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AFTERSHOCK: A Humanitarian Crisis Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Expansion contents? rss

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Rex Brynen
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We've had some interest in a possible expansion set that would address additional aspects of humanitarian operations and allow greater customization of game play. Ideas proposed so far include the following:

*gender dimensions of disaster and humanitarian crisis
*political tensions/violence
*secondary disasters
*other actors
*other types of disaster/additional scenarios

What else might we include?
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Volko Ruhnke
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Just brainstorming -- An additional player that is not mainly about saving lives, such as:

*Organized crime group seeking to divert aid or profiteer.
*Media as a player with its own victory conditions
*Unscrupulous opposition party trying to make Catana Govt or international aid look deficient.
*Local strongmen, ethnic out-group, or urban guerrillas competing for power by controlling or sabotaging aid.

vfr
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Rex Brynen
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Volko wrote:
Just brainstorming -- An additional player that is not mainly about saving lives, such as:

*Organized crime group seeking to divert aid or profiteer.
*Media as a player with its own victory conditions
*Unscrupulous opposition party trying to make Catana Govt or international aid look deficient.
*Local strongmen, ethnic out-group, or urban guerrillas competing for power by controlling or sabotaging aid.

vfr


I had thought of potential media rules whereby the media needs to report dramatic stories (lives lost, lives saved, scandals), but doesn't care about the overall RP score.

Also, a coalition Carana government, with each Carana player representing an ethnic group or district of the capital, and more sensitive to some losses than others.
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O.Shane Balloun
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Volko wrote:
Just brainstorming -- An additional player that is not mainly about saving lives, such as:

*Organized crime group seeking to divert aid or profiteer.
*Media as a player with its own victory conditions
*Unscrupulous opposition party trying to make Catana Govt or international aid look deficient.
*Local strongmen, ethnic out-group, or urban guerrillas competing for power by controlling or sabotaging aid.

vfr


COIN: Natural Disaster
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Alexander Langer
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RexBrynen wrote:
Volko wrote:
Just brainstorming -- An additional player that is not mainly about saving lives, such as:

*Organized crime group seeking to divert aid or profiteer.
*Media as a player with its own victory conditions
*Unscrupulous opposition party trying to make Catana Govt or international aid look deficient.
*Local strongmen, ethnic out-group, or urban guerrillas competing for power by controlling or sabotaging aid.

vfr


I had thought of potential media rules whereby the media needs to report dramatic stories (lives lost, lives saved, scandals), but doesn't care about the overall RP score.

Also, a coalition Carana government, with each Carana player representing an ethnic group or district of the capital, and more sensitive to some losses than others.


A radical opposition faction would be interesting: they might have fewer field teams and resources than other players, but some sort of local networks ability (I'm thinking Christian base communities in Central America, or any of the variety of militant groups worldwide with local aid systems, like Hezbollah or Hamas) that might allow them to simply generate supplies in districts without moving them through regular supply channels. They might gain victory points for each district with Unrest at the end of the game and/or districts without government teams present.

In terms of competition, the government and opposition, when using the media box, could choose to reduce the VP count of their opponent rather than boost their own, and perhaps government teams performing the Security function could force opposition teams to relocate or even remove them from the game instead of removing Unrest. If relations between the players break down, you could have post-disaster conflict exacerbate humanitarian problems.

An opposition faction could also introduce some interesting new event cards. For example:
-"Reconciliation": Add supplies for each district where there are both government and opposition teams active/for each coordination cluster they are in together.
-"Militant Checkpoints": Remove supplies for each district where there are both government and opposition teams active
-"Opposition Leader Returns": (i.e., Aristride or Baby Doc in Haiti) Place Unrest in 1-2 areas with opposition teams (as political activity is stirred up)
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Rex Brynen
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violence and HADR operations
One of the reasons we didn't introduce too much political conflict into the game model was the observation that natural disasters often lead to a short-term reduction of crime and political violence (Haiti, Aceh) rather than an increase. Indeed, Haiti is especially noteworthy for a misleading emphasis on looting, etc. in much of the early media coverage and military planning.

My preference therefore would be to model differences in priorities in the regime rather than an outright, Sri Lanka-type fight for the spoils. This is probably fairly easily done by giving government team members different, district-specific, scoring (OP) procedures.
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Ferdinand Garoff
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I've had the opportunity to work in the humanitarian field, mainly with mental health and psychosocial support in various settings. I haven't been able to get the game yet as the components have been out of stock, but I very much look forward to playing the game, as the topic is something I've been facilitating trainings on and I might use the game as a training tool.

I think the dynamics around epidemic response and contagious disease could create an interesting new challenge. Say for example in the Ebola response getting the message across through various media and changing behaviors, caring for the sick and preventing the spread of contagion. The government wants to be seen to be in control of the situation while aid agencies gain resources through media attention. Although I don't know if that would work in the game.

Other challenges include lack of assessment information and coordination, that might be modeled by hidden information, limited information sharing or negotiation. The UN might get RP for improved coordination.

Accessibility in terms of security/permission in conflict areas or as challenging geography or lack of infrastructure is also an issue. E.g. the army/government might have helicopters, but might not be welcome in certain areas. This might differentiate the different actors. Services could perhaps be sold for RP.

Funding and sustainability are also questions which usually arise. Media attention brings resources, but decreases with time and fast external response resources are expensive, but you risk running out of resources before anything sustainable has been built. Do you go for for quick RP or long term (secret?) goals. Just some thoughts...

An interesting game I look forward to playing, hopefully soon!
 
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Rex Brynen
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The game is now available again, so you'll be able to try it out for yourself soon!

At the moment, disease outbreak is modelled in a very simple way in AFTERSHOCK: an absence of safe water supplies may generate a cholera outbreak, while the collapse of prior medical infrastructure (couple with crowded displaced populations) may result in a measles outbreak. However it would be relatively simple to add an epidemic component to the current game, whereby disease outbreaks worsen and spread to other districts.

You'll see that coordination challenges are pretty central to the current game design.

We made a conscious decision to not place too much emphasis on security and access issues, since we didn't want to contribute to the notion that all disaster-affected populations are conflict-prone proto-rioters. However, i do have an expansion/variant in mind that would add class and ethnic tensions into the mix. I just have to find enough time to work on it!
 
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Marc Gacy
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An easy way to test the waters for interest in an expansion is to build on the existing structure. Maybe an alternate/additional set of Event, Coordination and At-Risk cards, either to cover additional facets (stressing human conflict issues, ongoing disasters such as fire) or to make the game more challenging.
 
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Rex Brynen
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We have a gender expansion all ready to go--Tom (Fisher) will be finishing up the graphics on it soon, and then we'll make it available on Game Crafter.

https://paxsims.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/gendering-aftershoc...

The approach we've used we've with this expansion will allow players to mix-and-match with future expansions too.
 
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