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[Twilight Struggle] - Game 7 - Game Over - Soviets Win The Arms Race

stever777stever777 AFK most SaturdaysRegistered User regular
edited August 2014 in Critical Failures
pic470784_lg.jpg

“Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need, not as a call to battle, though embattled we are — but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle...” —John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Speech, January 1961

In 1945, unlikely allies slew the Nazi beast, while humanity’s most devastating weapons forced the proud Japanese Empire to its knees in a storm of fire. Where once there stood many great powers, now stood only two. The world had scant time to sigh relief before a new conflict threatened. Unlike the titanic conflicts of the preceding decades, this conflict would be waged primarily not by soldiers and tanks, but by spies and politicians, scientists and intellectuals, artists and traitors.

Overview:
Twilight Struggle is a two player game simulating The Cold War, where the players assume the role of the two remaining superpowers; The USA and the USSR. The game takes the viewpoint that all other countries are just staging grounds and battlefields between the two, subject to their Influence and backdrops to bloody Coups. Players manipulate historical events to their advantage, or their opponents disadvantage, to further their spheres of influence.

Object:
The main determination of the victor is, fittingly, the player that accumulates the most Victory Points. If one player succeeds in obtaining 20 Victory Points, they immediately win the game.

There are also a few ways the game can end without Victory Points; please see Ending the Game, below.

Rules Stuff:
The game is played over 10 turns. Each turn, a player is dealt a number of cards to bring their hand up to 8 cards in turns 1-3, and 9 cards in turns 4-10. These cards can be used in one of a few different ways; they can be used to bring about the event listed on them, i.e. Cuban Missile Crisis, UN Intervention, etc. These cards also have a value on them, from 1 to 4, that demonstrates their resources that could instead be used to perform Operations around the world. This is called their Ops Value. Finally, if a player wants to, they can instead use a card to further their progress in the Space Race between America and Russia, which could provide both Victory Points and extra abilities.

Players alternate playing these cards between the two of them for a variable number of rounds, with the typical result being each player having one card left in their hand. After that, various upkeep duties are performed, and the next turn proceeds in the same fashion, until the end of Turn 10. After Turn 10 is ended, a Final Scoring is taken; the control of every region on the globe is judged, with more control awarding more Victory Points. As before, the player that ends with the most VP’s is the winner.

Turn Structure:

DEFCON:
“Strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”
—“Joshua” the N.O.R.A.D computer from Wargames


The first thing done at the start of each turn is to increase the global DEFCON (Defensive Condition) status one closer to 5, or world peace. Certain player actions and cards played during the round can bring this number down, or closer to war. The lower the number is, the more restricted military actions will be. If the active player does an action or plays a card that would lower the DEFCON to 1, the world is unable to handle the tension, and erupts in nuclear war. The player that causes the DEFCON meter to reach 1 automatically loses the game.

Deal Cards:
After raising the DEFCON status, each player draws from a deck of cards, to a hand size of 8 (in Turns 1-3) or 9 (Turns 4-10). Each of these cards represents an Event they can turn to their advantage. As the Cold War progresses, more cards are added to this deck, to represent additional developments and twists of fate. Turns 1-3 represent the Early Years of the Cold War. At the end of Turn 3, players have reached the Mid Years of the Cold War, and more cards are shuffled into the draw deck to represent that. At the end of Turn 7, the war enters its Later years, and more cards representing that are shuffled in then. When there are no more cards in the draw deck, the discards are shuffled to make a new draw deck.

Headline Phase:
“Do you, Ambassador Zorin, deny that the USSR has placed and is placing medium – and intermediate – range missiles and sites in Cuba? Yes or no? Don't wait for the translation! Yes or no?” — Adlai Stevenson, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

Public perception carried significant weight in this conflict, and much effort was made to control what the people read in their newspapers. This is represented by the Headline Phase. Each player selects an event from their hand that they would like to see occur. Both players play their card simultaneously. The card that has the highest Ops Value occurs first. This phase ensures that players do not just concern themselves with Operations, but that Events are played as well.

Action Rounds:
After the Headline Phase, the players enter the meat of the game: The Action Rounds. Starting with the USSR, each player chooses one card from their hand, then decides how best to use it. Here’s how most cards break down:

carduu.png

The center part is the name of the card. The top bar tells you what phase of the war it occurs in. The “3" in the star to the left tells us that the card is worth three points when used for Operations, and since the star is red, that this card favors the USSR Blue favors US, and stars with both colors favor neither. Note that some cards have an * and underlined text. Cards with underlined text have certain effects that continue to persist until they are cancelled later on. Cards with an * that are used to play an Event are permanently removed from the game, so be careful to maximize their impact. Some cards are prerequisites for others later on, and some cards cancel others out. There are also certain cards that can immediately begin tallying the amount of control for each superpower in a particular region. There are three main ways to use a card: For the Event, for Ops, and for the Space Race.

