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.