Monday, 19 November 2012

Crisis? What crisis?

Sunday 18th November saw 14 players gathered in London, and a further 7 in South Yorkshire for John Bassett's game about the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.  The two-centre arrangement came about after I casually mentioned to John that I'd like to play the game but wouldn't be able to make it to London.  One thing led to another and I soon found myself hosting the 'Politburo' in my very own 'Kremlin'.  Meanwhile 'Washington' and 'Cuba' were in Alex's office in London.
Preparations consisted of a lot of tidying in the Toy Room and the hanging of a number of suitable flags (including a Soviet flag bought specially for the game) and the original signed photo of Castro above.  I'm sure it's genuine.
 Above: The Emergency Committee of the Politburo in full session.  From left: Gromyko (Foreign Minister), Marshal Zakharov (Chief of Staff), Marshal Malinovsky (Minister of Defence), Khruschev (Premier), General Semichastny (KGB) and Brezhnez (Head of Nuclear Industry).  The shadowy General Serov of the GRU (Military Intelligence) is behind the camera.  I assured Len, Steve, Lloyd, Jim, Rob and Jerry that I wouldn't reveal their real names...
Each player had a personal briefing which included some conflicting objectives.  Communications with Soviet forces on Cuba, Castro (and in some cases the CIA!) were by Skype (which didn't work at the London end), text message, 'phone and email.  Certain difficulties experienced with communications made the game a rather effective simulation of the real thing!  Maybe what's needed is some sort of 'hotline' between Washington and Moscow?
 Above: some of the tasteful decor.
 The Soviet DEFCON indicator.  We never went higher than '3', while the jittery capitalists quickly went to '1'  With a scale of 10 minutes to the day things moved very quickly and tensions soon rose.  Interesting developments included Raol Castro's 'car accident' (my money's on the KGB for that one), Cuban troops massing near Guantanamo Bay and a US 'training flight' crashing in the same area.  My personal favourite was when we (the Soviets) flew in a whole regiment of SA-2 AA missiles without US interference.  In fact the US had declined an invitation to inspect the transport aircraft... 
Eventually and happily sanity prevailed and a nuclear exchange was avoided.
 The Comrades were well catered for by er, 'Mrs Serov'.  The real power in this particular Kremlin.
 Gromyko neglects the tedium of averting a world crisis in favour of grabbing another bun.
 The authenticity of the game is clear from this comparison between a photos taken on my toy room (above) and an original 1962 photo (below) taken inside the actual Kremlin.  Really.

Well done to all involved, especially John for setting the whole thing up and Alex for facilitating the London end of things.


Phil Broeders said...

Fidel photo - looks legit to me!

Looks like a lot of fun, Tim.

Did you bang your shoe on the table like Mr Kruschev?

Martin Rapier said...

It looks great fun and I'm very jealous of the pile of buns.

No nuclear mushroom cloud over Stockport in the end then? Probably just as well.

Anonymous said...

Happy Ending?

It just goes to show you all lack conviction and dedication to the greater Socialist Inevitability.

Where did I put that firing squad?

Tim Gow said...

Phil Broeders
It was fun. And I can confirm no footwear was removed during the game.

Tim Gow said...

Martin Rapier
Rest assured that Stockport featured prominently on our targeting list...

Tim Gow said...

History is with us. We will bury the capitalists.

Anonymous said...

Great game and impromptu set dressing.

Enjoyed reading both Bob's and your report of the game. Nice to get gamers who are spread about together like that.



FriendlyFire said...

looks like you all had a great time! I never knew that games/scenarios like this were possible, very original and well organised!

And how on earth did you get those photos of the interior of the Kremlin, aren't those top secret photos?

Keep having fun!

Paul said...

Тим, ваши денди стенде торт и вкусный ищет грызет составит для длинных линий питания и довольно плохой связи.

Правила игры нужно!

За Родину и модели на!!

Tim Gow said...

Impromptu? That took days!

Tim Gow said...

The two-centre setup of the game really arose by accident. None of us knew if it would work!
As to the photos - all I can say is that lives were risked to secure them.

Tim Gow said...

I quite agree (run it thought Google Translate chaps - it's worth it!)

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Glad to see that the world was in safe hands

Tim Gow said...

We will bury the capitalists. Just not yet.

The Dancing Cake Tin said...

Comandante Fidel! Salud!

Tim Gow said...

Dancing Cake Tin
I'm sure Fidel salutes you too. Especially if you can let him have more missiles....