Event:
A card can always be played so the Event text can occur. Going back to the Warsaw Pact card, the USSR player can play the card for its Event, and can begin to manipulate the influence of Eastern Europe. It remains in play because it enables the play of the NATO card later on. If this card is used for its Event, since it is marked with an *, it is removed from the game as soon as its effects are no longer in play(in this case, when the NATO card is played).

Operations:
A card can also be used to perform Operations. In this case, the player has a number of Ops points equal to the Ops Value of the card to perform Operations. A player can spend these points to either spread influence, Realign countries to their view, or perform Coups to radically change countries’ allegiances. You must spend all of your Ops points on ONE of these choices. You cannot mix and match.

Influence:
“Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.”
—Joseph Stalin


Each country on the map has a number next to its name. This is the country's Stability Number. If a superpower has a number of influence in a country at least equal to its Stability Number, AND the difference between your influence and your opponent’s influence is equal to the Stability Number, you control that country. Ex:

belgiumplain.png

Bulgaria has a Stability Number of 3. If the USSR has 3 influence in the country and the US has none, then the USSR controls Bulgaria.

belgiumussr.png

If the US then places 2 influence in Bulgaria, the USSR no longer controls Bulgaria, because they don’t have enough influence to cover the difference(Base Stability of 3 + US influence of 2 = required influence of 5 to control Bulgaria).

belgiumcontest.png

It costs 1 Ops point to place 1 point of influence in a country that is uncontrolled, or controlled by you. To place 1 point of influence in an enemy-controlled country, it requires 2 ops points. Going back to the Warsaw Pact example, the USSR decides to use it to place Influence. He places 1 influence in West Germany to begin his takeover of the American-controlled country. It costs 2 points to do so. With one point left, he solidifies his hold on Syria, by spending the remaining point to gain 1 influence there. You can only place influence in a country if it contains, or is adjacent to a country with friendly influence markers at the start of this action round, unless an Event tells you otherwise.

Realignments:
Realignment rolls are used to reduce enemy influence in a country. To attempt a Realignment roll, you don’t need any of your influence in a country, although it helps you be more successful. It costs 1 Ops point to attempt a Realignment roll. Each player rolls a die, and the high roller may remove the difference between the rolls from the opponent’s influence in that country. Ties are considered a draw. There are modifiers to the rolls, as follows:

+1 for each adjacent controlled country

+1 if you have more influence in the target country than your opponent

+1 if your superpower is adjacent to the target country


Although Realignment rolls can reduce your opponent’s influence, they can never add your influence to a country.

Coups:
A Coup represents operations short of full-scale war to change the composition of a country’s government. You do not have to have any influence in a country to attempt a coup, although your opponent must have influence there. To perform a Coup, roll a die and add the Ops Value of the card played to enable it. If your total is greater than double the country’s Stability Number, your Coup is successful, and you reduce your opponent’s influence by the difference. If that takes your opponent’s influence to 0, you place your influence in the country to round out the difference. Ex. Iran’s Stability is 2, and the USSR has 3 influence there. The US performs a Coup with a 3 Ops Value card. Their roll is a 5, total of 8 with their added Ops Value. 8 > 4, so the Coup is successful. The USSR loses all three influence, and since there is still one point unaccounted for, the US gains a point of influence in Iran.

Certain countries find themselves a more desirable target than others. These countries are called battleground countries, and are distinguished by their name bar being in purple.

battleground.png

If a battleground country is the target of a coup, the world notices, and the DEFCON track is decreased by 1. Also, when a card is played for a Coup, you move your marker down the Required Military Operations track a number equal to the Ops Value of the card used. More on this later.

One last note about Operations: If you play a card for Operations and the Event listed is associated with either both players or just yourself, it does not occur. But if you play a card for Ops, and it is associated with your opponent, it does occur. So going back to the Warsaw Pact card from before, if the US played it for Ops, they would have 3 points to spend, but the USSR Event occurs, and they get to alter influence. Some conditions for this:
- Current player always decides whether the event happens before OR after Operations are done
- If the opponent's event is dependent on a prerequisite card that hasn't been played, the Event is not triggered, and is discarded as normal
- If the opponent's event is prohibited by a previously played card, Operations take place, but the Event does not, and the card is discarded as normal.
- If the opponent's event is triggered, but results in no effect, the card is considered played and removed from the game.

