History TabletopGame / TwilightStruggle

28th Nov '16 10:58:45 AM megarockman
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* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: As noted by the game designers, Central America and the Caribbean had historically been basically the United States' geopolitical private pond (the game starts with 1 US influence in Panama) - any serious Soviet sally into the region would be more a bigger black eye on US prestige than a bolster to Soviet prestige. As such, Soviet Control or Domination of Central America is worth a bit more in VP to the Soviet player than to the US player thanks to two of the region's three battlegrounds (Mexico and Cuba) being US neighbors (players get 1 extra VP at scoring for controlling each neighbor to the other superpower). Scoring Soviet Control isn't that uncommon thanks to a bunch of Soviet cards that are focused on the region ("Fidel", "Liberation Theology", "Che", "Ortega Elected in Nicaragua").

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* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: As noted by the game designers, Central America and the Caribbean had historically been basically the United States' geopolitical private pond (the game starts with 1 US influence in Panama) Panama and the US can always try to place influence into the region with ops via Mexico or Cuba) - any serious Soviet sally into the region would be more a bigger black eye on US prestige than a bolster to Soviet prestige. As such, Soviet Control or Domination of Central America is worth a bit more in VP to the Soviet player than to the US player thanks to two of the region's three battlegrounds (Mexico and Cuba) being US neighbors (players get 1 extra VP at scoring for controlling each neighbor to the other superpower). Scoring Soviet Control isn't that uncommon thanks to a bunch of Soviet cards that are focused on the region ("Fidel", "Liberation Theology", "Che", "Ortega Elected in Nicaragua").
28th Nov '16 10:55:06 AM megarockman
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* ActuallyFourMooks: Several "countries" on the board are actually several countries being represented as one space: Spain/Portugal in Europe, Laos/Cambodia in Asia, the Gulf States in the Middle East, and a bunch in Africa[[note]]West African States, Saharan States,

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* ActuallyFourMooks: Several "countries" on the board are actually several countries being represented as one space: Spain/Portugal in Europe, Laos/Cambodia in Asia, the Gulf States in the Middle East, and a bunch in Africa[[note]]West African States, Saharan States, SE African States[[/note]].
28th Nov '16 10:54:05 AM megarockman
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* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: As noted by the game designers, Central America and the Caribbean had historically been basically the United States' geopolitical private pond (the game starts with 1 US influence in Panama) - any serious Soviet sally into the region would be more a bigger black eye on US prestige than a bolster to Soviet prestige. As such, Soviet Control or Domination of Central America is worth a bit more in VP to the Soviet player than to the US player thanks to two of the region's three battlegrounds (Mexico and Cuba) being US neighbors (players get 1 extra VP at scoring for controlling each neighbor to the other superpower). Scoring Soviet Control isn't terribly uncommon thanks to a bunch of Soviet cards that are focused on the region ("Fidel", "Liberation Theology", "Che", "Ortega Elected in Nicaragua").

to:

* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: As noted by the game designers, Central America and the Caribbean had historically been basically the United States' geopolitical private pond (the game starts with 1 US influence in Panama) - any serious Soviet sally into the region would be more a bigger black eye on US prestige than a bolster to Soviet prestige. As such, Soviet Control or Domination of Central America is worth a bit more in VP to the Soviet player than to the US player thanks to two of the region's three battlegrounds (Mexico and Cuba) being US neighbors (players get 1 extra VP at scoring for controlling each neighbor to the other superpower). Scoring Soviet Control isn't terribly that uncommon thanks to a bunch of Soviet cards that are focused on the region ("Fidel", "Liberation Theology", "Che", "Ortega Elected in Nicaragua").
28th Nov '16 10:53:41 AM megarockman
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* ActuallyFourMooks: Several "countries" on the board are actually several countries being represented as one space: Spain/Portugal in Europe, Laos/Cambodia in Asia, the Gulf States in the Middle East, and a bunch in Africa[[note]]West African States, Saharan States,
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: As noted by the game designers, Central America and the Caribbean had historically been basically the United States' geopolitical private pond (the game starts with 1 US influence in Panama) - any serious Soviet sally into the region would be more a bigger black eye on US prestige than a bolster to Soviet prestige. As such, Soviet Control or Domination of Central America is worth a bit more in VP to the Soviet player than to the US player thanks to two of the region's three battlegrounds (Mexico and Cuba) being US neighbors (players get 1 extra VP at scoring for controlling each neighbor to the other superpower). Scoring Soviet Control isn't terribly uncommon thanks to a bunch of Soviet cards that are focused on the region ("Fidel", "Liberation Theology", "Che", "Ortega Elected in Nicaragua").



