Recommend
23 
 Thumb up
 Hide
48 Posts
Prev «  1 , 2  | 

Twilight Struggle» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Worst CDG rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
giovanni ciampi
msg tools
mb
chuft wrote:
It's interesting to read some people saying you aren't entitled to an opinion on whether you enjoy a game unless you have played it ten or twenty times.

This is the mindset of the competitive abstract game player, who values games in terms of strategic depth and how long it takes to become skillful at manipulating the game's extremely abstract mechanics in order to beat someone.

I play wargames for flavor and interesting decisions about moving and fighting pieces on a map. I can generally tell if I like a game within a few turns of the first game. The idea I should play a game I don't like ten times before deciding whether I like it, is absurd to me. It's like saying I should not walk out of a movie that really offends me, or not pour a bad tasting beer down the drain.

I don't need to be an expert at a game to know whether the experience of playing it is enjoyable or not. And neither does the OP.

Well, you can decide if you like a game after 10 minutes of try, we can decide your judgement is shallow to say the least.

Not to mention that the OP never said that he tried the game and immediatly get sick of it because it was definetely not his kind of game. He played six games and question various technical sides of it. So i can't see how to try and elaborate on those details on the premise that he arguably got still no thorough knowledge of them, can be considered not relevant.

That being said, in my ideal world TS would be way MORE focused on events, instead of have those handful upon which an entire game can be decided, and the rest to be used for OPs. I tend to agree, too, that even a single additional mechanic could have made the game more various.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Jolly
United Kingdom
Bourne
Lincolnshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dalek,

thank you for your review, as it captured some important points for me, about games in general and personal preference.

I enjoy the COIN games, Paths of Glory, Vietnam Hearts and Minds and Combat Commander, but Twiglet Struggle less so.

Why? Because (thematic as it may be) I dislike having to play cards that actively hurt me. It's not wrong, it's just that I don't like it. I got rid of my copy of Labyrinth for exactly this reason.

TS also suffers from the problem of being better if you know all the deck beforehand more than some of the others in my view. This is because, and it is only my opinion, it is the environment (certainly amongst those other CDGs I have played) where the whole point was that the actual players did not know what was in the deck, and were groping their way along. They did play cards that weren't good for them, but often they didn't know. Both the US and USSR's massive investment in espionage is testament to this, and there are other threads on BGG which talk about how much they got wrong.

As a game, fine, get to know the decks and play "better", but to capture more of the flavour of the history, the theme, maybe it is the first couple of games that are the charm....

I have the game, but it will only be played if it's the first choice of one of my small group of gaming buddies.....

But I would accept that this is solely a personal take, and I know several gamers whose opinion I respect who like it a lot more than I do,

Cheers

Matt
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fred Shugars
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
chuft wrote:
It's interesting to read some people saying you aren't entitled to an opinion on whether you enjoy a game unless you have played it ten or twenty times.

This is the mindset of the competitive abstract game player, who values games in terms of strategic depth and how long it takes to become skillful at manipulating the game's extremely abstract mechanics in order to beat someone.

I play wargames for flavor and interesting decisions about moving and fighting pieces on a map. I can generally tell if I like a game within a few turns of the first game. The idea I should play a game I don't like ten times before deciding whether I like it, is absurd to me. It's like saying I should not walk out of a movie that really offends me, or not pour a bad tasting beer down the drain.

I don't need to be an expert at a game to know whether the experience of playing it is enjoyable or not. And neither does the OP.

100% agree with this. I see too often on BGG "your review is wrong because you don't understand the depth of play" about some game or another. I'm smart enough to see that a game has depth or not, and whether or not I think the game is worthy of me spending the time delving into that depth.

