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Watergate - A Five Second Board Game Review

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09 Aug 2019 00:00 #300614 by MasonSokol
I was introduced to Watergate two weeks ago and I...

Watergate is yet another entry into the “Twilight Struggle but filler” camp that is really popular for some reason, but it is the first I’ve played that really escapes the shadow of its lineage. All of the cards are interesting, powerful, or both. They are evocative of the event being portrayed. When I play as Nixon and my opponent calls my cards “BS” it feels both true but also immersive. This makes the history exciting and it does that by not being afraid of letting individual games be swingy blowouts. That’s not to say the decisions don’t feel impactful; that needle is somehow threaded as well.

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09 Aug 2019 12:17 #300615 by ubarose
I'd like to try this.

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09 Aug 2019 12:34 #300617 by Gary Sax
I don't get this genre. I mean, I get the motivation, but I am a firm believer that at least some of the tension in a longer game is generated by your events in the early game unfolding later in the game.

The thing I do get about the other entries in this genre are trying to tone down the card knowledge factor a bit. Card knowledge is such a big deal in TS it's almost not worth playing between two players with really significant experience differences. That has to be considered a major weakness.
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09 Aug 2019 13:22 #300620 by MasonSokol

Gary Sax wrote: I don't get this genre. I mean, I get the motivation, but I am a firm believer that at least some of the tension in a longer game is generated by your events in the early game unfolding later in the game.

The thing I do get about the other entries in this genre are trying to tone down the card knowledge factor a bit. Card knowledge is such a big deal in TS it's almost not worth playing between two players with really significant experience differences. That has to be considered a major weakness.


I’m going to be honest, I don’t really get this genre much either but this one extremely elevates it, don’t tell Michael but my real rating is a 4.5 ;)

The board combined with the pictures actually keeps context going throughout the game. If I lock down Alex Butterfield, Im deprived of one of my high action point values AND if I did it as nixon now the Post player will ignore that side of the board or if the Post locks him down now Nixon has to pay attention to that side of the board. Everything butterflies through the game in ways that similar entries into the genre don’t achieve.

This is in stark contrast to something like Fort Sumter or 13 minutes where you just feel like you are playing a limp game of tug of war where the impact of previous turns is that the seesaw is a little skewed to start the round.
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09 Aug 2019 19:31 #300625 by Gary Sax
Glad for the comparison, I was going to ask about it vis a vis Fort Sumter

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13 Aug 2019 17:37 #300715 by Yugblad
You've made me want to check this out in more detail - mark me as intrigued.
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