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Author Topic: Best play against non standard US openings  (Read 4453 times)

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Parafly

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Best play against non standard US openings
« on: September 06, 2013, 06:05:46 am »
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My opponent usually strongly differs from the standard set up as the US. Especially if he has Blockade. He then plays as follows:

Opening: 3 Italy, 2 Turkey, 2 Greece/Canada or something else. After Blockade he usually secures W. Germany, then aggressively fights for ME or Asia, depending on the USSR success in ME. What would you recommend to the USSR player as a counter strategy?

Comecom trap and play for W.G. and Europe Autowin and ignore Iran? Or play as usual and let him worry about Europe?

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Even without Blockade he plays as follows: 4WG, 2 Turkey, 1 Italy. His reason is not to give up on ME (Syria as the backdoor)

What should USSR do in this case? Any deviation from the standard Iran coup?
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theory

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Re: Best play against non standard US openings
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 10:13:48 am »
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For the earlier play, Socialist Governments will basically destroy him.  If I don't have it, then I'll let him get the advantage (since West Germany is too expensive of a battleground).

For the latter play, 1 Italy 2 Turkey is pretty terrible.  I don't usually like playing for Europe in the Early War but man, if he just hands Italy to you like that, why not take it?
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Parafly

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Re: Best play against non standard US openings
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2013, 11:12:25 am »
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Hmm... Ok. Socialist Government will lead me to Europe Autowin. And if I don't have it, I'll go for Iran :)

For the second version: so no Iran coup, but Italy. Then he'll likely play something in ME. Possibly Iran and Palestina. What then?u
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Cal

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Re: Best play against non standard US openings
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 04:13:32 pm »
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I can't see the logic in 4 W Germany, 1 Italy, 2 Turkey...  ???

Headline Socialist Governments, remove influence both from Turkey and Italy, coup Iran, then follow up with influence in Italy. As long as you have influence in Austria or Yugoslavia you're good.
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pietshaq

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Re: Best play against non standard US openings
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 04:13:58 am »
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If you must have a backdoor to ME via Turkey, 2ITA/1TUR is certainly superior to 1ITA/2TUR but still not convincing. I guess the Turkish backdoor works only with empty WG setup or Marshall Plan.

If he weakens Italy, coup it (or, even better, empty it with Socialist Governments if he has no way back in but don't go there until DEFCON stays at 5). Otherwise ignore Europe, at least ignore West Germany. If you are given the opportunity, take France and Spain/Portugal but for a long time that's it. Beware AR6 France control breaker comboed with Truman headline.
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Billw147

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Re: Best play against non standard US openings
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 08:29:06 am »
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Ignore Europe to begin with and Play Iran coup or if playing US+2 inf, place somewhere in ME or Asia and 1 in WG. Let him spend his ops getting WG and France while you do other important stuff, of play into France for 2/3 IP. Either way, don't worry too much about Europe on Turn 1 if he has WG and France empty (the 7 ops min needed to get them plus the extra to hold from DeGaule/Suez/SG means he is spending a lot of ops trying to get Europe Dom.)

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Parafly

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Re: Best play against non standard US openings
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 01:21:33 am »
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Thank you all for your thoughts!

So, the other part of my question is still is open. When I ignore Europe, he will fight heavily for ME.

Lets say I take Iran by couping and had him out of Israel with Suez Crisis. He then plays into Syria and opens his way towards Israel and forth. Is it worth to block him out / fight back or should I still focus on Asia, knowing that Muslim Revolution and others will sooner or later kick him out?

In our last play he took Israel, Jordan and the West of ME. He then lost to Africa and South America Scoring, so it seems like it is not worth the fight if you can achieve better board position in the rest of the world...
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Cal

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Re: Best play against non standard US openings
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 02:48:29 am »
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Lets say I take Iran by couping and had him out of Israel with Suez Crisis. He then plays into Syria and opens his way towards Israel and forth. Is it worth to block him out / fight back or should I still focus on Asia, knowing that Muslim Revolution and others will sooner or later kick him out?
The answer is a vague "it depends." On the one hand, Muslim Revolution can be very helpful. On the other, Muslim Revolution is not a super-card and the US has many defenses against it. Here's another thing: a determined US player will just continually spend 2ops to put 1inf in a long string of countries all the way until he gets back to Iran/Pakistan/Afghanistan. As the USSR, you need to keep investing ops to maintain your control and make the advance more costly, but this makes your moves purely reactive and will waste time until you find you cannot respond but must space a bad card or play a scoring card.

