Author Topic: REALLY OUT TO GET ME, TOO! -- JRP vs Bartheart on Twilight Struggle PC (DONE)  (Read 16431 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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TURN THREE -- ROUND 4

So, there are 3 Rounds remaining this turn, and I have 5 cards, and one of those rounds must be Middle East Scoring. Whereas two of those rounds must be Bart scoring Asia and Europe.

That leaves me two cards to play other than scoring, and two cards to keep for Turn Four.

Ideally Iíd keep the two US cards and try to dump them later, or at least activate them later. But Iíd like to actually play the events on my Soviet cards, sooner or later, and I really need to add a bit more punch back to my Europe stance before Bart scores it.

Fortunately, I have this.

 


I hate this card because it will continue to show up all game and it cannot be safely used by me at any time (except on the Space Race) without giving Barth a free Victory Point.

But with two big scores coming up (one nullified by scores against me in the ME, probably), I donít much mind handing him a free VP. I can take back my control of East Germany -- in the worst case scenario Iíll sacrifice Decolonization for influence next turn to at least partially fix any retakes Bart pulls afterward before he scores Europe -- and still have a point left to put into Canada.
 


Which I promptly do.

 


Iím not sure whether thatís in reply to my tease about trying to jump ahead on the Space Race -- which would certainly win me the game if heís holding the other two scoring cards -- or to my slow takeover of Canada!

In any case, Bart plays the Olympic Games for influence points, not for the event, and puts one influence in Canada (now 3:2 his favor instead of tied 2:2) and one in the UK, retaking control 6:1 which is fine with me. I only wanted a little influence there to get to Canada.

And that, friends, will put me way in the lead.
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 THREE -- ROUNDS 5 & 6

 


Yeah, yeah -- but itís much worse for Bart, because he almost certainly has both the other scoring cards, and even more almost certainly has at least one of them.

That means heís almost certainly going to have to spend the next two rounds (or even more almost certainly spend one of the next two rounds) only scoring, not trying to improve his situation in either Europe or Asia, or even in the Middle East.

What does that translate to?

Well, weíll see when it happens. If he only has one scoring card, he may be able to blunt his problem. This is a case of where, being still not quite familiar enough with the game, and not being able to physically see a card stack, I donít quite know for sure how many cards are still undealt.

But I can see whatís in my hand, and considering the trash I had in my hand at the start I think Iíve done dang well this Turn.

 


This is what Iíve got left. And it is glorious.

Why?

 


Because, holding the ME scoring card for last, allows me to play this cheerful gent.

The Middle East looked like this (with ME states in light blue).

 


Thatís each of us controlling one battleground state, and him controlling two non-bgs. All surrounding Israel, which is why my Arab/Israli wars have so far been rubbish.

Now...

 


...if he does only have one scoring card and he thought he could edge the ME into dominance to offset one of my coming scores, he has much less (or no) hope of doing so. (We were tied already here, but he could have ticked up into Lybia or something and achieved dominance.) And Iím only a point away from controlling Egypt. Which wonít happen this Turn, but it doesnít have to.

As little as it looks, this is potentially huge. Weíll see in a moment how huge it turns out, based on what he plays next...

 


...wat.

(Pun not intended. In case ďwatĒ is Vietnamese. I just woke up and canít recall clearly.)

 


Yes yes yes, but WAT?!

 


...oh, ARGH! I see what he did now.

He played Vietnam Revolts for influence points, and spent both those points putting a point in Poland. He had to spend 2 point, because I had control there; but by doing that he broke my control of Poland, meaning weíre now even in European presence.

This also means that, unless heís insane, he didnít have Asia Scoring after all. Or maybe he does, but it doesnít matter: I already had dominance in Asia, and so giving me control of Vietnam doesnít make matters worse for him -- Vietnam isnít even a battleground state in Asia (because until the very end Russia wasnít even that interested in Vietnam). So if I was the one who had Asia Scoring (which I donít, but if Barth doesnít then odds would have been very good I did), I still get the same Asia points as before. Sure, I get to consequently have a semi-permanent China Card Effect for the rest of the Turn, where if I spend all my influence in Asia I can spend an extra point, and I can do that each and any Round. But I only have one Round left, so at worst (from his perspective) if I donít have any Scoring cards at all then I could use that effect only one Round. Then it goes away forever!

In exchange he has gambled that, even if he has European Scoring for his last play this Turn, I wonít be able to take dominance back before he plays it.

And I canít. I have to play Middle East scoring.

Fortunately, I made sure last turn that he wouldnít (probably) get dominance there before I scored it, so the score will be a wash (we both get three points, moving the relative score nowhere). But now Europe will be a wash if he has to score it in his final Round.

Which is what he does.

