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Twilight Struggle: Twilight Struggle v1 Journal

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Entry # Time Turn Player Title Entry
66 8/9/2020 5:38:00 PM Turn 2 USSR Message You've done that perfectly!!!!

I think we're ready! I'll re-set the game and we can get a fresh start.

I think I'll let you play the USSR as they are a little easier to play in the early game. Once Ronnie Raygun comes along the tables turn and the USA is favored but for new players I think the USSR is easiest.

Let's do it!
65 8/9/2020 12:17:00 PM Turn 2 US Discard Card #28: 3 / Suez Crisis* (USSR)

Message from US:
64 8/9/2020 12:16:00 PM Turn 2 USSR Message OK - normally the Headline event with the highest Ops goes first, but in this card we both played a 1-Ops event. In this case of a tie, the US event is played first.

1. Captured Nazi scientist
- move the US up one box on the Space Race track (automatically) - gain 1 VP

2. Blockade
- following the text on the card, the US player must discard a 3 or higher card or else lose all USA IP in West Germany.

You can either accept the event (and West Germany would become (0/0) or you can discard a 3+ Ops card. Just click on the card and hit the discard button. That would prevent it from being removed from the game if it has a * event.
63 8/9/2020 12:16:00 PM Turn 2 US Adjust Victory Points From -4 to 1
62 8/9/2020 12:16:00 PM Turn 2 US Message Okay, let's see if I get this close.
Since both headline cards have the same OP value, the US one goes first.
Because it's a headline card there is no choice about using it as an event or for the points, so the events take place.
My card allows me to move one space up in the space race, so we are both on the same track. I get one VP for this, moving the ticker to +1 VP ( I'll adjust the VP counter after this.)
Your headline event requires me to discard one 3+ OP card or lose my IP in W. Germany. I'll do the first one and discard "Suez Crisis" worth 3 points.
Both headline events are removed from play, but Suez goes into the discard pile to possibly be redrawn in a later turn.
If I got at least a "B" on my description, and you think I'm ready, we can do a "reset" and start a real game. What do you think?
61 8/7/2020 4:33:00 PM Turn 2 US Headline Event selected Headline Events Revealed:

US: #18: 1 / Captured Nazi Scientist* (Both)
Advance player's Space Race marker one box.

USSR: #10: 1 / Blockade* (USSR)
Unless US Player immediately discards a '3' or more value Operations card, eliminate all US Influence in West Germany.

Message from US:
60 8/6/2020 9:04:00 PM Turn 2 USSR Headline Event selected Message from USSR:
59 8/6/2020 9:04:00 PM Turn 2 USSR Message ACTS automatically increases DEFCON + 1 so it is now at 4. To finish up last turn, I believe your MilOps were one short of DEFCON (which was 3 at the end of last turn, and I believe you only played cards worth 2 Ops (from that coup), thus I would gain 1 VP.
58 8/6/2020 9:01:00 PM Turn 2 USSR End Turn
DEFCON level increased to 4

US: 8 cards drawn.
USSR: 7 cards drawn.
57 8/6/2020 8:40:00 PM Turn 1 US Message Yes, I see now that my color idiocy is going to be a challenge; Australia is not a battleground (except in Mordor, I guess).
56 8/6/2020 8:34:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message My last card (I have to play this as I understand it). Let's see if I can figure out the scoring properly.
You have control of North Korea, but no other presence, so that gives you 4 VP total.
I have control of Japan, South Korea, and Australia and a presence but not control over Pakistan and Afghanistan. That gives me 7 points for the domination, plus 3 for the three battleground countries.
The difference is 6VP in my favor so the VP chart should go to +2. How did I do?

>>>> Almost perfect! Correct that I get 4 VP total, and in your case you do have Domination for 7 VPs, but you only control 2 Battleground countries in the region (Japan, South Korea - Australia is NOT a battleground country) so your VP total would be 9 VPs.

Net VPs is 5 so that brings us up to +1 VP overall.

Well done!
55 8/6/2020 6:23:00 PM Turn 1 US Play Card as Event #1: 0 / Asia Scoring (Both)
Both Sides Score. May NOT be Held.

