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Subject: Always losing as West ... help me!!! rss

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David Janik-Jones
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To echo Piero's post from earlier this year ... how do you play the West in this game?

I'm now seven straight losses (in seven games) for the West, usually as the result of four mass protests at the end of decades II or III. I've tried every strategy I can think of at least once to beat the East ... and just can not do it.

I've never been able to see how the West can be played effectively, especially as there are so many ways to add protest markers, yet you can only remove these at a rate of one per card played (and those have to be your own cards, unless you want to take infrastructure losses by using dual/opponent cards).

If the points on the cards could be used as a 1:1 then I can see how you can keep up removing the protesters, but single cards? Odd.

Last game I had two west provinces having 5 protesters in them (effectively stopping any factory development), and West Berlin with 4. You'd need five cards played and all the actions ignored/wasted on those just to get rid of the protest banners. Which means effectively you've done nothing to improve for almost half a decade. It seems really punishing ... I'm wondering if I'm not doing a rule right? The Western Currency check (this may be one issue)? How police cards work? I don't really know. I'm baffled and really at a loss.

Card breakdown, remembering that you can really only effectively remove protesters using your own cards without taking a dismantling penalty, decade I: 10 East, 8 West, 2 neutral. Decade II: 10 East, 7 West, 3 neutral. Again, the East can more effectively remove protest and also always seem to have a few pink cubes on hand to remove any protest banner that appears. They have a 25% extra number of cards to use in the first half of the game. The closest I've ever seen eh West come was having three protest banners in the East at the end of the fourth decade, but that's still a win for the East.

I'm open to being taught on Vassal, because I sure don't get it. It's a lovely game, but I'm playing as East always until I can figure out anything effective.
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Marc Hawkins
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Like with other asymmetric designs in which sides must play differently , there is occasionally one side that has a more difficult learning curve -- Wir sind das Volk! is no exception.

I like to think of WsdV! as a tango, a salsa, and a marengue all at once. The East has the benefit of being the partner who follows the lead while the West has to lead the dance. The East is fantastic at following any one dance, so it's up to the West to change the tempo, the rythm, the beat, the pace.

The reason why I'm using this metaphor is that the West needs to continuously keep the East on its back foot. Often, these counter-strikes come when it has breathing room and the West has less tools at its disposal to address them. Nonetheless, if a lot of cards come up in the spread that will leak unrest across the board, either: a) set yourself in a position to mop it up (via unrest reduction or, even better, by increasing Living Standards). Alternately, if avoiding a total collapse of the West is unavoidable, go for a hail Mary and push for the collapse of the East via Economy (or politics, but that's harder to achieve, and often only achievable late game) as that condition occurs before yours.

I'm not saying its easy -- I'm at a little over 10 plays and I'm still seeing the East win a bit more than the West, but know that it is possible
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David Janik-Jones
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Thanks.

One rule I have been playing wrong even through tonight's game is the Western Capital check at the end of a decade. I've been counting all the East factories as +1 WC, so the East has often had 8–10 points to easily support all their LS markers. In reality, you only count WC against one factory per province. This will make the East's economy much more fragile.

But this part I'm confused about ... "a) set yourself in a position to mop it up (via unrest reduction or, even better, by increasing Living Standards"

I've already pointed out that I think the unrest reduction mechanic can not ever keep up with the amount of unrest markers that can get placed. In tonights' example, I'd have to get rid of five unrest markers to get rid of the three wir sind das volk banners. One more area and I'm kaput at the end of the decade. That's five cards that can't be played for anything else.

And to increase living standard, that can only be done in provinces that have no banners, and you don't want more than a one difference in numbers at the end of the decade in case of unbalance (adding unrest markers). Plus it takes cards to pay for them and you have to use the same cards to increase your infrastructure. I don't think I've ever seen three LS markers on the board in a province, ever.

Again, I'd love to get a game in via Vassal.
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Marc Hawkins
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DaveyJJ wrote:
Thanks.

... to increase living standard, that can only be done in provinces that have no banners, and you don't want more than a one difference in numbers at the end of the decade in case of unbalance (adding unrest markers). Plus it takes cards to pay for them and you have to use the same cards to increase your infrastructure. I don't think I've ever seen three LS markers on the board in a province, ever.


Ah-ha! Ok, you can't increase your economic infrastructure in times of protest, but your can always increase living standards (protest or no protest) so long as your economy (+ operation points on card, no more than two per province) allow. This should open up your West game a little

Edit: of course, this means that you have to get your infrastructure up and running fast though to avoid the early unrest vice from the East (and/or keep them on the run, and mitigate their ability to do so by culling those cards).
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Ryan Hopkins
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Also, are you remembering to remove an unrest cube when you place LS. If not, that would have a big affect on the amount of unrest in the West.

Edit: grammar.
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Martin G
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Quote:
And to increase living standard, that can only be done in provinces that have no banners


Oh yeah, I think this is the key mistake. Using LS to get rid of mass protests is hugely important for West. And it's why you should get at least one factory in all your provinces as a priority at the start of the game (because then they can each have an LS added by spending 2 points from a card).
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Todd Quinn
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David

As Martin said, get a factory in every province before the end of the first decade. Then get to work on your LS to remove unrest, starting with those adjacent to East Germany to add unrest there during end of decade.

I am happy to play you in VASSAL PBEM via dropbox if you like. I am not an expert by any means but I have figured out how to win as West to the point where I am about 60/40 East/West wins. I could play as West and you could see if it is any different to how you play. Anyway, let me know if you are keen.

Todd
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Siegfried Steurer
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DaveyJJ wrote:
One rule I have been playing wrong even through tonight's game is the Western Capital check at the end of a decade. I've been counting all the East factories as +1 WC, so the East has often had 8–10 points to easily support all their LS markers. In reality, you only count WC against one factory per province. This will make the East's economy much more fragile.


