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Subject: Blockaded! rss

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Matthew Miyares
United States
Lorton
Virginia
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It's a fairly standard game vs. the AI to refresh myself before playing a friend, taking the US at no handicaps vs. the AI.

First two turns pass as one might expect; I'm not overly blessed with good cards and am playing defense against the AI, managing to avoid being dominated in Asia and the Middle East.
AI decided to influence rather than coup Iran T1, probably because I headlined Asia Scoring first thing, eventually leading to me winning the Iran Coup war T2. That's offset by the AI getting DeCol off early, setting up a good Africa position, and I got unlucky (1) with my opportunistic 2op coup of Nigeria, leaving Central Africa uncontested to the Soviets. Still, not altogether too bad for the first two turns.

Then, I'm dealt this hand:
Blockade
Romanian Abdication
De-Stalinization
Norad
Indepedent Reds
Fidel
UN Intervention
Olympic Games

Now, what would you headline in this hand? What I decided to do was Headline Blockade, since I knew I was going to have to play around that eventually, and a Turn 3 discard of De-Stalinization was the ideal scenario. There was a slight risk, of course, that the already played Red Scare/Purge was in the USSR hand, but I decided to risk it.

I suppose you can all guess exactly what happened next.

To my knowledge, that was the first time I ever had to empty West Germany in response to Blockade, and I'm kicking myself that I set myself up to do it. A better move would probably have been to headline Romanian Abdication, since I was hoping to combo it with Independent Reds anyway, since I knew Truman was in the Soviet Hand.

So, I was left with an Open Europe with low ops. That was a fun hand. At least, I thought, things will get better in the Mid-War.

Then I get my Turn 4 hand, with four scoring cards. Asia, SE Asia, S. America, and the Middle East.

I was actually pretty fortunate, since I was able to Headline Colonial Rear Guards, giving me a back-to-back Asia Domination and positive SE Asia scoring. China let me fight the Middle East to a draw, and the AI very helpfully played Panama Canal returned, which thanks to my spacing De-Stal on Turn 3, left South America open for a Domination scoring as well!

Or would have, if the AI hadn't played FYP to draw CIA. A bit of an anti-climax, to be honest, especially as I knew it wasn't a forced DEFCON loss, as they spaced Puppet Governments earlier in the turn.

So, Playdek could probably stand to fiddle a bit more with their algorithms, but this was still a quite memorable little session!
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Michael Bay
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Atlanta
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After playing the AI a bit, it's limitations become obvious. I have no idea how they programmed the AI, but I think it would be great if they could implement alternate AIs that emulate the different strategic approaches (traditional, sankt). Even better would be a way for people to program their own ideal strategy approaches and share them with others.
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