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Twilight Struggle: Deluxe Edition
 
 
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Twilight Struggle: Deluxe Edition


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Product Awards:  
The Dice Tower Awards
Best Game Reprint Nominee, 2009

Players
1-2

Designer(s): Jason Matthews, Ananda Gupta

Manufacturer(s): GMT Games

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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 now stood only two -- the United States and the Soviet Union. The world had scant months to collectively sigh in 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 45-year dance of intrigue, prestige, and occasional flares of warfare between the USSR and the USA. The entire world is the stage on which these two titans fight. The game begins amidst the ruins of Europe as the two new superpowers scramble over the wreckage of WWII and ends in 1989, when only the United States remained standing.

Twilight Struggle inherits its fundamental systems from the card-driven classics We the People and Hannibal. It is a quick-playing, low-complexity game in that same 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.

Twilight Struggle's Event cards add detail and flavor to the game. They cover a vast array of historical happenings: the Arab-Israeli conflicts, Vietnam, the peace movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and other such incidents that brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. Subsystems capture the prestige-laden Space Race as well as nuclear tensions, with the possibility of game-ending nuclear war. Can you, as the U.S. President or Soviet Premier, lead your nation to victory? Play Twilight Struggle and find out.

This deluxe edition has a fully mounted map, 6 additional cards, thicker counters (same quantity) and a lower retail price.

Product Awards

The Dice Tower Awards
Best Game Reprint Nominee, 2009

Product Information

Contents:

  • 2 Counter sheets -- thicker with rounded corners
  • 110 Playing Cards -- 6 new cards
  • Mounted 22 x 34 inch cardboard map -- redesigned graphically
  • 24-Page Rulebook
  • 2 Player Aid Cards
  • 2 six-sided dice
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Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.9 in 6 reviews

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A hot game about the Cold War
May 31, 2012

There's a lot of good things that can be said about Twilight Struggle, which is currently the top ranked game on BoardGameGeek. With a broad appeal that has potential to please eurogamers and wargamers alike, it's not entirely surprising that it's at the top of the pile, and regarded as one of the very best of modern board games. I picked up the Deluxe edition from GMT around this time of the year two years ago, and a family member studying the Cold War as part of a history course proved to be a good time to get it to the table. I've also been able to explore online play with a good friend.

For those who aren't familiar with this modern classic, Twilight Struggle sees two players compete against each other as the US and USSR, in a bid for world domination and influence during the Cold War era. The game is primarily driven by cards which feature key historical events that are true to the time period and reflect various elements of the tense political and military international cat-and-mouse game. Like global chess performed on the world's biggest stage, this subtle conflict ebbed and flowed in favour of both the Americans and Soviets alike during different stages, and the game captures this nicely. The cards feature events as well as action points that can be used by players to increase their influence in various countries, thus trying to control and dominate specific geopolitical regions, or to perform other actions such as military coups or advance in the space race. When played, scoring cards for these various regions are the main way that the victory points needed to win the game are earned.

The genius and tension of the game lies in the fact that when you play cards that feature events benefiting your opponent, these events will trigger even though you choose to use the card for action points, whereas an event card favourable to yourself requires you to choose between triggering the event or using the action points. This creates an enormous amount of tension, mirroring some of the feelings of this historical period. A complete game often features many micro-battles in particular regions, because when an area seems to become important to your opponent, you can rarely choose to ignore it, and simply by virtue of your opponent's interest it also becomes important to you. I particularly appreciate the historical flavour of the game, and the attention to detail. It has to be admitted that the game isn't for the faint of heart, and even though the rules are not super complex, it's definitely possible for experienced players to become good at the game by knowing the cards and making strategic choices that pay off later in the game. Ideally it also requires being able to set aside a block of three hours or so to complete a single game in one sitting. But if you can find that time and an opponent willing to take on the challenge with you, few gaming experiences can equal a tense game of Twilight Struggle with an evenly matched opponent.

