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Another Run at Mr. President


MrPotatoTed

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Quick note to anyone who read my first post more than 11 hours ago -- I've significantly changed it.  I screwed up the setup of my playthrough and restarting was easier than trying to roll back my damage. Ha.

Moving on.  I get 27 action points per year.  20 for playing on easy mode, 4 for being efficient, 3 for having a reasonably effective cabinet.  That feels like a significant amount, and it doesn't carry over year to year, so I want to make sure I spend them -- but also have enough in reserve for emergencies.  There are four sections to a year, so I'll budget 7 for the first three quarters and 6 for the final.  (Note: I considered doing it the other way around, spending less the first quarter instead of the last quarter.  But my theory here is that we want to nip things in the bud now before they become a problem in the fourth quarter.  We'll see how it goes!)

Because I am an "ally's best friend," I can improve our relationship with one potential ally.  All other possible significant allies are already at max status, so my options are India or Saudi States.  The Middle East is obviously my biggest problem area, especially with Iran working on nukes, so I choose to ally with the Saudi States.

Now I need to choose two regions to focus intelligence gathering on.  Normally it would only be one at this stage, but I caught a lucky break with that DARPA card during set-up, establishing that the previous President improved our cyber warfare abilities.  I choose the Middle East for one region, obviously.  I consider a few options for my second region, but I decide to focus on Africa as my second area of concern to prevent it from becoming a terrorist breeding ground.

Up next, we can attempt to improve our strategic capabilities.  There are seven capabilities to consider, and we're compared to both Russia and China.  Thanks to the previous President's work on Cyber Warfare, we're now behind only space warfare, where we are behind China.  Naturally, I try to fix this -- and succeed!  We're now tied with China and ahead of Russia on space warfare capabilities.  (I have no idea how relevant space warfare is in this game, but I don't want to be behind on anything.)

For my second strategic capability to improve, I went with Strategic Missiles/Missile Defense.  We were tied with Russia (and ahead of China).  Success!  We now lead both nations in strat missiles/missile defense. 

Good round!  But now we head into the hard decisions...



 

Edited by MrPotatoTed
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Time to set my POTUS/Cabinet focus.  In order from top priority to least, I hand select:

Improve Economy (the economy is obviously vital, and I don't have anything currently giving it a big boost)
PR/Media Relations (approval rating is important for points)
Address Domestic Crisis (Nothing huge right now, but let's keep it that way)
Cabinet effectiveness (It's fine, room for improvement)
Homeland Security (No active threats at home currently)
Improve Relations w/ Congress (It's all good right now)

Now is the time for action!

The game comes with a guide for what your first set of actions should probably be, and why.  I'll try following it here.

President Mr.PotatoTed corrals the cabinet.  He almost fails, but I can make it a success by spending one of my Action Points.  Success!  I now have 26 AP left, and 6 for the first quarter (which has not officially begun yet, whoops.)  My cabinet, already reasonably effective, is slowly working towards becoming a lean, green, fighting machine.

Vice President Raoul Sanchez tries to improve a domestic crisis. He fails, what a surprise.  Sanchez' only relevant skill is in the military, but VPs aren't allowed to take military actions, so he's a pretty useless #2.  

Chief of Staff Eric Massey tries to discredit/dissuade a Congressional Opponent.  He goes after Kathleen Bell.  Unfortunately, not only does he fail, but it erupts into a scandal that strikes the President!  We'll see how this goes during the legislative phase.  He could end up impeached and convicted (game over!) -- but it's unlikely given that he has the teflon trait AND holds the majority of both parts of Congress.  

Secretary of State Allen Box tries to provide crisis relief in the Asia/Pacific region.  Success!  This wasn't actually a problem area, but the book suggests taking advantage of the high starting regional stability here, which gave a higher chance of success.  This will help slow down any future problems in this part of the world.  Secretary Box also gets a bonus action -- but the book has no relevant recommendations here, so I'll choose.  He will stay in Asia/Pacific, attempting to remove Chinese influence there.  Success!

Secretary of Defense Rick Campbell will successfully deploy a second carrier and a Marine detachment to the Indian Ocean.  With his bonus action, he'll send an intel team and Securty Forces to the Asia/Pacific region.

 

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CHINA ACTS

China-US relations are trending upward, and are actually getting close to max!

China successfully improves their strategic missiles/missile defense capabilities.  They're now tied with Russia, and one level below US.

China tries (and fails) to improve their recon/intel gathering.  They remain at the lowest step, tied with Russia and two steps behind US.

