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Subject: A game of two average players. Full report. rss

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Alexey Memelau
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I've decided to make an annotation for an asynchronous game on Playdek.
Maybe I'll see my mistakes here, so I hope to see comments here. I will post one turn a day.
Both of us are about 1650 rating.
I'm playing USSR, +2 US bonus.



His opening with +1 to Philippines is really unusual.
First thought: he wants to dump Asia scoring and afraid of Vietnam. My Decolonization however can handle it (I'm not willing to just spend 1IP to Philippines, but 4VP is 4VP).
Second thought: he wants to score Asian domination later this turn. This seems much less likely.
Even without such opening Decol + Defectors + D&C are really inviting me to headline Decol. Influence placement will depend on his headline. If it is Asia Scoring I'm going to go for France with D&C - that's Plan A.
Other cards for the turn. Truman - hopefully would play it safely to lose 1 Yugoslavia. Nasser - maybe event if on Defcon 2 he would not have 2 in Egypt, otherwise - OPs to leave it in the deck. Suez, Special Rel, Cambridge - OPS most probably. Hold card - Defectors, not a must hold to turn 3, but if nothing else - why not. If I'm going to play China (and I don't want at all, but you never know), second hold is probably Cambridge.

Headline
USSR Headline: Decolonization
US Headline: Middle East Scoring. +4=+4VP


Well, I'm -4VP. That happens. I could have prevented it with Nasser, but I don't think it was worse it, the chance that he had ME was only about 25-30%. And I'm yet not good in reads of unusual set-ups.
Now to my Decol. I still think he has an Asia Scoring. I'm not willing to let him dump it on AR1 for +1. And I still want France. Should I go with 3IP to SE Asia?
Second option is go Thailand and coup Iran with D&C. Bad thing is that I don't have any 4's. I can't then control France (if he'll go France - that wouldn't be the case of course) and Thailand in one move on AR2. Oh, wait. I have China.
Finally I've selected the second option. I don't really want to start coup war in SE Asia. I'll also give him an opportunity to play AR1 Asia. Positional advantage I can get from it seems valuable. I decide to go with IP to SA. This can be the threat for him to counter coup, as I can then grab Angola.

Decolonization. Event: Algeria 0/1, South Africa 1/1, Thailand 0/1, Burma 0/1
AR1
USSR AR1: Duck & Cover. Event: +1=+5VP, Defcon 4.
Duck & Cover. Coup Iran, roll 6. Iran 0/3, Defcon 3, USSR MilOps 3


Lucky roll. He's not going to recoup Iran I guess. May coup Algeria, may go for France and Malaysia, may play Asia scoring now. Anyway with US +5VP on Turn 1 I'm not likely to steamroll him early. Need to prepare for a long game.

US AR1: NATO. Coup Iran, roll 6. Iran 3/0, Defcon 2, US MilOps 4

His 6 is a fair response. Now, ideally I want to go: 3 France, 1 Angola, 1 Lebanon, 1 India, 1 Malaysia, 2 Iraq. Where is my 9 Ops card? Ah, I also want to play Nasser before he is in Egypt.
Decol has opened the position before, why not open it even more. I decide 1 Angola (I really want it), 1 France (ok, I'll let him take it for another 4 Ops), 1 India (do you care about Pakistan, Mr. President?). This way it seems likely, that I'll use China card this turn.

AR2
USSR AR2: Suez Crisis. Influence 1 France 0/1, 1 Angola 0/1, 1 India 0/1
US AR2: US/Japan. Influence 3 Pakistan 3/0, 1 Malaysia 1/0


How many more 4's does he have? Now I need my China card. Ok, he may hold 2 cards through reshuffle, but it is only De-Stal that really matters. Can save him from T2 Blockade, but well, I can't just give up so much in Asia.
Now influence placement. 1 Thailand without doubt. I'll need 1 more, later this turn, but not now. Can go 4 SKorea, but is there a point in conceding India (with my current Ops I probably will). I decide 2 India, 1 Burma (a defense against IP war, Asian domination at least for the next AR). Last IP goes to S. Korea, some threat at least. Could be 1 Malaysia, but it seems much weaker.

AR3
USSR AR3: China Card. Influence 2 India 0/3, 1 Thailand 0/2, 1 Burma 0/2, 1 SKorea 1/1
US AR3: COMECON. Influence 1 Malaysia 2/0, 1 Indonesia 1/0, 1 Lebanon 1/0.


He has defended Asia and grabbed Lebanon. ME will need some attention next turn. First COMECON. Germany and Poland, I take Bulgaria for access to Greece after Truman and Czechoslovakia for Late War, not much to think about.
Next I have options:
1) Take France. He can have DeGaulle - that's why he is hesitant or he just wanted to defend Asia. Anyway, take it while you can.
2) Take Laos and Vietnam. Funny move, not for my Ops. And he can still take Afghanistan to deny Domination. No, I probably let him play it next AR.
3) Play Nasser. Now is a good time. Seems like a better option than #2, but Europe has more value.
4) Take Iraq. Well, I should do it some time. Hope next turn I'll have some more Ops in my hand.
5) Space Race Special Relationship. You didn't see it coming, did you? Sorry, I'm not so cool.

COMECON. Event: E.Germany 0/5, Poland 0/5, Bulgaria 0/1, Czechoslovakia 0/1
AR4
USSR AR4: Cambridge Five. Influence 2 France 0/3


Now it seems that I hold Special Relationship and Defectors, but things still may become grim, and I'll have to use Defectors. Actually I hope he's playing Asia Scoring next AR to play Nasser.

US AR4: Marshal Plan. Event: Turkey 1/0, Greece 1/0, Italy 4/0, Spain 1/0, W. Germany 5/0, UK 6/0, Canada 3/0

Hm. I've made him worry about Europe, that's good. By the way, he had a really nice hand. My plan is ready, I don't see any reasons to change it.

