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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Reviews

Subject: TS first impressions from a long-time strategy gamer rss

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Anjohl wrote:
A game by definition must enable users to make meaningful choices which can be planned sometime in advance. TS allows for a demonstrably lower amount of meaningful choices due to the increased prevalance of chance-based game mechanics.

Yes, Stefan McKay wins the WBC tournament year after year by eating his lucky charms. You've really nailed the TS community here, our secret is out.

Quote:
And, as others have stated, TS is largely ranked as high as it is due to the company that publishes it, the genre assigned it on this site, and it's theme. None of those three criteria have *anything* to do with game rankings.

Man, you tell it. I'm so tired of GMT wargames dominating the rankings. Why the admins implicitly endorse such rampant bias is beyond me!
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It's a good thing that on ConSimWorld games like Agricola and Puerto Rico are dominant...Just to keep things balanced.

Cheers, Haring
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J Mathews
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Anjohl wrote:
Those people DON'T always want to play it though, that's the thing.

The average user on BGG has well over 100 games, the idea of rating any game a ten is absolutely absurd, since your actual gaming behavior contradicts the statement you make with your rating. What it is, is that people are rating arbitrarily, with one person rating his 5 favorite games all a ten, his next 5 favorites, a 9, etc, while another person follows the BGG criteria, and another rates based on the theme, or the quality of the components.

If more than half the users rated games following BGG's criteria, TS would rank a 7 at best, which is where it should be.
That's ridiculous. If I rated games, I would give TS a 10 based on the criteria, as well as the other 3 of my personal Top 10. But just because I want to play it doesn't mean I can. I can want my wife to play TS or CC:E with me all day but that doesn't mean we won't end up playing Dominion once the kids go to bed. Similarly, I can want to play TTA when others come over, but if that desire isn't reciprocated, we're playing something else. So while my gaming actions don't reflect a 10, my gaming desires are not really correlated to my gaming actions.

I find it also ridiculous that the idea that a game that is made by GMT, about the Cold War, and considered a 2-player wargame has any built-in rankings advantage over any game by RGG about Medieval Europe considered a multi-player Euro. If anything, TS is fighting uphill against an anti-wargame/anti-GMT bias on this site (although that is far less than it was 2-3 years ago).
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Anjohl wrote:
The average user on BGG has well over 100 games, the idea of rating any game a ten is absolutely absurd, since your actual gaming behavior contradicts the statement you make with your rating.

I'm not sure I'm following this. Do you mean that you can only rate a game a 10 if you only own one game?
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Anjohl wrote:
About your evaluation, if we played Chess, and then we played a variant which was the exact same as Chess, but on every capture, there was a die roll, and on a 5 or 6 the attacker lost his piece instead, the latter game would be objectively and demonstrably worse. A game by definition must enable users to make meaningful choices which can be planned sometime in advance. TS allows for a demonstrably lower amount of meaningful choices due to the increased prevalance of chance-based game mechanics.

Except that your example is not quite analogous because the die roll is forced (whereas in TS, you can do other actions that don't require a die roll) and in the Chess example, there are only two outcomes. Many times in TS the success of a roll of the die is guaranted but the LEVEL of success is not.

Using dice does not automatically mean less meaningful choices.
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Anjohl wrote:
BrenoK wrote:
Anjohl wrote:
You should try 1960 Making the President, it cleans up the TS mechanics, and removes the chance elements that the dice add.

In every way the superior game. If Matthews had been smart, he would have themed it around the Somalia UN Campaign, or WWII, then it would be considared a wargame, and would be ranked 1st or second overall.

Funny, I think 1960 is in almost every way an inferior game. It's still good, which is mostly just shows how good TS is to begin with.

It's quite subjective, sure, but one thing about it bugs me: how can anyone think an election is a better theme than the cold war?

Theme is irrelevant. A game must be evaluated how often people want to play it, which is almost entirely dependant on mechanics, not theme. Again, if rating criteria was used properly, this problem wouldn't exist, but it does, and as such, people are not following the rating criteria properly.
...
And, as others have stated, TS is largely ranked as high as it is due to the company that publishes it, the genre assigned it on this site, and it's theme. None of those three criteria have *anything* to do with game rankings.

One persons 10 is another persons 1.

I understand that, for you, mechanics are the key. For me, mechanics and theme are both important factors. As an example, I think the mechanics for Hammer of the Scots are very good, but I don't play it much because I don't like the theme.

As to attributing the TS ranking to a love of GMT, that's definitely not the case for me. I like CCA, but absolutely hate CCE...even though they are both GMT games.
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Karl Schmit
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Anjohl wrote:
Stunke wrote:
I don't understand why there is so much rage about TS ranked number 1.
The critique I come by most often is something along the lines of:
Quote:
Twilight Struggle isn't THAT good.

But when you sit down and think about what the rating actually say about a game I reckon it makes perfect sense.

You see when 5000 people (number arbitrarily chosen) all rate the same game according to the definition given by BGG (you know the ratings that come up when you hold the mouse over the question mark button when you are rating the game) a lot of those people who tried TS will always want to play it. So many people enjoy the game so immensely that they will always suggest it if there is time to play.
This doesn't mean that a lot of people won't like Dominion MORE than TS it means that so MANY people like TS enough to give it such a high rating.

