Review: A Distant Plain

Review: A Distant Plain

Paul: Hey Matt! Quinns and the others are going down the pub and they asked me … well, they didn’t ask, exactly, but I thought you might get … erm, wanna come?

Thrower: No. Can’t you see I’m working?

Paul: Is that a ledger? Are you an ACCOUNTANT? I presumed you lived on secret backhanders from the Pentagon. What’s this game here?

Thrower: That’s A Distant Plain. It’s got solo rules, so I was hoping to play during my break. But I think I made a poor choice.

Paul: How so? It isn’t very good?

Thrower: I wouldn’t say that. But let’s step back. A Distant Plain is a game about the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and its ongoing consequences. In this, it’s an astonishing rarity. Politics isn’t generally done in board games which, when you consider it, is an appalling dereliction of duty. These are social games, things you drink beer and chat over instead of hunched on the sofa, half-dressed, shivering and alone before a flickering flatscreen.

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A Distant Plain

A Distant Plain

The latest volume in Volko Ruhnke’s COIN Series takes 1 to 4 players into the Afghan conflict of today’s headlines, this time in a unique collaboration between two top designers of boardgames on modern irregular warfare. A Distant Plain teams Volko Ruhnke, the award-winning designer of Labyrinth: The War on Terror, with Brian Train, a designer with 20 years’ experience creating influential simulations such as Algeria, Somalia Interventions, Shining Path: The Struggle for Peru, and many others.

A Distant Plain features the same accessible game system as GMT’s recent Andean Abyss and upcoming Cuba Libre but with new factions, capabilities, events, and objectives. For the first time in the Series, two counterinsurgent (COIN) factions must reconcile competing visions for Afghanistan in order to coordinate a campaign against a dangerous twin insurgency.

A Distant Plain adapts familiar Andean Abyss mechanics to the conditions of Afghanistan without adding rules complexity. A snap for GMT COIN Series players to learn, A Distant Plain will transport them to a different place and time. New features include:

Coalition-Government joint operations.
Volatile Pakistani posture toward the conflict.
Evolution of both COIN and insurgent tactics and technology.
Government graft and desertion.
Coalition casualties.
Returning Afghan refugees.
Pashtun ethnic terrain.
Multiple scenarios.
A deck of 72 fresh events.

… and more.

As with each COIN Series volume, players of A Distant Plain will face difficult strategic decisions with each card. The innovative game system smoothly integrates political, cultural, and economic affairs with military and other violent and non-violent operations and capabilities. Flow charts are at hand to run the three Afghan factions, so that any number of players—from solitaire to 4—can experience the internecine brawl that is today’s Afghanistan.

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Games News! 12/08/13

Fire in the Lake

Quinns: Happy Monday, everybody! Are we well? What games are we playing? Hopefully the lovely ones made from cardstock, and not the troubling mind games that emerge from failing relationships. That would be awful.

The big news this week is that comedy board gaming series Board With Life released their first episode! We feel a profound kinship with these guys. Like us, they’re working with no money, an awful lot of heart and they’re all startlingly handsome. In fact, I like it so much I’ve embedded it after the jump.

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Shutupshow Tweets

Today we'd like to present a mini-documentary taking you behind the scenes at last year's @SHUXshow, courtesy of @NoPunIncluded! shutupandsitdown.com/videos/b… pic.twitter.com/Mlp9beTq7d

About 10 hours ago from Shut Up & Sit Down's Twitter via TweetDeck