Come and Get It!

We’re almost there…

After several successful beta previews, development of The Cold War Era is nearly finished… which means you can start ordering it now!

If you already know you want full-time access to TCWE you can pre-order it now and get a sweet discount on both the Standard and Special Editions.

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“The prerelease discount is a way for us to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who really wants The Cold War Era and has supported us along the way,” says Max Sprin, AD’s founder and lead developer on TCWE.

If you want to pre-order — right now! — you can do so through the game’s Donation Page.

Plus, if you pre-order TCWE you can help make it possible for more features to be added to the game, like…

  • Improved Server– provides players with lag-free gameplay.
  • Diplomacy Chat — option to communicate directly with your opponent.
  • Game Duration Option — play a quick match or duke it out in a lengthy battle.
  • Sport — compete in the olympic games to win Global Influence.
  • Arms Race — develop military technology to help win wars.

If you want to see the full list of possible new features just click on the Goals link at the bottom of the Donation Page. :D

The game should be all done and ready for release by Q3. If you buy it before then you’ll get immediate notification of future betas between the time of your donation and the game’s release. And, the more pre-orders we receive, the sooner the finished product will be ready!

There’s one more thing you should know about TCWE Donation Campaign: contributors who give above and beyond will be listed in a place of honour in the game’s Lobby screen. If you’ve played the beta you’ve seen this screen, as does everyone else who plays! This is what it’ll look like:

game lobby example

You could also use the game lobby as a handy spot to advertise your company, your product, or yourself. We’ll thank the highest level contributors by featuring them in TCWE’s in-game video stream.

If you have questions about TCWE Donation Campaign, feel free to email Madeline Masters at mcmastersPR@alinadigital.com and she’ll tell you all you need to know.

Ooh, What Does it Look Like? :D

I’ll tell you what it looks like… it looks like…

THIS!

We’re very proud to present our new in-game video that not only shows you what you see when you play TCWE, but also provides a basic explanation of the game functions.

We hope you’ll give this brief video a look and let us know what you think of it. Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions based on what you’ve seen? Feel free to leave us a comment here, on our Facebook page, at our Twitter feed, or on our official forum. We’d love to hear from you!

It’s here! Play TCWE beta all weekend for FREE!

http://www.thecoldwarera.com/download/TCWESetupV0258.zip

That’s your ticket to fun times playing TCWE beta all this weekend, from Friday April 5 until the evening of Sunday April 7! We can barely contain our excitement in sharing the beta with all of you for the first time. :D

To play TCWE, all you need to do is click on the link above, which will automatically start the game download. Before you install it, please read the file called ”read this before install.text” that’s included in the zip file. Then you can install the game and get playing!

Because the current TCWE version is P2P, we encourage you to invite a friend to join you in the game lobby and engage in a battle of the minds, Cold War style.

If you want to get a feel for TCWE’s mechanics before playing, you can download the game’s Quick Guide (.doc version) – or follow the link at the bottom of the Game Description page for a PDF file. The guide will tell you all you need to know about how to play TCWE, but figuring out how to manipulate the game to suit your whims is up to you. ;D

We’d also love to hear what you’ve got to say about our game, so please leave us some comments here, on our Facebook page, @AlinaDigitalDev, or in our Steam Greenlight comment section.

Happy Gaming!
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His Majesty the Budget

It’s time for Diary 5, and love it or hate it, we’re gonna talk about $$ money $$.

The Budget controls all actions in The Cold War Era. History has shown us that the USSR was a mighty superpower in the Space and Arms Races, but was no financial giant in the end. The USSR’s Communist government system couldn’t stand up to the world’s rich capitalists like the USA. The USSR had no money to improve its financial situation or to give their people what they wanted — which was often what the capitalists had. The Space and Arms Races quickly drained Russia’s riches. As a result, the Soviet people — constantly influenced by Western culture — overthrew their own government so they could achieve their dream to live better.

In the top menu you can see each player's budget, and in the bottom menu you can see the selected country's score value, which also helps determine budget.