There may be some who can't make that leap without many plays, but that is their problem, not the reviewers.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As a Golden Reviewer though, although it's only happened to me once, I can say that those saying," You need to play the game more" are sometimes correct.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
George Alexandru Dragoi
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
I was persuaded to buy this crap game because its high rating from this website. Initially I thought it may be ok, but only after I played several games I've changed my mind. There will always be masochists who find pleasure in self-harm and possibly they have "strategies" to do that. In short, why to play a game where you hurt yourself on your hand, or the blind luck overwrites anything else? This game is not about rules, strategy, crisis management, hand management, event management or whatever management, it is nothing more than nonsense and pointless anxiety. Perhaps if you are attacked every night on your way to home, and someone robs and beats you every time, day after day, and you are OK with that because of your "strategy" of being unable to do much in this regard, oh yes, you'll enjoy this game. "Strategic depth"? Seriously? And, do not compare chess with this mess, a little common sense please...
3 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Heine
United States
Minnetrista
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Keep calm and game on.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have to say that I have felt very much like the OP at times when I've played this game. It can be very stressful and is all about damage control. That being said, I love this game for that reason and many more. I have played this game maybe half a dozen times and lost many of them. Everytime I lose though, I feel like I learn something I can apply the next time I play. Last time that lesson was how chess-like the game really is. I was not reacting fast enough to what my opponent was doing, because I was trying to forward my own separate plan. Needless to say he won by scoring certain at areas before we even reached the final round. So I've been frustrated with this game as well at times, but it is still my favorite game because of how deep it is.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexey Memelau
Belarus
flag msg tools
mb
I can't understand why there are so many responses that mention "damage control". I never felt it that way playing TS (played about 50 games, I think). For me it's always a game of damaging an opponent in the first place. It's not the card in his hands that will do it, it's you, who should do it.
And it's always more fun to lose in an open game full of fireworks, than to lose playing in a dull defensive manner.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Heine
United States
Minnetrista
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Keep calm and game on.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
buv3x wrote:
I can't understand why there are so many responses that mention "damage control". I never felt it that way playing TS (played about 50 games, I think). For me it's always a game of damaging an opponent in the first place. It's not the card in his hands that will do it, it's you, who should do it.
And it's always more fun to lose in an open game full of fireworks, than to lose playing in a dull defensive manner.

I guess it is because I have played games in which sometimes my entire hand, except for maybe one card, has been made up of my opponent's cards. If that is not called damage control, I'm not sure what is.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shawn Garbett
United States
Nashville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Will Provide Statistics for Data
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Let's face it, we're all here for the love of board games. A negative review for a game we love flies in the face of what we hold dear. Writing a negative review is an art. Not every game is for everyone. A good negative review still gives enough details about the game that one understands the game, but the negatives reflect on the preferences of the writer--which might not be the reader's preferences. A good (positive or negative) review leaves the possibility that the reader comes away with the opposite opinion of the writer. A negative review is a tricky balancing act. We should carefully encourage negative reviews. I want to know the good and the bad about any game, if all reviews were lathered with praise how would I make an informed choice?
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joseph Courtight
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I see the arguement that a player needs to play the game multiple times to see if they like it or not.

Here are my thoughts.

Sometimes there is preparation required to get to the 'fun'. Others might disagree, by I often find party planning a preparation unfun. By the part is fun.

For boardgame many people do not care for setting-up the game or learning the rules. Sometimes this can be circumvented by other people doing such a thing for you. For me I'm a little strange because I love learning games but hate reading. I do however tolerate having to read rules for the fun I'm expecting to get. Therefore, often preparation to fun is often a nessessary thing.

Now, we can judge a game based on how much time you send having fun and howmuch you spend not having fun.

Many games can have fun on the tail end, by never getting old and being infinitely replayable. Being able to play a game over and over again is a mark of excellent gaming.

That being said, being able to get to the fun quickly is also a mark of excellent game design. While some might not find it to be a deal breaker. Having to play funless learning games over and over again is definately something that should be criticized in the game.

A game which is a masterpeice has both easy entry and endles replayablility. Replayability usually requiring depth.

