Author Topic: REALLY OUT TO GET ME, TOO! -- JRP vs Bartheart on Twilight Struggle PC (DONE)  (Read 16432 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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TURN ONE -- ROUND 3

Assuming for purposes of argument my last two rounds will be China Card and Asia Scoring -- keeping in mind that if I donít play the scoring card before the end of the Turn I WILL STRAIGHT UP LOSE THE GAME, that leaves me with two rounds to play with. And four cards (after those other two are deducted for later) to do it in.

Formosan Resolution, a US card, isnít something I can safely play before Asia scoring, except for the Space Race. Independent Reds, another US card, I can currently play safely for points if necessary, because I made sure not to put any points so in the nations its event will hamper. So even though Bart would technically get to play it, practically it will be worthless to him. I can also save it to play in the Space Race.

Suez Crisis is a powerful Russian Card, worth 3 Ops, which I am saving in case Bart tries to salt up his Middle East run by adding points to Israel -- I can also mess with his European score with it at the same time. I would rather play one of the previous two cards for an early start on the Space Race this turn, but Iím willing to sacrifice that opportunity to fiddle any fiddlers he puts on that roof.

That leaves, by deduction, COMECON, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. (The gameís card library has brief historical notes on what the cards all mean by the way.) This is another strong Soviet Card which will allow me to make myself vulnerable to the US Independent Reds card, soooo... yeah, I wonít be playing that for an event yet. What I will be doing is playing it for its 3 influence -- which is a decision that, by the way, effectively means Iíve chosen not to meet my coup demands this turn.

Hm, now that I think of it, since the choice is between definitely losing 2 VP (the difference between my coup requirements and the current DEFCON), or a 50/50 chance of not losing 2 VP (which on the net balance is my chance of gaining 2 VP from the Space Race so as to offset the 2 Iíll lose for not being cold-warry enough)... yeah, thatís a plot for next round. No spoilers yet.

For this round, though, I spend 2 points recovering my control of East Germany, and then I put one point...

 


...there. In Iran. (I seriously thought about spending 2 to put 1 in Egypt, to break his control there and to open up Africa to my influence, but I wanted control of EGerm back more.)

This will make it a little harder for him to gain an easy ďcontrolĒ in that battleground state for a coming MEast Score. At least. Maybe more, depending on what he does next.

What he does next is what I expected but a little sooner than I was hoping:

 


That might be the weakest possible ďdominationĒ he could have, but it still counts because weak beats nothing -- and all I have is influence, not control of any MidEast country so I donít even have ďpresenceĒ. Yet.

That rolls the relative score back around to 4 points in his direction: I was 2 ahead subtracting 5 for his ME domination score, subtracting another point because one of his two controlled countries is a battleground. 2 - 6 = the US somehow taking a commanding lead during Turn 1.

Bleh! (Also, well played.)
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 4

With Bart having just played the Middle East Scoring card, my plans for foiling his attempt at doing so arrive one round too late. Which makes my next decision a little simpler but not much -- because it was already pretty simple.

As I previously analyzed: if I try the Space Race this turn, I wonít be able to try a coup this turn (due to how things have played out so far); which means I have a choice between definitely avoiding the VP drop by trying a coup, or taking a 50/50 chance of avoiding the VP drop by trying to get +2 VPs with a successful Space Roll.

And thatís no choice: I go for the coup.

But I canít go for the coup in Europe, where it might be most useful for me in the long or medium run, because Bartís earlier coup locked us out from trying again there until the DEFCON calms down.

I was setting up to try a coup attempt in the Middle East this round, which if successful would have also nerfed his ME scoring somewhat. But he just did the scoring so that would be a waste for now.

There arenít many more targets for coup attempts on the board yet, and out of those the best one is in Asia.

 


Namely, Barthís single point of influence in the 2-stability Philippines: that little number next to the name gives an idea of how much effort is needed to get control or to destabilize the region. Barth doesnít have control there yet, so even a weakly powered coup attempt might throw enough influence my way to score control.

For this purpose, I donít want to use Formosan Resolution, because to play those Op points Iíd have to trigger an event which will play in Bartís favor (and mess with my scoring setup here). And Iím saving the 3-power Suez Canal for a later Turn. And Iím saving the China card for next Round!

Which leaves...

