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Author Topic: USSR loses (almost) every game.  (Read 3639 times)

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19orange

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USSR loses (almost) every game.
« on: November 27, 2015, 03:50:27 am »
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A few of us play TS together, and any game involving me tends to always be won by whoever is the US. I have read several annotated games, and played the USSR a few dozen times, but I am just never able to get enough of a position advantage before the mid-war starts. In my group at least, those around me who manage, often only do so due to a weak US player. I am the only one who actually ever wants to play the US, though people will often choose it against me, simply because of how terrible my USSR is.


As the US player, no matter how bad it gets, I can sit back, defuse the worst events, and know the game will probably swing back to me towards the end if I can just hang on.
As the USSR player, the game just slips away from me around turn 5. The score will often be around 5-8USSR, and I just start losing position all over the board. The longer I hang on, the harder it gets, which is exactly the opposite!

How does a strong USSR player gain enough position early on to deal with the mid-late game US onslaught?
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MichaelVal

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2015, 04:40:14 pm »
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I don't think there's any formula.  Maybe you're investing too heavily in the middle east and not playing into mid war regions until too late.  Maybe you're being too aggressive and leaving yourself vulnerable to AR 7 plays.  Really impossible to say without knowing what you're doing.  If you post a game you played where things went inexplicably wrong, then it might be possible to diagnose why that seems to be happening to you and why. 
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KiG

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2015, 09:20:34 pm »
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If the US player is feeling too relaxed about defusing events then perhaps the USSR player isn't giving them enough hard choices. Hard to say without more information. Playing against good players online will probably give you some good tips.
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19orange

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2015, 11:12:01 pm »
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I play with a physical copy of the game, so posting a log will be tricky. I'm struggling to put into words the problem I have. I seem to have horrible luck when it comes to Red Scare/Purge, and often end up playing Turn 1 or 2 at -1.

I tend to get very pessimistic around turn 7 unless the score is -10 or greater. Though I might be overestimating the US late game strength. Just this morning I had a game as USSR, I was sitting at -12 at turn 7, I had a very one sided Asia and middle east, and also domination of S.America. Europe was the only place the US had domination, with africa & c.america both equally contested. I never drew wargames, and the US ended up taking the game at final scoring with +2, breaking asia on the final AR with Ussuri + Shuttle. Europe & Africa were the only scoring cards to come up after turn 7, with africa being equal. I had managed to take italy, but was quickly realigned out with tear down this wall just before Europe was scored.

This seems to be representative of most of my USSR games. I can't quite get the last few VP I need, and tend to spend the late war putting out US fires leaving me in a poor position for final scoring.
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KiG

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2015, 12:24:27 am »
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Breaking Asia on the final AR with Ussuri and Shuttle? I assume you know that Shuttle Diplomacy does not count for final scoring?
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19orange

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2015, 03:59:00 am »
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Sorry, meant Formosan. It was played during turn 9(10?). He had Japan/Taiwan. After Ussuri, I had Thailand + N.Korea, with control broken in Pakistan & S.Korea by ussuri. The US didn't have access to west asia for the entire game, and I just never really had the spare ops to take india (It was 0/1 to prevent puppet governments). I had horrible luck that game , AR1 Iran coup was the only real successful coup I ever had outside of the 1 stability african bgs, never saw destal or decol until quite late, got hit with a headlined r.scare 3 times, and spent 3 turns in the beartrap.

What are some appropriate "hard choices" to give the US player? I know that can be hard to answer without being given a game-state, but often I just can't really find places to put pressure. The games where I do win as the USSR usually end at about turn 5-6.
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KiG

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2015, 06:06:35 am »
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Certain battlegrounds are designed to be difficult for the US:

2 to South Korea early

Get access to France before Suez & DeGaulle by going through WG if necessary. The US wants to play there after seeing those cards.

Make the US fight for battlegrounds in the Middle East, where they are worried about Muslim Revolution.

If you don't get Destal or Decol remember that the US will have at least 2 dead ARs, and pressure them accordingly. Coup Panama for access to the Americas. Play Blockade on turn 2 so the US has the choice of losing WG or discarding Destal.

Manipulate DEFCON to your advantage, the US should be nervous about lowering it in case you take Thailand.

Remember that if Iran is 3/0 there are other options... depending on your hand of course.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 06:32:38 am by KiG »
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dd

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2015, 06:40:23 pm »
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Some tips that I have realized that help out the USSR:
1. The way to win as the USSR is a dash for VPs. Think of this right away.
2. Cheap domination's are your friend. I used to think headlining vietnam revolts turn 1 and then playing Asia scoring is short term thinking (it gives up western Asia), but those 5 VPs sure are nice and you can maybe win before Asia scores again.
3. OPEC and Arms Race are great source of cheap VPs. So is an early Nazi Scientist. Really think twice about playing Duck and Cover so you can place ops in AR1. Those 3 VPs are expensive in your dash.
4. Get DEFCON down early and keep it there. By not moving into mid-war non-battlegrounds you can pick up 4 easy VPs by end of turn 3. Maybe even 2 more by end of turn 4.
5. SE Asia looks tempting early on if you get decol or vietnam revolts, but its really a trap as it is hard for the USSR to hold Asia domination in mid-war. Often better to spend ops in ME and Europe.
6. Only play into mid-war regions early is a coup of Panama before US expands.
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KiG

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2015, 08:04:44 am »
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Whether or not the USSR is in position to do a steamroller is something that you'll learn to judge with experience. Sometimes going for VPs will win it, sometimes you have to prioritise the board. I would not however describe Asia as a trap, it usually has a more efficient ops to vps ratio than the ME or Europe.
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19orange

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2015, 08:40:59 am »
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I've been hesitant to AR1 headline Vietnam revolts in the past, for fear of a 3coup on us ar1.

If USSR wins the Iran coup, and the US does not coup back nor put any pressure on their ar1, what is an appropriate ar2 play?
What about the US ar1 if you choose not to coup back iran?

I'm often not quite sure what to do until defcon hits 3. I'm scared to drop it to 3 as the USSR without a way into SEA, because the US will often play straight into malaysia.
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KiG

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2015, 10:12:30 am »
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You headline it or play it when defcon goes down. Don't worry too much about the ops bonus, the access is the key factor.
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haytil

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2015, 04:15:37 pm »
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I've been hesitant to AR1 headline Vietnam revolts in the past, for fear of a 3coup on us ar1.

So you consider couping them right back.  Remember, you have the +1 ops bonus advantage - that affects coups as well.

Quote
I'm often not quite sure what to do until defcon hits 3. I'm scared to drop it to 3 as the USSR without a way into SEA, because the US will often play straight into malaysia.

Consider gunning for South Korea.  Often the US will not contest you there, as they're afraid Korean War will make any efforts there a waste on their part.  If you've secured the Koreas and have Western Asian access, then you shouldn't care about Malaysia and Thailand - the US will end up with 2 battlegrounds to your 4.

Also, consider Afghanistan, as a prelude to moving in on Pakistan.  As a 2-stability non-battleground, the US is less likely to consider couping it, and controlling it gives you a non-BG for domination AND helps secure against Indo-Pakistani War.
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KiG

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Re: USSR loses (almost) every game.
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2015, 07:10:03 pm »
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To avoid wasting time with back and forth coups (which have a chance of putting influence to 0/0 -- bad for you), Duck and Cover is your friend.
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