Twilight Struggle

So a friend recently introduced me to this excellent boardgame. It is a strategic game which plays out the Cold War between the US and USSR. The game uses a card based mechanic to drive play, with each card having an 'ops' value and an event. Using the 'ops' values of cards you can develop influence across the world, trigger coup d'etat, or realign governments. The events are where the real fun and flavour come in. Most events are either US or USSR aligned, and if you play a card for 'ops' the event won't trigger, unless it is your oponents event, then it must occur. This balance between developing your position in the world while trying to defray the damage of triggering your opponents events gives a great feel to the game.

So I started looking to see if there is any online play and it appears there are a few different ways:

wargameroom - this is the best implementation if you can devote the time. It allows real-time play with full rules enforced. Only trouble is that it seems a bit of a hassle to setup, with many people encountering port forwarding issues.

ACTS - basically a Play By EMail system that tracks all card play, but has no visuals. Each player needs to track the board state separately, but seems a good system in that you can just make a few moves each day.

Vassel - Another real time application although in this it is like playing the game in real life, you have to move counters around etc... Visually the best looking but probably the most work.

So what I'm trying to see is if there is any interest from the GWJ crowd in getting a few games setup? I'm imagining the PBEM style is going to be the chosen route due to amount of time you need to devote to it, but maybe some weekend real time might happen. If there is enough interest we could even have a simple ladder/league going on.

Just reply in thread or shoot me a PM if you have any questions.

You can also do play by email with Vassal. I've played Through the Ages that way and it worked surprisingly well. Typically you need to move everything around manually meaning you need to have a full understanding of the rules, but that does vary from module to module.

Twilight Struggle is very cool. I've only managed to play a single game of it but was very impressed. I'd need to do some serious rules refreshing before playing again but it could be fun. Seems like PBEM might be pretty slow though.

I'd definitely be down for PBeM, though I wonder what the best way to track the board state would be. Maybe a combination of ACTS and Vassal (ACTS for the game, Vassal for the board state)?

Definitely one of my favorite games. I wish there were more computer strategy games that had board game-esque granularity and elegance. I love the way that cardboard war games let historical nuances emerge from relatively simple mechanics. Too often is it too easy for digital war games to simply simulate the minutiae.

7inchsplit wrote:

I'd definitely be down for PBeM, though I wonder what the best way to track the board state would be. Maybe a combination of ACTS and Vassal (ACTS for the game, Vassal for the board state)?

To track the board state, I've seen this Excel sheet used. Useful as it has the full card list and some clever macros too.

One of my favourite boardgames ever. A friend of mine swears by wargameroom.com. I prefer the face-to-face however.

Well, for anyone who is interested in this game, the Kickstarter has finally delivered what fans were looking for - an offline mode with AI. There's been a huge kerfuffle going on for the last few months about the lack of AI, and you can read about the drama via Google if that's your thing.

For me, I bought the game a while back when a new edition came out, and read the rules, but have not had the chance to play. So I put my money into the Kickstarter to get what, for me, is a learning platform.

And I'm glad to say, they've delivered. The tutorial is incomplete, and has some errors in it that don't really interfere with it. And I'm proud to say that after trying it for the first time, the game makes sense to me. I was able to continue playing and have at least a vague idea of what was going on and what the implications of my choices were.

The presentation of the Steam version is clear and the "mode changes" are dynamic. That is, while playing a card, your contextual choices are popped in; when you make a choice, you can examine the possible results and back out if you wish; and after you play it, the card window goes away and you are left with the map again. The various tracks are around the edge of the board and are clear and easy to understand.

In short, even though it's definitely beta and needs work, this version of TS is going to succeed. Three thumbs up!

Just grabbed a copy of this. I'd be interested in some multiplayer if anyone wants to play. I haven't even done the tutorial yet though, so I probably need to play a few games first.

