News for December 2011
An Age of Paranoia and Espionage 4
A look at Cold War: CIA vs KGB
Cold War: CIA vs KGB | Published 07 December 2011

Back in September, we announced the upcoming reprint of Cold War: CIA vs KGB. Masterfully conveying the tense political and military maneuvering of one of the world’s most turbulent eras, this tight and satisfying two-player card game pits the world’s greatest spies against each other, as two global superpowers struggle for the fate of the world.

If you haven’t played Cold War, there’s never been a better time to add it to your collection. With its new compact packaging and updated presentation, plunging the world into conflict has never been more convenient; keep reading for a complete overview of play!

However, if you’re already a fan of Cold War or you’re looking for a gift for a friend, you’ll find this new edition mechanically identical to its predecessor. Everything from the card distribution to the rules remains unchanged, meaning you can expect the same play experience regardless of which version you own. The differences, in fact, are entirely cosmetic; the new reprint features smaller components and a more portable box (4½” x 4½”, as also seen in Hey, That’s my Fish!).

Defend your way of life

In Cold War, each player takes on the role of the director of either the CIA or the KGB as they attempt to gain control of various countries (and the victory points listed on their corresponding cards). The VP value of these countries ranges from five to twenty, and the first player to collect 100 points wins.

To win control of a country, players take turns drawing cards from a shared deck of “Group Cards,” which come in one of four categories: Military, Media, Economy, and Politics (it’s important to note that each card type has a single text effect, common to all of its cards).

Group cards each have a number that ranges between one and six, and players must keep adding them to their play area until the sum of these numbers equals a value on the contested country, without going over. Although comparable in this regard to Blackjack, Cold War offers a number of additional strategic options. For example, each type of group card has its own special effect, and can be “mobilized” (tipped on its side) in order to execute that effect.

Therefore, on each turn you will either blindly draw a new card and place it before you to add to your total score, or “spend” one of your card’s abilities. The experience is not unlike a high-stakes game of “chicken,” as you and your opponent each move closer to your goals at the risk of mutual annihilation.

Spy vs spy

In addition to its fevered race for political control, Cold War offers another layer of intrigue. From round to round, each player chooses an agent to put into play for his side’s cause. Each agent has a special power, so you must guess which agent your opponent will put in play while judiciously choosing your own, creating a tense game of bluffing and counter-bluffing.

For example, the “Master Spy" agent will purposely try to lose the round... because when he loses, he actually gets to claim victory! Is your opponent really having an unlucky round, or does he just want you to think so? Should you throw the round on purpose, or is that exactly what your opponent wants you to do?

With its fast-paced strategies and counter-strategies, Cold War perfectly captures a war of espionage, all in about 40 minutes. Get ready to mobilize your forces to your local game store; the reprint of Cold War: CIA vs KGB will infiltrate store shelves in just a few more weeks!

Cold War: CIA vs KGB is a quick card game of bluffing and resource gathering. Two players carefully select which covert agent to dispatch to deal with various world crises and manipulate different economic, media, military, and political groups to ensure supremacy. The revised edition features clarified rules, more compact components, and a smaller, more portable box.

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Comments (4)

Published: 1/6/2012 9:51:41 AM

Judging by the pictures of the tokens and score cards what has changed from the 1st ed. which I have, is that tokens that were used for scoring are cardboard and marked with the respective agency shields. Mine are blue and red glass beads, and the Balance, CIA, and KGB tokens are also cardboard and not poker chips.

Published: 12/8/2011 9:15:02 AM

None. At least when it comes to rules, cards etc.

The contents have been made smaller though (not the cards but the tokens). 

Published: 12/8/2011 9:14:39 AM


From the article right above...

"Everything from the card distribution to the rules remains unchanged, meaning you can expect the same play experience regardless of which version you own."

Published: 12/8/2011 7:53:50 AM

What's the difference btw this and the older version of this game?

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