Shuttle Diplomacy

Shuttle DiplomacyShuttle Diplomacy

1973

Personalized diplomacy that uses advances in transportation and communications, Shuttle Diplomacy was a hallmark of Henry Kissinger’s term as Secretary of State. Most famously, it was utilized to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Egypt after the Yom Kippur War. By acting as personal go-between for the Egyptians and Israelis, Kissinger maintained the pivotal role in discussions and minimized Soviet influence over the negotiation process. Kissinger utilized a similar style when dealing with the normalization of relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.

Time: Mid War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: No

As USSR

This event functions a lot like a US Flower Power, in that the USSR will usually just bite the bullet and trigger it, but the US will rarely find a reason to.  Unlike Flower Power, however, Shuttle Diplomacy is guaranteed to have an effect — at a minimum, it will cost you 1 VP.  Because both the Middle East and Asia have an even number of battlegrounds, nothing will usually happen if the USSR already has Domination and a 4-2 advantage in battlegrounds.  But if you are tied 3-3 on battlegrounds, then Shuttle Diplomacy will often give the US Domination (usually the worst case scenario).

In summary, the possible outcomes for Shuttle Diplomacy are:

Middle East Asia
Does not affect scoring bonuses 1 VP 1 VP
Denies USSR Presence 4 VP 4 VP
Affects Domination 3 VP 5 VP
Denies USSR Control 3 VP 3 VP

I’m therefore OK with playing Shuttle Diplomacy for the Ops.  It is pretty far down the list in terms of Space Race priority unless I know for sure that it will affect the next Domination.  Usually at least one of the two regions should only be a 1VP swing.

Generally, you would rather Shuttle Diplomacy get triggered on the Middle East.  Not only is the potential Domination swing smaller, it is also more likely to have no effect on Domination in the first place.

As US

Like the USSR and Flower Power, it’s hard to find a reason for the US to play Shuttle Diplomacy for the event.  3 Ops are immediately useful, whereas the event’s benefit is speculative and uncertain unless you also have the scoring card in hand.  It is most effective when the battlegrounds are tied 3-3, but even then, depending on non-battlegrounds, it still may not affect Domination.  And even if it affects Domination this turn, it may no longer by the time either of the scoring cards is played.

Rules clarifications:

  • The US gets to choose which battleground to deny the USSR.  This is relevant only in the extraordinarily rare circumstance where the USSR controls Japan.
  • The USSR can lose Presence as a result of Shuttle Diplomacy, if they only control one country (which happens to be a battleground).
  • The US cannot gain Control as a result of Shuttle Diplomacy.
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12 Responses to Shuttle Diplomacy

  1. Dan says:

    As USSR, I like to try to trigger this event when I also have Middle East scoring, so I can usually use the ops to break US control of a battleground and then score the region after he responds so there is only a 1 point swing.

  2. SnowFire says:

    As a random game design comment, having Shuttle Diplomacy not be starred was a mistake. Almost all the time-bomb events that hang around for awhile (e.g. Formosan Resolution, Quagmire, NORAD) are starred; you stick ’em on the board, then throw ’em in the removed events pile when they’re done. The only exceptions, I believe, are Red Scare/Purge, Latin American Death Squads, and this card- but at least the first two have the decency to be around for only a turn, then go to the discard pile (RS/P is quite memorable that it’s supposed to recur due to its power). Shuttle Diplomacy hangs around forever and then, if it got triggered by turn 6, can actually come back, maybe. If you remembered to do the delayed-action discard-not-remove.

    Anyway I hope by way of this rant more people remember to discard it, at least.

  3. Azuredarkness says:

    One thing to note as the USSR is that Shuttle Diplomacy does not affect final scoring.
    Therefore, if it’s late in the game and both Asia and the Middle Ease were already scored, the card can be triggered with impunity for a free 3 ops.

  4. François says:

    “The US gets to choose which battleground to deny the USSR. This is relevant only in the extraordinarily rare circumstance where the USSR controls Japan.”
    If US choose North Korea? It is irrelevant? 2VP to lose for USSR!

    • theory says:

      You don’t get a 1VP bonus for controlling a battleground adjacent to yourself. You only get the bonus for controlling the battleground adjacent to the enemy superpower.

  5. Zod says:

    Oh! It’s again a YDRRF case. You Don’t Read Rules First. . Thanks

  6. Formally, it can be up to 9 VP swing, if US controls an Asia BG and non-BG, and Japan is the only one USSR-controlled country in Asia. Without Shuttle Diplomacy, scoring is 1 VP for USSR, with it – 8 VP for USSR.

  7. Scotticus says:

    How does this effect control? If the USSR player has all the battlegrounds and loses one to this effect is it still considered to have control? This could be a really good US play right before ME (or god forbid Asia) scoring if USSR has no non-battlegrounds.

  8. How does this effect control for USSR? If the USSR player has all the battlegrounds and loses one to this effect is it still considered to have control? This event could be a really good US play right before ME (or god forbid Asia) scoring if USSR has no non-battlegrounds and must play the scoring card without taking a non-battleground first.

  9. pietshaq says:

    Technically Shuttle Diplomacy isn’t guaranteed to have an effect: USSR may control no battlegrounds in the region (and I’ve seen Middle East tied 0:0 in BGs).

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