13 Days. The Cuban missile crises is very like a cut down version of the mighty Twilight Struggle.
Unless you couldn’t guess it, it’s based on the 13 days of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 where JFK and Krushev “oh yeah’d?” each other to the brink of nuclear war. You get to do the same with a chum.
The game is VERY similar to Twilight Struggle but plays out in 45 mins or so. It happens over three rounds on nine locations with four moves per round. (As opposed to roughly 30 odd locations, 10 rounds and 7 turns)
At the start of the round you draw three and choose one scoring agenda card. You mark the three locations of these so your opponent has a clue what you’re up to. You then draw five strategy cards and play them out twilight struggle style either kicking off the event or using the control score to dominate battlegrounds. Strategy cards are either neutral (UN), USSR or USA. use a card with your opponent’s flag on it and they get to trigger the event while you get the control points.
You also squirrel away one card for the end game. When the dust settles you add all of the USA and USSR points allocated to this at the end and the highest gets a bonus couple of points.
While this is happening you need to keep an eye on your position on the defcon track. While as a rule it’s better to be ahead of your opponent you don’t want to wind up in Defcon one and the have the whole world go Alderan and you remembered as the button pusher. Adding troops to a location raises your defcon level. Removing them reduces it so choose your battles carefully and more importantly con your opponent into committing force to the wrong places.
There’s a shit ton (a scientific measure) of strategic options here. I like that there’s no dice. It’s not required. It’s all about out guessing your opponent. The game is fast. It demands replays and that’s exactly what I plan to do
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