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Twilight Strategy

A comprehensive strategy guide to Twilight Struggle


theory
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For Jill: a Special Relationship
Contents
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
New to Twilight Struggle? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Is Twilight Struggle for me? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
General Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
General Strategy: Events vs Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
General Strategy: Opening Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
General Strategy: Turn 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
General Strategy: DEFCON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
General Strategy: Reshuffles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
General Strategy: The Space Race . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
General Strategy: The AR7 Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
General Strategy: Realignments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Early War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Duck and Cover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Five Year Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Socialist Governments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Fidel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Vietnam Revolts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Blockade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Korean War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Romanian Abdication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Arab-Israeli War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Comecon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Nasser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Warsaw Pact Formed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
De Gaulle Leads France . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Captured Nazi Scientist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Truman Doctrine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
CONTENTS
Olympic Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
NATO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Independent Reds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Marshall Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Indo-Pakistani War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Containment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
CIA Created . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Suez Crisis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
East European Unrest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Decolonization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Red Scare/Purge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
UN Intervention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
De-Stalinization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Nuclear Test Ban . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Formosan Resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Defectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
The Cambridge Five . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Special Relationship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
NORAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Early War recap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Mid War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
Brush War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Arms Race . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Cuban Missile Crisis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Nuclear Subs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Quagmire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
SALT Negotiations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Bear Trap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
Summit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
How I Learned to Stop Worrying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Junta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Kitchen Debates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Missile Envy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
We Will Bury You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Brezhnev Doctrine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Portuguese Empire Crumbles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
South African Unrest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
Allende . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
Willy Brandt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Muslim Revolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
ABM Treaty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
CONTENTS
Cultural Revolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
Flower Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
U-2 Incident . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150
OPEC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
Lone Gunman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
Colonial Rear Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
Panama Canal Returned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
Camp David Accords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
Puppet Governments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
Grain Sales to Soviets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
John Paul II Elected Pope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
Latin American Death Squads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
OAS Founded . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Nixon Plays the China Card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Sadat Expels Soviets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Shuttle Diplomacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
The Voice of America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
Liberation Theology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
Ussuri River Skirmish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184
Alliance for Progress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
One Small Step . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
Che . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Our Man in Tehran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
Mid War recap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Late War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
Iranian Hostage Crisis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
The Iron Lady . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Reagan Bombs Libya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
Star Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
North Sea Oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
The Reformer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
Marine Barracks Bombing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208
Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
Glasnost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212
Ortega Elected in Nicaragua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214
Terrorism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216
Iran-Contra Scandal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218
Chernobyl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Latin American Debt Crisis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Tear Down This Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
An Evil Empire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226
CONTENTS
Aldrich Ames Remix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
Pershing II Deployed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
Wargames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232
Solidarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
Iran-Iraq War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237
Yuri and Samantha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239
AWACS Sale to Saudis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
Late War recap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243
Regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244
Regions: Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
Regions: Middle East . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Regions: Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250
Regions: South America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254
Regions: Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
Regions: Central America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261
Regions: Southeast Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263
Annotated Game #1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Early War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
Mid War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289
Late War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325
Annotated Game #2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 346
Early War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347
Mid / Late War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 373
Designers Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 413
Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 416
Copyright/Contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 418
Acknowledgments
Rob, who introduced me to boardgaming and taught me the value of depthgaming rather than
breadthgaming.
Jason Matthews and Ananda Gupta, who created Twilight Struggle.
Adam and Ross, who introduced me to Twilight Struggle.
But mostly all the readers of Dominion Strategy, who inspired me to start Twilight Strategy, and all
the readers of Twilight Strategy, who inspired me to keep going.
Introduction
This is a collection of articles originally posted on the blog Twilight Strategy. Written over the course
of 400 days, it has been a deeply rewarding experience. I hope I have succeeded in introducing more
people to this wonderful game.
This e-book is written with a standard game of Twilight Struggle in mind: Optional Cards used
and no Chinese Civil War variant. It is intended to supplement, rather than replace, the rulebook. It
therefore assumes a basic familiarity with the rules.
Some articles use a little bit of Twilight Struggle lingo; although most should be self-explanatory,
you can consult the Glossary at the end if you need any translation.
If youd like to discuss this e-book, or Twilight Struggle in general, please visit the Twilight Strategy
Forum.
Sister projects of Twilight Strategy include:
Dominion Strategy
Innovation Strategy
http://www.twilightstrategy.com
http://forum.twilightstrategy.com
http://www.dominionstrategy.com
http://innovation.boardgamestrategy.com
Getting Started
Getting Started 4
New to Twilight Struggle?
Twilight Struggle can be an intimidating game. But it doesnt have to be with the help of this
site, the forum, and perhaps a patient playing partner, you can find out for yourself why its the
top-ranked game on BoardGameGeek.
The first thing to know is that you do not need to memorize all the cards (yet). Eventually, after
playing a dozen or so times, you will know all the cards without having memorized them. But you
should not approach your first few games thinking that you need to memorize all the cards. Its
impractical, unrealistic, and unnecessary. Just have fun with the game and get a feel for how it
works.
The second thing to know is that it is natural to feel rather lost during your first few games. Thats
OK. But if you want a game where you feel like you know what youre doing your very first time,
Twilight Struggle is not the game for you. It requires at least two or three games before you can feel
comfortable.
The third thing to know is that if youre playing with an experienced player, and really want to
learn this game, you should play as the US and have your partner play as the USSR. At the beginner
level, this game tilts towards the USSR because the USSR starts the game with the initiative. For
this reason, you sometimes see people recommending that the beginner play the USSR. This is a
mistake. If you play the USSR in your first game, you wont get an accurate feel of how the game
flows because youre supposed to be the one driving it. If you play as US, you might get steamrolled
quickly in an hour or so, but youll understand the game a whole lot better, and itll make your
second play of the game as USSR that much more enjoyable.
The fourth thing to know is that if youre reading this, you probably want to enjoy this game. The
best way to make use of this book is via the General Strategy articles and the Annotated Games.
Once you have a decent grasp of the game, you can go through the individual card analyses.
Finally, theres a reason why a lengthy, 2-player-only Cold War wargame has made it to #1 on the
BoardGameGeek ranking. Its because despite all the x-factors working against the game, its still
a supreme triumph of design and narrative. It is my favorite game of all time, and most who have
played it will agree.
Getting Started 5
Is Twilight Struggle for me?
Youve heard about how Twilight Struggle is the number one rated game on BoardGameGeek. How
almost everyone whos ever played it has raved about it, called it one of their favorite games.
But youre hesitant. Is this game really for you? Youve never played something like it before. Its
not like any of the other BoardGameGeek Top 10 like Dominion or Power Grid.
In my mind, Twilight Struggle is the best board game ever made. But truthfully, it is not a game for
everyone. Candidly speaking, there are some real deal-breakers about it, and its better for you to
figure that out sooner rather than later.
Should you get Twilight Struggle? A six-question quiz.
1. Do you enjoy playing (and have opportunities to play) 2-player games?
2. Are you able to set aside enough time to play this game? Your first game might take up to 4
hours; once youve learned the rules, the longest game youll play is probably around 3 hours,
with the shortest being 1 hour and the average being 2 hours. This varies by playgroup, of
course, but this is not a filler game!
3. Do you enjoy games that require a lot of thinking?
4. Do you enjoy games that are extremely tense and nerve-wracking?
5. Are you OK with games that have a small but not insignificant luck component?
6. Are you OK with the fact that it may take you two or three plays to really understand the
game?
If you answered no to several of these questions, then sadly Twilight Struggle is probably not the
ideal game for you.
Note that these questions did not include Do you enjoy Cold War history? or Do you enjoy
wargames?. Although fans of Cold War history and/or wargames will love this game even more,
most people who enjoy Twilight Struggle have not had much prior interest in the Cold War or
wargames.
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you will probably enjoy Twilight Struggle and
in fact it will probably be your favorite game.
General Strategy
General Strategy 7
General Strategy: Events vs Operations
The overarching paradigm of Twilight Struggle is that events create opportunities, and Operations
are how you take advantage of those opportunities. Accordingly, you should treat events not as
your primary source of influence, but rather as gamechangers that break open the game for your
Operations.
The basis for this principle is the observation that Operations are generally more efficient than
events, even if the event technically gives more influence. The Comecon event gives the USSR 4
influence, but theyre spread out and in a rather useless place. By contrast, the 3 Ops of the Comecon
card can be played as a strong coup, can take over a crucial battleground, or can extend and create
threats all over the board.
On the other hand, by the Mid War, many regions begin to degenerate into stalemates. Once your
opponent controls a country, its hugely inefficient to try to break their control with Operations
alone. Sometimes its still worth it, but you need to be at a significant Ops advantage (or take multiple
Actions in a row) to take over an opponent-controlled country with pure Ops. Alternatively, maybe
you just dont have access to the region: without coup targets, all the Operations in the world arent
going to get the USSR into the Americas.
This is where events come in. Their effects can have dramatic ramifications and shake up otherwise
deadlocked regions. USSR secure in Africa? Boom, Nuclear Subs and all of a sudden all the
battlegrounds are yours. US is dominating Europe? Bam, Socialist Governments headline, and now
an AR1 Europe Scoring is -5 instead of +5.
A large part of Twilight Struggle skill is therefore recognizing which events to trigger, and when to
trigger them. Some events are so powerful that you will almost never see them played for Operations
(ABM Treaty, Decolonization, Grain Sales to Soviets), and some are so awful youll never even
remember their event text (Summit, Nuclear Test Ban). But most events are somewhere in between.
Knowing when you should press on with your Operations and when you need to call upon an event
is a hallmark of a strong player.
Agood example is Red Scare/Purge. The event text is unbelievably strong: it can cause your opponent
to flat-out lose the game. But while a weaker player will tend to automatically headline the card,
seeing only the advantages and opportunities of -1 to your opponents Ops, a strong player will
also spot the potential benefits of being able to play 4 Ops at once (one of only five Early War 4
Ops cards), and recognize when Red Scare/Purge ends up being more beneficial when played for
Operations.
To get better at this differentiation, it is helpful to classify the cards in the game into four categories:
your opponents starred events, your own starred events, neutral starred events, and recurring
events. With your own events, you are choosing between the Ops and the event; with your
opponents events, you are choosing between the Ops minus the event effect or the Space Race.
Your opponents starred events
Your opponents starred events can only happen once in the game. Prior to Turn 7, therefore, you
General Strategy 8
should seek to trigger them whenever possible better that you control its one-time effect than
your opponent rather than discarding them (by playing them on the Space Race, or by playing it
with UN Intervention) and letting them be reshuffled into the deck. Some examples:
The US should always try to get Warsaw Pact Formed out of the way as soon as possible,
since 5 influence for the USSR is infinitely preferable to the looming threat of being able to
instantly remove all US influence in eastern Europe.
A US player that draws De Gaulle Leads France can play it with an empty France and then
place the 3Ops into France to make it 3/1. On the other hand, a USSR player that draws De
Gaulle can headline it and then take France easily on AR1.
The USSR should play Containment and Nuclear Subs on the final Action Round of a turn,
where they have the least effect, rather than send them to space only for the US to draw them
back and play them more effectively.
Truman Doctrine is useless in the USSR hand, because the USSR can just play it as soon as
they have no uncontrolled countries. On the other hand, a US player can time its play for
maximum effect, by, for instance, breaking USSR control of France on the final Action Round,
and then headlining Truman Doctrine the next turn to wipe out 3+ USSR influence from a
critical country.
Many beginner US players will find ways to discard or cancel Blockade from being played.
This is a mistake. If you draw Blockade and can safely play, you should usually do so, rather
than allow the USSR to spring a nasty surprise on you in the Mid War.
Only the truly critical opponents starred events, the ones you have no ability to manage, should
be sent to space. These include (but are not limited to!) De-Stalinization, Tear Down This Wall, The
Reformer, and Quagmire/Bear Trap. These are usually either so strong, or so suicidal for you to play,
that you would prefer to assume the risk of your opponent controlling how its played rather than
play it yourself.
However, if youre on Turn 7 or later, you no longer need to worry about the removing vs
discarding distinction. For all practical purposes, you can safely discard cards knowing they will
almost certainly not return to the game. The draw deck reshuffles on Turn 3 and Turn 7; its
occasionally reshuffled on Turn 10, but thats quite rare. Of course, you still wont be able to space
every card you see, and will still have to deal with some of the events, but you no longer have to
worry that cards sent to space will return to your opponents hand.
Your starred events
Most of these you want to keep around in the deck, since you would rather your opponent have a
hand full of your events than full of his. Sometimes the effect of a card is the same no matter who
plays it: neither side particularly cares who triggers Willy Brandt or NATO. (In other words, these
are generally bad events.) Sometimes a card is only dangerous because your opponent is playing it:
CIA Created, for instance. Sometimes the looming threat of the card is more effective than the card
itself: Truman Doctrines continued presence in the deck is often enough to deter the USSR from
engaging in an influence war in Europe.
General Strategy 9
But there are also times when you must trigger your own starred events:
1. Because they will be meaningless or crippled in your opponents hands: see, e.g., Contain-
ment/Brezhnev Doctrine, Ask Not What Your Country, Cultural Revolution.
2. Because they are so critical that your opponent will never play them for you, and certainly
send to space: see, e.g., De-Stalinization and John Paul II Elected Pope.
3. Because if you dont play it now, its effect will be meaningless later: see, e.g., Vietnam Revolts
and Puppet Governments.
4. Because if you dont play it now, it may never get played. You really hope the USSR will draw
CIA Created, but if you draw it on Turn 7 as the US, dont hold out hope that the USSR will
somehow draw it again by the end of the game. Just play it if you need it.
Neutral starred events
There arent many of these. Consider playing them so your opponent cant. This is especially true of
SALT Negotiations: even if you cant make good use of it, you dont really want your US opponent
using it to play The Voice of America again.
Recurring events
Since these events will trigger over and over again, you dont have to worry about removing them
from the deck. So when playing neutral or your own recurring events, the general principle applies:
do you really need the event? Or are the Ops going to be better? Latin American Death Squads
maybe gives you one coup bonus, but the 2 Ops is almost certainly superior. On the other hand,
Liberation Theology is also 2 Ops, but it gives you 3 influence, is not adjacency-restricted, can be
played into US-controlled countries with no penalty, and is in a fairly critical region. As US, Duck
and Cover is usually played for the 3 Ops, but towards the end of the game, the 3VP / denial of a
USSR coup may be worth considerably more. (As a general rule, most of the neutral recurring events
are pretty strong. ABM Treaty, Brush War, Junta, and Red Scare/Purge are all among the best events
in the game.)
Theres no real advantage to playing your opponents recurring events instead of spacing them. The
only relevant question, therefore, is whether its worth sending to space or using the Ops. Since you
ordinarily only have one Space Race slot per turn, you have no choice but to work around most of
your opponents recurring events.
Generally, this is accomplished by triggering the event before playing the Ops (with exceptions:
the US can preemptively defend against Arab-Israeli War with the Ops, for instance). Socialist
Governments and East European Unrest are not really problems when you can just replace the
Influence lost. But some dont give you enough Ops to fix the problem: youll rarely be able to
repair the damage done by Decolonization and The Voice of America, and so those are just going to
have to go to space. And certain cards are flatout irreparable: Grain Sales is a canonical example of
a card the USSR must keep sending back to space instead of losing by thermonuclear war.
General Strategy 10
General Strategy: Opening Setup
Each side begins the game with the ability to place Influence in Europe. (Note that this is Influence,
not Operations points for influence.) The USSR can place up to 6 in Eastern Europe, while the US
can place 7 in Western Europe.
As USSR
The standard opening setup for the USSR is 4 East Germany, 4 Poland, 1 Yugoslavia. There is rarely
any reason to deviate from this setup. As USSR, you overcontrol your two battleground countries,
vulnerable to East European Unrest and Mid/Late War events. Your 1 influence in Yugoslavia
provides you with access to Italy, keeping your options open, as well as Greece. Occasionally, you
will see people play into Bulgaria, as it also provides access to Greece and is the only Eastern
European country inaccessible from the rest of Eastern Europe. But it does not provide access to
Italy.
Alternatively, the Comecon Trap setup is 3 East Germany, 4 Austria, 2 Yugoslavia. You headline
Comecon, gaining you control of Austria and Yugoslavia. (You can also do this with Warsaw Pact
Formed, but Warsaw Pact is a critical card for the USSR in the Late War.) On AR1 of Turn 1, you
are now able to realign West Germany and Italy at +1. Against a standard US setup, if you are
successful, you can obliterate the US position in Europe in a single play. However, this gambit is
risky: not only are you not couping Iran (thereby allowing US unfettered access to western Asia),
but it can be easily thwarted by a US headline of Defectors, Truman Doctrine (if they played enough
into Austria), Duck and Cover, or even Marshall Plan.
As US
The standard opening setup for the US is 4 West Germany, 3 Italy. As USA, you take the two
safest battlegrounds in Western Europe, and the overcontrol of Italy guards against a Socialist
Governments headline and/or T1 Italy coup.
If you have Marshall Plan in your opening hand and plan to headline it, you can open with 3 West
Germany, 2 Italy, 1 Greece, 1 Turkey. You still end up with the same 4/3 in West Germany and
Italy, but you get two of the three critical Mediterranean non-battleground countries (the only two
that the USSR has easy access to) and make it very difficult for the USSR to ever score Domination
against you.
There are several reasons why you may want to leave West Germany empty. For example, you fear
Red Scare/Purge + Blockade, when you have no cards to discard, or alternatively, you hold both
Blockade and De-Stalinization in hand and want to play Blockade without discarding any card this
turn (so that you can hold De-Stal through the reshuffle). In such situations (assuming you lack
Marshall Plan), you can open with 4 Italy, 1 Greece, 1 Austria, 1 Turkey. This guards Italy against
Socialist Governments followed by a coup or Duck & Cover, provides an additional adjacency to
Italy in case Socialist Governments removes adjacency to Italy and you get couped out, and provides
access to West Germany so that you can threaten to take it immediately.
General Strategy 11
General Strategy: Turn 1
The first turn of Twilight Struggle is arguably the most important one. An empty board means that
the board is rife with both opportunity and pitfalls. Even the smallest mistake early on can have
dramatic ramifications: misplaying into Asia on Turn 1 can easily cost you Asia domination for the
rest of the game.
As USSR
There are five great USSR headlines on Turn 1: Red Scare/Purge, Suez Crisis, Arab-Israeli War,
Socialist Governments, and Vietnam Revolts. The benefits of Red Scare/Purge are obvious. Suez
Crisis (and Arab-Israeli War, with a 50% probability) plus a successful Iran coup will wipe the US
out from the Middle East entirely. Socialist Governments allows you to make a strong play for
Europe. Vietnam Revolts provides you with immediate access to Thailand and all but guarantees
youll be able to take it before the US does.
On AR1, you realistically only have two options: coup Iran, or coup / play for Italy. Traditionally,
USSR players made a play for Italy, but modern Twilight Struggle thinking is that access to Pakistan
and India is simply too important. The Iran coup is critical not just for the Middle East, but also
to secure western Asia against the US. Letting the US into Iran means letting them into two Asian
battlegrounds, and makes it very difficult for you to prevent Asian Domination.
As far as the rest of the turn goes, you have several priorities. In Europe, its usually difficult to break
through to France, so you can only content yourself with nabbing Greece/Turkey. In the Middle East,
an early Nasser can net you both Egypt and Libya, and if the US is still in Israel, taking Jordan and/or
Lebanon puts some real pressure on the US position. Their only option for presence would then be an
Israel incredibly vulnerable to Arab-Israeli War. In Asia, assuming you successfully took Iran, you
want to expand eastward from western Asia (while watching out for the Indo-Pakistani War), while
for keeping alert for an opportunity to grab South Korea and Thailand. Obviously Decolonization
and Vietnam Revolts will help greatly with the latter.
As US
Assuming the USSR takes Iran, you have quite a few priorities:
1. Protect Israel via Lebanon and/or Jordan.
2. Make your way through Egypt into Libya before Nasser wipes you out.
3. Gun for Thailand via Malaysia, being mindful that Asian countries can be couped at DEFCON
4.
4. Shore up South Korea while guarding against the Korean War.
5. When you have a chance, take Greece and Turkey before the USSR does.
If the USSR opening coup of Iran is too good, then I wouldnt bother dropping DEFCON to 3 by
couping Iran back. You not only risk being couped back if you succeed, but the USSR may be able
to take Thailand first with Decolonization if you dont succeed. On the other hand, if the coup was
General Strategy 12
weak, then Im willing to gamble on the Iran coup in hopes of getting something into western Asia.
Overall, Id much rather have the last coup of the turn than the second-to-last.
On the whole, your goal should be to survive rather than triumph. All of the initiative is with the
USSR; your main objective is simply not to fall behind too much in board position and VPs. You
should accept the fact that you will almost certainly be behind in VPs at the end of the Early War.
Thats OK, so long as you arent losing in every region. Recognize when one region is beyond repair
with just Ops, so you can cut your losses and be content to tread water there until you are able to
take advantage of a major event to shake things up.
General Strategy 13
General Strategy: DEFCON
One of the most important rules in Twilight Struggle is that you lose the game if DEFCON drops to
1 on your turn. It doesnt matter who caused it: if it happened on your watch, youre responsible
for humanitys destruction.
Its a very important rule because it ties directly into the paranoia and brinksmanship of Cold War
doctrine. In most games of Twilight Struggle, DEFCON is deliberately kept at 2 nearly all the time.
Coups in battleground countries are so vital that both sides naturally gravitate towards DEFCON 2.
Generally this means that the USSR is more than happy to get the one battleground coup per turn,
and keep DEFCON at 2 otherwise.
The cost of this brinksmanship is illustrated through several cards that are deliberately designed to
degrade DEFCON by one level. With DEFCON at 2, these cards become DEFCON suicide cards
and unplayable.
Loosely speaking, there are four categories of cards that can cost you the game.
Cards that unconditionally degrade DEFCON
Duck & Cover (Early War, US 3Ops)
We Will Bury You (Mid War, USSR 4Ops)
Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 (Late War, US 4Ops)
You can never trigger these events on your turn when DEFCON is at 2.
Cards that allow your opponent to conduct Operations
CIA Created (Early War, US 1Op)
Lone Gunman (Mid War, USSR 1Op)
Grain Sales to Soviets (Mid War, US 2Ops)
Tear Down This Wall (Late War, US 3Ops)
You can never play your opponents events from this list on your turn when DEFCON is 2 and
your opponent can drop DEFCON by couping a battleground of yours (keeping in mind DEFCON
restrictions). So if the US has any influence in a battleground in South America, Central America, or
Africa, Lone Gunman is unplayable. Similarly, the USSR can play CIA Created at DEFCON 2 safely
in the Early War only if they have no influence in Third World battlegrounds. This is one reason
why playing Fidel is not such a big deal for the US in the Early War, since it makes CIA Created
unplayable.
Practically speaking, these cards are indistinguishable from unconditional DEFCON degraders. Only
CIA Created comes out early enough such that the USSR might not have any Third World influence;
by the time Lone Gunman and Grain Sales arrive, you would already be far behind if you have no
General Strategy 14
influence in battlegrounds in South America, Central America, or Africa. In truly extreme situations,
you might be able to eliminate yourself from those regions preemptively in order to play one of these
cards.
Note that Tear Down This Wall is also included in this category, because it allows a coup in Europe
despite DEFCON restrictions. Although it is theoretically possible that the USSR has no influence
in any European battleground, they may as well resign anyway if thats the case.
Cards that have a chance of degrading DEFCON
Five Year Plan (Early War, US 3Ops)
If played by the US, can pull Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 or Duck & Cover. If played
by the USSR, can trigger any of the other cards on this list in the USSRs hand.
Missile Envy (Mid War, Neutral 2Ops)
Although this event wont trigger any of your opponents events, it can still pull any your
own unconditional DEFCON degraders. Many a US player has played this at DEFCON
2 only to be handed Duck & Cover. It can also cost you the game if it pulls one of the
neutral DEFCON degraders, though the chance of Summit being the highest Ops card
in your opponents hand is quite small.
Ortega Elected in Nicaragua (Late War, USSR 2Ops)
Only unplayable for the US if it has influence in Cuba.
Star Wars (Late War, US 2Ops)
The USSR will lose if it plays this while the US is ahead in the Space Race, and any of
the other cards on this list is in the discard. (Including USSR events like We Will Bury
You.)
Neutral events that degrade DEFCON
Olympic Games (Early War, Neutral 2Ops)
Summit (Mid War, Neutral 1Op)
These are not really a problem, since you would have to be daft to play either of these for the event
at DEFCON 2. Simply play them for Operations and you wont lose the game. The only way these
can really cost you the game is if you pull them with Missile Envy.
Managing these cards
At its heart, Twilight Struggle is a game about managing crises. So how do you manage these crises?
Obviously, its easy to deal with neutral events and your own events (just dont play Olympic Games
for the event at DEFCON 2!), but how do you dispose of your opponents events without losing the
game?
The easiest way is the Space Race. Virtually every card on this list can be sent to space. On the other
hand, you can usually only space one card per turn, and in the case of CIA Created / Lone Gunman,
General Strategy 15
you cant space those unless under the effects of Brezhnev Doctrine / Containment. And if youre
under the effects of Red Scare/Purge, your hand suddenly looks a lot more dire.
So sometimes you wont be able to Space Race a card. At that point, you might want to consider
holding the card until next turn. If you have the China card, this is considerably easier; if you play
the China card, you can even hold two cards. (SALT Negotiations also helps you hold one more card.)
If you dont have the China card, this becomes a very risky proposition: youre quite vulnerable to
any handsize reduction. A USSR play of Blockade, Terrorism, or Aldrich Ames Remix, or a US play
of Five Year Plan, Grain Sales to Soviets, or Terrorism can cost you the game. Even your own play
of UN Intervention can lose you the game, and boy will that be an embarrassing way to lose.
Speaking of which, UN Intervention is also a natural solution to this problem. Its probably better
to use UN on one of these cards than on, say, The Voice of America, since even though Voice of
America is going to hurt, losing the game hurts more. On the other hand, you wont always draw
UN Intervention, and playing it will cut your handsize, a problem if you have multiple such cards.
And the cards that you most want to use UN Intervention on CIA Created and Lone Gunman
will just get reshuffled back into the deck if you dont trigger the event.
With some foresight, you can also headline the card. Usually the USSR is unwilling to lower
DEFCON during their headline, so its generally safe for the US to play a DEFCON-lowering
headline. USSR can likewise wait until AR1 to play cards like CIA Created, since US headlines
generally trigger first, and this way you can play something else if the US lowers DEFCON to 2
during headline phase. Of course, this solution isnt guaranteed safe as your opponents headline
may drop DEFCON first, and CIA Created / Lone Gunman are deliberately designed for maximum
hurt when played in the headline phase.
More rarely, you can use events to help you get out of the jam. Nuclear Test Ban and SALT
Negotiations both raise DEFCON by two levels, so even if your opponent drops DEFCON in
response, youll still be able to play your cards at DEFCON 3. Cuban Missile Crisis will stop your
opponent from couping anywhere in the world (and it takes precedence over victories by DEFCON),
but its easily cancelled, so it usually doesnt work. Brezhnev Doctrine and Containment allow you
to send CIA Created and Lone Gunman to space. As USSR, you can take advantage of Nuclear Subs
to stop US coups from dropping DEFCON. As US, Ask Not What Your Country can discard any
of these cards, and Aldrich Ames Remix (if played as your last Action) discards your last card. And
of course, if you are sufficiently advanced on the Space Race track, you can discard your held card.
General Strategy 16
General Strategy: Reshuffles
In a typical game of Twilight Struggle, the draw deck will reshuffle while dealing out the cards for
Turns 3 and 7. Occasionally, the deck will reshuffle immediately before Turn 10 as well.
What this means is that cards can fall into one of several categories:
Any card played or discarded on Turns 1 and 2 will be guaranteed to be redrawn between
Turns 3-7
Any card played or discarded on Turns 3-6 will not be redrawn until Turns 7-10
Any card played or discarded on Turn 7 or later will probably not be redrawn, and if it is, it
would only be on Turn 10
Note that this is not a perfect overlap with when the cards come out:
All Early War cards are guaranteed to be drawn between Turns 1-3
All Mid War cards are shuffled in on Turn 4, and therefore are guaranteed to be drawn between
Turns 4-7
All Late War cards are shuffled in on Turn 8, and will be drawn only on Turns 8-10 (if at all)
What does this mean strategically? It means that when discarding your opponents vital events,
you want to discard them on Turns 3 and 7, rather than on Turns 2 or 6.
This is most commonly applied to the two most important Early War events in the game:
Decolonization and De-Stalinization. They are far and away the most important cards to draw,
even more important than Red Scare/Purge. So as a US player, if I draw either or both in the Early
War, I will do my best to hold onto them until Turn 3 before discarding them with Blockade, the
Space Race, or UN Intervention. This guarantees that they cannot be reintroduced to the deck until
Turn 7 at the earliest. If I sent Decolonization to space on Turn 2, by contrast, it could come back at
Turn 3 at the earliest, and not later than Turn 7. Its a huge difference that dramatically changes the
dynamics of the game.
It is therefore very important to consider what cards you hold on Turns 2 and 6, because those held
cards wont be coming back into the game for a very long time (if at all). For instance, if, as US, you
are choosing between triggering the Voice of America event vs the John Paul II Elected Pope event
on Turn 6, you should choose Voice of America, because it might come back again next turn, and
hold John Paul. Its not a huge deal for John Paul to be played on Turn 7, since he can only happen
once anyway. Similarly, as USSR, if you are debating between playing Arab-Israeli War or Defectors
for Operations on Turn 2, you should play Arab-Israeli War now and hold Defectors until Turn 3 so
that you can have worry-free headlines between from Turns 3-6.
This also somewhat affects the Our Man in Tehran event, which is much more helpful on Turn 7
than on Turn 6, and SALT Negotiations, which is exactly the opposite.
General Strategy 17
General Strategy: The Space Race
The number one mistake beginning players make in Twilight Struggle is to send too many cards off
to space. Among strong players, you rarely see either player make it to Stage 4 (Man in Earth Orbit
in the Deluxe Edition, Man in Space in the First/Second Editions) where they can see the opponents
headline first, and it is especially rare to see any progress beyond that.
The reason for this is that Ops are paramount. An Action Round spent on the Space Race is an Action
Round that you arent putting pressure on your opponent or countering his threats. However much
your opponents event might sting, it is often more important to get the Ops you need in the regions
that you want it, and on this very Action instead of waiting a round.
This is especially true if you are holding your opponents starred events: if the event can only happen
once, you would usually rather control howit is triggered and mitigate its effect immediately, instead
of potentially letting your opponent trigger it later at a much more inconvenient time.
As discussed earlier, the real job of the Space Race is to discard truly awful opponent events that
you cannot mitigate in any meaningful way. In this context, truly awful means:
cards that will immediately lose you the game (e.g., DEFCON suicide cards)
cards that provide your opponent access to a region (e.g., De-Stalinization)
cards that remove your access to a region (e.g., Voice of America)
cards whose Ops value is not enough to repair its damage (e.g., Ussuri River Skirmish)
cards that give your opponent multiple plays in a row (e.g., Quagmire/Bear Trap)
cards that give your opponent lots of VPs (e.g., OPEC)
If you have none of these truly irreparable cards to space, then you can also consider spacing:
recurring cards that are empty action rounds for you: i.e., you spend your action round
repairing whatever damage the event causes (e.g., Socialist Governments)
The Space Races VPs are usually not a big deal. They tend to matter more to the USSR, who is
usually disadvantaged in Final Scoring and would like to end the game in the Early/Mid War or a
Turn 8 Wargames. On the other hand, the USSR is much more vulnerable to Space Race success: a
USSR player that makes it to Stage 4 too quickly can no longer space cards of 2 Ops or fewer, and
there are enough bad US 2 Ops events that getting to Stage 4 too early can be a serious liability.
The Space Races special text is slightly more interesting: the space-two-cards perk is nice if you are
holding multiple bad cards, and seeing your opponents headline is of course a powerful advantage.
In addition, Star Wars helps keeps some interest in the Space Race towards the Late War, as the ability
to play any card in the discard (as opposed to just draw, like with SALT Negotiations) is exceedingly
powerful. As for the Space Race bonuses beyond that, if you are regularly reaching them, you should
seriously reconsider how much you are investing in outer space, versus how much you are investing
on planet Earth. Unlike in Civilization, there is no Alpha Centauri victory in this game!
General Strategy 18
As USSR
These are the US events that I tend to Space Race. The top priority is DEFCON suicide cards:
Title Reasoning
CIA Created* Only possible under Brezhnev Doctrine. Not much of a problem if
DEFCON is at 3 or higher, or if you have no influence in a Mid War
battleground.
Grain Sales to Soviets The handsize reduction means this is probably unplayably bad even at
DEFCON 3 or higher.
Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007* Not at all a problem if DEFCON is high. If necessary, you can get
around the South Korea problem by using the 4 Ops to break US control
of South Korea.
Star Wars* If behind on the Space Race. Even if it doesnt lead to DEFCON suicide,
its usually too strong to allow to trigger.
Tear Down This Wall* Even if DEFCON isnt at 2, this is still just absolutely brutal for the
USSR.
As for non-DEFCON suicide cards:
Title Reasoning
East European Unrest Only in the Late War is it truly a problem; in the Early War its an empty
Action Round at best, though if you overprotect East Germany and Poland it
doesnt even have to be.
Five Year Plan Heavily depends on what else is in my hand, but if it would trigger one of
these other cards, especially a DEFCON suicide card, then its just as deadly.
NORAD* If I have a luxury of Ops on Turn 3, then I will space it. On Turns 1 or 2 I will
probably play it for Ops.
Special Relationship Only if NATO is in effect and the US controls the UK.
Alliance for Progress* Once it scores high enough for the US.
Bear Trap* Because playing it on yourself is too painful.
Colonial Rear Guards Unless you were in a truly dominant position in Africa, 2 Ops is just not
enough to counter its effects.
John Paul II Elected Pope* Its own event is bad enough, but it also enables Solidarity later on. If youre
desperate, though, you can trigger this if you know Warsaw Pact is still in
the deck.
Our Man in Tehran* I would very much like to space this, but find that I usually cant spare the
Ops. Occasionally you can use it to break control of the only US country in
the Middle East.
Puppet Governments* Definitely a Space Race on Turn 4; by Turn 7, its usually worthless.
The Voice of America No real way to mitigate this. Early in the Mid War, it will kill your access;
late in the Mid War, the US player will have too many options.
Ussuri River Skirmish* Especially when the US has a face-up China Card, though Im tempted to do
so regardless of the China Cards status.
AWACS Sales to Saudis* Can be nice to keep around if Muslim Revolution is still in the draw deck.
Very low on the priority list of things to go to space, though.
General Strategy 19
Title Reasoning
Solidarity* Only if John Paul II is in effect and if I cant count on Warsaw Pact.
General Strategy 20
As US
These are the USSR events that I tend to Space Race. Again, the top priority is obviously DEFCON
suicide cards:
Title Reasoning
Lone Gunman* Only possible under Containment. Not much of a problem if DEFCON is
at 3 or higher.
We Will Bury You* Playable at DEFCON 3 or higher, but the VP penalty is harsh.
Ortega Elected in Nicaragua Only if I have influence in Cuba.
And the non-DEFCON cards:
Title Reasoning
Decolonization Doubly harsh in the Early War because of the access it provides to the USSR.
This is always a space race for the US, but in the Early War I try to hold it to
Turn 3 before spacing it to keep it out of the Turn 3 reshuffle.
De-Stalinization* Game-changingly powerful because of the access it provides to the USSR. In
the Early War I try to hold it to Turn 3 before spacing it to keep it out of the
Turn 3 reshuffle. By Turn 7 or so this event is probably useless and can be used
for Ops instead.
Fidel* Only if I see him on Turn 3 or later, and have a luxury of Ops.
Socialist Governments Only because it is otherwise an empty Action Round anyway.
Liberation Theology 2 Ops is not enough to counter 3 influence and the critical access provided.
Muslim Revolution Only if the damage is too severe and irreparable. Not a big deal if you can
recontrol Libya / Egypt; a much bigger problem if you lose Iraq / Saudi Arabia.
OPEC Depending how many VPs it scores. It usually scores a lot.
Quagmire* Because playing it on yourself is too painful.
South African Unrest The damage is not hard to repair, but its harmful enough that theres no need
to trigger it if you have nothing else you want to send to space.
Glasnost* Only if The Reformer has been played. Otherwise, it is a nice card for the US:
an ABM Treaty you pay 2VP to use.
Iranian Hostage Crisis* Only if I control Iran and/or fear that Terrorism may be played against me.
The Reformer* An empty Action Round at best, but the fact that it activates Glasnost is good
enough reason to conscript Mr. Gorbachev into NASA.
General Strategy 21
General Strategy: The AR7 Play
Overview
The AR7 Play refers to any US play on the final Action Round of the turn (AR6 on Turns 1-3, AR7
thereafter) intended to overload the USSRs first Action Round in the next turn. The AR7 play is the
cornerstone of advanced American strategy and one of the main ways to seize initiative from the
USSR.
The key to the AR7 play lies in DEFCON. At the beginning of most turns, DEFCON will rise to 3,
and so each turn the USSR would like to coup a battleground on AR1 in order to drop DEFCON
to 2 and block the US from battleground coups. The AR7 play therefore attempts to create a crisis
for the USSR that cannot be addressed until AR1 of the next turn. By timing this crisis to arrive
simultaneously with the USSRs DEFCON obligation, the US hopes to overload the USSRs AR1,
and force the USSR into one of two unpalatable choices: either address the AR7 crisis (and give the
US the battleground coup) or drop DEFCON (and allow the US to capitalize on its AR7 play).
There are three types of AR7 plays: breaking USSR control, playing into a non-battleground, and
managing bad USSR events.
1. Breaking USSR control of a country
This is the most common AR7 play. You place influence into a USSR-controlled country (lets say
Pakistan), enough to break control. On AR1 of next turn, the USSR must either restore its control of
Pakistan (allowing you to coup a battleground) or coup a battleground (allowing you to play a high
Ops card into Pakistan to flip the country to capitalism). Either way, you end up sacrificing very
little to gain something significant.
Ideally, you want to break control of a country that is not coupable at DEFCON 3. For instance, if
you broke USSR control of Nigeria, the USSR could just coup Nigeria on AR1 and kill both birds
with one stone.
However, it may still be worthwhile to break control of a Mid War battleground if you have
an obviously desirable battleground coup target. For instance, if you hold South Africa, Angola,
Botswana, and Zaire to the USSRs Algeria, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe (and therefore have African
domination), the USSR is almost certainly going to coup Zaire on AR1 to gain Domination. However,
if you use your final AR play on Algeria, then the USSR is no longer able to flip Domination with a
single play. Regardless of which country he coups, youll be able to maintain the 3-2 battleground
split.
The most flexible way of making this AR7 play is with Operations, but there are many events that
accomplish something similar: John Paul II Elected Pope, Panama Canal Returned, OAS Founded,
General Strategy 22
etc. These are all events that benefit from being played on the last Action Round of a turn because
they are otherwise easy to respond to.
Breaking control on the final AR is most effective when it disrupts the scoring situation in the region
for example, turning USSR Domination into Presence or US Presence into Domination. It presents
a much more critical crisis for the USSR, and in addition, the US is able to threaten headlining the
scoring card (which may in turn force a suboptimal USSR headline in response).
2. Playing into non-battleground countries
Sometimes youll find yourself needing a cheap non-battleground country. Simply playing into it
may just invite a back-and-forth coup war. The AR7 play gives you an opportunity at at least one
uninterrupted turn in that country, to exploit as necessary.
Colombia is a common example, since it is a cheap non-battleground that allows access to the
lucrative South America region. But a US player that plays into Colombia, intending to move onto
Venezuela, will soon find himself couped out by the USSR. Worst case scenario, a strong USSR coup
might mean this play actually lets the USSR into South America unopposed.
The better approach is to place an influence into Colombia as an AR7 play. On the next turn, the
USSR now faces a dilemma: coup a battleground country to drop DEFCON (thereby allowing the
US to play into Venezuela), or coup Colombia to deny Venezuela access (thereby allowing the US to
coup a battleground country).
However, it is important to note that if the USSR goes ahead and coups Colombia, the US now faces
the same dilemma. In other words, if the US is going to allow the USSR into South America, it
needs strong compensation (a lucrative coup target, or saving an important US battleground from
being couped) or little downside (for example, if the USSR is already in South America via De-
Stalinization).
Another common approach is the use of non-battleground countries as realignment boosts. Once
Fidel takes over Cuba, most good USSR players will respond to US control of Nicaragua (relevant
because of its Cuba realignment modifier) by couping the US out of the country. But no USSR player
is going to coup Nicaragua on AR1, and so therefore an AR7 play into Nicaragua usually assures at
least one turns worth of realignment against Fidel at +1.
Finally, you may want a cheap non-battleground to threaten a quick Domination. If you meet all
other conditions for South America domination, but just need a non-battleground country, consider
controlling Colombia with your AR7 play. This creates headaches for the USSR: if he coups a
battleground elsewhere, and you happen to have South America scoring, youll be able to score
the Domination without the USSR contesting it by couping Colombia back and forth.
3. Disposing of bad USSR events
The last type of AR7 play is when you have a strong USSR event that you have no choice but to
trigger. For instance, De Gaulle (while under Purge) and Muslim Revolution both open up the board
for the USSR and create opportunities for the USSRs Ops. If you had played them during the turn,
then the USSR would be able to use his Ops in the next Action Round to take advantage. By playing
such events as an AR7 play, however, you force that decision onto their AR1. This doesnt gain you
General Strategy 23
anything, but it does help mitigate the effects. Before, if you played a Red Scared De Gaulle, you
would lose France. Now, either you dont lose France, or you do lose it but get a battleground coup
as compensation.
Vietnam Revolts and Brezhnev Doctrine also sort of fit in here, since playing them on AR7 minimizes
their impact, but those are a special case.
Headlines
Between the final AR and the first AR of the next turn comes the headline phase. It is easy here for
the AR7 play to fail. The USSR can headline a direct counter to your play: maybe Decolonization
(or other influence-dropping cards) wipes out all hopes you had of Africa domination. Quagmire
takes away your AR1 and gives the USSR two ARs in a row. Socialist Governments can remove the
influence put in by the AR7 play. A card like We Will Bury You drops DEFCON in the headline phase
and earns VPs to boot, allowing the USSR to address your AR7 play on AR1. In fact, any headline
that discharges the USSRs DEFCON obligation (Junta, Cuban Missile Crisis) nullifies the point of
the AR7 play.
The US can even interfere with its own plan. Suppose you headline Grain Sales to Soviets, take a
card from the USSR, and use it to coup. Well, thats good, but now youve nullified your own AR7
play. Not that you shouldnt still headline Grain Sales (probably the best card in the game for the
US), but you may want to consider holding it to next turns headline where it wont interfere with
your AR7 play. Worst of all would be headlining something like Cuban Missile Crisis, needlessly
dropping DEFCON and freely taking the dilemma off of the USSRs hands.
On the other hand, the US headline can accentuate and compound the AR7 crisis. Truman Doctrine
is the best example of this: an AR7 play into France, breaking USSR control, is normally not that
effective, because if the USSR ignores it and coups, you ordinarily dont have enough Ops to flip
France in a single play. But a Truman Doctrine headline that eliminates USSR influence in France
makes your AR7 play much stronger and much less ignorable. It is a variant on the typical USSR
headline-AR1 combo.
USSR counters on AR1
Outside of headline counters (described above), there are a few other counters to this tactic. Duck
& Cover is the canonical example: it trades 3VP for the ability to lower DEFCON while placing
influence. It is the all-around best response by the USSR. As an alternative, Junta might be able to
accomplish something similar, and ABM Treaty in your hand at least lets you coup back whatever
the US coups.
However, if the USSR is unable to respond in the headline, it will usually just be forced to choose
between responding to the AR7 play and lowering DEFCON. It is of course impossible to give an
all-around answer as to how to respond to all AR7 plays; generally, however, it is my experience
that forgoing the battleground coup is the safer approach, but depending on where the US will coup
you and what scoring cards are yet to come, you may simply have to take your chances on the coup
instead.
Turn 10
General Strategy 24
Turn 10 is a special case, as it is the very last play of the game. The US AR7 play on Turn 10 is
far more devious: it involves manipulating Final Scoring thanks to your last play advantage. For
example, most USSR players are lazy about Middle East domination and rely solely on Syria for
their non-battleground. A Turn 10 AR7 play into Syria, breaking USSR control, can therefore cost
the USSR Middle East domination.
The Voice of America is the absolute best way of accomplishing this: a choice removal of several
important influence can deny Domination, grant yourself Domination, or even deny the USSR
Presence in multiple regions at once. Barring that, a high-Ops card held until AR7 can accomplish
much the same thing if you are able to break USSR control of a few key countries. Suppose the USSR
controls Mexico / Cuba / Nicaragua, and you control Panama / Costa Rica. With a 4 Ops, you can
break the USSR control of both Mexico and Cuba, flipping Domination and earning you a total of
8VP!
Other events that can help include any event that gives you a lot of influence (Ussuri River Skirmish,
Colonial Rearguards, OAS Founded) or North Sea Oil.
As USSR, the best way to defend against the Turn 10 AR7 play is to end the game before Final
Scoring. Barring that, Turn 10 is usually a very defensive turn for you, as you have no choice but
to shore up all your important battlegrounds / non-battlegrounds. Quagmire, if you are fortunate
enough to draw it on Turn 10, is a great AR7 play by forcing the US player to waste their AR7
discarding to Quagmire instead of accomplishing something useful.
General Strategy 25
General Strategy: Realignments
Realignments are one of the most puzzling aspects of the game to a beginner. They are rarely the
most effective use of your Ops, frustratingly DEFCON-restricted, and can never gain you influence
in a target country.
In general, realignments only occur at DEFCON 2. In most cases, battleground coups are a more
powerful method to alter a region in your favor. But once DEFCON drops to 2, you must search
for other ways to attack your opponents battlegrounds. Realignments are one such method; they
require some setup work, but can pay off handsome dividends.
First, this article will discuss some tactics involving realignment play. Then it will discuss the two
kinds of realignments that are most effective: when your opponent cant play back in, and when
you are at a +1 or greater advantage. Finally, it will give some common examples.
Realignment Tactics
Higher realignment bonuses are always better. But controlling cheap non-battlegrounds to boost
your realignments often risks your opponent couping you back, gaining him the realignment
modifier. It is therefore advantageous when you can control multiple non-battlegrounds at once, play
multiple Actions in a row, or use an event like Junta to prevent this tit-for-tat response. Sometimes
you dont need to do this, especially when your opponent is preoccupied.
You can consult Ken Watsons Realignment Probability Charts to determine just how much of a
boost you need. Remember that you can always use a bigger card to make up for a worse realignment
bonus.
I usually use a slightly bigger card than I need, because a wasted Action Round is often quite costly,
and I might not get another good chance. This means that I try to set up multiple realignment
possibilities at once, so that in case of unexpected success I can do something with the rest of my
Ops.
Finally, you usually see realignments in 2-stability or higher battlegrounds. 1-stability battlegrounds
are often easy to flip with direct influence placement or coups instead.
Types of Realignments
The first kind of realignment, and the best kind, is the realignment that eliminates your opponents
access to the region. This tends to come up when someone has isolated influence with nothing next
to it. When you eliminate all access to the region, you achieve two distinct goals: not only has your
opponent lost the battleground, he has also lost any opportunity to put the influence back in. This
means you are free, on your next turn, to play in influence and take over the country.
A common example is Fidel. The US can trigger Fidel, and then use the 2 Ops from the card to
attempt two realignment rolls against Cuba, rolling at +0. There is a 34.88% chance of success: not
great, but the payoff is significant. The USSR has no way of getting back in if their influence is
eliminated.
http://twilightstrategy.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/ts-realignment-probability-charts.pdf
General Strategy 26
Another example is South Africa. If the USSR controls Angola and then takes Botswana, they can
often trap the US in South Africa and realign him out of the region.
The main reason this kind of realignment is so powerful is because your opponent cant respond to
it. Theres no tit-for-tat where you realign him out, and then he places back in, and then you have
to realign him out again.
Occasionally, it is to your benefit to go for -1 realignments. This happens when your opponent gets
into a region and no one has any influence around it (e.g. Puppet Governments or De-Stalinization).
Although the odds are low, the payoff is big, so if you have a big 4 Ops card to spare, it can be a
worthwhile use to stop him from locking up the region.
The second kind of realignment is when you have a +1 or greater advantage. Any time you are at
+1, you should seriously consider realigning even if the opponent can put their influence back. If
you have influence in the country, then you might realign them out and gain control automatically.
If you dont, then you should still be ahead Ops-wise, since you are on average removing one or
more influence per Op, and you still maintain your advantage against their restored influence.
This is most common in Latin America, where you have a series of realignment possibilities
stretching from Costa Rica-Panama-Colombia, to Colombia-Venezuela-Brazil, to Venezuela-Brazil-
Uruguay, to Peru-Chile-Argentina.
Common Examples
Generally speaking, the realignment hot spots on the board are:
Cuba
A particularly popular target given that:
* The USSR often cant restore their influence, since Fidel was their only inroad into
the region
* The US starts out with uncoupable adjacency
* The nearby non-battlegrounds are cheap
* Cuba is especially valuable as a battleground, given that there are only 3 battle-
grounds, and that it is worth double for the USSR
You will therefore often see coups around Nicaragua and Haiti, popular targets for Puppet
Governments.
South Africa
See Cuba, with sides switched. Usually this happens when the USSR gets into Angola
with De-Stalinization, then takes Botswana and can kick the US out of the region entirely.
Other than Colonial Rear Guards, there arent any other US events that can get them
back into the subregion. This maneuver often means the difference between Africa
Domination and Control for the USSR.
Venezuela/Brazil/Argentina/Chile
South America as a whole is geographically designed for realignments, and is the region
most likely to see realignments.
General Strategy 27
This provides a way for you to get back battlegrounds you lost, or steal an extra
battleground after you steal the first
Colombia/Uruguay are two of the most important non-battlegrounds on the board
because of these realignments
Junta is especially powerful in this regard, and Che can help as well
Angola
Usually the US will be doing this realignment, assuming they have South Africa/Zaire/Botswana
and the USSR got in via Portuguese Empire Crumbles or South African Unrest.
Algeria
If whoever controls France doesnt also control Algeria, this is a good way to attack the
second-most-stable African battleground.
Mexico
The US can kick the USSR out if they got in with Liberation Theology. Similar to Cuba,
though less common.
Europe
Very rare, since DEFCON has to be at 5, but Italy/France/East Germany are all targets for
realignments when DEFCON reaches 5. Usually it is the US with a massive advantage in
these realignments. The SALT-ABM trick is one way for the US to get in some European
realignments and alter the influence in the region. Otherwise your best bet is events,
particularly Tear Down This Wall. The USSR can sometimes use a Comecon headline
for a Turn 1 AR1 realignment in hopes of a knockout blow in Europe.
Early War
Early War 29
Duck and Cover
Duck and Cover
1950
The US Congress passed into law the Federal Civil Defense Act, in reaction to the first
Soviet tests of nuclear weapons in 1949. Duck and Cover is perhaps the most memorable
of a variety of civil defense efforts to raise awareness of nuclear attack. Ironically,
such films may have assisted in increasing the possibility of nuclear war by making
the possibility of such a conflict thinkable by the general public.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: No
As USSR
One of two excellent Early War US events for the USSR, the other being Five Year Plan. As the USSR,
you will frequently find yourself in a position where you want to simultaneously place influence
but also drop DEFCON down to 2 to prevent an American battleground coup. For instance, you can
headline De Gaulle Leads France, and then follow it up with Duck and Cover to take France while
Early War 30
simultaneously dropping DEFCON down to 2. If you had instead used some other 3Ops card, the
US would at least be able to respond by couping one of your battlegrounds.
Alternatively, it is sometimes more important for you to coup a non-battleground than a battle-
ground, but you still dont want to give the US a chance at one of your battlegrounds. For instance,
a common Turn 3 AR6 play by the US is 1 influence into Colombia, reasoning that on the next
turn, you must either coup Colombia (thereby allowing him to coup one of your battlegrounds) or
coup a battleground (thereby allowing him access into Venezuela). Respond to this dastardly play by
couping Colombia with Duck and Cover, thereby denying him both a coup and access to Venezuela.
Similarly, a US player that has put all his Middle East eggs into the Lebanon basket can be couped
out easily with Duck & Cover.
Finally, when DEFCON is high (generally only on Turn 1), the USSR can use Duck and Cover to
drop DEFCON by two levels in one play. Timed correctly, this can effectively shut the US out of an
opening coup altogether.
It goes without saying, though, that Duck and Cover is a serious liability for the USSR if DEFCON
is already at 2. It is unplayable and one of the DEFCON suicide cards. Luckily, it is easy to play on
the Space Race.
As US
Generally played for operations, though later on the DEFCON drop and 3VPs makes for a strong
headline by denying the USSR its coup and earning a sizable chunk of VPs to boot. It is slightly
risky to headline in the Mid War, because the USSR can headline We Will Bury You (or, more rarely,
Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 in the Late War), dropping DEFCON to 2 and thus causing you to lose
by thermonuclear war.
Early War 31
Five Year Plan
Five Year Plan
1946-1950
Beginning in the 1920s, the Soviet Union became obsessed with centralized planning of
its economy and industrial development. Twelve such plans were adopted by the USSR
during its history. While economists differ, it is largely agreed that these plans caused
more dislocation within the Soviet economy than they resolved.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: No
As USSR
One of two excellent Early War US events for the USSR, the other being Duck and Cover. By
playing it on your last Action Round, you can discard the one remaining card in your hand, which,
conveniently, happens to be a scoring card for a region that you dont want to score. This is the only
way for the USSR to get rid of a scoring card without playing it.
Even if you arent using Five Year Plan to discard scoring cards, its discard can be timed to mitigate
the effect of a low-Op US event. For instance, OAS Founded is a hugely problematic card for the
Early War 32
USSR because you only have 1 Op to deal with the 2 US influence it places. But by playing Five Year
Plan when you only have OAS Founded left, you are now able to respond with 3 Ops instead of just
1. Similar tricks can be performed with most of the other annoying US 1 Op cards (e.g., Sadat Expels
Soviets, Truman Doctrine, etc.).
On the other hand, Five Year Plan can be a serious liability in a hand of DEFCON suicide cards.
Either you risk playing it early on (hoping the US doesnt draw one of the suicide cards), or youre
forced to treat it as yet another unplayable card in your hand.
As US
Almost always played for operations. Occasionally played for the event: one possibility is that you
know that the USSR is trying to hold a DEFCON suicide card, and by cutting their handsize (perhaps
in conjunction with other handsize-reducers like Grain Sales to Soviets), you can force them to play
it and lose. If youre able to hold onto the China Card and play several discarders against your
opponent, you might be able to force a DEFCON victory. Alternatively, if youre desperate, you
might play it in hopes of drawing an otherwise game-ending card like Wargames or an unfavorable
scoring card. In the Early War, with excellent card knowledge, you may be able to force out De-
Stalinization or Decolonization if you are fortunate. The event is also more attractive while under
Red Scare/Purge, since it slows the USSR down at the cost of only 2 Ops.
Otherwise, you should always play this for operations. 3 Ops is quite valuable in the Early War for
the US, and moreover, playing Five Year Plan risks drawing Duck and Cover and losing the game
by thermonuclear war.
Early War 33
Socialist Governments
Socialist Governments
1947
Beginning with the end of the Second World War, the US was challenged by democratic
leftist movements within its sphere. Italy, under de Gasperi, was particularly con-
tentious with communists and socialists participating in government. The CIA funded
an extensive propaganda program against these movements. Socialist governments
would be the topic of concern again during the 1960s in France, and with left-wing
labor party in the UK.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: No
As USSR
An all-around excellent headline throughout the game. If you dont have other Headline-AR1
combinations, a Socialist Governments headline can be followed up with just about anything on
AR1: you can take over a European battleground, you can score Europe on hugely advantageous
Early War 34
terms, or you can simply to take one out of the UK or Canada so that Special Relationship and
NORAD, respectively, dont trigger.
On Turn 1 in particular, a Socialist Governments headline can cripple the US position. It is one of
the few headlines that can make an opening Italy coup worthwhile, since if youre going to give
up western Asia, you better at least do some serious damage in Europe to make up for it. The very
threat of a Socialist Governments headline also keeps the US opening setup honest, since it essentially
compels the US to overcontrol Italy.
If nothing else, the Socialist Governments headline is a useful distraction; if you can remove three
important influence, then even if you dont play into Europe on AR1, the US will usually be
scrambling to fix the situation on their AR1. Later in the turn, its not quite as helpful, and youre
usually better off using the 3Ops or holding it for next turns headline.
As US
Typically either played for Operations (to replace the influence lost), or simply played on the Space
Race (especially if under Red Scare/Purge). Either way, its an empty Action Round, but at least its
usually not a problem to deal with; be thankful you drew it and not the USSR. If you are not careful,
you arent always able to replace all your Influence (e.g., if you had 2 in Greece and 1 in Turkey,
and let Socialist Governments trigger first, you may no longer have access to Turkey to replace its
influence).
Somewhat takes away the sting of a USSR play of The Iron Lady, which is technically a US event
but in practice far more useful for the USSR.
Early War 35
Fidel
Fidel
1959
Coming to power after deposing the corrupt Batista, Castro disenchanted the US after
it became clear he was leading a Marxist revolution. The US tried various schemes
to depose or assassinate Castro, culminating in the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion.
Ultimately, communist Cuba would lend support to Marxist governments in Angola
and Ethiopia.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
One of the key routes into Central America. Owning a battleground adjacent to the US (and 1/3 of
the Central American battlegrounds) is worth quite a bit. Coupled with a successful Panama coup
and/or Liberation Theology, it can lead to an easy Central America domination.
