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This is a full analysis of an async game between two average players from the USA perspective. The game was played on the Playdek app, with optional cards and no additional influence adjustment. Each turn will be posted as a separate post.

TURN 1
Starting hand:
(2) Fidel* (USSR)
(0) Europe Scoring (Both)
(1) Romanian Abdication* (USSR)
(3) Five Year Plan (US)
(4) NATO* (US)
(3) Suez Crisis* (USSR)
(0) Middle East Scoring (Both)
(1) Nasser* (USSR)


Setup:
USSR Standard:
Poland 0/4*
East Germany 0/4*
Austria 0/1

USA Standard:
West Germany 4*/0
Italy 3*/0

A below average ops opening hand, a lot of USSR events but nothing particularly troubling and 2 scoring cards which is somewhat problematic. I go with standard setup as I can safely discard to blockade (even if red scared) and I don’t have any card I would particularly like to hold on to until Turn 3 so that it misses the reshuffle (i.e. decol/de-stal). USSR initial setup indicates Independent Reds, in which case I would like to play Romanian Abdication sooner rather than later in the turn.
I headline ME Scoring to free my hand a bit as it will most probably get only worst. I don’t have any US event I really want to trigger plus I am already light ops-wise. Since I also hold Nasser it can’t possibly backfire on me. As for the rest of the turn, all cards will be played for ops. I will probably have to use NATO for a counter-coup in Iran assuming he attempts to coup there on AR1 and he doesn’t roll well. Fidel I don’t mind triggering early making CIA created a DEFCON suicide card for the USSR. With the ops from Suez crisis I can repair the most essential influenced lost from the card’s event and hopefully have 1 or 2 left to spread around. I would like to play for Europe (and specifically France) this turn, since I also have the scoring card and certainly want to reach Libya before playing Nasser. I don’t have the ops to do all this plus counter whatever threats the USSR creates so Nasser is likely going to be my hold card so I can deal with it next turn. I plan to hold on to Suez Crisis until action round 6 for blockade protection.

Turn 1 Headline
USSR headlines (1) Captured Nazi Scientist*(Both)
US headlines (0) Middle East Scoring (Both)

USSR advances to 1 in the Space Race. USSR gains 2VP. Score is USSR 2.
Middle East scoring: No VP awarded. Score is USSR 2.

USSR headline is rather passive, probably means no Arab-Israeli war, Socialist Governments, Red scare/Purge or other strong headlines but he may be just wary of Defectors. The score is already on the USSR side however.

Turn 1, USSR Action Round 1
(4) Nuclear Test Ban (Both)
Coups Iran. Die roll: 2
Iran 0/1
USSR Mil Ops to 4, DEFCON=4

He rolls rather poorly giving me the opportunity to coup back with good odds of success. I will do so with NATO, my only 4ops card as I really want to maintain access in western Asia.

Turn 1, US Action Round 1
(4) NATO* (US)
Coups Iran. Die roll: 1
Iran 0/0
US Mil Ops to 4, DEFCON=3

Turn 1, USSR Action Round 2
(2) Independent Reds* (US)
Place influence:
Afghanistan 0/2*
US Event: No effect

Unfortunately I roll a 1 and hence cannot restore my access to western Asia. I have also wasted 4 of my few and precious turn 1 ops. He replies taking Afghanistan with IR (so long to playing Romanian Abdication early). DEFCON has reached 3 so I decide to run for Thailand as losing Thailand will most probably mean a long-term USSR Asia domination. I play Romanian Abdication trying to preserve my higher ops cards for later in the turn.

Turn 1, US Action Round 2
(1) Romanian Abdication (USSR)
Place influence:
Malaysia 1/0
USSR event:
Romania 0/3*

Turn 1, USSR Action Round 3
(0) Asia Scoring (Both)
USSR gains 5VP. Score is USSR 7.

Ouch. He scores a quick Asia domination from just North Korea and Afghanistan. That was a mistake from my part on the last action round. Had I played Fidel (2ops) to control Malaysia or for 1 to Malaysia and 1 to Indonesia I could prevent his domination but was too concerned about preserving ops for later. He could easily regain domination however by playing into Pakistan.
Anyway, with both the ME and Asia scored and the Europe scoring card in my hand the priority now is to play into France, gain a domination there and hopefully even up the score. I am not too happy about this since Socialist Governments as well as the pro-USSR France cards are still to be played. However, I hold Suez Crisis and I can immediately repair the damage to France, so the main threat is De Gaulle. Truman Doctrine is also in the deck which can be helpful in the future in the fight for France. In any case Asia doesn’t look good, I am out of Iran and so I can’t possibly afford being dominated in Europe as well. Moreover, being the only unscored region, the USSR will also be keen to play into Europe soon. I decide to do so first and gain a domination:

Turn 1, US Action Round 3
(3) Five Year Plan (US)
Place influence:
France 3*/0

Turn 1, USSR Action Round 4
(4) US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact* (US)
Place influence:
Pakistan 0/2*
Turkey 0/2*
US event:
Japan 4*/0

In response he takes Turkey so I no longer dominate Europe. He also grabs Pakistan giving me Japan in return which is always welcome, considering also the protection it gives against the Korean War yet to come. I decide to take Greece with the next move regaining Europe domination and cutting his access to cheap Mediterranean countries. He can easily prevent my domination again but it will be more expensive for him to do so. The only available card is Fidel which I don’t mind playing as previously mentioned.

Turn 1, US Action Round 4
(2) Fidel* (USSR)
Place influence:
Greece 2*/0
USSR event:
Cuba 0/3*


Turn 1, USSR Action Round 5
(3) De Gaulle leads France* (USSR)
Event:
France 1/1

Disappointed to see de Gaulle, I had hoped I would draw it next turn and play it after taking Algeria (preferably)… but that was a risk taken by playing into France early. At this point I have no choice but to score Europe for a draw as my only remaining cards are Suez Crisis and Nasser. This means I will probably lose France on the next action round but I don’t have the ops to fight for it anymore. My only hope for France and Europe domination hereafter is a successful Truman Doctrine play if I am lucky enough to draw it.

Turn 1, USA Action Round 5
(0) Europe Scoring (Both)
No VP awarded. Score is USSR 7.

Turn 1, USSR Action Round 6
(4) The China Card (Both)
Place influence:
France 1/4*
India 0/1

He takes over France with the China Card and plays the one extra influence into India, probably meaning that he has no other remaining 3+ops card. I really don’t like losing France like this, but receiving the China Card this early is nice and Suez Crisis is now an almost free 3 ops card. As I am playing it in the last action round (and holding Nasser), I need to expand out of Israel first. I actually played 1 into Lebanon for control and ME presence, however one to Jordan may have been preferable as ME scoring is out and Lebanon is an easy coup target. As for the remaining ops, I don’t need to repair France or the UK immediately. I would like to control Thailand but DEFCON will move to 4 next turn so he can coup it on AR1. For the same reasons I don’t want to expand to Egypt or Algeria yet (although both are high priorities). I finally decide to play into Spain/Portugal which is rather passive but at least it nearly ensures that I won’t get dominated in Europe despite I lost France.

Turn 1, USA Action Round 6
(3) Suez Crisis* (USSR)
Place influence:
Lebanon 1*/0
Spain/Portugal 2*/0
USSR event:
Israel 0/0
France 0/4*
UK 3/0

In summary not a good start for me. VPs are already at -7. The score could have been just 3VPs in favor of the USSR had I paid proper attention and prevented his easy Asia domination with just 1 extra influence. Europe is currently dominated by the USSR but I can easily convert it into a draw. In Asia I need to secure both Thailand and South Korea to stop his domination. He doesn’t have access to Thailand yet but all the SE Asia USSR access cards are out there. The Middle East is open but I have influence only in Lebanon and the US is seldom advantaged in a fight for the Middle East. However, all scoring cards are in the discard so there will be no region scoring until Turn 3. I really need a high ops hand for the next turn in order to spread fast in the empty spots of the board and in parallel address the USSR threats.

State of the world after Turn 1:



Opponent’s Turn 1 hand:
(1) Captured Nazi Scientist (Both)
(4) Nuclear Test Ban (Both)
(2) Independent Reds* (US)
(0) Asia Scoring (Both)
(4) US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact* (US)
(3) De Gaulle leads France* (USSR)
???
???

(4) The China Card (Both)


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Alex Berry
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
Is 1750 really an average rating?
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Florian Gaehtgens
Germany
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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
Wow, what a difference it makes if you have the background knowledge to really know what you're doing...

Thanks for letting me into your head, that is very insightful. And compares in no way to what I was thinking when playing my first two games (as reported in the neighbouring thread)laugh. When you don't know the deck, nor the long- or mid-term consequences of what you're doing, it's altogether a differnet game.

Makes me happy I wasn't playing against a human intelligence...
 
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Alexey Memelau
Belarus
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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
Six_N wrote:

USSR headline is rather passive, probably means no Arab-Israeli war, Socialist Governments, Red scare/Purge or other strong headlines but he may be just wary of Defectors.


The players of unorthodox style will object.
 
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Fluff Da Sheep
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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
That is one miserable starting hand. Better get lucky on coup r-

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Oh.
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King in Green
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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
A pity you didn't start with +2 for the US as is usual, then this would be a decent hand.
 
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Michael Kiefte
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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
How did you get the screenshot?
 
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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
TURN 2

DEFCON improves to 4.

My hand:
(1) Nasser* (USSR)
(3) Socialist Governments (USSR)
(3) Containment* (US)
(2) Korean War* (USSR)
(4) Red Scare/Purge (Both)
(3) De-Stalinization* (USSR)
(3) East European Unrest (US)
(1) Truman Doctrine* (US)

(4) The China Card (Both)

A very nice hand. I have both Containment and Red Scare/Purge and one of the two is clearly my headline. I am very glad I drew De-Stalinization. Since I have the China Card I can hold it to the next turn (so it misses the Turn 3 reshuffle) even if I get hit by blockade to which I can discard Socialist Governments. Korean War is also nice, I prefer to trigger it and play into South Korea removing it from the deck albeit giving the USSR 2 mil ops and potentially 2 VPs in the process. If it gets containment-boosted it becomes a 3 ops card. EEU is a free 3 ops and Truman Doctrine may prove useful in the case of an ops war for a European battleground – I may have a decent chance to steal France back. I need to get to Libya before the end of the turn in order to play Nasser.
The USSR shouldn’t have a superior hand in terms of ops, the only 4-ops card left in the deck is Marshall Plan which somewhat improves Europe for me. However I haven’t seen Vietnam Revolts or Decolonization which are key events for SE Asia which is still unclaimed by either side.
After some debate I decide to headline Containment as I will get 4+ ops from it and if instead I play it for ops and the USSR draws it later, I will get almost no benefit from the card. If he doesn’t play blockade on me I have the possibility of holding both RS/P and De-Stal to the next turn if I play the China Card. If he does blockade me, I will have to play RS/P for ops and play the China Card in order to hold De-Stal.

Turn 2 Headline
USSR headlines (1) Blockade*(USSR)
US headlines (3) Containment* (US)

Containment is put into play.
US discards Socialist Governments.