China steals war plans, gaining in military strength compared to Japan.

China's economy is improving.

China takes a bunch of actions that I regrettably accidentally deleted as I typed them here. Ha.  The good news is most of them failed.  Notable successes include:

Launched a cyber attack on India, destabilizing the region which is now close to a major regional crisis.  

"One Belt One Road" initiative gave China influence in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions, but also reversed gains made in China-US relations, and increased tension in China, Russia, Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, and Saudi Arabia/Gulf States.

Overall, as far as challenges to our major power goes, this wasn't a terrible run.  The only new issue I'm worried about is the potential for a crisis in the Central/South Asia region due to China's cyber attacks on India.

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I get three actions.

1:  The President gives a UN Speech to create goodwill.  He successfully removes the "trending anti-US" marker in Central South Asia, steadying relations there.

2: Secretary of State Box calls a summit with China, establishing three objectives for joint consideration:

 2a: Stabilize Central/South Asia.  China makes a huge demand (the highest possible) for cooperation on this -- they want +1 Chinese influence in the region and +1 Action Point for their country.  Given the seriousness of the situation, I agree.  Success!  The regional crisis level in Central South Asia falls to a more acceptable level.  An unstable state is removed from the region (now stabilized).  China gains influence in the Middle East (now has 2) and +1 Action Point on their next turn.

2b: Jointly mediate a Civil War Cease Fire in Africa.  China will agree, if I either give them another +1 AP or help boost their economy.  I choose to give them another +1 AP.  Hopefully they squander all these extra actions like they squandered them last turn. Success! Ceasefire is achieved.  China receives +1 influence in Africa.

2c: Improve Trade between US and China.  Success!  Both countries economies trend upward (China's actually reaches the next rung on the ladder, tying the US).  China loses 1 tension.  China would gain yet another +1 Action Point, but they're all already in use.

3: Secretary Box tries to broker peace in the African Civil War Ceasefire that China helped negotiate.  Success!  Permanent peace is achieved, though the nation is fragile.  The civil war (ceasefire) is replaced by an unstable state.  The African regional crisis level drops by one, to a more acceptable level.
 

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The Eurozone calls a regional "Global Issues" summit.  The President attends in person (I spend 2 Action Points).  Meaningful dialogue on global issues paves the way for better national relations.  Regional Stability in the Eurozone improves to 7, nearly maxed out.

CRISIS CARD:  Terror Groups Emerge.  A level one and level two terror group in Africa are replaced by a single Level 3 terror group.  This is the largest existing terror group in the world.

CRISIS CARD: Summit with Canadian Prime Minister Tackles Regional, Alliance, and Security Concerns.  Summit is pleasant but yields little progress/results.

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EU, NATO, ROK, and Iran Act:

The economy improves globally.  All economies trend upward -- the US economy is now at the max level!

An economic summit strengthens the Eurozone, their economy improves further.

The US & NATO partner to successfully provide relief in Africa, lowering the regional crisis further (now down to a measly 1, back from the brink of disaster!)

The US & NATO partner to successfully increase stability in Eastern Europe, which is now a 6 (pretty good!)

NATO unilaterally assists Eastern Europe, removing Russian influence from there.

US & ROK successfully work together to stabilize the Asia Pacific region, increasing stability to 7 (almost perfect, same as Eurozone)

US & ROK successfully work together to drop the ROK/DPRK conflict to the lowest possible level.

ROK independently conducts family visits with DPRK.  This would further reduce their conflict, but it's already at it's lowest level.

Iran disrupts oil to the West.  Economies in the US and Eurozone trend downwards but are still strong.

The Unstable State in Central America is removed -- it has stabilized!

The Unstable State in South America remains unstable.

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The cabinet successfully improves our Homeland Security abilities to "robust", almost as high as it can get.

The cabinet successfully improves PR/Media Relations.  Media Relations moves +1 from "Neutral" to "Friendly", and my approval rating increases from 40% to 42%.  

Media relations fall back to "Neutral" thanks to the passage of time.  Oh well.  That was fun for half a second.

Two domestic actions: 

The President improves his Presidential Presence via interviews, rallies, social media.  Media relations move back up to "Friendly."  What a roller coaster!

Chief of Staff Massey tries to address the one domestic crisis, but fails.  Approval rating slips back to 40%.

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LEGISLATIVE SEGMENT:

Good Relationships Yield Approval And Progress.  Relationship with Congress improves +1 to Collegial and Media Relations moves +1 to the highest level -- Supportive.