 


Iím still trying to learn the game, so I make a note to remind myself that relative presence or dominance doesnít by itself mean a draw. Those conditions literally only add points to a score on either side. If I only controlled Canada, and nothing else at all in Europe, Iíd still get 1 point for controlling a Country (or state or territory or whatever) adjacent to the US. But Bart would be ahead four points on the net account if I only controlled Canada and he controlled enough to have a Presence: heíd get 3 for Presence, plus another 2 points for the Battleground states he needs to have Presence. 5-1 would be 4 for him.

In this case, we both have Presence, so we both get 3 VPs for having Presence, and we both get an extra 1 VP for each of the two battleground states we have to control to even get Presence. So we both get 5 VP. Which is a wash; the relative score goes nowhere.

Fortunately, Iíve forgotten that I donít understand the DefClock and military ops correctly yet.

 


But Iím learning! In this case, even though I tanked (pun not originally intended) on Round Zero by accidentally playing the Arab/Israeli war when I only wanted to verify by a pre-score estimate that I had no chance of doing anything with it {inhale}...

...I did get 2 military op points on the board this Turn by doing so. And while I didnít choose to convert more points to mil-ops (or even have a feasible opportunity to), so I didnít get the 3 I needed to avoid the penalty, meaning I lost one VP...

...I kept enough pressure on Barth, and he happened not to have event cards he could play instead, that he couldnít convert points to military ops at all. So he gets docked the full 3 points (because the Defcon level ended the Turn at 3 meaning we needed to do 3 military ops to avoid losing points).

And thatís a net 2 point in my favor.

 


Meaning that, as we go into Turn 4, and the start of the Mid War, Iím 1 VP ahead after all!

...which is bad news.
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 FOUR -- ROUND 0

 


Sure! -- but not for me. Thatís because in the vanilla game (which weíre playing) the USSR has a small advantage during the Early War, so if Barth can just keep me from winning, much moreso basically tie me (or end slightly ahead, which is what I thought he was going to do!), then heís done super well going into the Mid War. Henceforward the game will get progressively easier for him.

I might have just lost the game by only being a single point ahead going into the Mid War.

Not that Iím going to quit. Because I have this one almighty advantage, unique to the computer game: Bart has too many other things on his plate to eat. In real life I mean. Except analogically. In real life. ... ......

Look, I mean this:

 


Barth and I started with 45 days of gametime each. Whenever itís my turn, my clock starts ticking down. Whenever itís Barthís turn, his clock starts ticking down.

 


Thatís how much time I have left to win.

See a difference?

Unless I fumble an outright loss, or Bartís schedule radically clears up (in a way that still leaves him time to check and play his turns), Bart will definitely auto-lose. We have a lot more than half the game to go, and heís used more than half his time already.

I couldnít find an option to not have a gameclock, btw. But hopefully there will be an option to continue past the auto-win. Assuming I can hold out that long.

Anyway, Round Zero (aka the Headline Round) returns for the fourth time! Mid War cards are shuffled into the deck with the remaining Early War cards (not currently removed from the game or awaiting reshuffle), and dealt out on top of whatever weíve held from last Turn.

 


I see a bunch of red and mixed cards, yay!

...which means Bart will have a bunch of blue and mixed cards, either now or later, but I AM GOING TO BE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THIS DANGIT!

Off to go study what these even mean.

{studying}

{studying}

Wow, these cards are horribly overpowered. Arenít both sides supposed to be equal in the Mid War?? My mind boggles in fear at what the new US cards must look like! Yeesh.

Okay. Pondering.

Several of these cards -- heck all of them? -- would be worth playing on the Headline this turn. But since I donít have a scoring card, Iím going to save ďHow I LearnedĒ until the final Round just to make sure I come out ahead on military ops this Turn.

Iíd rather not play my sole US card at all, so hold onto it if possible.

That still leaves 7 cards to choose from, but since Flower Power, Missile Envy, and Quagmire all work best at the start of a Turn, I should play one of those now and try to hold onto one for the headline phase next Turn.

Except this is Turn 4, which means I now have to burn at least 8 cards out of my 9. I can only keep 1 card (nominally) until next turn. That means Iíll have to play the Truman Doctrine, sacrificing my influence in some non-controlled European country (at Bartís choice), to keep one for the new start. And thereís no safe choice there. Nor is that card strong enough to burn its influence for the Space Race. (How can that card be so powerful and worth only 1 point?? Yeesh.)

So. Okay, out of those three, Flower Power hurts Bart the longest the earlier itís played. It canít be taken off the table until the Late War (and then only until ďEvil EmpireĒ is triggered as an event). But it also can and will run for a while, so its muff if I play it second or third this turn is minor.

If I play Quagmire now, it has no effect until Barthís next action round; but thatís true if I play it on Round 1 instead of Round 0, too. So I can save it for Round 1 and lose no effect.

