Author Topic: REALLY OUT TO GET ME, TOO! -- JRP vs Bartheart on Twilight Struggle PC (DONE)  (Read 16446 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Note: Bartheart has started his side of the AAR here.

Considering that science says the triumph of socialism is inevitable, I have decided to simply assume the Soviet Union will surely {cough} win my DC3: Barbarossa game against Bartheart, and graciously skip ahead to the the Rodinaís next challenge: spreading the light of our workerís paradise to all corners of the globe, illuminating the setting sun of capitalistic futility. A Twilight Struggle, so to speak.

(Although just as graciously I shall continue letting the Hitlerites deludedly wander the Russian steppes in the other game for as long as it takes for them to turn around and go home. {cough!})

So, what is this game?

 


Thatís the main screen, including most of the board. (South America extends a bit farther south.) Iíve started a solo game as the USSR vs the USA (the only two possible players), so I wonít necessarily have the same cards dealt out to me at the beginning of my game with Bart.

Twilight Struggle (hereafter TS) is effectively a card game with a map component for placing little scoring tokens, which in this game are called ďInfluenceĒ. You wonít actually see Ďtokensí in the computer version, only the sum total of what tokens would be there from each player. So to give an easy example, the US player starts each game with 4 tokens of influence in Australia, which you can see at the bottom right of the map. If I had any influence in Australia, the sum total of my influence there would be a number in the right half of Australiaís scoring box, next to Americaís 4.

So for another easy example, if you can find North Korea (itís the last country-box on the upper right), youíll see a 3 in the Soviet half of its box; because the USSR starts out with 3 there.

That 3 is a special color in North Korea (yellow on a red background) because I start out with enough influence to match the stability score for the Norks, which is also 3. That means I control North Korea. (The US is the same in Australia: white 4 on a blue background.) If the US puts any influence in NK right now, Iíd lose control although my influence would still be dominant. The proper formula for control is to put in enough influence to match or exceed the stability score plus the opponentís influence. If the US player somehow put 10 influence into NK, Iíd have to put in at least 13 to control it.

Having superior influence in a nation makes it harder for an opponent to spend influence there directly, though. I would have to spend 2 points to put 1 point into Australia for example.

This is relevant because the pre-game starts with each player putting 6 influence points onto the board somewhere [edited to add: the US puts 7], beyond the points we each already get. Which leads into the question of where we can put influence: can it be just anywhere on the map?

Well, no. We can only put influence in two kinds of places: where we already have some influence; and into countries next to where we already have some influence. That also means we can always put influence into countries that border or connect directly with our home countries (Russia for me). In practice, Russia only borders five countries on the game map -- North Korea, Afghanistan, Romania, Poland, and Finland -- some of which start out with no influence. Whereas on the other hand, the USSR starts with enough influence to control East Germany automatically even though it has no map connection to Russia or to any place I influence before game-start. So where I plop my first 6 Ipoints, in support of the influence I automatically start with on the board, is crucially important.

The pre-game is a slight exception to the influence-placement rules, since Iím limited to putting influence only into the specially glowy nations shown here, where Iíve zoomed into Eastern Europe. But some of those places, like Hungary and Yugoslavia, arenít connected (yet) either to Russia or to countries I automatically start off influencing -- yet for this phase of the game, I can drop influence there.

 


Here in the pregame, those are pulsing; but normally theyíre a lighter color purple because they also count as a sub-region of Europe, namely ďEastern EuropeĒ. Any cards affecting Europe can be played here (unless otherwise indicated), but any cards affecting ďEastern EuropeĒ can only be played here. Any cards affecting ďWestern EuropeĒ can only be played in the darker purple boxes.

Austria and Finland have a diagonal through their influence boxes, divided into regular and light purple colors, because they count both ways.

In short, during the pregame I can put influence only into ďEastern EuropeĒ and/or into Finland and Austria, because they count as both eastern and western.

I already have 3 influence in East Germany, which I can beef up now if I want. EG also has a red bar at the top of its influence box, which identifies it as a Battleground -- not literally but politically, but in the sense that controlling such a state will score better, and also because trying to instigate a coup there (successful or not) will degrade / lower the DECFON level by 1.

As the DEFCON level lowers, various world regions are shut out of coup attempts, according to the following schedule (which can be found by left-clicking the DEFCON chart at the top of the gameboard).

