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Subject: Twilght Struggle Deluxe - Optional Cards Review rss

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Optional Cards review (3rd deluxe version)

A lot of reviews have been written to describe the pros & cons of Twilight Struggle, Yet I couldn't find one that specifically dealt with the optional cards included in the 3rd version of TS.

After some games with and without the optional cards, I decided it was time give a comparison between the game with or without these cards.

The Cards:

Early war:

#104: The Cambridge five (2op's - USSR)
card text: The US-player exposes all scoring cards in their hand. The USSR player may then add 1 influence in any single region named on one of these scoring cards (USSR choice). Cannot be played as an event in the Late War.
Strategy?
When this card is in the US player's hand, he can really easy mitigate it. Either he plays his scoring cards first, decides to play 1 and show the other after playing this cards. (he has no or strong presence in that region). Preferably he should hold on to it until round 3 to minimize the change of redrawing early on.
When this card is in the USSR player's hand, he should be able to play it as the headline or on his first action round, therefore maximizing his possibilities to work with the info given.
The verdict:
Rarely a problem for the US player. A little help for the already strong USSR player in early war. Can become more dangerous in mid war for the US.

#105: Special relationship (2op's - US)
Card text: If UK is US controlled but NATO is not in effect, US adds 1 influence to any country adjacent to the UK. If UK is US controlled and NATO is in effect, US adds 2 influence to any Western European country and gains 2 VPs.
Strategy?
This is a strong card for the US player (and he will need it during the early war). Since UK is quite easily US controlled he will most certainly enjoy the event. Down side is that for maximum profit he will need to play NATO, in which he losses a 4op's card.
In the USSR hand this cards is worth space racing (at least when NATO is in effect). USSR player might considering playing Suez crisis as an event in mid war to remove IP's out of UK in order to nullify the event.
The Verdict:
Very good card for the US player in order to keep USSR away from domination in Europe, but the USSR is helped by the NATO-statement.

#106: NORAD (3ops - US)
Card text: If the US controls Canada, the US may add 1 influence to any country already containing US influence at the conclusion of any Action Round in which the DEFCON marker moves to the "2" box. Cancelled by #42 Quagmire.
Strategy?
For the US player this is almost a guaranteed 1-IP per Turn. Mostly after the first Action Round. Although one could argue over the effect of 1 IP, it keeps the USSR on their toes (making sure to Over-control a bit). It should be played rather early in game to maximize the effect. Canada finally sees some play with this card.
In the Strategy forum is has been known as "the Poland Laser" by some.
As the USSR player there isn’t much you can do. I played it in Turn 1 / Action Round 1 a couple of times. That's a good 3ops received.
The Verdict:
Although is doesn't help to spread the US influence, it will keep the USSR sharp in countries where US placed IP's.

Mid War:

#107: Che (3ops - USSR)
Card text: USSR may immediately make coup attempt using this card’s operations value against a non-battleground country in Central America, South America or Africa. If the coup removes any US influence, USSR may make a second coup attempt against a different target under the same restrictions.
Strategy?
For the USSR player this is an nice gateway card to the Americas, not really because you get to coup (a non-battleground country is easily couped back, but more in the sense that you get an some breathing room for your event cards. The threat it imposes is of course easy to nullify by the US player if this card comes up early in the mid war. Just make sure you have no non-battleground countries, but it hardly worth waiting for it as the US player. Just be ready to coup back quickly if you suspect one of the scoring cards is out & it could cancel the USSR’s Domination/Control.
The Verdict:
More interesting for the USSR as an OPS card unless you try to gain a quick Domination/Control move with this card as the Headline.

#108: Our man in Tehran (3ops – US)
Card text: If the US controls at least one (1) Middle East country, then the US player draws the top 5 cards from the draw pile. They may reveal and then discard any or all of these drawn cards without triggering the event. Any remaining drawn cards are returned to the draw deck, and it’s reshuffled.
Strategy?
For the US player I can only think this is interesting to play if you’re in a turn right before the reshuffle and one the scoring cards you DON’T want to have is still in the draw deck. Otherwise you’re better of playing the 3ops. As the USSR player I don’t worry to much about it. 3ops in mid war is nice (especially during the end of the mid war / late war). The above mentioned scenario for the US player of course also affects you as the USSR. Perhaps this would be a nice time to hold it as you last card, so that you play it during the turn right after the reshuffle.
The Verdict:
With a slight change of getting rid of high ops USSR cards I would say “a fine card”, yet it imposes almost no threat to the USSR if he/she get’s the card.

