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trevaur

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Blockade
« on: October 23, 2012, 10:14:51 am »
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I have 2 questions about Blockade:

1. As the US, if you have Blockade plus Decol/De-Stal and you opt for an empty WG setup, should you headline Blockade? It seems like if you donít then you are forced to play a 1 op card early in the turn, and there are many situations that I can think of when that would be unappealing. Basically, how should you play out your hand if you opt for this opening?

2. As the US, if you donít draw Blockade or any 4 ops cards, should you opt for the empty WG setup? Reason being that the USSR might have Red Scare and Blockade in their hand, and if they headline Red Scare and then play Blockade then youíre in trouble if you have 4 influence in WG.
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theory

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Re: Blockade
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 12:44:43 pm »
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Yeah, I usually do just headline it.  It's only 1 Op, after all, and it means I can threaten to start playing into WG at any time.
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Billw147

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Re: Blockade
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 02:23:16 pm »
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In second scenario,  I don't think there's a right or wrong answer. Would be more interesting to consider a specific hand of cards.

Without knowing specific cards, your turn is obviously going to be very low on ops, you just have to try and survive the turn as best you can. If you have scoring cards, aim to play early for damage limitation (eg headline), maintain position around the board (Egypt, costa rica, malaysia, etc) think about holding card eg destal, decol, play cards for events where possible (war cards, starred USSR events that don't create immediate scoring opportunities for USSR, Degaule on AR7 etc)
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Cal

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Re: Blockade
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 06:24:30 pm »
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Depends on your hand. If you have a scoring card you want to punt, it might be more advantageous to headline that.
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trevaur

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Re: Blockade
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 08:04:22 pm »
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For scenario 2, I'm not wondering how to play out the hand. I'm wondering if I should leave WG empty in my setup to avoid Red Scare + Blockade from my opponent (would lose all influence put in WG due to not having any 4 ops cards).
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Billw147

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Re: Blockade
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 04:24:37 am »
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Just my two cents:

I probably would leave it empty if I had a hand that meant i desperately needed 4 ops in Eupore that I didnt want to lose. Note though by playing 4 ops there you could bluff him into thinking you can defend it and put him off playing blockade although personally as USSR I would almost always play Blockade in these circumstances anyway.

If you can afford/risk the WG ops loss or have cards to defend against / mitigate the BG loss in Europe eg Defectors, Containment or Truman, or want to try the bluff, then put 4 ops there. It is not a major impact on the game your opponent playing RS/P and blockade later in turn.  Firstly he had foregone 4ops to headline RS/P and secondly used an action round and removed a USSR event from the deck just to empty WG (and hands you the initiative). It's unlikely he will follow up with 4 ops in WG and if he does then that's ops not spent elsewhere.

I suppose the upshot Is that I think what's more important is your hand and how the turn is played. Your position wont be that bad just because you lost WG in turn 1.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 10:39:15 am by Billw147 »
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trevaur

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Re: Blockade
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 03:06:10 pm »
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Ok, so if it's not that bad to lose WG on turn 1, why not just leave it empty in the first place? If you open standard and lose WG to the Soviets, then they have a very high chance of gaining Europe domination. If you leave WG empty and spend 4 extra ops buffing up the rest of Europe then you can probably still negate domination due to country count. If you can get the 3 2-stab countries + Italy + UK + Canada, then you are sitting at at least 6 countries, 7 if you can get France. If your opponent takes WG, they will be at 3, France would make it 4, Romania 5 and from there on it's difficult to add countries.

You mention that the USSR removes Blockade from the deck, but that's not really an issue because you won't have a better time to play it than on turn 1 when the US is Red Scared, especially if they don't have any other way into WG (which you don't with the standard setup). Not only that, but it cuts their handsize, which can be game changing if they're holding De-Stal or Decol. If they are holding Decol, they are forced to play it because it becomes unspacable due to Red Scare! IMO, chances are very high that you won't get a better opportunity in the entire game to play Blockade as the USSR. Besides, it's only a 1 ops card that you are removing anyways. As the USSR, I will do this play 99 times out of 100 if I have Red Scare and Blockade in my hand and the US opens up standard.

If this happens, then the US is forced to spend many extra ops in Europe, probably racing the USSR to seal up the 2-stab countries, which they would have had a massive head start with if they had just left WG empty.
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Billw147

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Re: Blockade
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 03:48:23 pm »
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Great comments and I agree and as USSR I would also play Blockade 99% of the time if I have headlined RS/P.  As an aside, Blockade may be a better headline and play RS/P for ops if you have low ops hand or neither Decol or Destal or Defectors.

The real game issue here is whether US put 4 IP in WG if you hold neither RS/P or Blockade And have no 4 op cards (or equally dont want to give up to card to Blockade (eg because you hold Destal or Decol)) and dont have Containment or Defectors (or possibly Truman).

Personally I would not be afraid to put 4IP into WG in those circumstances but equally could play no IP there. I really think it comes down to your cards and personal preference as there's no single optimal play.

As a further aside, if as US I had Blockade in my opening hand and no USSR card I want to discard  I will more often than not leave WG open.
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trevaur

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Re: Blockade
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 04:16:18 pm »
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Yeah, good point. It definitely matters what your hand is like. I consider leaving WG empty even if I do have 4 ops cards if I have Decol/De-Stal. I guess another thing to look at is the chances of the USSR drawing both Red Scare and Blockade. If you don't have either on turn 1, the USSR only has a 6.4% chance of drawing both of them. I think in certain situations it's fine to take that risk. In his post on Decol, theory mentioned that he would rather lose WG to Blockade than trigger Decol, which I think is another important point to keep in mind.

I feel like the more I learn about this game the less certain that I am with how to play it :)
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ddddddd

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Re: Blockade
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2012, 07:39:45 pm »
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Quote
I feel like the more I learn about this game the less certain that I am with how to play it

I couldn't agree more.

For what it's worth, I agree that if you leave WG open, you have to guarantee the 2-stab countries to insulate against a domination. Related subject, has anyone ever won/lost on Europe control?

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Julio

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Re: Blockade
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2012, 05:33:16 am »
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I still have a question about leaving empty WG without having Blockade in your own hand as US.

By doing that, aren't you inviting USSR to play Blockade as Ops so it will appear again in Middle War?

In that case, it is very risky to play later for WG knowing nothing about when Blockade is going to happen. Is WG to be empty the whole game or what?
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trevaur

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Re: Blockade
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2012, 07:30:10 am »
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@Julio: Yes, you are inviting the USSR to play it for ops and thus allowing to come back in the midgame. However, Blockade gets its strength from threatening to empty WG. If you have no way to prevent it from emptying WG right now, then you are going to lose WG now. I would rather not lose 4 ops in Europe in the first turn. If your opponent drew both Red Scare and Blockade on turn 1, you are going to lose WG regardless of whether or not you put influence into it. If you didn't put influence there, yeah, Blockade will come back in the mid war. But if the USSR has taken WG, it doesn't matter anyways.
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