 


This screen also shows the somewhat-related topic of how many military operations are required per round in order to avoid some minor victory point losses at the end of the round. As the DEFCON level lowers, fewer influence points have to be spent on military operations (which are usually if not always coup attempts) to avoid the minor VP loss; but players may just decide to take the loss rather than tick the clock closer to nuclear war, especially if both players will take the same loss resulting in no net difference: the game keeps track of a net point different, not an absolute total.

Nuclear war, and the victory point difference, both bring up the question of how to win the game. Broadly speaking there are two ways:

1.) Having the most VPs at the end of the final (10th) turn.

2.) Fulfilling an instant win condition.

Of which I can recall five offhand, all of which apply equally to both players, although I'll describe them from my perspective.

2.1.) If Iím the first player to get ahead by 20 VPs.

2.2.) If I play the ďWargamesĒ event if DEFCON is at 2 and if Iím at least 7 VPs ahead. (Because playing this card gives 6 free VPs to my opponent.) Essentially this means I launched a pre-emptive strike. This ends the game immediately with no further scoring, so if Iím still ahead after the US gets 6 VP then Iíll win.

2.3.) If I control enough of Europe to count as ďcontrolling EuropeĒ when either of us play the ďScore EuropeĒ card.

2.4.) If my opponent is still holding a ďScoreĒ hard in his hand at the end of any turn, then I automatically win. Itís rare but possible for this to happen by a legitimate gameplay accident, but it's also sort of the "time to quit because you're too tired or drunk to play anymore" rule. ;) More accurately, it's a rule to force a player to activate scoring at a semi-random time each turn, even if it's to our disadvantage.

2.5.) If my opponent somehow stumbles (perhaps because I stumbled him by playing an event card) into degrading the DEFCON to 1. Essentially, the player who doesnít do this launches a pre-emptive strike at the instigator, and presumably whoever launches the strike will be ahead and less damaged in whatever world remains after the bombs fall.

Anyway, aside from special insta-win conditions, this is really a card game about plopping influence tokens on a map board: an area control game. Aside from the somewhat complex rules for when and how that can be done, affected by cards being played, thatís simply what the game is about. Players generate influence each Round of each Turn (multiple rounds per turn) by playing cards in various ways, and the cards played dictate how the influence can or will be placed on the map.

Cards can also affect Victory Points directly; and/or the DEFCON directly; and/or the Space Race directly (which I havenít talked about yet, but which mainly serves as a dumping ground for cards that might be dangerous to me if I play them).

I canít go into more detail about cardplay until I actually start a game, so this will have to suffice as an introduction until Barth (or whoever if he canít or decides not to) and I get going.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2016, 07:45:14 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Barthheart

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME, TOO! -- a Twilight Struggle PC AAR
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2016, 02:45:58 PM »
Sure lets have a go. I didn't get To DC3 today because of nice weather and massive Honey Doo list. I can try to start this this week maybe even tomorrow night ... unless I'm doing DC3.

How do we play MP TS? So far I'm 0-2 a saints the AI, one each of US and USSR.....  :buck2:

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME, TOO! -- a Twilight Struggle PC AAR
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2016, 03:34:58 PM »
First, you'll have to create a Playdek account, which the game will walk you through after you click "Play Online" on the main screen. An account is free; it just needs an email address (to send turn alerts where applicable) and an account password (not for your email of course).

After that, it would be a good idea to add me to your friends list. Click on "profile" once you log in to the Playdek server, and then the + button to the bottom right of the (probably blank) friends list. I think TS uses Steam names, so try adding Sabreman (that's what it calls me, apparently from Steam).

Assuming that works, you can go back one menu to the list for finding or creating online games. Click "create game".

The game should default you to the US (eagle) side; standard game (which you want anyway); no optional cards checked (ditto); influence handicap in the middle. Below handicap should be a timer toggle. Click that (I recommend clicking on the left side so the rollover tooltip doesn't block the text!) until it reads "21 days".

We aren't doing random sides, or bidding for sides, so leave US vs USSR alone.

Last, click "invite friend". I should show up on the resulting menu (assuming it found me earlier). Drag that per the instructions to the bear. The game should send me an invite.

