Olympic Games

Olympic GamesOlympic Games

1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988

Sport often served as an outlet for the intense competition between the Superpowers, and that competition was never so intense as at the Olympics. The Olympics served as a test bed to see which society could make the greatest strides in human physical achievement. It fit neatly into Communist ideology of “the New Man.” The games frequently reflected the global political situation, as with the terrorist attacks in Munich, and became overt political tools with the US boycott of the Moscow games in 1980, and the Soviet boycott of the LA games in 1984.

Time: Early War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No

You can’t play Olympic Games for the event when DEFCON is at 2, because your opponent will boycott and you will lose on DEFCON.  Once you realize that, there’s not much else to see: if you play it when DEFCON is greater than 2, no sane opponent would ever boycott, and so you’re basically playing a 2Ops card for an average of 1.25VP.  Not a good trade in most circumstances, and in any event, if DEFCON is greater than 2, you should have much greater priorities than hosting the Olympics.

About its only use is as a headline (albeit a rather risky and ineffective one) if you have nothing else to headline, or when you’re truly desperate for VPs.  Remember that an Olympic Games headline can cause you to lose the game if your opponent also degrades DEFCON in the headline!

A pedantic footnote: in the Deluxe Edition, the wording of the card’s boycott clause was slightly changed.  The new wording (“as if they played a 4 Ops card” instead of “with 4 Operations points”) means that a Olympic Games boycott is now subject to Red Scare/Purge.  Not that it ever matters, but it helps clarify the boundaries of Red Scare/Purge, which is often the subject of rules questions.

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16 Responses to Olympic Games

  1. markabey says:

    My opponent made great headline use of this card when he was at -18 points. I couldn’t afford to roll it out, so it gave him a tasty 4 ops in the headline

    • Nick2253 says:

      That’s a great use for Olympic Games. I couldn’t think of a scenario where this card would ever be boycotted for 4 ops, but here it is.

      • gamblingworld says:

        5 years later this just happened to me as well, i was up +19 and suddenly Olympic games makes a sweet headline for soviets 🙂

        Place 4 ops in headline, drop defcon to 2 (maintaining my South America Lock Down safely and sidestep NORAD was pretty awesome.

        It was a bit of a WIN MORE card. But I’m not complaining.

    • SnowFire says:

      Quick note for reference: there’s a roughly ~80% chance of winning the games from some quick back-of-the-envelope calculations when played as an event.

      Belated comment re markabey: Not entirely sure you made the right call here with the boycott! Did you have a killer board position and were only down on points due to the scoring cards not flowing your way?

      If your situation is better than your point score would indicate, and have a high-scoring Domination you’re ready to play in the turn to get you out of hot water, sure, makes sense, don’t risk losing the game on the spot. But otherwise, eh. If the board situation is neutral or bad, you’re in a bad spot already which is about to become worse making it quite difficult to climb your way back out “fairly.” Gambling on winning the Olympics might be your best bet, which sure, will lose you the game on the spot 80% of the time, but when you win, you’ll have a bit more breathing room and a fighting chance to get back in the game having denied the 4 ops to your opponent.

      • Steve says:

        Of 36 possibilities, the Sponsor can win on 26 dice combinations, loses on 6, and ties (with re-roll) on /4. Since ties (4/36 = 1/9, or 11.11% of rolls) are nullified, that’s 26/32 = 13/16 (81.25%) ways to win and 6/32 = 3/16 (18.75%) ways to lose. A little better than 80%, actually.

        Though, in 40+ games, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen the Sponsor lose more than once or twice, which seems a little low. If my math is right, on average, I should have seen them lose at least 7 or 8 times!

  2. goran says:

    if player that played olimpic games rolls 6 does that count as 8 or as max number 6?

  3. Richard Ian Carling says:

    If there is a re-roll, does the host country get the +2 on dice for the re-roll too?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was surprised that playing this card while at Defcon 2 caused me to lose the game.

    I thought with the opponent boycotting, that it would be my OPPONENTS boycot that caused the thermonuclear war and thus that my opponent would lose

    Why does my opponents boycot reflect negatively on me?

    • theory says:

      Because, like with other events in Twilight Struggle, the phasing player loses when DEFCON drops to 2 – not the player who “caused” DEFCON to drop.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for your reply.
        I wasn’t aware of that I thought I had snookered my opponent (AI) by orchestrating DEFCON down to 2 and then I threw Olympic Games at it.

        Which blew up in my face 🤣

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