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Subject: What Could Have Been: A New History of the Cold War rss

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Panda Kwong
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A Twilight Struggle Session Report
STARTS
1945.The bloodshed and grief of the Second World War has ended, only to be replaced by silent confrontation between the two new superpowers in the world, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America.

The Soviet Union carries out Stalin's political orders in extending their system as far as their Red Army can reach, and brings Communist governance to East Germany and Poland. Tito, barely sympathetic to the USSR but even less so to the US, is supported with Soviet aid.

Similarly, the US rushes to the support of frontline European states like West Germany and Italy.

This new conflict-- the Cold War, opens with drama that would tear apart the US' allies in Europe and the Middle East, and Stalin's own base of support in the Soviet Union.

Hardline elements in the Soviet Union declare thousands of dissidents and politicians to have committed 'crimes against the State' in WWII, and launches a purge accordingly. Domestic strife would harm the USSR's capacity to act on the world stage.

Months after VJ-Day, the US refuses to support Israeli hostility against Egypt. Israel reacts in kind by turning down offers of American aid, while its main patron the UK follows suit.

Early 1946, the USSR stages a coup in Iran in an attempt to expel the US from the Middle East. However, the would-be coup leaders are arrested days before the operation and the USSR misses a strategic opportunity to influence South Asia.

Not willing to give the USSR another such opening, President Truman swiftly tours the region, lending his moral support to the Iranian Shah. He also announces aid packages for Iraq and Pakistan.

By the middle of the year, European leaders have had enough of being sidelined in world politics. In response, they hold a conference to demonstrate their diplomatic finesse and power. Accordingly, they pass a statement declaring the European region to be strictly non-aligned in the struggle between the superpowers. (This was done despite the presence of Soviet delegates at the conference.)

Truman, unfazed about events in Europe, focuses his attention on installing a pro-American government in Pakistan and assuring the Saudi King that his government would not try and bring democracy to his land.

This act clearly upset the balance of power in the region, prompting the Soviet Union to bring pro-Soviet rebels in Lebanon to power with just enough weapons to keep other insurgency movements in check.

On New Year's Day 1947, President Truman returns triumphant from a meeting with the Saudi King and the Indian Prime Minister, who have both agreed to generous packages of aid to be sent from the US in order to contain the Communist threat.

The Soviet Government is irritated severely by the plan, and Stalin personally oversees a shipment of arms to Syria, which would further stabilise Syria's role in the Soviet sphere of influence.

A leak from the KGB's spies in the British Government, the Cambridge Five, demonstrates to the USSR that no more regional conferences, which could endanger Soviet prestige, would be held in the near future. However, they fail to sniff out a massive follow-up aid plan to India which would put the grand strategic prize of South Asia in the USA's pockets.

Towards the end of the year, East Germany, Poland and Yugoslavia become embroiled in civil strife. Stalin is outraged and the revolts are swiftly put down by Soviet troops.

In retaliation, he announces a blockade of West Berlin. The event, however, was merely considered a farce by global diplomats as it simply causes sufficient chaos in Eastern Europe to prevent the USSR's plan to sign a mutual defense pact with her client states there. Taking advantage of the publicity (or rather lack thereof), the US quietly sends military aid to Jordan.

At the end of 1948, Truman attempts to set up a defense network in North America to protect the US from nuclear attack. Much to Soviet delight, the plan is foiled by lack of support from Canada. Other states upset about the US' focus on its home continent are Israel and South Korea, who open their doors to Soviet support.

An aid plan is launched to support Israel in reaction to this, but rampant Russian militarism is already hurting American prestige.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED
Setup
USSR: 4C/0 Eger, 4C/0 Poland, 1/0 Yugoslavia
US: 4C/0 WGer, 3C/0 Italy
US HL: Purge
USSR HL: Suez Crisis, 0/0 Israel;2/0 UK

USSR AR1: Comecon to Coup Iran, failed
US AR1: 5 Year Plan Ops, 0/2C Iran, 1/1 Iraq, 1/0 Pakistan

USSR AR2: Europe Scoring, VP +0
US AR2: Duck and Cover Ops, 2C/0 Pakistan, 2/0 Saudi Arabia

USSR AR3: Arab-Israeli War ops, 0/1C Lebanon
US AR3: Indo-Pakistani War Ops, 3C/0 Saudi, 1/0 India

USSR AR4: Olympic Games ops, 0/2C Syria
US AR4: Cambridge Five, 3C/0 India

USSR AR5: Eastern European Unrest, 4C/0 EGer, 4C/0 Poland
US AR5: Blockade, Warsaw Pact Formed discarded, 1/0 Jordan

USSR AR6: NORAD, 0/1 Israel, 1/1 S Korea
US AR6: UN Intervention, 1/1 Israel

Milops, VP-2
EDIT: For spelling and tense (present tense sounds more like a documentary)
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Proudly annoying Capitalists since 1959
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Suez Crisis shouldn't take the UK to 2/0. It can only remove 2ip's as a maximum in 1 country.

Nice report.

