History TabletopGame / TwilightStruggle

25th May '16 1:27:57 PM megarockman
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All cards (except scoring cards) have both an event and an operations number (ops for short). Some events are playable by both superpowers, others are associated with one or the other. If you play a card that has one of your opponent's events, the event happens anyway. Cards can be used to play the event or for ops. Ops can be used to directly place influence on the board (adjacent to where you already are), or for a coup attempt. This involves a die roll plus the ops value of the card; if you roll well enough, then you can replace an opponent's influence in a country with some of your own, or at least reduce his or her influence in the country. Some countries are more vulnerable to coups than others. Cards can also be played to advance on the space race, though generally only one card can be used on the space race per turn. The significance of this is that if you play a card with one of your opponent's events on the space race, the event does ''not'' happen. There are also scoring cards, such as "Asia Scoring". When this card is played, the player with the superior position in that region (here, Asia) will earn victory points ([=VPs=]).

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All cards (except scoring cards) have both an event and an operations number (ops for short). Some events are playable by both superpowers, others are associated with one or the other. If you play a card that has one of your opponent's events, the event happens anyway. Cards can be used to play the event or for ops. Ops can be used to directly place influence on the board (adjacent to where you already are), or for a coup attempt. This involves a die roll plus the ops value of the card; if you roll well enough, then you can replace an opponent's influence in a country with some of your own, or at least reduce his or her influence in the country. Some Less-stable countries are more vulnerable to coups than others. coups. Cards can also be played to advance on the space race, though generally only one card can be used on the space race per turn. The significance of this is that if you play a card with one of your opponent's events on the space race, the event does ''not'' happen. There are also scoring cards, such as "Asia Scoring". When Scoring"; when this card is played, the player with the superior position in that region (here, Asia) will earn victory points ([=VPs=]).



* DefconFive: Used correctly; Defcon Five is the starting setting (i.e. "no danger"), while Defcon One instantly triggers WorldWarIII.

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* DefconFive: Used correctly; Defcon Five is the starting setting (i.e. "no danger"), while Defcon One instantly triggers WorldWarIII.WorldWarIII and a game over to whoever started it (which isn't necessarily the one who actually brought it down that far).



** Many of the "DEFCON suicide" cards, though, are that way because they permit the opponent to coup a battleground country and reduce DEFCON from 2 to 1. However, if they're under "Cuban Missile Crisis" (coup ''anywhere'' and you lose automatically) and can't cancel it by forfeiting the necessary two influence in the required countries (Cuba for the USSR, West Germany or Turkey for the US), ''they'' lose instead because the fact there was a coup supersedes the reduction of the DEFCON level.

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** Many of the "DEFCON suicide" cards, though, are that way because they permit the opponent to coup a battleground country and reduce DEFCON from 2 to 1.1 (since you're the one who played the first card in that sequence, the fault and defeat lies on you). However, if they're under "Cuban Missile Crisis" (coup ''anywhere'' and you lose automatically) and can't cancel it by forfeiting the necessary two influence in the required countries (Cuba for the USSR, West Germany or Turkey for the US), ''they'' lose instead because the fact there was a coup supersedes the reduction of the DEFCON level.



* InSpiteOfANail: As mentioned above, the separation of the deck into Early War, Mid-War, and Late War serves to keep some resemblance to the RealLife sequence of events.
** Sometimes can lead to weird situations, such as a Soviet-backed North Korean invasion of a South Korea also controlled by the Soviets via influence placement.
* InstantWinCondition: Any time your opponent sets off nuclear war, or if you have control of Europe[[note]]more controlled countries in Europe and all battlegrounds of France, Italy, Poland, and both Germanies[[/note]] when the Europe Scoring card is played, or if one side has a 20-point lead before the end of the 10th and final turn.

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* InSpiteOfANail: As mentioned above, the separation of the deck into Early War, Mid-War, and Late War serves to keep some resemblance to the RealLife sequence of events.
** Sometimes
events. It can sometimes can lead to weird situations, such as a Soviet-backed North Korean invasion of a South Korea also already controlled by the Soviets via influence placement.
* InstantWinCondition: Any time your opponent sets off nuclear war, or if you have control of Europe[[note]]more Europe (more controlled countries in Europe and all battlegrounds of France, Italy, Poland, and both Germanies[[/note]] Germanies) when the Europe Scoring card is played, or if one side has a 20-point lead before the end of the 10th and final turn.



* InternationalShowdownByProxy: On a broad level, the whole game is like this for the US and Soviet Union through control of countries or specific card events (i.e., Arms Race, Kitchen Debates, Summit, etc.), as measured by the VP track.

