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1989: Dawn of Freedom» Forums » Strategy

Subject: 1989 Early Year Card analysis rss

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Conor Hickey
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I had meant to post this as a .doc file but accidentally c&p'ed it into this post, sorry :/ This is a list of the Early Year cards with my thoughts/opinions on each, I know it's long (which is why I intended to post it as a .doc) but if anyone wants to take a look and offer opinions that'd be great.

1: Legacy of Martial Law (2 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Replace 1 Democratic SP in Poland with a Communist SP and make a Support Check in Poland using the Ops value of this card.

One of the few cards that will help the Communist in Poland, this can be useful to Support Check Gdansk (after replacing an SP in Poznan), as Gdansk cannot be supported by the Polish Catholic Church. Not likely to have huge impact overall, and the Democrat will not usually mind playing this although he may need to use its ops to repair any damage it does.

2: Solidarity Legalised (4 ops, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Place a Democratic SP in every uncontrolled Farmer and Worker space in Poland. The Communist player may no longer make Support Checks in Gdansk. Allows play of 'Walesa'.

Very powerful if the event occurs early, as 5 of the 6 Battlegrounds in Poland are Worker spaces, and Katowice is also useful for the Democrat to get so he can Support Check Ostrava later. Disallowing Support Checks in Gdansk is minor but may be useful if 'Legacy of Martial Law' has not been played yet, and 'Walesa' is another good event. The Communist may well give up on Poland early though, and concentrate on other countries, so he may not be too averse to playing this.

3: Walesa (3 ops, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Place 4 Democratic SP(s) in any spaces in Poland. Then make 2 Support Checks in Poland using the Ops value of this card. Requires 'Solidarity Legalised' to be played as an event.

A good event for the Democrat as he can break Communist control of spaces around Warszawa and Lodz, then try to Support Check his way in. The Communist will not be overly concerned playing this for ops if Poland has been scored and he has given up Power, but risks handing Control of Poland to the Democrat, rather than the usual Domination.

4: Michnik (1 op, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Place 3 Democratic SPs in the Polish Intellectuals space.

Useful for the Democrat as it gives him another space in Poland (and 2 more cards in the Power Struggle), and means he doesn't have to go through the easily-Support-Checked student space, but the Communist will be happy to play this for the op anyway.

5: General Strike (3 ops, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

In his next Action round the Communist must discard a card and roll a die. To end the strike the total of the Ops value plus die roll must exceed 5. The Communist must continue to discard a card and roll a die each Action Round until the strike is over, though he may play a Scoring Card during the strike.

Similar to Quagmire/Bear Trap in Twilight Struggle, this at least offers the Communist a quicker way out if he discards a bigger Ops card to it. I'll usually play this for Ops as Democrat so it may come back to annoy the Communist in Mid Year. The effect is rather better if the Communist plays it himself, as the Democrat is then guaranteed at least 2 action rounds in a row, which is a good chance to carry out Support Checks or catch up in a country.

6: Brought in for Questioning (3 ops, Communist, not removed).

The Democratic Player must randomly discard a card. If it is a Communist event it takes place immediately.

The Communist will usually play this for ops, and it can offer the Democrat a chance to dump a Scoring Card he doesn't want to play by playing this card last and having to discard the Scoring Card. With a hand otherwise clogged with Communist events it can be awkward to manage though.

7: State Run Media (2 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Remove four Democratic SPs, no more than 2 per space.

More powerful the earlier the event occurs, be careful when placing initial influence as the Democrat, if you do not have this card in your hand, as it can completely eliminate you from an area.

8: Prudence (4 ops, Neutral, recurring event).

Opponent -1 ops for the rest of the turn, to a minimum of 1 op.

The lack of a Headline Phase in 1989 makes this less attractive then Red Scare/Purge would be in TS. You have the choice of a risk-free 4 ops (quite hard to come by in this game) or denying your opponent a potential 6 ops.

A little more attractive for the Communist to play for the event in the Early Year, and the Democrat to play in the Middle Year due to the composition of the Event Deck.

