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Subject: Operation Paperclip - the boardgame rss

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Has anyone looked into the great Nazi Scientist hunt known as Operation Paperclip as a boardgame?

It has all the thrills of an escape.chase/hunt, an easy means to collect VPs, and would have at least three players - the German Players that either want to flee to South America or surrender to the West vs the Soviets in their own operation.

actually, not sure how it would work, but the topic is fascinating.

How many people know that our landing on the Moon was not possible without the guy who invented and developed the V-2?

that is just one of many fascinating stories, and Paperclip is one of many similar operations.




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Zhe Leng
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Wilhammer wrote:
Has anyone looked into the great Nazi Scientist hunt known as Operation Paperclip as a boardgame?

It has all the thrills of an escape.chase/hunt, an easy means to collect VPs, and would have at least three players - the German Players that either want to flee to South America or surrender to the West vs the Soviets in their own operation.

actually, not sure how it would work, but the topic is fascinating.

How many people know that our landing on the Moon was not possible without the guy who invented and developed the V-2?

that is just one of many fascinating stories, and Paperclip is one of many similar operations.



An interesting topic.

But I don't think Apollo project would have failed because of one missing Nazi scientist. US has a lot more scientists working on rockets. I heard that when Von Braun was still sitting in a military base and restoring Nazi documents for the army, a team of scientists were making rockets already under the direction of navy. It was just the following political persecution that shattered the other team. Then Von Braun was selected to start his team.
 
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The Navy's Vanguard Project was a huge failure.

The Military Bureaucratic Rivalry Complex pushed the Army and von Braun aside.

This changed after Sputnik.

The Russians had Sergei Korolev; their von Braun.

Ours, Goddard, was underfunded and at this time dead.

I think that without WvB working for the US Space Program, we might have made it to the Moon in the 1970s.

The WvB Heavy Lifter project (Saturn) made it possible.

The history suggest that the Russians may have been able to do this by 1972 -but alas, Korolev died in 1967, setting the Soviet Manned Lunar Program askew.

But they still got plenty close - the N-1 disasters were spurred by the success of NASA - without that, they might not have rushed that testing.

1972/73 looked real good for the Russians on the moon.

It was that close.

I am personally convinced that WvB gave us that 4-5 year edge.
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Pete Belli
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Sounds like an interesting concept!

(This is a YouTube clip from The Right Stuff about German rocket scientists.)
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Brian Train
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Sounds like a very interesting game, you could even add some suspense later as you may not be sure of the exact VP value of each scientist - maybe he was just a Parteigenosse who stole all his grad students' research.



Dammit, why does "Insert Youtube Video ID" never work for me?

http://youtu.be/QEJ9HrZq7Ro
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Wilhammer wrote:
The Navy's Vanguard Project was a huge failure.

The Military Bureaucratic Rivalry Complex pushed the Army and von Braun aside.

This changed after Sputnik.

The Russians had Sergei Korolev; their von Braun.

Ours, Goddard, was underfunded and at this time dead.

I think that without WvB working for the US Space Program, we might have made it to the Moon in the 1970s.

The WvB Heavy Lifter project (Saturn) made it possible.

The history suggest that the Russians may have been able to do this by 1972 -but alas, Korolev died in 1967, setting the Soviet Manned Lunar Program askew.

But they still got plenty close - the N-1 disasters were spurred by the success of NASA - without that, they might not have rushed that testing.

1972/73 looked real good for the Russians on the moon.

It was that close.

I am personally convinced that WvB gave us that 4-5 year edge.


I'll be happy to tell you why I think you're wrong.. Later tonight.
 
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You will have to include the Gehlen Organization in the game and include the aspect of Soviet penetration of Paperclip from the beginning through Igor Orlov, Heinz Felfe, George Weisz among others.

I would make it more of a spy game than a game of the space race/missile technology although I might make that a scenario.

Maybe use Germany as a large map and have Berlin and Munich as separate mini maps on or off the board. Move pieces around and attempt different forms of recruitment, doubling, and counterintelligence. Give random events to influence characters personality traits. Give them technology. Use murder as last resort, but make it possible.

Maybe make a scenario around the Berlin tunnel. Was it as effective as it could have been or did the Soviets know about it all along and feed disinformation through it? Or how about a scenario about penetrating Karlshorst? Or one on gaining information about the Soviets Berlin Wall - potential Soviet invasion of West Berlin. Each side has a goal to achieve, which can only be made possible through their access to "bona fide" intelligence.