Late War

#109: Yuri & Samantha (2ops – USSR)
Card text: USSR receives 1 VP for each US coup attempt made for the remainder of the current turn.
Strategy?
If (and this is a big if) the DEFCON is for any reason very high (4 or 5), this could make a good headline. Since the US player will most likely still make the coup attempts, it gains you some quick VP’s a point in time you (USSR) can use it. Having said that, I’ve yet to see the DEFCON in the high numbers during Late War and therefore never seen this played as an event by the USSR. The US player simply waits till their last or second to last turn to play this harmlessly.
The Verdict:
A 2ops card, with a hardly functional event, unless played in a strict combination with DEFCON improvement cards (SALT, Glasnost, How I stopped… )

#110: AWACS sale to Saudis (3ops – US)
Card text: US receives 2 influence in Saudi Arabia. Muslim Revolution may no longer be played as an event.
Strategy?
If the US player can get their hands on this card quickly in Late War, this card can be a nightmare for the USSR in the Middle East. Muslim Revolution is on of those cards that can kill the US in the ME. If the US receives it during turn 9 or 10 with M-R already out of the deck (and no reshuffle) it would be better to us the 3ops to gain some momentum in the ME or elsewhere. The USSR player has a ton of options to get rid of this card. Wait until you played M-R. Put some extra resources in Saudi to keep Control or Space Race it (a 3ops card would enough during the Late War to space race. Only box 8 requires a 4ops card).
The Verdict:
A welcomed card for the US by either a 3ops card and if played at the right time a nice & powerful event.

The optional cards in General:
After a couple of plays of TS, we (my trusty US opponent & me) decided we give the optional cards a try. I must say I didn’t regret this once. Although I’m not convinced the cards really help in balancing the game during any phase.
Even though I like the fact that you have:
1) More cards (Less is Bore, More is Fun)
2) Che Guevara (a must for a global cold war game)
3) Yes it does help the US, mostly with “Special Relationship”.

Since we started using the optional cards our games because (although perhaps even only slightly) more interesting. So for a couple of cards you receive anyway if you order the Deluxe Version, you can’t go wrong.

Cheers, Haring
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Riku Riekkinen
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#106: NORAD (3ops - US)

I too preferred to play this early. However now I feel that 5OPs is very often too big spending at the start. Since NORAD takes also effect after Quagmire, its also helpful, if left to late war. So... if I get it turn 1, I might play it. But turns 2-3 not so often.

#107: Che (3ops - USSR)

This is an OPs powerhouse. Basically it gives 6OPs for the USSR. With Brezhnev 8OPs. At the first glance I thought this was too powerful event, but it hasn't felt so as many times there aren't enough good targets. Anyway a VERY strong card.

#108: Our man in Tehran (2ops - US)

Isn't this 2OPs? Well anyway stronger card than it seems at the first glance. Getting rid of 2 USSR events means one less to each players hand. Makes things easier for you and harder for the enemy.
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Jamie Pollock
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Yes, Our Man in Tehran should be a 2 Ops card according to official errata. I often find this an underrated card. Being able to dilute the draw pile of USSR events is quite an advantage in the mid-war where the US already shine!

Special Relationship with NATO is a space race for the USSR. Without NATO it's crap, which really means you need the USSR to draw NATO early, and just after Marshall Plan or Warsaw Pact have been activated. Quite a lot to get through, but if it can be achieved then this card can be a thorn in the USSR's plans.

NORAD is very unpredictable. If activated early and quagmire can be circumvented, it's a real pain for the USSR. However, it's also very handy as a 3 Ops card in the early war, a time when the US really needs easy Ops. There have been times I've activated it only for the next round to see the USSR headline quagmire... Still, I've also seen it drastically influence games.

