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Subject: Graveyard of Empires Playtest Session rss

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Mike Owens
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Starting another playtest session of A Distant Plain.

The usual suspects:

Coalition:

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Government:

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Warlords:

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Taliban:

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[note: there have been a few tweaks to the rules since our last session.]

At setup, the check of the unused cards gave the Taliban the Accidental Guerrillas capability. Very helpful for the Taliban as it provides disincentive for Coalition to assault.

First card up is Seal Team 6. Coalition took the event and removed a Taliban base from Pakistan and reduced Taliban resources by 6.

Government is up for anything but event.

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Mike Bertucelli
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Alright boys I'm looking forward to following this one.
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Gordon J
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Government is up. We took a TRAIN action in Kabul. 4 Troops and 2 Police.



Well, couple options for the Special Activity. We decide to move our boys on out and hit the Faryab province. We give a tip to the Warlords as we enter, and that about does it for us.



Warlords are up first on the next card.
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Jeremy Antley
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At a recent gathering of Warlord groups, there was discussed an alarming trend whereby the Government was poking its nose and its assault-rifle carrying troops into provinces where it should have no long-term interest.

To this end, it was decided among the leaders present that a general call-to-arms should be announced. Warriors from across Afghanistan ready themselves now to support the Warlord's cause.

Not without some sense of diplomacy, the Warlords also agreed to settle the Government intrusions through traditional means. After some varied monies exchanged hands, local Government commanders announced their military exercises in Konduz would be ending, while the ongoing excursion in Faryab would be wound down.

(Warlords Rallied + Suborned)



The Taliban is up for either a limited op or the event.
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Gordon J
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I am glad we could be so accommodating.
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Jeff Gringer
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OK, Taliban opts for the limited operation.

We decide to rally in Oruzgan. We also note the limop seems to work with Shura. While pricy for our budget, we do just that to oppo up Western Afghanistan.

Coalition is up first with the next card, One Tribe at a Time.
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Mike Owens
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Seeing the ugly event upcoming (Al-Qaeda), with Taliban sure to be first eligible, I decided that the best way to prevent it was to make sure there weren't any underground Taliban in neutral spaces. So I undertook a massive Cordon & Search offensive (Sweep) into Nuristan, Paktika, Ghazni, Oruzgan, Helmand, and Kandahar to expose the Taliban Guerrillas there. then I used Air Strike in Paktika, Ghazni, and Kandahar.

I'm hoping my erstwhile Government allies recognize the option to take the event and remove that last underground Taliban guerrilla in Herat and, while he's at it, perform Civic Action to bring returnees back into the now safe, stable, and friendly Herat Province.

[I just realized, in all the excitement I forgot to change Nuristan to uncontrolled and adjust the uncontrolled pop.)

Government is up for event, event, or event. [Hint, hint.]

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Gordon J
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Government, of course takes the Event, not much else really makes sense for us to do. Though, Govt. is at the moment feeling like the little brother to Coalition and Warlords. We removed Taliban from Herat, and then did a Civic Action there and shifted it to Support. Not much else to report from the true rulers of this great country.

Next up: Taliban for anything.
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Jeff Gringer
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Graveyard of Empires Playtest Session: Taliban stabilize position
Since Coalition effectively neutered the Al Qaeda card, the Taliban will have to focus on core concerns: infrastructure protection and rebuilding cadres. We therefore opt for a rally/extort combo, but with only 2R in the bank and lots of black turbans hanging out naked across the land, there is a natural brake on any advance.

With tight funds, we have very carefully sequenced operations. First we go to the ground in our main western bastions of Oruzgan and Helmand. Then run extort in five spaces (Pakistan x 2, the two spaces we just went underground, and Zabol). Lastly we finish off the rallies, building Gs to cover the naked bases in Paktika and Ghazni, then to go to the ground in Nuristan. We still squeeze in a Shura in the latter to fan opposition, but that only leaves 1R in the bank. Time to scare some money up to dispatch some fundraisers to the Gulf...

Warlords are up for a limop or the event. The latter can only help the foreigners and their lackeys. We take this moment to stress that we are not enemies of organic Afghans like the warlords. The foreigners and the Karzai regime are our shared enemies. Any funds they might be able to share would be deeply appreciated. We would be receptive to carrying out any priorities of mutual interest in return.

Note, in all the excitement, we neglected to advance the Talib Base/Oppo marker in the wake of the Shura in Nuristan. If the Warlord could advance it, we would be most appreciative.

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Jeremy Antley
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The Warlords passed, then came up first on 'Counter Narc'. This time, instead of handing out bribes, the Warlords decided it was time to augment their funds through timely capitalistic sale of their fine, fine product. Clearly, the market has spoken.

(Warlords Rallied + Trafficked)



While we don't share the same ideology of the Taliban, (we are, after all, just a rather peaceful security force that happens to have one of the hottest commodities in the medicinal market) we also don't like seeing an enemy of an enemy brought to its knees so early. To that end, while it wasn't a lot, the Warlords transferred two resources to the Taliban effort. We only ask that you keep your clerics and other zealous faithful from converting our own warriors to the cause.

