Tuesday, 24 October 2017


When we were down in London last month I visited the Orcs Nest (just off Cambridge Circus) and bought Labyrinth, War On Terror 2001 - ? from GMT games. (In practice ? is around 2010). I also got the expansion, Awakening, which covers the Arab Spring and beyond, so taking you from 2011 onwards.

So far I have only played the base game, and I am impressed. It is very asymmetric, between the US and the Jihadist forces, but it seems well balanced. There is a bot to play the Jihadist side, so I have been playing the US, and it works very well. It is a proper challenge, with none of the "trying to fool yourself" that happens when you are playing a normal game solo. The expansion has a US bot, so a solo player can take the Jihadist side, and it also improves the Jihadist bot at the same time. I am looking forward to trying that out, from both sides.

As a solo game I like this because you have a reasonably constrained set of choices, and the challenge is to choose the best way to use your limited resources. Many games leave you facing a vast expanse of possibilities, and you struggle to know where to start. A good example is The US Civil War, a boardgame I bought a few months ago. It is very impressive, and has been very well reviewed, and I set it up and read through the rules. But I simply couldn't get started - the sheer scale and breadth of choice was too daunting. Maybe if I had had a live opponent, especially one who had played before, I would have had the incentive to press on regardless, but playing solo I just couldn't start to climb the cliff. Labyrinth gives you a much narrower path to follow, though you do have to make key choices - just from a much smaller palette.

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