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Twilight Struggle

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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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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$57.24 + $5.49 shipping Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by MediaWranglers.

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Product Description

"Now the trumpet summons us again, not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are - but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle" - John F. Kennedy In 1945, unlikely allies toppled Hitler's war machine, while humanity's most devastating weapons forced the Japanese Empire to its knees in a storm of fire. Where once there stood many great powers, there then stood only two. The world had scant months to sigh its collective relief before a new conflict threatened. Unlike the titanic struggles of the preceding decades, this conflict would be waged not primarily by soldiers and tanks, but by spies and politicians, scientists and intellectuals, artists and traitors. Twilight Struggle is a two-player game simulating the forty-fiveyear dance of intrigue, prestige, and occasional flares of warfare between the Soviet Union and the United States. The entire world is the stage on which these two titans fight to make the world safe for their own ideologies and ways of life. The game begins amidst the ruins of Europe as the two new "superpowers" scramble over the wreckage of the Second World War, and ends in 1989, when only the United States remained standing. Twilight Struggle inherits its fundamental systems from the carddriven classics We the People and Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage. It is a quick-playing, low-complexity game in that tradition. The game map is a world map of the period, whereon players move units and exert influence in attempts to gain allies and control for their superpower. As with GMT's other card-driven games, decision-making is a challenge; how to best use one's cards and units given consistently limited resources? Twilight Struggle's Event cards add detail and flavor to the game. They cover a vast array of historical happenings, from the Arab- Israeli conflicts of 1948 and 1967, to Vietnam and the U.S. peace movement, to the Cuban Missile Crisis and other such incidents that brought th

Product Information

Product Dimensions 12 x 1 x 7 inches
Item Weight 1.9 pounds
Shipping Weight 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Manufacturer recommended age 13 months and up
Best Sellers Rank #300,184 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
#7,651 in Toys & Games > Games > Board Games
#127,594 in Toys & Games > Preschool
Customer Reviews
4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I have a collection of hundreds of games ranging from super classics such as Acquire, Conquest, Chivalry (yes, these might be more obscure titles to the general public but I find games such as Monopoly, Risk, Sorry and their like to be so far inferior to these other titles that they aren't even in my collection). More modern examples of the 'Euro' game such as Caylus, Die Macher, Cosmic Encounter... Abstracts from the old and new school (if you're an 'abstract game fan' check out the GIPF Project of games. My highest recommendation). I list these as a sort of qualification; as stated, I have and have played hundreds of different kinds of games.

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.
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GMT's "Twilight Struggle" is an area control, card-driven game that pits players as the USA and the USSR. Players play a card on their turns to increase their influence in parts of the world in order to win the Cold War. The game ends when either player has 20 points or when 10 game rounds have expired.

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.
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Twilight Struggle. Wow. What a game.
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.
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