Friday, 2 January 2015

Where there is discord- Falklands war report


I acquired a copy of the boardgame Where there is discord. This is a solitaire boardgame about the Falklands war, focusing on the political, naval, and aerial campaigns. There is a degree of abstraction throughout, but palpable tension as air raids target your thinly spread escort ships. The key player aims involve maintaining domestic government confidence and public support, keeping international opinion high and sanctions in place, and adequately defending the Task Force from air strikes, Exocet missiles, submarines, and the threat of Argentinian warship forays. All in a timely fashion, with limited assets in the harsh South Atlantic.

I didn't take any pictures of the game itself (it is a bit abstract) but did keep a log of events and enjoyed making the following report. Click to embiggen.


















What a fantastic and ultimately sobering game. Where there is discord tells a compelling and realistic ‘what-if’ story, where the player makes high level political and military decisions (always trying to choose the lesser of two evils), then watches the ramifications play out via dice rolls. The tension as aircraft approach closer and closer to your ships, while radars fail to lock on- oh my! I think I played a fair first game, balancing military and political needs while getting to the islands in fair time. Retaking South Georgia was the highlight. Losing Antelope, Plymouth, and the Sir Tristram full of Welsh Guards to land-based Exocets was a brutal yet plausible way to lose. I was grossly under-supported by the RAF Tridents, and realise I didn't make optimal use of my Harriers. If I could do anything differently, I would not have been so aggressive with my submarines early on, as they swayed international opinion against me fairly early and subsequently made life that much harder (note, however, that they forced the Argentinian navy to stay in port for most of the game). Highly recommended if you have an interest in the campaign.

Here's a picture from BoardGameGeek of the 104 x 72cm board.

All pics via Google Images. I was pleasantly surprised how much art there is covering this conflict. I used Comic Life 3 to make to make the report.

20 comments:

  1. Brilliant! This is a fantastic way to report a game. It's an interesting looking simulation. Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Thanks! I did enjoy it. It is more of a board game than a military reenactment, but it creates a gripping story as you play.

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  2. WOW. Great looking battle report, and you took down the Iron Lady as an added bonus. You might get a few coal-smudged Valentines cards for that.

    Hey, total sidebar here. I just ran across your old BGG post about "Marrying Mr. Darcy"... I just played this game for the first time this week and it was bloody fun! I played as Darcy's little sister and was trounced by my wife and friend, even though I landed Col. Fitzwilliam for full marriage points (or whatever they're called). It was nice of you to buy your mum a copy, if she's a serious Jane Austen fan she probably thought this game was the bees' knees.

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    1. Cheers, Allison! Have you seen the Meryl Streep film?

      I'm glad you enjoyed Mr Darcy, I certainly did. I think Mum enjoyed it too!

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  3. Great looking report, really shows off the game as a nail biter.

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    1. Thanks, Pancerni, it certainly was! I thought I was doing OK but a few bad rolls really turned the tide!

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  4. I'll echo the other comments: great writeup! It looks like an intriguing game. I'm a fan of the card driven event mechanic, seems a bit GMT-ish.

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    1. Thanks Dave! You get one event per turn, which is usually a choice between two bad or risky options. It feels different to Twilight Struggle or Labyrinth's cards. The number of cards would give a different feel to each game- I maybe got halfway through the event deck.

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  5. Great Post Mate. I love the "Action Comic Book" style you did the report in. Is that software freely available? As an aside, I was an instructor at the RAN's Seacat Dome at Cerberus in 82 and for some reason we used to get (as signal traffic) all sorts of reports from the RN on After Action Reports, missile strikes and effectiveness of ordnance. It was fascinating reading. Makes me wished I had kept some!!
    Cheers
    Col

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    1. Cheers, Col! I don't know if there's a demo version of the software, but it is quite a popular program. I learned a fair amount about early 1980s naval warfare from some of the reading I did around this- fascinating stuff.

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  6. That's an excellent write up and a really interesting outcome. I wonder what would have happened if you had held back the subs?

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    1. Thanks, Boggler. That's a good question- the air attacks I would have faced might not have been so bad. That said, I only lost one ship to air attacks until I got thumped by Exocets in the last two days.

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  7. Great report. I've wanted to get this game but missed out on the reprints. That said, reading your write up is probably better than playing! Brilliant stuff.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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    1. Thanks Aaron! I didn't even get to landing any troops. I was lucky to get a copy of the game.

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  8. That was a nail biter! Superb AAR and the game looks like a blast.

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    1. Cheers, Monty- losing was tragic, but I enjoyed a good 'story'!

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  9. Barks - this is top notch mate it really drew me into the story. I particularly enjoyed it after studying the conflict in detail for several weeks last semester and reading a number of books and accounts on the war from both sides, at all levels. I was however distressed to see my old ship HMS GLASGOW sunk! (in fact she was hit by an Argie bomb which failed to explode and was later rendered safe).

    I had heard of this game previously but advent been able to find a copy. Looks like a lot of fun to play. Thanks for the great post!

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    1. Thanks, Paul- I had thought of sending you a final draft for proof-reading! Glad you enjoyed my bumbling around the South Atlantic!

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  10. Amazing! Highly original mate. Most of my instructors were Sth Atlantic vets

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