On the other hand, playing Fidel too early can turn CIA Created into a DEFCON suicide card, if you
dont have any other influence in Africa or the Americas. So its often best played for Ops on Turns
Early War 36
1 or 2 (unless youve already Decolonized or De-Stalinized into South America/Africa), and worth
the event if drawn on Turn 3 or later.
At some point in the Mid War, its crucial to take Haiti and/or Nicaragua, as otherwise its very easy
to realign you out of Cuba with no easy way back in.
As US
For the reasons above, on Turns 1 or 2, its probably better to use Fidels 2 Ops (in case the USSR
drew CIA Created) than to send him to space only to see him return soon thereafter. But if you draw
him on Turn 3 or later, hes worth sending him to space: by this point the USSR is going to have
influence in the Americas or Africa anyway, and you might as well deny the USSR a free 2VP (or
more) and foothold in Central America until at least Turn 7. Whether youre then willing to take
Cuba depends entirely on whether you have Central America Scoring and your tolerance for risk.
If you do play Fidel for Ops and have the luxury of Ops to spare, you can try to realign Fidel out with
the 2 Ops: you have a 34.88% chance of eliminating him entirely. Your odds are of course greatly
improved if you take Nicaragua (and maybe Haiti, with Puppet Governments), but then the USSR
can just coup you out of those 1-stability countries before you get a chance to realign. So if youre
keen on realigning Fidel, consider playing 1 into Nicaragua on a final Action Round and present the
USSR with the dilemma of couping Nicaragua or couping a battleground next turn.
http://twilightstrategy.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/ts-realignment-probability-charts.pdf
Early War 37
Vietnam Revolts
Vietnam Revolts
1946
Ho Chi Minh tried repeatedly to enlist the aid of the Truman Administration for
independence. His letters never received a response. The French government, with
support from the US and Britain, attempted to reestablish its colony in Indochina. The
attempted was doomed and would lead to disaster at Dien Bien Phu.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
This card starts off very strong and quickly becomes worse and worse as the game goes on. On Turn
1, before Thailand has been claimed, this is a superb headline and an easy way to grab the crucial
battleground. By Turn 3, or worse, the Mid War, your attention is probably elsewhere, since the US
will probably already have taken Thailand. If the US hasnt overcontrolled Thailand because you
dont have access to it, this can be a nice way to sneak into Thailand with the China Card.
Early War 38
The bonus to Operations is quite nice, though there arent really that many ways to spend all those
Operations in Southeast Asia, since youll rarely venture south of Thailand. It does mean that if you
plan on playing the card during the turn, you should headline it for maximum benefit. Its a good
headline candidate because its strong enough to be meaningful, but its not the end of the world if
it runs into Defectors.
Riku Riekkinens thoughts:
Vietnam Revolts is a very good headline, because it allows the USSR to instantly dominate Asia (in
case the US tries to dump Asia Scoring on the headline).
There are 4 camps regarding headlining Vietnam Revolts on Turn 1:
1) Dont do that. Wait until DEFCON is 3, so that US cant coup you out of there. This might cost
you Thailand, depending on whether the US is already in Malaysia when you play Vietnam Revolts.
You might still be able to flip Thailand with your +1 Ops and China Card, however.
2) Headline it and coup Iran AR1. Now US can start a coup-counter coup routine in Vietnam, but
its couping at a disadvantage due to Vietnam Revolts +1. So the US is really looking to empty out
Vietnam with a coup, which it has a 1/6 chance of doing so on each roll.
3) Headline it and play into Thailand & Laos/Cambodia. Now, if the US coups Thailand, you can
coup it back at +1. Even if the US empties Thailand, preventing you from counter-couping, you still
have backup countries in Southeast Asia and can retake Thailand before the US.
Now, its generally agreed that couping Iran is the best move for USSR on Turn 1 AR1. However,
if youre playing with influence bids for the US, Iran is sometimes overcontrolled so heavily that
couping Iran is no longer worthwhile. This Vietnam Revolts headline play is a strong alternative,
and probably much better than Socialist Governments & Italy.
4) Headline it and play Asia scoring on AR1, scoring a quick and dirty Domination. Probably the
worst of these options, but a possibility if you have a truly, truly terrible hand (e.g., nothing but 1
Ops after a Red Purge/Scare headline).
As US
Completely harmless if played on the final Action Round, so long as you make sure you already
took Thailand (and possibly Laos/Cambodia). This card is a good reason not to play into Vietnam
unless you need the country immediately for Asia Scoring or Southeast Asia Scoring.
Early War 39
Blockade
Blockade
194849
The Soviets attempted to increase pressure on the Western allies to dissuade them
from creating an independent West German government in their zones. The primary
pressure point was a blockade of West Berlin. In response, the UK and US launched the
Berlin Airlift, which at its peak during the Easter Parade, had a cargo plane landing
in Berlin every minute.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Every USSR player is entranced by Blockade and the opportunity to take over Europes most stable
battleground. But most play it poorly. Beginner USSR players will do things like headline Blockade
or play it in the middle of a turn. Better USSR players play Blockade slightly better (e.g., on their
final Action Round), but still poorly.
Early War 40
Strong USSR players know that strong US players do not forget about Blockade, and so will either
play it for Ops and let Blockade come back later in the game (maybe the US will forget about it
then?), play Blockade when US is Purged (which is very strong, because there are no Soviet 4Ops
events in the Early War), or count the Early War cards and play Blockade only when US has no
more high cards.
Very strong USSR players know that strong US players try to hold either Decolonization or De-
Stalinization until Turn 3. Therefore, they play Blockade on Turn 1-2 to cut the US handsize and
therefore force them to discard Decolonization or De-Stalinization before Turn 3, so that they come
back before Turn 7.
As US
Always have a 3 Ops USSR event on hand until Blockade is gone! If the USSR punts it away on Turns
1-2, you have no choice but to be wary of Blockade throughout the Mid War. Accordingly, even if
you get the chance to send Blockade to space (via Containment) or play it with UN Intervention, its
often better to just trigger the event so you dont have to worry.
If you draw Blockade, its usually not a problem to deal with. If you have no 3Ops or higher card
(maybe you were Red Scared?), Blockade is going to be your hold card, and youre going to like it. As
above, its important to note that if you do draw Blockade with De-Stalinization or Decolonization
before Turn 3, you simply wont have the ability to hold those cards until Turn 3 without playing
the China card. So youll usually have no choice but to discard De-Stalinization or Decolonization
before the Turn 3 reshuffle.
If you must trigger Blockade and you have no card to discard to it, then make it an AR7 play (AR6,
technically, in this case), which will help mitigate the damage. And who knows, maybe youll be in
luck and the USSR will play Containment and you can either space Blockade or discard a 2Ops card.
Riku Riekkinen suggests that if you have Blockade and Decolonization or De-Stalinization in your
hand on Turn 1, then you should consider an opening setup that leaves West Germany empty. The
goal is to be able to play Blockade without discarding any cards, thereby allowing you to hold
Decolonization/De-Stalinization until Turn 3. With an empty West Germany, the USSR is forced to
choose between couping Iran (and allowing the US to play into West Germany with Blockade on
AR1 without discarding any cards), or taking West Germany (and allowing the US into Afghanistan).
A good example of this play can be seen in Annotated Game #2.
Early War 41
Korean War
Korean War
195053
Sparked by a North Korean invasion across the 38th parallel, the Korean War would be
the first war sanctioned by the United Nations. There were 15 nations beyond the US
and South Korea with combat forces attempting to defend South Korean independence.
MacArthurs campaign to the Yalu River provoked a Chinese response that reset the
war to its starting positions on the 38th parallel.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
This is one of those cards that is more effective as a threat than if actually played. Korean War only
gets worse for you as time goes on. So although you do want to hold the threat of it over the USs
head, unlike Blockade, you cant afford to punt it away on Turn 3 and hope for a late-game Korea
flip, since by that time Japan and Taiwan will almost certainly have been filled up.
Early War 42
Given the importance of South Korea, try to take it without needing to chance the Korean War event
ideally with a 4Ops directly. If you cant spare a 4Ops card, you can just stick in 2 Ops to bring it
to 1/2. If the US counters to the point where you cant win an Ops war, you can trigger Korean War
for a decent chance at stealing the country. Usually, though, the US player is sufficiently scared of
Korean War that it wont contest South Korea, and then you can just go ahead and use the 2 Ops of
the War to take South Korea outright.
As US
You usually want to play Korean War as fast as you can. South Korea is critical to your chances in
Asia, and you cant keep the threat of the card looming around forever. Sooner or later, the Korean
War is going to happen, and youre better off triggering it earlier than later; when played at 1/0, if
you win, you get South Korea to 3/0, and if you lose, you can bring it to 2/1.
Unlike Arab-Israeli War or Indo-Pakistani War, it is not worth it to build up South Koreas neighbors
before risking Korean War. Building up Japan and Taiwan is a huge waste of Early War Ops, and in
the case of Japan, might be totally wasted (given US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact).
If you dont draw Korean War, youre in a difficult position. Typically, Ill drop at least 1 influence
into South Korea so that the USSR cant take it with a 4 Ops card, and then after US/Japan comes
out or the USSR is tempted into using Korean War for Ops elsewhere, Ill take over South Korea.
Early War 43
Romanian Abdication
Romanian Abdication
1947
King Michael I, a westernized monarch, was forced to abdicate his throne at gunpoint.
Romania was thereafter declared a democratic socialist republic. After the death of
its first communist leader, Gheorghiu-Dej, Romania was ruled by Nicolae Ceausescu,
second only to Stalin in cruelty to his own people.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
An unimportant event. No decent US player contests Romania, and so this card is always played
for Ops. Occasionally it might be headlined, if youre deathly afraid of Defectors and have nothing
better to dump, or if you need a European non-battleground ASAP.
The only thing to keep an eye out for is Independent Reds. Youll almost always want to trigger
Independent Reds first rather than give the US 3 influence in a country bordering the USSR. This is
Early War 44
especially true if Truman Doctrine is not out, since the US would have the option of playing to take
Romania and +1VP each time Europe Scoring comes out.
As US
Im happy to play this as soon as I can, so that Independent Reds can be merely situational instead
of worthless. Although the Romania Abdication/Independent Reds/Truman Doctrine combo is nice,
its not worth it to pursue it on your own. If you play Romanian Abdication, and the USSR plays
Independent Reds later, then hey, why not Truman away the 3 influence for Romania. But its
otherwise not worth 3 Ops and 2 Action Rounds to score +1 VP on Europe Scoring.
Early War 45
Arab-Israeli War
Arab-Israeli War
194849, 1956, 1967, 1968-1970, 1973, 1982
The State of Israel was virtually born of war. After the end of the British mandate,
Israel was thrust into conflict with its Arab neighbors. Israel prevailed in all such wars,
excepting its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, from which it ultimately had to withdraw.
Arab success was nearly achieved during the surprise attacks of the Yom Kippur War,
however these too ultimately failed. While superpower intervention was frequently
threatened on both sides, ultimately success or failure in the conflicts rode upon the
relative capabilities of Arab and Israeli militaries.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
As USSR
On the Turn 1 headline, this has a 50/50 shot of eliminating the US from the Middle East entirely if
your subsequent Iran coup is successful. So its a 50/50 Suez Crisis, with the added benefit of 2VP
Early War 46
and 1 influence in Israel if you succeed. That makes it one of the better candidates for the USSR
Turn 1 headline.
During Turn 1, a decent US player is going to take Jordan / Lebanon before investing in Israel. (Egypt
is also a good choice, but it will probably eventually fall to Nasser.) So its nice to take those Israel-
neighboring countries first, before the US can, so that you can wield the threat of Arab-Israeli War
to keep the US from the only Middle East battleground not susceptible to Muslim Revolutions.
If the US does manage to solidify Jordan/Lebanon, this event is best played for Ops. If youre under
Red Scare / Purge, maybe you would consider triggering the event, just for the Mil Ops, but the odds
arent in your favor to actually win.
As US
This is not much of a threat if you draw it. Israel is expensive enough that it is usually the last
battleground in the Middle East to see any play anyway. So when you play Arab-Israeli War early
on, theres usually not much influence at stake. As long as you manage to get out of Israel before
this event is played, even if you lose the War, its not a huge deal. Accordingly, Arab-Israeli War is
one of the few events where youll often see the opponents event triggered after the Operations are
conducted. Simply use the card to place 1 into Lebanon and 1 into Jordan or Egypt, and you will be
fine.
Early War 47
Comecon
Comecon
19491991
The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) was founded in reaction to
the allure of the Marshall Plan to the Soviet satellites in Eastern Europe. While very
loosely organized and dominated by the Soviets in its early years, COMECON would
ultimately fulfill the role of trade liberalization and industrial rationalization for Eastern
Europe.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
About this events only use is the Turn 1 Comecon Trap. As described in Opening Setup, a proper
opening setup and Comecon headline allows a AR1 realignment of both West Germany and Italy at
+1. Its risky and prone to US counterplay in Austria, but with a little bit of luck can eliminate the
US from continental Europe entirely.
Early War 48
Aside from this edge case, I always play Comecon for Ops. The 4 influence is so scattered and usually
so irrelevant that I have never seen any competent USSR player play this for the event. Its still nice
to have around in the Late War if you come under Chernobyl in Europe, but its no Warsaw Pact.
When the US plays it, my targets for influence, in descending order, are: Poland, East Germany,
Yugoslavia (assuming I opened with 4 EGER / 4 POL / 1 YUG), and Czechoslovakia (to defend
against eventual Tear Down This Wall realignments). But its mostly moot, since this influence will
probably get De-Stalinized anyway.
As US
This is basically a free 3 Ops card. I suppose you could hold off on playing this until after De-
Stalinization, but harmless 3 Ops cards are hard to come by as US in the Early War.
The one interaction of note is with Eastern European Unrest. Against a greedy USSR player who
does not overprotect East Germany and Poland, you might consider headlining Eastern European
Unrest and threaten a costly Europe Scoring. This play does not work if you play Comecon first.
Early War 49
Nasser
Nasser
1954-1970
One of the giants in the Pan-Arab movement, Gamal Abdel Nasser rose to power
through military coup. Attempting to steer an independent course during the Cold
War, he provoked western governments by accepting Soviet aid, and nationalizing
commercial propertythe Suez Canal being the most prominent example. Egypt, under
his leadership, was viewed as a Soviet client, and would serve as a Russian proxy during
repeated wars with Israel. He died in office after 18 years of service, having frustrated
the attempts of a variety of domestic and international enemies.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
The rare Early War starred event that is actually quite worth playing by the USSR. Nasser delivers
to you a critical battleground and access to Libya, which ordinarily takes too long to get to. The best
Early War 50
use of this event is before the US has had a chance to put 2 into Egypt, because then it will cut the
US off from Libya and essentially gain you two battlegrounds.
If Nasser isnt important either because you got into Egypt via a coup or the US has locked up
both Egypt and Libya then the normal rules about preserving your starred events apply. No need
to use this if you could potentially give the US a headache and counter the effects of Sadat Expels
Soviets. This isnt to say that you shouldnt fight for Egypt: the Middle East will be scored quite a
bit, and you dont want to miss out on Egypt/Libya battlegrounds if you dont have to.
As US
Nasser means you lose Egypt for the Early War. But theres no reason to lose Libya as well. Accept
the loss of Egypt and bide your time waiting for Sadat Expels Soviets. In the meantime, make sure
you can get to Libya and secure it. Put 2 into Egypt, so that even if the USSR plays Nasser youre not
completely out of Egypt and have at least one AR where Egypt is 1/2 rather than 0/2. This allows
you to either control Libya or retake Egypt.
If you drew Nasser, his best use is probably on the final AR, after having locked up Libya: you use
Nasser and put Egypt to 1/2. Now the USSR has three options: 1) coup Egypt, 2) coup elsewhere,
3) control Egypt. No matter what, you end up getting an advantage somewhere: you save a more
important country from being couped, you get to retake Egypt, or you get to coup. Its a fine example
of the AR7 play.
Early War 51
Warsaw Pact Formed
Warsaw Pact Formed
1955
A reaction to perceived Western aggression by the creation of NATO, the Warsaw Pact
was a Russian-dominated military alliance that included all of the states of Eastern
Europe except Yugoslavia. It integrated both tactics and equipment throughout the
alliance along Soviet models. Albania withdrew from the Pact in 1968.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Being able to remove all US influence in Eastern Europe is vastly superior to adding 5 influence. It
is essentially Truman Doctrine at any time (regardless of control) and in four (Eastern European)
countries at once.
Accordingly, I always play Warsaw Pact Formed for Ops in the Early War / Mid War so that I can
keep it in the deck. Its mere presence in the draw deck is a threat to the US, in much the same way
that Truman Doctrine deters the USSR from engaging in European Ops wars. Warsaw Pact is your
Early War 52
best (and sometimes only) defense against the Late War US onslaught of Chernobyl, Tear Down This
Wall, East European Unrest, John Paul II Elected Pope, and Solidarity.
Once you get to Turn 7 and draw Warsaw Pact, it is then a common USSR hold card in case of
European emergency. Since any card played or discarded on Turn 7 or later is likely not going to
return to the game, you must try to keep it in the game for as long as possible. As long the US player
is convinced that the Warsaw Pact may yet be formed, he will be very hesitant about investing into
Europe, thereby nullifying one of the great US advantages in the game.
In the unfortunate event that the US triggers Warsaw Pact Formed in the Early War or Mid War and
there is no meaningful US influence to remove, I ordinarily bump East Germany and Poland by 2
each and stick the other influence in Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia. (Yugoslavia because I usually
start with 1 there, and Czechoslovakia because it could theoretically provide a -1 against a Tear
Down This Wall realignment of East Germany or Poland.)
As US
If you draw this in the Early War / Mid War, count your blessings. As US, Warsaw Pact Formed
is actually a better draw than most US events (like, say Five Year Plan). Being able to get rid of a
critical USSR Late War card is a huge bonus, and by playing it when you have no influence to be
removed, you can save yourself a lot of worry and headaches in the Late War.
As an added bonus, an early play of Warsaw Pact Formed means the USSR can no longer dump
NATO or Independent Reds with impunity.
Early War 53
De Gaulle Leads France
De Gaulle Leads France
19581969
Founder of Frances Fifth Republic, De Gaulles role during the Cold War is generally
viewed through the lens of his second presidency. While still a western ally, De Gaulle
attempted to establish France as an independent voice within the confines of the western
camp. He developed an independent nuclear deterrent, withdrew from NATOs unified
command structure, and criticized US policy in Vietnam. He also pursued increased
trade and cultural relations with the Soviet Bloc. He sought in all things to restore France
to her former place of greatness in world affairs.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
France is the key to Europe Scoring, and generally represents a 6VP swing for whoever takes it.
(Usually only one side can score the +4 for Domination, and the country itself is a 2VP swing.) De
Gaulle is the most powerful event at your disposal for taking over the country.
Early War 54
If you already control France, then there is obviously no need to play De Gaulle. Keep him around
in the deck just in case the US tries any funny business in France.
If the US controls France, then you should remember that De Gaulles overall effect is just 3 Ops.
If you play him for the event on an Action Round, the US can repair its effect with a 3 Ops card
and youve gotten nowhere. A better use of De Gaulle is to take advantage of your headline-AR1
back-to-back combo: headline De Gaulle, then play Ops into France to take over the country on AR1.
You give up the battleground coup, but its worth it to flip France your way.
If no one controls France, the best way to take France is by gaining access to it via West
Germany/Italy/Algeria, and then using the 3 Ops of De Gaulle himself to just take the country
directly. This keeps De Gaulle in the deck. If you cant do this, then the headline-AR1 combo still
works, but again, youre giving up a battleground coup.
Regardless, keep an eye out for Algeria. Even if the US triggers De Gaulle and then repairs the
damage, you can at least grab a key African battleground.
As US
Regardless of the French situation, this is a great card to draw as the US.
If the USSR already controls France, thats too bad, but then this card is a free 3 Ops, a rarity in the
Early War.
If you already control France, then this is an empty Action Round, since you can repair De Gaulles
damage with the 3 Ops. (Note: spacing De Gaulle is not a great idea since you would rather dispose
of him for no effect rather than allow him to come back and potentially hurt you more.)
And if France is empty, then you trigger the event and then pour the 3 Ops into France, making it
3/1. The USSR is unable to control it with a single play, and thus may be wary of engaging in an
Ops war if the threat of Truman Doctrine looms over his head.
The biggest concern with De Gaulle is that it allows the USSR access into Algeria. Given the typical
US Early War Ops scarcity, theres not much you can do about this. If the USSR is distracted with
other priorities, try to make sure that you take Algeria before he does.
De Gaulle becomes a serious liability if you are under Red Scare/Purge, because his Ops value no
longer offsets the event. If Purged, I would either try to hold De Gaulle until next turn, or simply
accept that France is probably lost. In such situations, it can be nice to play De Gaulle on your last
Action Round, so that if the USSR wants to capitalize off of it, he at least has to do so during AR1,
thus giving you a battleground coup.
Early War 55
Captured Nazi Scientist
Captured Nazi Scientist
19451973
Code named Project Paperclip in the United States, the victors of World War II
scrambled to recruit former Nazi scientists into their own research establishments.
In the West, such efforts involved shielding scientists from war crime investigations.
Perhaps the most famous case is Wernher von Braun who is thought of as the father
of Americas rocketry program. Stalin was reportedly confounded by Soviet failure to
grab this knowledge base first.
Time: Early War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
This is a nicely thematic card, though not that meaningful to the Cold War overall. Assuming both
players advance to at least the first spot on the Space Race, being first is a 2VP swing plus a little bit
better chance at getting the other Space Race benefits. 1 Op for 2VPs is a pretty good trade (compare
U2 Incident), but Ops and Action Rounds are a precious commodity in the Early War. Even a single
Op is often enough of an Action Round in the Early War, as there are many times when you just
want to establish access (e.g., a US play into Malaysia).
Early War 56
More commonly, this is a good headline candidate if you have nothing better. Its a nice headline
for USSR especially, if the threat of Defectors is still out there.
It does not take up your normal Space Race slot for the turn, so you should examine the probabilities
on the board if you are going to use this and Space Race a card. Obviously you would prefer to use
this on one of the VP spaces that succeed on only 1-3 instead of 1-4.
Captured Nazi Scientists event becomes increasingly valuable if it survives to the Mid War. In
addition, if neither player has advanced much on the Space Race, it is helpful if you are desperate to
space multiple cards. Playing CNS and then spacing a problem card can accelerate you to Animal
in Space with 2/3 probability, allowing to space one more problem card.
As always, there is the risk of advancing too far on the Space Race track. This is more of a problem
for the USSR: its nice to earn 2VPs and see the enemy headline first, but not so nice when you are
unable to space Voice of America or Grain Sales to Soviets.
Early War 57
Truman Doctrine
Truman Doctrine
1947
Before a joint session of Congress, the President announced the new Truman Doctrine,
ushering in an era of intense intervention on behalf of states with liberal economic
and political institutions. Truman stated I believe that it must be the policy of the
United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed
minorities or by outside pressures. The Truman Doctrine was prompted by the United
Kingdoms withdrawal from its traditional great power role in the Near East. The
immediate effect of the doctrine was a massive influx of military and economic aid
to Greece and Turkey.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Experienced USSR players see Truman more as a deterrent than a threat. You must be careful
not to engage in an Ops war when you cannot account for its location: many a USSR player has
overinvested into France only to see the President wipe out all of your hard work in one fell swoop.
Early War 58
If you draw Truman Doctrine, its not hard to dispose of. Just make sure that you dont have much
influence in an uncontrolled country and its a null event. If you have to get rid of an influence in
Finland, oh well. This becomes quite problematic after Independent Reds, when it will always have
at least some impact, so try to get rid of Truman as soon as you possibly can. Be thankful you drew
it and not the US.
In rare circumstances where you cannot safely play Truman Doctrine, consider using Five Year Plan
if you have it. If you play Five Year Plan with only Truman Doctrine in your hand, you now have 3
Ops to deal with the President instead of just 1.
As US
After drawing Truman Doctrine, the US player should try to make something happen with it instead
of holding onto it for later. This is because Truman Doctrine is nigh-useless in the USSRs hands,
and Truman is one of the few ways for the US to establish initiative in the Early War. This normally
means a AR7 play: break control of France, hold Truman Doctrine, and then headline it next turn. (An
example of this play: Annotated Game #1, Turn 2, AR6.) Its also possible (and much more rewarding)
to pull this off against East Germany, but USSR players normally overprotect East Germany and
make uncontrolling it much more difficult.
If you really cant make anything happen with Truman, hope to draw it in the Late War. Its power
amplifies significantly when combined with all the other US Late War Europe events, so if you draw
it with Chernobyl or Tear Down This Wall you can set off some real fireworks.
You can also engage in some Turn 1 shenanigans with Truman. Against a USSR setup of 3 EGER /
3 POL / 4 FIN, place 1 influence into Finland and headline Truman to wipe out Finland. Now De-
Stalinization is pretty safe to play, since he has few good countries to move influence out of, and
East European Unrest actually becomes relevant. Ordinarily, though, the USSR wont do such a rash
opening setup, and in any event I prefer to hang onto Truman to try to do more damage with him
elsewhere.
Early War 59
Olympic Games
Olympic Games
1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988
Sport often served as an outlet for the intense competition between the Superpowers,
and that competition was never so intense as at the Olympics. The Olympics served
as a test bed to see which society could make the greatest strides in human physical
achievement. It fit neatly into Communist ideology of the New Man. The games
frequently reflected the global political situation, as with the terrorist attacks in Munich,
and became overt political tools with the US boycott of the Moscow games in 1980, and
the Soviet boycott of the LA games in 1984.
Time: Early War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
You cant play Olympic Games for the event when DEFCON is at 2, because your opponent will
boycott and you will lose on DEFCON. Once you realize that, theres not much else to see: if
you play it when DEFCON is greater than 2, no sane opponent would ever boycott, and so youre
basically playing a 2Ops card for an average of 1.25VP. Not a good trade in most circumstances, and
Early War 60
in any event, if DEFCON is greater than 2, you should have much greater priorities than hosting the
Olympics.
About its only use is as a headline (albeit a rather risky and ineffective one) if you have nothing else
to headline, or when youre truly desperate for VPs. Remember that an Olympic Games headline
can cause you to lose the game if your opponent also degrades DEFCON in the headline!
A pedantic footnote: in the Deluxe Edition, the wording of the cards boycott clause was slightly
changed. The new wording (as if they played a 4 Ops card instead of with 4 Operations points)
means that a Olympic Games boycott is now subject to Red Scare/Purge. Not that it ever matters,
but it helps clarify the boundaries of Red Scare/Purge, which is often the subject of rules questions.
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/605440/olympic-games-wording-change-in-deluxe-edition-and/page/1
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/6399698#6399698
Early War 61
NATO
NATO
1949
The second part of the US strategy to rebuild Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) became synonymous with the Wests opposition to the Soviet
Union. An oft repeated maxim for NATOs purpose captures it nicely: NATO was
created to keep the Soviets out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 4
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
NATO is a pretty terrible event and therefore a great card to draw, given the scarcity of 4 Ops in the
Early War. Its especially nice to play as soon as possible, before Marshall Plan / Warsaw Pact are
triggered, but even if you trigger the NATO event its still a nearly-free 4 Ops.
If you do draw it after Warsaw Pact / Marshall Plan has been activated, then you should make sure
you dont plan to Brush War Italy or play Special Relationship before playing NATO.
Early War 62
As US
I have never played this card for the event as the US. The coup/realignment restrictions are pointless
because DEFCON restrictions already prevent nearly all coups and realignments in Europe. Brush
War immunity against Italy is sometimes nice, but most of the time you should have Spain / Greece
/ France anyway, which provide de facto Brush War immunity.
NATOs only real impact comes with Special Relationship in the Optional Cards, because it gives
Special Relationship a substantial boost. Even that, though, is still not worth giving up the 4 Ops.
What this really means is that you should try to play Warsaw Pact or Marshall Plan as soon as you
can in the turn, so that the USSR cannot simply play NATO with impunity. Theyll still play it, of
course, but at least theyll give you the Special Relationship boost for it.
Early War 63
Independent Reds
Independent Reds
1948
The Communist Information Bureau, COMINFORM, expelled Yugoslavia for Marshall
Titos refusal to conform to Moscows wishes. Albania would ultimately follow a similar
tack, breaking with Yugoslavia, then Khrushchevs USSR. While remaining within the
Soviet structure, Ceausescus Romania would also test the limits of Moscows patience
with occasional flares of independence and nationalism.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Not a dangerous card by itself, but it has mildly concerning interactions with the other cards that
affect Eastern Europe. You generally want to play Independent Reds as soon as you can, before the
US plays Warsaw Pact Formed, Comecon, or Romanian Abdication to force some USSR influence
into Eastern Europe. On the other hand, if you drew Truman Doctrine with Independent Reds, you
probably want to get rid of Truman first, before Independent Reds.
Early War 64
Regardless, Independent Reds is usually not worth bothering over. You need every Op you can get in
the Early War, and Eastern Europe is too expensive to fight over in the Early War anyway. Romania
is the most troublesome, since if you play Independent Reds after Romanian Abdication, the US can
play Truman Doctrine to score an additional 1VP on Europe Scoring. Even then, Independent Reds
is probably not worth sending to space.
As US
One of those events that the owner of the event isnt that interested in triggering. For a US player, its
usually not worth an Action Round, though if youre in a tight battle for European domination it can
be a cheap way to cut the USSRs country count. But Independent Reds does have an impact on US
play: its the opposite of the above, namely, that you want to trigger Warsaw Pact Formed, Comecon,
and Romanian Abdication as soon as you can so that Independent Reds isnt totally useless.
Early War 65
Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
1947
On June 5, Secretary of State George C. Marshall announced to the world the US plan
to reconstruct all of Europe. Due to Soviet pressure, Eastern European states did not
participate. However, for the 16 nations of Western Europe that did, the Marshall Plan
marked the first step on the road to recovery and ultimate victory in the Cold War.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 4
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
One of the most problematic US cards in the Early War. No event places more influence on the
board than Marshall Plan. The best way to defuse this card is by controlling the important countries
beforehand: if youre able to sew up the 2-stability countries before it is triggered, then Marshall
Plan influence gets mostly sent to unimportant countries. At the very least, you want to use the 4
Ops of this card to control Greece or Turkey before triggering the event, lest you turn all of Europe
blue.
Early War 66
Another option is to send Marshall Plan to space. This is more plausible when youre under Red
Purge and therefore cannot control two of the Mediterranean countries with the cards Ops. Even
if you arent, its sometimes worthwhile to sacrifice the 4 Ops of Marshall Plan: youll have to find
the Ops eventually to play into Europe, but there are definitely situations where youre better off in
Europe without the poisoned 4 Ops of Marshall Plan.
The best way of playing Marshall Plan is with UN Intervention, which gets you the best of both
worlds. It is in fact probably the best Early War USSR candidate for UN Intervention, along with
CIA Created (if you have influence in a Mid War region).
Ideally, youd like to play Marshall Plan as late as possible so that the US can waste most of its
effect. If you can bait the US into controlling Canada before Marshall Plan, for instance, before
playing Marshall Plan, youve effectively wasted a US Operations point. In particular, if you do
space Marshall Plan (or UN Intervention it), then its a pretty painless 4 Ops in the Mid War.
It goes without saying that if you also have NATO in your hand, you should play NATO first, before
Marshall Plan (and before the US can trigger Warsaw Pact Formed).
As US
This is best as a Turn 1 Headline, because you can adjust your opening setup to take advantage of
it. As the game goes on, it gets worse and worse because as countries are controlled, the influence
becomes less and less helpful. But it remains very powerful even if played in an Action Round; if you
can get Marshall into the 2-stability Mediterranean countries on Turn 1 or 2, you probably wont
ever be dominated in Europe (and conversely you can assure Domination if you get France).
This is therefore the only starred US event in the Early War that I will almost always play for the
event, because it is too risky to let this get into the reshuffle. If it comes back on Turn 3, it might
still do some good, but if it comes back any later it probably wont accomplish anything. Of course,
there will be times when you dont need Marshall Plan for European domination and/or desperately
need the 4 Ops elsewhere, and in those situations you should feel free to let it go. But in general,
Marshall Plan is the rare starred event that gets worse and worse as the game goes on.
On the flip side, be careful you dont rush too quickly into Europe, as otherwise the effect of Marshall
Plan will mostly be wasted. Of course, there is always a sense of urgency in Twilight Struggle, and
Marshalls influence is even more wasted if you let the USSR take all the Mediterranean countries
first. But for example, if the UK is hit with Suez Crisis, theres no need to patch it back up to 5
immediately as you may as well wait for the Marshall Plan influence.
The countries I target with Marshall Plan, in descending priority:
Spain/Portugal, Greece, Turkey
Italy, West Germany
Canada (if I dont already control it), UK (even if I already control it, if Suez Crisis hasnt
come out)
France (only if I already control it or if I plan to play into it this turn, but not if Im using De
Gaulle or Suez Crisis)
Early War 67
Benelux, Denmark
Early War 68
Indo-Pakistani War
Indo-Pakistani War
194748, 1965, 1971
From the time of Indias independence from Britain, the Muslim and Hindu elements
of this former colony have been in conflict. Pakistan has traditionally been on the
losing end of these conflicts, but has relied on US and PRC support to maintain military
credibility against a more robust Indian defense capability.
Time: Early War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
A huge threat in the early game: this is one of those cards that always seems to work for your
opponent, but never yourself. (See also Brush War.) Like Truman Doctrine/Warsaw Pact, the
deterrent threat of the Indo-Pakistani War is perhaps the strongest aspect of the card, and makes
Afghanistan considerably more attractive (not that it wasnt attractive already: it borders the USSR,
its the easiest non-battleground for the USSR to grab for Domination, and the US can use it to block
the USSR from Pakistan as well as the +1VP).
Usually youll just have to chance the roll while moving east from Iran: shoring up both Afghanistan
and Iran before going into Pakistan is not a bad idea, but still leaves you with a 1/6 possibility of
Early War 69
disaster. India is even more perilous: its a huge pain to get to Burma first and then get India, and
even if you lock down the whole region, India is never safe (unlike Pakistan). Its usually therefore a
good idea to contest Burma a little in the Early War: not only is it 1VP when Southeast Asia Scoring
comes out, but it also increases the chance that you can steal India.
The other big threat of the War isnt even the loss of the country; its the loss of access. If you play
into Pakistan and control it, losing the Indo-Pakistani War will also cut you off from India. So if
youre very concerned about the Indo-Pakistani War, you can play a single influence into Pakistan
first. This way even if you lose the War, you can still take over Pakistan. Your opponent will be able
to play into India first and likely take it over, but its better than losing Pakistan and being blocked
out of India.
The US will tend to play Indo-Pakistani War more than the USSR in the Early War. This is for two
reasons: one, the USSR is more likely to be in Pakistan/India than the US, and two, the US has a
more difficult time collecting Military Operations. Indo-Pakistani War is therefore tantamount to at
least +2VP (or possibly +4VP) when no other source of Military Operations is available. Of course,
Early War Ops are precious, but 2VP for 2Ops is quite tempting, and the possibility of another 2VP
and a crucial battleground makes it even sweeter.
As USSR, drawing Indo-Pakistani War makes life a whole lot easier. It means you can spread directly
east in a straight line without having to detour into Afghanistan. This means you make it much
farther into Southeast Asia than you otherwise would if you had to stop to defend against a possible
Indo-Pakistani War. (This is true of US as well, but US is usually just grateful enough for even the
opportunity to play into Pakistan.)
After the Early War, the region is usually sufficiently locked down that the Indo-Pakistani War has
little chance of changing anything, and you can usually get the Military Operations elsewhere. But
in the event of some sudden change in the region (e.g., Brush War, Ussuri River Skirmish), the Indo-
Pakistani War can be an ace in the hole: if the US can somehow flip Pakistan, India is suddenly
looking a lot more vulnerable.
Early War 70
Containment
Containment
1947
A term coined by diplomat and Sovietologist George Kennan, it came to form the
cornerstone of US policy toward the Soviet Union during the early Cold War. It found
early application in the Truman Doctrine and sought to contain Communism to those
areas where it already existed.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Play it on the last Action Round. This is not worth holding between turns, unless you know for
a fact that the US is holding Lone Gunman (which shouldnt happen, as someone should trigger
Containment in the Early War), and definitely not worth sending to space, which can actually end
up making it hurt worse if the US draws it and headlines it.
As US
Early War 71
One of the four great US headlines in the Early War, along with Red Scare/Purge, Defectors, and
Marshall Plan. Unless I have a hand full of 4 Ops and scoring cards, I almost always try to headline
Containment, because if I play it for Ops the USSR could draw it and then it would be almost
worthless. And even if my hand doesnt benefit much from Containment, I will simply hold it to
next turn and headline it then.
Somewhat ironically, with Containment the US can expand much more aggressively than usual in
the Early War. With a Turn 1 Containment headline, it is actually possible for the US to exit the
Early War firmly ahead in both position and VPs (or even with an autovictory) given fortunate rolls
and draws.
Containment is slightly better than Brezhnev Doctrine for two reasons: one, it comes out earlier,
and two, even if the USSR plays it on the last Action Round, it will still have an effect. On Turn 3, if
I have not yet seen Containment, then I know the USSR is holding it to the last Action Round, and
so I will make sure that my last play can take advantage of it. It would be a waste to play a 4 Ops or
a scoring card only to see it boosted with Containment.
Early War 72
CIA Created
CIA Created
1947
In an effort to bring to a close the inter-service bickering that marred U.S. intelligence
during WWII, President Truman created the United States first independent agency
capable both of intelligence analysis and covert operations. Its 40 year cat-and-mouse
game with its Soviet counterpart, the KGB, would be the stuff of legend, and one of the
hallmarks of the Cold War.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
As a DEFCON suicide card, this card is a problem. Because it allows the US to conduct Operations
on your turn, if DEFCON is 2, then the US can coup a battleground (specifically, a Mid War region
battleground due to DEFCON restrictions) to lower DEFCON to 1 and lose you the game.
The only easy way to get rid of this card is in the Early War, if you are fortunate enough to draw
it before you have influence in a Mid War battleground. Then you can play it whenever you want
Early War 73
(preferably as the last card in your hand, but if you delay too long the US may play Fidel!), and even
at DEFCON 2 it wont cost you the game.
If you draw it and you do have influence in a Mid War battleground, well, then youve not got a lot
of good options. You can play it on AR1 if DEFCON is still 3, allowing the US the coup and revealing
your whole hand. You can take advantage of Nuclear Subs to get out of it, since then the CIA Created
coup wont lose you the game. You can space it if you are under Brezhnev Doctrine. You can play it
with UN Intervention, but then you cant hold a card to next turn, and you might need to do that if
youre dealing with other bad US cards.
Unlike Lone Gunman, I do not usually hold this turn to turn, waiting for a better chance to discard
it. I usually just play it on AR1, because there are too many things that can cause me to discard a
card from my hand, which would lose me the game if I dont have the China card.
As US
Because of how bad it is for the Soviets to draw this, I always play this for Operations before the
Turn 3 reshuffle.
In the Mid War, between Turns 3 and 6, theres still a chance the USSR will draw it if I play CIA
for Operations. So Ill usually play it for Ops. But if I have literally no other headline choice, or if I
desperately need to conduct some Ops / drop DEFCON in the headline, then CIA is a good choice
for the headline.
If I draw it on Turn 7, though, then the USSR isnt ever going to draw it, and playing it for the event
is strictly superior to playing it for Ops. I will usually headline it (though there are tons of great US
headlines at this point).
This card means that Im willing to trigger Fidel on Turns 1 or 2 because itll make CIA unplayable
if they draw it. On Turn 3 Ill probably space it unless I know the USSR is still holding on to CIA
and has no other influence in the Mid War regions.
Early War 74
US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact
US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact
1951
On September 8th the United States quietly extended its nuclear umbrella to its former
Pacific rival. In doing so, it also soothed the nerves of Japans neighbors about a
remilitarized Japan appearing on the world scene. In exchange, Japan played host to
Americas forward presence in Asia. Japan effectively became an unsinkable aircraft
carrier for both the Vietnam and Korean wars. Obviously, US reliance on Japanese
products during the ensuing conflicts greatly aided Japans economic recovery and
eventual economic might.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 4
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
It doesnt take very long for a USSR player to learn that Japan is not a very communist-friendly
country. Given that youll never get Japan anyway, this card is usually just a free 4 Ops card, though it
can be rather annoying if youre trying to use those 4 Ops to take over some other Asia battleground!
Early War 75
Of course, if the US has already taken Japan for some reason, then it is a truly free 4 Ops card because
you were never going to coup or realign Japan anyway.
The two interactions worth noting: if you have Asia Scoring/Korean War (or know that Asia
Scoring/Korean War is going to be triggered this turn), it is obviously to your advantage to hold
onto US/Japan until after those are played. I have had situations where the US player is forced to
score a Asia Domination for me on his final Action Round because he thought I would play US/Japan
for him.
There is one situation where you might try to defy the Defense Pact: if US/Japan is discarded on
Turn 3, Asia Scoring has yet to come out, and Japan remains at 1/0, it may be worthwhile to steal
a Asia Domination by taking Japan with the China card. After all, if Japan gets you Domination
(or denies it to the US), then its worth a total of 6VP (4 for Domination, 1 for battleground, and 1
for adjacency). Theres about a 50/50 chance that youll lose it all when US/Japan comes back out
somewhere in Turns 7-10, but 6VP is a pretty big chunk of VP
As a footnote, if youre teaching the game to a new USSR player, you should absolutely advise him
of the existence of this card, lest he be forced this lesson the hard way like so many other Soviet
Premiers (including yours truly).
As US
Unless the USSR has actually taken over Japana very rare occurrencethis is never worth playing
for the event. Even if you need Japan, you can just play it for Ops and put 3 into Japan and 1
somewhere else. And if you dont need Japan, you can usually just play it for Ops elsewhere, content
in the knowledge that most USSR players wont ever dare play into Japan.
On Turns 1-2, the Ops are probably more important elsewhere than Japan. But on Turn 3 you should
use 3 of the Ops to take Japan and 1 Op elsewhere, to prevent the play described above. All in all,
it is a card youd much rather have in the USSR hand. Depending on where Asia Scoring is in the
deck, though, you cant just wait for US/Japan forever: if US control of Japan is what determines
Domination, it is better to waste 3 Ops than lose 5VP
Early War 76
Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
1956
An embarrassment among allies, the Suez Crisis ended any remaining doubt that the old
system of Great Power imperialism was dead. Threatened by Nassers nationalization
of the Suez Canal, Israel, France and the United Kingdom conspired to alter Egyptian
policy at bayonet point. They failed to appreciate Eisenhowers aggravation at their
unannounced initiative. Though initially militarily successful, the three powers were
compelled to withdraw under American pressure.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
One of the five great Turn 1 USSR headlines. If you combine it with a successful Iran coup, then
you have eliminated the US from the Middle East entirely, and they will have a very difficult time
getting back in until the Mid War. I will therefore almost always headline Suez Crisis on Turn 1 if I
draw it, even ahead of Red Scare/Purge.
Early War 77
After your Iran coup on AR1, if the US doesnt expand out of Israel, then you can use Suez Crisis on
AR2 for the same effect. A good US player will make sure to expand into Lebanon or Jordan quickly,
however, and then Suez Crisis is not that great of an event.
On later turns, you can headline Suez as a pseudo-De Gaulle or Socialist Governments. You can
follow up a Suez Crisis headline with any number of plays: taking over France, playing Special
Relationship without triggering it, or scoring Europe on undeservedly advantageous terms. It is
otherwise just a 3 Ops card.
As US
This is rarely a problem card, even if you are under Red Scare. Although it removes 4 influence
and you only have 3 Ops to repair the damage, 3 Ops are usually more than enough to restore the
important influence:
Israel is no big deal, so long as you expand out of Israel first. Since you probably arent
interested in taking Israel in the Early War, the only threat is losing access in the Middle
East.
The UK is relevant only for European domination and Special Relationship. (Suez Crisis is in
fact the main reason youd ever lose influence in the UK.) Accordingly I will stick a Marshall
Plan influence into the UK, and if I sense that Special Relationship will be triggered I will try
to recontrol the UK eventually. But otherwise you can safely ignore the loss of influence in
the UK until you have Ops to spare.
France is hopefully empty when you play this card. If it isnt, since the other countries are not
that important, you can use the 3 Ops of this card to repair the 2-influence damage done in
France.
Depending on the situation, Suez Crisis may sometimes be an empty Action Round, but even if it is
I will always play it for Ops rather then sending it to Space. Being able to get it out of the deck is
much preferable to allowing the USSR the possibility of headline shenanigans.
Early War 78
East European Unrest
East European Unrest
19561989
Captured most visibly by Nagys attempt to withdraw Hungary from the Warsaw
Pact and Czechoslovakias Prague Spring of 1968, members of the Warsaw Pact
frequently sought to loosen the reins of Moscow. When taken too far, from the Soviet
perspective, the effects could be devastating. Soviet tanks became a universal symbol
of Soviet determination to hold on to Eastern Europe, through undisguised oppression
if necessary.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: No
As USSR
In the Early War and Mid War, this is generally at worst an empty Action Round and nothing more.
If under Red Purge, then its slightly worse than an empty Action Round, but the only two countries
that really matter to you in Eastern Europe should be East Germany and Poland.
Early War 79
Much as the threat of a Socialist Governments headline forces the US to slightly overprotect its
Western European battlegrounds, so too does East European Unrest force the USSR to overprotect
its battlegrounds, as otherwise an EEU headline would be quite awkward for the USSR. And if
youve overprotected the two battlegrounds enough (or Comecon / Warsaw Pact did it for you),
then this isnt even an empty Action Round, and you can freely spend the Ops elsewhere. Think of
it as transferring 3 Ops from Eastern Europe to somewhere else.
In the Late War, this card is absolutely miserable. Losing 4 Influence from East Germany / Poland
simultaneously, right as youre being hit with Chernobyl / Tear Down This Wall / Solidarity, can be
brutal. Its not quite as bad as the others, but its a good candidate for the Space Race. Be glad you
drew it and not the US.
As US
In the Early War and Mid War, you usually have something better to do than remove from3 Influence
from overprotected or irrelevant countries. It can be a decent headline (threatening Europe Scoring
on AR1) or AR7 play, but usually the USSR has overprotected East Germany and Poland enough
that theres not much point to it.
In the Late War, this card is an absolute monster. Combined with all the other pro-US Europe cards,
being able to delete two influence from East Germany and Poland simultaneously is huge. Its more
than just a 4Ops equivalent: its real use is to break USSR control of the two countries, allowing
you to pour in influence without paying the 2-for-1 penalty. Coupled with Chernobyl, it opens the
floodgates to the Late War American takeover of Europe. If you draw it on Turn 7, do everything in
your power to hold it until next turn.
Early War 80
Decolonization
Decolonization
19471979
While it is hard to put precise dates on the decolonization process, those dates chosen
represent two of the most significant decolonization successes. Sparking the retreat from
empire was Britains fulfilled promise of independence for India in 1947. At the other
extreme, Rhodesias first majority elections spelled doom for the apartheid system.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
As USSR
Decolonization is the best recurring USSR event in the game. In the Early War, it gives the USSR
access to two key regions that the USSR otherwise has difficulty getting into. In the Mid War, it
becomes one of the few (and strong) add 4 influence events. The fact that it comes out much
earlier than its US counterpart (Colonial Rear Guards) means that first, the USSR can get to and
control countries in those regions before the US, and second, on average, it will be played more
often.
Early War 81
Where should I Decolonize into?
As much as possible, you want to Decolonize into Africa rather than Southeast Asia. There are
several reasons for this: chief among them is that Africa has multiple open battlegrounds, whereas
Southeast Asia only has one. Of course, Asia will be scored before Africa is, and Southeast Asia will
be scored on top of that, but Decolonization into Asia is primarily to jumpstart your access. Sooner or
later, you will get into Southeast Asia via some combination of crawling east from Iran and Vietnam
Revolts. Africa, on the other hand, can be very difficult to fight back in without Decolonizations
help. It is much easier to defend those countries than to flip them, and the US has a head start in
access via South Africa.
Turn 1 considerations
On Turn 1, you must be mindful of DEFCONs effect on Decolonization. Decolonizing into Thailand
at DEFCON 4 is a mistake, because the US will just coup you right out, and worst case scenario
youve just handed the whole region to them. Likewise, Decolonizing into the African battlegrounds
at DEFCON 3 is just handing the US a coup target.
Ideally, you will play Decolonization at DEFCON 2 and with the US having no access to Thailand.
You can then take your choice of Decolonizing directly into Thailand, or Decolonizing into Malaysia
and then grabbing Indonesia as well. If the US is already in Malaysia by the time you trigger
Decolonization at DEFCON 2, then you can only place 1 into Thailand and bank on using the China
Card to try to take it back if the US only places 3 influence into Thailand.
If you are going to Decolonize into Southeast Asia at DEFCON 4, the US usually wont be in Malaysia
yet. In that case, I like to drop one into Malaysia, which is more difficult to coup out, and in a best-
case scenario can seal the US off from access to Thailand altogether. I am not worried about my
Africa Decolonization influence, because if he coups me there I can just coup him back.
Turn 2 / 3 considerations
DEFCON should no longer be a concern here, as it is probably at 2. How Decolonization plays out
will depend on how much progress you two have made into Southeast Asia:
If neither side has much influence: then rejoice and take the region by dropping one or two
Decolonization influence in there.
If you dominate it: you probably dont need any Decolonization influence there, but 1 into Indonesia
is a nice 1VP for Southeast Asia scoring.
If the US dominates it: You should still drop one into Thailand so that you can meaningfully contest
the region, and maybe another into Laos/Cambodia to stop the US spread into Asia. But unless
youre headlining Decolonization, this is unlikely to flip Thailand to your side, since the US can
probably just repair 1 or 2 influence worth of damage in Thailand. The point is to establish some
access so you can do things like threaten use of the China Card or Vietnam Revolts.
Specific African countries
In Africa, Angola is the most critical country to play into, if the US hasnt already. It gives you both
Zaire and Angola, and opens up possibilities for a Botswana play into an easy Africa domination
Early War 82
or a South Africa realignment, eliminating all US presence in Africa. Algeria is next in importance,
if you have not yet established access to France, because it provides a back-door into the country.
(This is an example of Decolonizations power: when you play into both Thailand and Algeria, you
are often forcing the US to confront multiple threats at once, and there is no way they can defend all
of them simultaneously.) Nigeria is third (though sometimes more important than Algeria if France
is already settled), because it is a country that is otherwise inaccessible without going through an
easily-couped non-battleground.
You can think of Africa as being divided into three subregions, divided by non-battlegrounds:
Algeria, Angola/Zaire/South Africa, and Nigeria. You want access to all three of them, and although
De Gaulle does give you access to Algeria, the only way to get into all of them is with Decolonization.
Early War summary
In the Early War, I will normally drop only one into Southeast Asia, because I will eventually have
access to the region anyway and it will merely jumpstart my progress there. Depending on DEFCON
and the US position I will place it in Malaysia, Thailand, or sometimes Burma. The remainder of the
influence will go into Angola, Algeria, and Nigeria.
Decolonization is such a valuable card that I rarely headline it in the Early War if I am at all
concerned about Defectors. Losing it to Defectors is so costly that I would rather be safe and play
it on an Action Round unless I knew that Defectors isnt being headlined (because its already been
played, because I have it in my hand, or via some psychological read of your opponent, if you are
confident in such things).
Past the Early War
In the Mid War, Decolonization remains a top-tier card because it evolves into a drop 4 influence in
Africa event. By this time, Southeast Asia is likely sewn up, and the fact that it can put 4 influence
into a region with mostly 1-stability battlegrounds is still game-changingly powerful.
As US
Along with De-Stalinization, this is a card so powerful you cant even send it to space until after
the Turn 3 reshuffle. If Im not able to hold it to Turn 3, I will absolutely send it to space, or hold
it until I can. It is of such importance that I would rather trigger Blockade and lose West Germany
before triggering Decolonization: at least then, the USSR has to invest 4 Ops to get the 2VP swing.*
Decolonization will mean much more than that, come Africa Scoring (or sometimes Asia Scoring).
In the Mid War, Decolonization is still very bad, since it is only a 2 Ops card and you need 4 Ops to
repair its damage. It can be one of those AR7 plays (to mitigate its effect), but more commonly it is
just an auto-space.
Its existence is why I try to get into Angola and then Zaire as quickly as I can. USSR control of
Angola cuts you off from two battlegrounds and puts you at a severe disadvantage in Africa.
* Of course it can be more than 2VP, depending on whether it hands over Domination VPs or possibly
Europe Control. If you must lose West Germany, then as the Blockade article notes, you should do so
on the last AR.
Early War 83
Red Scare/Purge
Red Scare/Purge
19451989
Sparked by fears that the enemy is among us, the red scare hit its apex with
Senator Joseph McCarthy, and the hearings on Un-American activities in the House
of Representatives during the 1950s. Soviet purges were a notorious aspect of power
transition within the Kremlin. However, Stalin was the true master; 12 million people
were imprisoned in his camps at the time of his death in 1953.
Time: Early War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 4
Removed after event: No
Red Scare/Purge is probably the all-around best event in the game. Of course, there are situations
where you will prefer to have other events in your hand, but ex ante, there is no better all-purpose
event in the game for both sides. Even if the event isnt to your liking, its still a 4 Ops card in the
Early War.
The events power varies from annoying to game-deciding. If you already have a hand of 1 Ops,
scoring cards, or cards you plan to play for the event, then Red Scare/Purge has little effect. In the
Early War 84
Early War, for example, so long as you have 3 of those cards (1 Ops, scoring, or cards to be played
for the event), then you are losing 4 or less Ops overall. Of course, 2 Ops in one play is better than
1 Op in two plays, and having your 2 Ops be cut down to 1 is especially painful when jostling for
control of 2-stability country.
On the other hand, Red Scare/Purge can simply lose you the game. It is a major hand management
crisis when it knocks formerly dangerous-but-spaceable cards (like Grain Sales to Soviets and The
Voice of America) down to an unspaceable 1 Op: now you must either play the card, or hold it to
next turn. If you have multiple DEFCON suicide cards, Red Scare/Purge will often make some of
them unspaceable, thereby causing you to either lose by DEFCON or by forcing you to trigger really
unpleasant events.
In addition, Red Scare/Purge strengthens certain events that are otherwise mitigatable by their Ops.
De Gaulle Leads France is a good example: if the US already controls France, then they can play this
and then restore the 3 influence of damage with the 3 Ops. Alternatively, if no one controls France,
then the US can trigger the event and take it to 3/1, so that the USSR cant take France with a 4 Ops.
Neither of these plays are available to the US any more if they are holding a De Gaulle that has been
knocked down to 2 Ops: they are now forced to give up France (good for the USSR) or send the event
to space (which allows it to come back again later for the USSR to do more damage with).
Finally, Red Scare/Purge is a nasty combo with Blockade and Quagmire/Bear Trap. With the former,
you can almost guarantee a West Germany loss; with the latter, you can sometimes force your
opponent to skip multiple Action Rounds in a row.
After triggering the event, it is important to go on the offensive and play aggressively. The number
one way to waste Red Scare/Purge is to play defensively or timidly; if you arent creating threats
for your opponent that he is unable to deal with because of his lack of Ops, then theres no point to
headlining it and you may as well have just played it for Ops. Force your opponent to respond to
your threats: even though he usually might be able to, he will probably eventually have to give up
if he is under Scare or Purge. On the flip side, if you arent in such a position to play aggressively,
then you should seriously reconsider headlining this event. Either hold it to next turn or use the 4
Ops to bolster your position.
In summary, I will almost always play Red Scare/Purge for the event. In the Early War, when its
Ops are most valuable, I will hesitate to do so if I otherwise have very few Ops, but in the Mid War
and beyond, I will usually trigger the event (and use SALT Negotiations to play it again, if possible).
Its a very powerful event, and playing it twice in the Early War can often decide the game. But its
easy to auto-play the event without carefully considering how to maximize its potential.
Early War 85
UN Intervention
UN Intervention
1947?
The United Nations remained generally unable to influence the struggle between the
superpowers due to Security Council veto power throughout the Cold War. However, it
occasionally stood as a gauge for world opinion, and could mediate in stalled conflicts
throughout the Third World. It was also the backdrop for a number of quintessential
moments of the conflict, including the Soviet Korean War walkout, the We Will Bury
You speech, and of course, the Cuban Missile Crisisdont wait for the translation Mr.
Zorin!
Time: Early War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 1
Removed after event: No
UN Interventions nice event text comes at a cost: playing it cuts your handsize, eliminating your
ability to hold a card to next round and posing a bit of a problem if you have multiple bad cards in
your hand. Accordingly, the Space Race is usually a better way to dispose of bad cards, but sometimes
you will have no choice but to use UN Intervention.
Early War 86
Because UN Intervention prevents event text from triggering, it does not remove starred events from
the game. UN Intervention is therefore best played with unstarred events, or truly awful starred
events. Something like Blockade hurts, but youre probably better off just triggering it rather than
using UN and reshuffling the card to return at a possibly more troublesome time.
DEFCON suicide cards are naturally the first priority for UN Intervention, especially CIA Created
/ Lone Gunman, which cannot be sent to space. Otherwise, UN Intervention is best with very high
Ops cards (which you could send to space, but would prefer having Ops Marshall Plan is a good
example) and unspaceable cards (which you cant send to space). In particular, UN Intervention is a
great way for the USSR to dispose of the nasty US Mid War 1 Op events like OAS Founded.
In the Mid War, UN Intervention has interactions with U2 Incident (not meaningful) and We Will
Bury You (much more meaningful). As US, you should simply make sure you play UN Intervention
(if necessary) before U2 Incident if you have both in your hands, and immediately after We Will
Bury You (if you are so fortunate).
It is tempting to keep holding UN Intervention between Action Rounds to wait for a bad card to
play it with (and to deny it to your opponent). This is not a terrible idea, but be mindful that a) you
are limiting the potential Ops in your hand; b) if you draw multiple DEFCON suicide cards, UN
Intervention is not necessarily much help because of its handsize reduction effect.
