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13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis» Forums » Sessions

Subject: At the Edge of Disaster rss

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Ron A
United States
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Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet-Gen. Mattis
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What follows is an annotated Log File from a game of 13 Days that I played in using the Chantry Games online implementation. I was sort of surprised nobody has put up a session report yet, but Chantry gives you a card by card log file that makes this fairly easy. I did miss one thing-- the log doesn't include the possible Agenda areas, so you have to write them down or try to remember them.

Black text-- my notes
Blue Text-- USA plays
Red Text-- Russian Plays
Green Text-- Scoring and misc text generated by app


Game starts
SBGrad plays as USA, xxxxx (name redacted to protect the innocent) plays as USSR.

Round 1

Escalate DEFCON tracks
USA Military track is escalated by 1, now at 1(3),Political track is escalated by 1, now at 2(3), and World Opinion track is escalated by 1, now at 1(3).
USSR Military track is escalated by 1, now at 2(3),Political track is escalated by 1, now at 1(3), and World Opinion track is escalated by 1, now at 1(3).
Draw Agendas
Agenda deck is shuffled.
Strategy cards
USSR chooses a player to get initiative.
USA gets initiative.

Turn #1


USA player plays Offensive Missiles (USA, 2 cubes) for the Event.
Resolving event of Offensive Missiles:
USA adds 1 cube to Turkey, now at 2★/0☭.
USA adds 1 cube to Italy, now at 2★/0☭.
USA adds 1 cube to Cuba (Political), now at 1★/0☭.


I actually chose Political Defcon track for my Agenda, so this move was to try and confuse my opponent as to what I was up to.

USSR player plays Berlin Blockade (USSR, 2 cubes) for Command.
USSR adds 2 cubes to Cuba (Political), now at 1★/2☭.
USSR Political track is escalated by 1, now at 2(3).


Turn #2

USA player plays SOPs (UN, 1 cube) for the Event.
Resolving event of SOPs:
Effect of SOPs has started on USA.


+1 to all my Command actions, not sure how much I like this card. You really need to look at your cards and see how many you will play for events vs Command. I don't think I did that here. Just goes to show that in the heat of the game you don't always think rationally.

USSR player plays U Thant (UN, 1 cube) for Command.
USSR adds 1 cube to Atlantic, now at 0★/1☭.


U Thant Event (reduce all Defcon tracks by 1) is great in later rounds to get yourself out of trouble, but in Round 1? Might as well play for Command.

HHMM, first USSR plays to Cuba, and now Atlantic, and Cuba has a flag on it. I think he's going there.

Turn #3

USA player plays EXCOMM (USA, 3 cubes) for the Event.
Resolving event of EXCOMM:
USA adds 2 cubes to Atlantic, now at 2★/1☭.
USA Military track is escalated by 1, now at 2(3).
USA adds 2 cubes to Cuba (Military), now at2★/1☭.
USA Military track is escalated by 1, now at 3(2).


Suck it, Commies. Seriously, if he's going for Cuba, this is a good way to slow him down.

USSR player plays Mathematical Precision (USA,3 cubes) for Command.

Resolving event of Mathematical Precision:

USA Political track is escalated by 1, now at 3(2).
USA adds 2 cubes to Television, now at 2★/0☭.
USA World Opinion track is escalated by 1, now at 2(3).


A no-brainer event to take. I've picked Political Defcon for my Agenda, so that's the track to move. This might be telegraphing my play, though, since he can see a US flag on the Political Track.

USSR adds 2 cubes to Cuba (Military), now at 2★/3☭.
USSR Military track is escalated by 1, now at 3(2).


More Cuba action, he's going there for sure.

Turn #4

USA player plays Air Strike (USA, 2 cubes) for Command.
USA adds 2 cubes to Cuba (Political), now at 3★/2☭.
USA Political track is escalated by 1, now at 4(2).


Move ahead in Cuba, AND increase my Political Track lead. This was my last card for the round, and the only one I played for Command after playing SOPs. Playing SOPs for event didn't really work out too well, but it's more of an insurance policy. Better yet, check your cards before you play SOPs and see what is likely-- I didn't do that.

USSR player plays U-2 Downed (USSR, 2 cubes) for Command.
USSR adds 2 cubes to Cuba (Political), now at3★/4☭.
USSR Political track is escalated by 1, now at 3(2).


Save cards for Aftermath
World Opinion bonus
USA gets Television bonus: escalate or degrade one DEFCON track.
USA World Opinion track is deflated by 1, now at 1(3).
Nobody gets the World Opinion bonus for dominating United Nations.
Nobody gets the World Opinion bonus for dominating Alliances.
Resolve Agendas
USA Political track is escalated by 1, now at 5(2).
USSR Political track is escalated by 1, now at 4(2).
Resolving Political: USA dominates for 1+1=2 prestige points.
Resolving Cuba (Political): USSR dominates for 1+1=2 prestige points.
Check for nuclear war
Nuclear war is averted... so far.


