Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Connections UK 2016: Day 1: Tuesday 6th September

The programme for the day was as follows:
  • 9.00am – 09.30am: Arrivals and coffee.
  • 9.30am – 09.40am: Welcome and introduction.
  • 9.40am – 5.10pm: Megagame – ‘War in Binni’. (Breaks for drinks at 11.30am and 4.45pm, and for lunch from 1.00pm to 2.00pm.)
  • 5.10pm – 6.00pm: Megagame After Action Review. How the game could be improved.

The main business of the day took place in the Main Hall of King's College.

When we arrived the room was already set up for the start of the megagame.

As I have taken part in megagames before, I was asked by the game's designer - Jim Wallman of Past Perspectives - to act as one of the map control umpires, a task that I thoroughly enjoyed. It gave me a chance to interact with a lot of the other attendees, and during the day I was able to see how the various factions inside Binni tried to jockey for power as well as the way in which her neighbouring countries and the international community coped with what was a very fast-moving and dynamic situation at times.

Above: The map of Binni before the start of the megagame.
Below: The map at the end of the megagame. Note the heavy concentration of units around the capital, which is situated at the bottom right of the photograph, and the towards the top of the map, where numerous Muslim faction units were confronting units from the 'Hand of God' faction.

The result? Well in the face of growing pressure the government of Binni did hold some elections ... in which over 110% of the population managed to vote!). As a result the existing President being re-elected ... only for him to be ousted by some of his former, temporary allies within a matter of hours. They captured him with the intention of handing him over to the International Court to be tried for crimes against humanity, but soon afterwards he was killed during a so-called rescue attempt.

The situation in Binni still remains chaotic, with different factions vying with each other for control. As a result there is little doubt that the crisis will feature again in a future megagame.

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