AR5
USSR AR5: Nasser. Event: Egypt 0/2


What AR6 is he preparing for me. My plan is to go Thailand with Truman. This leaves France open for control-break. Another option is to overcontrol both France and Thailand. Still he can go India. I guess I'll leave France.

US AR5: EEU. Influence 1 Spain 2/0, 1 Greece 2/0, 1 Turkey 2/0

A bit too much love for Europe from my point of view. Now I'm more concerned about France. Still I go Truman.

AR6
USSR AR6: Truman. Event: Yugoslavia 0/0
Truman. Influence 1 Thailand 0/3
US AR6: 5YP. Influence 2 France 2/3


Really. 21 Ops in his 6 ARs. And no Asia Scoring.
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Randy Evans
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Did you mean to post a different screen shot at the top?

 
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I'm your huckleberry
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Is it not the situation at the end of Turn 1?
 
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King in Green
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If you thought he had Asia then you should probably have put 1 in Laos or Indonesia to dominate, especially as you are couping DEFCON to 3. I think I might have placed in Indonesia + Malaysia and taken France with D&C AR1.
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Fred Shugars
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neilwassell74 wrote:
Is it not the situation at the end of Turn 1?


No. It is the situation at set-up.
 
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Alexey Memelau
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Screenshot is fixed.

Paul Harding wrote:
If you thought he had Asia then you should probably have put 1 in Laos or Indonesia to dominate, especially as you are couping DEFCON to 3. I think I might have placed in Indonesia + Malaysia and taken France with D&C AR1.

I was too afraid to start coup war in Malaysia, that could lock me out completely (even though I had China card).
I agree with Laos instead of Burma. I should have done it as I was pretty sure he had the scoring. However, he could have a chance to get to India faster than me if my AR1 coup failed.

A side question. What do you think about +1 to Philippines? I've never seen such opening before, but now it doesn't seem bad for me.
 
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King in Green
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I have used it. It suggests that the US will headline or play Asia early, and does not have Vietnam in hand. I'm not sure why your opponent did it here, unless they were bluffing. It stopped you going with Nasser anyway!

I wouldn't be too scared of coups, especially if both sides have access already.
 
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Alexey Memelau
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That bluff definitely was successful.
Now turn 2 (I've already messed up and posted screenshot from it before).



Well, De-Stal is something. No CIA is good. Besides that - I'm very low on Ops. RSP is somewhere, about 50% that he has it. If it hits me now, I'll consider the game lost, well, almost lost. As for the headline I see 3 options here.
1) Indo-Pakistan. I want to fix France - goodbye Angola, but the war will at least save me MilOps. Chance to flip Pakistan and gain myself a domination is a nice bonus.
2) De-Stal. With the scenario above I prefer using it on AR2 going Zaire, Nigeria, Chile, Venezuela.
3) Dump Asia scoring. No, I'm not giving up yet. Anyway I want to use IP war, no reasons to do it after the scoring.

Headline
US Headline: Containment
USSR Headline: IP War.
IP war: Event: Pakistan, Failure. USSR MilOps 2


I plan to use every card and UN the Special Relationship. Maybe I'll go space race with it and hold UN. But for now I start with Defectors. He's probably having another monster hand with his Containment so my win chances are shrinking even more (I'd estimate them as 10-15%).

AR1
USSR AR1: Defectors. Influence 2 France 2/5.
Defectors. Event: US +1=+6VP
US AR1: NORAD. Coup Algeria, roll 2. Algeria 1/0. Defcon 2, US MilOps 4


He has chosen a harder way. Bad roll leaves a door for me. I can't take Algeria, but it seems 1IP may be valuable later. There is nothing that pushes me to play De-Stal right now, so with position still open I want to play Algeria and S.Korea. He'll easily defend Algeria, but it's harder with Korea. His nasty move can be threatening Libya which I'll have to respond, but I still have a resource for it.
I can also play Asia scoring now, I won't get domination as he can defend against it easily with his current countries and Ops advantage. I may be in trouble if his hand have no problems and he'll attack me all the way to AR6, but I think I should have a room to play it later.

AR2
USSR AR2: Vietnam Revolts. Influence 1 Algeria 1/1, 1 S.Korea 1/2
US AR2: Blockade. Influence 2 Algeria 3/1
Blockade. Event: US discards Olympic games.


He doesn't have Arabi War. Fidel or SocGovs he may plan to hold, I'm not sure about DeGaulle but I would kick him in this situation as well. Not very valuable information, but still something.
I decide to take Korea with Korean war. I don't like to hold Asia scoring for long but taking Korea is a shot for the whole game. He'll probably respond in Afghanistan, maybe use China to take Japan and Afghanistan if he'll be really threatened. I'll be ok with it, using China means losing 1 Op from Containment.

AR3
USSR AR3: Korean War. Influence 2 S.Korea 1/4
US AR3: Romanian abdication. Influence 2 Afghanistan 2/0
Romanian abdication. Event: Romania 0/3


He's bringing some food for DeStal. I still can threaten Asia Domination with my 2 Ops remaining, but that seems foolish. He'll take Japan and create a threat somewhere - I'll be in trouble.
I want this 2 Ops for something more valuable (protect France, go Zaire or protect Angola).

AR4
USSR AR4: Asia Scoring. -2=+4VP
US AR4: Captured Nazis. Event: US Space 1, +2=+6VP


Some more VP's for him, with bad luck the game will end in MidWar. I usually play Scientists for event in this situation. Under Containment it may be less tempting but still ok.
And now for my DeStal. The forth Influence will go from Czechoslovakia as Independent Reds are not gone yet.
Influence placement: Nigeria, Chile and Venezuela are more or less obvious. 4th can go Mexico, but here I feel like I need to be more defensive and place second point to Venezuela. With 0/1 an AR6 to Colombia will be an auto-move for US, so I'll probably need to control Venezuela next AR (this is the investment I clearly want to defend). While I have only 2 Ops for the last AR this cuts my possibilities in half.

