Modern board games

2017-12-19

in Bombs and rockets, Geek stuff, History, Politics, Security, Teaching

Here are a couple of interesting journalistic accounts of complex modern board games:

They both emphasize games that seek to accurately model military conflicts, particularly “A Distant Plain“, which is about the post-2001 intervention in Afghanistan.

A few years ago, I tried to convince the student government (Lionel Massey Fund, or LMF) at Massey College into buying a game called “Persian Incursion” which sought to model an Israeli attack against the Iranian nuclear weapons program. They rejected the proposal as too expensive and controversial. It would be interesting to try a game like this sometime, but no board game café where I have asked yet has carried them.

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. December 19, 2017 at 9:47 pm

Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?

2001: The “American Century” had closed with a single Cold War superpower standing and a pause in conflict that some at the time dubbed “The End of History”. It wasn’t.

In the Middle East and South Asia, an Islamic revival was underway. Resentments bred in part of US support for the regions’ anti-Soviet tyrannies soon erupted into a new struggle against the West. Wealthy Saudi fanatic Usama bin Ladin issued a declaration of holy war against America in 1996 and then fired the first shots with spectacular terrorist attacks on US targets in East Africa in 1998 and the Arab Peninsula in 2000.

Bin Ladin’s al-Qaeda organization plotted securely under the protection of the Taliban, a fundamentalist movement in Afghanistan born of the anti-Soviet “Bear Trap” of the 1980s. By 2001, al-Qaeda had set in motion even more devastating strikes — this time within the US Homeland — that Bin Ladin hoped would light off a global Muslim uprising. Uprising or not, the Western response to those September 11th attacks would reshape international affairs from London to Jakarta and from Moscow to Dar es Salaam.

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