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Subject: American Strategy? rss

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Andrew Cormicus

Texas
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I have played this game with my friends about 9-10 times and every time, no matter who plays America, that person always loses. We are all veteran board game players and are very familiar with this game and its rules. It seems however that when the Eastern invaders put most or all their big guns out early, America is hard put to defend both the east and the south. All of our games have been VERY close, often times games being decided because a fluke dice roll. Even with America playing mostly defensively and making opportunistic attacks against the invaders we all feel like three good strategic invader players who play the game very aggresively leave america with little to no hope of winning. I would be happy to even see a 30 /70 win percentage but as of now were at 0/100 % invaders. What are we not doing right? I have read almost all the posts on this website and searched elsewhere for hints, even played games against myself to analyze different strategies. HELP!
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Ronster Zero
United States
California
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I agree that America is hard pressed in this game, but not hopeless. One of the main things I try to do as America is cut supply lines when they get drawn out. Devise a plan that will cut them off behind the lines and make them think about it.

Besides that, just do your best in defense and Laser those bombers.
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Andrew Sinclair
Canada
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Ontario
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The name's Andrew -- pronounced 'Kah-thoo-loo'
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In our games the US has done well by avoiding the temptation to make vigourous counter-attacks to gain extra cards for cities. It seems like a good idea, but given the advantages of defense in the firing order it almost always turns out to be a net loss.

The more spread out you are the more likely you will benefit from cards you draw, and the more squirreling around the commies will do trying to hunt you down. Even better is if they decide to focus on cities and leave scattered units across the map, as you will find these areas become mini-strongholds with a few lucky cards.

Above all I feel that the lasers are your primary offensive weapon, not your units. Use lasers to eliminate combined arms is highly effective.

Also, I find randomly shouting WOLVERINES!!! really helps. mb
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Roy Hasson
Israel
Kfar Saba
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With good players this game usually ends with a city or two deciding it around turn 8 or 9. The best strategy for the US player is to position himself to deny the invaders those last crucial cities, and take others back just as they are running out of re-inforcements.

Tactically, as the US player I try to make the invaders pay dearly for each city or mountain they take - every unit lost by them is lost for good. If I see a weakly defended city I also try to take it back to get that all-powerful extra card. Regarding lasers, I usually try to take out the best units first (Bombers, helicopters, tanks) but if a laser shooting at a lowly infantry can clinch me a city, I use it without hesitation.

The US can win the game, but it is hard and tense. This is what is so good about this game - you can almost never know before the last turns who will win.
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Doctor X

New York
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Keep an eye open for the Major Airlift card and take a really good look at how well your opponents have guarded their own supply lines. I'm sure I've told this story before, but we once saw a game where the U.S. was a single turn from defeat turn into a total disaster for the Invaders. The Southern Invader was running a little thin, but he got cocksure, and he left Houston undefended, way behind enemy lines. The U.S. pulled Major Airlift followed by Clear Weather the turn thereafter. Houston was liberated, the Southern Invader couldn't draw a supply line to part of his front line, and a turkey shoot of invader units followed.
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Moshe Callen
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Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Learning to play the US in this game takes many plays-- far more than a dozen assuming the players are not all playing the same sides as the OP suggests.

I've had best success with the American player letting the invaders take cities other than the core 15 in the northeast and north east of the Mississippi. The Americans then retake cities frequently so that they get more cards.

Key to the approach is concentrating initially the heavy fire-power in the core cities one intends not to lose. Only 13 IIRC are needed but the 15 approach gives one some flexibility.

Also use the laser hits strategically. Pick off the units most likely to do damage. If in doubt, go for things that roll the bigger die in combat.
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Dave Heberer
United States
Lake Stevens
WA
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Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
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America only wins about 30% or so of the games I've played. We play either 2 player games or one against many. Still, it's all the more rewarding when you do actually win as the US. Things that I've noticed are great for the success of the U.S.

a) Leave some tanks/mech inf/ helicopters/ and even up to 2 bombers in the wake of the invaders initial crush. You can't get reinforcements if you don't have the pieces. Nothing is more sad to me to not get bombers with the 1 and only card granting them in the game. Hopefully, you do some damage with these cool units .

b) always look for a way to retake cities behind the invaders line of advance. Can you kill a unit, and pop up next to a city held by 1 unit? You absolutely need to do that and laser the guy in the city to make it a walk-in. If the invader double stacks in cities to defend, he's not advancing enough and you will get him in the end.

c) Don't let the western invader get his helicopters behind your skirmish line! The western invader will try hard to double bound with helicopters. If he doesn't he doesn't make the mid-west before the game is over. He needs to do that. Threaten to cut support for deeply advanced helicopters.

d) Don't attack to much. You need to be bringing 3 to 1 into a battle to make it worth your while, or you need to be at the point that you will lose the game with less. On the other hand, don't let a tank park sit around without trying to do some damage. You get to replace guys, he doesn't.

e) If you have no real target for your lasers, focus on the bombers of red, then blue, then yellow. I try to shut down red hard for the first few turns, so I can more easily defend the NE corridor and the laser towers therein.
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Tomas Inguanzo
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Shuffle everything you can toward the East. That's the only place you can and should fight aggressively; it's possible (and fun) to outnumber the invaders in the East. Everywhere else, you should fall back until their supply lines are nice and long, sniping at them when you can. By the time that they push far enough North to go for the win, their front line should have no infantry left.

