Welcome to Our Downtown Overlords
Thanks to Paul Ryburn for the mention! And welcome to the folks swinging by from there.
I ran into him yesterday at Otherlands. I've only recently discovered the place as somewhere fairly close by with large tables good for gaming and a quiet atmosphere. Prices are coffeeshop ridiculous -- $1.69 for a 20 oz. Coke -- but it's nice enough.
The board game Paul's talking about is Twilight Struggle. (Baord Game Geek page here.) It's a game about the Cold War, US versus USSR. Each superpower vies to control the other nations of the world via influence. You can also use Coups and Realignments. You win by either dominating the world or not being the one who start a thermonuclear war.
It's a type of board game called a "card driven wargame." Both players have a handful of cards that allow you to either take a number of actions or trigger the event on the card. There's nothing like hitting the US with a "Red Scare" or thowing the "Marshall Plan" on the Soviets.
It's an absorbing and fun game with lots of tough decisions and some pretty high drama. In yesterday's game, I was the Soviets and had control of Japan! How's that for alternate history?
It's funny, too, that whenever that game is out on a table in public, folks always walk over to look at it. It never fails. Something about the big colorful map does it, I think.