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Subject: Oops, Did I Do That to Nigeria? rss

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Jake Baker
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This is the session report for the rematch game of Twilight Imperium, played via ACTS between Clint as USSR and myself as the US. Our previous session is recorded here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/155422 (hey, why doesn't BGG support [url=] style linking?), and this game was the rematch. Would I be able to defend my glorious victory or would Clint’s Soviet strategy prove superior? You can only find out be reading on!

Turn 1

Initially, Clint places 3 influence markers to control Bulgaria and another 3 into Austria. A brave man, I thought; leaving Poland uncontrolled could mean easy US domination of Europe early. Had I thought a little more, I might have realized that that set up probably meant that Clint was holding the Europe Scoring card.

But that was only the first of many mistakes I was to make during this game. I should have headlined Truman Doctrine to remove Clint’s non-controlling influence from Austria, leaving him without a space from which to domino into Italy. Alas, I didn’t do that, perhaps fearing that he would headline Warsaw Pact, making my headline moot and wasting a starred event.

And, despite having learned better in previous games, I stuck by my old US set up of 4 into W. Germany (that part’s ok) and 3 into France. I did have DeGaulle Leads France in my hand, so placing into France wasn’t that crazy of a move. Since I planned on ignoring the Mideast, I headlined Mideast Scoring to no score change.

However, Clint headlined Decolonization and followed that up with with NATO to place 4 (!) into Italy, securing his ownership of the boot of Europe for the rest of the game.

I then placed 2 into Pakistan, which Clint countered with Vietnam Revolts. I was now afraid that he’d be using that card’s lingering effect to secure Southeast Asia. Knowing I couldn’t really fight that battle, I tried to keep my options open by placing 1 into E. Germany and 1 into India.

Clint then smacked me with Blockade, to which I eagerly sacrificed COMECON. Now, instead of playing Truman Doctrine to kick his little red butt out of E. Germany, I stupidly played Romanian Abdication to place 1 into Japan, leaving Clint the opportunity to pass me the China Card, securing E. Germany and Poland, locking him into European domination it would take me three more turns to break.

I then used Korean War to take control of Japan, and the UN managed to hold the 38th. But, as you may have guessed, Clint was holding Europe Scoring, putting me behind by 5 vp. One failed coup in Thailand with Arab-Isreali War later, and the USSR ended the turn 7 vp in the lead.

Turn 2

A Captured Nazi Scientist’s big brain helps me catch up by 2 vp, but Nasser extends the red death grip over the hapless Middle East. So goes the headline phase.

Clint executes a very successful coup against Pakistan, but I have Indy-Pak War, and a good roll with that card gives me back Pakistan and up 2 more vp.

Clint uses De-Stalanization to emigrate all of Romania into Southeast Asia. I counter by claiming India, S. Korea and Indonesia with the China Card.

For the rest of the turn, I play cards slowly extending my influence in Asia and Europe while Clint does the same only with Asia and the Mideast. But Clint’s holding the Asia Scoring card, and is forced to play it in the end, to the tune of 6 vp for me. Here, I think Clint made a mistake by spending influence in the Mideast, where he was already ahead, instead of Asia. He could have tied up Asia had he been a little more aggressive in that region; for example, he spent a 4 ops card to tie me in Pakistan 2/2 and placed the last point in Syria; had he spent that last point to make Pakistan 2/3, I could not have countered by placing 2 back into Pakistan to restore control. I always try to look for the efficiencies; where can I spend 2 ops to counter my opponent spending 3?

At the end of the turn, I lost 1 vp for milops, but was in the lead with 2 vp.

Turn 3

Another turn 3 dependent on the scoring cards that came up, as turn 3 often is. Clint’s efforts in the Mideast payed off as he headlined the Mideast Scoring card for 6 points. I headlined Containment.

Clint space-raced East European Unrest unsuccessfully. Happy for the breathing space, I flopped Asia Scoring onto the table again, to the same 6-vp tune as before. With only one scoring region left open, Clint started expanding his holdings onto Europe. But Marshall Plan last turn made it cheaper relatively for the US to gain non-battleground countries, and along with the boost from Containment, I had soon gobbled up as many as I could, including the feather in the cap of America’s foreign policy, a happy blue Romania. Europe is now a dead-even tie; we both have 7 countries, Clint has 3 battlegrounds to my 2 but I also control Romania.

The turn ends with a few tricks from us both. Clint played Fidel then powerfully couped Panama, kicking America out of yet another region. But I got in a successful Olympic Games, scoring 2 vp, ending the turn with 4 vp.

Turn 4

Of all the rotten luck... two scoring cards, Europe and Central America, weigh down my hand. I have Junta to fight in C. America though, and Europe is a wash so long as Clint doesn’t shift the balance of power there.

The headline phase proves almost pointless. I headline Missile Envy, hoping to get a good number of ops with which to extend my influence to Mexico, but my opponent hands me NATO, which triggers as a (rather useless) event. At least it got that 4-op card out of his hand, and Clint’s headline of Defectors was just damage control.