 


Now, this is also a US card, so when I play it for points the event will definitely trigger. And the game confirms the event wonít just bounce as unplayable, giving me the points while dropping the card directly into the eventual reshuffle: Bart is entirely welcome to choose which of those countries he wants to put 0 influence points in to match my own! Bwa ha ha ha haaaa! Oh, is that functionally worthless as an action, and so the computer wonít even bother to give you a chance to do nothing? Too bad, the card still triggered, so this event goes out of the game permanently! -- Iíll never have to worry about it again!

The gameís UI helpfully breaks down the math of my chances:

 


So I have a 1/3 chance (2/6) for no result, but even then Iíll have assigned 2 more points as Military Ops this turn, for a total of 4 points (equal to the current DEFCON) and so Iíll avoid the VP penalty. Plus since this isnít a battleground state, I wonít degrade the DEFCON further. I might even gain control, although since this isnít a battleground state I wonít score extra points while scoring for it.

 


Eh, a 3. The whiffliest possible success. But Iíll take it.

Bart responds by...
 


...OMG heís playing Socialist Governments for points! I almost donít care where heís spending them, heís giving me a chance to erode his lead in Euro--




--ohhhh crap, he played it for the Space Race. Which means the event wonít trigger (although itíll go back into the redraw pile untriggered).

 


And he rolled it. Two more VPs for him.

That puts him up 6 points going into the next-to-last-round for this Turn. Oy.
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 5

You know what time it is:

 


CHINATIME! {cue MC Hammer}

Of course Iíve just given him one more VP, if the game goes to the end of Turn 10, but that in itself is unlikely and itís almost as unlikely that heíll avoid playing it the whole rest of the game.

Now, at the moment I have Asian presence by having any controlled territories at all; and he only has one controlled territory remaining in Asia, namely Australia which I frequently forget exists. So to get Dominance I need to control more territories (check) at least one battleground state (check), and at least one non-battleground. Which I lack. But which I can get.

Playing China for Ops in Asia, gives me 5 points not 4 (if I spend them all in Asia, which Iím going to). So I drop 2 in Pakistan, 2 in Indonesia -- both for control -- and add the spare one to Japan.

 


Which in hindsight is kind of stupid, because as soon as Bart plays a the Japanese Mutual Asskicking Pact (or whatever itís called), all my influence will go potty, and the 1 more point doesnít quite give me control so it doesnít add to my eventual Asia Scoring. I should have put it somewhere else to start building, maybe India.

With that, Iím ready to see what Bart will play before I score Asia. I guess Iím telegraphing my intentions there, so unless heís going to try to score Europe (which I should nerf slightly), I suppose heíll probably devote a card for points, or maybe an Asia event, to undermine my scoring here. Man, thank God he doesnít have the--

--oh crap, wait... can the China Card be played back and forth as many times as players want each Turn??? He could really mess me up! 2 points each into any of my two controlled battleground states (for 1 point each since I have control) would destroy that control; or he could drop the 2 points into the Philippines and prevent me from having Dominance at all; or...

 


...or Bart goads India into fighting Pakistan. Whew, I think thereís a rule about how the China card canít be played until itís flipped over at the start of a turn, or something.

Not that this wonít mess up my Asia scoring, too, but:

 


Phew.
 


It also failed.

With that we go into our final Round this Turn.
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 6 (of 6)

Much to the surprise of no one following along...
 


...I score Asia. I control at least one battleground and 1 non-battleground, and my total control is more than Bartís so I get Domination, which is 7 VP, plus 1 point for each of us where we control a bg state -- thus 3 more for me -- and none of us control territories adjacent to an enemy state so a wash there. Bart does technically get 3 points for having some kind of presence (namely Australia), but on the net Iím up 7 points on the score and thatís enough to take back the lead, barely, at one total Victory Point ahead.

 


Thanks man, Iíll sure take it -- hard work and a little luck!

Can Bart turn that lone point around?

 


Well, not with De Gaulle.

He plays it for OP points, and tries a coup in Pakistan, but fumbles the roll (1 on the die), so fails completely on the coup and also degrades the DEFCON to 3.

Since he played a Soviet card, the event triggers automatically, and the effect is automatic. It could have been a bit worse for him -- it could have knocked off 2 of his influence in France -- but it gives me a foothold of 1 influence and the card will stay on the board until the end of the game preventing NATO (whenever it triggers) from affecting France.