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* InternationalShowdownByProxy: On a broad level, the whole game is like this for the US and Soviet Union through control of countries or specific card events (i.e.(e.g., Arms Race, Kitchen Debates, Summit, OPEC, etc.), as measured by the VP track.



* [[LethalJokeCharacter Lethal Joke Card]]: The Early War US-only CIA Created card is only worth 1 op point, but if the Soviet player has it and doesn't treat it with care it can make him automatically lose[[note]]The card's text explicitly gives the US player 1 op point, so if there is '''any''' Soviet influence in a battleground country in Latin America or Africa (i.e., Cuba post-Castro) and DEFCON is at 2, the US can coup there, force DEFCON to level one, and win automatically because it was the Soviet player who played it[[/note]]. Ditto for the Mid-War "Lone Gunman" card for the American.

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* [[LethalJokeCharacter Lethal Joke Card]]: LethalJokeCharacter: Or "card", rather. The Early War US-only CIA Created card is only worth 1 op point, but if the Soviet player has it and doesn't treat it with care it can make him automatically lose[[note]]The card's text explicitly gives the US player 1 op point, so if there is '''any''' Soviet influence in a battleground country in Latin America or Africa (i.e., Cuba post-Castro) and DEFCON is at 2, the US can coup there, force DEFCON to level one, and win automatically because it was the Soviet player who played it[[/note]]. Ditto for the Mid-War "Lone Gunman" card for the American.



* TheSpaceRace: Operates as a safety valve in-game in that players can rid a card from their hand that would help their opponent each turn. If successful, it also awards VP as well as special benefits, such as forcing your opponent to show his headline card first, if you're in the lead (at least until he catches up).

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* TheSpaceRace: Operates as a safety valve in-game in that players can rid a card from their hand that would help their opponent each turn. If successful, it can also awards award VP as well as special benefits, benefits if you're in the lead, such as forcing your opponent to show his headline card first, if you're in the lead (at least until first (until he catches up).
9th May '16 8:38:42 AM megarockman
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Added DiffLines:

* UsefulNotes/WithEuropeButNotOfIt: As the UK is not considered a battleground country it is not necessary for the Soviets to gain control of it in order to score Control of Europe for the InstantWinCondition; indeed, it would make the task nigh-impossible for the Soviet player if the UK was since it starts out US-controlled and has the highest stability level of any country on the map with 5. "Socialist Governments" and "Suez Crisis" can reduce US influence in the UK, but "Marshall Plan" can put one back, "The Iron Lady" wipes out any Soviet influence in the UK, and "Special Relationship" means the US has an additional incentive to keep the UK on their side.
2nd May '16 10:24:02 AM megarockman
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A computer adaption was announced in November 2010; it was released on Steam on April 22, 2016.

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A computer adaption was announced in November 2010; it was released on Steam on April 22, 14, 2016.
2nd May '16 10:23:23 AM megarockman
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A computer adaption was announced in November 2010, which is confirmed to still be in the works.

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A computer adaption was announced in November 2010, which is confirmed to still be in the works.
2010; it was released on Steam on April 22, 2016.



** The "Turn Zero" expansion enables this to six different events that took place at the close of World War 2 (Yalta/Potsdam Conferences, VE Day, the founding of Israel, the 1945 UK elections, the Chinese Civil War, and VJ Day), which allows alternate starting influence set-ups to the board before the game even starts.



* LuckManipulationMechanic: The optional "Our Man in Tehran" allows the US player to draw the top 5 cards in the draw deck, discard what they want, and shuffle the rest back (provided there is at least one US-controlled country in the Middle East).

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* LuckManipulationMechanic: The optional "Our Man in Tehran" card allows the US player to draw the top 5 cards in the draw deck, discard what they want, and shuffle the rest back (provided there is at least one US-controlled country in the Middle East).


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** In 2015 an expansion pack called "Turn Zero" was released (first to those who donated to a Kickstarter campaign) whose big selling point was allowing for more variable starting set-ups and alterations to the deck via possible AlternateHistory outcomes of six events that happened at the close of World War 2, as well as some additional cards. For example, if the Soviets get past the Elbe River (i.e., they get a really fortunate roll for the "VE Day" event resolution) they would get both 2 additional influence in Eastern Europe during starting set-up (for a total of eight) and 1 extra influence in Austria and West Germany.
1st Apr '16 1:04:55 PM megarockman
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* TheCoup: An action a superpower can initiate with ops or with certain events. Coups count towards military operations[[note]]except for "Junta"[[/note]] (to placate the hawks in one's camp that want to stand tough against those communists/capitalists), and coups in battlegrounds degrade the DEFCON meter and push the world closer to nuclear war.

