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Author Topic: A big US Win before Turn 8  (Read 9419 times)

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gringohairpiece

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A big US Win before Turn 8
« on: April 17, 2013, 05:21:23 am »
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Hi,

this is my first attempt at a game report so please bear with me while I work out a suitable format. This was a game played on VASSAL between myself and my good friend Ivan. We have played  approximately 30 games on VASSAL and 1 face to face (I am in the UK, he is in Australia). We still consider ourselves fairly inexperienced, although our play has definitely improved. We take it in turns to alternate play and are both gradually getting better at playing the US.

We would like some constructive thoughts on this game, highlighting good and poor play so that we can both improve. We are both interested to learn what you think the USSR did wrong during this game and see if it matches our thoughts. Obviously any bad play by the US would good too! I played the US and so will post from that perspective. However, we always keep a log file so we are able to list both hands before each turn. We are currently playing with +2 to the US as we found the Russian's won the majority of the time without. We will be reviewing this after another 10 or so games.

Assume the card is played for Ops unless otherwise stated.

Setup
USSR: 3 Poland, 1 Austria, 1 Yugoslavia, 1 Bulgaria
US: 4 West Germany, 2 Italy, 1 Turkey, additional point to Italy and Iran

USSR hand:
3 (USSR) Comecon
3 (US) Duck and Cover
2 (USSR) Arab Isreali War
3 (US) Norad
4 (US) Marshall Plan
4 (NEU) Red Scare
2 (USSR) Vietnam Revolts
0 (NEU) Europe Scoring
4 (NEU) China Card

US hand:
1 (USSR) Blockade
4 (US) US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact
3 (USSR) De-Stalinization
3 (USSR) Suez Crisis
1 (US) CIA Created
3 (US) Five Year Plan
2 (NEU) Olympic Games
0 (NEU) Asia Scoring


Eventually decided to risk blockade as I had two Russian 3 ops cards although I don't like discarding De-Stal early, so went for my standard US setup which allows an alternative route back into the Middle East if Suez and Coup evict me. Was puzzled by the USSR setup, certainly not one that he had tried before, and very vulnerable to East European Unrest even though he had the Europe Scoring card.

Headline
USSR: Europe Scoring: Zero sum gain
US: CIA Created: After wandering around the board, Turkey, Philippines, Egypt  I decided to put a point in Iraq which turned out to be a very sensible move.

I often h\l CIA now because we are less likely to DEFCON suicide these days and it's always nice to play ops\coup in the H\L. I thought the headlining of Europe scoring was decidedly odd as it immediately takes the pressure off the US in one of the regions. It led me to suspect, incorrectly, that he also had ME scoring. I think this initial headline, although not calamitous on it's own laid the seeds for the US victory.

Action Round 1
USSR: Red Scare Purge Couped Iran. Rolled 3 so US influence to 0, USSR influence to 1. DEFCON 4

Personally I would have saved this for a headline once Defectors location is known, might even have taken a gamble with H\L it this turn. Certainly would have made the turn a lot harder for me if he had H\L it.

US: US\Japan Mutual Couped Iran. Rolled 3 so USSR influence to 0, US influence to 2. DEFCON 3

Obvious play on a weak Russian coup.

Action Round 2
USSR: Marshall Plan Couped Iran. Rolled a 2. US influence to 0. DEFCON 3

US: Turkey to 2, Greece to 1, Canada to 3, Spain\Portugal to 1, Itay to 4, West Germany to 5, Austria to 1

I never use Marshall Plan to coup unless Europe is already settled. I think this was a bad move as it allowed me to strengthen in Europe. I usually play it as the Russian and try and take 2 of the Southern European 2 stability countries.

US: 5 Year plan Iran to 2, Malaysia to 1.

The CIA Created influence really paid for itself here. Still thought he had Middle East scoring so wanted to prop up there and move towards Thailand.

Action Round 3
USSR: Comecon Saudi Arabia to 3

He obviously thought I had Middle East too. Thus not heading for Thailand with Vietnam Revolts. I would have taken Iraq myself.

US: Suez Crisis Thailand to 1, Egypt to 1, Afghanistan to 1.

USSR: Israel to 0, UK to 3

Not my greatest play. Wasn't overly concerned about Europe as scoring had come out but should have claimed Thailand instead of point in Afghanistan. Egypt point was to allow me to take Libya, although in hindsight would have been wasted if he had Nasser.

Action Round 4
USSR: Vietnam Revolts for the event. Vietnam to 2

Possibly should have been played earlier but then he was obviously concerned about ME Scoring

US: Olympic Games Thailand to 3

I should point out at that here I had a moment of madness and scored Asia because i thought we were even.  :o Ivan very kindly let me rollback the play. We tend to allow the undo on Vassal of obvious, stupid mistakes although not if it leads to ThermoNuclear war. I know this was probably his biggest mistake  ;) but I applaud his sporting behaviour. Also he now knew I had Asia Scoring !

Action Round 5
USSR: Arab-Israeli War Afghanistan to 1 (equalling US influence), Laos\Cambodia to 1.

I guess this was to move towards Western Asia. Did leave him vulnerable to me playing 2 ops in Afghanistan for a VP on Asia Scoring as obviously he didn't know what else I had in my hand. However, I would probably have played a similar move.

US: Asia Scoring No change in scoring.

Obviously took the opportunity to score Asia at no cost.

Action Round 6
USSR: Duck and Cover to space. VP to -2

interestingly this was the only turn in the game where the Soviets led.

US: Blockade Libya to 1 Discarded De-Stalinization

Realised at this point that whatever I did was unpalatable but in the discard pile (and the chance i would get it again) was infinitely better than the event occuring. Also decided it was wiser to strengthen my board position rather than going for the chance of 1 VP. Also got rid of Blockade for good too!

Here is the board at the end of the turn. Very pleased with my position and the points total after two scoring cards had been played.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 06:50:55 am by gringohairpiece »
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 06:10:45 am »
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Turn 2

USSR hand:
1 (US) Truman Doctrine
2 (USSR) Fidel
3 (US) Containment
3 (US) Norad
2 (USSR) Korean War
2 (NEU) Indo-Pakistani War
2 (US) Special relationship
2 (USSR)Cambridge Five

US hand:
3 (USSR) Socialist Govts
4 (NEU) Nuclear Test Ban
3 (US) East European Unrest
1 (NEU) UN Intervention
4 (US) NATO
2 (US) Formosan Resolution
3 (USSR) Warsaw Pact
1 (USSR) Romanian Abdication

Pretty pleased with that hand. Decent amount of ops and the chance to get rid of Warsaw Pact. Even Socialist Govts can be played under UN intervention. USSR hand pretty unpleasant but not insurmountable.