** 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.
* BananaRepublic: The Mid-War Junta card grants two influence in Latin America as well as realignment rolls or a coup attempt - presumably success results in this trope happening in-universe.

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** 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 and possible rule changes (e.g., a very good result for the US in the "Chinese Civil War" event would make Taiwan a permanent battleground country, add three US influence to make it start US-controlled, and replace the "Formosan Resolution" card with a "Nationalist China" card - in-universe it's the result of the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-Shek getting very rapid US support and being able to hold on to the south part of the Mainland) to the board before the game even starts.
* BananaRepublic: The Mid-War Junta "Junta" card grants two influence in Latin America as well as realignment rolls or a coup attempt - presumably success results in this trope happening in-universe.



* DefconFive: Used correctly; DEFCON Five is the starting setting (i.e. "no danger"), while DEFCON One instantly triggers WorldWarIII and a game over to whoever started it (which isn't necessarily the one who actually brought it down that far). The DEFCON level also determines where on the map a player is allowed to perform aggressive actions like coups - the lower the level the more regions that are closed off.

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* DefconFive: Used correctly; DEFCON Five is the starting setting (i.e. "no danger"), while DEFCON One instantly triggers WorldWarIII and a game over to whoever started it (which isn't necessarily the one who actually brought it down that far). The DEFCON level also determines where on the map a player is allowed to perform aggressive actions like coups via ops - the lower the level the more regions that are closed off.
28th Nov '16 9:54:33 AM megarockman
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* ChessMotifs: As befitting a game set in the Cold War - as noted by the game's designers, entire countries are treated as little more than pawns in the grand game against the opposing superpower, with the occasional bishop in battleground countries like France and China acting as a rook or perhaps queen.
** Also invoked in the "''{{Wargames}}''" card, which has the outline of a rook on it. It even has the famous "How about a nice game of chess?"

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* ChessMotifs: As befitting a game set in the Cold War - as noted by the game's designers, entire countries are treated as little more than pawns in the grand game against the opposing superpower, with the occasional bishop in battleground countries like France and China acting as a rook or perhaps queen.
** Also
queen. In-game it's invoked in the "''{{Wargames}}''" card, which has the outline of a rook on it. It even has it and includes the famous "How about a nice game of chess?"chess?".



* 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 (e.g., Arms Race, Kitchen Debates, Summit, OPEC, etc.), as measured by the VP track.
** For the specific example of showdown-by-sports, you have the UsefulNotes/OlympicGames card, where the winner as determined by dice roll (host country gets +2 for home field advantage) wins 2 VP. Like what happened in the 1980 Moscow Olympics and 1984 Los Angeles games, the other country may choose to boycott them.

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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 (e.g., Arms Race, Kitchen Debates, Summit, OPEC, etc.), as measured by the VP track. \n** For the specific example of showdown-by-sports, you have the UsefulNotes/OlympicGames card, where the winner as determined by dice roll (host country gets +2 for home field advantage) wins 2 VP. Like VP; like what happened in the 1980 Moscow Olympics and 1984 Los Angeles games, the other country may choose to boycott them.



* SwordOfDamocles: Some cards derive their most utility from the threat of their play rather than actually playing them. The biggest example is probably the Early-War "Warsaw Pact Formed" card, where the Soviets have the choice of either placing 5 Soviet influence in Eastern Europe (max 2 per country) or removing all US influence from ''four'' Eastern European ''countries''. That second option can be utterly devastating to any US attempt to break into Eastern Europe, but the card is single-use (once it's played it's out of the game) - as a result, if the US player gets it in his hand in the Early War he will usually play it and set off the event quick while he has little or nothing to lose, rendering it safer for him to make forays into Eastern Europe once that card is gone with Mid- and Late War events like "John Paul II Elected Pope" and "Tear Down This Wall".
** Other cards that can have this effect include "De Gaulle Leads France"[[note]]Removes 2 US influence and add 1 Soviet influence in France - US players frequently don't touch France if they don't know where this card is and the Soviet player isn't about to straight-up take it via ops because leaving it empty means only the 1 Soviet influence would get added if this card is played[[/note]] and "Blockade"[[note]]US loses all its influence in West Germany if it doesn't discard a card worth at least 3 ops - the US often sinks a lot of influence investment into West Germany to start and will often be forced to play conservatively by holding on to a 3- or 4-op card through a turn just in case the Soviet player challenges with "Blockade"[[/note]].