I've always been interested in this game, but as I have nobody around here to play boardgames with, I've never picked it up. Is it the sort of thing I'm going to need someone to explain to me or is the digital version newbie-friendly?

billt721 wrote:

I've always been interested in this game, but as I have nobody around here to play boardgames with, I've never picked it up. Is it the sort of thing I'm going to need someone to explain to me or is the digital version newbie-friendly?

The tutorial is excellent. I think that with a quick review of the manual and you would be off to a good start. Play a few games against the AI then start some MP!

Ah ha the release of Twilight Struggle on Steam has resurrected my thread!

As I mentioned in the Boardgames thread I'm happy to start up async games or run teaching games if needed. My Playdek ID is: TorqGWJ

TS is a fun board game. I somehow missed the Kickstarter for the Steam version, but I'll be picking it up. I'm in the Gamers with Jobs Steam group, named Ferret.

Ferret wrote:

TS is a fun board game. I somehow missed the Kickstarter for the Steam version, but I'll be picking it up. I'm in the Gamers with Jobs Steam group, named Ferret.

I don't know. Your smilies are kinda freaking me out.

I think I'm finally understanding this game...and exactly why I'm losing...badly.

Smilies are a me thing, I just use lots of them. For some reason I feel like I'm being too serious if I don't use many, and I'm usually not very serious.

Someone in the other thread (boardgames?) pointed out the Twilight Strategy website, and it is indeed an awesome resource for players.

Just grabbed this. I am on Steam as [GWJ]Mudbunny (I think). Never played, so if you want to feel impressive and strong, come at me!!

Hey, I backed this.

I guess now I need to figure out what sort of copy I have for that.

I've been brutally beaten at this twice in person. Time to let the computer thrash me for a change.

Also we're all naming the US player Solo and the Russian player Kuryakin, right?

Maq, what's your playdek username? Together, we can see how bad we play.

There's a playdek username? I'm just playing on Steam.

The online component through Steam goes through Playdek, or at least mine does...

I'll probably pick this up even though I think I've missed the 20% launch sale.

Hopefully it doesn't join EU 4, Crusader Kings, and even Civ V on the "Games I pick up because it makes me feel like a smart gamer" pile, but I've definitely always been intrigued with the boardgame.

I have played a couple of games vs the AI, and I regularly get curb-stomped. I think I made it about halfway through round 3 once.

I need to spend more time looking at the strategy site.

Also, has anyone been able to figure out the UN intervention card?

mudbunny wrote:

I have played a couple of games vs the AI, and I regularly get curb-stomped. I think I made it about halfway through round 3 once.

I need to spend more time looking at the strategy site.

Also, has anyone been able to figure out the UN intervention card?

To use UN Intervention, choose to play it for its event. Then it will ask you to select another card to play. This is where you choose an opponents event that you want to play without the downside.

Playdeck account is billt721. Feel free to beat me as I've never played other than the tutorial and a few games where I got crushed by the AI.

If anyone is up for a slow-ish game, my Playdek name is grobstein.

Is there a friends list on there?

grobstein wrote:

If anyone is up for a slow-ish game, my Playdek name is grobstein.

Is there a friends list on there?

Yes. If you go into your profile you can see a friends list on the left.

Torq wrote:
grobstein wrote:

If anyone is up for a slow-ish game, my Playdek name is grobstein.

Is there a friends list on there?

Yes. If you go into your profile you can see a friends list on the left.

Well, if that's the case, anyone can feel free to add "quasiChaos" (with the understanding that I have one and a half games under my belt, so I'm ripe for a beat down ) and I'll do the same for some of you comrades as well.

I've had a blast playing against the AI although I think I've gotten the hang of things. I'm not sure the AI does a good job defending Europe from control (in the early game as the US or late game as the Soviets) but maybe that's just the way the game plays out.

I haven't dipped into multiplayer yet. If you're up for a minimum 1-day/turn pace (but hopefully we move quicker) friend me up "Roke11".

Added everyone who has posted a name in this thread. I'll be sending out game invites tonight.

billt721 wrote:

Added everyone who has posted a name in this thread. I'll be sending out game invites tonight.

Add me please. Thanks