AR5
USSR AR5: De-Stalinization. Event: -3 Romania 0/0, -1 Czechoslovakia 0/0, 1 Chile 0/1, 2 Venezuela 0/2, 1 Nigeria 0/1
US AR5: CIA Created. Influence 2 Israel 3/0
AR6
USSR AR6: UN-Intervention. Event: Special Relationship. Influence 1 France 2/6, 1 Thailand 0/4


Last minute thought. He may have a view on my Thailand as he still has China card. While I'm sort of ok losing India or Korea, Thailand is too big VP swing with the upcoming SE Asia Scoring. Again, too defensive for me and I don't like that move actually.
Now I need to hope for a round of good Ops.

US AR6: Independent Reds. Influence. 2 Tunisia 2/0, 1 Israel 4/0
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I'm your huckleberry
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I think we were looking at different pictures....the initial one had influence in Angola, which is certainly not set up! It has now been changed.
 
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neilwassell74 wrote:
I think we were looking at different pictures....the initial one had influence in Angola, which is certainly not set up! It has now been changed.
reply to Fred...
 
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Alexey Memelau
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Turn 3



Cards that he has: Nuclear Test Ban, Formosan, Arab-Israeli War, De Gaulle. I had a better draw this time.
All of them will suffer from RSP. Actually almost every other cards left except 2 scorings, CIA and NORAD will. And as the chances of his Defectors are pretty low (22%) I'm willing to risk.
Having a scoring card which your opponent knows you have is usually high on the list of unpleasant things. But with good overcontrol, it will be one empty round (at least it scores 1VP for me).
Plans for the turns are: do something in ME, do something in South Africa (region not just country), build a base in South America, at least take Laos.
Plan A is to play D&C. Yes, I'm giving up some points. Yes, maybe it's wrong.

Headline
USSR Headline: RSP
US Headline: Olympic games.
Olympic games. Event: US wins +2=+8VP
AR1
USSR AR1: D&C. Influence 2 Libya 0/2, 1 Iraq 0/2
D&C. Event: +3=+11VP, Defcon 2


I could win it right here in headline. Maybe if the position was even worse I'd think of such opportunity. So +11VP for US now. What about the chances, is there 5% left for me?

US AR1: Nuclear Test Ban. Influence 1 Jordan 1/0, 1 Thailand 1/4

He uses his heavy weapon and is left with low Ops but he still has China. I'm ignoring Jordan but I can't give him cheap SE countries. Hesitating a bit about Vietnam but I shouldn't be greedy. It's at least 2VP for SE Asia and a valuable country for total count. Now he may take Japan which I'm interested in. Maybe he'll take Taiwan, in that case I'll have an easy S. Africa realignment.

AR2
USSR AR2: Warsaw Pact. Influence 1 Laos 0/1, 1 Vietnam 0/1, 1 S. Africa 1/2
US AR2: Arab-Israeli War. Influence 1 Jordan 2/0
Arab-Israeli War. Event: Failure. USSR MilOps 2
AR3
USSR AR3: Europe scoring. -1=+10VP


He defended against the war but it still gives me 2VP for MilOps or at least I don't need a coup anymore. I decide to play my obligation now to make the end of a turn stronger.
I'm not sure now that I want to realign, I can fail and I'm probably losing one Op. I need to take Zaire this turn before something like Puppet Govs come into play. I want to make Venezuela 3 and probably play into Brazil. I'd like to have an influence in Saudi Arabia.
My hold card may be Japan or Fidel, depending on how the turn will go further.

US AR3: Formosan Treaty: Influence 1 Botswana 1/0

He's escaping while he can, at least it is a second target for an early Che.
I play into South Africa, I'd like to fortify Angola as well, but for now I go to Zaire and add one more to SA.

AR4
USSR AR4: Independent Reds. Influence 1 S. Africa 1/3, 1 Zaire 0/1
Independent Reds. Event: Bulgaria 1/1
US AR4: UN Intervention. Event: De-Gaulle. Influence 1 Botswana 2/0, 1 Zimbabwe 1/0


He now have access to Zaire, but I don't want to spend Ops couping and giving him target for gaining MilOps. My African countries are vulnerable to influence placement but probably not under RSP. Now I'm not overcontrolling them all anyway.
I decide to play Fidel, because it's a card he knows I have (by the way, he played all cards I knew). He knows I still have Social Governments but in this position it's just a pure 3 Ops card.
Hold card US/Japan will at least secure that I have some Ops in turn 4. If I'll have Asia Scoring I can play it before US/Japan, if he'll have it, maybe he'll take Japan and make the card free for me. Now I can't hope to play it with UN which could be the best option of course.

AR5
USSR AR5: Fidel. Event: Cuba 0/3
US AR5: Special Relationship. Influence 1 S. Africa 2/3
AR6
USSR AR6: Soc. Governments. Influence 2 S. Africa 2/5, 1 Venezuela 0/3


I choose overcontrolling Venezuela over spreading to Brazil (or going S. Arabia or overovercontrolling Thailand). Now it's more vulnerable to Brush War or strong coup, but it's less vulnerable to VoA or weak coup.
Something gives me the feeling that he'll go with 2 IP to Thailand with his China (as he seems keen to break control on the last AR). Well, in Mid War there'll be more possibilities to deal with it.

US AR6: China Card, 3 Influence India 3/3
MilOps: -2=+8VP


Prediction not perfect but close. Checkpoint reached: Mid War, that was not hard for USSR. Next checkpoint: Late War, not guaranteed yet. I'll make it step-by-step.

 
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Alexey Memelau
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Turn 4



Not bad. No great events, but good on Ops.
I choose between CMC and Korean War for a headline.
The benefits of the second: +1 Op for the turn, +1 net VP, 50% chance of removing his ability to break two Asian countries, 2 MilOps. The drawback is a coup as I want to fix India.
Well that's bad, but I have a plan of placing one to Colombia, that can be a good threat for him. Plenty of his headlines can hurt me of course.
I choose Korea as CMC seems dull, while I have a serious disadvantage why not just have fun.

