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The Lamps Are Going Out» Forums » Variants

Subject: More effective blockade in 1918 rss

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Tony Wilson
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The proposal:
In 1918 only,
if the US fleet is in the blockade box,
the Allies may require the Germans to draw a second Event card.
If either card is Allied Blockade, that card must be played,
otherwise the first card drawn stands and any unused card is shuffled back in.

In a previous thread the point is made that the game does not (always) deliver the historic pressure on the Central Powers in 1918.
Much of the desperation of the Central powers arises directly from the Entente blockade across the whole war.
In game terms this is most closely modeled in two 1918 event cards in the German hand. ("Allied naval Blockade")

The Germans (alone) have a deck of 22 events, of which 17 will be drawn over the game, so 5 things will NOT happen.
Since the Blockade cards are not introduced until 1918, this means that the Germans will be drawing three times from a hand of 8 cards in 1918, possibly 9 if the Lettow-Vorbeck has been drawn and added back in.

The Math is not my strong suit by I think that means about 35% of the time No blockade card will appear (less with L-V). and there is less than a 10% chance of both (feel free to correct me if I'm wildly out).

The criticism offered is that these two events are not representative of a one time occurrence but rather show the cumulative effect of actions taking place ongoing across the previous four years, and as such they should be more likely to appear.

While the blockade was instituted by the Royal Navy, it faced formidable political quibbles over the rights of neutral shipping, most especially with the USA.
The entry of the US into the war made a significant impact to the blockades effectiveness, not only since they - as the principle neutral were no longer an issue, but because the Americans were much more willing to enforce restrictions on the Dutch and Scandinavian imports, which might otherwise reach the Central powers

My suggested variant takes this US entry and enforcement as a key point,
and markedly increases the chances of both blockades coming up, but does not effect any earlier cards or the number of events which will take place.

If the US are not in the war then it remains likely that it will be much less effective - as at present.

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Jim Bailey
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It will be no suprise that I like this variant. It will add important historical context to the game, but it does not eliminate the unpredictability that is the function of the event cards.

Historically, the effects of the blockade slowly ground down the CP -- in 1918 the populations of Germany and AH were rioting and the troops themselves were close to mutiny.

The CP were dissolving as they signed the Armistice (which is when the game ends). They signed it because they really had no choice; continuing the war even for another few weeks was simply not possible -- revolution was imminent.

I have one slight change in wording to what you suggest, but I think this is what you meant: Germany picks the event card as usual. If it is Blockade, no second card is picked. If any other event, Germany picks a second card. If the second card is Blockade, that event is played rather than the first card. Either unused card is reshuffled with the remaining cards.
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