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Author Topic: US expanding into South and Central America  (Read 6917 times)

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Kazzy

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US expanding into South and Central America
« on: March 24, 2013, 04:08:13 am »
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Hi,

I'm relatively new to the game and am getting schooled on wargameroom by the USSR when I try to expand as USA into the midwar battlegrounds of Central America and South America.

Are there any tips how to do this without getting couped out at every single opportunity?

Thanks
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Tbody

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 04:43:43 am »
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The US starts in Panama.  In the Early War, I like to put 1 influence into Costa Rica as its very stable and will only ever see a coup when Che comes out.  If I can spare the ops, I will take control of Panama (sometimes overcontrol).  You can always put influence into Mexico as it starts next to the US.  I would never suggest putting influence into Cuba because it activates Ortega.  Something I've learned recently (I'm quite a new player) is that re-alignments are your friend to remove Soviet influence from Mexico and Cuba.  If the Soviets try to prop up these governments by expanding into those 1-stability countries, just coup them with a 2 ops card.

South America is a bit tricky.  Unless I get in through an event play (Puppet Governments, Panama Canal, Junta, or OAS), I wait until the Soviets get in before I start applying pressure.  Ideally they have influence in one of the 2-stability countries (Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela) and I can steal a headline coup to get me in.  If not, I'll wait until my AR7 to place 1 influence into Colombia, which will let me sneak into Venezuela (as long as they don't drop DEFCON in Headline and coup me out on their AR1).
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sael

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 11:00:39 pm »
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Are there any tips how to do this without getting couped out at every single opportunity?


One of the good ways to counter coup attempt is to creat multiple threats.

You can place influence in multiple countries. Your opponent can only coup one of them.

If he coups you out of one country, you can make a breakthrough from the other.

For example, you spend two OP to place 1 in Colombia and 1 in Nicaragua. If he coup Colombia, you then realign Cuba with +1 modifier, or score a CA Domination in your next Action Round.
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Riku Riekkinen

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2013, 05:44:08 pm »
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Try 1IP Columbia in AR6 turn1 especially if you don't have to hold decol or destal. Otherwise you will probably be too late for south america. As USSR will get it with destal. Then there are options like lose it or whatever, but at least you will get mil OPs for turn 2 (& the starter of the conflict always have an advantage).
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Julio

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 05:37:20 am »
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If you put 1 inf in Colombia in AR6 turn1 and URSS does not coup you out in turn2, put 2 or 3 inf in Venezuela ASAP and feel free to forget about colombian coffe.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 10:34:02 am by Julio »
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Partidas al Twilight Struggle. Spanish blog with AAR of some games and other TS considerations.

Chimista

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 06:42:22 am »
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I feel shocked every time I see people in this blog writing "Columbia" for Colombia. I believe TS is a game for intellectually gifted people, so come on guys, what's the point of playing a geo-strategical wargame if you can't be bothered to learn the names of the countries?  :P
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Julio

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 10:33:10 am »
+1

I feel shocked every time I see people in this blog writing "Columbia" for Colombia. I believe TS is a game for intellectually gifted people, so come on guys, what's the point of playing a geo-strategical wargame if you can't be bothered to learn the names of the countries?  :P

lol you are right
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Partidas al Twilight Struggle. Spanish blog with AAR of some games and other TS considerations.

theory

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 10:53:51 am »
+1

I bet those dastardly NYU kids are behind the Columbia coup!
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sspiker

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 12:49:04 pm »
+1

I always try to put an influence point in central South Carolina when possible.
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Riku Riekkinen

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2013, 12:49:14 am »
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I feel shocked every time I see people in this blog writing "Columbia" for Colombia. I believe TS is a game for intellectually gifted people, so come on guys, what's the point of playing a geo-strategical wargame if you can't be bothered to learn the names of the countries?  :P

It is a common mistake, since in many countries it really is written with "u". Check out German & Polish version of the game for example. But sorry about that.
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BamBix