I am a bit surprised at the timing of Blockade. I almost certainly will have a USSR 3+ ops to discard so early in the turn. It does cut my hand size but thanks to China he cannot force De-Stal out of my hand this turn. Maybe he thinks I have both Decol. and De-Stal?...meaning that he doesn’t hold decol himself? That indeed would be nice. In any case it gives me an opportunity to discard Socialist Governments and free my hand from an obligation. I probably will be at an ops advantage this turn and for now can only wait to see what his AR1 will be…

Turn 2, USSR Action Round 1
(2) Decolonization (USSR)
Event:
South Africa 1/1
Algeria 0/1
Laos/Cambodia 0/1
Thailand 0/1

Very bad that he gets to play decolonization as he now has full access to SE Asia. However, he boldly decolonizes at DEFCON 4 meaning I can coup Thailand and he can’t coup it back. I consider this best. The alternative would be to place 3+ influence in Thailand….with containment in effect and the China Card I doubt he will be able to contest me further but he would then have the opportunity to coup Thailand himself. If he rolls well he controls Thailand and I can’t coup it back. We would then start an ops war for Thailand which does not seem very appealing – I prefer to spread my influence in other regions too.

Turn 2, US Action Round 1
(4) Red Scare/Purge (Both)
Coups Thailand. Die roll: 2
Thailand 1/0
US Mil Ops to 4. DEFCON=3

Turn 2, USSR Action Round 2
(3) Warsaw Pact Formed* (USSR)
Place influence:
Thailand 1/3*

I get an awful coup roll, get it to 1/0 and he directly places 3 influence for control. I can flip it with the China Card at this point but that would give him the opportunity to coup me in Lebanon removing my only influence in the Middle East (which I could coup back but would be wasting by ops advantage) or in Panama. I decide not to permit this and get the final coup of the turn for myself with Algeria being the obvious (and lucrative) target. Note that currently I have no access to Algeria to directly place influence and I need a stable presence in Africa now that he is in thanks to Decolonization. I use EEU for the coup (boosted to 4 ops) to maximize the odds of US control (66%).

Turn 2, US Action Round 2
(3) East European Unrest (US)
Coups Algeria. Die roll: 6
Algeria 5*/0
US Mil Ops to 5. DEFCON=2

Turn 2, USSR Action Round 3
(2) The Cambridge Five (USSR)
Place influence:
Thailand 1/4*
Angola 0/1*

I get a fantastic roll and massively over-control Algeria. In response he over-controls Thailand (so I can no longer flip it) and plays into Angola now that DEFCON is at 2. At this point I consider triggering the Korean War. Now that I lost Thailand, I must take South Korea in order to have even the slightest chance to flip Asia at some point in the game. If the war fails I take control of South Korea and have an extra influence to place. If it is successful South Korea becomes 1/3 and with the China Card and Containment in effect it is surely mine. I will give him 2 mil ops and so 2 VPs (as he doesn’t have another easy source of mil ops) and possibly 2VP more in the case of war success (33%) but I think that securing South Korea is more important right now.

Turn 2, US Action Round 3
(2) Korean War* (USSR)
USSR event:
Die roll: 3 – 1 < 4 DEFEAT. USSR Mil Ops to 2
Place influence:
South Korea 3*/0
Israel 1/0

Turn 2, USSR Action Round 4
(1) UN Intervention (Both)
Event:
USSR plays (1) CIA Created* (US)
Place influence:
Israel 1/1

The war goes my way, I get South Korea and place an extra influence in Israel in order to reach Egypt and then Libya. USSR follows me in Israel playing CIA Created with UN Intervention. This doesn’t remove the card so I still have hopes of him drawing it again in the mid-war. I still have Truman, Nasser and the China Card to play. I don’t have the time to meaningfully break control of USSR over-controlled France so I let Truman go to the discard hoping I will redraw it later and make greater damage then (hopefully before Europe Scoring!). It is 2 ops now so I play one into Egypt for Libya access and one in Costa Rica in case he coups Panama next turn. The plan for my remaining cards at this point is to afterwards play Nasser, giving him Egypt but using the containment boosted 2ops to control Libya first. For my AR6 play I will use the China Card for a destabilizing play, preferably in Asia.

Turn 2, US Action Round 4
(1) Truman Doctrine* (US)
Place influence:
Egypt 1/0
Costa Rica 1/0

Turn 2, USSR Action Round 5
(2) Indo-Pakistani war (Both)
Place influence:
Iran 0/2*

The USSR takes control of Iran. I proceed with the plan to take Libya. I will lose Egypt to Nasser but I will eventually take it back with Sadat expels the Soviets sometime in the Mid-war.

Turn 2, USA Action Round 5
(1) Nasser* (USSR)
Place influence:
Libya 2*/0
USSR event:
Egypt 0/2*

Turn 2, USSR Action Round 6
(2) Defectors
Place influence:
Syria 0/2*
Saudi Arabia 0/1
US event:
US gains 1 VP. Score is USSR 6.

For the final action round the USSR builds up and gets a domination in the Middle East. I jam the China Card into North Korea to create a dilemma for him next turn AR1.

Turn 2, US Action Round 6
(4) The China Card (Both)
Place influence:
North Korea 4/3


I think this was a balanced turn. USSR got Thailand and Angola thanks to decolonization but I got South Korea and a have strong hold on Algeria. We both solidified our position in the Middle East; USSR is much better positioned however. I had expected more for me during this turn given my ops advantage. As all scoring cards will now return to the deck I need to take care to control 1-2 European non battlegrounds asap, to deny him domination, and try to quickly claim 1 or 2 more Middle East countries; I can’t afford to lose any more quick VPs! The interesting point is what he will decide to do on next turn’s headline and AR1. If he coups a battleground I have my chance to flip North Korea. If he repairs North Korea (needs 4 ops to regain control) I will most probably have a battleground coup (Iran or Angola are both very good targets) unless DEFCON drops in the headline or he counters with a threat of his own. The only thing I am really happy about is that I managed to keep De-Stal away from his hands and as I am discarding it next turn he will get to play it at turn 7 the earliest (if ever). I have also managed to remove several USSR events from the deck.

State of the World after Turn 2:




Opponent’s Turn 2 Hand:

(1) Blockade* (USSSR)
(2) Decolonization (USSR)
(3) Warsaw Pact Formed* (USSR)
(2) The Cambridge Five (USSR)
(1) CIA Created* (US)
(1) UN Intervention (Both)
(2) Indo-Pakistani War (Both)
(2) Defectors (US)

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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
mkiefte wrote:
How did you get the screenshot?


It is not a screenshot but an image created from a graphical board generator found from a thread in the twilightstrategy.com forum:

http://forum.twilightstrategy.com/index.php?topic=365.0
 
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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
]TURN 3

DEFCON improves to 3.

My hand:
(3) De-Stalinization* (USSR)
(4) Marshall Plan* (US)
(2) Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
(3) Duck and Cover (US)
(2) Formosan Resolution* (US)
(0) Middle East Scoring (Both)
(1) UN Intervention (Both)
(4) Nuclear Test Ban (Both)


Another decent hand…I have 18 playable ops considering that I’ll play De-Stal with UN intervention. I might space De-Stal, if I have a break in the action and hold UN intervention for next turn (I don’t need to play it with any other card in my hand) in which case I have 15 playable ops. I know he has Vietnam Revolts, Comecon, Olympic Games, NORAD and Special Relationship, none of which is particularly troubling. He knows about De-Stal, Marshall Plan, Arab-Israeli, Duck and Cover and Formosan Resolution.
I also have Middle East scoring which I am not very glad about. I would like to play it as soon as possible, after I grab at least 1 more ME country so he doesn’t score domination (there’s no way I can score a domination in the ME) and free my hand. The other disadvantage of my hand is that I don’t have a good headline. Marshall Plan is not very helpful now (it won’t even stop his Europe domination) so I would prefer to play it for 4 ops. Duck and Cover would be nice to lower DEFCON and get 3 easy VPs but it interferes with my previous AR6 play. If I lower DEFCON he simply repairs North Korea on AR1 and I don’t get the battleground coup…speaking of which, if I successfully coup Iran or Egypt I may be able to score domination in the Middle East after all. Headlining ME scoring is out of the question as it currently scores 3 VPs for the USSR. By elimination I have to headline Formosan Resolution…it is an unimportant event but it may help me with Asia Scoring especially now that I have given him back the China Card.

Turn 3 Headline
USSR headlines (3) Socialist Governments (USSR)
US headlines (2) Formosan Resolution* (US)

Italy 1/0
Greece 1/0
Formosan Resolution is put into play.

The USSR headlines a very effective counter to my North Korea AR6 play and one of the three cards in his hand that were unknown to me. He can now repair North Korea on AR1 and if I proceed to coup on my AR1 he gets Italy for free.

Turn 3, USSR Action Round 1
(4) The China Card (Both)
Place influence:
North Korea 4/7*
Vietnam 0/1*
He takes back North Korea and controls Vietnam. This play suggests no other available 4ops card and that he plans to play Vietnam Revolts for ops. I decide to take Italy and Greece back and give him the battleground coup. I don’t want to hand Europe over to him just like that. I really hope he doesn’t coup Libya though since if successful I will have no way to stop USSR ME domination this turn. His only other alternative coup target is Panama. I decide to play a 4ops card to control the UK as well since I know he holds Special Relationship. Moreover, this move draws Europe for me in case he has the scoring card.

Turn 3, US Action Round 1
(4) Marshall Plan* (US)
Place influence:
Italy 2*/0
Greece 2*/0
UK 5*/0

Turn 3, USSR Action Round 2
(3) COMECON* (USSR)
Coups Panama. Die roll: 5
Panama 0/3*
USSR Mil Ops to 3. DEFCON=2

He gets a very good coup result but at least he didn’t coup Libya. I now have to even up ME scoring by playing into Jordan so I can play the scoring card and get it out of my hand. Jordan will also give extra protection for Arab-Israeli war which I will have to play later on. I do so with Duck and Cover placing the extra influence in Malaysia on the basis that Asia and SE Asia look quite grim and I don’t want to fall too behind in the region but I guess there could be better alternatives for this extra influence.

Turn 3, US Action Round 2
(3) Duck and Cover (US)
Place influence:
Jordan 2*/0
Malaysia 2*/0

Turn 3, USSR Action Round 3
(2) Decolonization (USSR)
Event:
Indonesia 0/1*
Zaire 0/1*
Nigeria 0/1*
South Africa 1/2

…and he redraws and gets to play Decolonization TWICE in the early war. He is now in all African battlegrounds except Algeria. Africa is starting to look really bad for the US but I don’t quite have the means to fight for it now. The only good thing is that he didn’t trouble getting ME domination back and I can score it now for just -1 VP:

Turn 3, US Action Round 3
(0) Middle East Scoring (Both)
USSR gains 1 VP. Score is USSR 7.

Turn 3, USSR Action Round 4
(2) Olympic Games (Both)
Realignment rolls
South Africa 0/2

He realigns my single influence out of South Africa and attempts one more in Costa Rica but is unsuccessful there. I have Nuclear Test Ban, Arab-Israeli War and De-Stal (space race or with UN for 3 ops) still to play. I decide to play into Central America since after his Panama coup I have to play catch-up there as well. I’ll play Nuclear Test Ban into Mexico and Nicaragua to threaten +1 realignments in Cuba. He can coup it in response but that is something I want as I still lack mil ops and can coup it back with Arab-Israeli war. The extra influence goes to Tunisia to offer back-door entrance and protection to both Libya and Algeria in case of realignments/coups. I would like to get control of Tunisia at some point also for the protection it offers against Bruch War since both Algeria and Libya are critical for my position in Africa and the ME respectively. I will keep De-Stal and UN intervention for AR6 and see what I will do with them depending on his moves.

