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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Specific cards: Willy Brandt rss

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Philip Thomas
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Background: Willy Brandt was West German Chancellor in the 1970s. He pioneered a foreign policy caled Ostpolitik, which involved recognising East Germany as a state and generally adopting a friendlier attitude to the communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Unknown to him, at least one of his closest aides was in fact a Stasi Agent- a member of the East German Secret Police.

Effect: 2 Ops starred Soviet event. Gain 1 VP and add 1 influence in West Germany. This card cancels or prevents NATO for West Germany, and is itself cancelled/prevented by Tear Down this Wall.

Strategy: This isn't the greatest of events, especially if the USA has shored West Germany up to 5 influence (with Marshall Plan, perhaps). There may be situations where the USSR needs the VP or even the ability to realign West Germany, but most often the 2 OPs are more useful. Besides the normal points about starred events apply...

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Josh
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I guess I could see a situation where Brandt would be Headlined, followed by a Round 1 combo of some sort in a Late War Europe push, but I can't recall ever seeing this card amount to much as the event.
 
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Aaron Cappocchi
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To exploit the USSR's first-move advantage, Brandt makes a nice Headline, followed by an unopposed grab of France if the US hasn't controlled it yet. France looks safe until the combo approach of placing Inf in West Germany during Headline and expanding the USSR's reach into France makes the US picture in Europe a little more bleak.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Yes, I try to cover France one way or the other by Mid War...
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Pete Chace
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Kicking down the door to France is one nice thing this can do, although usually France will be resolved one way or the other before then because the USSR can put Decolonization influence into Algeria.

It can set up West Germany for USSR realignment rolls which won't usually happen but it's potentially disasterous.

If the US has the luxury of space racing it, they can hope Tear Down This Wall comes up and cancels it. In all the games I have played this has happened for me exactly once (although it was pretty cool when it did). Usually there are much more pressing cards to Space Race. It's probably best to just eat the card and try and establish control of Benelux and Denmark to protect West Germany.
 
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Philip Thomas
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If you're interested in doing some serious reading around the Twilight/Struggle events, I recommend In Europe's Name by Tim Collins. Probably out-of-print sadly as it was published in 1993.

It is a detailed analaysis of West Germany foreign policy towards the USSR, Eastern Europe and East Germany (the last was sometimes classifed as domestic policy...). The Germans have a single word for all the things described above, Ostpolitik . The founding father of Ostpolitik was Willy Brandt, though his sucessors continued his work.

Of course, the historical reality isn't quite as simple as the boardgame- Ostpolitik in some ways (so Tim Collins argues) hastened the downfall of the Eastern bloc, while shoring it up in others (not least by the incredible sums of money paid over to East Germany in return for releasing dissidents to the West).
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