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Freedom: The Underground Railroad» Forums » General

Subject: theme rss

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Sandra Powell
United States
Texas
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The theme bothered me. (I am expressing an opinion; not condemning the designer.) This is a painful part of history. We played the easy version. We could lose a lot of slaves and still win. My numbers are probably wrong, but I think we won if less than 29 slaves died and at least 22 were rescued. This works if you think about cubes only, and ignore the theme of rescuing people. I think this bothers me more than other games because slaves were treated like objects. The game was very absorbing, and I thought the cards helped keep it thematic.
 
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Jeffrey Drozek-Fitzwater
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Houston
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You do know that was intentional, right? That it was supposed to bother you?
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Chris
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Birmingham
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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars, where you will be forced to drift aimlessly farther into the vast, empty abyss of space until a lack of food, water and oxygen causes you to succumb to Death's cold embrace.
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The entire game was built around the theme. It wasn't a case of just slapping certain artwork on an abstract co-op. Everything that happens is there because of the theme, not despite it.
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John Bradshaw
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Newcastle Upon Tyne
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Music3 wrote:
The theme bothered me.


So it should of course. Only a moron would not be bothered by the theme. The heroes of this game, whom I have learned about since playing this, helped bring to an end a very sad chapter in US history, but of course, slavery continues today, and their fight goes on (and should continue to bother us).

I like it when a game teaches me about, or stimulates an interest for further research in, history. A game of this type not only does that, but can also stimulate a reaction against the wrongs of the world and is a really clever way to convey ideas that some people might find dry if delivered by other media.



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Osprey
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West Virginia
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Music3 wrote:
The theme bothered me. (I am expressing an opinion; not condemning the designer.) This is a painful part of history. We played the easy version. We could lose a lot of slaves and still win. My numbers are probably wrong, but I think we won if less than 29 slaves died and at least 22 were rescued. This works if you think about cubes only, and ignore the theme of rescuing people. I think this bothers me more than other games because slaves were treated like objects. The game was very absorbing, and I thought the cards helped keep it thematic.


Don't even think about playing a wargame. Wars have been a painful part of history and rarely a year has gone by that there was not, or is not, a war in progress somewhere.

Although all of this is true, and my girlfriend and I both like Freedom, we look at these games as teaching tools. The effect games like this have on me is to make me want to learn more about the the period in history that the theme is trying to represent so that I'm more aware of what actually happened. These games inspire me to read. I have learned more about history from playing games than I ever did in school.

I think the designer did a great job in what is represented in the game and he did it in a very tactful way. I would never want to play a game on this subject in which abstracted capture or deaths were not a possibility. That would only be burying the truth.
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Kevin Duke
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Quote:
but I think we won if less than 29 slaves died and at least 22 were rescued



First, in order to win, you not only had to get X# of slaves to Canada before Y# of slaves are lost (not necessarily died but just hopeless for freedom) but you also have to buy all those "support" markers, which represent the effort to change public opinion enough that slavery would be made illegal.

It is the nature of the game that sometimes, in order to influence the slave catcher movement, you have to sacrifice one block/slave for the greater good of saving many in a tactical sense (getting them to Canada) as well as the strategic goal of ending legal slavery. Several people have expressed real hesitation about this "sacrifice." And what a great thing that is, if the game can so touch you that "losing one block to save 5, and win the game" is still a daunting thing.

That, plus all the history included in the cards, not only makes this a great game, but explains why some school systems and home schooling groups are interested in plugging this into their lesson plans.

I have this vision about the game be stretched over several days of classes, with pauses to discuss the cards as they show up, and give even greater depth and detail...put even more of a human face on it.
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Tommy Tavenner
United States
Norfolk
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Music3 wrote:
I think this bothers me more than other games because slaves were treated like objects.


I don't know if this was the case in your game, but in my games so far we have come to care about each cube far more because knew it represented a slave. We spend far too much time trying to puzzle piece the slave catchers together so we don't lose a single slave before finally realizing that somebody will need to be sacrificed if we want to win. To me that's the strength of the game as both a game and as a teaching tool. Given any other theme I would be tossing cubes away left and right to win. It would be purely numbers. But here you know exactly what you are giving up and that makes it a hard choice.
 
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