Turn 3, USA Action Round 4
(4) Nuclear Test Ban (Both)
Place influence:
Mexico 2*/0
Nicaragua 1*/0
Tunisia 1/0

Turn 3, USSR Action Round 5
(2) Vietnam Revolts* (USSR)
Coups Nicaragua. Die roll: 4
Nicaragua 0/3*
USSR Mil Ops to 5.

As predicted he coups me in Nicaragua. I coup back with Arab-Israeli war which has only a 1/6 chance of USSR success thanks to protection from Jordan and Lebanon.

Turn 3, USA Action Round 5
(2) Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
Coups Nicaragua. Die roll: 2
Nicaragua 0/1*.
US Mil Ops to 2.
USSR event:
Die roll: 4 – 2 < 4 DEFEAT. USSR Mil Ops to 5

Turn 3, USSR Action Round 6
(3) NORAD* (US)
Space Race. Die roll: 3 – SUCCESS.
USSR advances to 2 in the Space Race.


My coup is not very successful but removes 2 of his influence and gives me the required mil ops for the turn. In response he spaces NORAD and can now space two cards per turn. I can now either space De-Stal and hold UN intervention to next turn (in case I have a problematic USSR card to deal with) or play De-Stal with UN for 3 ops now. I go for the latter as both the board position and the score don’t look good for me and I’d like to make a meaningful AR6 play. But where to play? I could remove his Thailand overprotection or play again in North Korea to make it 6/7 but that requires playing the China Card next turn in order to be worthwhile and I would not like to commit to that. Besides I now want to keep China as long as possible to combo it with Ussuri River Skirmish which can flip Asia for me and to give the USSR hand management problems (CIA created is still out there). I can’t break control of France, and either Iran or Egypt is pointless. I finally decide to coup Nicaragua again; with 3 ops it is a guaranteed success and I will threaten +1 realignments in Cuba on next turn AR1 and he has no easy way back in.

Turn 3, US Action Round 6
(1) UN Intervention (Both)
Event:
US plays (3) De-Stalinization* (USSR)
Coups Nicaragua. Die roll: 6
Nicaragua 6*/0
US Mil Ops to 5.

I get a fantastic coup roll and bring Nicaragua to 6*/0. This turn wasn’t too bad for me. I managed to score the ME with minimal losses, Europe is now a safe draw but Africa is looking really bad. Central America is in the balance; if I manage to realign him out of Cuba I will be in good shape there. South America is still uncontested. Asia is bad for me but I need the right events in order to change the situation there.
The early war ends with VPs at -7 which is not good considering that I have no immediate source of VPs available and the USSR can score Asia domination if it comes out early enough pushing the VP marker even closer to USSR auto-victory. If he takes one African non-battleground he can score Africa domination as well. By the way, I know he still has Special Relationship in his hand.

State of the World after Turn 3:




Opponent’s Turn 3 Hand:
(3) Socialist Governments (USSSR)
(2) Decolonization (USSR)
(3) COMECON* (USSR)
(2) Olympic Games (USSR)
(2) Vietnam Revolts* (USSR)
(3) NORAD* (US)
(2) Special Relationship (US)
???

(4) The China Card (Both)


And now for the Mid War….
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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
TURN 4

DEFCON improves to 3.

My hand:
(2) Missile Envy (Both)
(4) NATO* (US)
(2) Indo-Pakistani War (Both)
(3) Shuttle Diplomacy (US)
(1) Kitchen Debates* (US)
(2) Colonial Rear Guards (US)
(1) CIA Created* (US)
(4) ABM Treaty (Both)
(3) Cultural Revolution* (USSR)

(4) The China Card (Both)

The mid war starts with a very nice hand for me – not a single problem card or obligation meaning I can pressure him for the entire turn. Missile Envy is a very nice headline and risk-free since Duck and Cover is in the discard. I have two key events: Colonial Rear Guards and Indo-Pakistani War which can help me in both Africa and Asia, the two regions I am currently loosing the most. NATO and Shuttle Diplomacy are both free high ops cards. Cultural Revolution means most likely I will play the China Card first and then trigger the event for 3 ops paying him just 1VP and removing the card from the deck. But above all, I have ABM Treaty in my hand which guarantees me a battleground coup this turn. Moreover, it gives me the opportunity to coup him in South America, if he has an event that gives him access there (e.g. Junta) or manages to walk through Colombia. I really need South America domination or better control in order to turn this game and I plan to contest it heavily in the mid war. I also lack events that grant South America access however...Kitchen Debates is rather useless right now and CIA Created a bit annoying; I would much prefer the USSR to redraw it but overall I can't complain...I consider this hand a very fortunate draw at a critical point in the game.
As I am playing China this turn and headlining Missile Envy, I consider holding CIA Created to next turn as a potential headline candidate. The demands of the turn will determine my second hold card.

Turn 4 Headline
USSR headlines (2) Liberation Theology (USSR)
US headlines (2) Missile Envy (Both)

USSR exchanges (4) “We Will Bury You”* (USSR) for Missile Envy.
(4) “We Will Bury You”* (USSR) coups Panama. Die roll: 1
Panama 0/2*
US Mil Ops to 4. DEFCON=2

Event: Liberation Theology
Mexico 2/2
Dom. Republic 0/1*

I get the best possible outcome from Missile Envy. I certainly wanted to coup a battleground with WWBY in order to drop DEFCON and steal the opening coup. The 1-stability African battlegrounds and Panama are my only viable options. The African battlegrounds coups all have guaranteed success, most likely I will end up with huge over-control and in a region I am loosing. However his headline of Liberation Theology makes me think he might have Central America scoring. If I coup in Africa he can place 2 influence in Mexico with Liberation Theology and then the 2 ops from Missile Envy are enough to take it over on AR1. This gives him CA control which I cannot let happen. My only response to that would be to immediately realign Cuba at +1; not bad odds but he can secure presence in the sub-region beforehand with the third influence of Liberation Theology. I therefore decide to try Panama although it has lower odds of success recognizing that just removing his influence suffices (on a roll of 3 or more). With Colonial Rearguards and ABM Treaty I have the means to attack Africa later. I fail miserably though, rolling a 1 and I just remove his over-control.
He plays Liberation Theology to Mexico (as expected) but I think his choice of the Dom. Republic is a mistake. Haiti or even Nicaragua would have been better to assure access and/or a realignment modifier to Cuba if I try to realign him out – something I surely would want to do now as he threatens to control Mexico on AR1. As it is the Dom, Republic doesn't offer him much.

Turn 4, USSR Action Round 1
(2) Missile Envy (Both)
Place influence:
South Africa 0/3*
Sudan 0/1*

He plays Missile Envy (forced) and doesn't place any influence in Mexico (an easy and very good target for the USSR) but chooses Africa instead and now has a domination there. This suggests Africa scoring and not Central America since with his play he lets me get Mexico back. As much as I would like to secure Mexico, I can't ignore the Africa threat to which I have the perfect response: Colonial Rear Guards. With it I will break control of all three 1-stability African battlegrounds and the fourth influence will go to Thailand to remove his over-control and threaten to flip it with China. There is a good chance he doesn't have a 4-ops card to repair all the damage as he would have preferred to give me any US or Neutral 4-ops card for Missile Envy instead of WWBY (Red Scare/Purge might be the only exception).

Turn 4, US Action Round 1
(2) Colonial Rear Guards (US)
Event:
Nigeria 1/1
Zaire 1/1
Angola 1/1
Thailand 2/4*

Turn 4, USSR Action Round 2
(3) U2 Incident* (USSR)
Place influence:
Thailand 2/5*
Zaire 1/2*
Nigeria 1/2*

Indeed he lacks a 4-ops card and repairs Thailand, Zaire and Nigeria leaving Angola at 1/1 so I can easily take it. A sensible choice on his part since he will still have Africa domination, he can realign me out of Angola at +1 and 2 USSR events place influence in Angola directly. I can take both Angola and Mexico (still at 2/2) in a single move but decide to flip Zaire instead: it stops his domination and gives me the +1 realignment modifier in Angola. He will have the opportunity to control Mexico but if he does I can respond with realignments in CA and in any case I have ABM Treaty as a reserve if things get too bad.

Turn 4, US Action Round 2
(4) NATO* (US)
Place influence:
Angola 2*/1
Zaire 3*/2

Turn 4, USSR Action Round 3
(2) Special Relationship (US)
Place influence:
Botswana 0/2*
US event:
France 1/4*

He still doesn't play into Mexico and prioritizes Africa by claiming Botswana to guard against South Africa realignments. I place my Special Relationship influence in France so it is no longer over-controlled and to have the possibility to sometime break control and flip it with the aid of Truman. The alternative would be Canada but with NORAD in the discard it seems less attractive. I will certainly take Mexico with my next move and decide to do so with the China Card so I can play Cultural Revolution later. With the remaining ops I will continue to pressure Africa: I want to control Tunisia to protect Algeria and Libya from realignments/Brush War and also take Cameroon (protects Zaire plus Nigeria access). Moreover this move will give me Africa domination – I suspect he will have to react to this as his play strongly indicates the Africa scoring card.

Turn 4, US Action Round 3
(4) The China Card (Both)
Place influence:
Mexico 4*/2
Tunisia 2*/0
Cameroon 1*/0

Turn 4, USSR Action Round 4
(3) Ussuri River Skirmish* (US)
Space Race. Die roll: 1 – SUCCESS
USSR advances to 3 in the Space Race. USSR gains 2VP. Score is USSR 9.

He ignores my previous move and US Africa domination and spaces Ussuri gaining 2 more VPs. Maybe he doesn't have Africa scoring after all? Maybe he also holds Five Year Plan?...Anyway, I now have a very good opportunity to trigger the Indo-Pakistani War. India is a superior target (33% chance of success) compared to Pakistan (16%) but it will give me only one influence there. He will need 4ops to control India though which he probably does not have. In any case, if the war is successful, it will give me access to the sub-region, grant me 2 VPs and will continue to put pressure on him – I get the sense he is running out of playable cards by now.

Turn 4, US Action Round 4
(2) Indo-Pakistani War (Both)
Event:
War in India. Die roll: 5 – 1 >= 4 SUCCESS
.
India 1/0
US Mil Ops to 5. US gains 2VP. Score is USSR 7.

Turn 4, USSR Action Round 5
(3) SALT Negotiations* (Both)
Place influence:
India 1/2
Burma 0/1

I get a fantastic roll and an influence in India. He does have some ops to respond but he must be feeling the pressure since I presume he would have liked to play SALT for the event to reclaim e.g. De-Stalinization from the discard. He plays in both India and Burma to which I now have access. With his play I can take control of India with a 4-ops card and I have exactly one left: ABM Treaty. This means I will have to give up the card’s event (i.e. a Nigeria coup or another shot at Panama) but the opportunity to take India for good and draw Asia with the scoring card yet to come is too good to pass. After all, taking control of a 3-stability Asian battleground is a very descent payback for ABM Treaty. My other remaining cards at this point are Shuttle Diplomacy, Cultural Revolution, CIA Created and Kitchen Debates.

Turn 4, US Action Round 5
(4) ABM Treaty (Both)
Place influence:
India 5*/2

Turn 4, USSR Action Round 6
(2) John Paul II Elected Pope* (US)
Space Race. Die roll: 4 – SUCCESS
USSR advances to 4 in the Space Race.