Overall the cards are a great addition and are a much needed (re)balancing tool. We use them all the time now.
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Chris Linneman
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If Muslim Revolution is still in the deck, I am very tempted to play Our Man in Tehran for the event as the US player.
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I love the new cards.

NORAD is very powerful, IF the US player can get it out in the early war. Quagmire terminates it, so if you don't get it early, it's almost worth forgoing for the 3 ops. But if you can get this out early and then space Quagmire? Bazinga! I've never seen so many Socialist Government plays used to suck influence from Canada. I hesitate to call NORAD a game changer, but it sure makes Canada an interesting place all of a sudden.

Special Relationship is awesome, and is actually worth playing NATO as an event for. 2 influence *and* 2VP? Huge.

Che is interesting in his limited way. You ideally want to pick a 1 stability country in Africa and then go for that South/Central American target you have your eye on (unless South/Central America is desperate for you). I like this card though it gets limited play as an event.

I've seen Yuri & Samantha exactly once, and it's too bad because it's a great headline for the Soviets. However, because it's late war, its effect is really limited. Especially if the DEFCON is already 3 at the start of the turn. Could easily be played without I think.

Cambridge Five is huge. It's a headache every time I have it in my hand as the Americans and I have scoring cards. Urgh! Brilliantly frustrating, but well conceived and balanced IMO.

Our Man in Tehran... can be awesome or can suck. If you pull lots of events you want to see discarded, it's great. If you pull lots of events you would have loved to see next turn, well, who knows where they'll end up in the deck. Timing on this one is important too, because you might be discarding events that get shuffled right back in.

AWACS Sales to Saudis... I'm mixed on this one. If it comes out in time to save you from Muslim Revolution it's fine, but if you're so far behind in the Middle East that you need this card to climb back in the Soviets will have already put in 5 influence into Saudi...

Ames Remixed... Honestly, I liked the old Ames better. I can live with the remix version, but I wouldn't have had my greatest comeback victory ever with the Remix edition.
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leroy43 wrote:
Ames Remixed... Honestly, I liked the old Ames better. I can live with the remix version, but I wouldn't have had my greatest comeback victory ever with the Remix edition.


Good point, although (just to be really picky modest ) Ames isn't an optional card. Or I should say: At least not in the Deluxe version.

I have never played the "old" Ames so I can't comment on that, but I think it still be considered on of the most important Late War cards for the USSR.

Cheers, Haring

PS: thanks for the Thumbs so far. At least the effort didn't go in vain.
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Kevin Brown
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Yuri & Samantha is a good answer to Nuclear Subs, if the latter comes out in the Late War,
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Haring wrote:
leroy43 wrote:
Ames Remixed... Honestly, I liked the old Ames better. I can live with the remix version, but I wouldn't have had my greatest comeback victory ever with the Remix edition.


Good point, although (just to be really picky modest ) Ames isn't an optional card. Or I should say: At least not in the Deluxe version.


True, but a lot of people bought the upgrade kit to move from 2nd to Deluxe.

Quote:
I have never played the "old" Ames so I can't comment on that, but I think it still be considered on of the most important Late War cards for the USSR.



The old Ames is often accused of being overpowered, but in my almost 200 plays it only decided one game (the one I cited in my earlier thread). It was also a 4-ops card, which was sweet.

The new Ames is ok. It would be a dream card to have with Iranian Hostage Crisis and Terrorism in hand.
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Haring wrote:
leroy43 wrote:
Ames Remixed... Honestly, I liked the old Ames better. I can live with the remix version, but I wouldn't have had my greatest comeback victory ever with the Remix edition.


Good point, although (just to be really picky modest ) Ames isn't an optional card. Or I should say: At least not in the Deluxe version.

I have never played the "old" Ames so I can't comment on that, but I think it still be considered on of the most important Late War cards for the USSR.

Cheers, Haring

PS: thanks for the Thumbs so far. At least the effort didn't go in vain.