Headline
US Headline: VoA
USSR Headline: Korean War


This is a best example of him hurting me. Predictions: Chile, Angola, Zaire, Nigeria? Or how about Libya, Egypt with him having ME Scoring.

VoA. Event: Libya 0/0, Thailand 1/2
Korean War. Event: Success, US MilOps 2, -2=+6VP, S.Korea 0/5


That was unpredictable (Thailand I mean), I can see Sadat in his hand for sure. If he plays it, I'm faced with a really crucial Egypt coup next AR. Or maybe I'll go the other way, not sure yet.
And yeah, this war is mine. And I'm fixing Asia as planned (without Colombia of course), I even don't lose the China Card bonus this way.
I'm tired of all that breaking every turn, no more AR1 Asia fixing after I play the scoring (now I really hope for the domination).

AR1
USSR AR1: China Card. Influence 3 India 3/6, 2 Thailand 1/4
US AR1: Portuguese Empire. Coup Zaire, roll 1. Zaire 0/0, US MilOps 2, Defcon 2


Very unlucky for him. And using PE here I treat as a sign of weakness. The outcome of an event is probably best out of possible (assuming he'd not played it for me if I didn't control Angola). I even get Africa Domination, certainly he has a shot on SE States and will probably coup it some time, but that will keep him busy for an AR.
I'm taking opportunities given to me by luck.

AR2
USSR AR2: CMC. Influence 1 Zaire 0/1, 2 Libya 0/2
US AR2: Decolonization. Space Race: Success


But even if it is weakness - I have no time to waste relaxing. Grab what you can.
Asian Domination now.

AR3
USSR AR3: Asia Scoring. -6=0VP
US AR3: Bear Trap. Influence 3 Saudi Arabia 3/0


That's good for me I think. Bear Trap is out for some time, this turn plenty of blue cards are gonna be played and I'm not in big trouble yet. If he's also gonna have CIA in his hand - it would be a great present for me.
As for ME I'm not counting on my domination anyway, now I just need to take Iraq to prevent his. Of course Sadat will come, but even if it will before the scoring it is not very critical 3 or 4 VP. Africa or South America provide more possibilities right now.
For me it's time to use the beast released by Asia Scoring. Technically I can retain domination by grabbing Taiwan, but I have better things to do with 4 Ops. At last I can secure my African battleground (not completely, of course, but still t looks better this way).

AR4
USSR AR4: US/Japan. Influence 2 Brazil 0/2, 1 Iraq 0/3, 1 Zaire 0/2
US/Japan. Event: Japan 4/0


Now I can play Panama canal. Still it's unpleasant, as every influence is nice for him, Panama is just a pure Op, Costa Rica is a way to threaten Cuba on AR7 and Venezuela is an acess to my precious battlegrounds. Still I need to play it this turn, I don't like it to be my hold card. Zimbabwe looks a nice usage for this 1 Op (and I haven't had a coup since T1AR1).
NORAD is going to be my hold card, the later I play the less damage it will make. Second may be SALT if everything goes well this turn or some of the nastiness (though the Pope I'm probably going to play for the Ops anyway).

US AR4: ME Scoring. 0=0VP

Good for me, empty round for him. I should say, this turn is moving the game my side, I'm not sure about 50% but it's somewhere close to it.
Now all the Early regions are scored and it's time to concentrate on Mid war. For now I think I have time to go spacing Ussuri, no reason to play it even with the scored Asia.
Panama for coup is still waiting, maybe he'll want to play Panama or Costa Rica himself next AR, making an event a bit less useful.

AR5
USSR AR5: Ussuri River. Space Race: Success -1=-1VP


That's a really nice result, the dice continues to favor me this turn. Not just because of 1 VP, now One Small Step becomes a great event for me. It's threat may even make him space something that he otherwise wanted to play for Ops.

US AR5: Suez Crisis. Event: France 0/6, Israel 2/0

A good time for him to play Suez. All targets have influence but for each it's only relatively useful. I ignore Britain because it's only Special Relationship that can matter and it's gone till turn 7. For France he can have a chance to realign me with +4, at least he'll need 3 more Ops for control. Israel is no hurry, but at least 1 Op he'll need to fix sooner or later (the other is probably Camp David) and I can drop something there as an anchor meanwhile.

Suez Crisis. Influence 2 Israel 4/0, 1 Panama 2/0

Sooner, he decides. As for Panama, smile is on my face right now.

AR6
USSR AR6: Panama Canal. Coup Zimbabwe, roll 3. Zimbabwe 0/1, USSR MilOps 3
Panama Canal. Event: Panama 3/0, Costa Rica 1/0, Venezuela 1/3


Africa is never locked (Nuclear Subs and Rear Guards are still in deck). But this way to prevent a domination he'll need a bigger effort.

US AR6: Muslim revolutions. Space Race: Failure

Dice is my pal this turn. Now when he has spent most of the turn struggling I'm sure he has something for his AR7 (possibly Nicaragua, maybe something like Mexico + Nicaragua for a Domination). While I'm using the Pope (as I want to save SALT for possible troubles in turn 5) I have a small counter-play.
One influence to fix Poland, certainly not leaving it uncontrolled, but with Warsaw Pact in discard he won't be too aggressive there, so not more than 1 IP.
Second influence goes to Colombia. Even if he coups big there - that's not very critical, but probably he doesn't have a plan to spend everything on a coup and I gain a temporary domination for myself. Of course leaving an empty Brazil is not good, but just placing an influence there is dull.

AR7
USSR AR7: John Paul II. Event: Poland 1/3
John Paul II. Influence 1 Poland 1/4, 1 Colombia 0/1
US AR7: Allende. Coup Colombia, roll 6. Colombia 4/0, US MilOps 3


Good, I don't want a dice to trick with him all the time. With Allende he probably waited the same way, I did with Panama. I just had more targets to play to before Chile.
 