(Iíll explain their effects later. For current purposes, the analysis question is relative effects vs delay in playing them.)

That deductively leaves Missile Envy.

Oh crap he played ďBear TrapĒ! -- his version of ďQuagmireĒ! Lol! Well, I canít say that wasnít smart. I explain that when Round 1 starts.

 


Fortunately for Bart, either he only had one 3-Ops card and no 4-Ops -- which, come to think of it, would be very unfortunate for Bart -- or he had a choice of 3-Ops cards (much more likely), and one of those was...

 


Iím very unclear what the concept of De-Stalinization, which refers to Kruschevís 1956 open critique of Stalinís policies, which in turn led to a series of brutal repressions when satellite states thought this indicated a more liberal day for the Soviet Union {inhale!}... has to do with the actions of this card. I guess on reflection it triggers a number of nations reducing Soviet influence but for some nations the attempt backfires into increasing Soviet influence instead, but the Soviet player gets to pick both the reduction and the increase. It really seems like Bart should have been the one to pick the decreases!

Anyway, Iím not the biggest fan of this card, which generates no new influence or any other direct effect on the board (which is why I didnít mind sacrificing it for whatever the previous times Iíve seen it), but in practice it means that I can gather up spare influence that isnít doing me any good, from any corner of the globe, and plop them somewhere else (but no more than 2 at a time for a total of 4 either way).

So I vaccum up some spare influence in Asia and Finland, and take back control of Japan and East Germany, with a final point continuing to jockey for Canada. Huh, maybe I do like this card after all!

 


This did involve not only sacrificing control of the Philipines but even all influence there, and putting my control of Vietnam in peril, but I need to keep the pressure on Europe which was a winning strategy for me last Turn.

On the other hand, thereís a good (but still not entirely certain) chance Bart now holds the Asia Scoring card -- which he didnít after all last Turn -- and, if so, heíd be wise to wait until the last minute to play it so that he can screw with my plans to megascore Asia by him also playing the China card immediately prior. He only needs to spend two influence ticking out Vietnam to destroy my Dominance of the region, since I need control of a non-bg country for those extra 4 points (beyond mere Presence). Itís entirely possible my big coming score in Asia will be largely nerfed by Bart by the time we get there.

But thatís okay. The more he focuses on muffing my point-feast in Asia, the more I can angle for a winning European score -- which canít happen this Turn (since the Europe Score card hasnít been reshuffeld yet), but itíll come back eventually, possibly to my hand to be played at its best timing. Or if he fights to keep me from winning in Europe, I can keep scoring more Asia points every few turns: even if I donít have dominance, I should still pick up extras for battleground control and also for controlling Japan, one of the few territories bordering on the US early in the game!

That being said, if I get a chance to tamper-proof Asia again, Iíll probably take it. Maybe not this Turn.

Thus ends the headline phase, and begins what could be a horrifying Turn of having my potency caught in a Bear Trap! (Metaphorically.)
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 FOUR -- ROUND 1

Itís time for the Bear Trap, which Bart threw on me out of the gate this Turn during the Headline Phase (aka Round 0), and I hate this card with the fury of a thousand burning furs.

Allow me to illustrate.

 


First, that card references events of the Late War, not the Mid War. Which I realize is me being a whiny Soviet player, because I understand that the parallel card for the USA in Vietnam needed to be play-balanced or the USSR would very possibly have a massive Mid-War advantage in most games. Still.

Second, what this card doesnít say from the text explanation, unless the computer game is broken, is that the player trapped this way CANNOT TAKE ANY OTHER ACTION except to burn cards the whole Turn trying to sacrifice out of the trap. If I roll badly and/or have an unusual number of 1-OP cards and scoring cards, Iím stuck doing nothing (but scoring) until the end of the Turn.

I thought Iíd first have to sacrifice a card to try to get out, and then win or lose get to play a card as usual. Nope! Even if I roll out of the trap, my Round is still over.

Fortunately, I had a relatively minor card I could start the sacrificial ritual with.

 


I say ďrelativelyĒ because that card could have helped me shore up Asia back a little better, or play the Space Race this turn.

More fortunately, I rolled my 4 or less early (thereís a +66% chance of getting free any Round), so I only had to sacrifice one card. Annoying, but the best possible result aside from having sacrificed a less useless card.

And you can bet pretty hard on what Iím going to do next Round! -- namely what I already said, last post, I was going to do this Round (except that I misunderstood the restriction of the Bear Trap effect or the game has a mis-design bug.)

But weíll get to that next Round.

While waiting for Bart to play, allow me to point out that Decolonization, although burned this Round (and previously without triggering in other Turns, if I recall correctly), does not go away once I finally get to activate its event. Theoretically it can generate several influence points for me in Asia and/or Africa almost every Turn! De-stalinization, unfortunately, does go away, being a 1956 card unique to the early days of Kruschev.

