Friday, September 30, 2011

Twilight Struggle (GMT)

Game: Twilight Struggle (GMT)
Participants: Jim "HeavyD" D, Myself
Time: Fri, Sep 23rd ~ 7.00PM - 9.30PM

I was not a fan of Twilight Struggle (TS) after my initial playing. We kept at it though and I quickly grew to love it. We played the heck out of it for a couple years after it was released in 2005. With so many good games being released in the past few years, we've not played it as much. HeavyD and I were looking for something that we could play in one sitting and something that we wouldn't have to spend any time on the rules so we selected TS. We rolled for sides and I got the USA with HeavyD taking up the Soviets.

Early War

I had the Middle East Scoring card in my opening hand, so this fit well with my plans to do a Coup early int he turn. This is a fairly standard opening for the USA player early in the game. You want to get influence in there so that you can spread that into Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Coup was a disaster, with me rolling a one. The rest of the turn didn't go any better. I also had the Castro card in my opening hand, so I played it with the event going first and then I did a Coup attempt in Cuba, rolling another one. With these two failed Coupes and the ME scoring card in my opening hand I started falling behind the influence race. The end of the first turn found my down five VPs.

TS Set Up

Start of Turn 3
 Turns two and three saw HeavyD steadily spread influence in Asia the Middle East and Europe. HeavyD was also able to take advantage of my failure in Cuba to establish a strong foothold there. I was able to progress the space race which kept the VP gap down, but this was a temporary thing as I was increasingly unable to make up any group in the big three (Europe, Middle East and Asia).

Middle War

Start of Turn 7

Turn 4 opened with a HeavyD being up by 4 VPs. I had a four box lead on the space race, but was getting dominated in the Middle East and Asia, while holding my own in Europe. I didn't have any influence in the Middle East. Things got gradually worse over the next few turns, where HeavyD was able to either get ahead of my in the Influence race or at least hang onto his domination in most of the regions.

Late War

By now I knew that I had very little chance of coming back in this one. I had managed to keep the VP level out of Auto Victory range, but as the turns went on and I was unable to make any progress I knew that the end was near. Strangely HeavyD didn't share my opinion and was convinced the game was much closer then it actually was. I finally could see no point in going on at the end of turn eight. HeavyD was at 10VPs and we were heading towards a final scoring. To demonstrate my point, we did a final scoring test at the end of turn 8 and it finally dawned on HeavyD that he had a land slide victory on his hands. So I threw in the towel.

End of the Game

I still had a pretty good time despite my slow start. It was good to get this one on the table again after several years away from it.

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