My friend and I play a lot of Twilight Struggle and we have a lot of fun with it. The thing is we only reach the late war 1 in 5 times so far.

Is this how it is supposed to go or are we doing something wrong?

After an answer: USSR and USA both win equal amount of times.
Every ending of the game is because of victory points

  • Asking "Is this how it is supposed to go or are we doing something wrong?" is a good question that can be answered definitively by anyone with a good understanding of how Twilight Struggle normally plays. Asking "does someone have ideas..." is a poor fit for Stack Exchange.
    – Joe
    May 21, 2015 at 16:56
  • How should i rephrase that?
    – Wouter
    May 22, 2015 at 8:11
  • 1
    I would just drop the last sentence. Everything before it makes for a good question. Then, once you get an answer, you could ask a separate question about how to ensure Twilight Struggle makes it to the endgame.
    – Joe
    May 22, 2015 at 15:30
  • @Joe done :) thx for the feedback
    – Wouter
    May 25, 2015 at 17:11

3 Answers 3


1 in 5 getting to the Late War isn't much of a sample size, but it does appear to be on the low side. Do you have more details on why it ended early? DEFCON, Europe Control or 20 VPs? Is it USSR or USA that's winning early? Is one of you always winning early?

I found this spreadsheet from this link depicting stats for a pair of players, and they get to the Late War about half the time. My own experience is 17 of 44 games decided in the Late War, which is on the low side because my opponents were newer and overmatched (I was 36-8). Games reach the Late War more often if both players are evenly matched.

  • edited my question :)
    – Wouter
    Jun 1, 2015 at 11:22
  • Hmm best way would be to play against an experienced player or let one spectate to point out rules or strategies you're missing (combats groupthink). With wins at 20 VPs, one side simply ends up dominating nearly every scoring region? That should not be easy unless the cards really come out unluckily. Be sure to scrape out 1-2 VPs with cards if you're close to losing via 20 VPs. Most importantly, keep exploring on your own terms and thinking of new ways to exploit your opponent, and see if this improves after another 5 games.
    – selwyth
    Jun 1, 2015 at 17:25
  • But me and my friend are both equally experienced and we both win equal amount of times, score so far is 7-6 in my favor
    – Wouter
    Jun 2, 2015 at 9:30

In TS, this is fairly normal and the game can end quickly at any time. Better equally matched players would have a higher chance of getting to the end. Going to the end is not necessary, and ending the game early is part of the tension.

  • Okay but how would you prolong a game?
    – Wouter
    Jun 1, 2015 at 11:23

You would do well to read some of the strategy on http://twilightstrategy.com. Without seeing you play it is impossible to tell, but there are some general techniques for prolonging a game.

One thing which might be preventing your games from reaching the end-game is if you are not doing much to sabotage your opponent's plans, resulting in sudden large victory point gains. As a general rule, as well as trying to dominate/control regions yourself, you should be looking to prevent your opponent from dominating and controlling regions as well. This way victory point gains will normally be in the 1-4 range rather than the 5-8 range or even higher. This will prolong the game since, if you are evenly matched, the main way one of you is likely to win early by points is to suddenly score 2-3 high-scoring regions in a row; if the victory point gains are lower then scoring 3 in a row will not end the game and will be offset when the other player's regions are scored.

Another factor which may be ending the game early is if you are not keeping track of which cards (especially scoring cards) are still to come before the next reshuffle. If there are only 2 or 3 regions left before the next reshuffle, and you are behind on points, you should be playing heavily into those regions to make sure you get what points you can and prevent yourself losing (of course if you are not immediately threatened with losing then this sort of short-term strategy would not necessarily be best).

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