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Subject: Ussr rollercoaster in the middle east rss

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Richard Weir
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In the last two games as the US I have played the USSR have won automatic victories by the same method

Muslim revolution followed by OPEC or Middle East Scoring then OPEC/MES then We will bury you.

In the first game the score was -6 when the USSR started this series of events and in the second the score was -8.

In both games prior to Muslim Revolution being played in the headline phase the Middle East was evenly balanced and the US was doing well elsewhere. In the last turn( turn 5 ) both games , I held no card greater than 2op points, both games, and the USSR had this imposible game swinging hand.

Upon game end I sorted the remaining cards in the deck and found 20 or more cards that would have helped the US and 5 or so that would have helped the USSR, the rest I held in my hand.

So heres the point why does the above combination of cards mid game represent automatic victory when the majority of points have been won in ONE region, the Middle East.

I suggest after automatic victory is won ( except Control Of Europe ) a final scoring of all regions takes place. This would stop the luck of the draw effecting an otherwise good game. Remembering its happened twice now and my never happen again. The US can not recover if this USSR rollercoaster in the Middle East is posible.
 
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Jason Eberwein
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I've played a number of games now (I think 6 or 7) and it has been won differently in each and every game.

If the US is getting steamrolled in the Middle East, gain a foothold in other areas and get points there. Try gaining a foothold in countries NOT affected by those cards. Stage a Coup in one of those countries (Since you can at Defcon 3).


But, in your proposal... would the game still end after scoring? Or would the game continue? If it continued, what would stop the USSR gaining points back they lost? The other regions might not score much for the US and USSR might have a stronghold in other regions too, leaving not much of a swing (maybe 2 points...) Allowing the USSR to get them back quickly anyhow.

Just my thoughts. I'm no expert having only won 2 of those 6 or 7 games ;-)
 
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Jeffrey Vaca
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Not to thumb my nose at your plight, but I think that you should consider changing your play style before changing the rules.

After all, knowing that the combination exists (and has smacked you once), one would think that you would prepare yourself a little better for it.

Let me first say that this is a card game, and so there is a substantial luck factor to the game no matter how good you are. In one game I had my opponent's cards almost exclusively all game - and the low ones to boot. He had his cards too (or at least the combo cards) and it was very much like him playing a solo game. He walked straight over me without resistance and the game was fairly frustrating, but I understand that these things happen from time to time.
...and at least he finally won one. laugh

...but back to your situation. Some things that I think may have helped in your second game:
1) Push the DEFCON level down to 2. This will prevent him from playing his "We will bury you". Which can be accomplished by...
2) Coup the crap out of him in the Middle East. Both Libya and Egypt are great places for coups, denying him battleground countries and driving the DEFCON level down. These countries can easilly be attacked even with a 2-ops cards (like you had). If you get lucky there, you'll even get some influence out of it.
3) Fight harder for the Middle East right off the bat. As one of the most important regions in the world, even today, it stands to reason that you should be exerting some effort there to impose your ideology. If you had held onto three countries then the Muslim Revolution would not have been able to purge you from the region and you would have denied your opponent 3 of the points that he received from Dominiation.

Given that his hand was dealt to him in one turn (probably a MAX of one of the cards from the previous turn), he couldn't have planned for this to happen - but you may have been able to prevent it by fighting harder for the Middle East before the combo came up.

In summary, there is no rule that you can come up with to make a cardgame act like a non-cardgame, but in this game you can certainly take steps to mitigate. Although a great combo, I don't see the combo given as an automatic game-winner.

My two cents.

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Richard Weir
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Regards all the suggestions put forth

I had played Nuclear Subs as my headline event since it was one of the two cards I had that had my own events on the other was Grain to the soviets which I managed to grab Flower Power of the USSR. I had to spend the points in Middle East so the event took place.

So my coup atemps did not adjust the defcon. I tried Coup the hell out of the Middle East but rolled poorly.

The player I was playing knew the importance of the ME mid game and it had been one of the hotly contested regions of the game. Both countries affected by Muslim Revolution fell into his control when my control was removed. So with my hand it was imposible to even affect reentry into both countries. This handed him two turns of complete dominence of the region. I controled Eygpt and Isreal he controled Sudia Arabia previously 6 US 3 USSR and the rest of the battleground states.

As for the rest of the map in the first game I controled Central America
South America and SE Asia was Dominant in Asia and Africa and had more countries in Europe 6 to 3 though BG countries were even.

