Thursday, April 26, 2007

Now The Trumpet Summons Us Again

Within the board game community, Twilight Struggle was one of the biggest hits of last year, winning not only a Charles S. Roberts award, but also the International Gamers Award and BoardGameGeek Golden Geek Award trophies for both Best Wargame and Best Two Player game. Clearly this game had something going for it, and yet I’d managed to miss playing it several times. Fortunately, Ted and Christina own it, and Gwen was interested in trying it out, so we finally borrowed their copy and gave it a try last night. We started a little on the late side, and we were both a bit tired, so we only made it through the first three out of ten turns, completing the Early War phase. However, only an extremely lucky roll on my part kept Gwen from achieving automatic victory on that turn, so I consider it a fairly complete play.

As a fan of GMT’s card-driven series, I was inclined to like Twilight Struggle, and the relative simplicity of the rules certainly helped draw me in. Knowledge of the card list is a very important part of successful play, which is really my only knock against card-driven games in general. Much as in Magic: The Gathering, the basic rules are extremely light, but you’ve got to know how the cards are going to change them in order to play well. I was also a bit surprised how hard of a time the US player has it at the beginning of the game, but in hindsight I shouldn’t have been. I knew that my role was simply to weather the Soviet storm until the mid-to-late game, but I didn’t really how much of an onslaught it was going to be. I’m going to be playing this one again. While Gwen did enjoy it, the time factor may keep the two of us from playing it much. Fortunately, I’m heading up the GMT Weekend on tomorrow for much wargaming, so I may be able to sit down with this one again very soon.


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