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Subject: Cod Wars: Iceland vs. Great Britain in the 1970s rss

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Pete Belli
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A silly remark in a silly GeekList...

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/40976

...has led to the development of the latest wargame/Euro hybrid:

COD WARS

Disputes over fishing in the waters around Iceland have been going on for decades. Perhaps the most famous of these confrontations were the incidents known as the Cod Wars of the 1970s.

This game matches the coastal patrol force of Iceland against the fishing vessels of Britain and their Royal Navy escorts. It features a diceless conflict resolution system and a simple scoring method based on fish tokens.

This will be a Do-It-Yourself project. The game can be played using a few components from any edition of Axis and Allies or odd bits from a Euro game.

Here are some images of the Cod Wars prototype:





Board

 


Components

 


Example Of Play

A good entertainer always leaves an audience wanting more; I will post the rules on BGG tonight.
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Luke Morris
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This sounds brilliant on precisely three levels.
Which is three levels more than most games
 
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Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
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Good work! Make sure that you include the famous 'cutters' the Icelandic Coast Guard used to cut the trawls.

And there's actually an Icelandic game about an earlier Cod War (from the 50's): Landhelgisspilið

Looking forward to further development!
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Tim P.
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Is this an extreme version of Hey, That's My Fish! ?
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Clark D. Rodeffer
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Sounds fun!
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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I read about this conflict a few months back and was amused. I'd play a game about it for sure.
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Charles F.
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Seems to me that the escorting vs net-cutting ought to make for interesting decision-making.

Now, who's gonna design a game about the "Football War"? - Oh wait, that was an actual full-blown military conflict (however brief it was)...
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Pete Belli
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Quote:
...there's actually an Icelandic game about an earlier Cod War (from the 50's)...


How cool is that!

This is more proof that there are NO new ideas* in board games.





* With just a few exceptions.
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Pete Belli
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Thanks to everybody for the great comments about this silly little game!

Before I post the rules I would like to ask for some feedback about the Confrontation Cards used during the "battle" segment of a turn.



This is a system I developed for a space civilization game -- please... don't ask! -- and I planned to transfer the rules directly to Cod Wars with a few modifications.

Before a confrontation each player randomly selects the top card from his or her "battle" deck (seems funny to call a Cod Wars incident a battle) and takes a quick peek without showing the other player.

These cards represent various tactical options ranging from relatively benign (a Warning!! card) to quite serious (a Collision card) and under normal conditions the player has to perform the maneuver that is indicated on the card.

The cards have Diplomatic Tension Level ratings running from low (gray symbols) to high (red symbol) and if your card is higher than your opponent's card the Diplomatic Tension Level is increased.

Once each turn the player may cancel one card (presumably one with a dangerous tension-spiking tactical option) and draw the next card in the deck.

These rules were intended to represent the actions of ship commanders operating under rapidly changing conditions. The Cod Wars player does not assume the role of a captain of a Coast Guard patrol boat on the high seas... he or she is making decisions at the fleet or national command level.

The option to cancel one card is intended to represent last-minute instructions from HQ... in other words, a Royal Navy officer provides a situation report and informs HQ that his or her vessel is about to fire a shot across the bow of an Icelandic cutter. HQ responds with a frantic "No!" and the ship's captain switches to Plan B.

Any comments would be welcome.
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Wendell
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Glad to have inspired this fine game! Incidentally, I wondered if anybody would think my reference to "Cod War" was a typo that was supposed to read "Cold War". It wasn't - I was going for obscure... and I remembered it from being a kid in England.
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Clark D. Rodeffer
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I look forward to playing this!
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Elwyn Darden
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This is too close to a subject I had been considering for a possible game. Clearly I must redouble my efforts at security and become even less communicative. [Why is there no emoticon for paranoid nut-case?]




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Michael Barlow
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Quote:
Confrontation Cards

So you have your choice of one blind draw vs. another? What does that say about the hierarchy of command? Perhaps choosing one card from a hand of two cards, with the option of discarding one or both cards and drawing one or two different cards (to choose from one of those) might yield less wild shifts in decision.
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Doctor X

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charlesf wrote:
Seems to me that the escorting vs net-cutting ought to make for interesting decision-making.

