05/23/12

The Promised Land

Final Scoring! We made it! It took 4.5 hours…. but we made it!!

For the fourth game in a row I am playing the noble and glorious USSR (we roll each game to decide). Read on to see how I spread my communist agenda…

Europe: Europe was hotly contested this game. US took France early so I was forced to keep up via countrycount. cialis tabletten Not a cheap endeavour. In fact I probably could’ve stood to concede Europe and spend the ops elsewhere. Be that as it may, other than a late game push by the US starting with the headlining of Tear Down This Wall (that I was able to fend off) Europe was a tie for for the entire game.

Asia: Despite winning* the early war Iran coup battle I wasn’t able to expand aggressively into Asia like in my previous couple of games. I did however spend some ops to stake my claim early. US bought up Southeast Asia to help with country count. However we both had to tread carefully because the DEFCON status kept Asia coup’s as a possibility for a lot longer than usual. Eventually, thanks to Vietnam Revolts, I was able to slowly creep into India and Pakistan from both sides without making them juicy targets for Indo-Pakistani War and eventually (Turn 4 or 5) secure Asia.

Middle East: After losing Arab-Israeli War I decided to put ops directly into Israel. An unusual move for me, but it ultimately worked well as it helped me secure, at worst, a tie in the Middle East for the entire game. As with Asia we had to tread cautiously at the start, so as to not provide any fat coup targets in 2 op battlegrounds. Middle East remained tied until a Late War Muslim Revolution shook things up a bit. I wasn’t able to use that opportunity to take over Middle East (fires to be put out elsewhere… “So many pies, only so many fingers. You understand.” – DS) I feel the ops spent by the US to re-tie in the Middle East helped me a fair amount.

Map at the end of Early War

Early War Summary: The back and forth Iran coup to start the game resulted in no ops for anyone. While this is an advantage for the USSR it did shape the Early War in some interesting ways. At turn two the DEFCON went to 4 leaving Asia as coupable. As a result we both were treading cautiously around the 2 op battlegrounds in both Asia and the Middle East. My Mid War preparation was mediocre at best. I moved into Algeria early, but other than that I had nothing! I had spent Fidel for ops Early hoping that one of us would re-draw it sooner than later, but it didn’t come back until turn 7! Ugh! Lil’ misstep there on my part…

Africa: My failed coup attempts to get into the Americas forced me to start spreading out in Africa (which isn’t the end of the world by any stretch). I scored it early for domination and we didn’t see it again until the last turn. By then the US had put enough influence down to control the country count, and I never found the time (see previous finger/pies quote) to coup one of the highly coupable African non-battlegrounds. In hindsight I probably should’ve made time for this. Despite every single African country having ops in it, there wasn’t a lot of action. It wasn’t couped often and ultimately was a tie (although still a +3 VP non-domination tie in my favour).

Central America: I struggled mightily in Central America for a while. All of my coup attempts were failures until the end of Mid War. Luckily it was only scored once, and it was after I used Fidel to get in (saving me 3 VP!). After (finally!) getting in, I used Che to stabilize that portion of the region and put myself in striking distance of being able to tie it up via country count.

South America: Kyle made some good adjustments to not get blown out of South America this game. We both took a few different cracks at it over the course of the game, but ultimately it was tied up for the whole thing, with me controlling the southern tip, and US the northern. Not a big factor this game at all.

Map at the end of Mid War

Mid War Summary: I took a slight scoring lead (+7) into Mid War and was able to maintain & creep that up over the course of the turns. The fairly unglamorous route of maintaining ties and squeeking out VP’s from cards, spacing (which is quite rare for me) and military operations left me in a favourable position heading into Late War, where I started out +12.

End game: USSR 20 VP after final scoring.

