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Subject: Friend and I just bought this game: I won both games in turn 2 as USSR rss

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Freya Alexandra
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First game, I decided to focus on Europe battlefields and the Middle East, while my Capitalist friend focused on Africa, Space Race and Asia. I was able to gain the Europe score card and I saw my opponent was not focusing on the battlefields, so I just went all in and took the Win condition before he noticed.

Second game, USA friend focused on a lot more defense in Western Europe, while I stuck to mostly Eastern Europe and Middle East. I did more focusing on Space Racing and just rapidly built VP too the point, where I had 12 in the 8 in the first turn and won on the last round when my opponent was forced to roll on the Space Race for 1vp and prevent me from the VP win from Military Actions (I had 3, USA had 1 and DEFCON was at 2, and I had 19 VP).

We are wondering if USSR is just powerful in the early years (as per actual history), and is more likely to get an early win, or if there are some tactics my friend may not be realizing?
 
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Adam Meledeo
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USSR certainly has the advantage in the early war (on paper), but your friend was not playing to survive. Africa is a bad investment early because it doesn't score until midwar. Western Europe is worth holding, but you shouldn't spend all your efforts controlling it at the expense of losing the Middle East and Asia (both of which have scoring cards in the early war).

A common strategy for the first couple of action rounds of turn one will revolve around the Middle East, doing a coup in Iran (USSR) and taking it back (USA) if possible. This is common because it is a way for the USSR to gain a large foothold in the Middle East while simultaneously blocking easy access to Western Asia. If the USSR is successful here, it is up to the USA to proceed through Asia from the eastern side.
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Wesley M
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USSR does start stronger...

When you say you focused on space racing are you saying you spaced multiple cards?
 
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Pokey 64
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Why play same side twice?

Why not switch sides and see how it goes?
 
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Uwe A. Redjac
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"Focussing on the Space Race"
It is of course true that the early game is rigged against the US (as the late game is rigged against the Soviets) - but I doubt that is the main reason for how your first two games ended.

koakoa wrote:
First game my Capitalist friend focused on Africa, Space Race and Asia.
1) Africa does not even score in Early War. Your friend wasted resources there, because he did not pay attention how the decks are made up. And TS is not very forgiving when it comes to wasting anything.

2) The Space Race is not something to "focus on". It is a mechanism which allows player to get rid of enemy cards of which they do not want (can not afford) to trigger the event of. Again: waste of resources by your friend.

So far your first game sounds mostly like "not much clue of the game yet, more guessing what to do than thinking it thru = random outcome". And the way the game is rigged, an early Soviet win is not much of a surprise.

Quote:
Second game, USA friend focused on a lot more defense in Western Europe, while I stuck to mostly Eastern Europe and Middle East. I did more focusing on Space Racing and just rapidly built VP too the point, where I had 12 in the 8 in the first turn and won on the last round when my opponent was forced to roll on the Space Race for 1vp and prevent me from the VP win from Military Actions (I had 3, USA had 1 and DEFCON was at 2, and I had 19 VP).
Such things can happen on turn 2, if the cards fall really right for the Soviet Player and he knows what he is doing. Could be the case, but after reading what you wrote about your two first games ("focussing on the Space Race") I do not believe this to be the case.

I'd rather again guess "more guessing what to do than thinking it thru = random outcome in favor of the Soviets" for the second game too.

Quote:
We are wondering if USSR is just powerful in the early years (as per actual history), and is more likely to get an early win, or if there are some tactics my friend may not be realizing?
My money is on the latter. And perhaps also some fundamental misunderstanding about some rules or mechanisms?

What I'd advise: Re-read the rules again (to make sure it is notbased on some basic rules being played wrong) and maybe also posting a card by card session report with comments like "I played this card because ..." "I did this because I hoped ..." "I did this because I wanted ...".

Will be much easier to say then if it is just a fluke, bad tactics or basic rules errors.
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Freya Alexandra
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Ok, so we had a lot a lot of post-game discussion and decided to play a third game as the same side (he really wanted to get revenge with the USA), and I won again in the second round of turn 3. I was able to get 9 vp in the first round, and had both the both the Middle East and Europe score cards (of which my opponent was able to see my hand at the start of the turn).

He tried to get more control in the Middle East first round while I slowly built up influence in Eastern Europe. He tried to prevent me from getting domination, but shifted focus back to the Middle East. I played Europe for 7 vp (7+3 battlegrounds+2 superpower - 3+2 battlegrounds) putting me at 16. He then continued increasing control of the Middle East (which involved him playing the card that gave me Vietnam for OP), but I was able to coup Iran and play the score card giving him only 3 vp (5 for his domination+2 battlegrounds - 3+1 battleground), putting me at 13 vp at turn end.

