Twilight Struggle


Contrary to what you might expect out of Twilight Struggle, this is a game revolving not around the eternal battle between vampires and werewolves for a young girl’s heart, but instead, around the Cold War. Twilight Struggles starts from the ashes of World War II and takes you all the way to just before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Unlike some of the other games we’ve touched upon previously, Twilight Struggle is a 2-player game with one side playing as the Americans and the other player playing as the Soviets. Control of the map can be accomplished by playing event cards, with the option of using the card to play out the results of a historical event, increase the span of territory under your control, trying to flip your opponent’s control of a given country, or even getting rid of their stranglehold on a region.

Because of that, Twilight Struggle falls into the category of the card-driven wargame. And in the way the game is structured, it’s effectively evolves into a knife fight in a box.

So beware. Other players will be contesting you for region after region on the world map. Along the way, they will try feints in an attempt to have you focus on an unimportant while they sweep in for the win. In addition to that, your own hand of cards can be a ticking time bomb; they might contain cards that would greatly benefit your opponent that you don’t want to see trigger during the course of the game. And last, but not least, watch out for that Defcon marker lest you trigger nuclear war without meaning to…

Core Mechanics: Card hand management, territory control.

Victory Condition: Twilight Struggle has multiple paths to victory. The most straightforward way to win is to have the most points when the game is over. However, the game can end way before the final scoring event: if any player has 20 points or more at any point during the game, they are the winner. And if any player causes nuclear war to take place during their turn, the other player will also win.

Ease of learning: Easy to learn, difficult to master – When it comes to explaining the game mechanics, Twilight Struggle isn’t too hard to pick up on. The game limits the number of actions you can do to 5 actions: Playing a card to trigger the event, sending it to the Space Race, or playing a card to put influence points, realign countries, or coup a country. Beyond that, it leaves it up to you to decide how to execute those actions. The difficulty comes from gaining an understanding of board priorities and knowing what cards are in each deck.

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Basic Twilight Struggle Strategy Guide
Twilight Struggle Review
Twilight Struggle Video Guide

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