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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Variants

Subject: War cards rss

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Ted Duby
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I am of the opinion that certain War events should degrade the DEFCON. I am not in agreement with the change to the Korean War card, for instance

Korean War card should always degrade the DEFCON (just like in the 1st edition cards), since the superpowers were directly involved and this has remained a hotspot throughout the Cold War.

Arab-Israeli War card should always degrade the DEFCON because of the critical nature of the Mideast to both superpowers and the threats of superpower involvement throughout the Cold War.

The Indo-Pakistani War card should degrade the DEFCON during Mid or Late War only (since at least India had nuclear weapons and was friendly to the Soviets).

The only exception should be the Iran-Iraq War card, which did not have the same level of tension to the superpowers as the other 3 war hotspots.

Any thoughts?
 
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Ed
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I played it this way by mistake my first game. It was still fun, but it prevented a lot of coups and realignments from happening as the game quickly got stuck at DEFCON 2.
 
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Mike Silbey
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The Korean War defcon degrade in the original always felt nicely thematic for me.

Note that having those wars degrade defcon gives the USSR an advantage (since 2 of them are USSR only events, making those cards unplayable for ops by the US player when defcon is at 2).
 
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Philip Thomas
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If you go with this I would say that you should make the Wars unplayable (event just doesn't happen if its Soviet only) if there could not be a coup in that region.

However, I don't think they should degrade Defcon at all. The superpowers were not going to launch Nuclear war merely because the arabs and israelis/indians and pakistanis were fighting all over again.
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Matthew Barratt
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Seting DEFCON to 2 would be an alternative to a -1 DEFCON change for Korean war that wouldn't risk the US being unable to play it.
 
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Martin Stever
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MajorOracle wrote:
Any thoughts?


Yes, if the alternative you suggest were made a rule, it would make Red Scare/Purge even more powerful, and that card is already close to being a game breaker. When a player is subject to Red Scare/Purge, he or she is typically playing as many helpful events as they can, getting hammered by their opponent's low ops events that are forced out, and just hanging on for the next turn. Following your suggestion, when you're Red Scare/Purged and you have a two-point war card in your hand, you'd be forced to play it for 1 ops, changing what is currently a minor relief from being severely Purge-gimped into even more pain. Swell.
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Ted Duby
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Philip Thomas wrote:


However, I don't think they should degrade Defcon at all. The superpowers were not going to launch Nuclear war merely because the arabs and israelis/indians and pakistanis were fighting all over again.


I agree that they weren't going to launch Nuclear war, however DEFCON is a measure of superpower tension, not just a Nuclear war trigger.

And if I remember correctly, the 1973 Arab Israeli war was a very tense situation with the superpowers threatening direct superpower involvement.

However, as the others have suggested, if this rule would seriously affect the playability and balance then I would not favor it, as I always favor playability over theme. I guess I was just looking at it from a strictly "theme" perspective.

Thanks for the input.
 
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Jason Matthews
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Ted wrote:

Quote:
I am of the opinion that certain War events should degrade the DEFCON. I am not in agreement with the change to the Korean War card, for instance

Korean War card should always degrade the DEFCON (just like in the 1st edition cards), since the superpowers were directly involved and this has remained a hotspot throughout the Cold War.

Arab-Israeli War card should always degrade the DEFCON because of the critical nature of the Mideast to both superpowers and the threats of superpower involvement throughout the Cold War.

The Indo-Pakistani War card should degrade the DEFCON during Mid or Late War only (since at least India had nuclear weapons and was friendly to the Soviets).

The only exception should be the Iran-Iraq War card, which did not have the same level of tension to the superpowers as the other 3 war hotspots.

Any thoughts?


Ted, the -1 DEFCON for Korean War has a long and storied history. During playtests, it was not in. Ted Racier, author of Paths of Glory, basically hounded us until we included it.

It certainly makes sense in certain contexts. In many respects, the Arab-Israeli War card would have been a better candidate. However, Ike did make a veiled threat to use nukes to bring North Korea to the negotiating table. Had we initiated them, its hard to say how the Soviets would have reacted, but I would say degrading the DEFCON level would have been the least consequential outcome.

However, other war cards are weaker candidates for a DEFCON impact. Indo-Pakistani War, Iran-Iraq War, and most Brush Wars really did not affect the superpower rivalry in that same "hair trigger" kind of way.

The reason that the effect was dropped from the first to second edition was for simplicity and consistency. The wording of all the war cards is now parallel, and they are all implemented in basically the same way. The single most common question that I got at WBC last year was not some fine point about Aldrich Ames implementation, it was "Do I apply -1 to all wars, or just the Korean War?" Well, that did it for me. Out it went.

Jason
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Mike Silbey
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Thank you for your response, Mr. Matthews.
 
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Martin Stever
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MajorOracle wrote:
And if I remember correctly, the 1973 Arab Israeli war was a very tense situation with the superpowers threatening direct superpower involvement.


PBS is running a 2-hour documentary on the 6-day War this month. It's really good. I didn't know that the Soviets were painting their MIG's with Egyptian markings, for instance.
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