EndersGame, BGG reviewer
Profile: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/EndersGame Reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596

 
 
 
 
 
by Nick P.
Nearly Flawless
February 19, 2009

Twilight Struggle is one of the best games I have ever played. The mechanics of the game are nearly flawless. The was the game is formatted, entices both competing players is an epic struggle to create and maintain influence throughout the world. This is done through coups, realignments, and through increasing your own influence. All this is done in 10 rounds 6 turns for rounds 1-3 and 7 turns in rounds 4-10. During this time players will try to achieve enough victory points to claim victory over the other. All this can be done in less than two hours.

This is a card based game. In which players receive a certain amount of cards per turn, but can use the cards in 3 different ways.

  1. You can spread influence, or make a coup/realignment
  2. Each card has an event on them which can be used at least once in the game.
  3. Or, a card can be used on the space race.
A nicely added twist to the game is how every card is predominately used for the American player or the Russian player. This therefore adds equality to the game that certain cards will benefit one player while they will hurt another. There is a near equal amount of both to spread equality and add a nice twist the game. These card events are also historically accurate, and the event name usually corresponds with the card effects.

What I personally enjoy about this game is the strategy involved with placing influence throughout the world. Each county has a value that is used to determine how much influence is needed to control the country. In the game there are scoring cards which are used to receive victory points. You score points by controlling countries in each region. This is where the strategy comes in. You can dominate one region at the expense of others. This is a great feature which makes players think about how they sped their very limited influence values.

Pro: Can be played in less than two hours. (allows multiple plays in a day)
Pro: Intriguing, well balanced card based system
Pro: Great use of strategy in placing and controlling countries
Pro: Historically accurate, and event corresponding cards
Pro: More than one way to use the cards
Pro: Victory point track which allows a smooth scoring system to the game
Pro: The rules are explained in an easy to learn way

Con: The pieces of the game are very basic, and produced very poorly. The board is a flabby card-board piece. It is not stable at all, and is folded about eight times. All the pieces are cardboard cut outs which could have been made better in my garage. However, the cards are well made, e laminated and strong.

With the exception of the poorly made pieces, the game has fantastic mechanics, and should be ON TOP of every gamers shelf. This game is well made and is worth every penny. If you are mildly interested in board games, this is one that should be at the top of your list.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
A Painless History Lesson
September 25, 2008

Twilight Struggle is truly a nail-biter, and I loved every minute of it.

Although I have issues with the foldable thin cardboard game board, the fiddily little chit markers, and the not-so-user-friendly rulebook, the game is ultimately a card-generated geo-political battle that puts Risk and others of its ilk to shame. The theme is so richly researched and the card play is so nuanced, there is no way any two superpower struggles will ever be the same.

It took awhile for me to convince someone to play it as it looks like it would be a major investment of time with a steep learning curve, but after you get the feel of the flow of action, you begin to see the genius behind the actions. With 10 rounds of play requiring 6-8 turns per round, there are many strategies to employ. Aside from trying to maintain sufficient presence and control in Europe and Asia in the early stages of the game, you must also be aware of your military actions as well as trying to move ahead in the Space Race. Every decision you make can have significant results.

To explain the play of the game would take too much time, and it truly should be experienced to be fully understood. I played the example game as a solitaire version so I could better explain it when I first taught it, but soon discovered that Twilight Struggle is best understood by playing rather than reading about it and trying simulations. Rarely in playing a game do you find yourself marveling at the actual decisions a designer made in creating the game, but the times I have played the game, we both couldn’t help but comment on what a great idea certain rules and actions were. Here are some of my favorites:

  • The game encourages aggression. If you spend of all your turns allowing the historical events to determine the play of the game, you will avoid making what are called Military Operations, which will cause your opponent to advance in Victory Points (which ultimately wins the game).
  • The fact that scoring cards must be played in the round they are drawn and cannot be discarded or held means that players must constantly keep a watch on growing superpowers and work to keep said-powers from gaining too much influence which could result in an early win.
  • The fact that some cards can continue to come into play while others are discarded make deadly events like the Korean War able to be played more than once in a game while other events are one time only.
  • The constant reduction of the Defcon Level toward nuclear destruction keeps all players limited in Military Operations the closer you get to annihilation. And since the goal is not death and destruction, the player who causes nuclear war automatically loses. You have to like that rule!

It is a fascinating, engaging game that could easily be 5 stars if it would just improve its components. A game this classy in design deserves a much better presentation.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

Show all 6 reviews >

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