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Subject: As the pendulum swings rss

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"L'├ętat, c'est moi."
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This morning Jonathan and I played our 30th game of TS for 2009, and it was one of our closest matches yet.

Jonathan opened with 4 in Austria, 1 in Poland, and 1 in Finland
I countered with 4 in West Germany, 1 in France, and 2 in Italy.

Turn 1 headlines were Fidel and Five Year Plan (USSR discarded Vietnam Revolts). I began to aggressively pursue a strategy of European domination and managed to realign the Soviets out of France, but while I did manage to score domination with the Europe scoring card, a late turn Socialist Governments and successful Blockade saw me in trouble in Europe. I was also coup'd out of Iran and Panama. DEFCON closed out at 3, and the US paid 3 VP for being short of RMO. [VP USA-3]

Turn 2 headlines were Eastern European Unrest and Comecon, so they essentially neutralized one another. I made a mistake this turn in trying to salvage West Germany. I spent far too many influence points, but did manage to coup back into Panama. Meanwhile, the Warsaw Pact saw me ejected from East Germany, Austria, and Finland. The DEFCON didn't change and we were tied on RMO, so no points there. However, Middle East scoring made the score even [VP 0]

Turn 3 headlines were Eastern European Unrest and Socialist Governments. Ouch! Italy, the last remaining US battleground country, fell out of US hands. However, Poland wasn't in USSR control yet with only 2 influence, so I played Europe Scoring (losing 8VP in the process). The Soviets promptly fixed that and then had control of Europe! However, I was doing well in Asia and got 5 of them back with Asia Scoring, and another 2 with Duck and Cover. More points for the Soviets with Middle East scoring (3pts to 0) but some recouped on the Space Race as the Americans fire a satellite up first. The Soviets countered with Captured Nazi Scientists. DEFCON was 3, score was tipping the Soviet way. [VP USSR-3]

Turn 4 saw the US Defectors prevent Nasser from taking power. Decolonization saw the Soviets enter Africa, but a coup in Angola soon had the US established there as well. Africa scoring only hurt the US by 1. South American scoring was uneventful (nobody there) and then the US managed to take back Iran. The Soviets boosted their presence in European battlegrounds, and I spent a lot of points trying to crack my way back in, futilely. We traded space race advances to Animals in Space. We ended the turn at DEFCON 2 and the US gained 2VP from missing Soviet RMO, [VP USSR-2]

Turn 5 headlines were Cultural Revolution to reclaim the China card from me, and CIA from me to check if the Soviets had Europe scoring. They did not, and then played Missile Envy to trigger Flower Power. I used the influence to try to get back into Italy, which was now 4/5. A flurry of influence changed hands and at the end of the turn, Italy was at 6/11. Meanwhile, Panama was back in Soviet hands, and red was seeping into South America. DEFCON was 2, and the Russians were creeping ahead on the score track. [VP USSR-5]

Turn 6 saw Jonathan and I on the same wavelength as I played ABM treaty for a successful coup in Panama to take it back while he played Junta and chipped away at Venezuela and finished it off with a Brush War. Meanwhile I was still able to make gains in Asia, with a wide swath of blue crossing from Iran all the way to Thailand and south to Australia. My fortunes were turning more positive in the Middle East and I realigned the USSR out of Cuba. Panama once more went red though. Central American scoring helped push things back my way a little. [VP USSR-3]

Turn 7 headlines had my ABM treaty pushing Italy to 8/11 while Jonathan had plans with the Latin American Death Squads. A coup in Brazil excluded me from South America, but netted me 2 VP as he used the Alliance for Progress card. I played Southeast Asia scoring for 4 net VP, but he had South American scoring (and control) for 10. I played the SALT Negotiations card to retrieve the ABM treaty card and the DEFCON was 5. The Soviets did a coup in Thailand (to bring me to 1/0), but I then used the ABM treaty to coup Italy... 8/6 and American control! I could breathe a little in Europe. Jonathan used Shuttle Diplomacy to bring Italy to 8/8 and then I pulled out the card I'd been hoarding since turn 3 - Truman Doctrine. Italy 8/0 and in firm US hands. Thailand fell to Soviet influence. Asia Scoring with mutual presence rounded out the turn, while I set up turn 8 with a Bear Trap, which ended with the DEFCON at 3 and the score still Soviet. [VP USSR-6]

