Commentary, reviews and news about games played by adults looking for a challenge.
Why weak? My opinion is that this is at the very least a study in how to design a game on a politically charged topic. I think it's also a pretty interesting game, superior in many ways to Twilight Struggle, which it will be compared to if for no other reason than they have similar looks and their event/OPS mechanism is the same. I note that the solitaire flowchart requires a little determination to get through for a few turns, but if you stick with it you'll see that it internalizes pretty well. There are a few subtleties (such as that the travel boxes are used once then skipped for that card play), but you'll serve yourself well if you follow the really well done examples of play, both two and one player. Like everyone, I'll have my issues with some of the effects of the cards (GITMO, Patriot Act, for example) as being a little too "nice" to the US when they've created all sorts of other issues, but I can't argue that within the scope of the game they are pretty much what they are supposed to be. Fortunately, I have no problem playing the Jihadist side, recognizing that this is a *wargame* rather than real life, but then my life has also been touched mostly in indirect ways (and mostly as what I consider to be gross overreactions, such as ineffective TSA screening procedures) so I can be forgiven for such an "insensitivity". I do understand that many see the War on Terror as a much more personal series of events and would have issues, and I'm happy they put in a solitaire version for those wargamers. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts after you've played.
I like it so far. I've messed up playing the AI several times but I'm finally a few turns into a 1 player game. I wrote up first impressions here http://islandboardgaming.tumblr.com/post/2531415663/first-impressions-of-labyrinth-the-war-on-terror-2001
I only say "weak" because I really wasn't going to buy as much this year and spend more energy trying to play stuff I already have and here's I've already gotten a new game the very first week of the year ... That said, based on the recommendation I think I'll be happy with it and the solitaire option really put it over the top for me.
I just "won" my first solitaire game - I know I did a bunch wrong probably in my favor. Very tense and fun. I'd like to try a game of Vassal so let me know if you're interested.