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Subject: Canada Fan-made Optional Cards rss

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Hi hello,

Huge Canadian fan of Twilight Struggle! I’ve put together some optional cards relating to Canada which I think add some interesting strategy and features to the game. Some playtesting so far, although nothing too extensive. The cards are intended for play with all optional cards from the Deluxe edition (Special Relationship et al).

The cards themselves can be found below:

http://imgur.com/a/Lsndo1m

Overall, the philosophy with these cards is to:

(a) Recognize Canada’s role in the start of the Cold War and proximity to Russia
(b) Emphasize Canada’s close relationship to the US and how that was challenged culturally during the Cold War
(c) Highlight Canada’s strong aerospace industry which supported NASA in the Cold War and today


For gameplay, these cards add an interesting strategic element to Canada, as the first card turns Canada into an ur-battleground in that it is adjacent to both superpowers. This makes it possible for the USSR to disrupt NORAD, and break Canada control to stop domination using a country which is normally totally inaccessible.

The second card provides a mechanism for the USSR to potentially flip Canada entirely, and gives a strong reward for doing so as it allows them to steal NORAD. However, the US can also use it to activate NORAD without wasting a turn and even if the Soviets have ditched it as they usually do. The USSR with NORAD also adds an interesting mechanism where they can create two crises in AR1. The Summit Series is quite uncertain in outcome, however. Whether you should risk it on either side comes down to your track record in the Olympics, and it gives a higher priority to try to safely event Olympic Games rather than grab safe ops early in the game. This card also gives the US some counterplay around Quagmire as they can delay NORAD and play it safely for ops until Quagmire has come out, at which point this card can snatch it from the discard (also giving them more time to fish for Olympic Games).

The third and fourth cards are heavily tied to the space race. The third is a hand reducer for the US like Blockade and LADC, so that the USSR has another tool to remove powerful cards from them and limit their hand size, something lacking in the Mid War. It also gives the USSR another shot at Canada if they fail the Summit Series. Avro Arrow gives a strong incentive to control Canada by making space race rolls more likely to succeed. P

The last card is an interesting FYP-esque card removal tool to toss a bad card, including a scoring card, at the expense of shrinking your hand. It also provides a huge reward for making it to the end of the space race, something that almost never happens usually (although easier with AA). Having the power to ignore a battleground in Europe is massive, and can lead to some amazing come from behind Europe control victories.


The optional cards are mostly framed as Soviet incursions into Canada, but which the US can use to their advantage if they are clever and lucky. They have a small effect on the flow of the Early War due to +1 card, but that almost never delays the reshuffle. Turn 7 is delayed a bit more often, but Avro Arrow is a card discarder, so it is net neutral with when evented. At only +2 cards, the reshuffle will almost always happen on schedule. I also don’t mind the Turn 7 reshuffle having the potential to be delayed, because it adds another layer of strategy to OMIT and Ask Not with having a Late War only turn and delaying bad scoring cards.


The historical flavour for each promo card is printed below:


#1: Gouzenko Affair (1945)

Igor Gouzenko’s defection from the USSR in 1945 exposed the existence of a Soviet spy ring operating inside Canada. The subsequent federal reaction invoked wartime powers to detain, interrogate, and prosecute suspected communist spies. The affair is considered by many historians to be the start of the Cold War, heralding a new era of espionage and a breakdown of the wartime alliance between East and West. In Canada, the gross violations of civil liberties led to a surge of support for the communist manifesto and fears of totalitarian overreaction.

#2: Summit Series (1972)

Canada’s long history of championship in ice hockey sat at odds with the Soviet claim to total cultural supremacy during the Cold War. When the USSR entered international play in 1954, they rapidly started to dominate the sport, winning nine consecutive championships in the 1960s. Their glory was dampened, however, as Canada had withdrawn from the field following a dispute with the IIHF. The 1972 Super Series was set to create a true best-on-best competition in the sport. An early Soviet run of wins in the series upset Canadian expectations of an easy win, and the subsequent comeback is widely recognized as one of the most dramatic and incredible sports results of all time. The series captured the world’s attention as the Soviet Union almost claimed victory over America’s closest neighbour in their iconic sport.

#3: Avro Arrow (1955 - 1957)

The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was designed and built by Avro Canada in 1955 as the next generation of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s interceptor fleet. The aircraft was decades ahead of its time, capable of Mach 2 speeds at altitudes exceeding 50,000 feet using its unique delta wing shape. Plans were made to sell the Arrow to both the US and Britain. However, both deals fell through when Britain cancelled almost all manned fighter aircraft programs in 1957 and the US declined on the belief that the Soviet Union was moving their strategic force to ICBM’s. The subsequent cancellation became known as ‘Black Friday’ in Canadian aviation, and put more than 14,000 Avro employees out of work. All prototypes and data of the Arrow were ordered destroyed in fears that the USSR had infiltrated Avro - fears which turned out to be justified. The cancellation massively disrupted Canada’s aerospace industry, and led to a brain drain to other countries. US tensions became extremely strained when the design of the Space Shuttle was unveiled in 1969, which bore a striking resemblance to the cancelled Arrow.

