Randy Evans
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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I've been playing TS for a few years OTB and for just under a year on Vassal. We've all been steamrolled by the USSR in the Early War and learned to fight back. I had a really tough start here, but I thought this was a good example of fighting back.

I have much to learn yet. I made some mistakes here, but I would venture to say it is one of my better games, if not my best. I welcome your (polite) comments and recommendations.

We are playing with the optional cards and no extra influence of the US.

Turn 1

Standard Europe set up


- Twilight Struggle 3.1 version 3.1.2
US Influence in Italy increased from 0 to 3.
US Influence in W. Germany increased from 0 to 4.




Nothing great. I'd like to headline Norad or D&C, but the hand is pretty low ops.



*** USSR plays Korean War* Event.
N. Korea invades S. Korea.
USSR Military Ops increased to 2.
US does not control any of N. Korea, Japan, or Taiwan. 0 die-roll modifier.
USSR rolls a 2.
South wins Korean War.
*** US plays Caputured Nazi Scientist* Event.
US Space Race advanced to Earth Satellite.
US VPs increased by 2.


[AR1]
We trade Iran coups for no change except Defcon



*** US player updated turn to Turn 1 Round 1 (USSR)
*** USSR plays Warsaw Pact Formed* for 3 Ops.
* USSR attempts Coup in Iran with 3 Ops.
DEFCON decreased to 4.
USSR rolls a 4.
4 + 3 Ops - 2*2 Stability = 3
Coup Attempt is successful.
All US Influence (1) removed from Iran.
USSR Influence in Iran increased to 2.

*** USSR player updated turn to Turn 1 Round 1 (US)
*** US plays Duck and Cover for 3 Ops.
* US attempts Coup in Iran with 3 Ops.
DEFCON decreased to 3.
Coup and Realignment attempts no longer permitted in Asia.
US rolls a 4.
4 + 3 Ops - 2*2 Stability = 3
Coup Attempt is successful.
All USSR Influence (2) removed from Iran.
US Influence in Iran increased to 1.
US Military Ops increased to 3.


[AR2]
Iran falls. Not unexpected. I play Norad for ops to make foothold in the Middle East and to start towards Thailand.



*** US player updated turn to Turn 1 Round 2 (USSR)
*** USSR plays Comecon* for 3 Ops.
* USSR attempts Coup in Iran with 3 Ops.
DEFCON decreased to 2.
USSR rolls a 5.
5 + 3 Ops - 2*2 Stability = 4
Coup Attempt is successful.
All US Influence (1) removed from Iran.
USSR Influence in Iran increased to 3.
*** USSR player updated turn to Turn 1 Round 2 (US)
*** US plays NORAD* for 3 Ops.
US Influence in Jordan increased from 0 to 2.
US Influence in Malaysia increased from 0 to 1.


[AR3]
Soviets push into ME to gain Domination. I calculate that I don't have the ops to fight him in there. I just want to keep a foothold there and push north in Asia. I'm hoping to get lucky and pick off Pakistan with Indo-Paki War when he moves in.


*** USSR plays East European Unrest for 3 Ops.
USSR Influence in Syria increased from 1 to 2.
USSR Influence in Lebanon increased from 0 to 1.
USSR Influence in Yugoslavia increased from 1 to 2.
*** USSR plays East European Unrest Event.
USSR Influence in E. Germany decreased from 4 to 3.
USSR Influence in Finland decreased from 1 to 0.
USSR Influence in Poland decreased from 4 to 3.
*** USSR player updated turn to Turn 1 Round 3 (US)
*** US plays The Cambridge Five for 2 Ops.
US Influence in Saudi Arabia increased from 0 to 1.
US Influence in Thailand increased from 0 to 1.
*** US plays The Cambridge Five Event.
US player has no Scoring Cards.

[AR4]
He scores ME. I play Truman for ops. I would like to hold onto it, but I'm going to have to hold Blockade.


