Stately Play Decathlon 2019


Noticed from your screenshot that my cards look different–is that style Kickstarter-specific or something?

(These are the things I worry about, having given up on ever actually learning to play the game well.)


They’re the Collector’s Edition cards. I think anyone can use them? Check the settings tab


Cool, I’ll check that when I’m home and have my iPad with me. Just figured I’d ask while I’m procrastinating at work.


@SleepingGiant over @JammaTal by score in turn 4. The dice certainly favored me as well as the timing of scoring cards for early war regions and being able to get rid of Destalinization and Decolonization for long enough. GG!


congrats, Giant! very well played.

typical example for good and bad in TS:

the “good” - always had so many disastrous opponent’s event cards in hand that i had lots of opportunities to dump them in space (couldn’t dare to use them for OP).
the bad - five of those 50% chances failed in a row :joy:

and when i got to see Giant’s hand of cards in the last turn i was not amused (knew it was over). he had the China card as well.

it’s not that i don’t like the game. just not liking it too much.
but that was only my 3rd game. still lots of improvement to be made.


Usually I’m pretty happy to play the soviets, but those games where you don’t get Destal or Decol in the early war sometimes feel unwinnable…

Even with bad die rolls, I’m surprised by the soviets’ board position. Multiple ops in all 3 of France, Italy and S Korea without getting control of any of them is unfortunate. And Lebanon being the only controlled ME control on turn 4 is just weird!


nothing weird about ME. much action, many controlled countries.

many events (eg Nasser), Arab-Israeli war and coups. sometimes i controlled Egypt and Libya, then Giant.
much influence was removed from the board, eg Giant’s control of Israel and Iraq.
but Giant had managed to get nice points in the ME scoring.

as i held a first-turn scoring card of Europe i’ve tried right from the start to get influence in France and Italy, and succeeded for some time, unwinding conrol of GB from Giant too. but Giant never had any problems to counter with even better (and more own) cards.

when Europe scoring card came back in turn 4 there was not much to do.
20 US (with China card) playable OP options vs 8 USSR playable OP options was simply too much.

my first two games were played long ago (PT tourney?) and easy wins with USSR. this game felt like rolling the Sisyphos boulder uphill.
and honestly 5 lost 50% chances in a row (and some more before) were really weird.

but no doubt that Giant played a great and flawless game for a well deserved win.


@SleepingGiant has played a fair amount of TS, so it was bound to be a learning game! If you continue to play, you’ll soon discover that there aren’t 5 “disastrous” US events to space in the early war. The US player has far more problematic cards to deal with. The most likely card to Space would be Duck and Cover, but the rest are fair game.


hahaha, more than 100 games indeed.

Giant played an early Containment in the Asia scoring round which really hurt.
and Marshall Plan shifted balance in Europe towards US.

early war US events which seem ugly or disastrous enough to me (esp when holding Europe score card in hand) are:

  1. Duck and Cover (3 OP)
  2. East European Unrest (remove 1 USSR influence from 3 countries in Eastern Europe)
  3. Special Relationship (US adds 1 influence to any country adjacent to the UK)
  4. Five-Year Plan (USSR must randomly discard one card. an US event occurs immediately). cards like this can be dangerous at low Defcon.
  5. Independent Reds (add sufficient US influence in one of 5 Eastern Europe countries to equal USSR influence). would have hit me hard in Romania.
  6. NORAD (if US controls Canada, US may add 1 influence to any country already containing US influence at conclusion of any action round in which Defcon moves to 2-box) this ongoing event seemed way too dangerous to me. wasn’t sure if control of Canada can be fulfilled after the event was activated. and Defcon moved quite often to 2 in the game. maybe i should have played it.
  7. Truman Doctrine (remove all USSR influence in one uncontrolled country in Europe). there were times when this could have removed all my invested influence in uncontrolled France.
  8. Marshall Plan (add one US influence in each of 7 non-USSR controlled Western European countries). insane.
  9. US/Japan Mutual Defense Pact (US gains influence in Japan for Control. USSR may no longer make coup or realignment rolls in Japan)

in my count 9 US events which feel inconvenient enough for me.


And 44 of those games getting schooled by @Hardco! It feels worse when you get pretty good dice and cards and still lose :joy:

Mitigating the effects of opponent events is a huge part of TS and often you have to take a hit of some sort in order to patiently improve your board situation.

I think I had 5-Year-Plan this game, but it can actually be the USSR’s best friend if you use it on the final action round and your only other card is a scoring card that’s bad for you.

Some, such as Special Relationship and Truman, can be completely mitigated with careful set up and sequencing and just need to be played when the preconditions aren’t met. Try to get Independent Reds played before Romania if possible, e.g.

Most of the others can be at least partially mitigated. For example using Eastern Europe Unrest can be thought of as moving 3 influence from the countries where it is lost to any accessible country (including back where they were) so that’s still a wash at worst. Remember to trigger the event first.

Some cards, like the Japan card, are just write offs because the US is essentially always going to end up with Japan whether that card has been played or is still lurking in the deck, so just don’t worry about it and use the points wisely. So, I wouldn’t space most of those in an average game.

Duck and Cover can be used to deprive the US of mil ops points while couping or spreading influence, which can make up for the VP cost if it gets you domination in a scoring region, so even that is not auto-space.

I think you may have missed a few chances to deprive me of mil ops, so being a little more aggressive on couping battlegrounds whenever defcon allows would have taken some points away from me.

I didn’t mean to write so much! No such thing as a quick reply to a TS thread :sweat_smile: anyway, was fun to play with you. It also reminded why I’ve gravitated more to other games where I don’t have to remember a whole deck of cards and all their possible interactions to feel ok about playing each move.


CIA is the card I hate holding as ussr. How to you manage that one?


CIA you either play before you have influence in Africa/Central America/South America, or you play it for your first action of a turn when DEFCON is still 3 (assuming neither player reduced DEFCON during the headline). Holding the China card as much as possible gives you an out for situations when you’d otherwise be forced to play CIA at DEFCON 2 (when the US player headlines Grain Sales for example).


I found a new way. Headline it into defectors!


:+1: Just remember it goes back into the discard pile.


slowly but steadily the enlightening posts by you and Hardco have fired up my interest to go for a deeper understanding of TS.
i would be ready for more lessons in a 2nd TS championship.
double elim or round robin?

possibly with some Q&A? that would be great.

one of the best effects of the Decathlon is to awaken interest in unknown or not-so-well-known games.


I’d be up for that as well!


Let’s let this round of the Decathlon finish, then I’ll see about setting something up. In the meantime, if you want a learning game, send me an invite.


just saw your profile. wow! that’s what i’d call impressive personal scores with both sides.
i won’t play very fast, but will not time out nor resign. promised.


Haha… I have a pretty good record against @js619, so that artificially inflates my record… :slight_smile:

If you have any questions in the game, feel free to ask.