#4: Canadarm (1975 - 1981)

Canada was invited by NASA to contribute to the Space Shuttle program in 1969. Although neither party knew what this would entail at the time, the partnership led to the development of the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System, an external manipulator inspired by a fuel-loading robot used as part of the CANDU nuclear reactors. The system cemented Canada’s aerospace relationship with the US, and eased tensions between the nations after the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. Given the name ‘Canadarm’ in 1981 by the head of the NRC, the system became an icon for Canadian aerospace. New versions of the Canadarm manipulator system continued to be developed into the 20th century and the present day, leading to a continued reputation of excellence in Canada for space system design and control.


Your thoughts on the cards would be appreciated!
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Those cards are amazing! This game is amazing!
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Casey H
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ludichrisness wrote:
Hi hello,

Huge Canadian fan of Twilight Struggle! I’ve put together some optional cards relating to Canada which I think add some interesting strategy and features to the game. Some playtesting so far, although nothing too extensive. The cards are intended for play with all optional cards from the Deluxe edition (Special Relationship et al).

The cards themselves can be found below:

http://imgur.com/a/Lsndo1m

Overall, the philosophy with these cards is to:

(a) Recognize Canada’s role in the start of the Cold War and proximity to Russia
(b) Emphasize Canada’s close relationship to the US and how that was challenged culturally during the Cold War
(c) Highlight Canada’s strong aerospace industry which supported NASA in the Cold War and today


For gameplay, these cards add an interesting strategic element to Canada, as the first card turns Canada into an ur-battleground in that it is adjacent to both superpowers. This makes it possible for the USSR to disrupt NORAD, and break Canada control to stop domination using a country which is normally totally inaccessible.

The second card provides a mechanism for the USSR to potentially flip Canada entirely, and gives a strong reward for doing so as it allows them to steal NORAD. However, the US can also use it to activate NORAD without wasting a turn and even if the Soviets have ditched it as they usually do. The USSR with NORAD also adds an interesting mechanism where they can create two crises in AR1. The Summit Series is quite uncertain in outcome, however. Whether you should risk it on either side comes down to your track record in the Olympics, and it gives a higher priority to try to safely event Olympic Games rather than grab safe ops early in the game. This card also gives the US some counterplay around Quagmire as they can delay NORAD and play it safely for ops until Quagmire has come out, at which point this card can snatch it from the discard (also giving them more time to fish for Olympic Games).

The third and fourth cards are heavily tied to the space race. The third is a hand reducer for the US like Blockade and LADC, so that the USSR has another tool to remove powerful cards from them and limit their hand size, something lacking in the Mid War. It also gives the USSR another shot at Canada if they fail the Summit Series. Avro Arrow gives a strong incentive to control Canada by making space race rolls more likely to succeed. P

The last card is an interesting FYP-esque card removal tool to toss a bad card, including a scoring card, at the expense of shrinking your hand. It also provides a huge reward for making it to the end of the space race, something that almost never happens usually (although easier with AA). Having the power to ignore a battleground in Europe is massive, and can lead to some amazing come from behind Europe control victories.


The optional cards are mostly framed as Soviet incursions into Canada, but which the US can use to their advantage if they are clever and lucky. They have a small effect on the flow of the Early War due to +1 card, but that almost never delays the reshuffle. Turn 7 is delayed a bit more often, but Avro Arrow is a card discarder, so it is net neutral with when evented. At only +2 cards, the reshuffle will almost always happen on schedule. I also don’t mind the Turn 7 reshuffle having the potential to be delayed, because it adds another layer of strategy to OMIT and Ask Not with having a Late War only turn and delaying bad scoring cards.


The historical flavour for each promo card is printed below:


#1: Gouzenko Affair (1945)

Igor Gouzenko’s defection from the Soviets in 1945 exposed the existence of a Soviet spy ring operating in Canada. The subsequent federal reaction invoked wartime powers to detain, interrogate, and prosecute suspected communist spies. The affair is considered by many historians to be the start of the Cold War, heralding a new era of espionage and a breakdown of the wartime alliance between East and West. In Canada, the gross violations of civil liberties led to a surge of support for the communist manifesto and fears of totalitarian overreaction.

#2: Summit Series (1972)

Canada’s long history of championship in ice hockey sat at odds with the Soviet claim to total cultural supremacy. When the USSR entered international play in 1954, they rapidly started to dominate, winning nine consecutive championships in the 1960s. Their glory was dampened, however, as Canada had withdrawn from the field following a dispute with the IIHF. The 1972 Super Series was set to create a true best-on-best competition in the sport. An early Soviet run of wins in the series upset Canadian expectations of an easy win, and the subsequent comeback is widely recognized as one of the most dramatic and incredible sports results of all time. The series captured the world’s attention as the Soviet Union almost claimed victory over America’s closest neighbour in their most famous sport.