9: The Wall (1 op, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Place in front of the Communist Player. In his next Support Check in Germany cancel the modifier for any adjacent spaces controlled by the Democratic Player.

One of several events that make Democrat investing in East Germany unattractive, but he will be hard pressed to get past the Lutheran Church and Leipzig without Monday Demonstrations anyway.

10: Cult of Personality (3 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Place 4 Communist SPs in Worker or Farmer Spaces in Romania, no more than 2 per space. Has no effect after 'The Tyrant is Gone'.

The Communist will usually play this for ops, Romania is not important in the Early Year, and the Democrat will not have a problem playing this for ops either, yes he is helping the Communist get a start in Romania, but it will not score until Late War (if at all), and it's arguably the toughest country (after East Germany), for the Democrats to be competitive in. Better to use the 3 ops now and worry about Romania later.

11: Dissident Arrested (2 ops, Communist, recurring event).

Remove 2 Democratic SPs from any Intellectuals space.

The Polish and Czech Intellectuals spaces are the main ones this card is likely to be used on, but given the lack of 'Headline & 1st AR' combos in 1989, this card is of somewhat less use than a corresponding card in TS might have been.

As Communist I would prefer to support check the Czech Intellectual space to get some of my own SPs in, and I would leave the Polish one to the Democrat if he wants it. Could be useful if you also have Jan Palach Week, play this first to clear out the Intellectuals space, and then play Jan Palach week and Support Check the Democrat out of the Student space with an even modifier assuming you have Praha. On average you should take out 2.5 SP per roll so you only need slightly above average luck to clear him out with 2 rolls with the 1 op Jan Palach.

12: Apparatchiks (2 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Place 3 Communist SPs in any Bureaucratic space(s).

The Communist will likely play this for ops so it can return to annoy the Democrat in Middle Year. The Democrat will normally be happy to play this for ops and get it out of the deck, but it can still give the Communist useful SPs in Warsaw, Praha etc. Due to the nature of Support Checks in 1989, getting SPs in the space you want is nowhere near as useful as it was in TS - you would prefer to get SPs in the spaces around the space you actually want to cancel your opponent's Support Check Modifier, as the SPs in the target space itself have no bearing on the Support Check.

13: Stasi (1 op, Communist, remove if event occurs).

For the rest of the turn the Democratic Player must reveal the card he will play this Action Round before the Communist player plays his card.

A nasty event for the Democrat as getting locked in to playing a card before you know what your opponent will do is clearly a problem. As its only 1 op I would often play this first in a turn.

If you get it as Democrat you can of course dispose of it harmlessly by playing it on your last Action Round of a turn.

14: Gorbachev Charms the West (4 ops, Neutral, recurring event).

Remove 2 opponent SPs and make a Support Check using the Ops value of this card. May not be played as an event after 'Breakaway Baltic Republics'.

A good event, its Neutral nature means it can sometimes tempt you to use it for Ops as 4 ops cards that don't have a good event on them are rare in this game.

Very useful to break into opponent-controlled triangles such as the worker space triangle in Czechoslovakia, assuming he has not over-controlled them (unlikely in Early Year). Take an SP out of each of two bordering spaces and you have a strong Support Check opportunity. Even if it fails your opponent is likely to have to devote at least 2 ops to repairing the damage.

15: Honecker (3 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

The Communist Player may take any non-Power Struggle card in the discard pile and put it in his hand. The Communist Player may take one extra Action Round this turn. May not be played as an event after ‘Modrow’.

Useful for ops in Turn 1 as the Communist, and the Democrat can dispose of it on his first Action Round of Turn 1 with minimal effect unless the Communist were to play ‘Gorbachev Charms the West’ or similar as his first card.

The one extra AR for the Communist may be useful but more often than not he will want to hold one card so this is limited, it certainly would not put me off playing the card as the Democrat.

The ‘Modrow’ cancellation effect is of very little concern as ‘Modrow’ is a Late Year card and unlikely to be played for the event before Honecker is out of the deck.

16: Nomenklatura (2 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Place 3 Communist SPs in any Elite Space(s), or remove all Democratic SPs from Elite Spaces.