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Alexey Memelau
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Turn 5



First thought: that's a good hand. Even better than just "good". I'd like to have one of the great US events for spacing, but, boy, I'm asking for too much.
Headline decision doesn't look hard for me. There are two cards threatening my headline directly: Defectors and Missile Envy. First says: "Don't headline ABM", second: "Headline ABM". The threat of a second seems much bigger for me.
The third headline card I have in mind is SA scoring and that also votes for ABM. Furthermore, if not ABM then what? So, that's decided.
Plan A is coup Algeria, coup again on AR1 if 1-2, 4-6 - coup something else I'm not very interested in, maybe even with Kitchen Debates, a roll of 3 - bad luck, but same actions as for 4-6 probably.
Plan B is to react on his headline, but this I'll think about after seeing his headline.
Hold card (if not stroke by Grain Sales) is certainly a Doctrine.

Headline
USSR Headline: ABM treaty
US Headline: Grain Sales


Does it change my plan? Probably not. I'm going for Algeria coup and wish him to draw a new Kitchen for himself. At least not SALT. Anything in between I'll consider an ok result.

ABM Treaty. Event: coup Algeria, roll 5, Algeria 0/3, Defcon 3, USSR MilOps 4
Grain Sales. Event: SALT


A good coup result for me answered by a best possible draw for him. Now, will he be bold enough to play SALT for event, opening the game, getting my ABM that features nice realignment opportunities for France or who knows what else.
Or is it just a counter-coup in Nigeria. I'm afraid of the first opportunity and hope that he'll think I have Africa Scoring in my hand.

Grain Sales. Event: SALT, coup Brazil, roll 3. Brazil 0/0, Defcon 2. US MilOps 3

My predictions fail again, but I'm glad with it.
Now for my reactions and a whole turn planning. When I was anticipating Nigerian coup, I thought about Brezhnev Doctrine on AR1, but not now of course. I need to defend Brazil now and playing Doctrine later seems a waste. So it becomes Ops, possibly even on AR1. Well it has somewhere about 45% to come back into my hand in the Late War and that can be a lifesaver, so why not.
Cultural Revolution was planned for Ops, it is still more probable now, but I'll think about it later. Having in mind his possible (but not very probable play of 5YP). If it's done before him playing China - I'll have a counter (unless 5YP hits the Revolution itself).
Kitchen and two 2's are certain Ops. I've counted battlegrounds and they are +10 for me now. Wow, that's a big advantage, now I'm sure I'm somewhere ahead in win probabilities.
Two US 3's are interesting. Not entirely safe, not entirely bad, somewhere on the edge. It's very likely he's gonna space something this turn and I'm going to space something in response to block his bonus (and deal with one of the events, of course). So, some thoughts for each of them.
Shuttle Diplomacy: Both scoring cards are gone till reshuffle, so current position hardly tell the outcome. About 2% that we don't see both of them them anymore (left in the deck, somehow discarded or just an early autowin) - that's 0VP. In Asia I don't have domination now, so it's 1VP, I can go Taiwan but he can go mad and grab Laos (well, not that mad after all, 3 Ops for 2VP, why not). More probable for me seems a scenario of him retaking one of my battlegrounds later (for example, with a return of Ussuri), that will mean 5VP from SD. A net of about 2-2.5 VPs, I think. More clear in ME. It is 3VP right now. Sadat will probably eat my Egypt soon but will reduce the outcome to 1VP. In the Late War Muslim Revolutions, Hostage Crisis or Barracks Bombing can make ME even again. Still about same 2-2.5 VPs. After the calculations playing it for Ops looks less attractive.
NORAD: An outcome is really hard to predict. If played for Ops, it's gonna be on my AR7 and I'll try to make a play that would make it hard for him to respond while adding IP to Canada. Anyway it will cost him 1 Op to start the event and can be cancelled by Quagmire right afterwards if I'm lucky. Even if not, there are multiple possibilities of reducing Defcon in headline and later Reformer, Pershing or SocGovs can remove control in Canada. That's good. But if it will hurt me, it can hurt me badly. Thailand, India, Venezuela, S.Africa, Poland - do they all need an overcontrol? Even if they do, I can't afford that much. So it's a risk hardly calculated in terms of VP, but I'm going to take it. At least it will require his Op investment to benefit from the event.
That was lots of writing and I'm yet not done with my AR1. Two possibilities. Simple one is to take Brazil and place 1 in Argentina (that's a defense from Puppets, Junta and OAS). If he has SA scoring (and, judging by the coup target, he does) - ok no Domination for me now but a view on control later. Tricky one is 1 Brazil and 2 Peru to get Domination and try to hold for the turn. I don't like it - losing a position for a guess. T1 Asia Scoring guess had already failed for me. After all, it's a possible 2 VP gain now and a certain country loss (which is at least 2 VP later).

AR1
USSR AR1: Brezhnev Doctrine. Influence 2 Brazil 0/2, 1 Argentina 0/1
US AR1. Nuclear Subs. Event


That's how trouble looks like. It makes clear why he didn't coup Africa. He certainly has it on agenda. Natural response - go to the non-battlegrounds. I may want to control Argentina first. But I decide to save my last safe 3 for later. It can be used to grab 2-stability battleground after a not very successful coup.
First target can be Nigeria, so I set-up a counter-realign there. If it will be a successful Argentina coup my response is going to be Uruguay.

AR2
USSR AR2: Vietnam Revolts. Influence 1 Saharan States 0/1, 1 Cameroon 0/1


And some time after I realized it may be a mistake. Now Angola coup opens the door to Zaire without realignment threat. My move should have been Botswana realign with 1 Op.

