1959, 1961, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

Summits between the leadership of the superpowers became major implements of public diplomacy from the mid to late Cold War. Success was measured in terms of agenda items secured, treaties signed, and who was tougher on whom. As in an international boxing match, non-aligned countries watched from the sidelines trying to discern which power was in the ascendant. Virtually all major arms control agreements were either initiated or concluded at a summit. In that sense, they were an important tool for sizing up relative intentions, and ensuring the Cold War did not become hot.

Time: Mid War
Side: Neutral
Ops: 1
Removed after event: No

Summit is one of the weakest cards in the game to draw.  For starters, it’s a 1 Op card: Nuclear Test Ban might be the worst event relative to its Ops, but no one is ever unhappy to draw it.

Worse, like Olympic Games, it has the strong possibility of losing you the game at DEFCON 2.  Although it is not a guaranteed DEFCON suicide card, you would be foolhardy indeed to play this at DEFCON 2 unless you had a massive lead in regions.

More commonly, because of its very low Ops value, you might headline it if there’s nothing else worth headlining and you’d rather conserve your Ops.  Alternatively, if you are absolutely desperate for VPs, Summit offers you the grim choice of a chance at 2VPs or nuclear annihilation.

This entry was posted in Mid War, Neutral Events and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Summit

  1. SnowFire says:

    Summit isn’t entirely horrible as a US headline of “Duck & Cover, maybe” to deny a Soviet coup if there are no better headline options and the US has an edge in the roll.

  2. Dan says:

    As the Soviet player, I’m usually OK with headlining this as long as I have a +2 advantage in the roll (assuming I have nothing good to headline). I like those odds to give me the 2VP and allow an AR1 coup or realign in Asia (or even Europe if the prior turn ended at DEFCON 3 for some reason).

  3. Ioan76_TM says:

    IMHO Summit is a really good headline-card as a principle – as long as it’s cheap and both US and USSR player may have good reasons to set DEFCON on 2 in the headline ( US – to deny the usual 1 AR coup, USSR – to prevent a nasty NORAD effect ) … but the condition needed for decent chances ( +1 for Domination/Control of a region ) is its real drawback. 😉

    Maybe if it would give +1 to phasing player too …

    • The Archon says:

      But the point here is that Summit was intended to be a weak card, such that if you draw it, and the situation isn’t right for its play, then tough luck. But if the situation is right, then yes, it can be an effective (yet still luck dependent) HL, just like a lot of other cards (as stated above by SnowFire). Like baseball, it’s all about pushing an already gathered momentum even further to score, thus possibly facilitating a quicker or greater chance at victory, if the reward surmounts the risk.

      Along the lines of luck, let’s talk about that. Most would agree that there is no point to playing this event at a modifier of 0: you and your opponent each have a 41.7% chance of success, with a 16.7% chance of a tie (no reroll = nothing happens). I’d take those odds on an important coup or War card (if desperate), but not to chance giving my opponent 2 VPs. At a +1, the odds shift to 58.3% chance of success, 27.8% for your opponent, with 13.9% chance at a tie. Given that the odds are now more than 2-to-1 in your favor of victory, that’s not so bad, and could lend itself to being a decent HL (provided you’ve got nothing better to HL or really need the Ops). At +2, the odds shift even more to 72.2% victory, 16.7% for your opponent, with 11.1% chance at a tie. Now the odds are very heavily in your favor, and it could be a nice, quick and dirty 2 VPs.

      If you want to know the +3 odds, do the math yourself because you’re already well on your way to winning anyhow. And if you want to know the reverse odds (i.e., “minus” modifier odds), just switch the numbers around between you and your opponent. But that you would contemplate playing it with such odds means that you’re clearly insane and percentages mean nothing to you anyhow.

      So, playing Summit is an interesting risk/reward card. Even at the high +2 modifier, there’s still a 1-in-6 chance of failing; how many times have you coup’d that African BG, knowing that all you need is a “2” or greater, but still rolled that “1”? And as theory stated, it should never be played during an AR at DEFCON 2, regardless of your modifier. That’s just folly.