Early War 87
De-Stalinization
De-Stalinization
1956
During the 20th Party Congress, Nikita Khrushchev openly attacked Stalins leadership
of the Soviet Union. It was seen both inside and outside the Soviet Union as the
beginning of a new era. This proved to be a particularly bloody assumption for Nagys
Hungary. Khrushchev had no intention of liberalizing Soviet domination of Eastern
Europe, even if he was trying to bring an end to the cult of personality that had
characterized internal Soviet government.
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
This is probably the most important Early War card in the deck. Without De-Stalinization, it will be
very difficult to contest the Americas. As such, no matter how tempting, I almost always try to use
all of the influence from De-Stalinization into a Mid War region. Occasionally I will put one into
Thailand, if I need immediate access to it, but the card is best for fighting for the Mid War regions.
Early War 88
I also rarely headline this card, because it is a very risky card to have Defectored. Moreover, you
have to play this at DEFCON 2, so that the US doesnt just coup out your influence immediately.
If you have Decolonization, then De-Stalinization is an easy choice: all four into the four South
American battlegrounds. If you dont have Decolonization, I will tend to put a couple into Africa
(perhaps Angola and Algeria), and the other two into South America (one in Venezuela and one
in Argentina or Chile). I dont usually place it into Central America, because I can coup Panama,
Fidel grants me Cuba, and Mexico is too easily realigned out. More importantly, De-Stalinization
into South America gives me more access than De-Stalinization into Central America.
Remember that The Voice of America is the perfect antidote to De-Stalinization, so be sure to fortify
your position by the Mid War so that VoA cannot just remove all of your influence.
As US
Like Decolonization, this is a hold-until-Turn-3 card. Whether or not the USSR triggers this can
be game-deciding, so spacing it on Turn 3 earns you a massive advantage. By Turn 7, this card is
mostly useless, and can be safely played for Operations. But I would rather give up West Germany
to a Blockade than play this in the Early War.
In many ways, De-Stalinization is like Puppet Governments, with the key difference being that it is
guaranteed to be drawn by Turn 3, when it still matters.
Early War 89
Nuclear Test Ban
Nuclear Test Ban
1963 ?
The first Nuclear Test Ban treaty owes its origins to the de-escalation process that
followed the Cuban Missile Crisis. It prohibited further nuclear tests in the air,
underwater or in space. International pressure for such a ban mounted in the 1950s
as scientific evidence began to document severe environmental damage caused by
earlier atmospheric testing by the nuclear powers. Underground testing remained
an allowable methodology, but all forms of peaceful nuclear explosions were also
banned, tightening the non-proliferation regime.
Time: Early War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 4
Removed after event: No
This event is just awful. Most of the time, its a 0VP card that you would trigger for the event only
when you have DEFCON suicide cards in your hand. The fact that it raises DEFCON by two levels
(usually, to DEFCON 4) means that you will usually get a Action Round at DEFCON 3 after your
opponent coups from DEFCON 4 to 3.
Early War 90
The other corner case is when DEFCON starts off very high for some reason, at which point this is
a 4Ops for 3VPs trade. Still not great, but maybe sometimes those 3VPs can be important.
But both of these are desperation moves. 98% of the time, this is just a powerful 4Ops card whose
event text you skip over. Even in that 2% where the event is meaningful, you probably would have
rather been playing How I Learned to Stop Worrying (in the first case) or Arms Race (in the second
case).
Thats not to say its presence in the game is bad, or that the card needs a better event text. It serves
a niche role, but a crucial one (when it comes up). More generally, not every event can, or should,
be Red Scare/Purge or Grain Sales to Soviets: sometimes you just need to play Ops. A game where
every event was game-changing would probably be too swingy to enjoy.
Early War 91
Formosan Resolution
Formosan Resolution
1955
Reacting to the loss of China the United States Congress extended to President
Eisenhower open ended authority to defend Taiwantechnically known as the Republic
of China on Taiwanwith military force. The resolution came at a time when the United
States faced challenges from the Peoples Republic in Indochina as well as the Korean
peninsula. Effectively, Taiwan sat under the US nuclear umbrella, and the balance of
power within the Taiwan Straits would now remain a question of strategic importance
to the United States.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Generally inconsequential. It is only relevant if the Asia battlegrounds split 3-3, and even then most
US players do not bother taking Taiwan early on because of its cost. I will almost always play it
without hesitation in the Early War, especially if the US has the China Card.
Early War 92
Occasionally, in the Mid War, if Taiwan is already taken by the US (i.e., to protect against Korean
War) and the battlegrounds are indeed split 3-3, then Formosan Resolution can give the US
Domination. But I find this somewhat rare much more likely is that the US ends up cancelling it
by playing the China Card before Asia is scored.
Note that unlike Shuttle Diplomacy, this does not go away after Asia is scored, only after the US
plays the China Card. It also matters for Final Scoring.
As US
Unless I already have Taiwan for some reason, this is not worth the effort. Its just too many Ops
in the Early War: Taiwan is a costly country and youd have to give up the 2 Ops from Formosan
Resolution too.
Sometimes this can be helpful in a Mid War deadlock. But even then, the tedious process of playing
Formosan, controlling Taiwan, and then playing Asia Scoring is usually too slow.
That having been said, this is a second reason to take Taiwan, the first being a defense against Korean
War. Usually either of those reasons on their own is not enough to take Taiwan, but together, I will
probably invest the 3 Ops.
Early War 93
Defectors
Defectors
1945 1989
Preceding the start of the Cold War, citizens of the Eastern bloc fled or defected to the
West. Defectors came in two primary archetypes. Spies and double agents who had been
discovered or needed to come in from the cold would frequently flee to their masters
and allude capture. Examples of this type of defector include KGB Deputy Chief Yuri
Nosenko and KGBLondon Bureau Chief Oleg Gordievsky. Perhaps more embarassingly,
and certainly more publicly, many talented Soviet artists defected while on tour in the
United States or Europe. While the West also suffered occasional defections, particularly
fromwesterners involved in espionage, it never reached the same proportion or the same
level of public spectacle.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
As USSR
As USSR, I only consider the threat of Defectors to be a deterrent when I am risking the loss of:
Early War 94
a must-play event with a long-term effect (e.g., Decolonization, De-Stalinization)
a lot of VP (e.g., scoring cards)
a high Ops card on a turn where Ops are scarce (e.g., Red Scare/Purge on Turns 1-2)
In other words, I usually dont particularly care about Defectors. Headlines like Junta, or a Turn 1
Suez Crisis are great, but not the end of the world if they get cancelled.
As USSR, if I draw Defectors on Turn 1 or 2, I will try to hold it until Turn 3 before playing it for
Ops. This keeps it out of the Turn 3 reshuffle and ensures worry-free headlines for most of the game.
This is analogous to the US holding Decolonization/De-Stalinization until Turn 3, though Defectors
is not nearly as important as they are.
A common USSR trick against Defectors is to headline a scoring card for a region that you are being
Dominated in. This is most effective when against a relatively inexperienced US player, and when
you havent seen Defectors come out Turns 1 or 2 (meaning it is guaranteed to be in his hand on Turn
3). It is one of the rare ways to discard a scoring card without scoring the region. Of course, you can
also headline an actively-dangerous US card when you expect the US to be headlining Defectors,
but thats much more risky, whereas the downside risk of headlining the scoring card is much lower.
As US
Most beginning players are too eager to headline Defectors. Not only is it risky on Turn 3, as
described above, but more generally, I prefer to headline more aggressively as the US (e.g., Red
Scare/Purge, Grain Sales to Soviets, The Voice of America). Obviously you dont always have the
luxury of such powerful events, but in general, cancelling the USSR headline doesnt seize the
initiative and keeps you on your heels.
That having been said, Defectors is a fine headline. By preventing the headline-AR1 combo, you
negate one of the USSRs most powerful weapons against you. If I draw it with a powerful headline
I will headline the other card and hold Defectors until next turn.
A quick rules clarification: Defectors, if headlined, will always cancel the USSR headline regardless
of Ops value. The edge case is: if you headline Five Year Plan and draw Defectors, Defectors will
now only cancel the USSR event if the USSR headline triggers after the Five Year Plan headline.
In other words, if the USSR headlines a 4Ops card, it wouldnt be cancelled by the Five Year Plan
Defectors interaction, but any 3 Ops or lower headline will be.
Finally, and this should go without saying, if the USSR has made it to the stage of the Space Race
where he can see your headline before he chooses his, do not choose Defectors! All youre doing is
allowing to discard a US or scoring card of his choice.
Early War 95
The Cambridge Five
The Cambridge Five
1934 1963
The Cambridge Five (Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, John Cairncross,
and Donald Maclean) were British civil servants who, unbeknownst to the British
government, had become Communists while at university, and recruited as Soviet
agents shortly thereafter. The spy ring was one of the most effective Soviet intelligence
efforts of the Cold War, as all five rose to positions of great responsibility and trust in
the civil service. Maclean, in particular, was privy to a large number of nuclear secrets;
the information regarding the size and readiness of the Western nuclear arsenal played
a key role in Stalins decisions to blockade Berlin and to arm the North Koreans for
their invasion of South Korea. The spy ring fell apart when the U.S. VENONA project
exposed Maclean; he and Burgess defected in 1951. Philby was able to elude exposure
until 1963, passing secrets all the while; he too managed to defect. Blunt was unmasked
around the same time, but secretly gave a confession, exposing other agents (including
Cairncross).
Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Early War 96
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
As USSR
This is an event that is generally triggered only in the headline phase. It is a somewhat weak headline
for the USSR only because the odds of success are usually low. Nevertheless, the payoff can be huge:
not only can you combo it with an AR1 play to take over a battleground (a sort of USSR NORAD),
you can also use it to gain access in a critical region that you are otherwise locked out of (like a mini
De-Stalinization).
The Cambridge Five is best headlined on a turn that maximizes the odds of the US having a scoring
card in hand: on Turn 3 or Turn 7, you may be able to positively identify a particular scoring card
in the US hand if it hasnt shown up yet in that reshuffle. Alternatively, its also a wise headline if
its Turn 6 and few of the scoring cards have yet shown up in the Mid War reshuffle. It should go
without saying that if the reverse is true (if all the scoring cards have come out already), then this
is a null headline.
Note that if the US has multiple scoring cards, the USSR chooses one (and only one) of them to apply
to the Cambridge Five.
As US
Completely harmless, so long as you play it with no scoring cards left in your hand. It is ideally
played at the end of your turn, as the knowledge that you have no more scoring cards can be
advantageous to the USSR, but even if you have to play it earlier in the turn, its not really that
bad of an event (because it does not expose the rest of your hand).
Early War 97
Special Relationship
Special Relationship
1946 ?
The Special Relationship is a phrase used to describe the exceptionally close political,
diplomatic, cultural, economic, military, and historical relations between the United
Kingdom and the United States, following its use in a 1946 speech by British statesman
Winston Churchill. During the Second World War, the development of the atomic
bomb required collaboration and trust between the British, Canadian, and American
governments to a degree perhaps previously unimaginable. Additionally, in 1943,
Britain made the crucial decision to share ULTRA codebreaking results directly with
US intelligence. This relationship blossomed into the BRUSA Agreement, whose terms
guided intelligence sharing throughout the Cold War. Even today, the UK and US
remain the closest of allies, sharing military bases and economic ties throughout the
world.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
As USSR
Early War 98
Depending on whether Special Relationship is NATO-activated, this can be either a minor annoyance
or an irritating source of US VPs.
The best case scenario is when the US doesnt control the UK. This will happen somewhat naturally
from Suez Crisis; the US usually has too many priorities for its influence than to repair the UK early
on, and so you can often get away with a no-effect Special Relationship.
If the US does control the UK, but NATO is not in effect, then look to its neighbors. If the US
already controls both France and Canada, then you can consider the influence to be moot and safely
disregard the event text. If they dont control Canada, then try to delay playing Special Relationship
until they do. In the worst case scenario, where you control France, youll have to spend at least one
Op of Special Relationship to repair its damage.
Once Special Relationship is NATO-activated, it becomes much more powerful. A competent US
player will never trigger NATO, but you almost certainly will, because its 4 Ops are too much to pass
up. So if you hold both in the same hand, you should play Special Relationship first. (As discussed
in the NATO article, this is also good reason to try to delay Warsaw Pact Formed and Marshall Plan,
so you can punt NATO for no effect.)
If you do hold Special Relationship in a post-NATO world, you can either use the two Ops of Special
Relationship to try to break UK control before triggering the event text, send the card to space
(though there are many good US candidates for the Space Race around this time in the Mid War),
or just bite the bullet and accept that itll cost 2VP to use 2 Ops (assuming, of course, that you are
fine with giving the US two influence in a western European country).
As US
If Special Relationship is not NATO-activated, then there is obviously no point to playing it for the
event, since you can (almost) always use its 2 Ops to duplicate its effect (the exception being if you
are under Red Scare/Purge and want to use Special Relationship to break USSR control of France).
If Special Relationship is NATO-activated, then it becomes a somewhat tempting event: the 2VP is
quite nice by itself, and the two US influence is helpful if the USSR controls Italy or France.
You should never, however, play NATO to boost Special Relationship. NATO is one of the crappiest
events in the US arsenal, and it should only ever be triggered by the USSR.
The real benefit of Special Relationship is that the USSR is often forced to play it for you. This is
a good reason, therefore, to control the UK: Suez Crisis will wipe out one or two influence, and
occasionally Socialist Governments might take one out of it as well. I wouldnt go out of my way to
control the UK, especially if NATO hasnt been activated, but you should make sure that at least one
influence from Marshall Plan makes its way to the UK. Once NATO has been activated, if Special
Relationship is still in the deck, then I would definitely drop a spare influence into the UK when you
have a chance.
Along the same lines, in the Early War, if you do control the UK but NATO has not been activated,
its to your benefit not to immediately control Canada, so that you have a useful place to drop the
influence from Special Relationship. Of course, sometimes you will have to control Canada before
he plays Special Relationship, in which case youll have to settle for overcontrolling France.
Early War 99
NORAD
NORAD
1958 ?
The North American Aerospace Defense Command is a joint military organization
sponsored by the governments of Canada and the United States. Its mission is to jointly
monitor and control the air space over North America from unfriendly incursion. It was
founded initially to protect against the threat of low flying Soviet bombers attacking
from the Arctic region. During the Cold War, the Command was famously housed in
the Cheyenne Mountain facility depicted in the film Wargames. At its height, NORAD
commanded 250,000 military personnel. The command illustrates the full integration
and cooperation of US allies into the US nuclear umbrella and alliance structure.
Time: Early War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
This is a controversial event. Some think its useless and too expensive to activate; others consider
it the among the best US events in the game.
Early War 100
Certainly, however, everyone is in agreement that its not a great card for the USSR to draw, because
its a bit too good for the USSR to play it for the US. Accordingly, I like to space this card as USSR,
but find that I often cant spare the Ops. In particular, on Turns 1 and 2, Ill usually just play it for
Ops because the event is not particularly useful until the Mid War. But if I am able to, I will send
this to space rather than deal with the consequences for the rest of the game.
NORAD has an unusual counter in Socialist Governments, which is an all-around good USSR
headline, but especially useful to defuse NORAD for an Action Round.
When NORAD goes into play, it becomes more important to overprotect your controlled battle-
grounds, especially your 2-stability battlegrounds, if the US has influence in them.
NORAD is most annoying when you drop DEFCON to 2, because the US gets an influence and
then gets to play immediately afterwards. If the US drops DEFCON to 2, then its not as much of
a problem to deal with. This suggests that in AR7 play situations, NORADs presence sometimes
means that you should be willing to give up the battleground coup.
Finally, I usually save Quagmire and hope to draw Red Scare/Purge with it as the USSR, but with
NORAD active I will trigger Quagmire ASAP. Conversely, if NORAD is not out, Ill hold Quagmire
until NORAD comes out (or until I draw Red Scare/Purge).
As US
NORAD makes it important to control Canada. The best way to do so is to let the USSR do it for
you: Marshall Plan and Special Relationship can often provide the boost you need in Canada without
having to invest any of your own influence.
The real problem with triggering NORAD is giving up its 3 Ops. On Turns 1 and 2 in particular, I
tend to play NORAD for the Ops and hope it comes back to me early enough in the Mid War. By
Turn 3, I will generally try to spare the Ops rather than punt it until Turn 7 at the earliest.
The best way to make use of this is to have influence in USSR-controlled battlegrounds. 2-stability
battlegrounds in otherwise DEFCON-restricted areas are great targets; the African battlegrounds are
as well, but those are generally less stable and swing back and forth much more than say, Libya. In
addition, the USSRs Asian battlegrounds, even the 3-stability ones, are excellent places for NORAD
because the 5 Ops of the China Card allow you to flip more stable countries.
NORAD somewhat clashes with the typical US goal of lowering DEFCON to 2 in the headline phase.
In other words, by preventing the AR1 coup, you miss out on NORADs compensation for that coup.
It does, however, work nicely with ABM Treaty and SALT Negotiations, both of which can cause
DEFCON to go to 2 multiple times in a turn.
An active NORADmakes Quagmire even more unplayable, not that you wanted to play it on yourself
before anyway.
Early War 101
Early War recap
Here is a brief summary of the Early War cards (including Optional Cards, as always):
Early War Neutral US USSR All cards
Scoring 3 3
1 Ops 2 2 3 7
2 Ops 2 4 6 12
3 Ops 5 6 11
4 Ops 2 3 5
Total cards 9 (6) 14 15 38 (35)
Total Ops 14 37 33 84
Average 1.56 (2.33) 2.64 2.20 2.21 (2.4)
The average Early War hand should have 17.7 Ops. Subtract headline and hold card, and you
normally expect to play about 13-14 Ops per turn.
Notice that although there are more US Ops than USSR Ops, this usually is a bad thing for the US;
for example, they have no 4 Ops USSR starred events to eliminate from the deck or discard to Red
Scare/Purge + Blockade, and on average USSR events have fewer Ops to deal with their own effects.
Mid War
Mid War 103
Brush War
Brush War
1947 ?
Also characterized as low intensity conflicts, brush wars tended to begin in reaction to
local conditions either within a state or between states. However, due to duration, or
superpower intervention, an essentially local dispute could be elevated to superpower
conflict. Examples include the civil war in Mozambique and the war between Ethiopia
and Somalia.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 3
Removed after event: No
One of the Big Three Mid War neutral events, along with ABM Treaty and Junta. Unlike ABM Treaty,
it works well regardless of how fortified the battleground is; unlike Junta, it can still flip countries
even at DEFCON 2 and is not geographically restricted. Brush Wars drawback is that it depends
on isolation, but isolation can be manufactured, and even with one neighbor, you still have a 50%
chance of success, and those are pretty good odds for a heavily-defended battleground.
Brush War is most commonly used on 2-stability battlegrounds because the 1-stability African
battlegrounds are easily flipped by coups or direct influence placement. In addition, I especially like
Mid War 104
to use it on Thailand, Pakistan, or Italy: countries that are normally not subject to coups at any point,
and therefore very difficult to flip once controlled. Thailand in particular I find is a frequent Brush
War target: unlike Pakistan or Italy, it is not always necessarily surrounded by similar influence.
Of course, Brush War can (and often does) play a key role in the Mid War regions as well. It just
happens to stand out as one of the few events that can immediately flip a European or Asian 2-
stability battleground, in an otherwise very stable pair of regions. The shifting demands of the game,
of course, will dictate where Brush War ends up being used.
In general, the US benefits a little bit more from Brush War than the USSR: the USSR has coups, while
the US often struggles to get Mil Ops and flip battlegrounds at DEFCON 2. Plus, Italy (a lucrative
Brush War target) is often off-limits to the USSRs Brush War if NATO has been triggered. (Not that
you would, as US, play NATO to protect Italy from Brush War very often, but its a nice benefit if
the USSR played NATO for you.)
Mid War 105
Arms Race
Arms Race
1947 1989
The arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States was at play throughout
the Cold War, and many attribute the Soviet Unions collapse to an inability to sustain
the final arms race instigated by Ronald Reagan. This element of competition between
the nations involved both nuclear and conventional weapons. Frequently, there was an
interplay between the two kinds of forces. During the early Cold War, the United States
(having rapidly demobilized after World War II) had to rely on its nuclear weapons in
a doctrine of massive retaliation to counter Soviet preponderance in conventional
weapons. After the Soviets developed nuclear weapons of their own, both powers
reverted to a system of flexible response. Underlying nuclear strategy throughout
this later era was the concept of mutually assured destruction. This reality made the
likelihood of direct superpower conventional warfare unlikely. However, the dynamic
of conventional weapons competition had its own paradigm. There, the West relied
on superior technology to design higher performing weapons to compete against the
massive numbers that could be generated by the Soviets command economy.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Mid War 106
Ops: 3
Removed after event: No
Note that it doesnt matter whether your opponent has met his Military Operations requirements:
all that matters is whether you have, and whether you have more than he does. Usually it will be
the USSR that benefits from this event, but a US player with ABM Treaty or something similar can
often benefit as well.
Assuming that you will not be playing this for the 1 VP (absent extraordinary circumstances), Arms
Race thus becomes a rather straightforward choice between 3 Ops or 3 VPs. In this, Arms Race is
quite unlike most of the Ops-for-VPs events in that it is actually worthwhile: 3 VPs are often superior
to 3 Ops, especially late in the Mid War. (Compare to say, U2 Incident.)
But it depends on how youd use those 3 Ops: flipping a battleground, in and of itself, is only worth
2 VPs, but denying or achieving a Domination bonus adds an additional 2-4VPs, depending on the
region. So for example, if you have no other options, Arms Race is better used for Ops if you are
flipping a 1-stability African battleground and achieving Domination as a result. But if you already
have Domination, 3 VPs are better than those 3 Ops even if you flip the battleground.
Ideally, you want to wait as long as possible in the turn to decide whether you need Arms Races 3
Ops, or if you can get by without and get the VPs instead. Of course, it is never so easy in Twilight
Struggle the longer you wait, the more likely it is that your opponent equals your Mil Ops, at
which point the 3 VPs are no longer available to you.
As a rule of thumb, I tend to play Arms Race for VPs towards the end of the Mid War (even holding
it between turns if necessary), and early in the Mid War I hold it until the end of the turn and look
for an opportunity to trigger it for VPs. In the Late War I will almost certainly take the 3 VPs (and
actively try for it).
As a final note, Arms Race is often pretty high up on the list of lousiest cards to receive through
Missile Envy, despite the thematic appropriateness.
Mid War 107
Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
1962
The mere mention of this event elicits fears of the nuclear holocaust that almost was. For
14 days in October 1962, the two superpowers seemed destined to clash directly about
the Soviet emplacement of Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs) and Intermediate
Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs) in Cuba. To prevent the installation of additional
offensive weapons in Cuba, John F. Kennedy declared a naval quarantine around Cuba.
Tensions reached a near breaking point when a U-2 flight was shot down over Cuba,
and Khrushchev demanded US missiles be removed from Turkey in exchange for Soviet
missiles being removal from Cuba. Ultimately, Khrushchev was compelled to settle for
a US pledge not to invade Cuba, and a private agreement to resolve NATOs missile
bases in Turkey.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
An ostensibly neutral event that in practice is of far more benefit to the US than the USSR. The event
accomplishes several things:
Mid War 108
It lowers DEFCON to 2, so as a headline it is useful to deny the USSR a battleground coup;
It prevents the opponent from further coups without removing influence from Turkey/West
Germany or Cuba.
Now, as US, it is not usually a big deal to remove two from Turkey or West Germany: youll almost
always have at least two influence in one of those two countries, and removing influence is not a
big deal for either of them.
As USSR, however, this event is very problematic if Fidel hasnt been triggered. If you dont have
influence in Cuba, then you cant remove it, and so you are essentially locked out of coups for the
rest of the turn. This has a number of effects:
The US is able to play Lone Gunman, which is no longer a DEFCON suicide card;
The US can play Che without repercussion;
The US can raise DEFCON (via SALT Negotiations or How I Learned to Stop Worrying) and
then coup away freely;
The USSR is unable to play DEFCON-raising cards (in particular the USSR is now unable to
trigger SALT Negotiations or ABM Treaty) without allowing the US several easy coups.
The US will certainly earn at least 2 Mil Ops VPs, and possibly more if they can raise DEFCON;
The US can spread freely through non-battlegrounds without fear of being couped.
Of course, the USSR can reap some of these benefits as well (it is nice not to have to worry about
Nuclear Subs!), but it is rare for the US to have no influence in either West Germany or Turkey.
Even if the USSR does control Cuba, a Cuban Missile Crisis headline is still pretty annoying, because
losing 2 influence in Cuba makes it quite vulnerable.
Finally, Cuban Missile Crisis is a decent headline if you anticipate that your opponents headline
will lower DEFCON and be subsequent to yours. For example, as US, if the USSR headlines Olympic
Games (or Missile Envy, and you hold We Will Bury You), then a Cuban Missile Crisis headline will
win you the game.
A couple of rules pointers:
The influence removal is not an Action and can be done at any time. (It is unclear whether
you can actually do this in the middle of your opponents Action, i.e., after he announces an
intent to coup or realign Cuba, but this is probably an area better suited for sportsmanship
than explicit timing rules.)
The Cuban Missile Crisis win condition takes precedence over a DEFCON-lowering coup,
so Lone Gunman is no longer a DEFCON suicide card if the USSR is under its effect and
cannot cancel it. (Presumably Lee Harvey Oswald is unable to assassinate Kennedy until he
has successfully resolved the Crisis.)
Mid War 109
The text of Nuclear Subs (which confusingly reads Does not affect Cuban Missile Crisis)
simply means that a US player with Nuclear Subs is not immune from the effects of the Cuban
Missile Crisis.
Cuban Missile Crisis applies to all coups, including free coups (through Junta or Tear Down
This Wall).
Mid War 110
Nuclear Subs
Nuclear Subs
1955
The United States launched the first nuclear powered submarine. It instantly antiquated
decades of antisubmarine warfare that had developed during the Second World War.
Admiral Hyman Rickover was to oversee the development of a new nuclear navy,
and create a third, and seemingly invulnerable arm, in the American nuclear triad.
Ultimately, the Soviets would follow suit.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
One of those for the remainder of the turn events that is best dealt with by playing it on the last
Action Round. An AR7 play of Nuclear Subs will still hurt, since permitting any battleground coup
is unpleasant, but the US player may not have planned for it (perhaps he had planned an AR7 play
or a Space Race discard), and the US player may not in fact even be able to use it (if he has a scoring
card left).
Mid War 111
So Nuclear Subs is not a big problem when you draw it. Its much more dangerous when the
US headlines it against you, causing your African battlegrounds to tremble in fear. Against such
a headline, there are several possible responses. The best is to overwhelm the US with threats
everywhere else. Coups are still restricted geographically by DEFCON, and because they take up
your entire Action Round, a round spent defending against influence into Europe or Asia is a round
where the Nuclear Subs must stand idly by.
I also like to keep DEFCON high: this can mean either playing SALT Negotiations (double bonus by
imposing a -1 on all coups), or just leaving DEFCON at 3 at the beginning of the turn. This allows
you to respond to the US battleground coups with a coup of your own: rather than allowing them
the last word over and over again, you can choose a country to retaliate in. This can even make
Nuclear Subs a detriment for the US, as their coups no longer drop DEFCON and lock you out of a
response coup.
Depending on the likely target of the US coups, non-battlegrounds become quite lucrative. If you
control the right ones, you can consistently respond to the US coups with realignments. The US will
be hesitant to coup non-battlegrounds during the turn, and even if you cant set up a realignment
you can often grab enough countries to deny Domination.
Occasionally you can pull off a fancy play with Yuri and Samantha, Latin American Death Squads,
or even Cuban Missile Crisis, though I find such circumstances to be rare.
Finally, there is no better feeling than being able to harmlessly dump CIA Created, ordinarily a
DEFCON suicide card, after the US plays Nuclear Subs. (This is incidentally a good reason to play
Nuclear Subs yourself, say on AR6, so that you can dispose of CIA on AR7).
As US
Given the risky nature of coups, this event is best for taking over a USSR-controlled Africa, or
perhaps getting into South America if you have been locked out entirely. 1-stability countries are
near-guaranteed successes on coups, but 2-stability countries are much more risky.
Beware that couping is an action without flexibility. (An alternative way to put it is that coups
are expensive in terms of Action Rounds, compared to direct influence placement.) You cant
coup a little bit here and place some influence there. By committing yourself to coups, you expose
yourself to ripostes elsewhere on the board. Against a good USSR player, you will often find yourself
agonizing over whether to respond to the USSR (thereby wasting your Nuclear Subs) or to coup
(thereby giving the USSR free rein). A US player too aggressive with her Nuclear Subs will often
simply run out of Action Rounds and cards.
On the other hand, Nuclear Subs is still a fine headline even if you dont intend to coup on every
Action Round. As is generally true in Twilight Struggle, sometimes the threat is worse than the
execution. The mere possibility of Nuclear Subs coups can compel the USSR into a premature Africa
Scoring or other suboptimal plays.
Mid War 112
Quagmire
Quagmire
1964 1975
It is hard to put a precise date on when US involvement in Vietnam ceased to be
support for an anti-communist counter-insurgency and became instead an inextricable
quagmire. However, Congressional passage of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution seems like
as good a point as any. With hindsight, it is clear that the United States confused
the very nature of the conflict that they were fighting. Vietnam was fundamentally a
war of national liberationa struggle that had begun centuries before against Chinese
dominance, then French, then Japanese and finally the United States. While the
American government may have never realized that they had fallen into the role of
foreign oppressor, that fact did not diminish Vietnamese resistance. Like most colonial
wars, it came down to a calculus of cost. US interests were simply not worth the
costs in national morale, military manpower and economic resources that Vietnam was
consuming. But humbling a superpower is a long process, and so it was in Vietnam.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
Mid War 113
As USSR
Quagmire has three main uses. The first, and most direct, is that it cancels NORAD. (It doesnt
actually prevent NORAD, so NORAD can still theoretically be triggered after Quagmire.) If relevant,
this is usually enough of a benefit for me to play it for the event.
The second is to hope that the US rolls really poorly and gets stuck in the Quagmire for an extended
period of time. If they fail their rolls, you get to conduct back-to-back Actions, one of the Holy Grails
of Twilight Struggle. The benefit of consecutive Actions is almost always immense: it can let you flip
a battleground, get into an otherwise inaccessible region, set up a vital realignment, score a region
undeservedly advantageously by temporarily breaking control, or a whole host of other possibilities.
Of course, the odds are against you. If you play Quagmire and they successfully discard and roll,
then nothing has really been accomplished, except you gave up a nice USSR event and probably so
did they.
The real point of this second use is when you can tilt the odds towards you with Red Scare/Purge.
Timed correctly, you can deprive your opponent of many Action Rounds in a row, and as a bonus,
strand them with low Ops cards that they must hold in hand for next round. For example, if you
headline Red Scare/Purge, and then spring Quagmire halfway through the turn, they might have no
3+ Ops events left. In that case, not only can they not discard to Quagmire and be forced to skip a
whole bunch of Actions (allowing you carte blanche to take over the world), those low Ops cards
stay in their hand through next turn as well. (If you are really lucky or sadistic, you can use SALT
Negotiations or the luck of the reshuffle to grab another copy of Red Scare/Purge to do it all over
again next turn )
The third main use is to time Quagmire so as to force the US to skip a crucial round. For example,
you can play it as an AR7 play, to deny the US their own AR7 play. Or you can headline it, causing
the US to miss their AR1 and allowing you a back-to-back AR1 and AR2. It is especially nice on
Turn 10, because missing out on the Turn 10 AR7 play will usually come as a nasty surprise to the
US.
Accordingly, I usually trigger Quagmire as USSR. The main exception is if the US is under
Containment for some reason, or if NORAD isnt out and I desperately need the Ops. But I will
often hold it for a turn or two and hope to draw it with Red Scare/Purge, because that combo can
be game-warpingly powerful.
As US
I almost always space Quagmire. Note the crucial difference between Quagmiring yourself and
being Quagmired: when the USSR Quagmires you, you usually just get out on the first discard, and
nothing of value was lost. But when you Quagmire yourself, you guarantee the USSR at least one set
of back-to-back Actions, and possibly more. (Note also that when you Quagmire yourself, the USSR
gets to know in advance when you will be emerging from the Quagmire.) There are simply too many
things a strong USSR can do to you with a set of back-to-back Actions to risk self-Quagmiring, and
cancelling NORAD only adds further fuel to the fire.
There are exceptions however. Sometimes you have too many problematic USSR events in hand and
Mid War 114
the Quagmire discard is the only way to escape. Rare is the hand, though, that genuinely calls for a
self-Quagmire. A better instance is when your last two cards are Lone Gunman and Quagmire and
you cant hold a card; here, Quagmiring yourself is the only way to avoid DEFCON suicide, because
by skipping your Action Round with nothing to discard, you are holding Lone Gunman to next
turn.
Mid War 115
SALT Negotiations
SALT Negotiations
1969, 1972
Initiated during the Johnson Administration, and completed by President Nixon and
Secretary Brezhnev, the first Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT) treaty essentially
sought to limit the number of nuclear platforms, and restrict defensive systems that
threatened the system of mutual deterrence. The success of this treaty led to the
initiation of a second round of negotiations or SALT II. The diplomatic wrangling
over this treaty began under President Nixon, and was completed in 1979 by President
Carter and Secretary Brezhnev. SALT II provided broad limits on new strategic weapons
platforms and banned mobile ICBMs. Owing to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the
treaty was never ratified. President Reagan asserted that the Soviets were not complying
with the terms of SALT II in 1986 and withdrew from the treaty.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
SALT Negotiations is not quite at the level of the Big Three Mid War neutral events (Brush War,
Junta, and ABM Treaty), but its pretty close. The event has three parts:
Mid War 116
1. It raises DEFCON by 2 levels. This is an easy way to get out of a DEFCON suicide situation,
though beware your opponent dropping DEFCON twice in one move (via Duck and Cover
or We Will Bury You). It is also if you desperately need to coup a battleground, even if that
means letting your opponent get in the first coup (and letting him coup Asia).
2. It gives coups a -1 modifier. Occasionally useful against Nuclear Subs, and somewhat eases
the volatility of raising DEFCON.
3. It retrieves a card from the discard. This is obviously the most important part of the event.
Here, SALT tends to favor the US. Obviously both sides are interested in grabbing cards like
ABM Treaty, Brush War, or Red Scare/Purge, but the US also has Grain Sales to Soviets,
Colonial Rear Guards, Ussuri River Skirmish, East European Unrest (if in the Late War), and
The Voice of America. Usually the USSR has OPEC and Decolonization (occasionally De-
Stalinization, if early in the Mid War). (Note that although it is usually used on recurring
events, theres no reason why you couldnt use SALT for a starred event that your opponent
discarded.)
4. A second benefit of retrieving this card is that it lets you hold an extra card to next turn.
This can be critical if you need to hold a card and also discard a card from hand (e.g., with
Blockade).
Note that SALT Negotiations is most effective on Turn 6, and least effective on Turn 7. And it is
often a card I hold from turn to turn, waiting for something good to show up. I am hesitant to play
this for Ops, because I dont like the risk that my opponent will draw it in the Late War, where there
are even events to choose from (e.g., East European Unrest).
SALTing for ABM Treaty deserves its own mention. For starters, its ABM Treaty, one of the best
events in the game. In addition, it either gives you two coups in exchange for one of his, or it means
you can also get in a DEFCON 4 coup. Finally, its a great trick for the US to pull on AR7: play SALT
for ABM Treaty, watch DEFCON rise to 5, and then headline ABM Treaty to engage in a rare Europe
realign or coup. This is one of the rare Twilight Struggle combos that cannot be stopped by the other
player under any circumstances.
Mid War 117
Bear Trap
Bear Trap
1979 1992
In an era of seemingly increasing Soviet hubris, the USSR reverted to old patterns of
power politics by meddling in the affairs of Afghanistanthe battleground country
in the Great Game rivalry between imperialist Russia and Victorian Britain. The
Soviets considered Afghanistan part of their natural sphere of influence. However,
when Soviet troops directly intervened in an Afghan power struggle and deposed the
existing president, they greatly miscalculated the reaction of world opinion. Smarting
from defeat in Vietnam by seemingly inferior forces, the Reagan Administration sought
to make Afghanistan into an equal nightmare. Over a ten year period, the United
States provided over $2 billion in assistance to the Islamic resistance or mujahideen
in Afghanistan.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Mid War 118
I almost always space Bear Trap. Note the crucial difference between Bear Trapping yourself and
being Bear Trapped: when the US Bear Traps you, you usually just get out on the first discard, and
nothing of value was lost. But when you Bear Trap yourself, you guarantee the US at least one set of
back-to-back Actions, and possibly more. (Note also that when you Bear Trap yourself, the US gets
to know in advance when you will be emerging from the Bear Trap.) There are simply too many
things a strong US can do to you with a set of back-to-back Actions to risk self-Bear-Trapping.
There are exceptions however. Sometimes you have too many problematic US events in hand and
the Bear Trap discard is the only way to escape. This is considerably more common than a US player
needing to self-Quagmire, but still somewhat rare. A better instance is when your last two cards are
CIA Created and Bear Trap and you cant hold a card; here, Bear Trapping yourself is the only way
to avoid DEFCON suicide, because by skipping your Action Round with nothing to discard, you are
holding CIA Created to next turn.
As US
Bear Trap has two main uses.
The first is to hope that the USSR rolls really poorly and gets stuck in the Bear Trap for an extended
period of time. If they fail their rolls, you get to conduct back-to-back Actions, one of the Holy Grails
of Twilight Struggle. The benefit of consecutive Actions is almost always immense: it can let you flip
a battleground, get into an otherwise inaccessible region, set up a vital realignment, score a region
undeservedly advantageously by temporarily breaking control, or a whole host of other possibilities.
Of course, the odds are against you. If you play Bear Trap and they successfully discard and roll,
then nothing has really been accomplished, except you gave up a nice US event and probably so did
they.
The real point of this is when you can tilt the odds towards you with Red Scare/Purge. Timed
correctly, you can deprive your opponent of many Action Rounds in a row, and as a bonus, strand
them with low Ops cards that they must hold in hand for next round. For example, if you headline
Red Scare/Purge, and then spring Quagmire halfway through the turn, they might have no 3+ Ops
events left. In that case, not only can they not discard to Quagmire and be forced to skip a whole
bunch of Actions (allowing you carte blanche to take over the world), those low Ops cards stay
in their hand through next turn as well. (If you are really lucky or sadistic, you can use SALT
Negotiations or the luck of the reshuffle to grab another copy of Red Scare/Purge to do it all over
again next turn )
The second is to time Bear Trap so as to force the USSR to skip a crucial round. For example, you
can play it as an AR7 play or headline, which causes the USSR to skip their AR1. This is not really
as nice as when the USSR headlines Quagmire on you, though.
In general Bear Trap is worse than Quagmire. It doesnt cancel NORAD, there are fewer timing
opportunities for the US to play it, and there are more US events for the USSR to discard. Accordingly,
I usually hold Bear Trap as US until I draw it with Red Scare/Purge, or some kind of opportunity
presents itself. And if I still dont have Red Scare/Purge by Turn 6 I will just play it for Ops, so the
USSR at least has a chance of drawing it in the Turn 7 reshuffle. Without Red Scare/Purge, you
would much rather add this to the USSR headache list than play it yourself.
Mid War 119
Summit
Summit
1959, 1961, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
Summits between the leadership of the superpowers became major implements of public
diplomacy from the mid to late Cold War. Success was measured in terms of agenda
items secured, treaties signed, and who was tougher on whom. As in an international
boxing match, non-aligned countries watched fromthe sidelines trying to discern which
power was in the ascendant. Virtually all major arms control agreements were either
initiated or concluded at a summit. In that sense, they were an important tool for sizing
up relative intentions, and ensuring the Cold War did not become hot.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 1
Removed after event: No
Summit is one of the weakest cards in the game to draw. For starters, its a 1 Op card: Nuclear Test
Ban might be the worst event relative to its Ops, but no one is ever unhappy to draw it.
Worse, like Olympic Games, it has the strong possibility of losing you the game at DEFCON 2.
Although it is not a guaranteed DEFCON suicide card, you would be foolhardy indeed to play this
at DEFCON 2 unless you had a massive lead in regions.
Mid War 120
More commonly, because of its very low Ops value, you might headline it if theres nothing else
worth headlining and youd rather conserve your Ops. Alternatively, if you are absolutely desperate
for VPs, Summit offers you the grim choice of a chance at 2VPs or nuclear annihilation.
Mid War 121
How I Learned to Stop Worrying
How I Learned to Stop Worrying
1964
As the reality of nuclear holocaust became accepted by the public, fatalism about its
inevitability also took hold. The landmark black comedy, Dr. Strangelove, captured this
newmood. However, such attitudes are hardly unique. Similar fatalismabout mankinds
ultimate destiny can be found throughout literature of the time and sparked a whole
sub-genre of science fiction, the post-nuclear-holocaust dime novel filled with atomic
mutants and vague remnants of contemporary civilization. Ironically, the pessimism
that is reflected in these works may have aided the possibility of nuclear war by making
such an act thinkable.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
A straightforward way to manipulate DEFCON, so it works in all the situations youd expect:
DEFCON-suicide cards, situations where your opponent cant coup due to Quagmire/Bear Trap
or Cuban Missile Crisis, etc.
Mid War 122
Like other DEFCON degraders, its also useful as a headline trap, since if your opponents headline
degrades DEFCON and is subsequent to yours, you instantly win. (One advantage HILTSW holds
over headlining other DEFCON degraders is that it cant backfire if your opponent also tries to lower
DEFCON in the headline.)
The Mil Ops is what really sets this card apart: it means you can headline it to prevent battleground
coups, but also earn your Mil Ops VPs at the end of the turn. In addition, it gives the US a little
trick on the last Action Round: use How I Learned to Stop Worrying to set DEFCON to 5, meaning
instead of losing 2 VP to Mil Ops requirements, you can force the USSR to lose up to 3 VP to Mil
Ops.
So, like most Mid War cards, this one tilts slightly to the US, who often needs both DEFCON at 2
and Mil Ops more than the USSR does. But the USSR can get good value out of it as a DEFCON
raiser: if they headline the card, they might be able to raise DEFCON to 4 or 5 and be able to coup
Asia / realign Europe on AR1.
Mid War 123
Junta
Junta
1945 ?
In Spanish, the term Junta means coming together. In a Cold War context, it normally
refers to the coming together of right wing military cliques to oust an existing
government and replace it with a military dictatorship. Juntas were so common in
Latin America throughout the period that they became a nearly ritualized affair. More
frequently than not, military juntas enjoyed the tacit blessing of the U.S. government
as they looked to check leftist elements in Central and South America. Notable juntas
include the military dictatorships that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983 and Guatemala
from 1954 to 1984.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
One of the Big Three Mid War neutral events, along with ABM Treaty and Brush War, and one of
the strongest events in the game. Juntas primary drawbacks compared to the rest of the Big Three
are that it is region-restricted, it doesnt provide Mil Ops, and it is less likely than the others to flip a
Mid War 124
battleground directly (since your coup odds are much lower, and you cant coup battlegrounds with
it at DEFCON 2). But it is the only one of the three that is guaranteed to give you influence in a
region. In addition, it does two things at once, so not only does it let you realign, it will also help
you set up a good realign opportunity.
Junta is a more common headline than ABM Treaty / Brush War, mainly because its the only one
of the three that can degrade DEFCON. The choice of coup or realign gives Junta the best of both
worlds: stealing the headline coup is a great option, but sometimes realignment is the safer play.
This is especially true for USSR, who can headline it, realign, and then coup on AR1 for Mil Ops and
perhaps also a bigger coup.
After DEFCON drops to 2, Junta is almost exclusively used to set up a critical realign. If you
control Brazil and the US controls Venezuela, you can use Junta to drop 2 influence in Colombia
and immediately start realigning, rather than giving the US an opportunity to coup Colombia to
defend itself. Common realigns include Costa Rica/Colombia realigning Panama, Colombia/Brazil
realigning Venezuela, Venezuela/Uruguay realigning Brazil, Argentina/Peru realigning Chile, and
for the US, realigning Mexico or Cuba with Guatemala or Nicaragua, respectively.
Because it guarantees influence placement, Junta is often a critical card to draw when neither side
has made any inroads into South America. Even if you are forced to waste the second half of the
event, it may be worth it just to get into the region.
Some common rules questions:
Do both influence have to go into the same country?
Yes.
Does the country you realign/coup have to be the same country as the country you placed
influence in?
No. You also dont have to realign the same country twice.
Is Junta affected by Red Scare/Purge, Containment, and Brezhnev Doctrine?
Yes.
Does a Junta battleground coup degrade DEFCON?
Yes.
Then what does free coup mean?
It means it does not give Mil Ops, and more generally, is not subject to DEFCON
geographical restrictions. (Which doesnt matter in the case of Junta, since DEFCON 2
does not geographically prevent a coup in Central or South America, but it does matter
for Tear Down This Wall.)
Mid War 125
Kitchen Debates
Kitchen Debates
1959
During a time of increased tensions following the successful launch of Sputnik, then
Vice President Richard Nixon took a good-will trip to Russia. What followed was
a sometimes playful, sometimes pointed public exchange between Nixon and Nikita
Khrushchev throughout his stay in Moscow. The exchange is known as the Kitchen
Debate, for a particularly sharp exchange in front of a US model homes display of a GE
electric kitchen. Nixon furthered his domestic political ambitions with a seeming jab at
Khrushchevs chest, reaffirming his anti-communist credentials at home.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Kitchen Debates incentivizes you to take battlegrounds, but you should already be incentivized to
do that anyway. Theres not much to say about this card if the US is ahead on battlegrounds, you
lose 2VP; if the US isnt, then you dont.
Mid War 126
I find Kitchen Debates to be more helpful as a rough barometer of how Im doing. Start worrying if
the US has more battlegrounds and is ahead on VP.
Note that this card is not removed from the deck if triggered while the prerequisite is not met.
As US
1 Op is usually not very helpful, and 2VP often is. Unless you have some immediate use for the 1
Op, I prefer the 2VPs and the opportunity to poke my opponent in the chest.
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/6399698#6399698
Mid War 127
Missile Envy
Missile Envy
1984
A term coined by Dr. Helen Caldicott, it reflects the general feminist critique that
the Cold War was driven by male ego with very Freudian undercurrents. When one
examines the terminology of deep penetration and multiple reentry one wonders if
she had a point. Caldicott went on to found Physicians for Social Responsibility, and
her book became a rallying point within the anti-nuclear movement.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
Yet another excellent Mid War neutral event, though its capacity for DEFCON suicide keeps it a tier
below ABM Treaty / Junta / Brush War / SALT Negotiations. When I draw it, I will usually headline
it whenever possible.
There are four possible outcomes with Missile Envy:
1. You are forced to trigger an unfavorable event.
Mid War 128
This is the worst case scenario with Missile Envy. For starters, DEFCON suicide is eminently possible
if DEFCON is at 2 but even when it is at 3 in the headline, you can still lose if your opponents
headline degrades DEFCON ahead of Missile Envy. For example, as USSR, you might pull We Will
Bury You when the US headlined Grain Sales to Soviets. Alternatively, as US, you might pull Duck
& Cover or Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 when the USSR headlined We Will Bury You. (It is also
conceivable, though staggeringly unlikely, that Missile Envy pulls Olympic Games or Summit, both
of which can also degrade DEFCON.)
Aside from DEFCON suicide, it is also possible (though extremely rare) that the event you pull with
Missile Envy is harmful to you. For instance, Nuclear Test Ban might raise DEFCON at a point
when you want to lower it. In general, as long as either We Will Bury You (for USSR) or Duck and
Cover/Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 (for US) are out of the game, then I dont worry about the
possibility of losing the game via Missile Envy, especially in the headline, and especially if Im the
US (since the USSR rarely lowers DEFCON in headline).
2. You are forced to trigger a meaningless event.
The second-worst possible outcome. More commonly happens to the US: US/Japan Defense Pact and
NATO are the best examples. Arms Race is often a wash as well. This rarely happens to the USSR
as its high Ops events are almost always useful.
Even in this situation, I still consider Missile Envy a net plus, since youve eliminated a high Ops
card from your opponents hand.
3. You trigger a event good for you.
Generally the second-best possible outcome, depending on how good the event is. Most of the really
good events have high Ops, and so the possibilities range fromRed Scare/Purge, ABMTreaty, Muslim
Revolution, or Marshall Plan, to Brezhnev Doctrine, Bear Trap, Ussuri River Skirmish, or OPEC. Of
course, maybe you trigger something that is only speculatively helpful, like Flower Power, but in
general, your high Ops events are good to trigger in exchange for 2 Ops.
4. You get to conduct Operations.
I consider this generally the best possible outcome. Not only can you conduct operations in the
headline, but youve also eliminated a high Ops event (a potentially powerful opponents event)
from your opponents hand. Taking Muslim Revolution and turning it into a no-strings-attached 4
Ops US coup is a gamechanger.
[The above analysis, incidentally, illustrates that I usually try to hand over their event or a neutral
event rather than my own event.]
The second half of Missile Envy is usually just as strong: the fact that you force your opponent into
a 2 Ops play on AR1 is very exploitable. For example, as US, when you headline Missile Envy, the
USSR is now forced to either coup with a 2 Ops or let you coup. Not a big deal if hes couping Zaire,
but a real discomfort if he was counting on a big coup to get into South America. Conversely, the
USSR can headline Missile Envy then make an AR1 play for a battleground knowing that the US
response can only be 2 Ops.
Mid War 129
In general I do not use Missile Envy during the middle of the turn, first because DEFCON is already
2 (furthering the risk of nuclear suicide), and second because the opponent will have already used
high Ops cards, and Im no longer assured of a 3 or 4 Ops card.
Missile Envy may combo well if you know your opponents hand already (i.e., you headlined CIA
Created or Lone Gunman), since you can have an idea of what you will be getting.
Mid War 130
We Will Bury You
We Will Bury You
1956
Perhaps the most famous quote of the entire Cold War, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
uttered this immortal line while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception in
Moscow. With these words Khrushchev announced a period during which he would
probe the West for weakness and opportunity. The Berlin Crisis exemplified this
expansionist policy.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 4
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
You often see this played for Ops, because 4 Ops is a lot of Ops, and the USSR ordinarily does not
want to drop DEFCON. If you really wanted to drop DEFCON to 2, you can usually just use the
card for a nice coup.
However, there are certain situations where you want to drop DEFCON in the headline phase.
Perhaps the US made an AR7 play and youd prefer your AR1 to be spent doing something other
Mid War 131
than couping. Perhaps you think the US will drop DEFCON in their headline and a DEFCON victory
is one of the few ways you can win the game.
And of course, sometimes you just want 3 VPs. Its a ton of VPs, and towards the end of the Mid
War, if you can lower DEFCON, 4 Ops for 3 VPs is a decent trade. Indeed, what usually pushes me
to headline it is the combination of the VPs plus the chance for an instant DEFCON win.
The 3VPs take precedence over any card played by the US, so if you play We Will Bury You on at
-17VP, and the US plays a scoring card worth +10VP on its next AR, We Will Bury You goes first
and ends the game before the US scoring card is tabulated.
Note that you can almost always headline this safely, since it is a 4 Ops event, meaning the only
possible US headline that would take precedence and drop DEFCON is Soviets Shoot Down KAL-
007.
As US
A DEFCON suicide card almost all of the time, and even when it isnt automatic suicide, 3VP is a
lot to give up. I almost always send this to space. You could theoretically use this as a way to drop
DEFCON in the headline if you have UN Intervention in your hand, but youd probably prefer to
just use UN Intervention with this for the 4 Ops.
Mid War 132
Brezhnev Doctrine
Brezhnev Doctrine
1968
Announced to a crowd of Polish workers by Brezhnev himself, the Brezhnev Doctrine
clarified the de facto policy of the Soviet Union, the Prague Spring. Namely, current
socialist countries would not be allowed to abandon socialism or adopt a position of
neutrality. The doctrine contributed to the Soviets miscalculation of world reaction to
their invasion of Afghanistan. They looked upon the invasion as the mere application
of this well-understood doctrine.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
A superb USSR Mid War headline at a time when there is usually very little good news for the
USSR. Compared to Containment, it has two disadvantages: first, it comes at a time when there is
less opportunity for Ops on the board, and second, if drawn by the US, it has zero effect instead of
a minimal effect.
Mid War 133
But its great advantage over Containment is that it allows the USSR to deal with the irritating Mid
War US 1 Op cards: OAS Founded, Panama Canal Returned, Kitchen Debates, and Sadat Expels
Soviets. (Sometimes CIA Created, if you are unlucky.) It makes those events eligible for the Space
Race and alternatively makes it much easier to mitigate their effects. (The latter is also true for Ussuri
River Skirmish.)
Occasionally I will hold this from turn to turn if my hand is not particularly suited for Brezhnev
Doctrine (e.g., many scoring cards or no US events). But I will always headline it sooner or later.
As US
Play it on the last Action Round and be glad you drew it.
Mid War 134
Portuguese Empire Crumbles
Portuguese Empire Crumbles
1974
Portugal was the last European power to abandon her major colonial possessions in
Africa. While admitted to NATO, Portugal was ruled by dictatorship under Antonio
Salazar, who felt that colonial possessions would preserve Portugals place in the
community of nations. Nevertheless, the repression of nationalist insurgencies brought
criticism both from newly independent nations, as well as Portugals NATO allies.
Finally, with a democratic government in place, Portugal renounced its claims. Shortly
thereafter, Portugals former colonies of Angola and Mozambique descended into civil
war and became major flash points for East and West on the continent of Africa.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
If you hadnt drawn De-Stalinization or Decolonization, then Portuguese Empire Crumbles and
South African Unrest are your primary non-coup ways to get into Africa. The event can also
Mid War 135
sometimes flip Angola, but most US players will overcontrol 1-stability battlegrounds anyway (so
you cant just flip it with a 3 Ops). And if youre under Red Purge, the events text suddenly looks
a lot better when the alternative is just 1 Op.
Outside of these situations I rarely play Portuguese Empire Crumbles for the event. Its the Angola
influence that really matters, and if you needed 2 influence there you could just use the cards Ops
and keep the event in the deck.
As US
Drawing Portuguese Empire Crumbles is not much of a problem. The 2 Ops can easily be used to
repair Angola, and who really cares about SE African States. If the USSR isnt in Africa, then I will
consider spacing it, but if thats the case then you should also be able to use the cards Ops and
control of Zaire/South Africa/Botswana to realign the Angola influence out.
Mid War 136
South African Unrest
South African Unrest
1964 1994
The racist, minority government of South Africa began to be challenged by the African
National Congress with Soviet and Cuban assistance from bases in Tanzania and
Zambia and other front-line states. The era of peaceful resistance formally ended with
the massacres in Sharpeville and Langa. For its part, South Africa sought to destabilize
its neighbors, and undertook an invasion of Namibia, while also supporting UNITA
in Angola and FRELIMO in Mozambique. However, increasing black population, more
powerful black trade unions, and hostility from other western nations eventually placed
South Africa on the defensive. While the Reagan Administration pursued a policy of
constructive engagement with the Apartheid government, it remained a controversial
proposition. Ultimately, the collapse of the eastern bloc made P.W. Bothas release of
Nelson Mandela inevitable.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
As USSR
Mid War 137
Practically speaking, South African Unrest serves much the same purposes as Portuguese Empire
Crumbles, though its a tiny bit better because its influence goes into more important countries and
is recurring. I will still usually play it for Ops, unless the 2 influence in a neighbor gives me the
chance to flip Angola. Usually 1 in South Africa is not a huge deal, and isnt going to let you flip a
controlled South Africa. But if the countries are open to Ops, or if I havent been able to get into the
region, then South African Unrest is a godsend.
I almost always choose 1 in South Africa and 2 in a neighbor. For one, its 50% more influence, and
no longer counterable with the cards Ops. For two, Angola and Botswana are both lucrative targets,
and 2 influence in Angola can sometimes flip the country. Only if I already control Angola/Botswana
will I consider putting both influence into South Africa.
Despite a possible interpretation of the events text otherwise, you cannot use this for 1 in Angola
and 1 in Botswana: it has to be 1 in South Africa plus 2 in Angola or 2 in Botswana.
As US
Much more annoying to deal with than Portuguese Empire Crumbles, since you cant actually repair
3 influence with 2 Ops. If the USSR chooses 2 in South Africa, then its no big deal, but 2 into
Botswana and/or Angola is more annoying, especially if you want to use your Ops before the event
but dont know which one the USSR will play into.
That having been said, its a lot less painful than some other USSR events, so I usually just suck it up
and play it. But if I have nothing more urgent to space, then this is certainly going to space instead
of being (at best) an empty Action Round.
Mid War 138
Allende
Allende
1970 1973
A physician, Salvador Allende was popularly elected in Chile to lead that nations
first socialist government. Allende moved quickly to socialize copper production
Chiles largest export commodity. The mines were largely held by two US companies,
Kennecott and Anaconda. Relations with the US soon turned frosty, and the CIA
supported an attempted coup in 1970. It failed. However, as the West applied harsh
economic sanctions, the Allende regime floundered in its second and third years. In
1973, the military, led by Augusto Pinochet, deposed Allende with a bloody assault on
the presidential palace. Allende took his own life.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
If you havent made it into South America, then Allende is great, obviously, but beware getting
wiped out by realignment.
Mid War 139
If youre already in South America, then Allende is rarely helpful unless you really need 2 influence
in Chile right now. Better to just let it come back in the Late War.
When taking over South America, I usually take over Chile last, because maybe the US has to play
Allende for me. But as soon as I suspect the scoring card is coming, I take Chile rather than miss out
on Control or Domination because I was too cheap to spend two influence.
Similarly, if I need to establish access to South America via coup, I usually coup Venezuela/Brazil,
because I might eventually gain access to Chile via Allende and Argentina via The Iron Lady.
As US
The easiest way of dealing with Allende is to overcontrol Chile first and then use Allendes 1 Op to
repair the damage. If the USSR doesnt have access into South America, then the best way of dealing
with Allende is usually via realignment: take Peru and Argentina, then realign away the two USSR
influence.
