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Subject: In which the Soviets nearly control Europe rss

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Philip Thomas
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For our first game I played USA and Dave played USSR since I didn't want it ending early. Dave set up in Poland and Austria, me in West Germany and Italy. We began with a Soviet headline of Nuclear Test Ban, cancelled by Defectors from USA. Dave placed 3 influence in Iran. I launched a coup there, knocking him down by 1. He took over South Korea, I took over Afghanistan and Pakistan. He put influence into Israel, I took control of Jordan. I'm not quite sure how it went for the rest of turn 1, I know he played Marshall Plan +UN Intervention at some point. By turn 2 I still had 2 influence in Jordan and he didn't control a single middle-eastern country, although he had 8 influence in the region to my four. I naturally played Middle East Scoring on the first action I could spare, though I had to shore up Europe after a Socialist Governments headline.

He took over Pakistan in a China Card coup, and I took it back with Indo-Pak war. He got around to controlling Israel and Iran and Iraq while I put influence into Asia. I was playing a lot of USSR events, so he was getting plenty of influence in Europe too. I had the opportunity to take out 3 influence in Austria with the Truman Doctrine, but I passed it up. Later on Dave playd Truman Doctrine when there was no country that qualified, so I guess I should have played it in Austria.

In turn 3 I drew Suez Crisis, De Gaulle, and Marshall Plan. Playing them in that order I was hoping to take control of France and bolster Europe generally. Unfortunately he intervened with the China card in between De Gaulle and the Marshall Plan, which meant he got control of France a couple moves later. I played US/Japan Mutual Defence Pact.

The Mid War began with a protracted struggle over West Germany, which was resumed at intervals throughout the remainder of the game, influence climbing into the teens for both players there. I had dominance in Asia while Dave had Control of the Middle East in turns 4-6 or so. Unfortunately for him, he randomly discarded Mid-East scoring on Five Year Plan, costing him 10 VPS. By turn 7 the pro-US Mid-east events had come out and he lost Egypt and Israel (I was able to use UN Intervention on the dreaded Muslim revolution). Dave was also unlucky to lose a Brush War in Italy which could have left West Germany as my only battleground. Meanwhile I secured the Americas and Africa. The points marker was now around +10.

This strengthened Dave's determination to plough influence into West Germany, hoping I would eventually fail and reasoning he wouldn't win on points. This of course meant the points reading continued to creep up, as I picked up Control of Asia with Ussuri River Skirmish, the China Card, and Voice of America.

The combination had cost precious time however and Dave finally won West Germany. The problem was, it was now the Late War. Immediately after West Germany went Communist, their brethren in East Germany Tore Down the Wall between them. The realignment roll this granted took away Dave's control of France. For some reason he had never bothered to regain control of Poland after early East European Unrest, and this now proved costly as John Paul II removed all his influence there. We Will Bury You gave me control of France and Poland, in addition to shifting the score from +17 to +14.

Dave didn't relent, pouring influence into Europe to the very end, which was not long in coming as my score easily pushed its way to +20.


We then swapped sides. I took Poland and Finland, Dave West Germany and Italy. My headline was Olympic Games, his Marshall Plan. I won the Games, and led with Red Scare/Purge. Dave took control of Iran. I launched a coup there, knocking him down 1. Dave took control of Jordan. I made another coup in Iran, getting control. With Decolonisation I got a foot into SE Asia, which I then expanded with the China Card, as well as sneaking an influence into Algeria. Dave took Egypt and I took Iraq and he played Mid-East scoring for 0. I played Fidel, glad to get Cuba so early.

I began turn 2 by taking control of France, following with control of Spain and Algeria. Dave used Truman Doctrine to remove 4 of my influence from Finland, leaving merely the 1 of his from Marshall Plan (which shouldn't have been there at all now I think about it). He then poured influence into East Germany, in much the same way as he had done for West Germany last game, but this time he gave up by the end of turn 2 , conceded me Europe Scoring, and left it alone for a while.

Dave took control of Taiwan and Japan, despite my remonstrances about US/Japan Mutual Defence treaty. He then played Korean War, but ironically I rolled a 6 so his preparations did not avail him. We entered the Mid War with Dave ahead on the Space race and I played One Small Step to overtake him, putting me in the part of the race where 2 cards are no longer enough. This proved rather embarassing the next turn as I drew some nasty 2 value US events and decided to Bear Trap them away. I was wholly sucessful there, but I did spend 3 actions discarding cards... Dave used this to pry open SE Asia and so minimise my gains from the scoring card he held, in the process playing Liberation Theology and thus gaining me Mexico and Guatemala. The score was now about -16, what with one thing and another, mainly Asia and Mid-East and Europe Domiance. For the next turn Dave drew Africa Scoring, and played strongly into Africa. I had both Decolonisation and Portuguese Empire Crumbles so was able to foil him there. He also tried to enter South America via Colombia, which allowed me to keep him out with Junta, taking Veneuezuela in the bargain. I failed to take Italy with Brush War, rolling a 2 when I needed a 3.

The following turn was the last one. I began by putting East European Unrest on the Space Race, wining 3 VPs. Dave made a sucessful coup in Pakistan. I then played Central America Scoring. I had both Mexico and Cuba, not to mention Guatemala and Nicaragua. He had nothing. 7 Vps for me taking me to -24.





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Philip Thomas
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oh, I forgot. In one of the Mid-War turns Dave's headline was Missile Envy. My highest card was Us-Japanese Defence Pact. As he already had control of Japan, he was not best pleased

Of course, he actually got himself an ok deal, since it meant I got 2 Ops rather than 4 Ops.
 
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Josh
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Philip, nice post, and I've enjoyed reading your insights into this wonderful game. Funny reading about the second session, as I just lost a game as the US by playing Liberation Theology, giving my opponent the upper hand in Central America, who then won by playing the scoring card there. While this was the "last domino to fall," the USSR was clearly ahead throughout the game, and it ended on turn five.

My respect for this game increases with each play.
 
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