Got a game in with one of the playtesters tonight. My win, with a US auto victory on turn 6. I grabbed a nice turn 1 hand which included EUROPEAN SCORING and ASIA SCORING. The Headline Phase also ended up working in the US favor. I played CONTAINMENT for +1 Op on all following cards, and he played WARSAW PACT. Ordinarily, this might spell doom for the play of EUROPEAN SCORING, but in fact, it allowed me to play a high card in Europe without tipping my hand. I simply feigned that I was reacting to WARSAW PACT. I ended up with Domination, securing all the regulars + Spain for more countries. I didn't have time to do as much in Asia. I quickly nabbed Afghanistan and Pakistan with a 3 ops turned 4 ops card. That left Asia as a draw, but +1 US for control of Afghanistan.
So, things had swung strongly in the US direction on turn 1. The next turn he made a ham fisted (and unsuccessful) coup roll in the Middle East on action round one, alerting me to the presence of the MIDDLE EAST SCORING card. I start to scramble. He goes for NASSER, I counter-coup him in Egypt with great success. He has to play MIDEAST SCORING for a net +3 US.
Turn 4 puts the nail in the coffin. I chose ASK NOT as the headline card and draw a new hand of 6 cards. FIDEL, SE ASIAN SCORING and MIDDLE EAST SCORING (where he has now reestablished the USSR position) all get dumped. I get EVERYTHING in Latin America, OAS, JUNTA, both scoring cards and ALLIANCE FOR PROGRESS. I grab Panama and Argentina with PUPPET GOVERNMENTS. Defcon is already at two, so there is no way for him to coup battlegrounds without nuclear war. I grab Costa Rica with ops to nab a non-battleground for domination in Central America. He tries to coup it, but switching those 3 stability countries is hard. He fails. I play CENTRAL AMERICA SCORING for Domination vs. no points on his side. Then, I turn my attentions to S. America. I nabbed Brazil with OAS and Ecuador with JUNTA. He does not have a decent card left to coup in Ecuador so another Domination with no USSR presence. ALLIANCE FOR PROGRESS is my held card. I use it as a headline on turn 6 and win.
I take this game as an illustration of the importance of the Monroe Doctrine. Keep the Soviets out (bury Castro at all costs) and they will have a very difficult time cracking in.
Although this was a US av, in one respect it was closer than it appeared. At the end of turn two, I forgot to protect myself against BLOCKADE. I lost everything in Germany with his last play. There was nothing I could do about it, and on turn 3 I had crap for operations. So, I started working on my position, grabbing Greece and shoring up the French. The one small virtue is that the European Scoring card was buried. While it might have haunted me in the end game, I was in no immediate danger.
So, scratch one up for the Gipper. American imperialism in South America finally paid off.