Finally in charge!

Started by nelmsm, July 05, 2023, 12:49:02 AM

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Well finished up the Most Fearful Sacrifice scenario I was playing and boxed it up and got Mr. President on the table.  What a beast.  Boards run the length of my dining room table and I put a couple of the cardstock counter holders on a dining room chair.  Flipbook, player aids, rulebook, and dice tower sit on a chair on the other side.  Chart booklets are on the bar behind me.  So it may look a bit odd but I have everything pretty much in reach except for some miscellaneous admin counters.  It's a lot to look at but I'm eager to dig in.  Took me about 2 hours to get all the counters punched, sorted, and the game set up.  Let's get to our story.

  Well, the inauguration is over and here I sit at the Resolute Desk reading the note left me by predecessor.  Some words of wisdom but nothing said about the problems he left me.  Let's look at the folks who are going to help me in this endeavor.  My Vice President is a competent man, giving me a -1 modifier on domestic and diplomatic rolls. Chief of Staff gives me the same roll for domestic rolls.  My Secretary of State on the other hand does not give me any modifiers which could be critical given the state of the world.  My Secretary of Defense gives me that -1 modifier on all defense actions as well. The Vice President, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense, all get an extra action as well which should be very handy.  As to myself, my special attributes give me a +1 on the relationship with Congress track each turn and a +1 on the media relations track as well.  Not what I had hoped for but better that any negative attributes.  Hopefully the respect from Congress track improvements will help me get my legislative agenda passed.  Our top three legislative priorities mirrors the desires of the public plus I have a campaign promise to fulfill of expanding NASA spending. 
  Now about the problems I inherited.  The Mexican Cartels have expanded their violence in Mexico and into the border states, to the point I have a Lvl 1 terror group in CONUS to deal with now.  The Chinese are saber rattling at Taiwan which has increased tensions with the important countries in the region and has put our relations downward trending.  A regional crisis has happened in Eastern Europe and civil war has broken out there.  All of these are going to require some work to keep from worsening as they all have that possibility.  We tried to increase our strategic capabilities in cyberwarfare and space warfare as we trail China in both but failed.
  It is time for direct action next.  As POTUS I get one action from a large list but given the foreign problems I inherited I decided I couldn't risk having an incompetent SecState so asked for their resignation.  It was promptly given but it did cause a drop in our public approval.  Our new SecState is a fantastic lady who not only gets the -1 die modifier but also gets an extra action.  The Vice President was given the task of tackling one of the domestic crisis we faced and did well to solve it moving that down from 2 to 1.  However the task force he is heading up failed to gather any intel on our domestic terror group.  The Chief of Staff (CoS) also succeeded in his task of reducing a domestic crisis and now that is down to 0 and means we have one less thing to worry about on our plate.  The SecState performed brilliantly and with both her actions she reduced the regional crisis levels in the Middle East and Africa from 3 to 2.  A little breathing room there.  The SecDef focused on gathering intel on terror groups in the Middle East and Central/South Asia and was successful in both areas.  This is the start of the work needed to target and destroy these groups.  Finally we decided to focus our Nation Intelligence gathering on Central/South Asia since we in a war there with the Taliban. Not a bad first 30 days or so.  Next will be to see who decides to move first, the Chinese or the Russians, and begin our first full year in office.
  The game is very non-partisan and leaves what the issues are up to you.  You can imagine them from whatever political perspective you may have, the game goes out of the way not to specify either left or right.  So, if you're wondering why I'm not more detailed about "domestic crisis" it's because the game isn't.  As I play I'll get into detail about things I haven't yet talked about, like the fact that I got very lucky with my Congressional friends and enemies draw and have great bipartisan support in Congress.  The section above is supposed to represent that grace period new President's get when they first take office.  Now I'm about to get into to the meat of the game where I'll have quarterly tracks to work through and will be pulling cards and crisis chits, and there are way, way, more bad ones than good. 


Well my first quarter is on the books and what a quarter it was!

