Event Card Advantages in Victory Games "Cold War"
By Mark D.
Trying to Capitalize on Built-In Event Deck Biases
Victory Games' Cold War board game has a lot of moving parts and allows a considerable amount of latitude in development
of strategies. It's one of those "if it's not prohibited by the rules, then it's allowed" kind of games. It provides card play, diplomacy between the players, and rewards
for Vegas-type players who have a knack for card-counting. It's a light game, in the sense that the rules are not complicated and can be learned in about 15 minutes,
but it has enough depth to appeal to veteran war gamers. It has everything except dice. And I dont' miss the dice at all.
This strategy article will focus on the "card-counting" aspect of the game and will demonstrate how knowledge of the Event Cards can
give you an edge in this very competitive game.
The basis of any successful card tracking system requires some statistics first. You must know what is available in the deck before you can manipulate that knowledge
to your advantage. With that in mind, I present the following statistics below and provide some suggestions as to how this knowledge can be best put to use.
Most Event Cards have three sections of information on them:
- Action Card - This top section tells us who will be able to draw new Action Cards.
- Instant Income, No Income, Vital Region SP Increase - This middle section will either list Regions that provide "Instant Income" this turn,
Regions that provide "No Income" this turn, or a Region that has it's SP value permanently Increased from 4 to 6.
- Power Vacuum - This bottom section lists a Region and one or more turn numbers. If the current turn matches any of those
turn numbers, then a "Power Vacuum" occurs in the listed Region.
There are a total of 50 Event Cards, and we will be discussing 46 of them in this article (13 "Instant Income", 13 "No Income" and 20 "Vital Region SP Increase").
The other four Event Cards are the Game Ends Cards, which we will not be discussing in this article.
Being aware of all the statistics presented in this article, and keeping track (to the best of your ability) of Event Cards which have already been played or, more
importantly, have not yet been played, can give a Cold War board game player a real advantage. Based on the (very loose)
analysis of the "Advantaged Players" listed in each category above, I will go on the record to predicting that the Western European player has a slim advantage overall.
Although if the North American player can capitalize fully on the "Vital Region SP Increase" advantage, or the Soviet can score big with the "Instant Income/No Income"
combo advantage, the game could drift in their favor. All things considered, I see the China player as having the roughest time. These are my predictions and I'm sticking
to them until such time as someone's else's statistics prove me wrong.
Oh, I forgot to mention that the Event Card Deck may be subject to reshuffling at various points throughout the game... which kind of makes the card-counting a bit
more difficult, but not impossible :-). On the other hand, the reshuffling can actually amplify some of the advantages (imagine "Instant Income" for East Africa appearing
four times instead of only two?)
Card-counting and nebulous player advantages aside, Cold War is a really fun game to play, and most gamers that I've played it with
have enjoyed it as well. It's definitely worth a trip to eBay to find a copy for yourself.
Got some feedback for the author? Email your opinions and comments to Mark D.