Scoring:
Certain cards have no events or Ops points, but instead are Scoring cards for a particular region.

asia-scoring.jpg?w=640

Scoring cards can NEVER be the last card held in your hand at the end of a turn. When a scoring card is played, players calculate how much influence they have in countries in that particular continent. There are three levels: Presence, where you have control of at least one country in that continent; Dominance, where you control both more normal countries and battleground countries in that continent than your opponent, and Control, where you control both more countries than your opponent, and ALL of the battleground countries. These scoring cards can often provide a large and sudden influx of VP's to a player.

Space Race:
Ops Points may be spent by a superpower to move its marker further down the Space Race track, instead of for Operations or Events. To do so, discard a card with the number of Ops points required, as listed on the track(typically at least 2 points are required). You then roll a die, and if you roll in the range listed on the track, you advance your marker. Players may only use one card per turn for the Space Race. There are some spaces on the track that offer VP rewards of two different amounts: The first person to get to that space gets the higher VP reward. Other spaces on the track offer upgrades and rewards, but again, only to the first player to reach that space. Should the second player reach that space as well, the special effect is immediately cancelled. The Space Race is often used as a “safety valve”, to dump events that would be of great value to your opponent and keep them from getting played.

Check Military Status:
“Restraint? Why are you so concerned with saving their lives? The whole idea is to kill the bastards. At the end of the war, if there are two Americans and one Russian left alive, we win.” —Gen. Thomas Power, U.S. Strategic Air Command

The superpowers did not want to be seen as weak, and were constantly toeing the line being effective, and keeping the war from becoming “Hot”. If the DEFCON marker is on anything other than 5, Coup and Realignment rolls are not allowed in certain countries:

DEFCON 4: No Coups or Realignments in Europe
DEFCON 3: No rolls in Europe or Asia
DEFCON 2: No rolls in Europe, Asia, or Middle East

If, when this phase comes up, your marker on the Required Military Operations Track is not at least as far as the current DEFCON status, your opponent gains a number of VPs equal to the difference.

Ex. After this turns actions, the DEFCON marker is at 4. US has played 4 Ops points worth of military operations, but USSR has only played 1. Therefore, the US gains 3 VPs.

The China Card:
China’s large role in the Cold War is abstracted through the China Card, that starts the game with the USSR. The China Card does not count against your hand limit. Playing The China Card counts as one of your Action Rounds. After playing it, it is handed to your opponent, face down. After checking Military Status, the China Card is flipped face up, and is ready for use next turn. The China Card may not be played during the Headline Phase.

Ending the Game:
There are a few ways the game can end before the end of Turn 10:

If one player causes the DEFCON track to reach 1, they lose.

If one player plays the "Europe Scoring" card and is found to be in Control of Europe, they win. A player controls a Region if the controls more countries there than his opponent and also controls ALL the Battleground countries in the Region.

Starting in the Late War, a card called "Wargames" is available to be drawn. This event immediately ends the game after giving the other side 6 VPs.

If one player gets 20 VP’s, they instantly win.

If none of these occur, a Final Scoring occurs. Every region is scored as if its scoring card had just been played. Add 1 VP to the player currently holding the China Card, and determine which player has the most VPs. That player wins the game.
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Hosting Android: Netrunner - Thread 2: The Revenge

The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
stever777 on
«134

Posts

  • stever777stever777 AFK most Saturdays Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    This game will follow the Farangu Format (TM) and take place on a VASSAL game being run on my computer. I’ll keep your hands on my VASSAL game, and PM you your hand at the start of each new turn. You can declare your choice of Headline event in PM, but all other actions should be posted in the thread.

    The OP/SP contain everything you need to know to play, but for those who prefer an encyclopedic knowledge of the rules, the full Rule Book is available online.

    For people who want to learn basic strategy.

    The starting map:

    1twilightstrugglemap.jpg

    This game WILL be using the optional cards.

    Soviets: MrBody

    Americans: Preda

    stever777 on
    Hosting Android: Netrunner - Thread 2: The Revenge

    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    Reserve up! since I'm already in game 6.

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    I can give the Soviets a shot to see if I lose as badly as when I was the Americans.

    MrBody on
  • stever777stever777 AFK most Saturdays Registered User regular
    May be a 1-on-1 game.
    I'll give it a day.