The worst situation is when neither of you are in South America: youll just have to hold Allende
for a long time. If forced to play it, your best bet is to still try to realign Chile, with 1/6 odds of
knocking the USSR out entirely.
http://twilightstrategy.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/ts-realignment-probability-charts.pdf
Mid War 140
Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt
1969
An ardent socialist and opponent of the Nazi party during his youth, Willy Brandt led
the West German Socialist Democratic party to the Chancellorship in 1969. There he im-
plemented the same pragmatic approach to east-west linkages that had characterized his
mayorship of West Berlin. Termed Ostpolitik, under Brandt, West Germany normalized
relations with the Soviet Union, Poland and Czechoslovakia. While not abandoning the
notion of German reunification, he acknowledged the inviolability of existing borders
and went on to normalize relations with East Germany. Ultimately, his government was
brought down by an internal spy scandal.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
The only reason youd ever want to play this for the event is for VP; adding 1 influence into a 4-
stability country is like drilling for oil with a toothpick, and youd rarely want to realign, much less
coup, West Germany anyway.
Mid War 141
If France somehow is still empty on Turn 4, Willy Brandt makes a decent headline by kicking down
the door to France and giving you access. But you should have already gotten access to France,
either by forcing your way into West Germany/Italy earlier, or Decolonizing into Algeria.
As US
If you really, honestly, have nothing else to space, then you may as well space Willy Brandt. Usually
Im more than happy to give the USSR a VP and play the 2 Ops, especially since I probably used
Marshall Plan to shore up West Germany a little. If it hasnt been triggered, then Willy Brandt is
equivalent to a 1 Op if you use the other Op to repair West Germany. But you dont even really need
to repair West Germany yet if Europe Scoring has come and gone.
Mid War 142
Muslim Revolution
Muslim Revolution
1979
As secular Arab and Muslim states throughout the Middle East displayed corruption,
repression and incompetence, more radical forms of Islam began to come to the fore.
The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt, sought to topple the secular regime there
and in Syria. This led to further cycles of repression and authoritarian rule within these
countries. A similar cycle took place in Iran under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
A long standing regional ally of the United States, and the West generally, the Shah
was deposed by a popular revolution led by the anti-western Ayatollah Khomeini.
This ushered in the worlds first contemporary theocracy. Irans Mullahs would spend
the rest of the 20th Century in efforts to export their revolution to other Shia Muslim
communities.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 4
Removed after event: No
As USSR
Mid War 143
Muslim Revolution is one of the main reasons US players tend to avoid the Middle East. This is
therefore one of those cards that derives much of its power from the threat rather than its actual
effect. And since it is a 4 Ops card, I am often tempted to use it for Ops instead of the event,
particularly if Middle East Scoring has come and gone.
In general, there are three reasons I will play this for the event:
First, when the US controls the 3-stability battlegrounds (Iraq and Saudi Arabia). They lose more
influence, and also cant recontrol both in a single turn.
Second, you have enough influence in the country to automatically take it over. For example, if Iran
is already at 4/2, then it goes to 0/2 and becomes yours after Muslim Revolution, instead of going
from 2/0 to 0/0.
Third, if the US has no access to the affected battlegrounds and therefore cant get back in before
you. If the US has no influence in Tunisia, Sudan, and Israel, then they cant do anything about
losing Libya/Egypt, and you have a lot of time to control them. This is especially pertinent if it is
knocking the US out of the region entirely but be mindful of Sadat Expels Soviets / Camp David
Accords!
Of course, make sure that what youre doing actually affects the scoring of the region. If the region
is tied 3-3, or you are being dominated 4-2, then youre OK with knocking the US out of two
battlegrounds, letting them take one back, and then taking the other. But if you are losing the Middle
East 5-1, you need to be able to take both battlegrounds before the US does to make it worthwhile.
And if you are dominating the Middle East, then re-evaluate whether you really need the benefit
from Muslim Revolution. (Of course, Shuttle Diplomacy throws a wrench into all of this math.)
As US
A notorious bugbear for American players, and a commonly-spaced event. But the threat that
Muslim Revolution poses is often overrated: provided the three conditions listed above do not apply,
it is usually a null event like Socialist Governments. If you are 2/0 on Libya/Egypt, then you lose 4
influence and have 4 Ops to put them back in. Influence in Israel and Tunisia is a great way to do
this.
Note that Muslim Revolutioncruciallydoes not affect Israel or Lebanon, two great places for
the US to hide during the Muslim Revolution. This is partially why Lebanon is such an important
country to take in the Early War, since it is the only Middle East country completely immune to bad
events until the Late War.
Mid War 144
ABM Treaty
ABM Treaty
1972
The Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty sought to cement the system of mutually assured
destruction as the lynchpin of strategic balance. The ABM treaty restricted the ability
of the two superpowers to defend themselves from nuclear strike. In theory, this made
a first strike to prevent the introduction of destabilizing defensive systems unnecessary.
Both nations were allowed to defend either their capital or one field of ICBMs with a
missile defense system. The Soviets deployed such a system around Moscow. Ultimately,
the US abandoned its system deployed in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 4
Removed after event: No
One of the Big Three Mid War neutral events, along with Brush War and Junta, and easily one of
the best events in the game.
Its most common use is as a free 4 Ops coup after DEFCON drops to 2. (Somewhat ironic that an
anti-ballistic missile treaty is intended to launch coups, but thats Cold War logic for you I suppose.)
Mid War 145
This is a pretty self-explanatory way to dramatically alter the dynamics of South America or Central
America, and more rarely a way to really, really lock up an African battleground. For the US, they
get a small bonus here with NORAD.
You can also headline this to conduct operations in the headline. Headlining it (or playing it on AR1,
as USSR) gives you the chance to perform the rare Asia coup, possibly flipping Thailand or Pakistan.
Of course, being able to conduct operations in the headline is an all-around useful tactic. The US
can perform the SALT-ABM trick: use SALT Negotiations to reclaim ABM Treaty to your hand at
the end of the turn, pushing DEFCON up two levels. Then as DEFCON rises to 5 next turn, you
headline ABM Treaty and get to conduct operations in Europe in the headline phase: typically a
series of realignments, though occasionally you might see an Italy coup. The USSR can do this too,
but its a little bit trickier: first, youre giving the US a free (albeit -1) battleground coup on AR7;
second, the US might headline Defectors; third, a US 4 Ops headline would trigger before yours. The
US faces none of these problems.
Mid War 146
Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
1966 1977
While primarily representative of an internal power struggle within the Peoples Repub-
lic of China, the Cultural Revolution had profound international implications. As Mao
Zedong felt increasingly marginalized by moderates within the Chinese Communist
party, he lashed out to restore ideological purity and train the next generation of
revolutionaries. The resulting turmoil of purges, denunciations, and creation of the
Red Guard brought China to the brink of civil war. It also made more pronounced, the
rupture between China and the Soviet Union. However, the anarchy and isolationism
that reigned made rapprochement between the United States and the PRC impossible.
As the Nixon administration took office, the gulf between the two nations appeared
wider than ever.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Mid War 147
Of the three China Card events (Nixon Plays the China Card and Ussuri River Skirmish are the
others), this one has the least useful if you already have the China Card effect. 1 VP for 3 Ops is
pathetic and almost never worth the trade.
However, claiming the China Card face-up is much more lucrative: having the China Card helps
protect you from DEFCON suicide and makes it much easier to manage your hand. I will therefore
often play this to claim the China Card if I can spare 3 Ops. If I already hold the China Card, I
usually just use Cultural Revolution for the Ops, but occasionally Ill play the China Card first, and
then take it back with Cultural Revolution.
If for some reason you know that the US is holding Cultural Revolution (say, on Turn 7), its nice to
play the China Card, giving it to them face-down, and forcing them into a difficult decision (hold
Cultural Revolution to next turn, space it, or play it and give back the China Card face-up).
As US
By definition, the China Card is worth at least 2 VPs because whoever holds it at the end of the game
gets 1 VP. So theres no reason to play this and just hand over the China Card, especially face-up. If
you draw this holding the China Card, you should always play the China Card first, then trigger it
for a measly -1 VP. And if you draw it while the USSR holds the China Card, try to play it as soon
as possible, because the only time this card is really annoying is when you have the China Card
face-down.
Mid War 148
Flower Power
Flower Power
1965 1970
A term reportedly coined by the poet Allen Ginsberg, flower power came to represent
the nonviolence and peace movements of the 1960s. The classical context for the phrase
was the placement of daisies into rifle muzzles, and the anti-war slogan make love,
not war. Flower power is also representative of the general ambivalence to the use of
military force that resulted from the American experience in Vietnam.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 4
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
It is hard for me to imagine when I would ever play this for the event. Conceivably, if I used Lone
Gunman to spy on the US hand, and saw that they had literally a ton of War cards, then Flower
Power would be worth it. Conceivably.
Otherwise, the benefit is just way too speculative to pass up 4 Ops. As a 1 Op card, I might take the
chance. As a 4 Ops, youd have to be crazy, desperate, or most likely, both. Like NATO, this is one
of those events you have to hope the opponent triggers for you.
Mid War 149
As US
Like the USSR, you are probably not going to pass up the 4 Ops from this card. Unlike the USSR,
youre going to have deal with its ill effects later on: chances are, youll probably draw at least one
or two War cards and be forced to space them or lose 2 VP per. Fairly annoying, and everyone has
forgotten about Flower Power at one point or another and lost 2 VP without realizing it.
Generally Ill just space the War cards, which isnt a big deal until you have other cards you want
to space as well (or if youre Purged). Brush War is of course the main exception.
Usually I dont end up playing An Evil Empire for the event unless I also have a lot of War cards
in hand with An Evil Empire. And it goes without saying that if you draw Flower Power with War
cards in hand, you should play all the Wars first.
Note that Arab-Israeli War, if prevented by Camp David Accords, does not count for Flower Power
and is a safe play.
Mid War 150
U-2 Incident
U-2 Incident
1960
Starting in 1955, the United States began running surveillance flights over the Soviet
Union at altitudes beyond Soviet anti-aircraft ranges. However, in May of 1960, a
Soviet Sam II missile struck Francis Gary Powers aircraft in Soviet airspace. Plane,
pilot and gear were captured by the USSR. The incident proved a major embarrassment
to the Eisenhower administration, as they initially denied that the US was running
such missions. The successful downing of the U-2 caused a major chill in superpower
relations and was a propaganda coup for the Soviet Union.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
3 Ops is better than 1 VP, and still better than a chance at 2 VPs. So unless youre at -18 or -19VPs,
play this for the Ops.
As US
Mid War 151
Play this for the Ops and dont think twice about it, unless youre at -19VPs, in which case space it,
duh.
Pedantical aside
Much more interesting (to me, at least) is whether this card should be U2 Incident or U-2 Incident.
According to both the 1962 United States Tri-Service military aircraft designation system as well as
the U.S. Navy Style Guide, military aircraft is always designated with a hyphen (e.g., U-2, F/A-18
Hornet, B-52 Stratofortress). But in Twilight Struggle, both the card and the Player Aid Card List
omit the hyphen. (Oddly enough, the historical notes at the end of the rulebook, as reprinted above,
do include the hyphen.)
Of course, it is possible that the event is actually referring to an incident involving a certain Irish
rock band, and the picture of the plane is just thrown in there to confuse us.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1962_United_States_Tri-Service_aircraft_designation_system
http://www.navy.mil/tools/styleguide_print.asp
Mid War 152
OPEC
OPEC
1960
Founded to allow oil producing countries to have more control over the price of oil, and
thereby state revenues, OPEC has grown into an institution that controls two-thirds
of the worlds oil reserves and generates roughly half of the worlds oil exports. The
creation of OPECwas a major blowto the control of the global oil market by the Western
giants like Exxon and British Petroleum. While OPEC does include non-Middle Eastern
countries such as Venezuela, Indonesia and Nigeria, it is heavily dominated by countries
from that region. As a result, OPEC has intervened in the political crises there. Most
famously, OPEC refused oil exports to Western countries supporting Israel in the Yom
Kippur (or October) War. This resulted in a 400% increase in oil prices and required
rationing in the West.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: No
As USSR
Mid War 153
OPEC is a bit like an extra Middle East scoring card, except only for you. It is up to you how many
countries you need in order to trigger OPEC: I have done it for 1 VP, but usually I probably wouldnt
usually trigger it once it is 2 or fewer VPs. Normally this ends up being around 4-5 VPs; I often hold
onto it to see if I can extract some extra value out of it.
As US
OPEC really is like an extra Middle East scoring card, but unlike a Middle East scoring card, it has
3 Ops and therefore can be spaced. And indeed, I usually do space it, since it is a rare game indeed
where this isnt scoring 3+ VPs.
Alternatively, you can also use the 3 Ops to try to break control of a USSR country to lower OPECs
effect. This is like a Special Relationship null play, but carries the disadvantage that youre probably
still giving up some VPs.
On Turn 6, this is one of those cards that I make sure to try to hold past the Turn 7 reshuffle before
discarding, since this is particularly bad time to be handing the USSR an extra 4-5 VPs.
Incidentally, any time you see the USSR play into Gulf States, you should be on alert that OPEC is
coming.
Mid War 154
Lone Gunman
Lone Gunman
1963
While campaigning in Dallas, Texas, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by
Lee Harvey Oswald. Two commissions, the Warren Commission, and the House Select
Committee on Assassinations, differed over whether or not Oswald acted alone. In
any case, the circumstances of the Presidents death threw the country into a panic
and created ample opportunity for conspiracy theories ranging from the Mafia, the
Cuban government, the KGB and Americas own CIA. It also marked the beginning of
a string of high profile political assassinations in the United States that would include
Dr. Martin Luther King and John Kennedys brother (and Democratic Presidential
candidate) Robert Kennedy. These untimely deaths shook American confidence and
added to the malaise of the Vietnam era.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Mid War 155
I usually try to keep this in the deck, especially if Im not doing well as the USSR. But it does make
for a decent headline, especially if you draw this on Turn 7 or later and theres no way it would end
up in the US hand anyway.
Its always lovely when the US is forced to headline this event, especially since you can either use
the 1 Op for influence or realignments, and then coup with a bigger card on AR1, or just coup with
it in the headline to avoid NORAD.
As US
Lone Gunman is in general the most painful DEFCON degrader in the game. You cant space it, like
with We Will Bury You. You cant match it up with Containment, which should usually get triggered
in the Early War. Its worse than its counterpart CIA Created because youll always have influence
to target with it, and you cant play it on AR1.
So unless you headline it, youll almost never get a chance to get rid of this DEFCON suicide card.
The general DEFCON article discusses in greater detail how to deal with cards like these, so I will
just make a few particular notes:
One unusual way to escape Lone Gunman, if you cant hold a card to next turn, is to Quagmire
yourself on the second-to-last turn holding just Lone Gunman. As you cant discard Lone Gunman,
you just skip your Action Round and get to hold it to next turn. Obviously not ideal, but still
preferable to DEFCON suicide.
I generally hold Lone Gunman turn to turn until I find some way to get rid of it. The alternative is just
to bite the bullet and headline it, but the problem, of course, is that Lone Gunman causes maximum
hurt in the headline phase and can still lose you the game if the USSR headlines a DEFCON degrader.
(Usually the USSR doesnt, though, since they intend to coup, but NORAD changes this dynamic
somewhat.)
However, if you are forced to lose a card, via Blockade, Aldrich Ames Remix, or Terrorism, holding
Lone Gunman basically loses you the game if you cant raise DEFCON or play the China Card. So
if you are threatened by any of those and lack the China Card, you are basically forced to headline
Lone Gunman rather than risk the loss.
Finally, never give up just because you realize you are stuck with Lone Gunman! There is always
the chance that the last USSR play will be Ask Not
Mid War 156
Colonial Rear Guards
Colonial Rear Guards
1946 1988
The Cold War was instigated in the context of an evolving international system.
As the world relinquished a multi-polar system comprised of polyglot empires, it
replaced it with a bi-polar system dominated by continental nation states. Anti-colonial
movements tended to have strong anti-western sentiments, as the foremost colonial
powers were now in the western camp. However, the drive to independence was not
uniform, nor uniformly successful. Several long rear-guard actions were fought by
the colonial powers that either lengthened their stay or maintained a quasi-colonial
relationship with the newly independent country. British intervention in Malaya (1948),
the French resistance to Algerian independence (1954) and South African intransigence
in Namibia (1966) all serve as examples of this aspect of the post colonial experience.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
As USSR
Mid War 157
Almost always worth spacing as the USSR, since it adds 4 influence to low-stability countries and
you only have 2 influence with which to respond. Along with Nuclear Subs, it can flip a USSR-
controlled Africa to capitalism very quickly.
As US
Identical to and yet weaker than Decolonization, Colonial Rear Guards doesnt usually come out
fast enough to lock up Africa or Southeast Asia. But its still a very strong event: it can be used as
a destabilizing headline or AR7 play if the USSR controls Africa and Southeast Asia. If I dont have
immediate use for it, I tend to hold it or use it for overprotection insurance influence rather than the
2 Ops.
Normally the influence from this will be dumped into Africa, since Southeast Asia should no longer
be very contested. But I usually put at least one into Thailand (to threaten a China Card takeover),
and then perhaps some into Philippines / Malaysia / Indonesia if Southeast Asia will be scored
soon and those countries are still uncontrolled. But the influence usually goes much farther in the
1-stability African battlegrounds.
Mid War 158
Panama Canal Returned
Panama Canal Returned
1970
Though widely criticized by the right domestically, the Carter administrations decision
to turn over the Panama Canal to Panama proved immensely popular with Latin
America. The Canal was a vital strategic link for the United States navy both during
the First and Second World Wars. However, by the time of the Korean War, the canal
was no longer large enough to accommodate contemporary warships. With its utility to
the U.S. military greatly diminished, while its propaganda value as a relic of American
imperialism still on the rise, Carter realized that gradual hand-over of the canal was the
best policy alternative.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
In many ways this is similar to Allende, with sides reversed. If the US is already in South America,
then its not a big deal: maybe buff up Panama/Venezuela a little bit before playing this, or dont
even bother if the US already controls both of those countries. (Who cares about Costa Rica?)
Mid War 159
But if the US isnt in South America, and especially if you dont yet have the region locked down,
this is hugely problematic. You could theoretically use the 1 Op to realign the US out of Venezuela,
but your odds of success are only 27.78%. A better use is often to headline Panama Canal Returned,
and then try to coup Venezuela on AR1 (or, if you are concerned about the US dropping DEFCON
in the headline, use the 1 Op of Panama Canal Returned on AR1 to coup Venezuela, but with only
1/2 chance of success).
As US
I normally use this for the event only when I need to establish access to South America, though of
course I will be careful to do so only at DEFCON 2. It can also be useful as an AR7 play to break
USSR control of Venezuela or Panama (preferably both).
Mid War 160
Camp David Accords
Camp David Accords
1978
Following a lull in the Middle East peace process caused by the 1976 presidential
elections, President Carter entered office with a burst of new energy on the subject.
Through direct personal appeal, Carter was able to bring ultimate resolution to the Yom
Kippur War and completely change the dynamic of the Middle Eastern question. Israel
and Egypt normalized relations and a framework for Middle East peace was agreed
to. Years later, this would allow for the Oslo accord, and the JordanianIsraeli Peace
Agreement. Additionally, Carter also secured the complete realignment of Egypt. Once
a Nasser led hotbed of anti-Western feeling, Egypt was to become one of Americas
foremost allies in the region. Sadat would pay dearly for the leadership he showed
during the talks. He was assassinated by Islamic radicals in 1981.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Mid War 161
An event on the border between spacing and not spacing: none of the effects by themselves are
particularly harmful, but the combination of all three is a little bit irritating. The influence is often
not worth repairing: Sadat Expels Soviets will likely undo all the work youve done in Egypt. But
Camp David Accords gives the US halfway to control, and Sadat takes them the rest of the way.
As US
A nice event, and one I try to trigger. It is especially nice when you have no influence in Egypt, since
then Sadat Expels Soviets will give you Egypt instead of just putting it to 1/0. Cancelling Arab-Israeli
War is a small bonus, and 1 VP is 1 VP.
Mid War 162
Puppet Governments
Puppet Governments
1949 ?
Not a concept unique to the Cold War, the term puppet governments refers to a regime
that holds power due to, and with the support of, either the Soviet Union or the United
States. A derisive term, it is almost always used by the opponents of a state to undermine
the governments legitimacy. Both the Soviets and the Americans would apply the term
to any closely allied state, but it might be better understood in the context of the Diem
government in South Vietnam or Mariam government of Ethiopia.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Early in the Mid War, this is usually a must-space because it gives the US access to otherwise
inaccessible battlegrounds (like a poor mans De-Stalinization).
But even later in the Mid War, this is still a harsh event to deal with. The US can use it to take a
bunch of non-battlegrounds, thus limiting any possibility of you scoring Domination. Worse, its
Mid War 163
never clear whether you should use the Ops before or after the event: if you use it after, then the
US has more targets for the influence. But if you use it before, youre allowing them consecutive
actions by letting the US drop 3 influence into countries like Colombia, Saharan States, or Nicaragua
for realigns on their next action.
So I usually try to space it. Its fairly low on the priority list behind Grain Sales to Soviets and The
Voice of America, of course, but I would rather the US play this event than I. If Im unable to space it,
I try to make absolutely sure that theres no semi-useful country out there for Puppet Governments
(Afghanistan, Colombia) before playing it to coup back the most useful country that the US takes.
As US
This is the equivalent of De-Stalinization, except it gets pretty lame pretty quickly. In fact, I find its
efficacy is often directly correlated with whether Decolonization/De-Stalinization have been played.
If Im playing this for the event, its either because I can place the influence in otherwise-inaccessible
battlegrounds (not Mexico), I have a plan that involves controlling multiple non-battlegrounds (i.e.
a headline threatening AR1 realignment, or denying an Africa Domination), or sometimes both.
If the USSR triggers it and all the obvious spots are taken, some frequently-overlooked countries to
drop influence into include Czechoslovakia, Peru, and Tunisia, all of which offer some less-common
realignment possibilities.
Mid War 164
Grain Sales to Soviets
Grain Sales to Soviets
1973 1980, 1981 ?
In 1973, difficult climatic circumstances and dramatic crop failures prompted President
Nixon to allow for massive grain sales to the Soviet Union. While a blow to Russian
pride, the program was nevertheless a step towards normalized relations between the
superpowers. Additionally, it provided an enduring domestic lobby to pressure for
continued thawing in economic relations between the two countries. In 1980, President
Carter suspended the program in retaliation for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Shipments were resumed a year later under President Reagan. This culminated in a
treaty with the Soviets, with the Soviets promising to buy 9 million tons of US grains
per year.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
As USSR
There is no card higher on the send-to-space priority list than Grain Sales. Even if it werent a
DEFCON suicide card, the fact that it cuts your handsize makes it almost always unplayable.
Mid War 165
Being hit by Red Scare/Purge while you have this in hand is crippling. This card (and others like
Voice of America) is a reason why the USSR tries to hang onto the China Card during the Mid War,
so that they can hold multiple cards from turn to turn.
SALT Negotiations is a good way to try to defuse Grain Sales either you raise DEFCON and
therefore can play it without triggering suicide, or you get to draw an extra card from the deck and
can hold an extra card to next turn.
As US
This the best US event in the game. It is certainly by far the best all-around headline for the US:
it conducts Operations, it cuts the USSR handsize, it can lead to a DEFCON win, its recurring, its
unplayable by the USSR, and its impossible to backfire on you.
I almost always try to headline this, even if I have NORAD in play the only possible exception is
if Im headlining Red Scare/Purge and have Bear Trap in hand. In that case I will save Grain Sales
for the next turn headline (but ideally trigger it before Turn 7).
Keep in mind that the handsize reduction for the Soviets is just as painful as the Operations you
get to conduct; accordingly, I almost always take the card and play it rather than return it. (Also
remember that because youre just playing it like youre playing any other card, you can do things
like send it to space.) Even taking a neutral 1 Ops is often superior to returning the card because of
the handsize problems.
There are a very few instances, however, where I would return the card:
Scoring cards, assuming that the USSR is unlikely to improve its position, are a good candidate
to return so that you can actually conduct Operations.
Extremely strong USSR events like Brezhnev Doctrine or Decolonization, IF you cant or dont
want to space it. For example, if I draw We Will Bury You, I typically just keep it and send it
to space, but if I already have a card in my hand I need to space, or if I really need to conduct
Operations, then I will return it to the USSR.
Harsh US events, like OAS Founded, are sometimes better left as crises for the USSR player
(assuming he cant space it).
1 Op events, if you desperately need 2 Ops for some particular reason. (This is rare.)
Mid War 166
John Paul II Elected Pope
John Paul II Elected Pope
1978
The first non-Italian to be elected Pope since the 16th Century, Pope John Paul II
represented a rejuvenation of Catholic influence upon the world stage. The United
States gave formal diplomatic recognition to the Papacy for the first time in its history.
As a Pope elected from communist Poland, John Paul II presented an enormous
challenge for Polands leadership. To criticize the new papacy would only alienate
the public, to embrace it would be antithetical to communist doctrine. Furthermore,
John Paul II was known to be an ardent critic of communism. John Pauls election
marked a turning point in internal Polish political dynamics that would culminate in
the Solidarity movement. Mikhail Gorbachev remarked that the fall of the iron curtain
would have been impossible without John Paul II.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Mid War 167
This isnt really a problem to deal with influence-wise, since most Soviet Premiers already
overprotect Poland with some mixture of Comecon/Warsaw Pact/opening setup influence.
The real issue is Solidarity, which can prove quite annoying later on. John Paul II wont control
Poland for the US, but Solidarity (coupled with East European Unrest) can.
Therefore, at best, this event is only a wash for you, and at worst, it creates further problems for you
down the line. This makes John Paul II a very attractive recruit for the Soviet cosmonaut program.
As US
For the reasons listed above, I try to trigger John Paul II so that the USSR has to worry about
Solidarity later. Its a nice AR7 play, especially if you hold Truman Doctrine, because Poland is not
only adjacent to the USSR but also a key realignment modifier on East Germany when Tear Down
This Wall arrives in the Late War. It gets even better with NORAD in play, because it provides
another good place for NORAD influence.
But I wouldnt over-invest into Eastern Europe until Im sure that Warsaw Pact is safely disposed
of. Trigger John Paul II, make the USSR sweat a little bit, but dont immediately pour in influence
unless you know you cant be thrown out by the Warsaw Pact.
Mid War 168
Latin American Death Squads
Latin American Death Squads
1960 1989
Throughout the Cold War, both left and rightwing governments supported reactionary
regimes that resorted to disproportionate force when reacting to threats to that govern-
ment. While this was a particular penchant of rightwing governments in Latin America,
leftist governments also proved their deft use of brutality. El Salvador, Guatemala,
and Columbia remain the most harrowing examples of the practice of government
sponsored murder. President Osorio of Guatemala once infamously remarked If it is
necessary to turn the country into a graveyard in order to pacify it, I will not hesitate
to do so.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
A somewhat speculative headline, Latin American Death Squads is most useful when engaged in a
battle for Central America (as the coup targets are better than in South America). It can also be used
as a prophylactic defense for one of your battlegrounds in case your opponent gets the battleground
coup.
Mid War 169
The main limit to its usefulness is that you dont really need that many non-battleground coups.
Therefore, events that allow more battleground coups by either side (SALT Negotiations, How I
Learned to Stop Worrying, ABM Treaty, Nuclear Subs, etc.) all make LADS more useful, provided
that South America/Central America is yet to be scored.
Mid War 170
OAS Founded
OAS Founded
1948, 1967
Founded with the specific aim of promoting democracy in the western hemisphere, the
OAS has been an occasionally useful body for the promotion of US interests within
the hemisphere. It provided international legitimacy for US actions during both the
Cuban Missile Crisis and the US invasion of Grenada. Trade promotion and economic
development were added to the OAS charter in Buenos Aires in 1967. The revision of
the charter also established the existence of permanent OAS diplomatic venues with the
creation of a General Assembly in Washington, DC.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Several things combine to make this one of the nastiest US cards in the game for the USSR to deal
with:
Mid War 171
1. For starters, 1 Op is obviously not enough to offset the 2 influence. It also makes it unspaceable.
2. If neither side is in South America, then it is terrible to just hand it over to the US with such
an event.
3. Even if both sides are already in South America, OAS Founded has so many different targets
for its influence that it is therefore nearly impossible to preemptively defend against (like the
US can with Allende).
4. In particular, all of the 2-stability battlegrounds in the Americas are vulnerable to OAS
Founded. If Brazil is 0/2, then OAS Founded will make it either 2/2 or 2/3, and then a 3 Ops
card is enough to take it over.
Accordingly, unless one side or the other has thoroughly locked up the Americas, I hold onto it until
I can find one of the following ways of discarding it:
If neither side is in South America, its sometimes worth a speculative gamble to headline
OAS Founded, thereby giving you a juicy coup target on AR1. This could backfire horribly,
though, if the US lowers DEFCON in the headline, denying you the coup, or if the US puts
influence into Chile, whereupon you probably have to realign Chile instead (and give the US
the battleground coup).
Brezhnev Doctrine allows you to space the card or repair its damage with 2 Ops instead of 1.
The latter is usually preferable, but the former can be better if the US isnt in South America
yet.
Five Year Plan, in addition to being able to magically discard scoring cards, can also magically
discard OAS Founded if played on AR7 holding only these two cards. It will still trigger the
event, but now you have 3 Ops with which to deal with OAS Founded, rather than just 1.
As US
This is a gigantic pain for the USSR to deal with, and so its nice if you can return it to the draw deck
for the USSR to draw. I often find, however, that I can put it to better use either as a normal event (if
neither side is in South America and DEFCON has dropped to 2), or as a particularly painful AR7
play. It is also a nice headline by threatening an advantageous AR1 scoring.
Mid War 172
Nixon Plays the China Card
Nixon Plays the China Card
1972
Realizing that normalization of relations with China was key for US withdrawal from
South Vietnam, Nixon sought a summit between himself and Mao. Nixon dispatched
Henry Kissinger to secret talks with the PRCs foreign minister Chou En-lai to lay the
groundwork for the visit. Capitalizing on deteriorating Sino-Soviet relations, Nixon
scored perhaps the greatest diplomatic coup of the Cold War. The Shanghai Com-
munique that followed the summit danced around several fundamental disagreements
between the two countries, including Taiwan and Vietnam. However, it was clear that
the Soviet Union could no longer depend upon Chinese support in regional conflicts.
While Nixon expressed his desire to fully normalize relations between the two countries
quickly, Watergate interrupted these plans. It would fall to Jimmy Carter to restore full
diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Mid War 173
An annoying China Card event with a choose-your-poison dilemma. The best solution to this
dilemma is to ignore it altogether by sending Nixon to space; if forced to play it, I would usually
rather fork over 2 VPs than the China Card, but of course this may depend on the state of the scoring
track.
As US
A good event. 2 Ops for 2 VPs is a strong trade, particularly towards the end of the Mid War, and the
China Card itself is worth at least 2 VPs (because possession at the end of the game gives +1 VP for
you rather than your opponent). The main drawback is that you only get the China Card facedown,
thus depriving you of an Action Round of Ops, but if you have an AR to spare, it is worth playing.
Mid War 174
Sadat Expels Soviets
Sadat Expels Soviets
1972
Anwar Sadat was an early participant in anti-colonial activities against the British-
sponsored Egyptian monarchy. He became vice president under Nasser, and inherited
a deteriorating relationship with the USSR when he transitioned into the presidency.
The Soviets refused Egyptian demands for increased economic and military aid, and
the Egyptians were trying hard to keep a foot in both camps. In reaction, Sadat expelled
the 5,000 Soviet military advisors and 15,000 air force personnel in Egypt. After the
brokered Mideast peace following 1973 war, Sadat became convinced of the need for
closer relations with Washington.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Another in a long line of annoying, unspaceable US Mid War 1 Op cards. Coupled with Camp David
Accords, Sadat gives Egypt to the US, throwing a wrench in your Middle East Scoring or OPEC plans.
Mid War 175
But you dont really have any other options sometime in the Mid War, Sadat almost certainly will
be triggered. So its better to plan for him in advance: if the US breaks control of Egypt with Camp
David Accords, I dont bother reinforcing it if Im going to be expelled by Sadat soon afterwards.
For the most part Sadat can be effectively neutralized by keeping either Nasser or Muslim Revolution
in the deck.
As US
This is a great event if the USSR controls Egypt, and almost always worth triggering. It is better to
play Camp David Accords first, then Sadat, to keep the Sword of Damocles Sadat hanging over the
USSRs head.
Mid War 176
Shuttle Diplomacy
Shuttle Diplomacy
1973
Personalized diplomacy that uses advances in transportation and communications,
Shuttle Diplomacy was a hallmark of Henry Kissingers term as Secretary of State.
Most famously, it was utilized to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Egypt after
the Yom Kippur War. By acting as personal go-between for the Egyptians and Israelis,
Kissinger maintained the pivotal role in discussions and minimized Soviet influence
over the negotiation process. Kissinger utilized a similar style when dealing with the
normalization of relations between the United States and the Peoples Republic of China.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: No
As USSR
This event functions a lot like a US Flower Power, in that the USSR will usually just bite the bullet and
trigger it, but the US will rarely find a reason to. Unlike Flower Power, however, Shuttle Diplomacy
is guaranteed to have an effect at a minimum, it will cost you 1 VP. Because both the Middle East
Mid War 177
and Asia have an even number of battlegrounds, nothing will usually happen if the USSR already
has Domination and a 4-2 advantage in battlegrounds. But if you are tied 3-3 on battlegrounds, then
Shuttle Diplomacy will often give the US Domination (usually the worst case scenario).
In summary, the possible outcomes for Shuttle Diplomacy are:
Middle East Asia
Does not affect scoring bonuses 1 VP 1 VP
Denies USSR Presence 4 VP 4 VP
Affects Domination 3 VP 5 VP
Denies USSR Control 3 VP 3 VP
Im therefore OK with playing Shuttle Diplomacy for the Ops. It is pretty far down the list in terms
of Space Race priority unless I know for sure that it will affect the next Domination. Usually at least
one of the two regions should only be a 1VP swing.
Generally, you would rather Shuttle Diplomacy get triggered on the Middle East. Not only is the
potential Domination swing smaller, it is also more likely to have no effect on Domination in the
first place.
As US
Like the USSR and Flower Power, its hard to find a reason for the US to play Shuttle Diplomacy for
the event. 3 Ops are immediately useful, whereas the events benefit is speculative and uncertain
unless you also have the scoring card in hand. It is most effective when the battlegrounds are tied
3-3, but even then, depending on non-battlegrounds, it still may not affect Domination. And even if
it affects Domination this turn, it may no longer by the time either of the scoring cards is played.
Rules clarifications:
The US gets to choose which battleground to deny the USSR. This is relevant only in the
extraordinarily rare circumstance where the USSR controls Japan.
The USSR can lose Presence as a result of Shuttle Diplomacy, if they only control one country
(which happens to be a battleground).
The US cannot gain Control as a result of Shuttle Diplomacy.
Mid War 178
The Voice of America
The Voice of America
1947
Formed in 1942 under the War Information Office, the VOA initially broadcast war
news into Nazi occupied Europe. In 1947, it altered its mission to begin broadcasting
into the Soviet Union. Voice of America has become one of the best known international
broadcast efforts in the world. It provided a powerful outside link to the state-controlled
media systems of the Eastern Bloc. Together with Radio Free Europe and Radio Free
Asia, Voice of America became a hallmark of US public diplomacy efforts during the
Cold War.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
As USSR
The Voice of America is a wholly unplayable event for the USSR. It ranks alongside DEFCON suicide
cards in terms of Space Race priority; at least with Duck and Cover, you could headline it or play
Mid War 179
it on AR1 when DEFCON is still at 3. The Voice of America is never safe for the USSR to play and
never mitigatable, not even if boosted with Brezhnev Doctrine.
The event is at its worst when you just made inroads into a region and VOA eliminates you entirely:
for instance, it is a perfect antidote to a Mid War De-Stalinization. It is therefore imperative for you
to try to establish footholds of 5 influence (or one country with 3 influence) whenever and wherever
you fear VOA. Losing 4 influence is tough but at least salvageable; losing access entirely can decide
the game. This means, for instance, that you cannot just rely on 2 Venezuela / 2 Brazil as your sole
foothold in South America, or 1 Angola / 1 Zaire / 1 Nigeria as your sole foothold in Africa.
As US
As indicated above, The Voice of America is best when you can use it to knock the USSR out of a
region entirely. Sometimes such a situation will naturally fall into your lap; other times, you can
manufacture such situations with an eye towards VOA as the knockout blow. A couple of strategic
coups and realignments can reduce the USSR down to what he thinks is a last stand, before VOA
takes him out by the knees.
If you cant eliminate access, then the next best effect of VOA is in countries where you have
influence and can immediately control or threaten to immediately control. It is a good way to
simultaneously threaten two regions at once and force the USSR to choose between them.
VOA is one of the best AR7 plays. In particular, VOA is at its most devastating on Turn 10 AR7. If I
draw VOA in the Late War, I will do everything possible to make sure that I can hold it until then
for a crippling final blow.
It is somewhat athematic that VOA cannot affect Europe, but I suppose the event is strong enough
without it being a quasi-East European Unrest as well.
Mid War 180
Liberation Theology
Liberation Theology
1969 ?
An outgrowth of the Second Vatican Council, liberation theology stresses Jesus Christ as
liberator. The theological strain that sustained this outlook originated in Latin America
and flourished there, particularly with the Jesuit order. While never embraced by Pope
John Paul II due to its Marxist undercurrents, liberation theology remains very popular
with individual priests and the laity in the third world. Its emphasis on social justice
and its critique of capitalist excess has, however, been incorporated into broader Church
doctrine.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
As USSR
A lifesaver in the Mid War by getting you into Central America. I almost always play this for the
event, unless Central America Scoring has been triggered unusually early. It is a strong headline
Mid War 181
that often breaks US control of multiple battlegrounds and opens the door for a highly advantageous
Central America Scoring (like Socialist Governments and Europe).
It is often used to get to Mexico, otherwise inaccessible as Fidel gets you Cuba and Panama can be
couped. Beware being realigned out of Mexico, however, especially if you lose Guatemala. You can
also use it to grab a lot of non-battlegrounds to cement your or deny their Domination.
As US
One of the few genuinely unpleasant Mid War USSR events. I usually send this to space, particularly
if the USSR has no access to Central America. Even if they do, it takes 3 Ops to repair the damage, and
so its usually just easier to send it to space rather than preemptively fortify the region. In addition,
Central America Scoring is often decided by non-battlegrounds, and Liberation Theology can very
inconveniently take a whole bunch of non-battlegrounds all at once.
One of the main ways to defuse this card is to make sure to play into Mexico. Most US players get
complacent about their southern border, and end up losing it to Liberation Theology before they
had a chance to contest it. Yes, you can realign the USSR out, but Id rather not have to worry about
it in the first place.
Mid War 182
Ussuri River Skirmish
Ussuri River Skirmish
1969
After years of deteriorating relations and Chinas first nuclear test, forces of the Peoples
Republic of China and the Soviet Union clashed along their long and porous border.
The Ussuri and Amur Rivers possession remained uncertain between the two nations
and were a source of friction. Following a military buildup on both sides of the
border, tensions spilled over into a several sharp skirmishes. While full-blown war was
avoided, the fighting led directly to the Peoples Republic of Chinas interest in rapidly
normalizing relations with the United States.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
This is like an amped-up version of Nixon Plays the China Card, in that you are presented with two
very unappealing choices.
Mid War 183
There are really two options to this either you can just fork over the China Card face-up, which is
bad for all sorts of reasons, or you can give the US 4 influence, knowing you can only repair 3. The
latter is better if the US doesnt have a face-up China Card, i.e., you played the China Card earlier
in the turn.
Regardless of the path you chose, triggering this event basically means the loss of Asia or the China
Card, rendering you very vulnerable to DEFCON suicide. As a result I almost always send it to
space.
As US
The main appeal of Ussuri River Skirmish is that Asia is very difficult to flip. This event coupled with
the China Card is therefore one of the few ways to swing the region in your favor in the Mid War
if it has yet to be scored. 5 Ops is enough to flip any uncontrolled 3-stability country or any non-
overcontrolled 2-stability country. I usually target Thailand first, then Pakistan/North Korea/South
Korea, depending on which I control.
Although Ussuri is a powerful event, its also easily parried with a 4 Ops card. Therefore, you want
to time Ussuri so that the USSR either cant respond to it (late in the turn, when he has used up his
high Ops cards), or must hand over the initiative in order to do so (i.e., headlining Ussuri or playing
it on AR7). Its even better when you can headline Ussuri River Skirmish on top of an AR7 play
that already de-stabilized Asia, because then the damage is hopefully irreparable in a single Action
Round.
You can also just play Ussuri for the China card, which I often do if I need to hold an extra card this
turn (and would therefore like to play the China Card), take away a safety outlet for the USSR, or if
Asia has already been scored.
Mid War 184
Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You
Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You
1961 1973
The seminal line of perhaps the most powerful inaugural address ever given by a US
president, President Kennedy ushered in an era of American confidence and resolve
during the Cold War. Popular with American youth, Kennedy inspired a renewed
dedication for public service both with ambitious goals for government sponsored
science and youth oriented public service like the Peace Corps. His call for selfless
dedication to the needs of the nation reflected the passion of a restless generation of
young Americans eager to make their mark upon the world.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
The standard way to get rid of this is to play it on the last Action Round, when hopefully the US has
already taken care of all its problematic cards and has nothing left to discard.
Mid War 185
But before you do so, you should consider whether its possible that a) the US knows you have it, or
b) the US is still holding on to Lone Gunman or a bad scoring card. Many experienced US players
sometimes hold onto bad cards in the Mid War in hopes of a USSR Ask Not that will save them
from Lone Gunman / bad scoring cards.
The best double agent trick here is if the US sees you have Ask Not in your hand (via CIA
Created), assumes youll play it, and then you instead make a vicious AR7 play that forces a response
from them using the very card they had hoped to discard.
Regardless, I rarely space this event. I really dont want the US to draw it in their hand, even in the
Late War. Sooner or later therell be a time when you can safely play this on AR7 knowing that there
is not much the US can discard.
As US
An absolute life-saver for the US, and potentially one of the most powerful cards in the game
depending on what youre discarding. When I draw this, I hold onto it from turn to turn, potentially
even using the China Card to hold more bad cards, so that I can assemble together the worst possible
hand to discard. Generally this means Lone Gunman and bad scoring cards, plus some combination
of unpleasant USSR events like We Will Bury You, Muslim Revolution, and OPEC. (Yes, this means
that I am holding onto President Kennedys inaugural speech to get rid of Lee Harvey Oswald. Got a
problem, history?) If theres anything I can even remotely deal with, I will try to deal with it without
enlisting the services of President Kennedy.
When I do finally discard to Ask Not, I usually also discard weak low Ops neutral events (goodbye,
Summit), or sometimes even low Ops US events if they arent helpful (e.g., Sadat Expels Soviets if
I already control Egypt). Sometimes Ill hold onto a high Ops starred USSR event that I dont mind
triggering, or would rather trigger than send back into the deck, but those are rare. U-2 Incident and
Cultural Revolution are perhaps the only ones that comes to mind.
If I dont have Ask Not, I try to keep it in my mind. If holding Lone Gunman or a killer scoring
card, I will sometimes hold onto it until AR7 (as described above) and hope for a miracle discard.
If somehow Ask Not ends up in the discard, remember that it is potentially a great target for SALT
Negotiations and/or Star Wars if necessary.
Finally, keep in mind that Ask Not is potentially a suicide card not DEFCON suicide, but if you
draw more scoring cards than you have Action Rounds available. And even if it isnt immediate
suicide, discarding when you dont need to at the end of a turn can sometimes force you into doing
something that you would not rather do. Exercise caution, therefore, when you are given the option
of discarding with just two cards and one play left.
Mid War 186
Alliance for Progress
Alliance for Progress
1961 1973
Initiated by President Kennedy as a counter for growing Cuban influence in Central and
South America, the Alliance for Progress was to help integrate the economies of North
and Latin America. Emphases for the program included land reform, democratic reform
and tax reform. By the late 60s the United States had become fully embroiled in Vietnam
and South Asia, thus aid for Latin America waned. Furthermore, few Latin American
countries proved willing to undertake the required reforms. As a result, the Organization
of American States disbanded its permanent Alliance for Progress Committee in 1973.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
A lot like the US OPEC, with two very crucial differences: 1) Alliance for Progress is not recurring;
2) Alliance for Progress often starts off scoring very low, but almost always scores quite high by the
end of the game.
Mid War 187
It is therefore almost always an autoplay if I draw it early in the Mid War and the US doesnt have
many battlegrounds. But if they already control more than 2, Ill just send it to space and hope that
I draw it again later and can space it again. (Remember that like all discards, it is better discarded
on Turn 7 than Turn 6.) If unable to space it, you can just use the Ops to break control of at least one
of the US battlegrounds first.
One of the best uses of this card is as your AR1 coup. Trigger the event after your coup, and oh,
whats this, I happened to coup away your only Latin American battleground. How unfortunate
As US
The reverse of the USSR analysis holds: if this cant score you 3 or more VPs, play it for Ops and
trigger it in the Late War for more. Once it gets to 3+ VPs, I tend to prepare to trigger it lest the USSR
draw it in the Late War.
Mid War 188
One Small Step
One Small Step
1961 1969
After years of lagging behind Soviet space exploits, the United States put its full
intellectual and economic weight behind the race to the moon. President Kennedy
initiated Project Mercury. Ultimately, the National Aeronautics and Space Administra-
tion would overcome enormous technological hurdles to place a man on the moon. As
Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot upon the moons surface, descended from
the space craft, he uttered the immortal line one small step for a man, one giant leap
for mankind. In so doing, he confirmed an American come-back victory in the space
race between the superpowers.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
There are a couple of uses for this card. The most common is to leapfrog onto the 2/0 VP space
to claim the 2VPs for yourself; then this event is like a 4VP swing (maybe adjusted for space race
luck?) and worth it. You can also stop an opponent from peeking at your headline, and occasionally
Mid War 189
be able to jump ahead to the 3/1 VP space (even more useful than the 2/0 space). In general it is more
effective the later it is played, like Captured Nazi Scientist.
It is best played when you are exactly one space behind your opponent, so that you can reap the
benefit of the slot you are jumping to. Occasionally it is worth it to jump to the peek-at-headline
space when you are two boxes behind your opponent, but ideally youd space something first, and
then use One Small Step to get the 3/1 VP bonus too.
One Small Step is often also a hidden source of VPs. Among experienced players that try to keep
track of what cards can still award VPs in the Late War, One Small Step is commonly forgotten.
The great danger One Small Step poses (like Captured Nazi Scientist) is that you could leap too far
forward and no longer be able to space cards of 2 Ops or fewer. This is especially a problem for the
USSR, who would love to peek at your headline, but perhaps not if she can no longer send Grain
Sales to Soviets and The Voice of America to space.
Of course, if you are ahead on the space race, then none of this matters and its just 2 Ops.
Incidentally I dont really understand why this isnt starred. Perhaps if you play it for a second time,
you are going to Mars.
Mid War 190
Che
Che
1955 1967
Ernesto Che Guevara, commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argen-
tine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military
theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become
a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular
culture. Guevara remains both a revered and reviled historical figure, polarized in the
collective imagination in a multitude of biographies, memoirs, essays, documentaries,
songs, and films. As a result of his perceived martyrdom, poetic invocations for class
struggle, and desire to create the consciousness of a new man driven by moral rather
than material incentives, he has evolved into a quintessential icon of various leftist-
inspired movements.
Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: No
As USSR
Mid War 191
One of the best (and most underrated) USSR events. Launching two simultaneous coups allows you
to set up countries for realignments, defend against US AR7 moves, or threaten multiple countries
at once. Consecutive Action Rounds are one of the holy grails of Twilight Struggle, and Che comes
close.
The best use of Che comes when you can make two threats and the US can only respond to one.
Most non-battleground countries are valuable for their connection to a battleground, and sometimes
the only response to an attack on a non-battleground is to coup it back. When you identify two such
non-battlegrounds, take advantage of the opportunity to double coup. Now the US must choose one
non-battleground to respond in, and you are free to leverage the other non-battleground against an
adjacent battleground (either by direct influence placement or realignment).
Che gets better as the game goes on and more influence is invested into non-battlegrounds. Most
games tend to have a pattern of low investment into non-battlegrounds (out of fear of being couped
out), followed by rapid investment into non-battlegrounds (where there is no longer enough time
/ Action Rounds to coup them all back efficiently). It is in that later stage that Che becomes so
powerful.
The fact that Che earns you Mil Ops (unlike Junta) is just icing on the cake.
As US
If you dont have any targets (or only one target), its a relatively safe play, particularly since you
can coup back whatever Che coups. Its also safe if your non-battlegrounds are 3-stability (i.e., Costa
Rica). But once you get into the stage of owning many non-battlegrounds, as described above, Che
is too dangerous to play (it is equivalent to 6 Ops for the USSR!) and better off sent to space.
Mid War 192
Our Man in Tehran
Our Man in Tehran
1941 1979
Replacing his deposed father, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was central to first British
and then American plans for the Middle East. While Pahlavi undertook the mantle
of western reformer, he often chafed under neo-imperialist economic relationships,
particularly where oil was concerned. Nevertheless, Irans oil wealth spurred Pahlavi
into the center of global geopolitics and his association with the United States was
vital for both nations positions in the region. However, whatever outward elements
of reform Iran projected, Pahlavi also used a brutal internal police force, the SAVAK,
and turned despotic and megalomaniacal in the later years of his reign. This was all the
opening required for Irans seething revolutionary elements.
Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Mid War 193
Our Man in Tehran hovers just at the border of send-to-space and suck-it-up. If I can spare the Ops,
I like to send it to space, but I rarely can, and so I often just end up playing it and hoping the US
doesnt find anything good.
If youve already seen the important cards (good scoring cards or good USSR events like Lone
Gunman, We Will Bury You, Decolonization, Muslim Revolution, OPEC, etc.) go to the discard,
then its not a big deal. Its also not a big deal in the rare situation where the US controls no Middle
East country, or only controls a single one (and you can use the Ops to break control of the country).
And although it is slightly less effective on Turn 6 then at other times, that alone is not enough reason
to feel safe about playing it.
As US
A very nice event and one I almost always trigger. It is worst on Turn 6, but even then it is better
than its 2 Ops, especially if you have not yet seen an important card you wish to discard.
Mid War 194
Mid War recap
Here is a brief summary of the Mid War cards (including Optional Cards, as always):
Mid War Neutral US USSR All cards
Scoring 4 4
1 Ops 1 4 2 7
2 Ops 5 9 4 18
3 Ops 4 5 6 15
4 Ops 1 3 4
Total cards 15 (11) 18 15 48 (44)
Total Ops 27 37 40 104
Average 1.80 (2.45) 2.06 2.67 2.17 (2.36)
The cumulative table for both Early War and Mid War cards:
Early War + Mid War Neutral US USSR All cards
Scoring 7 7
1 Ops 3 6 5 14
2 Ops 7 13 10 30
3 Ops 4 10 12 26
4 Ops 3 3 3 9
Total cards 24 (17) 32 30 86 (79)
Total Ops 41 74 73 188
Average 1.71 (2.41) 2.31 2.43 2.19 (2.38)
The average Mid War hand should have 19.71 Ops. Subtract headline and hold card, and you
normally expect to play about 15-17 Ops per turn.
Late War
Late War 196
Iranian Hostage Crisis
Iranian Hostage Crisis
1979 1981
A violent reaction to traditional US support for the repressive regime of the Shah of
Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, 65 Americans were held for 444 days after Islamic
revolutionaries stormed the US embassy. The newly installed leader of the Irans
theocracy, Ayatollah Khomeini, was rabidly anti-American and had urged his followers
to take action against Western influences. President Carter undertook two scrubbed
rescue missions, one of which resulted in a humiliating accident for the US military and
for the Carter Administration. Carters failure to secure the release of the hostages prior
to the end of the 1980 campaign season is often credited with his sizable electoral defeat.
Ultimately, Iraqs invasion of Iran in 1980 made Iran more amenable to ending the crisis.
Through the use of Algerian intermediaries, negotiations were finally successful. In a
final slap to Carter, the hostages were formally relinquished to US custody on January
21, 1981, minutes after Reagans inauguration.
Time: Late War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
Late War 197
As USSR
Clearly this is a quality event if the US still controls Iran, a rarity in the Late War. The Terrorism
effect alone is not worth triggering the event, but is a good bonus on top of flipping Iran to you
(which is at least a 2VP swing in final scoring, possibly more).
Its important to keep in mind because if you are still attacking Middle East battlegrounds in the
Late War (or late in the Mid War), its probably best to go for Egypt and Iraq as opposed to Libya
(Reagan Bombs Libya), Saudi Arabia (AWACS Sales to Saudis), Israel (stability too high), or Iran
(Iranian Hostage Crisis).
One of the advantages of controlling Iran is that the US will be more willing to play this event, thus
allowing you to trigger a double Terrorism to really cripple a US Late War hand.
As US
Its almost certainly worth it to send this to space if you control Iran. Even if it doesnt affect
Domination, it definitely is at least 2 VP for Final Scoring, and at least 4 VP if the Middle East
gets scored one more time.
Sometimes even when the USSR controls Iran, you might be tempted to space this. A double
Terrorism discard is quite painful, and turning Iran from 0/2 to 0/4 essentially gives up any hope of
ever taking the country back. But its 3 Ops so if Iran is already overcontrolled, or if you have no
interest in it, then I will risk possible subsequent Terrorism.
Late War 198
The Iron Lady
The Iron Lady
1979 1990
In many ways presaging the Reagan revolution in the United States, Margaret
Thatcher led a rejuvenation of the conservative movement in the United Kingdom.
An ardent anti-communist, Thatcher received the moniker Iron Lady from the Soviet
newspaper, The Red Star. Thatcher provided the perfect partner for Ronald Reagan,
and together, they renewed the special relationship that formed the lynchpin of the
post-war Atlantic Alliance. Thatchers finest moment may have been her vigorous
defense of Britains colonial outpost in the Falkland Islands. The military junta ruling
Argentina launched an invasion of what they referred to as the Malvinas Islands. In a
sharp, short military action, the UK expelled the Argentinian forces, and restored some
small luster to Britains former imperial pretensions. Thatcher reigned through the close
of the Cold War, and is Britains longest serving prime minister.
Time: Late War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Late War 199
Along with Five Year Plan and Duck and Cover, a great US event for the USSR. The Iron Lady is more
explicitly and unconditionally favorable to the USSR, and a great choice for an AR1 Argentina coup.
Even if you have no intention of attacking Argentina, its a good source of initiative by creating
a small threat for the US while you do something else with the 3 Ops. The VP loss is minimal,
the UK influence loss is laughable, and the only real consequence is that you cant play Socialist
Governments any more. Which is unfortunate (since a Socialist Governments headline + AR1 Europe
Scoring remains one of the best sources of VP for the USSR), but its a speculative cost, and at least
you have Pershing II Deployed to substitute in its place.
Rules clarification: you may not trigger The Iron Lady, then play influence adjacent to Argentina if
you did not previously have access to those countries. This is because the influence placement rules
restrict you to placing influence in countries adjacent to your existing influence at the beginning of
the Action Round.
As US
Better known in our gaming group as Thatcher the Betrayer, there is very little point to playing
The Iron Lady for the event. The usual caveats about being at +19 or -19 apply, but even in the Late
War, it is very dubious indeed to trade 3 Ops and potential loss of a critical battleground for 1 VP, a
speculative Socialist Governments block, and the elimination of USSR UK influence (usually 0).
If the USSR already controls Argentina, then the Socialist Governments block / 1 VP begins to look
a little more attractive, but on the whole I dont think Ive ever seen the US play this for the event.
Late War 200
Reagan Bombs Libya
Reagan Bombs Libya
1986
After the fall of Nasser, a petro-dollar empowered strongman, Muamar Qaddafi, sought
Libyas day in the sun as leader of the Arab world. To prove his bona-fides Qaddafi be-
came the leading source for state supported terrorism against the west. As Iran provided
a new model for antiwestern resistance, Qaddafi took on an increasingly religious piety
in his defamations of the West. Following earlier show-downs involving the Gulf of
Sidra, the United States took swift retribution for Libyas apparent involvement in a
West German discotheque bombing that killed an American serviceman. Targeting was
heavily focused on killing Qaddafi, and his personal residences were targeted. While he
escaped death, Qaddafis international prestige was much tarnished.
Time: Late War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Late War 201
An uninteresting event. Usually its 2 Ops vs 1 VP, and usually that means the 2 Ops are more helpful
(especially as you surely have more pressing US events to space). Wargames and Final Scoring should
factor into this generally straightforward decision.
As US
In some cute instances you can put a little more influence into Libya, boosting it to 2/2 and prompting
the USSRto respond to 2/4, pushing this up to 2 VP. But on the whole its not a particularly interesting
event: sometimes youll want 2 Ops, and sometimes you just want 1 VP (particularly when concerned
about Wargames).
Late War 202
Star Wars
Star Wars
1983 ?
More properly known as the Strategic Defense Initiative, President Reagan announced
this radical departure from the Cold War doctrine of mutually assured destruction in a
live television speech to the American public. The initial concept for the space shield
was developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory by Dr. Peter Hagelstein.
Notionally, it would create a series of space based satellites powered by nuclear reactors
that would create an impenetrable field to block Soviet ICBMs. While scientifically
sound on paper, the concept was never successfully engineered. Later iterations involved
smart pebbles and missile based interceptors. SDI is frequently credited as one of the
factors that convinced Gorbachev that the Soviet Union could not keep up the Cold War.
