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Subject: How do you interpret the events of the "War Games" ? rss

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Andrei P
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After a 4 hour game I as USSR drew the War Games card. Defcon was at 3, I proceeded to coup during the first action round and then played the War games in 2nd action round. I was ahead at 12VPs, so after being brought down to 6 I secured the Soviet victory!

Now, the text of the card is straight forward, no issues there. However it got me to thinking. What does it mean for the world?

Looking back at real history its hard to say that the world ended, because it obviously didnt. But that would also mean no-one won, most would argue Cold War still rages, there will always be an arms race and so far US and Russia are still the 2 dominant world powers, perhaps they arent as influential as they were during the cold war, but they still get to decide what happens in most global events. Russia still sells weapons to the same countries, still Veto's UN resolutions and still passes anti American laws, US still deploys Ground to Air defenses in the Baltic region, still passes anti Russia laws and still fights Russia equipped troops all over the world... woah.. strayed from my point... ok back to point...

So, the card specifically states, there is no scoring round... meaning what? Thematically that is... does that mean it doesnt matter? The world ended in a nuclear catastrophy and there are a few survivors left to rebuild the civilization on the Winner's side (in this case USSR)?

The VP track takes a hit, meaning USSR got attacked as well in these War Games, the fact that DEFCON has to be at 2 signifies that the Nuclear tensions are as high as ever, and although not labeled as such "War Games" technically is a "war" card, meaning theoretically it would reduce DEFCON to 1 (BOOM). All of that coupled with (I choose to interpret it that way) no scroing happens means it doesnt matter who controls what, everything is a radioactive wasteland.

Does this mean that by playing War Games and choosing to end the game the game ends in a nuclear missile exchange? Making this the only time you could (theoretically) get DEFCON to 1 and still win?

Thoughts?

 
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Miljenko Murkovic
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Did you watch Wargames movie?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086567/

This card is reference to that movie... Clue is in "How about a nice game of chess"
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Andrei P
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miljenko wrote:
Did you watch Wargames movie?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086567/

This card is reference to that movie... Clue is in "How about a nice game of chess"


Nope havent seen it; however even with that, since we are replaying history in TS, if we chose to thematically look at this card as an "event" what happens thematically?
 
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Thematically, one side is conductiong war games which the other side mistakenly believe to be an actual attack. This mistake causes the non war games side to escalate resulting in actual nuclear war.
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Duxa wrote:
miljenko wrote:
Did you watch Wargames movie?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086567/

This card is reference to that movie... Clue is in "How about a nice game of chess"


Nope havent seen it; however even with that, since we are replaying history in TS, if we chose to thematically look at this card as an "event" what happens thematically?


Straight from the TS Card histories:

TS rules, pg 25 wrote:
WARGAMES — (1956 – 1995) Brinksmanship was a term coined by John Foster Dulles to describe a policy of coming close to war, without falling into the abyss. At different times, during different crises, this policy was pursued by both superpowers. However, there was always the danger that brinksmanship could turn the “cold” war, hot. Additionally, brinksmanship encouraged a nuclear posture of “launch on warning.” Game theory demanded that if your opponent were launching a massive nuclear strike, you would have to launch your own weapons before they could be destroyed in their silos. These doctrines shortened reaction times of world leaders from hours to minutes. On November 9th, 1979, the United States made preparations for a retaliatory nuclear strike when a NORAD computer glitch indicated an all-out Soviet strike had been launched. As recently as 1995, Russia mistook a Norwegian scientific missile launch for an attack, and Boris Yeltsin was asked to decide whether or not to counterattack.


Hopefully this will help.
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Andrei P
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Ok so from the sounds of it... yes the world is destroyed, and the victor merely has a few survivors to try and rebuild it. They should have had this card end the game in a tie.
 
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Nice interpretation. I see it as a show of force. The superpower that plays the card for the event feels so far ahead of the other in terms of world influence, that even at a moment of hight nuclear war tension (defcon 2) decides that no matter what he does, the other superpower can or won't react, meaning there's no need to continue the struggle.

Or something along those lines.
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Jay Sachs
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Duxa wrote:
Ok so from the sounds of it... yes the world is destroyed, and the victor merely has a few survivors to try and rebuild it. They should have had this card end the game in a tie.


If that is true, any DEFCON 1 -induced win ought to be a tie.
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Andrei P
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jaysachs wrote:
Duxa wrote:
Ok so from the sounds of it... yes the world is destroyed, and the victor merely has a few survivors to try and rebuild it. They should have had this card end the game in a tie.