So yes giving a game a negative review after one play is valid. Just like giving a game a bad review because you could not understand the rules.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Mathews
United States
Renton
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
geicsge wrote:
it is nothing more than nonsense and pointless anxiety.
I would say it captured the Cold War pretty accurately then. Duck and Cover!
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Mathews
United States
Renton
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Vormwald1 wrote:
I have to say that I have felt very much like the OP at times when I've played this game. It can be very stressful and is all about damage control. That being said, I love this game for that reason and many more. I have played this game maybe half a dozen times and lost many of them. Everytime I lose though, I feel like I learn something I can apply the next time I play. Last time that lesson was how chess-like the game really is. I was not reacting fast enough to what my opponent was doing, because I was trying to forward my own separate plan. Needless to say he won by scoring certain at areas before we even reached the final round. So I've been frustrated with this game as well at times, but it is still my favorite game because of how deep it is.
This game reminds me more of the mental side of fencing than any other board game I have played for exactly this reason. Everything has a counter and simple thrusts can screw up more elaborate plans. It's a brilliant design for those looking for that.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gordon Blizzard
United States
Winfield
West Virginia
flag msg tools
I think any CDG that has strong events is going to absolutely reward knowing the deck beforehand. It's interesting that someone would say that VQ or HiS don't heavily reward card knowledge because from my experience, there are some very critical cards to know and if you don't understand them you will lose out on VPs, especially with the four more active powers.

Paths of Glory is a CDG that doesn't really require much deck knowledge because events suck and typically the only reason to play them is to get low op cards out of circulation.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joseph Courtight
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The reason learning the events for the VQ is not a big deal is because most just are slightly more powerful versions of regular events.

Rebellions, desertions and home cards are explained when you get a rules explanation.

I also find new players walk right into the special VP like Dutch revolt.

The two worst cards in the game as far as being hard on a new player is the conquest of Florida and Granada Rebellion. Since these two events are specific and impactful.

Compared to the rules of the game the few cards I need to show is a pretty small set.

(they list specific spaces which is the worst kind of event design)

In summary, the CDG work on a spectrum.

Easy to Learn_____________________Hard to Learn
Low impact event___________________High impact event
Generic event______________________Really specific card

VQ falls on the lower end while Twilight Struggle on the upper end. Remember in TS there is no game without the cards. I could take the cards events out of VQ and still play the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Harvey Thomas
United Kingdom
Romsey
Hampshire
flag msg tools
I have played this about 20 times now and feel I am still learning a great deal and now play a respectable and slightly above average standard as the USSR but still quite poor (and hopefully learning) as the USA. I think it is half war game at best but probably my favorite game ever and one you can play in a couple of hours or less with others who know the game. When you play against a really good player you really see just how skillful this is and I would say only a relatively small step removed from chess for skill level although a little luck based where a poorer player can still fluke the odd win with really good hands and dice rolls. However the theme is fun and I prefer this to chess. I think the interplay of the events versus operations use and the ways the ops points can be used is great and the defcon suicide,ops point requirement and space race strands of the system add some lovely extra strands.

I am surprised the reviewer is not so keen and he mentions some other very good games. Maybe a few more plays and more study will change his mind but agree it may just not be to his taste and you have to respect that.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Burt Smith
United States
Windsor
Connecticut
flag msg tools
I for one appreciate this review very very very much.

I enjoy games with a significant amount of depth and the like, but rarely get to play them - I run a game group for whom Pandemic is complicated and Munchkin and Gloom too much work due to having to read the cards - it's a social gaming group.

This game keeps coming up in the rankings, and I thought "hey, it's a two player game but we can play with teams, that seems to fit the model."

Reading this review makes me realize what a mistake it would be to get this game for my group.

Play it TEN times in order to start to like it? Not a chance. We have a half-hour rule. If after a half-hour we're bored/irritated/the game's too complicated we just stop playing and move on to something else. Very often I have to simplify rules in the first place just to get started within 5-10 minutes.

This may be the best game in the world for some people, but clearly it is not for a group that is looking for a fun game. Challenging? Sure. Filled with depth and opportunities for analysis? Definitely. A relaxing way to spend an evening? Sure doesn't sound like it. A replacement for Castle Panic, Pit, Zombie Dice, Splash!, Tsuro or Skip-bo? Hell no.

This doesn't make me wrong. It means my criteria for evaluating games would give this a very low score. That doesn't make it a terrible game any more than it makes Picasso a terrible painter because I don't like his style, but it *does* mean this *is* a terrible game for me and my group, regardless of how highly other people regard it.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
Spain
Madrid
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
gbonehead wrote:
I for one appreciate this review very very very much.

I enjoy games with a significant amount of depth and the like, but rarely get to play them - I run a game group for whom Pandemic is complicated and Munchkin and Gloom too much work due to having to read the cards - it's a social gaming group.