After that I don't know, as I haven't gone farther myself. :)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Ian C

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME, TOO! -- a Twilight Struggle PC AAR
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2016, 03:44:06 PM »
Please delete- wrong thread.

Offline Barthheart

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME, TOO! -- a Twilight Struggle PC AAR
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 10:17:43 AM »
Game creation complete.

I guess at this time I'll start my own thread so we can show cards and such with everyone else. Have fun..... Commie!  :knuppel2:


Offline JasonPratt

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Incidentally, since we're Steam friends through the Grogheads group, you can left click on the steam icon in your tasktray (once Steam is running anyway), left-click on "Friends", scroll through the list until you find me (Sabreman), left click again on the little down-pointing triangle next to my name, and then lastly left-click the "send message" option at the top of the list. This will open up a chat window where you can leave me messages that should show up later whenever I log on (or perhaps immediately if I'm online doing something -- I've got Steam set to alert me to such things even if I'm in another game, unless for some reason I'm using Shadowplay to record something that I don't want Steam messages in. Which is rare.)

By doing so, we might be able to synch time to play several rounds or even a few turns at once.

As it is, for those who want to know, the game does play asynchronously. When I signed in, there was a game invite waiting for me in the game list, showing Bartheart's game. Accepting the invite replaced it with a nearly identical listing showing it was my turn to setup. So I did.  8)

But I probably won't put an entry until we've done at least one round past the setup and headline phases, which I'm sure we'll both explain as we go (once Bart starts his entry).

Please note that if you're curious how the AI plays, Banzai_Cat is running a front page series AAR for the game starting this week. Unfortunately they don't have a tag for it yet, so there's no group for the entries yet; so you'll have to scroll down through the AAR group here: http://grogheads.com/?cat=6

When/if they assign the series a group, I'll post a link to that, too.  O:-)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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So then. Now is the time for Bart to leave the room, that I may plot his geopolitical demise.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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TURN ZERO

Actually the gameplay begins before Turn One, as previously noted.

Specifically, it begins with what I think is a standard automatic initial disposition of influence points on the board, and then with Barth and I adding a limited initial number of points to Western and Eastern Europe respectively. Combined, this will represent our starting positions.

So Bart will automatically start with 2 influence in Canada, 1 in Panama, 1 in South Africa, 1 in Israel, 1 in Iran, 1 in the Philippines, 1 in Japan, 1 in South Korea, 5 in the UK (for control), and 4 in Australia (for control).

Iím starting with 1 in Finland, 1 in Syria, 1 in Iraq, 3 in North Korea (for control), and 3 in East Germany for control.

I also start with the China card which... well, the China card is weird. Weíre playing vanilla where Russia starts the game with the China card, although thereís a variant where the card isnít activated until Russia spends 3 influence in China (thus helping finish the China Communist Revolution). Whoever holds the China card at the end of the game gets to score an extra victory point, which sort of counts as control, but players canít take that control away from each other. More on this later.

Okay, on top of these points, Bart and I can drop some more in Europe before game start. I went first, so Bart saw where I put things before he made his choices.

In my case, I put 3 points into Poland (which controls the only battleground state that I can reach now which I donít already control) and 3 points into Austria (which counts for both Eastern and Western Europe), which doesnít control it yet but gives me a nice head start for accessing other areas.

Bart (who as the US starts with 7 influence) responds by putting 4 points in West Germany (for control there), 2 in Italy (which also controls it -- and both of those are battleground states), and 1 point against my 3 in Austria.

 


With that, Turn One officially starts.

But not Round One. Yet.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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TURN ONE -- BEGINS

There are ten turns in the game (if it lasts that long), and each turn has so many rounds, with a slowly increasing number of rounds each turn. Players normally play one card per round.

Thereís a sort-of ďzeroĒ round each turn, called the ďheadlineĒ. Each player chooses a card to play, and the strength of the card determines which one will go first. I donít recall for sure what happens if itís a tie; maybe the Soviets go first since we tend to go first on any phase of the game, including on every subsequent round this turn.

So Bart can, and does, choose his headline card first, but itís held facedown until I load in and choose a card. Then if mine is stronger, mine will resolve first. Otherwise Iíll have to wait for him to come back and play.

