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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Turn 1 Decolinization Headline Opening rss

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Michael Valentine

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I'm usually hesitant to headline Decolinization on Turn 1 for fear of Defectors. The access it gains usually seems too valuable to risk. But, occasionally, you'll draw Defectors as well, have no other decent headline, or know that the USA is headlining Marshall based on set up. Because I don't headline it often or see opponents headline it often, I haven't developed a good feel for how best to play it.

Assume that you do headline Decol on Turn 1 against a standard USA +2 set up of WG 4/0, Italy 3/0, Iran 3/0, where do you place the 4 Decol influences? What is your ar1 move? What's the general plan for the turn? What key cards in hand might influence these decisions?
 
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Alex
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You usually want to wait until DEFCON drops to 3 before playing Decol.
Otherwise, you end up giving good South-East Asia coup targets to your opponent.
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Keith Craig
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I would headline Decolonization if I had defectors and Duck and Cover. Your opening coup with Duck & Cover would drop DEFCON twice.
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Robert Barnhart
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Assuming you had to do it go for relatively high stability. 1 Thai, 1 Burma, 1 S Africa, 1 Algeria
 
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Michael Patnik
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I ran into this situation very recently. Opponent set up 4WG, 4IT, 2IR. My hand was something like:

Decol
I/P War
Marshall
EEU
ME Scoring
Comecon
Defectors
NTB

I didn't have a go to strategy for where to place inf, but I was pretty sure that I had to HL Decol there. My plan was to place Algeria, Malaysia, Angola, Zaire. I would coup Iran AR1. My thinking was that I don't care about leaving 1 stability juicy coup targets in Africa, because my opponent only gets one coup, and I can always coup it right back. Plus if he coups in Africa, I can possibly score ME with the US lacking presence. Additionally, I'm not only threatening Thailand, but also France. I think that my opponent's strongest play here would be to place 1 Malyasia and 3 France, but I honestly had no idea how he would react, so I didn't think the turn through much past AR1.

Luckily, my opponent's HL was Asia Scoring, so I placed Malyasia, Indonesia (so as not to present my opponent a coup target that grants access to Thailand), Algeria, Angola. I'd have liked to have Zaire as well in case my opponent wins a coup / counter coup war for Angola, but I figured I'd rather have Asia Dom and access to Thailand that isn't an easy coup target. I could see the case for Vietnam (less attractive coup target than Laos), Algeria, Angola, Zaire as well, but I really didn't want to get locked out of SE Asia based on a big coup in Vietnam.
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Michael Valentine

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mpatnik wrote:
My plan was to place Algeria, Malaysia, Angola, Zaire. I would coup Iran AR1.


My first thought when I posted this was 1 to Algeria, South Africa, Thailand and Malaysia, then on ar1 place 1 influence in France and 2 in Thailand. If I had Mideast like you did, then I think your plan is probably better. It may be better even without Mideast.

The other big consideration is when you have Duck & Cover in hand. That opens up a lot of different possibilities.

Maybe I'm wrong on this, but my gut says that a Decol opening that doesn't get Defectored is very strong and that I may be missing opportunities to exploit this.
 
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Kris Wei
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Decol is the most strong card in the beginning years - it gives you access to the 3 most valuable countries on the map - France, Angola and Thailand. However, it's not really strong as Turn 1 headline, for it's hard to defense these 3 all with a DEFCON 5.

Usually de-col with a D&C to France is the best choice, here's Algeria, Malaysia, Angola & Nigeria. D&C France AR1, coup Panama if opponent do not coup, then your opponent choose one: coup or go Thailand, you choose the other.

I do not recommend you play a de-col as T1 headline without D&C, since US would go 3 France 1 Malay/ 2 FR 1 Malay 1 Lebanon as response. Then you need enough luck to protect 2 of these 3: Thailand, Angola, Mil VP.

Also there are 2 strange plays: +1 Malay to block access / deploy Tunis for Libya, personally I do not play these but I think these ones are not THAT foolish, maybe useful in special scenarios.
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Keith Craig
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The one issue with using DeCol to enter BG in Africa is that you set up CIA to be a DEFCON suicide card whereas if you are not in those countries you can play CIA with much less risk.
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Michael Patnik
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Kris, why Nigeria instead of Zaire? It seems like a common sequence is:

AR1:
-USSR: D&C to France
-US: Inf to Malaysia + other

AR2:
-USSR: Coup Panama


At this point US has to choose between coup or Thailand. If he coups Angola he also gets Zaire if you placed Nigeria. US Angola + Zaire to USSR Nigeria seems worse than US Angola to USSR Zaire.
 
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King in Green
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More unusually I have seen Destalinization as a T1 headline for 2 Malaysia 1 France 1 Chile/ Venezuela (redirecting 1 if ME scoring), followed by AR1 Asia scoring. An early Destalinization or Decol seems to make the game quite fluid and harder to calculate as so much more of the board is accessible to both sides early on.
 
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Al Swearengen
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mpatnik wrote:
Kris, why Nigeria instead of Zaire?


Sorry to be a nag, but I'm wondering if you ever figured this out or got an answer from Sankt...

Either way, immense thanks to you and to Kris and to MichaelVal--and to everyone who has made the boards here and on Reddit such an incredible resource for relatively green players like me.

- Swearengen
 
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Michael Patnik
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I have not received an answer. Strangely, the situation has not come up for me at all yet. I will probably go Zaire when I get the opportunity.

I doubt that I'll ever experience enough of a sample to say for sure which play is better, so I'll just have to go by feel.
 
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Ben P
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mpatnik wrote:
I have not received an answer. Strangely, the situation has not come up for me at all yet. I will probably go Zaire when I get the opportunity.

I doubt that I'll ever experience enough of a sample to say for sure which play is better, so I'll just have to go by feel.


From reading sankt's advice, one of his consistent themes is prioritizing getting access to new regions/BGs. Nigeria is isolated and it takes control of Algeria, Zaire, and then at least 3 ops to safely control - plus if you don't control France then a Sahara coup puts Algeria at realign risk. Worst case scenario of Decol into Angola/Nigeria is that US immediately tries to realign you out - but since it's unlikely the have S.A. control by early war they're at -1. And if they're unsuccessful you can quickly drop an influence in Zaire/IC next turn.
 
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Kris Wei
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Well it's obvious - D&C is a 3op card and you can go both France & Zaire..

Also if your Zaire is couped away, you will also lose an empty Nigeria in later turns, or you lose military vps, that's really critical reason.
 
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Michael Valentine

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sankt wrote:
Well it's obvious - D&C is a 3op card and you can go both France & Zaire..

Also if your Zaire is couped away, you will also lose an empty Nigeria in later turns, or you lose military vps, that's really critical reason.


If you play an influence into Zaire on ar1, then necessarily you are not controlling France with D&C. USA plays a 4 op card to make France 4/2. With no Truman, it's probably foolish to get into an op war there, so you concede France to the USA for a gain of Nigeria. Doesn't seem worth it to me.
 
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Kris Wei
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MichaelVal wrote:
sankt wrote:
Well it's obvious - D&C is a 3op card and you can go both France & Zaire..

Also if your Zaire is couped away, you will also lose an empty Nigeria in later turns, or you lose military vps, that's really critical reason.


If you play an influence into Zaire on ar1, then necessarily you are not controlling France with D&C. USA plays a 4 op card to make France 4/2. With no Truman, it's probably foolish to get into an op war there, so you concede France to the USA for a gain of Nigeria. Doesn't seem worth it to me.


Sorry I mixed it up with de Gaulle, a too-early question then it's only the second reason, thanks for the remind!
 
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