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Author Topic: Ops warring all over the world (Europe)  (Read 2432 times)

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blitzgordon

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Ops warring all over the world (Europe)
« on: December 24, 2012, 06:25:31 am »
+1

Hello everyone! As the holidays rolls around and we're getting ready for our families to arrive for christmas, I find myself, naturally, thinking about the nature of ops wars.
An ops war, for the record, is a situation were both parties pour influence into a country, trying to get control of it. France is a good example of a country where such a situation might occur: its' stability is high enough that you might not get control with your first card, leading to your opponent trying to "out-op" you (using brute force of operation points instead of an event, realignment rolls, or coups).

Now, conventional wisdom seem to be that ops warring usually is a less than optimal play (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). But it occurred to me that under certain circumstances, the game gravitates toward ops-warring, and that perhaps knowing and recognizing this might be advantageous. So bear with me.

The mechanic I'm thinking about is that sometimes both players might have incentive to engage and continue an op war, whereas usually one player would be better of to give up the country and focus elsewhere.

I'll use France as an example because it is by far the most obvious country. In my example, we're assuming the players have "generic hand", that is, I'm not assuming any special events that change everything. I don't know if this is reasonable but it's all I can do.
Say we're in Early war, Truman Doctrine has been played and defcon is 2 - ie no BG coups allowed.
US plays de Gaulle leads France for ops, triggering the event and using the ops to put France at 3/1.
USSR, having a strong hand, decides to fight for France (not at all an unreasonable idea). He plays a 4 op card into France, making it 3/5.

What should the US player do?

If the US player estimates that his hand is as strong or stronger in ops as the Soviet hand, he should probably play a 3-4 Ops card into France, making it 6/5 or 7/5, thus engaging full on in an ops war.

But here's the kicker:
If the player feels his hand is weaker in ops than his opponents' hand, he might try to keep fighting anyway, in order to tie up a lot of his opponents' ops in one BG, thereby only losing position in one BG instead of perhaps fighting a losing war of influence all over the map.

So, the US player might benefit from keeping up the battle wether he expects to come out on top or not.

Say US plays a 3op into France making France 6/5. Back to Soviet.
What should the USSR do?
Most likely the very same reasoning applies to Soviet thinking as does to US thinking, and even more so considering he's only one op behind.
And so on.

So, my suspicion is that under certain circumstances, in high stability countries when neither player has control, both players might, from their own perspective, benefit from pouring as many ops as possible into the country as long as they are not paying double for placing.
Thereby resulting is ops stack of 9/12 or 13/10 and such.

Any thoughts on the subject?

Happy holidays from Sweden!
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Cal

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Re: Ops warring all over the world (Europe)
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2012, 05:49:59 pm »
+1

I wouldn't say ops wars are less than optimal plays, but I would say that ops wars are BORING plays.

Nothing is more tedious than an entire turn of just both players sinking more and more ops into W. Germany or something.

That said, a country that was a target of an ops war is a great target for realignments or Brush War if possible. If I am the US and the USSR takes France at about 10/13, then I will do my best to take control of Spain, Italy, Algeria, and hold onto W. Germany and UK. Then when Tear Down This Wall comes, France is my big target and the USSR will never get it back. The USSR can do the same thing with W. Germany, see how my game report over http://forum.twilightstrategy.com/index.php?topic=35.0 here turned out.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2012, 02:12:56 am by Cal »
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blitzgordon

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Re: Ops warring all over the world (Europe)
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2012, 06:36:07 am »
0

Cal: yeah, I read that earlier, very interesting game, and extremely lucky draw at the end  :D

Boring or not, my understanding (at least before I started thinking about it) was that if you figure you're due to lose the war, cut your losses and focus elsewhere.

What I find interesting (if I'm at all correct) is that prolonging a losing ops war could be an effective stalling tactic. Like you said: "an entire turn sinking influence into W. Germany."