My Missile Envy play during the previous Round, also revealed two facts to me: the China Card, which is a natural 4-Op card, is exempt from its effect (something I donít think the Envy card itself says, or else itís a mis-design bug in the computer adaptation); and Bart must have no other 4-Op cards in his hand! Otherwise the Envy card would have forced him to play or choose one of them instead of the 3-power De-stalin.

The USA doesnít have any 4-power Mid War cards anyway. But he also (unless this is also a mis-design bug) canít have the neutral ABM Treaty Card, or my ďBury YouĒ or ďMuslim RevolutionĒ cards. (Or any of the Early 4-power cards if any remained in the shuffle deck at the end of last Turn.)

What does he do have...? (... ...... note, edit grammar there)

Actually, it doesnít matter what he do(es) have. Because...

 


...the Envy card forces him to play it on his next Round for Ops. Otherwise we could just flip it back and forth at each other all Turn! But it isnít a one-shot card; itíll be back.

Unfortunately for me, Bart can use the 2 Ops points to start fighting me in Asia by messing with my forthcoming score: as previously noted, if he spends them both in Vietnam, he can crack my control there, leaving me with no Asian non-bg state under control, and therefore no Dominance.

Fortunately for me, Bart decides to just take over Tailand instead.

 


I think I understand his rationale. While heís far behind in Asia overall, heís actually in position to edge into dominance in South-East Asia. And everything there also counts for Asia, so any improvements in the SE can help muff my relative scoring in Asia overall.

Whether he can pull that off with the guns in my hand this Turn, remains to be seen...
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 FOUR -- ROUND 2

 


He means the Bear Trap should have. I totally lucked out.

But I can sympathize. Maybe the next time that type of card comes out, itíll last longerrrrRRRRROHAI QUAGMIRE! :D :D :D

 


Itís still a horrible, evil card, and I donít love it like a thousand burning... um... furies?

Because that would be wrong.

And I promise not to be upset if Bart also rolls out early. If it burns even one of his power cards at all, itís worth playing and keeps me in the initiative.



(I meant this kind of fury, obviously. Duh.)

Fortunately...

 


...I made that resolve before watching Bart skip out of his Quagmire by sacrificing my ability to get the Warsaw Pact anytime soon.

As promised, though, no furies.



No, no, not even them. yeesh.

Having pandered sufficiently to get an audience for this thread, I shall pass along to the 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 FOUR -- ROUND 3

 


And neither one will be coming back this game! But Iím not upset; Iíd actually feel bad if he got hammered more than I did. A little bad. For him.

Not bad enough to avoid flowering him, of course.

 


I know at least some of those cards are repeats that show up throughout the game after triggering, and notice that it doesnít matter whether he plays them as events or for Op points! Iíll still get 2 VP either way. It canít even be possibly countered until some time several turns from now either. At which time Iíll make a terrible joke.

Meanwhile, since Iím pretty sure NATO would hurt me more than the Warsaw Pact would help me (under the current circumstances), and since Warsaw is one of the events that would allow him to trigger NATO, Iím just as glad to see it delayed a little longer. He really did me a service by tossing it as a bridge over the Quagmire!

Then he decides to service me some more by giving me free victory points! yay!

 


Wellllll, one free victory point. I only control Iran. For now. Though Iím working on a few others. He must have either forgotten I control Iran, or reaaaaalllly needed those 3 Operation points for --

 


-- ---- ....

Oh. He, uh, didnít forget I already very solidly controlled Iran. ARGH!
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 FOUR -- ROUND 4

At the end of the previous Round, Bart very cleverly used a card that would give me a point for controlling Iran, to stage a successful coup in Iran -- taking away my otherwise dangerously solid control. Meaning, since Bart can choose when the event triggers, that the event triggered on nothing: I didnít control Iran anymore.

But OPEC will be back; itís an event that can and will return several times in a game, and only benefits me. Assuming Iíve been keeping up affairs in the Middle East.

And you know what? Fine. If Bart is spending high Op cards in anywhere-not-Europe, then he isnít spending them in Europe. Logic: me.

So with 5 cards left in my hand, and 4 Rounds to play in this turn, and already knowing what I want to play last, and preferring to keep him from obliterating all influence in one of my non-controlled European countries (especially Canada) by playing the Truman Doctrine for a measely point of Ops... what am I left with?

2 cards that will give me a few cheap automatic VPs (always nice), and a card that allows me to play both the event and its Operation point with no benefit to Bart while letting me see his hand. Which is of more use earlier than later in a Turn, of course, when he has more cards in his hand, but I had other things I wanted out first.

 


That was his response to the Flower Power.

Hey, thatís a great idea! Iíll send in his CIA! -- oh nooooeeessss, what have they done?