Another card which is ops for the Communist and no real problem for the Democrat to play, it naturally discourages any placement of ops in Elite Spaces by the Democrat before it’s out of the deck, but these are 4 stability and usually Communist so he would be unlikely to do so anyway.

17: Roundtable Talks (3 ops, Democrat, recurring event).

Place in front of the Democratic Player. In the next Power Struggle the Democrat randomly draws 2 Power Struggle from the Communist hand. Then place this card in the discard pile.

The card text is not 100% clear but the Democrat puts the cards he take into his hand so this is a useful event for the Democrat unless the next country to be scored is one that he either leads or is behind in by a considerable margin.

Probably most useful if Poland has been scored and Hungary is a close race in Early Year.

18: Poszgay Defends the Revolution (2 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Place a Communist SP in 4 spaces in Hungary not under Democratic control.

The Communist can use this to threaten a series of Support Checks with his next card, best used late in the turn when your opponent may hopefully have used most of his higher op cards. Otherwise not likely to have huge effect.

19: Papal Visit (2 ops, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Place 3 SPs in any Catholic Church Space.

Most useful in the Czech Catholic Church to help in supporting your attempts to contest the Worker Triangle of Ostrava, Brno, and Bratislava. You will usually have control of the Polish Catholic Church, and the Hungarian Church is in a peripheral position.

As Communist it’s annoying to play, but you may as well get it out of the deck and use the ops to shore up the Czech Worker Triangle yourself.

20: Deutsche Marks (4 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

The Democrat gives the Communist his highest Ops value non-scoring card. If it is a Communist event that is still playable, it takes place immediately, otherwise use the Ops value of the card without triggering the event.

The Communist can spring this as an unpleasant surprise at the start of his turn, taking a big ops card off the Democrat and cutting his hand size so he will be forced to play all his cards this turn. There is an element of hit or miss depending on what you get, and the 4 ops can be tempting as well.

As the Democrat you can play this last along with a 1 op Communist card like ‘The Wall’ that you are not overly concerned about triggering. You will still have to play all your cards this turn, which can cause problems.

21: Common European Home (2 ops, Neutral, recurring event).

Play together with an opponent’s event to cancel the event taking place. Opponent earns 1 VP if this card played for Ops.

A useful way to dodge an opponent event, you can use this on an opponent’s big ops card like Deutsche Marks or Solidarity Legalised. Means you will not be holding a card this turn so make sure you have a plan for everything you have in hand.

There is a 1 VP penalty for playing this card for Ops, so unlike its TS equivalent ‘UN Intervention’ you are penalised for wanting to hold a card, which is an interesting wrinkle.

22: Scoring Card Poland (0 ops, Neutral, remove if Communist loses Power).

Poland is a big-scoring country (the biggest along with E Germany) so it is important for the Democrat to try and win this one. He is well set up with Early Year events and favourable board connections (Polish Catholic Church etc.) and so should be able to do well here. If the Communist is over-committing to Poland he will be weak elsewhere, which you can also take advantage of.

23: Scoring Card Hungary (0 ops, Neutral, remove if Communist loses Power).

Hungary is the smaller of the Early Year scoring countries and the Communist can get on top here if he can take Budapest. He has more favourable events here than the Democrat, but the rewards are somewhat lower.

24: St. Nicholas Church (1 op, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Place sufficient Democratic SPs in the Lutheran Church space for Democratic Control. Allows play of ‘The Monday Demonstrations’.

The Communist really doesn’t want this one to happen: it gives the Democrat control of a 5 stability Battleground in E Germany (and sets up ‘We Are the People!’ for the Democrat to spread elsewhere in E Germany in Mid Year), and enables ‘The Monday Demonstrations’, the most powerful event in the game.

Hold until turn 3 if at all possible, then Tiananmen it, but be aware the Democrat has events such as Dash for the West or Goodbye Lenin! which can still get this card played.

As Democrat play this one for the event!

25: Perestroika (3 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

+1 Ops value for all cards played by the Communist player for the rest of this turn.