A view shared never goes into waste...
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Ioan Mitiu
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I want to give my 2 cents on optional cards too.
From the beginning I want to specify that I found out about TS and bought my copy on 2010, Deluxe edition so I've got the optional cards by default ( and also the misprinted copies for 3 of them ) - so for me this version is actually "The Game".

After played more games I started to notice what seems to be several design-issues ( with different gravity I'd said ) and/or opportunity to improve the game balance & feeling and IMHO the conclusion is that the set of optional cards somehow failed to fulfill this task ... blush

But let's give my impressions :

Haring wrote:
The Cards:

Early war:

#104: The Cambridge five (2op's - USSR)


As it was said this card could be easily mitigated by US - and usually it end up being a "blank 2OP" card. From this point of view the only annoying fact is that it don't leave the deck - keeping an increased number of USSR-event there.
As for USSR ... here the discussion is a little bit more complex ( and also the real problem appears ). With 2 OP it is below the average OP-value EarlyWar cards so its primary help for Soviet player are that it offers a good candidate for headline in one of the initial 3 Turns ( considering both OPs and Defectors menance considerations ).If it get canceled or US has no scoring card in hand to be revealed ... it is still under control.
But if ( I agree that there are alot of preconditions to this but anyway ) in T1 headline US reveal a scoring card due to this - particulary Asia Scoring
this became suddenly an insanely strong card - placing 1 IP in India ( due to its 3-degree stability ) basically offer to Soviet player sudden access to both West Asia battelground, a good instant usage for China card !, and make the usual Iran-coup somehow optional. Also 1 IP in Europe - in France, behind the WGer/Italy protection-wall or in UK to break the default control in that stronghold ( because this card don't list even the Destalinization restriction in US-controlled countries ) - is extremly strong. whistle
Even in T2 such a free-influence is strong - considering the fact that DEFCON is lower it could be even better - but already the players would use other cards also for this purpose.

Verdict :

This card is interesting as mechanic and has a good historical flavor but due to this big difference between the possible efect of the same card - and at beginning of the game when USSR is already stronger than US ! - I'd say that it is a problematic addition in Optional cards set.

Quote:

#105: Special relationship (2op's - US)
{...}


As US player it's likely that the "non-NATO" effect of card won't worth to be traded for 2 OPs but the "full version" ... ohoo - will not only give 2 VP ( something which is usually really needed for a come-back in MidWar ) but also, if played propely ( on AR 6 or 7 ), could turn the course in an USSR-dominated Europe.
For USSR player this card arise a whole set of troubles - from tendency to place IP in an ennemy controlled UK ( if not overcontrolled ) resulting in lose of momentum to spacing NATO ( a 4 OPs card ! ). Only Suez Crisis could provide sort of help in avoiding its effects - because I'd consider the partial usage of Socialist Governments against UK a drawback too ...

Verdict :

This card has a good historical flavor, good mechanic and it offers a real help for US player in Early Game. My only personal complain ( for which I'd rate it below Che ) is that the additional 2 VP could be too much - considering the cumulative effect of possible 3-4 occurences of this card. Maybe just 1 VP would be better ... but anyway - it's a good addition to the game.

Quote:

#106: NORAD (3ops - US)
{...}


This card was looong debated and analysed so it's not too much to say about it just to note the following aspect : it could be either totally insignificant ( if for example US player use initially its OPs in EarlyWar and after this Soviet player use it for its OPs just to "quagmirize" US next turn ) or the most powerfull INF-placer event in the game ( let's image that Soviet player play it in T1 or T2 and US player manage to control quickly Canada and also, latter, to space/held Quagmire* until end of game - so it will offer in such a scenario between 9-12 INF at no double cost during the whole game ! surprise )
Something similar is valid, but on opposite direction - as I already mentioned - for The Cambridge Five so I'd apply the same conclusion for its drawback to this one, but somehow I estimate that in comparation NORAD* proves to be easier to handle/provide its benefit to US.

Verdict :

This card propose an interesting mechanic and has a good historical reason but due to this big difference between the possible efect of the same card - possible during the whole MidWar, when US already has plenty of opportunities to switch the tide ! - I'd say that it is a problematic addition in Optional cards set.