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* SwordOfDamocles: Some cards derive their most utility from the threat of their play rather than actually playing them. The biggest example is probably the Early-War "Warsaw Pact Formed" card, where the Soviets have the choice of either placing 5 Soviet influence in Eastern Europe (max 2 per country) or removing all US influence from ''four'' Eastern European ''countries''. That second option can be utterly devastating to any US attempt to break into Eastern Europe, but the card is single-use (once it's played it's out of the game) - as a result, if the US player gets it in his hand in the Early War he will usually play it and set off the event quick while he has little or nothing to lose, rendering it safer for him to make forays into Eastern Europe once that card is gone with Mid- and Late War events like "John Paul II Elected Pope" and "Tear Down This Wall". \n** Other cards that can have this effect include "De Gaulle Leads France"[[note]]Removes 2 US influence and add 1 Soviet influence in France - US players frequently don't touch France if they don't know where this card is and the Soviet player isn't about to straight-up take it via ops because leaving it empty means only the 1 Soviet influence would get added if this card is played[[/note]] and "Blockade"[[note]]US loses all its influence in West Germany if it doesn't discard a card worth at least 3 ops - the US often sinks a lot of influence investment into West Germany to start and will often be forced to play conservatively by holding on to a 3- or 4-op card through a turn just in case the Soviet player challenges with "Blockade"[[/note]].
28th Nov '16 9:49:28 AM megarockman
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* AlternateHistory: The Early-Middle-Late division of cards means events go off roughly around the time they went off in RealLife (e.g., the Early War Castro card will probably go off earlier than the Late War Chernobyl card), though events can be deferred to a later turn. The situation on the board will likely turn out this way to varying extents as the game progresses (e.g., Italy or South Korea falling under Soviet control early on).

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* AlternateHistory: AlternateHistory:
**
The Early-Middle-Late War division of cards means events go off roughly around the time they went off in RealLife (e.g., the Early War Castro card will probably go off earlier than the Late War Chernobyl card), though events can be deferred to a later turn. The situation on the board will likely turn out this way to varying extents as the game progresses (e.g., Italy or South Korea falling under Soviet control early on).



* 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. 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).

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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 they are not allowed to coup anywhere on the board, or else it will start nuclear war and s/he will automatically lose. 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).



* NotTheIntendedUse: "Five-Year Plan" is a US card that forces the Soviet player to randomly pick one card from their hand - if it's a US event it goes off, otherwise it gets discarded. If played by the US as an event it can be quite troublesome for the Soviets, as a hand reduced by one card generally means all the cards being held must be played if they can't use The China Card (including ones that could cause the Soviet player to auto-lose). However, the Soviet player can use this (which, as a US event, must happen if the card is played from the Soviet hand) to their advantage if they also have a scoring card for a region that the US would stand to gain a bunch of VP from if scored (holding a scoring card at the end of the turn is an auto-win for the other player) - if this card and the US-favorable scoring card are the last two cards in the Soviet player's hand, they can play "Five-Year Plan" and the scoring card will by default be the card discarded without the event (i.e., the scoring) going off. The US can do something similar with "Aldrich Ames Remix", though in that case Soviet events can also be dodged that way.

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* NotTheIntendedUse: "Five-Year Plan" is a US card that forces the Soviet player to randomly pick one card from their hand - if it's a US event it goes off, otherwise it gets discarded. If played by the US as an event it can be quite troublesome for the Soviets, as a hand reduced by one card generally means all the cards being held must be played if they can't use The China Card (including ones that could cause the Soviet player to auto-lose). However, the Soviet player can use this (which, as a US event, must happen if the card is played from the Soviet hand) to their advantage if they also have a scoring card for a region that the US would stand to gain a bunch of VP from if scored (holding a scoring card at the end of the turn is an auto-win for the other player) - if this card and the US-favorable scoring card are the last two cards in the Soviet player's hand, they can play "Five-Year Plan" and the scoring card will by default be the card discarded without the event (i.e., the scoring) going off. The US can do something similar with "Aldrich Ames Remix", though in that case Soviet events can also be dodged that way.dodged.