Headline
USSR: Cambridge Five
US: East European Unrest Poland to 2, East Germany to 2, Austria to 0

Solid USSR headline, unfortunately for him no scoring card. :) As for my headline didn't really have any choice and it makes him vulnerable in Europe. Also gives him a decision to make about couping or not!

Action Round 1 DEFCON raised to 3
USSR: Indo-Pakistani War East Germany to 3, Poland to 3

This gave me an idea that his hand wasn't all that ;) Especially as he gave up the coup but didn't overcontrol.

US: NATO couped Iraq. Rolled a 4 so USSR inf to 0 US inf to 2. DEFCON to 2

Obviously wanted to coup for MilOps but not many targets. Iraq seemed best chance and not a bad roll ;)

Action Round 2
USSR: Fidel Lebanon to 1 (Control), Israel to 1

As the USSR Ivan has an unhealthy fascination with Israel. Although on this occasion it lets him crawl towards Egypt, Libya. Might have been better to add them to Iraq though!

US: Nuclear Test Ban Pakistan to 2 (Control), Iraq to 3 (Control), Libya to 2 (Control)

This must have made him wince. Suddenly we have a very blue looking Middle East and Western Asia heading that way too! As the USSR I would be feeling pretty worried at this point.

Action Round 3
USSR: Korean War Egypt to 1, Syria to 2 (Control)

Not really much else he could do here.

US: Warsaw Pact Gulf States to 3 (Control)
USSR: Austria to 1, East Germany to 4, Poland to 4, Yugoslavia to 3 (Control)

So US now have ME domination and control of a country impervious to Muslim Revolution and Warsaw Pact is gone fairly painlessly. Happy days!

Action Round 4
USSR: NORAD Jordan to 2 (Control), Burma to 1

Spreading in South East Asia and breaking domination. Just have to hope I get Quagmire.

US: UN Intervention for the event. Socialist Governments. India to 3 (Control). Domination in Asia.


Action Round 5
USSR: China Card Pakistan to 4 (Control)

USSR breaks domination. Smart and obvious move. Annoyed that I hadn't overcontrolled it but US position is still very strong for the early war.

US: Formosan resolution Spain to 2 (control), Greece to 2 (control)

With Asia locked down for the time and the Middle East looking good. Decided to put pressure on in Europe and hoover up the low op countries.

Action Round 6
USSR: Special Relationship Egypt to 3 (control)

US: Romanian Abdication Colombia to 1.
USSR: Romania to 3 (Control)

Thought I would pile on pressure and make him decide what to do in AR1 regarding coup.

USSR gained no MilOps so VP back to 0.

Was very pleased with my activities this turn. It was obvious USSR was struggling with a very low ops hand but felt I had played mine pretty well to be in a good position.

Board at the end of Turn 2.

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BamBix

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 06:50:08 am »
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Great, I like reports :).
Good comments, well played. Even though you kind of give the result away in the title :P. I do wonder, though:
-Why not control Canada? Norad is out. Investing 1 IP now will give you a free IP next turn, and more in the future.
-Why take Gulf states in one go? ME domination is difficult to maintain (Libya and Iran look like prime coup targets), and you know he doesn't have ME scoring (Otherwise, why play Cambridge 5? Asia and Europe are out already). Overcontrolling Pakistan might have been better, and you can spent the rest of ops to fortify your position in Asia or ME. Still, this combines nicely with your play to Colombia. He really cannot afford to let you coup Egypt and claim ME.
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 06:57:07 am »
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Turn 3

USSR hand:
1 (US) Truman Doctrine
2 (USSR) Fidel
3 (US) Containment
2 (USSR) Decolonisation
2 (US)  Independent Reds
2 (US) Defectors
4 (US) NATO
1 (NEU) Captured Nazi Scientist

US hand:
4 (NEU) China Card
1 (USSR) Nasser
3 (USSR) De Gaulle Lead France
2 (USSR) Korean War
2 (US) Special Relationship
3 (USSR) De-Stalinisation
4 (NEU) Nuclear Test Ban
0 (NEU) Middle East Scoring
0 (NEU) Europe Scoring

Finally I get an unpleasant hand. Reasonable ops, although lots of red cards plus 2 scoring cards which is always a potential problem. Also a recurring theme was how many cards we both had more than once in the game. Glad i got De-Stal

Headline
USSR: Decolonization Burma to 2 (control), Indonesia to 1 (control), Zaire to 1 (control), South Africa to 1
US: Middle East Scoring Got rid of a scoring card and gained a VP. VP to +1

USSR obviously trying to setup South East Asia and Africa scoring.

Action Round 1
USSR: NATO Couped Iran. Rolled 2. US influence to 0 DEFCON to 2 NATO now in effect.

A solid play but an unlucky roll.

US: Nuclear Test Ban Iran to 2 (control), South Africa to 2, Venezuela to 1

Obvious move to retake Iran and push out from Colombia. Also didn't want to make South Africa easy for him.

Action Round 2
USSR: Fidel for the event. Cuba to 3 (Control)

Safe to play as CIA went ages ago. Obviously needs to try and build in the mid-war regions as the early war ones don't look good.

US: De Gaulle Leads France for the event USSR to 1. Played 3 ops in to France US to 3.

A standard play of the De Gaulle card for the US.

Action Round 3
USSR: Captured Nazi Scientist for the event.

I understand he wants the ability to space 2 cards but a really poorly timed play.

US: Special Relationship France to 4 (control), Canada to 4 (Control)

Well that's always nice, especially as I still have Europe scoring to play. Always nice to get NORAD up and running ;).

Action Round 4
USSR: Truman Doctrine for the event. Austria USSR inf to 0. South Africa to 2.

A pretty bad mistake, especially on top of the previous rounds play. Obviously eye taken off Europe with Africa on mind. He later admitted he had forgotten Europe scoring could return.

US: Europe Scoring 5Vp's to the US. VP to +6

A no-brainer. This really rattled the USSR and from here on in he was playing an almost impossible catch up. Well that's my belief, although happy to be corrected.

