Prepping for the Cold War

Happy Wednesday, everyone! My saga to play and review the entire BGG Top 100 is coming along steadily. I’ve already reviewed eight games since the start of the year, and am excited to publish a double-feature review by the end of the week to bring me up to 10. Ten percent of the way done!

If you’ve been following along with my blog so far, you’ve hopefully gotten a pretty good idea of what it’s been like to play all of these games. But there’s more to the process than that. For all the games I don’t already own, which is most of them, I first have to track down a copy. I’ve been fortunate so far to locate several of the games on my list which are owned by friends. This is ideal because I don’t have to purchase the game, and I don’t have to teach someone else the rules.

However, I do still have to learn the rules myself, well enough to compete with someone who already knows how to play. And of course, many of the games on the Top 100 list tend to be quite complex and/or strategic. It actually kind of reminds me of what the “Man vs. Food” guy does, but with really challenging board games instead of huge plates of food.

This week I’ve spent a fair amount of time prepping for my next challenge: Twilight Struggle! This indie war game takes players through the Cold War from start to finish, with one playing as USA and the other as the USSR.  First published in 2005, Twilight Struggle held the #1 spot on the BGG ranking for what seemed like an eternity, until Pandemic Legacy eventually came along in late 2015 and ascended to the throne. Twilight Struggle still sits at #3 in the overall rankings and maintains a bit of a mythic status.

I’m going to be playing Twilight Struggle tomorrow with my friend Ryan, who owns the game. I’ve played many games of chess with him, and from those experiences I know that Ryan is a formidable opponent in a strategic battle. Plus he owns the game, which is among the most complex on the Top 100 list!

So how do I possibly hope to compete? Well, after searching the BoardGameGeek forums and some YouTube tutorials, I eventually happened upon Twilight Strategy, a blog dedicated entirely to Twilight Struggle strategy. Yes, I too was surprised to learn that such a thing exists. It’s a great resource (for this one very specific purpose), and I’ve been studying up with great interest. Will it be enough to help me emerge victorious from the Cold War (or at least not embarrass myself too badly)? I’ll be sure to report back in my review of TS next week. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, be sure to check back later this week for my double-feature review of two Top 100 games, Castles of Mad King Ludwig and Suburbia! Thanks for reading!

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