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* TheCoup: An action a superpower can initiate with ops or with certain events. Coups count towards military operations[[note]]except operations[[note]]this doesn't apply for events where a coup is specifically granted, like "Junta"[[/note]] (to placate the hawks in one's camp that want to stand tough against those communists/capitalists), and coups in battlegrounds degrade the DEFCON meter and push the world closer to nuclear war.


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* LuckManipulationMechanic: The optional "Our Man in Tehran" allows the US player to draw the top 5 cards in the draw deck, discard what they want, and shuffle the rest back (provided there is at least one US-controlled country in the Middle East).
18th Mar '16 11:01:51 AM megarockman
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* NoSell: "UN Intervention" lets a player play a card with the opponent's event on it without the event going off - the card gets discarded and the player gets the operation points.

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* NoSell: "UN Intervention" lets a player play a card with the opponent's event on it without the event going off - the card gets discarded and the player gets the operation points. The US card "Defectors" also allows them to cancel a Soviet headline card if played at that phase.
18th Mar '16 10:58:58 AM megarockman
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** Many of the "DEFCON suicide" cards, though, are that way because they permit the opponent to coup a battleground country and reduce DEFCON from 2 to 1. However, if they're under "Cuban Missile Crisis" (coup ''anywhere'' and you lose automatically) and can't cancel it by forfeiting the necessary two influence in the require countries (Cuba for the USSR, West Germany or Turkey for the US), ''they'' lose instead because the fact there was a coup supersedes the reduction of the DEFCON level.

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** Many of the "DEFCON suicide" cards, though, are that way because they permit the opponent to coup a battleground country and reduce DEFCON from 2 to 1. However, if they're under "Cuban Missile Crisis" (coup ''anywhere'' and you lose automatically) and can't cancel it by forfeiting the necessary two influence in the require required countries (Cuba for the USSR, West Germany or Turkey for the US), ''they'' lose instead because the fact there was a coup supersedes the reduction of the DEFCON level.
18th Mar '16 10:58:20 AM megarockman
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Added DiffLines:

** Many of the "DEFCON suicide" cards, though, are that way because they permit the opponent to coup a battleground country and reduce DEFCON from 2 to 1. However, if they're under "Cuban Missile Crisis" (coup ''anywhere'' and you lose automatically) and can't cancel it by forfeiting the necessary two influence in the require countries (Cuba for the USSR, West Germany or Turkey for the US), ''they'' lose instead because the fact there was a coup supersedes the reduction of the DEFCON level.
18th Mar '16 10:48:57 AM megarockman
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* VariablePlayerGoals: Both players are trying to win, of course, but there are a few ways to do so. The most common is by attaining a 20 Victory Point lead (usually by means of region scoring cards, though other ways of gaining VP directly exist) before the end of Turn 10. It's also possible, though, to force your opponent to drag the DEFCON level to 1 (and therefore lose automatically) if you can, say, force him to discard cards so that he ''must'' play a "DEFCON suicide" card during the turn. Controlling Europe is an InstantWinCondition regardless of the current VP lead when Europe Scoring is played or at Final Scoring after Turn 10. In the Late War, one could also end the game earlier with a smaller lead via "Wargames".

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* VariablePlayerGoals: Both players are trying to win, of course, but there are a few ways to do so. The most common is by attaining a 20 Victory Point lead (usually by means of region scoring cards, though other ways of gaining VP directly exist) before the end of Turn 10. It's also possible, though, to force your opponent to drag the DEFCON level to 1 (and therefore lose automatically) if you can, say, force him to discard cards so that he ''must'' play a "DEFCON suicide" card during the turn. Controlling Europe is an InstantWinCondition regardless of the current VP lead when Europe Scoring is played or at Final Scoring after Turn 10. In the Late War, one could also end the game earlier with a smaller lead via "Wargames". A player that finds himself significantly behind in VP near the end of the game may switch tactics and go for one of the other ways to win, keeping the one in the lead on his toes since his victory isn't yet a ForegoneConclusion.
18th Mar '16 10:47:18 AM megarockman
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* CubanMissileCrisis: An in-game card that can be used by either player. Sicking it on your opponent means DEFCON immediately goes to two and he or she is not allowed to coup anywhere on the board, or else it will start nuclear war and s/he will automatically lose.[[note]]There's even a lesser-known escape clause mirroring what happened in RealLife - he may cancel the card by forfeiting two influence in certain countries (Cuba for the Soviets, West Germany or Turkey for the US)[[/note]]

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* CubanMissileCrisis: An in-game card that can be used by either player. Sicking it on your opponent means DEFCON immediately goes to two and he or she is not allowed to coup anywhere on the board, or else it will start nuclear war and s/he will automatically lose.[[note]]There's even a lesser-known There's also an escape clause mirroring what happened in RealLife - he may cancel the card by forfeiting two influence in certain countries (Cuba for the Soviets, West Germany or Turkey for the US)[[/note]]US).



