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Subject: Mechanic similar to Twilight Struggle? rss

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Karen Knoblaugh
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Hi,
If anyone can share their thoughts on how similar/different the mechanic is for Virgin Queen from Twilight Struggle, I would love your thoughts. I really enjoy TS and have never played Here I Stand. Just wondering how daunting this is as far as a learning curve. Thanks!
 
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Chris Montgomery
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Karenv731 wrote:
Hi,
If anyone can share their thoughts on how similar/different the mechanic is for Virgin Queen from Twilight Struggle, I would love your thoughts. I really enjoy TS and have never played Here I Stand. Just wondering how daunting this is as far as a learning curve. Thanks!


This game is not Twilight Struggle. They have very little in common. The rules for Virgin Queen are some 40+ pages, and cards/ops/events are only the mechanism whereby players accomplish things in the game. There is much more going on in Virgin Queen strategy and mechanics-wise. Take a look at a rulebook under the Files section of the game page, or at the GMT website. This is a game more akin to Paths of Glory or For the People and a very, very, very distant cousin thrice removed from Twilight Struggle.
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William Bentley
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Not to completely scare you off, the story telling aspect inherent in the historical richness of both the period and the excellent games HIS and VQ can be seen by reading some session reports. There are tons of historical fiction books on this era due to the amazing history condensed in this century. The rules are longish, but not as hard as they might first appear. With 6 players, the storyline never quite goes the same way twice.

Having played both, HIS (and I assume VQ) seems less scripted than TS with its early, mid and late phase decks. Good play of TS requires knowing the cards and tracking what has been played. HIS doesn't have this problem so much. Deck is reshuffled every turn, making it less card play dependent. The real beauty of the game is the negotiation component that allows creative thinkers to write their own stories on to the history.
I strongly suggest giving it a try via PBEM (never a problem finding players/mentors to guide you through). Learning HIS first would certainly aid help with VQ, but isn't necessary.
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Steven
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Expanding off of what Chris and Will have already stated, the only thing really similar to Virgin Queen and Twilight struggle is that they are card-driven games with a shared card deck, by GMT. In my opinion, VQ and TS are very different games.

I like them both, but you should really read up on some reviews and session reports of another game, Here I Stand, before you purchase Virgin Queen. Here I Stand is the predecessor of Virgin Queen and will show you a lot of how the basic mechanics which are shared between both HIS and VQ. Over the next few months there will be a lot more material coming out on VQ to give you a better understanding of how VQ plays.

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Eric Brosius
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Both games belong to the "card-driven game" (CDG) family, but they belong to different sub-families.

Virgin Queen comes from the sub-family that started with Mark McLaughlin's The Napoleonic Wars, and it is a direct descendent of Here I Stand by Ed Beach, who went on to design Virgin Queen. These games are (usually) multi-player games. The cards can be used either for Operations or as Events (just like in most CDG's,) but when you use a card for Operations, you can divide up those Operations as you wish. If you play a 4-Ops card, you can spend 2 Ops on one thing and 2 Ops on another thing.

Twilight Struggle, on the other hand, comes from the sub-family that was begun by Mark Herman's We the People and continued with his For the People (though, as the #1 ranked game on BGG, the child has surpassed its parents.) Most of these are 2-player games. In these games, you can generally play cards for Ops or for other purposes (the details depend on the specific game,) but in general you can only play a single card for one use. Thus, if there are two different things you want to do (move armies and add more troops to your forces,) you will have to use two different cards.) Twilight Struggle also has separate decks for different phases of the game, with extra cards added at particular points in the game (a feature that is not in Mark Herman's games, but that does exist in the highly-regarded Paths of Glory by Ted Racier, another game in this sub-family.)
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Karen Knoblaugh
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Thank you all for your comments, very appreciated. I will check out the rules for HIS online first. Sounds like multi-player is the only way to go with this one, and unfortunately, I don't have friends willing to "suffer" through this kind of game. Really wish I did though...
Karen.
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Wendell
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Karenv731 wrote:
Thank you all for your comments, very appreciated. I will check out the rules for HIS online first. Sounds like multi-player is the only way to go with this one, and unfortunately, I don't have friends willing to "suffer" through this kind of game. Really wish I did though...
Karen.


There is a 2-player variant for Here I Stand which is enjoyable - though it doesn't have the full sweep of the full Here I Stand with six.
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James Lowry
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Karenv731 wrote:
Thank you all for your comments, very appreciated. I will check out the rules for HIS online first. Sounds like multi-player is the only way to go with this one, and unfortunately, I don't have friends willing to "suffer" through this kind of game. Really wish I did though...
Karen.