I take over India and he successfully spaces John Paul and from now on he gets to see my headline – very annoying but at least he can no longer space the problematic 2-ops US cards (Grain Sales, Voice of America, Camp David Accords) and that can cause him problems in the long run. With two plays left and nothing that immediately needs to be addressed I decide to now attempt +1 realignments in Cuba taking advantage of my position in CA. I will use one of the two remaining 3-ops cards in my hand. He still doesn’t have mil ops this turn so I suppose he will consider couping me somewhere on AR7. For my last action round I would like to use the other 3-ops card in my hand for a strong AR7 play to break control somewhere. So my hold cards will likely be CIA created and Kitchen Debates.

Turn 4, US Action Round 6
(3) Cultural Revolution* (USSR)
Realignment rolls
Cuba 0/0
USSR event:
USSR gains 1VP. Score is USSR 8.

Turn 4, USSR Action Round 7
(3) Five Year Plan (US)
Coups Nicaragua. Die roll: 2
Nicaragua 3*/0
USSR Mil Ops to 3.
US event:
USSR discards Africa scoring.

The realignments go well and I knock him out of Cuba. Unfortunately he gets to discard Africa scoring with Five Year Plan meaning that I won’t get any VPs out of the hard work I’ve done for more than half of the turn to flip Africa my way. He coups Nicaragua for mil ops and reduces my influence there which I don’t really care about. For my last play I will play Shuttle Diplomacy to break control in France to create a crisis and once more try to overload his next turn AR1. If I am lucky enough to redraw Truman I will have the opportunity to remove all his influence and gain Europe domination instantly.

Turn 4, US Action Round 7
(3) Shuttle Diplomacy (US)
Place influence:
France 3/4

This was a very good turn for me. I managed to safely draw Asia, flip Africa, I improved my position in Central America and with my AR7 play I threaten a France take over on next turn’s AR1. Not bad at all, although it was a pity that Africa scoring got discarded to Five Year Plan as I still need VPs. Neither side has entered South America yet…I need the right events to come out so I can claim it first. After all, the US has more mid-war events for South America than the USSR does.

State of the World after Turn 4:



Opponent’s Turn 4 Hand:

(2) Special Relationship (US)
(2) Liberation Theology (USSSR)
(4) “We Will Bury You”* (USSR)
(3) U2 Incident* (USSR)
(3) Ussuri River Skirmish* (US)
(3) SALT Negotiations* (Both)
(2) John Paul II Elected Pope* (US)
(0) Africa Scoring (Both)
(3) Five Year Plan (US)

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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
TURN 5

DEFCON improves to 3.

My hand:
(1) CIA Created* (US)
(1) Kitchen Debates* (US)
(3) Che (USSR)
(2) How I Learned to Stop Worrying* (Both)
(4) Red Scare/Purge (Both)
(2) Puppet Governments* (US)
(3) East European Unrest (US)
(3) Bear Trap* (US)
(2) Portuguese Empire Crumbles* (USSR)

Not a great hand but not bad either. I don’t have a lot of ops but this was to be somewhat expected since I held two 1-op cards from last turn. Puppet Governments is fantastic and will give me access to all parts of South America, hopefully before the USSR even enters the region – obviously it will be played once DEFCON reaches 2. I have two annoying USSR events (PEC and Che). I will probably space one and hold the other. Currently we are tied in number of battlegrounds. If I manage to get at least one more I will consider playing Kitchen Debates for 2 VPs. All my other cards are probably best played for ops.
As for the headline (which I choose first and he gets to see) I consider either CIA Created or Red Scare/Purge. CIA has the benefits of seeing his entire hand, lowering DEFCON in the headline and preserving my only 4-ops card for later. Headlining RS/P means CIA remains in the deck, it will certainly hurt the USSR, he won’t be able to space even 3-ops cards and I can combo it with Bear Trap later in the turn to which he would have to discard 3-ops cards (which he may not have). I finally decide to go with RS/P although I think that both are good alternatives.

Turn 5 Headline
US headlines (4) Red Scare/Purge (Both)
USSR headlines (3) Brezhnev Doctrine* (USSR)

Ok, since he sees RS/P first, he gets to choose the perfect counter and we cancel each other out in the headline. This means that playing Bear Trap in the middle of the turn is not worth it anymore and I now plan to hold it for AR7.

Turn 5, USSR Action Round 1
(3) Alliance for Progress* (US)
Coups Libya. Die roll: 6
Libya 0/3*
USSR Mil Ops to 3. DEFCON=2
US event:
US gains 1VP. Score is USSR 7.

He coups Libya very successfully. I think it’s a bit weird that he chooses to coup in a scored region. Mexico seems a better target but he manages to flip the only US controlled ME battleground which also scores on OPEC. Since he didn’t repair France I can play into it but I don’t have the required 4ops to control it. Basically after my RS/P headline I have only 7 ops to play this turn considering that I’ll play Puppets and Bear Trap as events and won’t play either PEC or Che for ops. I decide to leave France as it is and trigger Puppet Governments now that DEFCON is 2. My plan is to take over as much of South America is possible using my few ops more efficiently rather than fighting for France – let him spend ops trying to get France back.

Turn 5, US Action Round 1
(2) Puppet Governments* (US)
Event:
Chile 1/0
Argentina 1/0
Brazil 1/0

Turn 5, USSR Action Round 2
(2) “One Small Step…” (Both)
Place influence:
Colombia 0/1*
Haiti 0/1*

He enters South America by playing into Colombia and also plays into Haiti. I assume he lacks an event granting SA access (Junta, Allende) as now would probably be the best time to play it. With his move he threatens Venezuela and Cuba however. Venezuela is clearly the one I will defend as I can easily realign Cuba again. I considered to coup Colombia with a 1-op card but a failed roll would be fatal so I go the surefire way:

Turn 5, US Action Round 2
(2) How I Learned to Stop Worrying* (Both)
Place influence:
Venezuela 2*/0

Turn 5, USSR Action Round 3
(3) Cuban Missile Crisis* (Both)
Venezuela 2/1
France 3/5

He pays 2-for-1 in Venezuela, giving him also access to Brazil and starts to build up France. I won’t let him control a SA battleground that easily and the only suitable card left is East European Unrest for 3 ops. I place the extra influence in the Philippines for 1VP when SE Asia Scoring comes out and to try to draw his attention elsewhere. I don’t have the ops to meaningfully fight for South America if he continues to break my control.

Turn 5, US Action Round 3
(3) East European Unrest (US)
Place influence:
Brazil 2*/0
Venezuela 3*/1
Philippines 2*/0

Turn 5, USSR Action Round 4
(2) Willy Brandt* (USSR)
Place influence:
France 3/6*
Burma 0/2*

Luckily he gives up on South America and controls France and Burma instead. Maybe I distracted him successfully. I now have two 1-op plays, a space race attempt and Bear Trap for AR7. I still need to coup for mil ops and both Colombia and Haiti are good targets for my 1-op cards. I could also space a problem card now that I have a break but decide to coup Colombia to remove his presence in South America before he starts to spread the other way towards Ecuador.

Turn 5, US Action Round 4
(1) CIA Created* (US)
Coups Colombia. Die roll: 6
Colombia 4*/0
US Mil Ops to 1.

Turn 5, USSR Action Round 5
(3) Arms Race
Event:
USSR gains 3VP. Score is USSR 10.

The coup goes really well. He promptly cashes Arms Race for 3 VP before I have the opportunity to equal his mil ops. I still need one mil op, so I make the best use of my remaining 1-op card (Kitchen Debates) by couping Haiti and denying him access to Cuba. As he exceeds me in battleground count the card’s event is not available to me.

Turn 5, US Action Round 5
(1) Kitchen Debates* (US)
Coups Haiti. Die roll: 6
Haiti 4*/0.
US Mil Ops to 2.

Turn 5, USSR Action Round 6
(3) OPEC (USSR)
Event:
USSR gains 3VP. Score is USSR 13.

Another lucky roll for me and another source of 3VPs for him. Time to space something now. If successful I can get a VP for myself.

Turn 5, US Action Round 6
(2) Portuguese Empire Crumbles* (USSR)
Space Race. Die roll: 3 – SUCCESS
US advances to 1 in the Space Race. US gains 1VP. Score is USSR 12.

Turn 5, USSR Action Round 7
(3) “Ask Not What Your Country…”* (US)
Space Race. Die roll: 3 – SUCCESS

USSR advances to 5 in the Space Race. USSR gains 3VP. Score is USSR 15.
I space successfully and so does he gaining yet another 3VPs and now the score has officially entered the danger zone. There is no need to space “Ask not…” as USSR, particularly on AR7, so I start thinking that he is pushing hard for an auto-victory. I’ll play the Bear Trap event now to slow him down next Turn.

Turn 5, US Action Round 7
(3) Bear Trap* (US)
Event:
Bear trap is now in play.

This turn was characterized by the fight for South America with me having the upper hand in the end despite my few ops, thanks to Puppet Governments and the USSR lacking SA access cards. I ended up dominating South America with no USSR presence.
However the USSR has managed to reach -15VPs which is VERY alarming. I desperately need VPs and fast! Europe scores at -1VP, Asia is a draw, I dominate South America and can easily get a domination in Central America as well but SE Asia scoring currently is -4VPs. I have Bear Trapped him, meaning there will be no headline-AR1 combo for the USSR (I will probably get it instead unless he plays Quagmire in the headline) but I absolutely need to see a favorable scoring card in my hand next turn. The worst case scenario is he gets SE Asia and plays it (even in the headline) for 4VPs bringing the score to USSR 19. It would be very hard to fight him from there.

State of the World after Turn 5:




Opponent’s Turn 5 Hand:
(3) Brezhnev Doctrine* (USSR)
(3) Alliance for Progress* (US)
(2) “One Small Step…” (Both)
(3) Cuban Missile Crisis* (Both)
(2) Willy Brandt* (USSR)
(3) Arms Race (Both)
(3) OPEC (USSR)
(3) “Ask Not What Your Country…”* (US)
???

(4) The China Card (Both)

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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
TURN 6

DEFCON improves to 3.

My hand:
(3) Che (USSR)
(0) Asia Scoring (Both)
(3) Quagmire* (USSR)
(2) The Voice of America (US)
(2) Camp David Accords* (US)
(0) Europe Scoring (Both)
(4) Muslim Revolution (USSR)
(2) Junta (Both)
(2) Nuclear Subs* (US)

I’m not thrilled with this hand: not a lot of ops, 2 scoring cards that don’t give me VPs and 3 unpleasant USSR cards but at least I got VoA and Junta which are very good events. Particularly, Junta in my hand means he will have a hard time to contest South America. As I am already in all SA sub-regions I will probably use it defensively if he eventually manages to break in. I also like the Camp David event and I would like to trigger it this turn. Of the USSR events I don’t want to play either Che or Quagmire so I will hold one and space the other. Muslim Revolution is manageable as he can only remove my Jordan influence that doesn’t even affect the scoring but I have to remember to play it before Camp David which will then give me back some influence in the ME. Nuclear Subs is not very helpful right now.
The main concern is how to deal with the scoring cards. I don’t want to play either in the headline, as he gets to see it, although headlining Asia Scoring is almost harmless…but I have VoA and he is Bear Trapped meaning I can headline VoA to remove some of his influence in Asia in order to gain a domination there and then have the opportunity to score it on AR1 since he has to skip his AR1 discarding to Bear Trap. I can do so by removing just three influence: one from Pakistan, one from North Korea and one from any non-battleground, Indonesia being the most attractive target as he can’t even replace it and it also scores on SE Asia scoring. So with VoA I get to remove one more influence somewhere else. Panama would be nice to threaten a takeover. I really like this idea since it creates problems for him, I get to play a scoring card without losing momentum but most importantly it will give me 6 VPs which I desperately need. VoA is also so versatile a card that I don’t really mind him seeing it before he chooses his headline.

