November 13, 2007

Cold War: CIA vs KGB

Here’s a slick two player strategy card game has been very well received since its release in October. Cold War: CIA vs KGB [Amazon, Funagain] pits the major cold war spy networks against each other in the cold war that fell out of the WWII.

In a series of rounds the players’ reveal an objective card, then chose one of their CIA or KGB agents to deploy to the field. Agents cannot be deployed in two objectives in a row, so strategic choices must be made to determine who to deploy and when. The Player’s agents are played face down and only revealed at the end of the round (which we’ll get into in a second). Some Agents have special abilities like Assassination who can take out competing agents, or double agents who allow the controlling player to peek at the opposition’s face down agent.

Then the main gameplay starts. The overturned objective card has a target stability number on it. Players take turns pulling group cards off the top of the deck - each with an influence value - to place the group under their control. The goal is to sum up the influence to reach the target stability number of the objective without going over. The group cards also have a faction associated with them, and a player can use their turn top tap their group to influence the game in varying ways, either removing cards (especially those that increase your influence total beyond the target stability), peaking ahead in the group deck, etc.

Once both players believe they have come close to the objective stability then both players pass. Then agents are revealed and any special agent effects are resolved. The final influence for each player is tallied, and the player with the highest influence value without going over the object stability wins the objective card, adding the card’s points on to their total (first to 100 wins). If a player’s influence accidentally goes over the objective stability, then they’ve caused too much unrest and an angry mob carries the agent off into the woods for some friendly liquidation (ie: the agent is removed from the game).

Once the rules are learned CIA vs KGB is a fast, fun, and dynamic strategy card game that’s great for 2 players. It comes in a slim box which travels well for play over a few drinks at a bar, or on a trip, etc. This is a strong release in the remerging Cold War theme created in Twiglight Struggles wake, and it’s being received very well by gaming circles.

Cold War: CIA vs KGB is a nice pickup to add a light-strategy game to your game library. Read on for the official information:

”World War II has left the world in upheaval, and many nations' futures are filled with uncertainty. The USA and the USSR are the only Superpowers who can lead the world toward a better future. Cold War: CIA vs. KGB puts you in charge of a spy network during the post-war era. Your purpose: to "persuade" foreign governments to embrace the "proper" ideology, by any means necessary. Manipulate local factions of influence to get your coup d'état up and running. Double-cross and eliminate your opponent's leaders. Gain prestige for your side by winning the Space Race, dominating the Olympic Games, or ensuring that one of your countrymen wins the Nobel Peace Prize. In this decades-long conflict, victory will go to the side with the resources, conviction, and commitment necessary to ensure that their worldview shapes the future.”

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at November 13, 2007 11:58 AM

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