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Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Jihadis gun for Pakistan. rss

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Bor Onx
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I'd previously played half a solo game, but otherwise this was the first time through for my son, J, and I. He played the Jihadis, and I played the Americans.

We did one reshuffle starting with the “let’s roll” scenario. During the explanation of the rules, he fixated on Pakistan's Nukes and the Nuke America win condition. Sure enough, he started right off the bat moving cells into Pakistan.

On my first play, I was able to shift Pakistan to ally and deploy some troops. Here’s mistake one: I dribbled the troops in, just enough to avoid a Major Jihad. He kept pumping cells in, I kept killing them.

The cells were flowing in from Afghanistan, so I pulled a regime change in Afghanistan. This was the biggest mistake. It costs about the same in op points to recruit directly into Pakistan, so taking out Afghanistan didn’t really help matters, and it tied up troops. Because of this, I was only able to keep ten troops in Pakistan, but still, “J” would need 15 to launch a major Jihad.

Which is what he did. He dropped the FATA card on me, and at that point it was pretty much over. I tried to free up the troops in Afghanistan before Pakistan fell, but it was too late. Jihadis swept over Pakistan and got three Nukes, and my prestige dropped to one.

I spent the rest of the game keeping the nukes from going off. I never regained much prestige, since “J” sat on Pakistan with almost all his cells, and FATA was in play the whole game.

Right at the end of the last turn, “J” dropped two WMDs and a regular plot on the U.S. By sheer luck I managed to foil the WMD plots, but the regular plot got off. This actually raised my prestige quite a bit.

Suddenly I had at chance at my “War of Idea” rolls and managed to flip Gulf States to Good. This, plus Afghanistan gave me four resources. Still not enough to win, but a respectable loss. But “J” had two cards left, which he used to Jihad the Gulf States back to poor.

“J” and the Jihadists won on time, with the final tally 2 Islamic State resources and 1 good resource.

Lessons Learned:

In a single deck game, losing Pakistan with troops in it is almost a death sentence. The prestige loss was as bad or worse as the nukes. I would have done better to not contest it at all, except with war of ideas, perhaps.

Dribbling troops in was costly. I should have just put all 15 in at the start. It’s as easy to deploy from Pakistan as from the troop track.

Taking out Afghanistan was satisfying, but that’s where I really lost the game. With those troops freed up, Pakistan would never have fallen. Somehow all the worlds terrorists can hide out in the tribal areas (FATA), *and* take over the Pakistani government even though two thirds of the U.S. army is protecting it. I’m not bitter about it!

A great time was had by all. “J” played well, to say the least. He saw his opportunities and new how to protect his gains. He kept me running around the board and I never got traction for my own plans.
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Marty Sample
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While losing Pakistan ( and the Jihadists getting nukes ) is not great, it is hardly a death sentence. It is not necessarily easy to get plots to go off in the US - just getting cells there can be tough.

In your game, if the Jihadist has all 15 cells in Pakistan, it should give you a free hand elsewhere to improve governance. I've won Sudden Death victories by getting 12 points of Good Allies ( helped by one of the two Oil Spike cards ) .
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Evil Bob
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I just played a game last night where I was the US and lost Pakistan fairly early in our 1 Deck game.

The Jihadists had both Pakistan and Afghanistan as Islamist Rule and was one major jihad away from flipping Iraq.

I won by flipping;
Gulf States
Saudi Arabia
Malaysia
Jordan
and finally Turkey (had to try this 4 times)

to Good.

It was a really close, exciting race to the finish.

I don't find that losing any one country is a death-knell for either faction. The threat of WMDs however, forces the US to treat Islamist plots more seriously.
 
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Bor Onx
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The problem was my prestige never recovered. I did spend a lot on government without much counter from the jihadists, but to limited effect. He avoided any allies, so I couldn't use troops to raise prestige. AFAICT, at that point my only option was to get prestige by flipping non-muslim countries, but that was not very effective.

Perhaps setting US to soft and flipping all the hard countries would have worked. I was holding out hope that I might get a chance to regime change in Pakistan, but I should have given up on that.
 
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