So ends Turn 1. Considering I started Asia well behind, and with several US cards primed to make it tough for me there, I'm pretty dang pleased with that result. Not so much with the barely-win tie, considering I'm the Soviet player and I should nominally be a bit farther ahead, but that's how the dice rolled and the Bart played with the opportunities he got!
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 TWO -- ROUND 0

Comes the start of the new Turn! -- and hereís the state of the map (aside from Scandanavia which doesnít quite fit on the zoomout. The UI could stand to have a button that withdraws the top and bottom bars; or if it has one, I havenít found it yet.)

 


(ummm... ignore the Skype window there; I was in a 40K: Soulstorm game with an ally and once I got wiped I tabbed out to play this Round.)

Despite a few cards causing effects there if the events trigger, neither of us are doing anything in Africa or the Americas yet (and none of those events have triggered yet -- I only got dealt my Fidel card this Turn, for example), because the scoring cards for those continents havenít entered the deck yet. And wonít for a little while longer. And I think what few cards affect those areas, will help me more than Bart.

Consequently, Iím only focusing on Europe, Asia, and the Middle East again this turn. And Iíd like to focus more completely on Europe, because that scoring card has to be on the way. But I donít have it; Bart almost surely got dealt the card instead (unless itís one of the few if any cards still remaining in the initial deck).

Hereís Europe more completely for consideration.

 


Notice that Canada counts as Europe for purposes of this game. Canada and Japan are the only nations in the current scoring regions which touch the US, so if I could gain and keep some control there that would help tick up my scoring points! And with some influence in France, I have a door to Canada through the United Kingdom, once I reduce Bartís influence there -- which my Suez Canal card should do.

More importantly, there are five battleground states in Europe, and we each control 2 while I have a foothold in the fifth, France. If I can focus on pushing in there... well, I doubt I can do enough to control all five areas before Europe scoring, but I might be in position to solidify a hold there for the next time the score card comes by.

And whoever holds control of all battleground nations in Europe when that happens, automatically wins.

So Iím inclined to push there, although for scoring purposes meanwhile I need at least one non-bg nation which I donít really have yet. Austria would be handy!

That being my theory for this Turn, let us abductively test that theory against the data of the cards Iíve been dealt and see if... uh...

 


...wow. Those cards are full of rubbish and peril.

The Formosan Resolution will only hurt me in Asia, and is weak for Europe. The Suez Canal (which I held over with Formosa from last turn) will be good to weaken Britain, and maybe influence he gets into France first. After that -- East European unrest is going to hurt me to play for Ops, ditto Containment, De-stalinzation doesnít really help me with my goal at the moment (and needs some material to work with which I never got around to supplying). Fidel and the Olympic Games I can safely play for Op points, but they arenít strong. The Captured Nazi Scientist card is so weak I might as well not even waste a Round applying its points!

Wait, weíre in the Headline Round of this Turn, where I canít play anything for Ops anyway; and I donít have any events that will really help me except Suez which Iíd rather save for a little later.

So... sure!

 


Letís go with that as my Headline! Pick up a free VP to make up for my lack of Spaceracing last Turn (as the second to put up a satellite, I still get 1 point), the card goes out of the game so Bart canít use it to abuse his tech superiority later, and...

 


...oh for razzenfrazzen. Bart nixes my headline with Defectors. Both go back to the discard pile; meaning thereís a 50/50 chance Bart will get to play the defected Nazi Scientist instead. :P

Fine! -- start the Turn.
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 TWO -- ROUND 1

Stupid Space Race.

So, I have two especially problematic cards in my hand, which Iíd like to play for ops but if I do then theyíll trigger for Bart, and he can play them as he likes to ruin me!

 


This one would be disastrous if I play it early; but if I play it toward the end of the Turn it could be useful. This would require I keep the pressure on Bart so that he holds his scoring card (assuming conservatively he has it) as long as he can to keep from giving me extra points.

This on the other hand...

 


...while I would like to play the strong Ops, thereís no way this wonít lose me control of East Germany and by the way Finland, too.

In hindsight, I maybe should have gone with playing the Olympics for its 2 Ops, and put one of them in East Germany to immunize it against this card later.

Instead, still stinging from Bartís lucky parry of my instant catchup (and VP increase) in the Space Race, I played the card safely there -- no trigger for the event at all --

-- and lost. Itís a 50/50 roll after all, and canít be modded (at least at first).

So that was kind of a wasted Round, other than getting a dangerous card out of my hand.

Not as wasted as poor Bartís round, though...