Turn 6 Headline
US headlines (2) The Voice of America (USA)
USSR headlines (1) “Lone Gunman”* (USSR)

Pakistan 0/1
North Korea 4/6
Indonesia 0/0
Laos/Cambodia 0/0

US hand is revealed.
(1) “Lone Gunman”* coups Angola. Die roll: 1 - FAILURE
USSR Mil Ops to 1. DEFCON=2

He headlines Lone Gunman and gets to see my entire hand as if seeing my headline first is not already enough…very greedy! On the plus side it gets permanently removed and I have one less DEFCON suicide card to worry about for the rest of the game. However, he gets to play operations with 1op after my VoA headline which means I now need to remove all four influence from Asia in order ensure he doesn’t steal my domination with his 1op play. I remove the extra from Laos/Cambodia so I can maybe control it sometime for SE Asia Scoring. Since he can’t even up Asia with just 1op, he decides to coup 1-stability Angola but fails miserably. (nice!)

Turn 6, USSR Action Round 1
(2) Grain Sales to Soviets (US)
Discarded to Bear Trap. Die roll: 5 > 4 – Bear Trap remains in effect

He also fails on his first Bear Trap roll which is great for me. I can now score Asia to gain VPs getting the score down to single digits again and I still won’t hand over the initiative so I can do even more damage on AR2 before he can even react to my headline. (As a side note I would have liked to draw and play Grain Sales myself…)

Turn 6, USA Action Round 1
(0) Asia Scoring (Both)
US gains 6VP. Score is USSR 9.

Turn 6, USSR Action Round 2
(2) Defectors (US)
Discarded to Bear Trap. Die roll: 3 < 4 – Bear Trap is no longer in play.

He escapes discarding Defectors meaning he doesn’t have any worse 2-ops US event in his hand. I can now play ops in Asia to try to flip Pakistan or control Indonesia and Laos/Cambodia so that SE Asia scoring becomes a draw. I could also create another threat somewhere else since Asia was just scored. But he knows (thanks to Lone Gunman) that I hold the Europe Scoring card, that I don’t have a lot of ops and that I also have at least 2 problem cards. He can gain domination in Europe just by breaking control of any US controlled country and since I have the scoring card in hand and need to go to the space race this turn I will not quite be able to follow up till the end and so I might have no option but to score Europe domination for the USSR. I therefore decide to play Europe Scoring now to free my hand handing over the initiative to the USSR (and 1VP).

Turn 6, USA Action Round 2
(0) Europe Scoring (Both)
USSR gains 1VP. Score is USSR 10.

Turn 6, USSR Action Round 3
(3) Warsaw Pact Formed* (USSR)
Place influence:
North Korea 4/7*
Pakistan 0/2*
Panama 0/3*

He re-controls North Korea and Pakistan and over-controls Panama. The Panama play probably means he holds Panama Canal Returned and wants to be able to play it freely. I don’t have to respond to this move so I decide to play Muslim Revolution to place influence so that Camp David has a beneficiary effect later in the turn. He will remove my 2 influence in Jordan which I don’t care to replace right now. I want to control Indonesia and Laos/Cambodia: a cheap and effective way to get SE Asia to score for 0 VPS also capitalizing on my VoA headline. I also control Argentina further solidifying US presence in South America and build up in Israel. Even though ME scoring is in the discard right now I will eventually need at least one ME battleground at some point.

Turn 6, USA Action Round 3
(4) Muslim Revolution (USSR)
Place influence:
Indonesia 1*/0
Laos/Cambodia 1*/0
Argentina 2*/0
Israel 2/1
USSR Event:
Jordan 0/0

Turn 6, USSR Action Round 4
(1) Truman Doctrine* (US)
Coups Colombia. Die roll: 6
Colombia 0/1*
USSR Mil Ops to 2.
US Event:
Austria 0/0

He coups Colombia and rolls a 6 but due to my huge over-control merely gets it to 0/1. I want Colombia back not only to deny him presence in SA but also because of the realignment modifier on Panama. I also need the mil ops so I coup him back. I do so with Nuclear Subs as I want to hold on to Junta and Camp David to play as events and my other two cards are USSR events I don’t want to play. (By the way, Truman gets removed and my chances of getting France back are now quite reduced…Europe scoring just got played however.)

Turn 6, US Action Round 4
(2) Nuclear Subs* (US)
Coups Colombia. Die roll: 5
Colombia 4*/0
US Mil Ops to 2.

Turn 6, USSR Action Round 5
(1) Summit (Both)
Coups Colombia. Die roll: 4
Colombia 1*/0
USSR Mil Ops to 3.

We have started a coup war in Colombia, which is the best use for his 1-op cards. After his last attempt however, I still control Colombia meaning that I now have a great opportunity for Junta. I will place two influence in Costa Rica for control and then realign Panama at +1. My remaining three cards are Camp David and the problematic Che and Quagmire so after this action around I have just one play left and a space race attempt.

Turn 6, US Action Round 5
(2) Junta (Both)
Event:
Costa Rica 3*/0
Realignment rolls:
Panama 0/0

Turn 6, USSR Action Round 6
(1) Panama Canal Returned* (US)
Coups Colombia. Die roll: 4
Colombia 0/2*
USSR Mil Ops to 4.
US Event:
Panama 1/0
Costa Rica 4*/0
Venezuela 4*/1

My realignments go well and I kick him out of Panama. He coups Colombia again with a 1op card. Including his Lone Gunman headline, this the fourth 1-op card he played this turn all played for coup attempts. He must have been really short on ops. He made a good choice however by playing all his 1-op cards for coup attempts on 1-stability countries as this is by far the most effective use of 1-op cards. He got control of Colombia with his last attempt and now has access to play back in Panama. Thanks to the US event he needs 3 ops to control it though. My next move is dubious: I have Camp David left to play and a Space race attempt. Prioritizing Latin America over the ME, I actually let go of the Camp David event and play it for 2 ops in Chile for South America control (yeah finally!!). I suppose that taking control of Panama would be a better alternative since he has access back again but I was also concerned of him playing Allende next turn and I wanted to control Chile first. I could also have spaced a card now and leave my options open for AR7.

Turn 6, US Action Round 6
(2) Camp David Accords* (US)
Place influence:
Chile 3*/0

Turn 6, USSR Action Round 7
(4) Flower Power* (USSR)
Place influence:
Panama 1/3*
Ecuador 0/1

He has ops left for the end of the turn (very wise) and takes Panama back rendering my previous play of Junta meaningless. Anyway, since I made the mistake of playing all my playable cards early I have no option but to space a USSR card now. I prefer to space Che and hold Quagmire so it misses the reshuffle. This way I won’t have to worry about it for the rest of the game. Plus if NORAD ever gets played (preferably next turn) I will surely have its benefit till the end.

Turn 6, US Action Round 7
(3) Che (USSR)
Space Race. Die roll: 5 – FAILED

Unfortunately, I fail the space race roll meaning that I will probably never catch up with the USSR in the space race. Overall though this turn went OK for me given that all my cards were known to my opponent from the headline. I managed to get precious VPs from Asia scoring and finally South America is under US Control. Three scoring cards are due next turn: South America, Central America and SE Asia. SE Asia is a draw but I have the opportunity to score a good amount of VPs from both other regions provided I get Cuba and protect South America from his opening coup. It is even more pressing to bring the score near zero next turn so that I will not be in danger of a Wargames loss on turn 8.
Regarding specific cards, I have not yet seen Brush War (I’d really like to draw it) and the 1-op unspaceable US cards (Sadat, OAS founded) which might cause him problems.

State of the World after Turn 6:




Opponent’s Turn 6 Hand:

(1) “Lone Gunman”* (USSR)
(2) Grain Sales to Soviets (US)
(2) Defectors (US)
(3) Warsaw Pact Formed* (USSR)
(1) Truman Doctrine* (US)
(1) Summit (Both)
(1) Panama Canal Returned* (US)
(4) Flower Power* (USSR)
???

(4) The China Card (Both)

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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
TURN 7

DEFCON improves to 3.

My hand:
(3) Quagmire* (USSR)
(2) Latin American Death Squads (Both)
(0) South America Scoring (Both)
(0) Southeast Asia Scoring* (Both)
(2) Our Man in Tehran* (US)
(2) The Cambridge Five (USSR)
(2) Indo-Pakistani War (Both)
(2) Willy Brandt* (USSR)
(3) U2 Incident* (USSR)

I have another relatively low ops hand and two of the three outstanding scoring cards. I need to play both of them before playing the Cambridge Five. I will space or hold Quagmire for yet another turn. The other two USSR events in my hand (Willy Brandt and U2 Incident) are rather weak and playable but it is quite annoying that both give VPs to the USSR at a point where I need every VP I can get to avoid a Wargames loss next turn. Indo-Pakistani War is a nice draw; I don’t plan to make use of the event but it all but ensures that India (and hence Asia) will be safe most probably till the end of the game. Our Man in Tehran is also nice, I would like to trigger the event as it is even more worthwhile on Turn 7 (all discards are permanent from now on).
I know he has Brush War, South Africa Unrest, Allende, Nixon Plays the China Card, OAS Founded, Sadat Expels the Soviets and Central America Scoring in his hand. Brush War is the most troubling of all. With it he has a decent chance to draw South America; in conjunction with a strong opening coup he has the opportunity to flip two SA battlegrounds. The damage from Allende is easy to repair if he plays it for the event and I would like to fortify Angola early so that he can’t flip it cheaply with South African Unrest. The other known cards in his hand are problematic US events. He can’t space any of them so I will eventually get these events at some point. Nixon (also unspaceable) probably means he will play China and then give me 2VP which are very welcome. In general he shouldn’t have much ops to play as well. He knows I hold Quagmire, LADS, SA Scoring, SE Asia Scoring, Our Man in Tehran and The Cambridge Five.
As the board is, I doubt that both SA Scoring and CA Scoring will grant me VPs but I need to make sure that at least one of them does and my course of action depends greatly on his headline and AR1. As for my headline I choose Latin American Death Squads as it affects the two most important regions to be scored this turn, offering some protection there from his opening coup and maybe help me with coups of my own.

Turn 7 Headline
US headlines (2) Latin America Death Squads (Both)
USSR headlines (2) Missile Envy (Both)

Latin American Death Squads is put into play.
US exchanges (3) U2 Incident* (USSR) for Missile Envy.
Event:
USSR gains 1VP. Score is USSR 11.

Between Quagmire and U2 Incident I obviously choose the latter to exchange for Missile Envy.

