mateo jurasic
United States
Florida
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Setting.
Hardcore gaming friend coming into town. Friend since highschool. This is a guy who, when we get together, we create a gestalt of competitiveness that typically leads to bitter arguments. (We have warred over Monopoly.. literally).

We both love gaming (video, card, and board) but unless we are on the same side working together, we always gun for each-other, saying stuff like "I know Mateo is losing right now, and he has only one guy left, but he always wins these games, so keep killing him" and "Jeremy is lying to you...he will back stab you. Look into his eyes... there is evil there."

Same goes for video games. He's one of the best first person shooter players Ive seen, and I tend to be better at Real Time Strategy... if we play, we play on the same team.

So, we don't play solo games against each-other... Ever.
When we play free-for-all games, we try to start on opposite sides of the map, or if we are near each-other, we tend to ally.
Typically, though, he enjoys co-op games, like Arkham, or games with little direct interaction like Dominion or Dungeon Lords.

So, before coming down, he mentions this new game he really enjoys, and wants to bring it down to play. Its called Twilight Struggle. Its 1 versus 1. Direct conflict. Between two people. Every move you make is meant to hurt your opponent. Sounds like a disaster.

"Are you sure?" I ask, tentatively... "Don't you remember Monopoly? The smallfolk of Hinsdale Illinois still whisper of that black night... What about Lord of the Rings, the confrontation... was the doctor every able to remove Gimli? And my poor brother... he's been incontinent ever since we all played The Game of Thrones"

I'd heard things about this game, but lacked anyone to try it with (suggesting this game to my wife would induce dangerous levels of eye rolling, and when i game I usually have 3-5 people (the one guy I tend to get alone for 2 person gaming always wants to play axis and allies minis when we have the rare opportunity to game alone.)

So he opens the game (Deluxe Edition) and I'm struck by the lame looking cardboard tokens. (What the hell, this is the Cold war and not one plastic tank, miniature sexy Russian spy named Natasha or Ivanka, no spring loaded nuclear sub which launches plastic missiles at your opponents bunkers. This is a game about the Cold War, which included many wars (Korean, Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc...) and compared to Axis and Allies... a game about one measly war... more like the sequel to a war, Twilight struggle is a one legged orphan on Welfare.

My eyes started to glaze over as my left arm started reaching towards Runewars and its glorious plastic hordes.

"But its all about the cards", he says, so I check out the cards. Perhaps there are awesome actions you can perform like "Crush Czech dissidents with tanks", "Viet Cong ambush", "cyanide pill", or "Brief case nuke".
Well? Nope.

Instead you get just about the lamest cards in all of gaming

For example:
"How I learned to stop worrying...": What is this? some Oprah Winfrey book of the month?

"John Paul II Elected Pope": Huh? what do you do, infiltrate your enemies with pedophile priests to reduce morale?

"Flower Power": WHAT?! I want to kill commies, and you give me hippies?

"Kitchen Debates": Martha Stewart and Julia Child argue the merits of cinnamon?

"Yuri and Samantha": Some sort of Russian romantic comedy?

"Allende": ???

"Che:" Isn't he that guy who's always on all those dirty t-shirts that unwashed protesting college students wear.

And, just in case you risk getting excited, the card "Star Wars" is NOT what you think...

well, so, we started playing. Apparently this game is also about journalism, since you start the battle by picking the most interesting headlines, and somehow Defectors destroy the Warsaw Pact... If I was East German or Romanian, I would be insulted.
As it is, I am Croatian, and, to give Twilight Struggle the only positive comment I can think of, there is one card which appropriately reflects the awesomeness of Croatia and the former state of Yugoslavia (Independent Reds), lead by the staggering brilliant leader Tito, whose upper body strength and machismo is the stuff of legends.

So the game proceeds by playing cards to put red and blue counters in varying places, usually connected to other places by lines. Apparently the only way to get to Australia is through Malaysia... sorry. Sometimes the counters flip to show control if you beat your opponent by a number of influence greater than the stability of the country. This is important, not because more countries get you more tanks, but because you get more Victory Points...
Oh yes, this is a VP game. Well, more like a LP game, for LOSER POINTS.
Apparently the only homage to Ameri-Awesome gaming is two dice, nicely color coded red for the stripes in the USA flag and blue for the cold blue hands of dead commies.

And no, you don't win by nuking Moscow. In fact, you LOSE by nuking! Yeah... I feel the same way!
What sort of game PUNISHES you for NUKING your opponent? No sort of game that any red-blooded Reagan-loving American should be seen associating with in artsy cafes and east German discotheques frequented by limp-wristed socialists.

Someone please explain this to me. Why did we build so many awesome nuclear missiles, nuclear subs, and laser shooting satellites if not to blow the hell out of the Russians (and french)?

So you win by beating your opponent by 20 points, or be tricking your opponent into nuking you... go figure. Who the hell wins a game by losing a war...

And even if you are winning by a lot (you have lots of red or blue cardboard all over the map and lots of LPs, there is still the chance for your opponent, through the sneaky, gypsy manipulation of cards, to steal victory that is rightfully yours. What kind of game does this? If I am beating an opponent, I want him to experience the oppressive cloud of inevitable defeat for the two hours it takes to finish him off. Sometimes, in real games like Risk and Transformers Risk, i take my time, surrounding my opponent in his last territory while building up a ridiculously large army, ignoring his pleas to end the game because he needs to take his insulin.

My friend and I played this game about 5 times in two days, without fisticuffs or tears (a disappointment because it has been a while since Ive had a good brawl). Even though I lost each time, I wanted to play again and beat my friend, just to teach him a lesson about making me play sissy, Pinko games.

