Twilight Struggle Play the Experts #1: Slouching Toward Southern Europe

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I have been a huge fan of Brian Reynolds and his digital game designs for over 20 years, since I first played his smash hit, Civilization II. As many of you may know, Brian is a tremendously skilled game designer, with a history of creating games that I, and apparently millions of others, think are “massively cool!” He’s recognized within the game industry as one of gaming’s most talented and productive game designers, and has been honored by PC Gamer magazine as one of twenty-five “Game Gods” and by IGN as one of the “Top 100 Game Developers of All Time.” Most recently, Brian guided the creative development of DomiNations™, a mobile strategy game for iOS and Android which launched in 2015. 

So, when I found out that one of the most amazing digital game designers of the past 25 years happens to love to play Twilight Struggle… well, that was a pretty cool moment. As it turns out, Brian’s passion for Twilight Struggle has led him to create a series of wonderful “Play the Experts” videos on his YouTube Channel. When I watched his first video, I couldn’t believe how much time and effort Brian had put into it. Wow! These are just so much better, in my view, than the usual “how to play” or “AAR” videos you tend to see online. Brian combines his passion for the game with his deep grasp of strategy, all wrapped up in a friendly, conversational presentation style, to take players inside the game in a way I haven’t seen before. In short, his videos are terrific!

With Brian’s agreement and assistance, we’ve decided to present these videos here on InsideGMT, with introductions and overviews by Brian, to help all of you either learn how to play Twilight Struggle or seriously improve your Twilight Struggle skills. I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I do, and that you learn a lot that will help you enjoy and improve your play in our signature game. Have fun!  – Gene

Brian Reynolds

Twilight Struggle is my favorite two-player boardgame ever – it’s really tightly designed, tensely paced, and its game mechanics fit beautifully with its Cold War theme.

And when I started playing Playdek’s online version of the game I noticed that there wasn’t all that much material on YouTube about good strategies and stuff – so I decided that it fell to me to seek out expert players, play them, and try to learn/teach some of the key tactical and strategic lessons of the game – thus was born Twilight Struggle Play The Experts!

In this game I’m playing Soviets against a 2015-rated opponent, which is an extremely high rating in this game, and in the first episode we’ll talk about how to mitigate the effects of key US early war cards when we find them in our hand – cards such as Marshall Plan, Containment, Truman Doctrine, and the dreaded CIA Created.  -Brian

Direct Link to Twilight Struggle Play the Experts #1

Brian’s YouTube Channel

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