It has appeal to so MANY people that it's average rating is so high.
Many games have more war, many games have more theme, many games has more euro, less dice, more dice, more colours, more laughing-out-loud fun during gameplay, more games have shorter playing times, more games have tougher tactical decisions... but on average Twilight Struggle appeals to SO many people that on average, this is a game you will most likely enjoy if you pick it up.

That ALL that rating means. Buy it, odds are you'll like it, many people do.

Those people DON'T always want to play it though, that's the thing.

The average user on BGG has well over 100 games, the idea of rating any game a ten is absolutely absurd, since your actual gaming behavior contradicts the statement you make with your rating. What it is, is that people are rating arbitrarily, with one person rating his 5 favorite games all a ten, his next 5 favorites, a 9, etc, while another person follows the BGG criteria, and another rates based on the theme, or the quality of the components.

If more than half the users rated games following BGG's criteria, TS would rank a 7 at best, which is where it should be.
I rate this post a 4.
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Quote:
A game by definition must enable users to make meaningful choices which can be planned sometime in advance. TS allows for a demonstrably lower amount of meaningful choices due to the increased prevalance of chance-based game mechanics.

Nonsense. Chance can make choices more interesting rather than less so. Take checkers versus backgammon. A great player will choose the winning moves in checkers and the more likely to win moves in backgammon. The former is predictable and boring. The latter is a combination of intuition (approximation) and calculation. Much more entertaining.
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Anjohl wrote:
... TS would rank a 7 at best, which is where it should be.
Consider this: Why is your opinion so much more correct than the average of the thousands that voted it a 8.3 (or something like that)?

Should the BGG community contact you whenever a game comes out so you could rank it properly? Just consider how a statement like that is recieved when you say: "...where it should be."
It's arrogant beyond reason to think that you have the right answer and I am quite certain you meant something else by it.

Truth is not about who has the most supporters, but who is right, I'll give you that, just consider why your assessment is right and the assessment of so many others is wrong.
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Matthew M
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Anjohl wrote:


If more than half the users rated games following BGG's criteria, TS would rank a 7 at best, which is where it should be.

We don't have a criteria. Our suggestions are just that. Users are free to rate things in whatever manner and on whatever criteria they see fit.

The only requirement we impose is that you not rate a game more than once through the use of multiple accounts.

Now that I've contributed to this thread's derailment, I must ask that this side-conversation be taken to it's own thread so that the focus of this thread can return to the written review. If a new thread is made feel free to link to it hear so anyone interested in following this topic can join in on the new discussion.

Thanks.
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Octavian wrote:
I must ask that this side-conversation be taken to it's own thread so that the focus of this thread can return to the written review. If a new thread is made feel free to link to it

I totally got wrapped up in it. Done. Continue the party here:

vs. 1960... continued
 
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ron42na wrote:
Greedo wrote:
ron42na wrote:
I’m not going into a lot of detail on the game itself…there are plenty of good reviews here
I wish people would stop prefacing their reviews with that exact same sentence.

It sounded better than "I'm too lazy to go into details".

Personally, I have better things to do than read sixteen paragraphs telling me that a game has 145 space with red and blue boxes and 245 counters with twentytwo denominated with a one and twenty denominated with a two and eighteen denominated with three and ...

When I read a review, I want to know what matters. That is, anything you find that you wouldn't have expected by looking at the box, along with whatever you found particularly compelling or repelling about the game.
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Anjohl wrote:
Voxen wrote:
I don't get the hype.

That's because you likely aren't a wargamer with an agenda to promote a sub-par game.

This is especially funny coming from someone who really does have an agenda.

"Haters gotta hate," and for some reason you hate GMT.
 
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Anjohl wrote:
Theme is irrelevant. A game must be evaluated how often people want to play it, which is almost entirely dependant on mechanics, not theme.
I disagree. At least for some players (me included) theme is an important aspect of their interest in playing a game. When initially reading about TS my first thought was: "Meh, so it's about the Cold War? I totally don't care about that."

Good mechanics can (and often will) eventually overcome a rejection of a game's theme, but given equivalent or similar mechanics, a game with a preferred theme will always be played more often.
To give an example using two old computer games from SSI (because that's the first example coming to my mind):
Given the choice between playing 'Panzer General' and 'Fantasy General', I'll always pick the latter.

Anjohl wrote:
About your evaluation, if we played Chess, and then we played a variant which was the exact same as Chess, but on every capture, there was a die roll, and on a 5 or 6 the attacker lost his piece instead, the latter game would be objectively and demonstrably worse.
Again, this isn't necessarily true. By eliminating chance Chess has a very predictable outcome if two players with a different skill level are playing it against one another. In my experience this results in the game being played less often than a game with an element of chance, because the latter has a less predictable outcome, giving a less skilled player a chance to win - even if it's just a very small chance.
The only case where I see Chess getting played more often is when two players are at a similar skill level, or if the less skilled player doesn't mind always losing.
Anjohl wrote:
A game by definition must enable users to make meaningful choices which can be planned sometime in advance.
You seem to have a very limited definition of what a game is. Here's the definition that comes up when I google it:
Quote:
A form of play or sport, esp. a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck.
Apparently you only care about the subset of games decided by skill, but don't expect everyone to share your preference.

Besides, making meaningful choices without all information being open and zero randomness is not only possible but more natural: It's how we get through life! You _have_ to take chances (although being proficient in calculating or judging odds definitely helps ).
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