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Subject: The Game as History rss

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Steve Carey
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Playing ANDEAN ABYSS has not only proven to be incredibly fun, it has also opened up a fascinating new (albeit tragic) chapter of human history to me. Instead of the topic being so obscure, the game has now transformed the Colombian Conflict into something that sustains my constant thought and interest.

Let's consider one Event, 'Narco-Subs'. It's absolutely incredible that the Cartels have been able to construct semi-submersibles - and now full-fledged submarines - in very remote and dense jungles in order to smuggle out their illicit cargo.

These narco subs have become more and more sophisticated over time, apparently with expert foreign (Soviet) consultants. Colombia has a plethora of waterways to facilitate this activity.

A captain of a narco sub can be paid up to $250,000 upon departure and then another $250,000 upon delivery. Just one sub can carry a
quarter-of-a-billion-dollars worth of cocaine.

If detected, the several crewman would attempt to scuttle the sub at sea along with all evidence against them. Authorities have had to re-interpret maritime law for so-called rescued seaman in order to prosecute these criminals.

I'm finding that ANDEAN ABYSS is bringing history alive in remarkable fashion.









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Carsten Bohne
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Especially the lower photo is incredible...
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Derek McKay
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Is it my turn? Sorry, I wasn't paying attention.
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I am finding the history behind the game fascinating as well. I am still trying to master all the mechanics and rules, as I get ready for my second solo play. I just finished reading the last 27+ of the playbook about an hour ago, and I hope to do better than my first play. Having some background on why the factions are acting the way they do, should help for better understanding, and hopefully for better game-play.

However, I LOL-ed at the illustration above which states "no apparent sleeping area or galley". Sounds about right with a sub filled with coke!

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Jason Albert
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Steve Carey wrote:
Playing ANDEAN ABYSS has not only proven to be incredibly fun, it has also opened up a fascinating new (albeit tragic) chapter of human history to me.


Completely agree. I’m a wargamer who as a rule cares less about strict/accurate simulation and more about gameplay fun, but I always enjoy the learning experiences. It’s rare when a wargame doesn’t pique my interest and push me to explore a conflict more deeply. AA has provided a particularly strong historical (ahem) contact high.
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Steve Carey
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Najimbe wrote:
However, I LOL-ed at the illustration above which states "no apparent sleeping area or galley". Sounds about right with a sub filled with coke!


You think that's bad, the early semi-submersibles captured showed upon inspection that they didn't even have a toilet!

Apparently the crew survived on junk food for up to a two week voyage since there was no galley.

The lastest models now do a have toilet, plus a sleeping compartment (where the crew can rotate getting rest) and air conditioning, along with other advanced technology. Just amazing.

The authorities rely upon informants to capture these subs before they launch as they are virtually impossible to detect amongst the thick growth and inlets of Colombia.
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Mike Hoyt

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The first time I heard of the narco-submarines they really weren't submarines with power and crew.

More like a submersible barge towed behind an apparently innocent fishing boat. The tether cable looked like just like a fishing net and if the patrol boats came too close anyway the submersible could be cut loose. And then presumably even retrieved later with a grappling hook dragging for a trapeze affixed for that very purpose.

Much easier to build a watertight barge and tow it than a full on submarine. Also easier to crew and navigate a fishing boat than a submarine.

Perhaps the technology has advanced, but the pictures I’m seeing look a lot more like a submersible barge than a true submarine with life support, navigation, etc….
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Steve Carey
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You're right Mike, the barge tow is a method the Cartels have used. If spotted, they could try and sink the barge and mark it later for pick-up (if possible).

Technology has indeed advanced - check out some of the latest narco-sub material on internet. They can build a sub for about a million dollars, so it is claimed.

The Cartels use speedboats and airplanes too, of course. Here's a link to a YouTube video that shows one of the smuggler's planes getting shot down by a Colombian Air Force T-27, with tracking assistance from the U.S.

It's a 4:36 long video, but well worth the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHDZqUa0m1s
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Volko Ruhnke
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Steve Carey wrote:



Thanks Steve! I like how the map shows the sub departing from what looks like a FARC Base...
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