#3: Avro Arrow (1955 - 1957)

The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was designed and built by Avro Canada in 1955 as the next generation of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s interceptor fleet. The aircraft was decades ahead of its time, capable of Mach 2 speeds at altitudes exceeding 50,000 feet using its unique delta wing shape. Plans were made to sell the Arrow to both the US and Britain. However, both deals fell through when Britain cancelled almost all manned fighter aircraft programs in 1957 and the US declined on the belief that the Soviet Union was moving their strategic force to ICBM’s. The subsequent cancellation became known as ‘Black Friday’ in Canadian aviation, and put more than 14,000 Avro employees out of work. All prototypes and data of the Arrow were ordered destroyed in fears that the USSR has infiltrated Avro - fears which turned out to be justified. The cancellation massively disrupted Canada’s aerospace industry, and led to a brain drain to other countries. US tensions became extremely strained when the design of the Space Shuttle was unveiled in 1969, which bore a striking resemblance to the cancelled Arrow.

#4: Canadarm (1975 - 1981)

Canada was invited by NASA to contribute to the Space Shuttle program in 1969. Although neither party knew what this would entail at the time, the partnership led to the development of the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System, an external manipulator inspired by a fuel-loading robot used as part of the CANDU nuclear reactors. The system cemented Canada’s aerospace relationship with the US, and eased tensions between the nations after the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. Given the name ‘Canadarm’ in 1981 by the head of the NRC, the system became an icon for Canadian aerospace. New versions of the Canadarm manipulator system continued to be developed into the 20th century and the present day, leading to a continued reputation of excellence in Canada for space system design and control.


Your thoughts on the cards would be appreciated!

I'm kind of surprised that 3 of the 4 cards are USSR cards and the only Late War card is a neutral event. The events themselves are interesting, and I like that Gouzenko gives the US a benefit (1 VP if they control Canada during Europe Scoring).

Maybe adding a US card similar to UJMDP where the US player gains control of Canada would be a good balance (to deter USSR a bit from taking it).
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Thanks, I really appreciate the input!

The main thing to recognize is that the US has the initial edge on taking Canada if they so choose, starting with +2 influence in the country. The first three cards are all framed as the USSR making a play for Canada, or the US potentially botching their relationship with Canada and paying a price for it. This is reflective of how the USSR has strong momentum in the early game, and if the US can weather the storm, they can come out stronger for it.

Although Gouzenko, Summit Series, and Avro Arrow all are USSR events with a sting to them, a smart US player can use each of them to their advantage:


- By eventing Gouzenko at the right time and using the 2 ops to repair the damage, the US can secure +1 VP on each Europe scoring (4 total, 8 net)

- If the US gets a win over the USSR in the Olympic Games in the Early War, then playing Summit Series accomplishes a lot of things. They kick the USSR out of Canada, keep +1 on Europe scoring, get 2 VP, immediately play NORAD even from the discard without momentum or tempo loss, and even get to play 3 ops for the trouble. On the other hand, the USSR stands to gain even more from it, since it is the only way for them to steal control of NORAD, which gives them a very impressive power in the later turns and allows them to fight back a bit as their position degrades. One of my favourite things about this event is that it actually makes the decision to boycott the Olympic Games into a real decision, where giving up ops earlier in the game can potentially allow a big swing in the later game as opposed to the almost guaranteed 2 VP loss 'meh' event it is now.

- Avro Arrow is nominally a USSR event, but it also allows the US to get rid of a dangerous 3+ op card they might have, like WWBY, Destal, or Muslim Revolution, without loss of tempo. It also rewards them for holding on to Canada by making the Space Race much easier in the late game; getting this card in play means that Space Station is realistically achievable especially with Canadarm.


So basically the USSR has three big chances to gain ground in Canada, which can all be mitigated by savvy US play. The USSR gives up more momentum in playing these events, without any additional ops from the card play to capitalize on their effects. It also gives more of an incentive for the US to grab Canada earlier compared to the Mediterranean states, since Gouzenko likely will shake things up.

EDIT: It's also worth noting that Canada is a viable target for Special Relationship, which gives the US another opportunity to take back some ground in it if they get kicked out, or to disrupt USSR Norad.
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ludichrisness wrote:

- If the US gets a win over the USSR in the Olympic Games in the Early War, then playing Summit Series accomplishes a lot of things.
This interaction with Olympic Games is pretty neat.


ludichrisness wrote:

- Avro Arrow is nominally a USSR event, but it also allows the US to get rid of a dangerous 3+ op card they might have...It also rewards them for holding on to Canada by making the Space Race much easier in the late game...
This is my oversight. The discard is helpful and I was (for some reason) not attributing the -1 to the roll to be good. I should have thought more about that.

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MollyMae wrote:
The discard is helpful and I was (for some reason) not attributing the -1 to the roll to be good. I should have thought more about that.

Haha, yeah, the only time in the game people want to roll low :-)

Anyway, thank you very much for your thoughts! I've definitely enjoyed the effect that these cards have on the game, although I am certainly open to suggestions to improve them. I don't want to bloat the deck too much with new cards though, since each new card drawn is an old and potentially important card not drawn.
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