James King
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To paraphrase Steve Martin, "History is NOT pretty," however, "New World Carcassonne" seemingly overlooked a bit of relevant history that otherwise might have been used to counterbalance its gameplay's east-to-west movement: Native American resistance to colonial westward expansion.

Native American resistance is a relevant historical factor that cannot be overlooked or excluded. After all, even though it doesn't play an integral part of the U.S. version of the game, the Plymouth, MA settlement up in the righthand corner provides not only an inspirational touchstone but also a haunting reminder of what transpired both before and after the Pilgrims and Puritans arrived.

In the decades preceeding the arrival of the Pilgrims in 1620, English traders and slavers had purposefully given small pox-infected blankets to the Wompanoag Indians (the survivors of whom later befriended the Pilgrims) and other tribes which vastly decimated the Native American populations and made them all the more vulnerable to capture, exploitation and enslavement. Lest we forget, during that time, Squanto of the Wompanoag Indians had been captured and sold into slavery, escaped, earned himself an English education in England, and returned home to his native tribesmen. And if ever there were a godsend for the Pilgrims, it was in the person of Squanto, for he was the perfect a go-to guy and go-between that could readily mediatate between Native Americans and Pilgrims alike. Moreover, the Wompanoag Indians taught the Pilgrims how to survive and plant crops in the New World.

Some 54 years after that original Thanksgiving feast of 1621, King Philip's War erupted. "King Philip" was the English name given to Chief Metacom, son of the original Wompanoag Chief Massasoit who'd attended that first Thanksgiving feast of 1621. However, over the years and decades since then, many new Pilgrims, Puritans and other settlers had arrived in Massachusetts and continued westward expansion of their settlements, encroaching on lands that by prior treaties weren't supposed to have been tresspassed on or used for colonial settlement and exploitation. With each new broken treaty, Native Americans sensed they were slowly being marginalized and driven from their ancestral homelands. Finally, they resisted more ardently and King Philip's War commenced. (Ironically, the leader of the Pilgrims at that time was the son of Edward Winslow of the original colony founders. Needless to say, he was of a somewhat different mindset than his father.)


> Excerpt from "1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving" by Catherine O'Neill Grace and Margaret M. Buchac (2001, Children's Division of National Geographic Books):

For three days in 1621, Chief Massasoit, William Bradford and the people they led celebrated that first harvest together. They felt safe in the assurance of the agreement between them. But Chief Massasoit's alliance with the Plymouth colonies would only last for a single generation. By 1640, the population of Plymouth Colony was 300. By the end of the decade, it was close to 2,000. Demand for land led to disputes among the colonists themselves and between colonists and Native people. Tensions arose that lasted for decades and still linger today.

After the 1637 massacre of Pequot Indians at Mystic Fort, New England's Native American people began to form broader alliances. In 1675, Massasoit's son, Metacom, alsp called Philip, rallied people from many Native American nations in an attempt to drive the English out of Native American homelands. During "King's Philip's War," many English and Wampanoag Indians died. English settlements were burned. Native American captives were sold into slavery in the West Indies (Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, etc.). By the war's end in 1676, Metacom had been killed and his 9-year-old son was enslaved. The Wampanoag Indians had lost their political independence and much of their homeland. The town of Plymouth declared a special day of thanksgiving for the English victory....

Back in the 19th century, one paragraph of only 115 words mentioning that first Thanksgiving feast in a letter written in 1621 inspired the growth of an American tradition that eventually became the national holiday. A number of today's assumptions about that event are based more on fiction than on fact. Many Americans still think that the Pilgrims took over empty land from roving Native American wanderers who had no fixed settlement. They are unaware of the continued existence of the descendants of those Native American people. Unquestioning acceptance of biased interpretations can affect the way we treat one another even today.

