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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Strategy

Subject: How frequent are realignment rolls? rss

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Chuff Ape (Keyforge)
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I am a neophyte. I have played only one full game and two incomplete ones (this is a long game). Having played a total of 18 rounds, we hardly ever use realignment rolls. It is just so much easier to do a coup. And, thelimitations are the same. I read an article that works the statistics but I would like to know how common and how often realignment rolls are used in TS.
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Matt Davis
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Obviously they're most common in the Americas and Africa, since, as you say, it's usually better to coup in a particular region than to realign if you can.

That said, you can always realign, say, Venezuela or Brazil, even when DEFCON won't let you coup. Realignments are very situational, but they're great for things like kicking Castro out of Cuba immediately after he takes power. The more you play, the more you realize that access to regions is really important, and kicking someone out of an area completely can really slow them down - especially the Soviets in the Americas. (See De-Stalinization, Decolonization, Colonial Rear Guards, Voice of America, etc....) That's what makes realignments most useful in my mind.
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Realignments can be extremely powerful in the Americas and Africa (as coolpapa said). Soviet Control of Central America is devastating. It's also very hard to hold onto if the US starts realigning Mexico and Cuba. A 4OPs card might successfully coup Mexico, but not Cuba. The same 4OPs card spent on realignments could easily evict the Soviets from both countries, with no immediate chance to return (depending on their presence in CA, of course). Also, if the Soviet Union is the first with South American access (Alende), then it may be wise to realign them at a -1 penalty before they spread all over the continent.

I think I used to overlook realignments routinely. I had to see them ruin my own plans to integrate them into my approach to the game.
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Jason Sherlock
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The fear or realignment can be as important as the actual act. The USSR must keep a Defcon of 4 or below or face US realignments in Europe.

Also, it can very useful in the early game to kick out US influence in Korea or to stop the spread of US influence in SE Asia or to kick any US influence that may have snuck into the India/Pakistan triangle.
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Josh
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I've played TS enough with opponents from newbies to champions to see a pattern emerge: When learning the game a player will try realignments a few times, not have very much success, and conclude that they are worthless. Later, with more experience, that player will realize that realignments can be an optimal move in certain situations. Realignments will remain rare, but between experienced players might happen 2-4 times a game.
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Lawrence Hung
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JoshBot wrote:
I've played TS enough with opponents from newbies to champions to see a pattern emerge: When learning the game a player will try realignments a few times, not have very much success, and conclude that they are worthless. Later, with more experience, that player will realize that realignments can be an optimal move in certain situations. Realignments will remain rare, but between experienced players might happen 2-4 times a game.


The point is "what are the situations that would be?". Even 2 to 4 times a game are also low on the number. I would like to learn how to best use the realignment to optimise my strategy. My experience is that a side would be defeated before it can activate any realignment roll, often regarded as spare action after nothing else could be done.
 
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Jason Sherlock
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It is hard to pin down what those situations would be exactly; it will be very defendant on the situations of each individual game. However, some examples are:

Getting The USSR out of Cuba (too high a stability to do it any other way easily). Can be done by the US actually playing the Fidel card and using its ops to expel the USSR. If lucky, you may even have a realignment attempt left after expelling the Soviets to use elsewhere.

USSR dislodging the US out of West Germany (early in the game, using very aggressive tactics).

Whittling away at the US influence in Israel.

Removal of your opponent's only influence in Africa, South America, SE Asia, or the Sub-Continent.

US removing USSR influence in France/Spain/Algeria

One benefit of the Realignment is that with a coup you make one attempt and even if you are successful, you often now have given your opponent the seed to make a counter coup. With a realignment you have multiple attempts (which are not influenced by the value of the card) and can clear an opponent out of an are without leaving behind the means for him to pop right back in.

Both coups and realignments have their place. It is often the more experienced players that see the possibilities that a realignment can bring into a situation.
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Patrick Jamet
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houjix wrote:
Lobo2 wrote:
If you try the designer variant rules (end of the 2e rulebook) where realignments can be done regardless of DefCon and or you can split Ops points between adding influence and doing realignments, they are very common.

I've never tried this variant, but I'd be concerned that it's prohibitively chaotic and random.

I play "you can split Ops points between adding influence and doing realignments" only if the DEFCON permits it. It's effective but not chaotic.
 
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After 100+ games, I've come to see the value of realignment rolls. You always want to work out the %'s to make sure that you've got the better odds, but the power of realignment rolls really make themselves felt in the Americas (South and Central) and Africa.

With some good planning, a 4 ops card can affect your opponent in four different countries on the board, especially if you can remove enough influence to tip a country from control to mere influence or more importantly reduce them from dominance to presence (or tip you into dominance).

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Basar Cenik
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I've only played this game with my brother. We almost never used realignment in the first 3 games. Since, we have been using the variant rule.
 
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Im a big fan of realignment rolls.

Of course, they are best used when you have stacked the odds in your favor (at least +1 against two influence or +0 against four influence is good rule of thump for odds) or when used to remove opponents entry point into a region they can be extremely valuable if successfull.

Cards like OAS founded or junta can be sometimes be usefull to go into position for realignment as the US in the americas.

One region where i rarely have seen realignment is in Asia (good suggestion about korea, however it is at disadvantage i think)
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Thomas Helvard
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I hardly ever use realigment roll, used it once in my last game to kick Soviet out of Central America (after succesful coup in Mexico - sweet ).

I think of realigment rolls a bit like the gate in Caylus - it's not used often but it can have a huge impact when it finally is used
 
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Thomas Helvard
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jackalope wrote:
The USSR must keep a Defcon of 4 or below or face US realignments in Europe.


Usually not a problem, In my games with my wife, the only time where the Defcon is 5 is only in the very first turn. There might be an occasional event that pushes it up to 5, but that only lasts for 1 round.
 
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