* [[GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger Giving Khrushchev The Pointer Finger]]: "Kitchen Debates" is a Mid-war card that awards the US player two VP if the US controls more battleground countries than the Soviets. It also tells the US player to poke the Soviet player in the chest.

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* [[GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger Giving Khrushchev The Pointer Finger]]: GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger: Khruschev, specifically. "Kitchen Debates" is a Mid-war card that awards the US player two VP if the US controls more battleground countries than the Soviets. It also tells the US player to poke the Soviet player in the chest.



** So can Olympic Games (if you play it and your opponent boycotts, DEFCON falls by one. If it falls to one and nukes fly, it's the hosting country's fault.) There's actually several cards that can cause the playing player to lose automatically like this throughout the deck - the website Twilight Strategy calls them "DEFCON suicide" cards.

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** So can Olympic Games (if you play it and your opponent boycotts, DEFCON falls by one. If it falls to one and nukes fly, it's the hosting country's fault.) There's actually There are several cards that can cause the playing player to lose automatically like this throughout the deck - the website Twilight Strategy calls them "DEFCON suicide" cards.



* UsefulNotes/IranIraqWar: Unlike certain other "War" cards, this one can benefit either player.

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* UsefulNotes/IranIraqWar: Unlike certain many other "War" cards, this one can benefit either player.



* NoSell: "UN Intervention" lets a player play a card with the opponent's event on it without the event going off - the card gets discarded.

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* NoSell: "UN Intervention" lets a player play a card with the opponent's event on it without the event going off - the card gets discarded.discarded and the player gets the operation points.



* [[VariantChess Variant Twilight Struggle]]: The most notable variant is Chinese Civil War, where the Soviet player has to place influence in China to control it before the player can use The China Card (until the player does, they can't use "Red Scare" and if the Korean War breaks out the player's roll gets a -1 penalty). Later editions of the game also include a "Late War" start scenario, as that deck frequently doesn't get used (and worn) as often as the Early and Mid-War decks owing to automatic victories.
* UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar: The Quagmire card. The Soviet cards Vietnam Revolts and Decolonization (and the latter's American equivalent Colonial Rearguards) serve to focus attention on SE Asia as a whole. In fact the region is set up to become a flashpoint because of the Mid-War Southeast Asia scoring card, which gives it sudden strategic importance, though unlike other scoring cards it is single-use.

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* [[VariantChess Variant Twilight Struggle]]: VariablePlayerGoals: Both players are trying to win, of course, but there are a few ways to do so. The most common is by attaining a 20 Victory Point lead (usually by means of region scoring cards, though other ways of gaining VP directly exist) before the end of Turn 10. It's also possible, though, to force your opponent to drag the DEFCON level to 1 (and therefore lose automatically) if you can, say, force him to discard cards so that he ''must'' play a "DEFCON suicide" card during the turn. Controlling Europe is an InstantWinCondition regardless of the current VP lead when Europe Scoring is played or at Final Scoring after Turn 10. In the Late War, one could also end the game earlier with a smaller lead via "Wargames".
* VariantChess:
The most notable game variant is Chinese Civil War, where the Soviet player has to place influence in China to control it before the player can use The China Card (until the player does, they can't use "Red Scare" and if the Korean War breaks out the player's roll gets a -1 penalty). Later editions of the game also include a "Late War" start scenario, as that deck frequently doesn't get used (and worn) as often as the Early and Mid-War decks owing to automatic victories.
* UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar: The Quagmire card. The Soviet cards Vietnam Revolts "Vietnam Revolts" and Decolonization "Decolonization" (and the latter's American equivalent Colonial Rearguards) "Colonial Rearguards") serve to focus attention on SE Asia as a whole. In fact the region is set up to become a flashpoint because of the Mid-War Southeast Asia scoring card, which gives it sudden strategic importance, though unlike other scoring cards it is single-use.
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