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Subject: The Mid war rss

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Philip Thomas
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At the beginning of turn 4 the Mid War cards are shuffle into the deck. The Mid war is a different environment from the Early War, because of the greater range of events and the introduction of 4 new scoring areas, 1 of which is once only.

Remarks about Starred events broadly hold, unless the Event prevents or enables something in which case it should be played. Starred events that work for either player should be played at once for safety (USSR especially so because of Grain Shipments) Cuban Missle Crisis and How I Learned to Stop Worrying are very good and even better in combination. I think Cuban Missile crisis is best responded to by using an Ops card to place 2 influence in the relevant country and then removing them to break the effect: if you let it hang around you will have great difficulty completing Military Operations, unless you have a War in your hand.

Europe is still the first priority of course. Socialist Governments and East European Unrest also persist. Two new cards have European effects, Willy Brandt and John Paul II. John Paul II is a prerequisite for Solidarity, so the USA player should play him as an event as preparation for the late Game. Willy Brandt isn't all that useful.

In Asia there is South-east Asia scoring and Shuttle Diplomacy. Generally USSR will win points in SE Asia, having established a base through Vietnam Revolts/Declonisation. Shuttle Diplomacy can help, but is normally best used for Ops.

In the Middle East, Camp David accords is a very nice USA card and is a good reason for USSR to play Arab-Israeli Wars before it is too late. Sadat expels Soviets is also good. If Nasser was not used as an event beforehand, he can counter Sadat. Islamic Revolution is a good USSR card, but its high Ops value means you may well prefer to use the Ops elsewhere. OPEC means many middle East countries are more valuable to the USSR.

South America is next in value. It is difficult to access for both sides. Panama can spread influence to Columbia, and wallk into an enemy coup (USSR of course needs to hold a coup in Panama before he can spread influence from it). Allende gives USSR a welcome base, while Puppet governments and OAS founded can paradrop USA influence in. The American card which scores for all American battlegroud countries increases the value of both Central and South America to the USA. Venezuela is valuable because of Opec.

I will stop there.
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Philip Thomas
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Central America is similar to South America in terms of scoring. The USA is adjacent to this region, and probably USSR will have Cuba from the Early War. Panama is another way in, for both powers (USSR via coup). Liberation Theology is a nuisance for USA. USA should try for presence here at the very least, probably via Mexico. USSR is in better position for dominance.

Africa is the last region and the least valuable. It contains several stability 1 Battleground countries and is thus fertile ground for coups. USA starts in South Africa and may be able to get into Algeria via France or Sudan via Egypt. USSR has the last two options (assuming De Gaulle has created the necessary influence in France, and most likely has some influence anyway due to Early War Decolonisation. Decolonisation occurs again Mid War, though USA has Colonial Rearguards now. South African Unrest and Portuguese Empire crumbles both help USSR here. In the end analysis this continent is not very important, so USA may be better taking prescence and moving on.

Various cards are more general in approach. Flower Power is interesting in that it can hamper USA as an event but is high Ops enough to be valuable that way too. The earlier it comes out the more use it is as an event, because Evil Empire cancels it in Late War. Brush War is worth it for the 3 Military Operations alone, and there should be no shortage of targets: the very existence of Brush War means you should try to control the neighbours of important stability 2 countries, Italy being the most important of them. The three cards which transfer the China Card are all very useful: if USA draws Cultural Revolution while USSR has the China card he should play it, similar for USSR and Nixon holds the China Card and Ussuri River Skirmish.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Again, this is meant to be discussion, feel free to wade in.

Specific events: Missile Envy is very dangerous to use at Defcon 2. USSR may have Duck and Cover, USA may have We Will Bury You.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Re: The Mid war: the China Card
In the Mid war as always, the China Card is an important part of the game. Three events transfer the China Card. The Cultural Revolution is a Soviet event worth 3 Ops which gives USSR 1 VP if played when he has the China Card, or transfers it if he hasn't. Now 1VP<3 Ops in most circumstances, so its clear enough USA should play it if USSR holds the China Card. I would even encourage USA player who have drawn the Cultural Revolution on a turn they have the China Card to play the China Card and then the Cultural Revolution. For USSR this card is a little more tricky:a) If you draw it and you have the China Card, should you play the China Card and then use CR to get it back, or should you just sink CR as Ops and hope it comes up again? b)If you don't have the China Card, should you use CR as Ops, or as an event? I think the answer to a) depends on the rest of your hand. If your hand contains several US events you want to bury, using the China Card gives you an extra held card at end of turn. The answer to b is generally 'as an event', unless you know USA has Nixon plays the China Card. Reason being you deprive USA of an option.

The analysis is a mirror image for Nixon plays the China Card, except that because it is worth less ops and more VPs the USSR dilemma is more acute. I would still play it if USA holds the China Card. USA shouldn't use it for Ops, and only for VPs if desperately needed (which is possible as turns 4-5 can easily see USSR climbing into -15 or less)

Ussuri River Skirmish is a rather different kettle of fish, however. First of all, the China Card appears face up and ready for immediate use. You can thus play it twice it one turn, giving you 3 held cards, useful if you have too many Soviet events. Secondly, if you hold the China Card, you get 4 Influence in Asia (no more than 2 per country). This is significant- if you drop the influence into 2 Soviet controlled countries (North Korea and South Korea for example)- you have in effect got 6 Influence out of the card. As USSR holding this card, I would say it is a prime candidate for the Space Race, hopefully at least one Asia Scoring will have happened by the time it reappears!
 
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Brad Miller
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Oooh I hate that Ussuri River Skirmish angry

Just decided to use the China card in a game I'm playing in right now because it's turn 3 and I know if I don't my opponent will get that stinkin card...
 
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Philip Thomas
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Well as I indicate the card is bad either way!

My general take on the China Card (at all stages of the game), is that it is best played, because 5 Influence in Asia now beats 5 enemy influence in Asia next turn (or even later), and certainly beats 1 VP. Of course, if your hand is full of good cards and you want to play them, you may prefer to hold back on the China Card for a while. The other exception is the Formosan Resolution, but generally the 5 Influence gets you a battle ground country anyway...
 
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Ken Feldman
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Quote:
Just decided to use the China card in a game I'm playing in right now because it's turn 3 and I know if I don't my opponent will get that stinkin card...


It appears that Soviet Opsec is pretty weak.
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