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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Variants

Subject: No defcon suicide rss

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James Cox
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Amuk wrote:
...I certainly understand that this aspect of the game can be frustrating to new players...

THAT.

That is EXACTLY what is "wrong" with the game. And exactly why there is large gulf between opinions that originate from veterans versus novices who haven't quite memorized the cards yet but know that unfortunate crap is coming and they haven't yet figured out how to stop it versus the completely uninitiated who have no idea it's even coming/possible.

You're right, most players "get over it" or don't - and play something else.

I think it more important to remember this, than it is to debate the merits of countering claims of it being "wrong/broken" or not being broken.
 
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Stuart Tonge
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Instead of packing up the 6 hour game with a bad taste in our mouths, lobbing it off the balcony or burning it while we dance around it chanting.. we just ignore the rule and give some VPs.

I really don't like this element of the game, and that's my call. So last time it happened I think we allowed 2 VPs for each occurrence, and we got on with the game.


I agree with the general though that a nuclear war *should* be a loss for both sides. Since you are reading this on a computer with electricity and you probably washed recently in non-radioactive water, you should probably agree too..
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Alex Drazen
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The game is not strategically interesting without DEFCON suicide.

A nuclear war cannot be a tie. Then someone losing at -19 VP can just start a nuclear war for a free tie. That would just be really stupid and uninteresting.

Only about 12% of the deck can trigger DEFCON suicide. If keeping track of 13 of over 100 cards is too much, then the game isn't for you, because there are plenty of strategic things to keep track of that don't affect DEFCON: Decolonization, De-Stalinization, Bear Trap, Quagmire, Brush War, Korean War, Ussuri River Skirmish... it isn't just the DEFCON cards that matter.

The only two cards USA really has to worry about with DEFCON are Ortega Elected in Nicaragua and Lone Gunman. The other major one, We Will Bury You, can almost always be sent to space. They should also be careful about playing Missile Envy and Five Year Plan, as those could trigger a chain reaction that leads to nuclear war. And that, to me, IS plenty thematic!

USSR has a little bit more to worry about: CIA Created, Duck and Cover, Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007, Grain Sales to Soviets (because it lets US play a card), Star Wars (if USA leads in space race), and Tear Down this Wall.

And I guess there's some edge cases with Summit and Olympic Games. But again, that's the theme: if you take too many risks with nuclear brinksmanship, the world blows up.

If the only penalty for nuclear war were a couple VP, that's just... dumb. It would takes all the tension right out of the game. But for most of us, the risk and tension is the best part.
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Stuart Tonge
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So play it your way and I will play it my way.. I was offering a potential solution to the original OP and anyone else who comes looking who maybe didn't enjoy that aspect of the game.

Personally I very much dislike the 'memorisation of the cards' aspect of the game so we ignore it - we play sooo much stuff we don't have time to play repeatedly the same game over and over and over and frankly remembering all the cards takes a lot of the interest out of the game for me at least.

It's not nuclear war being a tie that's a problem for me, it's those cards that can suddenly end the game in a crap result that neither side is happy with (we setup for a 6 hour game and finish in 4 because of this victory condition.. that sucks)
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
we setup for a 6 hour game and finish in 4 because of this victory condition.. that sucks

A full game of TS, even over a physical board, shouldn't run more than 3 hours.

And there are plenty of long games that can end early. Is Maria a bad game because, while it can be a truly 6 hour epic game, it could just as easily end after a couple hours in Year 2, with poor play by one or two of the participants?
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Stuart Tonge
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Yeah okay 3 hours, whatever it is ;0

and no prematurely ending the game due to poor play is fine but prematurely ending the game because you forgot that a certain card that can do something very specific and has no warning written on it is rubbish!
The cards should at least have a warning or a nuclear icon on them or whatever..

I recognise there are many experts on the game, I just don't desire to be one of them but still want to enjoy the experience when I choose to.
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foksieloy
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Get a soft tip pen and draw a nuke on the card.
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Stuart Tonge
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that's an excellent suggestion. Or I could just play it as i specified above.. tell you what, you draw all over your cards and let me know how it goes?

(although I actually might..)
 
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Alex
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foksieloy wrote:
Get a soft tip pen and draw a nuke on the card.

The Playdek app actually does a similar thing.
It shows a DEFCON warning on the confirm button for cards that have a potential game ending consequence.
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Max DuBoff
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"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
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stuuk wrote:
that's an excellent suggestion. Or I could just play it as i specified above.. tell you what, you draw all over your cards and let me know how it goes?

(although I actually might..)

You could also use clear penny sleeves and draw on those.
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