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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Rules

Subject: If both the discard pile and the deck are empty rss

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Emil Wachsmuth
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This arose in another thread, and I figured I would pose the question by itself.

This can only possible occur if playing without optional cards, and only in turn 3. If every single early war starred event is burned during turn 1 and 2, there will only be 15 cards left (excluding the China Card). This is not enough to deal two full hands, which require 16 cards at this point.

This is not likely to ever occur, but it's always fun to ponder really weird situations in this game. What happens? Does the USSR player simply get 8 cards and the US player only 7?

There is an easy official solution of course: Simply play with optional cards, which adds two more recurring early war cards, making the above situation impossible. But optional cards are simply that - optional.
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Dave Rubin
United States
Trenton
New Jersey
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"It may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater or more lasting effects upon the history of the world.” — Sir George Otto Trevelyan on the Battles of Trenton and Princeton
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One card must be in both hands, and the contradiction causes space-time to fold into itself and the game to be transported through the resulting worm hole to a parallel universe.
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Justin

Syracuse
New York
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At this point, optional cards are pretty well ingrained into the game. They balance the game out, and correct some large oversights thematically (hola Che). I've never even considered playing without them.
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Daniel Hogetoorn
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Amsterdam
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The counting is not that simple. Since the players keep a card in their hands, there is no need to deal a full hand. And when cards are discarded due to UN Intervention, Blockade or Five Year Plan, there will be more discards to reshuffle. So no panic, the situation you described can not occur :-)

EDIT: oops, I see what you mean. You are right. The situation can occur...
 
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Alex Drazen
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This would require the USA to draw and play (and not send to space) 11 starred Soviet cards, and the USSR player would have to draw and play (and not send to space) 8 starred US cards.

And either Warsaw Pact Formed or Marshall Plan would need to be played before NATO, or else NATO wouldn't be removed from the game.

And U.N. Intervention would have to not be drawn until Turn 3 (otherwise one of those players would almost certainly use it on a starred event), or a player would have to (in almost all cases inexplicably) play U.N. intervention by itself for Ops, hold it to turn 3, or play it with a non-starred event.

And of the 35 Early War cards in the deck, none of the final 3 can be a starred event. There are 19 starred cards in the early war. I believe there is a less than 10% chance that none of the last three cards are starred.

I mean, I guess it's possible, but it seems unlikely, and requires extremely sub-optimal play. It might be hard to do this on purpose.

The rules do specify that the cards are dealt in alternating order, starting with the Soviet player, so presumably the US loses his 8th card.

Or you can require that the starred cards be shuffled and one of them is randomly and secretly selected to be the bottom card. Then the situation would never be possible.
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