Map at the end of the game

Summary: I was able to take advantage of some late war volatility and get some more points to ultimately get the 20 VP win. Other than Asia, no region was strong for me, but likewise, none was strong for the US. For a number of reasons I basically settled into a war of attrition after gaining the early edge and hung on. This is not a great strategy in my opinion, because you never know when a series of opponents events will turn this around for them, particularly in the Late War. However, both the cards you are dealt and the plays your opponent makes force you to change up how you would prefer to do things. For example, in turn 7 I drew Fidel, Latin American Death Squads, How I Learned To Stop Worrying, Che AND Central America Scoring. Talk about a recipe for making a big play in the Americas!!! However after headlining LADS Kyle responded with Cuban Missile Crisis which totally took the wind out of my sails!!

I spaced more than I ever have before and it worked out well for me, both VP wise and in managing some of the ugly events that the US has.

Hands: Still no updates to beautify the hand recap display so here are the links:

Jake Kyle
Turn 1 Turn 1
Turn 2 Turn 2
Turn 3 Turn 3
Turn 4 Turn 4
Turn 5 Turn 5
Turn 6 Turn 6
Turn 7 Turn 7
Turn 8 Turn 8
Turn 9 Turn 9
Turn 10 Turn 10
05/21/12

Steamrollin…

This was a pretty short game, so I’ll forgo my usual style of summarizing the play within a given region and do a turn by turn recap.

This game could also be a case study in why comparing op counts to determine hand draw quality is not particularly useful without context.

Turn 1:It levitra kopen bij apotheek seems like we both thought the other held Middle East Scoring. We both spent most of our ops trying to secure the Middle East with only a couple spared for Europe and virtually none in Asia. Thanks to a successful late turn coup of Egypt I left the turn with a slight lead.

Turn 2: I draw all 3 Early War scoring cards… Hrmmmm. Having such a low op hand early can lead to terrible board position for potentially the rest of the game. On the bright side I’m looking good in all 3 regions. I headline Vietnam Revolts and spend my first action round putting 2 points into Thailand which (strangely!) is all I need for Asia domination. Ultimately I score Asia and Middle East for domination and Europe for a tie. Kyle had gotten 3 early points from events, so despite this fairly strong scoring round for me, I leave the turn only at +7 VP.

Turn 3: After the reshuffle I draw Asia Scoring again! I score it again as my opener. At this point I’ve spent 1 event (Vietnam Revolts) and 2 ops into Thailand and scored Asia for domination twice and a total of +14VP (roughly). That is a rediculously good ROI that I probably will never see again. However, I am now under the effect of Red Scare/Purge with a low op hand (I only spend 5 ops total over the course of the turn) with Europe Scoring in hand and Mid War looming. Kyle has since dominated in Europe and I resign myself to possibly having to score it for Kyle’s domination. So I use what ops I have to try to start looking to Mid War, and hope he’s forced to play a USSR event that costs him Europe (of which there are a few!). Meanwhile Kyle is left in the unenviable position of drawing Middle East Scoring (where he is dominated) and staring at a 14 VP USSR edge. He proceeds to bludgeon me with ops in the Middle East and I am not able to keep up. He scores it for domination, but luckily during that time I sneak the country count in Europe to a tie and score it for only +1 VP US due to battleground count. A late turn (failed) coup attempt gives me an additional 2 VP, which ends up being critical.

Early War Summary: I leave Early War looking great on VP. My position in the Early War regions isn’t fantastic but they have all been scored so I have plenty of time to either ignore them or catch up later as spare ops allow. I’ve somewhat started my way into the Mid War regions, but my low op count limited my efforts…

Board at the end of Early War

Turn 4: I headline Allende with big plans for Jake’s Wheelhouse (aka: South America). I would do this normally anyways, but I also drew South America Scoring!!! Kyle had headlined OAS Founded providing me with a juicy coup target in Venezuela. I spread out and ultimately score South America for control (typical…). In the meantime Kyle is working on Africa, leading me to suspect he drew Africa Scoring. I don’t have any fantastic in-roads in Africa, but fortunately I have The Cambridge Five and by round 4 I’m convinced he has the scoring card, so I play it for the event. Paydirt!! Now I have an op to spend and putting it in the still-available Nigeria just saved me 2 VP! Thanks to South America I leave the turn with 18 points, domination in Central America and a lead in Southeast Asia.