Just as a thought, maybe make it a cross between the Fury of Dracula (second edition), Clue: Secrets & Spies, Twilight Struggle, and TSR's Spies!
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Joseph Boeke
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ltmurnau wrote:
Sounds like a very interesting game, you could even add some suspense later as you may not be sure of the exact VP value of each scientist - maybe he was just a Parteigenosse who stole all his grad students' research.



Dammit, why does "Insert Youtube Video ID" never work for me?

http://youtu.be/QEJ9HrZq7Ro

You can fix it by just putting in the YouTube video ID (see above)...
 
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Jeff Perrella
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LOVE this idea! Fascinating topic, and I think it could be done.

Then we could have endless threads about "Op Paperclip is NOT a wargame!"



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William Boykin
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This is what came to mind for me when I read about the OP's idea....





"Once the rockets go up, who cares where they come down!!!
That's not my Department!!!" says Werner von Braun!.

Ah, Tom Lehrer, you are missed.

Darilian
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As promised, here's my take on things. This happens to be my field of expertise.

Wilhammer wrote:
The Navy's Vanguard Project was a huge failure.



Nonsense. There were three successful launches, and the Vanguard 2nd/3rd stage was adapted for use with the Thor missile, which became the precursor of the Delta.

Quote:


The Military Bureaucratic Rivalry Complex pushed the Army and von Braun aside.



Not true. Eisenhower didn't want America to get to orbit first, for international reasons. Project Orbiter (Von Braun's Redstone-based launcher) could have put something in orbit in late 1956. He was specifically ordered not to.

Quote:


This changed after Sputnik.

The Russians had Sergei Korolev; their von Braun.

Ours, Goddard, was underfunded and at this time dead.

I think that without WvB working for the US Space Program, we might have made it to the Moon in the 1970s.



Space Technology Laboratories was building the Thor and the Atlas and the Titan at that time. When Sputnik flew, the Thor was mated with the Vanguard, and we were launching moon probes by mid-1958.

Quote:


The WvB Heavy Lifter project (Saturn) made it possible.



If NASA had chosen G.E. Apollo rather than the gold-plated dead end we got, there might have been more longevity to the program. They could have been launched on Titan derivatives by the mid-late 60s. Or the Air Force's stillborn SLS.

As a comparison of G.E. Apollo vs. WvB Apollo, the latter has been dead for almost 40 years. The former is alive. As Soyuz.

(One could argue Apollo is kind of still alive since Orion is basically Apollo, but it's not like Orion's ever really going to fly).

Quote:


The history suggest that the Russians may have been able to do this by 1972 -but alas, Korolev died in 1967, setting the Soviet Manned Lunar Program askew.



1966. And Yangel or Chelomei could have gotten the Soviets to the moon, too, though Korolev did have a lot of vision.

Quote:


But they still got plenty close - the N-1 disasters were spurred by the success of NASA - without that, they might not have rushed that testing.

1972/73 looked real good for the Russians on the moon.

It was that close.


If the Soviets had managed a circumlunar mission (on a Chelomei rocket, the Proton, not a Korolev rocket) in late '68, yeah, it might have been close.

Quote:


I am personally convinced that WvB gave us that 4-5 year edge.


Nope. He gave us a gold-plated over-designed brute-force beast with limited development potential.

Granted, it worked.
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Wilhammer wrote:


How many people know that our landing on the Moon was not possible without the guy who invented and developed the V-2?



This I will concede. Von Braun could have died in 1945, but the V-2 was important on both sides of the Atlantic. The Soviets reverse engineered it to make the R-1, and the Americans used dozens of them in their own research and development.
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Michael Dorosh
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Neopeius wrote:
Wilhammer wrote:


How many people know that our landing on the Moon was not possible without the guy who invented and developed the V-2?



This I will concede. Von Braun could have died in 1945, but the V-2 was important on both sides of the Atlantic. The Soviets reverse engineered it to make the R-1, and the Americans used dozens of them in their own research and development.


To answer the original question, I thought this was essentially common knowledge for anyone with the slightest interest in the subject. Tom Hanks' miniseries gave von Braun his due, and most if not all serious documentaries mention von Braun's involvement, so it's not a secret and I don't think ever really was, even if his wartime activities are not always fully explained.