Turn 7, USSR Action Round 1
(4) The China Card (Both)
Coups Brazil. Die roll: 6
Brazil 0/3*
USSR Mil Ops to 4. DEFCON=2

He coups Brazil with the China Card and rolls so well that the Death Squads offer practically no help at all. I have lost SA Control and because I don’t control a non-battleground I can’t even score domination. South America just scores at +2VPs for me now. Moreover, after the Brazil take-over, Brush War on Venezuela has 66% of success. Considering the above and given that I am forced to play Missile Envy, I decide to coup Colombia. This gives me a non-battleground for SA domination (unless I roll a 1), it reduces his chances of a successful Brush War to 50% and puts me in a position to realign Panama again at +1. If he plays Brush War and is not successful (or plays anything else) I get to score SA for 5VPs. If he succeeds in his Brush War SA will be 0VP so I will shift my attention to Central America and realign Panama. If I get lucky enough and remove all his influence, CA will then score 3VP for me – clearly inferior but at least something. If he succeeds in Brush War and I am unable to remove him from Panama then I won’t be able to assure any VPs from either scoring card.

Turn 7, US Action Round 1
(2) Missile Envy (Both)
Coups Colombia. Die roll: 5
Colombia 4*/0
US Mil Ops to 2.

Turn 7, USSR Action Round 2
(3) Brush War (Both)
Event:
Targets Venezuela. Die roll: 1 (-1) < 3 – DEFEAT. USSR Mil Ops to 5.

My coup goes well, with some help from the Death Squads and he very fortunately fails in his Brush War roll so I can now score South America domination:

Turn 7, US Action Round 2
(0) South America Scoring
US gains 5VP. Score is USSR 6.

Turn 7, USSR Action Round 3
(0) Central America Scoring
No VP awarded. Score is USSR 6.

I score 5 precious VPs and he has the opportunity to play CA scoring for 0 as it can only get worse for him if I control Cuba or realign him out of Panama. I have one more scoring card to play but I want to over-control Angola first so he does not have a chance to flip it in a single play with South Africa Unrest. I also play an extra influence in Israel as ME scoring is in the draw pile again and I want a stable ME battleground as a minimum. ME scoring is currently the USSR’s only major source of VPs (and OPEC).

Turn 7, US Action Round 3
(2) Indo-Pakistani War
Place influence:
Angola 3*/1
Israel 3/1

Turn 7, USSR Action Round 4
(2) Nixon Plays the China Card* (US)
Place influence:
Peru 0/2*
US Event:
US gains 2VP. Score is USSR 4.

He plays Nixon giving me 2 more sweet VPs and controls Peru which offers him a more stable SA presence and a realignment modifier for Chile if he ever manages to control it with Allende and/or other events later. Influence in the Middle East might have been a better option as SA will get scored again on Final Scoring only and both Iraq and Saudi Arabia are uncontrolled. The really good news for me is that with this move the score is under the Wargames danger zone threshold. As I don’t have to react to his move, I play SE Asia scoring which is just an empty action round.

Turn 7, US Action Round 4
(0) Southeast Asia Scoring* (Both)
No VP awarded. Score is USSR 4.

Turn 7, USSR Action Round 5
(2) Liberation Theology (USSR)
Event:
Nicaragua 3*/1
Cuba 0/2

I am quite surprised to see this, not only because it was the only remaining card in his hand unknown to me but also because he chose not to play Liberation Theology before CA Scoring. This could have been an excellent headline coupled with his Brazil opening coup and Brush War threat forking both South and Central America and probably netting him VPs in the end. He opted to gamble with Missile Envy instead. (Well in his defense, if he also counted the cards he would have known that Quagmire is my highest ops card bearing just three unknown cards to him – he had a fair chance that ME would pull out Quagmire which indeed would be very strong but it didn’t work out). In any case since he dares place influence in Cuba a third time I will attempt to realign him at +2 this time as I have already taken care of my most urgent obligations. This time with Liberation Theology he places an influence in Nicaragua meaning he has a way back in.

Turn 7, US Action Round 5
(2) The Cambridge Five (USSR)
Realignment rolls:
Cuba 0/0
USSR Event:
US has no scoring cards to reveal.

Turn 7, USSR Action Round 6
(2) South African Unrest (USSR)
Place influence:
Iraq 0/3*

My realignments go well and he turns his attention to the Middle East. At this point I have Our Man in Tehran, Will Brandt and Quagmire in my hand. I would like to play Our Man in Tehran for the event, hold Quagmire and Willy Brandt is essentially a 1-op card since I have to repair the West Germany influence else give him Europe domination (and an opportunity to score it in next turn’s headline). He has Allende, Sadat and OAS Founded left. If he plays Allende as an event on AR7 I won’t be able to re-control Chile unless I give up on the Our Man in Tehran event or allow a temporary USSR Europe domination either of which I don’t want. Any of his other two cards help me. I decide to play Our Man in Tehran now knowing that I may have to leave Chile uncontrolled at the end of the turn.

Turn 7, US Action Round 6
(2) Our Man in Tehran* (US)
Event:
US discards (3) Socialist Governments (USSR)
US discards (4) “We Will Bury You”* (USSR)

Turn 7, USSR Action Round 7
(1) Allende* (USSR)
Event:
Chile 3/2

I get to discard an annoying USSR event that could also give him the chance to score an easy Europe domination and a defcon suicide card – not bad but I would have liked to see ME scoring and/or OPEC. He plays Allende and breaks my control. With only Willy Brandt left to play (or space), I opt to repair the damage to West Germany and place the remaining influence into Chile. This way it will cost him at least 5 ops to control it and he can’t possibly do so in one action round.

Turn 7, US Action Round 7
(2) Willy Brandt* (USSR)
USSR Event:
USSR gains 1VP. Score is USSR 5.
West Germany 4/1
Place influence:
West Germany 5*/1
Chile 4/2

By the end of the mid-war I have managed to reduce his VP lead which reached -15 VPs at the end of Turn 5 to -5VPs. My board position looks OK. Europe and Asia are a draw but I have many events to help me in Europe in the Late War and he has given me the China Card leaving Pakistan at 0/2* so I can flip it and gain Asia domination if he doesn’t take care to over-control it soon. I still have Africa domination but Africa is a region that swings very easily. I am dominated in the Middle East and probably can’t do anything about it. I have the upper hand in South and Central America but both won’t get scored before Final Scoring. My main concern is that if he gets 2 more fast VPs he can win with Wargames.
I know he still has OAS Founded and Sadat Expels Soviets in his hand both of which help me and he will be forced to play at least one of them next turn.

State of the World after Turn 7:



Opponent’s Turn 7 Hand:
(2) Missile Envy (Both)
(3) Brush War (Both)
(0) Central America Scoring (Both)
(2) South African Unrest (USSR)
(2) Nixon Plays the China Card* (US)
(2) Liberation Theology (USSR)
(1) Allende* (USSR)
(1) OAS Founded* (US)
(1) Sadat Expels Soviets* (US)

(4) The China Card (Both)

On to the Late War…
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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
TURN 8

DEFCON improves to 3.

My hand:
(3) Quagmire* (USSR)
(3) SALT Negotiations* (Both)
(3) De-Stalinization* (USSR)
(4) Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007* (US)
(3) Iranian Hostage Crisis* (USSR)
(0) Europe Scoring (Both)
(3) Tear Down This Wall* (US)
(2) Iran-Contra Scandal* (USSR)
(3) Shuttle Diplomacy (US)

(4) The China Card (Both)

A nice hand with a lot of ops although many are tied up with USSR events that are not too pleasant. Tear Down This Wall is simply fantastic, especially since I can pair it with Europe Scoring. I will certainly play the event, break control in East Germany and then realign France at +4. France is 3/6* now so I have extremely good odds that I will end up with France control and Europe domination and also have the scoring card to score it afterwards. Of the USSR events Quagmire (which I’ve been holding since Turn 6) is unplayable and De-Stal at this stage is not much of a problem but still annoying. If I end up playing it I must first control Chile, Israel and ideally Cuba. Iranian Hostage Crisis is OK as I can’t see how I can contest Iran anyway but it risks a subsequent double Terrorism discard and Iran-Contra Scandal is harmless played on AR7. Shuttle Diplomacy will be played for ops and probably so will SALT Negotiations since currently there aren’t any good finds in the discard.
For my headline which he still gets to see first, I will go with Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 which is very strong given that I control South Korea. I get 2VP, lower DEFCON without risk and play 4ops. Since I don’t have Wargames, I am in danger if he can score fast VPs and holds Wargames himself. Considering that after my headline the score will be at -3VP and DEFCON=2 his only sources of 3+ VPs are Middle East Scoring (now scoring 6VPs) and OPEC (now scoring 4VPs). He can headline any of them and play Wargames on AR1 which would be disastrous. Having said that, I can use my 4ops from KAL to break control in Syria (his only ME non-battleground) and Egypt denying him ME domination and making both ME Scoring and OPEC score for just 3VPs – I am marginally safe from Wargames. (He could play it for a draw however but I think the Playdeck app considers draws as US victories but in any case it’s the best I can do to avoid a Wargames loss should he have any combination of the above cards.) Even if he does not have ME Scoring it’s a very good bluff that I do. Moreover the one influence in Egypt means I will get instant control of Egypt when he plays Sadat which is still in his hand. He probably will repair the damage on AR1 since he can’t coup a battleground. Then I can immediately play TDTW with very good chances of gaining Europe domination. If he afterwards scores the ME or plays OPEC for 4+ VPs I can respond with Europe Scoring for 5VPs to bring the score back down and he can’t win with Wargames.

Turn 8 Headline
US headlines (4) Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007* (US)
USSR headlines (3) Cuban Missile Crisis (Both)

DEFCON degrades to 2. US gains 2VP. Score is USSR 3.
Place influence:
Egypt 1/2
Syria 1/2
Cuban Missile Crisis is put into play.

Cuban Missile Crisis is a weak headline for the USSR as I can easily cancel it whenever I wish to do so by temporarily removing two influence from West Germany, placing it back even during the same action round if necessary. I’m very glad he didn’t headline a strong event (e.g. Reformer, Aldrich Ames) meaning he probably lacks strong USSR cards.

Turn 8, USSR Action Round 1
(2) Solidarity* (US)
Place influence:
Egypt 1/3*
Syria 1/3*

He plays Solidarity without triggering the event since John Paul has not been played and repairs the ME gaining domination back. I proceed with my plan to play Tear Down This Wall and realign France at +4 for Europe domination. If he has ME Scoring or OPEC and scores either, threatening a Wargames win, I will respond immediately with Europe scoring.

Turn 8, US Action Round 1
(3) Tear Down This Wall* (US)
Event:
East Germany 3/4
Realignment rolls:
France 3*/0

Turn 8, USSR Action Round 2
(4) Marshall Plan* (US)
Place influence:
East Germany 3/6*
Saudi Arabia 0/3*
US Event:
Canada 3/0
West Germany 6*/1
France 4*/0
Italy 3*/0
Benelux 1/0
Denmark 1/0
Austria 1/0

I realign him out of France with just 2 attempts and try one more in Turkey but it doesn’t remove any influence. I now have a solid Europe domination. He plays Marshall Plan to repair East Germany and control Saudi Arabia – he may think I have ME scoring after all. With the Marshall Plan influence I get the opportunity to further solidify my Europe position and I over-control all my European battlegrounds so that they are somewhat protected against the Reformer and Pershing in case they get played later. (Socialist Governments is in the discard.) Also, after Marshall Plan, if I place one more influence in West Germany I can cancel the Cuban Missile Crisis without leaving West Germany uncontrolled even for a single action round. Since he didn’t score VPs, Europe Scoring can wait. I prefer to control Israel and Chile first in case he tries to do something funny and prevent him to re-locate influence there in case I have to play De-Stalinization later.