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2013, 02:33:17 am »
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Well, it's named after Christopher Columbus/Cristobal Colon, so the mistake is very, very common ;).
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Azuredarkness

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 05:26:41 am »
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Colonbia!
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Tbody

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 08:27:06 pm »
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Try 1IP Columbia in AR6 turn1 especially if you don't have to hold decol or destal. Otherwise you will probably be too late for south america. As USSR will get it with destal. Then there are options like lose it or whatever, but at least you will get mil OPs for turn 2 (& the starter of the conflict always have an advantage).

Isn't this guaranteeing the Soviets a way into South America?  You could still draw De-Stal on Turn 2 (or even Turn 3), keeping them out.  The Soviet player will for sure give up their AR1 Battleground Coup to steal Colombia.  You can start the coup game with him there, but thats a lot of time wasted not doing other things.  I'd love to see a game report or ACTS report detailing how something like this would go down.
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Riku Riekkinen

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 08:28:54 am »
+1

Try 1IP Columbia in AR6 turn1 especially if you don't have to hold decol or destal. Otherwise you will probably be too late for south america. As USSR will get it with destal. Then there are options like lose it or whatever, but at least you will get mil OPs for turn 2 (& the starter of the conflict always have an advantage).

Isn't this guaranteeing the Soviets a way into South America?  You could still draw De-Stal on Turn 2 (or even Turn 3), keeping them out.  The Soviet player will for sure give up their AR1 Battleground Coup to steal Colombia.  You can start the coup game with him there, but thats a lot of time wasted not doing other things.  I'd love to see a game report or ACTS report detailing how something like this would go down.

In delexe editions play example Stefan MeCay does Colombia move T1AR1. Though he then he doesn't go to Venezuela even, when he has the chance which is ??? to me.

Coup-Counter Coup start:
1) Gives US MIL OPs
2) Slows sovs down in early war

Now there are of course 4 outcomes from that:
1) US gets to SA (rolls more & US has 1IP advantage at the start) ; good
2) USSR gets to SA (rolls way higher than US and/or uses Ops advantage (=high card)). Now US still can coup BG in somewhere useful... Iran, Libya. Also Colombia stays for coup for the 3rd turn. This means that US gets 4VPs from MIL OPs its unlikely to get otherwise & possibly position + a couple of VPs from ME. If the USSR doesn't go further than Brazil, the first SA scoring will bring the VPs from the happening to about 0. But yeah, in longer run this is bad for US.
3) Colombia goes to 0:
3a) Colombia goes to 0 on USSR coup: US has effectively the first coup (& again gets MIL OPs)
3b) Colombia goes to 0 on US coup: USSR does its BG coup as usual, but US now also has MIL OPs
4) USSR headlines De-Stal blocks Venezuela & coups somewhere else. Now USSR had to put 2 in Venezuela limiting the precious spread. Also US has +0 realign chance for Venezuela, if he sees it that important.

I must admit that Colombia move is very controversial (= many successful tourney gamers think its a bad move as US has more cards in early war it should avoid & USSR has China ; meaning USSR effectively has usually OPs advantage), but still has so many advantages that you shouldn't have hard time finding more games using it.
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theory

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2013, 10:40:51 am »
+1

With all due respect to Mr. Mecay, I don't really think the Deluxe Edition play example should be held up as a good example of high-level play ...

The way I see it:

* If you don't go into Colombia:

1) USSR has big advantage IF they draw De-Stalinization
2) Otherwise US will have moderate advantage in Mid War

* If you do go into Colombia:

1) USSR has more Ops (thanks to China card and favorable events);
2) US starts with a 1 IP advantage
3) The winner of the Colombia coups has big advantage in SA
4) US is slightly ahead if coups leave Colombia at 0.

It's sort of a high-volatility move, isn't it?  I think it's worth doing if you hold, say, Containment or RS/P, and obviously if you know the USSR has De-Stal. 