*** USSR scores Middle East.
USSR has Domination in Middle East for 5 VPs.
USSR controls 1 Battleground Country in Middle East for 1 VP.
US has Presence in Middle East for 3 VPs.
USSR VPs increased by 3.
*** USSR player updated turn to Turn 1 Round 4 (US)
*** US plays Truman Doctrine* for 1 Op.
US Influence in Laos/Cambodia increased from 0 to 1.

[AR 5]
Ivan plays 5-Year Plan to take the lead in S. Korea and start on Pakistan. I push into Burma. I don't have the ops to fight for S. Korea. I could have taken it last turn with 2 ops with Indo-Paki war, but I didn't want to risk Korean war … which had already been played. Mistake #1. I also failed to notice that my opponent discarded Europe scoring. Mistake #2.



*** USSR plays Five-Year Plan for 3 Ops.
USSR Influence in Pakistan increased from 0 to 1.
USSR Influence in S. Korea increased from 0 to 2.
Europe Scoring is discarded.
*** USSR plays Five-Year Plan Event.
*** USSR player updated turn to Turn 1 Round 5 (US)
*** US plays Nasser* for 1 Op.
US Influence in Burma increased from 0 to 1.
*** US plays Nasser* Event.
USSR Influence in Egypt increased to 2.

[AR 6]
He plays China to take India and S. Korea. Alright. I'm 50-50 on India, but Indo-Paki is one pip short.


*** USSR plays The China Card for 4 Ops.
USSR Influence in India increased from 0 to 3.
USSR Influence in S. Korea increased from 2 to 4.
*** USSR player updated turn to Turn 1 Round 6 (US)
*** US plays Indo-Pakistani War Event.
Pakistan invades India.
US Military Ops increased to 5.
USSR does not control any of Pakistan or Burma. 0 die-roll modifier.
US rolls a 3.
India wins Indo-Pakistani War
USSR Military Ops decreased to 0.
US Military Ops decreased to 0.
DEFCON increased to 3.



Well now I'm in a bit of Dutch. I'm going to have serious trouble in Asia. I'll have to fight against domination there by grabbing a majority of countries since I'm unlikely to get a battleground back. I do have the China Card which is nice, but no access to Pakistan which would be the best place to flip with it.


Turn 2


I can't headline Asia Scoring because both Decol and Destal are unplayed. He only needs a non-battlground. I can't headline Marshall because chances are pretty good that he has Red Scare/Purge, and I'll want the ops. Indy Reds it is.



*** USSR plays Red Scare/Purge Event.
All cards played by US this turn are -1 Ops. (min 1 Op)

Uh-huh. Right in the kisser. kiss Hang on kiddies, this is going to hurt.

*** US plays Independent Reds* Event.
US Influence in Yugoslavia increased to 2.

[AR 1]
He takes Burma with NATO and overprotects. I play Suez for 2. I overprotect Laos to keep him out of south Asia.


*** USSR plays NATO* for 4 Ops.
USSR Influence in Burma increased from 0 to 4.
*** US plays Suez Crisis* Event.
US Influence in U.K. reduced to 3.
US Influence in Israel reduced to 0.
*** US plays Suez Crisis* for 2 Ops.
US Influence in Laos/Cambodia increased from 1 to 2.
US Influence in Indonesia increased from 0 to 1.
[AR 2]
He coups Panama which I think is not necessary, particularly since he's holding CIA. I break domination in Asia by taking Thailand. I dream of getting by without playing China or Marshall, so I don't play to take Tawain here. It should occur to me that since I only have the one 4-op card here that my opponent likely has the rest.