Okay, broadly speaking each card has an event and most cards also have a point (or operation) strength. Each card is also inherently pro-US, pro-USSR, or neutral. And they get dealt out randomly -- ours got dealt out in the pre-game before we placed our influence, because what kind of cards we get might influence our influencing of influence! (...annnnd, now you are insane. Sorry. :) )

That means thereís an excellent chance weíll each get some of each otherís cards. Iíll get into the question of choices about whether to play a card for points or for event soon, but the important thing right now is that during the ďheadlineĒ phase at the start of each turn, each card we choose must be played as event. (A few cards cannot be played as headlines at all.)

Note that there are seven ďoptional cardsĒ which can be shuffled into the decks which will balance things a little more evenly at the start of the game, but we elected not to play with those. So no Che Guevara for me.

What do I have this turn? (I probably wonít get any other cards, and Iíll probably be playing one card per round so that Iíll have one card left over at the end of the round going into Turn Two. Or two cards, since Iím holding the China card.)

 


Okay, the little star colors tell us which way the card swings. I have 3 white star cards, and those will help the US (like NATO); the others will help me by being my cards or neutral. Not all the cards in the first deck (for the Early War) get dealt out (...um, I think?), so I donít know for sure that Bart has all the others, but I can be sure he has most of the others.

If a card has an asterik after its title, once the event fires itíll be removed from the game -- it wonít be shuffled back into the draw deck later. If a cardís title is (also) underlined, then it has a permanent effect and stays on the board (unless maybe another card removes it, then itís gone from play permanently).

That means if Iím stupid, or suicidal, I could play the Formosan Resolution now, and Bart would get that benefit early which would stay in play for (nominally) the rest of the game.

Would NATO be more suicidal? In this case not really, because its event requires one of two other cards to have been played first -- thatís why it has two (flashing) Xís on it. Iím not sure if I can even play it as a headline yet, but if I can all that would happen is nothing.

Generally Iím better off playing a handy neutral or Soviet event as my headline.

Unless one or more of them got left in the dregs of the deck (unlikely -- and being an absolute newbie, I might be wrong about having cards left over in the deck after the deal) -- at some point this turn, weíll be doing a quick victory point score for Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. You can see I have the Asia scoring card, which means I get to choose when Asia scoring will happen this turn, and so I can plan my actions to take advantage of that. I could play it as my headline (I think?), except Bart starts out ahead in Asia so that would help him more than me.

Playing the China card sooner or later will definitely help prepare me to score well in Asia. But I have another card that would ideally be better played sooner than later which will also, with some luck, help my Asia scoring.

 


If I wait for him to strengthen Japan and/or Taiwan (although Iíve got his card for that), which could happen pretty quickly, Iím much more likely to lose the Korean War. So even though itís only a 2 strength card, I decide to lead with it as my headline.

Once Iíve chosen this, I get to see what Bart already picked...

...wat...?

 



Wow. Okay. Well, had he not socked a bunch of influence into WG pre-game, that would be a funny clever card to play early since he could get it out of the way and then work on WG.

As it is, heís still playing it early so that he can save his West German influence by getting rid of a high powered card while he still has the most flexibility about what he wants to give away. And my bet is that he has his eye on a high value red-star card which if he played later I might be able to use against him. He wonít be able to use its operational points, but I wonít be able to use its event.

And indeed, as I learn a minute later (after my card activates first, being a 2 power instead of 1), he throws away Warsaw Pact. Nice! -- for him I mean. I wonít be establishing the Pact this turn.

 


I will however be winning the Korean War this turn. :D

This also gives me 2 military operational points -- we have to spend so many Op points on military operations each turn (through coups or through events like this), or lose a VP at the end of the turn. Not usually a big deal, but every point counts. I still need another 3 milops to avoid the penalty, but Bart still needs 5.

Since I won the war, I also fulfilled this card's special results, which puts me 2 Victory Points ahead before Round 1. With a long game to go.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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If both players play the same value card for the headline phase, the US player's event triggers first.  You can play a scoring card during the headline phase but it counts as a zero point card when determining who's event goes first.

The early war deck has 39 cards, including the China card. ( I think it was 35 originally but they added some new ones like NORAD and Defectors in later editions).  Players have to exhaust the entire deck before reshuffling discarded/used cards back into play.

Offline JasonPratt

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Oh good, thanks! -- re which player goes first on a headline if there's a power tie.

Re NORAD etc., those seven cards (3 early, 2 mid, 2 late) are optional cards in the computer game, and we're playing without them.