    Hosting Android: Netrunner - Thread 2: The Revenge

    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    America no show. Soviets win by forfeit!

  • stever777stever777 AFK most Saturdays Registered User regular
    @Preda
    Would you be OK playing in 2 games at the same time, both as the US?

    Hosting Android: Netrunner - Thread 2: The Revenge

    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    No problem for me, if it's ok for @MrBody to play aganist an experienced player.

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    I don't think it will change the end result :(

  • Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    There are two e's in 'sleeves', Steeves!

    Currently Playing:
    The Division, Warframe (XB1)
    GT: Tanith 6227
  • stever777stever777 AFK most Saturdays Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Not when you're drunk, there aren't!

    & actually, it's 3!

    stever777 on
    Hosting Android: Netrunner - Thread 2: The Revenge

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    Iron Weasel
  • stever777stever777 AFK most Saturdays Registered User regular
    Cards going out & each side may place starting Influence - first, 6 in E Europe for USSR; then 7 in W Europe for US.
    Then PM me your Headline cards.

    Hosting Android: Netrunner - Thread 2: The Revenge

    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    4 in Austria, 2 in Poland

  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    Weird start eh? Got it!
    3 in Italy
    1 in Austria
    1 in Spain
    1 in Greece
    1 in Spain

  • stever777stever777 AFK most Saturdays Registered User regular
    Headlines chosen. U.S.S.R. has higher Ops so Soviet event goes first:

    olympic-games.jpg?w=640

    Sport often served as an outlet for the intense competition between the Superpowers, and that competition was never so intense as at the Olympics. The Olympics served as a test bed to see which society could make the greatest strides in human physical achievement. It fit neatly into Communist ideology of “the New Man.” The games frequently reflected the global political situation, as with the terrorist attacks in Munich, and became overt political tools with the US boycott of the Moscow games in 1980, and the Soviet boycott of the LA games in 1984.

    middle-east-scoring.jpg?w=640

    In 1946, Truman had to threaten to send warships to the Mediterranean to compel the Soviets to remove troops from Iran. Thus began the Cold War struggle in the Middle East. Since this region provided Western economies with their lifeblood—oil—it also provided the USSR with an irresistible opportunity to meddle. US support for Israel gave the Soviets an opening to the Arab world that they would repeatedly exploit.

    mbs3.png

    Americans to decide whether or not to boycott Olympics.

    @Preda

    Preda wrote: »
    Weird start eh? Got it!
    3 in Italy
    1 in Austria
    1 in Spain
    1 in Greece
    1 in Spain

    I assume you meant Turkey for that last placement(?)

    Hosting Android: Netrunner - Thread 2: The Revenge

    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    We Americans are fair and honest and will never stoop so low as boycott a so important istitution as olympics. We certainly partecipate. Also, yes I meant Turkey, not spain twice sorry for the mistyping...

  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
  • stever777stever777 AFK most Saturdays Registered User regular
    *** Soviet plays Olympic Games Event ***
    * Soviet Die = [4] *** <Soviet>
    * U.S. Die = [1] *** <American>
    * Soviet changes VPs to 2 Soviet Victory Points.

    *** American plays Middle East Scoring Event ***
    * U.S.S.R. has No Presence in Middle East.
    * U.S. has No Presence in Middle East.

    Soviet Action Round 1
    @MrBody

    Hosting Android: Netrunner - Thread 2: The Revenge

    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    Play Nasser for event.

  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    East european unrest for Ops
    +1 Iran
    +2 Afghanistan

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Play NATO to coup Italy (event goes last, naturally)

    Italy, a less stable country than Cuba o_O

    MrBody on
  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    Since neither Marshall nor Warsow plan have already triggered the event will not fire.

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Oh darn!

    Always thought that was a silly event. I can't imagine it ever being worth using over 4 ops.

    MrBody on
  • stever777stever777 AFK most Saturdays Registered User regular
    nasser.jpg

    One of the giants in the Pan-Arab movement, Gamal Abdel Nasser rose to power through military coup. Attempting to steer an independent course during the Cold War, he provoked western governments by accepting Soviet aid, and nationalizing commercial property—the Suez Canal being the most prominent example. Egypt, under his leadership, was viewed as a Soviet client, and would serve as a Russian proxy during repeated wars with Israel. He died in office after 18 years of service, having frustrated the attempts of a variety of domestic and international enemies.