In the top menu you can see each player’s budget, and in the bottom menu you can see the selected country’s score value, which also helps determine budget.

You can replicate this economic war in TCWE. Putting money into wars and the Space Race can drain your Budget before you blink an eye. When playing TCWE, always remember it’s easy to spend all the money in your Budget well before the year is out, and it takes several years for your Budget to rebound. If your Budget is significantly smaller than your opponent’s, it’s time to worry. Maintaining a bigger Budget is a key to victory because having a bigger Budget means you have more money available and you can spend more when it really counts. Figuring out how to spend your money wisely is key to a good strategy in TCWE. We can’t tell you how to spend your money, but we can tell you how you can earn more!

There are lots of great strategy games available and most of them utilize a simple method for earning money — if you build an industry or mine more resources, you get more money/gold each turn/time you spend. TCWE’s budget system is a bit different. If you notice how earning money works in real life, you’ll notice that a government’s money is represented with GNP or GDP, but not an actual sum. Increase or decrease in the GNP results from changes in the country’s economic status. The GNP is the most important thing for any country’s budget, which is why TCWE uses this index to determine players’ Budgets. An economy needs money to produce more money. Once you take money from the economy for external spending (such as the Space Race, wars or spies) your country’s economy (GNP) decreases. Balancing how much you spend vs. how much you earn is extremely important in TCWE.  

In the real world, a country’s GNP is only calculated once per year. We have the same system in TCWE. In January of each in-game year your GNP rises randomly from 2 to 8%, based on the actual GNP you had in December of the previous year (keeping in the spirit of “money follows the lucky” ha ha). So, the more money you keep in your Budget during the year, the bigger percentage growth you will receive in January. If you use your Budget for external spending, that’s less money in your economy and less growth you’ll receive. Figuratively speaking, this is what the USSR had to keep in mind in the late 80′s when the Soviets spent huge amounts on the Space and Arms Races, while their internal economy dwindled until the Soviet people had nothing to eat, markets were empty, and no money was left to keep Eastern Europe under Russia’s control. This quickly led to the USSR’s demise.

TCWE provides players the possibility to use this strategy against their opponents — forcing them to drain their bank accounts to keep up. Mr. Henry Kissinger, you can impose your Space and Arms Race strategy on your opponent to quickly bankrupt him or her!

Another important aspect of how your budget is calculated is how many Allies you have. The countries you trade with significantly improve your GNP. The more countries enter your Sphere of Influence, the more your GNP will grow. Each country’s score value is an index of its economic power. It’s always better to be allied with countries that have bigger score values. For example, Spain is a 4, while Israel is a 1, so it’s more beneficial to have Spain on your side.

To sum up, here’s a basic calculation to show you how your Budget is calculated each year:

(GNP + Score) x random growth %

(score = total economic value of all allies)

For Example:

If the GNP in December is $250, the player’s score is 25, and the random percentage is 4, the resulting Budget for January is 286.

 (250 + 25) x 1.04 = 286. 

To balance the gameplay we created two additional rules related to Budget:

  1. Once your budget reaches $200 you can no longer spend money.
  2. If your Budget dips to $700 you’ll be penalized via a decrease in the random growth percentage range from 2-8% to 1-4%.

PS: TCWE’s Budget system recreates the real economic climate during the Cold War. It’s why the USSR was leading at the beginning of the Space Race but completely fell behind as the 1990s loomed. Yep, Mother Russia was spending too much, while the USA was investing in its own economy. History has shown us what the result is when a country doesn’t foster its own GNP. So play strategically, balance your priorities and make compromises where necessary. After all, that’s what the Cold War was all about!

To learn more about TCWE, visit our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter@AlinaDigitalDev, check out the official website, or email us at mcmastersPR@alinadigital.com.

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In the Midst of Our Beta Preview for Media

It’s been a big weekend for TCWE with our first beta preview going on at this very moment! We’re excited to get some feedback about the game after some new sets of very valuable eyes have seen and played our game for the first time (here’s another Thank You to everyone playing our beta this weekend — you rock!).