Turn 8, US Action Round 2
(3) Shuttle Diplomacy (US)
Place influence:
Israel 5*/1
Chile 5*/2

Turn 8, USSR Action Round 3
(3) “Ask Not What Your Country…”* (US)
Space Race. Die roll: 6 – FAILED

He spaces “Ask Not…” again but fails. I decide to space a problem card too, not only because I now have a break and will eventually have to do so this turn but also because, if successful, I will prevent him from spacing a second card and thus reaching the box that allows him to discard his hold card. I really don’t want this since I know he holds Sadat and OAS founded in his hand plus CIA Created is still in the deck.

Turn 8, US Action Round 3
(3) Quagmire* (USSR)
Space Race. Die roll: 5 – FAILED

Turn 8, USSR Action Round 4
(3) NORAD* (US)
Space Race. Die roll: 6 – FAILED

I fail to advance but so does he on his second attempt so I am OK. He must have had a hand full of US events this turn. I have no reason to delay Europe Scoring any longer.

Turn 8, US Action Round 4
(0) Europe Scoring (Both)
US gains 5VP. Score is US 2.
Turn 8, USSR Action Round 5
(3) OPEC (USSR)
Event:
USSR gains 5 VP. Score is USSR 3.

For the first time in the game the VP marker dips into the US side but only momentarily as he has OPEC after all and he gets to score it for 5 VPs. This means that despite me scoring Europe domination I am still in danger of Wargames if he holds it and also has ME Scoring. His play doesn’t suggest this (and I can’t prevent it) but I still have to be cautious of a Wargames loss next turn. I have SALT Negotiations, Iran-Contra Scandal, De-Stal and Iranian Hostage Crisis left in my hand. I will play Iran-Contra on the final AR and SALT for ops. I am not happy about playing either of the other two USSR events. I would prefer to see Terrorism before playing Iranian Hostage Crisis and although I can control Cuba with De-Stal and then give him the event, he can use it to spread all over African and Latin American non-battlegrounds which is far from ideal. I decide to hold both to the next turn and play China to flip Pakistan which he has neglected to over-control. Asia scoring is back in the deck and this will hand me domination and will certainly pressure him. I will give him China and hence a safety valve against CIA and/or other hand management problems but Ussuri is still in the deck and so there is a way to force him to give me back China.

Turn 8, US Action Round 5
(4) The China Card (Both)
Place influence:
Pakistan 4*/2

Turn 8, USSR Action Round 6
(1) Sadat Expels Soviets* (US)
Place influence:
Cuba 0/1
US Event:
Egypt 2*/0

He plays Sadat giving me Egypt control (at last!) and once more dares to place influence in Cuba. I will attempt to realign him out again at some point but this is not urgent as CA scoring is in the discard. I decide to do some protection with my next move. I need one in Pakistan so he can’t flip it with China next turn (like I did), one in Argentina so that the Iron Lady doesn’t flip it and since I’m playing SALT for 3 ops I will place one more in West Germany planning to remove 2 influence there next AR, cancel the Cuban Missile Crisis and coup with Iran-Contra. Neither side has mil ops up to now and if he doesn’t coup next turn I will get two more VPs this way.

Turn 8, US Action Round 6
(3) SALT Negotiations* (US)
Place influence:
Argentina 3*/0
Pakistan 5*/2
West Germany 7*/1

Turn 8, USSR Action Round 7
(2) Portuguese Empire Crumbles* (USSR)
Place influence:
Cuba 0/3*

He is obsessed with Cuba! I proceed with my plan, remove 2 influence from West Germany and play Iran-contra for a coup attempt. But where to coup? I could coup Botswana to threaten a South Africa realignment but with just two ops it isn’t very promising. Sudan is rather unimportant and South America doesn’t offer good opportunities. I decide to coup Nicaragua aiming to just remove his influence there (a 100% probability) so that when I eventually realign Cuba again he won’t have access to play back in.

Turn 8, US Action Round 7
(2) Iran-Contra Scandal* (USSR)
West Germany 5*/1 – Cuban Missile Crisis is no longer in play.
Coups Nicaragua. Die roll: 2
Nicaragua 4*/0
US Mil Ops to 2.
USSR event: Iran-Contra Scandal is put into play.

USSR lacks 2 Mil Ops. US gains 2VP. Score is USSR 1.

This was a nice turn for me. The score has further gone down to -1VPs. I managed to get both Europe and Asia domination. The ME scores just 4VPs for the USSR now. I dominate Africa and South America and once again I have a +2 realignment position in Cuba which can give me CA domination too. At this point I think that with my board position and last play advantage I’ve got this game if it goes to Final Scoring. The main way I can lose is with Wargames provided he scores the ME and also has another source of 2 VPs…

State of the World after Turn 8:




Opponent’s Turn 8 Hand:
(1) OAS Founded* (US)
(1) Sadat Expels Soviets* (US)
(3) Cuban Missile Crisis* (Both)
(2) Solidarity* (US)
(4) Marshall Plan* (US)
(3) “Ask Not What Your Country…” (US)
(3) NORAD* (US)
(3) OPEC (USSR)
(2) Portuguese Empire Crumbles (USSR)

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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
TURN 9

DEFCON improves to 3.

My hand:
(3) De-Stalinization* (USSR)
(3) Iranian Hostage Crisis* (USSR)
(1) Kitchen Debates* (US)
(2) Terrorism*(Both)
(4) Nuclear Test Ban (Both)
(4) Glasnost* (USSR)
(3) Five Year Plan (US)
(2) Olympic Games (Both)
(3) COMECON* (USSR)

Another nice hand with a lot of playable ops but one that lacks strong events. Terrorism in my hand means I can play Iranian Hostage Crisis knowing that Terrorism won’t be played against me. I can use Glasnost as an ABM Treaty for a battleground coup, giving 2VP to the USSR however, as long as the Reformer has not been played. The demands of the turn will determine if this is worthwhile but ideally I would like to do this as soon as possible before he has the opportunity to play the Reformer. With Kitchen Debates I can get 2VPs as I control more battlegrounds and it’s superior to playing the card for just 1 op.
For my headline I consider either Terrorism or Five Year Plan. Both cut the USSR hand size but in this situation Five Year Plan is probably better in the sense that if a US event is discarded it also triggers. He still holds OAS Founded and possibly other favorable US events so with Terrorism there is the risk that he discards a problem card with no positive effect for me. I have the option to play Terrorism later in the turn and in this way force him to play China else skip an action round. All my remaining cards are better played for ops and De-Stalinization will be my hold/space card as even now, given the option, I would prefer not to play it.
I still haven’t seen Wargames. If he holds it and also has ME Scoring he can get the score to -5 VPs. I will still be safe and also have Kitchen Debates for 2VP to play. This means he has to score another 4 VPs to win with Wargames which I don’t think he will be able to get easily. Glasnost however (if I play it) will give him 2VP so I still have to be cautious of a Wargames loss if he scores the ME and has a source of another 2 VP.

Turn 9 Headline
US headlines (3) Five Year Plan (US)
USSR headlines (0) Middle East Scoring (Both)

USSR discards (3) Arms Race (Both)
USSR gains 4VP. Score is USSR 5.

Arms Race is a nice discard to Five Year Plan. It removes a potential source of 3VPs from his hand (he could cash it in after an AR1 coup and threaten to win with Wargames) or else just a free 3-ops card. He headlines ME Scoring after seeing my headline so that it doesn’t get discarded to Five Year Plan. I assume that he too realizes that at this point his best chance of winning is via Wargames. This means I can’t play Glasnost now, at least not before the Kitchen Debates event.

Turn 9, USSR Action Round 1
(2) John Paul II Elected Pope* (US)
Coups Angola. Die roll: 6
Angola 0/4*
USSR Mil Ops to 2. DEFCON=2
US Event:
Poland 1/2

He very successfully coups Angola with John Paul and flips Africa to USSR domination. He must have lots of US events if he is playing John Paul for ops. I don’t care to place influence in Poland now: Europe has been scored and Warsaw Pact is still around and he could remove all my influence in Eastern Europe at once. But I can’t ignore the Africa threat as if he has the scoring card and plays it I can lose to Wargames. I decide to flip Nigeria, getting back Africa domination and over-control it so he can’t flip it back easily. I can do so with my 4-ops card.

Turn 9, US Action Round 1
(4) Nuclear Test Ban (Both)
Place influence:
Nigeria 4*/2

Turn 9, USSR Action Round 2
(3) North Sea Oil* (US)
Place influence:
Zaire 3/4*
US event:
North Sea Oil is put into play.

In response he flips Zaire with 3ops and Africa is USSR dominated again. North Sea Oil means I get an AR8 this turn. As I won’t be playing De-Stal I have to space it early to make my back-to-back AR7-AR8 play meaningful. But for now I still need to attend to Africa. I can flip Zaire back with a 3-ops card. Unfortunately I lack a 4-ops to over-control it as I did with Nigeria.

Turn 9, US Action Round 2
(3) COMECON* (USSR)
Place influence:
Zaire 5*/4
USSR event:
Poland 1/3
Finland 0/2
East Germany 3/7
Yugoslavia 0/1

Turn 9, USSR Action Round 3
(4) NATO* (US)
Place influence:
Zaire 5/7*
US event:
NATO is put into play

We are both fighting for Zaire and Africa domination. With his last move he over-controls it so now I can’t flip it back. But I can deny him domination by country count. He can then score Africa for 1VP, the score becomes -6VP to which I will respond with Kitchen Debates for 2VPs slipping away from the Wargames danger zone once again. I go for Ivory Coast as I generally prefer the 2-stability African non-battlegrounds. He can coup me in Cameroon to gain domination back again but I can respond to that by either couping it back or couping Sudan (I need mil ops anyway).

Turn 9, US Action Round 3
(2) Olympic Games (Both)
Place influence:
Ivory Coast 2*/0

Turn 9, USSR Action Round 4
(2) Colonial Rear Guards (US)
US event:
Zaire 6/7*
South Africa 1/3
Botswana 1/2
Ethiopia 1*/0
Place influence:
South Africa 1/4*
Botswana 1/3*

…and he replies with a move I couldn’t even have hoped for! Colonial Rear Guards right when the fight for Africa is on. (By the way he cannot space it…the positive side-effect I get for him being so far ahead the Space Race). He lets me go first with the event and I break his control of South Africa and Botswana, remove his over-control in Zaire and control one more cheap country to continue to be ahead of him in total country count. With the card’s 2 ops he repairs South Africa and Botswana and lets me flip Zaire if I have another 3-ops card. I am puzzled by this move – for the second time in this game he plays heavily into Africa only to just let me get it back. I won’t pass the opportunity however especially since I do have a playable 3-ops card in my hand.

Turn 9, US Action Round 4
(3) Iranian Hostage Crisis* (USSR)
Place influence:
Zaire 8*/7
USSR event:
Iran 0/4*

Turn 9, USSR Action Round 5
(2) Latin American Debt Crisis (USSR)
Event:
US discards (3) De-Stalinization (USSR)

So that was his devious plan after all…tempt me to burn my high ops cards in Africa and hope to catch me with none left to discard to LADC. Kind of smart but it wouldn’t have a significant payback though since it would take Chile to 5/4 and Venezuela to 4/2 and with just two ops I can repair. He seems to be desperate to save whatever region he can. I discard De-Stal to LADC thus forfeiting my AR8; it isn’t worth it to repair Chile (AR5), space De-Stal (AR6) and then be left to play Kitchen Debates and Glasnost back-to-back, more so since I want the Kitchen Debates event which I go ahead and play now.