 


Ouch, that hurt. Not only out of sympathy because (per his in-game message) he meant to only double-check the current score and forgot which button would cancel the move and which would ďconfirmĒ it (which after all in a hurry and perhaps in small font looks like ďcancelĒ); but also because he effectively nerfed my plan to get ahead in Europe, forcing him to hold that card until the end of the round while he fought my efforts.

His accident, in other words, probably has helped him in the long run.

And leaves me wondering what I should be doing with my cards now for the next turn or two until the cards reshuffle...
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 TWO -- ROUND 2

I still think building up a lead in Europe is a good idea, so I decide to keep to my original plan, even though now (after Bartís accidental but fortuitous clicking of the wrong button) it wonít score me any extra points this turn.

 


This is the strongest card I have that wouldnít (currently) help me if I played its event; and which wouldnít harm me if I triggered it for Bart; and which I donít want to save for a better play later.

So I play it for points (after considering potential coup opportunities -- but neither of us can play coups in Europe right now); and finish picking up control of France plus adding another point to Austria, now only one point short of control.

Then Bart decides to mess up any plan I had for saving a card (such as Suez Canal) until next turn:

 


He plays that as an event -- which, by the way, notice that it isnít a unique event so it goes back into the reshuffle deck! -- and so forces me to randomly select a card to either send to the reshuffle or, if a US card, to play as an event in his favor.

Wait a minute... why is this a US card? Shouldnít a 5 Year Plan benefit me??

 


Ohhhhhhh, I see. Hm, organizational chaos; that makes sense. It doesnít make sense that the US would be the one to trigger this as an event, but then it wouldnít make sense for me to trigger it as an event either. Oh well.

So what card gets selected?

 


Eh, could have been worse; could have been Containment.

Still, Bart came out ahead in that play: he got me to play Formosa as an event (which I would have had to do anyway, unless Bart opened up an opportunity for Suez) without benefiting me in at least using its Ops points; and he gets to score Taiwan as a battleground state for any influence he cares to invest in there, until when-if-ever he plays the China card (which after all he already has some motivation to never play). Moreover, this means Iíll definitely have to play all my cards by the end of the turn, including Suez Canal, instead of holding it for the most opportune time.

Could have been a lot worse, though. So Iíll take the hit.

Which, remember, will almost surely be coming around again to bite me, once or twice more before the end of the game...
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 TWO -- ROUND 3

It occurs to me, now that I know Iíll have to play all my cards this turn, that I really need to attempt some coups, because Bart has already filled his quota for this turn, and I could lose a significant number of points if Iím not on the ball!

Well, Iím weaker in the Middle East right now than anywhere else (and neither of us can coup in Europe); so... yeah Iíll just spend my two remaining 2-op cards on coups.

Starting with Fidel, played for Ops so the event doesnít trigger. Now, where in the ME should I coup? A 2-star card is pretty weak, so I decide my most favorable option is to finish trying to pick up Iran, which win or lose will also lock both of us (especially Bart) out of trying any coups in Asia for a while.

Here are my odds:

 


I like those odds.

The die doesnít fail me: 6 for a crushing success, and a massive overpower of control in Iran now. Bart will have trouble ever digging me out of there, and with the Def-clock ticked down to 3, I might decide to just sacrifice the point for spreading more influence around the rest of the turn!

Barth needs to catch up with me on the coups; and while he doesnít actually succeed with that (for reasons Iíll explain in a minute), he does succeed nicely with the other 2/3 of his plan this Round.

Specifically he plays this for Operation Points...

 


...which, since this is a Soviet card, necessarily triggers its event, and so it instantly adds another 2 points to my military ops this Turn. Which means, even though heís also going to play his 2 Ops for coup points, he isnít going to catch up this Round, even if he succeeds in his coup.

 


Which, by the way, he does, scoring a major success in rooting my influence out of Syria and gaining control there himself!

Almost as important, while the Arab-Israeli war triggers technically in my favor, he triggered it when I had almost no chance of winning it -- including thanks to Barthís new control in Syria -- and I didnít. Even the 5 I rolled was a failure!

The only good news is that Arab-Israeli wars are pretty common during the Cold War, so thereís a good chance Iíll see this come round once or twice again before the end of the game: it gets reshuffled into the deck.

