Archiwa kategorii: non-battlegrounds


Region: Africa
Battleground: No
Stability: 2
Adjacent countries: South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe
Relevant events:

  • South African Unrest


Relations between countries sometimes cause two or more countries to create a distinguishable entity, sort of a subregion. The „iron triangle” of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan is one such example (although I would add also India (or even Burma), making it an Iron Quadrangle). One defining characteristic of such an entity is that domino theory is especially significant there. Therefore I would like to introduce another such entity: The South African Subregion and its often neglected non-battleground member – Botswana.

Control over Botswana gives the player three significant benefits:

1. Defense from being realigned out of South Africa (the country) and (to a lesser extent) Angola.

2. Similarly, a good chance to realign the opposing player out of South Africa or Angola, if the player controlling Botswana controls also the other country.

3. A reasonably stable non-battleground, which helps scoring a domination in Africa. Naturally, as USA it is important to remember the Soviet combo South African Unrest + Africa Scoring, so it is wise to keep at least one other non-battleground as a reserve (although comrade Che is still a risk then).

As USA, controlling Botswana has one drawback, namely it gives a reasonable coup target for Che event, without which it can often be an empty or not very useful (Costa Rica, Morocco) event even as late as in turn 5.

Early War

In Early War you have more important things to attend to than taking Botswana. If you really have no good places to spend your ops, then it might make sense to spend these 2 ops at the end of turn 3. As the Soviet player bear in mind though that you could just give the US player a reasonable opportunity to get the required military operations, which matters greatly in turns 2 and 3 and can still be significant in turns 4 and 5.

Mid and Late War

If you already control South Africa and Angola, take Botswana, if you have some extra ops and no battlegrounds to occupy. Important – if your opponent controls Zimbabwe, it might be difficult to realign Botswana, so you might want to hurry.
If you control only one of these battlegrounds, and your opponent controls the other, take Botswana immediately(!), unless there is some really serious business in another region. Especially if your opponent controls South Africa – in that case having Botswana is the difference between life and death in that country. With Botswana’s support, South Africa will hold. Without it – it will fall.

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Translator’s note: This blog has two authors and there may come more. You may therefore possibly find two or more notes with the same title and being about the same subject if there are written by different people with different opinions about some details. Translating is a separate process, and it’s usually done by the best English-speaking among those authors who find some spare time. To make it all perfectly clear I want to point out, that this note is a translation of this Polish note originally written by lukiluk. I do my best not to change the content.

Region: Africa
Battleground: No
Stability: 2
Adjacent countires: Algeria, Libya
Events directly corelated with the country: none

Experienced Twilight Struggle players will usually fight for many important countries that play a key role somehow. The battlegrounds’ value is clear. The Mediterranean 2-stability non-battlegrounds’ value also becomes clear pretty quickly. I decided to start my blogging here from some less-frequently contested country, one I used to consider meaningless but eventually learned to appreciate. I start from Tunisia.

As US:

There are three reasons to consider Tunisia important:

  • an adjacency to Libya

Although Middle East usually tilts towards USSR, US ends up with controlled Libya, and if Sadat comes after Nasser, he also ends up with controlled Egypt. Unfortunately for US, Muslim Revolution is a perfect antidote for this since removing US from Egypt and Libya means not only the loss of influence but also the loss of access. Losing Libya and Egypt without immediate return may even end up with lack of presence on Middle East. This is why turn 4-5 is the moment to think about 1 IP in Tunisia to have a hardly-removable access to Libya.

  • an adjacency to Algeria

If France and Algeria are controlled by opposing superpowers, the latter will always be vulnerable to realignment rolls. There’s not to say that a player will start realigning from Algeria (especially because France is usually influenced by both superpowers and returning to Algeria won’t be a problem by itself) but if other realignments turn out to be better than expected, an extra roll may be used against Algeria. Controlled Tunisia is a +1 modifier to these rolls which is a value by itself, no matter whether you realign or are realigned.

  • an African non-battleground

Non-battlegrounds are necessary to dominate and count against opponent’s domination or control. Every non-battleground serves this purpose but 1-stability countries are extremely easy to coup, even two at once with help of Che, and if these two happen to be, for example, Cameroon and Zimbabwe, those coups provide critical access and/or realignments modifier. Couping Tunisia is more difficult, and 2 IPs are a good compromise before making couping difficult and not over-investing (which is why I prefer Tunisia to Morocco). Again, this is not the first choice but an argument to put an extra IP there twice.


Tunisia is mainly important to enable it serve its purposes for US. USSR can sometimes control it to deny US the benefits described above but 2 IPs are usually much more worth being used somewhere else. Events will provide USSR with non-battlegrounds needed for domination (Botswana, SE African States) and access to Libya is not necessarily important. Tunisia is worth 2 IPs if you really have no better places to put there, or if US controls both Libya and Algeria or France.

Note: For unknown reasons this particular note is a lovely target for mass spaming. From now on I block comments to this note. If you really want to comment this note with sense, do it under the Polish note about Tunisia, in English, and I’ll try to move your comment here.

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