I propose both Cyber Security (campaign promise) and Privacy (top public priority) legislation packages to Congress.  They have between moderate to strong support.  My public approval jumps from 40% to 46%.  (It will still be a while before they're voted on.)

Scandal investigation:  As you may recall the President was under investigation after his Chief of Staff tried to discredit a member of Congress.  Thanks to both parts of Congress being controlled by his party, and positive relations with Congress, and being a Teflon President, the scandal is cleared.  No further investigation, everyone forgets all about that little hiccup.

Bipartisanship reaches the maximum level.



 

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(Random Event):  "Make A Surprise Visit to Deployed Troops.  Public Approval improves to 48%, and I get a bonus military action later.

CRISIS CARD:  Iran once again defies IAEA, just like they did with the previous President.  Iran's nuclear capabilities improve another level, to Atmospheric Nuclear Missile Testing.  That's not good.  Regional crisis level increases by one, on the verge of disaster.  Middle East stability falls to the lowest level.  Iran and Saudi Arabia/Gulf States each gain 2 tension.  Israel gains 3.

You know...I'm starting to think pouring so much energy into Africa and Pacific Asia, and to a lesser extent Europe, may have been a mistake.  Ha.

I'll respond by spending 3 Action Points to launch a strike against Iran.  US/Iran conflict rises two levels (now half way to war) and my relationship with Russia bottoms out into a second Cold War.  Fuuuuuuuck.

The good news is that my strike on Iran is a major success!  I obliterate their nuclear weapon efforts, knocking them back two levels to where they were prior to my previous Presidential predecessor.  Tensions evaporate in Iran and Saudi Arabia/Gulf States, and significantly decrease in Israel.  The threat of nuclear war has significantly decreased...as long as I can keep Russia calm...

My approval rating improves to 50%!

RANDOM REGIONAL CRISIS: Middle East.  Shit, that maxes out the regional crisis to "Disaster!" level.  

My approval rating drops down to 46%.  A new level two terror group erupts in the Middle East (which now has 5 such groups.)

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Focused National Intelligence. 

At the start of the game, I selected Middle East and Africa as my FNI areas.

MIDDLE EAST

A level 2 terror group moves to the locating box, and another goes into the "gathering intel" box.

We work with the UN to achieve a cease fire in a Middle East civil war.  Regional crisis falls all the way to one.  UN peacekeepers deploy to ensure the ceasefire is upheld.

AFRICA

The level 3 terror group moves to the "gathering intel" phase.  

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55 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

(Random Event):  "Make A Surprise Visit to Deployed Troops.  Public Approval improves to 48%, and I get a bonus military action later.

CRISIS CARD:  Iran once again defies IAEA, just like they did with the previous President.  Iran's nuclear capabilities improve another level, to Atmospheric Nuclear Missile Testing.  That's not good.  Regional crisis level increases by one, on the verge of disaster.  Middle East stability falls to the lowest level.  Iran and Saudi Arabia/Gulf States each gain 2 tension.  Israel gains 3.

You know...I'm starting to think pouring so much energy into Africa and Pacific Asia, and to a lesser extent Europe, may have been a mistake.  Ha.

I'll respond by spending 3 Action Points to launch a strike against Iran.  US/Iran conflict rises two levels (now half way to war) and my relationship with Russia bottoms out into a second Cold War.  Fuuuuuuuck.

The good news is that my strike on Iran is a major success!  I obliterate their nuclear weapon efforts, knocking them back two levels to where they were prior to my previous Presidential predecessor.  Tensions evaporate in Iran and Saudi Arabia/Gulf States, and significantly decrease in Israel.  The threat of nuclear war has significantly decreased...as long as I can keep Russia calm...

My approval rating improves to 50%!

RANDOM REGIONAL CRISIS: Middle East.  Shit, that maxes out the regional crisis to "Disaster!" level.  

My approval rating drops down to 46%.  A new level two terror group erupts in the Middle East (which now has 5 such groups.)

How does approval work in this game as it relates to re-election?

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20 minutes ago, vcczar said:

How does approval work in this game as it relates to re-election?

Higher is better.

Haha, I don’t actually know, I’ve never made it that far before.  In my only full playthrough so far, I lost in the first year of my Presidency.

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I get 4 diplomacy or Military actions, plus the one bonus military action I earned during my visit to the troops.

1:  "Request Rapid Capabilities" -- I tell DARPA to focus on cyber warfare capabilities, the one area where we are currently tied with both Russia and China.  (We are ahead of at least one of the two countries in everything else).  This will increase our chance of continuing to improve our cyber skills later.