It’s also a great pleasure for us to get to share what we’ve been working so hard on for so long with people who enjoy high-quality strategy games!

So far what we’ve heard is that TCWE is a great game for anyone who likes to develop game plans, create diversions, think on their feet, and go toe-to-toe with an opponent in hard-won battles.

One hour of gameplay goes pretty fast when you’ve got a whole world of countries to keep an eye on. While you’re restocking spies in China your opponent is installing military units in France. Suddenly a Civil War erupts in Poland, and your military units in Turkey have dwindled from 10 to 2! But, you’ve successfully achieved three new Space Race milestones, allowing you to install pro-American governments in six previously neutral countries — victory will soon be yours!

TCWE’s basics are all in place and running smoothly in its current version. It makes for a fast-paced, exciting, and possibly addictive game as-is, but the possibility of new features is also intriguing.

The Space Race is definitely fun to use and if you manage your budget wisely can make the difference between inching ahead and bounding into first place. With that in mind, the possibility of an Arms Race and a Sport Competition is tantalizing indeed, as these functionalities would offer more ways to sway otherwise unflappable neutral countries into your Sphere of Influence.

But to get new and awesome features like these added to TCWE, we need feedback and support from the game’s fans. Tell us what you want and we’ll do our best to deliver.

Meanwhile, the AD team is going to take all the feedback they receive from this weekend’s beta and use it to make TCWE as user-friendly and compelling as possible. After a bit more tweaking, refining, polishing and perfecting we’ll release a beta preview for everyone to enjoy in the very near future. 

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To learn more about TCWE, visit our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter @AlinaDigitalDev, check out the official website, or email us at mcmastersPR@alinadigital.com.
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Screenshots + Quick Guide = Oh, I Get it Now! :D

Game creation is progressing nicely over at Alina Digital. We were very pleased to share with you some in-game screenshots for the first time on March 17th. In case you missed them, here they are again — just click to see a larger image!

You can see the basic game interface, controls and features looking at these screenshots. Each image shows the in-game TV stream on the right side of the bottom menu. The last screenshot shows the Space Race tech tree, a simplified, and easy-to-process depiction of how technological advancement and building of structures helped the U.S. and U.S.S.R. gain worldwide popularity.

If you look at the screenshots while reading through the game Quick Guide (available for download here) you can see just how the game mechanics work in TCWE.

The Alina Digital team would like to add lots of other game aspects, features and controls, including…

  1. Prestige: Reward players for their successful military and spy operations.
  2. Chat Function: Use your own words to negotiate diplomacy with your opponent.
  3. Game Duration Option: In a hurry? Play for 30 minutes instead of 60. Want to go deeper into gameplay and tweak around with creative strategies? Lengthen gameplay to 120 minutes to get more in.
  4. Sport: Athletic competition is huge for winning worldwide Influence.
  5. Arms Race: This is probably the most exciting new option the AD team could add to TCWE. Who can imagine the Cold War without an Arms Race? Hopefully no one will have to, as long as we meet our funding goals!

If you’d like to make sure these features get added to TCWE, come on over to our Donations Page and make your voice heard. We’ve also got a system of rewards worked out for anyone who gives their hard-earned cash to our hardworking team, which is also posted on our Donations Page. Click the Goals link at the bottom of that page to see a breakdown of the features we can add after we reach different funding levels.

Have other input about the game’s development? You can leave a comment here, or leave us a message at our Facebook page, on our Twitter feed, or email mcmastersPR@alinadigital.com.

Please let us know what you think of our screenshots, game manual and bonus features — your input means the world to us as we create this game of World Domination!

 
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Conspiracy Theory: Deploying Spies and Military Units in TCWE

The Cold War era was a real heyday for conspiracies, which is why we do our best to recreate the atmosphere of secrecy and the romance of revolution in TCWE. Although we love the mystery, intrigue, and guile that was rampant during the Cold War, we also want to design the game following the ideal that “fewer clicks and less micromanagement = more time for fun.” In this diary we’ll explain how we set out to create an atmosphere of espionage while keeping the game play simple.

