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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Twilight Struggle Ladder Turn 2

My opponent in my Twilight Struggle ladder game was out of town on business, so it took a little longer than usual to finish turn 2. As you may recall, I had a decent start after taking France, being given Cuba by Fidel, capturing a Nazi scientist, and leaving the Iran-Pakistan area empty. This was the board after turn 1:

My hand for turn 2:
   Nuclear Test Ban - 4 Neutral
   NATO - 4 Neutral
   De-Stalinization - 3 USSR
   Warsaw Pact Formed - 3 USSR
   East European Unrest - 3 US 
   Vietnam Revolts - 2 USSR
   Olympic Games - 2 Neutral
   Truman Doctrine - 1 US
   China Card - 4 Neutral

A perfectly fine hand, and I'm always happy to get De-Stalinization in my hands as the Soviets so the Americans don't use it to fund their space program.

Robert headlined Containment, upping all of his Op cards, while I had the Vietnam Revolt go off first, putting 2 influence in Vietnam.

I lead off with a very successful coup in Panama, getting it to 5 USSR influence, and Robert predictibly took Thailand in response to my nearby Vietnamese presence, while also spreading to Egypt.

NATO was formed while I took Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and Robert took Egypt and Jordan.

I made my move with De-Stalinization, taking influence from Romania, Bulgaria, Vietnam, and Panama, in order to take Brazil and Argentina. Robert's CIA (with Containment) took Laos and spread 1 into Algeria. I wish I had had time before then to take Algeria since I have influence in France, but TS forces you to prioritize!

Random Twilight Struggle musings: for those of you new to the game or still learning it's intricacies, here is why I took Brazil and Argentina. It's very possible for the USA to completely shut the Soviets out of the Western Hemisphere, so I take establishing myself there as a priority, unless I think I can win with a quick auto-victory. The Panama Canal Returns card in the Mid-War deck puts a USA influence in Venezuela, so I prefer to move in there later - I'm not sure about this. The Allende card puts Soviet influence in Chile, so there's no reason to put any there first. The one other thing I should have considered more strongly was putting two into Mexico. That would have given me a strong chance to control Central America by just grabbing Costa Rica at some point. I decided to go for a more balanced approach that might let me Dominate both Central and South America.

I decided to fight for it, and put 2 there and 1 into Pakistan. He played Socialist Governments, and simply replaced what he lost, and put the extra 1 from Containment into Burma.

Feeling the creeping American presence on the Asian continent, I went ahead and spent the China Card to take Pakistan and India in one fell swoop. He played the Korean War to take Taiwan, but I got lucky and rolled a 6 to take South Korea!

My final card play was to send East European Unrest into space, which was successful, putting me into having an Animal in Space. Robert successfully space raced as well, using the +1 from Containment to spend Nasser.

Here is the board state as it was after turn 2:

After losing 2 points for missing Military Operations, the VP marker was at 1 for the USA. However, I am very happy with the board position. I have lots in the Western Hemisphere, Domination in Asia, and a turn 3 coup of Egypt could put me in a good state in the Middle East. 


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