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Subject: USSR Aldrich Ames + US Lone Gunman = Auto Soviet Victory? rss

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Jeff Anderson
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So I've done a bunch of reading, and I know about phasing player and all that, but just to be clear - if the Soviet player happens to get Aldrich Ames and headlines it when the US player has Lone Gunman in his hand, the Soviet can manufacture an auto-victory by dropping DEFCON to 2 right before US has to play LG, and then coup a battleground with the ops point.

I guess the US player holding "We Will Bury You" could cause a similar effect.

I can't tell you how much I'm really loving this game, but I want to make sure this is right, becuase it seems rather harsh and I can't think of any way to guard against it.

- Jeff
 
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Jim C
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Re: USSR Aldrich Ames + US Lone Gunman = Auto Soviet Victory
CaptainQwyx wrote:
So I've done a bunch of reading, and I know about phasing player and all that, but just to be clear - if the Soviet player happens to get Aldrich Ames and headlines it when the US player has Lone Gunman in his hand, the Soviet can manufacture an auto-victory by dropping DEFCON to 2 right before US has to play LG, and then coup a battleground with the ops point.

I guess the US player holding "We Will Bury You" could cause a similar effect.

I can't tell you how much I'm really loving this game, but I want to make sure this is right, becuase it seems rather harsh and I can't think of any way to guard against it.

- Jeff


Yes, you're correct. The devastating combo of an assassination on the president, Soviet spy, and high nuclear tensions would certainly bring the US to it's knees!

Note that it's a fairly rare occurrence since the US would immediately dispose of the card if received in the mid-war phase.
 
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Colin Hunter
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Aldrich Ames is one of the best cards in the game. To be honest thought if it is heading into late war the US is probably (but obviously not always) on the road to victory. The USSR needs a few tough cards. Be aware and plan ahead.
 
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Chris White
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Re: USSR Aldrich Ames + US Lone Gunman = Auto Soviet Victory
houjix wrote:
Yup.

Aldrich Ames is my least favorite card in the game.

Lone Gunman is an extremely bad card for US to draw. You more or less need to play it as a headline, and hope it doesn't get trumped by a Junta or something.


Actually, Junta is a "free" coup, so it doesn't lower DEFCON.

Now, We Will Bury You and Lone Gunman in the headline would lead to nuclear war. So you're not entirely safe.

I've usually found that the US can sneak Lone Gunman in under the radar somewhere, if only because they'll usually be able to hold it over a turn or two until something like SALT Negotiations or How I Learned to Stop Worrying eases the DEFCON momentarially. But still, any card with 1 op point and your opponents' event is one you really don't want to have, and Lone Gunman is probably the worst.

As for Aldrich, I'm kind of lucky- he's only ended up in Soviet hands in one of the five games that got to the Late War, and while it was devastating to the US, the Soviets probably would have won even without him (the final score was -16). Three other times the US drew him, and once the game ended before Aldrich came out.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Junta lowers Defcon if the coup is in a Battlrground country. The coup is free in that it doesn't earn any Military Operations, but otherwise it is as normal.

Aldritch Ames plus Long Gunman can be a game winner. This does not apply to AA plus We Will Bury You, because the USA can play WWBY on the Space Race.
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Josh
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traininthedistance wrote:

Actually, Junta is a "free" coup, so it doesn't lower DEFCON.



I know this only because I've had to look it up a thousand times- Free coup means that current geographic restrictions placed by Defcon are ignored. However, a free coup in a battleground country still lowers Defcon. See 6.3.5 of the rules. Also, free coups do not count towards Military Operations points (8.2.5).


Funny that as I was falling asleep last night I was trying to think of the single strongest card in the game, and the best combo, and I settled on Aldrich Ames and Aldrich Ames + Lone Gunman, respectively. Plate of shrimp?

And Philip is correct- WWBY can be space raced, while Lone Gunman and CIA are actually worse because their OPs points are so low.
 
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Jeff Anderson
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Re: USSR Aldrich Ames + US Lone Gunman = Auto Soviet Victory
Ok, thaks for the confirmation.