 


Tsk, tsk, tsk. {shaking head}

 


(Obviously the effect of the card takes the theory that the CIA had been compromised to work with the Soviets briefly, thus my joke. I do think it was a Russian mob hit, but not necessarily that the CIA had any involvement other than embarrassment about Oswald being a double-triple-extra-special agent.)

So Iíll use my sources in Bartís newly established ďC I AĒ to peek at his hand.

Which Iím not going to take the time to snapshot and discuss here, because you-all should be reading Bartís side, right? ...although, I notice he doesnít seem to be keeping it up, as far as the last update number goes? ??? But I donít know when that stopped, so Iím just assuming he showed yíall his hand for this Turn already. If not, donít worry; Iíll discuss all cards when he plays them, and then opine about whatís left over at the end of the Turn. (Iím actually trying to avoid spoiling his hand in advance for anyone who hasnít been keeping up with his thread.)

What I will reveal, is that he has no scoring cards, so I donít have to worry about that before the end of this Turn. But neither can I use that pressure against him.

Meanwhile, I decide to play my 1 Op for influence (as usual, as I donít like to gamble on a roll for result, especially with only 1 power to work with), and... well, I debated for a couple of minutes whether to put it in Egypt and take control there, but I decided at last to put it in Austria (Europe first! USE! USE!) and solidify my control there farther. I need a non-battleground state to win (or to dominate on the scoring), and right now thatís the only one I control in Europe. Better tighten my grip on it!

Speaking of tightening a grip, Bart ignores Europe again (where the game could be won or lost) and...

 


...plays this nice card, with this military genius and clearly awesome kickasser, to add some grip to Asia.

 


Specifically a point to Laos (which is combined with Cambodia in this game, and which sounds like an internet acronym now that I think of it); a point to Indonesia -- and both those points give him easy control of more countries in Southeast Asia -- and a point to India, which is a battleground state in Asia overall.

 


What you did there, I saw it.
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 FOUR -- ROUND 5

Going into Round 5, itís a question of which of two cards I want to play first. The events on either of them give me a cheap VP, but I think one might be put to better use for its 3 Ops.

So Iíll save the U2 Incident event for later, and just put its Op influence out. Where? Duh, you know where: Europe! My plan so far of forcing Bart a painful choice between letting me score huge in Asia and trying to keep me from scoring huge and eventually outright winning in Europe, is continuing to pay off, and should continue to do so for as long as I can keep the pressure up -- and if I can get a win before a bunch of his European events trigger, which Iíve been fortunate and clever to avoid so far (even into the Mid War), so much the better. Iím still 8 points ahead on Asia overall, so Iím not going to contest him throwing points to non-battleground states there. So what if he controls Cambodia? Laughing Ass Off Slightly!

The question then is whether to concentrate on keeping what Iíve got, or on working to take away what he has. In hindsight, Iím starting to wonder if my plan to score a measely extra point in Canada is worth the effort; I could have concentrated those points better toward winning outright in Europe.

I say this in hindsight, because I dang well put another point in Canada. I think I may be addicted to trying to do something there now. I DONíT WANT THOSE POINTS TO BE WORTH NOTHING!!

Much more importantly, I put the other two points into holding onto East Germany and Poland better.

 


As with France and Austria recently, this will give me a bit of insurance against Bart easily ticking me out of one or more of those places.

That said, the first step in defeating addiction is to recognize that I have a problem. Taking Canada made sense if I could do it easily before a coming score, and/or if I could do it easily as insurance against losing control of Austria (since I need control of at least one non-bg state for the biggest scores).

But those same 4 points could have been put into nerfing Italy, which Iíll need to do (and then gain control there) in order to win outright in Europe. Or with the event card Iíll be playing next Round, Iíd be close to neutralizing West Germany by now.

Whereas, to score 1 Victory Point for holding Canada, Iíll have to put in a minimum of another three influence. Imagine what I could have done with a net 7 more influence in Europe?! But if I cut myself off now, then at least Iíll have a net 3 more influence than if I keep chasing Canada.

Resolved: to hell with Canada.

The sheer genius of my move in reinforcing my European holdings, so impressed Bart that he decides to do the exact same thing: since he has a space card that he canít play as an event (not being behind in the space race at all, which this event requires), he plays it for 2 Ops and puts the influence in West Germany and Italy, 1 point each.

 


This, children, is what happens when you waste your time trying to take over Canada. Donít make my mistake. Leave Canada alone.
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 FOUR -- ROUND 6 (of 7)

This is the first Turn (I think?) where we have more than 6 Rounds, and... um...

 


... .... and I guess that comment meant that he thought I was trying to sneak ahead in Canada by distracting him with sneaking farther ahead in WestGerm and Italy? ???

