Tuesday, 26 February 2013

1989: Dawn Of Freedom, the wall between us...

On another 2-player Sunday I got to try out 1989: Dawn Of Freedom vs. MrBingers. 1989 is a follow-up of sorts to Twilight Struggle and uses a very similar system, this time focusing on Eastern Europe and the events surrounding the fall of the Berlin wall.

After a roll of the dice I got to pick sides and chose the Communists. They were the way to go for early Twilight Struggle games, so I figured it couldn't hurt much to start again with them. My brief was simply to try and maintain the status-quo across the eastern block countries and prevent the gradual power shift towards democracy.

We have both played a fair bit of Twilight Struggle, so the rules were straight-forward enough, with only a few queries around the new power struggle mini-game, which is an excellent addition in my opinion. The biggest barrier here would be experience. We needed time to get a feel for the new event cards and the new map. Who would crack first...?

Apparently I would, as an early democracy card bogged me down for three turns and before I knew it Poland was scored and power had swung over to the democrats. GAME ON! 

This was my first surprise about game-play, not just the points loss, but the removal of the Poland scoring card from the game. That took us back a little and MrBingers especially was left with a lot of seemingly useless influence in Poland as our focus shifted to the next scoring countries likely to feature.

Berlin under Communist control
Early year cards are predominantly red and I took full advantage to shore up Hungary and Czechoslovakia racking up A healthy VP lead. A mistake in the south lost me Bulgaria, but a second scoring in Hungary was enough to push me over the finishing line in turn 6.

I felt comfortable with 1989, it's like Twilight Struggle in many ways and consequentially very accessible. The cards are tough though. I don't know the history well enough and many of the cards cover obscure events which seem to fade into the background when compared to a Cuban missile / Iranian hostage crisis.

So, first play down and I'm not feeling it. Yet there's enough in there to have another go or two. I wanna love you 1989, but your older sister is so pretty.

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