Flying from New York City, to Seoul, South Korea, the doomed Korean Airlines Flight 007 strayed into Soviet Airspace due to a navigational error involving the plane’s autopilot system. While the Soviets contemporaneously claimed that they did not know that plane was civilian, tape releases after the Cold War indicate that little if any warning was given to the airliner. The Reagan administration rallied global reaction against the Soviets—even playing decoded messages before the UN Security Council. 269 passengers and crew were killed during the attack, including one member of Congress.
Time: Late War
Removed after event: Yes
Unplayable at DEFCON 2, obviously, so the USSR typically sends this to space. Even at DEFCON 3, it’s not such a good idea to give the US 2 VPs in the Late War. But if you must play it, either because you desperately need Ops or have another DEFCON degrader in hand, the South Korea condition is easily dealt with by first playing some influence into South Korea (and breaking US control) before triggering the event.
An extremely strong headline, Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 accomplishes several things at once. It:
- Reduces DEFCON in headline, denying the USSR an AR1 coup
- Provides the chance at an instant win by DEFCON suicide if the USSR drops DEFCON in headline
- Gives 2 VPs
- Allows you to conduct Operations during the headline phase
Even if you don’t control South Korea, the 2 VPs and DEFCON degradation makes it a decent headline in the Late War.
Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 also makes both Five Year Plan and Missile Envy slightly more dangerous to play in the Late War at DEFCON 2.
Love this card as the US . Good reason not to neglect S Korea.
Good article again. But I am just wondering if NORAD will nullify the above-mentioned USSR”s disposal of this card by playing 2OP-for-1 influence into S.Korea, if it is initially controlled by the US.
NORAD doesn’t trigger until the end of the Action Round, so it doesn’t affect KAL-007 (though it will repair SKor).
Actually managed to use this card to win as the USSR, I had Man in Earth Orbit and my opponent headlined Duck and Cover, so I headlined this.
Your opponent was not very smart.
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I don’t necessarily see this as a must-space for the USSR. As long as the US does not control South Korea, this card can be a very nice asset for the Soviets. It can be used just like Duck & Cover (to do something else but couping with your AR1), but with four Ops for giving up two VP (as opposed to the usual three Ops for three VP trade of D&C). Sure, in the Late War VP matter more than before, but if you defend or flip a battleground with it, you have already made up for the 2VP. Example: In my last game as USSR, I headlined Socialist Governments in Turn 8, took two influence out of Italy and converted it to Communism with this card on AR1. Not only did I gain an additional battleground, but taking Italy also stopped US Europe Domination, thereby providing for a 6VP swing in final scoring (4, if you subtract the VPs the US got from the card). 4VP and four ops were surely better than no ops and the chance on some VP/boni from the space race.
Why are 2 VPs more important in the late war than the early war?
You may lose because of Wargames. And you have less time to gain VPs back.