Well, I was right, he picked Cuba, but since he went last he could jump my last card play. At least I won my Agenda, so score is tied.

Round 2
Escalate DEFCON tracks
USA Military track is escalated by 1, now at 4(2),Political track is escalated by 1, now at 6(1), and World Opinion track is escalated by 1, now at 2(3).
USSR Military track is escalated by 1, now at 4(2),Political track is escalated by 1, now at 5(2), and World Opinion track is escalated by 1, now at 2(3).
Draw Agendas
Agenda deck is shuffled.
Strategy cards
USSR chooses a player to get initiative.
USA gets initiative.

Turn #1


USA player plays To the Brink (UN, 2 cubes) for the Event.
Resolving event of To the Brink:
Effect of To the Brink has started on USSR.


USSR player plays Containment (UN, 2 cubes) for the Event.
Resolving event of Containment:
Effect of Containment has started on USA.


We both play events that hurt the other player. This REALLY hurts me, as Political track is at Defcon 1.

Turn #2

USA player plays MRBMs & IRBMs (USSR, 3 cubes) for Command.

Resolving event of MRBMs & IRBMs:

USSR Military track is deflated by 1, now at 3(2).
USSR adds 1 cube to Atlantic, now at 2★/2☭.


USA removes 3 cubes from Cuba (Political), now at 0★/4☭.
USA Political track is deflated by 2, now at 4(2).


Had to bring Political Defcon down to the safe zone.

USSR player plays Close Allies (UN, 2 cubes) for Command.
USSR adds 1 cube to Atlantic, now at 2★/3☭.


Russia has used 2 straight cards to add to Atlantic, think he's going there?

Turn #3

USA player plays Scramble (UN, 3 cubes) for the Event.
Resolving event of Scramble:
USA adds 1 cube to Television, now at 3★/0☭.
USA adds 1 cube to Alliances, now at 1★/0☭.
USA adds 1 cube to United Nations, now at 1★/0☭.


2 goals here: Personal Letter is my Agenda item, need to stake that down. I also like having the World Opinion bonuses, this is a cheap way to do that. Plus, placing cubes on all 3 battlegrounds doesn't necessarily draw attention to United Nations (Personal Letter).

USSR player plays Wave and Smile (USA, 2 cubes)for Command.

Resolving event of Wave and Smile:

USA removes 2 cubes from Turkey, now at 0★/0☭.
USA adds 2 cubes to Cuba (Military), now at 4★/3☭.


Don't need cubes in Turkey, this is a way to make sure USSR doesn't get too many points from the connected battlegrounds. Plus, if he wants to put 5 cubes in Cuba, he'll be raising his Defcon track, I can live with that.

USSR adds 1 cube to United Nations, now at 1★/1☭.

Turn #4

USA player plays Fifty-Fifty (UN, 3 cubes) for Command.
USA adds 1 cube to United Nations, now at 2★/1☭.


Only playing 1 cube, since I don't need my Defcon track going up too much.

USSR player plays Fidel Castro (USSR, 3 cubes) for the Event.
Resolving event of Fidel Castro:
USSR adds 2 cubes to Cuba (Military), now at 4★/5☭.


Well, he got 2 more cubes into Cuba WITHOUT raising his Defcon, some times that happens, you cannot plan for everything in this game. You always have to remember that your opponent gets a vote (Gen. Mattis said that, can't track down original quote).

Save cards for Aftermath
World Opinion bonus
USA gets Television bonus: escalate or degrade one DEFCON track.
USA Political track is deflated by 1, now at 3(2).
USA gets United Nations bonus: take Personal Letter.
USA gets Alliances bonus: additional Aftermath card.
USA discards Strategic Balance.
Resolve Agendas
Resolving Personal Letter: USA dominates for 0+2=2 prestige points.
Resolving Cuba (Military): USSR dominates for 1+2=3 prestige points.
USSR gains 1 Prestige, now at 1.
Check for nuclear war
Nuclear war is averted... so far.


HHmm, I did about as well as can be expected. I kept the Letter, got some points, but dropped 1. Of course, that means I get to force USSR to go first for Round 3-- THAT may be decisive.


Round 3
Escalate DEFCON tracks
USA Military track is escalated by 1, now at 5(2),Political track is escalated by 1, now at 4(2), and World Opinion track is escalated by 1, now at 3(2).
USSR Military track is escalated by 1, now at 4(2),Political track is escalated by 1, now at 6(1), and World Opinion track is escalated by 1, now at 3(2).
Draw Agendas
Agenda deck is shuffled.
Strategy cards
USA chooses a player to get initiative.
USSR gets initiative.