Quote:

Mid War:

#107: Che (3ops - USSR)


For Soviet player this card offer the much-needed opportunity to both contest an eventual US domination in the three regions where coups&realignments are possible at any DEFCON-level ( in non-BG countries at least ) and reach 5-MilOps in a single shot. Of course that there is possible for US player to be lucky and to play it when there is no capitalist influence in any non-BG countries in that region ( at begining of T4 for example ) - but this event is a recurring one so ... - or to try to get Control in these regions only by using BG countries - but this is quite hard to achive usually. A most likely scenarion for this card is that it will likely force US player to suboptimally score South & Central America and Africa ( let's say - getting just few VP for more controlled BG instead of a Domination ) which is very good in term of game-balancing in MidWar in quite frequent situations when USSR was expelled or kept of both SA & CA.
But it's also a 3 OPs-value card and still offer for an inventive & skilled US player a lucrative base to be used ... or at least to be spaced until late on Space Race track.

Verdict :

Good game-mechanic, excellent historical flavor and balance-purpose achived without too many side-effects - so I rate this card as the best from the optional-set !
And I see that this good rating is not only mine.

Quote:

#108: Our man in Tehran (3ops – US)


Well ... IMHO this card is the most problematic addition from "optional set" and I'll try to explain why :
1. One of the biggest advantage for US player in MidWar is its superior hand-manipulation event(s). And what just guess what was choosen by designers : to go further on and to offer for and only for US player a "deck-manipulation" event !!!
2. Despite MiddleEast is an hostile region for US it is usually hard for USSR to prevent its prerequisite ( even that last evening this happened to me ... whistle );

Quote:

Late War

#109: Yuri & Samantha (2ops – USSR)


For US player it's quite easy to deal with the effect of this card : just play in on the AR7 or something similar so it gifts 2 OPs almost at no cost. Which I suspect is what make it seems very week ... BUT ...
For USSR player this card is a very good candidate to headline due to 1) it's below LateWar average OPs value;
2) ( more important ) it will be a good pair Iran-Contra scandal card which will reduce US realignments-effectiveness. As long as LateWar offers some intense action in regions non-protected by DEFCON level US player could be in quite big disadvantage by being punished also for trying to switch the balance using coups ( even non-BG coups are usually usefull in this stage ).

Verdict :

Somehow interesting historical flavor - probably an attempt to portray a long line of Soviet "soft-propaganda". Well-fit game mechanic ... but effective only when played by Soviet player ( which is a serious drawback - a better version would be if it gives 1 VP anyway when played to still offer something to USSR ).
What is debatable if the game really need it in term of balance ... because IMHO the LateWar cards are not at all so "US-oriented" as depicted. angry

Quote:

#110: AWACS sale to Saudis (3ops – US)


For USSR player - if it played satifactory the "Muslim Revolution" until that point - the card is quite easy to mitigate due to its 3OPs provided ( if Soviet already controlled Saudi Arabia at that point 2 OPs from its value will cover the damage and still is 1 more to use elsewhere ). And even if MR is turned to a blank 4 OPs card there are still 2 more Late War Soviet event left which will haunt US player in ME ... angry
For US player - except the situation when Saudi Arabia is not controlled/partially controlled or access to Middle East was cut due to some aggresive wipe of US-influence I'd say that the 3 OPs are more important than the event. Except if "Muslim Revolution" wasn't played at all until that point ... which couls signal a big danger in area. angry

Verdict :

I'd say that the design-principle behind the card is absolutely OK ( US badly needed a second friendly MiddleEast event ! ), the historical flavor is also nice but ... it seems like it offers too little and too late. cry
Maybe an enhanced version - like a +1 for realignments in Middle East that turn or something similar would increased its value but the actual version is ... not really what was expected.

Quote:

The optional cards in General:
After a couple of plays of TS, we (my trusty US opponent & me) decided we give the optional cards a try. I must say I didn’t regret this once. Although I’m not convinced the cards really help in balancing the game during any phase.
Even though I like the fact that you have:
1) More cards (Less is Bore, More is Fun)
2) Che Guevara (a must for a global cold war game)
3) Yes it does help the US, mostly with “Special Relationship”.