  China got to act first, Russia gets it's chance in the the 3rd quarter.  They managed to improve their capabilities in Strategic Recon/Intel Gathering but still trail the US.  Their espionage attempt failed but they did get an improving economy marker(takes two to make it move up one).  Their first action discredited the US as a trade partner in the Asia/Pacific region which added one China influence marker, increased the regional crisis marker to 3(1 short of a major crisis) and made the region trend anti-US.  They added one influence marker to Eastern Europe as part of their One Belt One Road initiative.  They did fail to expand their influence into Central and South America though.  Next they tried to expand into the sea lanes in the Asia/Pacific region but rolled lucky and got to bring in the US to help the neighbors contest that.  This removed one China influence marker.  However China got it's revenge by vetoing the UN sanctions on North Korea.
  The US got three actions.  Spent three actions to remove 2 tension markers each from Japan, Australia, and South Korea. Hiring a new SecState paid off handsomely with her -1 DRM.  Spent 2 of my action points to buy another action and got a good roll to remove two tension markers from China as well. 
  Next we had the Crisis Chit draw.  First card cascaded that expanding Mexican Cartel violence card and it moved the Central American terror group to lvl 2 and increased the regional crisis to 3.  One more makes it a major crisis and you don't want that!  Second card added another opponent to Congress and it was not good as they were a 3 level and a radical.  The third card gave me a choice to spend 2 action points each on Canada and Mexico to redo NAFTA or face some minor negative consequences.  I decided to do this.  Canada gave us an "improving economy" marker and Mexico gave us a Pro-US marker in Central America.
  Moved on to the Ally/Rogue State phase.  Random pick gave us Canada, Gulf States/Saudia Arabia, and North Korea.  Canada did great and moved the regional crisis marker back to 1 in Central America and put the terror group in CONUS on the Gathering Intel on the Intel track.  GS/SA increased their military strength vs Iran but this also moved the conflict marker to 3.  5 means war breaks out.  They also added one Middle East terror group to the Gathering spot on the Intel track.  North Korea conducted a missile test which moved them one up their missile track, now 3, and added 2 tension markers to Japan and South Korea and one to North Korea and China.  So much for the diplomatic work we did removing them earlier!
  Now we got to see how our Cabinet was performing against our priorities.  You start off with priority 6 needing to roll a 1 on a die 6, and then a 1-2 on priority 5, and so on.  Apparently my Cabinet sucks as the only one we made was the priority 1 item.  This only garnered me 2 action points since we had already solved all the domestic crisis.
  Now we got 2 Domestic actions to use.  I used one to improve my Party relations back to 4 and the 2nd one to attempt to remove that new Congressional opponent and was successful.  That will hopefully help me with legislation.
  Speaking of Legislation, it was now that segment.  Since the Bipartisan tracker was at 2 there could be two bills introduced.  Congress is split on party lines so I got to introduce one and my opponents one.  I selected Energy Independence since it was the #1 Public priority and the opposing party got Immigration reform since it was the next highest priority.  Resolution will come later.
  Time to draw another Crisis Chit.  Did this with dread and for good reason as I drew another Draw 3 Crisis cards!  First card was for a Bridge Collapse in Pittsburgh that killed hundreds.  This gave me one domestic crisis, moved 2 boxes down the public approval track to 30% and lost 1 on the Relationship with Congress track since I didn't have an infrastructure Bill in place.  Improving Infrastructure became the new #1 priority for the public.  2nd card was Russian Aid to North Korea.  Didn't get the good roll so instead of food they sent new weapons and advisors.  This gave them an influence marker in Asia/Pacific, increased North Korean strength by one and increased the NK/ROK conflict track to 3 and added 2 tension markers to ROK and 1 to NK. 3rd card was for a wave of neo-nationalism in Europe.  I was able to counter the effects of this card by spending 2 action points to work with the governments there to counteract the effects.
  Now we moved on to our Focused National Intelligence gathering.  We have this marker in Central/South Asia.  Good roll allowed us to move one terror group to the Locating box on the Intel track.  We have a White House Resource card that says we have a bunch of whiz kids in the NSC and this allowed us to move another group to the gathering box.  We now have all groups in that region on the Intel track.
  We got to finish the quarter with 4 diplomatic/military actions.  SecDef placed one DARPA counter on the Cyber Warfare Strategic Capabilities track to give us a favorable DRM when that phase comes again.  Secondly SecDef tried for direct Intel gathering but failed both attempts.  The President stepped in to de-escalate the conflict between NK/ROK and managed to move that back to 2 on the conflict track.  Our last action was used for Crisis Relief in Asia/Pacific and we managed to move that from 3 to 2. 
  So ends our first 3 months in office. What an eventful 90 days they were.  Foreign affairs dominated our attention and will require more in the 2nd quarter as well.  My focus in the 2nd quarter will be to prepare for Russia to act in the 3rd Quarter, deal with terror and look at sanctioning NK again.  I'm sure other issues will pop up that need attention as well as we will once again have to draw at least two crisis chits.