Message from US:
My last card (I have to play this as I understand it). Let's see if I can figure out the scoring properly.
You have control of North Korea, but no other presence, so that gives you 4 VP total.
I have control of Japan, South Korea, and Australia and a presence but not control over Pakistan and Afghanistan. That gives me 7 points for the domination, plus 3 for the three battleground countries.
The difference is 6VP in my favor so the VP chart should go to +2. How did I do?
54 8/6/2020 12:26:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Play Card as Event #8: 2 / Fidel* (USSR)
Remove all US Influence in Cuba. USSR gains sufficient Influence in Cuba for Control.

Message from USSR:
Here's my last card - will play this as an event. Cuba Libre! Now (0/3)

53 8/5/2020 11:51:00 AM Turn 1 USSR Message So how do we change the Defcon level with the successful coup? Will you do that through the edit the game button?

>> If you click on the DEFCON text on the main page there it will allow to change it.
52 8/5/2020 11:51:00 AM Turn 1 USSR Adjust DEFCON From 4 to 3
51 8/5/2020 11:49:00 AM Turn 1 US Message So how do we change the Defcon level with the successful coup? Will you do that through the edit the game button?
50 8/5/2020 11:45:00 AM Turn 1 US Message Got it! So Egypt is at (1/0). Your turn!
49 8/5/2020 11:42:00 AM Turn 1 USSR Message Ah - just saw your message about switching to Egypt.

You have that right except you only get 3 coup points instead of 7. So the final situation on Egypt would be (1/0) after the coup.
48 8/5/2020 11:41:00 AM Turn 1 USSR Message Almost got it!

First off - you can only target a country for a coup if it has to have ENEMY IP in it. Thus Pakistan (which is (1/0) is not a valid target.

For purposes of example, let's assume it was (1/1) and thus a legitimate target.

Pakistan's stability number is 2, so 4 is the number you need to exceed with the die roll + the Ops number of the card you use for the coup.

In your case, you rolled a 5 + 2 Ops = 7. Thus the coup succeeds, and you overcame the target number by 3. That means you get "3" IP. First you remove enemy IP and once they're gone you add your own IP.

For our example, we said Pakistan started at (1/1), so with the successful coup with 3 "IP" points, we remove my 1 IP and then you get to place 2 USA IP.

In the end, Pakistan sits a (3/0) when it is over.

And you are correct on the DEFCON and MilOps totals. If nothing else changes I will gain 1 VP because your MilOps total is one less than DEFCON (and I had 3+ MilOPs so there is no VP for you).
47 8/5/2020 11:33:00 AM Turn 1 US Message Oops! I just realized that I can't do a coup attempt in a place that you don't have any IP! Duh! Let me redo that...
I'll try for a coup in Egypt instead. If I use the same die roll of 5, plus 2 operations points from the card gives me a 7. Removing your 2 IP leaves me with a five on Egypt?
46 8/4/2020 7:35:00 PM Turn 1 US Message Okay so a 5 on the die roll will definitely be successful. I think that gives me a 7 which, since there are no IP on there from you, leaves me with 8 IP in Pakistan? Tell me if I'm wrong on that.
This also gives me 2 on the military actions, but also lowers the Defcon status to 3.
What am I forgetting?
45 8/4/2020 7:30:00 PM Turn 1 US Die roll request Request: 6-sided die x 1

5


Message from US:
Here's my die roll:
44 8/4/2020 7:30:00 PM Turn 1 US Play Card as Operations #103: 2 / Defectors (US)
Play in Headline Phase to cancel USSR Headline event, including Scoring Card. Canceled card returns to Discard Pile. If Defectors played by USSR during Soviet action round, US gains 1 VP (unless played on the Space Race).

Message from US:
Okay, so I'm going to try to do a coup. I'll aim for a coup in Pakistan and use this defectors card (which maybe I should have used in the headline phase?) So I'm clicking the "Play as Operations" button...I hope that's right.
43 8/4/2020 6:18:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message Alright... so a couple of questions. Without doing something to produce military actions (like a coup), you will get 4 more VP at the end of the turn, right? If I can get some military actions in then I can reduce this number by a bit. I think I understand that. Does this mean that one should be planning to do a coup at least once per turn?