The other way of thinking of it: if you don't do it, then 50% chance USSR just locks up SA absolutely and 50% chance US has moderate Mid War advantage.  If you do do it, it's like 45% USSR has the advantage, 45% US has the advantage, and 5% no one has SA but US got some Mil Ops.  (However, in the latter scenario, the US hold is a bit more tenuous because the USSR has battleground coups, especially useful if they otherwise would run out of Early War targets.)
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Tbody

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2013, 10:52:30 am »
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Thank you Riku and Theory for your input.  Very interesting, I've never really thought of it before.  I think this idea has a lot of merit if your hold card is RSP/Containment.  The MilOps component could be worth 2-4 VP's right there.  Should be something to try with on WGR.
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SnowFire

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2013, 08:15:00 pm »
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I'm not sure it's accurate to say that the US has a 1 IP "advantage."  Spending 1 ops to place 1 in Colombia gives 1 influence (just like anywhere).  Spending the same 1 op to coup Colombia - always allowed - gives ~2.5 influence, on average.  The USSR starts first with their coup, so they have the advantage.

I'm tentatively willing to try the Colombia play - IF there will be some good BG coup in compensation.  Basically, if I'm the US, and the USSR spends a 2 ops on AR1 and rolls well (say a 5-> 0/4), I want to be able to coup a Decol'd Angola in revenge.  A random Iran coup or the like isn't as helpful as giving up South America.  There's also the fact that ideally, it'd be nice if Panama was already at 2/0, so the USSR can't just walk in after a sequence like coup Colombia->coup Angola-> USSR places influence.
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theory

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2013, 09:20:25 am »
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I'm not sure it's accurate to say that the US has a 1 IP "advantage."  Spending 1 ops to place 1 in Colombia gives 1 influence (just like anywhere).  Spending the same 1 op to coup Colombia - always allowed - gives ~2.5 influence, on average.  The USSR starts first with their coup, so they have the advantage.

I think what Riku and I meant is that if you roll exactly the same and use exactly the same Ops for couping, the US will prevail because it started with an influence.
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the_scotsman

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Re: US expanding into South and Central America
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2013, 01:32:55 am »
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I like the idea of early expansion into Columbia as US if possible. I also am tossing around the idea of shoring up  influence in Panama to reduce the likelyhood of a total removal of influence with a lucky coup (boosting it to a 3 or 4 is an expensive investment but might be worth it if it stops the US from getting booted out of CA or SA). Personally, as the USSR I will gladly coup US out of Panama whenever possible with a high card and sit there until I get Destalinization. This tends to be very bad for the US until at least turn 5 or 6 (depending upon luck of course).

The points about a USSR op advantage are well taken but there are downsides to the USSR counter-couping Columbia. The most minor of these is that it gives the US an option to rack up some Op points (big deal) but more importantly I think, it distracts the Soviet Union from throwing big cards that it needs to spend elsewhere in the early war (I would most likely NOT use the China Card as the USSR to this end by the way). Frankly I think some US attention to this issue may be one of the few counters at the US's deposal if it faces a devastating combo from USSR (which would be destalinization, decolonization x 2, purge, vietnam revolts and suez; I have been subjected to this without the usual beginner level counters the last 5 US games in a row...followed by turn 4/5 scoring of SA, CA and Africa in 3 of these games...brutal).

To me, a key assumption of this strategy (ie the necessity to expand into CA and SA) is that the US is faced with a USSR mid to early game steam rolling that it will be hard pressed to stop. If the US already has all the good USSR cards and can bury them in an intelligent manner, the need to expand into Columbia becomes a non-issue and I WOULD recommend against it (instead I would recommend shoring up Panama and putting a protective influence into Costa Rica).  I think a dedicated thread to countering the "worst case" scenario as US in the Early War would make for interesting discussion and is relevant to this thread as well.
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