Action Round 5
USSR: Containment to space. Successful roll and 2 VP's. VP to +4

This was a panic move in my opinion, giving up 3 ops he could play pretty safely at the end of the turn for 2 VP's is not really wise. Again it's a case of not keeping pressure on the opponent.

US: De=Stalinization to space. Successful roll. 1 VP. VP's to +5

seemed like an opportune moment to ditch this effectively killing it for good as by the time it would come out again most useful countries will be controlled.

Action Round 6
USSR: Defectors for the event. 1 VP to US. VP to +6. Algeria to 2 (control)

Now if you are going to space anything this would have been more sensible. Effectively wipes out half what he gained for Containment and for less Ops. I knew he was really flustered so decided to keep applying the pressure.

US: Nasser for the event. US influence to 0. USSR to 5 (control). Brazil to 1.

I didn't make MilOps so VP to +4

As good as time as any to rid myself of Nasser. Decided 1 point in Brazil to make it impossible for him to remove me from South America was more sensible than spending it on Egypt. Sadat was always out there for later to get Egypt back.


I think this turn really was the crucial one in the game. Psychologically it is very hard as the USSR to head into mid-war behind on points and it's a big boost to the US. As pointed out above their were some bad plays in this turn which cost him the game in the long run.

Board position at the end of the early war.

« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 07:06:34 am by gringohairpiece »
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 07:02:03 am »
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Great, I like reports :).
Good comments, well played. Even though you kind of give the result away in the title :P. I do wonder, though:
-Why not control Canada? Norad is out. Investing 1 IP now will give you a free IP next turn, and more in the future.
-Why take Gulf states in one go? ME domination is difficult to maintain (Libya and Iran look like prime coup targets), and you know he doesn't have ME scoring (Otherwise, why play Cambridge 5? Asia and Europe are out already). Overcontrolling Pakistan might have been better, and you can spent the rest of ops to fortify your position in Asia or ME. Still, this combines nicely with your play to Colombia. He really cannot afford to let you coup Egypt and claim ME.

Hi, some very valid points raised there. I totally agree that I should have overcontrolled Pakistan and one of the points from Gulf States would have been worth spending on it. Good point about the Cambridge 5 play and I obviously missed that one. Like I said we are still learning and trying to eliminate silly mistakes. I guess I was so excited at my position in the Middle East and wanted to makes sure I had one country that was impervious to Muslim Revolution but agree I should have taken it in two moves rather than 1.
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Chimista

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 08:18:00 am »
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Hi!

I few personal points of view:

- USSR setup: I normally setup Poland 4, East Germany 1, Yugoslavia 1, OR Poland 5 East Germany 1 if Im holding Truman and/or Independent reds. Investing in Eastern Europe non-Bg is too expensive and in my opinion it's a better strategy trying to steal France and the cheap mediterranean non Bg.

- US setup: Holding both Blockade and De-Stal I normally leave West Germany empty, so I can get rid of Blockade for free. I normally put 4 influence in Italy, 1 in France, 1 in Greece and 1 in Canada, so in case of a weird combo (Socialist Govs + Coup in Italy) I can invest in France to keep at least one BG. After getting rid of Blockade I can take Germany, but even if USSR achieves domination in Europe that's still better than risking De-Stal falling into the USSR's hands after T3 reshuffle.

- USSR HL: Europe Scoring is not so bad a HL if nothing else is available but holding RS/Purge, Vietnam Revolts and Arab-Israeli war? ??? Any of these three is a far better option.

- US HL: I prefer to save CIA and play it for the ops hoping that it will come back to USSR hand after T3 and become a big issue for him. CIA T1 HL provides a small advantage, it's true, but I'd rather play 1ip in Afghanistan or Pakistan, making sure I have access to Western Asia. (By the way, given your comments about DEFCON and CIA I'm not sure if you fully understand how this card works, check http://twilightstrategy.com/2012/03/26/cia-created/ in case of any doubts)

- T1 Hand management: Most of the T1 playing showed is quite standard. I normally play Vietnam Revolts event in the HL, to take advantage of the +1op which can totally make a difference to take over SE Asia. I would have saved it for T2 HL, playing it in the middle of a turn is sub-optimal (It didn't make a big difference here, since US fortified Thailand anyway). Another option could have been playing it for ops in South Korea or Afghanistan and saving Duck and Cover in order to take over South Korea or Pakistan in T2 AR1 while lowering DEFCON at the same time.

That's all for now, thanks for providing the chance to debate, the forum is a little slow lately!

See you in wargameroom.com for an online game!


« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 08:27:27 am by Chimista »
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BamBix

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 08:49:17 am »
+1

What is USSR doing with that Decol?
All 4 ops are not bad, but far from optimal. I would've at least put 1 in Angola (block SA expansion!), Nigeria and Thailand.
The last one then can be in Burma,SA, Indonesia or Zaire.

USSR spacing is weird. I wouldn't have spaced anything, maybe independent reds, but not after Europe scoring had been played. Defectors' 1VP is not that important. Containment is fine to play on AR6, much better than if it ever ends up in the US hand.

Also, I would say it's weird that USSR has not played into SK yet. Easy prey for USSR as Korean war has to return and Japan is not yet taken, so it's very risky for US to fight back.
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 09:00:13 am »
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Turn 4

USSR hand:
1 (USSR) Allende
4 (USSR) Flower Power
2 (NEU) Missile Envy
3 (USSR) Cultural Revolution
2 (US) Colonial Rear Guards
3 (US) East European Unrest
2 (NEU) Latin American Death Squads
2 (US) Independent Reds
2 (US) Formosan Resolution

US hand:
4 (NEU) China Card
2 (USSR) Korean War
2 (USSR) Cambridge Five
3 (US) Ussuri River Skirmish
2 (NEU) Indo-Pakistani War
2 (US) Grain Sales to Soviets
2 (USSR) Portuguese Empire Crumbles
1 (US) Panama Canal Returned
1 (US) OAS Founded
3 (US) Ask Not What Your Country...

