The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Labyrinth Followup

The good news is that the US just auto-won the “Let’s Roll” Scenario twice. So, it’s possible. The bad news is that in both games the US had in their opening hand:

  • One of the two (?) Automatically Improve Regime Change Countries cards, and
  • One of the two Oil Price Spikes, which let you grab a card from the discard pile.

So, in my game, the US invaded Afghanistan (gaining prestige, a 1/3rd shot) then then played an event for -4 funding (since I had no islamic rule). I had an operative in the US, so I played Khalid Sheikh Mohammad to automatically plot the US, figuring it would cost him a 3 card (if he allowed it to go off, that would be +4 funding and another posture/prestige roll). But he used the Oil Price Spike to grab KSM and remove the plot, which got him two more cards … one of which was the other Oil Price Spike.

That’s some impressive cards. With the US Prestige maxed out, no Islamic Rule, and 9 resources, I actually managed to delay the inevitable for quite a while and get Iraq converted. I knocked the prestige back to medium, but converting countries from Good to fair is expensive (I got Saudi Arabia back to Fair once or twice, and used Musharraf to knock Pakistan back to poor; but I had spent 2-3 turns with the US making any roll but a 1 for war of ideas and down a card, and my good luck just delayed the inevitable. I lost after one reshuffle.

The other game (I didn’t play) had a similar opening … Invade/Mass Turnout/Oil Price to grab it again (and they forgot to roll prestige, so the US didn’t lose any).

To say that if the US opens with one of the best cards in the deck (Oil) combo’ed with another great card then they have a good chance of winning doesn’t make me feel much better, although it is a weakening of my position.

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Written by taogaming

January 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Posted in Specific Games

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  1. If my math is right the US has about a 1 in 6 chance of starting with a regime change improvement card (or an oil price spike…)

    Fred Bush

    January 11, 2011 at 12:55 am

    • That seems right. It’s (2 choose 1) * (118 choose 8 ) / (120 choose 9) for either one. ~14% by google. Any one of the four cards would be twice that since 2 c 1 is 2 and 4 c 1 is 4.

      [Edit — Actually I forgot that if I change the 2 c 1 to 4 c 1 I have to adjust the other side to 116 c 8, which means that it doesn’t quite double the odds of exactly one. I should have used the cumulative distribution anyway].

      The odds of both an improvement card and an oil price spike are (2 c 1) (2 c 1) (116 c 7) / 120 c 9 is about 1.7%. Slightly higher, since it excludes the possibility of both improvements + one oil spike (or vice versa). So slightly worse than 1 game in 50. Two games in a row? I should shuffle better, I suppose.

      taogaming

      January 13, 2011 at 12:04 am


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