>> Yes - that's correct. Either a Coup or plan to play a War event card if you have one. Part of this is a matching what the other wise is doing. In your case, you go second, so you will always have the option of playing the last card which could be used for a coup to meet your MilOps requirements.


Second question; what happens with the China card? Is it just an "extra" card in your hand that you can play at any time? Will that mean you can carry over two cards from your drawn hand to the next round?

>> Yes, it's an extra card that starts in my hand. When/if I play it, it will then show up in your hand as an extra card the following turn. It's a nice 4 Ops card, and it also is linked to a number of event cards later on in the game.
42 8/4/2020 4:50:00 PM Turn 1 US Message Alright... so a couple of questions. Without doing something to produce military actions (like a coup), you will get 4 more VP at the end of the turn, right? If I can get some military actions in then I can reduce this number by a bit. I think I understand that. Does this mean that one should be planning to do a coup at least once per turn?

Second question; what happens with the China card? Is it just an "extra" card in your hand that you can play at any time? Will that mean you can carry over two cards from your drawn hand to the next round?
41 8/4/2020 4:11:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message Ok - I fixed the DEFCON. This is round 5, so you have 2 more cards to play and I have 1 more. Normally you have 1 card that carries over to the next turn, but in your case you played 2 in one round because of the UN event.

Over to you!
40 8/4/2020 4:08:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Adjust DEFCON From 5 to 4
39 8/4/2020 4:08:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Adjust Victory Points From -2 to -4
38 8/4/2020 4:08:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message OK the war is "successful". Again, just reading the card it says I gain 2 VPs and I get to replace all enemy IP with friendly IP. However, India has none so nothing happens there. This also counts a 2 MilOps which means I hit 5 max.
37 8/4/2020 4:07:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Die roll request Request: 6-sided die x 1

4


Message from USSR:
Indo-Pakistani war - win on 4-6
36 8/4/2020 4:07:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Play Card as Event #24: 2 / Indo-Pakistani War (Both)
India or Pakistan invades the other (player's choice). Roll one die and subtract 1 for every opponent-controlled country adjacent to the target of the invasion. Player Victory on modified die roll of 4-6. Player adds 2 to Military Ops Track.

Effects of Victory: Player gains 2 VP, and replaces all opponent's Influence in target country with his Influence.

Message from USSR:
I'm going to play this as an event. Following the card text, I am going to have Pakistan invade India. Thus India is the target and we check to see if any countries adjacent to India are enemy controlled- of which there are none (you have IP in Pakistan but it is not controlled, and there is no IP in Burma). Thus there are no -1 modifiers applied to the die roll.

This would be a simple die roll where I "win" on a 4-6.

35 8/4/2020 4:04:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message That's a good move! Basically, it helps to gain control of countries because that makes it more expensive for me to try to re-capture them.

There are only a few more rules to digest here.

1. Spending Ops for "Realignment". I've probably played this game 20-30 times, and I've only rarely seen this used so I won't spend much time explaining it. It's a little like a "Coup-lite" in that it allows you to place your own IP in a country if you control a lot of adjacent countries. The rules make it pretty clear how it works.

2. The DEFCON track and Required Military Operations. The DEFCON track starts at 5 and decreases due to two things:
- some cards tell you to lower the DEFCON track
- performing a coup in a Battleground country lowers the DEFCON by 1 (I forgot to do that after my coup in South Africa)

If you take an action (typically by playing a card) that causes the DEFCON to drop to 1 you lose the game (and we all die, but that's not important right now).

At the beginning of every turn, we increase the DEFCON by 1 to a maximum of 5.

3. Military Operations (or MilOps). Each turn each side is required to perform a number of MilOps at least equal to the DEFCON level. MilOps come from two sources:
- War Events (Korean War, Arab-Israeli War, Indo-Pakistani War, etc.) The number of MilOps is listed on the card
- Coup attempts (anywhere) contribute to the number of MilOps according to the Ops value of the card

4. At the end of the turn, if you did not meet the minimum number of MilOps (dictated by the DEFCON level) then your opponent gains VPs equal to the difference. I think it is supposed to represent the required level of military commitment that shows the effectiveness of deterrence.