This game keeps coming up in the rankings, and I thought "hey, it's a two player game but we can play with teams, that seems to fit the model."

Reading this review makes me realize what a mistake it would be to get this game for my group.

Play it TEN times in order to start to like it? Not a chance. We have a half-hour rule. If after a half-hour we're bored/irritated/the game's too complicated we just stop playing and move on to something else. Very often I have to simplify rules in the first place just to get started within 5-10 minutes.

This may be the best game in the world for some people, but clearly it is not for a group that is looking for a fun game. Challenging? Sure. Filled with depth and opportunities for analysis? Definitely. A relaxing way to spend an evening? Sure doesn't sound like it. A replacement for Castle Panic, Pit, Zombie Dice, Splash!, Tsuro or Skip-bo? Hell no.

This doesn't make me wrong. It means my criteria for evaluating games would give this a very low score. That doesn't make it a terrible game any more than it makes Picasso a terrible painter because I don't like his style, but it *does* mean this *is* a terrible game for me and my group, regardless of how highly other people regard it.

I completely understand your points and I see perfectly how a review like that may help you to decide to skip the game - and then, it's right that the game for you may be a low score.

However, I'd venture that it's very difficult that a CDG would be a replacement for Castle Panic, Pit, Zombie Dice, Spalsh!, Tsure or Skip-bo
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sabratha
Poland
Masovia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Dalek5 wrote:
A similar card system was used in Labyrinth. However, in labyrinth events generally have conditions which you can attempt to make false ahead of time, thus avoiding them. And while it is possible to minimize the events/make them worthless many feel unavoidable.

I played both - both are very good, but Labyrinth is the better game. Still, what you said is noit very accurate. Both TS and Labyrinth allow you to avoid or neutralize most events (not all, mind you even Labyrinth doesn't give you that). Fidel as the users above mentioned, can be neutralized especially when played by the US. In fact Ive seen Cuba realigned a lot of times in my games - its one of the more side-changing 3 point countries in the game. In contrast: once Chile goes red, it will most likley stay red forever.

Dalek5 wrote:
Do not get me wrong events add flavor and are neat to see them come into play, but this game is not an alternate world history kind a game. It has a strong scripted feel.
Disagree, here - there is a wide range of ahistorical possibilities. I just played a game where the USSR controlled France, Mexico and South Korea to the very end (and still lost the game).

I agree with the following two complains:
Dalek5 wrote:

However all the complaining about the events aside, what really kills the game for me is not the events, but the fact that there is almost nothing besides the events. Most other actions in the involves putting influence on the board.
(...)
The game likes to mess with you and keep secrets from the new player and only once you memorized the deck will you be able to play for 'real'.

These are two fair points, especially the last one. Knowing all the cards really is a big factor. A game between two people who know the cards is drasticlaly different than if one does not yet know all the cards.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rick Klaw
United States
Austin
TX
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Interesting analysis of the game which runs almost completely contrary to my Twilight Struggle experience.

From the very first play, I was fascinated and couldn't wait to dive right back in. I wanted to figure out how all the cards worked and how to manage the many strategies. It certainly didn't take some 10-12 plays as others have suggested.

That was some 12 years ago when I was pretty much a board game neophyte. Twilight Struggle showed me the heretofore untapped potential of games.

To this day, it remains one of my all time favorites, one that if time permits, I'll eagerly play whenever. (I play a lot online. If anyone out there is looking for a game, drop me a line)

And yes, I've played other CDGs and while I've enjoyed many of them, all pale in comparison to TS.

I'm very glad for your review and the many civil discussions, it engendered. Thanks for sharing.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stuart Tonge
United Kingdom
Rotherham
South Yorkshire
flag msg tools
designer
mb
Having played TS many times myself, I find I like it less and less. (and significantly less face to face rather than on the computer)..

As you become more knowledgeable about TS, it becomes a game of card memorisation and management. The player with more experience will seldom lose, because he is following the game and the weaker player is really not following whats happening to the same level. As an example of that any of you who are good players - think of the mid war deck. Can you name and describe almost the whole thing? probably, because to be good at the game you'll need an encyclopedia-like knowledge of the decks.