2: "Invite Ally Leader to White House" -- The only potential ally we don't have max relationship with is India, so I'll invite them.  Success!  We now have max relationship with every possible ally, including India.  India loses one tension.

3:  Presidential Trip to Central America -- Trying to actually have any impact in Central America failed, but my public approval rating increased anyway from 46% to 50%.

4: Conduct Strikes on Terror Groups in Middle East.  Big success -- I effectively eliminated two level-2 terror groups.  There's only three left in the Middle East now.

5 (bonus military action): Use Military Professionals to Treat Disease, Build Schools and Clinics, or Create Other Infrastructure in a War-Torn Region.  We tried to help in the last remaining civil war country, located in the Middle East.  Unfortunately, we yield no results.

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Random Event: NSA.  I get to take a sneak peek at the next two crisis cards, removing one from the game and moving the other straight to the reshuffle deck (kicking the can down the road).

The first card is Drought in Africa creates famine, refugee crisis.  This wreaks havoc across Africa and to a lesser extent Europe.
The second card is Party Rift Develops.  It can cost me friends in Congress, though this can be somewhat mitigated by spending action points.

I remove the Drought from the game, and put Party Rift in the reshuffle pile.
------
CRISIS CARD:  Bureaucratic Incompetence.  There's some tension in my cabinet now, and worse, the incompetence has led to my legislative priorities stalling out.  We were in great position to get shit done legislatively and now it's all stuck in the mud.  There can be no proposals or advancement of legislation at the next opportunity.  That suuuuucks.

---
CRISIS CARD: White House Scandal.  Further tensions in the cabinet.  My approval rating falls back to 50%.  I'm able to spend two AP on internal investigations and White House firings of fall guys, patsies, and scapegoats, avoiding any other issues -- but I am spending my APs faster than I'd like to.  We're only just starting the 2nd Q of my first year in office and I've already spent almost half of what I had.
---------
CRISIS CARD:  All-out rebel assaults in Pakistan.  Tensions increase +2 in India.  Luckily the Pakistani government are able to push them back, weakening the local terror group from level 2 to level 1.  
-------
CRISIS CARD: Collapse of Swiss UBS Bank Sends Shockwaves Across Europe; Threatens Governments.  Eurozone economy weakens to the half way point.  Eurozone crisis levels rise, and in Eastern Europe they're on the verge of a disaster.  US and Russian economies are also hit.  Notably, US economy is no longer at its peakiest of peaks.

 

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I try to pass multlateral sanctions against Russia (because my relationship with them is in the toilet, but fail.|

I launch a cyber attack on our cold war enemy Russia's economy.  Mild success.  The economy turns downward.  Tension with Russia increases +2.

Use Military Professionals to Treat Disease, Build Schools and Clinics, or Create Other Infrastructure in a War-Torn Region.  We tried to help in the last remaining civil war country, located in the Middle East.  Success!  Middle East is no longer trending towards being anti-US!  Regional crises in the area drop to zero!

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CHAOS:

Tension between China and Japan goes up by 1, no longer at their lowest level.

Domestic Crisis levels have risen as well, now one step away from domestic disaster.  Cabinet issues arise.  My public approval drops to 44%.  The cabinet in-fighting goes public -- my approval rating is now 42%.

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ustralia, Israel, India, and Rogue States act:

US & Australia work together to get UN to aid Central South Asia.  Crisis level drops by one, giving some breathing room from the pending disaster.

US & Australia work together to gather intel on the level 2 terror group in the region.

Australia unilaterally moves Pacific Asia relations to trending pro-US.

US & Israel team up to gather intel and then start locating a level 2 terror group.

US & Israel team up to successful improve Middle East stability from 3 (lowest possible level) to 4.

Israel unilaterally launches a cyber attack on Iran's critical  government infrastructure.  This Iranian crisis decreases Iranian destabilization attempts abroad.  The terror group we've been hunting dwindles to just a level one.  Iran is incensed but uncertain whether we and/or Israel did it.  They increase their subversion efforts in the Middle East as a result.  Tensions rise in both Iran and Israel.  The Level one terror group goes right back up to being a level two.  Ha.

India & US team up together to gather intel on the lone level one terror group in Central South Asia.

India & US team up together to successfully stabilize Central South Asia (to a 6 from a 5).

India independently increases trade within Central South Asia, removing one of the Chinese influences there (one left).

Rogue State in Central South Asia moves US alignment to "trending against US" and fans the flames, raising the regional crisis level back to the brink of danger again.

