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Subject: Have you ever met a so unlucky victor ? rss

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Dampenon Fabien
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Rookies talk about strategy, Grognards about Logistics
This is an AAR of a Vassal Play against my usual “live” opponent, Fred. We are playing with Optional Cards and CCW Variant. This AAR will describe our Twilight Struggle, card by card, so it could be a little longer to read. But you will follow all events of this tense battle, helped by some screenshots. Cards in Italics are played for Events, otherwise for Operation Points.

Cards have been dealt, brains are heating...

I'm playing USSR and I hope to gain some valuable VP before powerful Mid War US Events will arrive in play...

My initial “hand” seems average with 2,25 OP/card and Europe Scoring ...but 4 (potent)US Events, Marshall Plan, US/Japan Defense Pact, Five-Year Plan and CIA...which I won't be able to cancel...I will have to make tough choices, which is TS...

With initial Soviet Influence Points (IP), Poland and Yugoslavia greet Democracy while Italy and West Germany become oppressed by tyranny.

So, it’s 1945 and Twilight Struggle begins...

Turn 1 :

Fearing Defectors, I will try Marxist combo « Socialist Governments/Europe Scoring ». So USSR plays « Socialist Governments » and USA plays « Duck and Cover », probably to protect Italy from a coup. So, DEFCON goes down to 4 and USA scores first blood with 1VP.

USSR plays « Europe Scoring » for +6VP. With « Red Scare/Purge », USA controls Canada, West Germany, Lebanon and Iran. USSR plays « Arab-Israeli War » to control Iraq. USA wins « Korean War » and controls South Korea. USSR plays « Marshall Plan » and controls Italy and Afghanistan...for a short time. USA overthrowns Afghan Government with « East European Unrest »...and a very luck roll...USSR plays « CIA Created », USA gains influence in Jordan but USSR firmly overthrows Lebanese government. USA plays « Blockade » and discards « Warsaw Pact Formed », such a pleasure to play Red Events like this...Playing « US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact », USSR overthtrows Iranian government and dominates Middle-East but USA controls now Japan...and dominates Asia. USA overthrows instantly Iran with « Nuclear Test Ban ». Playing « Five-Year Plan », USSR discards « Romanina Abdication » to contest Iran and control Syria, dominating again in Middle-East. USA plays « Vietnam Revolts » to control Iran and Philippines.

Turn 2 :

1,875 OP/Card, Asia Scoring...and 5 US Events in my hand ?! I don't think it could be worse than last turn...I was wrong...

In Headline Phase, USSR plays « Fidel », my only « Red » Event...USA plays « Middle-East Scoring » for gain.

USSR plays « Special Relationship » and controls Pakistan, contesting Asia. USA plays « Suez Crisis », losing influence in Israel and UK but USA contests Pakistan and controls Indonesia. With (yet unplayable) « Formosan Resolution », USSR regains control of Pakistan and gains influence in Thailand. Playing « NATO », USA controls UK and India, dominating Asia. With « Defectors », USSR controls Thailand, contesting Asia but USA gains 1VP. USA plays « De Gaulle Leads France » to contest North Korea and Malaysia, dominating (again) Asia. USSR unsuccessfully launches « Independent Reds » in space. Same failure for USA with « De-Stalinization ». USSR wins « Indo-Pakistani War », controling India and contesting Asia. USA plays « Nasser » to overthrow Syrian government and USSR controls now Egypt. USSR plays « Asia Scoring » for no loss, which is nearly a miracle this round...With dubious help like « Captured Nazi Scientist », first Earth Satellite is American, as 2VP.

Turn 3 :

2,625 OP/Card, no scoring and 3 (apparently) manageable US Events. Finally a « good » hand !! But I know that in TS, there is no perfect plan which could survive opponent's cards...

In Headline Phase, USSR plays « Decolonization » but USA has been warned by « Defectors »...

USSR plays « Duck And Cover » and fails to overthrow Iranian government, reducing US influence by only one, and giving 2VP to USA. USA plays « East European Unrest » to regain control of Iran, and places influence in France and North Korea. With « Nuclear Test Ban », USSR controls again North Korea and gains influence in China and France. US-played « Truman Doctrine » removes all USSR influence in France...which is instantly replaced with « Arab-Israeli War ». With « COMECON », USA controls Syria and gains influence in France. USSR plays « De-Stalinization » and relocates influence from Lebanon and Vietnam to Venezuela, Chile, Nigeria and Angola. USA controls France with « Olympic Games », contesting Europe. USSR uses « UN Intervention » to cancel « NORAD », controling Czechoslovakia, dominating again Europe. USA plays « The Cambridge Five », owning no scoring cards, to control Spain/Portugal and Turkey, contesting Europe. USSR plays « Containment », controling China and Libya, dominating Middle-East. USA unsuccessfully launches « Romanian Abdication » in space.

Turn 4 (Middle War begins) :

1,875 OP/Card, Middle-East and South America Scoring in Hand...but nasty US Events are now released...Middle War will be hard to USSR with only a 5VP advance...