A pretty decent hand for the Soviets. Most of the US events are manageable and reasonable ops total. Same for the US although obviously i would rather he had the 1 op US events ;)

Headline
USSR: Allende Chile to 2
US: Grain Sales I drew Colonial Rearguards. Played Grain Sales for 2 ops. Couped Zaire. Rolled 3. USSR inf to 0. US inf to 2. DEFCON to 2

My favourite headline as the US as it gives so much flexibility and it has no downsides. After a lot of thought, probably too much ;), I gave Colonial back as it is such a nasty card for the USSR to deal with and I wanted to coup to protect what I had. and possibly gain VP's as well.

Action Round 1
USSR: Flower Power Israel to 4, South Korea to 1.

Ivan's obsession with Israel continues :) I personally wouldn't have spent 3 points here but I guess he had a pressing need for a BG. South Korea puts some pressure on me.

US: Ask Not South Korea to 2, South Africa to 4

Really not a great play. Should have done one thing or another rather than splitting between the two. As I had Korean War I should have taken South Korea and spaced it.

Action Round 2
USSR: Missile Envy for the event. Grabbed Ussuri River Skirmish. Chile to 3 (control), Argentina to 2 (control)

Gah! Always a risky play at DEFCON 2 but it paid off and how! I had plans for Ussuri, especially with the China card in my hand. Sensibly takes two outh American BG's to protect against realignments. Doubly great to be able to do it with one of my best cards.

US: Missile Envy Brazil to 2 (control), South Africa to 5 (control).

This at least makes my previous play a little better as I get South Africa and so far Ivan has been distracted from South Korea.

Action Round 3
USSR: Latin America death Squads. Realignment attempt in Zaire. Failed Realignment attempt Zaire. Succeeded US inf to 0

I thought this was a strange use of the card. He had targets in South America and Central America where he would have benefited from the card's event. Obviously he felt Africa was more pressing. I would have spent the points expanding out of South Africa myself rather than risking a realignment that wasn't properly set up.

US: Panama Canal Returned for the event. Costa Rica to 1, Panama to 2 (control), Venezuela to 2 (control)

I like this card and it was a good time to play it. Gaining 2 BG's instead of 1 op is always nice :)

Action Round 4
USSR: Cultural Revolution for the event. China Card to the USSR

double gah! losing the China Card on top of Ussuri was a real blow in this turn. Tried to not let it phase me but was kicking myself although to be fair not much I could do about it.

US: Indo-Pakistani War for the event. Failed

Couldn't have been a more favourable board position for a win. Poxy 2 rolled. Started to wonder if luck was finally turning to the USSR.

Action Round 5
USSR: Formosan Resolution for the event. Taiwan becomes BG for next scoring. Couped Colombia and rolls 1. US inf to 0.

Unlucky dice roll for the USSR but at least they get MilOps.

US: Portuguese Empire Crumbles for the event. Angola USSR inf to 2 (control), SE African States to 2 (control). Realignment in Angola. Failed. Realignment in Angola. Success. USSR influnece reduced to 0.

Sub-optimal play but I wanted to keep him from building up in Africa. Probably should have spaced this but I am not a fan of the space race and like to try and repair damage as much as possible.

Action Round 6
USSR: China Card. South Korea to 5 (control), Afghanistan to 2.

Sound play and USSR now have domination to counter mine in Europe. Everywhere else is balanced. I should have overcontrolled earlier :(

US: Cambridge Five Event null. South Korea to 3. (USSR control broken).

At this point I assumed he had Asian scoring, especially as so much of his focus had been there this turn. Broke control to stop a domination scoring.

Action Round 7
USSR: Independent Reds for the event. Yugoslavia US inf to 3. (Control broken). South Korea to 7 (control)

bugger so he didn't have it! Sensible overcontrol to stop me meddling again.

US: Korean War North Korea US inf to 1 (USSR control broken)
USSR: win. South Korea US inf to 0, USSR inf to 10. VP down to +2.

Not my finest hour! At least I gave him a headache with North Korea for the nest turn. South Korea looks like it's staying red for the rest of the game!

Some good play in Asia by Ivan and some dumb play by me. I was feeling a bit of pressure now as the tide seemed to be turning but at least I had a secure domination of Europe to fall back on and everywhere else I had at least one BG.

Board at the end of turn 4.

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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 09:06:33 am »
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Hi!

I few personal points of view:

- USSR setup: I normally setup Poland 4, East Germany 1, Yugoslavia 1, OR Poland 5 East Germany 1 if Im holding Truman and/or Independent reds. Investing in Eastern Europe non-Bg is too expensive and in my opinion it's a better strategy trying to steal France and the cheap mediterranean non Bg.

- US setup: Holding both Blockade and De-Stal I normally leave West Germany empty, so I can get rid of Blockade for free. I normally put 4 influence in Italy, 1 in France, 1 in Greece and 1 in Canada, so in case of a weird combo (Socialist Govs + Coup in Italy) I can invest in France to keep at least one BG. After getting rid of Blockade I can take Germany, but even if USSR achieves domination in Europe that's still better than risking De-Stal falling into the USSR's hands after T3 reshuffle.

- USSR HL: Europe Scoring is not so bad a HL if nothing else is available but holding RS/Purge, Vietnam Revolts and Arab-Israeli war? ??? Any of these three is a far better option.

- US HL: I prefer to save CIA and play it for the ops hoping that it will come back to USSR hand after T3 and become a big issue for him. CIA T1 HL provides a small advantage, it's true, but I'd rather play 1ip in Afghanistan or Pakistan, making sure I have access to Western Asia. (By the way, given your comments about DEFCON and CIA I'm not sure if you fully understand how this card works, check http://twilightstrategy.com/2012/03/26/cia-created/ in case of any doubts)

- T1 Hand management: Most of the T1 playing showed is quite standard. I normally play Vietnam Revolts event in the HL, to take advantage of the +1op which can totally make a difference to take over SE Asia. I would have saved it for T2 HL, playing it in the middle of a turn is sub-optimal (It didn't make a big difference here, since US fortified Thailand anyway). Another option could have been playing it for ops in South Korea or Afghanistan and saving Duck and Cover in order to take over South Korea or Pakistan in T2 AR1 while lowering DEFCON at the same time.

That's all for now, thanks for providing the chance to debate, the forum is a little slow lately!

See you in wargameroom.com for an online game!

Hi, not sure what you mean about CIA. I know very well how the card works ;) We fell foul of it a few times in early games but have become better at hand management since then. I have tried the 0 inf in WGER trick a couple of times but ended up in an unpleasant influence war without Truman Doctrine to remove it. However, there is a lot of sense in your inf placement to counter the 0 in WGER and I may well try that instead the next time the situation arises.