Now, who's gonna design a game about the "Football War"? - Oh wait, that was an actual full-blown military conflict (however brief it was)...


If you're at all interested in computer war games, The Operational Art of War II introduced this conflict to me. It's also good starter scenario to learn the game.
 
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D T P
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Are there counters for the cods themselves?
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Giles Pritchard
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xlhrider wrote:
Are there counters for the cods themselves?


While the Cod Empire was the cause of the struggle, they witlessly remained ignorant of the whole sordid affair, despite efforts by both parties to motivate them to some form of bipartisan support.

Gill-breathers it seems, do not value old promises and treaties. Typical!

Cheers,

Giles.
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caradoc wrote:
xlhrider wrote:
Are there counters for the cods themselves?


While the Cod Empire was the cause of the struggle, they witlessly remained ignorant of the whole sordid affair, despite efforts by both parties to motivate them to some form of bipartisan support.

Gill-breathers it seems, do not value old promises and treaties. Typical!

Cheers,

Giles.


Strange isn't it? You would think that creatures that spend their lives in schools would be more intelligent.
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Pete Belli
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Quote:
Are there counters for the cods themselves?


There are fish tokens.

Please do not refer to the fish token as a codpiece.

Thank you.
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Giles Pritchard
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xlhrider wrote:
caradoc wrote:
xlhrider wrote:
Are there counters for the cods themselves?


While the Cod Empire was the cause of the struggle, they witlessly remained ignorant of the whole sordid affair, despite efforts by both parties to motivate them to some form of bipartisan support.

Gill-breathers it seems, do not value old promises and treaties. Typical!

Cheers,

Giles.


Strange isn't it? You would think that creatures that spend their lives in schools would be more intelligent.


As a teacher I am as disgusted and outraged as the next human! Fie and pox on these damnable aquatic rodents - sticking a fin in where not wanted, gleefully watching the scale of the conflict grow!

It makes my blood boil to think of them, even now, swimming, gill-breathing, nibbling, content in the knowledge that they nearly caused two great nations to come to blows.

Gah!
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Aquatic rodents? Oh, now you've done it. I'll never be able to fry a trout again.
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Pete Belli
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Quote:
So you have your choice of one blind draw vs. another? What does that say about the hierarchy of command? Perhaps choosing one card a hand of two cards, with the option of discarding one or both cards and drawing one or two different cards (to choose one of those) might yield less wild shifts in decision.


A valid point. Thanks for bringing that up!

You're right; offering players the choice of two possible actions can make a game more interesting.

First let me say that this will undoubtedly be the worst simulation of the Cod Wars ever produced.

However, from what little I've read about the situation these incidents were quite random, almost chaotic. I liked the idea of the higher echelon having no control over the captain on the deck of his or her ship.

Additionally, I already had this battle card system in my "inventory" and I wanted to try it out!

Thanks again for the comment.
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Pete Belli
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COD WARS: Iceland vs. Great Britain in the 1970s

Disputes over fishing in the waters around Iceland have been going on for decades. The most famous of these confrontations were the incidents known as the Cod Wars of the 1970s.

This game matches the coastal patrol force of Iceland against the fishing vessels of Great Britain and their Royal Navy escorts. It features a diceless conflict resolution system with a scoring method based on fish tokens and diplomatic tension.

This is a Do-It-Yourself project.

The game can be played using a few components from any edition of Axis and Allies or odd bits from a Euro game. It will be necessary to make a small hex map, create a set of twelve simple cards and copy some charts.



Sample Cards



INTRODUCTION

The board is a representation of a section of the Atlantic Ocean near Iceland. This map is divided into hexes that function like the squares on a chessboard. Players will move their ships from one hex to another hex during the game.



Board


The map features various symbols that have special functions during play. These symbols are explained on a chart that is included with Cod Wars.



