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"Would you game civil disorder?" Topic


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10 Sep 2021 12:26 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian10 Sep 2021 12:25 p.m. PST

Recently, there have been regular reports – with video – of clashes between rival groups of (ahem) protesters. These are often armed with 'legal' weapons: skateboards, frozen bottles of water, bear repellent cannisters, etc. There was even a guy in a mobility cart zipping around in one recent riot.

Would you ever game this type of combat?

* yes
* no
* only in sci-fi
* not modern, only historical
etc.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 12:32 p.m. PST

I have already, several times

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 1:05 p.m. PST

No

Stryderg10 Sep 2021 1:05 p.m. PST

Sure. It could make a good convention game. Give each player a different group with varied objectives, that may or may not mesh with the objectives of other players on the same side.

City police squad 1 = prevent anyone from crossing 2nd street.
City police squad 2 = prevent anyone from crossing 4th street. (oops, somebody got garbled orders)
Sheriff dept = escort a VIP to 1st street
Protestors for Peace, Protestors for Violence, Protestors for Justice, etc = occupy different buildings
Rioters for Peace, Rioters for Violence, Rioters for Justice, etc = damage different buildings (yeah, the same buildings the protestors are interested in)
Business owners, reporters, civilians (folks trying to get home from work, etc), criminal gangs, etc can all get in on the fun.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 1:09 p.m. PST

No, I'm pretty happy with my Vikings, colonials, and Greeks.

"not modern, only historical, etc." Does that mean gaming the Nika Riots at the Hippodrome in Constantinople back in 532 AD? If so, I might participate if somebody else provided the figures and scenery.

Grelber

MajorB10 Sep 2021 1:10 p.m. PST

I have already done so as well

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 1:16 p.m. PST

Yes.

DyeHard10 Sep 2021 1:18 p.m. PST

Yes, but not contemporary,
only historical, fantasy, or Sci/fi

huron72510 Sep 2021 1:19 p.m. PST

Yes. I have Spectre SAS miniatures painted up as old men wearing red hats synonymous with the last party heavily armed neighborhood protectors. Got my eyes out for protesters miniatures that could represent the wokies to fight against.

huron72510 Sep 2021 1:20 p.m. PST

+1 Stryderg. Sounds like a great game.

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 1:27 p.m. PST

Would surely do 20's Germany, or VBCW. Rioting not really interested in that.

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 1:30 p.m. PST

Grelber, I say the Greens are superior to the Blues and I'll bash anyone who says otherwise!

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 1:32 p.m. PST

Oh sure.
What is a zombie game, but civil disorder?
IRA vs Black and Tans? With flying saucers interfering?
Corleone vs Barzini?

I'm planning a Paxton Boys vs Philadelphia Associators game. It matters not that there was no real battle.

troopwo Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 1:52 p.m. PST

I feel that I am living it at the moment.

Saxondog10 Sep 2021 1:52 p.m. PST

yes, have, can be a hoot. The multiple victory conditions are a great way to do it. Have been in a game with three or more opposing factions all made the "win" victory marks

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 2:02 p.m. PST

No.

rmaker10 Sep 2021 2:22 p.m. PST

Have done historical.

pvernon10 Sep 2021 2:35 p.m. PST

Have, historical – "Chicago Chicago"

doc mcb10 Sep 2021 2:42 p.m. PST

Yes, I did a game of the Peterloo Massacre for a Euro History class (10th grade). Individual characters victory conditions were written to guarantee violence. GAME victory conditions were determined by press accounts: the two dullest students, both girls, were assigned to be reporters, and to turn in, each separately, an account of what happened as homework the next day. Needless to say, the reporting bore small relation to the truth of what transpired -- but it was the written record of "facts."

doc mcb10 Sep 2021 2:43 p.m. PST

Chicago, Chicago, yes.

There's also UATWMF, an early S&T game.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 2:56 p.m. PST

I've got enough more or less armed SF civilians to fill a wretched hive of scum and villainy--or fight a block war. Not happy with rules yet.

