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Subject: Reaching the Late War deck? rss

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Sean Deller
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We tried Twilight Struggle (2nd ed) for the first time during yesterday's gaming session. Very enjoyable, but we were a little disappointed to not reach the Late War deck during any of the 4 playings. We experienced 2 USSR and 2 US automatic victories occuring during Turns 3-6. How often does the game continue into the Late War deck?
 
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mrbass
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How are you reaching those automatic victories? Control of Europe? I'd say once I won my opponent 3 times in a row by controlling Europe and he learned his lesson really good since then. It took me about 20 games later till I won by controlling Europe again. I'd say about 90% of my games reach the late war once both opponents know the card deck and some bit of strategy.

Very important though is you gotta watch that Wargames card which basically ends the game if your at 7 points on the VP track as you give your opponent 6 VPs and game is over with you victorious. In other words, don't let your opponent get past 6 VP points late in the game.
 
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Les Marshall
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The Soviet player has a slight advantage with possible card combinations in the early game that can freeze out the US.

However, assuming the USSR doesn't get lucky, most of my games have gone to late war. The trick is to thin out the opponents events. Sometimes when you want to avoid a powerful card the temptation is strong to burn it on the space race or hold it in your hand for a turn. The problem is that the card will cycle back to hurt you later and/or you may be forced to play the held card with an event.

Look for ways to play those bad events which diminish or nullify them. Play events where you cause the opponent's event to go first and then use the Op's to counteract all or most of the event. Also, some duration events you can play as your last card for the turn thus minimizing the benefit to the opponent and still causing the event to trigger and leave the deck.

Always keep and eye on Europe and the Def Con track. It's very hard to get momentum to steal Europe with the other player watching. If you let Europe go, only do so if your holding the correct cards to score yourself into automatic victory before it happens. IF Def Con 2 is showing make sure you don't get caught with a triggering event in your hand.
 
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Sean Deller
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Thanks for the info guys. All 4 of the automatic victories were due to achieving 20+ VPs. I'm pleased to hear that reaching the Late War deck is the norm, as I am eager to experience it. Good pointers about card play. I hadn't thought about the DEFCON-2/triggering-event dilemma (probably becuase we didn't encounter too many triggering events yet).
 
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