** Other cards that can have this effect include "De Gaulle Leads France"[[note]]Removes 2 US influence and add 1 Soviet influence in France - US players frequently don't touch France if they don't know where this card is and the Soviet player isn't about to straight-up take it via ops because leaving it empty means only the 1 Soviet influence would get added if this card is played[[/note]] and "Blockade"[[note]]US loses all its influence in West Germany if it doesn't discard a card worth at least 3 ops - the US often sinks a lot of influence investment into West Germany to start and will often be forced to play conservatively by holding on to a 3- or 4-op card through a turn just in case the Soviet players challenges with "Blockade"[[/note]]

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** Other cards that can have this effect include "De Gaulle Leads France"[[note]]Removes 2 US influence and add 1 Soviet influence in France - US players frequently don't touch France if they don't know where this card is and the Soviet player isn't about to straight-up take it via ops because leaving it empty means only the 1 Soviet influence would get added if this card is played[[/note]] and "Blockade"[[note]]US loses all its influence in West Germany if it doesn't discard a card worth at least 3 ops - the US often sinks a lot of influence investment into West Germany to start and will often be forced to play conservatively by holding on to a 3- or 4-op card through a turn just in case the Soviet players player challenges with "Blockade"[[/note]]"Blockade"[[/note]].



* 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.

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* VariantChess: 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.
28th Nov '16 9:45:35 AM megarockman
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* NotTheIntendedUse: "Five-Year Plan" is a US card that forces the Soviet player to randomly pick one card from their hand - if it's a US event it goes off, otherwise it gets discarded. If played by the US as an event it can be quite troublesome for the Soviets, as a hand reduced by one card generally means all the cards being held must be played (including ones that could cause the Soviet player to auto-lose). However, the Soviet player can use this (which, as a US event, must happen if the card is played from the Soviet hand) to their advantage if they also have a scoring card for a region that the US would stand to gain a bunch of VP from if scored (holding a scoring card at the end of the turn is an auto-win for the other player) - if this card and the US-favorable scoring card are the last two cards in the Soviet player's hand, they can play "Five-Year Plan" and the scoring card will by default be the card discarded without the event (i.e., the scoring) going off. The US can do something similar with "Aldrich Ames Remix", though in that case Soviet events can also be dodged that way.

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* NotTheIntendedUse: "Five-Year Plan" is a US card that forces the Soviet player to randomly pick one card from their hand - if it's a US event it goes off, otherwise it gets discarded. If played by the US as an event it can be quite troublesome for the Soviets, as a hand reduced by one card generally means all the cards being held must be played if they can't use The China Card (including ones that could cause the Soviet player to auto-lose). However, the Soviet player can use this (which, as a US event, must happen if the card is played from the Soviet hand) to their advantage if they also have a scoring card for a region that the US would stand to gain a bunch of VP from if scored (holding a scoring card at the end of the turn is an auto-win for the other player) - if this card and the US-favorable scoring card are the last two cards in the Soviet player's hand, they can play "Five-Year Plan" and the scoring card will by default be the card discarded without the event (i.e., the scoring) going off. The US can do something similar with "Aldrich Ames Remix", though in that case Soviet events can also be dodged that way.
28th Nov '16 9:44:29 AM megarockman
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** Since the Soviets go first in normal Action Round play on a given turn, they are usually the one able to coup battlegrounds while the DEFCON level allows it - without card event chicanery to avoid pulling the DEFCON level to 1, he'll usually have to be content with couping non-battlegrounds.

