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Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?» Forums » General

Subject: I've been eyeing this game for a while, but... rss

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John Johnson
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Chester
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...with all the changes going on in the world today, is Labyrinth going to feel out of date in a couple of years? I'm a huge fan of Twilight Struggle, but that is about a "closed chapter" in our world's history.

I considered buying Labyrinth on preorder in 2010, but I decided to wait until a healthy number of play seesions and reviews could be published on BGG.

Since then, there have been major changes in the Middle East and the "Global War on Terror." Bin Laden and a lot of Al Qaeda's leadership are dead. We (the US) have seriously stepped up drone attacks. We are "withdrawing" from Iraq. The situation in Afghanistan seems to be deteriorating. And the Arab Spring has swept away corrupt leaders and brought about reforms throughout the Middle East... and who knows what will ultimately become of these revolutions???

So I have a couple of questions...

Are the real-world 2011 events in the Middle East/GWOT reproducible in the game as it currently exists? (I assume not, considering it uses Twilight Struggle style event cards.)

Is this a game whose components and rules are being updated by the publisher as the world situation changes, or is it going to remain pretty static and - ultimately - outdated?

Thanks for any insight you can offer!
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Breno K.
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Are all WW2 games outdated?
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Igor Kwiatkowski
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I think the game handles current events pretty well. Osama got killed? This is handled by the US player playing the Osama card for event. The current revolutions in Northern Africa are War of Ideas rolls. The Taliban are attacking Kabul - this is a Minor Jihad roll. It works for me.
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Max Jamelli
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BrenoK wrote:
Are all WW2 games outdated?


I think what the OP is saying is - this is a period of time we're still sorting through. When it's all said and done (however long that takes down the road) will this game still hold up thematically.

WW2 is said and done, so any game based on it will have all the historical facts available.
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Chris Larkin
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It's all a marketing scam. This way they know we'll all pay for the 2012-? edition. laugh
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Philip Yaure
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My impression after a couple of plays is that the game system is flexible enough not to be made irrelevant because of (reasonably foreseeable) historical events that occurred after publishing. As Igor implied, many of the game mechanics, such as jihads and war of ideas, are vague enough to stand in for a variety of historical events.

Ultimately, once the book is closed on this period in American history, Labyrinth will not function as a true historical simulation of events. What Labyrinth does provide is a low-complexity, highly competitive gaming experience, and the opportunity to experiment with a variety of possibilities for this historical period-- many of which appear to be live enough, even in (moderate) hindsight. I don't think we will be able to accuse this game of some of the irrelevance of WWIII games produced during the Cold War. Labyrinth will not contribute much to a dissertation on the War on Terrorism 10 years from now, but it will (and does) give players a sense of what the nature of this conflict was (is), and, most importantly IMO, provides this sense through a competitive vehicle.
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Fred W. Manzo
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When things progress this game will be no more irrelevant than a good alternate history novel. We did attempt to "update" the game a few months ago with an unofficial scenario at The Boardgaming Life:

Arab Street Rising. A New (Unofficial) 2011 Scenario For Labyrinth

http://www.theboardgaminglife.com/ArticlePages/labyrinth_sc1...

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Matt Rice
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sinon wrote:
....once the book is closed on this period in American history...


Should we not say 'World history' here!?

Regards,

Matt

(a Brit!)
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Charles F.
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My working assumption when playing LAB is that one turn corresponds to one game year (2001, 2002, 2003 etc). The card-driven narrative suits that time scale quite, I believe.

Now, if you play the 3-deck game (as I recommend you do), you'll be playing about 9-10 turns. So that'd mean you reach 2009-10.

If you follow that logic, then the Arab Spring's outside of the scope of the game.

Anyway, it is my view that the post-9/11 "War on Terror" era is over. Politically Global Jihadism has lost the struggle for Muslim hearts and minds. AQ & Co are politically marginalised. The world has moved on. The threat of jihadism is no longer a dominant issue on the international agenda.

At the very latest, the Arab Spring and the killing of OBL bookended that era. Though the "War on Terror" era really has been petering out since the dying days of the Bush presidency, I'd say.
 
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Jim F
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charlesf wrote:


Anyway, it is my view that the post-9/11 "War on Terror" era is over. Politically Global Jihadism has lost the struggle for Muslim hearts and minds. AQ & Co are politically marginalised. The world has moved on. The threat of jihadism is no longer a dominant issue on the international agenda.


Not wanting to hijack the thread but I wish I shared your optimism. I think the Arab Spring is going to through up some new and interesting challenges as the post-Mubarak Egypt and post-Gaddafi Libya begin to take shape. The attack on the Israeli Embassy does not bode well for future relations in the Middle East. The chances of the West not getting dragged into that...?
 
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Charles F.
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Ashiefan wrote:

Not wanting to hijack the thread but I wish I shared your optimism. I think the Arab Spring is going to through up some new and interesting challenges as the post-Mubarak Egypt and post-Gaddafi Libya begin to take shape.


Yes. It's going to be a rough ride. And some of it may not be to our liking.

But what's happening in the Arab world doesn't fit the binary Jihadist vs pro-Western Reformer mould.

Global Jihadism is politically a spent force. It's very irrelevance manifested itself in the revolutions. Nobody cares what Zawahiri & Co have to save about these epochal changes. They're sidelined. In many ways an anachronism.

 
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Warren Davis
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Guys, guys, guys...this is a war on terroism & a war involving the Middle East. This war WILL NOT END until the human race ceases to exist.

Amen.


(Sorry, Mom, I had to say that last bit...)
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Charles F.
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hermeticmage wrote:
Guys, guys, guys...this is a war on terroism & a war involving the Middle East. This war WILL NOT END until the human race ceases to exist.


Well, global jihadism is politically a spent force. It failed in the objective to win over the hearts and minds of Muslims.

AQ is also a mere shadow of its former self.

The RAF in Germany also went on for many years after it had become a political irrelevance. Or the Basque ETA.

Of course terrorism will always be around. Also of the jihadist variety to some degree or other.

But it's no longer a dominant issue on the world agenda. Or the primary question the West concerns itself when interacting with the wider Middle-East.

Things have moved on to a very considerable extent.
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John Johnson
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Wow. Thank you guys for all the responses. I think I'll be putting this game on my Christmas list. Hopefully I'll enjoy this game as much as I have enjoyed Twilight Struggle. Thanks!
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