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Subject: 1989 News for July rss

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Ted Torgerson
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We've made it to 484(+15) Pre-orders. Thanks!

Big news this month: The powers that be (our GMT developer Bruce Wigdor) did a thorough deck management analysis for 1989, and the result was that scoring cards were not cycling through the deck in the Late Year rounds as frequently as we would like. We needed a Middle Year reshuffle the turn before adding the Late Year cards to the deck so we did not leave so many Middle and Early Year cards in the discard pile. The solution we decided upon was to add a 10th turn, with the Late Year deck now being shuffled into the deck turn 8. The result has been a much more varied Late Year deck, with more scoring cards being played a second and third time. It also changes the scoring balance which means I get to do a lot more playtesting.

We also made a few changes to the cards:

1. We added an asterisk to the Tank Column/Tank Man* card. This event only happened once and can only happen once in the game. With ten turns allowing this card to be played multiple times would make completing the Tianamen Square track too easy.

2. We moved Systematization* to the Middle Year deck. Because the Democrat rarely had SPs in Romania in the Early Year this card was not being played as an event by the Communist. Now it can make it into the Late Year where it can pose a real threat.

This month's video is an excerpt from CNN's The Cold War series episode 23 - 1989: The Wall Comes Down. 1989 players will recognize The Wall, The Sinatra Doctrine, Honecker, Austria-Hungary Border Reopened, Warsaw Pact Summit, Solidarity Legalized, General Strike, Walesa, Legacy of Martial Law, Roundtable Talks, Toxic Waste and FRG Embassies.

Below I included the card notes for one of the events in the video, Roundtable Talks. In the video you can see Solidarity leaders Walesa and Mazowiecki walking into the main meeting room, and you can see regime representative Czeslaw Kiszczak talking. I would not say this was just for the cameras, but most of the real negotiating took place in smaller sessions called Magdalenkas, like this one:



Here is the video:



Card Notes Roundtable Talks

This is an Early Year Democratic Event. It has an Ops value of 3 and remains in front of the Democrat until the next Power Struggle when it is used. Then is placed in the discard pile possibly to be drawn again.

The famous Round Table wasn't always round. In fact its shape was a subject of negotiations between Solidarity and the regime, and various rectangular designs were discussed before agreement on a round table was reached. In typical Polish fashion one negotiator determined the record distance for human expectoration was 8 meters so all agreed the table must be at minimum 9 meters in diameter.

Humor and a common pride of Polishness undergirded the negotiations. Overshadowing everything was the possibility of Soviet intervention. The Brehznev Doctrine, which stated the internal politics of any socialist state was the business of all the socialists states, had been used to justify the Warsaw Pact's invasion of member state Czechoslovakia to crush the Prague Spring reform movement. When one Solidarity representative privately asked General Jaruszelski how far the Soviets would permit democratic reforms to proceed in Poland, Jaruszelski circumspectly replied, "I don't know. Let us find out together."

The negotiations lasted from February to April 1989. Solidarity was led in the negotiations by Walesa and Michnik as well as intellectuals such as Geremek and (future Prime Minister)Mazowiecki. The government was led by the much hated Czeslaw Kiszczak, who was Minister of Internal Affairs during the 1981 imposition of martial law, but was crucial to the ultimate success of the Roundtable. The final results were free elections to a new body called the Senate, and permission that Solidarity could contest 35% of the seats in the Sejm. The president would be selected by the Sejm so this effectively guaranteed Communists would retain the presidency and control of foreign and defense ministries.

In game terms this event was drawn and played several times in 1989. The Polish round table process as well as the outcome would serve as a model for other east bloc states. Each would hold its own round table sessions, though without the strength of leadership of Solidarity.
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