I agree my play of De-Stal was risky and I was fortunate to get it again.
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 09:09:21 am »
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What is USSR doing with that Decol?
All 4 ops are not bad, but far from optimal. I would've at least put 1 in Angola (block SA expansion!), Nigeria and Thailand.
The last one then can be in Burma,SA, Indonesia or Zaire.

USSR spacing is weird. I wouldn't have spaced anything, maybe independent reds, but not after Europe scoring had been played. Defectors' 1VP is not that important. Containment is fine to play on AR6, much better than if it ever ends up in the US hand.

Also, I would say it's weird that USSR has not played into SK yet. Easy prey for USSR as Korean war has to return and Japan is not yet taken, so it's very risky for US to fight back.

I totally agree. I try and avoid spacing as much as possible and certainly wouldn't have spaced any of the cards. However, if I was to space one of that hand it would have been Defectors rather than Containment which as I said played turn 6 is usually 3 relatively safe ops for the USSR.

Again, I agree that the DeCol points weren't best played. I understand that SE Asia needed to be covered but it only scores once, whereas Africa scores twice at the very least.
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 10:02:48 am »
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Turn 5 DEFCON 3 VP +2

USSR hand:
1 (NEU) Summit
2 (US) John Paul II Elected Pope
2 (US) The Voice of America
2 (US) Puppet Governments
2 (US) Colonial Rear Guards
3 (US) East European Unrest
0 (NEU) South America Scoring
2 (USSR) South African Unrest
2 (US) Camp David Accords

US hand:
1 (US) OAS Founded
1 (USSR) Lone Gunman
3 (US) Shuttle Diplomacy
2 (USSR) Willy Brandt
4 (NEU) Red Scare\Purge
1 (US) Sadat Expels the Soviets
3 (NEU) Salt Negotiations
3 (NEU) Cuban Missile Crisis
3 (USSR) Socialist Govts

A truly awful hand for the Soviets. Nearly all blue and not great ops points either. Meanwhile the US hand shows some promise ;)

Headline
USSR: South African Unrest South Arica to 3 (control broken), Angola to 1 (control), Botswana to 1
US: Red Scare\Purge

Always nice to Purge! Nothing wrong with the USSR headline although I might have taken Botswana to setup realignment of SA.

Action Round 1
USSR: Summit North Korea to 4 (control)

US: Shuttle Diplomacy. Coup Argentina. Crap roll, Failed. MilOps to 3, DEFCON to 2. Yay for Norad, guess where that point goes ;) North Korea to 2 (control broken)

The fact he played Summit instead of overcontrolling North Korea alerted me to his low ops hand. Wanted to degrade defcon and deny him MilOps first. Unlucky roll in Argentina. But I knew now that I could push him in North Korea.

Action Round 2
USSR: Puppet Governments. North Korea to 5 (control)
US: Zaire to 1 (control), Nigeria to 1 (control), Zimbabwe to 1 (control)

I think that this was a wasted point by USSR. Should have given up on North Korea and concentrated on South America as he has the scoring card. Also would make me think as well. He can't win an ops battle with that poor hand. Africa looking better for the US:)

US: Cuban Missile Crisis. North Korea to 4. (Control broken)

Now I know I could have used this in conjunction with SALT to increase DEFCON while freezing him from coups (unless he gives up Cuba). However, as the coup in Argentina had failed I decided to go all out for North Korea via ops. To be perfectly honest I had also miscounted my cards and was worried about having to play Lone Gunman and lose the game (I had forgotten SALT would give me an extra card) as I had lost to this in the previous game as the US when he had played Terrorism on me and left me with too few cards. Anyway I knew he couldn't fight me for this.

Action Round 3
USSR: Camp David Accords for the event. Israel, Jordan, Egypt US inf all at 1 VP now at +3. (Control broken in all three). North Korea to 6

Again this would have been better spent elsewhere. North Korea was a lost cause.

US: Willy Brandt for the event. USSR gain 1 inf in West Germany to 1 and 1 VP. VP now at +2. North Korea to 6.

I was comfortable that my position in Europe was safe and my mission to get North Korea to cancel out South Korea became a bit of an obsession. However, I was also making him play US events that were turning the tides elsewhere too.

Action Round 4
USSR: Pope John Paul for the event. Then 1 inf back in Poland. Now at 1 inf US, 3 inf USSR

Finally gives up on North Korea when it is too late. Sensible to add a point to Poland.

US: SALT Negotiations. North Korea to 9. (control)

Asia domination broken. Now I know I could have used the China Card and kept hold of this. But I had noticed in the previous turn that Ivan hadn't learnt from my mistake with Pakistan and that I could take it with the China card. Thus I get two Asian battlegrounds, one scoring an additional VP. So it seemed a decent play in the end. Possibly wouldn't have looked as good if he had done something in South America.

Action Round 5
USSR: East European Unrest to space. Succeeds Man in Earth Orbit.

Hmm he can see my headline. Not good!

US: Socialist Goverments to space. Success, Animal in Space.

Seemed a good time to get rid of this as it would have been a null action round anyway so a chance to close up on the space race seemed sensible.

Action Round 6
USSR: Colonial Rearguards. Afghanistan to 3 (control)
US: Philippines to 2 (control), Malaysia to 2 (control), South Africa to 6 (control), Angola to 1 (control broken)

South East Asia Scoring neutralised. Africa now a US domination. Not really sure what I would have played with the point in Ivan's shoes. Things are starting to look a little bleak for the USSR again.

US: OAS Founded. Angola to 2 (control)

I decided to put it in the discard to see if he would get it after the reshuffle.

Action Round 7
USSR: South American scoring. no change to VP. VP at +2

US: Sadat Expels Soviets. USSR inf -5 to 0, US inf to 2 (control)

He failed on MilOps so VP to +4

thoroughly enjoyed playing this on turn 7 especially as it gave me domination in the Middle East. Obviously even sweeter as his play of Camp David at set up the takeover.

I was a lot happier after this turn and new that, barring brainfade, the game would be a US victory from now. He really had an awful hand but I still think it could have been played better rather than dashing points on the rockuy shores of North Korea.