*** USSR plays Olympic Games Event for 2 Ops.
* USSR attempts Coup in Panama with 2 Ops.
DEFCON decreased to 2.
Coup and Realignment attempts no longer permitted in Middle East.
USSR rolls a 5.
5 + 2 Ops - 2*2 Stability = 3
Coup Attempt is successful.
All US Influence (1) removed from Panama.
USSR Influence in Panama increased to 2.
USSR Military Ops increased to 2.
*** USSR player updated turn to Turn 2 Round 2 (US)
*** US plays Arab-Israeli War Event.
A Pan-Arab Coalition invades Israel.
USSR Military Ops increased to 4.
US controls Jordan. -1 die-roll modifier.
USSR rolls a 1.
Israel wins Arab-Israeli War.
*** US plays Arab-Israeli War for 1 Op.
US Influence in Thailand increased from 1 to 2.

[AR 3]
He plays in Asia and starts to build in Taiwan. Long term I have to hold an 8-7 majority in Asia to avoid getting dominated. Better to take Taiwan now and let Vietnam go, so I play China to take it.


*** USSR plays Nuclear Test Ban for 4 Ops.
USSR Influence in Afghanistan increased from 0 to 2.
USSR Influence in Pakistan increased from 1 to 2.
USSR Influence in Taiwan increased from 0 to 1.
*** USSR player updated turn to Turn 2 Round 3 (US)
*** US plays The China Card for 3 Ops.
+1 if all Ops played in Asia.
US Influence in Taiwan increased from 0 to 4.

[AR 4]
We trade 4's to battle for Taiwan.


*** USSR plays US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact* for 4 Ops.
USSR Influence in Taiwan increased from 1 to 4.
*** USSR plays US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact* Event.
US now controls Japan.
USSR may not longer attempt Coups or Realignments in Japan.
*** USSR player updated turn to Turn 2 Round 4 (US)
*** US plays Marshall Plan* for 3 Ops.
US Influence in Taiwan increased from 4 to 7.

[AR 5]
Asia battle continues. I get lucky. If he has 2 op card and busts Japan in AR 6, I'm dominated.


*** USSR plays Socialist Governments for 3 Ops.
USSR Influence in Taiwan increased from 4 to 6.
*** USSR player updated turn to Turn 2 Round 5 (US)
*** US plays Fidel* for 1 Op.
US Influence in Philippines increased from 1 to 2.
*** US plays Fidel* Event.
Already no US Influence in Cuba.
USSR now controls Cuba.

[AR 6]
No bust in Asia. Score!


*** USSR plays Romanian Abdication* Event.
Already no US Influence in Romania.
USSR now controls Romania.
*** USSR player updated turn to Turn 2 Round 6 (US)
*** US scores Asia.
USSR has Presence in Asia for 3 VPs.
USSR controls 4 Battleground Countries in Asia for 4 VPs.
US has Presence in Asia for 3 VPs.
US controls 2 Battleground Countries in Asia for 2 Vps.
USSR VPs increased by 2.
USSR Military Ops decreased to 0.
US did not perform enough Military Operatins.
US penalized 2 VPs.
No change in US Military Ops.
USSR VPs increased by 2.
DEFCON increased to 3.


So after two turns, I'm definitely on the back foot. Asia and Europe are even by a thread. Middle East is looking grim, and I'm dominated. I'm completely out of Central America. On the brighter side, SA and Africa are wide open, and I've survived low ops and a Purge. I'm only down 5 VP's. The steamroller has not flattened me.



Sadly, Ivan lays some serious tar in Turn 3.
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Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Re: Resisting the Early War Ruskie steamroller
How are you sure USSR has CIA Created if it was only turn 2? There should be a handful of cards in the draw pile with optionals... I think 7 or 8.
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Haytil Reivesman
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Re: Resisting the Early War Ruskie steamroller
I think playing into Jordan was a mistake. You should have gone for Lebanon.

-Lebanon and Jordan both give you presence in the Middle East.

-Lebanon and Jordan both bump your country count, in a Domination struggle, but Jordan is twice as expensive. If you go for one, and country count is a factor, then the opponent is likely to go for the other (as the USSR did). I'd rather my opponent pay for the more expensive one.