Not opposed to historical settings, you understand, but I try to give each set of armies a different focus, and SF is 1:1 skirmish and RPG. Could have done WWII instead, with Maquis or Werewolves, but SF is more colorful.

PzGeneral10 Sep 2021 3:02 p.m. PST

UATWMF…..I always thought that was a myth…..

Wargamer Blue10 Sep 2021 3:16 p.m. PST

Yes

Berzerker7310 Sep 2021 3:43 p.m. PST

Yeah, planning on gaming the Charlottesville riot/protests.
Antifa vs. the Unite the Right movement.

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 3:53 p.m. PST

No

Demosthenes Of Athens Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 3:56 p.m. PST

There was quite an interesting article in The Courier Volume 5 No 4 discussing how to model civil unrest-

"The Riot Wargame" by Jim Wallman

Jim Wallman has a web site (I guess it is the same Jim) where you can download a set of rules for free (I've not tried them).

"Civil Disorder" Civil disturbance in a mythical modern big city

jimwallman.org.uk/free-wargames

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 4:02 p.m. PST

Yes have done historical

doc mcb10 Sep 2021 4:04 p.m. PST

No, it existed, I used to have a copy.
link

This game took as its subject the student demonstrations at Columbia University and was originally published in the 11 March 1969 number of the Connection, a supplement to the Columbia Daily Spectator, near the date of the first anniversary of the riots. Jim Dunnigan, then aged 25 and described in the game's "designer's notes" as a history major in the School of General Studies, had already designed 1914 and was at the time working on Origins of World War II, but was asked to take time out to work on this design.

The game is for two players, Radicals and Administration. The map features eleven tracks for each of the political subgroups in the game (e.g. Black Students, Moderate Strikers, Alumni, Harlem Community). The objective for the players is to have the most influence, determined by the positions of markers on these tracks, for their side by the end of the twelfth turn. During a turn, players deploy abstracted units representing their political leverage onto the tracks to 'attack' the other player's units (as tokens, Dunnigan suggests small pieces of paper colored red or marijuana seeds for the Radicals, and blue bits of paper or capsules of Seconal for the Administration) and so move the markers towards their 'end' of the tracks. The 24 Contingency Cards add some randomness by taking or giving units of wherewithal to one player or another.

SPI sold photocopies of this game supplement for a couple of years after its start. They are hard to find now and command a high price.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 5:16 p.m. PST

Brigade Games and TVAG both sell Gangs of New York figures, and rules.
You can also buy figures and rules for Germany 1919-21 for some Freikorps action.
Junta can be run as a miniatures game.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 5:55 p.m. PST

Frequently.

Historical contemporary through ancients
SciFi

Never done mobs in fantasy as a battle. I've done civilians defending against a threat in fantasy, but I consder that not to be civil disorder.

I've also run professional tabletop wargames in contemporary what-if.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 6:09 p.m. PST

No – I cannot make the leap into this type of game given current events.

Maybe with a Sci-fi or historical theme. But even then, I don't much care about civilian mob clashes in any era.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 6:48 p.m. PST

The only time I have is when a fellow gamer put on a game using Foundry's gang wars figures – cops, black gangs, white gangs, etc., etc. It was interesting but not something in which I would collect and paint.

Jim

HMS Exeter10 Sep 2021 10:52 p.m. PST

I've long dreamt of gaming the 1856 Baltimore election riots. Ethnic/religious/political gangs, organized around the local volunteer fire stations fought for days leaving 2 dozen dead. At one point a Democratic gang dispersed police using a cannon.

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 11:54 p.m. PST

I've done it for real at work. So….no.

I would consider something historical from the black powder period or earlier.

UshCha11 Sep 2021 1:31 a.m. PST

Must admit I can see no attraction in such games. No overaching command and control on one or both sides so liitle to occupy the mind and hence entertain.

arthur181511 Sep 2021 6:19 a.m. PST

Only historical riots in the black powder era when the authorities could deploy smartly uniformed soldiers to quell the disturbances.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2021 6:20 a.m. PST

I have had civil disorder in the settings of science fiction role-playing games, but I have never gamed civil disorder per se. I probably never will, but only because it would be entering a new genre requiring a lot of new miniatures, specifically civilians.