The Rogue State in Middle East moves US alignment to "trending against US" and recruits additional fighters, rising the rogue state to level 2.

The three unstable countries in Africa and the one unstable country in Middle East all remain as-is.

 

Edited by MrPotatoTed
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UNITED NATIONS ACTS:

1) Humanitarian Aid successfully reduces the regional crisis level in Central South Asia, averting disaster once again.

2) Infrastructure Aid successfully increases regional stability in Africa, from 4 to 5 (3 is lowest, 8 is highest).

3) Attempts a Youth Empowerment movement in Central America to decrease terrorism there, but fails.

4)  Successfully conducts peace talks in the Middle East civil war, leading to a ceasefire.  There are no longer any active civil wars in the world.

 

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1 hour ago, 10centjimmy said:

Is this all 1 year in office??? World peace in a year is certainly worth reelection, assuming the US isn't actively on fire. 

I'm only six months into my Presidency.  Haha.  To be fair, I am specifically playing on easy mode so I can learn the mechanics.  As such, I started the game with no wars currently happening (they can still happen, they just haven't.  The most likely to break out right now is US vs. Iran, after I bombed the shit out of them to wipe out their nuclear missile capabilities. 

A normal game starts with a Middle East war (Afghanistan, I believe it's supposed to be modeled after).  There are also a variety of scenarios that take place between 2000 - 2020, so you could start a game with wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, or Russia invading Ukraine, or whatever.  But the base "easy" game has no wars active when you start.

I have successfully managed the civil wars so far, but most of them are just in ceasefire mode and could explode again at any time.  I also have two rogue states in play, including one that just grew to a level 2.  And quite a few terror groups, though I've done a good job at keeping that manageable as well so far.

Really, it mostly comes down to me playing on easy mode right now though, after getting my ass absolutely handed to me when I tried to learn on normal mode.

Edited by MrPotatoTed
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Important note for anyone who happens to be playing along:  I've questioned how easy it is to get the UN to help stabilize a region, which has played into how relatively easy this "easy" playthrough has been -- so I checked the game publisher's website and found a list of errors and corrections.  Most notable of these is the fact that I was right -- it is not intended that it would be this easy to have the UN bail out regions on the brink of crisis.  

The way the rules are written, it looked like you could do this with every ally, and as three allies act every quarter...and it has something like an 80% success rate with each attempt...well, that's a lot of successes.  But the publisher's site clarifies that it can only be attempted once per quarter.  In other words, I should have only been able to try it twice so far -- I've actually done so successfully three times already.  

So...I'm going to edit my posts above to fix this mistake and redo.

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Fixed!  That was surprisingly easy.  The only real change was that Eastern Europe is once again on the cusp of disaster, but Central South Asia is more stable now.

Moving on:

US-Initiated UN Action:  I'll spend one AP to conduct Humanitarian Aid to Eastern Europe.  Success!  (barely).  Phew.  Crisis in Eastern Europe is once again kicked down the road.  Thanks to my excellent media relations, public approval improves from 42% to 46%.

I take three domestic actions:

1) Party Fundraising and Support.  I improve my Party Relations to 7 (almost max).

2) Use the bully pulpit to rally support for a bill.  (Spending 1 IP).  I'll try to rally support for my privacy legislation.  My thinking here is that I already know this next legislative session will be a dud (thanks to my "incompetent bureaucracy" crisis card), and who knows if the next midterm election will keep things so strongly in my favor.  I need to rally support now, while I can.)  Success!  My privacy legislation package now has strong support.

3)  Address a Domestic Crisis: Success!  Looming stateside crisis averted.



 

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CRISIS CARD:  Wildfires burn through the West.

Crisis level rises in the US.  Phew -- good thing I just solved a domestic crisis a second ago or else we'd be at disaster level.  I spend two action points to make the response roll easier.  Americans follow my lead and there is an outpouring of support for both the victims and my administration.  My public approval improves from 46% to 50%.

CRISIS CARD:  Military coup in Thailand.

Tensions rise in India and Australia.  I spend 1 AP to recognize the new government.  Asia Pacific continues to move pro-US, nearly reaching the max level.

Edited by MrPotatoTed
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War Resolutions.

There are no actual wars happening right now, but we also roll for the civil wars (which all are currently at ceasefire stage).

Eastern Europe: The cease fire results in a permanent peace -- but the nation is fragile.  The civil war is removed and replaced by an Unstable State.  Regional Crisis level decreases by one.

Middle East:  Both ceasefires result in no change.  The civil wars remain in place, in a cease fire state.

 

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