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Let’s start with the revolutionists. As we’ve learned in the last diary, “Overthrowing Governments: A Beginner’s Guide to Politics, Force and Revolution,” revolutionists don’t just pop up out of nowhere. They’re radicals that evolved after getting their hands on weapons, allowing them to launch a militaristic revolt against the government. Within TCWE game, revolutions aren’t possible in neutral countries because neutral countries don’t harbor citizens that violently oppose either of the superpowers (the Americans and Soviets). As soon as a country joins a player’s sphere of influence as Red or Blue, the radicals in that country join the opposing side. The player’s opponent can then utilize those radicals to help him gain control in that country.

Remember when the Americans provided modern anti-aircraft launchers to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, allowing them to successfully thwart the Soviet Union’s occupation from 1979 to 1989? Or when, during the Korean war, the Soviets supplied their comrades the Koreans with modern Mig15 interceptor fighters, which temporarily cleared the Korean skies of US aircraft? That’s what can happen when radicals get support from the opposition. And that’s how it works in TCWE game.

To simplify war in TCWE, military strength is tracked with a status bar. Each country has two bars containing 10 slots, one for the Soviets and one for the Americans. The slots represent military units stationed in a country that player controls. Each player can add up to 10 military units to their bar, as long as they have enough money in the budget to pay for them.

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When opposition in a country a player controls reaches 80%, the radicals are ready to start a revolution. That player can then “ADD” units to empty slots. Americans add units to the Blue side and Soviets to the Red. When units have been established on each side, representing the pro-government forces vs the revolutionists, war begins. If one player has added units to his side and no units are in place on the opposing side, revolutionists can easily overthrow the standing government and take control of the country.

The best way to prevent a revolutionary overthrow is to provide military units to each of your Allied countries. This costs money, but it ensures your allies are prepared for war at all times. 

So how could war just sneak up on you in TCWE? And how does war play out in the game? As in real wars, there’s always an element of surprise. During each month of the in-game timeline, a military unit from either the Blue or Red side is randomly selected for elimination. This sudden imbalance of power can set the scene for a militaristic takeover.

When a war breaks out, the biggest military doesn’t necessarily win. It’s just one more way the mechanics of TCWE reflect real life. War results are calculated randomly and the number of casualties isn’t necessarily proportionate to the military’s size. This is one major reason why war is preferably avoided. Just because a power is bigger doesn’t mean it’ll win the fight.

Besides keeping military units stocked there’s another way to avoid war in TCWE: spies. Once a spy network is established, they can keep the locals cooperating.

Launching a spy network is a completely different operation than installing military units. The only similarity between spy operatives and military units is that players keep track of both with a bar. The spy bar has 5 slots that can be filled. Spies aren’t soldiers or weapons, and their activities aren’t visible like with military units. Spy wars are silent and covert. Players can use spies for three purposes:

1. Install a spy network to upset the local government through massive riots. This increases the level of Opposition in a country the player doesn’t already control, swinging it closer to the player’s favor. This can lead to civil war, like in the example in Diary 3 in which the Soviet Union overtook Argentina.

2. Install a spy network to prevent riots. Spies can support pro-government demonstrations in countries the player controls, increasing support for the local government. This helps prevent civil war and stabilizes a country at risk of falling to the Opposition.

3. Oust the Opposition’s spy network. Spy networks are constantly seeking out and attempting to destroy the Opposition’s spy network, even if it appears to be inactive.

Unlike the war game mechanics, in which being bigger doesn’t necessarily guarantee a win, the success of spy networks relates directly to how many spies are deployed. For instance, if five KGB agents are active in a country and the Americans have only one CIA agent stationed there, the CIA agent is doomed to be eliminated. Another reason to keep your spy numbers up is because the number of spies in a country correlates directly with how successful an in-game action will be. So, if a player has five spies supporting a pro-government parade, after the rally Support of the government will rise by 5%. If the player only has three spies supporting the parade, Support will rise by 3%. Conversely, if his opponent had four spies supporting an anti-government riot in that same country, Opposition will rise by 4%.

