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1989: Dawn of Freedom» Forums » General

Subject: A Few Questions; rss

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Geoffrey Wilson
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I'm an avid Twilight Struggle player; great game, and definitely the favorite out of all I own.

I love the Cold War theme, and a very "zoomed-in" version of that point in history with this game is fascinating.

Here are some questions I have about the game:

1.) What are the victory conditions for the two sides in this game? I assume board position matters, with influence in cities, but like what are the points the players are counting, and what does victory constitute for each side? (In historical terms; like how would the 1990's begin if the Communists win for example?)

2.) When is the release date?

3.) Will there be rules posted online anytime soon, and if so, when?

Thank you!
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Judit Szepessy
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I just would like to answer to one of your questions:
Quote:
(In historical terms; like how would the 1990's begin if the Communists win for example?)


Actually, history played in favour of the game in that former communists won in all countries after the second elections that were held after 1989, and not even in one occassion. In this sense, it does not matter whether the commies or the democrats win because both political wings held power after the changes. I think this gives an extra flavour to the game. The former communists retained great influence in all these countries even up today.
The game creates a wonderful and engaging narrative of the events and trends of 1989 and the whole era.

Such a great game this is!
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Pete Hooper
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something wrote:

2.) When is the release date?


IIRC, GMT is shooting for July 2011. I'll see if I can find a link.

*EDIT* In the Jan 17 update, they do indeed list 1989 with a target of July 1989.

http://www.gmtgames.com/news.aspx?showarticle=189
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Ted Torgerson
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Quote:
1.) What are the victory conditions for the two sides in this game? I assume board position matters, with influence in cities, but like what are the points the players are counting, and what does victory constitute for each side?


The scoring system is a tug of war just like in Twilight Struggle. In 1989, the Early Year tends to go well for the Democrat with scoring cards for Poland and Hungary - they being the most advanced reform countries. Then the scoring swings in favor of the Communist, with the Democrat surging in the Late Year. This is just the general pattern. The game is somewhat unpredictable, or better to say the players can choose where to focus and that will affect the pace and scoring in the game.

When a scoring card is played there is battle using battlecards similar to Hannibal or We the People. The nummber of spaces you have detrmines the number of cards you draw. There are 4 suits: rally, march, strike and petition, plus leader cards. The winner scores VPs and the loser has to remove influence. This is in addition to the normal presence, domination and control scoring adapted from TS. If the democrat does well enough his revolution is successful and the Communist is toppled from power. The scoring card is removed from the game. If the Communist remains in power he gets a bonus, which increases each time the scorintg card is played. There are also a lot of event cards that score VPs.

Quote:
2.) When is the release date?


When it is ready. The July date is tentative. The playtesting is not complete.

Quote:
3.) Will there be rules posted online anytime soon, and if so, when?


I am working with a graphic designer from GMT now but we have not reached that stage yet, just mocking up the cards and map now. You can try the game now at wargameroom.com. If you know TS it would only take a few minutes to explain the differences.

Quote:
(In historical terms; like how would the 1990's begin if the Communists win for example?)

As Judit was saying, the Communist parties, renamed and under new leadership, returned to power very quickly across the region. There is a repeating event where the Communist Party adopts a social democratic platform to compete in the new democratic system. There are alt-hist events that allow Lithuanian independence (declared March 1990), or for a coup against Gorbachev (August 1991).

More broadly the game includes both reform Communists like Gorbachev and Imre Poszgay on the same side with hardline Communists like Honecker and Ceausescu, so the Communist remaining in power might mean a brutal proto-Stalinist type regime like Ceausescu's Romania or it might mean the Prague Spring. That depends really on how the board looks, what events were used to make it look that way and the players' imagination. Because the spaces are both geographic and socio-economic, placing SPs or making Support Checks mean very different things depending on the space or the event played. For example if you make a support check as the Communist against a student space you might be using tear gas to break up a demonstration, but a support check against a worker space might be offering to increase worker wages.

So that is a longwinded answer to say I'm not sure. It's not clear what the final vision of Gorbachev was for a democratic socialism in Eastern Europe, or what the Third Way between socialism and the market might have looked like. I would view any board set up as a transitional situation, and the historical outcome, rapid USSR disintegration and German unification, was far from assured.
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Pete Hooper
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1989Game wrote:

Quote:
2.) When is the release date?


When it is ready. The July date is tentative. The playtesting is not complete.



I didn't mean to suggest that the July date is set in stone. Sorry for any confusion.

(Though July would be nice; I'd be able to take it on vacation. There's only so much fishing and hiking a fella can do.)
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Ted Torgerson
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We are going to try. There are a lot of good games in front of us too.
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Geoffrey Wilson
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Thank you very much!
I didn't mean to come off as confrontational at all about the release date, if I did. I hate when people rush game developers; a game released early will be bad forever, a game worked on and released when its ready will be good eventually, and then forever.
Wargameroom I've never used yet but I think I really should; I have a rather limited "population" of players I can game with regularly in person. Are there still print and play components available anywhere? I'd love to write up a review and session report.

I read your two articles on wargaming and history and Hegel's dialectic, and how they apply to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe; very interesting. I very much agree that "the end" in history is not inevitable, and it annoys me to no end when people claim that it was IMPOSSIBLE for the South to win the Civil War, or Germany to beat the USSR in WWII. We can step back from the event, looking at the overview of it from the advantage of hind-sight and modern historical research all compiled, and say what was most LIKELY to happen, (and ultimately only one outcome can occur in our timeline of course) but few imagined outcomes in history are impossible or inevitable per se. The Soviet Union very well could have reformed itself into a social democratic state, similar (though likely still relatively more oppressive) to Western and Northern European nations. Maybe a different leader instead of Gorbachev would matter, maybe the military coup against him would result in a hardline retaliation that crushes the democrats, maybe the US having a President other than Reagan would change USSR decisions in some way.
So in short, I love political wargames like this, such as TS or Labyrinth, in how they really allow for a lot of depth in alternate history. Finding winning strategies is just as fun for me as creating the narrative of history for what happened in this or that war; how the branching paths and interacting decisions of the two sides in the game can make a very different end than in history.
I look forward to the progress and release of 1989. :)
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Ted Torgerson
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Quote:
So in short, I love political wargames like this, such as TS or Labyrinth, in how they really allow for a lot of depth in alternate history. Finding winning strategies is just as fun for me as creating the narrative of history for what happened in this or that war; how the branching paths and interacting decisions of the two sides in the game can make a very different end than in history.


This is how I feel as well, and it's why I don't like too many variant rules to guide games toward the historical result.
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