-Lebanon is immune to "Muslim Revolution", Jordan is not.

-While Lebanon is susceptible to "Marine Barracks Bombing," that's not until the Late War and may never see play (whereas Muslim Revolution will cycle through at least once). "Marine Barracks Bombing" can also affect Jordan, and it's easier to repair the damage done to Lebanon.

-"Camp David Accords" gives you 1 influence in Jordan. This makes it less likely that USSR will take it on his own initiative, and potentially makes your 2 op play into Jordan a wasted op (unless you particularly needed Jordan for some reason).

-The one major advantage Jordan has is access to Saudi Arabia. But again, Saudia Arabia is vulnerable to "Muslim Revolution." And you don't have the ops to take it now anyhow, so all you're buying (with an expensive 2 op play into Jordan, followed by your 3rd op into Saudia Arabia) is a leg-up in a potential ops race during the Mid War, for a country you're not likely to be able to hold on to anyway.

-The only trap you need to be "wary" of in the Early War with Lebanon is that USSR can coup Lebanon easily at DefCon 3 with "Duck and Cover" - getting him military ops, puncturing your stronghold, dropping DefCon, and dumping a suicide card all in one go. But you started the game with "Duck and Cover," so you knew this wasn't a possibility. (And even if you hadn't, I think it'd still have been worth the risk).

Seeing as ops are so important in the Early War, and the US has a mountain to climb, I don't think it was wise to spend 3 on Jordan/Saudi Arabia, when 1 could have achieved the most important goals (Presence and Country Count) just as easily.

Spend those other 2 ops elsewhere.
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Randy Evans
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Richmond
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Re: Resisting the Early War Ruskie steamroller
Sorry, I submitted early by accident. I will update to at least the end of turn 2 soon.

[EDIT] Now updated through the end of Turn 2
 
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Randy Evans
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Re: Resisting the Early War Ruskie steamroller
alexdrazen wrote:
How are you sure USSR has CIA Created if it was only turn 2? There should be a handful of cards in the draw pile with optionals... I think 7 or 8.


Good point. I forgot to mention that he played it and took it back, so I knew.
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Randy Evans
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Re: Resisting the Early War Ruskie steamroller (Turns 1-2)
haytil wrote:
I think playing into Jordan was a mistake. You should have gone for Lebanon.


Well reasoned. I think you are correct. The game would have gone beter if I followd your advice.
 
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Robert Woodham
United States
Phoenix
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Re: Resisting the Early War Ruskie steamroller (Turns 1-2)
Some quick thoughts:

Don't play without +2 US ip

Don't place more than 1 into Jordan b/c of Muslim Revolution and Camp David Accords.
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James Barton
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
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Re: Resisting the Early War Ruskie steamroller (Turns 1-2)
Dexter099 wrote:
Don't play without +2 US ip.

Isn't this effectively +6 to the US, due to not adding any USSR influence to Europe at the start?
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Randy Evans
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Re: Resisting the Early War Ruskie steamroller (Turns 1-2)
Dexter099 wrote:
Don't play without +2 US ip.

I'm sure this issue has been debated on the geek (and I'll wager that at least one of them degeneratd into a flame war where the two people are no longer speaking). I'll play anything where sides are choosen randomly. I find that most players on Vassal will play US+1 random, but very few will play US+2. In my experience, it seems US+1 leads to the most overall balanced game, though the Soviets still have a nice edge in the Early War.

jman11 wrote:

Isn't this effectively +6 to the US, due to not adding any USSR influence to Europe at the start?


The +2 ip means the US gets 2 additional influence to place in any country that already has influence after both the US and USSR have placed their Euopean influence. With +1, it almost always goes in Iran, and frequently the same is true of +2. I've somtimes seen people place in Europe if they have Europe Scoring and/or Marshall Plan..

 
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