Well, its with a heavy heart I announce I told you so! Brian Reynolds (USSR) over greatatlantic (USA) in final scoring (13 points). Single game elimination, pfff....
Which is not to say I'm upset the more experienced player won (Oh, right, congratulations and well played, Brian!). I'm just upset I only got 1 game out of this tournament!
I actually looked up his record before the game started. Brian Reynolds has over 300 games of Twilight Struggle (online) played. I mean, that's like a game a day since it came out, right? So, I felt like I was going to need some luck to pull out the win. That luck was just not forth coming. Right out of the bat I drew 2 scoring cards, and drew the third in Turn 2. This was somewhat countered by drawing De-stalinization on Turn 2... with Blockade. Without the China card, yet. I had the tough choice of possibly giving up Western Germany, or maybe letting Brian getting hold of the strongest early event in the game.
Except it wasn't a tough choice at all. He had already combo'ed Decolonization into Afghanistan and took France. A move I either didn't have the ops to block or still feared DeGaul. NATO had already triggered, Italy was well positioned. So, would I give up a two point VP swing which would cost him 4 Ops to exploit to keep him out of South America and who knows where else? Yes I would. Plus, I had a nice lead on non-battlegrounds which meant Reynolds would be paying extra ops to take Europe.
Of course, that move was spoiled when he drew the SA Scoring card and was able to play it before I could get any presence in the region. Also, right on turn 4 he used SALT to pull the card I sacrificed so much to dump right back into his hand. South America would not score again until final scoring, despite a lot of ops and effort by both of us to secure domination.
After an incredibly tense round 7 where a game of chicken was played using the Central America Scoring card (9 points, I had presence!), Ask Not, OPEC (hey, they were in the news), and Missle Envy. I knew this going to bed the night before, but kind of forget it the morning. Luckily, I was able to feed Missile Envy Socialist Governments instead of giving up Ask Not and 9 VP. Maybe I knew that in the back of my head!
Going into the late game, I had Asia more or less locked up, though got lucky with a 50/50 Brush War roll or two. Meanwhile, he had Europe mostly locked up, except I could in theory more efficiently take non-battlegrounds than him thanks to Marshall plan triggered early. I currently dominated South America and the Middle East (though barely) and he controlled Central America thanks to a combination of Junta and Liberation Theology, plus domination in Africa. So, the late game would be whether I could keep SA, maybe break his control of CA, but really I needed to finalize control over the Middle East, and find a way to flip Africa. I managed none of that. I lost the Middle East, and tied in Africa and South America.
Mr. Reynolds, if you managed to read. I do hope to play you again once your schedule opens up. You might have been the best player I've ever clashed with... though Mark_L was no slouch.
At last, rebellious Gauls and arrogant Romans, your time shall have to wait.