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Subject: Struggling to Cultivate Good Opponents rss

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Mike Stevens
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I love Twilight Struggle and have taught it to about 4 new players. They all enjoyed the game and I have played 2nd and 3rd games with some of them. They are all experienced gamers and seemed to pick up the mechanics, flow, and strategy of TS fairly quickly. I always explain to them that it is easier to play USSR the first few times and try to give them good tips. I tell them that if possible they should usually try a Coup in Europe or the Middle East on their first turn. I explain the importance of the Iron Triangle so that you can move into Asia. I explain the importance of playing the Scoring Cards when that Region is at your best advantage or playing it before the other player can make any more inroads. I always tell them that Europe, Asia, Middle East, and SE Asia Scoring are all coming in the Early War portion and that you will see them again throughout the game. When we switch to Mid War I tell them that Africa, South America, and Central America Scoring Cards are all coming and that they should keep an eye on those Regions. I explain how the Space Race can be used to dump a bad card in your hand but that sometimes it is better to just play the opponents event and use the ops if it is a one time event that will be taken out of the game. Play the opponents event when it hurts you the least as opposed to letting them get it in their hand and play it when it gives them a huge advantage.

The problem is that I always seem to win pretty easily regardless of how much I help them. Trust me when I say that I am not a Grand Master or even a very good player at Twilight Struggle. I have been beaten and humbled many times on Wargameroom.com by people who really know how to play the game. I get no pleasure from an easy win and would love for the guys I play with to get good enough so that we can have great, down to the wire, games. I realize that there is always going to be the occasional drubbing but I really do want to help the guys that like playing TS to improve their game.

Can some of you experienced players please post some simple tips and strategies that I could quickly explain when I am teaching the game? Thanks for your help.
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The Gamer Curator
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I've taught the game twice (once to my wife and once to a friend) and lost both times. I let them be USSR to help them have a good experience and they both clobbered me.

I know this post doesn't answer your question. I just wanted to show the opposite situation. And because I like typing words.shake
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Sam Carroll
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I don't think there's any substitute for repeated play. TS is not a game that you can expect a first-time player to compete in. Even against a player who claims not to be very good! That speaks to me of the depth of the game. That said, kudos for cultivating opponents!
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Железный комиссар
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I was lucky in that I was taught by someone who had played maybe five or six times, and then we were playing the game on a weekly basis for about a year afterwards.

I've taught 10 or 15 different people to play. There were definitely a couple who really warmed to the game but felt they should try to play with people at their level of experience for a while rather than squaring off against me. Which is actually how I felt about one of my earlier opponents as well.
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Wesley M
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Just a side note.. If you want some awesome players to play against try on wargameroom or vassal.. Some of those guys have played crazy numbers of games. And you dont have to grow and cultivate them yourself!
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Mike Stevens
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Riddlebox85 wrote:
Just a side note.. If you want some awesome players to play against try on wargameroom or vassal.. Some of those guys have played crazy numbers of games.


That is actually where I learned the game at before I even had my own copy. There are some fantastic players on there. I have the Deluxe version. Should I keep the Optional Cards out of the game? I think most of them benefit the USA. I have had a few friends who insisted on playing the USA even though I told them it was easier for a beginner to play the USSR. Those games did not go well for themshake
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