      All that being said, it’s still mostly a garbage card, and I’m glad when my opponent draws it rather than me.

      • Daniel B says:

        “Most would agree that there is no point to playing this event at a modifier of 0”

        Although I once had someone play it against me at -1 because he was at 18 VP. It was somewhere in turns 6-8. He was USSR and raced out to an early lead but never quite hit 20. I had started turning the board situation around in midwar but hadn’t been able to curb the VP deficit much. I thought it was a reasonable play for him (especially after the turn, when I realized he had an unbelievable hand from hell and was quite worried his lead was going to evaporate pretty quick, something like 2 scoring cards in regions I dominated, and then everything else was either 1-op or my event).

    • ddddddd says:

      I probably wouldn’t headline it unless Defcon is at 4/5; it’s too risky as a Defcon Suicide card in case your opponent lowers Defcon in the headline—The point being that several cards allow the lowering of Defcon in HL, and most of these are greater than 2 Ops (only CIA/Lone Gunman are 1 Op Defcon modifiers) so would happen first. Therefore if he headlines D&C, WWBY, KAL-007, Tear Down This Wall, How I Learned, Grain Sales, 5YP, Junta, Ortega etc. etc. you could roll a 1 in Summit and throw the game away for the sake of 2 VP.

      • The Archon says:

        Very good point.

      • Stephen says:

        They may also be able to change influence around in their headline, taking away your advantage. Though not as bad as losing to DEFCON, still not good

        • spuddddddd says:

          Yes indeed – in fact, if your opponent headlines Junta, it can have both effects!

          Coincidentally this just happened to me in a game online. My opponent (ussr) headlined Summit at Defcon 3, and dominated in South America. I headlined Junta and so used the two ops to break his non-bg in South America (preventing his domination) and the coup to lower defcon (in other situations, this roll could have gained me a domination for myself with a sufficiently high roll, or broken his domination in Central America). This meant he had a worse defcon modifier for the Summit and I out-rolled him for the win.

          What made this situation a bit bizarre was that I had advanced on the space race sufficiently to see his headline. I probably would have headlined Junta anyway though as it’s a cracking headline.

          • Daniel B says:

            “What made this situation a bit bizarre was that I had advanced on the space race sufficiently to see his headline. ”

            Oh man, I’d never play Summit as a HL if my opponent got to see it first, unless I was really desperate maybe.

  4. Jack Rudd says:

    I’ve played it for the event at DefCon 2. Mind, I did dominate all six continents at the time.

  5. I think the playable variant of Summit should look like this: “Both players roll a die. Add +1 for each region they control/dominate, +1 if player is ahead in space race, +1 if player is ahead in military operations. The winner gets 2 VP and may improve DEFCON 1 level.”

  6. Pingback: General Strategy: Events vs Operations | Twilight Strategy

  7. Headlined this at DEFCON 3. Opponent headlined Cuban Missile Crisis and won the die roll. Instant loss. 0/10, would not headline again.

    • Noc says:

      Headlined this at DEFCON 5. Opponent headlined Cuban Missile Crisis and won the die roll at 6/4 with +1 to my advantage in dominated regions. Instant loss by global nuclear annihilation, just a handful of VP from victory.
      0 stars would not headline again.

  8. Simon_Says says:

    Hi all, relative newbie question here!

    I was just playing on Vassal and my opponent played Summit at DEFCON 2. He had +2 modifier, won the roll got 2 VP and then lowered DEFCON ending the game with his victory. But I was under the impression that if you are the phasing player you always lose if DEFCON goes to 1 on your turn? Any advice appreciated!

  9. Allende says:

    You should not headline this card if defcon is at 3 because you might lose the game if the opponent headlines a card that lowers defcon.

  10. notabothonest says:

    Nice little boost against Wargames if you’re sure it’s coming. If you win, you get to beat back the tide on both DEFCON and VPs in the same AR. Not many cards will let you do that. Given the choice between a dice roll and a certain defeat, you gotta roll.

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