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Subject: Strategically important Non-Battlegrounds rss

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General non-battleground strategy:
Non battlegrounds are a necessity to win the game, and although slightly advanced beginners are sometimes a bit scary to get into them, they form an important part of the game.
In the 3 most stable regions, getting a foothold in a Non-BG isn’t really a problem as coups and realignments aren’t possible for most of the game, and when they are, they are not the first target.

Non-BG’s in the Americas and Africa are a bit trickier as they are subjected to coup attempts, which in the worst case not only give your opponent presence, but it can block your own.

I puzzled a short list together of important non-BG’s per region.
This of course is all subject to the flow and strategy of the game, but gives an indication of which countries are more commonly used in Twilight Struggle.

Europe:
Turkey - Low stability, access to ME and covers Cuban Missile Crisis.
Greece - Low stability, adjacent to Italy (Brush War)
Spain/Portugal - Low stability, adjacent to Italy (Brush War)
Austria - Adjacent to both West-Germany & Italy (Realignments and Brush War)

Asia:
All of the South-East Asian countries are important, due to S-E Asia scoring, but some require more attention because of other issues.

Burma - Adjacent to India (Indo-Pakistani War)
Laos/Cambodia - Adjacent to Thailand (Brush War)
Vietnam - Adjacent to Thailand (Brush War)
Malaysia - Adjacent to Thailand (Brush War)

Taiwan - For US: Can become a Battleground with Formosan Resolution + Helps the US during the Korean War, For USSR: To deny it to the US.
Afghanistan - Adjacent to Pakistan (Indo-Pakistani War), Adjacent to USSR (US VP) and blocks soviet expansion into Asia (Early war). Also a stable country to get back into the Middle East for the US.

Middle-East:
Lebanon - Adjacent to Israel (For US - Arab-Israeli War), Low stability means cheap Presence/Domination, not touched by Muslim Revolution (US only)
Jordan - Adjacent to Israel (For US - Arab-Israeli War)
Gulf States - Scores 1VP for USSR with OPC (reoccurring event)

Central America:
Costa Rica - 3 stab. Country means stable presence.
Haiti - Adjacent to Cuba (realignments)
Nicaragua - Adjacent to Cuba (Realignments)
Guatamala - Adjacent to Mexico (Realignments), Mexico is hard to hold without it.

South America:
Colombia - Low stability means cheap Presence/Domination.
Uruguay - Adjacent to both Brazil and Argentina (Brush War and Realignments)

Africa:
Botswana - Adjacent to South Africa and Angola (realignments). I can’t stretch that enough. Controlling Zaire, Angola & South-Africa only creates the risk of a coup followed with realignments. Controlling Botswana + the before mentioned BG’s helps. You could expand it with control of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe - Adjacent to South-East African States and Zaire (contain spread by USSR via play of Portuguese Empire Crumbles
Morocco - 3 stab. Country means stable presence (only 3 stability non-Battleground country in Africa)

Cheers, Haring
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Carlos Ferreira
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If you are adding countries that help on Realignments you should also add Guatemala.

The country that sees more realignments at our games is Mexico. Controlling Guatemala is essential
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Edward
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My narrower list of important non-battlegrounds, in descending order:

1) The 3 2-stability Western European countries
2) Botswana
3) Afghanistan
4) Colombia/Uruguay
5) Jordan/Lebanon
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David Lara
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Nice post!

I'd add to Taiwan that it affects in the Korean War.
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Michael Kiefte
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I'd add Romania and Finland. Romania gets tossed around a lot because it's adjacent to the U.S.S.R., is affected by Independent Reds and Romanian Abdication/Independent Reds is a good combo for the U.S. Both of these countries give the U.S. +1 VP for control.
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brainst0rm wrote:
If you are adding countries that help on Realignments you should also add Guatemala.

The country that sees more realignments at our games is Mexico. Controlling Guatemala is essential


True..Changed.

Cheers, Haring
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cartesius wrote:
Nice post!

I'd add to Taiwan that it affects in the Korean War.


also True, and therefor edited.

Cheers, Haring
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mkiefte wrote:
I'd add Romania and Finland. Romania gets tossed around a lot because it's adjacent to the U.S.S.R., is affected by Independent Reds and Romanian Abdication/Independent Reds is a good combo for the U.S. Both of these countries give the U.S. +1 VP for control.


Romania is indeed a Abdication/indepent reds target, but I feel that that the only thing gained from control for the US is 1vp during Europe Scoring.
It still can face Warshaw Pact elimination.

Finland I don't consider important.
With the 1 starting IP from the USSR I think it's to expensive for the Us to take.
It will only cost 3ip from the USSR to take control, but other countries are far more important to take.
I will only consider taking it as the USSR to keep domination, with no other options.

Cheers, Haring
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nicola caroli
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Totally agree wit Haring and theory's posts, european 2s, botswana, lebanon and afgh are the most important. I'd add columbia during the turn 3-4 transition, and mention UK and Canada because of the new cards.
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Philip Marshall
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mkiefte wrote:
I'd add Romania and Finland. Romania gets tossed around a lot because it's adjacent to the U.S.S.R., is affected by Independent Reds and Romanian Abdication/Independent Reds is a good combo for the U.S. Both of these countries give the U.S. +1 VP for control.