But kicking my influence out of Syria has another side effect, which will factor in my choices next Round...
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 TWO -- ROUND 4

 


Man, he isnít kidding about the tensity! I went into this Round still following my strategy out for this Turn, playing Olympic Games for 2 influence (not for the Olympic event itself, because Iím not a big fan of gambling a swing on points, even if I have an advantage, unless Iím desperate) --

--

--

-- and I cancelled and replayed that card no less than 6 times, maybe 7, trying to figure out where I reaaaaaaaallllllly wanted to commit those two measly influence points!

To make a long deliberation short(er), I eventually reminded myself forcibly that I was going to play Containment last for 3 points, and Suez Canal next for messing with Israel and the UK, so I could afford to spend a point outside Europe this Round.

That being so, I put 1 point into Austria to finally take back control there (5 to Bartís 1); and...

...well, I would have put the other point into Israel, but Bart took that possibility away from me last Round by flipping Syria against me: now I have no adjacent influence to work from, and my route into Egypt will be longer, too!

So that, in the end, narrowed my choice down logically, I think: I needed to put 1 point into a nation adjacent to Israel, and there was only one place I could do that without having to break through Barthís control (spending 2 points for 1): Jordan.

 


This also opens another route into Saudi Arabia eventually.

And hereís Europe at my end of the Round:

 


Picking up Austria, as a non-battleground state, gives me Dominance (because I need control in a non-battlestate for that, regardless of how many battlegrounds I control), if only slightly. I fully intend to improve that over the next two Rounds.

Bartheart, on the other hand, fully intends to mock my puny ďstrategiesĒ and goes for the sure points.

 


This is admittedly about the best time to play that card (which, notice, shuffles back into the deck and so could be played again once or twice more). Bart will close down all coups (not that I was planning any) for the rest of the Turn, and pick up the maximum possible score from this event, 3 VPs, which will roll the score over in his favor again.

 


Yes, yes, black and blue will be your colors, Bart. Soon. Soon.

But seriously, his play has been brilliant so far, aside from a user interface accident (which doesnít count against this kind of competency).
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 TWO -- ROUND 5

Two Rounds left, and I swing into the final phase of my plan; no need for any more alterations:

 


What does this event represent, by the way? I had no idea, so I looked up the designer notes in the card gallery.

 


Not really something the Soviets would ďinitiateĒ as an event, but Iíll take it -- removing Bartís point of influence in Israel, and two of his influence in Britain, thus also his control there.

Bart kept UN Intervention until the near-final turn, the event of which doesnít do him any good this late in the turn, and the Ops of which are only worth putting one point of influence. Which he puts into Malaysia, trying to build any foothold back into Asia: at the moment he doesnít have influence in any adjacent MidEast nations, so his only route is through Australia.

The final Round of this Turn approaches, with Barth barely ahead by 2 VPs! -- and to be honest, itís going to stay that way.
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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    • The Evangelical Universalist
TURN TWO -- ROUND 6

 


Contain your enthusiasms.

 


Contain them. Because Bart will only get the benefit of this card for one Round, in accordance with the prophecy. Mua ha haaaa.

In trade for allowing him this brief boost, I have chosen to play those three Op points in Europe (again accordng to plan):

 


Two points go into Italy to break his control there, giving me 1 influence (for now); and I put the remaining point in the UK. Why there, instead of strengthening, say, East Germany?

I canít recall if I explained my reasoning up-page, but Iíll wait until next Turn to remind you if so. Mua ha haaa.

That particular teased plan wasnít immediately nerfed by Bart. But he dang well didnít let my final throw across Europe this Round go unopposed.

 


Essentially, he just bet an extra VP at the end of the game wonít help me (and/or that we wonít get there), and threw away the Formosa Effect (which he wasnít using yet anyway), to take away my control of France, restore his control of Italy, and push back toward his control of Britain.

 


So ends the Round.
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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    • The Evangelical Universalist
TURN THREE -- ROUND 0

...wait, are we still playing this? Didnít I win?!

 


Ah. No, he ended our second Turn two points ahead. I must be thinking about the other game with Barth Iím playing as Russia. Weíll see how much Iím winning there when we get back to it someday, or when 30 days are up and I can claim victory by default. Whichever comes first. Ahem.