Turn 5: I draw Southeast Asia Scoring and headline it for the victory!!

Summary: For a game to end this early via +20VP a few things need to come together. Despite my very low op count, I drew the scoring cards I needed, when I needed them (sometimes twice!). Kyle’s turn 5 hand (The Voice of America, Nuclear Subs + a few 4 pointers) had him positioned to make a strong comeback, which would have been very interesting, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Board at the start of turn 5 / end game

Hands: Still no updates to beautify the hand recap display so here are the links:

Jake Kyle
Turn 1 Turn 1
Turn 2 Turn 2
Turn 3 Turn 3
Turn 4 Turn 4
Turn 5 Turn 5
05/16/12

Monday Madness

“Monday Madness” is the only possible explanation I can come up with for the end of this game…

Once again I took on the role of the noble Soviet Union against the imperialist American aggressors!!

Europe: I decided to go for Europe again this game. When I first started playing TS I would always leave it be as “too hard” or expensive to go for. However, recently I’ve triedat levitra bestellen it a bit more. Particularly as the USSR, who stand to get some free influence in Eastern Europe (Warsaw Pact, Romanian Abdication to name a couple) to help out, it makes some sense to take a crack at France and see how much resistance you get. I took domination of Europe early, but it was only scored once (which was obviously unfortunate).

Asia: Much like in the last game where I was able to do this, Kyle’s control of Iran plus holding Indo-Pakistani War freed him up to aggressively take over Asia, which he did with gusto. I was more thoroughly routed in Asia than I have ever been and it was scored twice for +8 points at least. Ugly. I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to correct this, but I really need to try and find a way. The cherry on top was, of course, Southeast Asia Scoring for +4VP to the US… (Note to self: find an appropriate cherryontop.jpg to use for such situations…)

Middle East: I wasn’t ever able to keep and hold Middle East battlegrounds long enough to look at locking it down for domination. I had to settle for hemming Kyle into just the battlegrounds, and hanging on via country count. That still results in +VPs for him when scored (approximately infinite more VP than I’d prefer)!! With one of my Middle East countries being Egypt and Sadat looming, I’m not loving my position. I made another play at it later in the game by headlining Muslim Revolution (awesome card!!) but he had headlined the scoring card which didn’t allow me to swoop in as planned!! Burned!

Early War Summary: I’m not too happy with my position in the Early War regions at this stage in the game. I have a slight edge in Europe, but that is unlikely to kick around until the end of the game due to the strength of the US late war cards in Europe. I’m totally wrecked in Asia (again). The Middle East is a draw, but just barely. On the bright side I’m well expanded into the Mid War regions, and can look forward to total ownage down there! Right? Right?!?! Right.

Map at the start of Mid War

Africa: I went ahead again with the route of taking up the highly coupable 1 op African trail. Go for that early and hope you score it before the US plays Colonial Rear Guards!! I did manage to score Africa once for +6 VP’s. Kyle made a push and it was well up in the air as we headed into Late War. Back to the more familiar, highly volatile, Africa that I’m used to in these games!!

Central America: I started Mid War in good position. Between Fidel and a successful Panama coup I was looking ok. Once again Kyle showed his extreme commitment to the region, and over the course of a few turns had me thoroughly re-aligned / coup’d completely out! Eventually I coup’d back into Nicaragua and spread some influence from there, if only to try and secure presence, but also with an eye towards drawing a country count tie for final scoring.

South America: See previous post regarding this region :) . I was in early for full control and a score before Kyle got in for presence. He later spread out some and hung in for presence for the rest of the game. At one point ABM Treaty had him into Argentina with authoritay, but I was luckily able to immediately counter with Brush War to maintain my stranglehold.

Turn 6 board

Mid War Summary: Once again I am not loving my position. I’m ahead in points but the only bright spot is really South America. Asia is a write off. I managed to make some small gains in the Middle East, but it is now just a “closer tie” than it was at the start of Mid War. Europe is still mine, but Late War cards will almost certainly have something to say about that. Africa is back to it’s old self and is anyone’s game. Central America is going to be tough, but not impossible to come back from. I have a good country count there (although 1 oppers), and if I can coup Mexico or Panama it could get interesting.