Considering this history and what came in later centuries, Native American people do not share in the popular reverence for the traditional New England "Thanksgiving." To the Wampanoag Indians, the holiday is a reminder of the arrival of the English in their homeland, a presence that brought betrayal and bloodshed. Since 1970, many Native American people have gathered at the statue of Chief Massasoit in Plymouth, Massachusetts each Thanksgiving Day. They keep a vigil in the memory of the struggles of their ancestors and the strength of Wompanoag persistance.

In the 20th century, people have began to re-examine American History. Efforts have been made to think in new ways about how we became the nation we are today. This means that many untold stories are coming to light. One of these is the story of the harvest at Plymouth in 1621.

In 1947, the founders of the living Plimoth Plantation created a living museum, a restoration of the original Plymouth village, to honor the 17th-century English colonists who would come to be known to the world as the Pilgrims. In doing so, the founders left out the perspective of the Wampanoag people who had lived on the land for thousands of years.

In October 2000, several hundred people gathered at the modern-day living Plimoth Plantation village and museum to re-enact the 1621 harvest gathering. For three days, photographers, advisers, Plimoth Planation staff, and members of the Wampanoag Nation and other Native American communities came together to depict the events of that time. This event, a first in the history of the museum, turned out to be a powerful gathering for all involved.* . . .

In preparation for the weekend, six Native American artisans worked with deerskin, furs, beads, bone, shell, feathers and other natural materials to handcraft traditional garments for the Native American participants to wear. Many local Wampanoag people proudly wore these garments in memory of their ancestors and in honor of all their relatives who are still here living in Wampanoag territory. In the end, more than a hundred Wampanoag and other Native American people participated in the event. . . . The Wampanoag people and those from other Native American nations felt an enormous pride in seeing their community acknowledged, celebrated and portrayed so respectfully and so beautifully in the historical re-enactment.

The Wampanoag Indian Program at Plimoth Plantation has become a gathering place where Wampanoag artisans, scholars, performers and educators actively work to recover and interpret the history and culture of their ancestors.... Historians re-interpret the documents, artifacts and oral histories about the early days of the colony in an effort to replace popular myths with accurate history. A museum that started as a place to commemorate the Pilgrims has become a place where the understanding of history is being corrected to include all perspectives of the past.





*This endeavor, a first in the history of the museum, is captured in "1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving" by Catherine O'Neill Grace and Margaret M. Buchac (2001, Children's Division of National Geographic Books) illustrated with photographs from that event. For more information, be sure to check out: http://www.plimoth.org/


So, with all that aforementioned history above provided as a preface, I propose the Native American Resistance to Colonial Westward Expansion tile as a variant for the blank tile.

As of this writing, I envision two ways it could be utilized (and please keep in mind, although the following is a revised version of my original idea, I'm still open to new ideas and suggestions to enhance it):


Native American Resistance to Colonial Westward Expansion Tile Variant
Revised Version

During its first run when played, one lays the Native American Resistance tile and places a stand-alone meeple on it to represent Native American resistance. Thereafter, when it's the turn of the player who placed the Native American Resistance tile, after his regular turn, he will throw a eight-sided directional dice (with all eight cardinal directions on it: N, S, E, W, NE, SE, NW, SW) and based on the result, move the Native American Resistance meeple in the proscribed direction one tile. Any colonial meeples of any sort located on any tile upon which the Native American Resistance meeple comes to rest are then removed from play and returned to their owners to return to their supply.

If/when the Native American Resistance meeple ever exits land areas altogether to either come to rest in the Atlantic Ocean or go off the board/tiles altogether, then it's removed from play along with the Native American Resistance tile as well, and the tile itself it placed back into the mix of still-undrawn tiles to possibly be redrawn yet again.

For its second run, if the Native American Resistance meeple lands on a tile containing a colonial meeple which is located in the column north of the NAR tile, in the row west of the NAR tile, or in anywhere in the sector lying northwest of the NAR tile, then the colonial meeple would be removed from that tile and from play altogether (not given back to its owner). If, however, the NAR meeple lands on any tile located anywhere else, the colonial meeple it wipes out would simply be removed from the tile and given back to its owner to return to his/her supply.

