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Subject: finally cracked this gem! rss

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trevor

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(The following is a session report/review/random intermittent thoughts on me and my gamer buddy's first ever game of TS. This is a game I had been wanting to play for ages as it sat on my shelf. However, since my wife quickly dismissed any notion of any desire to play this with me I had to wait for the right time. Well, we were both off work yesterday so I finally got to get this to the table. We are both fairly experienced gamers and I consider myself a decent teacher but please excuse any rules mistakes or obvious strategy goofs we may make, also there were a few times we forgot about some ongoing effects of cards, but all in all I think we made a minimal amount of mistakes. I was USSR and my friend was USA.)

Started off with both of us getting a feel for the game. USSR made a few plays to gain some influence in Europe and move on Italy with a plan to continue onto France, as I held the Europe card in turn one. USA played some influence in the Middle East. It was only after USA played the Middle East scoring card towards the end of turn one that I remembered reading on BGG about how important Iran was in this game (I was too excited to finally be playing this game). Especially early on as I emphasized to my friend which scoring cards were in which phases of war. The turn progressed and I was unable to gain alot of traction in Europe, as after playing the scoring card for the Middle East USA spent the rest of the turn countering alot of USSR's moves. So Europe gain no points for either side.

USA continued to spread influence in the Middle East, locking up Egypt and Syria, at this point I tried to push from North Korea, which ended up being a mistake. Due to some truly terrible rolling, USA countered by locking up South Korea and spreading influence to a majority of the islands through Australia and South Korea. Realizing that my opponent was countering alot of my attacks, I switched focus to the space race. I also had quite a few US cards in my hand in turns 2 and 3, so I got a nice shot of points as I jumped ahead a few spaces on the space race. I also made a mistake early in turn 2 by playing alot of US cards for ops, which gave him some nice events, but my hands kinda sucked in the beginning. But it seemed my opponent was doing everything in his power to make sure I didn't get an event on his turn. After Early War, USA was up by about 12 points, which worried me because I had read that USSR has an advantage early, then USA picks up steam. But the one thing going for me was I had alot of my cards in the discard and alot of his cards removed from the game, which I was hoping would pay off.

Looking for traction anywhere I could get it, I threw alot of coups in the Mid War, in fact really the only way I was staying in the game was he wasn't doing hardly any military operations and I was gaining 2-3 points each turn from required military ops. At this point the score was hovering around USA +12-14 after turn 5 and I really felt behind the eight ball. I was trying alot of coups in Asia and a few in the Middle East without too much ground gained. But then around turn 6 I broke through in Iran. Quickly pushing into Pakistan and India, USA began countering with a push from the islands. At this point no one was bothering with Africa or the Americas. Until my opponent ran out of options. He was far enough on the space race and had a hand full of USSR cards, I gained a foothold in South America and Africa, then pushed very agressivley, paritcually in South America. We were both doing alot of coups at this point so battleground countries were getting hard to take, but I through a successful coup in Columbia and then moved to Brazil, and quicly Argentina. USSR scored South America for some nice points while USA was busy in a tug of war in India.

I finally felt like I was being the aggressor and my opponent was stuggling to react to me. USSR made some Late War pushes in Central America with USA countering, but really this fight was going nowhere, so I made one last successful coup in Syria and took Egypt by some good rolls. On the last turn my opponent played Chernobyl and locked up Asia. With a swift turn ten play I snuck in some influence in Italy, played the Seuz crisis and scored Europe for some nice points. The game ended with USA correcting the USSR dominance in Europe.

I ended up being about +6 going into final scoring. Central America was a push, but I scored big in South America. Africa was a small gain for me, but through late game heroics I gained the Middle East for some nice points. Europe was a small USA gain and Asia turned out to get him some nice points too, but in the end it was a communist victory.....

USSR +14

Overall this took about 6 hours, in between teaching and 2 breaks. But both of us sat back and took a deep breath after it was all over. And both of us REALLY enjoyed the experience. I can easily see how this game has been #1 for so long. I truly defines the word "epic" for a game, and I am one that doesn't throw that cliche around alot. Between the tug of war and reading your opponent and feeling like everything is going against you, to the brain aching strategy and long term planning that never works out and the shifting strategies in the game, this game is so deep I was thinking about it all night.....and into this morning. Now obviously I know I made alot of strategy errors, but overall a great experience and I can't wait to play again.

Thanks for listening!
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Josh Lacey
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Now play again and see how that knowledge now adds more tension as you become even more paranoid about your opponents moves.
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trevor

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I look forward to it
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Mike Stevens
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Great session report and welcome to the world of Twilight Struggle. It is a fantastic game and you will enjoy it more as you play it more. But it does require a lot of thought and this is one of those games that sometimes my very competitive friends and I decide not to play because we don't want to get angry at each other as funny as that sounds. It is one of those games that makes all of us very tense because we are so competitive and once you sink 3 hours into trying to take over the world and you don't succeed, it sucksshake

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Yao-ban Chan
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Great to see another couple of TS converts. Just a quick rules note: you are aware that you are only allowed to space race one card per turn (not per action round)? (Unless you get to that particular spot on the space race which allows you to do two and your opponent has not reached it.)
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trevor

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I must have missed that one! Thanks alot! One of those frequently missed rules?
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Chris Linneman
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bigGameGeek wrote:
I must have missed that one! Thanks alot! One of those frequently missed rules?


It is, and here's another one based on your doing "a lot of coups in Asia."

Did you remember to restrict your ability to coup and realign to regions based on the DEFCON track? You can only coup in Asia while DEFCON is at 4 or 5, so unless you were couping non-BGs and keeping DEFCON at no lower than 3 each turn (with your opponent's compliance), you might have been making a mistake or two somewhere in there.
 
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Christopher Hill
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Nice report! And I have more good news. As you play the game more you should notice a sizable decrease in the time it takes to play. Six hours is very long for TS and it doesn't seem to have discouraged you, but with practice you should be able to cut your play time to 2 - 2 1/2 hours easily.
 
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trevor

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Yeah, I did a few coups in non-battleground states and I don't think we made a DEFCON mistake there.

I think an issue I had was most games I play refer to a series of turns as a round but this game refers to a series of rounds as a turn, which is a little backwards thinking for me and may be where I missed the rule about only one space per turn!

But that severely changes the game because my opponent dumped alot of my cards! Big rule mistake there for me

I looked on the forums, but I couldn't find a list of frequently missed rules. Is there one?
 
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Chris Linneman
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bigGameGeek wrote:
Yeah, I did a few coups in non-battleground states and I don't think we made a DEFCON mistake there.

I think an issue I had was most games I play refer to a series of turns as a round but this game refers to a series of rounds as a turn, which is a little backwards thinking for me and may be where I missed the rule about only one space per turn!

But that severely changes the game because my opponent dumped alot of my cards! Big rule mistake there for me

I looked on the forums, but I couldn't find a list of frequently missed rules. Is there one?


Actually, the rules are so simple that I'm not sure there is a list of frequently missed rules. The most common question to come up in the rules forums is when playing an event that allows you to place influence, do you need to pay 2:1 if your opponent controls the country? The answer is yes if the card says "as if you had played this card for Ops" and no if it doesn't.
 
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