As Communist you can play this first if you have a suitable hand, the 1 op bump is not limited to a 4 op max unlike ‘Containment’ or ‘Brezhnev Doctrine’ in Twilight Struggle so you can do some powerful Support Checking or use the extra op to help repair the damage from Democrat events etc.

The Democrat can play this harmlessly as his last Action Round.

26: Helsinki Final Act (1 op, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

+1 VP for every Support Check by the Communist Player in Student of Intellectual spaces the rest of the game.

Obviously an event which is better the sooner it occurs for the Democrat, the Communist must pay a price to crack down on Students and Writers and if you Support Check back successfully he will have to do it all over again... Get it played before FIDESZ or Jan Palach Week if you can.

The Communist will probably not be entirely put off Support Checking these spaces by this event, particularly in Czechoslovakia where they are Battlegrounds. As Communist I would hold this until turn 3 then Tiananmen it unless something more pressing like St. Nicholas Church needs to be dumped there.

27: Consumerism (3 ops, Democrat, recurring event).

Remove a Communist SP from a Worker Space and make one Support Check in a Worker Space in the same country using the Ops value of this card. If played in Late Year, remove 3 SPs from any space(s) and make 2 Support Checks in any space(s) using the Ops value of this card.

Useful in the many areas where Worker spaces are adjacent, this can get you back into a triangle you’ve been shut out of.

28: Factory Party Cells (3 ops, Communist, recurring event).

Remove 3 Democratic SPs from Worker spaces, no more than 2 per space.

Its recurrent nature makes this card an irritant for the Democrat, but he can usually use the 3 ops to repair the damage. As such this is a good candidate for Tiananmen as it’s going to be a blank round either way.

As Communist you could play this for the event late in the turn in the hopes of catching your opponent low on Ops so you can do some Support Checks if he can’t repair all the damage at once, but you’ll usually play this one for Ops.

29: Jan Palach Week (1 op, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Place 6 Democratic SPs in the Charles University space.

Places a lot of influence but in a 1 stability space which the Communist can support check easily if he has Praha. More useful after ‘Helsinki Final Act’ as the Communist will at least have to pay VPs to Support Check the space then.

The Communist can play this and then use the 2 Support Checks to clear the space or take it himself if his luck is a bit better than average and he has Praha.

30: Tear Gas (1 op, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Place in front of the Communist Player. In his next Support Check in a Student space he receives a +1 modifier, then remove this card from the game.

This is a minor event, the Democrat will play this for the op almost without thinking and the Communist will happily take the +1 bonus on his next applicable check.

A good candidate for the Democrat to hold and dump with a last round play of ‘Deutsche Marks’ or ‘Brought in for Questioning’.

31: Intelligentsia (2 ops, Democrat, recurring event).

Place 4 Democratic SPs in Intellectual Spaces, no more than 2 per space.

Useful for the Democrat to get at Intellectual spaces in E Germany, Bulgaria etc. or to shore up his support in Czechoslovakia. Runs the risk of inviting Support Checks, so more useful if ‘Helsinki Final Act’ is in effect.

The Communist can let the event trigger first then Support Check away the placed influence if he feels he needs to.

32: Peasant Parties (2 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Place 4 Communist SPs in Farmer spaces, no more than 2 per space.

Farmer spaces tend not to be contested much, at least in games I’ve played so far, as they are high stability and usually in fairly peripheral positions. Bialystok and Lublin (in Poland) are a possible exception as they support Battlegrounds but I haven’t seen much play there either.

As such, playing this card as the Democrat would not concern me, and as the Communist it’s almost always an ops play.

33: Sajudis (2 ops, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

+1 VP. Place sufficient Democratic support in any Minorities space for control. Allows play of ‘The Baltic Way’.

A useful event, this starts the Democrat down the Soviet breakup path which can net him 9 VPS total over the course of the game. Harghita-Covasna is probably the better space to select as Mid Year event ‘Bulgarian Turks Expelled’ will eliminate any Democratic SPs in Razgrad.

34: FIDESZ (2 ops, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Place 5 Democratic SPs in the Hungary Student Space.