I played a wasted card in the opening move, as I figured he could cancel it, then played Asia scoring for the near win at 18 vp (7 for my domination + North Korea - 3). He didn't know what to do, and just played defense, the I was able to Space Race to 20 (third space on track).
 
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Rolly Duckfield

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koakoa wrote:
Ok, so we had a lot a lot of post-game discussion and decided to play a third game as the same side (he really wanted to get revenge with the USA), and I won again in the second round of turn 3. I was able to get 9 vp in the first round, and had both the both the Middle East and Europe score cards (of which my opponent was able to see my hand at the start of the turn).

He tried to get more control in the Middle East first round while I slowly built up influence in Eastern Europe. He tried to prevent me from getting domination, but shifted focus back to the Middle East. I played Europe for 7 vp (7+3 battlegrounds+2 superpower - 3+2 battlegrounds) putting me at 16. He then continued increasing control of the Middle East (which involved him playing the card that gave me Vietnam for OP), but I was able to coup Iran and play the score card giving him only 3 vp (5 for his domination+2 battlegrounds - 3+1 battleground), putting me at 13 vp at turn end.

I played a wasted card in the opening move, as I figured he could cancel it, then played Asia scoring for the near win at 18 vp (7 for my domination + North Korea - 3). He didn't know what to do, and just played defense, the I was able to Space Race to 20 (third space on track).


How did you get 9 vp in the first round without the Asia, Europe or Middle East Cards? Although maybe they got reshuffled in, I'm not sure here. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it seems Mr. Truman is asleep at the wheel. Also, you only count VP for battlegrounds near the enemy superpower and NOT your own.
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Ahmed Hadzi
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koakoa wrote:
He tried to prevent me from getting domination, but shifted focus back to the Middle East. I played Europe for 7 vp (7+3 battlegrounds+2 superpower - 3+2 battlegrounds) putting me at 16.


This is played wrong. You do not gain score for being adjacent to your own super power. Those +2 VPs should not be there. What that means is that only USA can score adjacency points in Europe.

Also, what do you mean focus on Space race? You can play maximum of one card per round, unless you hit space 2 on the space track. Best case scenario you can discard 3 cards on space race on first 2 turns, for maximum yield of 4VPs (which is iffy at best)
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Freya Alexandra
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RickDintheAM wrote:
How did you get 9 vp in the first round without the Asia, Europe or Middle East Cards? Although maybe they got reshuffled in, I'm not sure here. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it seems Mr. Truman is asleep at the wheel. Also, you only count VP for battlegrounds near the enemy superpower and NOT your own.


Well, two from the Space Race, three from military actions (DEFCON 3 - 0 US actions), two from a war card, and two from Olympic Games from US.

ahmedhadzi wrote:
This is played wrong. You do not gain score for being adjacent to your own super power. Those +2 VPs should not be there. What that means is that only USA can score adjacency points in Europe.

Also, what do you mean focus on Space race? You can play maximum of one card per round, unless you hit space 2 on the space track. Best case scenario you can discard 3 cards on space race on first 2 turns, for maximum yield of 4VPs (which is iffy at best)


That... makes sense. We figured it was a bit silly to get vp from your own country, but I guess we didn't really question it (even though I keep saying stuff how the balance of the game is reflective to USSR's threat in the late 40s and 50s). Also, what I mean is how much focus he puts on space race and how he panics when I get the lead on him in itl also, there's the Nazi scientist card to get a quick start in the space race.
 
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Henric Fröberg
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ahmedhadzi wrote:
koakoa wrote:
He tried to prevent me from getting domination, but shifted focus back to the Middle East. I played Europe for 7 vp (7+3 battlegrounds+2 superpower - 3+2 battlegrounds) putting me at 16.


This is played wrong. You do not gain score for being adjacent to your own super power. Those +2 VPs should not be there. What that means is that only USA can score adjacency points in Europe.


The USSR could score adjacency for Canada, but I've never seen that happen.
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Ahmed Hadzi
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No good player will focus on Space Race. It's a discard mechanism, to get rid of unwanted cards, very few cards actually MUST be discarded. So a player who purposefully plays a card on space race each turn, will in the end most likely lose the game.
 
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Ahmed Hadzi
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HenricF wrote:
The USSR could score adjacency for Canada, but I've never seen that happen.


Oh it can happen in the same game when USSR controlls Japan
 
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Martin Smith
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Mmm - it kind of sounds like your opponent has the strategical insight of a marshmallow. Perhaps find someone else to play against ?
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Conor Hickey
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koakoa wrote:
RickDintheAM wrote:
How did you get 9 vp in the first round without the Asia, Europe or Middle East Cards? Although maybe they got reshuffled in, I'm not sure here. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it seems Mr. Truman is asleep at the wheel. Also, you only count VP for battlegrounds near the enemy superpower and NOT your own.


