Striving for historical accuracy…
Applying the finishing touches to what shall be the simulation’s narrative backbone.
We have introduced an option that allows Factions to deliver the simulated General Election Results from 1966 until 1997, OR choose to deploy the actual Results of the particular Epoch, including the Nationalist and Unionist Ratios.
And as you can see from one of the General Election cards, Domhnall Hegarty’s artwork is truly amazing.
So where are we? We are finalising the Historical Supplement, Counters and Rulebook – in particular the 9 Scenario Epochs.
Read more about this educational research at: https://www.de.ed.ac.uk/news/digital-education-informed-games-making
58 The Arms Crisis
The deteriorating relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland reached a crisis point in this political scandal involving two serving cabinet ministers of the Irish Government.
Charles Haughey (Minister for Finance) and Neil Blaney (Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture) were dismissed after they were accused of attempting to smuggle arms from the South to the IRA in the North, assisted by Captain James Kelly, an Irish Army intelligence offer. As a result of the escalating violence in the North, Jack Lynch’s Government had provided a support fund (￡100,000) for Nationalist families forced from their homes; Haughey had been assigned control of this sum.
Haughey and Blaney were critical of the Republic’s lack of direct
action in its policies concerning the North, and what they
saw were sectarian motivated activities from a pro-Unionist
paramilitary force, viewing the IRA as simply defenders of
weaker, Catholic enclaves. At the resulting trial, all charges
against Blaney were withdrawn, and Haughey and Kelly were
found not guilty. Haughey was demoted to the backbenches,
but in 1979, Charles Haughey would become Taoiseach.
You can listen to the RTE documentary about this event here Gunplot.
Thankfully Men of Peace prevailed.
I thought I should provide a short update as to the progress, just to let those of you who have supported this important endeavour how close we are to production.
Map and counters – check.
259 Narrative Cards – check.
Player Boards – check.
Playtest VASSAL Module – check.
Playbook – check.
Rules & Player Cards – wip
We’ve been working on the Patrol feature for the Security Forces: the RUC, BF and UDR.
The highways and byways of Northern Ireland facilitate the movement of men and materiel for the paramilitaries, as well as being targets for them in hindering the countermeasures employed by the Security Forces.
Dohmnall has provided us with a simplification to the Military Checkpoint feature, which allows the installation and configurability of ‘chokepoints’ to the many roads that thread through Northern Ireland; there is to be one per County Seat, and this forces the Paramilitaries to take die rolls when they are encountered, similar to the Border Control feature that simulates the controlled ingress/egress between the North and the Republic of Ireland.
And there is the Belfast to Dublin railway, which has – like the various Towns in the map – key Economic Value as well as providing a traversable map feature.
I’ll endeavour to keep these updates a regular occurrence.
Finalising the Rulebook Scenarios, but progress expected to be minimal as I am about to experience what I envisage to be the most overwhelming few weeks of my 15+ years as a teacher here in Scotland.
The Arms Crisis is featured in this new podcast: https://www.rte.ie/eile/podcasts/2021/0331/1207299-gunplot/
I am delighted to be submitting a paper on the use of VASSAL in supporting the development of the analogue and digital versions of The Troubles to the IEEE/ACIS’s Workshop on Best Practices of Serious Games Testing.