If that is true, any DEFCON 1 -induced win ought to be a tie.


I see what you are saying, but I also think that this would give an out to the players that feel like they are too far behind or that they dont have a chance to force a tie by suiciding (doing coups over and over), or people that are bored and dont want to play could do the same thing. So I think its very important for it to NOT be a tie in any other circumstance where DEFCON is brought to 1.

There is a distinction though. Knowingly and willingly bringing down DEFCON to 1 should be a loss... because you willingly chose to do that, it should not be a tie.

With War Games, its more of an accidental nuclear exchange, meaning it was not brought up by one side or the other on purpose so its more of an OOOPS world is destroyed now.. noone wins.

A tie would also discourage the player from playing the War Games card if that player feels like they can win.

And as far as equating it to other DEFCON 1 scenarios, that simple to fix, just add the text to the bottom of the card stating that its a tie.
 
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Jay Sachs
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Duxa wrote:
jaysachs wrote:
Duxa wrote:
Ok so from the sounds of it... yes the world is destroyed, and the victor merely has a few survivors to try and rebuild it. They should have had this card end the game in a tie.


If that is true, any DEFCON 1 -induced win ought to be a tie.


I see what you are saying, but I also think that this would give an out to the players that feel like they are too far behind or that they dont have a chance to force a tie by suiciding (doing coups over and over), or people that are bored and dont want to play could do the same thing. So I think its very important for it to NOT be a tie in any other circumstance where DEFCON is brought to 1.

There is a distinction though. Knowingly and willingly bringing down DEFCON to 1 should be a loss... because you willingly chose to do that, it should not be a tie.

With War Games, its more of an accidental nuclear exchange, meaning it was not brought up by one side or the other on purpose so its more of an OOOPS world is destroyed now.. noone wins.

A tie would also discourage the player from playing the War Games card if that player feels like they can win.

And as far as equating it to other DEFCON 1 scenarios, that simple to fix, just add the text to the bottom of the card stating that its a tie.


Wait ... so you're suggesting that the Wargames event not result in a win for one side or the other? Why not just remove the card then?
 
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Andrei P
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jaysachs wrote:
Duxa wrote:
jaysachs wrote:
Duxa wrote:
Ok so from the sounds of it... yes the world is destroyed, and the victor merely has a few survivors to try and rebuild it. They should have had this card end the game in a tie.


If that is true, any DEFCON 1 -induced win ought to be a tie.


I see what you are saying, but I also think that this would give an out to the players that feel like they are too far behind or that they dont have a chance to force a tie by suiciding (doing coups over and over), or people that are bored and dont want to play could do the same thing. So I think its very important for it to NOT be a tie in any other circumstance where DEFCON is brought to 1.

There is a distinction though. Knowingly and willingly bringing down DEFCON to 1 should be a loss... because you willingly chose to do that, it should not be a tie.

With War Games, its more of an accidental nuclear exchange, meaning it was not brought up by one side or the other on purpose so its more of an OOOPS world is destroyed now.. noone wins.

A tie would also discourage the player from playing the War Games card if that player feels like they can win.

And as far as equating it to other DEFCON 1 scenarios, that simple to fix, just add the text to the bottom of the card stating that its a tie.


Wait ... so you're suggesting that the Wargames event not result in a win for one side or the other? Why not just remove the card then?


I propose it ends in a tie. The wording can say something like this

"The tension between the two superpowers resulted in a mutual and entire Earth encompassing annihilation via exchange of nuclear warheads.

Remove 6 VP from the player that played the card. Entire Earth's population is diminished to but a few remote villages in the winning player's country who are now tasked with rebuilding Earth.

The game ends in a tie, no scoring phases are made. There are no winners as a result of this; however the player with most Victory points gets to tell his grandchildren of how the Earth was destroyed."


The reason it is still useful is you could be at 7VPs, but have a terrible hand, and feel that any moment if a scoring card is played your opponent will overtake you and has a good chance to win, you can as a last ditch effort attempt to force a tie before all is lost. Eactly how it would be in real life during cold war.. neither side would launch nukes if it wasnt a last ditch effort.

The fact that its a tie will ensure that the card is not always played, but only in last ditch effort (just like any nuclear confrontation would).

And removing 6VPs will also ensure that the playing side has a penalty for playing it.

Of course this needs to be thought through a lot more; but I dont seem to be OK with the fact that there could be a winner at all if the world is destroyed... seems like noone would win in a situation like that.
 