I canít do much about Italy yet / anymore (since I wasted those points in trying to do something with Canada), but I can nerf his move in West Germany:

 


By summoning Willy Brandt!

-- who is Willy Brandt? I have no idea. He gives me a point of influence in WestGerm, and gives me a free VP, and thatís good enough for me.

(According to the gameís card notes, he was someone youíll have to buy the game and read the card yourself about, or do an internet search. Swamped with exhaustion at the moment.)

 


I honestly donít know how I can power through Italy and West Germ. Maybe I can coup one of them early next Turn -- Iím going to end this Turn next round with a clever bit of cleverness, although Bart might ninja me on it at the last moment.

Especially since Bart seems to have inferred my cunning plan:

 


ďThatĒ would be him playing the China Card for 4 Ops points, and plopping them all in France, bringing his score there up to 6:8 and thus breaking my control (since I need a 3 point difference).


 


This not only snaps my control of France, but puts us on par for battleground states controlled, and so we both only have ďpresenceĒ there. Any scoring for Europe will currently be a wash, 5 points to 5 points. (Presence = 3 points for each of us; plus each of us get a VP for each of the 2 battleground states we need to get Presence in the first place.)

With a new Turn coming up, that could quickly become relevant...
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 FOUR -- ROUND 7 (of 7)

In my last Round for this Turn, I play a card designed to help the US player screw me over in the final Round for a Turn! ...wait.

 


As a joke card, you can also use it to suicide yourself out of the game by setting the Defcon to 1 and instantly losing. But its real purpose is to either shut down coup possibilities or to gamble that the opponent wonít be able to coup (or do any military op events) before the end of the Turn.

Thus, if Bart (the US) had played this next Round himself, playing it on the final Round of a Turn, he could have set Defcon to 5 and put his own Milops to 5 and then left me hanging without any way to add more Milops myself before scoring Milop efficiency at the end of the Turn!

In my case, Iím just taking the opportunity to burn out a card that Bart might mess with me later; but Iím also going to take a similar gamble -- and for the USSR itís a gamble, because the US always plays last on a Round -- that Bart canít or wonít use the newly peaceful Defcon 5 to try a 2-star (or better) coup somewhere. If he doesnít, Iíll pick up an extra 2 VPs after whatever he does play since weíre at the end of the Turn!

Fortunately, thanks to my Lone Gunman card earlier, I can spoil that he doesnít have any more cards in his hand worth more than 1 point. (Note however that due to a small design flaw, the Gunman peek doesnít show the China Card, whether active or inactive! -- I had forgotten he had it when he threw it down last Round!) And Iím not sure there are any targets worth a 1 point coup attempt (since I have to have some influence in a country to try a coup at all). And one of his cards would help me if he played it for ops to power his coup! And another of his cards would only help me if he played the event!

So my guess is that heíll have to let me take the Victory Points and play his benign card for the event -- which will put out more than 1 influence somewhere he may not care about yet -- or play his benign or neutral card for the 1 point of influence -- where he can manually place the influence himself.

Whereupon I quickly learn that I havenít evaluated the situation correctly :P :

 


It doesnít matter that he had almost no hope of doing anything with a coup even in Pakistan (although that was a good idea, since if I draw the Pak/India war card I might be able to nerf him in India). He only has to play that card for 1 point of military ops, and he brings his Milops to 4 -- while degrading the DefClock to 4! Which means he has all the military ops he needs this Turn to avoid a victory point penalty. So much for my extra 2 VPs...
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 FIVE -- ROUND 0

 


But not any time soon, because the Defcon level notches back up once to 5, total peace.

I have to say that mis-estimating my ploy to score a couple of extra points at the end of the previous round, is... irritating... but after all it wasnít like I had any other better options. I played what I could at I think the best times available. That card wouldnít have worked any better earlier, and was always going to be a hard gamble when I did play it. At worst, I burned it from the deck so that Bart couldnít play it at a more opportune time in his favor (as the card is pretty well designed for).

While Iím ruminating on the end of the Round, what about the card Bart didnít play? -- since I saw his hand earlier (via event), I know what it was, but havenít said what yet for spoilers. Since the new deal out (but not a reshuffle yet -- so still no scoring for Europe again this Turn), he may hold onto that card a long time.

That card was Romanian Abdication, which would have given me instant influence to control Romania (and also removed all his influence, if he had any there). Not a big deal really, the way the game is going -- an extra non-battleground state doesnít mean a lot other than as insurance against him taking away my better scoring options there.

Well, it wonít help him in the Space Race, and playing it for influence wonít really help me much, so I wonít be surprised if we see it come out eventually rather than him playing an event more helpful to me.

But it wonít be here in the Headline Round. Instead...

