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Subject: Wargames with (preferably) global politics included? rss

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Håkan Lundgren
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Hi all,
I'm looking for wargames that also includes some level of political aspects to it. I've read about One Small Steps updated No Trumpets, No Drums which seem quite nice. Also, a criteria is that the game should (if possible) offer support for different scenarios.
I'll be buying GMTs Labyrinth as soon as it back in print.
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Eddy Sterckx
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You'll have to give a bit more details on exactly what you're looking for because basically every multi-player (more than 2) wargame will have some political rules.
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Håkan Lundgren
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
You'll have to give a bit more details on exactly what you're looking for because basically every multi-player (more than 2) wargame will have some political rules.
.

Oh, they have?! Since I haven't play all that many wargames my feeling is that a good share of them tend to focus on WWII and, correct me if I'm wrong, those games are very limited in the politics arena (save for Churchill (which is not a wargame per sé)).

But in regards of your main question I'd like a wargame where you'd also have to balance your military efforts with some sort of public opinion.
Except for the previously mentioned No Trumpets, No Drums I could give the old Central America as an example. There your options are different if your government is Hawkish/Doveish. One more thing I really like about that game is the low intensity conflict it portrays.

I guess the Vietnam war is kind of perfect for what I'm after since it had such a strong movement against it, the US gov really had to tippy-toe not just in regards to its own populace but also the world opinion.

I'm afraid I can't really pin point it much better than that, but I'd be glad to hear any and all of your suggestions!

Oh yeah, post WWII games only...
 
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Christopher Carl
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I can highly recommend Fire in the Lake! It is Vietnam - political aspects partly handled through event cards as well as other very nice game mechanics. In fact, I can recommend the other COIN games as well!
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Bob Zurunkel
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Twilight Struggle?
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Quote:
Oh yeah, post WWII games only...


Well there goes Here I Stand and The Napoleonic Wars. But Fire in the Lake still fits.
 
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Andy Daglish
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Korsun wrote:
I can highly recommend Fire in the Lake! It is Vietnam - political aspects partly handled through event cards as well as other very nice game mechanics. In fact, I can recommend the other COIN games as well!

though of course you can largely ignore the politics by invading Central Laos with everybody, which demonstrates once again what an effective tactic is brute force.

In this regard A Distant Plain is probably the best.

I recall Michael Corleone was more interested in Business Studies than Politics. The latter is one of the harder degree courses, therefore often diluted with International Relations, which is probably why you don't find games demonstrating sophisticated nuanced political accomplishment. And if there were, an unwelcome burden might fall upon the players. Twilight Struggle is at the other extreme, designed for anyone with an IQ greater than 75 [who doesn't like loud bangs].

Its easy to get military statesmanship mixed up with politics. Churchill isn't really political. If it were, it would feature the Axis, and Stalin would be talking to the Germans about peace every turn, whilst Hitler keeps his options open with the British. It would also feature [mostly] neutral countries like Turkey; which was of critical importance to both sides but inflexibly anti-Soviet.

Post-WWII is a bit of a tough call, not least because the wartime situation is so interesting. What would have happened if the war had caused the Soviet Union to collapse into a myriad of weak warring states? Would then millions of US jobs in the military-industrial not have existed? And the effects of that? All political movements need an enemy, preferably a strong one, which is why they are so often invented. Vietnam was the only war they had.
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joe mcgrath
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Despite the fact that I mostly play WWII/tactical games, my favorite war game of al time is 'Where There Is Discord - War in the South Atlantic', which depicts the British - Argentine conflict over the Falkland Islands in the 1980s. Besides being totally immersive and telling a great story, this game has some really unique features, not least of which is it plays out on multiple scales - at the same time you are directing individual submarines and Sea Harriers, you're also managing domestic opinion and international opinion. You can do everything right on the tactical level, but the quickest way to lose the game is to ignore international and domestic opinion. It's a great blend, and I know of no other war game that does this so well.
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M St
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Chad: The Toyota Wars (the closest you can get to running a 3rd world country in a wargame - with all the individual insurgent factions)
Holy War: Afghanistan (includes political maneuvering in the Loya jirga, the Afghan tribal council)
Nicaragua (centrally deals with influencing different sectors of society during the ongoing civil war)
War of the Suns (has special rules to deal with the jockeying of the different factions within the Kuomintang - beware though, the rules quality is bad, and those dealing with the factions are the worst)

Quote:

Except for the previously mentioned No Trumpets, No Drums I could give the old Central America as an example. There your options are different if your government is Hawkish/Doveish. One more thing I really like about that game is the low intensity conflict it portrays.

Are you talking about NTND, or CA? CA is pretty infamous for trying to portrait low intensity conflict as if it were a "hot war"; firepower is everything.

Outside the historical arena...

Bloodtree Rebellion (hearts and minds... clearly patterned on Vietnam)
Necromancer (main goal for the imperial player is to build a coalition from different countries, including countries holding elections during the war)
Imperium or Web and Starship (both assume that some players are part of a larger empire so local politics may have significant influence on the campaign)

Web and Starship is due out soon in a new Kickstarter edition.
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Eddy Sterckx
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Statalyzer wrote:
Quote:
Oh yeah, post WWII games only...


Well there goes Here I Stand and The Napoleonic Wars.


Not to mention Virgin Queen, Empires in Arms and Diplomacy.

edit : outside the historical arena I thought A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) did a real splendid job of blending war and politics / diplomacy.
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Andrew N
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Angola handles international relations in an interesting way. When your coalition is doing badly, your international backers send you more support to prop up your side. Aid in the game is also semi-random. Lesser aid can vary from anti-tank or anti-aircraft missiles to useless expressions of political support. Major aid (depending on the faction) can be things like mercs, armored cars, tanks, or aircraft.
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