Turn 8: Kyle uses UN Intervention to get rid of Che without having The China Card at his disposal. Since he now must play his entire hand (due to discarding), and he holds Lone Gunman he loses the game via DEFCON status… Monday Madness…

Turn 8 / end game board

Summary: I was ahead in points but wasn’t sitting pretty in enough areas to feel comfortable. I was definitely hoping to draw Wargames :) Even though I only needed to battle to ties to secure the win, I feel that this game was going to be a close one.

Hands: Still no updates to beautify the hand recap display so here are the links:

Jake Kyle
Turn 1 Turn 1
Turn 2 Turn 2
Turn 3 Turn 3
Turn 4 Turn 4
Turn 5 Turn 5
Turn 6 Turn 6
Turn 7 Turn 7
Turn 8 Turn 8
05/12/12

Sweet Justice


It was a balmy spring evening when my good friend kfsimpso decided to tempt fate once more… He was stepping up to the big dance and riding high off his previous victory. But he would pay dearly for his hubris… A broken man left here that night, a man with many questions, and few answers.

This is the tale of his deconstruction.

Europe: Asia was scored early, so a fair amount of points were spent in Europe. Kyle took France for the battleground edge, but my ops combined with the early war USSR event’s that give me points in eastern Europe allowed me to have a pretty nice country count. I drew Europe Scoring twice and headlined it both times (so I wouldn’t have to deal with it…) Kyle got +1VP once and Defectors nullified it another time. Total non-factor in this game.

Asia: I opened the game with The Cambridge Five (which I liked so much I did it later in the game as well). Seeing Kyle’s Asia Scoring in hand I was able to charge ahead into Asia after a successful coup of Iran. I had Indo-Pakistani War in my opening hand so that I could expand aggressively without fear. He scored it early for a tie after seeing that he wouldn’t be able to catch up. As both of our attentions (mostly) shifted to Europe and the Middle East, I continued to put spare (and non-spare) points into Asia. It was a lesson learned (the hard way) from my previous game. Once Asia has been dominated it can be tough to bring back without serious commitment of ops and events (such as Colonial Rear Guards, leaving a tough choice of Asia v. Africa).

Middle East: The Middle East was a draw most of the game, with me controlling Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Kyle controlling Israel, Egypt and Libya. However a mid-war push (with help from Nasser) to de-stabalize Egypt turned out to be critical in the game ending turn 6.

Early War Summary: It was a pretty strong early war for me. Not much on the scoreboard, but lockdown in Asia, tied (but well positioned) in Europe, and tied but nothing too rosy in the Middle East. Additionally I was progressing well into the Americas (De-stalinization!!!). Africa wasn’t as good, but at least the countries I had weren’t 1 stability (notably Botswana, aka “The key to Africa” – JFK)

Map at the start of Mid War

Africa: I had a reasonable amount of influence in Africa at the start of Mid War, but not a ton of control. I made a point of taking the 1 stability countries where possible when placing ops in other places. Leading the way up the “Africa Trail” (self coined!!!) is a nice luxury as your opponent must seriously commit to catch up. There was a brief scare when Kyle played Colonial Rear Guards while I had Africa Scoring in hand!!! Africa was only scored once, but it was for my domination which was a nice bump.

Central America: I was holed up in the north east of Central America. I couldn’t ever find the ops to commit here and it showed. Somehow I went the whole game without even 1 coup attempt in Panama… This was a fairly hotly contested area as Kyle tried to remove me completely, and at one point re-aligned me right out of Cuba. My 1 point in Haiti allowed me re-entry but it was dicey for a few rounds!