Turn #1

USSR player plays Operation Mongoose (USA, 2 cubes) for Command.

Resolving event of Operation Mongoose:
USA gains 1 Prestige, now at 0.
USA Military track is escalated by 1, now at 6(1).


I'll take the point, but USSR shoves me into Defcon 1. Worse, all 3 tracks are in Defcon 2, so I need to make -2- moves to lower Defcon this round.

USSR removes 2 cubes from Cuba (Political), now at 0★/2☭.
USSR Political track is deflated by 1, now at 5(2).


USA player plays Summit Meeting (UN, 2 cubes) for the Event.
Resolving event of Summit Meeting:
USA discards Defensive Missiles, A Face-Saver,and Eyeball to Eyeball.


All 3 of the dumped cards have only 1 Command cube on them, and I'm going to need 2 or 3 Command cubes cards to get my Military Defcon back to the safe zone.

Turn #2

USSR player plays Speech to the Nation (UN, 3 cubes) for the Event.
Resolving event of Speech to the Nation:
USSR adds 2 cubes to Television, now at 3★/2☭.
USSR adds 1 cube to United Nations, now at 2★/2☭.


USA player plays U-2 Photographs (USA, 1 cube) for Command.

USA adds 1 cube to United Nations, now at 3★/2☭.


Don't want USSR getting their hands on the Letter.

Turn #3

USSR player plays Moscow is our Brain (USSR, 3 cubes) for Command.
USSR adds 2 cubes to United Nations, now at 3★/4☭.
USSR World Opinion track is escalated by 1, now at 4(2).


USA player plays Quarantine (USA, 1 cube) for the Event.
Resolving event of Quarantine:
USA adds 1 cube to Atlantic, now at 3★/3☭.


Turn #4

USSR player plays Lessons of Munich (USA, 3 cubes) for Command.

Resolving event of Lessons of Munich:
USA adds 1 cube to Italy, now at 3★/0☭.


Italy is my Agenda item, trying to make sure I win it. 3-0 is a good start.

USSR removes 3 cubes from United Nations, now at 3★/1☭.
USSR World Opinion track is deflated by 2, now at 2(3).


If I had to guess, I'd say he was adding cubes to UN just so he could remove 3 at once and lower his Defcon. I do that all the time.

USA player plays Missile Trade (USSR, 3 cubes) for Command.

USSR chooses not to resolve the event.

I purposely saved Missile Trade (USSR removes up to 3 cubes) for late in the Round so Russia would have to burn a card to lower his Defcon-- and it worked! If I'd played this one turn sooner, Russia could've played Lessons of Munich offensively. Now he doesn't need to lower Defcon any more, so he doesn't take this event. Timing is everything in this game.

USA removes 2 cubes from United Nations, now at 1★/1☭.
USA World Opinion track is deflated by 1, now at 2(3).


I also had to lower my Defcon, and just pulled it off with my LAST card. I'm also going to need the TV World Opinion bonus to get my Military Defcon from zone 1 down to 2. This was cutting it WAY too close.

Save cards for Aftermath
World Opinion bonus
USA gets Television bonus: escalate or degrade one DEFCON track.
USA Military track is deflated by 1, now at 5(2).
Nobody gets the World Opinion bonus for dominating United Nations.
USA gets Alliances bonus: additional Aftermath card.
USA adds the card to Aftermath.
Resolve Agendas
Resolving Italy: USA dominates for 3+1=4 prestige points.
Resolving Atlantic: no one dominates.
USA gains 4 Prestige, now at +4 USA.
Check for nuclear war
Nuclear war is averted... so far.
Aftermath
Counting Aftermath cubes: USA has 1 cube, USSR has 5 cubes: USSR gets the award.
USSR gains 2 Prestige, now at +2 USA
SBGrad wins the game: They have more Prestige


...and there you have it. As I said, I got very lucky, my original set of cards for Round 3 would never have gotten all my Defcon tracks to safe zone. Then I needed the TV bonus as well to save me. Still, that shows how cubes placed early into the World Opinion Battlegrounds can pay off in later rounds. Cubes dumped on Turkey/Italy/Berlin battlegrounds are not usually as useful over multiple rounds.

The other thing to remember is that you are not the only person with problems. While you are sweating it out, your opponent is doing the same thing. They are in Defcon trouble, they are running out of cubes, it's a 2 way street.

The game is really fun to play, short enough to keep excitement level high, not so long that it seems like work or gives you a let down. People keep calling 13 Days 'Twilight Struggle in 45 minutes,' but I think 13 Days plays more like a final 2 high stakes poker game. Any way you look at it, the game richly rewards the time invested.
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Asger Harding Granerud
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Great session report!

Asger
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Alexander Kornev
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thanks for a report. and triple thanks for mentioning the site. I had no idea about it. And after playing a couple of games online I bought a physical version as well )
 
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