Time: Late War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
The USSR doesnt usually want to advance too far ahead on the Space Race track, but this is the
best reason why it might want to keep ahead of the US. If activated, then by definition, this is close
Late War 203
to the worst possible US event for the USSR because it gives the US the choice of any event in the
discard. Even putting aside the DEFCON suicide cards, the possibilities are too many to list. I have
never seen a discard pile safe enough to play Star Wars as the USSR.
You can try to space something else first, so that the US is not ahead of you in the space race, allowing
you to play Star Wars safely. But if you fail, then you cant send Star Wars to space, so its a big risk
to take.
It goes without saying that if you are ahead on the Space Race, you should play this for Ops as soon
as you can before the US overtakes you.
As US
An astonishingly strong event, adaptable to just about any board situation. If Im holding it, then I
keep it until I have a particularly strong event in the discard that I want to trigger. Sometimes this
means another event in my hand being able to play East European Unrest or The Voice of America
twice can be game-ending.
If the prerequisite isnt met, however, I usually give up on the card quickly. It is rare to overtake an
opponent on the Space Race once they are more than a single box away (One Small Step being the
main exception).
Late War 204
North Sea Oil
North Sea Oil
1980
While the first oil discoveries in the North Sea occurred in the 1960s, it would take
the Iranian oil crisis to make the exploitation of North Sea oil economically viable.
The North Sea contains the majority of Europes oil reserves and has become one of
the leading non-OPEC producing regions in the world. Shared between the United
Kingdom, the Netherlands and Norway, the North Sea fields provided a welcome release
from the death grip in which OPEC had hitherto held Western Europe.
Time: Late War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
I try to save North Sea Oil for the end of the Turn, to reduce the time the US has to prepare for
an AR8. Its not generally worth sending to space, except on Turn 10, where an AR8 is especially
uncomfortable.
Late War 205
The event is a lot less threatening when the US does not have the China Card and youre able to use
Aldrich Ames Remix and/or Terrorism to cut the US hand size.
As US
North Sea Oil probably makes most sense as a headline, but in a pinch you could play it during the
turn. The point is to give up one of your regular Action Rounds (or headline) and 3 Ops in exchange
for two consecutive Action Rounds at the end of the turn, which can be used for all kinds of nefarious
purposes. The OPEC block is just a nice bonus.
It is naturally most effective on Turn 10. It also tends to be better when you have the China Card or
SALT Negotiations, both of which would allow you to hold an extra card so you dont have to play
every card in your hand.
In the Late War, I try (if reasonable) to not hold a problematic card and space it earlier in the turn
instead. This allows me to take advantage of a USSR AR7 play of North Sea Oil. (Reminiscent of the
US approach to a possible USSR Containment in the Early War.)
Late War 206
The Reformer
The Reformer
1985 1991
Successor to the short-lived premiership of Konstantin Chernenko, Mikhail Gorbachev
was the only Soviet leader to be born after the Russian Revolution of 1917. His
experience within the Politburo gave him broad exposure to the West which profoundly
affected his thinking about the USSRs future. Gorby, as he would be known in the
West, inspired a sort of fan following. Margaret Thatcher famously remarked on his
coming to power I like Mr. Gorbachevwe can do business together. Ultimately,
Gorbachev would oversee the dismantling of the Soviet bloc. While his reformist
agenda, including Perestroika (economic reform) and Glasnost (political freedom) made
him extremely popular in the West, it made him less so in the Soviet Union. Ultimately,
Gorbachev would be removed from office as the result of a reactionary military coup
in 1991. In the wake of its failure, the Russian Federation would turn to a newly minted
hero, Boris Yeltsin.
Time: Late War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
Late War 207
As USSR
An outstanding event. The standard effect is very strong (like Ussuri River Skirmish), and the
enhanced effect is irreparable in a single Action Round.
The Reformer can be used either on offense, defense, or both. It defends against the US Late War
incursion into Eastern Europe, and it can place a significant amount of influence into the Western
European battlegrounds. West Germany is probably too difficult to flip because of its stability, but
Italy and France are both vulnerable. Plus, you can dump extra influence into US non-battlegrounds
and break/gain Domination (and in the case of Canada, pause NORAD).
That being said, do not hold this too long waiting for that negative VP score, as otherwise the US
might draw and be able to play Glasnost as a -2VP ABM Treaty.
As US
Send Mr. Gorbachev to space, every time. Improving Glasnost is very bad for you, and adding 4-6
influence with only 3 Ops to counter is problematic as well.
Late War 208
Marine Barracks Bombing
Marine Barracks Bombing
1983
After the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the United States and France dispatched troops to
form a peace keeping force between the opposing sides. Terrorist attacks on the troop
barracks of both nations resulted in terrible losses. 241 US servicemen and 58 French
paratroopers were killed in the attacks. It was the worst single day of casualties suffered
by the US Marine Corps since Iwo Jima. While US suspicions have focused on Iranian
sponsored Hezbollah terrorists, precise responsibility remains unknown.
Time: Late War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
You might see this as a headline (sometimes followed by an AR1 Middle East Scoring). But unless it
throws the US out of the region entirely, it is otherwise not a particularly good event, since the 2-3
influence is easily replaced.
As US
Late War 209
Generally not much of a problem, since you replace the two influence lost with the two Ops of
the card and give up on Lebanon temporarily. It is only really annoying when Middle East Scoring
is getting ready to be played, and the loss of Lebanon, even for a single Action Round, becomes
meaningful.
Late War 210
Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007
Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007
1983
Flying from New York City, to Seoul, South Korea, the doomed Korean Airlines Flight
007 strayed into Soviet Airspace due to a navigational error involving the planes
autopilot system. While the Soviets contemporaneously claimed that they did not know
that plane was civilian, tape releases after the Cold War indicate that little if any
warning was given to the airliner. The Reagan administration rallied global reaction
against the Sovietseven playing decoded messages before the UNSecurity Council. 269
passengers and crew were killed during the attack, including one member of Congress.
Time: Late War
Side: US
Ops: 4
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Unplayable at DEFCON 2, obviously, so the USSR typically sends this to space. Even at DEFCON 3,
its not such a good idea to give the US 2 VPs in the Late War. But if you must play it, either because
you desperately need Ops or have another DEFCON degrader in hand, the South Korea condition is
Late War 211
easily dealt with by first playing some influence into South Korea (and breaking US control) before
triggering the event.
As US
An extremely strong headline, Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 accomplishes several things at once.
It:
Reduces DEFCON in headline, denying the USSR an AR1 coup
Provides the chance at an instant win by DEFCON suicide if the USSR drops DEFCON in
headline
Gives 2 VPs
Allows you to conduct Operations during the headline phase
Even if you dont control South Korea, the 2 VPs and DEFCON degradation makes it a decent
headline in the Late War.
Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 also makes both Five Year Plan and Missile Envy slightly more
dangerous to play in the Late War at DEFCON 2.
Late War 212
Glasnost
Glasnost
1985 1989
The Russian word for openness, Glasnost was introduced as a public policy by Mikhail
Gorbachev. While his long term aim may have been to improve the freedoms of the
Russian people, his more immediate goal was to increase pressure on conservative
apparatchiks to accept his perestroika economic reforms. While the US typically
equated Glasnost with freedomof speech, in fact it was an attempt to bring transparency
to the workings of the Politburo.
Time: Late War
Side: USSR
Ops: 4
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
If The Reformer hasnt been played, Glasnost is probably not getting played as an event unless you
really want 2 VP for Wargames or autovictory. 4 Ops is a lot to give up, and raising DEFCON is
usually inconvenient since youre just giving the US a battleground coup. If you do want the 2 VP
that badly, then headlining it is probably your best option under these circumstances.
Late War 213
If The Reformer has been played, then Glasnost becomes a great headline. Playing it in an Action
Round is still a little inconvenient, because you cant use the event to coup DEFCON back down to
2 in the same Action Round. But the chance to play 4 Operations in the headline and get 2 VP is
definitely worth starting AR1 at DEFCON 4.
As US
If The Reformer hasnt been played, then this event turns into a quasi-ABM Treaty for the US, albeit
one that costs 2 VP. Whether this is a worthwhile investment depends on the situation, of course,
but if you can use it to flip a battleground it probably pays for itself.
If The Reformer has been played, then youll almost certainly send this to space. Its not a DEFCON
suicide card, but using it as an ABM Treaty doesnt work any more. You could conceivably use the
4 Ops of the card to repair the damage done by the USSRs 4 Ops, but youre still giving up 2 VP
(not to mention raising DEFCON for the USSRs next AR).
Late War 214
Ortega Elected in Nicaragua
Ortega Elected in Nicaragua
1985 1990
A political dissident since age 16, Daniel Ortega Saavedra spent time in a Managua
prison. Upon his release, he fled to Cuba and established relationships which would
be vital for the Sandinista movement. When the Sandinistas ousted the Somoza regime,
Ortega maneuvered himself into the de facto presidency. Ortegas close ties to the Castro
regime in turn prompted US support for the Contra rebels. Operating out of Northern
Nicaragua and drawing support from agricultural interests that had been collectivized,
the Contras were to prove a major hurdle to the success of Sandinista governance.
Ultimately, economic stagnation would prove the undoing of Ortegas government.
Time: Late War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
An unattractive event, since the influence is removed from a rather unimportant country, and your
choices for the coup are the three most stable countries in the region (and you dont even get Mil
Late War 215
Ops for it). Maybe you can headline it and coup Cuba to drop DEFCON in the headline or protect
Cuba from realignments. And its kind of funny to wipe out a lot of US influence from Nicaragua
if they over-couped it and had it at 6/0 or something. But I havent ever seen it played for the event
by the USSR.
As US
Everyone knows about Lone Gunman, but Ortega is the hipsters DEFCON suicide card. If you have
any influence in Cuba, then Ortega is unplayable at DEFCON 2.
If you dont have influence in Cuba, then Ortega is not much of a concern. The USSR usually gets
a coup against 3-stability Costa Rica with a 2 Ops card, Nicaragua gets emptied, and I can just play
back into Nicaragua if I really care about it (which I probably dont).
Late War 216
Terrorism
Terrorism
1949 ?
While a threat as old as human civilization, the use of terrorism as an instrument to
change international policy ebbed and flowed throughout the Cold War. The Soviet
Union and its Warsaw Pact allies were known to train terrorist organizations within
their borders, including radical elements of the Palestinian Liberation Organization
(PLO). In many ways, the PLO provided the archetype for a terrorist organization
throughout the Cold War. With its anti-Western, anti-Israel ideology, it became a cause
celebre for those asserting that the West was on a neo-imperialist crusade in the third
world. Palestinian terrorists hijacked planes, attacked the Achille Lauro, and perhaps
most infamously murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. There
were also western based, communist affiliated terrorists such as the Red Brigades in
Italy, and the Red Army in Japan. As the Cold War came to a close, and the Soviet Union
faced increasing difficulty with Muslim fundamentalism, its support for terrorism
waned.
Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Late War 217
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
A fine little event. At this stage of the game, 2 Ops is not a big deal compared to the possibility of
an instant win (by forcing your opponent to now play a card he had planned to hold to next turn).
It is especially strong if your opponent does not have the China Card.
Of course, you might hit a card you wish your opponent had held onto, but on balance, discarding
cards from your opponents hand is a good thing. You could compromise and at least be careful
about playing Terrorism when your opponent could have a scoring card favorable to you.
Terrorism works best when you combine it with other hand-reducers like Five Year Plan, Grain Sales
to Soviets, or Aldrich Ames Remix. Losing two cards is much more painful than losing one, since
you can no longer hold a card even if you have the China Card, and moreover, you might have to
skip your AR7 for lack of cards. Accordingly, as USSR, this is an outstanding event if Iranian Hostage
Crisis has been played, one I almost always trigger.
I tend to play this relatively early in the turn (often on the headline), before my opponent has gone
to the Space Race, thus minimizing the chance that I force my opponent to discard a card he was
going to hold or Space anyway. Terrorism can also be good as your last play if you suspect that the
other side is up to something (especially against the US on Turn 10).
Holding the China Card and playing SALT Negotiations are both decent counters to Terrorism by
restoring your hand size.
Late War 218
Iran-Contra Scandal
Iran-Contra Scandal
1985
In an effort to secure the release of US hostages in Lebanon, the Reagan administration
undertook secret negotiations with Iran involving arms for hostages. This was in
violation of the stated US policy of never negotiating with terrorists. Compounding
this difficulty was the fact that the proceeds from weapons sales to Iran were used to
covertly fund the Contra guerillas in Nicaragua. This was in contravention of stated
Administration policy, as well as laws adopted by the Democrat-controlled Congress.
Colonel Oliver North and Admiral John Poindexter both were criminally indicted for
the scandal, though the Congressional report concluded that President Reagan bore
ultimate responsibility for the scandal.
Time: Late War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Along with Che, Iran-Contra Scandal is one of the most underrated events in the game. The reason
it is so powerful (compared to Latin American Death Squads) is that the modifier applies to all US
Late War 219
realignment rolls, including their rolls on your realignments. So its not a speculative event: you
headline it and then go nuts realigning the US in the Mid War regions. Suddenly, now that even
rolls are favorable, it is a lot easier to find good realignment targets. No need to hold onto both
Colombia and Brazil to realign Venezuela any more; just one of the two will suffice.
As US
Play it on your last Action Round, though you can sometimes get away with playing it merely very
late if the USSR doesnt have time to set up a realignment.
Late War 220
Chernobyl
Chernobyl
1986
The Chernobyl accident was the worst disaster in the history of nuclear power.
Radioactive debris spread in a massive cloud that stretched throughout Western Europe,
and ultimately reached the eastern seaboard of the United States. 200,000 had to be
relocated from badly contaminated regions of Soviet controlled Ukraine and Belarus.
It is estimated that as many as 4,000 people may die from the deadly exposure they
received that day. Chernobyl displayed the kind of staggering incompetence that came
to reflect Soviet bureaucratic decision-making towards the close of the Cold War.
Time: Late War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Not a particularly fearsome event if you draw it, since playing it on the last Action Round is no big
deal (though remember to announce that your Operations go before the event!).
Late War 221
Chernobyl is one reason to overprotect your European assets a bit more. If you only control East
Germany and Poland at 0/3, then it costs the US 14 Ops to take them over and win with Europe
Control (and this is without considering events like East European Unrest or Tear Down This Wall).
But if you have been diligent in using your free eastern Europe influence from US-triggered plays
of Comecon and Warsaw Pact Formed to double- or triple-overprotect East Germany/Poland, then
you are effectively immune to a Chernobyl assault on Europe. (Of course, holding Warsaw Pact is
an even better defense against US intrusion into eastern Europe.)
If the US headlines Chernobyl, the response is similar to the response to Nuclear Subs you try
to distract them with threats elsewhere, such that the US is never able to take advantage of the
Chernobyl ban.
As US
Chernobyl works best as a headline. Most players tend to headline it immediately and go gung-ho
for Europe, but I think this is in error. The USSR almost always overprotects East Germany/Poland,
meaning you might not have enough Ops to take them over. So unless those battlegrounds are
weakened, or if you have strong Europe events to help you, youre unlikely to land that knockout
blow (especially considering potential USSR events like The Reformer and Warsaw Pact Formed).
I think Chernobyl is most effective when you line it up with any scoring card. If you can combine it
with Asia Scoring and make use of Chernobyls prohibition to swing Domination from one side to
the other, then Chernobyl is effectively a 8+VP swing for 3 Ops plus whatever board position you
lost elsewhere by focusing on Asia. (Assuming, of course, that the USSR lacks events that affect that
region.) This is much more feasible and less costly than trying to go for instant wins in Europe.
Of course, if you do draw Chernobyl with the right events, then by all means use it for the Europe
win. I usually hold it from turn to turn, trying to line it up with either a European opportunity, good
Europe events, or a high-value scoring card. Just be mindful that while you focus on the Chernobyl-
blocked region you dont lose too much board position elsewhere. This is especially true for Europe
its not uncommon to see people losing while controlling Europe, because theyve sacrificed so
much of the rest of the world that they lose to autovictory before Europe was scored.
Rules clarifications: the prohibition applies only to the play of Operations points to place influence.
Coups, realignments, and events like The Reformer are unaffected.
Late War 222
Latin American Debt Crisis
Latin American Debt Crisis
1982 1989
A ripple effect from the rise of Middle Eastern oil, Latin American governments
experienced phenomenal growth from the 1950s into the 1970s. However, this came to
an abrupt halt. Unfortunately, even with impressive economic growth, Latin American
countries like Brazil and Ecuador continued to rack up external debt. Given the new
found global capital from petrodollars, Latin American governments found willing
lenders. External debt in Latin America rose 1,000% from 1970 to 1980. When a
global recession sparked by the Iranian oil crisis buffeted world economies, most Latin
American governments simply could not keep up. Eventually, these governments would
have to commit to significant restructuring of their economies to reduce their debt.
Time: Late War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No
As USSR
Late War 223
A bit of a weird event. Its not nearly as good as an event that requires the US to discard a card (e.g.,
Aldrich Ames Remix), because the US will only discard to Latin American Debt Crisis if it doesnt
lead to DEFCON suicide.
LADC tends to get better as more influence is added to countries for example, its clearly a lot
better if Brazil is 6/4 rather than 3/1. But its rare to see South American countries with that much
influence from both sides. If they are, then this event can be an easy way to put some pressure on
the US if you dont have many other options. If they arent (i.e., LADC doesnt pose a threat to the
US position), then dont bother with the event.
As US
You can usually find a time to play this event where it doesnt have much effect. (Oh darn, Chile is
now 0/10 instead of 0/5.) Its still annoying even when applied to a USSR-controlled battleground,
since it eliminates any possibility of temporarily breaking control, so its worth a trip to space, just
at very low priority.
Of course, you can also use this to voluntarily discard a bad USSR card. Ordinarily you dont want
to cut your hand size, but if youve already spaced something else this turn and dont want to hold
a card to next turn, this can be a good way to deal with Muslim Revolution, OPEC, etc.
Late War 224
Tear Down This Wall
Tear Down This Wall
1987
In a speech that hearkened back to Kennedys address in front of the Berlin wall, Ronald
Reagan challenged newly installed Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Reagan, with the
Brandenburg gate in the background, declared: General Secretary Gorbachev, if you
seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek
liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev,
tear down this wall! While provocative, the speech leveled a difficult criticism at the
Soviet Union. Successful countries do not have to wall their citizens in. Two short years
later, the Berlin Wall would come down.
Time: Late War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
The USSR always sends Tear Down This Wall to space. It is unplayable at DEFCON 2, but even at
DEFCON 3 the event is too strong to trigger.
Late War 225
The two best ways to guard against Tear Down This Wall are Warsaw Pact Formed and East
Germany overprotection. This event is another reason to fight for Poland against John Paul II Elected
Pope and Solidarity, since control of Poland defends against a realignment of East Germany. It is
also why Czechoslovakia is a common dumping ground for free USSR influence from Comecon or
Warsaw Pact.
As US
The defining card of the US Late War Europe onslaught. Tear Down This Wall all but guarantees the
takeover of at least one European battleground and is a key factor behind most US Late War Europe
Control victories.
You almost always want to realign, since only Italy among the battlegrounds has a low enough
stability to consider couping, and even then its not coupable at DEFCON 2. The most common
realignment targets are France and East Germany: France you should have significant positive
modifiers on, and East Germany is usually the last USSR battleground in Europe standing between
you and Europe Control.
To maximize Tear Down This Walls effectiveness, try to hold it to combine with other European
events like East European Unrest or Chernobyl. In addition, try to prepare your realignment
with better oddsif you plan to realign East Germany, youll want to take over Poland and
Czechoslovakia before doing so, lest you just realign away your own influence.
Rules clarification: the free coup only signifies that you are permitted to coup in Europe even if
DEFCON is lower than 5. It still degrades DEFCON if you coup a battleground.
Late War 226
An Evil Empire
An Evil Empire
1983
First used by President Ronald Reagan before the National Association of Evangelicals,
conservatives applied the term evil empire to the Soviet Union. This change in
terminology encapsulated the conservative movements rejection of Nixons morally
ambiguous policy of detente. The speech sparked controversy within the NATOalliance,
as many European leaders found the speech unnecessarily provocative. Domestically,
the left argued that the United States had no room to criticize Soviet actions during the
Cold War, and pointed to CIA involvement in places like Chile. The speech gave further
indication that the last phase of the Cold War would be a confrontational one.
Time: Late War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Not much of a concern, since even in the Late War 3 Ops is probably better than 1 VP. Its best if
played at the end of the turn, but if you cant manage that its not a huge deal. This event is only
Late War 227
irritating in the sense that all of the US +1 VP cards tend to show up right as youre trying to win
by Wargames.
As US
Not a good event, unless you hold a lot of war cards and desperately need to cancel Flower Power,
or if that 1 VP matters for Wargames / autovictory / The Reformer.
Late War 228
Aldrich Ames Remix
Aldrich Ames Remix
1985 1994
The first known successful penetration of the CIA by the KGB, Aldrich Ames com-
promised hundreds of CIA operations and provided information that resulted in the
execution of 10 US sources. The CIA spent years looking for another explanation for the
leaksin particular the possibility that the KGB had bugged CIA headquarters. Ames
motivation was not ideological, and he and his wife enjoyed the extravagance that his
$2.5 million in bribes provided. Ames first walked into the Soviet embassy in 1985. At
that time, he oversaw the analysis of Soviet intelligence operations in Europe.
Time: Late War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
A phenomenal headline. In some ways it is even stronger than the original Aldrich Ames (see below):
Aldrich Ames Remix still retains DEFCON win possibilities (it is usually an instant win if the US is
holding Lone Gunman), and even if you dont get to win by DEFCON, you do get to discard the best
Late War 229
US event in their hand (ideally a scoring card) and see the US hand for the rest of the turn. All in
all, it makes Aldrich Ames Remix one of the best USSR headlines in the Late War, especially since
its almost impossible to backfire or be mitigated.
As US
This is typically painless if you play it in your last action round, and in fact is probably a boon as
you can use it to discard a strong USSR card (or even a bad scoring card), reminiscent of the USSR
Five Year Plan trick. It is not advisable to play Aldrich Ames Remix before your last action round.
Aldrich Ames Original
The original version of Aldrich Ames, included in pre-Deluxe Editions of the game, is a 4 Ops USSR
starred event with the following text:
US player must display his/her hand. USSR player then orders the US players cards. US
player must play hand in that order. US player may not play The China Card for the
rest of this turn.
I dont recommend playing with the original Aldrich Ames, the simplest reason being that it is hugely
time-consuming as the USSR will likely spend quite a while planning out their turn to calculate the
best possible order of the US cards. It also cripples the US decision-making for that turn and is a
generally unpleasant experience (especially if it ends the game).
Late War 230
Pershing II Deployed
Pershing II Deployed
1984 1985
The Pershing II missile was designed as a direct counter to the Soviet Intermediate
Range Missile, the SS-20. The deployment of 108 of these missiles in West Germany,
Italy and the United Kingdom proved a major test for NATOs resolve. Public protests
against the deployments were massive. However, despite the strains, the weapons were
deployed, providing NATO with a bargaining chip in the proposed Intermediate range
Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty discussions. These negotiations had been suspended in 1983,
and the successful deployment of the Pershing IIs provided impetus for restarting the
talks in 1985. Ultimately, the talks would succeed at the Reykjavik summit in Iceland in
1986.
Time: Late War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Late War 231
Like a much weaker Socialist Governments, except with a 1 VP bonus and not cancellable by The
Iron Lady. It is worth playing if the VP matters for Wargames or if the influence loss affects scoring.
A decent headline in the Late War.
As US
If your European countries are overcontrolled (and you have nothing to fear from the event), then
its often worth losing a VP to have 3 Ops. But if youre just going to spend your Action Round
repairing the damage done by the event, you may as well send this to space and save the VP.
Late War 232
Wargames
Wargames
1956 1995
Brinksmanship was a term coined by John Foster Dulles to describe a policy of
coming close to war, without falling into the abyss. At different times, during different
crises, this policy was pursued by both superpowers. However, there was always the
danger that brinksmanship could turn the cold war, hot. Additionally, brinksmanship
encouraged a nuclear posture of launch on warning. Game theory demanded that if
your opponent were launching a massive nuclear strike, you would have to launch your
own weapons before they could be destroyed in their silos. These doctrines shortened
reaction times of world leaders from hours to minutes. On November 9th, 1979, the
United States made preparations for a retaliatory nuclear strike when a NORAD
computer glitch indicated an all-out Soviet strike had been launched. As recently as
1995, Russia mistook a Norwegian scientific missile launch for an attack, and Boris
Yeltsin was asked to decide whether or not to counterattack.
Time: Late War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 4
Removed after event: Yes
Late War 233
Love it or hate it, Wargames is the most important Late War card in the game. No card so
dramatically affects the game depending on who draws it. The entire Late War is often dictated
by the struggle for this card, fueling the Cold War paranoia by giving you yet one more thing to
worry about. Does he have Wargames? Does he know I have Wargames? How close can I push
DEFCON this turn? Should I cash in this scoring card now to prevent a Wargames loss, or hold onto
it for an Action Round to get even more VP out of it?
The card is thus a brilliant fusion of theme and gameplay: it balances the allure of the instant
win against the fear of an opponents scoring card, set against the looming backdrop of potential
DEFCON suicide for the overeager Wargamer.
Although ostensibly a neutral event, Wargames tilts towards the USSR because Final Scoring usually
favors the US. If the US is able to build a +7 VP lead in the Late War, they are almost certainly going
to win anyway. Where Wargames tends to reverse the result are those boards where the USSR is
clearly destined to lose in Final Scoring despite a -7 VP lead.
This isnt to say that the US doesnt use Wargames; it does, but it usually does so later in the Late
War, and it usually doesnt actually change what the outcome of the game would have been.
There are three main scenarios involving Wargames:
You hold Wargames and have (or are close to) a 7 VP lead:
Congratulations, you win, provided you can degrade DEFCON to 2 safely. Depending on what
scoring cards remain for your opponent, you need to degrade DEFCON as quickly as possible.
The USSR can degrade DEFCON in the headline and score Wargames on AR1 before
the US can do anything. This is probably best unless you are worried about DEFCON
suicide, and you dont think the US can take away your Wargames win on their AR1.
The US must give the USSR at least one AR before they could trigger Wargames.
Therefore:
* If the USSR is going to score on AR1 and take away your shot at Wargames, you may
as well not degrade DEFCON in the headline, and drop it on your Action Round
instead (with a coup)
* If the USSR isnt able to take away your Wargames win on AR1, but could
potentially do so given multiple Action Rounds, then you do want to drop DEFCON
to 2 by your AR1. This may call for degrading DEFCON in the headline and risking
DEFCON suicide.
* If the USSR isnt able to take away your Wargames win, period, then there is no
need to risk DEFCON suicide.
If you dont actually have the 7 VP yet, but youre close, hold onto Wargames no matter
what. Even if you dont have advantageous scoring cards, your opponent might.
Your opponent holds Wargames and has (or is close to) a 7 VP lead:
Cash in your scoring cards as quickly as possible.
Late War 234
If thats out of the question, your best bet is now a DEFCON victory as your opponent
is probably trying to drop DEFCON as soon as possible. Hopefully you can catch him in
DEFCON suicide in the headline.
Alternatively, you can attack their hand with Five Year Plan, Missile Envy, Grain Sales to
Soviets, Quagmire/Bear Trap, Terrorism, or Aldrich Ames Remix.
You could always try to keep DEFCON above 2, but this is likely impossible since your
opponent can just coup it back down. Cuban Missile Crisis or Yuri and Samantha might help,
but this is a real long-shot.
The person who holds Wargames is nowhere near the 7 VP lead:
Nothing much to do here, then. That player will probably want to hold onto Wargames if they
expect to be able to swing back the score, but otherwise it is just 4 Ops.
Keep in mind that as you approach the Late War, there are things you can do to maximize your
chance of drawing Wargames. Our Man in Tehran can help get rid of it or get rid of cards in the way,
and emptying your hand allows you to draw more cards and hopefully find Wargames. Playing the
China Card or SALT Negotiations becomes a bit weaker since you draw one fewer card as a result.
Note that you are permitted to trigger Wargames without giving up the VPs and ending the game.
If you do so, the event is removed from the game. This is desirable if:
You draw Wargames with Missile Envy;
Your opponent has the 7 VP lead and could play either SALT Negotiations or Star Wars;
The deck will reshuffle and your opponent could draw it (extremely unlikely).
Finally, Wargames is a jarring event and can turn a beginner player off of the game. With
inexperienced players, I recommend either warning them about it up-front, or simply removing
it from the game altogether. But once you get better at the game, you should start appreciating why
Wargames is included, even if you find its swingness a bit distasteful.
Keep in mind that if you trigger Wargames at DEFCON 3 or higher, you do not remove the event from the game, because its prerequisite was not
met. But you do remove it from the game if you trigger it at DEFCON 2 and choose not to give the VPs.
Late War 235
Solidarity
Solidarity
1980 ?
A trade union movement originating in the Polish shipyards of Gdansk, Solidarity
became the focal point for anti-communist resistance within the Eastern bloc. Soli-
darity quickly moved beyond a simple workers movement and rallied pro-Catholic,
intellectuals and other social dissidents to its banner. Its toleration within a Warsaw
Pact nation was unprecedented, and involved a cat and mouse game heavily reliant
on public scrutiny of Soviet intentions, the prestige of the Polish Pope, John Paul II,
and the political courage of its leader Lech Walesa. While Polands communist led
government under Wojciech Jaruzelski did crack down on Solidarity and imprison much
of its leadership, the organization went underground and began to regrow. By 1988,
Solidarity led strikes had forced the Polish Communists into open negotiations.
Time: Late War
Side: US
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Late War 236
Assuming that John Paul II has been elected Pope, then Solidarity falls into the empty action round
category of US events; its worth sending to space, but you can also just repair its damage (assuming
youve overprotected Poland).
The main drawback of repairing rather than spacing is that it makes you more vulnerable to East
European Unrest: if the US only has their John Paul II Elected Pope influence in Poland, then EEU
cant grant them control no matter how many times they play it.
The main advantage of playing it for Ops is that you might be able to later use Warsaw Pact Formed
to more efficiently purge eastern Europe of all US influence.
Regardless, it is annoying no matter what to draw Solidarity, which is even further reason to send
John Paul II to space if you draw it.
As US
A fine event, suitable for AR7 or headline, especially if you can combo it with Truman Doctrine or
some other Europe-affecting event (Chernobyl, East European Unrest, etc.). It even works well with
Tear Down This Wall by potentially removing a USSR modifier on East Germany realignments.
And as noted earlier, Solidarity is a great way to establish enough influence in Poland so that a
subsequent East European Unrest can grant you control.
I do always try to play John Paul II for the event; even if I dont draw Solidarity later, or dont intend
to contest Poland, its still nice to leave a strong US event in the deck.
Late War 237
Iran-Iraq War
Iran-Iraq War
1980 1988
Commenting on the war, Henry Kissinger famously remarked, Too bad they cant both
lose. Sparked by simmering land disputes over the Shatt al-Arab, Saddam Hussein
sought to establish Iraq as a true regional power, and also check the export of Shia
fundamentalism from Iran. Initially, Iraq scored limited gains, but Iranian forces rallied
and began a counter offensive into Iraq. Without set allies in the conflict, the United
States played a cynical game of attempting to keep both sides sufficiently supplied for
the war to continue. Ultimately, the US began to tilt to Iraq as an Iranian victory in
the war would have been an unacceptable outcome. Iran also utilized oil as a weapon
necessitating the US flagging of Kuwaiti tankers to ensure oil supplies. After 8 years
of war, the border returned to its ante bellum status. However, both nations had been
severely weakened by the conflict.
Time: Late War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
Late War 238
Towards the end of the game, this areas countries are usually dominated by the same superpower,
and so the odds of Iran-Iraq War succeeding are rather low. Unlike earlier Wars, its not commonly
played for the Mil Ops, since by this point you should be able to find a non-battleground to coup
with the card itself.
The VPs are therefore the only thing about the card that really matters, and youll see people trigger
this event when desperate for VPs. Theres no downside risk, and if you already control all the
countries in the area, then its upwards of a 50% chance of 2 VPs. (Yes, you may trigger the war even
if you control both countries.)
Iraq is typically a more popular target, because its neighbors (Iran/Saudi Arabia/Jordan/Gulf States)
are usually less filled than Iran (Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan), and because it is a higher stability
country.
Late War 239
Yuri and Samantha
Yuri and Samantha
1982 1985
In one of the many bizarre, human moments of the Cold War, Samantha Smith, a ten-
year-old American school girl, wrote the newly appointed General Secretary of the
Soviet Communist Party, Yuri Andropov a letter. Andropov had recently succeeded
Brezhnev, and as one of the architects of Prague Spring, his ascension was taken as
a very inauspicious development for East-West relations. To everyones great surprise,
Samantha received a personal reply, including an invitation to the Soviet Union. Despite
concerns expressed by the US State Department, Samantha accepted and traveled to the
Soviet Union. Her trip was heralded as important early thaw in relations and improved
Andropovs public perception in the West. Tragically, Samantha was killed in a plane
crash in 1985.
Time: Late War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
Late War 240
A surprisingly good headline for the USSR. Given the value of VPs at this stage, it essentially blocks
the US from all but the most essential coups. This allows you to spread aggressively through the Mid
War non-battlegrounds, safe in the knowledge that the US is unlikely to coup.
Of course, if you are not interested in the Mid War regions, then this card loses a lot of value, since
that was where the US was going to coup anyway. But it is also very powerful if you combine it
with improving DEFCON or use it to counter Nuclear Subs.
As US
Play it on your last Action Round for no effect. You can also play it slightly earlier if you need to
and it wont be disastrous.
Late War 241
AWACS Sale to Saudis
AWACS Sale to Saudis
1981 1987
The E3 AWACS aircraft is one of the most sophisticated early command and surveil-
lance platforms available to the United States Air Force. Imagine Congress surprise
when President Ronald Reagan announced plans to sell 5 of them to Saudi Arabia after
they have only recently entered service in the United States. The Airborne Warning and
Control System sale was, at that time, the largest military sale ever. While it met with
Congressional resistance, as well as resistance from the Israeli government, ultimately,
the objective was to cement Saudi Arabia as the US newanchor against Tehran. The high
profile political risk associated with this arms sale would draw the two governments
together long after the Cold War was over.
Time: Late War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes
As USSR
The damage is easily repaired, but the loss of Muslim Revolution is not. Given that this is essentially
a 1 Op card if you control Saudi Arabia, I will only play it if Muslim Revolution or Middle East
Late War 242
Scoring is not going to be reshuffled into the deck. (Or if I have more important things to send to
Space, which I probably do.)
If the US controls Saudi Arabia already, then I usually play this without a second thought since it
doesnt affect the scoring of the region. (Though Muslim Revolution might be just what you need
to win back the Middle East.)
As US
There are four possible scenarios:
If Muslim Revolution is still in the deck and the USSR controls Saudi Arabia, this is a very good
event with two positive benefits.
If Muslim Revolution isnt in the deck and the USSR controls Saudi Arabia, AWACS depends on on
whether you possibly wresting control (which would involve at least 4 Ops after AWACS) is really
worth it to you. Does it affect Domination scoring, or just the battlegrounds VP?
If Muslim Revolution is still in the deck but I control Saudi Arabia, this is an OK event since Muslim
Revolution is guaranteed to take out at least 5 influence. But I am probably willing to chance it and
just play AWACS for Ops.
If Muslim Revolution isnt in the deck and I control Saudi Arabia, then there is definitely no point
to wasting the 3 Ops.
Late War 243
Late War recap
Here is a brief summary of the Late War cards (including Optional Cards, as always):
Late War Neutral US USSR All cards
Scoring
1 Ops
2 Ops 2 3 5 10
3 Ops 6 4 10
4 Ops 1 1 1 3
Total cards 3 10 10 23
Total Ops 8 28 26 62
Average 2.67 2.8 2.6 2.70
The cumulative table for all cards:
Neutral US USSR All cards
Scoring 7 7
1 Ops 3 6 5 14
2 Ops 9 16 15 40
3 Ops 4 16 16 36
4 Ops 4 4 4 12
Total cards 27 (20) 42 40 109 (102)
Total Ops 49 102 99 250
Average 1.81 (2.45) 2.43 2.48 2.29 (2.45)
Regions
Regions 245
Regions: Europe
Europe Scoring
Some Cold War historians view the entire struggle, costing millions of lives, untold
trillions of dollars, and conflict around the globe, as a struggle for the future of Germany.
While that view may be too myopic, it is clear that Europe always remained in the
forefront of strategy and emphasis. Defeat in Europe ultimately meant defeat in the
Cold War.
Time: Early War
Battlegrounds: 5
Countries: 21
General Considerations
Although it is the highest-value region on the board, Europe is rarely one of the highest-scoring
regions. It is unusual for either side to earn anything other than 1VP or 5VP from Europe Scoring;
high stabilities and DEFCON restrictions means that it is one of the most difficult regions to break
through. Only in the Late War does the situation change, thanks to a slew of powerful US events
that dramatically reshape the European battlegrounds.
Despite the immense reward of Europe control, it is in practice rarely seen. The Ops investment
needed is huge, and a player that singlemindedly focuses on Europe usually ends up sacrificing the
rest of the world, potentially even losing to autovictory before Europe Scoring is played. So if your
Regions 246
opponent starts to make a push for Europe, and you cant defend your position (because youre
under Chernobyl or Red Scare/Purge), give some serious thought to giving up Europe Control in
exchange for the rest of the world, and aim to win the game before Europe gets scored.
Early War
Each side typically starts with their battlegrounds: East Germany and Poland for the USSR; West
Germany and Italy for the US. The USSR is sometimes able to alter this situation early on: for
instance, a successful Turn 1 Comecon Trap / Italy coup, a successful Blockade, or a well-timed
Socialist Governments can all allow the USSR to score a relatively easy Domination from just East
Germany and Poland.
These considerations aside, Europe Domination tends to depend on two things: who controls France,
and who controls the 2-stability Mediterranean countries. US players are generally hesitant to play
into France before Suez Crisis and De Gaulle Leads France are played, since they can cripple the
US position. At the same time, without De Gaulle, the USSR is unable to play into France without
either spending 2 Ops for 1 influence in West Germany or Italy first, or playing Decolonization into
Algeria.
The 2-stability Mediterranean countries are critical, because the odd number of battlegrounds means
that one side will be able to score Domination unless the other side has more countries overall. All
of the other non-battlegrounds in Europe are significantly more expensive, though the US is slightly
better positioned in this fight (with the aid of Canada, the UK, and Independent Reds).
Mid War
At this point, Europe tends to be the most static region on the board. If Truman Doctrine has
already been triggered, the USSR is sometimes willing to engage in an Ops war for France. Italy
can sometimes be the target of Brush War, but with some preparatory investment in its neighbors,
your opponent will generally look elsewhere with his Brush War. John Paul II Elected Pope will play
a crucial role for the US, but he is primarily a springboard for the US in the Late War, rather than
an agent of immediate change.
Late War
Unless the USSR has already established a dominant position in Europe, it will have a very
difficult time in Europe in the Late War. Although The Reformer can provide some help, it pales
in comparison to Tear Down This Wall, Chernobyl, Solidarity, and East European Unrest. With
Chernobyl, the US will often sacrifice the rest of the board in pursuit of Europe control, but it must
be careful of autovictory and/or Wargames! The one beacon of light for the USSR is Warsaw Pact
Formed, as it can singlehandedly wipe out all of the US work in Eastern Europe. It is therefore critical
for the US to trigger Warsaw Pact as early as possible, removing it from the game, so that it cannot
come back as a much stronger card in the Late War.
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Regions: Middle East
Middle East
In 1946, Truman had to threaten to send warships to the Mediterranean to compel the
Soviets to remove troops from Iran. Thus began the Cold War struggle in the Middle
East. Since this region provided Western economies with their lifebloodoilit also
provided the USSR with an irresistible opportunity to meddle. US support for Israel
gave the Soviets an opening to the Arab world that they would repeatedly exploit.
Time: Early War
Battlegrounds: 6
Countries: 10
General Considerations
The Middle East is the only region on the board that is consistently biased towards one side
throughout the game. By design, the USSR almost always has the advantage in this region, amplified
by the fact that OPEC is a de facto extra Middle East scoring card. It is quite rare for the US to score
Domination: usually the primary goal is simply to prevent a USSR Domination (or worse, Control).
Early War
Four things will define the Middle East in the Early War:
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1) The USSR Turn 1 headline: if the USSR can headline Suez Crisis (or Arab-Israeli War with a 50/50
shot), it can knock out the US base in Israel and cut off most US access to the western half of the
region.
2) The Iran coup: this almost always goes the way of USSR. With a Suez Turn 1 headline, the US
would be lucky even to get Presence in the Middle East. If the US is knocked out of Iran but can stay
in Israel, the US has a fighting chance to avoid Domination if it can mitigate
3) Nasser, which really determines the outcome of two Middle East battlegrounds, since Egypt is the
only meaningful Early War path to Libya.
4) Also important are Jordan and Lebanon. Both of them mitigate Arab-Israeli War, and Jordan more
importantly is usually the only US route into Iraq/Saudi Arabia.
What usually ends up happening is that the US is out of Iran but finds a way to get presence in the
west, either with just Lebanon, or by making its way over to Jordan or Libya. Occasionally, the US
can hang onto Iran and possibly score a quick and dirty Domination if they also take Lebanon. The
flip side of that scenario is that the US loses both Iran and Israel, and is forced to coup in just for
Presence.
Either way, the best the US can hope for is usually just escaping the Early War having stopped USSR
domination.
Mid War
Muslim Revolution is the great specter looming over the Middle East in the Mid War. If the US had
been counting on Iraq and Saudi Arabia, thats seven influence lost and irreparable with a single
play. In addition, if the US had relied on Libya and/or Egypt, theres a very real possibility the US
cant get back into either country if it has no adjoining influence in Israel or Tunisia. OPEC just
kicks the US while theyre down, essentially equivalent to a Domination scoring for the USSR only.
Accordingly, the US will be desperate to send either or both off to space.
The sole ray of light for the US is Egypt, where Sadat Expels Soviets and Camp David Accords can
undo the effect of Nasser. Since Sadat in particular is a 1Op card, its very difficult for the USSR
to mitigate or discard on the Space Race, and is therefore almost certain to happen at some point
during the Mid War.
Shuttle Diplomacy is generally less helpful than it appears. The reason is that the USSR typically
leads in battlegrounds 4-2, in which case the saved battleground is rather meaningless. Even if the
battlegrounds are split 3-3, Shuttle Diplomacy does not usually give the US domination unless the
US has enough countries overall. It is essentially an uncertain 3VP card at best, and so the US will
usually not play it for the event barring special circumstances. Of course, if the USSR plays Shuttle
Diplomacy (and it usually will, since there are far worse US events to be sending to space), then
there is no reason for the US not to take advantage of it.
Generally, the USSRwill keep some combination of Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia (optional). As long as
they can take (or hang onto) one of the western Mideast battlegrounds (often Egypt/Libya, sometimes
Israel), they should score an easy Domination. Control is difficult but not entirely out of reach.
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The US goal is to survive. This is much easier if they had already stolen Libya in the Early War: so
long as Sadat comes out before Middle East Scoring, they only need one more battleground to stop
Domination.
Late War
Muslim Revolution and OPEC are likely to strike again, but this time can be prevented with AWACS
Sales to Saudis and North Sea Oil, two mediocre events made somewhat good by their indirect effect
on the Middle East. Nevertheless, the USSR is likely to continue dominating the region, one of their
few bright spots in a world tilting heavily towards the US. Iranian Hostage Crisis, Marine Barracks
Bombing, and maybe Iran-Iraq War add a little fuel to the fire, but generally they only slam the door
shut on the US rather than leading to any cataclysmic change in the region.
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Regions: Asia
Asia Scoring
While Europe may have been the object of the Cold War, Asia was the battleground.
From the Chinese Civil War, to the Korean War to Vietnam and Afghanistan, Asia was
the place where the Cold War came closest to growing hot. For this reason, Asia is the
second most significant region for scoring.
Time: Early War
Battlegrounds: 6
Countries: 15
General Considerations
The Early War (more specifically, Turn 1) is more or less a fight for Asia. Its difficult to get anything
done in Europe, and the USSR enjoys several major advantages in the Middle East. This leaves Asia
as the one region the two sides will clash over most. Whoever comes out of the Early War with Asia
domination will likely keep it for the rest of the game, though the omnipresent threat of the China
Card keeps Asia very much hanging in the balance. The fact that it cant be couped at DEFCON 3
means that the US will often make a control-breaking play in Asia on the final AR of a turn, so on
the next turn, the USSR is forced to choose between its battleground coup or repairing the damage
in Asia.
Early War
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The key to Asia lies in the very first Action Round of the game the Iran coup. If the USSR is able
to rid Iran of US influence before the US has a chance to spread into Afghanistan or Pakistan, then
the only question is whether the USSR is also able to grab Thailand or South Korea and therefore
score domination. But if the USSR is unable to keep the US out of Iran, then the tables are turned,
and it is the USSR that must successfully defend both Thailand and South Korea to prevent the US
from dominating Asia.
In other words, whichever side comes out of Iran by the end is likely going to be able to take Pakistan
and India. The USSR starts with North Korea, and the US has de facto control of Japan. Accordingly,
South Korea and Thailand are the keys to Asia, and are therefore much of the focus of Turn 1. The US
has easier access to these countries, but the USSR will look to make use of the Korean War, Vietnam
Revolts, and Decolonization to even the playing field.
The one wild card in all of this is the Indo-Pakistani War, which can dramatically change western
Asia. Skilled players that suspect an Indo-Pakistani War will make sure to shore up Pakistans and
Indias neighbors before committing to Pakistan and India entirely. But you wont always have the
tempo to do all of this before Asia Scoring, and India in any event can never be entirely safe from
the War.
As the US, it is also possible to deny domination to the USSR by grabbing all the cheap countries and
ending up with a higher overall country count. As there are 15 countries on each side, the US only
needs to grab 7 countries in addition to Australia to guarantee that it cannot be dominated, even if
it loses the battleground war 4-2. This is easily achieved if you take Thailand and its neighbors in
Southeast Asia, and possible (though unlikely) if the USSR took Thailand.
Formosan Revolution can sometimes turn the tide in favor of the US, but its only relevant if the two
sides split the battlegrounds 3-3 and Asia Scoring triggers before the US uses the China Card. It is
generally a harmless 2Ops for the USSR and not worth the event for the US.
Mid War
In the Mid War, several important Asian events enter the deck. Southeast Asia Scoring raises the
stakes, and the China Card cards (Nixon Plays the China Card, Ussuri River Skirmish, and Cultural
Revolution) all make their presence felt. Of these, Ussuri is easily the most influential; although its
not very important if the US is already dominating, it can quickly turn USSR domination into US
domination when followed up with the China Card.
On the whole, however, the Mid War is mostly a fight for the new regions: Africa and the Americas.
By this point, Asia is frequently already locked down, and you need a gamechanger (Brush War,
Red Scare/Purge, Ussuri River Skirmish, or the China Card) as well as high Ops cards to make any
headway. Nevertheless, Asia is sufficiently high-scoring that its probably worth overcontrolling
your key battlegrounds as a prophylactic measure against such gamechangers.
The fact that there is an even number of battlegrounds means that it is very difficult to flip your
opponents Domination into your Domination. Therefore, Asia tends to be most contested when
neither side exits the Early War with Domination.
Shuttle Diplomacy is generally less helpful than it appears. The reason is that the USSR typically
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leads in battlegrounds 4-2, in which case the saved battleground is rather meaningless. However, if
the battlegrounds are split 3-3, then Shuttle Diplomacy can be a nice one-time domination if the US
has enough countries overall. It is essentially an uncertain 5VP card, depending on the board, how
the USSR responds, and which scoring card triggers first. Although its not much of a big deal for
the Middle East, it can be rather more potent in Asia.
Late War
No Late War event explicitly targets Asia. (Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 gives the US an outstanding
headline if they control South Korea, but doesnt necessarily help them in Asia.) Although it is
possible for Asia to flip from one side to another, in practice, at this point Asia is just as locked
down as it was through the Mid War. The China Card (and its associated events) continue to ensure
that Asia is never entirely decided until the end of the game, but Asia is generally the least volatile
region in the Late War.
Battlegrounds: Thailand
Experienced players know that the road to Asian domination begins and ends in Thailand. Assuming
that the USSR keeps Pakistan, India, and North Korea (generally safe assumptions in the Early
War), the US needs both South Korea and Thailand to stop Asian domination. (Japan is never really
contested by the USSR.) These countries share the common characteristic of being the only Asian
battlegrounds that both sides will have reasonably easy access to in the Early War.
Unlike South Korea, however, Thailand is much easier to flip, especially with the China Card.
Overcontrol is a must against a player with the China Card, because 5Ops can flip a 2/0 country into
2/4. (For the US, sometimes double overcontrol is needed against China + Vietnam Revolts.) Even
3/0 turns into 3/3 after the China Card.
Thailand is usually taken on Turn 1. There are some complications involving DEFCON, but generally
both sides are keen to get to Thailand as soon as possible. In the Mid War, Thailands low stability
combined with Southeast Asia Scoring makes it a frequent target for influence wars (and Brush
War!), and whoever flips Thailand is often able to flip the Asia scoring card to their advantage.
As USSR
The easiest way to get to Thailand is with Decolonization or Vietnam Revolts. With Decolonization,
you must be wary that you dont just get immediately couped out of Thailand. On the other hand,
if you coup DEFCON to 3, even with Decolonization, you wont be able to stop the US from taking
Thailand first. If DEFCON is still at 4 on Turn 2, you can headline Decolonization into Malaysia and
then reinforce it so that the US never even has access to Thailand, later securing Thailand at your
leisure.
With Vietnam Revolts, youre a bit safer, as your +1 to Ops in Southeast Asia means that its difficult
to coup you out of Vietnam. When DEFCON drops to 3, youll be able to take Thailand first, and in
any event a 6Ops China Card will be difficult for the US to defend against.
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De-Stalinization can also place influence into Thailand, but this is strictly a desperation move: De-
Stalinization is in general fairly weak on Turn 1, and especially weak if you are wasting 25-50% of
it in Southeast Asia.
Without these events, your best bet for Thailand is to crawl across Asia (assuming the US doesnt
expose itself to being couped in Southeast Asia). You are thus very unlikely to gain control of it
on Turn 1. Nevertheless, Vietnam Revolts will eventually come out and guarantee you access to
Thailand; you can fight for it then.
As US
The US is usually able to get to Thailand first, because you need no events in order to get into
Thailand: you can just walk right through Malaysia. Generally, you try to wait until DEFCON
drops to 3 lest you get couped right out of Malaysia. It is equally critical to play into Malaysia
as soon as DEFCON drops to 3, because if you wait a turn, you allow the USSR to play Vietnam
Revolts/Decolonization and then take Thailand while you are still in Malaysia. If you do get Thailand
taken from you, play into Malaysia to ensure access to this critical battleground, and consider using
your AR6 play to break Thailand control so that the USSR is forced to choose between shoring up
Thailand and couping on his next Action Round.
After securing Thailand, it is important to sooner or later take Malaysia and Laos/Cambodia so that
Thailand is not an automatic target for Brush War in the Mid War. And since the USSR starts with
the China Card, you absolutely need to overcontrol Thailand so that the China Card doesnt just
flip the country. Even if the USSR doesnt immediately have access to Thailand, he will sooner or
later, and you dont want to be caught off guard by a Vietnam Revolts headline followed up with
the China Card to steal your Asian Domination.
Affected by:
Brush War
Southeast Asia Scoring
The China Card
Decolonization / Colonial Rearguards
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Regions: South America
South America Scoring
The regional penchant to turn to strong men or military juntas to resolve questions of
instability made South America ripe for leftist reaction throughout the Cold War. Rising
nationalism and the world-wide wave of anti-imperialist sentiment also characterized
the relationship with the United States and the nations of South America. The Soviets
sought to exploit any openings offered, and established close relations with nations
like Argentina. The greatest potential realignment in the region was squashed by an
allegedly CIA-instigated coup of Chiles Salvador Allende.
Time: Mid War
Battlegrounds: 4
Countries: 10
General Considerations
South America offers the potential for some of the most lopsided scoring in the game. With only 4
battlegrounds, closely-linked, it is the easiest region to gain Control over. In particular, a great many
USSR Mid War victories can be attributed to a De-Stalinization into South America that locks up
the four battlegrounds early.
Even if you dont gain control, the difference between a 2-2 battleground deadlock and a 3-1
Domination is 5VP. This is equal to a typical Europe Domination, and further suggests that along
with Africa, South America is one of the key regions of the board.
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The eventual trend of the continent is to tilt towards the United States. The USSR must rely on
either De-Stalinization, coups, or neutral events in the Mid War, while the US has a plethora of
events (including OAS Founded, one of the most irritating 1 Ops events in the game). Accordingly,
it is important for a USSR that did manage to De-Stalinize into South America to lock up the region
securely, so as to defend against an eventual US onslaught.
South America is also rife with potential for realignments, as it is the only region where every
battleground can be subject to an easy realignment. Common scenarios include Chile/Uruguay
realigning Argentina, Colombia/Brazil realigning Venezuela, Venezuela/Uruguay realigning Brazil,
and Peru/Argentina realigning Chile.
Early War
The USSR has the easier job of getting into South America, but if and only if he draws De-
Stalinization. If he does, then South America control should be easy; otherwise, the USSRs only
hope is to attack the US with coups and events.
The US has only one Early War option for South America, and thats the AR7 play into Colombia
(AR6 in this case, since this is the Early War). Personally, Im not a fan of this move. As USSR, Im
totally happy to just coup Colombia and give up a battleground coup; usually, in the Early War, the
US is not terribly interested in battleground coups anyway, and certainly not at the cost of letting the
USSR into South America with a strong Colombia coup. On the other hand, if the USSR is already
in South America thanks to De-Stalinization, then the AR7 play into Colombia is still unlikely to
succeed but at least has little downside.
Mid War
Many Mid War events directly or indirectly target South America. The USSR, however, has very few
options, with its only events being:
Allende
A good desperation way to get into South America if De-Stalinization has not come out.
Che
A nice way of responding to two threats at once, creating two threats at once, or
responding to one and creating your own simultaneously.
The US has:
Puppet Governments
If played early enough, this serves as a psuedo-De-Stalinization, perfect if South America
is still empty.
Panama Canal Returned
A straightforward way to get into Venezuela, very useful as an AR7 play or to get into
an empty South America
Nuclear Subs
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Although not as persuasive as in Africa, Nuclear Subs offers the US a rare opportunity
at multiple battleground coups.
OAS Founded
A total pain for the USSR to deal with, and a good way to get into an empty South
America (though make sure DEFCON is at 2, lest you get couped out immediately).
Alliance for Progress
The US OPEC. Usually, however, its not worth very much when it first comes out;
better to let it stew and collect more points in the Late War.
The Voice of America
Extremely effective at eliminating the USSR from subregions of South America, espe-
cially as Venezuela and Brazil are both 2-stability countries.
In practice, the USSR will hope to draw these neutral events:
Brush War
Junta
ABM Treaty
The Holy Trinity of Mid War neutral events, with each serving its own purpose: Brush
War attacks isolated battlegrounds, without regard for overcontrol; Junta is a flexible
card that allows you to either get access to a region, create realignment opportunities,
or coup in the headline phase; and ABM Treaty is well, its a 4Ops battleground coup!
What more could you ask?
Latin American Death Squads
This is usually a non-factor, since its mainly useful on non-battlegrounds, and South
America does not feature many non-battleground coups.
If the USSR did not draw De-Stalinization, and did not draw the neutral events to contest South
America, then coups are their only real chance to contest the continent, and absent extraordinary
luck they are probably going to break even at best on the region.
In the Mid War, the region can change hands surprisingly quickly. Realignments are a key aspect to
controlling South America: a US player that controls Colombia/Venezuela/Brazil/Uruguay, with no
Soviet influence in any of those four countries, will be very difficult to knock out.
In general, Venezuela tends to be the most contested country, for two reasons: it scores on OPEC,
and Colombia is somewhat difficult to hold onto long enough to realign Venezuela.
South America is a region where consecutive plays are critical: taking over a battleground often
involves two steps, and so its a one of the most tense regions on the board, as you and your opponent
jockey in attempts to set up a critical realign. This is why Junta and Che are such strong events: Junta
lets you prepare for and realign in a single Action Round, and Che allows the USSR to do two things
at once, be it respond to a threat or create one of their own.
Late War
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In the Late War, the USSR gets a little help in the way of events, and the US must rely on their
continued Mid War events:
The Iron Lady
In theory a US event, but in practice a USSR event. The loss of Socialist Governments
hurts a little, but being able to flip Argentina is more than worth it. It should go without
saying that the UK effect is worthless.
Latin American Debt Crisis
As US, I usually prefer to just let this trigger and not discard. As USSR, it is a good way
of pressuring the US by either making them give up a high Ops card or dramatically
altering the situation in the region.
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Regions: Africa
Africa Scoring
African history throughout the Cold War reflects the promise and tragedy that go hand
in hand with that continents experience. At first buoyed by the political success of rapid
decolonization, the jubilation would devolve into cynicism. One after another, newly
independent governments would give way to presidents for life, political corruption,
economic chaos, and ethnic violence. Lacking resources, African governments quickly
took advantage of the superpower rivalry to maximize economic and military support
for their regimes. In the post-colonial era, a variety of proxy civil wars were fought on
the continent. Angola, Mozambique, Chad and Ethiopia were but a few of the nations
that experienced violence, theoretically in the name of the global struggle between
communism and capitalism.
Time: Mid War
Battlegrounds: 5
Countries: 18
General Considerations
Although theoretically lower-scoring than Europe or Asia, Africa Scoring is in practice often much
more important. Africas Early and Mid War events are much more powerful, and therefore lopsided
scorings are more common. It is very unusual for Europe to score more than 5VP for either side, but
it is not at all unusual for one side to gain Africa Control and score 10 or 11VP.
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The key theme of Africa is its low stability. It has all three of the maps 1-stability battlegrounds,
meaning they are quite susceptible to being couped or even direct influence placementit only takes
a 3 Ops to flip control of a 1-stability battleground. Overcontrol is therefore highly recommended
in Nigeria / Zaire / Angola.