I've never seen anyone make any attempt to get Romania. I can't imagine the US being in such a comfortable position in the West Europe battlegrounds that he can start worrying about side issues like Romania.
Particularly if USSR has control through Romanian Abdication: The cost for the US to control would be massive and surely better spent elsewhere in Europe.
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Andrew Rae
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For me Columbia is the most interesting battleground: Its so painful for the US, because it offers the opportunity to start the action in South America, and yet taking it with anything less than your best will lead to a low stability coup and the ability hand over the reigns in South Africa (all things remaining equal). So it is usually the case in my games, particularly as the US, that I wait for events to provide access to South America. As a result South America is low scoring, often scored for very little and all because I am reluctant to the points necessary to hold Columbia.

It may not be the most important full stop but it is the most interesting.
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Paddy O'Doors
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citylife wrote:
For me Columbia is the most interesting battleground: Its so painful for the US, because it offers the opportunity to start the action in South America, and yet taking it with anything less than your best will lead to a low stability coup and the ability hand over the reigns in South Africa (all things remaining equal). So it is usually the case in my games, particularly as the US, that I wait for events to provide access to South America. As a result South America is low scoring, often scored for very little and all because I am reluctant to the points necessary to hold Columbia.

It may not be the most important full stop but it is the most interesting.


One POSSIBLE way to bust into S.America via Columbia as the US is to put influence there on the last action round of a turn. When the USSR goes first the next turn, he is forced to choose between dropping the Defcon by couping a Battleground, or couping Columbia (non-BG) and leaving you free to steal the coveted BG coup, dropping Defcon to 2.

Now, this is not a surefire plan -- obviously, the USSR can choose to go for Columbia in AR1 rather than degrade Defcon. Or, the USSR could drop the Defcon in the headline phase with an event (risky, though). The USSR has options to counter this move, but in my (limited) experience, it is not a bad move.
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nicola caroli
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The real problem with that otherwise excellent plan is Murphy's Law. Branching from Panama into Columbia practically ensures USSR will draw Junta in the next turn.

(On a more serious note, unless you do it in an action round that's not the last, allowing USSR to respond, and then branch into Venezuela, USA limits his choice of Defcon-lowering headlines, as you've given a very juicy defcon-2 coup target to USSR)
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Mr. Walker
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Agreed. USSR couping Colombia AR1 with Duck and Cover would be loads of fun too.
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Riku Riekkinen
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paddyodoors wrote:
One POSSIBLE way to bust into S.America via Columbia as the US is to put influence there on the last action round of a turn. When the USSR goes first the next turn, he is forced to choose between dropping the Defcon by couping a Battleground, or couping Columbia (non-BG) and leaving you free to steal the coveted BG coup, dropping Defcon to 2.

Now, this is not a surefire plan -- obviously, the USSR can choose to go for Columbia in AR1 rather than degrade Defcon. Or, the USSR could drop the Defcon in the headline phase with an event (risky, though). The USSR has options to counter this move, but in my (limited) experience, it is not a bad move.


Columbia move doesn't have to be last AR thing. If I have good cards and assume I will go through, I will make it in the middle of the turn as US also.

jeibel wrote:
The real problem with that otherwise excellent plan is Murphy's Law. Branching from Panama into Columbia practically ensures USSR will draw Junta in the next turn.


Usually I like to make Columbia move on turn 1 or 2. Before De-Stal.

jeibel wrote:
(On a more serious note, unless you do it in an action round that's not the last, allowing USSR to respond, and then branch into Venezuela, USA limits his choice of Defcon-lowering headlines, as you've given a very juicy defcon-2 coup target to USSR)


US can anyway coup back. USSR has far more opportunities in early war (Arab Israeli; Korean) war cards to make MIL OPs, so coup - coup back is US advantage early.
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Mr. Walker
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Colombia (not Columbia) is an interesting case. As the US, you want to combine entering it with an important threat elsewhere (often that elsewhere is Thailand), otherwise you will just get couped so hard you will be unable to coup back, or at best start a coup war. (I'm not too worried about getting a coup target for my mil ops, since board position >>> VPs at this point.)

I can see the reasoning behind moving in early, since if you don't and the USSR draws De-Stal in the Early War, he'll get control of South America without much trouble.

Colombia is definitely one of the most important non-BGs, since it is the gateway to a whole continent. Most non-BGs that are important are important because they are on the way to something. Others like Costa Rica are good for providing access back to a vulnerable BG. Either way, you want to put 1 IP in these non-BGs, but don't want to invest in controlling them. I find that is a good rule for non-BGs in general: put in 1 IP, not more.
 
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Edward
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wwalker wrote:
I find that is a good rule for non-BGs in general: put in 1 IP, not more.

Except Botswana! And sometimes Uruguay. Both of which are highly prized for their influence on realignments.
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nicola caroli
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Sorry about mistaking Columbia for Colombia. A little trick you can use if you want to move into Colombia mid-turn, if you can spare a 3 or 4 ops card, is to move and uncontrol a small battleground with the influence. Costs you 1 op, but gains you either the BG or Venezuela.
 
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Ioan Mitiu
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Don't forget Canada - due to NORAD* card presence !!!

OK - it may be considered a 2-stability country for US in Deluxe edition but anyway ... it deserve to be named no, ?
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