There’s one more thing we want to tell you about spies before this game diary ends. Have you ever noticed how negatively the mass media portrays captured foreign spies? And how this negativity sours the public’s opinion of that spy’s home country? Well, the same thing happens in TCWE. Once a spy is captured the local TV broadcasts the news (via the handy in-game TV stream) and the Influence of the Superpower this spy represents in that country drops by 2%. So if an American spy is captured in Soviet-controlled Cuba, America’s influence in Cuba drops 2 percentage points automatically.

Because of this huge risk, spy wars can seriously bust your budget and your reputation. But, not using spies can cost you your allies in a hurry. It’s a choice between the lesser of two evils, which is just one more way that TCWE operates like real life.

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To learn more about TCWE, visit our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter @AlinaDigitalDev, check out the official website, or email us at mcmastersPR@alinadigital.com.

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The Future of Grand Strategy Games: Interview with Professional Game Designer Max Sprin

In an interview with Max Sprin, founder and lead game designer at Alina Digital, he explains what drives him to create a new online strategy game not to appeal to the masses, but to fill a niche in the market that’s been suffering: Grand Strategy Games.

Q: Who/what is Alina Digital? How did this company come into being?

A: The company was founded by me, Max Sprin and it’s named after my daughter. I opened the company the same year my daughter was born and it didn’t take long to decide what I should call it. This is why I designed the company’s logo with a woman’s face in it. I hoped if I gave the company a beautiful woman’s name and used the face and shape of my daughter in the logo this would bring me some good luck.

Q: What is Alina Digital’s mission as a game design company?

A: The idea to create my first game came about, as it usually does for many game designers I guess, because I couldn’t find the game of my dreams to play. I thought it would be faster to just create that game than to sit around passively waiting until someone else did it. Being a new studio makes for some limitations, but I’ve learned that you can create really cool games just with simple codes and a good team. I’m new to the gaming business and haven’t worked in a big game company previously. I’m here now not to build a big business but to create interesting games. I’ll admit that I’m working on something that doesn’t really bring in too much money nowadays — I like strategy games. This is something I want to do for myself — create interesting strategy games. And if other people like them too, this makes me very happy. It’s always great if you create something and other people also enjoy it.

Q: Who are you, where did you come from, and how did you get here?

A: I played my first strategy game when I was 15 or 16. It was Civ1 on DOS. I fell in love with strategy games after I played Civ1 the first time. I remember when I was playing it different ideas came into my head — “Oh, it should be this way,” or “No, it shouldn’t be there, it breaks the balance,” and so on. This happens to me all the time when I play games. I can’t enjoy the game until I feel it’s perfectly balanced in various ways. This kept happening to me until one day I told myself, “Listen, if you think you know better, just do it.” Now I’m finally getting closer to realizing this dream, and I feel really happy about this.

Q: What’s it like having your own business?

A: Alina Digital is not my first business, but all my businesses have been something creative. I developed my organizational skills in high school when I decided to form a hard rock band. I discovered that I’m a shitty musician but I’m a great organizer and leader. I organized the band and set up the shows, and this became more enjoyable for me than actually playing my music. I learned that lesson and years later I organized my own online streaming TV and Internet business. It’s still very popular, but I decided to get into the gaming business. I feel great about designing my own game, but it’s hard to run your own business, especially when there’s a big team involved. Every single person has his or her own personality and sometimes it’s deeply frustrating when someone can destroy what you’ve worked for because of an aspect of his or her character. I can’t call myself a businessman, at least not a good one. I’m more of an artistic person and a team leader. I can organize and lead people to create a project. I’m not as good at selling those products. Right now I’m focusing all my energies into the game’s creation.

Q: What’s the best part about designing games in your opinion?

