On The Shelf: Twilight Struggle

3 06 2011

“Now the trumpet summons us again, not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are – but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle…”
– John F. Kennedy

The Cold War’s long behind us, yet it still resonates in global culture. Comprising near half-a-century, it seems like it would be impossible to simulate into a board game. However, it’s been done and done well. Let me introduce Twilight Struggle!

Here’s the description from at Boardgamegeek :

In 1945, unlikely allies toppled Hitler’s war machine, while humanity’s most devastating weapons forced the Japanese Empire to its knees in a storm of fire. Where once there stood many great powers, there then stood only two. The world had scant months to sigh its collective relief before a new conflict threatened. Unlike the titanic struggles of the preceding decades, this conflict would be waged not primarily by soldiers and tanks, but by spies and politicians, scientists and intellectuals, artists and traitors. Twilight Struggle is a two-player game simulating the forty-five year dance of intrigue, prestige, and occasional flares of warfare between the Soviet Union and the United States. The entire world is the stage on which these two titans fight to make the world safe for their own ideologies and ways of life. The game begins amidst the ruins of Europe as the two new “superpowers” scramble over the wreckage of the Second World War, and ends in 1989, when only the United States remained standing.

Twilight Struggle inherits its fundamental systems from the card-driven classics We the People and Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage. It is a quick-playing, low-complexity game in that tradition. The game map is a world map of the period, whereon players move units and exert influence in attempts to gain allies and control for their superpower. As with GMT’s other card-driven games, decision-making is a challenge; how to best use one’s cards and units given consistently limited resources?

Twilight Struggle’s Event cards add detail and flavor to the game. They cover a vast array of historical happenings, from the Arab- Israeli conflicts of 1948 and 1967, to Vietnam and the U.S. peace movement, to the Cuban Missile Crisis and other such incidents that brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. Subsystems capture the prestige-laden Space Race as well as nuclear tensions, with the possibility of game-ending nuclear war.

A very interesting two-player game of political brinkmanship and influence, it simulates the Cold War’s indirect warfare quite well. As you and your opponent struggle across the world and make sure you don’t cause nuclear armageddon, you’ll be sure to enjoy the game’s use of real events as cards and the intellectual game play. The game is also simple enough to learn in a few minutes – but will definitely take a while to master.

Here are the available copies:

Gaebril:

Price: P2,500

Condition: Sealed – Deluxe Edition

Contact info: Cellphone: 09195208623

If you have your own copy to sell, send me a line and I’ll put up your details.

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2 responses

4 06 2011
ianthecool

I’d like to give this a try, but the fact that its for two players makes it more difficult since we usually don’t bother gaming unless there are three people at least.

5 06 2011
nerdsamurai

It’s more like Chess than anything else. A two-hour long game of Chess. It’s not for everyone but it’s a hit for those who like going head-to-head.

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