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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Twilight Struggle Ladder Turn 1

Twilight Struggle is my favorite two player game of all time. I would pretty much play it any time someone suggested it. When both players know the game well, it can take around 2 hours. I finally ran into the online Twilight Struggle ladder than runs through ACTS, a website that keeps track of the cards for you as well as some other information like what turn it is, what DEFCON is, and victory points. I'm using VASSAL to keep track of the board. After waiting for the previous round to end, I was finally been assigned an opponent last week. We rolled off, and I got the Soviets... but wasn't too thrilled by my opening hand.

   US/Japan Pact, 4 US
   DeGaulle, 3 US
   Duck and Cover, 3 US
   Defectors, 2 US
   Independent Reds, 2 US
   Captured Nazi Scientist, 1 Neutral
   UN Intervention, 1 Neutral
   Europe Scoring

Not a lot of Operation Points, and no Soviet events! This was not likely to become a Soviet steamroller game, so I know I am going to have to make sure I get solid gains in the mid game from the Western Hemisphere and Africa.

My opponent, Robert, put his initial influence out in a way that suggested Marshall Plan was coming - with 1 in Greece and 1 in Turkey. He did indeed headline Marshall Plan, and I lead off with DeGaulle Leads France, because he had put two influence in France. I often lead with a coup on the first action round, but with DeGaulle getting out there early, I used Duck and Cover to take France while giving up 1 VP. His first action was to take Spain and move through Malaysia while Cuba went into the hands of the communists.

My second action was to use the US-Japan pact to coup Iran, getting a strong US card out of the deck. Unfortunately I rolled low, which just emptied Iran of all influence. Robert went for a long shot by trying to coup Iraq, and missed.

I captured a Nazi scientist, while Robert put two ops into South Korea.

Two ops went into Afghanistan with defectors, and Robert played Asia scoring. This only gave him five early points with domination and one more battleground.

I went ahead and scored Europe, giving me 1 VP from controlling France for 1 more battleground.

Romania fell to the Soviets while the Americans influenced Lebanon to get some more Mid East presence.

In my final round, I used Independent Reds while cancelling it with UN Intervention, putting 1 in Syria and 1 in Iraq, and Robert finished with getting an earth satellite by pitching Decolonization.

This is how the board looks after turn 1:

I'm feeling comfortable but not thrilled by how my position played out, given my starting hand. Please feel free to critique my play or ask me questions about what my thought process was. Even after 100 plays, I am still learning the nuances of this deep game!


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