The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Let’s Roll pt 2

Continued from Part 1.

Turn 7 — In which Radicalization takes its toll

The first Jihadi card was Martyrdom Operations. Worse yet, since I had low prestige, world opinion was against me and terrorist funding was maxed out, plotting would have achieved nothing, so the 3 operation points were spent on Radicalization. And, since there were no unavailable cells, the 2nd and 3rd operation points just automatically worsened governments. The next card also went to Radicalization, so the Gulf States, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia all fell from Good to Fair and I lost 7 Good resources in one swoop.

At this point a realistic US government declares victory and leaves.

Being unreasonable, I picked up my hand, which had Martyrdom Operations, Opium, Quagmire, Kurdistan, Tora Bora, Moro Talks, Moqtada al-Sadr and Wahhabism. I need to shuffle better. Mostly Jihadist events, but most of them can’t do much to my current position. Apart from Quagmire, which I have to play last (since it forces me to discard two cards).

I played Opium and Moqtada al-Sadr to fluff Germany (successfully) and disrupt Benelux.  (Putting a cell on the track and flipping world opinion to neutral to give the flowcharts something to do instead of radicalize).

The Jihadi draws IEDs, so I randomly discard Wahhabism. That hurts (since funding was already at 9, that’s just a 3 OP card). Next comes Darfur, so Sudan is an Adversary and Besieged. The flowchart puts the opps to Jihad in Pakistan, which has gone from Good to Poor in 1/2 a turn. The rest of the ops Radicalize, but that only puts the last cell on the board and travels.

I play Tora Bora to disrupt some cells off the board and roll prestige and pray. No luck, -1 prestige (the most common result) to 3. I play Moro Talks for the reserve, so I can alert or disrupt in Central Asia (which takes 3 OPs).

Jordan is the final country to lose good governance, and my flytrap in Central Asia attracts more (unwanted, at this time) attention. I disrupt (keep cells off the track) to raise my prestige to medium and fail a War of Ideas in Saudi Arabia.

The AI gets more Radicalization events, and the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia fall to poor … I now have two horrible Jihadi events, and I’m forced to play Martyrdom Operations. I disrupt in Central Asia after the two plots are placed and use the Quagmire to disrupt in Jordan, but several plots go off.

At the end of the turn funding is still at 9, prestige is at 3. There are 15 Poor or Islamic Republic countries, so if prestige falls to 1 I lose.

Turn 8 — In which the stage is cleared

The Jihadis open with a plot in Central Asia (still waiting to change that Regime, guys!) and Axis of Evil. I don’t have any of the named cards, but I have to roll prestige. I lose one, and I’m now as close as possible to the auto-lose. My hand is Hambali, Sanctions, Predator, Jihadist Videos, Lashkur-e-Tayyiba, Adnan Gadhan, Nest

If the plot goes off in CA I lose, but if I alert it I’ll just get another plot. I use Hambali to disrupt (+1 prestige) which clears out the area. I’m hoping it’s not a WMD. I play Sanctions to lower Jihadist funding to 7. The plot isn’t a WMD, prestige back to 2.

After some buildup (cells and reserves) another plot hits in Central Asia. I alert and disrupt (to get prestige to 3). A plot goes off in Eastern Europe, which sends EE & Benelux Hard (swinging world opinion to hard). Undeterred, the Jihadis hit Eastern Europe again with WMD (and, for good measure, drive Turkey to Poor governance via radicalization). I Predator out a cell to add one back to the track, and after the WMD attack Europe flips to soft (Eastern Europe, Benelux and Germany flipping). I disrupt the cell in Eastern Europe, mainly for lack of a better way to spend a 2 OP card, there being poor governance everywhere.

Apart from World Posture, the board looks pretty much the same as at the start of the turn. I’ve been fighting a holding action.

The first Jihadi card of Turn 9 is Lebanon War which lowers US prestige by a point. President Kardashian declares a new era of shopping and reality shows to distract us from world events, and is elected in a landslide.

Lessons Learned

Solitaire Lessons:

  1. Make sure that a 3 OP radicalization card doesn’t get to the last bullet point (lowering governance). For 1 OP, the AI will mess up dozens of operation points of planning. To that end you really want to make sure that there’s always a cell or two on the cell track and (preferably) a place to plot. Usually there will be, unless you have low prestige, max funding and a world that hates you.
  2. While rolling towards your 12 resource victory, rather than pressing ahead it may be time to defend a bit. Knock a few cells off the board, so that a lucky double-jihad play doesn’t radicalize.
  3. Pirates is a worse event than it appears. The AI with funding at 8 is much safer than funding at 9.
  4. As always, a regime change is not something to be taken lightly. Arguably if I had just ignored Central Asia I may have been able to get to my 12th resource before the Jihadis got to 6.
  5. The optional deck balancing rule (sorting cards into pro-US, pro-Jihadist and neutral) may be necessary to prevent the horrible lopsided hand. If that bothers you. I found the AI much harder at this setting, mainly because the cell track empties so damn fast.
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Written by taogaming

December 26, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Posted in Session Reports

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