For its third and subsequent runs, if/when the NAR meeple lands on any tile containing a colonial meeple on any tile anywhere, the colonial meeple be would then be removed from that tile and from play altogether and not be returned to its owner.


(Alternate Variant: When placed anywhere in the tile grid, the Native American Resistance tile would serve as a cornerstone of sorts: that is, the point value of every tile in the column north and row west of it and all tiles enclosed within that entire sector to the northwest of it would either be halved or reduced to one point and any meeples on those tiles would be similarly affected. No meeples would be removed from the game for being in that zone though.)


Suggested Imagery for the Native American Resistance Tile: Go to www.plimoth.org and click on their website until you see the Plimoth Plantation logo of the Wompanoag Indian facing left and the Pilgrim guy facing right (as if back to back). Copy and flip the image of the Native American so that he's facing toward the right (East). The profile of the Wompanoag Indian should then be fairly simple enough to follow for a suitable tile design.





I'm open to any other ideas or suggestions to flesh out this variant, espeically ideas about what to draw and paint on the Native American Resistance Tile that's true to history but wouldn't be stereotypical.




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Keith Creighton
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Thanks for the lesson. I really appreciated the history behind your mechanic. I personally like the second option better, but wonder if there would be any consequence since meeples get pulled off so fast in this game.
 
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James King
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Keith Creighton (starwarsgolfer) wrote:
Thanks for the lesson. I really appreciated the history behind your mechanic. I personally like the second option better, but wonder if there would be any consequence since meeples get pulled off so fast in this game.

Yes, but consequences are fully intended. The catch is: How to make those consequences ratchet up accordingly in a balanced manner?

As as addendum to my original post, I propose that for the first run of the Native American Resistance (NAR) tile and meeple that any colonial meeples would be returned to the supply but not be removed entirely from the game.

For its second run, if the Native American Resistance meeple lands on a tile containing a colonial meeple which is located in the column north of the NAR tile, in the row west of the NAR tile, or in anywhere in the sector located northwest of the NAR tile, then the colonial meeple would be removed from that tile and from play altogether (not given back to its owner). If, however, the NAR meeple lands on any tile located anywhere else, its colonial meeple would simply be removed from the tile and given back to its owner to put in his/her supply.

For its third and subsequent runs, I would propose that if/when the NAR meeple lands on any tile containing a colonial meeple that the latter be removed from the tile and from play altogether and not be returned to its owner.

This incremental approach should ratchet up things accordingly and make it all the more challenging as well.
 
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Tony M
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This is not a tool for a history lesson. This is a GAME.
I'm sorry that the American Indians were given a raw deal
but I'm not going to sit there playing the game, worrying
about the implications of what the game represents.
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James King
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Sarteel wrote:
This is not a tool for a history lesson. This is a GAME.

It is nonetheless a game that is based on history (i.e. the "Manifest Destiny" of Anglo colonial westward expansion); however, it selectively and woefully ignores the greatest and most imposing resistance to that westerward expansion movement: Native Americans' opposition to and defiant fighting for the control of their homelands.

On the one hand, while that oversight is understandable since the game designer, Klaus-Jergen Wrede, is German, on the other hand, I would expect Wrede to be more aware of that colonial-expansion history than most since another of his games is set in the cliff-side dwellings of the Anasazi Indians of the American Southwest.

PBS' is currently broadcasting its "We Shall Remain" documentary series about Native Americans' take on American History, especially focused on their ancestors' interactions, co-existence, betrayals, wars and reconcilliation with the original Anglo settlers and their latter-day descendants through the centuries. Indeed, that documentary series' first episode, "After The Mayflower," covers the very period in American History exemplified by "New World Carcassonne."

Lest we forget, the art chosen for the box cover of "New World Carcassonne" depicts the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, and as most already know, "New World Carcassonne" is better known as "Carcassonne: Mayflower" outside the USA. Sounds pretty historical to me.


Sarteel wrote:
I'm sorry that the American Indians were given a raw deal but I'm not going to sit there playing the game, worrying about the implications of what the game represents.

