1955 – 1967
Ernesto “Che” Guevara, commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture. Guevara remains both a revered and reviled historical figure, polarized in the collective imagination in a multitude of biographies, memoirs, essays, documentaries, songs, and films. As a result of his perceived martyrdom, poetic invocations for class struggle, and desire to create the consciousness of a “new man” driven by moral rather than material incentives, he has evolved into a quintessential icon of various leftist-inspired movements.
Time: Mid War
Removed after event: No
One of the best (and most underrated) USSR events. Launching two simultaneous coups allows you to set up countries for realignments, defend against US AR7 moves, or threaten multiple countries at once. Consecutive Action Rounds are one of the holy grails of Twilight Struggle, and Che comes close.
The best use of Che comes when you can make two threats and the US can only respond to one. Most non-battleground countries are valuable for their connection to a battleground, and sometimes the only response to an attack on a non-battleground is to coup it back. When you identify two such non-battlegrounds, take advantage of the opportunity to double coup. Now the US must choose one non-battleground to respond in, and you are free to leverage the other non-battleground against an adjacent battleground (either by direct influence placement or realignment).
Che gets better as the game goes on and more influence is invested into non-battlegrounds. Most games tend to have a pattern of low investment into non-battlegrounds (out of fear of being couped out), followed by rapid investment into non-battlegrounds (where there is no longer enough “time” / Action Rounds to coup them all back efficiently). It is in that later stage that Che becomes so powerful.
The fact that Che earns you Mil Ops (unlike Junta) is just icing on the cake.
If you don’t have any targets (or only one target), it’s a relatively safe play, particularly since you can coup back whatever Che coups. It’s also safe if your non-battlegrounds are 3-stability (i.e., Costa Rica). But once you get into the stage of owning many non-battlegrounds, as described above, Che is too dangerous to play (it is equivalent to 6 Ops for the USSR!) and better off sent to space.
“One of the best (and most underrated) USSR events.”
I agree. A well timed Che can be terrific for swinging Africa and/or Central America back into Domination after the US plays into enough non-battlegrounds to take it from you (and I’ve seen it work well in SA, too). And the fact that it they are 3 Ops coups helps quite a bit, as this can often make it undesirable for the US to try to counter-coup affected 1-Stability countries (depending on the rolls, of course). If the US wants to play a 3 Ops or 4 Ops card to counter-coup a non-battleground, I say “go for it”.
It should be noted that the first coup needs to be successful (i.e., US influence removed) before the second coup can be attempted. I have more than once seen only a single coup out of Che due to an unlucky roll. But this can only happen on a 2+ Stability country, and even then, only on a roll of 1 (for a 2-Stability country; don’t try it on a 3-Stability country unless you’re desperate).
I don’t think I’ve read ‘or Africa’ on this card before . . . oops!
Something I only noticed recently: This isn’t a starred event, and is the only card in the deck clearly identified with a single person that isn’t starred (compare Nasser, Truman Doctrine, Ask Not, etc.). Considering what happened to Che after his coup attempt in Bolivia, that seems rather odd… probably too late for errata though, oh well.
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How are you supposed to know Che gives you military ops and Junta doesn’t? This is a bit confusing.
Junta says “free coup”; Che does not.
Am I correct in concluding that because the card says “may”, it implies the permissibility of making a coup attempt, but no requirement to do so. Otherwise, triggering this event when the US caused the Cuban Missile Crisis will likely trigger nuclear war and lose the game for the USSR even when it is played by the US…
Do you know if the Vassal version offers the one who plays this event the ability to decline a coup?
Currently it’s bugged, you’re forced to make a coup.
Can I make the second coup on a different region or I must follow the first one?
You may make it in a different one of those three regions.