South America: I’ve already written GMT games and asked for South America to be formally renamed to “Jake’s Wheelhouse” (sup ;) ). Thanks to an easy jump start I was able to slowly stretch out and control in South America. I proceeded with caution to avoid providing juicy coup targets, and was largely unopposed. Kyle made some in-roads, but by having a cluster of supporting countries I was able to successfully re-align him (mostly) out.

Turn 6 / end-game: At the start of turn 6 everything was right with the world. We’re nearing the end of the mid-war deck and I’m looking good in a few regions, and at-worst tied in others. Given the state of the game, when I drew Lone Gunman I decided to headline it rather than eventually use it for 1 op and and hope Kyle gets it later (and has to deal with it). Coincidentally it was my only USSR card, and a 1 op to boot (other than We Will Bury You which I wanted to keep in case I needed the ops) so I went for it. Paydirt! Kyle was stuck with a fairly rugged hand that included 3 scoring cards. I knew the America’s scoring cards were still out there but had (frankly) forgotten about Middle East Scoring. The fact that he held Nuclear Subs allowed him to make a comeback attempt, but having 3 scoring cards, particularly when not ahead in those regions, is a SUPER rough draw… Given his hand, I played We Will Bury You as my opener to degrade the DEFCON and gain 3VP to get me closer to victory! ABM Treaty in hand sealed the deal as I was able to coup and keep my stranglehold on South America (remember?).

Summary: I feel I played a pretty strong game here. Kyle’s final draw was somewhat salty for him, but I was well positioned to take advantage of it. TS is a harsh mistress my friend :)

Map at the end of turn 6 / the game.

Final Result: +20 VP USSR

Hands: I have been working a lot on some twilightrecap.com backend, and have plans for better presentation of the hands of a game, but it is not yet complete, so here are links to the cards we played, in the order we played them.

Kyle Jake
Turn 1 Turn 1
Turn 2 Turn 2
Turn 3 Turn 3
Turn 4 Turn 4
Turn 5 Turn 5
Turn 6 Turn 6
05/11/12

Great TS Site

I wanted to take a quick minute and make sure that anyone who wasn’t already aware of this great site, became aware of it.

Twilight Strategy is a phenomenal site with lots of great strategy points for new players and old. There are both general strategy points and in-depth discussions about specific cards. Itis viagra well written and quite interesting.

I highly recommend giving it a browse!

(Also of note: This site is where I got all my high quality images of TS cards. My scanned versions are not nearly as good)

05/10/12

Twilight Card Math

In preparation for my next recap I had to do a little card math…

I thought some others would be interested in my results. If you have a math degree or a Ph.D feel free to check my math!

So to get down to it… (All calculations include the optional cards)

Early War Cards: 38 cards. 84 ops total. Average ops per card: 2.21
Mid War Cards: 48 cards. 104 ops total. Average ops per card: 2.17
Late War Cards: 23 cards. 62 ops total. Averageops generieke levitra per card: 2.70

Abridged Results (all values approximate):

Average Early War ops / hand: 17.68 ops
Average Mid War ops / hand: 19.62 ops
Average Late War ops / hand: 20.88 ops


Details:

Early War: The simplest to calculate. Only the early war cards are in play, they are worth 2.21 each and you get 8 cards. That means an average early war hand is 17.68 ops.

Note that going forward the real values in any given game will change slightly. In particular, discards, how often The China Card is used, Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, Our Man In Tehran and others can affect how many cards are left over when the Mid War and Late War cards are shuffled in. I will ignore these effects for the purposes of these calculations. They wouldn’t have a large effect anyways except in extreme situations.

Mid War: There are 22 early war cards left over that get shuffled in with the 48 mid war cards. So 22 cards @ 2.21 ops each + 48 cards @ 2.17 ops each is 152.61 ops total in the newly created 60 card deck. The average value of a card in the mid war will be 2.18. However, from mid war on you get 9 cards instead of 8, bringing your average mid war hand to 19.62 ops.

Note: In turn 7 you get a full reshuffle of all mid and early war cards. So for turn 7 your average card value will skyrocket from 2.18 -> 2.19 per card!! Spend them wisely because Wargames is coming!!!

