So I've read all the articles, played ~20 games now, learnt from my mistakes and now have a handle on how to play as USA. Unless the cards go horribly awry (as they have once or twice) I can play a decent game as the blues.
Recently though, my main soviet opponent has started using a dastardly plan and neither of us can think of an effective counter for it. Setup goes something like this:
RED: 3 poland, 1 EG, 2 Austria
BLUE: 4 WG, 3 Italy
Then the first USSR play is a 4-point coup in Italy. If I'm booted out (on a 3+) then I can't place influence back in there directly.
I've read a few things saying that you should use this play as an opportunity to take ground in Asia and the ME. My problem with this is that it allows the Reds to move into France and take early domination of Europe in a way which looks very hard to break. You can counter it by putting influence in France AR1, but then you've lost the advantage that not couping Iran gave you.
My best solution has been to start with 2 IPs in Italy and one in France, so that most of the time I can dump points back into Italy if I'm removed from it, or protect France. But in this case at worst a Socialist Governments headline means game over; and at best I end up in the same position in AR2 as AR1 except the USSR has several MOPs and usually a couple of spare IPs too!
What's a USA player to do?
Best hope I have found it put 4 on Italy, so it is difficult for the Soviets to overcome Italian resistance. Yes, it is a gamble, but so is leaving just 2 in Italy and allowing the Soviets to wopping lead in Italy.
Simply ignore Europe for now and accept the fact that France most likely is a lost case. You might be able to take some (maybe all) of it back during late war.
If you have Marshall plan on hand turn 1, headline it. At start position put 3 inf in W Germ, 2 in Italy and one in Greece and Turkey resp. This way you are much more stable.
If you don´t have Marshall plan, 4 WG, 3 Italy´is the way to go. If USSR does a somewhat risky coup instead of the "safe" on at Iran, be grateful.
If you do lose Italy & France, make sure West germany is not lost by overcontrolling it with at least 2 influence and by keeping the eye out after Blockade. That way, Europe control is not possible.
While he does this huge influence spending in europe, let him pay for it by dominating Asia and getting a strong position in the middle-east(If he goes for Europe, Israel, Lebanon and Jordan at least should be easy).
If you want to make his domination in Europe a bit harder for him, try to take control later (after securing Asia) of as many stability 2 countries (and Canada) as you can get.
If this works well, you will see that the USSR player spends huge amount of Ops points w/o accomplishing that much. Assuming equal Ops value on hand during the game, this will put him at a huge disadvantage.
Of course, USSR is a little stronger so you can never be certain.
- Last edited Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:59 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:23 pm
What's a USA player to do?
In the Early War the US is going to be down in the Middle East (9 times out of 10) and should up in one of either Europe or Asia, whilst being down in the other.
If he goes for the 4 op coup in Italy, there's a 1 in 3 chance he leaves some of your influence there, leaving you to repair it and spread from Iran into Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan depending on your cards.
On a 3 or 4 on his coup roll he will need to spend further ops to take control of Italy, put an op in Austria or France to force him to do this immediately, while strengthening in Middle East/Asia.
Only one time in 3 (when he gets a 5 or 6 on his coup roll), will a four op coup give him control of Italy, so do as previously suggested, 1 extra op in W Germany when you can, hold a 3 card (Destalinisation, DeGaulle, Socialist Governments are the usual choices) until last AR if you don't have Blockade, and admit that Europe is lost until Mid/Late War. In the meantime balance it out in Middle East and Asia, if you get into the Mid War only down by -6 or so, you're in ok shape as the US.
In the Mid and Late War you can Brush War Italy (so try and get Spain and Greece), in fact get the cheap Mediterranean countries anyway so that USSR has to take the more expensive Eastern Bloc countries, which also leaves him open to Truman Doctrine and Independent Reds, yes he will dominate Europe but if he's putting ops in there, he's not putting them elsewhere - put your ops elsewhere
An idea I've thought of but never tried is load up on France and leave Italy empty. The standard 1st Soviet turn is to coup in Europe so now France is more heavily "fortified" and harder to get success if they attempt it; if they do, grab Italy. If they grab Italy, then coup it back on your turn.
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If you're really paranoia about Italy (I'm not), you can put 3ip in West-Germany and 4ip in Italy.
Only a fool would coup it add those odds.
And unless he puts all 3ip in Yugoslavia, he can't headline Europe for Domination (assuming 3ip in Poland).
Only real risk is Socialist Gov's, which would turn Italy into 1ip and W-Germany to 3ip. Combined with a coup this could prove painfull.
Just make sure you push in Asia, so that he needs to play the China Card and is tempted to race to Pakistan and India, where you can possibly threaten it with the indo-pakistani war.
Last game as the USSR I lost Asia big time. Getting the US to many points in Asia. I had Domination in Europe, but only managed to score it once in Early War.
During Mid War Ussuri got US Northern Korea and Afghanistan. Getting an extra 3vp per scoring.
Norad finished my domination in Europe by taking down Italy.
Game lost by final scoring...So the morale..Don't worry about Italy.
Another setup that safeguards italy against this opening is
3 WGer 3 It 1 Gr/Aus
if he did not put 3 in Yugo & Pol, otherwise you risk a Europe domination in HL. It's flexible opening.
Don't adjust the standard setup. If the USSR does this, there are several good US responses.
3 France, 1 Afghanistan.
2 France, 1 Iraq, 1 Afghanistan.
1 France, 1 Iraq, 1 Iran, 1 Afghanistan.
1 France, 1 Iraq, 2 Afghanistan.
All of these push back in key areas. If the USSR doesn't play precisely you might even end up with an advantage. If all you have is a 3 ops, 2 France/1 Afghanistan or 1 France/1 Iraq/1 Afghanistan would be acceptable.
I agree with the previous post that you shouldn't stress too much about France as the US. If the Soviets want to dominate Europe in the early war, let them. You should be able to do very well in Asia and the Middle East if they focus all their attention on Europe.
You can also guard Italy with your headline in several ways. Truman Doctrine (on Austria), Marshall Plan, Duck & Cover, and other cards would all help.