That was just one of many rules we got wrong that lead to crushing west defeats.

This helped: End-of-Decade Reckoning Aid
 
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André Heines
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For me it turned out to be important to "steal" easterns heavy offensive cards like shipyard or oil crisis. Whatever heavily kills your industry as west has to be taken to build or reduce unrest.

Or, for example, in the first decade, don't build at Rheinland-Pfalz in the first half, unless you have the card that kills it's economy, or it's played. Just a little thing, but very effective.

Don't let east win on the economy track. Avoid everything that runs down western economy. It's simply THE most important weapon in this game. And try to steal cards like Rheinsberg or the brother country factories. At least one of the latter.

And, try the "triangle". That's how I call my way of building. For example Köln-Frankfurt-Koblenz. It's the easiest way to quickly gain LS. Especially in the export regions for Berlin. You need to build 3+ only factories in those three regions as soon as possible to get 3 LS to Berlin and maintain it. And of cause balance the LS in the other regions to avoid LS-unrest in the west.

A west win is much harder to earn, as it needs quite a bit of strategy and knowledge of the game (mechanics and cards). For beginners east is easier to maintain. West has to learn first.
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David Janik-Jones
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I've also just read the rules very very carefully. I've been calculating 9.5 wrong at the end of a turn.
 
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richard sivel
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I don't think I've ever seen three LS markers on the board in a province, ever.


In our playtest games, West typically had 3 LS in every border province and West-Berlin, in some border provinces 4 LS.
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David Janik-Jones
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rsivel wrote:
Quote:
I don't think I've ever seen three LS markers on the board in a province, ever.


In our playtest games, West typically had 3 LS in every border province and West-Berlin, in some border provinces 4 LS.

I am playing this so wrong, then.
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Christian K
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You would need 9 infastructure to have 3 LS, right (except that you could of course spend the points from the card to make up the difference if you had 7 or 8).

We usually have 2 LS in a lot of provinces but not 3.
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Mike Szarka
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DaveyJJ wrote:
rsivel wrote:
Quote:
I don't think I've ever seen three LS markers on the board in a province, ever.


In our playtest games, West typically had 3 LS in every border province and West-Berlin, in some border provinces 4 LS.

I am playing this so wrong, then.


And I was certain it was just my masterful play.
 
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richard sivel
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You would need 9 infastructure to have 3 LS, right (except that you could of course spend the points from the card to make up the difference if you had 7 or 8).


You need an economy of 9, not 9 infrastructure. Quite often 3 factories and 3 infrastructures result in an economy of 9, for instance when building Nürnberg, München and Ingolstadt and connecting these with 3 infrastructures. And when connecting Nürnberg and München with 1 non-Bayern factory, you have an economy of 11, just 1 below the 12 threshold.
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Christian K
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Sure that is what I meant.
 
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Samy
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DaveyJJ wrote:
One rule I have been playing wrong even through tonight's game is the Western Capital check at the end of a decade. I've been counting all the East factories as +1 WC, so the East has often had 8–10 points to easily support all their LS markers. In reality, you only count WC against one factory per province.

Also, it's +1 per East Export factories that is at least as good as the worst West Export factory. If one Western province doesn't have an export factory, than all East export factories give +1 (provinces with no factories still don't contribute anything).

DaveyJJ wrote:
And to increase living standard, that can only be done in provinces that have no banners

This is not true, LS can be increased even in provinces with mass protests. "Bribe" the protesters with televisions!

Remember when using a card to "Increase your living standard" that the LSs have to go in different provinces.
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David Oldster
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Having played (and won) a game as East Germany on Friday, it became clear where the West player had chances to really mess me up.

Of course, the first game I ever played was the West, and I thought to myself at the end of it, "There's no way the West can win this!" whistle
 
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Lee Benson
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DaveyJJ wrote:
I've never been able to see how the West can be played effectively, especially as there are so many ways to add protest markers, yet you can only remove these at a rate of one per card played (and those have to be your own cards, unless you want to take infrastructure losses by using dual/opponent cards).


I just played a game of this today and neither of us used a card for the Remove Social Unrest action the entire game. Looking through the cards, there are four cards in the first decade (numbers 13, 14, 18 and 20) that allow you to remove social unrest as part of the event. Two of these come with three build points and another comes with one build point. There are five cards (4, 8, 10 11 and 12) that add unrest (and one of these is a West card). All things being equal, in the first decade, East can add five unrest and West can remove six unrest.

If you have a hard time keeping unrest down, I would recommend focusing on those cards (especially 13, 14 and 20) as they'll allow you to build as well. Once you're built up, increasing living standard is a great way to keep unrest down. If you find that one province keeps getting overcome, focus instead on building up your other provinces with factories and infrastructure. If you simply spend a card to remove one unrest, the East could just hit you with more unrest with a card from their hand in that same province. Worse yet, they could also add it to a neighboring province you were neglecting and now you have two provinces that have boiled over.

To summarize: only use Remove Social Unrest action as a last resort. Instead, focus on cards that grant you that ability and combine with other abilities like building. Focus on building fast so that you can use Living Standard to lower your unrest.

I hope that helps in some way. Enjoy the game!
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Marc Hawkins
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... and of course, if you keep losing as the West, play as the East.
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Brad Miller
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And, as this thread was started over a year ago...

Please note that there were some rules tweaks added in January of 2016, which mitigated an abusive East strategy, and added some other changes that nerf the East a bit.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1509731/rules-changes-v...

So, while not as extreme as the original poster was claiming, he was probably a bit right.
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