Like ‘Jan Palach Week’ potentially useful for the Democrat but he would much rather the Communist plays it so he can access the Hungarian Writers space if he needs to. High risk of being Support Checked out of the Student space immediately after this is played unless the Democrat controls Budapest.

35: Heal Our Bleeding Wound (3 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

If played in Early Year, -3 VPs. If played in Mid Year, -1 VP. If played in Late Year, +3 VPs.

The Communist will usually use this for ops, and the Democrat would like to avoid playing it in Early Year but the -3 VPs is not too heavy a price to pay to use its 3 ops and get a ‘safe’ card for the Communist out of the deck before Mid Year.

36: Dash for the West (3 ops, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Roll a die. If the die roll exceeds the number of Communist controlled spaces in East Germany, +1 VP and select any Democratic event with an asterisk (*) from the discard pile. The event occurs immediately.

The Communist will gladly dump this on turn 1, round 1 if he can.

For the Democrat it can be a way of getting St. Nicholas Church, Helsinki Final Act or the likes played from the discard pile if the Communist has dumped them on the Tiananmen track.

37: Nagy Reburied (3 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Remove all Communist SPs from Hungary Elite space. Place 4 Communist SPs in Hungary, no more than 2 per space.

A good Communist event, this naturally keeps the Communist from placing SPs in Szombathely until it’s out of the deck. Better if the Democrat has to play it as the Communist can break control of surrounding spaces and go for Support Checks.

As the Democrat you may need to use this card’s ops to patch up the damage it causes but it is 1 op short of being able to fix them all so this can make a decent Tiananmen candidate especially if Hungary is yet to score.

38: The July Concept (3 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Place 3 Communist SPs in Bulgaria.

Unlike the Democrat the Communist starts with SPs in Bulgaria and it is a low scoring country so I would have no qualms playing this for ops – the Communist is likely to do the same.

39: Eco-Glasnost (2 ops, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Place 4 Democratic SPs in Ruse. +1 VP for Communist Support Checks in Ruse for the rest of the game.

A useful way for the Democrat to get into Bulgaria. The Support Check VP bonus is unlikely to have any impact.

40: Hungarian Democratic Forum (3 ops, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Place 3 Democratic SPs in Hungary and make one Support Check in Hungary using the Ops value of this card.

As Communist try to keep this one out until Hungary has been scored, or you can use the ops to repair the damage from the event and probably nullify the Support Check. A good Tiananmen candidate.

As Democrat I’d be inclined to play this for ops and recycle it into the Mid Year.



















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Chris Linneman
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A couple of comments, to be edited once I've finished reading your post:

I like playing Dissident Arrested to remove Democrat influence after Helsinki Final Act has been played to avoid giving the victory point. Before Helsinki, of course, support checks are usually better. The nice thing about straight up removal, though, is he can't support check back.

Honecker is one of the strongest Communist events. Being able to take an extra action round is huge, especially one with the strongest card in the discard pile. This could be Prudence, or Gorby. Usually you want to play it for Ops as the Communist, similar to General Strike for the Democrat, so your opponent draws it later and has a mess to sort out in his hand. And because the Communist always goes first, unlike Dash for the West, there will always be something in the discard pile for you to grab -- unless you play a starred event, like Perestroika.

Because the Democrat can usually play Deustche Marks harmlessly on his last action round, I like to play it as the event as the Communist, especially if there are indications that he holds a strong card like Solidarity Legalized.

My copy of Consumerism doesn't have the Late Year stipulation. Perhaps you are think of an earlier version or a different card?

For Peasant Parties, you're right that farmer spaces tend to be the least useful ones. However, the fact that it gives four Communist support and is only a 2Ops card means that it is still annoying for the Democrat. For example, the Communist might use two of the support in Szeged, the most important farmer space on the board since it is a battleground, and then he has two more to spend somewhere else, say Craiova, which supports Timosoara in Romania. The Democrat then most likely needs to spend the 2Ops from the card reinforcing Szeged.