- Jeff
 
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Chris White
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Re: USSR Aldrich Ames + US Lone Gunman = Auto Soviet Victory
Philip Thomas wrote:
Junta lowers Defcon if the coup is in a Battlrground country. The coup is free in that it doesn't earn any Military Operations, but otherwise it is as normal.

Aldritch Ames plus Long Gunman can be a game winner. This does not apply to AA plus We Will Bury You, because the USA can play WWBY on the Space Race.


Yeah, oops. Though if free coups still lower DEFCON in Battlegrounds, then what's the point of calling the Junta coup a "free" coup? You can always coup non-battlegrounds in Latin America no matter the DEFCON. That's probably what was throwing me.
 
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Philip Thomas
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well, the coup from Junta doesn't earn any military Ops. Though quite why that should be callled a 'free coup' I'm not sure.
 
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John McCoy
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Funny to see this question posted on the very same day I won a game by playing Aldrich Ames and forcing the USA to use Lone Gunman with DEFCON at 2.

I agree that this must be the worst combination of events that can possibly happen in the game. Either event by itself is bad, together they're deadly.

The USA is well advised to get rid of the Lone Gunman event as soon as they get the chance, but I know from my own experience that it can be very difficult to do. I can remember one game where I had to hold it for the entire Mid War before finally getting an opportunity to play it while DEFCON was at 3. I probably should have played it as a headline and just hoped that We Will Bury You wasn't my opponent's choice. There aren't that many events that can improve DEFCON, and it's not uncommon for the Soviets to drive DEFCON down to 2 with the first action of every turn either to try and gain BGs for themselves or jsut to protect the ones they already have.
 
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L. Scott Johnson
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Re: USSR Aldrich Ames + US Lone Gunman = Auto Soviet Victory
Philip Thomas wrote:
well, the coup from Junta doesn't earn any military Ops. Though quite why that should be callled a 'free coup' I'm not sure.


I believe the idea is that it doesn't "cost" any Ops, so it is "free" (and therefore doesn't track on the MilOps track, either).
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Josh
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Rulemonger wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
well, the coup from Junta doesn't earn any military Ops. Though quite why that should be callled a 'free coup' I'm not sure.


I believe the idea is that it doesn't "cost" any Ops, so it is "free" (and therefore doesn't track on the MilOps track, either).


Yeah, and maybe that the coup is "free" of the current Defcon restrictions.
 
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Greg Forster
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I'm probably just being dense, but I'm missing something here. If the US draws Lone Gunman, why not play it at the end of your turn? Why would you headline it?
 
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Philip Thomas
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If you wait until the end of the turn, Defcon may be at 2 when you play Lone Gunman. The USSR can use the 1 Ops from the card to start a coup in a Battleground country, and boom! Defcon fell to 1 when you were the phasng player, you lose the game.
 
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Chris White
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Re: USSR Aldrich Ames + US Lone Gunman = Auto Soviet Victory
If DEFCON is at two when the US plays Lone Gunman, the Soviets can use their one op point to coup a battleground country, triggering nuclear war while the US is the phasing player. And DEFCON is very often at two.
 
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Josh
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The Defcon can never be 2 at the start of the Headline Phase, while Defcon will usually be 2 at the end of the turn . Of course, the card your opponent plays during the Headline could reduce the Defcon to 2 (and since Lone Gunman is a 1 OPs card it will almost certainly be played as the second Headline), but that would be pretty rare.
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Greg Forster
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Of course! Thanks.

Somehow I forgot that the "conduct 1 OP of operations" goes to the USSR no matter who plays the card.
 
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Jamie Beu
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Re: USSR Aldrich Ames + US Lone Gunman = Auto Soviet Victory
Quote:
Defcon may be at 2 when you play Lone Gunman. The USSR can use the 1 Ops from the card to start a coup in a Battleground country, and boom! Defcon fell to 1 when you were the phasng player, you lose the game.


Has someone compiled a list of cards that, if you play it, could make the world go boom and you lose? That'd be helpful to have for newbies (like me).
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Re: USSR Aldrich Ames + US Lone Gunman = Auto Soviet Victory
I'm really confused - why not just send Lone Gunman to space? Oh right - because it's just a 1 OPs card? Gotcha.
 
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