In this game, weíre ready to start the Headline Round, what I like to call Round Zero, of Turn 3. The DefClock has ticked back to 3 (after someone foolishly punched it down to 2); the final cards from the first shuffle have been dealt out; and the remaining discards from the first deck have been reshuffled and dealt out again. Weíre still in the Early War -- this is our last Turn in it -- so the Middle War cards havenít activated yet. That means still no scoring anywhere except Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

 


And Iíve got the ME Scorer. Which means itís nearly (entirely??) certain Barth has the driverís seat for the other two scoring cards. Which is great, in a way, but kind of hampers him, too, since that means he (probably) has two less cards to actually improve his scoring position with. Remember, he MUST play those cards, if he has them, before the end of the Turn, or outright lose the game.

Since weíre playing the super-nifty computer game version, Bart already got to choose which card heís going to headline with. The computer will compare our cards once I commit to one, and then if his is stronger heíll resolve first.

My two strongest cards, unfortunately, are crappy for me and great for Barth. At best Iíll have to play the Marshall Plan on the Space Race (which is fine) and then NATO for points. But I canít Space up for my headline, I must play a card for its event. Ideally Iíd prefer to play one that doesnít bite me in the butt.

 


For example, Iíd like to double check the possible results of playing this card, to see if itís worth trying as my Headliner. Otherwise Iíd be much better off playing Nasser (probably, under the circumstances) and improving my position around Israel before playing it. As always, I click on the button to test it out...

...whereupon I learn the game hasnít been programmed, yet, to allow players to test out cards like this beforehand during the Headline Round.

Yep, it instantly gets committed to action, whether I really wanted it to or not.

The good news, is that Bartís chosen card, establishing the CIA, has a lower power (only 1 OP) so will trigger when he plays his round. At which heíll get to play 1 OP somewhere (I suppose) even though itís only the Round Zero this turn, after getting a snapshot of my cards (which the game dutifully takes to give him later).

The bad news, is that rolling a 4 isnít enough to win the most recent Arab/Israeli war. With no less than 3 countries of influence around Israel, Iím not sure I had any possibility of winning it. Sigh.

But at least I get 2 military points on my track for this turn, without degrading the DefClock. Thatís something anyway.

Barth spends his free point on France, bringing it up to only 2:3 my favor. With that, the first Round officially begins.
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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    • The Evangelical Universalist
TURN THREE -- ROUND 1

 


Talk to the hand, Barth. Talk to the hannnnnnddd... :P

Now, I have an opportunity to dump a good 8 points into Europe over the next two turns, assuming I play NATO first -- because if I play the Marshall Plan first, then NATO will trigger. But if I play the Plan second, then NATO will definitely trigger the next time it comes up. Iíll have to wait and see if I really want to do that.

For this turn, though, Iím going to play NATO for points, since it still canít trigger for Barth yet, and then plop them in Europe. I doubt I can win the game outright this way this Turn -- thatís why I want to be careful about how I play the Marshall Plan later -- but I can make scoring it nightmarish for Bart. (...and he can make me scoring the ME nightmarish for me, but we donít have to go into that yet...)

My plan to open a track in Britain could bear fruit here, if I started building up some influence in Canada -- Iíll get extra sneaky scoring points if I control Canada when Bart finally plays the Europe Card this turn. But with my control of France having been wiped, I decide to spend my points regaining control there, and then edging farther into Italian politics.

 


Iím still where I have to spend 2 for 1 in Italy, but Iím getting there. Once/if Italy is mine, Iíll only be lacking West Germany for the win! -- but Iíll have to keep my Commie-gotten gains until then, too.

 


At first I thought he had played this for the Victory Point and a degradation of the DefCon level; although on reflection that would have been silly, as he isnít likely to even get three military op points this turn, much less five, and heíd only be handing the VP back at the end.

 


Then I saw he was playing it for influence, and dropping half the points into solidifying his control of Italy again, and the other half into France.

 


...ugh, Iím getting a hangover...
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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    • The Evangelical Universalist
TURN THREE -- ROUND 2

Barth has inadvertently -- or since he saw my hand with his CIA card, vertently -- left me a cruel dilemma. If I leave Europe alone, he could yank my domination of it out from under me pretty quickly, and then score before I can recover. But I donít have many strong influence cards to play, or ones with good effects for either here or trying to get something done in the Middle-East, where I also have to score before the end of the Turn. And Bart has to score Asia, but Iím not overly worried about that... except that one of my two remaining high-influence cards is the China card, and if I play that then he might try to use it in Asia!

