Captured Nazi Scientist

Captured Nazi ScientistCaptured Nazi Scientist


Code named “Project Paperclip” in the United States, the victors of World War II scrambled to “recruit” former Nazi scientists into their own research establishments. In the West, such efforts involved shielding scientists from war crime investigations. Perhaps the most famous case is Wernher von Braun who is thought of as the father of America’s rocketry program. Stalin was reportedly confounded by Soviet failure to grab this knowledge base first.

Time: Early War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 1
Removed after event: Yes

This is a nicely thematic card, though not that meaningful to the Cold War overall.  Assuming both players advance to at least the first spot on the Space Race, being first is a 2VP swing plus a little bit better chance at getting the other Space Race benefits.  1 Op for 2VPs is a pretty good trade (compare U2 Incident), but Ops and Action Rounds are a precious commodity in the Early War.  Even a single Op is often enough of an Action Round in the Early War, as there are many times when you just want to establish access (e.g., a US play into Malaysia).

More commonly, this is a good headline candidate if you have nothing better.  It’s a nice headline for USSR especially, if the threat of Defectors is still out there.

It does not take up your normal Space Race slot for the turn, so you should examine the probabilities on the board if you are going to use this and Space Race a card.  Obviously you would prefer to use this on one of the VP spaces that succeed on only 1-3 instead of 1-4.

Captured Nazi Scientist’s event becomes increasingly valuable if it survives to the Mid War.  In addition, if neither player has advanced much on the Space Race, it is helpful if you are desperate to space multiple cards.  Playing CNS and then spacing a problem card can accelerate you to Animal in Space with 2/3 probability, allowing to space one more problem card.

As always, there is the risk of advancing too far on the Space Race track.  This is more of a problem for the USSR: it’s nice to earn 2VPs and see the enemy headline first, but not so nice when you are unable to space Voice of America or Grain Sales to Soviets.

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7 Responses to Captured Nazi Scientist

  1. Lenny Glynn says:

    Fascinating stuff — thanks for insights

  2. John Sy says:

    I’m not sure what the big deal is about “Grain Sales to Soviets” because if the card drawn from the Soviets is not the US player’s liking, card can be returned.

    • theory says:

      The point is that the Soviet player cannot play it when DEFCON is at 2, because the US could use it to coup a battleground and drop DEFCON to 1 on the Soviet player’s turn.

  3. Pingback: “One Small Step…” | Twilight Strategy

  4. Anonymous says:

    Let’s think about an extreme scenario: You are US and have no progress in Space Race at all, and USSR has achieved the first box (2 VP). If Captured Nazi Scientist has not been played until Mid war, you can

    -> play One Small Step…
    -> play Captured Nazi Scientist…
    -> attempt Space Race twice (if you’re lucky, you succeed both times)…

    and advance 5 boxes on the Space Race track in one turn!

  5. DanielB says:

    It’s worth noting that CNS may not be the best play in Mid War if you are tied while on a VP space in the race, and don’t know the location of One Small Step, as you may just boost your opponent over you to the VP location that was 2 spaces out.

  6. Letsgo says:

    New strategy for the modern game: use it no matter what. Space is pretty darn important, don’t leave those VP hanging

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