US AR2: 5YP. Coup Brazil, roll 1. US MilOps 5

Phew, that missed. I can't understand his intentions. Does he have SA scoring? Why is he ignoring Africa? Of course he knows I don't have a scoring, so I can expect he's gonna look there closer to the end of the turn.
With his unlucky roll I have a breathing room. I want to use Kitchen and stay fully prepared for the rest of the turn. Plan A out of what I've written earlier: realign Botswana. Checking the chances - 27.8% of a total failure. Plan B - fix Argentina. Of course I want him to continue with his SA rolls, that are -0.5 Ops against +1.5 in Africa. I'm sure he's gonna get at least something out of Africa till the end of the turn, so no dreams of saving control. But to take away my domination (not for himself, though) he needs at least 3 rounds out of 5. I doubt he has a fully unproblematic hand.
So I go plan B. If he continues in SA and succeed at last, my response will be Uruguay with Brandt. If he goes Africa I'll see then.

AR3
USSR AR3: Kitchen Debates. Influence 1 Argentina 0/2


So, I'm well prepared I think. 11 Ops, all of them usable if needed. He's probably out of 4's (maybe Junta is actually a 4 for him now). On a space race I'll respond with SD unless his space card is Quagmire, then I'll space NORAD.

US AR3: U-2. Coup Brazil, roll 4, Brazil 1/0
U-2. Event: -1=-2VP
AR4
USSR AR4: Cultural Revolution. Influence 3 Brazil 1/3


Not a bad roll this time, but still a touch to low.
The plan was set, response is clear. We are trading 3 Ops while the rounds are ticking.
By the way, I'm currently +12 in battlegrounds count. Can't remember being so strong as USSR while being so even in VPs.

US AR4: China Card. Coup Brazil, roll 5, Brazil 3/0
AR5
USSR AR5: Willy Brandt. Influence 2 Uruguay 0/2


Right. He actually had one 4 Ops. The response is pre-planned.
3 rounds for him. If he has SA Scoring - no room for failure.

US AR5: Defectors. Realignment Venezuela 1/0, Cuba 0/2

Big rolls for him. At least Cuba is only -1. I can forget about spacing something this turn, but that's not a big problem. Still the plan is to play NORAD last round.
Now I need to ask myself, how confident is I that he has SA Scoring. Not 100%, but close to it. He'll be able to control Venezuela, but does he have 3 Ops to defend both SA countries. My guess is no (ok, maybe he's planning to Quagmire himself).

AR6
USSR AR6: Shuttle Diplomacy. Influence 1 Brazil 3/1, 1 Cuba 0/3
US AR6: Indo-Pakistani War. Influence 2 Venezuela 3/0
AR7
USSR AR7: NORAD. Influence 2 Brazil 3/3


And now, am I right? Or am I left?
And before I find it out, some game overview.
There are 30 cards in the deck, we're gonna draw 16 next turn (9 for me, 7 for him), 14 left, so turn 7 reshuffle as planned.
The most important cards to draw next turn are: Africa Scoring (I don't want it to be T7, even less I want it to be AskNoted), Quagmire (and with defectors out headline will be clear), Colonial Guards (to space or to hold), Junta (for both of us a nice card to control an opened Brazil, assuming he can't patch it this turn). The most important not to draw are of course CIA and Gunman, OAS with less priority.

US AR7: SA Scoring. -4=-6VP
 
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Alexey Memelau
Belarus
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Posting was delayed but not cancelled.
Turn 6



One card I forgot to mention last time is One Small Step. Doesn't matter now, I didn't get it anyway.
Out of 4 (5) desired cards I've got 1, however no cards that I've feared, so it's good. And even better from Ops standpoint. I have 2.56 (not counting China, I don't see it being used this turn even after a quick glance) average. The remaining deck is only 1.78 average.
Nothing that I should fear here. Camp David and Sadat are a certain death for Egypt, but that's inevitable. Puppet Govs, after a preparation that we both gonna have in CA this turn, become mostly useless. I have two out of three remaining 4 Ops and the third is WWBY. NATO is a perfect feed for Missile Envy if it will be his headline. EEU looks like a perfect hold and play on T7.
What really pleases me is Junta + Theology combination. With Brazil and Mexico being the last two open battlegrounds it just calls for Headline + AR1 grab (and Defectors are out).
What's good in Junta headline is that it leaves a good room for reaction. I can go for Defcon drop or leave it for AR1 if I feel the need to change the plan. Last card in hand Arms Race and I'd like to play it for 3 Ops if I can. That contradicts with my plan and asks for a big AR1 coup. Second reason for a big coup is a defense against HILTSW. I think I need more than just 2 MilOps to be sure not to give away 3 VPs to him.
Anyway, headline is Junta, and then I'll react.

Headline
USSR Headline: Junta
US Headline: Colonial Rear Guards


Yes, his biggest remaining threat (I can expect others back at turn 8). My AR1 is gonna be just mirroring his move with Flower Power.
The headline however is not so clear. Two options again: safe - 2 in Brazil, coup in Panama (wouldn't flip it anyway, but will drop Defcon), hope he'll not take Mexico on AR1 (does he have anything else to take on this board?), risky - 2 in Mexico, coup Brazil (50% to succeed).

Colonial Rear Guards. Event: Burma 1/2, Laos 1/1, Vietnam 1/1, Thailand 2/4

He has SE Asia and he doesn't have Africa. That's how I understand it. Africa seems to be turn 7 and is very vulnerable to Ask Not. That's bad, but I'll think about it tomorrow. For now 3 SE countries are priority fix, Thailand is not, as I have a China Card and there is no other cards that can shake it now except Brush War. Still I think I'll need to spend 1 Op there later this turn (remembering that NORAD is in play now, though not activated for this turn). It means I have one more free Op for Brazil and my success chances for a Junta coup are actually 66%. I'm going to take it.

Junta. Event: Mexico 0/2, coup Brazil, roll 2, Defcon 2
AR1
USSR AR1: Flower Power. Influence 1 Burma 1/3, 1 Laos 1/2, 1 Vietnam 1/2, 1 Brazil 3/4


The coup was no success, but now he'll need 3 Ops. Those are left in the deck: Brush War, Alliance for Progress, Ask Not, Che, OPEC, Quagmire. Maybe Alliance only is an ok play for ops for him, others look like sacrifices. Even if he takes Brazil, it becomes a nice set-up for Debt Crisis later.