So scoring in this game may have changed the result from -20 to +1 or more maybe. In this case the power of the one region would not have helped the USSR but rather given victory to the US.

In the second game the map was more evenly controled because the US having been burnt once went heavily into the ME. The score at the end would have been around -8 and the USSR would have won anyway.

So the combination of Muslim Revolution, OPEC, Middle East Scoring and We Will Bury You is way too strong if it should fall into an experienced players hands. A final scoring if round should be held if the game ends in an automatic victory except if Europe is controled then both players would know that balance everywhere is important and Cards cannot effect the outcome within reason.

The final score would stand in the case of the two games mentioned the US would have won the first and the USSR the second.
 
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Chester
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I don't think changing the rules is a good idea. In my experience playing, there seems to be a trend of lots of USSR points in early turns...while the Mid-War and Late-War cards seem to favor the US making up ground. The US is trying to get some decent position in Europe, Asia and Middle East early...but mostly just trying to weather the storm and mitigate. In the late turns, the USSR is often trying to just hold on so that they can squeak out some points in their favor after final scoring.

The game balance isn't an issue for me, particularly after the 2nd edition rules changes. The issue is that there are just times where the luck of the draw and the turn of the die will overwhelm your game decisions. You had one of those games. Maybe you could have made better choices....but maybe not.

I think the rules change you suggest is strongly in favor of the US. Its never going to be the USSR that benefits from a final tally after an auto-US victory.
 
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Richard Weir
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You are correct. The USSR may not win a game if a final scoring round was to take place when the US won an Automatic victory outside of controling Europe.

History bears that out I think.

However in TS for the USSR to win they have to dominate only one region and get the cards Muslim Revolution, OPEC, Middle East Scoring and WE Will Bury You to go from an position of weakness ( overall game ) to automatic victory. Even if they pulled this out and the score was -1 after final scoring they still win. For the US to win by turn 5 without controlling Europe the USSR play has been extremly poor. No card in the US events gives him the right to remove totally any number in Inf in two countries. No card can gain the US player up to 7 points as OPEC can and We Will Bury You gaining 3vp when Evil Empire only gains 1vp and is not even in the deck at that stage.

I maintain that this mid game USSR Middle East cakewalk is unstopable.
Sure it hurt the US historically however it only strengthened their resolve and in the end they prevailed. The USSR did not win the cold war in 1970s
 
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Klaus Knechtskern
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Richard,

I cannot accept you position. To setup this stunt the USSR

1. needs all the cards you mention
2. telegraphes its intention quite clearly
3. must hope there is no Defector, Five Year Plan, Missle Envy, Grain Sales around in the US Hand or Headline otherwise its bye bye described AV

At least the Effects of Mideast Scoring can be mitigated by investing into the right countries to have Presence if not also denying Dominance to the Soviets. Gulf States is quite handsome for this.

You can setup a position in the mideast as the US, but you have to start from the get go. That´s why I like starting 2 INF in Turkey just to get in if I am kicked out of Isreal and Iran...



More devasting are the Late War tricks the US can do. Lets talk about Chernobyl combined with Europe Scoring :-)


 
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Philip Thomas
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You are playing Muslim Revolution correctly, right? It only removes US influence in (two of) the named countries, it doesn't make USSR control them. Possibly in your sequence there is an extra card being played for control of the two countries, but it isn't obvious.

USA should usually play Mid-East scoring ASAP if he gets it, although of course he needs prescence first. USA should also be playing in the Middle East right from the start, getting influence into Iraq (which is adjacent to many places). A coup in Syria may also be a good move, or a counter-coup in Iraq if he starts play with a coup there. Once Suez Crisis has happened you can try for Israel, which is not vulnerable to Muslim Revolution.

USA has a couple of good Mid-East events, namely Camp David Accords and Sadat Expels Soviets. Play them as events when you get them, don't use them for Ops (this is against the general rule that one-off events should not be played as events). Voice of America is another good one for Mid-East use, and is reusable which is even better.

Edit: In your example of choosing between Grain Sales to Soviets and Nuclear Subs for a USA headline, I would choose Grain Sales unles I really needed the Subs effect. For a start Subs is one off, but also the event you can get via Grain Sales is really worth it: if it is a bad USSR event like Opec or Muslim Revolution you can space it. If it is a scoring card you can play it if that helps or use the 2 Ops to improve your position in the region. If you do take the card he has lost a card, and that can hurt in all sorts of ways, most notably reducing how many cards he can hold at the end of the turn.
 
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