In Headline Phase, USSR plays « South African Unrest » and USA plays « Lone Gunman ». 2,375 OP/Card for USA and no scoring card in hand. USSR makes a coup in Panama and removes US influence.

USSR plays « Middle-East Scoring » and gains 4VP. USA wins 2VP and « Indo-Pakistani War » as, with some luck (again...), Pakistan is now an US puppet. USSR plays « Summit » and controls Haiti. USA plays « Junta » to contest Cuba but fails to realign Cuba and Haiti. With « Cuba Missile Crisis », USSR controls Cuba and Venezuela, dominating Central America. USA plays « Red Scare/Purge » and controls Algeria and Mexico, contesting Central America. With « Portuguese Empire Crumbles », USSR controls Brazil. Corrupted by USA, « Sadat Expels Soviets ». Playing « Warsaw Pact Formed », USSR controls Chile and gains influence in Argentina. With « Nixon Plays The China Card », USA tries to realign Venezuela and Brazil, lowering USSR influence by one in this country. With « Camp David Accords », USSR controls Brazil and Argentina, controlling South America ! USA successfully launches a monkey in space with « OPEC ». USSR plays « South America Scoring » for +10VP. USA successfully launches « Willy Brandt » in Space, for 2VP, first man in Space is American !

Turn 5 :

2,11 OP/Card, Southeast Asia Scoring and 5 US Events in hand...

In Headline Phase, USSR plays « Allende » and USA plays « Brush War », capturing Italy, dominating Europe.

USSR plays « Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You » and fails to overthrow Algerian government. USA keeps all its cards...Bad news for USSR...USA plays « Five-Year Plan » and controls Algeria, Guatemala and Saharan States. With « Special Relationship », USSR controls Zaire and Laos/Cambodia. With « One Small Step... », USA controls Malaysia. USSR plays « Southeast Asia Scoring » and gains 1VP. USA plays « ABM Treaty » to (badly) overthrow Zairian government. With « How I Learned To Stop Worrying », USSR overthrowns Saharan States government. Playing « Bear Trap », USA controls Zimbabwe and Sudan and gains influence in Saudi Arabia. USSR launches « Shuttle Diplomacy » in Space but fails (again). USA succeeds insolently in Space Race, sending a man in orbit with « U2 Incident ». Sick at heart, USA plays « Muslim Revolution » to control South Africa, Cameroon and Colombia, dominating (temporarly) Africa. With « Arms Race », USA contests Angola (and Africa) and gains more influence in Saudi Arabia. USSR plays « Nuclear Subs » and severly overthrows Zimbabwean government. USA plays « Grain Sales To Soviets », drawing...and playing « The Voice of America », lowering USSR influence in Cuba, North Korea, Angola and Libya, dominating Central America and Middle-East.

Turn 6 :

2,33 OP/Card, Asia Scoring in hand...

In Headline Phase, USSR plays (openly) « Che » and overthrows Sudanese and Guatemalan governments. USA plays « OAS Founded », controlling Nicaragua and El Salvador, dominating Central America.

USSR plays « NATO » and overthrows Mexican government, dominating Central America. With « Ussuri River Skirmish », USA contests Mexico and Central America. Playing « Cultural Revolution », USSR controls Mexico and Cuba...and dominates Central America. It seems that Central America is a primary target for Cold War...USA plays « Alliance For Progress » to gain influence in North Korea and to contest Mexico. With « SALT Negotiations », USSR controls again North Korea and Mexico. With « Latin American Death Squads », USA contests Mexico. USSR plays « Asia Scoring » so USA gains 1VP. USA plays « Colonial Rearguard » in Africa. With « Missile Envy », USSR controls Mexico and South Africa. USA successfully (it's now boring) launches « Flower Power » in space for first Lunar Orbit. USSR fails (once again) to lauch its first Sputnik with « Formosan Resolution ». In Space Race, USSR hasn't started and USA is 6 boxes ahead, I have never seen such a disaster...And USA succeeds again in Space Race (71% of success on Space Race dice rolls) with « Socialist Governments », Eagle has landed ! USSR plays « Panama Canal Returned » but keeps control of Venezuela. USA plays « Our Man in Tehran » and discards « Africa Scoring » and « Central America Scoring » which were both, of course, among next five cards !!!

Turn 7 :

2.22 OP/Card, Europe Scoring -bad news- and 5 (!!) US Events in Hand for only 1 Soviet Event (which I already have in my hand last turn)...Very bad news...

In Headline Phase, USSR plays (openly) « Quagmire » and USA plays « East European Unrest ».

USSR plays « Duck and Cover » so USA gains 3VP but USSR contests Italy and Europe. USA discards « We Will Bury You » and ends « Quagmire » (without surprise) straight off. With « Independent Reds », USSR controls Italy but USA contests Czechoslovakia. USA plays « Che » to contest Italy but USSR overthrows Nicaraguan and Cameroon governments. USSR plays « Europe Scoring » for no loss. USA plays « Romanian Abdication » and controls Panama. Playing « SALT Negotiations », USSR gains influence in Poland and Saudi Arabia and controls Libya. With « Puppet Governments », USA controls Dominican Republic and SE African States and gains influence in Uruguay. « John Paul II Elected Pope » but USSR keeps control of Poland. USA plays « Kitchen Debates » and controls Uruguay. USSR fails (ridiculously now) to lauch its first Sputnik with «Special Relationship». With « Cultural Revolution », USA controls Italy. USSR plays « One Small Step... » to gain influence in Saudi Arabia. With « South African Unrest », USA overthrows Haitian government but USSR controls now Haiti and dominates Africa.