A: Even if it seems like an easy, simple question that’s really hard to answer. How would Mozart answer if you asked him, “What’s the best part about making music?” I’m not saying I’m a genius in game design like Mozart was in music, but I realize it’s much more than just words. True game design is an art and I believe all people who create art are extremely excited about doing it. True game design is a combination of many things that must be considered. A great game designer must be an extremely intelligent person with plenty of background knowledge and real-life experiences. Without these things it’s like trying to describe what the fresh air in a forest is like if you’ve never been in a forest. How could you resolve an unpleasant situation if you’ve never had the experience of that situation before yourself? Game designers must call upon all their real-life experiences to create their games. This is one of the greatest parts of designing games, when you bring your own life experiences into them.

Q: What has inspired you to become a game designer?

A: A very poor market for good strategy games. There are so few really cool strategy games on the market. Most companies are running their “wallet warriors,” so trying to create good strategy games in this environment is like trying to make good rock or classical music in the age of pop idols. This is why I realized I can’t wait forever for someone to decide to make something that the mass market doesn’t really demand. By that I mean making great Grand Strategy games in an age where fantasy games and zombie thrillers dominate. I decided to make what I like, and I hope more people like me are out there who want to play good, simple strategy games not geared toward massive pop culture.

Q: What is it about The Cold War Era that made you decide this was the game you wanted to make?

A: I have ideas for dozens of different games. Cold War games, WWII games, the Napoleonic wars, the modern economical wars, and many more. I decided to start with The Cold War for one primary reason — there are only two or three Cold War games already on the market. If I wanted to create a WWII game everyone would say, “Oh, yet another attempt by a small-budget studio to create a WWII game.” I hope that the Cold War theme can attract attention from more people because it’s not the kind of game that gets made all the time. This is important for a small company like Alina Digital to get noticed from the start. I’m not sure Alina Digital would get noticed in the WWII strategy game market. There are just too many of them. That was a business-minded reason to go with the Cold War. Another reason is my own attitude toward the Cold War — it was truly a war of intelligent strategy and tactics. I play chess, and I love chess. The Cold War reminds me of a chess game. I also love history, it’s my favorite subject. I guess it’s obvious to see now why I chose the Cold War as the theme for my first strategy game.

*****

If you want to know more about The Cold War Era and Alina Digital, please Like TCWE’s Facebook page, follow Alina Digital on Twitter, or email Madeline Masters at mcmastersPR@alinadigital.com.
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Should you know history to play this game? Uhh..not at all!

In The Cold War Era game countries are categorized with three colors – Blue (Americans), Red (Soviets), and White (Neutrals). You can play TCWE as either the Blue Americans or the Red Soviets. The primary objective in TCWE is to paint over the map in your color. This short video outlines the history behind the Blue and the Red, including some interesting fact-nuggets about the Cold War. Have fun watching it!

http://youtu.be/bTk3dFC7t00

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Overthrowing Governments: A Beginner’s Guide to Politics, Force and Revolution

Ultimately, there are only two ways to overthrow a government: through politics, or by force. Both sides to domination are key features in The Cold War Era. TCWE is all about expanding your sphere of influence and using it to dominate other countries. Whether you play as a Soviet or an American, any governments loyal to your regime automatically extend your control zone. Getting other countries under your influence is the main focus of gameplay in TCWE, so in this blog we’ll discuss just how that works.

When the game begins, most countries and regions are neutral. The citizens of neutral countries are either happy about being outside any sphere of influence, or haven’t made a decision yet about which superpower to join — the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. Your goal is to convince them it’s in their best interest to side with you. Each superpower has a range of tools used to influence other countries, for instance their space program and spy networks. You’ll be able to use these tools to help you succeed in your goal of total domination.

We learned in the previous diary that each country is in one of two political states: Support/Opposition and Influence. Just like in real life, it’s almost impossible to overthrow a government through political actions if the populace is happy about the state of their government and actively Supports it. So, winning over neutral countries requires a combined effort of pushing your sphere of Influence into their territory, and destabilizing their government. You have several options for increasing your sphere of influence, such as achieving milestones in your space program. At the same time, you can deploy your spies, who assist radical anti-government Opposition within the country, causing the Opposition indicator to rise. Once your Influence in the target country is above 80% and local government Opposition has also reached at least 80%, they’ll be weakened enough for you to install a puppet government.

