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Mrs Thatcher's War: The Falklands, 1982» Forums » General

Subject: Mrs Thatcher's War: Submitted to the Publisher! rss

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Robert Madison
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The developer and I have signed off on the components for Mrs Thatcher's War and everything is now on its way to the publisher!

There may be an issue with one Charts and Tables page (it seems awfully pixilly) so there may be a short delay. Anyone here with graphic design expertise want to have a go at volunteering to do a better one than I did?

This is a strange game in terms of graphic production as we have three different artists all making contributions. The great Tim Allen is responsible for the maps, while the youthful hero of N: The Napoleonic Wars, Jonathan Carnehl, has done the box art. And yours truly did the counter art (with some assistance from Tim).

I'll keep you posted on further developments, and will certainly link you to the page for Mrs Thatcher's War at the White Dog Games website when it is officially released. We have a designer in Buenos Aires who is also hard at work on the Vassal module for the game, and that will be released through White Dog at the same time as the game itself is officially published.

Thanks to everyone here and all our legions of playtesters who have seen this game through several incarnations, each less flawed than the one before. The last round was a stunning success and we think we've got it right this time.
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David Castle
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That's very exciting news, i've been keeping an eye out for this one! Will the Print and Play version be released at the same time as the published copy or can we expect to see it a little sooner?

David
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Dave Daffin
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Great news!
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Stephen Harper
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Looking forward to buying this one!
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Mark Chaplin
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Huzzah!
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Lawrence Hung
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Is this war really much to game about?
 
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Robert Madison
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Is this war really much to game about?


Land, naval and air components, thousands of men on each side, a civilian population terrorized by foreign occupation, amphibious invasion, ships sunk by torpedo and missile attack, and the survival of governments depending on the outcome... in a word, "yes".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falklands_War

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Robert Madison
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schloss wrote:
That's very exciting news, i've been keeping an eye out for this one! Will the Print and Play version be released at the same time as the published copy or can we expect to see it a little sooner?

David


If I understand correctly, White Dog usually releases all versions simultaneously.
 
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Mark Chaplin
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Is this war really much to game about?


Are you for real?



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Lawrence Hung
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Much of it was covered by news at the time and it was a "very small" war in my memory.
 
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Stephen Harper
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Much of it was covered by news at the time and it was a "very small" war in my memory.


Perhaps it seemed so small because it was so remote from where you live. It was quite a sensation at the time. I can't speak for the White Dog game, but the solitaire game 'Where There Is Discord' brings a lot of that sensation back to life.
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Lawrence Hung
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Did the Argentinian put up a real fight seriously? It was short and won by the British fairly easily. As colonial subjects, we were apparently at joy.
 
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Walter Hearne
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Did the Argentinian put up a real fight seriously? It was short and won by the British fairly easily. As colonial subjects, we were apparently at joy.


Do you really care? Seems like you're just trolling. You have the resources at hand. Use them.
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Dave Daffin
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Did the Argentinian put up a real fight seriously? It was short and won by the British fairly easily. As colonial subjects, we were apparently at joy.


Not really sure what argument you are trying to establish here.

The war cost around 900 lives on both sides and over 2000 wounded, and lasted 2 months. It obviously mattered to both sides.

I'm sure you have wargames in your collection for conflicts that lasted for shorter periods.

And as Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic and this game demonstrate, there is plenty about this particular conflict that provides material for fascinating gaming.
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Martin Swift
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Did the Argentinian put up a real fight seriously? It was short and won by the British fairly easily. As colonial subjects, we were apparently at joy.


I think some reading may be in order...

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Well, in terms of some weapons systems IIRC it was quite a show
- it was the first large scale use of the AIM9L sidewinder, the first one with an all-aspect targeting
- it was the first time for the air launched AM-39 Exocet
- it was the first time for an improvised land mounted Exocet Battery
- those derived in an increased attention into point-defense close-in weapons systems, sea wolf, phalanx, et al
- and concern about the aluminium structure of combat vessels
- the harriers used in the air superiority role, and the whole "viffing" technique
- civilian lear jets used consistently as radar decoys
- first submarine kill since WWII, I think only SSN kill ever, prefering to use the same torps as ever, as opposed to the new ones
- almost the second and third sub kill, if not for using those new ones
Man, there's got to be much more than these ones, but my memory is weak

Plus, deploying in haste 150+ ships over a gazillion miles from the nearest base, to operate nuclear subs in shallow waters, provide air cover over a 400 miles front with some 20 slow CAS jets, defend from sea-skimming missiles without point-defense, maneuvering 2 carriers without airborne early warning, make an amphibious landing without air superiority and a pesky diesel sub around, then "yomp" across the whole island without choppers, to assault a position of like 5000 enemy without artillery, attack helos or armor, and have the Parliament backing this up for months, for the sake of 1000 people that were at the time regarded as second class citizens... well, in the words of the man in charge of it, as quoted in the book "Battle for the Falklands" by Simons and Jenkins, it was "no picknick"

Now, show some respect.
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Robert Madison
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Punk Reaper wrote:
I think some reading may be in order...


A good book but a much better one -- the book of all books on the Falklands War as far as I'm concerned must be Razor's Edge by Hugh Bicheno.

https://www.amazon.com/Razors-Edge-Hugh-Bicheno/dp/075382186...