Turn 8 (Late War begins) :

2,67 OP/Card, no Scoring in hand...nor « Wargames »...USSR won't prevail this turn...

In Headline Phase, USSR plays (openly) « Brezhnev Doctrine» and USA plays « Olympic Games ». With their habitual fair-play, Soviets participate...and win !!! Red God exists ! Sometimes...

USSR plays « An Evil Empire » and overthrowns Panaman government but fails to control this country. USA plays « Junta » to contest Panama and badly realigns Cuba by removing all influence but 1 Soviet. USSR plays « Reagan Bombs Libya » to regain control of Cuba. USA plays « North Sea Oil ». With « Summit », USSR controls Panama and Central America. USA plays « Ortega Elected in Nicaragua » and contests Angola and Africa, while USSR fails coup in Costa Rica. With « Willy Brandt », USSR controls Saudi Arabia, Angola and Africa. With « AWACS Sale To Saudis », USA contests Saudi Arabia. USSR plays « Arms Race » and gains 3VP. « Nixon Plays The China Card »...and USSR loses it...USSR plays « ABM Treaty » and overthrows Egyptian government, dominating Middle-East. USA succeeds again (and always) in Space Race (75% of success on Space Race dice rolls, 6 success on a row !) with « Socialist Governments », Space Shuttle has taken off ! And finally, in late 70's, USSR launches successfully Sputnik, thanks to « Tear Down This Wall ». USA overthrows Sudanese government with now unplayable « Arab-Israeli War » and plays a 8th Round with « Africa Scoring », giving 4VP to USSR who leads now with +13VP.

Turn 9 :

2,33 OP/Card and no scoring card again...but 4 potent US Events (Shuttle Diplomacy, Solidarity, Ussuri River Skirmish and Star Wars).

In Headline Phase, USSR plays (still openly) « Portuguese Empire Crumbles » and USA plays « Chernobyl » in Middle-East.

USSR fails a coup in Iran with unplayable « OPEC ». With « Cuban Missile Crisis », USA gains influence in Saudi Arabia. Playing « Yuri and Samantha », USSR gains influence in Poland and Greece. With « Defectors », USA gains influence in Tunisia and controls Saudi Arabia to contest Middle-East. USSR unsuccessfully launches « Star Wars » in space. USA plays « Formosan Resolution » to contest Libya. USSR plays « Solidarity » but regains control of Poland. With « Five-Year Plan », USA controls Israel and dominates Middle-East. With « Shuttle Diplomacy », USSR contests South Korea and gains influence in Burma. With « China Card », USA contests Lebanon, regains control of South Korea and gains influence in Taiwan. Playing « Latin American Debt Crisis », USSR controls Greece. Playing « Latin American Death Squads », USA contests Iraq, removing (temporarly) all USSR presence from Middle-East. With unplayable « The Cambridge Five », USSR contests Italy and Europe. Without surprise, USA plays « Middle-East Scoring » and gains 8VP !! Then USA discards « U2 Incident ».

Turn 10 (Last Turn) :

2,78 OP/Card and no Scoring Card, for 3 turns in a row !!! Where are « Central America Scoring » and « South America Scoring » ????

In Headline Phase, USSR plays « Decolonization » and USA plays « Soviets Shoot Down KAL 007 ». USA controls Italy (dominating again in Europe) and Costa Rica and gains influence in Indonesia and Algeria. USSR gains influence in Ethiopia, Malaysia and Philippines and controls Burma.

USSR plays « Glasnost » to regain control of Libya, Lebanon and Iraq and to gain influence in Czechoslovakia. USA wins « Iran-Iraq War », like all other wars they fought during this play...USSR successfully launches an animal in Space with « Grain Sales To Soviets ». Warlike USA fails a « Brush War » in Mexico. USA plays « Red Scare/Purge » to contest Mexico and Central America. With « The Iron Lady », USSR regains control of Mexico and Central America. Playing « Terrorism », USA controls Malaysia and Philippines. USSR plays « Warsaw Pact Formed » to control Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, contesting Europe. With « Iran Contra Scandal », USA controls Benelux and dominates Europe. Playing « Pershing II Deployed », USSR overthrows Salvadorian government. With « Aldrich Remix », USA contests Thailand adn dominates Asia. Playing « The China Card », USSR regains control of Thailand and contests Italy, contesting both Europe and Asia, knowing USA must now play « Central America Scoring »...

It's time for Final Scoring. « Old » regions are contested but Third World is Red : Both Americas controlled and Africa dominated ! So, it's a major Soviet Victory with +20VP at the end of Twilight Struggle.

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