Turn 9, US Action Round 5
(1) Kitchen Debates* (US)
Event:
US gains 2VP. Score is USSR 3.

Turn 9, USSR Action Round 6
(1) OAS Founded* (US)
US event:
Uruguay 2*/0
Place influence:
Poland 1/4*

He finally plays OAS Founded and I control Uruguay with an eye towards realigning Brazil if I sometime have the opportunity. I have Terrorism and Glasnost left to play. I will use the Glasnost event for a coup as I will lose 2 VPs due to mil ops if I don’t coup at all so the net effect of the card in terms of VPs is zero. Terrorism for the event isn’t very appealing now – I don’t know what card he is holding but it must be pretty bad since he played Colonial Rear Guards, OAS Founded and John Paul for me this turn. It could also be Wargames though, waiting and hoping to be played the moment the score reaches -7VPs. Anyway I decide to realign Cuba at +2 with Terrorism to give him one more thing to worry about.

Turn 9, US Action Round 6
(2) Terrorism (Both)
Realignment rolls:
Cuba 0/0

Turn 9, USSR Action Round 7
(4) The China Card (Both)
Place influence:
South Korea 3/4

The realignments go well, he is out of Cuba once again and can’t play back in. For the final AR he plays all 5ops of the China Card in South Korea. It’s nice that I have China for turn 10 and have the choice to either just keep it for a net profit of 2VPs or use it for my last play of the game. I am playing Glasnost next and I will certainly coup for mil ops and to prevent DEFCON rising to 4 next turn so that he can’t further mess up with US dominated Asia. I will address his South Korea play next turn. I want to coup an African battleground as it is the only region I can coup at DEFCON 3 that hasn’t yet been scored. South Africa has too high stability and Angola has a good 66% chance of ending up under US control. But on the next turn on AR1 he can coup Zaire and then US influence in Angola can be realigned out at +2. This could give Africa domination to the USSR and I am still in danger of a Wargames loss if he gets to score Africa domination next turn. On the other hand if I coup Zaire (now at 8*/7) and succeed in removing a lot of his influence it could deter him from couping there. Given that Algeria is 5*/0 his only alternative to get a third battleground in Africa would be to coup Nigeria which I can immediately realign at +1.

Turn 9, US Action Round 7
(4) Glasnost* (USSR)
USSR event:
USSR gains 2VP. Score is USSR 5. DEFCON=3
Coups Zaire. Die roll: 5
Zaire 8*/0
US Mil Ops to 4. DEFCON=2

The coup goes well and I end up with massive over-control in Zaire. We fought a lot over Africa this turn but I maintained my domination – I just exchanged Angola for Nigeria and thanks to my previous lucky roll ended up with huge Zaire over-control making it practically un-coupable.
Entering the final turn I am in very good position. The board currently scores 15VPs for me and I can make it score even more if I control Cuba for CA domination as well as with my last play advantage. I also have the China Card. However, with the score still at -5VPs I am once more only marginally safe from a Wargames loss. I would like to draw a favorable scoring card next turn and play it quickly (or for that matter draw the Wargames cards itself!) and end the Wargames threat once and for all.


State of the World after Turn 9:



Opponent’s Turn 9 Hand:
(1) OAS Founded* (US)
(0) Middle East Scoring (Both)
(3) Arms Race (Both)
(2) John Paul II Elected Pope* (US)
(3) North Sea Oil* (US)
(4) NATO* (US)
(2) Colonial Rear Guards (US)
(2) Latin American Debt Crisis (USSR)
???

(4) The China Card (Both)

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Re: Annotated game between two 1750 rating players
TURN 10

DEFCON improves to 3.

My hand:
(2) Iran-Iraq War* (Both)
(2) Special Relationship (US)
(3) Che (USSR)
(2) How I Learned to Stop Worrying* (Both)
(2) Reagan Bombs Libya* (US)
(2) Ortega Elected in Nicaragua* (USSR)
(3) Ussuri River Skirmish* (US)
(2) Junta (Both)
(2) Marine Barracks Bombing* (USSR)

(4) The China Card (Both)

Another hand without Wargames and/or a favorable scoring card. The combination of Special Relationship and Reagan Bombs Libya gives me 3VPs however which I will take asap if he scores even one more VP. The USSR events are manageable, except Che which I plan to hold or space. Junta in my hand for a second time basically secures my position in South and Central America. I would like to control Cuba this turn, after playing Ortega obviously else it becomes a DEFCON suicide card. (Incidentally this was the reason I didn’t play into Cuba throughout the game despite the numerous opportunities I had to do so).
I don’t have a lot of ops though. I plan to hold Ussuri and China until AR7 and I won’t repair South Korea yet. If he spends ops to control it I can play Ussuri on AR7, breaking control of 2 Asian battlegrounds and getting Asia domination back which nets me 6VPs. I will consider playing China on AR7 if I can get even more VPs from it (keeping in mind that giving him China back costs 2VPs).
I will headline HILTSW, use it to set DEFCON to 2 and protect my battlegrounds in Africa and South America. The plan for the remainder of the turn is to maintain as much of my board position is possible. I can’t be too aggressive as I have only 2ops cards to respond to whatever he does.

Turn 10 Headline
US headlines (2) How I Learned to Stop Worrying* (Both)
USSR headlines (0) Africa Scoring (Both)

DEFCON degrades to 2. US Mil Ops to 5.
US gains 4VP. Score is USSR 1.

He headlines Africa scoring after seeing my headline, gives me 4VPs and so from now on the Wargames threat is over. From this point on, simply with careful play I can win this game easily after Final Scoring.

Turn 10, USSR Action Round 1
(3) AWACS Sale To Saudis* (US)
Coups Colombia. Die roll: 5
Colombia 0/2*
USSR Mil Ops to 3.
US Event:
Saudi Arabia 2/3

He coups Colombia I assume to try to contest SA by country count and for Panama realignments but with an inconvenient US card. I play Junta to break control of Brazil and coup Colombia back…let’s see which will he defend…

Turn 10, US Action Round 1
(2) Junta (Both)
Event:
Brazil 2/3
Coups Colombia. Die roll: 5
Colombia 3*/0

Turn 10, USSR Action Round 2
(2) Defectors (US)
Place influence:
Brazil 2/4*
Ecuador 0/2*
US Event:
US gains 1VP. Score is even.

He repairs Brazil (obviously) and I again have the chance to knock him out of Panama at +1:

Turn 10, US Action Round 2
(2) Ortega Elected in Nicaragua* (USSR)
Realignment rolls:
Panama 1/0
Dom. Republic 0/0
USSR Event:
Nicaragua 0/0
Coups Costa Rica. Die roll: 5
Costa Rica 3*/0

Turn 10, USSR Action Round 3
(2) Yuri and Samantha* (USSR)
Coups Colombia. Die roll: 4
Colombia 0/1*
USSR Mil Ops to 5.

The realignments go really well and I also remove him from the Dom. Republic. He coups Colombia back successfully and I don’t have SA domination any more. As I can take it back easily I opt to control Panama to give him a difficult time getting even CA presence. I also play in Cuba aiming for CA control.

Turn 10, US Action Round 3
(2) Reagan Bombs Libya* (US)
Place influence:
Panama 2*/0
Cuba 1/0

Turn 10, USSR Action Round 4
(2) Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
Event:
Die roll: 6 (-1) < 4. DEFEAT
USSR Mil Ops to 5.

He absent mindedly plays the Arab-Israeli War event which has 0% chance of success and I continue to fill up Cuba:

Turn 10, US Action Round 4
(2) Iran-Iraq War* (Both)
Place influence:
Cuba 3*/0

Turn 10, USSR Action Round 5
(2) Camp David Accords* (US)
Place influence:
Venezuela 4*/2
US Event:
US gains 1VP. Score is US 1.
Israel 6*/1
Jordan 1/0
Egypt 3*/0

I think his Venezuela play is rather pointless but it doesn’t even matter anymore. I just space Marine Barracks – repairing the influence isn’t worth it…

Turn 10, US Action Round 5
(2) Marine Barracks Bombing* (USSR)
Space Race. Die roll: 3 – SUCCESS
US advances to 2 in the Space Race.

Turn 10, USSR Action Round 6
(4) Muslim Revolution (USSR)
Place influence:
South Korea 3/6*
Saudi Arabia 2/5*

He plays Muslim Revolution for ops (the event is unavailable to him after AWACS Sale). Asia is a draw now but I can get domination back either with Ussuri or with China if he upsets the scoring anywhere else too. For now I just cash in the Special Relationship VPs and secure West Germany, my only not over-controlled European battleground.

Turn 10, US Action Round 6
(2) Special Relationship (US)
Event:
West Germany 7*/1
US gains 2VP. Score is US 3.

Turn 10, USSR Action Round 7
(3) Pershing II Deployed* (USSR)
Event:
USSR gains 1 VP. Score is US 2.
Greece 1/0
Spain/Portugal 1/0
UK 4/0

With his last play he disrupts Europe Scoring. For my final play I will play China to get both Europe and Asia domination back making the board score 20VPs for me.

Turn 10, US Action Round 7
(4) The China Card (Both)
Place influence:
UK 5*/0
Canada 4*/0
South Korea 4/6

State of the World after Turn 10:



Final Scoring:
Score is US 2.
Central America: US + 8VPs
South America: US + 2VPs
Europe: US + 5VPs
Africa: US +4VPs
Middle East: USSR -4VPs
Asia: US +5VPs
The China Card – USSR -1VP
Final score is US 21.

Opponent’s Turn 10 Hand:
(0) Africa Scoring (Both)
(3) AWACS Sales To Saudis* (US)
(2) Defectors (US)
(2) Yuri and Samantha* (USSR)
(2) Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
(2) Camp David Accords* (US)
(4) Muslim Revolution (USSR)
(3) Perching II Deployed* (USSR)
???


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Nicola Gambetti
Italy
Bolzano
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And plastic for the Plastic Throne!
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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I really enjoyed reading your extensively annotated session report: thank you for sharing your thinking and commenting on the reasons for your choices.

I think I would have taken different decisions than yours on a few occasions but your explanations made sense (and the final result confirmes you were right): this is really useful at improving one's skills at outguessing his opponents!

Moreover, reading it made me long for buying the Steam version at last, to find both better and ever-new opponents, but sadly it still is too expensive for now.

Please, share more session reports on your next games!
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Alter Zausel
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Great work! Thanks for sharing!
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Ioannis Chatzigiannelis
Greece
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Hi. This is the Soviet player. Great write-up. Too lazy to write my point of view.

Six_N wrote:
Opponent’s Turn 6 Hand:

(1) “Lone Gunman”* (USSR)
(2) Grain Sales to Soviets (US)
(2) Defectors (US)
(3) Warsaw Pact Formed* (USSR)
(1) Truman Doctrine* (US)
(1) Summit (Both)
(1) Panama Canal Returned* (US)
(4) Flower Power* (USSR)
???

(4) The China Card (Both)



Just to let you know the held card was OAS. That makes it 5 1-Op in my hand at the beginning of the turn.
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