Re deck dregs -- right, I had forgotten just how many cards start in the Early War deck. We can't possibly have been dealt them all yet, not even a third of them really.

What this means is that having burned Warsaw Pact out of his hand, it'll be at least 3 turns (not rounds, whole turns, counting this one) before I have any possibility of it triggering, maybe longer (since eventually the mid war cards start getting shuffled into the deck), and then he might get it again and play it on the Space Race or otherwise whiffle it away again untriggered.

That makes his clever disposal of it even worse for me. And for newbie players like myself, keep in mind that Bart did actually trigger the Blockade event. I 'played' it automatically (because it's a Red card) and so it instantly ponged back to Bart to resolve by either removing West German influence or discarding a card with 3 or better Op power. That card is now permanently gone from the game -- unlike the Warsaw Pact it won't be back for a reshuffle later, meaning I will never have a chance in this game to properly play Blockade against Bart!

We shall see soon if I reciprocate.  >:D (We've played Round 1, and Bart may even have it up already; I was waiting until he played his card for the round, and haven't had time to finish writing that round for my side of the AAR yet.)
« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 07:53:07 AM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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If you're playing without the optional cards then your deck should be 35 cards including China.  You'll have just a few cards left over after round two so they'll get dealt out and then the deck will be reshuffled so you could see the reappearance of cards on turn 3.

Offline JasonPratt

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.. ...... {calculating}

Math: not my strong suite.


Suiet.

Sweet.





Not my stongest skill.  :crazy2:
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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TURN ONE -- ROUND 1

 


After Barthís perfectly reasonable response to losing South Korea, Iím on with my plan.

I have several good options in my hand, including this card -- for the moment.

 


This will give me an excuse to talk about playing cards for events or for points.

If this was a Soviet or a neutral card, I would have the option to play it as an event, or to play it for points and apply it a certain way.

But this is an American card. I can still play this for points, but I donít have an option about the event: it will definitely trigger, and Bart will get to apply the event however he wishes.

However -- and this is crucially important -- sometimes the fact that an opposing card will definitely trigger for the other player, can be an advantage, if that forces him to do something now that he might prefer to save for later. We just saw that during the headline phase when Bart forced one of my cards to trigger for his advantage!

In this case, itís even loopier than that: NATO can only trigger as an event if the Marshall Plan and/or the Warsaw Pact has already triggered. Bart threw the Pact out of his hand as part of his headline earlier, but odds are reasonably good that he still has the Marshall Plan. I sure donít!

So, unless this is the card that stays in my hand until next round, I am going to play it this Turn -- although one strategy would be to keep NATO in my hand as the last card forever and never play it!

But assuming I donít choose to keep this one card forever, I would be better off to play it now before he gets the Marshall Plan out. That way the event wonít trigger until sometime in Turn 3 at the earliest (after the early deck reshuffles), but I still get to use those 4 points however I want.

So if I play a card for points instead, what can I do with them?

 


I can choose to spend them one of these four ways.

Space Race can only be played once a turn (until later in the game), but it would be a bit of a waste to play this card here. Thatís because I only need a 2-star card (at first) to try rolling the dice to advance my side of the race; and because using a card this way prevents its event from triggering. But the whole reason Iím playing this card earlier is to avoid the event trigger this turn! -- and I have another US card (worth 2 points) to spend this way later.

I could try a realignment roll, which allows me multiple attempts at reducing Bartís influence somewhere; or I could try a coup, which gives me a shot at both increasing my influence and decreasing Bartís in some country. Iíll talk more about those later.

Instead Iíll place influence: I get 4 chips (for 4 points) and I can add them anywhere I want on the board in any mixture, although if I add them to a country Bart already controls it costs me 2 for 1 addition.

Wellllll... not exactly anywhere: I can only add them where, or next to where, I already have at least 1 influence (including the 5 nations immediately adjacent to Russia for purposes of this game.)

So I canít put anything in Central America, Africa, or South America yet. But the game helpfully flashes where my current options are.

 


Looking ahead to scoring in Asia -- which in hindsight is kind of stupid, because getting or losing control of Europe will outright win or lose me the game (unlike any other region) -- I add 2 points to South Korea to achieve control there, and another 2 points to Japan (because the US doesnít have control yet) pulling ahead a little on that key island.