Cheers, Haring
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Panda Kwong
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What Could Have Been: A New History of the Cold War (Cont'd)
(Thanks a lot for the support and pointing out rules issues. I'd also like to know your advice on this:
1) I had 2Ops at most to coup Iran, making success unlikely. What should I have done to make lemonade out of lemons?)
1949. Early in the year, the Soviet Union deploys agents to Egypt with the goal of installing Arab nationalist Abdul Nasser in the seat of power. However, the station chief there defects to the CIA, providing details about operations there. The planned uprising is swiftly put down by the local government as a result.

In another act to upset the balance of power in South Asia, Stalin orders a coup in Pakistan to be carried out by rogue generals. Although the coup deposes the pro-US government there, the would-be socialist government is not unscathed from the fighting: a caretaker government is appointed in its place.

Communists worldwide did not share this bad luck, however; socialist opposition parties gain weight in elections across Western Europe, particularly Italy and West Germany. Nevertheless, the US is fortunate enough to transfer some of its resources there to influence the new Pakistani government and to support Chiang's regime in Taiwan.

These events in Asia, among others, prompts the pragmatic Tito to rethink his position on the world stage, and he indicates a desire for US support against Soviet efforts to dominate the world Communist movement. Even as he does this, however, the Italian Socialist government edges closer to the Soviet Union, maintaining the fragile balance of power in Southern Europe.

Disturbed about Soviet presence in Italy, the retired President Truman speaks up on world affairs near Christmas that year, declaring that the US has an obligation to protect Italy from Communist expansion. President Eisenhower takes advice from his predecessor surprisingly well, and the Socialist government is quickly forced to dismiss itself by threat of sanctions and even invasion.

Met with disappointment in Europe, the USSR turns its focus to the Middle East again. Nasser and other Arab elements return to govern Egypt with heavy USSR support just after the new decade began, while a shipment of aid to Iraq is also approved.

Perhaps afraid of being overthrown like the governments of Egypt and Italy, the King of Romania abdicates in favour of Communist elements, who swiftly took the country over. To prevent Chiang of Taiwan from having similar worries, the US also sends aid to the KMT government there.

It is this move that forces Chairman Mao of Communist China to lend his weight to the Soviet Union. In a plan to establish Chinese-- and by extension Soviet-- power in the Middle East, he sends sufficient support to the governments of Libya and Iraq to put them in the Soviet orbit, and finances guerillas in Afghanistan for a future anchor of Soviet influence in South Asia.

Chinese aggression in the Middle East and Asia prompts Congress to approve its recognition of Formosa as the 'real China', causing the small East Asian state to take on additional significance in the Cold War.

Middle Eastern leaders adopt a different approach to this matter than their European counterparts, as would be proven by their early 1951 conference, in which they approved a statement that accepted Soviet participation in regional affairs. For many, this meant that the Soviet Union was dominating the region.

Inspired by this, Ho Chi Minh finally establishes a Communist state in Vietnam, even as the US extends aid to Indonesia and cements Chiang's position as leader of Taiwan with further support.

Unfettered by this, Ho Chi Minh continues leading revolutions in Southeast Asia, bringing a large contingent of rebels to Thailand.

Still, with the US strong in South Asia, Asian leaders acknowledge the former's power on the continent by passing a statement praising the US in a major regional conference.

(More Strategic Questions(I was the USSR):
1) I didn't use the China Card for its full potential here (5 ops in Asia), how else could I have used it?
2) (I know I'd expanded into Thailand prematurely))
EDIT: Addition of Actual Plays
USSR HL: Nasser
US HL: Defectors

USSR AR1: NATO to Coup Pakistan, 0/0
US AR1: Socialist Governments, 1/0 Italy, 3/0 Socialist Governments, 2C/0 Pakistan, 1/0 Taiwan

USSR AR2: Independent Reds, 1/1 Yugoslavia, 1/2 Italy
US AR2: Truman Doctrine, 1/0 Italy

USSR AR3: Nuclear Test Ban ops, 1/3 Iraq, 0/2C Egypt
US AR3: Romanian Abdication, 0/3C Romania, 2/0 Taiwan

USSR AR4: The China Card, 1/4C Iraq, 0/2C Libya, 0/1 Afghanistan
US AR4: Formosan Resolution

USSR AR5: Middle East Scoring, VP-5
US AR5: Vietnam Revolts, 0/2C Vietnam, 3C/0 Taiwan, 1C/0 Indonesia

USSR AR6: Captured Nazi Scientist, 0/1 Thailand
US AR6: Asia Socring, VP+0

Milops, VP-4
 
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Evgeny Reznikov
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Also, the US placing 1 Op in Pakistan is just begging for a USSR coup that would lock down asia, preventing a US response. At least place 2 influence there to make the coup less likely to succeed.
 
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Panda Kwong
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What Could Have Been: A New History of the Cold War (Cont'd)
1953. Fidel Castro of Cuba comes to power after a major revolution in the streets of Havana. The Soviet government is quick to lend support to the first Communist regime to be established in Western Hemisphere.

In light of this, George Marshall and other US politicians persuade their countrymen to accept the doctrine of Containment, which seeks to limit the spread of Communism across the globe and increase the US' willingness to flex muscles on the world stage.

