Had an epic game of Twilight Struggle Monday night (thank-you Dr Do(o)m). I won via victory points, probably owing to a combination of dice luck and some good planning with regard the cards. I was only a Poland away from having control of Europe. My strategy, more driven by the cards that came out, was to first dominate Asia, then Europe and just did enough to keep the USSR off balance in the other regions of the game through ensuring DEFCON rarely rose above 3 to keep those two regions safe(ish) and focus on the other places. Once I made moves in Central America, Dom felt compelled to do the same.  

Key highlights include playing Arab-Israeli War and Camp David Accords simultaneously on a Headline Round (my card nullified Dom’s card) so he was left with nothing – or so we chose to interpret that rule and it totally redrew the balance of power in the Middle East. Dom playing an Ops 4 card for realignment rolls and losing/drawing all four rolls. Me lobbing the dice across the room after burning two really good cards on the Space Race (I was chasing three precious victory points for a lunar landing and rolled two fives), Dom doubling influence in Argentina to 8 and Chile to 10 thanks to a card pretty much putting South America out of reach (never seen a 10 before). Dom burning the Asia scorecard and me getting it immediately the next turn thanks to being forced to reshuffle the deck (I had domination so he junked it). Me losing all three instances of the Olympic games quite spectacularly (Dom threw three sixes with a + 2 modifier, I got 1, 1, 2 – damn steroid cheats). 

In major revisions to history, the Berlin Wall came down around 1975, the Koreas were reunited around 1983 (by that I mean the USSR lost all influence in NK by that time), Charles De Gaulle and Willy Brandt never came to power, Algeria never received independence, the USSR held three Olympic games (I’d say 1952, 1960 and 1984 given when the cards were played), Israel lost the first Arab-Israeli war, Allende came to power in Chile in the early 1960s and Vietnam went Communist from the early 1950s and stayed that way.

Again I feel the need to bitch about the poor state of the rules. It took twenty minutes (pre-game) to ascertain an answer to the question: if a neutral card is played as an operations card, does the event still happen. The answer was no; it’s one or the other. But the interweb just couldn’t spit the answer out immediately until I used exactly the right phrasing and the manual was less than useless. I’m half tempted to write my own version of the rules or a crib sheet just to make these things explicit. There were a couple of other questions which we needed the answers to but fortunately they were much more quickly found.

Was stood up by Herr Solomon earlier that evening for the second time in as many days; something of a major irritation. So gaming was a welcome distraction.