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× For those who like to push chits.

Imperial Struggle, follow-up to Twilight Struggle

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30 Jun 2020 15:24 - 30 Jun 2020 15:40 #311534 by Gary Sax
Got my copy and read through the rules. Initial thoughts, no plays yet so don't take my thoughts too seriously, I just like to talk games:

-The rules are the same length as TS but this is not simple.
-the designers pretty clearly felt that TS was missing dimensionality in its conflict. I actually tend to agree but from the rules the game feels incredibly multidimensional, might be hard to wrap your head around who is winning where and in what
-moved ops off cards, eliminating either/or tension and frustration. Some still remains because many op chits may not fire events and you draft them.
-many things moved off card events to chits on the board that give special powers. I think this is a good idea because it incentivizes taking lots of areas for their powers that otherwise might not see action.
-no scoring cards, the closest thing is wars and you know they're coming
-no having to play your opponent's event mechanic
-this game is very different from TS. This is not a 1960 slight redesign fyi.

Overall, it's going in directions I tend to enjoy but I don't think this is going to be the breakout hit TS was. It's *very much* a response to the weaknesses of TS.
Last edit: 30 Jun 2020 15:40 by Gary Sax.
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30 Jun 2020 16:15 #311536 by Not Sure
Yeah, my take on reading the rules is there's a lot of game state to parse in terms of "winning" across the four areas.

The first few games of this are going to be pretty slow as "what can I do?" gets internalized.

I'm excited to try it, but a very very different game. No dice!

I'm also interested to see how the countermix stuff seeds difference into the games, as I think there is definitely going to be some hierarchy of "early moves" developing.
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30 Jun 2020 17:54 #311538 by Gary Sax
Let me know if anyone wants to vassal/discord this thing. No TTS out but the vassal should be quite polished since it's a Toppen creation for a big game.

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30 Jun 2020 18:06 #311539 by Msample
Have a play lined up for Friday; what you’ve said tracks with what I’ve heard so far. Will report back after I play.
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30 Jun 2020 19:08 #311540 by Gary Sax
Yes, I always value your comments!
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30 Jun 2020 19:37 #311541 by ChristopherMD
What's the global thermo-nuclear war equivalent in this?

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30 Jun 2020 22:30 - 30 Jun 2020 22:48 #311546 by mc
I'd love to have a look via Vassal gary. I think you have my email but if not let me know.

Edit: I can potentially do a live one but would have to look at time differences and stuff. asynch is easier for me but I get it if you'd rather jump in to a live play.
Last edit: 30 Jun 2020 22:48 by mc.

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30 Jun 2020 23:56 #311548 by Gary Sax
I'm on a live play kick tbh, my schedule is pretty flexible if you want to do live play.

I played this evening and boy does it feel like this game was mostly tested using online functionality that tracked basic info for you. TS had kind of complicated scoring. This game has more streamlined scoring in terms of counting flags, one step forward, but it also makes you simultaneously count so much information to know what's going on, one step back. To get a proper sense of how scoring will go for awards and goods, you'd technically have to have... like 6-8 tracks going simultaneously on the general records track for each turn? That change every turn? Regional flag differnece for each map (4), a track for tiles of each good owned by players (3), prestige in Europe (1).

To say nothing of the overall board state for wars when there will be four simultaneous wars going off with different countries contributing +s depending on the war. Luckily, this one has hidden information so there's less point religiously counting and recounting the current +/-s.

I dunno man, it's fine with me since I play pretty organically and don't get hung up counting. But if I was playing cutthroat to win I'd have to track so much information even to know what the VP spread would be on open information awards at the end of the turn.
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01 Jul 2020 12:06 #311569 by Not Sure

ChristopherMD wrote: What's the global thermo-nuclear war equivalent in this?


There's no doom track. You can trigger an instant win by completely sweeping a scoring round, but I think that's more of a mercy win than a sudden surprise.'

I'd also be in to try some live Vassal, Sax. Let me know what works for you.
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01 Jul 2020 12:52 #311571 by Gary Sax
Playing Root tonight, if you really want to get wild we could double dip an Imperial Struggle game after that?

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02 Jul 2020 13:34 #311614 by Gary Sax
There is an approved, scripted, TTS mod of imperial struggle. I'd slightly prefer TTS to VASSAL because I can fiddle with janky physics dice while I'm thinking and it's linked with steam and discord in a pleasing way:
steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2129754084

Any interest in paying tomorrow afternoon, Not Sure? I'm free.
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02 Jul 2020 13:57 #311617 by Not Sure
Yeah, I'm in, and that TTS module looks pretty nice. Like 2pm Pacific?

(anywhere within a few hours of that is fine too). Email me if that's easier, or ping me on Discord.

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02 Jul 2020 14:02 #311621 by Gary Sax
2pm pacific is good.

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03 Jul 2020 19:20 #311656 by Gary Sax
This game is very promising on my first play, huge brain burner, but fast, accessible version of TS it ain't. Not Sure and I stared at the investment tiles for multiple minutes trying to figure out what to do and which ops (three versions of ops???) to take. Two hours for two turns. We'll pick that up but it's still destined to be a long evening game imo.
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03 Jul 2020 19:26 #311658 by Msample
More later; first game went five turns, four hours. Def some tricks we learned about tracking various things, like using blue/red cubes to score Trade, and leader stands so we could see our own War Tiles w/o flipping them over to peak. Despite the name and designers, this has almost nothing to do with TS. And that’s a good thing. We found that mechanics wise, it was more accessible than it first appears. WHAT to do, now there’s the rub.
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