Clint extends Soviet domination over the “little sibling” regions of Africa and S. America. I don’t want to broadcast my scoring cards, so I take the safe move of couping Angola, shifting the balance of power in Africa to my favor. Clint then uses How I Learned to Stop Worrying to shift the Defcon to 4 and earn 5 milops for the trouble. Not being a fool (absent-minded, yes, but not an absent-minded fool), I take the opportunity to coup Thailand with the China Card, tying up Southeast Asia.

Clint tries to compete there by using 3-ops to make Thailand 2/2, but I complete the American evacuation of the Middle East by using Muslim Revolution to secure it at 5/2 and placing one into Zaire to dominate Africa.

Clint smacks me with Quagmire on action round 4, and I’m stuck in it for two rounds, meaning that I can only play my scoring cards on my final two rounds. Clint uses the breathing space to burn a card on the space race (unsuccessfully, to his great chagrin), dominate S. America, and tie up Africa. Central America Scoring scores 4 for Clint, placing the end-of-turn score back at the zero space.

Turn 5

An exciting game so far with a see-saw score. Holding no scoring cards, I’m feeling confident about this turn, especially after my headline of Junta gives me Brazil and rolls a 6 couping Venezuela to claim that battleground as well. Clint’s headline of Lone Gunman reveals my hand, and lets him place 1 into Nigeria.

On his first action round, Clint countered in South America by couping Brazil with 3 ops, but his roll only kicks me out, not giving him any influence.

For my first action round, I debate whether I should coup Columbia or Nigeria. Columbia would kick him entirely out of S. America (well, until he counter-coups that non-battleground nation, but that’s a game I can play all turn), but Nigeria would shift the balance of power in Africa back to me. So I pick up the virtual die and roll to coup Nigeria...

...Having completely forgotten that the Defcon was sitting at 2. Nuclear war breaks out over a piddly little 1-stability African nation, and I lose. I did mention that I was absent-minded, didn’t I? I’m painfully reminded of my last game of Combat Commander, where I also managed to hand my opponent the win on a platter.

To be truthful, I’m happy I did as well as I did in this game after having made so many mistakes. While a coup-to-Defcon-1 loss is always somewhat frustrating, normally because you see it as being wrong within microseconds of completing the action, it is a part of the brinkmanship tension of the game, albeit one that we forgetful old men need to be extra wary of.
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Steve
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Great session, perfect amount of detail and player thoughts.
 
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eryn roston
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woops indeed. It's funny because in a head-to-head game I don't think I'd even let an opponent make that "mistake". I'd probably point it out before the dice even started to roll.

-E
 
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Kevin Li
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Nice session report. One thing I didn't follow...I thought the Soviets played NATO in turn 1. Why did it reappear in turn 4? Did you mean some other card instead?
 
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Jake Baker
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Neither of its prereqs had been played yet, so the US event part of it didn't happen. So it got discarded instead of removed from game.
 
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Jason Matthews
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Tanuki wrote:
This is the session report for the rematch game of Twilight Imperium, played via ACTS between Clint as USSR and myself as the US.


Great report, but I think you mean a rematch of Twilight Struggle. Twilight Imperium is rather a different experience.
 
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Kevin Li
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Tanuki wrote:
Neither of its prereqs had been played yet, so the US event part of it didn't happen. So it got discarded instead of removed from game.

Ah! I missed that, thanks.
 
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mark coomey
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I see you do the same thing as me, get the name of the game mixed with Twilight Imperium!
 
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bestia immonda
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On turn 1, after the 4 (!) URSS influence in italy, why not coup it right away the next turn?
 
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Jake Baker
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JasonMatthews wrote:
Great report, but I think you mean a rematch of Twilight Struggle. Twilight Imperium is rather a different experience.


Really? Then where did you get the idea for the "Grain Sales to the Barony of Letnev" card? Also, I think if the Soviets build a War Sun early in the game, it really unbalances the game...



nicktaruffi wrote:
On turn 1, after the 4 (!) URSS influence in italy, why not coup it right away the next turn?


A good question. I don't think I had a 4-ops card in my hand and I didn't like odds with anything less than that. Consider that with a 3-ops card, rolling a 1-3 wouldn't remove USSR control, and I would need to roll a 5 to entirely eliminate USSR influence there, which Clint could have just placed back on his next round with a 2-ops card. That didn't seem like a good exchange to me. But yeah, I really messed up in Europe on the first turn.
 
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Jake Baker
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baditude wrote:
I'd probably point it out before the dice even started to roll.


In fairness to Clint, he did offer to let me take back the card play, but I received his message too late, after I'd already said "good game" and posted this session report. Such is the way of the internet.

Besides, I'm a firm believer that if you don't suffer the consequences of your actions, you will not learn from them... hmm, that could explain why I'm always suffering.
 
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Clint Pewtress
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I'm late jumping in here...

Jake is a top notch opponent, you'd do well to have match with him if you can.

Clint
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Fredrik Ulmstedt
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I did the same thing - I even think it it was Nigeria I couped...

The sad part was that I was aware of the defcon level when I started to play my move. I even said out loud that I better not coup a battleground country... a few minutes later after careful(?) planning I chose to go ahead a coup one anyway.

You live and learn. And sometimes die and learn.blush
 
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