Twilight Struggle AAR by Matthew Ernch

A great AAR on Twilight Struggle:

I was really proud of a few of Brandi’s plays. In one case she played Socialist Governments, reducing my influence in Western Europe just before Europe was scored to hold at Zero Victory Points. In another case she dominated the Middle East for +5 Victory Points. As you can see, Southeast Asia is a very severely contested zone at the moment. Brandi also broke into Africa (De-Colonization) which I shall be needed to deal with very soon. The Middle East and Europe scored twice, meaning that they will not be up for scoring again for 20 years or so (a quick breather– I won’t have to worry about them as much…) But Asia and Africa are looking ominous at the moment.

Update as of Monday night. We only had time for two rounds tonight. Took us about 45 minutes. As you can see, my attempts to prevent Brandi from gaining a foothold in South America have proved fruitless. She started a vicious coup in Columbia in Round 5. Very nasty. Another big success for Russia was one that was unknown to her– as I have been forced to hold a card for 2 rounds. I am convinced that this particular card is “ye liveliest awfulness” for the USofA. Can’t get rid of it, its like a sore in your mouth that limits your enjoyment of good food. Otherwise I thought that I did pretty good, keeping the keys to SE Asia out of Brandi’s hands, not to mention shooting Fidel in the head. (I space raced him on Round 4, after she played him for OPs on Round 1. I spent about 5 minutes trying to explain to her why she needed to use it as an event and she shrugged it off saying “I’ll get him back in a couple turns.” I said, “No, you won’t.” She didn’t.) Africa didn’t turn out so hot, but it is scored– for now. Central America, South America and SE Asia are the only regions left to score in the Mid War.

Current Scoring Situation:
Europe: USSR (Domination 10 VP) USA (Presence 4 VP) +6 USSR 
Asia: USSR (Presence 6 VP) USA (Presence 6 VP) +0 N/A
Middle East: USSR (Presence 5 VP) USA (Presence 5 VP) +0 N/A
Africa: USSR (Domination 8 VP) USA (Presence 2 VP) +6 USSR
*SE Asia: USSR (Presence 1 VP) USA (Domination 7 VP) +6 USA
*South America: USSR (Presence 3 VP) USA (Presence 5 VP) +2 USA
*Central America: USA (Control!! 8 VP) +8 USA

*These regions have not yet been scored in the Mid War (all other regions have already scored and may possibly reappear in the Late War.)

Heres the situation at the start of the Late War.

Overall, my bid for control of Central America worked, as I received +8 VPs there. Not only that, but some pretty awesome cards came up for America;

Alliance For Progress came up…

Colonial Rearguards allowed me to place free influence back into Africa…

Nixon + Ussuri River Skirmish allowed me back into Asia (awesomest combo in the world btw.)

Plus Taiwan got its Resolution and Shuttle Diplomacy (which is awesome) came out. (You can see it on the board there)

But despite all this going my way, Brandi still fought me tooth and nail in Europe (getting Domination one more time as it came back up in Turn 7) and i
n the Middle East (Verdict is still out on this one.)
She really beat me back in South America, holding me to 2 VPs. Oh yeah, and by the way, I have been holding “Lone Gunman” since Turn 4.
This is now my new most hated card to draw as the US player. It is like cancer. Seriously. Think I’m just going to have to headline it…

Its looking good for America though. She will really need to hold Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Africa to win this one. Not impossible, but difficult.

The end is here! In the ninth round…
The game did not make it to final scoring as I played “Wargames” ending the game at 1 US VP.

Overall, a hard fought victory. As you could see, if the final scoring had happened, it might have been different.
Especially if Brandi had one more turn to impact Middle East and Europe in particular (where she was strongly returning to power…)
Not to mention I think she could have destroyed South Africa for total control if she set her mind to it.

‘Twas a great game! Any questions, let me know.

For kicks, the final scoring (if scored immediately) would have come up as follows.

Europe: USSR (Presence 5 VP) USA (Presence 5 VP) +0 N/A
Asia: USSR (Presence 4 VP) USA (Domination 12 VP) +8 USA
Middle East: USSR (Domination 8 VP) USA (Presence 4 VP) +4 USSR
Africa: USSR (Domination 8 VP) USA (Presence 2 VP) +6 USSR
South America: USSR (Presence 3 VP) USA (Presence 5 VP) +2 USA
Central America: USSR (Presence 1 VP) USA (Presence 3 VP) +2 USA


It was nice to get my wife to play this one with me, as I really love Twilight Struggle (She was a good sport, I owe her one.) Not only that, I felt she picked up on the game pretty well for her first time out. What a great game…

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