This is meant to be a snapshot to give some flavour of the game to people thinking about getting it, and some amusement to those of you who play. It could of course be used as a starting position for a game if you wanted a break from the early war
It is 1960. The Power-hungry Soviet Union, overextended in far-away corners of the world and impoverished by runaway military spending, faces upheaval on its borders and a hostile China, while its leaders greedily count their nuclear missiles. Meanwhile in the United States, a new young President is taking over the helm of a vessel that seems to be foundering, with Soviet puppet states in its own backyard and the defection of France and Spain to the enemy. In the Vatican the youngest Pope for centuries and the first non-Italian since the Reformation has been elected, a Pole named Karol Wojtla. Tensions are high, a false move could spell Nuclear annihilation. Meanwhile, between the daylight and the darkness, the Twilight Struggle continues...
Its the end of Turn 4. The players* are just about to compare Military Ops to Defcon Status. The Soviet Union has 12 Military Operations this turn (Ok, above 5 doesn't count, but it is nice to know). USA has 0. Defcon is 2, so USA will lose 2 VPs. Vps are currently at -5, favouring the USSR, fairly normal for turn 4. USSR has one card, Missile Envy, which he is obliged to play for Operations on the first Action of turn 5. USA has two cards, Voice of America and Beartrap, a very good pair for the USA. America also has the China Card. The USSR has reached stage 1 of the Space Race, USA is still on the launch pad.
In Central America, the Soviets have 2 Influence in Mexico, 3 Influence in Cuba, 1 Influence in Guatmala and 3 in Panama, controlling all 4. USA has 3 Influence in Costa Rica (control). The combination of Fidel Castro, Liberation Theology and a Brush War in Panama has delivered for the Commies, despite the USA returning the Panama Canal. Clearly USA needs to take action, or he will be hit with Central America Scoring for a loss of 9VPs.
In South America there is 1 Soviet influence in Columbia (control) and 1 USA influence in Venuezuela (not control): neither side has penetrated much here.
In Europe, America has 5 Influence in the UK (enough for control), 3 in Benelux (control), 1 in Denmark, 5 in West Germany (control), 1 in Poland, 3 in France (normally enough for control), 2 in Italy (control), 1 in Spain, 2 in Greece (control) and 2 in Turkey (control). The USSR has 6 Influence in France (control, since 3 more than USA), 3 Influence in Spain (control, since 2 more than USA- Spain is less stable than France and so easier to control), 3 Influence in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Rumania and East Germany (control in all 4), and 2 Influence in Poland. De Gaulle and some high value Ops took France and Spain earlier. This position is why Defcon is so low: The USSR is trying to avoid realignment in France, on which USA would have a +3 bonus. John Paul II, Marhsall Plan, and Warsaw Pact are in effect. USSR needs to sort out Poland or it could be in trouble...
In Africa, America has 3 influence in Algeria, and 1 in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zaire and South Africa. USSR has 2 Influence in Nigeria and Zaire and 1 influence in Saharan States. Decolonisation (a Soviet event) and Colonial Rearguards (an American one), have been at work here, as well as a sucessful American coup in Algiers back in the 40s. Currently USSR is dominant, but these things seldom last.
In the Middle East, America has 2 Influence in Jordan and Iran (enough for control in both) and 1 Influence in Lebanon (control) and Iraq.
USSR has 2 Influence in Egypt (control, thanks to Nasser), 1 in Iraq and 1 in Syria. Was scored in turn 3, so little interest from other side here.
In Asia, America has 1 influence in Thailand, 2 Influence in Pakistan and Afghanistan (controlling both), and North Korea, 3 Influence in India, Taiwan and South Korea (controlling India and Taiwan), and 4 Influence in Australia and Japan (controlling both). US/Japan Mutual Defence Treaty is in force. The Soviets have 2 Influence in Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam (enough for control of Burma and Vietnam, but not Thailand because of the US influence there), 1 influence in Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos/Cambodia and the Philippines (which is enough for control in Indonesia and Laos/Cambodia, but not in the other 2 countries). It has 3 Influence in North Korea and 4 Influence in South Korea. USA really has the Soviets on the run here. Loss of one Korea seems certain, loss of both possible, depending on Soviet priorities.
The following cards have been removed from the game, after their associated event occurred.
Ussuri River Skirmish (via Missile Envy, hence the USA influence in the
How I Learned to Stop Worrying (USSR set Defcon to 2)
Alliance For Progress (USSR got rid of this one before it was worth anything to USA)
Panama Canal Returned
Salt Negotiations (USA used this to get back Voice of America)
John Paul II Elected Pope.
Captured Nazi Scientist (USSR played this)
South-East Asia Scoring (USA is glad this won't happen again!)
Containment (happened at same time as Red Scare so they cancelled out).
Blocakde (USA discarded Socialist Governments)
US/Japan Mutual Defence Pact (Played by USSR)
De Gaulle Leads France (into the Soviet embrace)
Truman Doctrine (applied in Finland)
Warsaw Pact Formed
Independent Reds (USSR played this before it could have an effect)
Vietnam Revolts (Headline turn 1)
Marshall PLan (Headline turn 1)
The Following cards are in the discard pile and so won't reappear until turn 7:
East European Unrest
Nato (used for Ops)
Middle East Scoring
De-Stalinisation (used for Ops)
CIA Created (used for Ops!)
Nuclear Test Ban
*players=me and me
ConnCon 2018 March 23, 24, 25 in Stamford, CT
The more I read about this game, the more obsessive I get about wanting to own it.
Wow, a lot of work to write all that. I predict a pretty bad defeat for the USA. I had a game where I was the USA and lost France, with the USSR holding Mexico as well. (she got brushwar twice!)
I dont have a massive amount of experience, but im starting to think that France is critical for the USA. The USSR in Mexico is usually a disaster too...its a battleground, fairly stable, and worth extra VPs. I'm starting to get VERY paranoid about putting very little influence into unstable countries. They become a target, and are one coup away from being permananently held by your opponent.
I don't mind Tips appreciated though!
Played out turn 5 and score has dipped to -14. USA got rid of Mexico and Guatemala through the Voice of America, which helped. And USA now has a very good South American position.
Putting influence in small countries is dangerous especially in the third world! (In Asia and Middle East you can protect them by keeping Defcon low, sort of).
I dont have a massive amount of experience, but im starting to think that France is critical for the USA.
I won with the US losing France relatively early. The main thing was in the early war I had Marshall Plan to secure a quick Domination in Europe on the First Turn. I lost that by about turn 3 when I had a horrible hand (that's when I lost France) and the card came out a second time.
On turn 8, I was able to use Chernobyl (played by my opponent), East European Unrest (recovered with SALT and played twice) and Solidarity to regain domination with Poland, both Germanies and Italy and hold them to the end. (I also had Asia and Africa solidly in my dominated, with neither player dominating either of the Americas by game end.
Losing France early will often mean that the USSR will dominate Europe. Can be mitigated by the fast play of the scoring card if the USA has it. If the USSR dominates Europe, or threatens to dominate it enough that the USA is spending lots of ops there, the USSR will be in a great position to win by turn 6 or so. This is why France is critical, especially if you are a dolt like me and lost it on turn 1.
Losing France is very tough... that result definitely hurt in me in my latest game... That's a battleground that the US needs to even the scale a bit... USSR gets several country bonuses in the 'next to superpower' category... In the two games I've played, Russia can take a lot of hits around that board that are quickly made up for with dominance in Europe.