The support check modifier for Eco-Glasnost is actually quite important, since it is very easy for the Democrat to fall behind in Bulgaria and find himself surrounded in Ruse with a plus three modifier to support checks staring him in the face. Charging one or two victory points for total eviction from Bulgaria I admit is a small price, but it can easily come into play if the Democrat is not careful.
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Conor Hickey
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QBert80 wrote:


My copy of Consumerism doesn't have the Late Year stipulation. Perhaps you are think of an earlier version or a different card?


I just checked the physical card and you are right - I had taken the card texts from the Vassal module and it is present on the graphic used for that card - presumably an older version.

Edited original post.
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Bruce Wigdor
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Great post, Conor! I'm sure this will be extremely helpful to new players. Never mind new players--you brought up some useful points that had never occurred to me before!

I'll mention a few things where I have a different point of view:

Quote:
(Solidarity Legalized) Disallowing Support Checks in Gdansk is minor


I think this aspect of the event is more than minor. Gdansk is a key space: the Communist really wants it to complete the triangle with Warsaw and Bydgoszcz (the elite space). Just the threat of it is enough to make a Communist first card play against Gdansk one of the most common openings.

The Communist will usually have a Support Check advantage in Gdansk. Warsaw and Bydgoszcz are both spaces that the Communist tends to build up. Poznan is a good place for the Democrat to get, but that could be said of a lot of worker spaces in Poland. And Szcecin (the non-battleground on the northwest corner of Poland) is not a space the Democrats can usually find the time to take. Being able to take Gdansk without needing support is huge for the Democrat.

Commmunist players beware! If the Democrat places a 2nd SP in Gdansk during opening SP placement, ignoring Gdansk on your first card play allows a very powerful play of Solidarity Legalized on the Democrat's next card play. The Support Check restriction in this instance is a large and lasting advantage.

Of course the Democrat could be bluffing on this little trick: he moght not have the card. It's not technically a wasted SP, because it will cost the Communist an SP worth of Ops or die pips to overcome. However, there are places where it can be more useful. Again, ignore that 2nd SP in Gdansk at your own risk!

Quote:
(Dissident Arrested) As Communist I would prefer to support check the Czech Intellectual space to get some of my own SPs in


...but assuming that you don't control the student space this doesn't accomplish anything--the Democrat can simply support check the space back. Without a favorable modifier, average luck will result in neither side making progress.

This is a key point to make to Twilight Struggle players. In TS, because of DEFCON, there is the mentality that if a coup takes a battleground space, it's a lasting advantage because it cannot be answered with a counter-coup. TS players think, low stability, great coup target. This doesn't apply in 1989: if you make a Support Check without a favorable modifier, you are usually going to be just spinning your wheels.

Quote:
(Papal Visit) As Communist it’s annoying to play, but you may as well get it out of the deck and use the ops to shore up the Czech Worker Triangle yourself.


There are certainly Democratic events that are more important to work around, but this is an event I'd like to keep in the deck if I can. The Democrat can't wait around too long before he needs to spend Ops to take the Czech Catholic Church, at which point the card loses much of its power.

Quote:
(Intelligensia) Runs the risk of inviting Support Checks, so more useful if ‘Helsinki Final Act’ is in effect. The Communist can let the event trigger first then Support Check away the placed influence if he feels he needs to.


Again as with Dissident Arrested, these Support Checks are not so effective unless they are combined with control of the student space. If not, the Democrat can always Support Check in response. Also, it is not as simple as Support Checking away if the Democrat places SPs in four different student spaces! Intelligensia can be a great card for the Democrat to gain access to various parts of the board where he is currently locked out.

Quote:
(Sajudis) Harghita-Covasna is probably the better space to select as Mid Year event ‘Bulgarian Turks Expelled’ will eliminate any Democratic SPs in Razgrad.


This is playing the deck too much. Unless your position is far superior to the Communist's in Bulgaria, you need those strength points in Razgrad immediately. Besides, Systematization is also in the mid-war deck, and may well hit with Harghita-Covasna as the only target.

Razgrad helps support Ruse, and if the Communist takes Ruse, he will almost always end up with full control of Bulgaria. And full control of Bulgaria is a genuine threat. It is extremely easy to fall behind there. The Communist starts with influence already there, and the elite space is positioned beautifully to influence Support checks against the eastern worker triangle.