 


...heís going to take my China Card back! MINE!! :tickedoff:

Still, I suppose thatís better than being able to play a (slightly weaker) version of the China Card twice for free. Although, come to think of it, heíll be playing a just-as-strong-because-itís-the-same-card China Card twice in a row for free. :P

Well poot. Do I care? I do not. Let him play that silly card again soon.

Taking account of my China Card NOT BEING THERE ANYMORE :tickedoff: {inhale} ahem, this is what Iíve got to work with this Turn.

 


I have play one of those (ignoring the China Card which ISNíT THERE ANYMORE {gnashing teeth}) as an event this Round, too.

I have some interesting picks, and I seriously thought about doing the Indo-Paki war (again) this Round before he adds enough influence to India to make that less likely a win for me -- something he can easily do now that he has the China Card again.

Unfortunately, I didnít choose to play the China Card for Ops, although that would have been funny since its 4-power would have triggered before his 3-power card, so he would have taken away something I was going to have to give him anyway!

What I did choose, because I have very few naturally helpful European cards this time, and letís all remember, Europe First, is:

 


While I thought seriously about repairing my challenged France, I decided this was a good opportunity instead to pound his control of Italy, and reduce his control lead in West Germany.

 


With Bartís Headline card having already triggered, I can segue directly into our first 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 FIVE -- ROUND 1

Having stomped on Bartís control of West Germany and Italy, I still have a long way to go to taking them for my own political control. So I decide to keep working on that while Iím on a roll!

I thought pretty seriously about taking my China Card back with Russiaís version of the same event, Cultural Revolution; and then wondered if maybe I should play that for ops instead, aiming for a coup in Europe since currently the Defcon is low enough to try that. But even with a 3-strength card, the current numbers looked too chancy for trying a coup. And playing it purely for influence would be silly, since I can trade it for my China card back and get more influence out of it (at a Round delay) while denying its influence to Bart -- assuming he doesnít play it out of the gate.

I did have another 3-power card, with a US trigger ability, that I could play for influence, though, and without worrying too much about its effects.

 


If he throws away my event cards, fine, the faster theyíll be reshuffled and redealt with a chance for me to use them instead. If my cards in his hand are mostly high-powered, then heíll have a harsh dilemma foisted on him whether to discard any or not! Mua ha ha ha haaaaa.

And what shall I do with my 3 Influence? You donít have to guess hard!
 


Creepiní on mah germy itl scorz!

Which Bart promptly creeps back, even more creepy... um... er? -- with a 4 power card. But weirdly, he doesnít play the China card. Which either he forgot he could play (thanks to his event) or was saving for later in actual Asia (more likely).

Instead he plays this for its influence:

 


Which is straight up giving me 3 VP next Round, unless he has UN Intervention (again).

Which he might, since I donít see it (I think?) in the current discards. And he did discard 2 of my cards from his hand to pick up 2 others, thanks to the ďAsk Not What...Ē effect. (The game showed them to me; they were Allande and, not too surprisingly, the Romanian Revolution or whatever it was.)

So, what did he do with that Influence? Again, you donít have to guess hard!

 


That didnít entirely undo my two-round run of influence mongering there, but he isnít going to let me creep any closer if he can help it -- and in fact heís taking the opportunity to move a little on France, too.
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 FIVE -- ROUND 2

After he set up a 3 VP score for me last Round, I feel pretty safe inferring either that Bart has the card (UN Intervention) thatís going to nerf that score, or that heís so desperate heís willing to spot me the points, including by playing more influence this Round even if he could nerf it.

Either way, I figure I have a free Round to take back my China Card.

 


Which I do. However desperate he is, he wonít be using those 4 Influence in Europe this Turn! -- or in Asia either, and weíve got both the Asia and the Southeast Asia scores coming up soon (possibly both in his hand already).

Then I discover Iíve mis-estimated an implication of him using UN Intervention -- which in fact he does have.

 


Oh, did that not look like UN Intervention? Look more closely, toward the bottom. He played it first, allowing him to then play one of my cards from his hand for Op point without the event triggering. Which he used for a coup in Pakistan, giving him control there. Which almost completely nerfs my scoring advantage in Asia generally.

 


Iíll still net 2 points if he does nothing else before Asia scores again, but heís pushing hard to take the lead there.

Oh, and my Pak/India war card? Now pretty pointless as a gamble.

Oh, and the Bury card he played as an event last Round? -- the one which gives me instant VPs if he doesnít play UN Intervention this round? He played UN Intervention, so that counts!

Thanks to a bit of genius play on his part, he got to spend two strong cards of mine for Ops (and effective operations, too), without triggering their events.

Now leaving me a real dilemma what to do 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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    • The Evangelical Universalist
TURN FIVE -- ROUND 3

Well. Ugh. Oh, did I mention last time that Bartís play also prevents me from doing coups in Asia for a while? Because it had that effect, too.