US AR1: Brush War. Event: Brazil, success, Brazil 7/0, +1=-5VP, US MilOps 3

Ok, he tried his luck and it was with him. He could control Brazil, but certainly 7/0 is better than 6/4 for him. Frankly, I was expecting him to use Brush War this turn, but on Mexico, not Brazil. Now Arms Race is mostly irrelevant, I don't think that I want to use my NATO on a not very interesting coup, and even then he can just coup back and become unreachable. Now I choose between 2 plays.
1) Liberation Theology in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Haiti. This way it is just a +1 Op card, of course, but I'm lucky to be in a position where I don't need much more from it actually (I can also break Panama, but it seems a waste for me). Advantage of such play is that it mostly (but not completely) frees Puppet Governments to be played.
2) Sadat to place 1 in Egypt. Losing influence in Egypt is an obligation, losing any presence is not. He's most likely to control it with one of the various neutral 2 Ops left. Why not. Still I'll have an influence anchor for a now vulnerable Libya and I'll make Muslim Revolutions more threatening. The only possible drawback is allowing him to use OPEC early for less VP damage.
Choosing between the options I select the one he'll have to react immediately.

AR2
USSR AR2: Sadat. Event: Egypt 1/0
Sadat. Influence 1 Egypt 1/1
US AR2: Latin American Squads. Influence 2 Egypt 3/1


Yes, as expected, probably the least important 2 Ops. And now, let the coup war begin. He's gonna coup me in Guatemala, I guess. This time I wouldn't hesitate to use big Ops. I really want MilOps and a lock there. Cuba is less vulnerable or at least he'll need more ARs to deal with it.

AR3
USSR AR3: Liberation Theology. Event: Guatemala 0/1, Haiti 0/1, Nicaragua 0/1
US AR3: Quagmire. Space Race, failure


The fact that he spaces Quagmire means that he has something better (or worse) to hold. It can be OPEC, but OPEC is 2VP only and can be decreased to 1VP but control break. So most likely he has exactly one of Lone Gunman or Ask Not. Anyway turn 7 draw will decide a lot.
As a response I need to space now to not let him make a second attempt. I have two good candidates: Puppet Govs and Camp David. Any of them is ok for Ops but, Camp David is -1VP and Puppet is his way to cheap CA countries or maybe Peru or Czechoslovakia. I go with spacing Puppets because it's better to play Camp David before possible Muslim Revolutions in case I will fight for Egypt later.

AR4
USSR AR4: Puppet Govs. Space Race, failure


Ah. Ok, he still has a second attempt.

US AR4: SE Asia Scoring. -2=-7VP

Ok, maybe try a coup now. I can't wait for him to start couping for too long. I need MilOps better sooner than later. He still needs to place influence in Canada, so maybe Arms Race will work.

AR5
USSR AR5: NATO. Coup Colombia, roll 1, Colombia 1/0, USSR MilOps 4


Luckily it was not a very important coup, but still...

US AR5: CIA Created. Influence 1 Canada 4/0
AR6
USSR AR6: Arms Race. Event: -3=-10VP


Why not. I don't have much places for influence placement now anyway.

US AR6: Summit. Coup Zimbabwe, roll 5, Zimbabwe 3/0, US MilOps 4

Need to have a look, do I care about Zimbabwe now? Not yet. And anyway I have some places I want to fortify preparing for his NORAD. One more place, besides NORAD targets, that is still troubling me is Iraq under -2 realignment if he'll get to it somehow.

AR7
USSR AR7: Camp David. Influence 1 Thailand 2/5, 1 Poland 1/5
Camp David. Event: Egypt 4/1, Israel 5/0, Jordan 3/0, +1=-9VP


Fortification is good, but anyway what I want for a headline now is HILTSW, can save me from troubles.
I'm out of African Scoring autovictory but now I'll be happy if it is played in the game at all.

US AR7: SA Unrest. Space Race, failure
 
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Alexey Memelau
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Turn 7



Poor Africa. We won't see you scoring till the end.
I don't know, whether he had Gunman or Ask Not, anyway he has got the second one now.
His hand: Africa Scoring, OAS, Lone Gunman, Cambridge Five, HILTSW, One Small Step, Ask Not, Alliance for Progress, 1 unknown card.
He is going to play Ask Not, of course. Discard Africa and Gunman, maybe even C5 and OSS. The question is whether is he headlining it or not. He has also OAS and HILTSW option. Anyway I don't see a headline other than Missile Envy. With Ask Not it has a higher probability to hit something bad or useless (NTB, Arms Race, DeGaulle). At least, there is no risk of Defcon suicide and if I get a coup in a headline (and steal his Alliance) - that's a very big reward.

Headline
USSR Headline: Missile Envy
US Headline: Ask Not


My guess is that he's going to discard C5, OSS and HILTSW to maximize his chances of avoiding my headline coup. Of course, if his unknown card is not something I've mentioned.

Ask Not. Event: Lone Gunman, Asia Scoring, Africa Scoring, One Small Step, Cambridge Five
Missile Envy. Event: NTB, Defcon 5, -1=-10VP


Lots has happened, sorting it out. Asia Scoring has gone together with Africa. It means there are 4 regions left, one of it is CA that he knows I have.
Defcon is 5 and that really pressures me. What I don't like is France realignment (but this will be cut soon anyway). What I fear more is ME realignment, from which it will be hard to defend. Attacking him is the best defense I can imaging. I see two possibilities:
1) Coup Panama - very straightforward option. If I use 3 Ops (EEU) it has 33% chance to fail completely, 17% chance for a great result, 17% for a good result, 33% for at least something. On average that's ok.
2) Tricky one. Play WWBY for event. Guaranteed 3VP. Defcon drop is good too. It's like I've failed a coup completely, rolled 0 and receiving a VP consolation for that. What is going to be his response? Realign ME? That I don't like, probably I need to try distract him, and coup is a better distraction (at least it has a chance).
If I'm out of option 2, maybe I should use WWBY. It minimizes the chances of a total disaster. It's hard to through away a 3VP option, but I still have SALT and probably holding it again. If I see UN, then, who knows.

