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- A quick-playing, low-complexity game in that tradition
- Decision-making is a challenge; how to best use one's cards and units given consistently limited resources?
- Games Magazine GAMES 100, Historical Simulation Nominee - 2007
- 2 players; 180 minutes
- Ages 12+
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Top Customer Reviews
Twilight Struggle is the culmination and distillation of many of the game mechanics that have been developed over the last 100 years of game design: area control, Card Driven action point allocation, dice modifiers... there are quite a few mechanics that integrate so seemlessly in this particular game whereas in other games these same mechanics tend to fall far short. The reason why these mechanics do so well in this particular game is totally because of the subject matter. The Cold War is the perfect setting for a game in which influence (area control) and card driven play (which depict real-world events) are the major mechanics. There is subtle intrigue and that 'making do' with a rotten situation that was so prevalent during the Cold War. The theme absolutely drips from this game, the tension and struggle is manifest in the gameplay. And this is an important point. Themes tend to be an addendum to game mechanics, pasted on or 'almost' fitting to whatever the original design was, which is why many games can easily be re-themed to suit a wider potential customer base.Read more ›
The game begins in 1945. Truman and Stalin are rallying their people to the cause. Players play cards which depict key events in Cold War history. Some examples are "CIA created", "Warsaw Pact", "US-Japan Mutual Defense Pact" and "Fidel Castro". In addition to having some cool Cold War text (and effects), each card has an operational number on it (from 1 to 4). Some cards are USA specific; others are USSR specific. When you play a card that is specific to your side, you may decide to use it for the effect or for the operations value. If the card is specific to your opponent, the event takes place AND you use the operations points.
Players use operations points to execute coups, realign embattled regions and to place influence. The effects of the cards (when not using the operations value) can do any of these things or some special things as well. Players vie for control of regions. Battle field regions are critical to scoring. But having non-battlefields is needed to spread your influence everywhere.
In addition to using cards for operations or their text effects, players may use the cards to improve their space race abilities. Who will get to the moon first? Who will have the first manned orbit around the sun?
Players must manage their hands so they can score the maximum amount of points. Also, they must watch out for the scoring cards. If you control Europe, you win--regardless of score.Read more ›
Let me say that again. What a game.
There are many reviews out there. Some of the best are posted on [...]
I encourage you to check them out.
If you are a gamer, you will love this game. It is pure addiction.
A casual coffee-table game it is not. As Booker noted, it will take several plays to get a sense of what's going on in terms of the deeper strategy. A skilled veteran player will destroy new players and non-gamers. So you will need to find someone who is willing to invest the same amount of time that you are.
The reason is that knowledge of every card in the deck is an absolute must to be able to play this game well. Your spirits may crumble after spending several precious rounds building influence in an area only to have a single card wipe it all away. Players who know the cards will have a better sense of where to invest and when.
But fear not--the first few plays are very enjoyable, if also played with a newbie. The experience of learning the game with someone new is really good.
After playing this game, you will be reading strategy articles on the Internet, reading the cards, looking at the board, thinking about strategy, talking with others about the game, etc. It's just that fun and engrossing.
And wow, the theme is great. Every card represents a major event that happened during the Cold War, complete with actual representative photograph from the period. The events and the pictures that represent them will draw you into the game's theme. The game booklet even contains historic descriptions of the events, so you'll learn something to boot!
Make sure that you get the latest version. As of 5/25/10, that would be the Deluxe Edition.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't understand how this is rated so highly. It's incredibly complicated. After reading directions and attempting to play, we still don't understand how all the parts of the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by NKH
Awesome game. Took a couple of play-thrus to really figure it out. Recommend that newbies play as the USSR.Published 17 months ago by ncgoose
Great game! Definitely has a significant learning curve compared to catan/AA/risk etc, but my wife and I figured it out after a few slow games. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Ben
Ugh. Spent 10 hours playing one game. Tedious to learn and lots of reading and rereading of cards to try and figure out the correct interpretation.
Great game. The full run time is about 4 hrs max. Rules seem incredibly balanced and well thought out. Two player only.Published 23 months ago by Matthew Neffinger
A brightly colored world map with seemingly homely coffee rings belied by the antiseptic b+w horror of such events as 'Allende' and 'KAL007' surrounded by red and white marker... Read morePublished on May 6, 2014 by southern_boy
There are not enough good serious strategy games for 2-players. This game is a lot of fun, and has a relatively unique system. Read morePublished on March 13, 2014 by Amazon Customer