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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Specific cards: COMECON rss

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Philip Thomas
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Background: COMECON was the USSR's answer to the Marshall Plan, a measure of economic aid to the satellite nations of Eastern Europe. It was much less generous than the Marshall Plan and as the USSR had already despoiled its satellites of much of their resources it was little more than a token gesture.

Effect: USSR 3 Ops Starred event, add 1 influence in any four non-US controlled Eastern European Countries.

Strategy: This is one USSR event I'm happy to play as the USA. The four influence is trivial since it is scattered over a wide area, and the 3 Ops are most welcome. As USSR if the event is played by the USA I generally use it to boost Poland and East Germany first and then consider where else to place. I normally play it for Ops if I am the USSR, since it helps the deck weighting later on.
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Kevin Brown
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It's pretty much always an OPs card for either side.

For the Soviets you want to try to keep it in the deck until the Late War as you might need it if you get Chernobyled in Europe. In the vast majority of cases, however, three OPs anywhere will be more useful than four influence in Eastern Europe.

For the US it's better to get this out of the way early, to help with deck weighting. The influence in Eastern Europe aren't that important as a general rule.
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Tony Lam
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And, remember to place one influence to Finland too. As Finland is half Eastern and half Western Europe, a US Marshall Plan could place 1 influence in Finland. And Finland is adjacent to USSR superpower, which could gives 1 VP to US for Europe scoring.

One important thing that US player should really consider when playing this card in an early war is the likelyhood of "De-Stalinization" which allows the USSR player to re-allocate up to 4 influence points to other location. In the early war, USSR shouldn't have too many "unimportant" influence to remove. However, a COMECON will give the USSR exactly 4 influence points for re-allocation.
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Kevin Brown
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tonylhf wrote:
And, remember to place one influence to Finland too. As Finland is half Eastern and half Western Europe, a US Marshall Plan could place 1 influence in Finland. And Finland is adjacent to USSR superpower, which could gives 1 VP to US for Europe scoring.


My usual opening placement for the USSR is three in Poland and three in Finland, which prevents the US from going there with Marshall unless he commits something else there first.
 
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Pete Chace
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As the US player I don't mind having this card at all. It's one where the USSR should (almost) always play it for ops and the US player should always play it and allow the event to occur instead of space racing it.

One thing to be cautious of is that if US plays Comecon that can open the door for a quick USSR grab of Greece and Turkey. So timing may be importaint, the US should grab one or both of those countries if he can before Comecon.
 
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Philip Thomas
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pilight wrote:
tonylhf wrote:
And, remember to place one influence to Finland too. As Finland is half Eastern and half Western Europe, a US Marshall Plan could place 1 influence in Finland. And Finland is adjacent to USSR superpower, which could gives 1 VP to US for Europe scoring.


My usual opening placement for the USSR is three in Poland and three in Finland, which prevents the US from going there with Marshall unless he commits something else there first.


Well, he can put one of his 7 starting influence in Finland and then play Marshall as a headline, but that is fairly unusual.

I often use Finland as De-Stalinisation fodder, which means I do end up putting influence in Finland with COMECON etc.
 
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Kevin Brown
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Philip Thomas wrote:
pilight wrote:
My usual opening placement for the USSR is three in Poland and three in Finland, which prevents the US from going there with Marshall unless he commits something else there first.


Well, he can put one of his 7 starting influence in Finland and then play Marshall as a headline, but that is fairly unusual.


Even so he'd have to spend six more OPs to take control of Finland. That's a pretty weak US play compared to the other Marshall Plan headline options.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Only 2 OPs if he follows up with Truman Doctrine, but yes it is a long shot.
 
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Kevin Brown
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Only 2 OPs if he follows up with Truman Doctrine, but yes it is a long shot.


That's alot of work for the US to get Finland.
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Philip Thomas
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Yes, I would say USA is probably over-investing there. I've seen it played without Marshall Plan using Truman Doctrine as US Turn 1 headline instead, which does make the USSR rather short of De-stalinsation material, but its still not the best use of Truman Doctri ne.
 
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nicola caroli
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First of all, hat off to you for this serie of articles, really interesting and well thought.

While i agree that playing COMECON as USA for OPs is almost a no-brainer, you also have to consider the interaction with East European Unrest. If EEU hasn't shown up yet, and you're pretty sure it's in opponent's hand then you are giving USSR a perfect excuse to use the 3 ops elsewhere where it will hurt rather than basically skip an Action Round to space it or undo the damage.
Even if EE is in your hand, by playing COMECON you're forgoing the opportunity to use it as headline or last action round action, throwing the USSR off balance in europe and seizing some precious initiative.

What i find amazing in this game is that even such a seemingly boring card has interesting implications.
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