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Sam Carroll
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I guess I don't view War Games as leading to the earth's destruction; here's how I see it:

One side (let's say the USSR) is so dominant that they make a potential winning move (invading W. Europe, let's say) that the US can only stop by a nuclear strike, which the US declines to do.

Or perhaps the USSR is able somehow to temporarily disable most of the US nuclear capability (perhaps by hacking into a defense computer named Joshua), to the point that they can dictate terms to the US.

Of course, you could switch the sides, but I usually see Wargames played by the USSR.

From a gameplay standpoint, Wargames often gives great tension to the Late War, when the USSR is ahead on points but steadily losing board position. It seems inevitable that the US will win in Final Scoring, but this is the last-ditch chance for the USSR to win. Otherwise, the Late War could get pretty boring.
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Duxa wrote:

I propose it ends in a tie. The wording can say something like this

"The tension between the two superpowers resulted in a mutual and entire Earth encompassing annihilation via exchange of nuclear warheads.

Remove 6 VP from the player that played the card. Entire Earth's population is diminished to but a few remote villages in the winning player's country who are now tasked with rebuilding Earth.

The game ends in a tie, no scoring phases are made. There are no winners as a result of this; however the player with most Victory points gets to tell his grandchildren of how the Earth was destroyed."


The reason it is still useful is you could be at 7VPs, but have a terrible hand, and feel that any moment if a scoring card is played your opponent will overtake you and has a good chance to win, you can as a last ditch effort attempt to force a tie before all is lost. Eactly how it would be in real life during cold war.. neither side would launch nukes if it wasnt a last ditch effort.

The fact that its a tie will ensure that the card is not always played, but only in last ditch effort (just like any nuclear confrontation would).

And removing 6VPs will also ensure that the playing side has a penalty for playing it.

If the game ends in a tie, what's the point of having a 6 VP loss?

I prefer seeing this in light of the movie from which the flavor text is taken: that the side playing the game is conducting war games, which results in the other side almost starting nuclear war and losing 6VP for the shame of it all. The near-war results in everyone putting their heads together and calmly (finally!) ending the cold war, and the game. Nuclear war wasn't actually triggered, so it's not an auto-loss for them.

Go watch the movie!
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Andrei P
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snoozefest wrote:
Duxa wrote:

I propose it ends in a tie. The wording can say something like this

"The tension between the two superpowers resulted in a mutual and entire Earth encompassing annihilation via exchange of nuclear warheads.

Remove 6 VP from the player that played the card. Entire Earth's population is diminished to but a few remote villages in the winning player's country who are now tasked with rebuilding Earth.

The game ends in a tie, no scoring phases are made. There are no winners as a result of this; however the player with most Victory points gets to tell his grandchildren of how the Earth was destroyed."


The reason it is still useful is you could be at 7VPs, but have a terrible hand, and feel that any moment if a scoring card is played your opponent will overtake you and has a good chance to win, you can as a last ditch effort attempt to force a tie before all is lost. Eactly how it would be in real life during cold war.. neither side would launch nukes if it wasnt a last ditch effort.

The fact that its a tie will ensure that the card is not always played, but only in last ditch effort (just like any nuclear confrontation would).

And removing 6VPs will also ensure that the playing side has a penalty for playing it.

If the game ends in a tie, what's the point of having a 6 VP loss?

I prefer seeing this in light of the movie from which the flavor text is taken: that the side playing the game is conducting war games, which results in the other side almost starting nuclear war and losing 6VP for the shame of it all. The near-war results in everyone putting their heads together and calmly (finally!) ending the cold war, and the game. Nuclear war wasn't actually triggered, so it's not an auto-loss for them.

Go watch the movie!


Point of taking a 6VP as I described above will still determine who is "less" destroyed.
 
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Duxa wrote:
Point of taking a 6VP as I described above will still determine who is "less" destroyed.


So the person who is less destroyed ... ties better than the other player?
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jaysachs wrote:
Duxa wrote:
Point of taking a 6VP as I described above will still determine who is "less" destroyed.


So the person who is less destroyed ... ties better than the other player?


Basically the point is that no-one won.. no-one is better.. everyone lost.. but the player with more VPs can say that they did "better".

Just think of real world.. imagine 1976... nuclear exchange... World wont be equally destroyed right? There will be spots that are OK... no one will celebrate.. instead it would be said that some places did better than others... they by no means won if 99% of their country is irreparably destroyed.. but they did better than the other side.. which lost 100% of their country.