AR1
USSR AR1: WWBY. Coup Panama, roll 5, Panama 0/2, Defcon 4, USSR MilOps 4


That's luck, when it is needed. Now he can only break Cuba or coup Mexico.

US AR1: Missile Envy. Coup Mexico, roll 6, Mexico 2/0, Defcon 3, US MilOps 2

Going risky way. I can say, I had a 33% roll for an auto-win (even though it was not my roll). Anyway, now I see no reason to skip the last coup, nothing really threatening in NORAD at the moment (well, Poland will be, but is he going to fight me there with Warsaw Pact still somewhere).

AR2
USSR AR2: EEU. Coup Mexico, roll 4, Mexico 0/1, Defcon 2, USSR MilOps 5


Better than 1. Now he'll fix Mexico (at least it's 3 Ops, can be a rarity in his hand) and I'll play CA Scoring for 4 VP.
As for the rest of the hand, no good scorings left for me in the deck, so Our Man is not that bad and I still have SALT for discards like Quagmire. Nixon I'd better send to space, again can possibly be a response to his space race play.
Che is not great but still ok as an event if Ops are not really needed. Targets are Colombia and Tunisia, as I see it now. OPEC will be good for VP if I take Gulf States (which also protects my Iraq against realignment and soon coming war) and for this I'll need Che.
He'll play Alliance for 3VP and have a better shot on space race 2VP, so I don't see an auto-victory. Preparing to fight till the end.

EEU. Event: Poland 1/4, E. Germany 0/4, Bulgaria 1/0
NORAD. Event: India 4/6
US AR2. D&C. Influence 3 Mexico 3/1
AR3
USSR AR3. CA Scoring. -4=-14VP


I see our next plays. Him: Alliance for +3 VP; me: spacing of Nixon. As I said, there is no auto-victory with 3 regions left, neither giving me decent scoring advantage. In fact SA and Europe can mostly only become worse.
One more game consideration. There is 37 cards in the draw deck, 23 will be added to a total of 60. With an average of 16 cards dealt per turn it means there will be 12 left unplayed (maybe less after I'll play Our Man). What will be their color?

US AR3. Brush War. Event: Panama, failure, US MilOps 5
AR4
USSR AR4. Our Man In Tehran. Influence 1 India 4/7, 1 Chile 0/4


Phew, that hasn't hit me. Now instead of spacing I decide to start fortification against his OAS (at least I know his AR7 move). SA is a region I need to defend.

Our Man In Tehran. Event: Muslim Revolutions, Vietnam Revolts
US AR4. Alliance for Progress. Event: +3=-11VP
AR5
USSR AR5. Nixon plays China. Space Race: failure


Muslim Revolution is a bad discard for me, but at least it's only one. I'm not counting Vietnam at all. SALTing for will raise issues as it will open ME for realigning. Of course best way to deal with ME now is to discard it with FYP (response for my Africa Scoring, I would remember it for long). Or even better to just leave it in the deck after T10.
Space is not my territory. Well, not the territory for both of us, to be fair. But now with OAS gone, he'll take those 2VP sooner or later. And that's another bad news right before Star Wars coming into play.

US AR5. Decolonization. Space Race: failure

Now, the move I doubt much myself. I plan to play OPEC and Che and probably both are ops, even though OPEC 2 VP are so inviting. But now SA is under big pressure of his AR7 OAS and I need to predefend. AR7 is going to OPEC influence placement and now I want to use Che as event. That's what I actually doubt, it's 3 less IP I can place on a map directly. However Colombia is a defense against domination even if he steals my BG and Tunisia, if successful will make me feel much comfortable about my ME.

AR6
USSR AR6: Che. Event: Colombia, roll 1, Colombia 0/1; Tunisia, roll 2, Tunisia 1/0


Hope Che takes all bad rolls on himself.

US AR6: HILTSW. Event: Defcon 5

Wow, that's a move. I was expecting it to be his hold card and a possible headline. But now, how should I react?
If he has some big Ops card for realignment - that's bad, and would he do that if he hadn't. In ME I'm under pressure of losing presence, but it also can be France, as his target.
Maybe I should just ignore it and threaten his SA in Venezuela. That sounds strange but for some reason I like it. His is planning OAS for headline, as I understand, but maybe it will just to prevent my domination. Let's test the luck (or else I can lose both Europe and ME).

AR7
USSR AR7: OPEC. Coup Venezuela, roll 3, Venezuela 1/0, Defcon 4


Worse than average, but at least something.

US AR7: Olympic games. Coup Zaire, roll 4, Zaire 2/0, Defcon 3
 
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Alexey Memelau
Belarus
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Turn 8



I think, I'll save the words (detailed planning, I mean) for the case Wargames plan won't work. For now it's clear.
Headline Hostage Crisis (it doesn't prevent domination but reduces it's cost), Coup Zaire. I hope it will be over soon, but still not relaxing. If needed, Grain Sales or TDTW can be my hold card and space card (doesn't matter much in what order).
His headline is most probably OAS. Other options are VoA or Defectors.

Headline
USSR Headline: Hostage Crisis. Event: Iran 0/2
US Headline: OAS. Event: Venezuela 2/0, Panama 1/2
AR1
USSR AR1: Formosan Treaty. Coup Zaire, roll 5, Zaire 0/3, Defcon 3, USSR MilOps 2
US AR1: Iron Lady. Coup Zaire, roll 6, Zaire 4/0, Defcon 2, US MilOps 3
AR2
USSR AR2: Wargames. Event: USSR Victory.
 
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ray donovan
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Turn3 headline europe, coup panama with redscascare, space dc.
Why did you say you had like 5% chance of winning? I would say you are almost favorite. 8vp is nothing,ar1 DC was a very bad play.
 
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