Well, two from the Space Race, three from military actions (DEFCON 3 - 0 US actions), two from a war card, and two from Olympic Games from US.

ahmedhadzi wrote:
This is played wrong. You do not gain score for being adjacent to your own super power. Those +2 VPs should not be there. What that means is that only USA can score adjacency points in Europe.

Also, what do you mean focus on Space race? You can play maximum of one card per round, unless you hit space 2 on the space track. Best case scenario you can discard 3 cards on space race on first 2 turns, for maximum yield of 4VPs (which is iffy at best)


That... makes sense. We figured it was a bit silly to get vp from your own country, but I guess we didn't really question it (even though I keep saying stuff how the balance of the game is reflective to USSR's threat in the late 40s and 50s). Also, what I mean is how much focus he puts on space race and how he panics when I get the lead on him in itl also, there's the Nazi scientist card to get a quick start in the space race.


Tell him not to focus on the Space Race and not to worry if you get ahead. Usually only Space recurring events, or DEFCON suicide cards. The only Space Race ability that is worth getting is the 'see your opponent's Headline' one.

Otherwise far more valuable to get influence down on the board, and more of your cards out of the deck.
 
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Ecosmith Ecosmith
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Very rough 'rule of thumb', for learning players, I'd say, is ignore Africa and the Anericas until T3, maybe even T4. Their scoring cards don't arise until T4 anyway, whereas the Europe, Asia and ME scoring cards will all come up (and often twice with the T3 reshuffle).

Only Space Race cards with truly disastrous effects for yourself. Even horrific-looking cards like De Gaulle Leads France can be played by the US player, using the ops from them for mitigation.

And remember that holding shitty cards till T4 and then Spacing them means they're gone untill the T7 reshuffle.

Www.twilightstrategy.com is a fantastic site for general TS advice and great tips on every card.

Finally, are you playing with the optional cards? I played my first 10 games as US without using the optional cards, and I lost 8-2. It's much easier for the US with Canada control and NORAD in play. My Soviet friend hates that card lol.

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Stephen
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koakoa wrote:
RickDintheAM wrote:
How did you get 9 vp in the first round without the Asia, Europe or Middle East Cards? Although maybe they got reshuffled in, I'm not sure here. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it seems Mr. Truman is asleep at the wheel. Also, you only count VP for battlegrounds near the enemy superpower and NOT your own.


Well, two from the Space Race, three from military actions (DEFCON 3 - 0 US actions), two from a war card, and two from Olympic Games from US.


Both players should reach the minimum military actions pretty much every round; your opponent needs to coup more. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if he's using the placing influence action on countries you control (ie spending two op points for one influence), which is usually a bad idea because of the cost.
 
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Conor Hickey
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StephenV wrote:

Both players should reach the minimum military actions pretty much every round; your opponent needs to coup more. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if he's using the placing influence action on countries you control (ie spending two op points for one influence), which is usually a bad idea because of the cost.


This is not as easy as that for the US on Turn 2& 3 once DEFCON is at 2 - the USSR will usually get the battleground coup and won't have anything the US can coup in Africa or the Americas, and the only war that gives the US Mil Ops in the first few turns is the Indo-Pakistani one.
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Kristian Thy
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StephenV wrote:
Both players should reach the minimum military actions pretty much every round; your opponent needs to coup more.


As USSR you are normally scoring 2 times 2 VPs for lack of US milops on turns 2 and 3.
 
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Josh Ballard
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i am the opponent in question; not sure if the OP mentioned this, but the games mentioned in this thread were on our first two days playing TS. anyway, i've only started playing any real board games a few months ago thanks to the OP, with power grid being the only top-notch game receiving much real focus; a lot of my experience thus far has just been trying novel games. and the people we have played with in anything are definitely much closer to the "casual" end of the spectrum than "competitive".

i have over a decade of experience in competitive games, but that mostly lies with fast-paced games where you need to make a decision every few seconds (if not even less) but can usually only plan out a couple moves ahead or so due to the sheer chaotic nature of these games. i love them because of the variety of different experiences they can offer without explicitly random mechanics, but they are a whole different world from what BGG covers!

as such, i basically have almost no core fundamental skills that would give me good intuition for figuring out a game like TS on my own. heck, in my usual games i sometimes have trouble paying attention to my opponent's "super meter", so a map as big as TS's with as many threats as it offers is currently a nightmare for me! i ended up just reading the early war-related articles on twilightstrategy and that opened up a whole new universe for me, but i do worry i may be hurting myself on these fundamental skills by learning from others instead of coming to some of these conclusions on my own.

thanks for the input, everyone! we hope to play again sometime this week =)
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Christopher Dickinson
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A very easy and simple way of learning is by seeing what others do when faced with similar issues.

To that end I would suggest being the USSR and have your opponent play the U.S. See what approach they take and see how they combat the problems you face.

It is what my friend I did. Each time we swapped sides the U.S. faired better (though they have yet to win).

Good luck.
 
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