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Subject: "1960: The Making of the President" = Clinton vs Trump? rss

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Michael Peck
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My look for The National Interest.

And, yes, I put it under wargames. Like Twilight Struggle, "1960" strikes me as more of a political wargame than a Euro.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/can-strategy-game-...

Michael
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Brian Train
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Very good description of game, clickbait title (I'm sure it was the editor's fault).

Games about reality have little actual predictive value, especially in games about politics which are about an inherently irrational process.
When you can simply equate spending 1 campaign point with placing 1 cube, and there is some kind of deterministic relationship between that and the real world, then we will have solved politics itself and won't need elections anymore.

I read this recently, you might find it interesting about how political scientists, taking a cue from economists, have been thoroughly wrong for for the last 50+ years:

http://www.chronicle.com/article/Ballot-Pox/238131?cid=cr&ut...

And looping this back into political wargames, reminded me again of Adam Curtis and his film How To Kill a Rational Peasant, about the problems with theories of COIN:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/entries/93073500-9459-...

About 2/3 of the way down there is a film clip (first image is a bunch of flowers) which has two US civilian analysts playing what appears to be an early version of Insurgency! Could one of them be Blake Smith?

Brian
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Blake Neff
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A modern take on 1960 would certainly be interesting, though there'd be at least a few design factors to account for:

-California is ten electoral votes larger than New York was in the original game, making it exceptionally important. It may be important to control how much one can shift California in order to tone down on an even more severe case of the "trench warfare" NY can see in 1960.

-Obviously, regions would have to be shifted slightly, because the South and West have grown while the Midwest and Northeast have shrunk (relatively). Thankfully, cultural shifts also support some region changes. Culturally the Great Plains are very Midwestern so they could probably be shifted to that region easily. The growth of NoVa has made Virginia more of a Northeastern state culturally and politically, so it could perhaps be shifted from the South to the Northeast. Alternately, the game could even allow for a handful of states to be in two regions (it'd be funny for Florida to be simultaneously Southern and Northeastern!)

-2016 has really highlighted the importance of different constituencies in each US political party, and how their interests can clash directly and undermine one another. Republicans have religious conservatives, centrists, economic populists, Tea Partiers, etc. while Democrats have business-friendly types, labor, racial activists, etc. While this would make the game more complicated, it could be interesting to have a players' actions help or hurt them with certain constituencies, with those choices influencing what states they can place support in. If Hillary goes big on Black Lives Matter, for instance, it could keep her from doing well in Iowa where that message may not resonate. If Trump shifts right culturally to appeal to religious voters, maybe he'd suffer in the Northeast. A mechanic like this could replace or supplement the existing Issues track.

From a historical perspective, of course, the American political situation doesn't allow for a game design along 1960 lines to be particularly accurate. The American electorate was much more "swingy" in 1960 compared to today, and voting was more uniform across the country. Nixon in 1960 received less than 46% of the vote in only 7 states; in 2004 Kerry was below 46% in 24 states (even Bush, the winner, was below that in 12)! Red and blue "safe states" are much safer for both parties than they were in 1960; the idea of a 1984-style landslide is almost unthinkable now.
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David Stoffey
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ltmurnau wrote:
Very good description of game, clickbait title (I'm sure it was the editor's fault).


It's the National Interest. As good as (a large majority) of their content is, it's certainly known for being "clickbaity." I mean, look at the unbelievable amount of ads!

Sorry, I realize this adds nothing to the conversation, but I had to say it.
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Bill Eldard
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dtomato wrote:
Like Twilight Struggle, "1960" strikes me as more of a political wargame than a Euro.


I would agree that it's not a Euro, and certainly more like an area control/area influence wargame. But this should come as no surprise. Politics itself is framed in war terms: campaigns, battleground states, war rooms, "terrain," etc. Campaign managers allocate resources like generals allocate forces, all tied to a strategy for winning. Very military like.
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Timothy Young
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We've got 1960 lined up to play on election night. An interesting look into the mechanics of elections in the US and a very competitive game.
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Pete
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So every time you play a card, it helps your opponent...

...and you try to see who can hurt his own candidate the least?

Pete (thinks this theme need not happen)
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marc lecours
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plezercruz wrote:
So every time you play a card, it helps your opponent...

...and you try to see who can hurt his own candidate the least?

Pete (thinks this theme need not happen)


Excellent take on the current election. In the game "1960" there are momentum tokens to trigger election events. In a game of "2016 the making of the president" opponent events could trigger automatically as in "Twilight Struggle".
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marc lecours
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Tim RTC wrote:
We've got 1960 lined up to play on election night. An interesting look into the mechanics of elections in the US and a very competitive game.


I played two games of this (1960) during the 3rd debate which was televised at the game club (our location is a Boston pizza restaurant). It was very cool to play a game thematically linked to the night's event.
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J.L. Robert
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Might as well use Campaign Manager 2008 as the game template, instead. With so many states locked in place before the nomination processes even begins, elections come down to only 10-12 states these days.
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Timothy Young
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It does feel pretty easy to radically shift states in the 1960 game. Generally the only ones that stay their starting colour are those in the West with less than 5 votes, that no-one bothers with.

Is this quite authentic for the period?
 
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Jim F
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Personally I would rename the game - 'Clinton vs Trump: Hobson's Choice'.

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Blake Neff
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Tim RTC wrote:
It does feel pretty easy to radically shift states in the 1960 game. Generally the only ones that stay their starting colour are those in the West with less than 5 votes, that no-one bothers with.

Is this quite authentic for the period?


Big shifts weren't necessarily common, but they happened more frequently than they do today. American elections have become less 'swingy' these days due to political polarization.

But the fact that almost every state is in play in 1960 is definitely reasonably realistic. In 1960 33 states had the two candidates within ten points of one another. Among those that where they weren't, several were in the West (where, as you mentioned, Nixon usually wins easily), and some others were in the Deep South where unpledged electors sucked up possible Nixon votes.

In comparison, in the similarly close 2000 election just 22 states had the two candidates within 10 percentage points. In 2012 just 17 states were that close.
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Steven Mitchell
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Eldard wrote:
dtomato wrote:
Like Twilight Struggle, "1960" strikes me as more of a political wargame than a Euro.


I would agree that it's not a Euro, and certainly more like an area control/area influence wargame.


El Grande is area control and is one of the most Euro-y of Euro games.
 
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Bill Eldard
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patton1138 wrote:
Eldard wrote:
dtomato wrote:
Like Twilight Struggle, "1960" strikes me as more of a political wargame than a Euro.


I would agree that it's not a Euro, and certainly more like an area control/area influence wargame.


El Grande is area control and is one of the most Euro-y of Euro games.


There are a variety of area control games that are Euros; area control/influence is not exclusive to wargames.

But 1960 plays like a card-driven wargame.
 
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