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Author Topic: Historical accuracy (just for fun) discussion  (Read 2803 times)

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Chimista

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Historical accuracy (just for fun) discussion
« on: October 21, 2013, 08:32:13 am »
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First of all I agree that playability must always come first, and that historical background is there just for flavour purposes. Having said that, it's also true that TS has helped a lot of us to understand The Cold War a little better. In my case it has contributed to make me read and watch A LOT of stuff. So just for fun, we could discuss how well the events and combos in the game relate to the real facts.

Some examples:

RS+Blockade: a feared combo which can leave WG empty of US inf. The historical events happened in the same period (RS 1947-1954, Berlin Blockade 1948-49). My question is: was there interaction between the two events? IMHO there wasn't much: the Berlin Airlift was a military operation while the RS (Unlike Stalin's purges) didn't affect the army as much as it did civilians. If McCarthyism had focused in army officers, as the Purges did in the USSR then this combo would make more sense, historically speaking.

RS/P+BT/Q: combining the ops reduction with Quagmire or Bear Trap can be a harsh punishment and even finish the game right away. What about historical accuracy? Obviously the events happened in different times (Stalin's Great Purge happened in 1937-39, while Vietnam and Afghanistan wars took place in the second half of the century) however the effects of both RS and the P remained there for a long time: could the critical reaction to McCarthyism be connected with the protests against Vietnam War? Was the damage dealt to the USSR army by Stalin so harsh that they hadn't recovered by the 80's?

In any case, these two combos represent how a major local crisis (RS/P) can make more difficult, or even impossible, to deal with an international conflict (Represented by Berlin's Blockade or wars of attrition as Vietnam and Afghanistan), so I believe these are good combos from the historical point of view.

Any contributions? Would be cool to start a thread in this line?
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pietshaq

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Re: Historical accuracy (just for fun) discussion
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 08:51:12 am »
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It would be a great thread :)

I have already observed three things in the Twilight Struggle that may make history laughing a little bit (and certainly made me laughing):
  • The most important advantage of Kennedy is to get rid of Oswald
  • Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty serves as an extra coup in strategic country
  • The higher the DEFCON level, the lesser the players' safety feeling

One thing I really adore as a historical approach is how Missile Envy works. As a title of feminist book it perfectly makes its job since the ruling of this card is the most puzzling, confusing, or even illogical when combined with other, non-feminist rules.
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Chimista

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Re: Historical accuracy (just for fun) discussion
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 11:24:52 am »
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It's true that events that relax the tension as ABM Treaty are used to coup. That was surprising for me too and makes sense historically, within the context of the principle of brinksmanship. Other cards with similar effects: Nuclear Test Ban, Salt Negotiations and Glasnost.

Regarding "Missile Envy" I agree it's at the same time a confusing and an interesting card, very exotic compared to the rest of the deck. The number of combinations it allows is infinite and so are the ramifications. Historically speaking is also interesting: ME makes you worry about high ops cards in your hand and sometimes HL big ops cards to prevent ME catching them (i.e. I have sometimes HLined ABM or WWBY because they were my only 4op card and I was fearing a ME HL). What's the meaning of this event in historical terms? I guess it could represent the urge great powers experienced during the cold war to use a great deal of their resources in the arm race and as a consecuence losing those resources for conventional uses... is this interpretation too convoluted? I guess so :D
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 11:29:55 am by Chimista »
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discomute

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Re: Historical accuracy (just for fun) discussion
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 04:57:16 am »
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That them stinking commies can win  8)
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DC-Chaos

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Re: Historical accuracy (just for fun) discussion
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 06:02:36 am »
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Since I first opened up the TS box and set up for my first game I've always seen the game as an opportunity to re-enact the cold war in a kind of alternate timeline. This would mean that events could happen earlier, later, more than once or not at all and would mean the war could go in a different direction. This could allow West Germany to be red, stopping JFK from being assassinated, Fidel to come 30 years later or most importantly allow the commies a chance to win.

I've heard some people saying that some events shouldn't be able to happen without a certain prerequisite or that it's not historically accurate but I think that's the whole point of the game. It wouldn't be much fun if we had to stick rigidly to what actually happened and in what chronological order.

I think the fact that events that historically would have helped could backfire in a game and end up screwing the player (or vice versa) is perfectly in line with this.

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Chimista

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Re: Historical accuracy (just for fun) discussion
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 08:00:52 am »
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Totally agree with the "alternate timeline" idea!

I think one of the greatest improvements added by the card driven games is the possibility to re-enact historical conflicts without repeating them exactly once and again.

It's no fun (or not so much fun) to replay the events exactly as they happend. The good thing about TS is that every game is different, and it's so intense that normally you don't have much time to think about the real historical events or anything else :D

However this game is so charming that it manages to make us think about it even when we are not playing, that's why we are here, isn't it? So it's fun to think about stuff like "Does the event Socialist Governments make sense from a historical point of view" (IMO it does).
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