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Author Topic: Scripting potential? (as a problem)  (Read 1434 times)

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lambolt

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Scripting potential? (as a problem)
« on: April 07, 2015, 07:15:29 am »
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This is aimed at the elite players of the game - do you feel that once you get to the top level, the game is scripted? At that Point does it boil down to the Dice rolls and card pulls? I know it takes a lot of practice and play and skill to get to that Point, so I'm not trying to make any claims that the game is broken but the more I look into various strategy articles or posts, it seems like quite often there are fairly limited "right" and "wrong" choices for headlines, for things to use the cards for, even for the strategic development of the board, I mean, not just the early Iran thing, the Western ASIA triangle, the struggles to get into Africa and Americas etc.

What are the challenges that you as experts face when you sit down across from each other, neither of you having any bother in choosing "correctly" the card play, and knowing the intricacies of the interplay between events and board position as it unfolds, does it boil down to good Rolling and good cards, or do you feel like there are new things you see - without being an expert it seems likely to me its the former and not the latter, and I dont mean that to disparage the game, I can well imagine I will be hundreds more plays of this Before even being competent, never mind expert but does there come a Point where you're almost playing chess and adding a Dice roll to your pieces, or does it morph more into a bluffing/psychology game? (I was pleased that in a recent game I managed to pretend I did not have Truman Doctrine by continuining a stupid ops war in France only to plop down Truman and remove 8 USSR influence from France on the last AR when he finally gave up and assumed I couldnt possibly be that stupid).


There seems to be a lot of great discussion online about variants, extra cards and ways to modulate the game, mostly focussing on "unscripting" some of the start, like the whole Iran coup chain, so if anyone has any input on those kinds of ideas, I'd be interested to hear.
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pietshaq

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Re: Scripting potential? (as a problem)
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 04:39:27 pm »
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First of all, the general strategic rules are made up by players and base on their experience. For almost each general rule you'll find a very strong player who simply disagrees with it. There are new possibilities and strategic plays discovered. I find one brand new strategic subtelty based on my games weekly on average.

More important thing is that the "correct" play of most cards is just a general rule of thumb, based on the assumption that no factors dictate a specific play required by the board, the rest of your hand, the VP marker, and the remaining scorings. This assumption is necessary for theoretical consideration but usually false in practice.

But the most important thing is that the "correct" play of most cards is just a beginning. "In this case play this card for Ops", you read. Fine. But the real mastery is finding out, HOW and WHERE to spend these Ops. Should I coup? Should I realign? Does it make sense to just put 3 into Colombia which is easily couped?

I give you an example. Assume standard setup with US extra 2 IPs into Iran. US does not have Indo-Pakistani War. USSR plays a 4 Ops card (say, Nuclear Test Ban): 2 into Afghanistan and 2 into Iraq. What is the best response? Assuming you have 4 Ops to spare in a single move I prefer 4 to Pakistan. But no "play it for ops" strategic card-related rule will tell you that. This you may find on the blogs because this is related to the very beginning when the situation is repeatable. But when you face similar dillemma on Turn 5 or so, you're entirely on your own. This is where the maestry shows up.
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lambolt

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Re: Scripting potential? (as a problem)
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 05:17:50 pm »
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no, I understand that, which is why I said it takes hundreds and hundreds of plays to get to that level and have the knack for it. But it's just out of curiosity, again I am not criticizing the game or expert players, I am just curious. The example you ended with, pretend that you're not talking to me, but talking to another you, theory for example or Riku, when you both understand the how and where of ops, the makeup of decks, the interplay of cards in hand, yet to come with events and locations, and BOTH OF YOU understand the consequences of each play of cards and placement of ops, well then what. I have a hard time believing that with super competent expert players facing off, the swings in card distribution and dice rolls aren't a large, if not the dominant factor for how the game evolves outside the built in ebb and flow of the early USSR onslaught and the slower later spread of the US. But I could also believe there comes a lot of bluffing and psychology where you try to signal cards you might or might not have in hand. But the number of cards is limited, and the way you can use OPS is limited, so I am not sure I will believe that between two ace level players, one of you suddenly comes up with a totally new and unique way to spend your 3 ops that the other equally skilled person can not also understand what is happening

again, was more a general question out of interest, I'm nowhere near "competent" never mind expert, so its not something likely to bother me any time soon.
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budzo

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Re: Scripting potential? (as a problem)
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2015, 11:01:10 am »
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My latest idea for us strategy is if i hold US/Japan Pact, Korean War and Asia scoring (perhaps extremely rare but it happened to me last 2 games), to headline pact, then play Korean War and treathen Asia Domination.

Ive never seen such play I minded it up after a hundreds of games. Perhaps its not a brilliant play but definitly worth considering. What is more i think that when Experienced player sees me headlining US/Japan Mutual Pact he thinks - "what a moron" (wchich in that case is my advantage).

There are many plays like this (for example spreading starting inf in West Europe 2 Fr, 3 W Germ, 2 Italy threatening Marshall Plan and early Europe domination). Then u can just headline defectors and add inf later or play that Marshall Plan and then Europe Scoring.

There are even more plays like this (for example Junta to Uruguay droping defcon in headline and then play to Brazil and Argentina) but i assume i dont know every one of them.

Another: play 2 into Iran to break us controll giving us player a dilema - protect Iran or just give it up (has he Muslim Revolution or not?)

Maybe the number of such plays is limited but there are plenty of them.

My last dilema: play Our man in Teheran for event or ops to coup unimportant non-bg country and not lose 2vps. What is better can someone say that? I think not it depends on many things.

I think that playing via schemes in TS is the best way to start losing games. In this game u always have to have a suspicious mind. Why does he play into columbia? Good player wouldnt do that its useless. U can ignore it. Or maybe he has Junta to Controll Costa Rica and wipe u out of Panama with realigns. U always make decisions based on probability and ur own game sense. Players with better decision making will win more games (not every one though because of luck factor).
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sspiker

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Re: Scripting potential? (as a problem)
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2015, 10:27:49 pm »
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Here's my answer to your question, and is also my approach to the game in general:

The most important skill to master is how to manage your hand--how to get the most of your cards, order them the right way, mitigate the bad effects, and take full advantage of the good effects. Obviously your plan at the beginning of the turn can and will be impacted by your opponent's moves; that adds to the strategy, by requiring you to think of several ways to use your hand and think on the fly if things fall apart.

Because of this, every new turn is a brand new challenge. The number of cards, even in Early War, means that getting the same exact hand as a previous game is rare. Of course, there's an extent to which that's not true: for the USSR player it doesn't matter whether the card is "Comecon" or "Warsaw Pact Formed"; it's just a 3-ops card in Early War. However, how you determine how to play your hand is based on the game in front of you, so you will never have a repeat scenario. And even if the game plays out a similar way, the randomness of when scoring cards appear shakes things up.

So if you view the game, as I do, as a turn-to-turn logic puzzle on how to manage your hand, then every turn becomes, in effect, a one-on-one battle of wits and will between you and your opponent, up to 10 times a game.

Big picture: even with two ace players, who know how to manage their cards, the trick of the game is to maximize opportunities when they come. And the greatest opportunities are the ones that cost nothing and allow you the option of how to respond: your opponent playing a card that benefits you. My theory is this: at some point during the game, even the best players will come across a bad hand that no amount of skill can manage. Maybe its a bunch of DEFCON drops or maybe its a bunch of overpowered cards for your opponent, or maybe RS/P is in effect, but they will be forced to give you an opportunity, and likewise you will give one to your opponent at some point. The winner of the game is likely going to be the player that made the most out of that opportunity.
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