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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Variants

Subject: Saudi Arabia & Italy rss

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Not to tinker too much with an already very successful design that works well enough, but having played TS many times and studying the Cold War in Europe and the Middle East, I am surprised in the beginning set-up that Saudi Arabia is free of any US influence.

As is known (I use Daniel Yergin's book 'The Prize' as my source to give a good account, although it can be found easily enough elsewhere), in 1945 FDR and King Ibn Saud met in Egypt and after a successful meeting signed an agreement whereby the US would guarantee the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's security in exchange for US access to its oil. Saudi Arabia quickly became a staunch US ally as the kingdom faced various threats to its stability throughout the Cold War.

It seems the US player should start out with at least 1 influence in SA, if not control of it.

In return, the Communist player could have 1 influence marker in Italy and / or France, to reflect the then influential Communist Party in those countries.

What do you think of this?
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Gordon Adams
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Still waiting for pre-oder
 
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Patrick Martin
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Sounds like a variant that would help the Soviets... gives the Soviets a much better chance to dominate Europe, while giving the US influence somewhere that is fairly easy to remove with Muslim Revolutions come the mid-war.
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Steve Bauer
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USSR doesn't need the extra influence.

Giving control might be to much but 1 point of US influence could be very useful to US player and not unbalance the game.
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Jason Matthews
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David,

I LOVE the Prize. Its a fantastic book. However, I think it would be easy to overstate the closeness of US-Saudi relations when viewed through the prism of oil. Saudi Arabia was one of the leaders in nationalization of the Arab petroleum industry and was also the prime power player behind the oil embargos. Its hard to see either of those as the acts of a US ally,

From my point of view, Saudi Arabia did not really become a US ally until the fall of the Shah, when the potential export of Shiite Muslim Revolution and the abscence of a US anchor drove the two countries close together.

We will have a card mirroring that reality in the deluxe edition.

Jason
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United States
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Here the truceless armies yet / Trample, rolled in blood and sweat; / They kill and kill and never die; / And I think that each is I. // None will part us, none undo / The knot that makes one flesh of two, /
badge
Sick with hatred, sick with pain, / Strangling -- When shall we be slain? // When shall I be dead and rid / Of the wrong my father did? / How long, how long, till spade and hearse / Puts to sleep my mother's curse?
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Very well, it's just an idea. And there are certainly cards for the placement of Soviet influence in Italy & France (and the rest of Western Europe).

But I could never see Saudi Arabia going communist or allowing Soviet control / military forces there. You're right about the fall of the Shah influencing Saudi relations with the US, as well as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The latter also created closer ties between US & Pakistan.

Anyways, great game, will continue to enjoy this and your other fine games ...
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Lee Massey
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Thanks Jason!!
 
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