Key To Map Symbols


Each player has two plastic ship playing pieces. For the Icelandic player each playing piece represents a small group of Coast Guard patrol boats. For the British player each playing piece represents a group of fishing trawlers with their Royal Navy escorts. For game purposes these playing pieces will be referred to as ships.

Each player will receive a deck of six Confrontation Cards which will be played when two hostile ships encounter each other on the high seas. The cards are also used to determine random events.

The British player has a number of markers (called Fish Tokens) which are used to keep a record of the hexes in which the British player has fished. There is also a single marker used to record world opinion on the Diplomatic Tension Level chart.



Diplomatic Tension Level


OUTLINE OF PLAY

The British player will attempt to fish inside the territorial waters claimed by Iceland. The Icelandic player will try to block these attempts and confront the British interlopers. Both sides will endeavor to achieve these objectives without sparking a larger conflict that will shift world opinion in favor of one nation or the other.

There are two rounds of play with a random historical event occurring during the intermission. At the end of the second round the final score is determined and the winner is announced.


SET UP



Set Up


Place the two Icelandic ships (gray) in the Iceland hex.

Place the two British ships (tan) in the Start hex containing the flag of Great Britain.

Each player shuffles his or her deck of six Confrontation Cards and places them face down on the table.

Place the World Opinion marker in the "0" square of the Diplomatic Tension Level chart.

Place the Fish Tokens to one side for use later in the game.


MOVEMENT

The British player always moves first.

After the British player has finished moving the Icelandic player makes his or her moves.

A player may make two moves per turn.

Moving a ship from one hex to an adjacent hex counts as one move. Players may only move into an adjacent hex and may not "jump" from one hex to another hex which is not adjacent.



Movement Example


A player may move one ship two hexes or split these two moves by moving both ships one hex. A player may choose to make just one move per turn but a player must always make at least one move per turn.

Only one ship may occupy a hex. A ship may move through a hex containing a friendly ship. A ship may not move through a hex containing an enemy ship. A British ship may never enter a hex containing an Icelandic ship.

An Icelandic ship may enter a hex containing a British ship but only when attempting to force a confrontation. Confrontation is a special two move option for the Icelandic player which requires the use of both of the moves available during a turn. Please see the CONFRONTATION rules section for more information.

A British ship may never enter the hex containing Iceland. An Icelandic ship may never cross the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary. No ship may ever leave the map.


FISHING

When a British ship ends a move in a Cod hex the British player is required to fish in that area. Immediately place a Fish Token in that hex to indicate that the area has been fished. Both British ships may fish in the same turn if both ships end a turn in separate Cod hexes.

Each Cod hex may only be fished one time during the game. A British ship may enter the same Cod hex several times during the course of a game but may only place any Fish Tokens in an area one time. A British ship may pass through a Cod hex without stopping to fish. Cod hexes and Fish Tokens have no effect on the normal movement of Icelandic ships.

Please note that the British player may never take two turns in a row without fishing. If the British player does not fish at the end of one turn then he or she must fish at the end of the next turn or the round ends immediately. Please see the ENDING A ROUND rules section for more information.

Please note that some of the Cod hexes contain a golden fish symbol. The British player always places two Fish Tokens in these more valuable fishing areas.


CONFRONTATION

A confrontation occurs when an Icelandic ship enters a hex containing a British ship. A confrontation requires two moves. This means that the Icelandic player must be adjacent to a British ship at the beginning of the Icelandic player’s turn in order to force a confrontation. Since a confrontation requires two moves this is the only action the Icelandic player may take during this turn.



Hex 402 Is Open Water -- No Confrontation Allowed!


A confrontation may only occur in a Cod hex. A British ship in an open water hex may not be forced into a confrontation even if that open water hex is inside the Exclusive Economic Zone.

British ships may never force a confrontation.