Since we started using the optional cards our games because (although perhaps even only slightly) more interesting. So for a couple of cards you receive anyway if you order the Deluxe Version, you can’t go wrong.

Cheers, Haring
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Ioan Mitiu
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Quote:
The new Ames is ok. It would be a dream card to have with Iranian Hostage Crisis and Terrorism in hand.


If played in T10 ( headline usually but even in first ARs too it's OK ) it is still a very powerful and important card - because it gives the opportunity to USSR player to be "the one who seals the map".
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Ioan Mitiu
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I managed to complete my ideas and observations on Deluxe cards so - as a conclusion :

The good

1. Few more cards are always nice & fun. Not too many cards was added anyway - so the drawing-chances wasn't altered too much. cool
2. Part of the added cards ( like Che, Special Relationship ) are both historical and game-mechanic well done and ( quite ) well balanced too.

The bad

1. Don't get me wrong - I like TS very much - but IMHO the game has several design-issues which this additional cards failed to address/balance ( or did this just partially ).
2. Even worse - the set itself seems to push the asymetry of the game even further ... blush Here I consider both the supplementary deck-manipulation allowed by Our Man in Tehran* card ( did US really need it in MidWar ?? ) or the asymetry of The Cambridge Five - NORAD* pair ( I'm thinking more and more that these two cards was designed as sort of pair - because follow the TS design-patter : a possible faster and strong USSR-advantage in one place against a much possible small, but constant cumulation of US-influence over the board ).

The ugly

1. Some important ( maybe very important - it depends on interpretations ) was left out - which could make some players unhappy. I mean - we all know that this is just a game but ... still ... blush
2. Even some cards introduce new, interesting game-mechanics ( like NORAD* ) I have the feeling that designers choose a somewhat "conservative path", probably to avoid deep testing.

Hope that my message(s) will be read and are not too boring.
Thanks to everyone who follow me !
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Jamie Pollock
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Care to elaborate on your The Bad first point?

I really like the new additions to the game. I feel they return some semblance of balance even though I tend to agree that they erred a little too much on the conservative side.
 
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Ioan Mitiu
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Jambo wrote:
Care to elaborate on your The Bad first point?


Of course.
From my experience/analysis Twilight Struggle relies on a deliberate asymetry to be such an unique game : one side - USSR - designed to be strong in the Early War ( if you want we could elaborate - but in short this is assured mainly due to a combination of good events in all 3 early-scored regions, AR1 coup advantage, a little better starting position in Middle East ) while the other - US - is designed to be increasly strong on Mid War ( in short this is assured mainly due to good US events with reduced OPs value, even 1-OP so the Soviet cannot space them and anyway these are usually big troubles for him/her to mitigate, possible better access to South America and far superior hand manipulation events ).
To be clear - it's nothing wrong with this design actually it is the biggest element of success in the game ! In most of a situation competent and/or equal-skilled players will have interesting and well-balanced games but ...

BUT ...

... I'd say that still exist a too large percentage of games which could be decided/won even if the opposing player acts as good as possible on given circumstances. And this I'd consider to be a design-issue which I reffered.

Not sure that this is proper place to discuss this but ...from my experience I'd say that this happen usually due to the following reasons/in following scenarios :

1. US has no friendly event in Middle East in Early war blush - and, as long as one of this starting country in region - Iran - is anyway extremly important for West Asia access, it's likely to be put under heavy pressure in ME' west-side. Add to this the possible effect of the existing 3 USSR-events in that region ...
And actually it's even worse : as long as with the new cards is even more difficult for USSR to get domination in Europe ( I start already a discussion about this ) this actually end up being a subtle disadvantage for US player as long as USSR could neglect somehow Europe after a draw is assured there and try to score favorably the other 2 regions ( better chances for this to happen anyway ).