 


Pleased with my possibly fatal short-sightedness (since Bart is already somewhat ahead in Europe), I confirm my turn and sign off to try to reacquire my Orky skilz in Warhammer 40K: Soulstorm. But thatís another story.

Meanwhile in this game...

 


...out comes the Marshall Plan, as I anticipated.

What I didnít anticipate, is that he doesnít play it for the event (perhaps because Iíve already trashed NATO until several years from now):

 


he stages a coup in East Germany instead. And wins! Barely, not enough to shift influence his direction, but enough to eliminate my control of the nation (leaving me only 1 influence).

This also (whether or not he had succeeded) degrades the DEFCON status for the first time, down to 4 now, which until the Turn ends or a card somehow helps, means no one can try any more coups in Europe.

Since his 4 Ops were spent on a coup attempt then (whether or not he had etc.) they count as military ops; and with the DEFCON currently at 4 he doesnít need any more this Turn to avoid the minor VP penalty. I still need 2 MilOps.

With some ballsy plays between both of us so far, we go into the next round.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 03:18:27 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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TURN ONE -- ROUND 2

[Note: I forgot to include Barthís Round 1 move originally in the previous post, so if you didnít catch that on your first read, go back before continuing here.]

 


Halfway to being whole counts as ďalmostĒ I guess. :P

One of the many, many nice things about this electronic adaptation, is that I can test-play one of the ďscoringĒ cards, Asia Scoring in this case, to see what my results would be without committing to it. Double-checking, I donít have enough for dominance yet. Which leaves me roughly with four options:

1.) Is it time to start building up scoring opportunities in the Middle East? Duh, no.

2.) Should I continue building up for a score in Asia? Certainly, and Iíve got a few more cards which could help with that. But Europe is looking a little wobbly (from the perspective of imperial world socialism).

3.) Should I be repairing or improving my standing in Europe? Definitely, and I have a few cards which would help with that, too. Since Iím controlling when Asia scores, I might should work on improving my European position before Asia. But I shouldnít forget that I can play basically only 5 more cards this turn (not counting any Red events played by Bart in my favor), one of which must be Asia scoring. And Iíd like to try to tick ahead in the Space Race if possible So only three more cards, practically speaking, or four in an emergency, sacrificing the Space Race.

4.) Should I be doing something to mess with Barthís game throughout this turn? Well yes, duh, and the sooner the better.

As it happens, assuming I save the China card to set up a Dominant score (two or in an emergency three more cards to play this turn), I do have one more 4 point card with which I could reverse problems in East Germany by direct influence. Or control France (a so-far untouched battleground state) and do a bit of repair in EGerm.

 


Note that this is a neutral card which also doesnít go out of play when triggered. Thereís a reasonably good chance Bart will be playing it against me later! I donít have to play the event, I can just put the 4 points directly into influence.

But this cardís event stays on the board until the end of the Turn, which handicaps the opponent until the end of the Turn, so itís better usually to throw the event early -- if itís played for the event -- to get the most use out of it.

And weíre still kind of early in this Turn. So if Iím going to mess Bart with it, I should play it now.

Itís a legitimate question whether Iím better off hampering him continuously a little for the rest of the turn, or trying to improve my European position directly. If I play the event, Iíll have to decide later whether to use my China card for its strongest purpose (putting influence in Asia before Asia Scoring), or whether to put its 4 points into improving Europe and cede that Asia Scoring might be a wash.

On the theory that investing in cripplage will pay dividends later, I play the event.

Whereupon Bart decides not to completely ruin my chances of scoring ahead in Asia soon.

 


Although, when I saw this card pop up I was plenty worried. He could have added massive influence to Japan, putting me back at square one there, and making it impossible throughout the whole game for me to adjust the issue by coup or realignment (only by direct influence or a subsequent event).

No doubt that day is coming. But it wonít be this turn, nor even the next: because he played it for points. And not even for 4 points (thanks to my Red Scare at the start of this turn), but for 3!

Which he promptly plopped in the Middle East.

 


Specifically, 1 in Lebanon and 2 in Egypt, granting him control of both places -- one of them a battleground state.

(This game system would be interesting if ported to a presidential election!)

This suggests he has the Middle East scoring card in his hand. If so, there isnít much I can do about it this turn.

Much. ;)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.