Board at the end of Turn 5

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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2013, 10:55:00 am »
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Turn 6 DEFCON 3 VP +4

USSR hand:
2 (US) The Voice of America
0 (NEU) Africa Scoring
0 (NEU) Central America Scoring
0 (NEU) South East Asia Scoring
3 (US) Alliance For Progress
3 (NEU) Brush War
4 (USSR) Muslim Revolution
3 (USSR) OPEC
2 (US) Nixon Plays the China Card

US hand:
4 (NEU) China Card
1 (USSR) Lone Gunman
2 (NEU) Junta
2 (US) Nuclear Subs
3 (USSR) Che
1 (NEU) UN Intervention
3 (USSR) U2 Incident
2 (USSR) Liberation Theology
3 (USSR) Brezhnev Doctrine
1 (US) Kitchen Debates

Soviets get some good cards and ops but 3 scoring cards at this stage is really cruel. Happy with my hand as I know most of the cards can be dealt with creatively.

Headline
USSR: Brush War Venezuela. Failed
US: Junta 2 inf into Chile. Couped Argentina, success. USSR inf to 0, US inf to 2 (control). DEFCON to 2.

I don't understand why he played Brush War when he did, especially as he didn't know where Defectors was. He should have set up an opportunity to play it with more success. Failing that at least choose somewhere where he had to score. I would have headlined one of the scoring cards.

As for my headline, another great card and destabilising Chile then successfully couping Argentina was nice, especially after the previous failed attemp. More importantly I had denied him the coup yet again although Brush War meant he got his ops and the free coup meant I didn't get mine.

Action Round 1
USSR: Muslim Revolution. Iraq reduced to 0, Iran reduced to 0. Domination in Middle East broken.

I would have gone for Egypt and Libya as it would have taken me a turn longer to get back. I would also have headlined this and then used AR1 to capture them.

US: Che Iran to 2 (control), Iraq to 1. Domination in Middle East
USSR: Coup Zimbabwe success. US inf to 0, USSR inf to 4 (control) domination in Africa broken. Coup Costa Rica. Failed.

I thought this was a reasonable gamble as i only had 2 non-battlegrounds he could target. Especially as it gave me back domination in the Middle East.

Action Round 2
USSR: Opec. Poland to 4 (control), Bulgaria to 3 (control)

Shame I couldn't take advantage of Poland but I think the points in Bulgaria were wasted. He was never going to catch up my country count in Europe. Those two points could have been used in Africa or Central America where he was yet to score.

US: UN Intervention on Lone Gunman Iraq to 2.

Always a relief to get rid of that card.

Action Round 3
USSR: Nixon Plays for event. 2 VPs to US. VP +6. Denmark to 1, Israel to 5 (control) breaks Domination in the Middle East.

Again I don't understand the point into Denmark. The country count is 7 to 4 so it makes little sense when he has Africa and Central America in his hand.

US: U2 Incident for event. +1 VP to USSR. VP at +5. Cameroon to 1 (control), domination in Africa, Iraq to 3 (Control), domination in Middle East, Costa Rica to 2.

Cameroon gives me domination and more importantly protects my battlegrounds from realignment. Iraq piles pressure on the Middle East and Costa Rica because I knew Central America was still out there too and it gives me a safe non-BG.

Action Round 4
USSR: Alliance for Progress. for event. 4 Vp's to US. VP +9. Jordan to 3 (control) breaks domination, Botswana to 2 (control), Saharan States to 1 (control) breaks Africa domination.

Difficult choice to make as board position and VP's not looking good. I guess space is not really a choice at this stage.

US: Kitchen Debates. Coup Saharan States. Failed.

Lousy dice throw. Was trying to stop his spread down into Africa.

Action Round 5
USSR: South East Asian Scoring. No change in score. VP +9

The fact that he played it now with two rounds to go and Africa in the mix made me suspect he had two more scoring cards. Playing one in the headline would have given him one more action round to spread them round. With that in mind...

US: Nuclear Subs. Couped Saharan States success

Another lousy roll (1) meant he was just emptied out. However it meant Africa was now dominated again.

Action Round 6

USSR: Central America Scoring. +1 VP to USSR. VP to +8

This should have been the headline. He would have gained a VP and given himself one more action round of activity. I was now absolutely certain he had Africa scoring so...

US: Brezhnev Doctrine no event. Couped Botswana. Success. USSR inf to 0, US inf to 1.

This was probably a wasted move but I wanted to protect my BG's from any realignment threat.

Action Round 7
USSR: Africa Scoring. +6 VPs to US. VP +14.

Surprise, surprise. A very costly play for the USSR. He should have used the opportunity to realign me out of places earlier in the turn especially as the other two scoring cards were 0 and +1 to him.

US: Liberation Theology to space. Success. Man in Space.

A great turn for the US although I think USSR could have played his hand better I know that sick feeling when you see three scoring cards.

Board position at the end of Turn 6

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BamBix

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2013, 11:37:39 am »
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(I'm just thinking up different strategies, this is not intended as criticism)
Hmm, when you suspect he has two scoring cards left, why not attack Algeria with Nuclear subs? You can count which scoring cards are left. If he retakes Algeria, you can take Mexico and Costa Rica for domination in CA. If he responds with something else, use the ops from Brehznev to take over Algeria.
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 11:47:55 am »
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Turn 7 DEFCON 3 VP +14

USSR hand:
2 (NEU) One Small Step
0 (NEU) Middle East Scoring
0 (NEU) Europe Scoring
3 (US) Our Man in Tehran
2 (NEU) Indo-Pakistan War
2 (USSR) Decolonisation
2 (US) The Voice of America,
4 (NEU) ABM Treaty
3 (NEU) Arms Race

US hand:
4 (NEU) China Card
2 (NEU) How I Learned
3 (USSR) Quagmire
3 (US) Beartrap
4 (USSR) We Will Bury You
2 (NEU) Junta
1 (NEU) UN Intervention
3 (US) Ask Not What Your
2 (US) Grain Sales to Soviets
2 (USSR) Cambridge Five

Another reasonable hand for the USSR for cards and ops but again 2 scoring cards seems a little harsh. Very happy with the US hand. Also see what I mean about recurring cards. Junta, Grain Sales, Ask Not Cambridge Five all back for a 2nd turn and UN Intervention for the 3rd time.