Remember, America's greatest asset is the land. They start with all of it. The invaders must play catch up, and quickly. They must attack somewhere, anywhere, every turn. America has the luxury of fighting only when they want to.

So, if you know which space the invaders are about to attack, abandon it. Let them take it without a fight. Then come back the next turn and slaughter the five units occupying it.

Defending land is for suckers. When you defend, all of your units die, but not all of your units kill.
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Jeff P
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Irving
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I played this a lot as a kid, and remember the US winning a lot, especially with MAJOR AIRLIFT! (I always thought that just that one card kind of tipped the game in favor of the USA b/c you could airlift cities). Could never figure out why cities were allowed.

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Brandon Gajda
United States
Grove City
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I'll throw my two cents in here, too. I have actually had more success defending as America than playing as the attackers surprisingly.

Against Yellow - just fall back to the plains and keep within one space of the yellow helos to prevent them from jumping further into your territory.

Against Blue - keep units (epecially infantry) in New Orleans and the territory to the right of Dallas. This can allow you to counter attack into either Houston or Dallas if the Blue player decides to attack there. This could even delay them a turn or two depending on if they are waiting to bring up stronger units to take them. Keep retreating slowly back to St. Louis and Kansa City and toward Memphis with your southern units. Keep units north of Kansas City and St. Louis to prevent Blue and Yellow from going for Chicago and Minneapolis.

Against Red - I keep most of my high powered units here in this area. I create a wall of units above Atlanta and string it all the way up to Pittsburgh. I also keep 5 units of tanks/infantry East of DC and in Philadelphia to counter attack into DC if needed. DO NOT let the invader break into Philadelphia or you will be in trouble. Counter attack into Atlanta and the territory to the SouthWest of it.

Also try to preserve your bombers as best as possible. Especially toward the end of the game (usually around turn 7 or 8) when you will need them to re-capture cities.

The 3 main cities you will need to defend are Kansas City, Memphis, and DC. Surprisingly, if you can keep Memphis and DC in play, you can beat back the attackers even if you lose Kansas City. Just keep using your lasers on the enemies units around those cities to weaken further invader counter-attacks. Your main threats will be Blue and Red at this stage.

As Always, use your lasers on the enemy bombers. Go for Red first. I found that concentrating a majority of my lases (around turn 4) on one attacker usually helped out quite a bit. When Blue is making there way east, I would bast a bomber and two or three helos.
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suPUR DUEper
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Villa Hills
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AmericanJoe wrote:
I have played this game with my friends about 9-10 times and every time, no matter who plays America, that person always loses. We are all veteran board game players and are very familiar with this game and its rules. It seems however that when the Eastern invaders put most or all their big guns out early, America is hard put to defend both the east and the south. All of our games have been VERY close, often times games being decided because a fluke dice roll. Even with America playing mostly defensively and making opportunistic attacks against the invaders we all feel like three good strategic invader players who play the game very aggresively leave america with little to no hope of winning. I would be happy to even see a 30 /70 win percentage but as of now were at 0/100 % invaders. What are we not doing right? I have read almost all the posts on this website and searched elsewhere for hints, even played games against myself to analyze different strategies. HELP!


Which
invader is winning your games?
 
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Mark J
United States
Monroe
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The chance of holding California is virtually zero. Once the Chinese take California, they have a long way to go before they get to any other interesting targets, and given the low movement rates, it will take them a long time to get there. Therefore, in the West just stall for time. Put token forces to slow them down, but concentrate the bulk of your strength in the East.

Defenders shoot first, and sometimes get a little bonus on the combined arms rule. True, the attacker chooses the time and place of attack and can concentrate numbers on one point. But for the most part there's an advantage to being on the defense. I think the US player would be wise to stick to the defense for the most part, only attacking when there's a chance to retake a city or cut off supply lines.

I've had several games where the US has managed to cut supply lines to large numbers of units in the West or South. The way partisans can pop up behind the lines can give good opportunities for this. (Supplies lines in the East tend to be very short. I don't know if I've ever cut off more than an occasional over-ambitious unit or two there.)
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marc lecours
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Just played as the americans and lost badly.

Rolling bad does not help at all. My first 5 shots with lasers missed.

The enemy would use bombers against my lone infantry. I got about 2 kills out of over 12 tries.

Because of this the invaders were able to advance without taking chances. I faced a solid wall of 5 units per attacking area and over half the enemy airforce intact.

Conclusion: A really bad strategy is rolling twos, threes and fours. It does not work well.

A better strategy is rolling a lot of fives and sixes. I learned my lesson and will try this next time.
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Chris Merritt
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We used to play this all the time in high school with a teacher taking the role of America and I believe he won every game we ever played. There was only one or two games where it was very close. As most everyone here has said, the East is the main concentration of US forces while on the West just space guys out as a delaying tactic and rely on your cards to cut supply lines or give you the opportunity to recapture cities. Dealing with the South is a combination of both of these strategies.

The main fight for the US is always in the East. The Red player cannot be allowed to capture and hold Philadelphia or it will all fall apart. Continually take back Washington D.C. to get cards, but only leave a troop or two in it as defense, saving more for the other areas of the Eastern front.
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