My suggestion: if the US is removed completely from Israel and Iran, and then he follows up with influence in Syria, then spend ops to take Lebanon and Jordan. (Possibly also Syria itself.) Non-battlegrounds are essential to the Mid-East because they are rarely couped. In fact, if the US coups Lebanon, then that gives you time to respond by taking control of Israel, and suddenly that entire pocket is very good for realignments. (It's for this reason it's also a good idea for the USSR to grab Turkey.)

There's another good reason to focus on the MidEast: OPEC. Imagine a game where the USSR controls all seven OPEC countries. Now imagine the USSR draws SALT and uses that to get OPEC a second time... 14 VP is a good dose of VP. That's worth a lot more than something like SE Asia scoring usually awards, and that's usually given more attention.

In practice, Sadat makes completely denying the US in the MidEast very difficult, as by the time it's played, you'll probably want to spend your opening coup on the Americas, or Africa. Brush War also has better candidates. Shuttle Diplomacy is also a card that can shut down your MidEast advantage... sometimes it's easier to accept a draw.

...it seems like it is not worth the fight if you can achieve better board position in the rest of the world...
This is true of every region. Even Control of Europe.  ;)
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DC-Chaos

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Re: Best play against non standard US openings
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 08:08:10 pm »
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If WG is empty and Italy is under protected then I say definitely go for Europe. I'd probably coup Italy to start with and then move into France and the Mediterranean countries before they lock you out on country countor use Marshall plan to get all over the place. Leave WG for last as it's too expensive and not important until you have all the other battle grounds. Be wary of Truman Doctrine though, over protecting your countries and taking WG in one AR will make it pretty much useless on you.

If WG is empty it's always worth putting 1 IP in there straight away as it gives instant access to France. Something that's worth doing even if it's not empty but a little more expensive. 1 IP is not worth using Truman on so it's safe there. You can also go through Italy in this manner. Forcing them to take France before you means they are very vulnerable to Suez and De Gaulle and takes their attention from Asia and ME. 3 fragile IPs spent in Europe early on means 3 vitally important ones in Asia are missing

Basically in either of your opponents set ups they are shooting themselves in the foot by not using their influence to secure Europe properly.

In general I never worry too much about the ME early on. As the USSR I have the advantage there so if the US wants to spend time and effort trying to force their way in then I have more time to go after the much more lucrative Asian and European theatres. Remember that a ME domination is usually only worth 3 victory points or so but losing the fight for EUR/ASIA is much more costly. Cards like Sadat, AWAC's and Camp David will always get the US back in anyway so why bother trying to scrub them out from a relatively low scoring region when they'll just be back later. I'd grab Iraq/Syria/Lebanon early and then focus elsewhere until Nasser, Suez or Arab/Israeli war changes the situation and will help me get a big score there.
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BamBix

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Re: Best play against non standard US openings
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2013, 06:23:52 am »
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I do have the feeling that current thoughts de-emphasize the fight for Europe a bit much. Yes, it's usually unattainable, but especially in early war, when the US position in Europe is weak, a bad opening and a strong soviet assault can take Italy and France. If you can manage good modifiers against WG, there are several options in mid-game (SALT, HISW, even Nuclear test ban if you have to) to realign US out of WG (and France/EG if you also have Spain/Austria). Not very likely, but it does generate a big pressure on the US to fight back to avoid losing Europe. The fight for Iran and Asia is of course very important as well, but some crucial time can be bought there by pushing US in Europe.

Disclaimer: I've played about 50 games online, so probably I lack the experience to truly judge this correctly.
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DC-Chaos

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Re: Best play against non standard US openings
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2013, 05:56:59 pm »
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I think most people know that if the opportunity to push for Europe comes up then you certainly go for it but in general it's best to focus elsewhere until that opportunity comes up and not try to manufacture it yourself. If you're a patient US player then it will usually go your way or at least you'll get far more countries so your opponent won't be able to score it in their favour and since France is way too risky it's best to wait until you can be sure it's safe to play in there or Europe is about to be scored. As the USSR you really need to get Social Goverments or some influence in Algeria to make a European attack worthwhile. Meanwhile the fight for Asia is a very real and urgent one and requires a lot of attention and IP's to make sure you can compete there. The ME also needs attention because it starts with so little influence from either side unlike Europe which starts with 2 controlled BG's each.

I think the most important countries early on would be Afghanistan, Thailand, South Korea, Lebanon, Libya/Egypt, Pakistan... after all these I would see about getting control of France to swing Europe. Of course you always need to respond to your opponent and if they bolt for somewhere you need to focus on what they are doing but I think we're talking about generally accepted Early War tactics and priorities.
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Kazzy

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Re: Best play against non standard US openings
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 10:06:16 am »
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Going via Tunisia and the North African stable countries to Libya is good too.

Getting a foothold in Lebanon is also pretty handy
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