    east-european-unrest.jpg?w=640

    Captured most visibly by Nagy’s attempt to withdraw Hungary from the Warsaw Pact and Czechoslovakia’s Prague Spring of 1968, members of the Warsaw Pact frequently sought to loosen the reins of Moscow. When taken too far, from the Soviet perspective, the effects could be devastating. Soviet tanks became a universal symbol of Soviet determination to hold on to Eastern Europe, through undisguised oppression if necessary.

    nato.jpg

    The second part of the US strategy to rebuild Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) became synonymous with the West’s opposition to the Soviet Union. An oft repeated maxim for NATO’s purpose captures it nicely: “NATO was created to keep the Soviets out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”



    0pwf.png

    *** Soviet initiates coup in Italy with 4 Ops.
    * Soviet changes DefCon to 4.
    * No coups or realignments in Europe.
    * Soviet Die = [4] *** <Soviet>
    * Soviet changes Soviet Military Ops to 4.
    * Removing 3 American Influence from Italy.
    * Adding 1 Soviet Influence in Italy.


    American Action Round 2

    @Preda

    Hosting Android: Netrunner - Thread 2: The Revenge

    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    Comecon for 3 point in Italy then fire event.

    4 influence point for you in Eastern europe @MrBody no more than one per nation.

  • stever777stever777 AFK most Saturdays Registered User regular
    comecon.jpg?w=640

    The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) was founded in reaction to the allure of the Marshall Plan to the Soviet satellites in Eastern Europe. While very loosely organized and dominated by the Soviets in its early years, COMECON would ultimately fulfill the role of trade liberalization and industrial rationalization for Eastern Europe.

    Hosting Android: Netrunner - Thread 2: The Revenge

    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    Austria, Finland, East Germany, and Poland.

    Turkey is considered western europe...huh

  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    @MrBody, you could also play your round.

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    Question: if someone wanted to do a realignment, would it be all right if they went ahead and geth rolled it? The result of each individual roll would affect where you wanted the next roll and that would take a while if the host did it.

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    Independent Reds. 2 influence in south korea. Event has no effect.

  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    Suez crisis for ops
    +1 Grat Bretain
    +1 Lebanon
    +1 Canada
    Than Event, that I presume will lower 2 influence in Great Bretain and 1 in Israel since there is no choice.


    While Coup and Event rolls should be rolled by the host, due to Vassal limitation, reallignment could be bypassed on Vassal by simply removing the final influence. So, no problem for me on rolling reallignment by ourselves, but I'll wait @stever777 answer on that...

  • stever777stever777 AFK most Saturdays Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Preda wrote: »
    While Coup and Event rolls should be rolled by the host, due to Vassal limitation, reallignment could be bypassed on Vassal by simply removing the final influence. So, no problem for me on rolling reallignment by ourselves, but I'll wait @stever777 answer on that...

    I agree with this, but coups can also be rolled by Geth.
    Events should definitely be left to VASSAL.
    Basically, anything that just involves Influence adds/subtractions can be rolled here.

    E - Altho', modifiers for realignments can be weird.
    VASSAL does handle those nicely.
    Up to you guys.

    stever777 on
    Hosting Android: Netrunner - Thread 2: The Revenge

    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    I'm ok with reallignments modifiers, It's how to make geth roll 2 dices with different modifiers that baffles me.

    I'm ok to roll directly coup and reaalignments (once I know how) if @MrBody is ok.

  • Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Geth, roll 1d6+2 for Soviet Realignment Attempt
    Geth, roll 1d6+1 for American Realignment Defense

    Americans win and Soviets lose Influence (if applicable).

    Soviet Realignment Attempt:
    1d6+2 3 [1d6=1]
    American Realignment Defense:
    1d6+1 7 [1d6=6]

    Iron Weasel on
    Currently Playing:
    The Division, Warframe (XB1)
    GT: Tanith 6227
  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    Ah ok, I make 2 rolls... That works. I was simply overcomplicating it trying to do all at once...

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    China card. 2 influence in South Korea, 3 in Taiwan.

  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    Red Scare/Purge as ops Couping Egypt

    Geth, roll 1d6 for US coup attempt in Egypt

    US coup attempt in Egypt:
    1d6 5 [1d6=5]

  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    2 less URSS influence in Egypt, 3 more US ones.

    @MrBody

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    BAM! Asia scoring

  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    As expected...
    Blockade as event. I will NOT discard any card, than lose all my many influence point in Western Germany.
    Than I'll put there (West Germany) the 1 influence point.


    @MrBody for the last round.

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    So do I hold 2 leftover cards for next turn or do I have to ditch one?

    Fidel blasts off to explore space

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