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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Variants

Subject: 25 (or 30) point Auto Win Target rss

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Fred Shugars
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I'm wondering if anyone has tried playing with a higher Autowin target than 20?

What got me thinking about that was that I've played several games lately where I've won as the USSR by getting to exactly 20, or maybe 21 points, with a board and hand position that was starting to deteriorate. That is, a game that would be close or a loss if it continued to the end.

Since auto wins are far more common for the USSR, I believe a higher target may be a good way to balance the game without giving additional influence, and which would likely lead to more 10 turn games, which are generally more fun.
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Ben Kyo
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fredact wrote:
... I've played several games lately where I've won as the USSR by getting to exactly 20, or maybe 21 points, with a board and hand position that was starting to deteriorate. That is, a game that would be close or a loss if it continued to the end.
Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

I don't think there's anything intrinsically better about a game lasting 10 turns.
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Klaas-Jan
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Why not just start a new game when you are disappointed how soon a particular game ended?


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Alter Zausel
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fredact wrote:

What got me thinking about that was that I've played several games lately where I've won as the USSR by getting to exactly 20, or maybe 21 points, with a board and hand position that was starting to deteriorate. That is, a game that would be close or a loss if it continued to the end.

With the same reasoning you might rule out the DEFCON auto win, which wouldn't be a good idea either. TS is a very well balanced game. Someone posted some statistics from BGO play showing a 51/49 win ratio. Any changes made may easily spoil that balance.

fredact wrote:

Since auto wins are far more common for the USSR, I believe a higher target may be a good way to balance the game without giving additional influence, and which would likely lead to more 10 turn games, which are generally more fun.

I could imagine though to modify the bidding mechanism by house rule: Let players bid not additional influence but additional VPs. In this case the balancing is up to the players. But I still doubt that a USSR player would bid for a 10-VP-handicap.
 
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Max DuBoff
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Alter_Zausel wrote:
fredact wrote:

What got me thinking about that was that I've played several games lately where I've won as the USSR by getting to exactly 20, or maybe 21 points, with a board and hand position that was starting to deteriorate. That is, a game that would be close or a loss if it continued to the end.

With the same reasoning you might rule out the DEFCON auto win, which wouldn't be a good idea either. TS is a very well balanced game. Someone posted some statistics from BGO play showing a 51/49 win ratio. Any changes made may easily spoil that balance.

*snip*
The last good WGR statistics I saw demonstrated a 51.5/48.5 split in favor of the US with optional cards and +2 to US, which is the closest balance I've ever seen achieved. Large-scale stats from Playdek might change things, but until then US+2 should remain the standard setup.
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Ziemowit Pazderski
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Funny thing is that the Playdek statistics might actually make a bid mess out of USA/USSA score at +2. I've noticed recently that majority of top players there have played most of their games (over 60%) with the USSR. Myself included - on my most active account I have 68% games played with the Soviets, despite never trying to do so. Some of that is caused by playing bidding games, where opponents bid +1, but recently even my random games usually end up with my taking the reds, for whatever reason.

Very unusual - I have seen some top players with roughly even number of games with both sides, but not a single one(!) established (25+ games played) highly rated account with over 60% games played with the USA.
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Ben Kyo
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Yeah, I've noticed people with bad US win rates bidding +1. Not sure what the motivation for that is, but since I'll always bid +2 against such people, I often end up as USSR against people with a bad US track record, (and winning as a result).
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Anton Tolman
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Can someone explain a bit more to me about the bidding variant? I am in my first game using bidding, and I wasn't quite sure how it started. From what I've played so far, I think a USA +2 does help balance the game a bit.Thanks in advance!
 
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Ben Kyo
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dranton wrote:
Can someone explain a bit more to me about the bidding variant? I am in my first game using bidding, and I wasn't quite sure how it started. From what I've played so far, I think a USA +2 does help balance the game a bit.Thanks in advance!
By default US is selected. For a standard game you should normally select USSR, then bid how much influence you will give your opponent so that you can play USSR.
If your opponent selects US you will start with your chosen sides and no handicaps. Bids are ignored.
If your opponent selects USSR, then whoever bid the most will play USSR and give their opponent the amount bid in influence (random if bids were the same).
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
Yeah, I've noticed people with bad US win rates bidding +1. Not sure what the motivation for that is, but since I'll always bid +2 against such people, I often end up as USSR against people with a bad US track record, (and winning as a result).

For me, I flat-out stink against US +2. So my logic is, if both I and another person are bidding US +1, at least I have a coin flip chance of getting the USSR at +1, where I stand a chance.

Yes, I should probably just get better at US +2, but always find myself behind in those games. Here is how it usually goes: US spreads out a lot in the ME (often getting a cheap 4VP to start), gets a fast domination in Europe, and keeps Asia even. Where do early USSR points come from then?
 
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Ben Kyo
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In a "typical game", if there is such a thing, I keep Asia and Europe roughly even (preferably ahead in BGs, behind in countries), hopefully get an edge in ME, and win through Africa and S. America. Of course, nothing is ever that simple.
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
In a "typical game", if there is such a thing, I keep Asia and Europe roughly even (preferably ahead in BGs, behind in countries), hopefully get an edge in ME, and win through Africa and S. America. Of course, nothing is ever that simple.

It is easier said than done. With US holding strong in Iran, they usually will get Pakistan, and then India & Japan. This means USSR effectively has to get SK & Thailand, just to break even (and it's tough to get Thailand against a good US player, unless you can headline Vietnam Revolts).

Meanwhile, whenever I play US+2, unless I have headlined Suez Crisis, the US player's AR1 move is typically Egypt 2*/0, Jordan 1/0, Lebanon 1*/0. Iran 3*/0 is a coin flip for a coup (and easily retaken unless it's an exact roll to wipe it out), and once DEFCON is 3, they're off to Thailand. Is the right response Afghanistan 0/1 and then just keep DEFCON high?
 
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Ben Kyo
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alexdrazen wrote:
Is the right response Afghanistan 0/1 and then just keep DEFCON high?
I don't think there's much point getting too specific, because every game plays out differently, but if the US is gagging for a coup target I probably wouldn't offer up Afghanistan.

I find that a lot of openings at US +2 will have Iran at 2*/0 (unless US holds Socialist Governments and has some way to back up Italy at 3*/0, like a Marshall Plan headline).
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