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
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.