Headline
USSR: Indo-Pakistani War. Pakistan invades India successfully. Domination to USSR. +2VPs and MilOps. VP +12
US: Grain Sales to Soviets. Landed Voice of America. Play Grain Sales for Ops and Coup Algeria with a 6. USSR inf to 0. US inf to 2 (control) Africa Control.

Great result for USSR on the war but this is why I had held China Card. He still hadn't overcontrolled Pakistan despite getting it for that very reason. As for my headline VoA was a tempting play and reducing his hand size without the China card. But I wanted a coup and the MilOps gain to keep the pressure on.

Action Round 1
USSR: ABM Treaty. Coup Libya, rolls a 1 so US inf to 1.
US: Yay! for NORAD. I was able to put one into Pakistan breaking control.

A very unfortunate roll although by choosing Libya he was banking on rolling enough to take it. Might have been more sensible to target Egypt or Iran where he could get back in.

US: UN Intervention We Will Bury you. Pakistan to 6 (control) domination broken. Libya to 2 (control)

The irony of using UN on WE Will Bury You was delicious. As was the fact that NORAD allowed me to keep hold of the China Card.

Action Round 2
USSR: One Small Step Denmark to 3 (control)

Again he was never going to get the country count up enough. Might have been better to break control in a country in Europe instead?

US: Junta Peru to 2 (control). Realignment in Chile. Success USSR inf to 0. Realignment in Cuba. Failed

A perfect setup for a realignment and the extra point from taking Peru was enough to clear the USSR out.

Action Round 3
USSR: Decolonization.  Algeria to 1 (control broken) Zaire to 1 (control broken), Angola to 2 (control broken), Nigeria to 1 (control broken) Domination broken.

A much better play of Decol this turn although the damage was widespread it was deep enough to worry me too much.

US: Bear Trap for the event.

The thinking here was it might buy me two turns, one to patch Africa and one to space Quagmire to keep NORAD in play.

Action Round 4
USSR: Discards Voice of America and escapes Bear Trap

In hindsight it was a bit of a waste. Is should have remembered he had VoA from the headline of Grain Sales. Oh well it wasn't a move to cost me the battle at this stage but still not a great play.

US: Ask Not... Nigeria to 2 (control), Algeria to 3 (control), Angola to 3 (control). Domination restored.

Fairly obvious play to patch up as much as could. Not sure why I didn't use the China Card. Probably thought it was not worth it with South America already controlled.

Action Round 5
USSR: Arms Race for the event. +3 VP to USSR. VP +9

sneaky git :)

US: Cambridge 5. No event. Chile to 3 (control), Control in South America, Zaire to 2 (control) Control in Africa

Again no scoring cards so Cambridge 5 nullified. Seemed sensible to take control in two continents.

Action Round 6
USSR: Middle East Scoring. +2 VP's to the US. VP +11

Again I now knew he had one more scoring card. I never leave all scoring cards to the end as it is predictable, and effectively lets the opposition know he has a number of turns unopposed.

US: How I Learned. UK to 5 (control)

I sometimes use this to play around with DEFCON on my last turn to score some cheap VP's but as he had fulfilled MilOps seemed little point. I suppose I could have raised it one and couped in the last turn but there were no obvious targets. Decided to bolster UK in case Special Relationship came out again so he couldn't play it for free.

Action Round 7
USSR: Europe Scoring. +5 VP's to US. VP + 16

US: Quagmire to space. Success. Man in Earth Orbit

NORAD now safe for the rest of the game. No more headline spying by the Soviets.

Not much to say about this turn as I am not sure how it could have been played better from a US perspective. As for the USSR not really much they could do. However, I would have played Europe Scoring in the headline as it was not going to improve this turn and you never know it could be defected by the US :)

Board at Turn 7 end.

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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2013, 11:53:28 am »
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(I'm just thinking up different strategies, this is not intended as criticism)
Hmm, when you suspect he has two scoring cards left, why not attack Algeria with Nuclear subs? You can count which scoring cards are left. If he retakes Algeria, you can take Mexico and Costa Rica for domination in CA. If he responds with something else, use the ops from Brehznev to take over Algeria.

Criticism is fine ;) a) My skin is tough enough from other forums to not be bothered by it b) I posted this because I wanted to have my play reviewed. :)

That would have been a much nicer play. I think I was so focused on Domination and protecting from realignments I missed the opportunity to take control. Good call.
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2013, 12:03:03 pm »
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Turn 8 DEFCON 3 VP +16

USSR hand:
2 (US) Nuclear Subs
2 (USSR) Ortega Elected in Nicaragua
3 (USSR) Aldrich Ames Remix
3 (US) Our Man in Tehran
2 (US) Solidarity
2 (US) Colonial Rear Guards
2 (NEU) Iran-Iraq War
0 (NEU) Central America Scoring
0 (NEU) Africa Scoring

US hand:
4 (NEU) China Card
3 (NEU) Cuban Missile Crisis
0 (NEU) South America Scoring
3 (US) Ussuri River Skirmish
2 (USSR) Yuri and Samantha
2 (USSR) Latin American Debt Crisis
3 (USSR) Socialist Governements
3 (US) East European Unrest
3 (US) North Sea Oil
3 (USSR) Pershing Deployed

Two more scoring cards for the USSR. That is now 8 scoring cards in 4 consecutive turns (1, 3, 2, 2). Even without South America scoring I suspect the game would have ended this turn.

Headline
USSR: Aldritch Ames Remix A great headline and if only. Discards Ussuri River Skirmish.
US: South American Scoring +10 VPs to US. VP +26 ;)

I knew whatever he had in the headline couldn't touch enough of South America. Game Over.
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2013, 12:05:06 pm »
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So the big question is. Considering the hands the Soviets had (including a nightmare of scoring cards) could he have played more successfully and taken it to Final Scoring. We both made mistakes although his were more crucial. However, I think this was always going to be a US win. Thoughts?

I would also really appreciate any comments on any of our play, good or bad. :)
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Jack Rudd

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2013, 03:13:33 pm »
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When you pulled VoA from his hand with Grain Sales, why didn't you play it for a Coup? Comes to the same thing, and lowers his handsize by 1.
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2013, 04:13:47 pm »
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When you pulled VoA from his hand with Grain Sales, why didn't you play it for a Coup? Comes to the same thing, and lowers his handsize by 1.