Yet the USSR would not be contained in the nation of Italy, in which socialist parties sweep all opposition and come to power, which many credit to KGB support even today. Communist Palmiro Togliatti seizes power.

Once again a major leak from the Cambridge Five reveals that no more regional conferences are planned in the future, but once again an ensuing shipment of sufficient Western arms to protect South Korea from Northern aggression indicates the KGB's lack of concern for Asian affairs.

Inspired by revolutions in Italy and the Middle East, the tool of popular uprising is used against the Soviet Union for the second time in the Cold War, in a wave of protests throughout Eastern Europe late 1953. While the protests in Poland and East Germany are crushed by Red Army troops, Stalin gives up on keeping Tito in Soviet orbit, and allows him to sack Soviet advisers. Many of these advisers are transferred to a warmer part of the globe to help Ho Chi Minh in his Thai revolution, which succeeds just weeks after the protests.

US leaders react with a revolution of their own-- a large uprising is staged against Libya's Gaddafi, and a right-wing government headed by the conservative 'old guard' comes into being.

A second Asian conference is held to acknowledge these recent developments. Unlike the previous conference, a statement praising the US fails to pass despite the support of a majority of major regional actors, and thus translates to only a small prestige victory for the US.

Meanwhile, the US deploys more aid to support Israel, for fear that it too will become non-aligned.

In reaction to this, the US signs a Mutual Defense Pact with Japan to gain itself a further ally. In this focusing on Asian affairs, however, the USSR launches a coup in Iran that, like the earlier coup in Pakistan, fails to set up a pro-Soviet government but does result in a caretaker regime.

In late 1955, however, the two superpowers would come to blows directly, in the first major conflict since WWII. The rogue Korean leader Kim invades South Korea that Winter, with heavy Chinese and Soviet support. Against most unlikely odds (Taiwan and Japan were the strategic anchors of support for the South), blitzkrieg tactics netted North Korea Seoul within days, and the South Korean government is replaced with Kim's men. The war, however, does bond the US with the governments of West Germany and Iran, who both contribute troops and weapons to the Korean War.

In the second major regional conference in two years, Middle Eastern leaders meet early 1956 to approve a declaration that their region will be strictly non-aligned in the future.

This conference forces France, a former key power in the Middle East, to accept American aid, thus putting the Western European state firmly in the American orbit.

After hearing of defeats in France and the Middle East, Stalin dies from a violent heart attack. His successor, Krushchev, launches a vigorous campaign of de-Stalinization. In particular, Soviet ambassadors in Romania and Finland, previously considered VIPs due to their postings' proximity to Moscow, are reassigned to Venezuela, Chile, Angola and Nigeria due to loyalties to the deceased Stalin.

This frustrates many in the Soviet Union and abroad, but not a captured Nazi scientist working for the US. By the end of 1956, the United States has launched an Earth satellite into orbit. This does not stop Russian military aggression, however.

USSR HL: Fidel, 0/3C Cuba
US HL: Containment

USSR AR1: De Gaulle Leads France to Coup Italy, 0/3C
US AR1: The Cambridge Five, 4C/1 South Korea

USSR AR2: Eastern European Unrest, 0/2C Thailand, 4C/0 EGer, 4C/0 Poland
US AR2: Nuclear Test Ban to Coup Libya, 3C/0

USSR AR3: Asia Scoring, VP+2
US AR3: Marshall Plan Ops, 5C/1 Israel

USSR AR4: US-Japan Mutual Defense Pact to Coup Iran, 0/0
US AR4: Korean War, VP+0, 0/5C South Korea, 4C/0 WGer, 2C/0 Iran

USSR AR5: Middle East Scoring, VP+2
US AR5: Special Relationship Ops, 3C/0 France

USSR AR6: De-Stalinization, 0/0 Romania, 0/0 Finland, 0/1C Nigeria, 0/1C Angola, 0/1 Venezuela, 0/1 Chile
US AR6: Captured Nazi Scientist, VP+2, Earth Satellite (deluxe space track)

(Strategy Questions:
1) It's pretty obvious here that I messed up in the Middle East big time-- I'm getting dominated in a region where USSR should be dominatING. How can I keep it as my backyard?)
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David Benito Richards
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sirhumphrey wrote:
Against most unlikely odds (Taiwan and Japan were the strategic anchors of support for the South), blitzkrieg tactics netted North Korea Seoul within months, and the South Korean government is replaced with Kim's men. The war, however, does bond the US with the governments of West Germany and Iran, who both contribute troops and weapons to the Korean War.

Two minor issues on your otherwise great "alternate history":
- Unlikely that West Germany would have sent troops abroad as early as 1955. The Bundeswehr was only incorporated in 1955, and then, with a strictly defensive role.
- In the real 1950 North Korean invasion, North Korean forces captured Seoul within 3 days of the start of the war, and overran almost all of South Korea in less than 3 months. If the North Koreans had taken months to conquer Seoul, which is really close to the border, that would have been more like a slow attrition war than a "blitzkrieg" rampage. And, given your setup of Taiwan and Japan as US allies, in static warfare, it is difficult that the North Koreans would have won the war.
 
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