Thursday 4 October 2012

President Fred clings on - part 2

 More news from Ph'tang now.  Having set the scene in my earlier post I now present an overview of the action.  The game was driven by allowing the players to make Matrix Arguments - again refer to the earlier post for details.  Basically these allow a player to affect the course of the game via an 'argument' consisting of the following components:
For example:  My troops have received a new consignment of automatic rifles and thus get a +1 on all firing.  This is because (i) They have captured the army barracks, (ii) They are motivated by patriotic fervour and (iii) Secure supply lines provide ample supplies of ammunition.
The argument is then rated by the umpire and success or failure determined by a dice roll.  The more ambitious or outlandish the argument the slimmer it's chances of success.  Early arguments included Colonel Incognito's "It is the rainy season and the centre of town is flooded, preventing movement of wheeled vehicles."  Less likely was Captain De'ath's claim that L.A.D.A. was to be attached by a helicopter.  I told Captain D he would need to roll a '12'on 2D6.  And if successful, make his own helicopter.  The result can be seen below...
 Not only that, but L.A.D.A. lost a T55 during the attack!  Soon a UN aid convoy showed up (the result of another argument).  The abandoned fuel tanker was soon stolen by the P.O.O.F.S. - and after witnessing this dubious behaviour most of the UN drove past without distributing aid.
The tanker is an old Corgi diecast, the ambulance a crappy plastic toy, the Unimogs by Peter Pig and the LAV is a Trident plastic kit.
The Leftist Army of Darkest Africa was strangely inactive, Dave preferring to let the local revolutionaries do the fighting.  And dying.  The bridgelayer was the result of another successful argument but was never used!
T55, BTR 152 and UAZ469s by Peter Pig, MAN bridgelayer by Roco.
 Other nonsense included angry elephants charging the P.O.O.F.S. positions.  They were mown down in a hail of AK fire.  This outrage was caught on camera by a film crew and soon brought to the attention of the UN.  The film crew had also witnessed a meeting between President Fred and the local UN commander, Leutnant Hertz van Rental of the Royal Dutch Marines.
 Meanwhile in town, an old Sherman tank which had been abandoned during 'high spirited protests' caused by the election was re-crewed and started up by rebels.  When they (eventually) got it going it then took off towards the rebel camp and soon got a lucky hit on one of the President's armoured cars!  He wasn't happy.  Captain De'ath was soon on TV again - this time shooting crowds of refugees getting aid from the UN.  Or a gang of rebels.  Depends who you believe.
The game ended with Fred still in power - but tainted by his association with Captain De'ath's televised atrocities.  The P.O.O.F.S had failed in their attempt to get international recognition and L.A.D.A had stirred things up while minimising their own losses.

President Fred and his chums will return for another adventure in a few weeks.


Peter Douglas said...


The matrices look fun to use. I'll have to give them a go sometime.

Typical tell someone they need boxcars and...


Tim Gow said...

Peter Douglas
We've used Matrix mechanisms for all sorts of games at various levels. Well worth a try.

Nick Grant said...

Sounds like a very entertaining game!

Mad Padre said...

I am really enjoying this series of posts. The dark humour is very refreshing, with just enough absurdity to make me laugh. I wonder if the camera crew caught the POOFs relieving the elephants of their ivory? I wouldn't be surprised.
Great stuff, and love the helicopter. Keep it coming.

Archduke Piccolo said...

This sounds like a lot of fun, something I've occasionally thought about doing. I saw a series of articles in some wargames magazine about 20 years ago that used this system for a Balkans Wars (1912-3) game.

I understood from this that the the matrix applied more to decision making rather than being situational. But I have also a feeling each player drew from a deck of 'Argument cards'. Suppose, for instance, the LADA dude wanted to make a helicopter borne strike against President Fred. First, we have to suppose he has a helicopter - or if not - has the means to beg, borrow or steal one. He might play a 'SUPPLY' card, a 'MORALE' card, and an 'OPPORTUNITY' card. Then he articulates his argument that his proposed strike will succeed because he has recently been issued with new small-arms weapons with plenty of ammo; the boys are ready and willing to get stuck into some real action at last; and President Fred's entourage must pass somewhere where he will be difficult to protect, presenting a fine opportunity especially if a helicopter is available).

The argument is assess by the Umpire as WEAK, FAIR or STRONG, with modifications according to the the die roll. I think (unsure about this) that a successful roll meant he got to carry out his intention, rather than the intended operation was successful, but I stand to be corrected on this.

A reader might recall this system, otherwise, if you like I can trawl through my magazine archives and see what I can dig up... At any rate, I found the concept most interesting.

Tim Gow said...

Nick Grant
It certainly had its moments!

Tim Gow said...

Mad parde
The 'ivory incident' was never proven. So far....

Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
The game does indeed use a deck of 'cue cards', and one must accompany every argument. My example argument could have used the cards marked 'Supplies' or 'Morale' amongst others.
The Balkan Wars game you mention sounds like that written by Bob Cordery and presented in Nugget (the journal of Wargame Developments) about 20(!) years ago. I still have a copy of the Nugget in question.

Martin Rapier said...

Yes, that does sound like Bobs Balkan Wars game. In the more campaign type games, you need to use arguments to make any changes to the current situation at all (including moving stuff around etc) but it can include the resolution of conflict too.

The Elephants were a stitch up pulled by Colonel De'eath (he shelled their woods to stampede them), however the P.O.O.F.S. had:

Improved firepower when shooting at the elephants (playing my 'firepower' card) which gave them +2 firing. This was because:

i) they were dug in so had good fields of fire (building on a previous argument when they dug in).
ii) elephants are large targets
iii) as it was the rainy season, they were slowed by the mud making them even better targets. (building on the pervious argument that it was the rainy season)

This ended up being rated as a 'strong' argument, I made the dice roll and the poor nellies were duly gunned down.

Tim Gow said...

Martin Rapier
I'll take all that as your confession.

Paul said...

Enough of the guff, I just love the paper chopper.

It looks quite like the one left behind in that compound in Pakistan last year.

Tim Gow said...

The helicopter kept Wg Cdr Luddite entertained (and quiet) for several minutes while he built it. Not quite up to the standard of his other aircraft models...
I'm not sure what happened to it after the game.

Wg Cdr Luddite said...

Your lack of of toys to cover all possible arguments is duly noted.

Next time I shall bring along a flight of rocket-toing Super Frelons and Alouettes.

(and a B-52)

Paul said...

I am sure that it was 'gifted' to china for research purposes.

But I could be wrong.

Tim Gow said...

Wg Cdr Luddite
Either that or i'll bring my own box of helicopters. And up to three B-52s. They'll need one hell of a good argument though....

Tim Gow said...

I expect there are factories in China making helicopters from really big sheets of paper. They're OK if it doesn't rain....