The V rockets were recognized as important to the post war world from the moment the guns stopped firing. Canadian troops raced in the post-war months to collect samples and bring them back to Canada - Mowat wrote in his autobiography about his "Canadian War Museum Collection Team" - though I suspect one may need to take his writings with a grain of salt or two. His activities were described by him as a race against the Americans, IIRC, and I wondered as I read it if that aspect wasn't exaggerated for effect and with his Canadian audience in mind.
 
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Paul Cornelissen
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I wonder if the asymmetrical COIN-system from Andean Abyss could be adopted to run a proposed game like this -- multiple roles, actions and goals with lots of interaction...


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I picked up a used library book about the inter-service rivalry in rocket development... Can't find it at the moment...
 
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Joe Fatula
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If you're interested in Operation Paperclip, you might find Leaving Earth interesting too.
 
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George Haberberger
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I'd be interested, you could use Gravity's Rainbow as a source text, too.
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Brian Train
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+2 for the Pynchon reference!

Though you couldn't make a game of the book - too many chrome rules.
Maybe it could be some kind of free-form storytelling game using something like a Tarot deck....

Brian
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ltmurnau wrote:
Sounds like a very interesting game, you could even add some suspense later as you may not be sure of the exact VP value of each scientist - maybe he was just a Parteigenosse who stole all his grad students' research.

You could do it like the cultural figures in Virgin Queen, where you have to roll to get the VP based on modifiers. You have a rough idea from the initial rating/DRM.
 
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One way to have the points be variable is to have specific leaders and technical teams as two kinds of people to recruit, and have the player assemble project teams with them in combination with technology ("liberated", developed, discovered, or shared), and their own national assets.

Depending on how the teams were assembled and what resources were available to them, they would be worth different point values.

So recruiting WvB might be worth 20 VP on his own, but putting him with the right combination of two more named scientists, two technical teams, and three technologies might give you a combination (through multipliers and bonuses) worth 500 VP.

You might even have multiple variants of some of the named scientists, with different bonuses and multipliers, and discard all that show up after the first one is recruited.
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B Schneider
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So here's a precursor game to Paperclip: Secret Weapons of the Third Reich

Can be ordered on Gamecrafter, very interesting, for Gamecrafter great components, and Project and Technology cards from the more mundane Wunderwaffen (ie V-1 development) to the fantastical (can the Germans deploy a Solar Space Mirror in time to end the war?).

Cant speak to how it plays out yet, but the cards are a great read!

There is even a Nazi Turncoat traitor mechanism for the astute scientist that sees the writing on the wall and wishes to pad his post war credentials before walking over to his new masters.

Although, I must say, there is no Doktor Merkwuerdigeliebe or Nazi Zombie Project in the game (but there is a Moonbase project!).

A Project Paperclip sequel would be ideally suited to this Euro style format IMO.
 
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Matthew Barber
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Any recommended books on Operation Paperclip?
 
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Neopeius wrote:

Wilhammer wrote:
The Navy's Vanguard Project was a huge failure.

Nonsense. There were three successful launches, and the Vanguard 2nd/3rd stage was adapted for use with the Thor missile, which became the precursor of the Delta.

The Vanguard rocket launched three satellites out of eleven launch attempts.

Quote:
Quote:

The Military Bureaucratic Rivalry Complex pushed the Army and von Braun aside.

Not true. Eisenhower didn't want America to get to orbit first, for international reasons. Project Orbiter (Von Braun's Redstone-based launcher) could have put something in orbit in late 1956. He was specifically ordered not to.

Eisenhower didn't want America's first space launch to have a strong military connection.

Quote:
Quote:

The WvB Heavy Lifter project (Saturn) made it possible.

If NASA had chosen G.E. Apollo rather than the gold-plated dead end we got, there might have been more longevity to the program.

You are comparing concept with rocket program with 32 launches (all successful). Although some flights experienced significant problems, no Saturn rocket failed catastrophically in flight.

Quote:
Quote:

I am personally convinced that WvB gave us that 4-5 year edge.

Nope. He gave us a gold-plated over-designed brute-force beast with limited development potential.

I don't think you understand complexities of building rocket that will take man to the moon.

And if you think that military–industrial–congressional complex will go with cost-effective solution, just look at F-35 program...
 
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Jacob Ossar
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"It looks like you're building a rocket. Would you like help?"
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Ben Drain
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There is an Operation: Paperclip card game, though it focuses on balancing the implications of using infamous people for their technical knowledge rather than the specific building-a-rocket-race some folks discussed as a possible route here.
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