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1960: Making of the President

January 8th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 6 Comments · AAR, AAR1960, Board Games

With the 2008 Election For Change now in full swing, the next gaming AAR to hit Flash of Steel will be a play by play of me and Bruce Geryk reliving history. Well, I’ll try to relive it. Bruce will try to stop it. He loves Nixon.

1960: Making of the President is an historical strategy game designed by Jason Matthews (one of the co-designers of Twilight Struggle, our last head-to-head) and Christian Leonhard. Its mechanics are similar to those of Paths of Glory or Twilight Struggle. You play cards with both action points (“campaign points”) and events. You choose which to activate on your turn, though your opponent can spend momentum points to trigger events friendly to him/her. One person plays Kennedy, the other Nixon, and you compete for endorsements, media support and, most importantly, votes from the states that matter. Sorry Iowa.

There’s a lot to keep track of, and I still don’t have a firm grasp on everything going on. So Bruce will probably clobber me again, especially since there seems to be less margin for error than there is in Twilight Struggle. But it’s a solid design and I have more fun losing while I learn than is probably healthy for a man my age.

As usual, we’ll try to explain things as we go and comment on the whole game design in general.

Here’s Turn One.


6 Comments so far ↓

  • MikeO

    Sounds interesting, I’ve not heard of this one until now.

    I’d love to see you guys play Wilderness War — I know it’s not Bruce’s favorite theme, but it’s a great game.

    Anyway, I’ll look forward to the AAR.

  • Natus

    WW *is* a great game, and the theme is cool and different.

    Best of luck with 1960. I played it when it first came out and liked it (even though my JFK lost), but I have not played TS yet (though I own it). I’d like to hear your comparisons. From what I hear among my friends, those who didn’t much like the sprawling TS loved 1960, but those who really were keen on TS thought 1960 didn’t go far enough, whatever that means. God forbid anyone likes both! ;)

  • Troy

    Wilderness War will go in the pile. (Lots of people have suggested lots of games.) Board games are fun because they can always use the exposure and they are a real joy to learn, but I may want to do a PC game next.

    Natus, I see what you mean about the TS/1960 comparisons. Me, I like TS better since I think it does more with the theme, has more varied strategies and greater potential for uncertainty all the way through. But 1960 has other great strengths. Scoring only happens at the end, the game can make wild swings back and forth (which is fun) and there are little mini-meta-games with the debate and endgame state checks.

    The two games are more similar than different, and I think 1960 is easier to get into for a lot of people because the scoring is so simple. Shoot for the big states and hope you get enough votes. This simplicity masks how much planning goes into keeping a lead, and, like TS, your hand can come back to bite you if you are at a momentum disadvantage and have unfriendly cards.

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