So, in our game, I played a 4 Ops value card as a coup, so I should have decreased the DEFCON by 1 to 4, and then I get 4 MilOps for the action. Thus I have met my MilOps requirements for this turn. When turn 2 starts, we set the MilOps back to 0 and start over aagain.

Hope this makes sense!
34 8/4/2020 2:24:00 PM Turn 1 US Play Card as Operations #29: 3 / East European Unrest (US)
In Early or Mid War: Remove 1 USSR Influence from three countries in Eastern Europe. In Late War: Remove 2 USSR Influence from three countries in Eastern Europe.

Message from US:
Okay, not sure about the strategy here, but I'm going to play this as operations and add 1 IP to Pakistan (1/0) and 2 IP to South Korea (3/0). Now I see what might happen with a Pakistan/India Invasion? I'm not sure if trying to lower your odds of a successful invasion is worth removing influence in Eastern Europe.
33 8/3/2020 9:54:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message Okay, so do I understand that the VP of -2 points means that the VP marker moves 2 in the direction of the USSR? I was born about 2 weeks after Sputnik launched! The race is on!

>>> Yes that is correct! I was born a few months after the moon landing!
32 8/3/2020 6:17:00 PM Turn 1 US Message Okay, so do I understand that the VP of -2 points means that the VP marker moves 2 in the direction of the USSR? I was born about 2 weeks after Sputnik launched! The race is on!
31 8/3/2020 12:14:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message A success - Sputnik launches!

I move my counter one box to the right on the Space Race, and the "2/1" notation means the 1st person to achieve this gets 2 VPs, the 2nd person gets 1 VP.
30 8/3/2020 12:13:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Adjust Victory Points From 0 to -2
29 8/3/2020 12:13:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Die roll request Request: 6-sided die x 1

2


Message from USSR:
Space race attempt - succeeds on 1-3
28 8/3/2020 12:12:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Discard Card #25: 3 / Containment* (US)

Message from USSR:
I'll "Discard" this card (using the appropriate button) to play this for the space race. Discarding it means the event does not take place, and thus it is NOT removed from the game.

We both start at the "At Start" box on the space race track. To move our counter to the next box we need to discard a card with that meets the minimum number of OPs listed on the box we're trying to get to. In this case, the minimum Ops is 2, so this card is acceptable.

Next, it lists a die roll range - if you roll within that die roll range it is a success and we move the marker. If not, you have to wait until next turn.
27 8/3/2020 12:10:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message You played that perfectly. And that's a good move as well! That UN card is useful for dumping your opponents events.

The only other way to do that is once per turn you can play a card for the space race. Under this action, the enemy event does not occur. I'll do that next!
26 8/3/2020 11:48:00 AM Turn 1 US Message I'm not sure if I'm doing the ACTS correctly for playing simultaneously, but here's the plan; Vietnam Revolts played with UN intervention to cancel the revolt. Now do I use just the two IP on the Vietnam card or do I get all three, including the UN card? I'm guessing that the UN card is counted as being played as an event (to cancel your Vietnam event), so I only have two IP.

I'll put 1 in Iran (2/0), and one in Afghanistan (1/0), because that's never been a bad move for the US...

Now both of my cards go into the discard pile, right? They could be drawn again later in the game.
25 8/3/2020 11:41:00 AM Turn 1 US Play Card as Operations #9: 2 / Vietnam Revolts* (USSR)
Add 2 USSR Influence in Vietnam. For the remainder of the turn, the Soviet player may add 1 Operations point to any card that uses all points in Southeast Asia.

Message from US:
24 8/3/2020 11:40:00 AM Turn 1 US Play Card as Event #32: 1 / UN Intervention (Both)
Play this card simultaneously with a card containing your opponent's associated Event. The Event is canceled, but you may use its Operations value to Conduct Operations. The canceled event card returns to the discard pile. May not be played during Headline Phase.

Message from US:
23 8/2/2020 6:11:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message Crap - I really should look at the map!

South Africa was (1/0), so with a coup result of 2, I remove your 1 IP and place 1 of my own IP.