Then, in order to really document all of its flaws, I played it about 9 times over the last 4 days on wargameroom.com. Even as I type this review, I want to play again in order to beat the tar out of all those dirty red bastards on wargameroom and teach them to play real freedom loving games like Fortress America (where America beats the tar out of the World using laser beams and a small band of 1980's Colorodo high school students) and Monopoly, which teaches about the virtues of capitalism and beauty pageants while warning against giving money to the poor.

Pros:
Color coded dice.
Ronald Reagan.
Independent Reds.

Cons:
1) No plastic tanks or spies.
2) Fictional account of the Cold War which is incorrectly portrayed as a morally ambiguous conflict between superpowers when in fact it was a righteous battle between the lawful good Americans against the Chaotic Evil Soviets.
3) Cardboard counters with equal amounts of red and blue counters, when in fact all of the counters should be blue, and the only red counters should be for the wound markers placed on Gorbachev after Genetically Engineered US Super Marines fill him with good ol' American lead while waving the star spangled banner.
4) Hippies that you don't get to run over with tanks or waterboard
5) Cards with names like "The Iron Lady" that has nothing to do with robots or cyborgs, or anything even remotely cool.
6) You are PUNISHED for nuking your opponent.
7) Has nothing to do with choosing between Edward or Jacob.
8) Russian dice should have only 1's, and US should win ties.
9) Is possible to lose a game you are dominating.
10) Is possible for Russians to win.
11) Includes Communist Propaganda, with references to Gorbachev as a "Reformer" and words like Glasnost



My Rating on a scale of 10 to 1, with 10 being Marxist drivel and 1 being Fox News Righteousness.

I give it a solid 9.5.

Sometimes the commie die rolls a 6, and the US die rolls a 1, and that can have a huge effect on the game. A few bad dice can determine the game.

And just to clarify, America did not LOSE the Vietnam war, we just got sick of fighting because it was a stupid war, and the Vietnamese cheated, and it wasn't even really a war, just a conflict, and conflicts don't count.










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matt feldman
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It's just a ride...
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Highly amusing.
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Tony Chen
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Quote:
"Allende": ???
Washington??? Hitler??? Who are they?

Quote:
"Flower Power": WHAT?! I want to kill commies, and you give me hippies?
Exactly their point. Did you read what the card does?

Quote:
Why did we build so many awesome nuclear missiles, nuclear subs, and laser shooting satellites if not to blow the hell out of the Russians (and french)?
It's called politics. Might be too subtle for you.

I've won my last ~4 games as the US.
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Dan
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Not really a review...

Reminds me of James Webb's geeklist...

Found a 10 foot ICBM. You're doing it wrong, Putin!

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Jason Carter
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Brilliant. Thanks for the chuckle
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Adam Ruzzo
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I was trying to figure out if it was Tongue in Cheek until I saw that you played it 9 times in the last few days and your knowledge of the cards. Well played sir, well played indeed
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Steve Bauer
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I am hoping my humor detector is failing me.
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BJ
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"Yeah I killed women and children, killed everything that walks or crawls at one time or another and I'm here to kill you Little Bill"
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Fantastic review, just awesome!
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Nacho Facello
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mateooo wrote:

So you win by beating your opponent by 20 points, or be tricking your opponent into nuking you... go figure. Who the hell wins a game by losing a war...

I can imagine the scene...

"Mr. President, all of Europe is under communist control, as well as Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the situation is hopeless!"
"No, it's not! We shall trick them into nuking our major cities, and that way we shall win!"
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Roland W. est. 1984
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free americans? what is that?
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Blake Rule
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I loved the review.

What's an example of a game that would get a "1 being Fox News Righteousness"?
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Mark Kolenski
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So I assume you haven't won any of your 14+ attempts? ;-) And whoever heard of a 10 foot ICBM?!
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mateo jurasic
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All but one of my games has been playing as the Russians, and while I have only won twice, every loss for Russia is a win for freedom.
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mateo jurasic
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blake33 wrote:
I loved the review.

What's an example of a game that would get a "1 being Fox News Righteousness"?




Monopoly
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mateo jurasic
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oeolycus wrote:
Not really a review...

Not really as funny as James Webb's geeklist...

Picard gives it one forehead slap up!



Pinko Red
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Jim F.
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mateooo wrote:

For example:
"How I learned to stop worrying...": What is this? some Oprah Winfrey book of the month?

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Dan
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mateooo wrote:
oeolycus wrote:
Not really a review...

Not really as funny as James Webb's geeklist...

Picard gives it one forehead slap up!



Pinko Red
Gorbachev after a loss to the US.

@Jim: wtfuzz is that from?
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Jim F.
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oeolycus wrote:

@Jim: wtfuzz is that from?

No idea, unfortunately. Just one of those random internet gifs I found floating around.
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B. G. Kubacki
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
Exactly their point. Did you read what the card does?

Did you read what the review does?

drunkenKOALA wrote:
It's called politics. Might be too subtle for you.

It's called humour. Might be too subtle for you.

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someguywithfunnyonhismind wrote:

Sometimes, in real games like Risk and Transformers Risk,..
That made me laugh...shake
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evil_puck wrote:
free americans? what is that?

Thos are the ones that live here "for free".

I like to call them liberals...

Uh oh, here we go...shake
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Kristofer Nilsson
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Haha! I laughed all way through.
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Roger G. Sorolla
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blake33 wrote:
I loved the review.

What's an example of a game that would get a "1 being Fox News Righteousness"?

Fortress America!
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Tommaso Soffici
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Amazing review, very funny!

@Dan : it's Italian Spiderman, funny as hell! Search for it on the Tube
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