Given the lopsided scoring potential and low stabilities, it should be no surprise that Africa tends to
be one of the hottest regions on the board. As Jason Matthews noted, this accurately echoes the
historical Cold War reality:
Africa has a disproportionate number of battlegrounds, but that was reflective of a stark
realitythere was no other continent where the Superpowers played so frequently or
so freely as Africa. You can make a case for Asia, but there the powers needed to play
carefully. In Africa, it was a no-holds-barred game.
Africas battlegrounds are conceptually divided into three regions: Algeria, Nigeria, and Zaire/An-
gola/South Africa. They are separated by volatile, easily-couped non-battlegrounds. The most
important non-battleground is Botswana: it plays a central role in potential realignments against
Angola and South Africa. A player trying to break into this subregion must account for the ample
realignment opportunities down there, since it is very easy to get realigned out and have no way
back in.
Morocco presents another interesting non-battleground, as it is the only non-battleground that offers
meaningful stability. If you are desperate to score Domination and cannot afford to spend time
couping back and forth, then Morocco may be the non-battleground you need.
Early War
The US starts in South Africa and should, before the end of the Early War, move out into Angola
and then Zaire. This is because if the USSR successfully takes Angola first, then it will also nab
Zaire while trapping the US in South Africa, leaving it vulnerable to a realignment from Angola and
Botswana. If the Soviets get into France, the US should look to claim Algeria first if it has influence
in France: Algeria is a costly 2 Ops, but it is one of the most difficult battlegrounds to flip in Africa.
The USSRs primary entry point into Africa is Decolonization. Algeria can be infiltrated through
Soviet presence in France, and of course if the US does take Angola/Zaire, the USSR can coup into
those countries.
Mid War
Many Mid War events directly or indirectly target Africa. The USSR has:
Portuguese Empire Crumbles
An easy way to secure a non-battleground and possibly flip Angola.
South African Unrest
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/2955083#2955083
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A nice recurring event that can get you into a subregion if you are locked out. The 1
influence in South Africa and 2 in a neighbor is usually the better choice, since it can
flip Angola if it is not overcontrolled or take Botswana.
Decolonization
The Early War Decolonization establishes you access; the Mid War Decolonization can
de-stabilize a whole series of battlegrounds, or grab a ton of non-battlegrounds to deny
Domination. Its extra-powerful because of all the low-stability battlegrounds. Ideally
you will have played this twice by the time Colonial Rear Guards comes out.
Che
Being able to coup two non-battlegrounds at once is a gamechanger: a US player might
move towards Nigeria by playing into Cameroon and Saharan States simultaneously,
figuring that even if you coup one of those countries they can still make it into Nigeria.
Che is the perfect counter.
The US has:
Puppet Governments
If played early enough, this serves as a psuedo-De-Stalinization. In Africa, this can
usually get to Nigeria without having to go through coupable non-battlegrounds.
Nuclear Subs
If you have a hand conducive to it, Nuclear Subs will essentially win you every African
1-stability battleground by allowing you to freely coup away.
Colonial Rear Guards
See Decolonization, though the fact that it comes out in the Mid War instead of the Early
War hurts a lot.
The Voice of America
Although it can target any non-European country in the world, it is particularly effective
in Africa because it offers the potential to eliminate the USSRs presence in certain
subregions of Africa. Unlike most other regions, it is difficult to move between African
subregions, and so therefore it is much easier to deny entire swaths of battlegrounds to
the USSR. Can be followed up nicely with Puppet Governments.
The focus of the Mid War shifts according to the timing of the Scoring Cards, but in general Africa
takes high priority due to its high scoring potential and volatile low stability.
Late War
No new event targets Africa in the Late War. Nevertheless, it continues to be a hot spot in the Late
War for the same reasons as before. Many of the key Africa events are recurring (in particular,
Decolonization / Colonial Rear Guards) and can be a nasty Turn 10 surprise.
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Regions: Central America
Central America Scoring
Central America and the Caribbean were frequently termed Americas backyard and
lake. With the advent of Fidel Castro in the 1959, Americans could no longer take the
region for granted. The US reaction to communist influence in the area provoked direct
US military intervention in the Dominican Republic (1965) and Grenada (1983). In the
closing years of the Cold War, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, became frontline
states in the struggle between the superpowers.
Time: Mid War
Battlegrounds: 3
Countries: 10
General Considerations
If I had to pick one region to ignore, Id probably pick Central America. Not that it isnt important,
but by definition, one of the regions has to be the least important, and that region is usually Central
America. Domination is a measly 2VP bonus, meaning that Dominations usually score at +3VP for
the US, and its very difficult to hold onto Domination because almost all the non-battlegrounds are
so volatile and low-stability.
On the other hand, the regions main role in the game is a point source for the USSR. In general, the
USSR is going to benefit a lot more from Central America scoring because Mexico/Cuba essentially
Regions 262
score double. And although the US theoretically has easier access to those battlegrounds, Fidel in
practice often sews up Cuba for the USSR, and an early game coup of Panama can leave the Gulf of
Mexico feeling very communist indeed.
Central America does offer the potential for one of the easiest Dominations in the game. As US, a
fortified Panama with control of Costa Rica can easily keep the USSR out of the region and allow
an easy +4VP. More commonly, both sides get into the region, and one country will control two
battlegrounds, while the other tries to take a lot of non-battlegrounds to stop Domination.
The USSR often ends up with difficulty getting out of Cuba; without a coup or Liberation Theology,
they dont really have a shot at Panama or Mexico from Cuba. In addition, Cuba and Mexico are
extremely vulnerable to US realignment, made all the more volatile by their adjacent 1-stability
realignment-modifying non-battlegrounds.
Early War
The USSR has Fidel, which is a pretty easy route into Cuba. Although theoretically De-Stalinization
could place influence here, it is not worth it: Panama is more easily couped, Mexico is easily
realigned, and Cuba is likely yours anyway.
The US rarely plays here in the Early War. Once in a while you might shore up Panama, or add an
influence into Costa Rica, but otherwise thats that.
Mid War
The primary USSRevent here is Liberation Theology This is like Decolonization for Central America,
in a way, and it is often a lifesaver because the USSR has a difficult time moving out of Cuba and
into Panama or Mexico without a coup. Che ostensibly provides some support for the region, but
the USSRs chances are really somewhat defined by their coup success and Liberation Theology.
The US does not really need events for Central America: their Mid War events (OAS Founded,
Nuclear Subs, and The Voice of America) are often better used in other regions. The main exceptions
are Panama Canal Returned though even that is most useful for getting into Venezuela; Puppet
Governments which if it comes out late enough is probably best used to just grab a whole bunch
of Central American non-battlegrounds; and Alliance for Progress the US OPEC which just gets
better and better as the game goes on.
Likewise, the neutral events are often too valuable to be used in Central America, but Junta, ABM
Treaty, and Brush War can all flip a country very easily. Junta in particular can be used for some
brutal realignments by either side.
Latin American Death Squads is theoretically most helpful here, because a Domination fight often
ends up turning on who controls more non-battlegrounds, as both sides coup the 1-stability non-
battlegrounds back and forth.
Late War
The only events of note here are Yuri and Samantha, which accomplishes much the same thing that
Latin American Death Squads did in the Mid War, and Ortega Elected in Nicaragua, which is a
pretty lousy event but a DEFCON-suicide card for the US if the US has influence in Cuba.
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Regions: Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia Scoring
In Southeast Asia the process of decolonization intertwined with superpower rivalry in
particularly deadly ways. Beginning with the British counter-insurgency in Malaya, to
the US wars in Vietnam and Cambodia, and ending in 1979 with the Sino-Vietnamese
war, Southeast Asia would command American attention like no other region. However,
after Americas humiliating withdrawal from the region, it would cease to play a central
role in Cold War politics.
Time: Mid War
Battlegrounds: 1
Countries: 7
General Considerations
The main contested countries in the Early War are Burma, Laos/Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
The USSR almost always ends up with control of Vietnam, while the US almost always has 1 in
Malaysia and 1 in the Philippines by the end of the Early War, leaving the USSR loath to fight for
either. By the Mid War, Burma will be sewn up, and then its a fight for the 1-stability countries,
and of course, Thailand, a 4VP swing.
Early War
Regions 264
Since Asia is probably the most fought-over region in the Early War, Southeast Asia cant help but
get dragged into the fight. Thailand is obviously of critical importance, but both sides also have an
interest in taking Laos/Cambodia (limit access from Southeast Asia into western Asia) and Burma
(ditto, plus Indo-Pakistani War modifiers). Malaysia is not frequently contested, since its more of
a stepping stone to Thailand, nor are the Philippines, but Indonesia often gets a little visit from
Decolonization.
Usually the US ends up doing better in the region, but Vietnam Revolts and/or an early Decoloniza-
tion will usually sew it up pretty securely for the USSR.
Occasionally, you will see an Early War Asia fight that boils down to total country count, and here
youll see one side (usually the US) down battlegrounds but able to deny Domination by controlling
lots of Southeast Asia countries.
Mid War
The battle for Southeast Asia is usually already decided in the Early War. As the USSR, try to play
Southeast Asia Scoring before the US can spare Ops to secure Malaysia and the Philippines.
The main fight will be over Thailand, easily the most valuable country, amplified by the fact that
this will also affect Asia Scoring as a whole. Expect Brush War, ABM Treaty (if used at DEFCON 3),
the China Card, and Ussuri River Skirmish to all play a role in deciding Thailands fate.
Late War
No Late War event explicitly targets Southeast Asia, and more to the point, Southeast Asia Scoring
is usually no longer in the deck.
Annotated Game #1
Annotated Game #1 266
Early War
This is an analysis of a game against a strong opponent where the US emerges triumphant despite
poor luck and no influence adjustment. Contrary to popular opinion, it is my firmbelief that between
experienced players, the Deluxe Edition of Twilight Struggle is adequately balanced with Optional
cards and no additional adjustments. And although luck shapes the course of the gamesometimes
unevenlyit is exceedingly rare that bad luck cannot be overcome with skillful play.
The game is played on Wargameroom. Optional cards are included. The save game itself can be
downloaded here, if you wish to replay the game on Wargameroom. As an alternative, there is a
complete record of play here as well.
1 Wargameroom.com Presents:
2
3 Twilight Struggle 6.0
4 Game by Ananda Gupta, Jason Matthews, and GMT Games
5 Program by Bruce Wigdor
6
7 ** The Server chooses to use the following optional rule: **
8 Optional Cards
9 The server chooses to have the sides selected randomly...
10 The server will be playing the USA
11 The client will be playing the USSR
12 ************************************************************
13 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
14 ************************************************************
My opening hand:
http://www.wargameroom.com/index.html
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17269972/Twilight%20Strategy%20Annotated%20Game%20%231.wgr
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ai0msB3_N-FhdDVCemZraFJJUmlxa2FmZXBLUElJZ2c
Annotated Game #1 267
Annotated Game #1 268
The first question is how to deal with Blockade. When you discard to Blockade, you end the turn
with no cards held in your hand. This is bad if I am holding Decolonization or De-Stalinization,
because those are the two cards the US desperately needs to keep out of the Turn 3 reshuffle. But
since I have neither of those cards, assuming I dont get Red Scare/Purged, this will be a good turn
to trigger Blockade and discard freely.
The card I will discard to Blockade will be Socialist Governments, which is preferable over the other
two USSR cards because Warsaw Pact and Suez Crisis can be eliminated from the deck this turn at
relatively little cost. This is the same reason I do not want to use UN Intervention with Blockade:
I would rather Blockade to be gone permanently, rather than deal with it later under possibly less-
advantageous circumstances.
I normally love the NORAD event, which meshes nicely with my play style, but given the scarcity
of Ops in my hand I will almost certainly play it for Ops. (This is generally true of NORAD on Turn
1 or 2. On Turn 3, you are more likely to be able to spare the Ops.) Indo-Pakistani War might end
up getting used for the event, if Im desperate to get into western Asia. As discussed earlier, I do not
want to use UN Intervention with Blockade, and there is nothing else that I would consider using
UN Intervention on, so that will also be played for Operations. Olympic Games is a poor event and
will lose me the game if I play it at DEFCON 2. So as is typical for US in the Early War, it is almost
certain that my entire hand will be played for Operations.
1 4 USSR influence added to Poland, now at 4
2 1 USSR influence added to East Germany, now at 4
3 1 USSR influence added to Yugoslavia, now at 1
4
5 3 USA influence added to Italy, now at 3
6 4 USA influence added to West Germany, now at 4
Standard setup, nothing special.
Annotated Game #1 269
I have poor options for my headline. As stated earlier, I want all my cards played for Ops instead of
Events: the only event I may be interested in is Indo-Pakistani War, and obviously thats a pointless
play right now. So normally, in situations like this, you headline your lowest Op card, because that
gives up the fewest Ops. But headlining Blockade here would be devastating if he headlines Red
Scare/Purge, as Red Scare/Purge would trigger first and then I would have nothing to discard to
Blockade. UN Intervention is not allowed as a headline play, and so I have no choice but to play
Olympic Games for the event. It is an awful event, but I have no better option.
1 ** Turn 1 Headline Phase **
2 Soviet Headline Card: #3: Middle East Scoring
3 American Headline Card: #20 Ops 2: Olympic Games
4
5 USA Headline Event: #20 Ops 2: Olympic Games
6
7 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
8 #20 Ops 2: Olympic Games
9 ** American Die Roll: 1 (+2 for hosting) = 3 **
10 ** Soviet Die Roll: 5 **
11 The Soviets win the Olympics!
12 VPs down 2, now at -2
13
14 USSR Headline Event: #3: Middle East Scoring
15
16 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
17 #3: Middle East Scoring
18
19 *** Scoring in Middle East ***
20 USSR: No score.
21 USA: No score.
Well that was unlucky. I am mildly surprised to see him punt Middle East Scoring, since its relatively
easy for USSR to pick up an Early War domination there. I assume this means he has a low-Ops hand.
1 ** Turn 1 Action Phase **
2
3 Turn 1, USSR action round 1
4
5 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
6 #34 Ops 4: Nuclear Test Ban
7 Coup attempt in Iran (stability 2):
8 ** USSR die roll = 2 (+4) = 6
9 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 2.
Annotated Game #1 270
10 American influence in Iran reduced by 1, now at 0
11 Soviet influence in Iran increased by 1, now at 1
12 DEFCON Level lowered to 4
13 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
As is standard on Turn 1, the USSR coups Iran. The point of this play is to eliminate US access to
western Asia, far more critical than control of Iran itself.
However, short of a totally failed coup (not possible with a 4 Ops card), this is the best possible result
for the US. If he had rolled a 1, then Iran would be empty and I would have nothing to coup. But
with a 2, he puts in 1 influence and I can coup Iran back. I will do so with the highest op card in my
hand. Warsaw Pact is a good candidate, as it is a fantastic USSR Late War event that I wish to get
rid of as soon as possible, and in addition its early play may expose him more to Independent Reds.
1 Turn 1, USA action round 1
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #16 Ops 3: Warsaw Pact Formed * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The Warsaw Pact Formed card is permanently removed. **
7
8 2 USSR influence added to Yugoslavia, now at 3
9 2 USSR influence added to Finland, now at 3
10 1 USSR influence added to East Germany, now at 5
11
12 The Americans use the Warsaw Pact Formed card for a coup attempt:
13 Coup attempt in Iran (stability 2):
14 ** USA die roll = 1 (+3) = 4
15 The modified roll does not exceed the doubled stability -- no effect.
16 DEFCON Level lowered to 3
17 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 3
Well that was unlucky. I am unable to restore access to western Asia with my coup, and my opponent
is unlikely to allow me a second chance at couping Iran.
Annotated Game #1 271
1 Turn 1, USSR action round 2
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
4 #18 Ops 1: Captured Nazi Scientists *
5 Coup attempt in Panama (stability 2):
6 ** USSR die roll = 4 (+1) = 5
7 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 1.
8 American influence in Panama reduced by 1, now at 0
9 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
10 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
This is the ideal coup result for him. Any higher and he would have gained influence in a Mid War
region, meaning he would be exposed to DEFCON suicide by CIA Created. As USSR I generally do
not coup Panama in the Early War for that reason.
Now that I am out of Iran and cannot enter western Asia, my priorities shift. The number one US
game board priority on Turn 1 after DEFCON drops to 3 or lower is to get to Thailand. My top hand
priority is to take care of Suez Crisis while it costs me only 3 influence (instead of 4). I can address
both with one play: two into Egypt (two instead of one so that even if he plays Nasser, I still have
1 influence left, influence in the Middle East, and access to Libya), and one into Malaysia. I will
trigger the event after my Operations, because after my Israel influence is gone I will have no more
access to the Middle East. (This is why Suez Crisis is such a fantastic headline for the USSR on Turn
1, because coupled with a strong Iran coup, the US will be wiped out of the Middle East and have
an extremely difficult time contesting the region.)
1 Turn 1, USA action round 2
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #28 Ops 3: Suez Crisis * (USSR)
5 2 USA influence added to Egypt, now at 2
6 1 USA influence added to Malaysia, now at 1
7 The Soviets use the USSR event played by the USA
8
9 ** The Suez Crisis card is permanently removed. **
10
11 American influence in United Kingdom reduced by 2, now at 3
12 American influence in Israel reduced by 1, now at 0
13
14 Turn 1, USSR action round 3
15
16 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
17 #30 Ops 2: Decolonization (USSR)
18 Soviet influence in Algeria increased by 1, now at 1
Annotated Game #1 272
19 Soviet influence in Burma increased by 1, now at 1
20 Soviet influence in Thailand increased by 1, now at 1
21 Soviet influence in Indonesia increased by 1, now at 1
Well, that was unlucky (that he drew Decolonization). Now he has a dominating position in Asia as
well as access to France.
Thailand here is more important than France. France will suffer more from De Gaulle, and I have
other options to fight for it later (as you will see shortly). Thailand, on the other hand, scores for
both Asia and Southeast Asia. Because he has locked me out of western Asia by knocking me out of
Iran, he is likely assured access to Pakistan and India. Coupled with North Korea, it means I cannot
allow him to take any more battlegrounds in Asia or else he will score Domination easily.
Ordinarily, I would use a 4 Op card to take Thailand, because at 3/1 he can play the China Card to
flip it back. Since I have no 4 Op card, I must play NORAD and hope he is not good enough to know
about the China Card trick.
1 Turn 1, USA action round 3
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #106 Ops 3: NORAD * (USA)
5 3 USA influence added to Thailand, now at 3
6
7 Turn 1, USSR action round 4
8
9 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
10 #6 Ops 4: The China Card
11 4 USSR influence added to Thailand, now at 5
Oh well. Hoping your opponents are bad does not get you very far in Twilight Struggle (or life, for
that matter). At least I forced him to give up the China Card.
My hand is now: UN Intervention, Indo-Pakistani War, Blockade, and Socialist Governments. I wish
to hold Indo-Pakistani War as late as possible, to see if I can make use of the event, so that means
Im playing one of the 1Ops now. I choose Blockade, and use it to take Laos/Cambodia, a 2VP swing
when Southeast Asia scoring comes out as well as threatening play into Burma and then India.
Annotated Game #1 273
1 Turn 1, USA action round 4
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #10 Ops 1: Blockade * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The Blockade card is permanently removed. **
7
8 The US player discards the following card to avoid losing all Influence in West G\
9 ermany:
10 #7 Ops 3: Socialist Governments (USSR)
11
12 The Americans use the Blockade card to place influence:
13 1 USA influence added to Laos/Cambodia, now at 1
14
15 Turn 1, USSR action round 5
16
17 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
18 #31 Ops 4: Red Scare/Purge
19 3 USSR influence added to France, now at 3
20 1 USSR influence added to Burma, now at 2
Saw the France takeover coming, but not much I could do about it there. He also wisely seals me off
from access to India.
Since Im still saving Indo-Pakistani War, I am playing the 1 Op of UN Intervention here. My best
option is to return to the Middle East, and play into Libya while I still have access. I would not want
him to do something like headline Nasser and then take both Libya and Egypt before I can react.
1 Turn 1, USA action round 5
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #32 Ops 1: UN Intervention
5 1 USA influence added to Libya, now at 1
6
7 Turn 1, USSR action round 6
8
9 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
10 #12 Ops 1: Romanian Abdication * (USSR)
11 1 USSR influence added to Pakistan, now at 1
When you are behind, you gamble. Triggering the Indo-Pakistani War here is about as good a gamble
as Ill get: 50/50 shot of 2VP and access to three critical battlegrounds (Iran, Pakistan, India).
Annotated Game #1 274
1 Turn 1, USA action round 6
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #24 Ops 2: Indo-Pakistani War
5 India invades Pakistan...
6 USA success on a modified die roll of 4-6; USSR modifer is -0
7 ** Die roll: 6 -- USA victory!
8 VPs up 2, now at 0
9 Soviet influence in Pakistan reduced by 1, now at 0
10 American influence in Pakistan increased by 1, now at 1
11 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
Well that was lucky. This is the first truly gamechanging moment.
1 Events Played: Warsaw Pact Formed
2
3 USSR battleground countries controlled = 5
4 USA battleground countries controlled = 3
5
6 DEFCON Level raised to 3
7 ** Turn 2 Headline Phase **
The board at the start of Turn 2.
Annotated Game #1 275
My hand:
Annotated Game #1 276
I am very glad I drew De-Stalinization. I will not be discarding it this turn on the Space Race; I will
do that next turn instead so that it doesnt go in the Turn 3 reshuffle. Everything else in my hand
is best played for Ops. None of the USSR events are truly dangerous: Nasser is the worst, but I can
manage that as long as I take Libya before he has a chance to. Fidel is typically played for Operations
by the US on Turns 1-2, and sometimes sent to space on Turn 3.
Like Turn 1, I have no 4 Ops cards. On average, the Early War cards are 2.2 Ops (including Scoring
Cards), so in each Early War hand you should expect about 17.7 Ops on average. Of course, you
cant actually play all 17.7 Ops, since you headline one card, hold another, and discard some more.
This turn I drew 15 Ops; Turn 1 I was at 18 Ops. Not great, but not terrible.
Also like Turn 1, I have nothing worth headlining. Again, I will therefore headline the lowest Op
I can get away with. Certainly not Asia Scoring, as I have a chance to contest the continent still.
Certainly not Nasser, since that would allow him to take Libya before I can. Certainly not Truman
Doctrine, as that would be a colossal waste of the card. Between Fidel and Arab-Israeli War, it is
basically a tie. I go with Arab-Israeli War, because while I still have control of Egypt, his chances of
victory and 2VP are reduced.
1 Soviet Headline Card: #2: Europe Scoring
2 American Headline Card: #13 Ops 2: Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
3
4 USA Headline Event: #13 Ops 2: Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
5 USSR success on a modified die roll of 4-6; USA modifer is -1
6 ** Die roll: 6 (-1) = 5 -- USSR victory!
7 VPs down 2, now at -2
8 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
9
10 USSR Headline Event: #2: Europe Scoring
11
Annotated Game #1 277
12 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
13 #2: Europe Scoring
14
15 *** Scoring in Europe ***
16 USSR: 7(domination) +3(battlegrounds) = 10
17 USA: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
18 VPs down 5, now at -7
19 ** Turn 2 Action Phase **
20
21 Turn 2, USSR action round 1
22
23 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
24 #21 Ops 4: NATO * (USA)
25 1 USSR influence added to Thailand, now at 6
26 3 USSR influence added to Pakistan, now at 3
27 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
28
29 ** The NATO card is permanently removed. **
30
31 USSR player may no longer make Coup or Realignment rolls in any US Controlled cou\
32 ntries
33 in Europe. US Controlled countries in Europe may not be attacked by play of the B\
34 rush War event.
35
36 May not be played until Marshall Plan or Warsaw Pact Formed (either one) has been\
37 played.
Presumably he wanted to coup, but this is one of those situations where there are more important
things on the USSR agenda than lowering DEFCON. He wisely overprotects Thailand so I cant flip
it with the China card (like he did). Pakistan, on the other hand, is vulnerable to such a play right
now, but the empty India is a more important target for me right now. Maybe I can flip Pakistan
after I secure India first.
1 Turn 2, USA action round 1
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #29 Ops 3: East European Unrest (USA)
5 3 USA influence added to India, now at 3
6
7 Turn 2, USSR action round 2
8 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
9 #27 Ops 4: US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact * (USA)
Annotated Game #1 278
10 They elect to have the American event occur first.
11
12 ** The US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact card is permanently removed. **
13
14 USSR may no longer make Coup or Realignment rolls against Japan
15 American influence in Japan increased by 3, now at 4
16
17 The Soviets use the US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact card to place influence:
18 2 USSR influence added to Afghanistan, now at 2
19 1 USSR influence added to Vietnam, now at 1
20 1 USSR influence added to Pakistan, now at 4
Even though he doesnt know I have Asia Scoring, Asias the only Early War region yet to be scored,
and so were both playing heavily into it. Given that hes now shored up Pakistan too, theres only
one way for me to stop his Domination: take South Korea. This is a huge risk considering Korean
War is yet to come out, but I have no better choice. Since I have the China Card, I can take Taiwan
too, to further reduce the risk of losing the Korean War.
1 Turn 2, USA action round 2
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #6 Ops 4: The China Card
5 3 USA influence added to Taiwan, now at 3
6 2 USA influence added to South Korea, now at 3
7
8 Turn 2, USSR action round 3
9
10 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
11 #102 Ops 2: Defectors (USA)
12 2 USSR influence added to Malaysia, now at 2
13 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
14 VPs up 1, now at -6
I think this was a mistake. Domination in Asia is not going to happen so long as I have 3
battlegrounds, so better look elsewhere rather than fight for Asian non-battlegrounds. More
importantly, this is a move I do not have to react to, thus allowing me some time to do what I
need to do.
What do I need to do? I could play Asia Scoring. But Iran is wide open. Why not coup it? I have a
3Ops, DEFCON is at 3. But there is a pretty decent chance I will fail, since anything short of control
and he will just take it on his turn. Id have to roll a 4 or higher with my 3Ops to control it. Rather
than risk the 50/50, I simply take the country with the 3Ops card instead.
Annotated Game #1 279
1 Turn 2, USA action round 3
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #5 Ops 3: Five Year Plan (USA)
5 3 USA influence added to Iran, now at 3
6
7 Turn 2, USSR action round 4
8
9 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
10 #105 Ops 2: Special Relationship (USA)
11 Coup attempt in Iran (stability 2):
12 ** USSR die roll = 1 (+2) = 3
13 The modified roll does not exceed the doubled stability -- no effect.
14 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
15 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
That was lucky. And also why I didnt gamble on the coup.
There being no immediate threat or opportunity on the board, I take this chance to play Asia Scoring,
now that Ive ended his domination.
1 Turn 2, USA action round 4
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #1: Asia Scoring
5
6 *** Scoring in Asia ***
7 USSR: 3(presence) +3(battlegrounds) = 6
8 USA: 3(presence) +3(battlegrounds) = 6
9
10 Turn 2, USSR action round 5
11
12 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
13 #23 Ops 4: Marshall Plan * (USA)
14 2 USSR influence added to Turkey, now at 2
15 2 USSR influence added to Spain/Portugal, now at 2
16 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
17
18 ** The Marshall Plan card is permanently removed. **
19
20 American influence in Finland increased by 1, now at 1
21 American influence in Canada increased by 1, now at 3
22 American influence in United Kingdom increased by 1, now at 4
Annotated Game #1 280
23 American influence in Benelux increased by 1, now at 1
24 American influence in West Germany increased by 1, now at 5
25 American influence in Italy increased by 1, now at 4
26 American influence in Greece increased by 1, now at 1
A wise way to get rid of Marshall Plan. As the US, Marshall Plan is a near-guarantee that you wont
get Dominated in Europe if you can get it into the three 2-stability Mediterranean countries. But if
you cant, then its not very helpful at all. Accordingly, 4 Ops of the card make it easy for the USSR
to dramatically limit its efficacy by taking two of the Mediterranean countries first.
Now seems like a good time for me to take care of Nasser as well. As stated before: the primary
threat here is that Id have lost Libya, not that Id lose Egypt. Im content losing Egypt because I will
get it back later with Sadat Expels Soviets. Also, I have a plan for my remaining cards.
1 Turn 2, USA action round 5
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #15 Ops 1: Nasser * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The Nasser card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Soviet influence in Egypt increased by 2, now at 2
9 American influence in Egypt reduced by 1, now at 1
10
11 The Americans use the Nasser card to place influence:
12 1 USA influence added to Libya, now at 2
13
14 Turn 2, USSR action round 6
15 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
16 #22 Ops 2: Independent Reds * (USA)
17 They elect to have the American event occur first.
18
19 ** The Independent Reds card is permanently removed. **
20
21 American influence in Yugoslavia now at 3
22
23 The Soviets use the Independent Reds card to place influence:
24 1 USSR influence added to Egypt, now at 3
25 1 USSR influence added to Iraq, now at 2
My hand is De-Stalinization, Truman Doctrine, and Fidel. I am holding two cards this turn because I
played the China Card. Clearly I am holding De-Stalinization. I can either hold Fidel as well, and get
rid of him next turn, or use Fidel to do a sneaky Truman Doctrine play. I go with the latter, because
I dont want him to play Truman Doctrine for Ops and then watch him draw it later.
Annotated Game #1 281
1 Turn 2, USA action round 6
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #8 Ops 2: Fidel * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The Fidel card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Soviet influence in Cuba now at 3
9
10 The Americans use the Fidel card to place influence:
11 1 USA influence added to France, now at 1
12 The Americans are 2 military operations short of the DEFCON requirement of 2
13 VPs down 2, now at -8
14
15 Events Played: Warsaw Pact Formed, NATO, US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, Marshall P\
16 lan
17
18 USSR battleground countries controlled = 7
19 USA battleground countries controlled = 7
Now that he doesnt have control of France, a Truman Doctrine headline will wipe out his French
influence and force him to choose between retaking France or couping on AR1.
1 DEFCON Level raised to 3
2 ************************************************************
3 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
4 ************************************************************
5 ** Turn 3 Headline Phase **
Annotated Game #1 282
The board at the start of Turn 3
My hand:
Annotated Game #1 283
20 Ops in hand: this is going to be a good turn. I see no particular reason to deviate from my Truman
Doctrine headline plan. I plan to send De-Stalinization to space, or hold it if I cant spare the Action.
As for the rest of my cards, they are all being played for Operations as usual. However, NORAD
might be a decent event if I find myself with some breathing room, because the way the board is
shaping up there are many USSR-controlled countries that I have influence in.
There are a couple of specific play considerations. Vietnam Revolts will be played at the end of the
turn to minimize its effect. De Gaulle is easy to manage if I end up controlling France, and a nice
punt if I dont. The Cambridge Five is ideally played as late as possible in the turn: I dont have any
scoring cards, but this way I can minimize the amount of information he receives.
I know that he has the following cards in hand: Korean War, Comecon, Duck and Cover,
Containment, CIA Created. (I know this because these are Early War cards that have not yet been
played and are not in my hand, so therefore I know he must have drawn them.) If he is good, he
Annotated Game #1 284
will predict my Truman Doctrine move and play Duck and Cover (or maybe CIA Created) on the
headline in order to drop DEFCON to 2, so that he can recover France on AR1 without worrying
that I will coup a battleground in response.
1 Soviet Headline Card: #4 Ops 3: Duck and Cover (USA)
2 American Headline Card: #19 Ops 1: Truman Doctrine * (USA)
3
4 USSR Headline Event: #4 Ops 3: Duck and Cover (USA)
5 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
6 VPs up 3, now at -5
7
8 USA Headline Event: #19 Ops 1: Truman Doctrine * (USA)
9
10 The Americans use the Truman Doctrine card as an Event:
11
12 ** The Truman Doctrine card is permanently removed. **
13
14 Soviet influence in France now at 0
15 ** Turn 3 Action Phase **
16
17 Turn 3, USSR action round 1
18
19 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
20 #6 Ops 4: The China Card
21 4 USSR influence added to France, now at 4
Nicely played by him. I might as well dispose of De Gaulle, then, and resign myself to a USSR Europe
Domination. Before I trigger the event, though, I should take Algeria before he does. I currently have
access to it, and will no longer after De Gaulle.*
*It should be noted that in-game, I mistakenly played the De Gaulle event first, and my opponent
was kind enough to allow me to take back the move and play my Ops before playing the event.
1 Turn 3, USA action round 1
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #17 Ops 3: De Gaulle Leads France * (USSR)
5 3 USA influence added to Algeria, now at 3
6 The Soviets use the USSR event played by the USA
7
8 ** The De Gaulle Leads France card is permanently removed. **
9
10 American influence in France reduced by 1, now at 0
Annotated Game #1 285
11 Soviet influence in France increased by 1, now at 5
12 France is not affected by NATO for the rest of the game.
13
14 Turn 3, USSR action round 2
15
16 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
17 #14 Ops 3: Comecon * (USSR)
18 1 USSR influence added to Saharan States, now at 1
19 1 USSR influence added to India, now at 1
A difficult choice. Do I coup the Saharan States to stop him from getting to Nigeria? Or do I shore
up India? I decide to coup the Saharan States, since if I succeed and replace his influence with some
of mine, then if he fights for India I take Nigeria as a consolation prize. Plus Ill need the Mil Ops
anyway. I use a low Ops card as Saharan States has a stability of just 1. (Small mistake here: I should
have used Formosan Revolution instead of Cambridge Five, for the reasons discussed earlier. Oh
well.)
1 Turn 3, USA action round 2
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #110 Ops 2: The Cambridge Five (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5 No scoring cards in the USA hand: no effect.
6
7 The Americans use the The Cambridge Five card for a coup attempt:
8 Coup attempt in Saharan States (stability 1):
9 ** USA die roll = 1 (+2) = 3
10 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 1.
11 Soviet influence in Saharan States reduced by 1, now at 0
12 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
Well that was unlucky.
1 Turn 3, USSR action round 3
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #7 Ops 3: Socialist Governments (USSR)
5 3 USSR influence added to India, now at 4
At least he didnt play 4Ops into the country, which means I can use my 4 Ops to take it back.
Annotated Game #1 286
1 Turn 3, USA action round 3
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #34 Ops 4: Nuclear Test Ban
5 4 USA influence added to India, now at 7
6
7 Turn 3, USSR action round 4
8
9 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
10 #11 Ops 2: Korean War * (USSR)
11
12 ** The Korean War card is permanently removed. **
13
14 USSR success on a modified die roll of 4-6; USA modifer is -2
15 ** Die roll: 6 (-2) = 4 -- USSR victory!
16 VPs down 2, now at -7
17 American influence in South Korea reduced by 3, now at 0
18 Soviet influence in South Korea increased by 3, now at 3
19 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
Well that was definitely unlucky.
Im going to go ahead and expand out of South Africa now, as the Early War regions are pretty safely
locked up. I need to expand to both Angola and Zaire, because if I only take Angola, hell coup me
there next turn and block me from Zaire. (This is incidentally why Decolonization should try to
drop an Op into Angola if possible.) I also plan to play NORAD for the event, so I should control
Canada by the end of the turn as well.
My hand: Formosan Revolution, De-Stalinization, NORAD, Vietnam Revolts. I will play Vietnam
Revolts at the end of the turn, I want the NORAD event, I dont want the De-Stal event, and so I
play Formosan Revolution.
1 Turn 3, USA action round 4
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #100 Ops 2: Formosan Resolution * (USA)
5 1 USA influence added to Angola, now at 1
6 1 USA influence added to Canada, now at 4
7
8 Turn 3, USSR action round 5
9
10 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
11 #20 Ops 2: Olympic Games
12 2 USSR influence added to Greece, now at 2
Annotated Game #1 287
Not a great play, since he already dominates Europe and this is unnecessary. Again, it places no
pressure on me and is something I dont have to react to.
I know he has Containment, and hell likely play it at the end of the turn, which means my last AR
will get a +1 Ops boost. I plan to play Vietnam Revolts at that point, since the end of the turn is
the best time to get rid of that card. So this means that I can now either trigger NORAD or space
De-Stalinization. I choose to play NORAD so I can have its effect next turn, and I have plenty of
good NORAD targets.
1 Turn 3, USA action round 5
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #106 Ops 3: NORAD * (USA)
5
6 ** The NORAD card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Turn 3, USSR action round 6
9 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
10 #25 Ops 3: Containment * (USA)
11 They elect to have the American event occur first.
12
13 ** The Containment card is permanently removed. **
14
15 All further operations cards played by US this turn add one to their value (to a \
16 maximum of 4).
17
18 The Soviets use the Containment card to place influence:
19 1 USSR influence added to Iraq, now at 3
20 1 USSR influence added to Algeria, now at 2
As predicted. Since he returned the China Card to me, I will threaten Thailand (to try and fix Asia
for myself) by removing his overcontrol, and I will move into Zaire (as discussed above). If he coups
on AR1, a combination of NORAD and the China Card will flip Thailand for me. Algeria can wait
for later. He can coup Algeria on AR1, but he cannot coup Thailand. If he repairs Thailand, then I
can coup Algeria myself.
Annotated Game #1 288
1 Turn 3, USA action round 6
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #9 Ops 2: Vietnam Revolts * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The Vietnam Revolts card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Soviet influence in Vietnam increased by 2, now at 3
9
10 The Americans use the Vietnam Revolts card to place influence:
11 1 USA influence added to Thailand, now at 4
12 1 USA influence added to Zaire, now at 1
13
14 Events Played: Warsaw Pact Formed, NATO, US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, Marshall P\
15 lan, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD
16
17 USSR battleground countries controlled = 10
18 USA battleground countries controlled = 8
19
20 ** The Mid War cards are added to the deck **
The board at the start of Turn 4.
Annotated Game #1 289
Mid War
1 ************************************************************
2 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
3 ************************************************************
4 DEFCON Level raised to 3
5 ** Turn 4 Headline Phase **
The board at the start of Turn 4
Im currently at -7VP. This is not great: usually US after Early War is hoping to be within -5 or so.
-7 means the USSR is clearly ahead, but at least Im not being steamrolled.
My Turn 4 hand:
Annotated Game #1 290
Annotated Game #1 291
Ordinarily I like to hold Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You to get rid of bad scoring
cards and DEFCON suicide cards, and manage the other problematic events as long as I can. But in
this hand, there are just too many problems for me to deal with them all and hold Ask Not to next
turn. So Im just going to headline it now and discard all my USSR events. Ill also discard Captured
Nazi Scientists in hopes of getting slightly more Ops. A 5-card discard to Ask Not is pretty good
even if theres no bad scoring cards or DEFCON suicide cards.
Annotated Game #1 292
1 Soviet Headline Card: #38: Southeast Asia Scoring *
2 American Headline Card: #77 Ops 3: 'Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You... \
3 * (USA)
4
5 USA Headline Event: #77 Ops 3: 'Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You... * (U\
6 SA)
7
8 The Americans use the 'Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You... card as an Eve\
9 nt:
10
11 ** The 'Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You... card is permanently removed. \
12 **
13
14 The American player discards the following cards to be replaced:
15 #33 Ops 3: De-Stalinization * (USSR)
16 #53 Ops 2: South African Unrest (USSR)
17 #56 Ops 4: Muslim Revolution (USSR)
18 #18 Ops 1: Captured Nazi Scientists *
19 #30 Ops 2: Decolonization (USSR)
20
21 USSR Headline Event: #38: Southeast Asia Scoring *
22
23 The Soviets use the Southeast Asia Scoring card as an Event:
24
25 ** The Southeast Asia Scoring card is permanently removed. **
26
27 *** Scoring in Southeast Asia ***
28 USSR: 1(Burma) +2(Thailand) +1(Vietnam) +1(Indonesia) = 5
29 USA: 1(Laos/Cambodia) = 1
30 VPs down 4, now at -11
31 ** Turn 4 Action Phase **
32
33 Turn 4, USSR action round 1
34
35 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
36 #61 Ops 3: OPEC (USSR)
37 1 USSR influence added to Thailand, now at 7
38 2 USSR influence added to Algeria, now at 4
My new hand:
Annotated Game #1 293
Annotated Game #1 294
This is a far superior hand, and a rare hand where I will focus on events:
I can score Africa control if I get Nigeria and South Africa;
Puppet Governments is going to be a key event play early in the turn to get me into South
America and Nigeria;
I will save Defectors for next turn as a potential headline;
Cuban Missile Crisis is a clear Ops play;
It is too early for Alliance for Progress, which will earn many more VPs if I return it to the
deck and let it come back later;
Quagmire is going to space, one because its an awful card to play on yourself (it gives your
opponent two Action Rounds in a row), and two because it will cancel NORAD;
Brush War is always a nice event against an isolated country;
And although I normally would play Five Year Plan for the delicious 3 Ops, I know that he is
holding CIA Created in his hand. Therefore I will play it for the event to try and force him to
discard a card, and then trap him into losing the game by forcing him to play CIA Created.
Hopefully I dont hit CIA Created itself.
But for now, I must address this Algeria issue, since hes broken my control. Ill coup it and try to
use NORAD either to patch up a failed coup or create a crisis elsewhere.
Annotated Game #1 295
1 Turn 4, USA action round 1
2
3 The Americans play the following card for a coup attempt:
4 #40 Ops 3: Cuban Missile Crisis *
5 Coup attempt in Algeria (stability 2):
6 ** USA die roll = 3 (+3) = 6
7 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 2.
8 Soviet influence in Algeria reduced by 2, now at 2
9 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
10 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 3
11 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
12 American influence in Algeria increased by 1, now at 4
13
14 Turn 4, USSR action round 2
15
16 The Soviets play the following card for an attempt on the Space Race track:
17 #63 Ops 2: Colonial Rearguards (USA)
18 ** Space Race Die Roll (1-3 needed): = 4 **
19 No effect.
Now for Puppet Governments into Nigeria and South America. (Nigeria because if I play into
Cameroon or Saharan States to get to Nigeria hell coup me right out immediately.) In general, with
events like these that provide access to critical regions, you want to play them as early as possible
so you can have as many options as possible for your subsequent Operations.
1 Turn 4, USA action round 2
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #66 Ops 2: Puppet Governments * (USA)
5
6 ** The Puppet Governments card is permanently removed. **
7
8 American influence in Brazil increased by 1, now at 1
9 American influence in Chile increased by 1, now at 1
10 American influence in Nigeria increased by 1, now at 1
11
12 Turn 4, USSR action round 3
13 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
14 #105 Ops 2: Special Relationship (USA)
15 They elect to have the American event occur first.
16 The event cannot be played right now.
17
Annotated Game #1 296
18 The Soviets use the Special Relationship card for realignment rolls:
19
20 Realignment roll in Brazil: USSR modifier = +0, USA modifier = +1
21 ** USSR die roll = 5 (+0) = 5
22 ** USA die roll = 6 (+1) = 7
23
24 Realignment roll in Brazil: USSR modifier = +0, USA modifier = +1
25 ** USSR die roll = 4 (+0) = 4
26 ** USA die roll = 4 (+1) = 5
A good attempt, but unsuccessful. Now I need to expand out of my South American position, while
simultaneously taking South Africa to score Africa control.
1 Turn 4, USA action round 3
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #78 Ops 3: Alliance for Progress * (USA)
5 2 USA influence added to South Africa, now at 3
6 1 USA influence added to Venezuela, now at 1
7
8 Turn 4, USSR action round 4
9
10 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
11 #65 Ops 2: Camp David Accords * (USA)
12 1 USSR influence added to Egypt, now at 4
13 1 USSR influence added to Lebanon, now at 1
14 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
15
16 ** The Camp David Accords card is permanently removed. **
17
18 American influence in Israel increased by 1, now at 1
19 American influence in Jordan increased by 1, now at 1
20 American influence in Egypt increased by 1, now at 2
21 VPs up 1, now at -10
Africa Scoring literally cant get any better than this.
Annotated Game #1 297
1 Turn 4, USA action round 4
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #79: Africa Scoring
5
6 *** Scoring in Africa ***
7 USSR: No score.
8 USA: 6(control) +5(battlegrounds) = 11
9 VPs up 11, now at 1
10
11 Turn 4, USSR action round 5
12
13 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
14 #45 Ops 1: Summit
15 1 USSR influence added to Saharan States, now at 1
Perhaps he will try to realign Algeria at +1. Now that the rest is taken care of, time for me to try my
Five Year Plan gambit. Maybe this will win me the game right here.
1 Turn 4, USA action round 5
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #5 Ops 3: Five Year Plan (USA)
5 The Soviet player discards the following card:
6 #12 Ops 1: Romanian Abdication * (USSR)
7
8 Turn 4, USSR action round 6
9
10 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
11 #41 Ops 2: Nuclear Subs * (USA)
12 1 USSR influence added to Nigeria, now at 1
13 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
14
15 ** The Nuclear Subs card is permanently removed. **
16
17 US actions do not affect the DEFCON track for the remainder of this turn
18 (does not affect Cuban Missile Crisis).
Well, my plan worked, but he countered with the perfect response. Now CIA Created wont lose
him the game because my coup wont lower DEFCON.
My current hand: Quagmire, Defectors, Brush War
Annotated Game #1 298
I decide to space Quagmire instead of defending Nigeria. Reason being, I know hes playing CIA
next turn, so I can use the Op point from that to coup Nigeria back. Plus I want the Brush War event
and to hold Defectors to next turn in case I have no better headline.
1 Turn 4, USA action round 6
2
3 The Americans play the following card for an attempt on the Space Race track:
4 #42 Ops 3: Quagmire * (USSR)
5 ** Space Race Die Roll (1-3 needed): = 2 **
6 USA progress on the Space Race Track is now at Earth Satellite
7 VPs up 2, now at 3
8
9 Turn 4, USSR action round 7
10 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
11 #26 Ops 1: CIA Created * (USA)
12 They elect to have the American event occur first.
13
14 ** The CIA Created card is permanently removed. **
15
16 The American gets to look at the Soviet Hand:
17 Coup attempt in Nigeria (stability 1):
18 ** USA die roll = 1 (+1) = 2
19 The modified roll does not exceed the doubled stability -- no effect.
20 DEFCON remains the same due to Nuclear Subs
21 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
22
23 The Soviets use the CIA Created card to place influence:
24 1 USSR influence added to Nigeria, now at 2
Well, that was unlucky.
Now Brush War. Pakistan is a 50/50 shot and my most valuable choice. (Nigeria is also a target, but
its much less stable and therefore much easier to affect with a coup instead.) If I am successful in
taking Pakistan, it will help me defend India from Indo-Pakistani War.
Annotated Game #1 299
1 Turn 4, USA action round 7
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #36 Ops 3: Brush War
5 The target country is Pakistan
6 USA success on a modified die roll of 3-6; USSR is -1
7 ** Die roll: 2 (-1) = 1 -- no effect **
8 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
9
10 Events Played: Warsaw Pact Formed, NATO, US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, Marshall P\
11 lan, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD, Camp David Accords
12
13 USSR battleground countries controlled = 11
14 USA battleground countries controlled = 10
15
16 The Soviets are 2 military operations short of the DEFCON requirement of 2
17 VPs up 2, now at 5
Gah.
1 DEFCON Level raised to 3
2 ** Turn 5 Headline Phase **
Annotated Game #1 300
The board at the start of Turn 5
My hand:
Annotated Game #1 301
Annotated Game #1 302
Seems like Defectors will have to wait. When the US has the China Card, Ussuri River Skirmish
creates all sorts of problems for the USSR. Whichever country he defends, Ill take over the other
with the China Card. He could theoretically repair both at once with a 4Ops, but thats a costly
AR1 play that gives me a coup. In any event, just having influence in the Koreas exposes them to
NORAD.
As for the rest of my cards, Panama Canal Returned and OAS Founded is a nice way to break some
USSR control in Americas. The combination of Ussuri, Cultural Revolution, and Nixon Plays the
China Card means that I will likely play Ussuri, use the China Card, punt Cultural Revolution when
its least effective, and then use Nixon to take the China Card back if I dont need Nixons 2 Ops.
1 Soviet Headline Card: #75 Ops 2: Liberation Theology (USSR)
2 American Headline Card: #76 Ops 3: Ussuri River Skirmish * (USA)
3
4 USA Headline Event: #76 Ops 3: Ussuri River Skirmish * (USA)
5
6 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
7 #76 Ops 3: Ussuri River Skirmish * (USA)
8
9 ** The Ussuri River Skirmish card is permanently removed. **
10
11 2 USA influence added to North Korea, now at 2
12 2 USA influence added to South Korea, now at 2
13
14 USSR Headline Event: #75 Ops 2: Liberation Theology (USSR)
15
16 The Soviets use the Liberation Theology card as an Event:
17 2 USSR influence added to Panama, now at 2
Annotated Game #1 303
18 1 USSR influence added to Mexico, now at 1
19 ** Turn 5 Action Phase **
20
21 Turn 5, USSR action round 1
22
23 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
24 #59 Ops 4: Flower Power * (USSR)
25 1 USSR influence added to South Korea, now at 4
26 2 USSR influence added to North Korea, now at 5
27 1 USSR influence added to Mexico, now at 2
The fact he played into Mexico as well communicates to me that hes got Central America Scoring.
By giving up South Korea, he costs himself with Asia Scoring in the long run, but I think this is the
right call. Otherwise, I would have couped Mexico or Panama, and then he would have had to work
a lot harder for Central America Scoring.
In fact, I briefly consider fighting for Central America, but decide I would rather have South Korea
instead. (Interesting tidbit: the difference here between taking North Korea and South Korea is that
North Korea scores an extra +1 on each Asia Scoring, but South Korea lets the US headline Soviets
Shoot Down KAL-007 in the Late War, one of the best headlines around. I think he made the right
call by defending North Korea.)
1 Turn 5, USA action round 1
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #6 Ops 4: The China Card
5 5 USA influence added to South Korea, now at 7
6
7 Turn 5, USSR action round 2
8
9 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
10 #37: Central America Scoring
11
12 *** Scoring in Central America ***
13 USSR: 5(control) +3(battlegrounds) +2(adj. to USA) = 10
14 USA: No score.
15 VPs down 10, now at -5
Naturally. Delaying any longer might mean that I would dislodge him from a battleground, meaning
he would have to either retake it or defend a non-battleground to get Domination. Much easier to
just score the Control and deny me Presence.
This means I get a nice little coup. I will seek my revenge against Nigeria. I will use a small Ops
card, and since I might want to use OAS Founded or Panama Canal Returned later, I choose Willy
Brandt because its currently a harmless event as I already overcontrol West Germany.
Annotated Game #1 304
1 Turn 5, USA action round 2
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #55 Ops 2: Willy Brandt * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The Willy Brandt card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Soviet influence in West Germany increased by 1, now at 1
9 VPs down 1, now at -6
10
11 The Americans use the Willy Brandt card for a coup attempt:
12 Coup attempt in Nigeria (stability 1):
13 ** USA die roll = 2 (+2) = 4
14 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 2.
15 Soviet influence in Nigeria reduced by 2, now at 0
16 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
17 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
18 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
19 American influence in Venezuela increased by 1, now at 2
Not a great result, but good enough.
1 Turn 5, USSR action round 3
2 DEFCON Level raised to 3
3
4 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
5 #57 Ops 4: ABM Treaty
6 Coup attempt in Brazil (stability 2):
7 ** USSR die roll = 6 (+4) = 10
8 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 6.
9 American influence in Brazil reduced by 1, now at 0
10 Soviet influence in Brazil increased by 5, now at 5
11 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
12 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
13 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
14 American influence in North Korea increased by 1, now at 3
Well that was bad. Now the two of us are contesting South America as it is the only Mid War
region left to be scored. As discussed earlier, I will use Cultural Revolution now, since the -1VP is
way preferable to handing over the China Card (even just holding onto the China Card and never
playing it is worth at least 2VP, since whoever holds it at the end of the game gets 1VP).
Annotated Game #1 305
1 Turn 5, USA action round 3
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #58 Ops 3: Cultural Revolution * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The Cultural Revolution card is permanently removed. **
7
8 VPs down 1, now at -7
9
10 The Americans use the Cultural Revolution card to place influence:
11 2 USA influence added to Argentina, now at 2
12 1 USA influence added to Chile, now at 2
13
14 Turn 5, USSR action round 4
15
16 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
17 #46 Ops 2: How I Learned to Stop Worrying *
18 2 USSR influence added to Uruguay, now at 2
I need a non-battleground for Domination, now that I can no longer get Control.
1 Turn 5, USA action round 4
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #80 Ops 2: 'One Small Step...'
5 1 USA influence added to Chile, now at 3
6 1 USA influence added to Colombia, now at 1
7
8 Turn 5, USSR action round 5
9
10 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
11 #24 Ops 2: Indo-Pakistani War
12 Pakistan invades India...
13 USSR success on a modified die roll of 4-6; USA modifer is -0
14 ** Die roll: 2 -- no effect **
15 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
A lucky break for me. Since I have a chance to breathe, I will take back the China Card from the
USSR, which is both strong in its own right and also limits his ability to get rid of DEFCON suicide
cards.
Annotated Game #1 306
1 Turn 5, USA action round 5
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #71 Ops 2: Nixon Plays the China Card * (USA)
5
6 ** The Nixon Plays the China Card card is permanently removed. **
7
8 The US receives the China Card, face down, from the Soviet player.
9
10 Turn 5, USSR action round 6
11
12 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
13 #1: Asia Scoring
14
15 *** Scoring in Asia ***
16 USSR: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
17 USA: 3(presence) +3(battlegrounds) = 6
18 VPs up 1, now at -6
My hand: Panama Canal Returned, OAS Founded, Defectors, Missile Envy
Since North Korea is just sitting around uncontrolled, why not play into it? I plan to hold Defectors to
next turn (same reasoning as earlier) and OAS Founded, in case I need it; I also plan to play Panama
Canal Returned on the final AR to create some problems for the USSR to deal with re: Panama. So I
use Missile Envy.
1 Turn 5, USA action round 6
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #49 Ops 2: Missile Envy
5 2 USA influence added to North Korea, now at 5
6
7 Turn 5, USSR action round 7
8
9 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
10 #3: Middle East Scoring
11
12 *** Scoring in Middle East ***
13 USSR: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
14 USA: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
This must have been an awful hand for him, since he had three scoring cards. I go ahead with my
plan to create a little Panamanian crisis for him.
Annotated Game #1 307
1 Turn 5, USA action round 7
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #64 Ops 1: Panama Canal Returned * (USA)
5
6 ** The Panama Canal Returned card is permanently removed. **
7
8 American influence in Panama increased by 1, now at 1
9 American influence in Costa Rica increased by 1, now at 1
10 American influence in Venezuela increased by 1, now at 3
11
12 Events Played: Warsaw Pact Formed, NATO, US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, Marshall P\
13 lan, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD,
14 Camp David Accords, Willy Brandt
15
16 USSR battleground countries controlled = 10
17 USA battleground countries controlled = 15
18
19 DEFCON Level raised to 3
20 ** Turn 6 Headline Phase **
The board at the start of Turn 6
My hand:
Annotated Game #1 308
Annotated Game #1 309
There are two obvious headline candidates: Defectors and Red Scare/Purge. (Junta, too, is ordinarily
an awesome headline, but in this particular situation not as strong as Defectors or Red Scare/Purge.)
Typically, in this situation, I would headline Defectors and headline Red Scare/Purge next turn: this
is because were on Turn 6, and I want Defectors to make it back in for the Turn 7 reshuffle.
But when you also have Bear Trap in the same hand, the potential for abuse is just staggering. Played
together with Red Scare/Purge, it is absolutely crippling to discard 3+ Ops cards. More importantly,
theres a very real possibility youll end up just having to skip Action Rounds if you run out of 3+
Ops cards to discard. I once won a game after falling behind -18, because a combination of repeated
Red Scare/Purges and a never-ending Bear Trap cost my opponent 19 (!) straight Action Rounds.
Theres an art to the timing, though. The earlier you play it, the more effect you can get (i.e., the
more rounds your opponent might be forced to skip), but the later you play it, the more likely it is
that he will have no 3+ Ops cards to discard.
Annotated Game #1 310
As for the rest of the hand: We Will Bury You will likely be unplayable, but is an easy Space Race.
Brezhnev Doctrine is readily taken care of by playing it on the last Action Round. Junta has potential:
I can play it into Costa Rica and realign him out of Panama, where he cannot get back in. And
Portuguese Empire Crumbles will be easy to manage and dispose of. Hopefully I will be able to hold
Defectors for next turn
1 Soviet Headline Card: #54 Ops 1: Allende * (USSR)
2 American Headline Card: #31 Ops 4: Red Scare/Purge
3
4 USA Headline Event: #31 Ops 4: Red Scare/Purge
5
6 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
7 #31 Ops 4: Red Scare/Purge
8 -1 to Ops value of Soviet cards this turn (minimum 1 OP)
9
10 USSR Headline Event: #54 Ops 1: Allende * (USSR)
11
12 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
13 #54 Ops 1: Allende * (USSR)
14
15 ** The Allende card is permanently removed. **
16
17 Soviet influence in Chile increased by 2, now at 2
18 ** Turn 6 Action Phase **
19
20 Turn 6, USSR action round 1
21
22 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
23 #39 Ops 3: Arms Race
24 Coup attempt in Zaire (stability 1):
25 ** USSR die roll = 1 (+2) = 3
26 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 1.
27 American influence in Zaire reduced by 1, now at 0
28 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
29 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
30 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
31 American influence in Chile increased by 1, now at 4
I decide its a little too early for Bear Trap, and instead look to kick the USSR out of Panama with
Junta before I am couped out of Colombia. I get to roll at +1; if I succeed on the first roll, I can realign
Chile at +2 and negate Allende.