Now, South Africa is (0/1)

Sorry for the confusion!
22 8/2/2020 6:10:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message Your move!
21 8/2/2020 6:10:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message OK - die roll as 4 + 4 = 8
Compared the the target number (3 stability x 2) = 6

The coup succeeds, and I can remove 2 USA IP. South Africa is now (0/0)

If I had rolled a 6, the difference would be 4, and so I would remove your 2 IP and then get to place 2 of my own IP.
20 8/2/2020 6:09:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Die roll request Request: 6-sided die x 1

4


Message from USSR:
Coup against South Africa
19 8/2/2020 6:09:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Play Card as Operations #27: 4 / US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact* (US)
US gains sufficient Influence in Japan for Control. USSR may no longer make Coup or Realignment rolls in Japan.

Message from USSR:
OK I am going to use this for Ops, but since this is a US event - the event HAS to take place. It is my choice whether to have the event happen before or after I play the Ops. In this case it doesn't matter - so I'll play the event first.
- Japan gains IP to become (4/0)

OK, now for my part of the turn. I will play this for OPs and will attempt a coup. You can attempt a Coup anywhere on the map as long as your opponent has IP in it. It's a great way to oppose controlled countries (since as you saw, it's kind of expensive to use Ops to place IP in enemy controlled countries).

Anyway, the way it works is kind of simple. I will target South Africa.
- you double the stability number of the target country (in this case, SAfrica, it would be 3x2=6)
- then you roll a die and add the # of Ops in the card played to enact the coup (in this case a 4)
- If the total (die + card number) is equal to the target number (6 in this case), the coup fails
- If the total is greater, you remove enemy IP equal to the difference,
- After all enemy IP are removed, then you can add your own IP up to that difference.

I'll roll the die now and see what happened.
18 8/2/2020 5:58:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message For learning purposes, let's go with your move as is. Italy is now (2/3) and is now uncontrolled.

I'll play my move next.
17 8/2/2020 5:57:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message Second, it is perfectly fine for you to wait to see what is in my hand before using your 1 Op. Since this is just a learning game, it doesn't really matter.

Third, remember that since Italy is now enemy-controlled, it takes 2 Ops to place 1 IP. You could place 1 IP in any uncontrolled country, or a country that you control for 1 Op, but to place an IP in an enemy controlled country takes 2 Ops.
16 8/2/2020 5:56:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message Hey Bill,

First off - this is my hand:

17 3 / DeGaulle Leads France* (USSR)
Remove 2 US Influence in France, add 1 USSR Influence. Cancels the effect of #21 NATO for France.

27 4 / US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact* (US)
US gains sufficient Influence in Japan for Control. USSR may no longer make Coup or Realignment rolls in Japan.

25 3 / Containment* (US)
All further Operations cards played by US this turn add one to their value (to a maximum of 4).

8 2 / Fidel* (USSR)
Remove all US Influence in Cuba. USSR gains sufficient Influence in Cuba for Control.

24 2 / Indo-Pakistani War (Both)
India or Pakistan invades the other (player's choice). Roll one die and subtract 1 for every opponent-controlled country adjacent to the target of the invasion. Player Victory on modified die roll of 4-6. Player adds 2 to Military Ops Track.

6 4 / The China Card
+1 Operations value when all points are used in Asia. Pass to opponent after play. +1 VP for the player holding this card at the end of Turn 10.
15 8/2/2020 2:43:00 PM Turn 1 US Message Or maybe I should have waited to play the ops point until after you revealed your hand?
14 8/2/2020 2:41:00 PM Turn 1 US Play Card as Event #26: 1 / CIA Created* (US)
USSR reveals hand this turn. Then the US may Conduct Operations as if they played a 1 Op card.

Message from US:
Hi Dave,
I'll play this as an event and use the point to add 1 to Italy (now 2/3).
13 7/31/2020 8:02:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Play Card as Operations #31: 4 / Red Scare/Purge (Both)
All further Operations cards played by your opponent this turn are -1 to their value (to a minimum value of 1 OP).

