.
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Roger Hobden
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So what is the problem?

Remove randomly 5 cards from each deck in TS at each sitting, and no two plays will never, ever be the same.
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I'm not saying it's a problem. But I like the idea of "What-ifs" to shake up play. Since TS is based on an incorrect premise anyway (Domino Theory), why not add events that were projected but never actually happened?

I think a TS "alt pack" would be pretty neat.
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Neopeius wrote:


I think a TS "alt pack" would be pretty neat.


That would be a neat idea.
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It surprises me, given how popular the game is, that it hasn't come out yet. Or has it, and I just missed it?
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Neopeius wrote:
It surprises me, given how popular the game is, that it hasn't come out yet. Or has it, and I just missed it?


That's because people are waiting for you to design the variant cards!
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Neopeius wrote:
I think a TS "alt pack" would be pretty neat.


It doesn't do a great job of it -- then again its not a true CDG -- but España 1936 has something sort of like this. The base game includes a number of non-historical cards. 9 out of 50, I think. There's a "historical variant" that not only tells you which cards to take out but has you play the cards in a numbered order.

It also has a variant where "the Non-Intervention Committee works adequately and no foreign aid is provided to the warring parties" where a number of cards are removed from the decks.
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Neopeius wrote:
I like Twilight Struggle, but I dislike that certain events are more or less fated to happen (or can happen only in a certain way). So Fidel Castro will always rise to power, and NATO will always happen with the same countries, and De Gaulle will make France suck for the West, etc. etc. etc.

Has anyone come up with a more generic set of cards where a charismatic communist could arise in *any* country? I suppose the system already sort of accommodates for that because you could use the op points on the Castro card to make a coup happen in another country,

It just feels too scripted. After I played a few times, I felt like it was the same game over and over. One of the things I love about wargaming is the opportunity to create an alternate history. So long as the events are on the cards, and those events are what happened, we're doomed to recreate history rather than make it...



Sounds like the idea that you are looking for, is that you have a sideboard, with certain sets of cards. The middle and late war deck would be smaller. When executing a card you can have branching options that would add cards from the sideboard to middle or late deck. So that choices you make early game will affect card draws later.
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dpdlc wrote:
Neopeius wrote:
I like Twilight Struggle, but I dislike that certain events are more or less fated to happen (or can happen only in a certain way). So Fidel Castro will always rise to power, and NATO will always happen with the same countries, and De Gaulle will make France suck for the West, etc. etc. etc.

Has anyone come up with a more generic set of cards where a charismatic communist could arise in *any* country? I suppose the system already sort of accommodates for that because you could use the op points on the Castro card to make a coup happen in another country,

It just feels too scripted. After I played a few times, I felt like it was the same game over and over. One of the things I love about wargaming is the opportunity to create an alternate history. So long as the events are on the cards, and those events are what happened, we're doomed to recreate history rather than make it...



Sounds like the idea that you are looking for, is that you have a sideboard, with certain sets of cards. The middle and late war deck would be smaller. When executing a card you can have branching options that would add cards from the sideboard to middle or late deck. So that choices you make early game will affect card draws later.


Hmm ...
A collectable card game, maybe ?
"Magic, the Twilight Struggle" (but, people will think it's about vampires ).
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Mallet wrote:

Hmm ...
A collectable card game, maybe ?
"Magic, the Twilight Struggle" (but, people will think it's about vampires ).


It was worth starting this thread for that post.
 
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Mallet wrote:
dpdlc wrote:
Neopeius wrote:
I like Twilight Struggle, but I dislike that certain events are more or less fated to happen (or can happen only in a certain way). So Fidel Castro will always rise to power, and NATO will always happen with the same countries, and De Gaulle will make France suck for the West, etc. etc. etc.

Has anyone come up with a more generic set of cards where a charismatic communist could arise in *any* country? I suppose the system already sort of accommodates for that because you could use the op points on the Castro card to make a coup happen in another country,

It just feels too scripted. After I played a few times, I felt like it was the same game over and over. One of the things I love about wargaming is the opportunity to create an alternate history. So long as the events are on the cards, and those events are what happened, we're doomed to recreate history rather than make it...



Sounds like the idea that you are looking for, is that you have a sideboard, with certain sets of cards. The middle and late war deck would be smaller. When executing a card you can have branching options that would add cards from the sideboard to middle or late deck. So that choices you make early game will affect card draws later.


Hmm ...
A collectable card game, maybe ?
"Magic, the Twilight Struggle" (but, people will think it's about vampires ).


Not necessarily collectable more like branching logic. Lets say you get event during turn 1-2 with "Workers Strike in Steel Mills" Early war card, and you have options:

a) Allow Workers to Strike, its their right and just
b) Nationalize Steel Mills, Important War Industry
c) Reduce union rights, and increase "free" market

Depending on which choice you select, a,b or c. A different event card gets placed on the Mid war deck that will not be dealt until after turn 3 when mid war cards come out.

A) Automotive Workers to Strike
B) Military Industrial Complex Event
C) Communist sympathizers increase among working poor
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dpdlc wrote:

Depending on which choice you select, a,b or c. A different event card gets placed on the Mid war deck that will not be dealt until after turn 3 when mid war cards come out.

A) Automotive Workers to Strike
B) Military Industrial Complex Event
C) Communist sympathizers increase among working poor


Alternatively, to keep prices down, the additions to the deck
could be the same, and just refer to stage II of the event.
I'd rather not KNOW what the long term effects of making choices
early on are, and the idea of cards with random events tables
disturbs me. This is why a good detailed event-driven system
just can't be delivered economically with cards.
 
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