Before, whenever I looked at France being 10/13, I always figured one of us played that one badly, now I wouldn't necessarily draw that conclusion.
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Tony32280

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Re: Ops warring all over the world (Europe)
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2012, 01:35:19 am »
+1

As the USSR, I don't mind getting into OPs wars.  For me, it is a calculated gamble.  I know that I have fought to gain control of the country.  If I don't get it, then I don't get it.  However, if I am holding DeStal, I will reap the benefits of it.  Normally the USA players will add 1 extra inf to overcontrol the country because they think I am willing to fight for it.  I will drop the DeStal on them and move the 4 inf into other countries.  The USA player then wasted 4 OPs minimum trying to gain control of a country that I was going to give them anyway.   
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Chimista

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Re: Ops warring all over the world (Europe)
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2012, 08:19:25 am »
0

Interesting point. Never thought about this strategy.

I would like to say that ops. wars itīs the consecuence of one of the few aspects of TS I consider weak: the absence of limitations to the maximum influence a country can accept.

First: itīs boring. It only depends on "brute force", so thereīs not much fun there.

Second: itīs absurd. I agree TS is not as much a political simulation as a great strategy game, but still, background and historical flavour is a considerable part of the enjoyment of this game, so what is the political or historical meaning of, say, Thailand 14/16? Not to speak about the posibility of a Brush war which could mean someone having 30 inf. in a country, which can be funny but itīs ludicrous. Is the entire Red Army standing there?

I believe that there should be a limit for the max IPs  anyone can drop in any given country. Iīd go to limit the max. influence to double the countrie's stability. Or at least penalice any influence on top of that, say making the cost of any extra IP double. It would make sense and it would maybe be more fun.

I think itīs also preposterous that after a coup in a 1 stability country you can get an absurdly overcontroled countrie with 5 or 6 influence. What is the meanig of Zaire with 5 IP after a coup? Sudenly is much more expensive to flip that country than a 3 stability BG in Europe. I would limit the max. influence you can get from a coup with a similar rule.

Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 08:54:00 am by Chimista »
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MarlesChartel

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Re: Ops warring all over the world (Europe)
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2012, 08:56:40 am »
+1

How I interpret a 14/16 Thailand: Both US and USSR are giving lots of "goodies" to the government--- massive aid, special trade rights, military and technological assistance, etc.
How I interpret stability: The difficulty of accumulating enough influence to have complete control of the county. Sort of like the number of checks and balances in the government. Lower stability countries will support one power over the other on a whim, while higher stability countries require more convincing.
How I interpret a 5/0 Zaire: A leader who liked the Soviets better was overthrown, and replaced with an extremely pro-US leader surrounded by an extremely pro-US government. The US has way more influence in the country than it really needs to control it.
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Chimista

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Re: Ops warring all over the world (Europe)
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2012, 10:50:08 am »
+1

Thanks for your reply, but you are not really answering my question, only giving a very superficial explanation.
Obviously the influence point system is superficial itself, since it mixes political, economical and military influence in one dimension. However, as I explained in a previous post, the  influence point system is still capable of reflecting subtleties. I.e. the cards "socialist governments" or "Eastern European Unrest"  reflect slight swings in the countrie's political status which with good timing can be used to take over. But this subtleties go overboard when the lack of an IP's limit makes possible absurd situations as mentioned in my first post.
Having East Germany overprotected with 6 IPīs makes sense. Ok: a very strong comunist party which controls every aspect of the society. It will take a lot to throw that government out. But what is the meaning of, say, a 0/12 East Germany? Have Eastern Germans become robots controlled from Moscow? Doesn't make sense. Thereīs always a limit to the control any government has over a country. Obviously the more stable the country the harder is to change things. In a very unstable country as Colombia or Zayre itīs even harder to keep things under control, no matter how strong is your army or government, since the society fabric is weak there are always ways for your enemies to shake things funding guerrillas or rival clans.
That's my point. It's possible to overcontrol a country investing the necessary resources, but once you reach a point (I suggest double stability) it's harder to go any further or even impossible. There's always room for change in real world and same thing should happen in the game. It would be more fun this way, IMHO.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 10:52:00 am by Chimista »
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