Message from USSR:
I'll play this for 4 Ops instead of the event.
- I'll place 3 in Italy, now (1/3) which means I control Italy
- I'll place 1 in Greece, now (0/1)

I would've liked to place an IP in France, but you can't "daisy-chain" IP. In other words, I can only place IP in countries that are adjacent to IP markers that were already in place at the moment I played the card. The only exception is you can always place IP adjacent to your home country (USSR or USA).
12 7/31/2020 6:54:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message Ok! So, I understand now that a "headline" counts as an event. Am I correct in thinking that we get one headline event each turn (so only 10 altogether) and the rest of the time the cards must be played either for their IP or for the event that is on them?


>>> Correct! Cards played during the Headline phase can only be played for their event. This allows you to play covert semi-simultaneous events at the beginning of the turn. The USSR always goes first once we get to the action rounds, but if there is something the USA needs to accomplish before all that starts the Headline phase is a good time to do so. It's also a good place to play a Scoring card if you think things will only get worse during a turn.


I think you have a typo in your last message: I had two IP in Italy and you removed one so I should still have 1 point there, right? (Trust but verify...)

>>> There are so many fun quotes we can use! You are correct - Italy is currently (1/0)


Last question: Does this mean the "De-Stalinization" card is no longer in the deck; as a headline card it counts as having been played as an event and is removed from the discard pile. We won't see it again this game?

>>> yes- you will be glad that one is out of the deck. It is a PITA for the USA player.
11 7/31/2020 5:44:00 PM Turn 1 US Play Card as Event #22: 2 / Independent Reds* (US)
Add sufficient US Influence in either Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary or Czechoslovakia to equal USSR Influence.

Message from US:
I'll add three IP to Yugoslavia (3/3).
10 7/31/2020 5:31:00 PM Turn 1 US Message Ok! So, I understand now that a “headline” counts as an event. Am I correct in thinking that we get one headline event each turn (so only 10 altogether) and the rest of the time the cards must be played either for their IP or for the event that is on them?

I think you have a typo in your last message: I had two IP in Italy and you removed one so I should still have 1 point there, right? (Trust but verify...)

Last question: Does this mean the "De-Stalinization" card is no longer in the deck; as a headline card it counts as having been played as an event and is removed from the discard pile. We won't see it again this game?

Prepare for my response!
9 7/30/2020 8:26:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Play Card as Event #15: 1 / Nasser* (USSR)
Add two USSR Influence in Egypt. US loses half (rounded up) of its Influence in Egypt.

Message from USSR:
When you play a card you have multiple options on how to play the card. 99% of the time it will either be "Play as Operations" which allows you to use the Ops number to carry out actions, or "Play as Event" if you intend to play the card as an event. If the card is YOUR OPPONENTS event - you must play it as an event.

Remember also events marked with an "*" are removed after they are played as an even. They are NOT removed if you instead play them for Ops. It might be worth saving them for later in the game.

With this card- I will play it as an event and the text on the card pretty much tells you what to do - place 2 USSR IP in Egypt (now (0/2))

That's it! Over to you!
8 7/30/2020 8:20:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message Strategy-wise - the most important part of the game is the Victory Points, and the most important cards that contribute to the VP total are the Scoring Cards.

In the Early War (turns 1-3), the only scoring cards are Europe, Asia, and Middle East. In a sense we can ignore Central and South America and Africa for a while, their scoring cards enter on turn 4.

Basically, scoring works by controlling Battleground Countries (with a purple heading and red stability number) and total countries. When a scoring card is played, we sum up two totals:
- total battleground countries controlled by USA/USSR
- total countries controlled by USA/USSR

The Scoring Card explains how many VPs you get based on these totals.

"Presence" is defined as controlling at least one country

"Domination" is defined as controlling the majority of battleground countries AND total countries

"Control" is defined as controlling ALL battleground countries and a majority of all total countries


Let's take Asia as an example:

If I only have Presence in Asia, I only get 3 VPs. If I am able to get Domination, then I get 7 VPs, and so on. As the card describes you also get 1 VP per Battleground country you control, and 1 VP per country that is adjacent to a Superpower. In other words, if you were able to control Afghanistan or North Korea you would get 1 VP each.


So, basically, for these first 3 turns, we should try to take over Battleground countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East as those are the most important countries in those regions. You can't neglect the non-battleground countries - in fact you must control at least ONE non-battleground country to achieve Domination or Control (as explained in the rules).

