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Author Topic: Suicide hand management  (Read 2002 times)

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Comrade Pwnuby Khilemolov

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Suicide hand management
« on: December 01, 2013, 07:41:06 am »
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I just got done introducing my girlfriend to Twilight Struggle yesterday. She's a history major and used to live in a Communist country so the game was of great interest to her.

She lost on turn nine because of DEFCON suicide. As the Soviets, she had Grain Sales and Five Year Plan, as well as two suicide cards: KAL-007 and Duck and Cover. She did have the China Card, meaning she could hold two cards, but the question is, which two cars should she hold and when should she try to space a card?

We didn't discover this quandary until she had six cards left and four action rounds to play. I thought about it and suggested mathematically that she should immediately space one suicide card and then play one random-hand-discard card, hoping that the US won't draw the other suicide card (or indeed the other random-hand-discard card).

Sadly when she played Five Year Plan, I did draw the suicide card and the rest is history of a somewhat Ozymandian nature. I just wondered what others could have done with that situation. If it were me, I guess I might space one suicide card as early as possible, on action round one so I still have a lot of cards to dilute the random draw and discard. Then I'd play the draw and discard card on the second round and hope the one-in-seven chance of instant death doesn't come up, or that the one-in-seven followed by one-in-six chance of draw-discard plus suicide card doesn't come up.
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Eruantalon

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Re: Suicide hand management
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 02:29:32 am »
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Play KAL for ops AR1 -> Defcon from 3 to 2 and you have 4ops - better then D&C, as it's 1VP less for USA and 1 IP more for you.
Space Grain Sales.
Hold D&C and 5YP, due to China play.
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pietshaq

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Re: Suicide hand management
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 03:55:42 am »
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I generally agree with Eruantalon. However, if USSR went too far to space Grain Sales, she went also too far to space anything else of this hand if purged in Turn 10.

Here's alternative solution: play 5YP on round 1. There are several possibilities:

a) US player draws KAL, in which case you get almost what you get in Eruantalon's solution, except USSR has 3 instead of 4Ops but got rid of two bad cards without Space Race.
b) US player draws D&C which is like above except it gives US one VP more.
c) US player draws Grain Sales and
c1) draws KAL or D&C and plays the card -- USSR has her hand reduced by two cards but they fortunately happen to be two DEFCON suicide cards; she got rid of three bad cards at once, with only one remaining (and still has China Card and Space Race option)
c2) US draws something else OR US returns a drawn card, in which case you have an (a) or (b) variation with free 2Ops for US but no VPs.
d) US draws other card. The worst of all possibilities but still leaves USSR with possibility of spacing one card and holding two. In that case make sure to hold KAL because this is the only one that will be spaceable in the next turn even if purged (assuming USSR made 4, 5, or 6th steps in Space, which is a generally reasonable assumption in T9/T10).

Regards
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Eruantalon

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Re: Suicide hand management
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2013, 06:42:53 am »
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Playing 5YP means, one card less can be held (because USSR "looses" 2 cards in one play). So unless Defcon Suicide is drawn and another one can be spaced it will cause termonuclear war anyway ; /

It's similar to playing 5YP while holding CIA - doesn't matter which card gets discarded - you'll fried (or rather - the world is).

By the way - multiple defcon suicides for USSR is another reason for USA to lower defcon in Headline, especially with cards, that can, but don't have to lower defcon (How I Learned..., Junta et c.)
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pietshaq

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Re: Suicide hand management
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2013, 06:59:14 am »
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Damn, I missed such simple drawback   >:(

So my solution does not work and the only thing worth noticing is that playing Duck and Cover leaves higher-ops KAL for the subsequent round and it's quite rare that 1 Op is worth more than 1 VP at this stage of the game but some combinations of Purge and Space Race progress may factor into it.

Also, never forget about Nuclear Test Ban. I've seen people having tons of DEFCON suicides and NTB and overlooking the possibility of playing NTB as an event.
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