Year 1 2nd Quarter

  We start the second quarter of our first year in office by drawing a crisis chit and it's the Russia Acts +2 chit, which gives them 2 actions.  First they launch a cyberattack on the US economy which is a major success and causes a domestic crisis and moves the State of the Eoconmy (SoE) down one to 5.  Then they launch another cyberattack on Eastern Europe which again is a major success which causes a regional crisis and gives them 2 influence markers in the region.  Second action is an attempt to help the Iranians with the nuclear program and that was a success moving them one along the track. 
  Now I get 3 actions to do something.  First I do crisis relief in Eastern Europe and was successful moving that box from 3 to 2.  Second, I eased tensions for the ROK and removed two tension markers from them.  Then I attempted to address the Domestic Crisis but failed at that.  Next came a check of my core support from the party which moved party relations to 6 allowing me to move Public Opinion 2 boxes to 34%
  Next came the Terror/Chaos phase and we rolled and got Chaos.  Moved the India/Pakistan conflict marker to 3 from 2.  If it makes it to 5 than war breaks out.  Then it was the Allies/Rogue State phase.  Started out by placing a Worsening Economy marker on the SoE for Eurozone, China, Russia, and the US.  However, with a good roll the Eurozone was able to remove theirs.  NATO got 2 actions and used one to remove another regional crisis in Eastern Europe and got that box down to 1.  Attempted to increase stability in Eastern Europe and failed. These actions are ones I get to choose for them.  They then get to roll on a table for a unilateral action and this moved the conflict track with Russia down to 1.  Next up was the ROK.  Their first action was to Direct Gather Intel and they were successful placing a lvl 2 terror group in the gathering box in Asia/Pacific.  Then there was an attempt to de-escalate with North Korea and they were again successful moving the Conflict track down to 1 and removing a tension marker from each.  Finally the rogue state Iran deepened ties with Russia and Russia gained 1 influence marker in the Middle East.
  Then it was the turn of the United Nations with 4 actions.  First they sent humanitarian aid to Central/South Asia which lowered that regional crisis track by one.  Then infrastructure aid was sent to Central America which was a success in increasing the stability there by 1.  Next they launched a Youth Empowerment program in Africa which was successful and removed a lvl 2 terror group there.  Lastly they brokered a ceasefire in an African Civil War and lowered the Regional crisis box to 2.  Nice to see the UN be so effective!
  Now I got to do 3 Domestic actions.  First I tried to stimulate the economy and was successful which removed the worsening marker.  Then I addressed the Domestic crisis, again successfully, which moved that back to 0 and moved public opinion up to 36%.  Then I was able to corral the cabinet which moved their effectiveness up to 5 and the SecDef became experienced which changed is DRM from -1 to -2, a very good thing.
  Time for the next Crisis chit.  This one caused regional crisis in Africa moving that track back to 1.  Now it was time for War/Civil War progress.  The US war against the Taliban stayed stalemated and both sides took a loss.  The ceasefire in the Civil War in Eastern Europe turned into a permanent peace with an Unstable State marker replacing the Civil War Ceasefire marker.  The one full blown Civil War in Eastern Europe continued.  The Civil War Ceasefire in Africa remained. 
  I get to act again, this time with 4 Diplomatic/Military actions.  I first removed 2 tension markers from Japan trying to keep things stable in Asia/Pacific.  Next I placed a DARPA marker on the Space Warfare Capability track to give me a favorable DRM when that phase rolls around again.  Need to catch the Chinese.  Did Direct Intel Gather on two targets.  The attempt in Central American failed but we did get it in the Middle East moving a group to Targeted and able to be struck with a Special Forces raid or Drone strike.  Made an passionate speech to the UN and received one UN Goodwill marker which can be used later.  Finally the SoE allowed one more action and I used it to move India to a Very Close ally.
  That was the end of the 2nd Quarter.  Lots of wheels turning and lots to do in the 3rd Quarter to straighten out this shit show.  Russia needs to be curtailed as they are getting a lot of influence markers out and my relationship with Congress could use some work as well.