Late War: There are 68 cards left from mid/early war. 68 cards @ 2.19 ops each + 23 late war cards @ 2.70 each is 210.9 total points in a 91 card deck. The average value of a card in the late war will be 2.32. Thus your average late war hand will have 20.88 ops.

05/6/12

May 4th vs Simpy

Kyle and I played a game last night with me playing the the dirty reds and Simpy the even dirtier blues…

I played CIA created at defcon 2 and lost the game second turn…. Oh no wait, that would be foolish :)

Interesting side note on the game: When rolling to see whoplayed viagra prijs US/USSR I rolled double 5′s. Then I rolled double 5′s again. Then Simpy said “If you do that again I’ll give you $5″… BAM double 5′s again!!! Luckily he had $5 cash on him as I always keep my kneecap buster aluminum baseball bat handy for TS games… The odds of rolling double 5′s 3x in a row are 1 in 46656…

At any rate, those 6 5′s that I rolled would be the last time I would roll higher than 3 for the next ~4 hours…

Europe: I played de gaulle early and dumped influence into France. However I didn’t get the country count to have domination. Eventually Kyle took my control of France by adding a couple free points in, and I was stuck with Truman Doctrine in my hand that had to be played… GAH! I made a play back at Europe in late war and took Italy to regain battleground advantage. However I never had the ops to also get the non-battlegrounds required for domination.

Asia: Kyle took Asia early and I basically all but abandoned it for most of the game. A couple of (failed) coup attempts at Thailand was about all I could muster. I used Vietnam Revolts to get into SE Asia and spread some influence around cheaply so that Southeast Asia scoring wasn’t a total loss…

Middle East: I controlled all of Middle East for most of the game, keeping Kyle pinned in Iran. As the USSR (with defcon control) this is fairly easy to do despite having to hold onto 2 prime 2 stability coup targets in Egypt and Libya. I was able to capitalize on Opec a couple times as well (I *love* Opec as USSR! It’s like a scoring card just for me!!!) Unfortunately in late war Kyle used a crippling combination in the middle east. He used The Voice of America to remove me completely from Libya and Egypt (gah!), then used Iran-Iraq war to take Iraq from me (GAAAH!!!!), and he had the ops to muscle me out of Israel!!! Oh ya and he scored it at that time… SUPER sigh :| I proceeded to dump ops back in to bring it back to a draw on country count, but that was not at all how I envisioned Middle East playing out :)

Africa: Kyle expanded in Africa early and scored it for domination, but I took it back with authoritay and held it for the rest of the game. However I think it was only scored one more time after that (other than final scoring) which is too bad due to the huge variation in VP’s from domination vs presence when Africa is scored. Nothing interesting really happened in the usually action-packed Africa…

Central America: I had Simpy right wrecked in CA for the first half of the game… However… when it actually mattered I was pooched… I was so far ahead in both the Americas that I kept holding Junta for lack of a good target… Then I squandered it on some BS… Kyle made his move starting with Puppet Governments (I think) to get into a few countries and then made a successful coup in Panama to way over control it. Quite a bit of fighting back and forth in this area, but ultimately Kyle held it…

South America: I got into South America early and spread out for control of the continent. Kyle didn’t really take any shots at it so I scored it a few times, 2x for +10 points due to control. Sadly (I know I know, we’re all sad for me…) that wasn’t enough…

Summary: I was behind in VP’s most of the game, but I felt my board position was pretty good. For nearly all of mid war I has far ahead in South America, Africa and the Middle East. Central America and Europe were Simpy’s, but not by much, and I was right out of Asia. I thought if I could make a move to get CA and Europe to a draw I could pull it out. However the devastating combination that led to me losing the middle east on turn 9 (not to mention the scoring of it) forced me to spend those ops that I wanted to spend elsewhere just to get Middle East back to a draw.

Final Result: US 7 VPs (board)

05/6/12

New Blog!

So this is my first ever blog. It’s still a bit rough around the edges but it allows me to do some interesting things with my TS game recaps. Please pardon the rough edges for now…