My standard set up is to put 4 in West Germany and 3 in Italy.#
France is the other battleground, which is important for Europe scoring. However, there are 3(?) Early War cards which remove influence in Western Europe, specifically France - Suez, De Gaul and Socialist Governments (last I which I have). I don’t want to commit starting influence in France to have it wiped out in headline. I’m then a bad coup result in Italy from being in a lot of trouble.
As far as my extra influence - I like Iran and Panama or South Africa
Iran - Benkyo did this to me, I control Iran and he has no control in the middle east. I can headline Middle East scoring and grab some easy points.
Panama and South Africa are both in mid war scoring regions which USSR has much more access to than the USA.
I’m not interested in Israel or South Korea because they can both be replaced by early war ‘war’ cards. Not Japan, because mutual defence act will allow me to control Japan in early war. However, as @lalunaverde will testify, Asia is a real weakness of mine.
As for the turn, not sure yet. I’m hoping to hold De Stalinization until I can Space race it in turn 3 (cards are reshuffled before turn 3 and I don’t want it to come up again in Early War).
As new players can see, there is a lot of mitigation of bad things here. If you don’t know the rules - I can play cards for the event or for ops. If I play an opposition card for ops then the event happens, either before my operation or after.
What do people think?