Coalition is up for limited op, event, or pass.
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Jeff Gringer
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Jobermallow wrote:
While we don't share the same ideology of the Taliban, we don't like seeing an enemy of an enemy brought to its knees so early. To that end, the Warlords transferred two resources to the Taliban effort. We only ask that you keep your clerics and other zealous faithful from converting our own warriors to the cause.

We appreciate the understanding and strategic vision of our Warlord cousins. While we cannot be expected to indefinitely observe the conditions outlined for 2R, we will honor the terms for a reasonable period. We have many other priorities to focus on that will not interfere with the Warlords. Shukran.

For the aid of others, and to compensate for our Madrassa-based education, we modified our Excel tracking file to automatically calculate population levels under various factions' control and the relative support and opposition in the land. Posted to Dropbox.
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Jeremy Antley
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Warlords can abide by that agreement.
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Mike Owens
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Coalition passed. Gov't is up for Event, Lim Op, or pass.
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Gordon J
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Govt. did a pass. Certainly not going to help the Warlords on an Event that nets me +1 Patronage. +3 resources doesn't hurt.

After, seeing the next card pop, Govt has an interesting choice ahead.

Back to our friends the Coalition.
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Coalition took the event to remove the Taliban bases in Helmand and Ghazni.

Gov't is up for anything but event.
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Gordon J
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Govt. Did a Train and Special Ability. Looking at the state of our army, the Govt. decided it was time to do some recruiting. Then, it was time to Govern, because, hey, we're in charge here. So We did Govern in Herat and Khowst. Adding population marker in Herat:



And then in Khowst:



We did a Train (Civic Action) in that spot to bring it to Support. Then did Govern and removed that Support to transfer Aid to Patronage.

Govt. forgot to knock down Aid by -3. Can Warlords, who are next up for anything, do that for me. Thanks.
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Jeremy Antley
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Let me tell you about a great deal for the Gov't and Coalition forces: right now, for the low, low price of free*, you have just received certified Warlord™ LoC protection around Kabul and Kandahar.

*Free doesn't actually mean free here, as the Warlords also Suborned in three spaces: Khwost, Kandahar, and Herat. So a small cost in personel- but the overhead savings will augment your Patronage account!

(Warlords Marched + Suborned)

However, I did forget to lower COIN control -2 for the last Suborn. I didn't forget Patronage though. I also reduced Aid -3, but not sure why this happened...



Taliban is up for limited op, event, or pass.

PS- Is there a prop card on the horizon? I saw that Govt commented on this earlier, but I don't see one in my logfile- maybe I misread the previous comment?

(Edited because I can't spell)
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Gordon J
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I don't think we mentioned Prop. Card. But we reduced Aid -3 for a Govern Action I took.
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Jeremy Antley
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That's my fault- I read 'seeing the next card pop' as 'seeing the next prop card' because my brain likes to play tricks on me when playing games. whistle

(edited bc I didn't read the rules correctly regarding Govern and Patronage)
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Graveyard of Empires Playtest Session: Taliban keep limping forward
Again, with nothing on the horizon, we'll take a limop as a free rally in Waziristan to add 2 Gs. I think I'd messed up earlier charging myself for a rally in Pakistan, not realizing the opportunity provided by the Pak track. We'll write that off to poor Taliban accounting skills, and the Pak intermediary shake-down.

Government is up on the next card for anything.
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Gordon J
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Well, I blink and suddenly Govt. has no control or pieces in the provinces. We do a little TnT.

We do a Train and Transport. Train in Kabul and then Transport them all up to Balkh.



The Warlords are growing strong and aggressive and since there is hardly any Coalition troops as well as mine doing much of anything, Govt. takes it upon ourselves and begins the Battle of Balkh.

I am taking a great risk here as the Prop. Card could pop at any moment. But really I can't do much else, I could horde up my troops in Kabul, but then that is wasting an action. Sometimes you have to walk softly and carry a big stick despite the risk.

Coalition is up for Lim. Op, Event, Pass.
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Mike Owens
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Coalition also sees the Warlord lawlessness in the countryside. However, we are hamstrung by Pentagon and Brussels decisions to do this war on the cheap with the fewest troops possible in theater.

So, Coalition Swept to regain COIN control in Khowst and Kandahar, yielding control of Oruzgan and Nuristan to the Taliban. We then did Air Strikes to remove the Warlords base in Nuristan and zap the Warlord bandits threatening supply convoys on the GLOCs from Torkham Gate to Kabul and from Spin Boldak to Kandahar.



Taliban is up for event, LimOp, or pass.
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Gordon J
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There you go Coalition, that's what I like to see. Taking the fight to the bad guys.
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Jeremy Antley
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A shame really. Warlord guerrillas were trying to *help* protect LoC's from Taliban sabotage. But if you want to let the scourge of our land blow up your roads, well I guess there is nothing we can do. cool
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