While Bulgaria may be a low scoring country, control of any country still nets a healthy VP swing. Remember that good Communist play seeks to stake out a few countries where it can score big repeatedly as opposed to trying to put out fires everywhere on the board. Places where the Democrats win big only score once; places where the Communists win big can score again.

Two-time 1989 League champion Riku Riekkinen very frequently manages to get control of Bulgaria when he's the Communist. So do most advanced players when they play less experienced players. If as the Democrat I am not dealt Sajudis or Eco-Glasnost I will often place an opening SP in East Bulgaria to get myself a toe-hold there and try to compete. Do not underestimate Bulgaria's importance.

Quote:
(The July Concept) Unlike the Democrat the Communist starts with SPs in Bulgaria and it is a low scoring country so I would have no qualms playing this for ops.


As stated above, it is so easy for the Democrat to fall behind in Bulgaria: if you play this card for Ops, you need to make sure your position in Bulgaria can handle it.


Again, fantastic post, Conor. Hopefully people will find my comments here helpful too.
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Chris Linneman
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Very good post. I'm looking forward to analysis of the Mid Year cards next!
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Riku Riekkinen
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TwoShedsJackson wrote:
29: Jan Palach Week (1 op, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Place 6 Democratic SPs in the Charles University space.

Places a lot of influence but in a 1 stability space which the Communist can support check easily if he has Praha. More useful after ‘Helsinki Final Act’ as the Communist will at least have to pay VPs to Support Check the space then.

The Communist can play this and then use the 2 Support Checks to clear the space or take it himself if his luck is a bit better than average and he has Praha.


Usually though, I still try to use bigger card for Support Checks as commie... postponing the comeback at least one AR.

TwoShedsJackson wrote:
33: Sajudis (2 ops, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

+1 VP. Place sufficient Democratic support in any Minorities space for control. Allows play of ‘The Baltic Way’.

A useful event, this starts the Democrat down the Soviet breakup path which can net him 9 VPS total over the course of the game. Harghita-Covasna is probably the better space to select as Mid Year event ‘Bulgarian Turks Expelled’ will eliminate any Democratic SPs in Razgrad.


I don't even remember when I've seen someone not choosing Razgrad. That is because BU scoring happens so much earlier & there is a chance ‘Bulgarian Turks Expelled’ won't happen, I guess. Also Razgrad defends Ruse against support checks.

TwoShedsJackson wrote:
37: Nagy Reburied (3 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Remove all Communist SPs from Hungary Elite space. Place 4 Communist SPs in Hungary, no more than 2 per space.

A good Communist event, this naturally keeps the Communist from placing SPs in Szombathely until it’s out of the deck. Better if the Democrat has to play it as the Communist can break control of surrounding spaces and go for Support Checks.

As the Democrat you may need to use this card’s ops to patch up the damage it causes but it is 1 op short of being able to fix them all so this can make a decent Tiananmen candidate especially if Hungary is yet to score.


Some like to play this soon (I don't do it usually) and put 2 back to Elite space immediately. That is in order to get Elite leaders to Hungary scoring

TwoShedsJackson wrote:
38: The July Concept (3 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).

Place 3 Communist SPs in Bulgaria.

Unlike the Democrat the Communist starts with SPs in Bulgaria and it is a low scoring country so I would have no qualms playing this for ops – the Communist is likely to do the same.


Commies will of course play this as OPs as it only gives 3IPs. But as democrats I don't like to play this soon as it gives commies very strong position in Bulgaria. Bulgaria is the heart & soul of my successful play .

TwoShedsJackson wrote:
39: Eco-Glasnost (2 ops, Democrat, remove if event occurs).

Place 4 Democratic SPs in Ruse. +1 VP for Communist Support Checks in Ruse for the rest of the game.

A useful way for the Democrat to get into Bulgaria. The Support Check VP bonus is unlikely to have any impact.


Again some people (me included) will take the VP penalty, if it will get democrats off the Bulgaria. The VP penalty was added during playtests for a reason.
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Ted Torgerson
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Quote:
6: Brought in for Questioning (3 ops, Communist, not removed).