I do somewhere have a copy of the map-and-counters game Battle of Seattle, based on the 1999 WTO protests, but I haven't played it.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2021 7:03 a.m. PST

I'm thinking several broad options. Flat-out riots ought to have some potential for solo gaming, with the player being on the side of Order. Another possibility is a club game with several factions of irregulars with different and possibly conflicting goals. But you also have insurrectionary warfare which is almost a colonial wars game--one side with huge numbers, but the other with firepower and discipline. And the same figures and terrain work for guerilla warfare--bombings, assassinations and which of these civilians am I allowed to shoot?

Not my preferred small horse & musket battles, but there are a number of things which can be done.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2021 7:12 a.m. PST

No. Too close from home. Might live it sooner or later, no fun.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2021 8:58 a.m. PST

Must admit I can see no attraction in such games. No overaching command and control on one or both sides so liitle to occupy the mind and hence entertain.

Once again a condescending sneer towards people who do not play with their toy soldiers properly or correctly.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2021 9:02 a.m. PST

I agree with John the OFM

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2021 9:02 a.m. PST

I've long dreamt of gaming the 1856 Baltimore election riots. Ethnic/religious/political gangs, organized around the local volunteer fire stations fought for days leaving 2 dozen dead. At one point a Democratic gang dispersed police using a cannon.

As I suggested above, check out Brigade Games and TVAG for their Gangs of New York figures and rules. TVAG even has downloadable files for buildings.

Wolfhag11 Sep 2021 9:08 a.m. PST

Google "The Battle of Berkeley"

Wolfhag

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2021 11:43 a.m. PST

This is not new. At the 1969 MFCA war-game convention there was just such a "protest" style game. I have done games based on the draft riot in "Gangs of New York, using those figures noted above plus some ACW regulars. Also Freikorps action in Berlin and Junta run as a miniatures game. Would John Brown's protest against slavery in Harper's Ferry qualify?

Take a look at By Will Alone 2007game.bywillalone.org

Jim Webster11 Sep 2021 1:24 p.m. PST

I've run games where 'civil disorder' was part of the scenario, whether set in the ancient world, SF, the Napoleonic period, or current.
I even have my 'Hell and Uncivil Disorder' rules which cover such things as mobs, demagogues, NGOs etc.

But in all seriousness I can quite see why people wouldn't want to play such games, there are probably scenarios I would find too close to home for comfort.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Sep 2021 5:34 p.m. PST

Once again a condescending sneer towards people who do not play with their toy soldiers properly or correctly.

Yeah, but at least it was grossly inaccurate.

Because command and control in a mob is not built on a simple, hierarchical template it tends to be much more complex than in a military organization. When designing professional wargames (ones for customers who want to use it to improve their preparation for or performance) for such an event, the two most complex bits to put in are C2 and morale.

That reminds me … I haven't run Rise of the Machines 1812 – The Luddite Rebellion in a while. Time to bust out some looms …

PDF link
inlgames.com/rotm.htm

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2021 6:31 p.m. PST

Historical perhaps – there's a variant of SOBH for Ancient period riots for example.

And I think I've got a copy of "Riot" from Irregular Miniatures. Maybe.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Sep 2021 8:26 p.m. PST

But in all seriousness I can quite see why people wouldn't want to play such games, there are probably scenarios I would find too close to home for comfort.

I have the opposite problem – the modern fighting often pits groups against each other where I like neither side! Tactically interesting, but somewhat repugnant…

CeruLucifus12 Sep 2021 1:33 a.m. PST

I would participate in such a game and even enjoy running something like it but don't have the figures or building models.

I think for most gamers I know the premise could be applied to the current gaming environment and would represent an opportunity for ironic social commentary and tongue in cheek play acting. Which RPGers and to a lesser extent, miniatures gamers, bring to the table already.

Jim Webster12 Sep 2021 1:33 a.m. PST

I have the opposite problem the modern fighting often pits groups against each other where I like neither side! Tactically interesting, but somewhat repugnant…

I suppose you could look on the bright side, at least you don't mind who loses.

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