Turn 8 headlines saw John-Paul II go to Poland, and a Junta try to take Mexico (2/2 and realignments failed). Grain Sales ended the bear trap, and Tear Down This Wall snapped East German control; the realignments in France failed and it held solid red. A Soviet coup failed to take hold of Iran, and I played One Small Step to jump past the Soviets to Man in Space (incidentally, that was the last either of us were able to advance on the space race). Socialist Governments did me in again in Spain and the UK, and I managed to retake Panama with a Brush War at the expense of 2VP (Flower Power). The US actually dominated the Middle East at this point and the score was pushed my way. DEFCON 2 is how we ended the turn. [VP USSR-4]

Turn 9 headlines were Iran-Iraq war for me (I failed my attempt to snare Iraq) and the Latin American Debt Crisis, which I used to throw away the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The Soviets invested some influence to dominate Europe, while I kicked them out of Thailand. Glasnost gave the Soviets some VP, but allowed me to coup into Laos to eliminate all red presence in Asia save North and South Korea. USSR then launched a coup in Thailand to make it 0/1, but I then made it 4/1 with the Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 card. Europe scoring made it tense, taking the score to USSR-14. We traded influence plays in Africa and ended the turn at DEFCON 2. [VP USSR-14]

Turn 10 rolled around and it was definitely crunch time for the US. USSR had solid control of South America and domination in Europe. I had domination in Asia, Central America, the Middle East and Africa, but the latter two were tenuous. Headline for the Soviets (Indo-Pakistani War) was cancelled by Defectors. Missile Envy triggered the Muslim Revolution, and suddenly the US had mere presence in the Middle East. A coup failed to take Iran from me, and then I took control of Central America. The Iron Lady helped the Soviets move dangerously towards domination in the Middle East. Central American Scoring followed to make the score USSR-5. I seized the China Card with Nixon, and since Africa was not going the Soviet way, the Africa Scoring card yielded 1 VP for me. Having taken the China Card, I used Terrorism to force a Soviet discard (Noriega went into the pile), leaving the USSR short a card. The Russians tried to break control of Algeria, but I defended and regained domination as well. With no cards left, the US had to choose between Marine Barracks Bombing and De-Stalinzation. The former was the obvious choice, and despite losing Iran as a result, it didn't tip the presence balance in the Middle East, and I was able to use those last to OPS points to put Europe into mutual presence (by gaining control of Yugoslavia) and gaining presence in South America (Columbia).

I was short of the RMO and so before final scoring, the DEFCON was 2 and the score was USSR-6.

Europe went to the Soviets 7-5 -> USSR-8
Asia went to the USA 12-5 -> USSR-1
Central America went to the USA 8-0 -> USA-7
South America went to the USSR 10-2 -> USSR-1
Middle East went to the USSR 4-3 -> USSR-2
Africa went to the USA 7-3 -> USA-2
China Card was with the USA -> USA-3

Talk about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat!

It was a very tight game the entire way. I spent the better part of two turns in dread that the Europe Scoring card would come out and end the game instantly on my until I was able to engineer control of Italy.

For those keeping track at home, Jonathan and I alternate sides, and in our 30 games this year, the Soviets lead the US 19-11.
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Matt Davis
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You say Europe was scored on turn 3...that means it couldn't score again until probably turn 7. When the Mid War starts, you just shuffle the Mid war cards into the remaining deck, so the discard pile stays in the discard until the draw pile runs out (usually at the start of turn 7). Or am I misreading something in your post?
 
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coolpapa wrote:
You say Europe was scored on turn 3...that means it couldn't score again until probably turn 7. When the Mid War starts, you just shuffle the Mid war cards into the remaining deck, so the discard pile stays in the discard until the draw pile runs out (usually at the start of turn 7). Or am I misreading something in your post?


Mid War starts at turn 4. A previously played scoring card may appear just in turn 4.
 
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Matt Davis
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But not if it was played on turn 3. If it was played on turn 3, it'll be in the discard pile when the Mid War cards come in and thus it won't be shuffled in.
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