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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Variants

Subject: Thematic Sets of Alternate History Cards? rss

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Panda Kwong
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After reading about some variant cards around the forums, I had some thoughts on how the fate of whole regions could have turned out differently with whole different trends. I'm no expert on the history, but some ideas I had were:
-The Colonial Powers withdrawing in a planned and orderly way from the colonies and the development of Africa into a stable, industrializing region, first with US support and then with budding pro-USSR political forces "within the system"
-The "Arc of Instability" in South and Southeast Asia turning into a full-blown hellhole with regional warfare and domestic political instability.
-Collaborative development and state-building between Latin American governments and the two superpowers
-Political pluralism in Europe and less explicit divisions of "spheres of influence"

I thought of these (almost completely unfounded) ideas:
Africa
Remove: Decolonization, Portuguese Empire Crumbles, South African Unrest, Colonial Rearguards
Add:
PLANNED DECOLONIZATION (US Early War, 2 Ops)
Add 3 influence in non-USSR controlled countries in Africa, no more than 2 to each.

COUNTERINSURGENCY (Neutral Early War, 2 Ops)
Either add 2 Influence to a stability 2 or 1 country in Africa, and conduct a coup attempt or realignment rolls with the Operations value of this card in a country controlled by your power.

Probably it would be better to have "and", not "or". Also any country could be eligible, not only uncontrolled ones.

POLITICAL AWAKENING (USSR Mid War, 3 Ops)
Equal US influence in 2 countries in Africa; or add sufficient influence for control in 3 countries with no influence in them in these regions; or add 1 influence to each of 3 countries in these regions.

FREE MARKETS (US Mid War, 1 Op)
Add 2 US influence among Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa or Kenya, and score 1 VP if the US controls two or more of the above. Modifies Industrialized Africa.

RAPID DEVELOPMENT (Neutral Mid War, 3 Ops)
Enemy may not attempt coups in Africa for the remainder of the turn; place influence or conduct realignments in Africa using the Operations value of this card. If influence placed, ignore penalty in enemy-controlled countries; if realignments conducted, conduct at +1.
Decided this was a bit over-powered, so thought of the following replacement text:
Enemy may not attempt coups in Africa for the remainder of the turn; place influence or conduct realignments in Africa using the Operations value of this card.

INDUSTRIALIZED AFRICA (Neutral Late War, 4 Ops)
Requires play of "Free Markets" or "Rapid Development":
Coups in Africa incur -1 for the remainder of the game. Brush Wars incur -2.Score 1 VP for control of the following: Battleground countries in Africa, Botswana, Morocco, Sudan and Ethiopia. Designate one country in Africa; it is worth 1 extra VP in future Africa scorings (incl. Final). Then, either remove 3 enemy influence from countries with your influence in Africa, or add 3 influence in countries where the same condition is fulfilled. No more than 2 influence added/removed in each.
Edit: thought of the following text for this card as an alternative:
Score 1 VP for control of each of the following: Africa Battleground Countries, Botswana, Morocco, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Egypt. Designate one African country to be worth 1 extra VP in Final Scoring. If Free Markets has been played, opponent may not attempt coups or Brush Wars in countries you control in Africa. Your own rolls for these two incur -2. These effects are permanent. Add 2 influence to Africa.

Gah. Thumbed my own post by accident. Also had a new idea:
POPULIST REVOLUTION (USSR Mid War, 2 Ops)
Initiate a populist revolution in a stability 2 or lower country in Africa. Success on 3-6. Subtract one for your control of each of the following: Britain, France, Spain/Portugal and South Africa. Effects of victory: replace all opponent influence in target with your own influence. If a modified 6 or above is rolled, gain 1 VP. Target is not affected by Free Markets, Rapid Development or Industrialized Africa.
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Dan Moore
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in the kindest fashion possible I suggest that you test these variants before posting?
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Michael Daumen
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I think this brings up the one failing of the game, in that the major events are writ in stone, and at best will not happen. There are no Mexican missile crises or spy rings composed of MGU students.
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Robert Mosimann
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You may want to consider introducing cards that
Actually reflect real history rather than the faulty
depictions in the game itself.