Th real trick is you might not know WHEN the scoring cards will come out. If they are in YOUR hand, you can control when they are played. And they have to be played - you can't hold on to it until the next turn. You never know what Scoring Cards your opponent has - and there's a game-within-a-game trying to guess if they do by interpreting where they place their IP during the turn. If I start pouring tons of IP into the Middle East, you can probably guess I am holding on to the Middle East scoring card.

Generally, you should try to play Headline Events that will help you throughout the turn. In your case you played one of my events, which is usually to be avoided.

OK - the USSR plays first after the headline events are done (which they are) - so I will play my next card.

7 7/30/2020 8:04:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message Ok - we're off!

Since we've both selected headline events, ACTS reveals them simultaneously. The higher numbered Ops card is played first - if there is a tie (like we have now at 3 a piece) the US player implements first.

First, I'll implement the events and then afterwards I'll explain a little of the strategy here

1. Since we both played 3 Ops events, yours is implemented first. Since you chose an USSR event - I get to implement it. The event text for De-Stalinization allows me to move 4 IP that is already on the map to other countries on the map. I can't move the IP into countries that you control (control of a country is achieved if the difference in IP in a country is equal to its stability rating (the number in the box on the map). For example, I control East Germany because I have 3 IP and you have 0, and it's stability rating is 3. I would also control EGermany if you had 2 IP and I had 5 IP.

Anyway, the implement the De-Stalinization event, I will move 4 IP as follows:
Move 1 IP from Finland to Yugoslavia, now (0/3) <---- this is shorthand for (USA IP/USSR IP)
Move 1 IP from Iraq to Angola, now (0/1)
Move 1 IP from Bulgaria to Nigeria, now (0/1)

I'll decline to move a 4th IP

Notes: Most of the time, we place IP by playing a card for Ops. And an important restriction with that is that you can only ever place IP adjacent to a space that already had IP at the start of the round. This doesn't apply when you play an event - in this case you can literally place them anywhere on the map. That's why I took advantage of this event by moving stuff into Africa because it's not easy to get a foothold in there without already having IP there.

2. Now my event, Socialist Governments. The USA player learns to despise this card (until Maggie Thatcher comes along!) With this event I get to remove 3 IP from any Western European countries - but no more than 2 per country.
- I'll remove 2 from France, now (0/0)
- and 1 from Italy, now (0/0)

They are both now ripe for the picking!

I'll explain the strategy in the next message.
6 7/30/2020 2:54:00 PM Turn 1 US Headline Event selected Headline Events Revealed:

US: #33: 3 / De-Stalinization* (USSR)
USSR may relocate up to four Influence points to non-US controlled countries. No more than two points may be placed in the same country.

USSR: #7: 3 / Socialist Governments (USSR)
Remove US Influence in Western Europe by a total of three Influence points, removing no more than two per country. May not be played after #83 'The Iron Lady'.

Message from US:
5 7/30/2020 2:28:00 PM Turn 1 US Message Okay Dave, I've got things set up and drawn my cards. I'll add my 7 influence points to:
3 West Germany
2 France
2 Italy.

If I understand correctly Ian to pick one of my cards as headline card, so I've done that. I guess I'm ready Comrade!
4 7/30/2020 2:21:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Headline Event selected Message from USSR:
This is my headline event
3 7/30/2020 2:05:00 PM Turn 1 US Draw Cards 8 cards drawn.

2 7/29/2020 5:13:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Draw Cards 8 cards drawn.

1 7/29/2020 5:13:00 PM Turn 1 USSR Message Hey Bill - I set up the game on ACTS. I'll deal out the first cards. Everything should be self-explanatory. For our practice game I'll play the USSR since they go first.

First step is to set up the board (Rule 3.0) We each get to place some initial Influence Points (IP). Most of them are fixed, but there is some customization in Europe.

I place USSR IP in:
Syria 1
Iraq 1
NKorea 3
EGermany 3
Finland 1

and 6 spread throughout Eastern Europe
- Poland 3
- Bulgaria 1
- Yugoslavia 2


Next you set up your variable IP, and then we both select our "Headline Cards" which is pretty self-explanatory on the ACTS website. The system will not disclose each other's Headline Events until we have both submitted them.

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