Basically in a nuclear exchange no one will go "WE WON!" when everything around them in on fire... but they could say "We did better, lets now rebuild"... its basically a "spiritual" victory... but its not a victory any side would want... while as it is now, its a total and outright victory.

Taking it back to the board game level, the player that has more VP cant just say "I WON!" as the world lays in ruin around them.

This would also differentiate an end of turn 10 victory from War Games victory.. making the end of turn 10 victory better. And it should be, because noone gets destroyed in that victory. This would in turn encourage players to go for end of turn 10 victory as opposed to War Games card.
 
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I think we'll just agree to disagree! To me, if it's a tie, it's a tie -- no one is better. Otherwise, someone won the game.
 
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Wargames is a VITAL card for the game to maintain its tension; its existence in the deck forces the players to "keep it close" rather than just to play the long game and building up board position.
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Andrei P
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snoozefest wrote:
I think we'll just agree to disagree! To me, if it's a tie, it's a tie -- no one is better. Otherwise, someone won the game.


Yeah I was more curious about how people thematically interpreted the card rather than changing rules. Because when our game ended thematically we werent sure what "caused" the end... was it a war, a nuclear exchange or US giving up. And based on the fact that there is no scoring phase and that both sides take a hit (one loses and other takes VP hit) it seems like it was something that hurt both... so we settled on nuclear exchange.
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Duxa wrote:
After a 4 hour game I as USSR drew the War Games card. Defcon was at 3, I proceeded to coup during the first action round and then played the War games in 2nd action round. I was ahead at 12VPs, so after being brought down to 6 I secured the Soviet victory!

Now, the text of the card is straight forward, no issues there. However it got me to thinking. What does it mean for the world?

Looking back at real history its hard to say that the world ended, because it obviously didnt. But that would also mean no-one won, most would argue Cold War still rages, there will always be an arms race and so far US and Russia are still the 2 dominant world powers, perhaps they arent as influential as they were during the cold war, but they still get to decide what happens in most global events. Russia still sells weapons to the same countries, still Veto's UN resolutions and still passes anti American laws, US still deploys Ground to Air defenses in the Baltic region, still passes anti Russia laws and still fights Russia equipped troops all over the world... woah.. strayed from my point... ok back to point...




Strongly disagree- "most" would say Cold War ended 1989-1991 with a decisive US victory in which the Russians lost their East European sphere of influence and the USSR itself ceased to exist. The survival in atttenuated form of a Russsian state does not diminish US victory (in many ways complete anarchy in the former USSR would be much worse for US interests, to say nothing of the danger of China retaking much territory in the east).

Back to the topic- Wargames: One side conducts large scale and threatening military exercises, causing a loss of prestige among non-aligned states. As a result of these exercises, without pausing to consider long-term trends, one side or the other decides that it could not win unless it used nuclear weapons, and, based on computer predictions of what that would imply, decides to give up the struggle instead (precise form this would take probably varies from side to side and with wider circumstances). I don't see any nuclear exchange here- after all there is none in the movie.
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Back to the topic- Wargames: One side conducts large scale and threatening military exercises, causing a loss of prestige among non-aligned states. As a result of these exercises, without pausing to consider long-term trends, one side or the other decides that it could not win unless it used nuclear weapons, and, based on computer predictions of what that would imply, decides to give up the struggle instead (precise form this would take probably varies from side to side and with wider circumstances). I don't see any nuclear exchange here- after all there is none in the movie.


Exactly how I see it.
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Agreed. I always saw this as one side being so far ahead that the other one, running simulations, realized the game was lost and threw in the towel.

In historical terms, I'd say that this was more or less how the Berlin Wall fell -- the US was so dominant in Europe, and the shell of repressive communist regimes so obviously broken, that Gorbachev indicated (with a wink!) that he wouldn't join the hard-liners in yet another round of reform-crushing, with all its attendant political and moral costs, and with that wink, the wall simply fell and the Cold War ended.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2...

So it's like the US, ahead on points, played the Wargames card, and Russia folded its hand.
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I don't actually understand the card. How do you "give your opponent 6 VPs"? And when do you play the card?
 
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The Old Man wrote:
How do you "give your opponent 6 VPs"?

Move the VP marker 6 spaces away from your end of the VP track.

The Old Man wrote:
And when do you play the card?

In your headline phase or during your Action Round, like any other card.
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Forgive my newbism, why do you even need to give VP's? As long as it doesn't reach 20 you win. And if it did then you wouldn't play the card.
 
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