Year 1 3rd Quarter

  We start the quarter off with Russia getting to act.  Start with checking on their posture and it remains at 2.  They then manage to improve their Strategic Recon/Intel Gathering capability but fail at Cyberwarfare and Strategic Missile Defense.  They then hit me with espionage, stealing our war plans which improves the Taliban strength by 2 and improves Russian strength vs NATO by 2.  Not great!  They then get an improving economy marker which removes the worsening marker they had.  Now they take 5 actions.  First it's Cyberwarfare. They hit US political cohesion twice, dropping relations with Congress by 1, drop Bipartisanship by 1, and lower the stability in the Eurozone causing 2 regional crisis.  Next they manage to build a base in Eastern Europe, which is bad, lowering relations with Congress by 1 and losing me 2 boxes on the Public Approval track.  Then they remove the multilateral sanctions against them by removing one influence marker in the Eurozone.  Finally they once again attempted to help Iran with it's nuke/missile program and failed.  All in all a good phase for the Russians.
  Now I get 3 actions.  I hold a summit with Russia which removes 1 tension from them and sets them to tending Pro-US.  Second I choose to stimulate the economy which gives us an improving economy marker.  Lastly I take a trip to Eastern Europe which has that region trending Pro-US and gets me those two boxes of Public Approval back.
  Time for everyone's favorite, a crisis chit.  I have to draw two event cards.  First one is a "car bomb in Honduras kills US aid workers".  This moves the lvl 3 terror group in Central American to a lvl 4 and my intel gathering roll failed.  Second card was "Manilla offers USN unlimited access to Subic Bay".  This put 1 China influence marker in Asia/Pacific and added 1 tension marker to Japan, Australia, and the ROK.  Added 3 tension markers to China despite only having a 30% of happening.  My great die rolls!
  Up next is the Ally/Rogue State phase.  First up is the UK.  They lowered the Regional Crisis track in East Europe by 2 but failed to increase stability.  They did get an improving economy marker for the Eurozone.  Japan followed by lowering the regional crisis in Asia/Pacific from 3 to 2.  They removed 2 tension markers they had and then had a dialogue with China and they both removed a tension marker. 
  North Korea was the Rogue state this time.  They destabilized the ROK giving them 1 tension marker and decreased the Asia/Pacific stability by 1.  Also had the unstable state in Eastern Europe fall back into Civil war.
  Cabinet focus time.  Had a Public/Press relations successful roll and increased media relations and public approval by 1 box each.  We hit on the Improved Cabinet efficiency roll and got to put an improving marker there.  Lastly we got lucky one more time and moved Domestic Crisis to 0.  But the next phase was an automatic drop of one box in the Media Relations box.  I think Nixon had better media relations at the end then I have right now.
  I now have 2 Domestic Actions to spend.  I first did the Corral Cabinet and was successful moving them to 6 on the Cabinet Effectiveness track.  And I was able to successfully stimulate the economy again moving it up 1 box.
  Time for action in Congress.  Neither of the current bills passed though my Energy Independence bill moved one box towards opposition.  The opposition party introduced Privacy legislation this session but won't get any action until next time this phase comes up.  Also managed to improve relations with Congrees 1 box.
  Back to a Crisis Chit draw again.  Pretty simple one this time, just added a regional crisis to Central/South Asia.  Foreign affairs is occupying way too much of my attention!
  Now the Focused National Intelligence phase.  I have my one marker in Central/South Asia since I'm fighting a war there.  Special forces mounted a raid on the terror group in the targeted box in the Middle East which reduced them by 1 lvl and put them back in the Gathering Intel box.  We received intel that allowed us to move 1 lvl 2 group to locating.  Finally the UN attempt to broker peace in a civil war failed. 
  Now we are back to the President/Cabinet activation phase.  This is where having cabinet members who get +1 activations really helps.  All but my Chief of Staff have this.  I held another summit with Russia which was a major success.  Gained 2 boxes on the Public Approval track, increased relations by 1, and removed 1 tension marker.  Who knew the Russian President would like Tito's vodka!  Vice President then was able to remove 1 Russian influence marker in Eastern Europe and decrease tensions in the ROK which removed 2 tension markers.  The Chief of Staff addressed our Lingering Domestic Crisis and was successful moving that trak to 0 and adding 3 boxes to Public Approval, which gets us to 50%.  SecState then eased tensions in Japan removing 2 tension markers and then improved the regional alignment in Central America.  SecDef improved the regional alignment in the Middle East which removed one Military Footprint marker and added one UN Goodwill marker to our stash.  Then he attempted direct intel gather on terror groups.  Managed to move the CONUS group to Locating and the Central American group to Locating. 
  Now I get 4 Diplomatic/Military actions.  I started by removing two tension markers from India.  Got South America a trending Pro-US marker.  My second trip to Eastern Europe failed to do anything unfortunately.  Finally I tried direct intel gathering on two groups and both failed.  I wonder if Lincoln went through bad die rolls....oh yeah he did with Army of the Potomac commanders.   :HideEyes:
  This ended the 3rd Quarter.  Seems like as fast as I put out fires they flare up again right behind me.  Never enough actions it seems.  I am enjoying the heck out of this.  Yes there are die rolls but you have to make a lot of decisions on what to roll those die for.


I'm about a year ahead in actual play and let me tell you I can see why Presidents leave looking so much older than they went in.  This last quarter was a real shit show.  Try and get some more wrote up in the morning.