There are other gamers in the area, though I know what you mean....

If you're really interested in trying some multiplayer heavy-theme negotiation games, you may also want to consider learning about Vassal and seeing if you could deal with playing by email (PBEM). If so, there's some good possibilities out there (I might suggest fiddling around with game you already know that have modules as better first steps...).
 
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Paul Bradshaw
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Karenv731 wrote:
Thank you all for your comments, very appreciated. I will check out the rules for HIS online first. Sounds like multi-player is the only way to go with this one, and unfortunately, I don't have friends willing to "suffer" through this kind of game. Really wish I did though...
Karen.


This is exactly what is killing me over this game. In every respect it is scratching a gaming itch with me, but I am never likely to get the numbers required to bring the best out of VQ. I await to see how much people think the 2 player gaming option can offer before considering diving in.
 
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Eric Brosius
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wifwendell wrote:
There is a 2-player variant for Here I Stand which is enjoyable - though it doesn't have the full sweep of the full Here I Stand with six.


If you can get just one other player, Here I Stand with the 2-player expansion (Here I Stand: 2-Player Diplomacy Deck) is terrific. Once you play it, you will know whether you want to go to the effort of drumming up enough people to play a full game of Here I Stand or Virgin Queen.

Note that there is also a 3-player version of Here I Stand; it's not great---and IMO is not as good as Here I Stand: 2-Player Diplomacy Deck---but it's certainly playable. I have no idea how well Virgin Queen works with 2.
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Chris Montgomery
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Hirsty9Owls wrote:
Karenv731 wrote:
Thank you all for your comments, very appreciated. I will check out the rules for HIS online first. Sounds like multi-player is the only way to go with this one, and unfortunately, I don't have friends willing to "suffer" through this kind of game. Really wish I did though...
Karen.


This is exactly what is killing me over this game. In every respect it is scratching a gaming itch with me, but I am never likely to get the numbers required to bring the best out of VQ. I await to see how much people think the 2 player gaming option can offer before considering diving in.


The only real way I've ever been able to drum up live play with a full complement of players is at a convention. Otherwise, it's PBEM . . . ACTS/Cyberboard or ACTS/Vassal or just Vassal. That's just the nature of the hobby these days. Even if you're lucky enough to have players in your area (most of us do), there's no guarantee that they will want to play the same sub-group of games YOU want to play.

I heartily endorse PBEM gaming for these types of games. It is not, IMHO, as good as live play, but it's good enough.
 
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William Bentley
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cmontgo2 wrote:
I heartily endorse PBEM gaming for these types of games. It is not, IMHO, as good as live play, but it's good enough.
I think PBEM is better than F2F. You can find people who know how to play and maybe even share your style. Most importantly, diplomacy gets a full chance to flower without a strict time constraint that is usually required if you have any hope of completing a game in a single day.
 
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Chris Montgomery
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rievler wrote:
cmontgo2 wrote:
I heartily endorse PBEM gaming for these types of games. It is not, IMHO, as good as live play, but it's good enough.
I think PBEM is better than F2F. You can find people who know how to play and maybe even share your style. Most importantly, diplomacy gets a full chance to flower without a strict time constraint that is usually required if you have any hope of completing a game in a single day.


We have had an annual HIS game at BGG Con every year for (I think) four years, now. We used try and barrel through a game, starting at 8:00 AM with a free-style Diplomacy segment to let everyone negotiate their hearts out, and ended up playing until everyone was fatigued from the effort.

Last year, thanks to leroy43's suggestion, we played two 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM (ish) sessions over the course of two consecutive days. The game was much more fresh, lively, and engaging in this format, without sacrificing diplomacy time limits. The game also finished more quickly than in prior years (just under 7 hours total) - prior years had had one game go 10-11 hours, which was simply too much at once.

I like face-to-face play because there's not so much delay. Also - with experienced players, I find that a no-time-limt Diplomacy segment works fine, since the players can make judgments on the fly about proposals and make realistic counter-proposals while still understanding the nuances of any deal and minimal rules look-ups.

To each their own! I know that PBEM play does offer one huge advantage, which is unlimited analysis paralysis when choosing and executing your impulses. It's okay to take an hour thinking about what your best move is going to be . . . that's a fast turnaround for PBEM!

Cheers!
 
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