The North America Question
A question arose that I thought would make for a very nice article. The question was...
"Can you explain SoC philosophy regarding North America. Many times I have posted a game and had the Teacher suggest that I change those plans deploying troops in NA and there always seems to be extra emphasis on NA. I would like to understand this better."
The Instructors and the Manual are correct but don't always place the necessary details to the explanations of why this is so important. But Basically it's like this; This game is won by first being in the right place at the right time, and then having the good dice. =) Being at the right place is what this question is basically about.
You want to have a broad range of stacks (3-5 stacks) throughout the map which especially include N. America so that when you get the right high spoils you don't have to climb over too many players in order to eliminate any other players. If you do not have a presence in N. America and you get the right spoils then what good is having the set of spoils and getting extra troops and not being able to eliminate some one in N. America?
There are only 3 ways into N. America and 2 of them, Anchorage and Montreal will almost surely always be covered by troops of different players because they lead into Asia and into Europe. So some one will almost always have them covered. And if not those regions then some one will always cover Reykjavic or Madagan for the same reasons. There will always be extra troops and stacks on these regions by different players.
The third way into N. America is through S. America but that way is even more difficult for the same reasons that players or a single player will almost surely always have many troops on any one of those four strings of territories that make up the entrance into N. America (Dakar, Sao Paulo, Bogota and Mexico City). It is easier to get to S. America or even into Australia then it would be to get into N. America (in most cases).
Also I would note that the possibility of the various points of entry into N. America being held by different players would make their stacks on each one of those regions strong where as a single player holding those same key strategical position may have weaker stacks on them. Either way, if you have a stack in N. America then you need not bother with that.
So if you do not have a presence, A Stack, in N. America and you get the right spoils, then you may not be able to win the game for lack of a stack in N. America. Not if you have to kill various other stacks to get into N. America so that you can then kill your target. You need a stack in N. America to make it that much more easier to eliminate other players there and get their spoils and win the game.
I would point out that this problem is unique to N. America because anywhere else, basically Europe, Asia and Africa, the opportunity to swing around the really big stack almost always present themselves and if you can not get to one player one way then you can almost always get to that player from another way, from another direction. Or at least find the path with the least resistance. But in N. America there is no Choice in the matter. There are only those three ways into N. America or not at all.
So as the old saying goes...
"Be there, or be a square!"
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