CONFRONTATION CARDS

Once a confrontation occurs each player draws the top card from his or her Confrontation Card deck without showing it to the other player. Each player must decide to play this card or permanently discard it and draw the next card in the deck. Place this unwanted card face down on the table. Do not show the newly acquired card to the other player. If the player chooses to draw a new Confrontation Card this card must be played. Each player may only exercise this option once during the game.

When both players have made a final decision each player reveals his or her card.

Confrontation Cards have a color coded rating which reflects each card’s potential influence on world opinion. The influence of each card is representative of the danger posed by the action described on the card. The influence rating of these color codes (ranging from lowest to highest) is gray, yellow, orange, and red.

If one player’s card is rated higher than the other player’s card (in other words, a more dangerous action is being performed) the player with the higher ranking that player must move the Diplomatic Tension Level one square in his or her direction. If both cards have the same rating there is no effect on world opinion.



Example Of Confrontation Card Play


For example, if the Icelandic player draws a Warning!! card but the British player draws a Shot Across The Bow card then the British player has performed the more dangerous action. The British player would be required to move the Diplomatic Tension Level one square in the Icelandic player's direction.

The marker on the Diplomatic Tension Level can move in either direction but the marker may never be moved beyond level two for either player.


RESULTS OF A CONFRONTATION

Regardless of any effect a confrontation has on world opinion the British ship involved in the incident must be removed from the map. A British ship removed from the map during the first round of play will return during the second round. A British ship removed during the second round is out of the game.

An Icelandic ship remains in the hex where the confrontation occurred until the start of the Icelandic player’s next turn. On the following turn this Icelandic ship may move normally. Regardless of the Confrontation Cards used during play a confrontation has no negative effect on an Icelandic ship.


ENDING A ROUND

A round can last any number of turns until something triggers the end of that round. A round can end for several reasons.

If both British ships have been removed from the map the round ends immediately.

If the British player takes two turns without fishing the round ends immediately.



Trapped!


If the British player is unable to make a legal move the round ends immediately.

If every Cod hex has been fished by the British player the round (and the game) ends immediately.


HISTORICAL EVENTS

At the end of the first round the players will determine which historical event will occur. The British player shuffles all of the Confrontation Cards which have already been played (but not the cards remaining in each player’s deck) at random and the Icelandic player draws the top card.

The color code on the card indicates which historical event has occurred:

Red = Volcanic Eruption... the Icelandic player loses one move at the start of the second round.

Orange = NATO Crisis... the British player loses one move at the start of the second round.

Yellow = Iceland appeals to the United Nations Security Council... no effect on play.

Gray = Iceland appeals to the International Court of Justice... no effect on play.


BEGINNING THE SECOND ROUND

Place both Icelandic ships in the Iceland hex.

Place both British ships in the Start hex containing the flag of Great Britain.

All of the Fish Tokens already on the map remain in place.

The marker on the Diplomatic Tension Level chart remains in the square where it was at the end of the first round.

Begin the second (and final) round of play. The second round will eventually come to an end using the same guidelines that were in effect during the first round.

Remember, the British player always moves first.


DETERMINING THE WINNER

At the end of the second round the British player receives one Victory Point for each Fish Token on the map. If the world opinion marker has ended the game one (or two) levels in favor of the British player then the British player receives one (or two) Victory Points. If world opinion has ended the game one (or two) levels in favor of the Icelandic player then the British player loses one (or two) Victory Points.

If the British player has scored more than twelve Victory Points then Great Britain wins. If the British player has scored twelve or fewer Victory Points then Iceland wins.
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michael connor
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Does the loser have to buy the winner Fish & Chips??
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xmfcnrx wrote:
Does the loser have to buy the winner Fish & Chips??


As the British player/civilian, we lost as the price of Cod jumper from around £1 to about £2.50. Probably nothing to do with the war.
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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wifwendell wrote:
Glad to have inspired this fine game! Incidentally, I wondered if anybody would think my reference to "Cod War" was a typo that was supposed to read "Cold War". It wasn't - I was going for obscure... and I remembered it from being a kid in England.
I remember it from The Goodies! Well also newspapers, but it was much more interesting in The Goodies.
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