Wargame Wednesday: Request for Information

Wednesday , 6, February 2019 3 Comments

This question is related to a series of posts on the current Venezuelan situation in which I categorize the battle for recognition between the Maduro regime and the U.S. backed National Assembly as a war of nerves. In the introduction I speculate on how this stage of the conflict could be simulated.

My request / question, mostly for those that were in university in the 70’s or even the 60’s is if anyone remembers a certain international diplomacy team simulation?  I don’t want to say game as it was actually a role playing game.  I came across it accompanying my father to the school library. He was conducting research for an essay and I was attracted to this simulation’s boxed set of modules. I was very young and my memory is vague and can’t give the Dewey number of the section we were in.  If I had to guess maybe 300 (Social Sciences) but most probably 900 (History, Geography & Biography).

Here’s what I remember about the simulation:

  • At least 5 or 6 boxed modules. Each module filled with country data for one team. The modules had emblems representing the fictional country on the spine.
  • All countries were fictional but modeled on North / South Korean international diplomacy. There was a country split into two, and the stand in for North Korea had an appropriate industrial worker and peasant tools emblem with red background. For China, the emblem was yellow with a sheaf of wheat.
  • The fictional countries were based on North and South Korea, China, Russia and the U.S. Not sure if there were others.
  • The modules contained extensive briefing data and briefing sheets for those playing various government positions (president, foreign affairs, minister of defense, etc.).
  • I remember representing China, had access to a lot of manpower but its military was at a technical disadvantage.  The North Korean country was heavily industrialized.

I don’t remember much else about this simulation but I’m certain it contains many innovations and processes useful for game design, especially when one wants to incorporate a diplomatic aspect to a multi-player game. At the very least, if I knew the name of this simulation it would make for a great WW post.


I highly recommend reading the comments to this post. Rocky Mountain Navy, I owe you a beer.

At first, I confused RM Navy’s suggestion concerning matrix games with the game company, Matrix Games.  Anyway, Brian Train set me straight and you can read an e-mail he sent containing more links and information here.

I’m in the process of looking at Train’s Caudillo and how I can incorporate elements of it into my Venezuela posts. In the meantime, I’ll copy an e-mail Brian sent me providing some background on matrix games.  After reading, I’m sure the simulation tool I am looking for was a matrix game, if not a mod of the Inter-Nation Simulation that Brian has turned me on to.

  • RockyMountainNavy says:

    Don’t know this old one but the modern version is almost any Matrix game. See the many different ones at https://paxsims.wordpress.com/about/. Also game designer Brian Train has a thinly veiled game of Venezuela called Caudillo. It’s PnP from his site at https://brtrain.wordpress.com/2016/12/23/caudillo-now-available-for-free-pnp/

    • Scott Cole says:

      RMN: Thank you.
      I shouldn’t categorize what I’m looking for as a game, more like an academic learning aid or something that could be found at a war college.
      Thanks for the Paxsims link and Brain Train’s Caudillo is definitely worth a deep dive into.

  • Brian Train says:

    Thanks for the h/t RMNavy!
    Scott, you will find that matrix games are the ticket… and they are the very thing that could be found at a war college. Rex Brynen’s blog lists several examples of this (and gives you the materials they used, for free).

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