2. Multiple ( or even succesive ) RedScare/Purge against the same player. Somehow similar is the combination of Containment* headlined by US player + RedScare/Purge in the next turn against Soviet player ... and in my estimation USSR is more vulnerable to this combo ( due to Defectors for eg but also due to probabilities ). I know that this is just a game ... and a card & dice one - but it somehow sucks to lose this way. Also it could cost USSR the momentum which is expected to have in Early War so it will be close to impossible to play against a competent US player which both Purged you and enjoy also a containment-boost. cry

3. China card is ... overloaded ( sorry for this term, English is not my native language and I don't know a more appropriate one ). After the initial events Asia is one major region that virtually have almost no dedicated event ( except Indo-Pakistani War - which is a war not a "real" event ... and 3 other which revolve around the CC itself ) - so it's clear for me that China card was designed for this purpose with its +1 bonus in Asia. But also it is the only card which is not considered to be "in hand" while still increasing the number of cards which may be played in one turn - so it could became the only defense against several DEFCON-suicide cards and/or absolutely devastating events ... and somehow I feel that in many situation this is too much. Just a personal opinion - of course.

4. URSS has a big disadvantage in Mid War regarding hand manipulation/discarding events/option - compared with far superior US-possibilities. Personally I estimate that this is one of main reason for which, if US manage to survive the initial 3-4 Turns will usually turn the table on his/her favor. And optional set aggravates the situation as I mentioned due to new deck-capability added just for US player ... blush

5. DEFCON-trap may be almost inevitable for US in Late War - probably as a sort of a ( bad ! ) solution to compensate the lack of USSR hand/deck management there is a quite appreciable risk for US-player to be forced to play in Late War ( after modification in Aldrich Ames Remix* but even before this Terrorism could be devastating for the same reason ). It seems quite strange for me but now I'm convinced that there are situations/scenarios when US player cannot mitigate Soviet combo/attack and will lose ... after 2-3 hours of intense play, which is shamefull. Maybe I'm wrong but I clearly mark this as a ( serious ) design issue.

I'm curious about the opinion of more experienced players about these possible issues.

Quote:

I really like the new additions to the game.


Me too - for the reasons mentioned at first section ( and ayway I own only a Deluxe edition so I have no real term of comparation with previous version ). But it could be better ... whistle
 
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Jamie Pollock
Scotland
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Yes, I see where you're coming from now.

I don't think it's quite as black and white as that though, and more often than not TS is a game full of grey where seemingly good gains or losses in certain 'key' areas can be quickly reversed with fortunes changing rapidly.

I think it's actually a game where the real skill is in knowing how to make the best out the cards you're given each turn. From memory, as the US I've won games when I've seemingly been hammered out of the Middle East. There are many tricks to mitigate bads scenarios or hands, and even a few ways to discard yourself of a bad scoring card!. Remember the US can be losing badly going into the late war and yet still muster a win by grabbing control of Europe - something their mid-late war cards can achieve.

I think there still is a slight inherent bias for the USSR even with the new cards added in, but the new cards have at the very least brought this closer and in particular reduced the likelihood of witnessing the turn 4 USSR steamroller win in which the US was genuinely screwed no matter what.
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Ioan Mitiu
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Jambo wrote:

I think it's actually a game where the real skill is in knowing how to make the best out the cards you're given each turn. From memory, as the US I've won games when I've seemingly been hammered out of the Middle East.


Of course that this is possible and in many games this will happen - but still there will be a significant number of them ( too big IMHO ) where this is almost impossible to handle. For example I just finished a game where USSR dominate Middle East against my presence there and it get scored twice ( in T1 and T3 ). Combined with a double scoring in Asia ( no dominantion for any player because I was able to spread my influence in the low-stability countries from SE Asia - but USSR still had more BG so he score several VP from there too ) we exit EarlyWar with +16 or something ( Europe was scored only once and it was a draw ). In T4, before I would be able to prepare & score a domination in Africa, for which I get the scoring, USSR scored once more a presence in South America ( 2 BG ) due to Destalinisation* influence moved there and get 2 more VP from Willy Brandt* and U2 Incident* => Soviet autowin.
Of course - I could be more lucky on war-cards ( Soviet player get a total of 4 VP from them too ) but as an ideea ...

Thanks for your comments anyway - it's nice to have a feed-back !
 
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