Thus instead of imagining alternative possible worlds
Perhaps a first step may be to better reflect true to
life actual history in place of the fictitious treatments
given by this game.

Twilight Struggle may be an enjoyable game however
the game could have been far superior with a truer or
more accurate treatment.
 
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Panda Kwong
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Robert-- Like I said, I'm no expert in the history, but out of curiosity, what events do you think were left out/misrepresented in the game?
Michael--One way around this is to believe that the conducting of operations is itself a series of events. That coup war in Uruguay? The Uruguayan "Guerra de los Montañas". Marshall Plan getting played for two into Algeria, one into Angola and one into South Africa? The "Food and Peace" aid programme of the US state department to stabilise post-colonial Africa.
Dan-- I admit this was more a thought experiment in theme than a thought experiment in gameplay. But for the sake of discussion, I suppose I could conjecture some possibilities for card play.
Planned Decol-- still a lethal card for the USSR to draw in the Early War as Decol is for the US, but without some of the destabilising capacity of Colonial Rearguards, so it would be weaker in Mid and Late war.

Counterinsurgency-- The second half would be unnecessary in most circumstances, unless your opponent was threatening an African BG takeover. The first half would be more helpful, since it establishes access in the Early Wat and can diffuse threats in the Mid War and Late War. Rather like Junta for Africa.

Political Awakening-- Would probably set up a lot of dastardly HL-AR1 combos, or establish access. The first option spells trouble (an Ussuri in Africa and for the USSR), the second option gets progressively worse a la Puppet Governments, and the third could establish some access but is for US an empty action round.

Free Markets-- Sort of like OAS in Africa-- a small crisis for the USSR to deal with and a situational play for the US.

Rapid Development--Only situationally helpful for scenarios like Africa scoring coming up or Nuclear Subs, but else more likely to be played for the Ops. Cuban Missile Crisis does a more expanded version of the same thing and yet is not that commonly played an event.

Industrialized Africa-- Could be a huge VP coup setting up Wargames or buffering up Final Scoring. A stabilising factor in Africa that could keep a fragile Domination or Control, and gives influence to boot. If you're behind, probably just a 4 ops.
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Michael Daumen
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sirhumphrey wrote:
Michael--One way around this is to believe that the conducting of operations is itself a series of events. That coup war in Uruguay? The Uruguayan "Guerra de los Montañas". Marshall Plan getting played for two into Algeria, one into Angola and one into South Africa? The "Food and Peace" aid programme of the US state department to stabilise post-colonial Africa.


No question this is the case, but I wonder more about events. Other than the Soviets landing on the moon -which in itself is not really a card-driven event in the way that others are - there is no real way to set up an alternate history scenario.

Consider the "great man" theory of history, in which the right person can change the world at the right time. This is an even more important a staple of alternate history. There are many more of these for the Soviets (Fidel, Nasser, Che, Allende and Willy Brandt), than for the US (the Iron Lady - though this is as much because of the Falklands War than for Thatcherism); anyone who argues adding John Paul II to the US list should also add DeGaulle. But they leave out plenty of interesting personalities (Peron? Sukarno? Lumumba and Mobuto?). The Nasser card basically exists to get negated later on... Some of these could have been made into a generic "Charismatic Politician" event in the way that Brush War is said to apply to a number of low-intensity conflicts.

Even cards like Socialist Governments could have effects in more than one place. After all, both Mossadegh and Allende were elected to power democratically - though in the former's case an ahistorical Soviet coup of Iran is a virtual certainty in every TS game!

NOTE: If Jason or Ananda reads this, I am scraping the bottom of the complaints barrel indeed
 
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Pete Hooper
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RobertMosimann wrote:
You may want to consider introducing cards that
Actually reflect real history rather than the faulty
depictions in the game itself.

Thus instead of imagining alternative possible worlds
Perhaps a first step may be to better reflect true to
life actual history in place of the fictitious treatments
given by this game.

Twilight Struggle may be an enjoyable game however
the game could have been far superior with a truer or
more accurate treatment.


Here's an idea:

Give up the practice of highjacking other threads for your repeated rants about how terribly flawed the game is. Start your own thread!
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