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Author Topic: Defcon and the first turn  (Read 2431 times)

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Mad Dog

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Defcon and the first turn
« on: November 10, 2012, 02:14:41 am »
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Hi,

I'm interested in how people tend to see the first few ARs of turn 1 go in a typical game between skilled players, especially regarding when to play into places like Malaysia, Jordan and Lebanon as the US. Do you play to these places early to mitigate the risk of cards like Suez, Decolonisation, Arab Israeli War and Vietnam Revolts, or wait until defcon drops to a point where you can't be couped? As the US I've tended to wait for defcon to drop to 3 before playing into Malaysia, and only play to Lebanon once defcon is 2 or on AR6. Indeed, I quite often play a low ops coup in Iraq on turn 1 AR1 just to get mil ops and allow 1 point to safely be played into Malaysia on AR2 if I've already been kicked out of Israel with Suez or Arab Israeli war and the chances of couping back Iran are low. My thoughts are that Jordan is safe enough; the USSR has bigger fish to fry than couping there; but a USSR coup in Malaysia could lock the US out of the half of Asia hence is not worth risking. Lebanon is too easy for the USSR to coup with a low ops card to be worth playing into until defcon is 2. Am I overly conservative?

On the first AR, the USSR will normally coup Iran. There are four possible outcomes here.
1) No effect; the shah survives. The US will shore up Iran on AR1. I often see the USSR play into Afghanistan. As the US I will here be more likely than not to focus my effort on the Middle East or Europe with influence placement for a little while; neither player is keen on playing into Pakistan as it would be inviting a coup, while a BG coup elsewhere allows the other play to play into Asia without risking being couped out.
2) No influence remains in Iran. As the US here I'll be most likely to play for Jordan if I still can and possibly put an op into Egypt to threaten Libya or force another coup allowing me to move up through Asia safely. If I'm out of Israel already then the med is a likely target.
3) 1 USSR inf in Iran. Here I will coup back as the US, both lowering defcon to allow me to take Lebanon and Malaysia safely, and possibly getting sufficient IPs in Iran to hold it
4) 2+ USSR inf in Iran. I will most often play into Egypt and Jordan, trying to provoke another BG coup from my opponent in the middle east thus allowing me to safely play into Malaysia, but perhaps I should be going into Malaysia more often without worrying about being couped out.

What do y'all think?

- Mad Dog
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bsheehan34

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Re: Defcon and the first turn
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 11:30:38 am »
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I absolutely hate droping defcon to 3 when I'm the us because if the USSR holds either Vietnam, decol, or destal you are going to be in big trouble in Asia. I like the play into Egypt for the most part because Nasser makes a soviet coup pretty wasteful and will make defcon 3 so you can go to Malaysia. But if the coup leaves Iran empty I like Jordan so I can go to Iraq ar2 in order to threaten moving back into Iran.

Generally place onto Lebanon pretty early. A USSR coup of Lebanon is an action round spent reacting to you rather than expanding his position which is good for you. 

Really depends on the cards in hand a lot of the time as well.
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theory

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Re: Defcon and the first turn
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 09:06:30 pm »
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Egypt is a common target for me.  From there that usually forces the USSR's hand w/r/t DEFCON: either they Nasser, which I coup back, or they coup Egypt.  If they don't then I take Libya too.
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Tony32280

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Re: Defcon and the first turn
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 01:59:13 am »
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The problem with the ME is that DEFCON will almost always be at 3 at the beginning of each turn.  So the USA should have a disadvantage in the ME the entire game.  We all know that HLing defcon suicide cards is a very risky play.  As the USSR, I can go two ways...coup Italy or Iran.  If I am successful in Italy, USA players react by putting INF in France/Italy or go into Asia.  If the USA player reacts in Europe, I will almost always coup Iran in AR2 which should open my play into Asia in AR3.  If the USA player, put INF in Pakistan, I can coup Pakistan.  If the INF goes into Afghanistan, I will throw INF to over control Pakistan to prevent a coup there.  If the INF is in Iran, I will coup Iran.  By AR4, the ultimate goal of the USSR should be to block the USA from getting in Eastern Asia and/or gain Europe domination.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 02:02:53 am by Tony32280 »
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Nikos

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Re: Defcon and the first turn
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 12:39:22 pm »
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The problem with the ME is that DEFCON will almost always be at 3 at the beginning of each turn.  So the USA should have a disadvantage in the ME the entire game.  We all know that HLing defcon suicide cards is a very risky play.  As the USSR, I can go two ways...coup Italy or Iran.  If I am successful in Italy, USA players react by putting INF in France/Italy or go into Asia.  If the USA player reacts in Europe, I will almost always coup Iran in AR2 which should open my play into Asia in AR3.  If the USA player, put INF in Pakistan, I can coup Pakistan.  If the INF goes into Afghanistan, I will throw INF to over control Pakistan to prevent a coup there.  If the INF is in Iran, I will coup Iran.  By AR4, the ultimate goal of the USSR should be to block the USA from getting in Eastern Asia and/or gain Europe domination.

But what about Duck and cover. A good card for soviets in the first turn (especially combined whith a Vietnam revolts headline).
And the Indian-Pakistan war ? Very dangerous so early. And failing in the Iran or Italian coup is not impossible.
You can overcontrol Pakistan but what's the cost for that ?
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Tony32280

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Re: Defcon and the first turn
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 02:14:45 pm »
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If I get Duck and Cover in turn 1, I am almost always going after Iran.  Most likely the USSR coup will be successfully in removing USA INF in Iran.  If I am lucky enough to gain INF in Iran, I will play into Asia in AR2 because I know it is protected.

Indo-Pak war is not a dangerous card imo.  I never defend against it because I like going after India, Afghanistan, and Iraq.  If it is played in turn 1, it is very likely to be reshuffled into the draw pile.  The chances of seeing that card again increases a lot.  If the USSR player has control of the 3 countries I mentioned and draws Indo-Pak, the USA player will cease control of Pak when it is played as an event.  So the cost of over controlling Pak is to make sure that you get into India.  Working with +2 modifiers to get the USA out of Pak is the key.
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