The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Two games of Labyrinth later …

Two “Let’s Roll” games. One auto-victory each way (in the first deck).

The first game had one of those game changing prestige rolls I worried about. US invades Afghanistan, and rolls Tan 6 (only roll to make US gain prestige) Black 4-6. Gain 4. (Gain 4 or more is ~4%). Now the US prestige was maxed out, giving +2 to all War of Idea Die Rolls, and the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia quickly moved to good governance, then Afghanistan and Turkey (and maybe one more country) for the Auto win. To be sure, the Jihadi player made a few mistakes, and I got some nice card draws, but that prestige roll felt dominant.

Game 2 — Jihadi autovictory. Again a big prestige swing this time the US lost of 4, somewhat rare but hardly unexpected (swings of 4 or greater either way are only 25%). But I made a crucial blunder in trying to save Indonesia (after Pakistan had fallen to Islamic Rule) by allying it and moving troops in, thinking I could disrupt and win the fight, but the Jihadi’s simply moved in a few more troops, ate a disrupt turn, and then Major Jihad to convert it, flipping my prestige to 1. With two adjacent IR regimes and cells everywhere, it was easy enough for them to flip a minor power to end the game on an Oil Spike.

More thoughts later, but briefly:

  • At least one neutral, I forget the name, lets the US draw 2 cards if certain conditions are met. That’s a big deal, and it really matters who gets that card, and when. Is it Red Scare important? Possibly. The aforementioned Oil Spike lets you grub around the discard pile. That seems way to swingy. Also, the personalities (Osama, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) are neutral events. I rescind my statement that the Neutral events aren’t as bad as Twilight Struggle. I’m on the fence now.
  • Can the US choose not to do the US events that the Jihadi plays (or vice versa). It seems that the cards that enable Leaks to be played are prime targets for the Jihadi to play early. Leaks are devastating, but swingy (since they cause Prestige rolls).
  • Even if all my worst fears are true, I’ll still play this a few more times.

I’m somewhat less confident about quality. But I enjoyed the games.


Written by taogaming

December 21, 2010 at 12:41 am

Posted in Reviews

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2 Responses

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  1. Great write-up. I’m very impressed with your ability to digest these games and get them to the table so quickly. I look forward to further developments in your assessment of this game. In the mean time, you’ve inspired me to at least get the solitaire version out of the box.

    Benjamin Kindt

    December 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    • Getting them to the table is easier if you show up to gaming (hint hint).


      December 21, 2010 at 9:03 pm

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