Annotated Game #1 311
1 Turn 6, USA action round 1
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #47 Ops 2: Junta
5 American influence in Costa Rica increased by 2, now at 3
6
7 The Americans play the following card for realignment rolls:
8 #47 Ops 2: Junta
9
10 Realignment roll in Panama: USA modifier = +2, USSR modifier = +1
11 ** USA die roll = 3 (+2) = 5
12 ** USSR die roll = 2 (+1) = 3
13 Soviet influence in Panama reduced by 2, now at 0
14
15 Realignment roll in Chile: USA modifier = +2, USSR modifier = +0
16 ** USA die roll = 2 (+2) = 4
17 ** USSR die roll = 2 (+0) = 2
18 Soviet influence in Chile reduced by 2, now at 0
19
20 Turn 6, USSR action round 2
21
22 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
23 #112 Ops 3: Che (USSR)
24 Coup attempt in Colombia (stability 1):
25 ** USSR die roll = 1 (+2) = 3
26 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 1.
27 American influence in Colombia reduced by 1, now at 0
28 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
29 The coup is successful: the USSR may make another coup
30
31 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
32 #112 Ops 3: Che (USSR)
33 Coup attempt in Costa Rica (stability 3):
34 ** USSR die roll = 1 (+2) = 3
35 The modified roll does not exceed the doubled stability -- no effect.
36 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
A bit unlucky for him, but it wasnt really the time for Che.
Now my trigger finger gets itchy and I gamble on the Bear Trap, hoping hes out of 3+Ops cards.
Annotated Game #1 312
1 Turn 6, USA action round 2
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #44 Ops 3: Bear Trap * (USA)
5
6 ** The Bear Trap card is permanently removed. **
7
8 On the next action round, USSR player must discard an Operations card worth
9 2 or more and roll less than 5. Repeat each USSR player phase until successful
10 or no appropriate cards remain. If out of appropriate cards, the USSR Player may
11 only play scoring cards until the next turn.
12
13 Turn 6, USSR action round 3
14 The USSR discards the following card because of Bear Trap:
15 #73 Ops 3: Shuttle Diplomacy (USA)
16 Bear Trap ends on a die roll of 1-4: ** Die Roll = 2 -- The Bear Trap is over!
Darn. Incidentally, this was his last 3Ops card in hand, so if I had waited a bit longer
Time to take Zaire and Panama.
1 Turn 6, USA action round 3
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #13 Ops 2: Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5 The event cannot be played right now.
6
7 The Americans use the Arab-Israeli War card to place influence:
8 1 USA influence added to Zaire, now at 1
9 1 USA influence added to Panama, now at 2
10
11 Turn 6, USSR action round 4
12
13 The Soviets play the following card for realignment rolls:
14 #69 Ops 2: Latin American Death Squads
15
16 Realignment roll in Venezuela: USSR modifier = +1, USA modifier = +1
17 ** USSR die roll = 3 (+1) = 4
18 ** USA die roll = 4 (+1) = 5
Probably should have done this last turn, but hey, North Korea is still open. I should grab that as
well. I use the China Card because I have no good 3 or 4Ops card to play to take North Korea. The
extra Op goes to Colombia, as I still need a non-battleground for Domination in South America.
Annotated Game #1 313
1 Turn 6, USA action round 4
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #6 Ops 4: The China Card
5 3 USA influence added to North Korea, now at 8
6 1 USA influence added to Colombia, now at 1
7
8 Turn 6, USSR action round 5
9 The Soviets play the following card for Ops:
10 #68 Ops 2: John Paul II Elected Pope * (USA)
11 They also play UN Intervention to cancel the American event
12
13 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
14 #68 Ops 2: John Paul II Elected Pope * (USA)
15 Coup attempt in Colombia (stability 1):
16 ** USSR die roll = 4 (+1) = 5
17 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 3.
18 American influence in Colombia reduced by 1, now at 0
19 Soviet influence in Colombia increased by 2, now at 2
20
21 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
22 #32 Ops 1: UN Intervention
Since hes under Purge, I would probably win the coup back-and-forth on Colombia. Here I give up
Defectors, because my hand is Defectors, Portuguese Empire Crumbles, Brezhnev Doctrine, OAS
Founded, and We Will Bury You. Portuguese Empire Crumbles doesnt give me any Ops, since I
need to use it to defend against itself; Brezhnev goes at the end of the turn; WWBY is unplayable,
and Id like to save OAS for a rainy day. So Im going to hold WWBY and OAS, and play Defectors.
1 Turn 6, USA action round 5
2
3 The Americans play the following card for a coup attempt:
4 #102 Ops 2: Defectors (USA)
5 Coup attempt in Colombia (stability 1):
6 ** USA die roll = 6 (+2) = 8
7 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 6.
8 Soviet influence in Colombia reduced by 2, now at 0
9 American influence in Colombia increased by 4, now at 4
10 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
11
12 Turn 6, USSR action round 6
13
Annotated Game #1 314
14 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
15 #2: Europe Scoring
16
17 *** Scoring in Europe ***
18 USSR: 7(domination) +3(battlegrounds) = 10
19 USA: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
20 VPs down 5, now at -11
Time to take care of Portuguese Empire Crumbles. I dont want to space this and see it come back
in the Turn 7 reshuffle.
1 Turn 6, USA action round 6
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #52 Ops 2: Portuguese Empire Crumbles * (USSR)
5 2 USA influence added to Angola, now at 3
6 The Soviets use the USSR event played by the USA
7
8 ** The Portuguese Empire Crumbles card is permanently removed. **
9
10 Soviet influence in SE African States increased by 2, now at 2
11 Soviet influence in Angola increased by 2, now at 2
12
13 Turn 6, USSR action round 7
14
15 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
16 #48 Ops 1: Kitchen Debates * (USA)
17 Coup attempt in Colombia (stability 1):
18 ** USSR die roll = 3 (+1) = 4
19 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 2.
20 American influence in Colombia reduced by 2, now at 2
21 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
22
23 ** The Kitchen Debates card is permanently removed. **
24
25 USA controlled Battleground countries = 17
26 USSR controlled Battleground countries = 10
27 ** POKE! ** POKE! ** POKE! **
28 VPs up 2, now at -9
And as the last play, I play Brezhnev Doctrine harmlessly. I solidify Nigeria and Zaire, as 1-stability
countries can be flipped with a 3Ops. I also take the UK, for no real good reason other than I think
Special Relationship might make a comeback, and with NATO in effect its pretty good.
Annotated Game #1 315
1 Turn 6, USA action round 7
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #51 Ops 3: Brezhnev Doctrine * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The Brezhnev Doctrine card is permanently removed. **
7
8 All USSR operations cards increase their value by one (+1) for the remainder
9 of this turn (Maximum of 4).
10
11 The Americans use the Brezhnev Doctrine card to place influence:
12 1 USA influence added to United Kingdom, now at 5
13 1 USA influence added to Nigeria, now at 2
14 1 USA influence added to Zaire, now at 2
15
16 Events Played: Warsaw Pact Formed, NATO, US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, Marshall P\
17 lan, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD, Camp David Accords, Willy Brandt
18
19 USSR battleground countries controlled = 10
20 USA battleground countries controlled = 17
21
22 DEFCON Level raised to 3
23 ************************************************************
24 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
25 ************************************************************
26 ** Turn 7 Headline Phase **
Annotated Game #1 316
The board at the start of Turn 7
My hand:
Annotated Game #1 317
So many great cards! The headline is going to be Grain Sales to Soviets, which is pretty much the
best possible US headline, period. Voice of America and ABM Treaty are going to be great events,
and if I choose to I can reclaim one with SALT Negotiations. And I have only one problematic USSR
card (We Will Bury You), as U-2 Incident is an auto-play-for-Ops every day of the week and twice
on Sunday. One bad card is rarely a problem. Two can be, and three is often deadly.
The Mid War cards I know he has in his hand, because they havent shown up yet and arent in
mine: Lone Gunman, South America Scoring, Sadat Expels Soviets, Summit, Our Man in Tehran.
Theoretically, I should also know he has East European Unrest and Arab-Israeli War, because those
were disposed of prior to Turn 3 and therefore should also be drawn somewhere between Turn 3
and Turn 7, but I am not such a savant to track that in-game. The Mid War cards are easier because
its fairly easy to remember, for instance, that South America hasnt been scored. But this illustrates
that given disciplined focus, you should be able to identify nearly all of your opponents hand on
Turns 3 and 7.
Annotated Game #1 318
1 Soviet Headline Card: #31 Ops 4: Red Scare/Purge
2 American Headline Card: #67 Ops 2: Grain Sales to Soviets (USA)
3
4 USSR Headline Event: #31 Ops 4: Red Scare/Purge
5
6 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
7 #31 Ops 4: Red Scare/Purge
8 -1 to Ops value of American cards this turn (minimum 1 OP)
9
10 USA Headline Event: #67 Ops 2: Grain Sales to Soviets (USA)
11
12 The Americans use the Grain Sales to Soviets card as an Event:
13 Card selected from USSR hand: #108 Ops 2: Our Man in Tehran * (USA)
Oof, the Purge (one of two cards I could not theoretically account for in his hand) hurts. Luckily I
have many events I plan to play, thereby lessening its impact.
When you draw your Grain Sales card, you should almost always play it. The handsize reduction
hurts just as much as playing the card, generally. The only exceptions are when playing the card
will kill you (because its an opponents event that degrades DEFCON), or when you draw a scoring
card (sometimes). Here, Our Man in Tehran happens to be a fantastic event at the best possible time
(the card is very strong on Turn 7, because its discards are basically permanent now), so Im willing
to give up the potential Ops benefit (namely, couping in headline phase) to trigger the card.
1 The USA Player elects to keep and play the card.
2
3 The Americans use the Our Man in Tehran card as an Event:
4
5 ** The Our Man in Tehran card is permanently removed. **
6
7 Card discarded: #7 Ops 3: Socialist Governments (USSR)
8 ************************************************************
9 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
10 ************************************************************
Trust me when I say this was the only bad card of the bunch. Oh well.
Annotated Game #1 319
1 ** Turn 7 Action Phase **
2
3 Turn 7, USSR action round 1
4
5 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
6 #62 Ops 1: 'Lone Gunman' * (USSR)
7
8 ** The 'Lone Gunman' card is permanently removed. **
9
10 The Soviet gets to look at the American Hand:
11
12 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
13 #62 Ops 1: 'Lone Gunman' * (USSR)
14 Coup attempt in Zaire (stability 1):
15 ** USSR die roll = 2 (+1) = 3
16 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 1.
17 American influence in Zaire reduced by 1, now at 1
18 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
19 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 1
20 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
21 American influence in Egypt increased by 1, now at 3
A wise choice, as Lone Gunman is normally played for Ops so that it can end up in the US hand
and cause DEFCON suicide. But if discarded on Turn 7, it isnt going to end up in my hand again.
So triggering the event is strictly superior than playing it for Ops.
Unfortunately his coup doesnt really get him anywhere. Time for me to launch a coup of my own:
on Brazil, as I know he has South America Scoring and Id like to grab Control.
1 Turn 7, USA action round 1
2 DEFCON Level raised to 3
3
4 The Americans play the following card for a coup attempt:
5 #57 Ops 4: ABM Treaty
6 Coup attempt in Brazil (stability 2):
7 ** USA die roll = 5 (+3) = 8
8 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 4.
9 Soviet influence in Brazil reduced by 4, now at 1
10 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
11 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 3
12 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
13 American influence in Zaire increased by 1, now at 2
Not quite good enough, as he can patch it back up.
Annotated Game #1 320
1 Turn 7, USSR action round 2
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #6 Ops 4: The China Card
5 1 USSR influence added to Brazil, now at 2
6 2 USSR influence added to Paraguay, now at 2
7 1 USSR influence added to Syria, now at 2
A critical mistake, and one that a seasoned USSR player would not make. Always leave 5 in a
region when you are worried about Voice of America! The real threat of Voice of America is not
just the influence loss: it is the loss of access. Here, I will use VoA to kick him out of Brazil and
Uruguay, stranding him without access to Brazil. He will not be able to retake Brazil before I do.
Had he instead maintained 5 influence in Uruguay and Brazil, Voice of America would not be able
to eliminate him from the subregion.
Its all the worse because he should know that I have Voice of America.
1 Turn 7, USA action round 2
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #74 Ops 2: The Voice of America (USA)
5 Soviet influence in Brazil reduced by 2, now at 0
6 Soviet influence in Uruguay reduced by 2, now at 0
7
8 Turn 7, USSR action round 3
9
10 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
11 #35: South America Scoring
12
13 *** Scoring in South America ***
14 USSR: 2(presence) = 2
15 USA: 5(domination) +3(battlegrounds) = 8
16 VPs up 6, now at -3
Of course. Better to score it now before I get Control.
I do want to take Brazil, but I have no need to until he plays into Uruguay first. So lets take a gamble
on Pakistan. My Ops are precious enough while under Red Scare that I need to conserve them to
respond to the USSR.
Annotated Game #1 321
1 Turn 7, USA action round 3
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #24 Ops 2: Indo-Pakistani War
5 India invades Pakistan...
6 USA success on a modified die roll of 4-6; USSR modifer is -1
7 ** Die roll: 3 (-1) = 2 -- no effect **
8 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
9
10 Turn 7, USSR action round 4
11 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
12 #29 Ops 3: East European Unrest (USA)
13 They elect to have the American event occur first.
14 Soviet influence in East Germany reduced by 1, now at 4
15 Soviet influence in Poland reduced by 1, now at 3
16 Soviet influence in Yugoslavia reduced by 1, now at 2
17
18 The Soviets use the East European Unrest card to place influence:
19 1 USSR influence added to Uruguay, now at 1
20 1 USSR influence added to Argentina, now at 1
Now, of course, I should take Brazil. Unfortunately I cant patch up both Brazil and Argentina, but
I have OAS Founded at least to salvage Argentina later.
1 Turn 7, USA action round 4
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #60 Ops 3: U-2 Incident * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The U-2 Incident card is permanently removed. **
7
8 VPs down 1, now at -4
9 If UN intervention played later this turn as an Event, Soviets gain an additional\
10 1 VP.
11
12 The Americans use the U-2 Incident card to place influence:
13 2 USA influence added to Brazil, now at 2
14
15 Turn 7, USSR action round 5
16
17 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
18 #13 Ops 2: Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
19 2 USSR influence added to Argentina, now at 3
Annotated Game #1 322
I decide to keep fighting for Argentina. At this point my hand is: OAS Founded, Latin American
Death Squads, SALT Negotiations, and We Will Bury You. I decide to perform the SALT trick as US:
SALT ABM Treaty back to my hand as the last Action, raising DEFCON to 4. DEFCON then rises to
5 on the headline, where I headline ABM Treaty and get to do 4 realignments in Europe: specifically,
France at +2.
So my best bet to fight for Argentina is OAS Founded for 2 into Argentina. Not the best use of the
card, but Im thankful that I didnt need it that much this game.
1 Turn 7, USA action round 5
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #70 Ops 1: OAS Founded * (USA)
5
6 ** The OAS Founded card is permanently removed. **
7
8 2 USA influence added to Argentina, now at 4
9
10 Turn 7, USSR action round 6
11
12 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
13 #56 Ops 4: Muslim Revolution (USSR)
14 American influence in Libya now at 0
15 American influence in Egypt now at 0
Hurts, especially since I cant get back into Libya. With my 1 Op of Latin American Death Squads,
though, I can either recontrol Argentina or make an ineffectual play for the Middle East. As I know
he has Sadat left in his hand, I go for the former. (Incidentally, he should have played Sadat and then
Muslim Revolution.)
1 Turn 7, USA action round 6
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #69 Ops 2: Latin American Death Squads
5 1 USA influence added to Argentina, now at 5
6
7 Turn 7, USSR action round 7
8
9 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
10 #72 Ops 1: Sadat Expels Soviets * (USA)
11 1 USSR influence added to Libya, now at 1
12 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
13
Annotated Game #1 323
14 ** The Sadat Expels Soviets card is permanently removed. **
15
16 Soviet influence in Egypt now at 0
17 American influence in Egypt increased by 1, now at 1
Now time for the aforementioned SALT trick. There were tons of great candidates to draw from the
discard (Red Scare/Purge, Grain Sales, Voice of America) but I like this one the best as Europe is my
biggest threat: an early Europe Scoring + Wargames next turn is the most likely way I can lose at
this point. Plus a higher DEFCON means more VP loss for the USSR on Mil Ops.
1 Turn 7, USA action round 7
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #43 Ops 3: SALT Negotiations *
5
6 ** The SALT Negotiations card is permanently removed. **
7
8 DEFCON Level raised to 4
9 The USA player reclaims the following card from the discard pile:
10 #57 Ops 4: ABM Treaty
11 The Soviets are 3 military operations short of the DEFCON requirement of 4
12 VPs up 3, now at -1
13
14 Events Played: Warsaw Pact Formed, NATO, US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, Marshall P\
15 lan, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD,
16 Camp David Accords, Willy Brandt
17
18 USSR battleground countries controlled = 8
19 USA battleground countries controlled = 17
Entering the Late War at -1 is great for me, considering that the board heavily favors me. As
mentioned above, my biggest danger is dropping 6VP quickly to something like Europe Scoring
and then getting Wargamed before I can make up the deficit.
Annotated Game #1 324
The board at the start of Turn 8.
Annotated Game #1 325
Late War
1 ** The Late War cards are added to the deck **
2 ************************************************************
3 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
4 ************************************************************
5 DEFCON Level raised to 5
6 ** Turn 8 Headline Phase **
The board at the start of Turn 8
My hand:
Annotated Game #1 326
Annotated Game #1 327
I see no reason not to proceed with my ABM Treaty headline as planned. There is no possible
headline that can interfere with me, because 4Ops cards go first and the US headline always takes
priority over the USSR. Not always a good thing, but definitely a good thing here.
The rest of my hand is not terribly tricky to play. I plan to space one of Quagmire / South African
Unrest, maybe use Iran-Iraq War on Iraq for the potential VPs and battleground flip. Central America
Scoring is the main threat: I need to figure out a way to cut my losses from that so I dont lose to
Wargames.
Annotated Game #1 328
1 Soviet Headline Card: #49 Ops 2: Missile Envy
2 American Headline Card: #57 Ops 4: ABM Treaty
3
4 USA Headline Event: #57 Ops 4: ABM Treaty
5 DEFCON Level raised to 5
6
7 The Americans play the following card for realignment rolls:
8 #57 Ops 4: ABM Treaty
9
10 Realignment roll in France: USA modifier = +4, USSR modifier = +2
11 ** USA die roll = 2 (+4) = 6
12 ** USSR die roll = 2 (+2) = 4
13 Soviet influence in France reduced by 2, now at 3
14
15 Realignment roll in France: USA modifier = +4, USSR modifier = +2
16 ** USA die roll = 3 (+4) = 7
17 ** USSR die roll = 6 (+2) = 8
18
19 Realignment roll in France: USA modifier = +4, USSR modifier = +2
20 ** USA die roll = 2 (+4) = 6
21 ** USSR die roll = 5 (+2) = 7
22
23 Realignment roll in France: USA modifier = +4, USSR modifier = +2
24 ** USA die roll = 1 (+4) = 5
25 ** USSR die roll = 4 (+2) = 6
Well, that was unlucky. I had planned to use 3 rolls to knock out France and one more on
Spain/Portugal.
1 USSR Headline Event: #49 Ops 2: Missile Envy
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #49 Ops 2: Missile Envy
5 The American exchanges the following card for the Missile Envy:
6 #50 Ops 4: 'We Will Bury You' * (USSR)
7
8 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
9 #50 Ops 4: 'We Will Bury You' * (USSR)
10
11 ** The 'We Will Bury You' card is permanently removed. **
12
13 Unless UN Intervention is played as an Event on the US player's next round, USSR \
Annotated Game #1 329
14 gains 3 VP.
15 DEFCON Level lowered to 4
This is bad, since now its even more likely I can succumb to Wargames.
1 ** Turn 8 Action Phase **
2
3 Turn 8, USSR action round 1
4
5 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
6 #111 Ops 2: Yuri and Samantha * (USSR)
7
8 ** The Yuri and Samantha card is permanently removed. **
Because DEFCON is at 4, I can either coup an Asian battleground or save my coup to respond to
his. I choose the latter, since the 2 Ops from my Missile Envy coup is not very convincing.
1 Turn 8, USA action round 1
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #49 Ops 2: Missile Envy
5 1 USA influence added to Egypt, now at 2
6 1 USA influence added to Libya, now at 1
7 The USA did not play UN Intervention
8 VPs down 3, now at -4
9
10 Turn 8, USSR action round 2
11
12 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
13 #46 Ops 2: How I Learned to Stop Worrying *
14 Coup attempt in Zaire (stability 1):
15 ** USSR die roll = 6 (+2) = 8
16 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 6.
17 American influence in Zaire reduced by 2, now at 0
18 Soviet influence in Zaire increased by 4, now at 4
19 DEFCON Level lowered to 3
20 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
Given a choice between couping Zaire back and couping Mexico, I decide that Zaire is more likely
to succeed.
Annotated Game #1 330
1 Turn 8, USA action round 2
2
3 The Americans play the following card for a coup attempt:
4 #4 Ops 3: Duck and Cover (USA)
5 Coup attempt in Zaire (stability 1):
6 ** USA die roll = 2 (+3) = 5
7 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 3.
8 Soviet influence in Zaire reduced by 3, now at 1
9 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
10 *** Yuri and Samantha -- VPs down 1, now at -5
11 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 3
12 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
13 American influence in Pakistan increased by 1, now at 2
14
15 Turn 8, USSR action round 3
16 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
17 #73 Ops 3: Shuttle Diplomacy (USA)
18 They elect to have the American event occur first.
19 Play in front of US player. During the next scoring of the Middle East or Asia
20 (whichever comes first), subtract one Battleground country from USSR total,
21 then put this card in the discard pile.
22
23 The Soviets use the Shuttle Diplomacy card to place influence:
24 1 USSR influence added to Pakistan, now at 5
25 2 USSR influence added to Libya, now at 3
Time to make a play for Central America. Lets go for Nicaragua, which would allow me to realign
Cuba at +1. I need only one Op and luckily have a harmless 1Op USSR event to use.
1 Turn 8, USA action round 3
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #12 Ops 1: Romanian Abdication * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The Romanian Abdication card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Soviet influence in Romania now at 3
9
10 The Americans use the Romanian Abdication card to place influence:
11 1 USA influence added to Nicaragua, now at 1
12
13 Turn 8, USSR action round 4
Annotated Game #1 331
14
15 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
16 #93 Ops 2: Iran-Contra Scandal * (USSR)
17 Coup attempt in Nicaragua (stability 1):
18 ** USSR die roll = 1 (+2) = 3
19 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 1.
20 American influence in Nicaragua reduced by 1, now at 0
21 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
Hes not going to let me keep Nicaragua, and this couping back-and-forth takes time that I do not
have because I have the scoring card. So I will gamble on the Iran-Iraq War instead.
1 Turn 8, USA action round 4
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #101 Ops 2: Iran-Iraq War *
5
6 ** The Iran-Iraq War card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Iran invades Iraq...
9 USA success on a modified die roll of 4-6; USSR modifer is -0
10 ** Die roll: 6 -- USA victory!
11 VPs up 2, now at -3
12 Soviet influence in Iraq reduced by 3, now at 0
13 American influence in Iraq increased by 3, now at 3
14 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
This was quite fortunate. This means that absent any other VP shenanigans, Central America Scoring
at -3 will take me to -6, so I cant lose on Wargames.
1 Turn 8, USSR action round 5
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for an attempt on the Space Race track:
4 #105 Ops 2: Special Relationship (USA)
5 ** Space Race Die Roll (1-3 needed): = 6 **
6 No effect.
My hand is: Central America Scoring, Defectors, Quagmire, and South African Unrest. I decide I
want to flip Zaire with the China Card at some point, so I will hold Defectors and one more card
to next turn. I will play Central America Scoring as late as possible since he wont be improving his
position and I dont want to give away how close he is to Wargames. I will therefore space South
African Unrest (or Quagmire, not much difference, though I suppose Quagmire is more unplayable).
Annotated Game #1 332
1 Turn 8, USA action round 5
2
3 The Americans play the following card for an attempt on the Space Race track:
4 #53 Ops 2: South African Unrest (USSR)
5 ** Space Race Die Roll (1-4 needed): = 4 **
6 USA progress on the Space Race Track is now at Animal in Space
7 The Americans may now make two space race attempts per turn
8
9 Turn 8, USSR action round 6
10 The Soviets play the following card for Ops:
11 #85 Ops 2: Star Wars * (USA)
12 They also play UN Intervention to cancel the American event
13
14 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
15 #85 Ops 2: Star Wars * (USA)
16 2 USSR influence added to Botswana, now at 2
17
18 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
19 #32 Ops 1: UN Intervention
Time to flip Zaire. Just like Thailand can be flipped with the China Card, 1-stability countries can
be flipped with a 3 Ops. I use all 4 Ops to overcontrol the country and make sure he cant do the
same to me.
1 Turn 8, USA action round 6
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #6 Ops 4: The China Card
5 3 USA influence added to Zaire, now at 3
6
7 Turn 8, USSR action round 7
8
9 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
10 #45 Ops 1: Summit
11 1 USSR influence added to Zimbabwe, now at 1
And of course I must play the Scoring Card.
Annotated Game #1 333
1 Turn 8, USA action round 7
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #37: Central America Scoring
5
6 *** Scoring in Central America ***
7 USSR: 1(presence) +2(battlegrounds) +2(adj. to USA) = 5
8 USA: 1(presence) +1(battlegrounds) = 2
9 VPs down 3, now at -6
10
11 Events Played: Warsaw Pact Formed, NATO, US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, Marshall P\
12 lan, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD, Camp David Accords, Willy Brandt
13
14 USSR battleground countries controlled = 8
15 USA battleground countries controlled = 19
16
17 DEFCON Level raised to 3
18 ** Turn 9 Headline Phase **
The board at the start of Turn 9
My hand:
Annotated Game #1 334
Annotated Game #1 335
Im thrilled that I drew Wargames. I wont be able to use it this turn, so I will hold it until next turn
in hopes of using it then.
Everything is getting played for Operations here, especially The Iron Lady aka Thatcher the Betrayer.
Iranian Hostage Crisis and Quagmire are both problematic, Quagmire more so. Since Im holding
Wargames, Ill just have to swallow Iranian Hostage Crisis. Flower Power could be problematic, but
I doubt that it will make much difference. Although I could use Formosan Revolution to squeeze an
extra VP out of Asia Scoring, Id probably rather play it for Ops. I dont want him to catch on that I
have Asia Scoring and use the China Card to start a fight with me for Asia.
Since I have no other compelling candidates, Defectors is the clear Headline choice.
1 Soviet Headline Card: #36 Ops 3: Brush War
2 American Headline Card: #102 Ops 2: Defectors (USA)
3 The Defectors card cancels out the Soviet-played Headline Event.
4 ** Turn 9 Action Phase **
5
6 Turn 9, USSR action round 1
7
8 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
9 #90 Ops 4: Glasnost * (USSR)
10 Coup attempt in Brazil (stability 2):
11 ** USSR die roll = 2 (+4) = 6
12 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 2.
13 American influence in Brazil reduced by 2, now at 0
14 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
15 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
16 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
17 American influence in Libya increased by 1, now at 2
Annotated Game #1 336
Repair the damage, and try to flip Libya, as Middle East Scoring has yet to come out.
1 Turn 9, USA action round 1
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #83 Ops 3: The Iron Lady * (USA)
5 2 USA influence added to Brazil, now at 2
6 1 USA influence added to Libya, now at 3
7
8 Turn 9, USSR action round 2
9
10 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
11 #80 Ops 2: 'One Small Step...'
12 USSR progress on the Space Race Track is now at Animal in Space
13 The Americans may no longer make two space race attempts per turn
I get the sense he is chasing some Space Race VPs, as the next box is 2/0. So Ill space Quagmire now.
1 Turn 9, USA action round 2
2
3 The Americans play the following card for an attempt on the Space Race track:
4 #42 Ops 3: Quagmire * (USSR)
5 ** Space Race Die Roll (1-3 needed): = 6 **
6 No effect.
7
8 Turn 9, USSR action round 3
9
10 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
11 #18 Ops 1: Captured Nazi Scientists *
12
13 ** The Captured Nazi Scientists card is permanently removed. **
14
15 USSR progress on the Space Race Track is now at Lunar Probe
16 VPs down 2, now at -8
If I were not holding Wargames, then right here I would immediately cash in Asia Scoring. But since
I know he cant play Wargames on me, I take Libya first.
Annotated Game #1 337
1 Turn 9, USA action round 3
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #20 Ops 2: Olympic Games
5 2 USA influence added to Libya, now at 5
6
7 Turn 9, USSR action round 4
8
9 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
10 #40 Ops 3: Cuban Missile Crisis *
11 3 USSR influence added to Jordan, now at 3
Perhaps suspecting I had Middle East Scoring. In fact I have
1 Turn 9, USA action round 4
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #1: Asia Scoring
5
6 *** Scoring in Asia ***
7 (-1 to Russian battleground total due to Shuttle Diplomacy)
8 USSR: 3(presence) +1(battlegrounds) = 4
9 USA: 7(domination) +4(battlegrounds) +1(adj. to USSR) = 12
10 VPs up 8, now at 0
11
12 Turn 9, USSR action round 5
13
14 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
15 #6 Ops 4: The China Card
16 3 USSR influence added to Saudi Arabia, now at 3
17 1 USSR influence added to Uruguay, now at 2
I need a non-battleground to get Domination. I choose Lebanon, since I can flip it with a 3Ops. I lose
Iran, but I was going to lose it no matter what if Im holding Wargames to next turn.
Annotated Game #1 338
1 Turn 9, USA action round 5
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #82 Ops 3: Iranian Hostage Crisis * (USSR)
5 2 USA influence added to Lebanon, now at 2
6 The Soviets use the USSR event played by the USA
7
8 ** The Iranian Hostage Crisis card is permanently removed. **
9
10 American influence in Iran now at 0
11 Soviet influence in Iran increased by 2, now at 3
12
13 Turn 9, USSR action round 6
14
15 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
16 #87 Ops 3: The Reformer * (USSR)
17
18 ** The The Reformer card is permanently removed. **
19
20 2 USSR influence added to West Germany, now at 3
21 2 USSR influence added to Canada, now at 2
I think he misplayed this hand, possibly out of fatigue, possibly out of frustration. Clearly The
Reformer should have been played first, and while the score is still negative. Then Glasnost becomes
even better. As it stands, The Reformer is like Ussuri River Skirmish: reparable with a 4Ops, but you
dont have the equivalent of the China Card to help.
1 Turn 9, USA action round 6
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #59 Ops 4: Flower Power * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The Flower Power card is permanently removed. **
7
8 USSR gains 2 VP for every subsequently US played 'War' Event Card
9 (Arab-Israeli War, Korean War, Brush War, Indo- Pakistani War or Iran- Iraq War),\
10 unless
11 the card is played on the Space Race, or the war made unplayable by a subsequent \
12 card.
13 This event cancelled by 'An Evil Empire'.
14
15 The Americans use the Flower Power card to place influence:
Annotated Game #1 339
16 2 USA influence added to West Germany, now at 7
17 2 USA influence added to Canada, now at 6
18
19 Turn 9, USSR action round 7
20
21 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
22 #94 Ops 3: Chernobyl * (USA)
23 2 USSR influence added to Bolivia, now at 2
24 1 USSR influence added to Malaysia, now at 3
25 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
26
27 ** The Chernobyl card is permanently removed. **
28
29 USSR may not add Influence to Europe with Ops points for the remainder of th\
30 e turn.
My next move is a mistake. I should have instead used Formosan Revolution to coup somewhere
and gain 2 Mil Ops. Instead I needlessly lose 2 VP by playing into France.
1 Turn 9, USA action round 7
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #100 Ops 2: Formosan Resolution * (USA)
5 1 USA influence added to France, now at 1
6 The Americans are 2 military operations short of the DEFCON requirement of 2
7 VPs down 2, now at -2
8
9 Events Played: Warsaw Pact Formed, NATO, US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, Marshall P\
10 lan, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD, Camp David Accords, Willy Brandt, Iranian Hos\
11 tage Crisis, The Reformer, Flower Power
12
13 USSR battleground countries controlled = 8
14 USA battleground countries controlled = 19
15
16 DEFCON Level raised to 3
17 ** Turn 10 Headline Phase **
Annotated Game #1 340
The board at the start of Turn 10
My hand:
Annotated Game #1 341
Annotated Game #1 342
The rest of the game is a formality. So long as I cash in Africa Scoring for +10VP and drop DEFCON
to 2, I will win handily with Wargames. Given the US Late War advantage, this is not all that unusual;
the later Wargames comes out, the more likely it is to benefit the US instead of the USSR.
1 Soviet Headline Card: #98 Ops 3: Pershing II Deployed * (USSR)
2 American Headline Card: #5 Ops 3: Five Year Plan (USA)
3
4 USA Headline Event: #5 Ops 3: Five Year Plan (USA)
5
6 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
7 #5 Ops 3: Five Year Plan (USA)
8 The Soviet player discards the following card:
9 #68 Ops 2: John Paul II Elected Pope * (USA)
10
11 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
12 #68 Ops 2: John Paul II Elected Pope * (USA)
13
14 ** The John Paul II Elected Pope card is permanently removed. **
15
16 Soviet influence in Poland reduced by 2, now at 1
17 American influence in Poland increased by 1, now at 1
18
19 USSR Headline Event: #98 Ops 3: Pershing II Deployed * (USSR)
20
21 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
22 #98 Ops 3: Pershing II Deployed * (USSR)
23
24 ** The Pershing II Deployed card is permanently removed. **
Annotated Game #1 343
25
26 American influence in France reduced by 1, now at 0
27 American influence in West Germany reduced by 1, now at 6
28 American influence in Italy reduced by 1, now at 3
29 VPs down 1, now at -3
30 ** Turn 10 Action Phase **
31
32 Turn 10, USSR action round 1
33
34 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
35 #78 Ops 3: Alliance for Progress * (USA)
36 3 USSR influence added to Poland, now at 4
37 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
38
39 ** The Alliance for Progress card is permanently removed. **
40
41 VPs up 5, now at 2
42
43 Turn 10, USA action round 1
44
45 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
46 #79: Africa Scoring
47
48 *** Scoring in Africa ***
49 USSR: 1(presence) = 1
50 USA: 6(control) +5(battlegrounds) = 11
51 VPs up 10, now at 12
52
53 Turn 10, USSR action round 2
54
55 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
56 #3: Middle East Scoring
57
58 *** Scoring in Middle East ***
59 USSR: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
60 USA: 3(presence) +3(battlegrounds) = 6
61 VPs up 1, now at 13
62
63 Turn 10, USA action round 2
64
65 The Americans play the following card for a coup attempt:
66 #34 Ops 4: Nuclear Test Ban
Annotated Game #1 344
67 Coup attempt in Iran (stability 2):
68 ** USA die roll = 5 (+4) = 9
69 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 5.
70 Soviet influence in Iran reduced by 3, now at 0
71 American influence in Iran increased by 2, now at 2
72 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
73 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
74 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
75 American influence in West Germany increased by 1, now at 7
76
77 Turn 10, USSR action round 3
78
79 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
80 #47 Ops 2: Junta
81 Soviet influence in Venezuela increased by 2, now at 2
82
83 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
84 #47 Ops 2: Junta
85 Coup attempt in Colombia (stability 1):
86 ** USSR die roll = 6 (+2) = 8
87 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 6.
88 American influence in Colombia reduced by 2, now at 0
89 Soviet influence in Colombia increased by 4, now at 4
90
91 Turn 10, USA action round 3
92
93 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
94 #99 Ops 4: Wargames *
95
96 ** The Wargames card is permanently removed. **
97
98 VPs down 6, now at 7
99 ********************************************************
100 The USA player wins the game!!!
101 ********************************************************
Annotated Game #1 345
The board at the end of the game
Five concluding thoughts:
Although Europe and Asia are technically the most valuable regions, in practice it is often
South America and Africa that are the highest-scoring and decides the game.
In a tight game, Wargames can often swing from one side to the other. With a better draw,
the USSR could have won with it on Turn 8. Instead, by Turn 10, it is a US card.
At the start of each turn, you should have a plan for each of your cards: which to play for
the event, which to play for Ops, which to hold, and whether youre playing any cards in a
particular order or time in the turn. As the turn progresses, you then adapt your plan to the
changing board situation.
Pressure is everything! The game is about crisis management, and you must create crises for
your opponent to deal with. Parrying your opponents threats is important, but no one ever
won a game just by putting out fires.
Controlling reshuffles is critically important. Being able to discard De-Stalinization after the
Turn 3 reshuffle dramatically changed the power alignments in South America.
Annotated Game #2
Annotated Game #2 347
Early War
This is an annotated game I played as USSR against Gabor Foldes, the 2012 Internet Twilight Struggle
League champion. We play with Optional Cards and +1 influence for the US player (to be placed
in any country where the US already has influence).
The game is played on Wargameroom. The save game can be downloaded here, if you wish to
replay the game on Wargameroom. As an alternative, there is a complete record of play here as
well.
1 Wargameroom.com Presents:
2
3 Twilight Struggle 6.1
4 Game by Ananda Gupta, Jason Matthews, and GMT Games
5 Program by Bruce Wigdor
6
7 ** The Server chooses to use the following optional rule: **
8 Optional Cards
9 ** The server awards 1 extra starting influence to the US **
10 The server chooses to have the sides selected randomly...
11 The server will be playing the USSR
12 The client will be playing the USA
13 ************************************************************
14 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
15 ************************************************************
My opening hand:
http://www.wargameroom.com/itsl12.htm
http://www.wargameroom.com/index.html
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17269972/Twilight%20Strategy%20Annotated%20Game%20%232.wgr
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ai0msB3_N-FhdGFOWWVFQTBIQXB2SnNmZ0F2QnJJNXc
Annotated Game #2 348
Annotated Game #2 349
I have 22 Ops, which is far above average (17.7) for the Early War. Even better, Ive drawn
De-Stalinization, the most important starred event in the game. My Ops strength is somewhat
overstated, though, since 3 of my Ops are tied up in De-Stalinization, and 4 in Marshall Plan, which
is one of the few very strong Early War US events. Still, I have an extremely strong hand.
Aside from Marshall Plan, I have no particular problem cards to deal with. Containment will be
played on the final Action Round to minimize its effect for the US. As is usual for the USSR, Turn 1
is going to be about placing maximum pressure on the US and expanding over the empty board as
much as possible. As such I might hold De-Stalinization until next turn, when things quiet down a
little bit.
1 4 USSR influence added to Poland, now at 4
2 1 USSR influence added to East Germany, now at 4
3 1 USSR influence added to Yugoslavia, now at 1
4
5 3 USA influence added to Italy, now at 3
6 1 USA influence added to Spain/Portugal, now at 1
7 1 USA influence added to Greece, now at 1
8 1 USA influence added to Turkey, now at 1
9 1 USA influence added to Canada, now at 3
10 1 USA extra influence added to Iran, now at 2
11 ** Turn 1 Headline Phase **
Annotated Game #2 350
The opening setup
This is an extremely unusual US opening setup, which leads me to believe that he is trying to
avoid Blockade. In other words, he wants to be able to play Blockade without discarding to it. The
main reason you would want to do this is either if you have no 3+ Ops cards (rare) or if you are
holding either Decolonization / De-Stalinization and would like to hold it to Turn 3. Since I have
De-Stalinization, I assume its Decolonization that he holds.
None of my headline options change as a result of his setup, since none of them affect Europe.
(It does mean that I have to be even more careful about playing Marshall Plan, because it will be
maximally effective for him.) My headline will be Arab-Israeli War: as described earlier, its one of
the best Turn 1 headlines. Not quite as good as Suez Crisis, but almost as good.
Im not terribly concerned about Defectors. As USSR, you should distinguish between bad headlines,
headlines that are good because they combo with your AR1, and headlines of necessary events. It is
only the last (events like Decolonization and De-Stalinization) where you should be concerned about
Defectors: this is one of the reasons I will not headline De-Stalinization right now. (Others being me
not having enough influence to De-Stalinize, and the risk that my influence may get couped out.)
Arab-Israeli War is an example of a headline that can be Defected without much harm to you.
Annotated Game #2 351
1 Soviet Headline Card: #13 Ops 2: Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
2 American Headline Card: #10 Ops 1: Blockade * (USSR)
3
4 USSR Headline Event: #13 Ops 2: Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
5
6 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
7 #13 Ops 2: Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
8 USSR success on a modified die roll of 4-6; USA modifer is -0
9 ** Die roll: 1 -- no effect **
10 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
11
12 USA Headline Event: #10 Ops 1: Blockade * (USSR)
13
14 ** The Blockade card is permanently removed. **
15
16 The US player does not choose to discard a card to avoid the penalty
17 American influence in West Germany now at 0
18 ** Turn 1 Action Phase **
Unfortunately, my Arab-Israeli War does not work out. Now I have an interesting choice: do I coup
Iran (buffed to 2, thanks to the +1 influence adjustment), or do I coup Italy and go for a Europe
knockout? The Asia Scoring card in my hand tilts me towards couping Iran; if I can knock him out
with a 4Ops coup (anything other than a 1), then I can hopefully keep western Asia secure for the
rest of the game.
1 Turn 1, USSR action round 1
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
4 #34 Ops 4: Nuclear Test Ban
5 Coup attempt in Iran (stability 2):
6 ** USSR die roll = 3 (+4) = 7
7 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 3.
8 American influence in Iran reduced by 2, now at 0
9 Soviet influence in Iran increased by 1, now at 1
10 DEFCON Level lowered to 4
11 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
The worst possible coup result here would have been a 1. A 3 is the second-worst, because it allows
him to coup me back easily.
Annotated Game #2 352
1 Turn 1, USA action round 1
2 The Americans play the following card for Ops
3 #14 Ops 3: Comecon * (USSR)
4 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
5
6 ** The Comecon card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Soviet influence in East Germany increased by 1, now at 5
9 Soviet influence in Poland increased by 1, now at 5
10 Soviet influence in Czechoslovakia increased by 1, now at 1
11 Soviet influence in Yugoslavia increased by 1, now at 2
12
13 The Americans use the Comecon card for a coup attempt:
14 Coup attempt in Iran (stability 2):
15 ** USA die roll = 5 (+3) = 8
16 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 4.
17 Soviet influence in Iran reduced by 1, now at 0
18 American influence in Iran increased by 3, now at 3
19 DEFCON Level lowered to 3
20 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 3
Now this is troubling. I could use another 4 Ops to coup, but now I need to roll at least a 3 to deny
the US access to western Asia. Rolling a 1 or 2 would cripple me.
As a result, I decide to pass on this risk, and instead start attacking Asia through other means. I want
to place an influence into Afghanistan, so that I can reach Pakistan, and also place influence into
South Korea. I also want to play into the empty West Germany: I dont really intend to take it, but
at least I am threatening to take it (and also threatening France) with a single 3 Ops. This may force
him to respond.
Unfortunately I dont have a good card with which to do this. De-Stalinization and Marshall Plan
are out. I want to save Korean War until later in the turn to deter him from playing into South
Korea. Containment has to be played on the final Action Round. As such, I have no choice but to
use US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, which is rather annoying given that we are contesting Asia.
Annotated Game #2 353
1 Turn 1, USSR action round 2
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #27 Ops 4: US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact * (USA)
5 1 USSR influence added to Afghanistan, now at 1
6 1 USSR influence added to West Germany, now at 1
7 2 USSR influence added to South Korea, now at 2
8 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
9
10 ** The US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact card is permanently removed. **
11
12 USSR may no longer make Coup or Realignment rolls against Japan
13 American influence in Japan increased by 3, now at 4
14
15 Turn 1, USA action round 2
16 The Americans play the following card for Ops
17 #17 Ops 3: De Gaulle Leads France * (USSR)
18 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
19
20 ** The De Gaulle Leads France card is permanently removed. **
21
22 American influence in France reduced by 0, now at 0
23 Soviet influence in France increased by 1, now at 1
24 France is not affected by NATO for the rest of the game.
25
26 The Americans use the De Gaulle Leads France card to place influence:
27 1 USA influence added to France, now at 1
28 2 USA influence added to Pakistan, now at 2
Hes now dominating Asia. I have an opportunity here to use the China Cards 5 Asia Ops to flip
Pakistan, because it is not overcontrolled. If I can flip Pakistan, then even if he takes India I can still
dominate Asia with North Korea + South Korea + Pakistan + Afghanistan before he gets to Thailand.
Normally as USSR I dont like using the China Card on Turn 1, because that means that if the US
draws both De-Stalinization and Decolonization on Turn 2 they can play the China Card and be able
to hold both until Turn 3. But I dont have to worry about that here since I hold De-Stalinization
myself.
There is, of course, one risk to this move
Annotated Game #2 354
1 Turn 1, USSR action round 3
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #6 Ops 4: The China Card
5 4 USSR influence added to Pakistan, now at 4
6
7 Turn 1, USA action round 3
8
9 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
10 #24 Ops 2: Indo-Pakistani War
11 India invades Pakistan...
12 USA success on a modified die roll of 4-6; USSR modifer is -0
13 ** Die roll: 5 -- USA victory!
14 VPs up 2, now at 2
15 Soviet influence in Pakistan reduced by 4, now at 0
16 American influence in Pakistan increased by 4, now at 6
17 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
This is a crippling blow to me. I decide to take South Korea to temporarily stop his Domination; he
can take India to regain Domination, but it is cheaper for me to take South Korea than it is for him
to take India. Plus, if I ever do get Thailand, having both Thailand and South Korea will protect me
from being Dominated in Asia.
1 Turn 1, USSR action round 4
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #11 Ops 2: Korean War * (USSR)
5 2 USSR influence added to South Korea, now at 4
6
7 Turn 1, USA action round 4
8
9 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
10 #22 Ops 2: Independent Reds * (USA)
11 1 USA influence added to West Germany, now at 1
12 1 USA influence added to France, now at 2
Since he did not take India, this is my chance to get away with a neutral Asia Scoring. I think my
South Korea move should have tipped him off to playing into Asia now, and waiting to respond in
Europe later.
Annotated Game #2 355
1 Turn 1, USSR action round 5
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #1: Asia Scoring
5
6 *** Scoring in Asia ***
7 USSR: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
8 USA: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
9
10 Turn 1, USA action round 5
11
12 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
13 #4 Ops 3: Duck and Cover (USA)
14 2 USA influence added to France, now at 4
15 1 USA influence added to West Germany, now at 2
Now Ill play Containment as my final Action. Asia was just scored, so thats out. Id like to fight for
European battlegrounds, but not only am I already behind, I run the risk of getting all my influence
killed by Truman Doctrine. (This is one of the advantages of the empty West Germany setup: USSR
is often so intimidated by the threat of Truman Doctrine that theyre not willing to engage in an
Ops war in Europe.) So I look to the Middle East. Because DEFCON is at 3, I could coup Iran with
Containment, but then Id need 4 or higher. Better to make the safer play and build towards an
eventual Domination. I secure Iraq and take Lebanon, a crucial cheap non-battleground in the Middle
East that aids me in future Arab-Israeli Wars.
1 Turn 1, USSR action round 6
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #25 Ops 3: Containment * (USA)
5 2 USSR influence added to Iraq, now at 3
6 1 USSR influence added to Lebanon, now at 1
7 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
8
9 ** The Containment card is permanently removed. **
10
11 All further operations cards played by US this turn add one to their value (to a \
12 maximum of 4).
13
14 Turn 1, USA action round 6
15
16 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
17 #19 Ops 1: Truman Doctrine * (USA)
Annotated Game #2 356
18 2 USA influence added to West Germany, now at 4
19 DEFCON Level raised to 4
20
21 Events Played: US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, De Gaulle Leads France
22
23 USSR battleground countries controlled = 5
24 USA battleground countries controlled = 5
25
26 ** Turn 2 Headline Phase **
The board at the start of Turn 2
My hand:
Annotated Game #2 357
Annotated Game #2 358
This hand also has 22 Ops, though again, a lot of the Ops are tied up in De-Stalinization and Marshall
Plan. Nevertheless, Ive definitely had the Early War luck in terms of stronger hands.
A couple of play considerations:
I need to make sure I play NATO as soon as possible, before Warsaw Pact or Marshall Plan
are triggered. Id rather not have it in effect, and if the US draws it theyll never play it for the
event. So if I can punt it away now theres a good chance itll never come back in. And its
relevant because
I want to be able to play Special Relationship under any (preferably all) of these circumstances:
ideally when the UK is not US-controlled
hopefully after he controls Canada, so the influence is somewhat wasted
definitely before NATO is in effect (if NATO does go into effect).
CIA Created is ordinarily a DEFCON suicide card. But right now its perfectly harmless
because I have no influence in a Mid War region. So as long as he doesnt play Fidel (and
I play it before I De-Stalinize), I can play this late in the turn.
Vietnam Revolts is going to get me into Thailand, which can save me from Asia Domination.
This is a good time to play Formosan Resolution, while the US has the China Card.
The headline is clearly going to be Red Scare/Purge. I have enough Ops that I dont need its 4 Ops, and
I have no other decent headline choices anyway (since I dont want to De-Stalinize until DEFCON
reaches 2 so I am not immediately couped out, and since DEFCON is at 4 I might get couped out if
I play Vietnam Revolts).
Annotated Game #2 359
1 Soviet Headline Card: #31 Ops 4: Red Scare/Purge
2 American Headline Card: #106 Ops 3: NORAD * (USA)
3
4 USSR Headline Event: #31 Ops 4: Red Scare/Purge
5
6 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
7 #31 Ops 4: Red Scare/Purge
8 -1 to Ops value of American cards this turn (minimum 1 OP)
9
10 USA Headline Event: #106 Ops 3: NORAD * (USA)
11
12 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
13 #106 Ops 3: NORAD * (USA)
14
15 ** The NORAD card is permanently removed. **
16
17 ** Turn 2 Action Phase **
NORAD is going to be a pain. I must try to minimize the number of countries with both US and
USSR influence (easier said than done).
What Id really like to do is play Vietnam Revolts for the event so that I can start spreading
communism in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, if I do that, DEFCON 4 means that I might get couped
out. Of course, Id hold the upper hand in a back-and-forth coup war (both because of Red Scare
and Vietnam Revolts +1), but the risk is that Vietnam gets couped out exactly, to 0, in which case I
have nothing to coup back.
So the first thing I do is drop DEFCON. Keeping in mind the CIA Created restriction from earlier, I
choose to coup Iran, even though Panama offers better odds. I use Formosan Resolution, so that if
the US plays the China Card this turn itll be cancelled. In addition, the 2 Ops card is all I need for
Mil Ops at the end of the turn (assuming DEFCON goes to 2). Using a 4 Ops is a bit of a waste when
Im not actually all that interested in the coup and have influence to place later.
1 Turn 2, USSR action round 1
2 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
3 #100 Ops 2: Formosan Resolution * (USA)
4 They elect to have the American event occur first.
5
6 ** The Formosan Resolution card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Taiwan shall be treated as a Battleground country for scoring purposes, if the US
9 controls Taiwan when the Asian Scoring Card is played. Taiwan is not a battlegro\
10 und
Annotated Game #2 360
11 country for any other game purpose. This card is discarded after US play of The \
12 China Card.
13
14 The Soviets use the Formosan Resolution card for a coup attempt:
15 Coup attempt in Iran (stability 2):
16 ** USSR die roll = 6 (+2) = 8
17 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 4.
18 American influence in Iran reduced by 3, now at 0
19 Soviet influence in Iran increased by 1, now at 1
20 DEFCON Level lowered to 3
21 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
22
23 Turn 2, USA action round 1
24 The Americans play the following card for Ops:
25 #7 Ops 3: Socialist Governments (USSR)
26 They also play UN Intervention to cancel the Soviet event
27
28 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
29 #7 Ops 3: Socialist Governments (USSR)
30 2 USA influence added to Egypt, now at 2
31
32 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
33 #32 Ops 1: UN Intervention
34 Play this card simultaneously with another card that has your opponent's associat\
35 ed event.
36 The event is canceled, but you may use its Operations value normally. The cancel\
37 ed event
38 card returns to the discard pile.
It was an unexpectedly good coup result. Now I will trigger Vietnam Revolts, so that I can gain
access to the subregion.
1 Turn 2, USSR action round 2
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #9 Ops 2: Vietnam Revolts * (USSR)
5
6 ** The Vietnam Revolts card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Soviet influence in Vietnam increased by 2, now at 2
9
10 Turn 2, USA action round 2
Annotated Game #2 361
11 The Americans play the following card for Ops
12 #16 Ops 3: Warsaw Pact Formed * (USSR)
13 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
14
15 ** The Warsaw Pact Formed card is permanently removed. **
16
17 1 USSR influence added to Yugoslavia, now at 3
18 2 USSR influence added to Poland, now at 7
19 2 USSR influence added to East Germany, now at 7
20
21 The Americans use the Warsaw Pact Formed card to place influence:
22 1 USA influence added to Canada, now at 4
23 1 USA influence added to Malaysia, now at 1
So much for punting NATO. Oh well. Now I will shore up Thailand keeping in mind both that I
have a +1 thanks to Vietnam, and that I need to overcontrol it to protect against the China Card.
Luckily, he just controlled Canada (in anticipation of DEFCON dropping to 2 this turn), so I
will use Special Relationship, which is perfectly-suited Ops-wise. Now his influence from Special
Relationship is mostly wasted.
1 Turn 2, USSR action round 3
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #105 Ops 2: Special Relationship (USA)
5 3 USSR influence added to Thailand, now at 3
6 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
7 American influence in France increased by 1, now at 5
8
9 Turn 2, USA action round 3
10 The Americans play the following card for Ops
11 #110 Ops 2: The Cambridge Five (USSR)
12 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
13 No scoring cards in the USA hand: no effect.
14
15 The Americans use the The Cambridge Five card for a coup attempt:
16 Coup attempt in Iran (stability 2):
17 ** USA die roll = 6 (+1) = 7
18 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 3.
19 Soviet influence in Iran reduced by 1, now at 0
20 American influence in Iran increased by 2, now at 2
21 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
22 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 1
Annotated Game #2 362
23 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
24 American influence in South Korea increased by 1, now at 2
That was an annoying coup result, and the NORAD influence was irritating. Now Ill start spreading
in Southeast Asia, shore up South Korea, and make a play for India by forcing myself into Pakistan.
I can force him to respond; even if I dont actually get India, he probably has to use the China Card
to defend it.
1 Turn 2, USSR action round 4
2 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
3 #21 Ops 4: NATO * (USA)
4 They elect to have the American event occur first.
5
6 ** The NATO card is permanently removed. **
7
8 USSR player may no longer make Coup or Realignment rolls in any US Controlled cou\
9 ntries
10 in Europe. US Controlled countries in Europe may not be attacked by play of the \
11 Brush War event.
12
13 May not be played until Marshall Plan or Warsaw Pact Formed (either one) has been\
14 played
15
16 The Soviets use the NATO card to place influence:
17 1 USSR influence added to South Korea, now at 5
18 1 USSR influence added to Laos/Cambodia, now at 1
19 1 USSR influence added to Pakistan, now at 1
20
21 Turn 2, USA action round 4
22
23 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
24 #6 Ops 4: The China Card
25 3 USA influence added to India, now at 3
26 1 USA influence added to Malaysia, now at 2
My prediction is accurate. Now seems like a good time to safely play CIA Created, before he plays
Fidel and makes it unplayable. Ill use it in Southeast Asia, taking advantage of my Vietnam bonus.
Annotated Game #2 363
1 Turn 2, USSR action round 5
2 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
3 #26 Ops 1: CIA Created * (USA)
4 They elect to have the American event occur first.
5
6 ** The CIA Created card is permanently removed. **
7
8 The American gets to look at the Soviet Hand:
9 1 USA influence added to West Germany, now at 5
10
11 The Soviets use the CIA Created card to place influence:
12 2 USSR influence added to Burma, now at 2
13
14 Turn 2, USA action round 5
15 The Americans play the following card for Ops
16 #12 Ops 1: Romanian Abdication * (USSR)
17 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
18
19 ** The Romanian Abdication card is permanently removed. **
20
21 Soviet influence in Romania now at 3
22
23 The Americans use the Romanian Abdication card to place influence:
24 1 USA influence added to Libya, now at 1
I certainly would prefer to play De-Stalinization rather than Marshall Plan, and now that DEFCON
is safely at 2, I can start my expansion into the Mid War regions. Because I dont have Decolonization
(and dont expect to get it), I will split my De-Stalinization influence between South America and
Africa.
1 Turn 2, USSR action round 6
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #33 Ops 3: De-Stalinization * (USSR)
5
6 ** The De-Stalinization card is permanently removed. **
7
8 1 De-Stalinization influence removed from Czechoslovakia, now at 0
9 1 De-Stalinization influence removed from Poland, now at 6
10 1 De-Stalinization influence removed from East Germany, now at 6
11 1 De-Stalinization influence removed from Finland, now at 0
12 1 De-Stalinization influence added to Angola, now at 1
Annotated Game #2 364
13 1 De-Stalinization influence added to Venezuela, now at 1
14 1 De-Stalinization influence added to Chile, now at 1
15 1 De-Stalinization influence added to Nigeria, now at 1
16
17 Turn 2, USA action round 6
18 The Americans play the following card for Ops
19 #8 Ops 2: Fidel * (USSR)
20 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
21
22 ** The Fidel card is permanently removed. **
23
24 Soviet influence in Cuba now at 3
25
26 The Americans use the Fidel card to place influence:
27 1 USA influence added to Colombia, now at 1
28 The Americans are 1 military operation short of the DEFCON requirement of 2
29 VPs down 1, now at 1
30 DEFCON Level raised to 3
31
32 Events Played: US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD, Warsa\
33 w Pact Formed, NATO
34
35 USSR battleground countries controlled = 9
36 USA battleground countries controlled = 8
37
38 ************************************************************
39 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
40 ************************************************************
41 ** Turn 3 Headline Phase **
His Fidel play is a common AR7 move and a good one. Next turn I will face a bit of a crisis with
respect to couping to drop DEFCON and protecting Venezuela.
Annotated Game #2 365
The board at the start of Turn 3
My cards in hand:
Annotated Game #2 366
For the first time, I draw a slightly below-average Ops hand. But I have little reason to complain: I
drew Defectors, which means that Ill have worry-free headlines between now and Turn 6, and Five
Year Plan, which is a great way to discard unwanted US scoring cards. Since I have none of those at
the moment, I plan on holding Five Year Plan to next turn.