It's not widely read except among Falklands War afficionados, but I have loved this book for years and my guide in the Falklands battlefields also said it was his favorite book on the war. He goes way beyond the nuts and bolts of the war itself to show how the social pathologies in both Britain and Argentina made war virtually inevitable. It is an astonishingly good read on many different levels. Bicheno is British but of Latin American descent; he was in the FCO posted to several countries in Latin America (including Argentina) and is fluent in Spanish, not something that most authors of Falklands books can claim. It's one of the most opinionated books I've ever read, but that is a strength not a weakness.

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Stephen Harper
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Did the Argentinian put up a real fight seriously? It was short and won by the British fairly easily. As colonial subjects, we were apparently at joy.


Yes, the Argentinians did put up a real fight. Four British warships, an LPD, and a container ship were sunk, and nine other warships were damaged. Definitely not a one-sided conflict!
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Hi Lawrence,
it was a 'small war' but no less important for those involved, and for the UK and possibly the world it had major impacts.

Thatchers government was struggling and had the war not occurred at all, the next election may have seen a diminished Thatcher or a different leader. It was a moment of high risk that turned into a godsend for her.

The war was a close run matter, an extraordinary risky venture and a challenge to British pride as a declining power. Had the war been lost, Britain would have been humiliated and its authority diminished. How the country would have responded is not known but it would not have been so confident and nationalistic, and a closer integration with the yourg Common Market and the European model is a possibility. Thatcher would have definitely lost the leadership and likely the Conservatives would have lost the election.

Why is this important? Because the military victory was followed by a resounding election victory which gave political authority to the Conservatives for the next decade. During this time, the UK saw the miners strike and deindustrialisation, privatisation, deregulisation of the London financial markets which helped establish the current global financial models, and the synergies between Reaganism and Thatcherism which helped establish the neo-liberal consensus.

And that's just the UK side. On the Argentinian side, a war that had been started as a distraction by the military Junta proved to be their undoing. Never imagining the British could or would respond in this manner, the loss of the war precipitated the fall of the dictatorship which impacted on South American politics.

Small war, big stakes.
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Lawrence Hung
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Yep, the political landscape was shaped somehow differently in terms of what you have said. The stake is at the political side, not military side, as I had thought. The return of classical economics and the overturn of Keynesian economics. But that wasn't enough to stop the Communist China from taking back Britain's colony in the Far East. 😶
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H inVan
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Lawrence,
I believe the military stakes were high also, in so much as it was a risky venture that could have easily failed, with significant consequences for both sides. In some ways, it was a very small tip of the spear behind which both countries has thrown their military and reputation. So it was a small war but militarily finely balanced and should make for a meaningful game enhanced by the appreciation of the high stakes. The Royal Navy task force was very exposed to air attack, especially in the approach to the Islands. A few more troop ships sunk before combat had been reached may have changed public opinion. As it was, the images of the losses on the landings sobered up the British public pretty quick. I don't think the Argentinians used their navy in coordination with their Air Force as effectively as they could have. And the land conflict, well the Argentinians had plenty of time to see the task force coming but chose not to reinforce the young conscripts and so perhaps the land phase was more predictable, but any force limited in number that marches across an island with stretched supply lines and vulnerable to air attack is a risky venture, and the quality of the Argentinian mettle could not be tested until contact was made. It's easy to look back and assess it now, but as in most gaming, if you put yourself in the period and the uncertainties and unknowns facing the opponents, it's looks very different.

To recreate that uncertainty and the risky choices, you have to face the choice of whether to sail immediately with few, or delay and add more forces and risk political and military opposition to the venture growing, and after choosing the size of your forces, be exposed to unknown risks during the voyage, highly variable air and naval combat results in the approach, where one bomb or one Exocet could mean a ship sunk, and then face an opposing force of unknown quality and quantity when you get there. The Argentinian force could have been twice and big and twice as good.

Anyway, it's an interesting conflict to model in a game. It's smaller size makes it more manageable in some ways, as long as it retains enough uncertainty to recall the actual risks. I look forward to seeing it in print.

It's another uncomfortable truth for Britain that while it was willing to send a fleet eight thousand miles for sheep and a handful of islanders, it wasn't willing to defend Hong Kong politically and gave it up with the stroke of a pen. Whether Hong Kong could or should have remained separate and independent can be debated, but Britain never gave the Hong Kong people a voice in the matter, and never accepted those subjects who wanted to leave. Disgraceful. At least we benefitted in Canada instead. And I speak as a British citizen with a Chinese wife.

An interesting question is how the Falklands would have (if at all) affected the Hong Kong decision. Would the loss of the war have stiffened resolve to retain HK as the last scrap of British pride? The victory apparently didn't do anything to help. Maybe winning the Falklands provided enough emotional succour to the British that they felt secure enough in their identity to let HK go. Some interesting cabinet papers released to the public in recent years shed some light on this contentious moment.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/18/asia/hong-kong-handover-china-...
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H inVan
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Anyway, if the political stakes are high then the military stakes are high because they are one and the same. "War is a mere continuation of policy with other means". To put it another way, the military stakes are high because the political consequences are significant. Every military variable is magnified in its importance.
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Robert Madison
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Talossa wrote:
I'll keep you posted on further developments, and will certainly link you to the page for Mrs Thatcher's War at the White Dog Games website when it is officially released.


Expect an official release in the next few days.
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Jim F
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Where the heck did this interest in WW1 come from?
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Very interested in this one.
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Lawrence Hung
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Don't want to steer away from the subject but that hypothesis of winning a war help Britain to let go HK "emotionally" is rather disturbing. Winning should strengthen the bets on the table, not the other way round. That's another story.....
 
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