Here’s where it gets really interesting: your opponent is also working to spread their Influence, including in the countries that you control. The Statistics Graph will help you monitor your opponents activities: the graph shows the level of Opposition and Ideology Influence for both superpowers (you and your opponent) in all countries and regions. If you see your opponent actively trying to raise their Influence in a country, you can use your own methods of Influence and Opposition to try and reverse this. You can use your own spy networks to dismantle or disable your enemy’s spy network, and Influence the targeted country with your own ideology, thus pushing back your opponent’s sphere of influence. If your opponent successfully takes control of the country, you have one option left: Revolution.

Revolution is only an option in countries where governments oppose your regime, and thus won’t work in neutral regions. In a Revolution, you convince radical members of the countries’ population to take advantage of weakness in the local political atmosphere, and work to oppose the government. Once Opposition reaches over 80%, you have the option of sending in military assistance to help the radicals overthrow the local government. Doing so will cause these radicals to become revolutionaries, who can then initiate an armed revolt. If successful, they’ll install a new government allied to you and join your sphere of influence. Any remaining revolutionaries become official government troops from that point on.

To prevent revolutionaries from wreaking havoc in countries you control, you can deploy some of your troops to assist the local governments. This helps ensure countries remain within your sphere of influence. Your opponent can also do deploy troops, creating proxy war scenarios in contested countries and regions.

Here’s an example of how it can all play out: When TCWE begins, Argentina is a neutral country. The USSR and the USA’s Influences are both very small, only about 10% each, leaving 80% of the population to Support neutrality. Opposition is at 50%, which is not ideal for the government but stable enough to survive. In this example game, the USA has achieved milestones in the space race, causing global admiration and the USA’s Influence to increase, including in Argentina. To complement this, the USA player releases propaganda in Argentina to boost pro-American Influence. At the same time, he develops a very powerful spy network to assist anti-government riots which have started to flare up. These efforts combine to increase the pro-American Influence in Argentina from 10% to over 80%, and increase government Opposition from 50% to more than 80%. This allows the USA player to establish a new pro-American government in Argentina and add the country to their sphere of influence. The 80%+ of the population that formerly opposed the local government also become supporters of the new pro-American government.

Now the USSR player is disappointed that Argentina has moved into the American sphere of influence. He wanted Diego Maradona to wear a hammer and sickle t-shirt during his next game. The USSR player realizes it will take a huge amount of time and money to increase pro-Soviet influence in Argentina because the American Influence has become so strong. The only real option is to organize a revolution in Argentina. The USSR player starts by creating a massive KGB spy network in the region. Once well-established, the KGB spies wipe out the American spy network in Argentina, allowing the KGB to assist radicals and organize riots with ease. Sometimes these riots escalate enough to warrant TV news coverage, but the USA player doesn’t seem to take it seriously or is too preoccupied elsewhere. Eventually Opposition in Argentina reaches 80%, triggering the radicals to become full revolutionaries. The USSR player then provides military assistance to the revolutionaries, and they successfully overthrow the government. However, Soviet Influence in Argentina is at 0, even if the government is pro-Soviet, so the USSR player has to convince the general population to abandon their pro-American ideology. The disconnect between the citizens’ ideals and the government will cause Opposition to the pro-Soviet government in Argentina to rise until eventually the USA player can take Argentina back through political means. But in the mean time, Argentina is Soviet-controlled and scoring points for the USSR player.

After reading this example, you’ve probably figured out some ways the USA player could have prevented revolution. First, they would need to keep their spy network functional, to decrease the KGB’s ability to assist radical riots. Also, the USA player could have deployed military troops to Argentina so in the event of civil war they could have helped protect their allied government from revolutionaries. After all this conflict, both players have invested an incredible amount of resources into the area. Calling the shots in situations like this is all part of the strategy and decision-making gameplay that’s vital to success in TCWE.
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