The cards I know he has in hand: Europe Scoring, Nasser, Olympic Games, Suez Crisis, and
Decolonization. Ill keep in mind the Europe Scoring and Nasser (relevant for Marshall Plan and
Middle East scoring, respectively, though I doubt I will contest Europe at this point); I assume he
will space Decolonization.
I have nothing especially worth headlining, so I headline Captured Nazi Scientist. If I didnt have
Captured Nazi Scientist, I might have headlined Defectors to save 1VP.
Annotated Game #2 367
1 Soviet Headline Card: #18 Ops 1: Captured Nazi Scientists *
2 American Headline Card: #2: Europe Scoring
3
4 USSR Headline Event: #18 Ops 1: Captured Nazi Scientists *
5
6 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
7 #18 Ops 1: Captured Nazi Scientists *
8
9 ** The Captured Nazi Scientists card is permanently removed. **
10
11 USSR progress on the Space Race Track is now at Earth Satellite
12 VPs down 2, now at -1
13
14 USA Headline Event: #2: Europe Scoring
15
16 The Americans use the Europe Scoring card as an Event:
17
18 *** Scoring in Europe ***
19 USSR: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
20 USA: 7(domination) +3(battlegrounds) = 10
21 VPs up 5, now at 4
22 ** Turn 3 Action Phase **
Vaguely risky as a headline, since I could have headlined Socialist Governments, but it worked out
all right. Now my Marshall Plan is rather meaningless, and I may as well let him have the event.
I now have a choice of couping a battleground (probably Libya, given my Middle East scoring card),
or couping Colombia to protect South America. Given said scoring card, and the fact that I would get
one of my African battlegrounds couped if I couped Colombia, I decide to go for Libya. Unfortunately
this means that I will not be able to stop him from taking Venezuela. (The ideal card in this scenario
would have been Duck & Cover, which would have allowed me to place influence into Venezuela
or coup Colombia while simultaneously dropping DEFCON.)
I dont need that many Ops for the coup (since I will need to save my Ops for South America
influence placement), so I use Defectors.
Annotated Game #2 368
1 Turn 3, USSR action round 1
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
4 #102 Ops 2: Defectors (USA)
5 Coup attempt in Libya (stability 2):
6 ** USSR die roll = 6 (+2) = 8
7 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 4.
8 American influence in Libya reduced by 1, now at 0
9 Soviet influence in Libya increased by 3, now at 3
10 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
11 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
12 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
13 VPs up 1, now at 5
14 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
15 American influence in South Korea increased by 1, now at 3
16
17 Turn 3, USA action round 1
18
19 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
20 #34 Ops 4: Nuclear Test Ban
21 3 USA influence added to Venezuela, now at 3
22 1 USA influence added to South Korea, now at 4
This was a very fortunate roll. Now I have two goals: shore up South Korea and take Brazil to stop
his southward expansion into South America. This requires a 4 Ops card, and so I use Marshall Plan.
The event text is powerful but isnt possibly going to change the scoring any more.
1 Turn 3, USSR action round 2
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #23 Ops 4: Marshall Plan * (USA)
5 2 USSR influence added to South Korea, now at 7
6 2 USSR influence added to Brazil, now at 2
7 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
8
9 ** The Marshall Plan card is permanently removed. **
10
11 American influence in United Kingdom increased by 1, now at 6
12 American influence in West Germany increased by 1, now at 6
13 American influence in France increased by 1, now at 6
14 American influence in Spain/Portugal increased by 1, now at 2
15 American influence in Italy increased by 1, now at 4
Annotated Game #2 369
16 American influence in Turkey increased by 1, now at 2
17 American influence in Greece increased by 1, now at 2
18
19 Turn 3, USA action round 2
20
21 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
22 #20 Ops 2: Olympic Games
23 2 USA influence added to Algeria, now at 2
I dont want to move into Uruguay just yet, since that allows the US to coup it and gain Mil Ops
to save VPs at the end of the turn. Instead I will begin to threaten the Middle East. If I take Saudi
Arabia he must take Israel in response to stop Middle East domination, and that is vulnerable to
Arab-Israeli War. Likewise, Nasser in his hand will complicate things for him.
1 Turn 3, USSR action round 3
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #11 Ops 2: Korean War * (USSR)
5 2 USSR influence added to Saudi Arabia, now at 2
6
7 Turn 3, USA action round 3
8 The Americans play the following card for Ops
9 #28 Ops 3: Suez Crisis * (USSR)
10 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
11
12 ** The Suez Crisis card is permanently removed. **
13
14 American influence in Israel reduced by 1, now at 0
15 American influence in United Kingdom reduced by 2, now at 4
16 American influence in France reduced by 1, now at 5
17
18 The Americans use the Suez Crisis card to place influence:
19 1 USA influence added to United Kingdom, now at 5
20 2 USA influence added to Israel, now at 2
Ill play East European Unrest here. Although theoretically I need to replace the influence he
removes, in practice I dont care about Europe very much any more. I have much more pressing
obligations: first, to take Saudi Arabia; second, to expand out of Angola into Zaire; third, to shore
up South Korea against future NORADs so I am not perpetually faced with a crisis there.
Annotated Game #2 370
1 Turn 3, USSR action round 4
2 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
3 #29 Ops 3: East European Unrest (USA)
4 They elect to have the American event occur first.
5 Soviet influence in East Germany reduced by 1, now at 5
6 Soviet influence in Poland reduced by 1, now at 5
7 Soviet influence in Yugoslavia reduced by 1, now at 2
8
9 The Soviets use the East European Unrest card to place influence:
10 1 USSR influence added to Saudi Arabia, now at 3
11 1 USSR influence added to Zaire, now at 1
12 1 USSR influence added to South Korea, now at 8
13
14 Turn 3, USA action round 4
15
16 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
17 #22 Ops 2: Independent Reds * (USA)
18 2 USA influence added to Israel, now at 4
The Middle East is now even. Im playing Middle East scoring next and holding Five Year Plan to
next turn. Before I play the scoring card I may as well take a gamble on the Arab-Israeli War.
1 Turn 3, USSR action round 5
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #13 Ops 2: Arab-Israeli War (USSR)
5 USSR success on a modified die roll of 4-6; USA modifer is -2
6 ** Die roll: 6 (-2) = 4 -- USSR victory!
7 VPs down 2, now at 3
8 American influence in Israel reduced by 4, now at 0
9 Soviet influence in Israel increased by 4, now at 4
10 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
11
12 Turn 3, USA action round 5
13
14 The Americans play the following card for an attempt on the Space Race track:
15 #30 Ops 2: Decolonization (USSR)
16 ** Space Race Die Roll (1-3 needed): = 5 **
17 No effect.
That was definitely very lucky. Now Ill score Domination.
Annotated Game #2 371
1 Turn 3, USSR action round 6
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #3: Middle East Scoring
5
6 *** Scoring in Middle East ***
7 USSR: 5(domination) +4(battlegrounds) = 9
8 USA: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
9 VPs down 4, now at -1
10
11 Turn 3, USA action round 6
12
13 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
14 #24 Ops 2: Indo-Pakistani War
15 1 USA influence added to Brazil, now at 1
16 The Americans are 2 military operations short of the DEFCON requirement of 2
17 VPs down 2, now at -3
18
19 Events Played: US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD, Warsa\
20 w Pact Formed, NATO, Marshall Plan
21
22 USSR battleground countries controlled = 13
23 USA battleground countries controlled = 10
24
25 ** The Mid War cards are added to the deck **
26 ************************************************************
27 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
28 ************************************************************
29 DEFCON Level raised to 3
30 ** Turn 4 Headline Phase **
Annotated Game #2 372
The board at the start of Turn 4
Annotated Game #2 373
Mid / Late War
1 ** The Mid War cards are added to the deck **
2 ************************************************************
3 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
4 ************************************************************
5 DEFCON Level raised to 3
6 ** Turn 4 Headline Phase **
The board at the start of Turn 4
The score is currently at -3, which is OK for the USSR but not great.
My hand:
Annotated Game #2 374
Annotated Game #2 375
I dont have much in the way of headlines. Che is a great USSR event but one that is not worth
triggering right now.
Of the US cards in my hand, OAS Founded is the most irritating. But Five Year Plan is a good way
to dispose of it: if I play Five Year Plan with just OAS Founded in my hand, I effectively have 3 Ops
with which to respond to OAS, rather than just 1. Kitchen Debates is not a problem as I currently
control more battlegrounds. Nor is Alliance for Progress, which I can dump right now for minimal
loss. Shuttle Diplomacy can turn the tide of Asia Scoring, but unfortunately I probably need its 3
Ops. One Small Step and Summit are useless to me.
As a result, I headline Lone Gunman. I normally hope that the US will draw this card, but this wont
be until Turn 7 at the earliest. Plus it lets me save Brazil in the headline phase and get a sense of
whether I should delay Shuttle Diplomacy for later in the turn in case he has Asia Scoring.
Annotated Game #2 376
1 Soviet Headline Card: #62 Ops 1: 'Lone Gunman' * (USSR)
2 American Headline Card: #71 Ops 2: Nixon Plays the China Card * (USA)
3
4 USA Headline Event: #71 Ops 2: Nixon Plays the China Card * (USA)
5
6 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
7 #71 Ops 2: Nixon Plays the China Card * (USA)
8
9 ** The Nixon Plays the China Card card is permanently removed. **
10
11 The US receives the China Card, face down, from the Soviet player.
12
13 USSR Headline Event: #62 Ops 1: 'Lone Gunman' * (USSR)
14
15 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
16 #62 Ops 1: 'Lone Gunman' * (USSR)
17
18 ** The 'Lone Gunman' card is permanently removed. **
19
20 The Soviet gets to look at the American Hand:
This is the American hand:
Annotated Game #2 377
Theres nothing in here that is especially damning. Whether or not he uses Ask Not this turn is
the big question: on the one hand, its best when used to discard truly awful cards (DEFCON suicide
cards and bad scoring cards), and none of these cards qualify (though they are certainly very bad,
Quagmire, Nasser, and Muslim Revolution especially). On the other hand, Lone Gunman is already
out, and I know what the rest of his hand is right now and can adjust my play accordingly. I think
it can go either way depending on the needs of the turn: Ask Not has to be played early in the turn,
and early in this turn the fight for South America might be too hectic to allow for it.
I will use my Lone Gunman influence to shore up Brazil so that I can coup Venezuela. Ill coup
Venezuela with Alliance for Progress, triggering the event after I use the Ops to hopefully punt the
US OPEC for 0VP. (This is why Alliance for Progress is substantially worse than OPEC.)
Annotated Game #2 378
1 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
2 #62 Ops 1: 'Lone Gunman' * (USSR)
3 1 USSR influence added to Brazil, now at 3
4 ** Turn 4 Action Phase **
5
6 Turn 4, USSR action round 1
7
8 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
9 #78 Ops 3: Alliance for Progress * (USA)
10 Coup attempt in Venezuela (stability 2):
11 ** USSR die roll = 4 (+3) = 7
12 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 3.
13 American influence in Venezuela reduced by 3, now at 0
14 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
15 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 3
16 The Americans use the USA event played by the USSR
17
18 ** The Alliance for Progress card is permanently removed. **
19
20 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
21 American influence in Brazil increased by 1, now at 2
22
23 Turn 4, USA action round 1
24 The Americans play the following card for Ops
25 #56 Ops 4: Muslim Revolution (USSR)
26 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
27 American influence in Iran now at 0
28 American influence in Egypt now at 0
29
30 The Americans use the Muslim Revolution card to place influence:
31 3 USA influence added to Venezuela, now at 3
32 1 USA influence added to Brazil, now at 3
I am somewhat surprised he was willing to just eliminate himself from the Middle East like that, but
Middle East scoring did just come out, and Nasser in his hand would have only made matters worse.
Muslim Revolution is devastating, but as he shows, sometimes it is better to just bite the bullet and
accept it. Sometimes it is better to lose the Middle East instead of fighting for it, losing, and losing
the other regions too.
I will shore up Brazil, naturally. I dont have enough Ops to take both Brazil and Uruguay, and in
any event I have access to Argentina via Chile anyway.
Annotated Game #2 379
1 Turn 4, USSR action round 2
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #80 Ops 2: 'One Small Step...'
5 2 USSR influence added to Brazil, now at 5
6
7 Turn 4, USA action round 2
8
9 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
10 #40 Ops 3: Cuban Missile Crisis *
11 3 USA influence added to Uruguay, now at 3
Now is the time for Che, a fantastic USSR event. It can be better than this, but this is a good enough
use of it. Its ideal use is to create two threats at once for the US. Here, if successful, it will create
one threat (a realign against Venezuela), and defend against one at the same time (by denying him
access to Argentina). Even if my Uruguay coup is not successful, he will have to choose between
Argentina and Venezuela.
Obviously, I will use Che on Colombia first, then Uruguay.
1 Turn 4, USSR action round 3
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
4 #112 Ops 3: Che (USSR)
5 Coup attempt in Colombia (stability 1):
6 ** USSR die roll = 3 (+3) = 6
7 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 4.
8 American influence in Colombia reduced by 1, now at 0
9 Soviet influence in Colombia increased by 3, now at 3
10 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
11 The coup is successful: the USSR may make another coup
12
13 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
14 #112 Ops 3: Che (USSR)
15 Coup attempt in Uruguay (stability 2):
16 ** USSR die roll = 4 (+3) = 7
17 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 3.
18 American influence in Uruguay reduced by 3, now at 0
19
20 Turn 4, USA action round 3
21
22 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
23 #46 Ops 2: How I Learned to Stop Worrying *
24 2 USA influence added to Uruguay, now at 2
Annotated Game #2 380
I now opt to realign Venezuela, on the theory that I will likely be successful, and he will not have
enough Ops to simultaneously take back Venezuela and also take Argentina.
Given that I have Shuttle Diplomacy, two 1 Ops cards, and then my Five Year Plan / OAS Founded
plan, I must use Shuttle Diplomacy. Hopefully Ill still be able to avert Asia domination when it
comes.
1 Turn 4, USSR action round 4
2 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
3 #73 Ops 3: Shuttle Diplomacy (USA)
4 They elect to have the American event occur first.
5 Play in front of US player. During the next scoring of the Middle East or Asia
6 (whichever comes first), subtract one Battleground country from USSR total,
7 then put this card in the discard pile.
8
9 The Soviets use the Shuttle Diplomacy card for realignment rolls:
10
11 Realignment roll in Venezuela: USSR modifier = +2, USA modifier = +1
12 ** USSR die roll = 3 (+2) = 5
13 ** USA die roll = 2 (+1) = 3
14 American influence in Venezuela reduced by 2, now at 1
15
16 Realignment roll in Venezuela: USSR modifier = +2, USA modifier = +0
17 ** USSR die roll = 3 (+2) = 5
18 ** USA die roll = 6 (+0) = 6
19 Soviet influence in Venezuela reduced by 1, now at 0
20
21 Realignment roll in Venezuela: USSR modifier = +2, USA modifier = +1
22 ** USSR die roll = 5 (+2) = 7
23 ** USA die roll = 3 (+1) = 4
24 American influence in Venezuela reduced by 1, now at 0
Annotated Game #2 381
The board at the middle of Turn 4, Action Round 4
However, my plan backfires. In retrospect, this was a not-insignificant risk that I should have planned
for. But now the US can use a 4 Ops to take both Venezuela and Argentina, and what should have
been USSR domination of South America has turned into a dead heat (and likely US domination).
1 Turn 4, USA action round 4
2
3 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
4 #57 Ops 4: ABM Treaty
5 2 USA influence added to Venezuela, now at 2
6 2 USA influence added to Argentina, now at 2
Now I have two turns of 1 Op plays. Although Im in danger of being realigned out of Brazil, my
1 Op wont do anything. Probably the correct move here would be either to pressure South Africa,
build up Chile, or go for Middle East control. (I could also realign Venezuela, but I prefer realigning
with more Ops rather than risk a null result.) But I play into Nicaragua instead, on some vague
theory of achieving Central America domination. Maybe I can scare him into thinking I have CA
scoring, but I think this is a dubious move in retrospect.
Annotated Game #2 382
1 Turn 4, USSR action round 5
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #45 Ops 1: Summit
5 1 USSR influence added to Nicaragua, now at 1
6
7 Turn 4, USA action round 5
8 The Americans play the following card for Ops
9 #15 Ops 1: Nasser * (USSR)
10 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
11
12 ** The Nasser card is permanently removed. **
13
14 Soviet influence in Egypt increased by 2, now at 2
15
16 The Americans use the Nasser card for realignment rolls:
17
18 Realignment roll in Brazil: USA modifier = +2, USSR modifier = +1
19 ** USA die roll = 1 (+2) = 3
20 ** USSR die roll = 4 (+1) = 5
21 American influence in Brazil reduced by 2, now at 1
This was a very lucky break for me.
I use my Kitchen Debates to move into South Africa, knowing that Portuguese Empire Crumbles
will get me Domination by getting me the SE African States. In retrospect, again, Chile or Iran is
probably the right move here, since who controls South Africa wont affect Africa Scoring at the
moment.
1 Turn 4, USSR action round 6
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #48 Ops 1: Kitchen Debates * (USA)
5 1 USSR influence added to South Africa, now at 1
6
7 Turn 4, USA action round 6
8
9 The Americans play the following card for an attempt on the Space Race track:
10 #42 Ops 3: Quagmire * (USSR)
11 ** Space Race Die Roll (1-3 needed): = 3 **
12 USA progress on the Space Race Track is now at Earth Satellite
13 VPs up 1, now at -2
Annotated Game #2 383
With my final play, I do the Five Year Plan/OAS Founded trick. Depending on where he adds
influence, I can choose to respond to it, or just use the 3 Ops to take South Africa. Since he places
one into Chile, meaning I cant get Chile with my 3 Ops, I place into South Africa instead.
1 Turn 4, USSR action round 7
2 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
3 #5 Ops 3: Five Year Plan (USA)
4 They elect to have the American event occur first.
5 The Soviet player discards the following card:
6 #70 Ops 1: OAS Founded * (USA)
7
8 ** The OAS Founded card is permanently removed. **
9
10 1 USA influence added to Panama, now at 2
11 1 USA influence added to Chile, now at 1
12
13 The Soviets use the Five Year Plan card to place influence:
14 3 USSR influence added to South Africa, now at 4
15
16 Turn 4, USA action round 7
17 The Americans play the following card for Ops
18 #52 Ops 2: Portuguese Empire Crumbles * (USSR)
19 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
20
21 ** The Portuguese Empire Crumbles card is permanently removed. **
22
23 Soviet influence in SE African States increased by 2, now at 2
24 Soviet influence in Angola increased by 2, now at 3
25
26 The Americans use the Portuguese Empire Crumbles card for a coup attempt:
27 Coup attempt in Nicaragua (stability 1):
28 ** USA die roll = 6 (+2) = 8
29 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 6.
30 Soviet influence in Nicaragua reduced by 1, now at 0
31 American influence in Nicaragua increased by 5, now at 5
32 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
33 DEFCON Level raised to 3
34
35 Events Played: US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD, Warsa\
36 w Pact Formed, NATO, Marshall Plan
37
38 USSR battleground countries controlled = 16
39 USA battleground countries controlled = 10
Annotated Game #2 384
40
41 ** Turn 5 Headline Phase **
The board at the start of Turn 5
My hand:
Annotated Game #2 385
I know hes held Ask Not to this turn. Perhaps he will headline it. My headline is going to be Junta,
one of the three key neutral Mid War cards (along with ABM Treaty and Brush War). I will try to
punt Asia Scoring ASAP, as even with Shuttle Diplomacy Im currently not being Dominated (but
will be as soon as he grabs another country or two).
John Paul II and Special Relationship (which is NATO-activated) are both somewhat problematic. I
plan to space one of them for sure, and if Im successful I will space the other too. If not, then I will
use UN Intervention (though Id prefer to save it for next turn in case I draw a worse US card).
My plan with Junta is to parachute into Mexico, which is otherwise inaccessible, and then coup
Argentina. Later on, I will realign Venezuela.
Annotated Game #2 386
1 Soviet Headline Card: #47 Ops 2: Junta
2 American Headline Card: #67 Ops 2: Grain Sales to Soviets (USA)
3
4 USA Headline Event: #67 Ops 2: Grain Sales to Soviets (USA)
5
6 The Americans use the Grain Sales to Soviets card as an Event:
7 Card selected from USSR hand: #32 Ops 1: UN Intervention
8 The USA Player elects to keep and play the card.
9
10 The Americans use the UN Intervention card for a coup attempt:
11 Coup attempt in Nigeria (stability 1):
12 ** USA die roll = 4 (+1) = 5
13 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 3.
14 Soviet influence in Nigeria reduced by 1, now at 0
15 American influence in Nigeria increased by 2, now at 2
16 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
17 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 1
This was quite fortunate for me, but it does cut my hand size and leave me unable to UN either
Special Relationship or John Paul II.
Since I can no longer coup, I will just realign Venezuela.
1 USSR Headline Event: #47 Ops 2: Junta
2
3 The Soviets use the Junta card as an Event:
4 Soviet influence in Mexico increased by 2, now at 2
5
6 The Soviets use the Junta card for realignment rolls:
7
8 Realignment roll in Venezuela: USSR modifier = +2, USA modifier = +1
9 ** USSR die roll = 6 (+2) = 8
10 ** USA die roll = 3 (+1) = 4
11 American influence in Venezuela reduced by 2, now at 0
12
13 Realignment roll in Panama: USSR modifier = +1, USA modifier = +1
14 ** USSR die roll = 4 (+1) = 5
15 ** USA die roll = 1 (+1) = 2
16 American influence in Panama reduced by 2, now at 0
17 ** Turn 5 Action Phase **
The realign went way better than it should have. I will now use a 4 Ops to take both Venezuela and
Panama. I need to take Panama now because he might coup me out of Colombia and then I will no
Annotated Game #2 387
longer have access. (In retrospect, I should have just used U2 Incident to place 1 Op into Panama
and 2 into Venezuela, saving my 4 Ops for later. Oh well.)
1 Turn 5, USSR action round 1
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #50 Ops 4: 'We Will Bury You' * (USSR)
5 2 USSR influence added to Venezuela, now at 2
6 2 USSR influence added to Panama, now at 2
7
8 Turn 5, USA action round 1
9
10 The Americans play the following card for realignment rolls:
11 #39 Ops 3: Arms Race
12
13 Realignment roll in Cuba: USA modifier = +2, USSR modifier = +1
14 ** USA die roll = 6 (+2) = 8
15 ** USSR die roll = 1 (+1) = 2
16 Soviet influence in Cuba reduced by 3, now at 0
17
18 Realignment roll in Chile: USA modifier = +1, USSR modifier = +0
19 ** USA die roll = 2 (+1) = 3
20 ** USSR die roll = 4 (+0) = 4
21 American influence in Chile reduced by 1, now at 0
22
23 Realignment roll in Chile: USA modifier = +1, USSR modifier = +1
24 ** USA die roll = 6 (+1) = 7
25 ** USSR die roll = 5 (+1) = 6
26 Soviet influence in Chile reduced by 1, now at 0
Given that I no longer have access to Chile, I need to play Allende now so I can get back into that
subregion. It will also prevent him from being able to take Chile in a single Action Round.
1 Turn 5, USSR action round 2
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #54 Ops 1: Allende * (USSR)
5
6 ** The Allende card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Soviet influence in Chile increased by 2, now at 2
9
Annotated Game #2 388
10 Turn 5, USA action round 2
11
12 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
13 #66 Ops 2: Puppet Governments * (USA)
14
15 ** The Puppet Governments card is permanently removed. **
16
17 American influence in Cuba increased by 1, now at 1
18 American influence in Peru increased by 1, now at 1
19 American influence in Iran increased by 1, now at 1
Now that I have a breather, I will dump Asia Scoring.
1 Turn 5, USSR action round 3
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #1: Asia Scoring
5
6 *** Scoring in Asia ***
7 (-1 to Russian battleground total due to Shuttle Diplomacy)
8 USSR: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
9 USA: 3(presence) +3(battlegrounds) = 6
10 VPs up 1, now at -1
11
12 Turn 5, USA action round 3
13
14 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
15 #64 Ops 1: Panama Canal Returned * (USA)
16
17 ** The Panama Canal Returned card is permanently removed. **
18
19 American influence in Panama increased by 1, now at 1
20 American influence in Costa Rica increased by 1, now at 1
21 American influence in Venezuela increased by 1, now at 1
I must respond by defending both Panama and Venezuela. Hopefully he lets up on the pressure soon
so I can start spacing my problem cards.
Annotated Game #2 389
1 Turn 5, USSR action round 4
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #55 Ops 2: Willy Brandt * (USSR)
5 1 USSR influence added to Panama, now at 3
6 1 USSR influence added to Venezuela, now at 3
7
8 Turn 5, USA action round 4
9
10 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
11 #6 Ops 4: The China Card
12 2 USA influence added to Cuba, now at 3
13 2 USA influence added to Chile, now at 2
The board at the start of Turn 5, Action Round 5
This time I make no mistake and take Chile, ensuring USSR domination of South America. (Note
how quickly, in this game, South America has swung from one side to the other.)
Annotated Game #2 390
1 Turn 5, USSR action round 5
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #60 Ops 3: U-2 Incident * (USSR)
5 3 USSR influence added to Chile, now at 5
6
7 Turn 5, USA action round 5
8
9 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
10 #37: Central America Scoring
11
12 *** Scoring in Central America ***
13 USSR: 1(presence) +2(battlegrounds) +1(adj. to USA) = 4
14 USA: 1(presence) +1(battlegrounds) = 2
15 VPs down 2, now at -3
As the only cards left in my hand are John Paul II and Special Relationship, its time to look to the
stars. I space John Paul first, because my position in Europe is rather precarious and Id really like
to not have to deal with the Pope + Solidarity in Poland.
1 Turn 5, USSR action round 6
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for an attempt on the Space Race track:
4 #68 Ops 2: John Paul II Elected Pope * (USA)
5 ** Space Race Die Roll (1-4 needed): = 1 **
6 USSR progress on the Space Race Track is now at Animal in Space
7 The Soviets may now make two space race attempts per turn
This was quite fortunate.
1 Turn 5, USA action round 6
2
3 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
4 #65 Ops 2: Camp David Accords * (USA)
5
6 ** The Camp David Accords card is permanently removed. **
7
8 American influence in Israel increased by 1, now at 1
9 American influence in Jordan increased by 1, now at 1
10 American influence in Egypt increased by 1, now at 1
11 VPs up 1, now at -2
I could defend the Middle East, but it doesnt really affect the scoring of the region, and besides Id
rather he not get the 2VP from Special Relationship.
Annotated Game #2 391
1 Turn 5, USSR action round 7
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for an attempt on the Space Race track:
4 #105 Ops 2: Special Relationship (USA)
5 ** Space Race Die Roll (1-3 needed): = 6 **
6 No effect.
7
8 Turn 5, USA action round 7
9 The Americans play the following card for Ops
10 #51 Ops 3: Brezhnev Doctrine * (USSR)
11 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
12
13 ** The Brezhnev Doctrine card is permanently removed. **
14
15 All USSR operations cards increase their value by one (+1) for the remainder
16 of this turn (Maximum of 4).
17
18 The Americans use the Brezhnev Doctrine card to place influence:
19 1 USA influence added to Peru, now at 2
20 1 USA influence added to Iran, now at 2
21 1 USA influence added to Argentina, now at 3
22 The Americans are 1 military operation short of the DEFCON requirement of 2
23 The Soviets are 2 military operations short of the DEFCON requirement of 2
24 VPs up 1, now at -1
25 DEFCON Level raised to 3
26
27 Events Played: US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD, Warsa\
28 w Pact Formed, NATO, Marshall Plan, Camp David Accords
29
30 USSR battleground countries controlled = 16
31 USA battleground countries controlled = 11
32
33 ** Turn 6 Headline Phase **
Annotated Game #2 392
The board at the start of Turn 6
My hand:
Annotated Game #2 393
Annotated Game #2 394
I have several viable headlines. The Cambridge Five is the one I choose, because theres a very high
probability that he has either Africa or South America scoring in his hand. Liberation Theology
is the other choice, though since I already control both 2-stability countries (and Central America
scoring just came out) its not as important as it usually is. SALT Negotiations is a possibility, but
theres not that many great finds in the discard right now and Id rather not let him coup me out of
Thailand. Socialist Governments is ordinarily a good one, though Im so far behind in Europe that
it wont even make a difference.
The Voice of America, as always, is a giant problem. I can either send it to space this turn, or I can
try to hold onto it for next turn so that it misses the reshuffle. Nuclear Subs can be disposed of on
the last AR (rather than risk the US drawing it and punishing me for a whole turn with it). Truman
Doctrine makes matters worse for me in Europe, but who cares about Europe at this point. Southeast
Asia Scoring I must trigger ASAP, since it wont get any better for me but potentially another 2VP
for him to claim (plus the threat of Colonial Rear Guards). People often forget about it, because
its such a low priority compared to regions that are scored multiple times, but sooner or later hell
remember to take Indonesia/the Philippines.
1 Soviet Headline Card: #110 Ops 2: The Cambridge Five (USSR)
2 American Headline Card: #77 Ops 3: 'Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You... \
3 * (USA)
4
5 USA Headline Event: #77 Ops 3: 'Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You... * (U\
6 SA)
7
8 The Americans use the 'Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You... card as an Eve\
9 nt:
10
11 ** The 'Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You... card is permanently removed. \
Annotated Game #2 395
12 **
13
14 The American player discards the following cards to be replaced:
15 #79: Africa Scoring
16 #61 Ops 3: OPEC (USSR)
17
18 USSR Headline Event: #110 Ops 2: The Cambridge Five (USSR)
19
20 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
21 #110 Ops 2: The Cambridge Five (USSR)
22 The USA has the following scoring card:
23 South America Scoring
24 1 USSR influence added to Argentina, now at 1
25 ** Turn 6 Action Phase **
Spectacularly unluckily for him, he discards one scoring card only to draw another. With my
Cambridge Five influence, and knowledge that he has the only outstanding scoring card, I go all-out
for Argentina, the only South American battleground I do not control.
1 Turn 6, USSR action round 1
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
4 #59 Ops 4: Flower Power * (USSR)
5 Coup attempt in Argentina (stability 2):
6 ** USSR die roll = 5 (+4) = 9
7 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 5.
8 American influence in Argentina reduced by 3, now at 0
9 Soviet influence in Argentina increased by 2, now at 3
10 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
11 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
12 *** NORAD -- the US may place 1 influence anywhere they already have influence ***
13 American influence in Chile increased by 1, now at 3
14
15 Turn 6, USA action round 1
16 The Americans play the following card for Ops
17 #58 Ops 3: Cultural Revolution * (USSR)
18 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
19
20 ** The Cultural Revolution card is permanently removed. **
21
22 VPs down 1, now at -2
23
Annotated Game #2 396
24 The Americans use the Cultural Revolution card to place influence:
25 3 USA influence added to Chile, now at 6
I could fight him back on Chile, but Id have to use the China Card and he might have Ussuri River
Skirmish. I decide that Ill let him take Chile, while I dispose of some other cards that need my
attention. Trading position for tempo, is in some sense, one of the keys of the game.
1 Turn 6, USSR action round 2
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #38: Southeast Asia Scoring *
5
6 ** The Southeast Asia Scoring card is permanently removed. **
7
8 *** Scoring in Southeast Asia ***
9 USSR: 1(Burma) +1(Laos/Cambodia) +2(Thailand) +1(Vietnam) = 5
10 USA: 1(Malaysia) = 1
11 VPs down 4, now at -6
12
13 Turn 6, USA action round 2
14
15 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
16 #69 Ops 2: Latin American Death Squads
17 2 USA influence added to Chile, now at 8
My next move is a mistake. I play Liberation Theology in order to secure a future Central America
domination. What I should have done instead, though
1 Turn 6, USSR action round 3
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #75 Ops 2: Liberation Theology (USSR)
5 2 USSR influence added to Honduras, now at 2
6 1 USSR influence added to Guatemala, now at 1
7
8 Turn 6, USA action round 3
9 The Americans play the following card for Ops
10 #53 Ops 2: South African Unrest (USSR)
11 They elect to have the Soviet event occur first.
12 Soviet influence in Botswana increased by 2, now at 2
13 Soviet influence in South Africa increased by 1, now at 5
14
Annotated Game #2 397
15 The Americans use the South African Unrest card for realignment rolls:
16
17 Realignment roll in Argentina: USA modifier = +2, USSR modifier = +1
18 ** USA die roll = 3 (+2) = 5
19 ** USSR die roll = 5 (+1) = 6
20
21 Realignment roll in Argentina: USA modifier = +2, USSR modifier = +1
22 ** USA die roll = 2 (+2) = 4
23 ** USSR die roll = 4 (+1) = 5
is defend against the Argentina realignment, made possible by the Chilean takeover. But I am
stupidly lucky and get away with it. I take Paraguay to make sure it does not happen again. Oddly,
I have no 2 Ops cards, I have an extra influence, and no particularly obvious place to put it. Egypt
will get purged with Sadat, Yugoslavia wont matter for scoring anyway. I choose Afghanistan, to
protect myself from the US taking it for +1 VP on Asia scoring. Probably overcontrolling Venezuela
would have been wiser, though.
1 Turn 6, USSR action round 4
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #7 Ops 3: Socialist Governments (USSR)
5 2 USSR influence added to Paraguay, now at 2
6 1 USSR influence added to Afghanistan, now at 2
7
8 Turn 6, USA action round 4
9
10 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
11 #49 Ops 2: Missile Envy
12 The Soviet exchanges the following card for the Missile Envy:
13 #43 Ops 3: SALT Negotiations *
14
15 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
16 #43 Ops 3: SALT Negotiations *
17
18 ** The SALT Negotiations card is permanently removed. **
19
20 DEFCON Level raised to 4
21 The USA player reclaims the following card from the discard pile:
22 #57 Ops 4: ABM Treaty
Annotated Game #2 398
The board at the start of Turn 6, Action Round 5
I suppose the question of what to do with SALT Negotiations has resolved itself. As I must play
Missile Envy for Ops, and since DEFCON is 4, I use it to coup, and Nigeria is the obvious target.
1 Turn 6, USSR action round 5
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
4 #49 Ops 2: Missile Envy
5 Coup attempt in Nigeria (stability 1):
6 ** USSR die roll = 3 (+2) = 5
7 1 subtracted from die roll for Salt Negotiations, making 4
8 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 2.
9 American influence in Nigeria reduced by 2, now at 0
10 DEFCON Level lowered to 3
11 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
12
13 Turn 6, USA action round 5
14
15 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
16 #44 Ops 3: Bear Trap * (USA)
Annotated Game #2 399
17
18 ** The Bear Trap card is permanently removed. **
19
20 On the next action round, USSR player must discard an Operations card worth
21 2 or more and roll less than 5. Repeat each USSR player phase until successful
22 or no appropriate cards remain. If out of appropriate cards, the USSR Player may
23 only play scoring cards until the next turn.
He must be somewhat desperate, hoping to salvage South America by any means necessary. I usually
prefer headlining Bear Trap.
The question of what to discard is not trivial. The Voice of America is the obvious choice, but holding
it to next turn keeps it out of the reshuffle. I end up going with the cautious choice and discarding
VoA, out of concern that next turn I may draw multiple bad US cards, and then I wouldnt be able
to deal with all of them at once.
1 Turn 6, USSR action round 6
2 The USSR discards the following card because of Bear Trap:
3 #74 Ops 2: The Voice of America (USA)
4 Bear Trap ends on a die roll of 1-4: ** Die Roll = 4 -- The Bear Trap is over!
5
6 Turn 6, USA action round 6
7 DEFCON Level raised to 4
8
9 The Americans play the following card for a coup attempt:
10 #57 Ops 4: ABM Treaty
11 Coup attempt in Venezuela (stability 2):
12 ** USA die roll = 6 (+4) = 10
13 1 subtracted from die roll for Salt Negotiations, making 9
14 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 5.
15 Soviet influence in Venezuela reduced by 3, now at 0
16 American influence in Venezuela increased by 2, now at 3
17 DEFCON Level lowered to 3
18 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
South America is no longer USSR-dominated. But I know that he has South America scoring and
must play it next AR. So if I break control of Chile with my 2 Ops Nuclear Subs, not only is he unable
to take advantage of Nuclear Subs, he must also score South America without being able to respond
to my play. In any other Action Round, he could easily repair my Chile damage, and Id be wasting
Ops, but here he is helpless to react.
This is an extremely powerful and somewhat cruel move. It can be done even outside of the final
Action Round; if you can continually pressure him every turn, and if he cant stop you from this
Annotated Game #2 400
with an overcontrol, then the fact that he has the scoring card means he has no choice but to give
you the last word. It is a good illustration of how scoring cards are liabilities, especially when your
opponent knows you have them.
1 Turn 6, USSR action round 7
2 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
3 #41 Ops 2: Nuclear Subs * (USA)
4 They elect to have the American event occur first.
5
6 ** The Nuclear Subs card is permanently removed. **
7
8 US actions do not affect the DEFCON track for the remainder of this turn
9 (does not affect Cuban Missile Crisis).
10
11 The Soviets use the Nuclear Subs card to place influence:
12 1 USSR influence added to Chile, now at 6
13
14 Turn 6, USA action round 7
15
16 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
17 #35: South America Scoring
18
19 *** Scoring in South America ***
20 USSR: 5(domination) +2(battlegrounds) = 7
21 USA: 2(presence) +1(battlegrounds) = 3
22 VPs down 4, now at -10
23 DEFCON Level raised to 4
24
25 Events Played: US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, De Gaulle Leads France, NORAD, Warsa\
26 w Pact Formed, NATO, Marshall Plan, Camp David Accords
27
28 USSR battleground countries controlled = 15
29 USA battleground countries controlled = 10
30
31 ************************************************************
32 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
33 ************************************************************
34 ** Turn 7 Headline Phase **
Annotated Game #2 401
The board at the start of Turn 7
My hand:
Annotated Game #2 402
The Mid War cards I know he must have in his hand: Brush War, Ussuri River Skirmish, and Colonial
Rear Guards. In addition, Red Scare/Purge was played on Turn 2 and has not yet shown up, so it
must also be in his hand. I am not that affected by this knowledge, except I will hold the China Card
for a bit longer until Ussuri comes out.
Special Relationship is, once again, a bit of a pain. Our Man in Tehran is a chancy event that is
nevertheless something I will try to avoid playing. Sadat I will hold for as long as possible, hoping
he gets impatient and tries to take over Egypt before I play it. And Che and Decolonization will be
very powerful for me, so Im overall quite happy with the hand.
My headline is clear: Quagmire. Quagmire is a fantastic USSR headline: not only because it cancels
NORAD, but also because it guarantees two ARs in a row. In particular, with DEFCON at 4, and
me holding Duck and Cover, I can coup twice, or I can coup and then use Duck and Cover to place
influence while dropping DEFCON to 2. I also have Middle East scoring which I might be able to
score advantageously during my consecutive ARs.
Annotated Game #2 403
1 Soviet Headline Card: #42 Ops 3: Quagmire * (USSR)
2 American Headline Card: #49 Ops 2: Missile Envy
3
4 USSR Headline Event: #42 Ops 3: Quagmire * (USSR)
5
6 The Soviets use the Quagmire card as an Event:
7
8 ** The Quagmire card is permanently removed. **
9
10 On the next action round, US player must discard an Operations card worth
11 2 or more and roll less than 5. Repeat each US player phase until successful
12 or no appropriate cards remain. If out of appropriate cards, the US player may
13 only play scoring cards until the next turn.
14
15 USA Headline Event: #49 Ops 2: Missile Envy
16
17 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
18 #49 Ops 2: Missile Envy
Given the choice of allowing him Duck and Cover, or Che (and therefore a free three Ops), I choose
Duck and Cover.
(As a side note, Im not entirely sure why he didnt just headline Red Scare/Purge.)
1 The Soviet exchanges the following card for the Missile Envy:
2 #4 Ops 3: Duck and Cover (USA)
3
4 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
5 #4 Ops 3: Duck and Cover (USA)
6 DEFCON Level lowered to 3
7 VPs up 2, now at -8
8 ** Turn 7 Action Phase **
Well, I dont have Duck and Cover any more, and I have to use Missile Envy for a coup. I will go for
Iran, and hope to roll well.
Annotated Game #2 404
1 Turn 7, USSR action round 1
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
4 #49 Ops 2: Missile Envy
5 Coup attempt in Iran (stability 2):
6 ** USSR die roll = 3 (+2) = 5
7 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 1.
8 American influence in Iran reduced by 1, now at 1
9 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
10 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 2
11
12 Turn 7, USA action round 1
13 The USA discards the following card because of Quagmire:
14 #61 Ops 3: OPEC (USSR)
15 Quagmire ends on a die roll of 1-4: ** Die Roll = 4 -- The Quagmire is over!
Revenge of the Muslim Revolution: I rolled just what I needed, and now I can score the Middle East
and deny the US even presence points. This was a huge swing for me. (In retrospect, I could have
accomplished the same with zero risk by using the 2 Ops to place 1 influence into Iran. But such a
move allows him the battleground coup.)
1 Turn 7, USSR action round 2
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #3: Middle East Scoring
5
6 *** Scoring in Middle East ***
7 USSR: 5(domination) +3(battlegrounds) = 8
8 USA: No score.
9 VPs down 8, now at -16
10
11 Turn 7, USA action round 2
12
13 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
14 #36 Ops 3: Brush War
15 The target country is Brazil
16 USA success on a modified die roll of 3-6; USSR is -0
17 ** Die roll: 3 -- USA victory!
18 VPs up 1, now at -15
19 Soviet influence in Brazil reduced by 5, now at 0
20 American influence in Brazil increased by 5, now at 6
21 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 3
Annotated Game #2 405
Well, this was unlucky, but its not a huge loss. I should have been realigned out of Brazil earlier
anyway, and it was only luck that I had held onto it for so long.
Now, in fact, is a very rare and very good opportunity to get rid of Our Man in Tehran while the US
does not control any Middle East country. I coup Peru with an eye towards potentially realigning
Chile.
1 Turn 7, USSR action round 3
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for a coup attempt:
4 #108 Ops 2: Our Man in Tehran * (USA)
5 Coup attempt in Peru (stability 2):
6 ** USSR die roll = 4 (+2) = 6
7 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 2.
8 American influence in Peru reduced by 2, now at 0
9 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
10
11 Turn 7, USA action round 3
12
13 The Americans play the following card to place influence:
14 #40 Ops 3: Cuban Missile Crisis *
15 2 USA influence added to Peru, now at 2
16 1 USA influence added to Chile, now at 9
With no particular urgencies on the board, I send Special Relationship to space and hope for VPs.
I am so close now to autovictory that I must push for VPs as hard as I can before the US Late War
advantage kicks in.
1 Turn 7, USSR action round 4
2
3 The Soviets play the following card for an attempt on the Space Race track:
4 #105 Ops 2: Special Relationship (USA)
5 ** Space Race Die Roll (1-3 needed): = 3 **
6 USSR progress on the Space Race Track is now at Lunar Probe
7 VPs down 2, now at -17
8
9 Turn 7, USA action round 4
10
11 The Americans play the following card for an attempt on the Space Race track:
12 #7 Ops 3: Socialist Governments (USSR)
13 ** Space Race Die Roll (1-4 needed): = 5 **
14 No effect.
Annotated Game #2 406
The board at the start of Turn 7, Action Round 5
Alas, I have no more VP-granting cards right now. Currently Che is kind of useless, since I only
have one decent target (Peru). I dont want to use the China Card, not while he still has Ussuri in
his hand. So I play Decolonization, which will get me Nigeria and also allow me to threaten Algeria.
Where the other Decolonization influence goes is not particularly important.
1 Turn 7, USSR action round 5
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #30 Ops 2: Decolonization (USSR)
5 Soviet influence in Algeria increased by 1, now at 1
6 Soviet influence in Nigeria increased by 1, now at 1
7 Soviet influence in Zaire increased by 1, now at 2
8 Soviet influence in Indonesia increased by 1, now at 1
9
10 Turn 7, USA action round 5
11
12 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
13 #76 Ops 3: Ussuri River Skirmish * (USA)
14
Annotated Game #2 407
15 ** The Ussuri River Skirmish card is permanently removed. **
16
17 The US receives the China Card, face up, from the Soviet player.
Oddly, he did not defend Algeria, in which case I will gladly take it.
1 Turn 7, USSR action round 6
2
3 The Soviets play the following card to place influence:
4 #112 Ops 3: Che (USSR)
5 3 USSR influence added to Algeria, now at 4
6
7 Turn 7, USA action round 6
8
9 The Americans play the following card for a coup attempt:
10 #48 Ops 1: Kitchen Debates * (USA)
11 Coup attempt in Guatemala (stability 1):
12 ** USA die roll = 4 (+1) = 5
13 The modified roll exceeds the doubled stability by 3.
14 Soviet influence in Guatemala reduced by 1, now at 0
15 American influence in Guatemala increased by 2, now at 2
16 American Military Operations for this turn increased to 4
His control of Guatemala allows him to potentially realign me out of Mexico. So I respond in turn. I
use Truman instead of Sadat because Sadat actually affects scoring right now, whereas Truman does
not.
1 Turn 7, USSR action round 7
2 The Soviets play the following card for Ops
3 #19 Ops 1: Truman Doctrine * (USA)
4 They elect to have the American event occur first.
5
6 ** The Truman Doctrine card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Soviet influence in Yugoslavia now at 0
9
10 The Soviets use the Truman Doctrine card for a coup attempt:
11 Coup attempt in Guatemala (stability 1):
12 ** USSR die roll = 1 (+1) = 2
13 The modified roll does not exceed the doubled stability -- no effect.
14 Soviet Military Operations for this turn increased to 5
15
Annotated Game #2 408
16 Turn 7, USA action round 7
17
18 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
19 #63 Ops 2: Colonial Rearguards (USA)
20 American influence in Algeria increased by 1, now at 3
21 American influence in Nigeria increased by 1, now at 1
22 American influence in Laos/Cambodia increased by 1, now at 1
23 American influence in Thailand increased by 1, now at 1
24
25 Events Played: US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact, De Gaulle Leads France, Warsaw Pact \
26 Formed, NATO, Marshall Plan, Camp David Accords
27
28 USSR battleground countries controlled = 14
29 USA battleground countries controlled = 10
30
31 ** The Late War cards are added to the deck **
32 ************************************************************
33 ** The deck is being shuffled. **
34 ************************************************************
35 DEFCON Level raised to 3
36 ** Turn 8 Headline Phase **
Annotated Game #2 409
The board at the start of Turn 8
My hand:
Annotated Game #2 410
I have a very terrible hand, but it doesnt matter because I have enough VPs to win with Wargames.
I choose to headline The Reformer only because headlining We Will Bury You (to drop DEFCON to
2 for Wargames, and maybe for the instant win) could potentially lose me the game if he headlines
Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 (extremely unlikely). There is no rush, since it is unlikely he can get
all the way down to -6 before I trigger Wargames.
Annotated Game #2 411
1 Soviet Headline Card: #87 Ops 3: The Reformer * (USSR)
2 American Headline Card: #2: Europe Scoring
3
4 USSR Headline Event: #87 Ops 3: The Reformer * (USSR)
5
6 The Soviets use the The Reformer card as an Event:
7
8 ** The The Reformer card is permanently removed. **
9
10 2 USSR influence added to France, now at 3
11 2 USSR influence added to West Germany, now at 3
12 1 USSR influence added to Canada, now at 1
13 1 USSR influence added to United Kingdom, now at 1
14
15 USA Headline Event: #2: Europe Scoring
16
17 The Americans play the following card as an Event:
18 #2: Europe Scoring
19
20 *** Scoring in Europe ***
21 USSR: 3(presence) +2(battlegrounds) = 5
22 USA: 3(presence) +1(battlegrounds) = 4
23 VPs down 1, now at -18
24 ** Turn 8 Action Phase **
Remember back on Turn 3, when I commented that his Europe Scoring headline was a bit risky? He
got away with it last time, but this time his headline is unlucky and runs straight into Mr. Gorbachev.
It doesnt make a big difference, though. I play We Will Bury You to drop DEFCON to 2 for
Wargames, and maybe he doesnt have UN Intervention, in which case I dont even need Wargames.
1 Turn 8, USSR action round 1
2
3 The Soviets play the following card as an Event:
4 #50 Ops 4: 'We Will Bury You' * (USSR)
5
6 ** The 'We Will Bury You' card is permanently removed. **
7
8 Unless UN Intervention is played as an Event on the US player's next round, USSR \
9 gains 3 VP.
10 DEFCON Level lowered to 2
11 The USA does not have the UN Intervention card
12 VPs down 3, now at -21
Annotated Game #2 412
13 ********************************************************
14 The USSR player wins the game!!!
15 ********************************************************
Concluding thoughts:
This game is a good example of how to play, and play against, unusual US opening setups.
He ended up dominating Europe anyway Truman Doctrine was much of the reason why,
because even though he never played it I couldnt get into an Ops war with him in Europe for
fear of it.
Manipulating the timing of scoring cards is just as important as board position. South America
swung from US domination to USSR domination back to US domination, but the key was that
it got scored during USSR domination. Likewise, Middle East scoring wasnt really that bad
for the US, but it played a critical role towards -20 because I was able to score it when he had
no presence.
Realignments played a significant role in South America this game.
A good opponent does not let up on you. Here, I had several crises/opportunities that I simply
never found the time to address because the US was pressuring so hard. In an ideal world, I
would have taken Iran for a Middle East control, I would have shored up Israel and made a play
for Europe. But because of his pressure, I was unable to do any of those things. Offense can
be a good defense in TS, by forcing your opponent to choose between creating opportunities
and responding to your threats.
Designers Notes
The Long Twilight Struggle
By Jason Matthews and Ananda Gupta
Like most freshman game designers, we spent many years putting this game together. Twilight
Struggle, more than anything else, is a game designed to meet our needs. We are both huge fans
of the card driven wargame, and how it has breathed new life into wargaming in general. Like a
modern day Lazarus, card driven wargames have brought our hobby back from the grave. Yet even
five years ago, when Ananda and I first decided we wanted to try our hand at design, the writing
was on the wall. Card driven games were going to become less and less like We The People, and
Hannibal, and more and more like Paths of Glory and Barbarossa to Berlin. That is not a critique
of Mr. Raicers work. In fact, we think that it took Paths of Glory to demonstrate just how rich a
card driven game might be. But it conflicted with another reality. We were getting older. Our lives
were less like the gaming rich days of college, and more like the work-a-day world of the nuclear
family. Eight hours for a single game was becoming less and less likely. So selfishly, we designed a
game to fit our schedules. You can play Twilight Struggle from beginning to end in the same time
it takes to play the short scenario of many other games. Heck, you can switch sides and play the
Cold War from both angles if you are really ambitious. That is a long way of saying the number one
constraint on the design was time.
The second question that we had to answer was the subject area. I believe that civil wars are the
perfect subject for the influence system. So initially, I convinced Ananda to try a Spanish Civil War
design. A couple of books on the subject quickly convinced us that it would takes years to master
the politics of that war, and frankly, we werent going to wait years to start. So Ananda, in a stroke
of genius, suggested the Cold War as a replacement. It was a great topic. There are very few games
that deal with the political aspects of the Cold War in a serious waythere were not that many of
them even when we were fighting the Cold War. The basic influence system translated well. The
history was a non issue, for as an International Relations major in the 1980s, I basically spent four
years studying the Cold War. Finally, one of the best gaming experiences that I ever had was Chris
Crawfords Balance of Power. It was a game about Cold War politics, and even more so, about the
brinksmanship of a crisis between the superpowers. To this day, computer gamers look back on
its innovation. Ill never forget the games immortal line when you brought the world to nuclear
destruction over something ridiculous like funding guerillas in Kenya.
You have ignited a nuclear war. And no, there is no animated display or a mushroom
cloud with parts of bodies flying through the air. We do not reward failure.
Designers Notes 414
Had I failed my senior year of high school, it really would have been Chris Crawfords fault. So,
Anandas golden idea provided us the chance to try and recreate some of the magic of that game.
We use the term game advisedly. Twilight Struggle does not reach beyond its means. Wherever
there were compromises to make between realism and playability, we sided with playability. We
want to evoke the feel of the Cold War, we hope people get a few insights they didnt possess, but
we have no pretensions that a game of this scope or length could pretend to be a simulation.
Also important for players to understand is that the game has a very definite point of view. Twilight
Struggle basically accepts all of the internal logic of the Cold War as trueeven those parts of it that
are demonstrably false. Therefore, the only relationships that matter in this game are those between
a nation and the superpowers. The world provides a convenient chess board for US and Soviet
ambitions, but all other nations are mere pawns (with perhaps the occasional bishop) in that game.
Even China is abstracted down to a card that is passed between the two countries. Furthermore,
not only does the domino theory work, it is a prerequisite for extending influence into a region.
Historians would rightly dispute all of these assumptions, but in keeping with the design philosophy,
we think they make a better game.
One very notable difference between Twilight Struggle and other Cold War games is that we assume
nuclear war would be a bad thing. Many other designs make the whole idea of letting the nuclear
genie out the bottle irresistible. From our vantage point of hindsight, nuclear war was unthinkable,
and that is why it did not happen. Yes, we came close, but we believe that rational actors would veer
away from the button. Once the button was pushed, nuclear war would have taken on a grim logic
of its own, and human extinction might have been the result.
There were many decisions made for playability, but we will touch upon two. First, not all countries
that are geographically adjacent are connected to one another. There are three reasons for this.
For instance, many countries are amalgamations, so that messes with geography from the get go.
Secondly, and most importantly, we wanted there to be a real impact to the domino theory, with
players spreading their influence slowly across the map. Think of the old documentaries with red
animated arrows streaming from the Soviet Union in all directions. Finally, and most rarely, the lack
of a connection between countries reflects the local antagonisms between two presumed allies.
The second decision that warrants a bit more elaboration is what nations were labeled battleground
state. Basically, there were three ways to attain this status. First, recognized regional powers got
it. The South American battlegrounds reflect this well. Secondly, if a nation possessed important
strategic resources, that also meant battleground status. Obviously, most battlegrounds in the Middle
East, as well as Angola and Venezuela, would qualify here. Finally, if a nation was an actual
battleground between the superpowers, like South Korea, it received battleground status. So, for
our English and Australian cousins, please know that we are not ranking you behind our French
allies. Instead, you are anchors of US influence in Europe and Asia at the start of the game.
There are many aspects of the game about which we are proud, but the most amusing is how
the game can capture the psychology of the Cold War. Areas become important just because your
opponent thinks they are importanthe must be going there for some reason! Also, we are proud of
the interaction of the DEFCON chart with military operations. It really compels each turn to have
Designers Notes 415
a diversity of actions that makes for a more tense and exciting game.
At the end of the day, Twilight Struggle represents a bit of Cold War nostalgia. In a world of stateless
enemies, for whom our destruction is an end in itself, the Cold War seems a quaint disagreement
about economics. As religious chauvinism shoves aside ideology, we yearn for a simpler time absent
of invisible menaces, fighting for cherished principle against an enemy that we understood. So let
us once more pound our shoes, grab the hotline, and stand watch in Berlin. The Cold War is over,
but the game has just begun.
Glossary
Some of the terms and abbreviations commonly used in the Twilight Struggle community include:
Term Definition
_/_ Shorthand for describing the influence in a country. France at 2/3 would
mean that the US has 2 influence in France and the USSR has 3.
AR Action Round. AR1 refers to the first Action Round of a turn; AR6/7 generally
means the last Action Round of a turn
BG Battleground country. By extension, non-BG refers to a non-battleground
country.
CCW The Chinese Civil War, an optional variant
COMECON Trap A particular USSR opening setup and headline that aims to take over Europe
with Turn 1 realignments
Decol Decolonization
DEFCON suicide card A card that, if played, will cause that player to lose by thermonuclear war
because
DEFCON dropped to 1 on his turn.
DEFCON restrictions The current DEFCON affects what regions are able to be couped / realigned.
Europe at DEFCON 5 only, Asia at DEFCON 4 and higher, Middle East at
DEFCON 3 and higher. The Mid War regions can always be couped or
realigned. Note that this is distinct from DEFCON dropping each time you
coup a battleground. At DEFCON 3 you may coup a Middle East or Mid War
region battleground, but not an Asian non-battleground. At DEFCON 2, you
may only coup in Mid War regions, and even then, couping a battleground on
your turn will lose you the game because DEFCON will drop to 1. At
DEFCON 2, you may also conduct realignments in Mid War regions, but not
any other region.
De-Stal De-Stalinization
Early War regions Europe, Middle East, and Asia.
Hold card Ordinarily, you will play all of your cards except one, which becomes your
held card for next turn. If you play the China Card, you will hold two cards;
if you are forced to discard a card (e.g., via Blockade or Grain Sales to
Soviets), you wont hold any.
Mid War regions South America, Central America, and Africa. Sometimes Southeast Asia, in
context.
Ops Operations. Playing a card for Ops refers to playing it for the Operations
points value, rather than for the event.
Overcontrol To control a country with more influence than necessary. Usually refers to
controlling the country with one more influence than necessary; double
overcontrol means controlling with two more. For example, if Thailand is at
3/0, then the US has overcontrolled it; if India is at 1/6 then the USSR has
double-overcontrolled it.
The Pope Refers to the Mid War event John Paul II Elected Pope
Glossary 417
Term Definition
RS/P Red Scare/Purge
Third World Another term for the Mid War regions: South America, Central America, and
Africa.
Turn 3 / Turn 7 reshuffle The draw deck tends to reshuffle on Turns 3 and Turn 7. This has a
considerable strategic impact on the game.
VoA The Voice of America
Copyright/Contact
Twilight Struggle is copyright GMT Games. The game was designed by Jason Matthews and Ananda
Gupta. Cover art copyright belongs to RBM Studios.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please email me at twilightstrategy@gmail.com,
or contact me at the Twilight Strategy Forum.
http://forum.twilightstrategy.com