The events are scripted, you *know* that the Korean war is in there in the first three hands, and that it can only ever effect Korea, thus leading to obvious and predictable plays.

After many plays I find the game somewhat straitjacketed, and the first three turns are pretty dull.

And damn it every time I open the box after 6-12 months away I end up on BGG trying to figure out the control rule. How many editions do they need to write that rule out clearly and obviously. Made me rage on more than one occasion.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Dawson
Australia
flag msg tools
mb
stuuk wrote:
Having played TS many times myself, I find I like it less and less. (and significantly less face to face rather than on the computer)..

As you become more knowledgeable about TS, it becomes a game of card memorisation and management. The player with more experience will seldom lose, because he is following the game and the weaker player is really not following whats happening to the same level. As an example of that any of you who are good players - think of the mid war deck. Can you name and describe almost the whole thing? probably, because to be good at the game you'll need an encyclopedia-like knowledge of the decks.

The events are scripted, you *know* that the Korean war is in there in the first three hands, and that it can only ever effect Korea, thus leading to obvious and predictable plays.

After many plays I find the game somewhat straitjacketed, and the first three turns are pretty dull.

And damn it every time I open the box after 6-12 months away I end up on BGG trying to figure out the control rule. How many editions do they need to write that rule out clearly and obviously. Made me rage on more than one occasion.


Absolutely agreed on Korean War and other country-specific cards. It gets very predictable and you can't play into certain countries - or alternatively, always see certain countries played into - based on when certain events drop.

They needed more cards specific to the region, rather than specific countries. Very good review and yes - the game does decrease in enjoyment over time, that is the only constant.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Murphy
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
flag msg tools
CyberGarp wrote:
This isn't for everyone, and not everyone is going to enjoy the crazy negative tension.

I'm with the OP, here because I'm trying to figure out why I bounce off this "#1" game so hard. I've only played four times, against a more experienced player who isn't helpful, and that does suck. I might imagine that two equal players who were getting to know the game at the same time might find it interesting.

But listen to yourselves, these are the points being made:
- Play the game 10 more times to see if you might like it
- Read strategy articles
- (quoted) This game isn't for everyone

Do the above sound like comments regarding a #1 game of all time? I will answer: they don't. It's obtuse and inaccessible.

Yes, I have read the message boards and strategy articles after my second play. I was really struck by the exclusive tone of the community, there is such an assumption that you already "get" it. Are you in or are you out?

Bottom lines are these: If I had tried this game when it was new and everyone was poking at it and trying to figure it out together, it might have been fun. For most people, that opportunity is now gone.

Second, this may be an excellent niche game, but isn't the "best game of all time" it's held out to be. It's linked to chess a lot, which is fair. That is also a niche game for certain personalities, who want to learn a game by study rather than play.

Play. That's the concept I want.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Jolly
United Kingdom
Bourne
Lincolnshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Zhovijalno wrote:


TS is certainly one of the best strategy games ever designed....

The thing with TS is, it seems, that unlike many other games, if you are not particularly connected with the theme (and do not enjoy simulation of stress and damage control it provides) you cannot really enjoy it until you are at least semi-experienced player..

I am afraid I am in total agreement with the OP. And I think the quote above summarises my problems with the defenders of the game.

I am quite willing to believe that TS is a fine strategy game. Unfortunately in my limited time available for gaming I would rather play games where I don’t keep having to choose the “least worst” option. I play for fun.

But my real problem is linking theme to getting better by replaying. Let’s be clear about what the Cold War was like; the real players often didn’t even know what cards were in their own deck, and despite billions spent on espionage, they didn’t know what was available to the opposition. They only got to play the game once, and they knew that if they lost or won badly billions of people could die.

So, if TS is supposed to be a reasonable, thematic attempt at the Cold War, it should be playable from the get go. But I think this ill sits with the game as described by Zhovijalno. The more you play it, the further it departs from the theme.

Note that doesn’t stop it being a fine strategy game, with a Cold War theme quite cleverly integrated. But if I were to play for the 25th time, I wouldn’t think it has much to do with the actual Cold War...

My $0.02 worth,

Cheers,

Matt

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Prev «  1 , 2  |