Critical for Dem to use this card to his advantage if possible by playing it AR 7 and discarding a bad scoring card. The scoring cards are neutral events and so is discarded without taking place. The Dem's ability to dodge a bad scoring card forces the Communist to stay at least a little honest and not just turtle in 2 countries and ignore the rest.

Quote:
8: Prudence (4 ops, Neutral, recurring event).


Will play for Ops as the Dem unless the Communist played Perestroika, then I will play for the event to cancel it out. It is arguably less powerful because no headline phase and one less AR per turn in the mid and late decks, but remember you are getting the benefit for two support checks instead of just one coup d'etat. This goes for the bonus Ops cards as well. If you have a bonus in effect Support Checks become more effective because you can double their impact.

Quote:
11: Dissident Arrested (2 ops, Communist, recurring event).


I like for the event as the Communist even without Helsinki to remove SPs from German or Bulgarian intellectual spaces. Useful to deny access to those areas of the board.

Quote:
14: Gorbachev Charms the West (4 ops, Neutral, recurring event).


Seems like whoever gets Gorbachev wins the battle to control Budapest and will take/hold Power in Hungary in the Early Year.

Quote:
16: Nomenklatura (2 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).


Must play for the Ops as Dem to cull from the deck. As the Communist I like this to the TS track because you get the +1 for your own event.

Quote:
17: Roundtable Talks (3 ops, Democrat, recurring event).


Patrick Martin has the stats but in a decent sized Power Struggle, say 10-12 cards per player, Roundtable talks is decisive. It's one of those events I try to avoid as the Communist, but never play as the event as the Dem. I always want the Ops.

Quote:
32: Peasant Parties (2 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).


I like this event in Pleven and maybe Craiova.

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Chris Linneman
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1989Game wrote:


Quote:
16: Nomenklatura (2 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).


Must play for the Ops as Dem to cull from the deck. As the Communist I like this to the TS track because you get the +1 for your own event.



Really? As the Communist I always have some Democrat event I want to T. Square. Seems much better to get two Ops than a plus one bonus on the T. Square roll, especially with a nasty Democrat event I could be T. Squaring instead.
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Riku Riekkinen
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QBert80 wrote:
1989Game wrote:


Quote:
16: Nomenklatura (2 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).


Must play for the Ops as Dem to cull from the deck. As the Communist I like this to the TS track because you get the +1 for your own event.



Really? As the Communist I always have some Democrat event I want to T. Square. Seems much better to get two Ops than a plus one bonus on the T. Square roll, especially with a nasty Democrat event I could be T. Squaring instead.


I'm with Chris here, but I can confirm that Ted is the only person I know who regularly throws own events to TS track.
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Patrick Martin
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Riku Riekkinen wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
1989Game wrote:


Quote:
16: Nomenklatura (2 ops, Communist, remove if event occurs).


Must play for the Ops as Dem to cull from the deck. As the Communist I like this to the TS track because you get the +1 for your own event.



Really? As the Communist I always have some Democrat event I want to T. Square. Seems much better to get two Ops than a plus one bonus on the T. Square roll, especially with a nasty Democrat event I could be T. Squaring instead.


I'm with Chris here, but I can confirm that Ted is the only person I know who regularly throws own events to TS track.


Far be it from me to disagree with a champion, but it can have its uses. There are hands where any opposing events you get are ones you want to cull and/or mitigate with timing but you still want/need to get ahead on the TSq track. Maybe not once a game, but certainly once every couple games...
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Conor Hickey
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More plays have certainly changed my opinion of Honecker - if you can fish a 4 op card like Prudence or Gorbachev Charms the West out you are doing well, but it also has the advantage of giving you two action rounds in a row as you will get the 8th AR with no response possible from the Democrat before you play the 1st AR of the next turn.

'Legacy of Martial Law' has gone up a little in my estimation too, it can be useful to change the Polish Catholic Church to 4/1 and Support Check Lodz or sometimes Wroclaw - a lot of Democratic players assume the Polish Catholic Church will always be a safe haven, this is a good way to give them a small shock.
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