A valid question and the only answer I can give is I hoped he would be forced to play it. Of course I then forgot it was in his hand and gave home the opportunity to discard it with Beartrap. We live and learn...hopefully  ;)

I find it fascinating that most of the comments have been directed at my play of the US despite the fact I won convincingly  :) Is this because most people agree with my analysis of the soviet play or because they agree it was a lost cause from early on? Don't get me wrong I am more than happy to read about how to improve my play but the post was originally made to try and understand what the soviet player could have done
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theory

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2013, 04:37:24 pm »
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I definitely think on Turn 1 at least, I would have headlined RS/P or AI War.  It is pretty unlikely that the US is going to be able to secure dom before he has a chance to jettison it.  That being said, it does let him 4Op coup, and I think his 4Op coup with MP was fine given that he just scored Euro.

Saudi Arabia seems like an overreaction.  Either Afghanistan or Vietnam Revolts would be more aggressive.  At worst you can just take Lebanon if you are scared of losing presence.
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BamBix

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2013, 04:38:21 am »
+2

I find it fascinating that most of the comments have been directed at my play of the US despite the fact I won convincingly  :) Is this because most people agree with my analysis of the soviet play or because they agree it was a lost cause from early on? Don't get me wrong I am more than happy to read about how to improve my play but the post was originally made to try and understand what the soviet player could have done

While I can't speak for everyone, I would say it's a bit of both. Your analysis is seems to be okay and the fact that he got so many scoring cards made it difficult anyway.

Some general comments on USSR play:
-If you can't get the Mediterranean countries, don't bother with fighting domination in Europe. It's not worth it. Bulgaria and Denmark? 6 ops that could have been spend fighting in Africa.
-Israel, same story. If you're low on ops, don't bother. The cost/benefit is simply too high.
-Muslim revolutions, very strong, but you need to follow it up or your opponent will simply fill the area. Unless you have another focus area?
-Africa can be high-scoring, but again, you need a plan. Simply filling up 1-stab junk is not going to help you much. Fight for realigns in the south, USSR has a lot of happy events that can help there.
-In general, pick your battles. Fighting uphill ops wars in areas that are simply too high-cost will end you, especially if you get crappy hands. Focus on one area at a time. Sometimes you have to take the loss and move on.


Also, why is this a steamroller? With that title I would've expected an earlier US victory than turn 8 ;).
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 04:41:20 am by BamBix »
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2013, 06:52:41 am »
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Quote
Also, why is this a steamroller? With that title I would've expected an earlier US victory than turn 8 ;).

:) probably a fair point although the US did have good positions in most areas long before the end of the game
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A rare US Steamroller
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2013, 06:54:46 am »
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Quote

Some general comments on USSR play:
-If you can't get the Mediterranean countries, don't bother with fighting domination in Europe. It's not worth it. Bulgaria and Denmark? 6 ops that could have been spend fighting in Africa.
-Israel, same story. If you're low on ops, don't bother. The cost/benefit is simply too high.
-Muslim revolutions, very strong, but you need to follow it up or your opponent will simply fill the area. Unless you have another focus area?
-Africa can be high-scoring, but again, you need a plan. Simply filling up 1-stab junk is not going to help you much. Fight for realigns in the south, USSR has a lot of happy events that can help there.
-In general, pick your battles. Fighting uphill ops wars in areas that are simply too high-cost will end you, especially if you get crappy hands. Focus on one area at a time. Sometimes you have to take the loss and move on.

These are all very valid points. Some reiterate points I tried to make in my analysis but they are worth reiterating.
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SnowFire

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Re: A big US Win before Turn 8
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2013, 12:03:14 pm »
+1

Various things I'd have done differently, and most people have already brought this element up, but the thing that most stands out:

Quote
USSR: Truman Doctrine for the event. Austria USSR inf to 0. South Africa to 2.

A pretty bad mistake, especially on top of the previous rounds play. Obviously eye taken off Europe with Africa on mind. He later admitted he had forgotten Europe scoring could return.

US: Europe Scoring 5Vp's to the US. VP to +6

A no-brainer. This really rattled the USSR and from here on in he was playing an almost impossible catch up. Well that's my belief, although happy to be corrected.

I certainly don't think the USSR continuing to pile influence into European minors would have been a good play!  It'd be one thing if the turn 3 USSR hand was awesome & ops-heavy, or if the US had triggered Comecon to sprinkle some extra influence in Europe and it only cost 2 ops to take various East European minors, but it was only an okay hand.  Disposing of Truman for a loss of only 1 Austrian influence to work on Africa is totally fine, and the USSR isn't playing an "impossible catch-up" - plenty of times the USSR can just concede Europe, but do well in the MidWar scoring regions to smash the US later.
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gringohairpiece

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Re: A big US Win before Turn 8
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2013, 01:56:28 pm »
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Various things I'd have done differently, and most people have already brought this element up, but the thing that most stands out:

Quote
USSR: Truman Doctrine for the event. Austria USSR inf to 0. South Africa to 2.

A pretty bad mistake, especially on top of the previous rounds play. Obviously eye taken off Europe with Africa on mind. He later admitted he had forgotten Europe scoring could return.

US: Europe Scoring 5Vp's to the US. VP to +6

A no-brainer. This really rattled the USSR and from here on in he was playing an almost impossible catch up. Well that's my belief, although happy to be corrected.

I certainly don't think the USSR continuing to pile influence into European minors would have been a good play!  It'd be one thing if the turn 3 USSR hand was awesome & ops-heavy, or if the US had triggered Comecon to sprinkle some extra influence in Europe and it only cost 2 ops to take various East European minors, but it was only an okay hand.  Disposing of Truman for a loss of only 1 Austrian influence to work on Africa is totally fine, and the USSR isn't playing an "impossible catch-up" - plenty of times the USSR can just concede Europe, but do well in the MidWar scoring regions to smash the US later.

Sorry Snowfire but got to disagree with you here. At the start of Turn 3 I had 5 countries to his 4 in Europe. I admit I can get a couple more fairly cheaply (UK, Canada) but I wasn't advocating him going toe to toe in some points fest. Fact is AR2 I played De Gaulle and had France 3 to 1 and he then plays captured Nazi Scientist to advance on the space race rather than dropping a point or two in France and making me pay for it. We were even on battlegrounds at that point. He could have used Defectors (which he played later anyway) to make it 3-3.  Personally I wouldn't leave the deciding battleground in a region up for grabs to play on the space race.
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