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Fire in the Lake» Forums » General

Subject: Some thoughts about the cover image rss

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Adrian V.
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Hello all,

I think the graphic art for the cover is great. I mean really really great. A fantastic font combined with one the strongest cover images I have seen for a board game in a while, including other genres.

And still, I have an ambivalent feeling about the choice for this image. The helicopters with the setting sun in the back... That immediately brings up romantic connotations a la "Miss Saigon" and other reflections of the war in pop culture. I'm not an expert on the Vietnam War, but despite my admiration for the current cover, I think I would have preferred a more drastic image in order to remind me of the brutalities of the conflict that I'm about to replay.

Thoughts?
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bestia immonda
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Well, the first thing the cover reminds me is Apocalypse Now. Did you see the movie?
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Adrian V.
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Have seen the film many years ago, yes... but not the movie poster. Well, now I did see the movie poster - and the resemblance to FitL cover, too.
 
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Leo Zappa
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nicktaruffi wrote:
Well, the first thing the cover reminds me is Apocalypse Now. Did you see the movie?


Indeed!





Of course, if it had been me, I would have published the game in flatbox format so I could use this image, since it's one of my favorites...

...you know, the smell of napalm in the morning, and all that...
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Adrian V.
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The association I had in mind before I read your replies was the one below (an extremely good poster, too, by the way. I think it inspired the original Settlers-Cover).



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Matt Gustafson
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Ladson
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Well, just take a look at the descriptive text on the back of the box. The first thing it says is, "Never get out of the boat", which is a direct quote from Apocalypse Now. Clearly the art direction is meant to make the association with the movie. I don't know if that's really a good thing because instead of evoking the actual Vietnam War, it evokes Hollywood's Vietnam War.
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Bobby Ramsey
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I think the cover is dramatic enough as it is. Especially with the two helicopters whose rotors have detached.
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Adrian V.
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Someone told me that the photo displayed on the first page of the play book (the one that shows a burning hut in the back with a soldier in the foreground) was initially supposed to become the cover image. Is it true?
 
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Volko Ruhnke
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Hello, Adrian, great thread.

No, not true. I selected that photo to adorn the playtest version of the Rules, and Mark Simonitch kept it for the production Rules booklet. For details of the photo, go to Wikimedia Commons ( http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page) and search on "viet cong base camp".

The cover by Rodger came about as it did because, as soon as Mark Herman and I saw this P500 graphic from him, we wanted something like this for the box:



Regards! Volko
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Paolo D'Ulisse
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From all these drawings it seems in Vietnam there should be wonderful dawns or sunsets...
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Russ Bednarek
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I think the cover image is fantastic and evocative of the Vietnam War.
Very similar to Apocalypse Now, although I much prefer Apocalypse Now Redux.
 
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Nat Morris
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When I first saw the cover art for Fire in the Lake, 'The End' by the Doors started playing in my head
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Jimmy Potter
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This cover makes me feel kind of uneasy, which is appropriate given the subject matter, I think it's an incredible cover.

collezionista wrote:
From all these drawings it seems in Vietnam there should be wonderful dawns or sunsets...


There are indeed! And much more beautiful these days without helicopters to block the view.
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Paul Heron
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The cover concept's not original but it looks good.

Definitely a Coppola-inspired font, but at least that means FitL won't be ending up on this geeklist
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Paul Heron
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Even Coppola wasn't original, taking the basics of his plot, character names, etc. from Joseph Conrad.

So yeah, it's difficult to say that anyone or anything in our 'postmodern' era is original. Just look at the cover of Silver Bayonet: The First Team in Vietnam, 1965



Of course from the commercial perspective the FitL cover is the ideal choice - anyone seeing that box on a shop shelf will instantly know it's a game about the Vietnam War.

Another positive aspect of the cover is its neutrality. It's neither jingoistic and gung-ho nor condemnatory. The same can be said for the game itself. This is one of the strengths of the COIN series I believe - that it doesn't shy away from the negative aspects of Western power, it even highlights the cynicism that is such a large influence on the exercise of that power.

For instance, in FitL, the way the US, once enough Support has been gained and/or enough troops have been released from Out of Play, can pull off a 'get the hell out' withdrawal (especially if they get to play Great Society at an opportune time) and call that a military 'victory' (even if large swathes of South Vietnam happen to be under NVA control) seems to me a darkly ironic reflection of the power of public opinion (and looming elections). In other words, if your electorate says you won the war, then hell, you won the war.

Edit: added mention of Great Society
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