The fact of the matter, though, is that Europe can auto-win the game, and none of the other places can. I canít afford to simply slack off elsewhere, since I can lose the game in the long run by doing so, but I can instantly lose in Europe as well as win. So my focus, I think, has always got to be there, now that Iíve gotten close enough to threaten a win by pushing there.

In other words, by pushing there I at least force Bart to spend resources responding, and since Iím currently in position to benefit from scoring in two regions that not only keeps me in range to auto-win in Europe but also to win long range.

This helps solve my dilemma about how far to push my influence. I canít auto-win in the short run, and in the long run playing the Marshall Plan to trigger its event will only be bad for my European position. Iíve been lucky to hold it these three turns; I should keep it out of play as long as I can by putting it safely into the Space Race.

And meanwhile, if I play the China card for points, and give it back to Bart, so what? He pretty much has to spend it on Europe, not on Asia, unless he wants me to creep even farther ahead toward an autowin there. We could even bounce it back and forth! -- Iíd still, probably, win in the long run doing that!

So, play the China card for points in Europe. Rolling to remove some of his points? No, thatís luck based. Couping? No, thatís also luck based and the DefClock is too low currently. Direct influence then.

Technically I should be going for the battleground states. Thereís no way I can sufficiently recover to control Italy with only 4 points, whereas if I spend all 4 in France Iíll be pulling ahead there (plus Bart canít affect it with NATO, so investing there is less risky in the longer run.)

Yet I do want to get a little work done in my sneaky Canadian scoring plan. So I put only 3 points into France, pulling ahead in control there by 2 (meaning heíll have to spend 4 points to break that control), and drop my last point into Canada.

 


He can still use the China card (at least) to undo some of that, but thatís the last big influence play I can throw this Turn. Everything else will be Space Race, or minor influence, or events. At least one of which is going to be in Bartís favor no matter how I slice it, but like any card game I just have to play the hand Iím dealt as well as I can.

And just how desperate is Bart to avoid the push in Europe as scoring creeps upon him?

Desperate enough to throw away a few victory points by playing Duck and Cover for 3 Influence instead.

So where does he put them?

 


...great.

 


Two points into East Germany to break my control there, and then... um... hm. II think he made a tactical error. He put the 3rd point into the UK. Now, for scoring he needs control in a non-battleground country (like I have in Austria), which I suppose was his theory rather than pushing even harder into East Germ. But he should have gone for Canada: he needed 3 point in either state to gain control, but if I get control in Canada Iíll get a better Europe score!

On the other hand, it isnít like Iím going to get control in Canada any time this turn...
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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    • The Evangelical Universalist
TURN THREE -- ROUND 3

So now I have a bitter choice. Again.

I can play the Marshal Plan for 4points, but if I do itíll trigger in Barthís favor, throwing a ton of his influence into Europe (7 points worth spread around), and opening the door to NATO sooner than (even) later.

Or I can play the MarPlan on the Space Race, defusing it and NATO safely until at least Turn 4 (maybe longer), and let Bart unify Germany, most likely next Round, before he scores.

As toothgrinding as it sounds, a Bartified Germany will be less of a problem, I think, compared to triggering those things sooner than later. Iím already going to have to swallow at least one maybe two other events in Barthís favor (depending on whether I can hold one back this round).

Besides, Iím the Soviet Union! -- how bad can a unified German under Bartheart be?

So I throw the Marshall Plan at the Space Race.

Now, for most purposes, a cardís Op strength helps its chances in pulling off random rolls. But not with the Space Race. All it does is open the opportunity, and a 4-power card is waaaay overpowered for this Race early in the game. A 2-power card would have given me the same 50/50 chance. My luck hasnít been good with it in the first two Turns either.

 


But I roll a 1, and finally get on the board. Along with a VP, nudging the score back in my direction though still not quite on my side.

Only 1 point ahead now, and with Rounds rapidly burning out before he necessarily has to score twice (or forfeit the game), letís see what Barth goes with.

 


Oh, argh. I should have realized he must have gotten the Captured Nazi Scientist (originally played for points or a forced random discard or something) if I didnít get it.

 


And there we go.

Now that Barth has gotten there first...

 


...those two yellow markers indicate he can play two cards for the Space Race per turn. Thatís on top of the card he just played, which was a Space Race event but not sacrificed as influence for the Space Race (so to speak). Theoretically he could jump ahead to slot 4 this turn!

Which would be retarded. I think Iíll point out the option and act jealous of the opportunity... It would be hilarious if he shot for Space and forgot to score...
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.