# What happens if you hit +20 VP and Defcon 1 at the same time?

Say you are the US, you are at +17 VP, and Defcon is at 2. You event Duck and Cover. This event says "Degrade Defcon 1 level, then US player earns VPs equal to 5 minus the current Defcon level". Do you win or lose or does the game end in a draw?

Surprisingly this doesn't seem to be in the rules, which say:

The instant one player reaches a score of 20 VP, the game is over and that player is the winner.

...

A player may also win the instant his opponent causes the DEFCON level to reach 1.

• The 'then' part makes me assume it's a specific order you have to process the actions. So first the degrade -> you lose, if you didn't lose earn the VP. Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 14:32
• @J_rite that sounds like the most natural result, but I guess I'm confused since in Magic: the Gathering, you finish resolving everything on the card first and then you check to see if a player has won (boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/45331/…). If that rule also applies to Twilight Struggle, then the win/loss conditions would happen simultaneously. Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 14:43
• I never played twilight struggle, but this answer on boardgamegeek seems to indicate that you would lose. Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 15:20

Magic: The Gathering has rules specifying how and when state-based actions are checked, like ending the game.

Unless Twilight Struggle also has such a rule, and I haven't found one yet, there is no reason to assume the writers meant anything other than "instantly" when they wrote "instantly", or that the card should all happen at once when they wrote "(do this first), then (do that second)".

The sequence of events is this

1. The phasing player uses the card as an Event.

2. DEFCON is reduced from 2 to 1.

3. The opponent instantly wins the game because the phasing player has caused DEFCON 1 to occur.

4. The game is over, no other card effects matter.