False issue: I created the Native American Resistance to Colonial Westward Expansion variant to introduce a chaos-factor game mechanism that faithfully represents a real-life counterforce to western expansion -- period. Without that counterforce, the game can rightfully by criticized for depicting a rather dubiously propagandastic version of "Manifest Destiny" that suggests there was no opposition by Native Americans to it.

However, if you yourself really want to worry about something while you play the game, perhaps you might very well consider pondering how your comments above could be interpretted as reflecting, if not also endorsing, the "Sweep the Disturbing Facts of History under the Proverbial Carpet" mentality of those who are more comfortable embracing a comfortable historical lie or myth than either correcting it or acknowleding a more uncomfortable historical truth.

You know, for several decades, the Wampanoag Indians' historical contributions to the Mayflower story were almost entirely left in the background or mentioned in brief. That changed at the turn of the 21st century when the Plimoth Plantation historical museum and recreation of the original Plymouth settlement proactively recruited members of the still-existing Wampanoag tribe to not only participate but also supply historical content, perspectives, and actual participation as an effort to correct the museum's decades-long neglect of Native Americans' contributions to the Plymouth saga.

So, in the spirit of "We Shall Remain," I stand by my Native American Resistance to Colonial Westward Expansion variant, especially since I created it NOT as a faithful simulation but moreso to depict a historical expansion-deterrant factor that logically represents a chaos factor that abstractly captures in its game play Native American resistance to colonial westward expansion. Therefore, the game would not only depict competition among settlers (the game players) but also more woeful consequences of that westward expansion when Native Americans fought back.
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Scott Myers
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Huh. Cute history lesson. Too bad it's a piss poor variant, though.
 
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James King
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Skotte wrote:
Huh. Cute history lesson. Too bad it's a piss poor variant, though.

I look forward then to reading your own suggestions or ideas to either improve upon or subplant altogether my take on the "Native American Resistance to Colonial Westward Expansion" Blank Tile Variant.

Otherwise, failing that, then I'll accept your remarks in the literary spirit in which they apparently were intended, that is, not unlike that of Napoleon the Pig's lifting up his leg to express his own pissy opinion about Snowball the Pig's windmill plans drawn on the barn's dirt floor in George Orwell's "Animal Farm."
 
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Riccardo Pellitteri
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My variant of the variant


When the Indian Camp is layed (standard rules, count as a full plain), places a stand-alone meeple on it (grey meeple fron vanilla Carcassonne works good) to represent indians.
Next time it's the turn of the player who placed the Indian Camp, after his regular turn, the Indian meeple is moved 1 tile towards the nearest meeple (counter-clockwise starting from north). If Indians reach a meeple, remove that meeple from game, take back the indian meeple and reshuffle the Indian Camp tile with still-undrawn tiles.

example:


Slaughtering blue meeple

R..G R..G
..I. --> ....
.B.. .I..


Chasing red

R..G R..G I..G
.... --> .I.. --> ....
.I.. .... ....

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James King
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Talenor wrote:
My variant of the variant

When the Indian Camp is layed (standard rules, count as a full plain), places a stand-alone meeple on it (grey meeple fron vanilla Carcassonne works good) to represent indians.
Next time it's the turn of the player who placed the Indian Camp, after his regular turn, the Indian meeple is moved 1 tile towards the nearest meeple (counter-clockwise starting from north). If Indians reach a meeple, remove that meeple from game, take back the indian meeple and reshuffle the Indian Camp tile with still-undrawn tiles.

example:


Slaughtering blue meeple

R..G R..G
..I. --> ....
.B.. .I..


Chasing red

R..G R..G I..G
.... --> .I.. --> ....
.I.. .... ....

[/q]

I heartily applaud your variant's variant and find it logically and perfectly in keeping balancewise with both the historical counterforce aspects of Native American Resistance to Colonial Westward Expansion and the game mechanics of "Carcassonne."

 
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Riccardo Pellitteri
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Thank you James,
the original idea is yours, I've just removed the dice
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