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Subject: ACW game played by the hostages in the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 rss

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I thought I remember reading in Bowden's Guests of the Ayatollah about an American Civil War game one of the hostages took with him into captivity. He tried to get his fellow captives to play with him, but the game was so complicated to the uninitiated that he couldn't find any opponents - they would rather be bored prisoners then learn to play a wargame.

Does any one have an idea of what game the book is referring to? I assume it was a strategic level game available prior to 1979.
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Moritz Eggert
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No civil war game, but this could have been an excellent opportunity to play "Campaigns for North Africa" to the very last turn!laugh
Chances are very high that the game you mention was from SPI at that time, could have been "Chickamauga" for example, or any of their other many ACW games.
As an interesting side note: these games would rate as "easy" on the complexity scale of most wargamers today...
Heck, I would even have played Monopoly in these circumstances! (probably trying to create better rules and expansions for it with the given time)
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M St
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Actually, I suspect chances of an AH game were higher, but if it was a very complex strategic game, the most likely candidate is War between the States (first edition).

If AH game that was deemed too complicated, the obvious candidate is the 1977 Gettysburg.
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Eddy Sterckx
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4characters wrote:
they would rather be bored prisoners then learn to play a wargame.


There's another angle to this. The first rule in a hostage crisis is "don't get noticed" - and playing a wargame will do that, next thing you know your captives might suspect you're not the embassy accountant but actually CIA or something.
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That's a good point, however though I don't have the book on me I think the prospective opponent legitimately refused to play based on lack of interest alone.
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Rob
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4characters wrote:
I thought I remember reading in Bowden's Guests of the Ayatollah about an American Civil War game one of the hostages took with him into captivity.

I'll believe that like I believe that both JFK and Kissinger ever played Diplomacy - that is, not at all.
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Ken Chase
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See this thread:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1163104/richard-queen-iran-...
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Brian McCue
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Ken X wrote:

I heard somewhere that he had "worked at SPI," which may have meant that he was a playtester.

He went to Hamilton College and we overlapped by one year, but I did not know him.
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Interesting, War Between the States sounds like the most likely candidate then.
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