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Subject: AUC opening move rss

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Patrick Riley
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AUC starts with underground cells in two departments with FARC bases. This makes terror/assassinating these bases off the map a strong opening move.

But what's the best target for the third assassination? If the government doesn't recruit police into Santander department their first turn or if AUC is able to move before the government, destroying the government base in Santander is tempting, as that's a serious setback to the government.

Potential counter arguments are that this may put the government in an adversarial mindset against AUC earlier than they may normally want, so they may find their cells getting sweeped more often by a paranoid government. Also, if FARC hasn't yet revealed their cell in Santander, it opens up an opportunity for FARC to terror there to reduce Passive Support to Neutral, thus allowing FARC to recruit in the department and putting the department in more serious danger of being contested by FARC. (This happened in the first few turns of my current face-to-face game.)

Has anyone else considered this move? And if you did why or why did you not execute on it? What have people seen develop as a result?
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Todd Quinn
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You want to mess with FARC. Not so much with Government and particularly early on. If you Rally first you can build up Antioquia and put a Guerrilla in Huila, with the FARC base there. Then you will have three FARC Bases you can take out on your next go.

Don't get on Government's bad side too early or they will just wipe you out. You are better off working together at least at the start ("What can you give me if I take out this FARC Base in Huila?")

Todd
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Gordon J
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AUC needs to stay in the shadows of the Government's back side. We just played a 4 player game a few weeks ago, and while Cartels and FARC and I were trading blows, AUC just sat silently on the sidelines and won the game.

I find AUC as the least sexy faction to play. Government and FARC you both have a ton to do, a lot rests on your shoulders. Cartels I find the easiest to play as you can always whip out bases no problem and you are never far from winning. AUC is tougher I think, after the beginning of the game, it's hard for AUC to move into places with FARC to hurt them and it can be slow moving, and if you lose a base or two in a round it can be a huge blow that sets you back for awhile.
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Patrick Riley
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Good point on rallying in Huila, Todd. There's a good chance that FARC will terror there early, locking AUC out of rallying later. And a march into Huila has a high probability of being a forced reveal a few turns into the game. But the downside of a rally is you put your cells in Arauca and Guaviare at risk of being attacked/ambushed in the meantime.

That said, I'm still not convinced that killing the government base shouldn't be considered. I made that move two games ago and it was certainly successful in slowing the government down. Cartels won that game but it was less due to resources being diverted due to my base destruction, than the government taking too many Government Capabilities and giving the insurgent factions the initiative. (Capabilities aren't worth much if you don't survive to the later game to be able to use them.)

In that game I was able to assuage the government player by telling them I wouldn't be making any terror unless they were about to win the game.

> Don't get on Government's bad side too early or they will just wipe you out.

No question that government can certainly majorly inconvenience AUC, but does AUC need to fear them that much? AUC can rally wherever they want in cities or departments with support, so it seems just as much of an onus on the government to learn to live with and channel AUC as the reverse. The government can't very well sweep every turn while also accomplishing their other objectives.

> "What can you give me if I take out this FARC Base in Huila?"

If I was playing government and an AUC asked me that I'd tell them nothing, as that's essentially paying them to accomplish their own victory conditions. But terroring to reduce Opposition when it wasn't completely in their interest, then we'd be talking!
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Andrew Laws
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If you waste the guerrillas you have in FARC territory on the first card, the chances are you won't ever be able to rally in those departments again for the rest of the game.

What will you threaten them with then?

Leave them there until the absolutely crucial moment. As for attacking the gov't base, ye Gods man, that's a surefire way to end up with no friends at all.

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Andrew Laws
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Cordo wrote:
If I was playing government and an AUC asked me that I'd tell them nothing, as that's essentially paying them to accomplish their own victory conditions. But terroring to reduce Opposition when it wasn't completely in their interest, then we'd be talking!


Doesn't AUC terror reduce Gov't Aid? Why would you pay them to reduce your income?
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Steven
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
Cordo wrote:
If I was playing government and an AUC asked me that I'd tell them nothing, as that's essentially paying them to accomplish their own victory conditions. But terroring to reduce Opposition when it wasn't completely in their interest, then we'd be talking!


Doesn't AUC terror reduce Gov't Aid? Why would you pay them to reduce your income?


Aid is nice, but remember... early in the game its not that important (the first Pres will not be giving the government aid). Later in the game however, it becomes a different story!
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Volko Ruhnke
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Quote:
No question that government can certainly majorly inconvenience AUC, but does AUC need to fear them that much? AUC can rally wherever they want in cities or departments with support, so it seems just as much of an onus on the government to learn to live with and channel AUC as the reverse. The government can't very well sweep every turn while also accomplishing their other objectives.

This is an important point: AUC can position guerrillas in the cities to hold a big sword over the Government's head (quite apart from the question of Aid), threatening Terror where the FARC is much less likely to reach.
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Patrick Riley
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Thanks for the feedback, HMS.

HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
If you waste the guerrillas you have in FARC territory on the first card, the chances are you won't ever be able to rally in those departments again for the rest of the game.


You're talking about Guaviare and Arauca? Unless the government intervenes, I wouldn't see AUC's chances of being able to rally there significantly increasing by keeping those guerrillas underground, because later guerrillas that move in will likely be revealed. Maybe I'm missing something though and I'm eager to be educated if so!

Not using your assassinate also comes with risk that FARC will get around to attacking you in those departments. And if they are already revealed FARC might de-emphasize attacking in those departments and get busy with other things as they are no longer a clear threat. With a bit of luck your cells could go underground again at the beginning of the next campaign, ready to assassinate in enemy territory.

HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
As for attacking the gov't base, ye Gods man, that's a surefire way to end up with no friends at all.


No question it's antagonistic. I probably wouldn't do it in a forum game or with people I didn't know well. But it's incredibly effective and deals a major setback to one of your opponents--one that will take a train (with the once-per train power) and nine resources to recover from.
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Patrick Riley
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
Cordo wrote:
If I was playing government and an AUC asked me that I'd tell them nothing, as that's essentially paying them to accomplish their own victory conditions. But terroring to reduce Opposition when it wasn't completely in their interest, then we'd be talking!


Doesn't AUC terror reduce Gov't Aid? Why would you pay them to reduce your income?
Good point. But my meaning was that I wouldn't pay for a base assassination, only something that served my goals than wasn't fully in the interest of AUC as well.
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Andrew Laws
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Cordo wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, HMS.

HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
If you waste the guerrillas you have in FARC territory on the first card, the chances are you won't ever be able to rally in those departments again for the rest of the game.


You're talking about Guaviare and Arauca? Unless the government intervenes, I wouldn't see AUC's chances of being able to rally there significantly increasing by keeping those guerrillas underground, because later guerrillas that move in will likely be revealed. Maybe I'm missing something though and I'm eager to be educated if so!


Sorry, what I meant was that it is IMHO much better to leave the starting AUC chaps in Guaviare and Arauca until the last possible moment. Assassinating two FARC bases has more impact when AUC has all 6 bases down and FARC has 7, as opposed to the start of the game. Plus, the longer they stay there the longer they are a threat.
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Volko Ruhnke
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Quote:
Not using your assassinate also comes with risk that FARC will get around to attacking you in those departments.

I tend as FARC to make elimination of AUC from my strongholds an early priority.
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Steven
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I completely agree Volko... let the AUC sit around in the FARC heartland at your own peril! This was a painful lesson I learned as the FARC in the (ongoing) AA 4 PBF.
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Gordon J
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Volko, that's interesting because the last two games I played FARC wouldn't really go after AUC, they would usually deal with AUC getting close to Victory conditions by just using Rally to expand bases and eclipse AUC that way. Which in the end didn't work as AUC in both sneaked the victory anyway. And my mistake in those games, as Government, was holding onto the partnership/alliance with AUC for too long.

The game we played last night, the Guy who played Cartels, was a first time player. About halfway through the game, while being at 12 bases, did Process and up and cashed in ALL of his bases, I was thinking at the time, what the hell is this guy doing? I thought it a mistake at the time. But sure enough, sooner than you would expect he was back up and running and was right there in the thick of it at the end, almost winning the game. Technically in that game AUC and Cartels both had Victory Conditions but AUC squeaked by by a 1 point margin better victory.
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Volko Ruhnke
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It's hard psychologically to let go of Bases you have, but I too have seen surprisingly effective use Processing to cash in Cartels Bases for Resources, and to then reposition. My younger son Andrew is a master at this, doing so among other objectives to avoid vulnerability to FARC Kidnapping.

A hitch is that, if you go that route, you usually are committing to the end game rather a threat of an instant win.

vfr
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Jason Albert
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Volko wrote:
My younger son Andrew is a master at this, doing so among other objectives to avoid vulnerability to FARC Kidnapping.


I was in the same game Gordon is referring to, and when the Cartels liquidated, he specifically referenced FARC kidnapping. I'm still a very inexperienced AA player, but it's a level of strategy I hadn't even considered to that point. Very cool, and one of the things I've really enjoyed so far ... keeping track of the Cartels is like trying to grab the wind.

Volko wrote:
A hitch is that, if you go that route, you usually are committing to the end game rather a threat of an instant win.


Yep. He did it roughly halfway through the deck, and it took him all the way to Prop 4 to get back to his victory conditions.

(Not that any of this is news to the designer, but interesting to me nonetheless.)

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Volko Ruhnke
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Quote:
... keeping track of the Cartels is like trying to grab the wind.

Nice!
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Patrick Riley
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In my current face-to-face game I'm playing FARC and kidnapped versus the Cartels in Meta East, Meta West, and Guaviare, and rolled a total of 15 resources. The Cartel player was very unhappy and did the same move, processed his three bases out of the departments with my units. "I'm not going to be your bank anymore!"
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