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** Since the Soviets go first in normal Action Round play on a given turn, they are usually the one able to coup battlegrounds while the DEFCON level allows it - without card event chicanery to avoid pulling the DEFCON level to 1, he'll the US player will usually have to be content with couping non-battlegrounds.non-battlegrounds to satisfy military ops requirements.
28th Nov '16 9:43:08 AM megarockman
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* FactionCalculus: As a general rule, the Soviet Union tends to play as a Powerhouse while the US tends to be Subversive (especially in the Early War) for a few reasons:
** Since the Soviets go first in normal Action Round play on a given turn, they are usually the one able to coup battlegrounds while the DEFCON level allows it - without card event chicanery to avoid pulling the DEFCON level to 1, he'll usually have to be content with couping non-battlegrounds.
** Most of the good Soviet cards are Early War which encourages aggressive play to try to gain as much of an early advantage as possible (even try for a 20-VP auto-win) before the more US-favorable Mid- and Late War decks enter.
** As for the US, they have more cards that can manipulate players' hands and the deck in their favor, either in dodging Soviet events like "Lone Gunman" or putting the screws on the Soviets indirectly by forcing a discard.
** Even the two Soviet events that involve the US possibly having to discard a card in his hand ("Blockade" and "Latin American Debt Crisis") are worded and act more like threats, as they go "If the US player does not discard a card worth 3-ops," followed by a bad thing that happens to the US' position on the map ("Blockade": Lose all US influence in West Germany; "LADC": Double Soviet influence in up to two South American countries).



* NotTheIntendedUse: "Five-Year Plan" is a US card that forces the Soviet player to randomly pick one card from their hand - if it's a US event it goes off, otherwise it gets discarded. If played by the US as an event it can be quite troublesome for the Soviets, as a hand reduced by one card generally means all the cards being held must be played (including ones that could cause the Soviet player to auto-lose). However, the Soviet player can use this (which, as a US event, must happen if the card is played from the Soviet hand) to their advantage if they also have a scoring card for a region that the US would stand to gain a bunch of VP from if scored (holding a scoring card at the end of the turn is an auto-win for the other player) - if this card and the US-favorable scoring card are the last two cards in the Soviet player's hand, they can play "Five-Year Plan" and the scoring card will by default be the card discarded without the event (i.e., the scoring) going off. The US can do something similar with "Aldrich Ames Remix", though in that case Soviet events can also be dodged that way.



* RedScare: Can certainly feel that way for the US player early in the game, as the Early War cards as well as the fact that the Soviets start with the powerful China Card seem to give them an edge. Games with handicaps often give the US a couple of extra influence for balance; the Chinese Civil War variant (where the Soviet player must spend influence on China before it can utilize the China Card) can also serve to dull the edge.
** Also a card in the game (actually 1/2 of a name pair that smacks a -1 ops penalty on your opponent for a turn - the Soviet equivalent being called "[[ThePurge Purge]]")

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* RedScare: Can certainly feel that way for the US player early in the game, as the Early War cards as well as the fact that the Soviets start with the powerful China Card seem to give them an edge. Games with handicaps often give the US a couple of extra influence for balance; the Chinese Civil War variant (where the Soviet player must spend influence on China before it can utilize the China Card) can also serve to dull the edge.
** Also
edge. Separately, it's also a card in the game (actually 1/2 of a name pair that smacks a -1 ops penalty on your opponent for a turn - the Soviet equivalent being called "[[ThePurge Purge]]")
23rd Nov '16 7:07:45 AM Morgenthaler
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* ArabIsraeliConflict: Makes the US position in the Middle East tenuous until the "Camp David Accords" card is played.



* UsefulNotes/ColdWar:
** UsefulNotes/TheFifties: The Early War is mostly the 1950s. Kids doing civil defense drills at school, communist influence spreading far over the horizon, some guy named Fidel down in America's lake...
** UsefulNotes/TheSixties: The Flower Power card, which penalizes the US for any "war" cards they may play, because you are supposed to make love and not war. Also there's a Vietnam War card (called Quagmire), and cards for both JFK's inauguration speech and for his assassination. There's also cards representing some more obscure 1960's events like the Ussuri River Skirmish.
** UsefulNotes/TheSeventies: Oil shortages? Oh yeah.
** UsefulNotes/TheEighties: The Late War card with Reagan on it that cancels the effect of the above-mentioned hippies. Star Wars is in there too, as is Chernobyl.



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



* UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar: Like the Arab-Israeli War card, it can cause headaches for the USA player (though it goes out of play once it's played for the event, unlike the other).



* 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.



* 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.
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