In a way, my plan continues to work? I guess?

Iím using my early advantages in Asia to distract Bart while Iíve been concentrating pretty much exclusively on Europe for the past few Turns. My plan left him with the hard choice to fight me from taking a game-winning control in Europe and leaving me with an eventually game-winning score in Asia, or to at least nerf me in Asia while I continue consolidating power in Europe.

He has now almost nerfed me in Asia, thanks in no small part to a genius bit of play this Turn so far (see prior entries) which didnít do me any favors in Europe either.

This leaves me with some hard choices of my own. Why?

1.) Iíve got three problematic cards of his which are not especially strong as Ops for me. One I can hold to the next Turn (I think), one I can burn on the Space Race this Turn, but one Iíll have to play for Ops. So Iíve got a hard choice about when to do that and what to sacrifice to him for doing so. Iím pretty sure doing this will only improve his Asia situation, so do I spend those Ops in Asia to soften the blow, or keep concentrating in Europe, or...?

2.) ...should I be trying to put enough influence in South America this Turn to make my eventual scoring there (which I have to do this Turn) worth anything more than a useless Round? Unfortunately, Iíve got no cards for events in SouthAm, although I do for Africa. Which should be coming up as a score soon, but I donít know when. Since Bart is ignoring Africa, he may not have that card yet either; but then Iíve been ignoring South America and Iíve got that scoring card! But should I be ignoring it, or...?

3.) ...should I continue to focus on Europe, where the right kind of score there can outright win the game automatically? After a point, thatís going to become a lot harder to do, and I donít think weíre at that point yet. So I should be making hay of Europe while the sun is still shining, right?

Getting my China Card back and (per the event which returned it) ready to play, helps a lot, because it gives me 4 Ops to work with, or 5 if I use it in Asia. But I canít use it for coups there. But itís naturally more useful in Asia, so that leads to...

4.) ...should I shift over to trying to get more points from a coming Asia score? My Iran/Paki War card is kind of useless now, too, unless I spend influence repairing that situation. (I canít spend the Ops on realignment there, because the game treats that like a coup except with no gain in military points for the Turn. With Bartís genius coup last Round, the Defcon marched down to 3 which shuts out further coups in Asia! -- also thus shutting out realignment attempts against his influence somewhere.)

In the end, after much consideration...
...
.......
..................

 


...I stayed the course. With a thousand points in the City of Lights. Or 2 points there. With 2 in Italy. Both from playing my China Card for Ops.

But that gives me control (for now) of Italy and France, which I might work on consolidating for the rest of this Turn, depending on what Bart does next.

Those seven (iirc) points I spent trying to score a measely point or two in Canada, though, are sure coming back to bite me in the butt. I could have been here with a 6:8 lead in West Germany by now (2 points to break his control, then another five raising me from 6:3 to 6:8).

Still, focus is paying off, even if I lament a lack of proper focus in my focus up to now.

Then Bart throws out a card to score all the VPs.

 


Keep in mind, he started this Round with a genius Military Op play, so heís not only ahead in MilOps, but also has fulfilled his budget for this Turn!

After squawking in panic, though, I realize heís playing the card for influence points instead.

...oh, of course, he needs to try to do something about my--

 


--uh... my... my goodness, he sacrificed 3 Victory Points to take over Angola and start on South Africa instead.

I figure this means he has the Africa scoring card, and is setting up for a nice VP run later -- rather than getting 3 now, heís hoping for 6 or 7 for the rest of the game.

Assuming I let him do that.

And assuming thereís a rest-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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    • The Evangelical Universalist
TURN FIVE -- ROUND 4

With Bart spreading capitalism among the diamond mines of southern Africa, I have a quick choice about whether to stay the course or to oppose this by decolonizing the Portugese colonies of--

 


-- yeah, no, Africa doesnít win the game for me, Europe does.

My only serious choice was what to sacrifice first out of my several remaining 2 point cards -- I choose the Arab/Paki War since it doesnít do me any good currently -- and whether to crack his control of West Germany or not.

Option 1.) I spend the 2 points against his control in West Germany, increasing my influence by 1. Result: he can take it back easily, and/or spend some influence similarly cracking my newly constituted control in Italy and France.

Option 2.) I spend the 2 points bringing Italy and France up to par with the rest of my controlled territories. Result: Bart will now need to sacrifice 4 influence just to crack my control anywhere there, but he can pour points into WestGerm similarly to make things hard for me. Which he could do anyway for Option 1.)

...um, of course, you already saw my snapshot, so you know which option I took already, right? Right. :) But thatís why.

So is Bart setting up for score in Africa?

 


Well, he deefffffffinitely played one of his stronger European cards for 3 more influence in Africa, 1 each in Botswana, Zaire, and South Africa, all for control.

 


Thatís an awfully strong maybe!
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.