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.
I was introduced to Watergate two weeks ago and I am ready to jump in for my tenth play. This game has a lot of opportunities to improve mastery by learning the cards and doesn’t feel overwhelming to do so since there are only 40 cards total and a handful of them are similar effects. It has something for the history buff as it has a wonderfully curated history section in the rulebook. It even has something for power gamers as each move is exciting and evocative. There are few people I know to whom I would not heartily reccomend this game.