Attack Of The Drones

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supported by the University of Westminster
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SPIR608 Political Simulation and Gaming is BA Politics Level 5 Optional Module at the University of Westminster


Attack of the Drones! is designed and created by Camlo Kalandra and Chris O'Callaghan

Description[edit]

Attack of the drones is an asymmetrical combat game in which players take on either the role of America’s ever expanding drone fleet or the role of the Taliban and Al Qaeda militants of the tribal Waziristan area.

Attack of the Drones! draws attention to the ten year long campaign of drone strikes in countries as diverse as Yemen, Somalia and in particular Pakistan. It questions both the legality and morality of the American efforts to eradicate Al Qaeda militants and their allies, while at the same time shedding light on the counter-drone “human shield” strategies the organization has developed in response to American attacks.

Under the Obama administration, drone strikes have increased six-fold, and have included the assassination of an American citizen - Anwar al-Awlaki. The asymmetrical nature of the opposing forces in the game demonstrates starkly the moral deficit of using the world’s most advanced technology against some of the most impoverished and under developed regions of the globe.

As demonstrated by Guy Debord’s game of war, the two level nature of the Attack of the Drones! confronts the user not only with on-going military struggles but is also forced to confront the reality of the development of drone technology and its application for civilian and domestic policing at home. They are thus prepared for the upcoming emancipatory struggle against the prospect of cybernetic capitalism.

Components:[edit]

- 1 112 hex board

- 12 Militant minatures (4 civillian, 8 regular)

- 4 Drones (3 attack, 1 scout)

- 5 American base markers + 1 Tribal village and 1 American drone staging area marker

- Base flags

- 1 six sided die

Rules:[edit]

Attack of the Drones: A play guide Attack of the Drones is an asymmetrical combat game in which the player takes the side of the Afghan insurgency or the role of America’s drone fleet. Game components: - 1 main game board, divided into 4 quadrants - 11 Militant miniatures (5 civilian, 6 regular) - 4 Drones (3 attack, 1 scout) - 5 American base markers + 1 Tribal village and 1 American drone staging area marker - Base flags - 1 six sided die

1) Game Objective: The objective of the Afghan player is to damage all American bases on the board (represented by castles), and wins when all five bases have fallen. The drone player has the stated objective of destroying all insurgents on the board and wins when no insurgent pieces remain.

2) Set up: The insurgent player draws six insurgent miniatures: 2 civilians (indicated by the dot on the base) and 4 insurgents, placing them within one hex of the starting village (indicated by the dot on the central mountain rage). The insurgent player should remember where he has placed his civilians and keep this information hidden from the drone player. The drone player places his drone staging area at one side of the board of his choosing, and places one drone in the middle of each board edge. A die is then rolled to determine who goes first.

3) Movement: The insurgent player has a total of 3 movement points to distribute as they see fit: e.g moving one model 3 spaces, two models 1 space and 2 spaces, and so on. The drone player may move any 2 drones – attack drones move 2 hexes, while the scout drone moves 3.

4) Combat: Combat occurs when a drone enters a hex occupied by an insurgent model. A scout Drone automatically looks at the base of a model to determine whether or not it is a civilian. If it is a civilian, it is removed from play. If it isn’t, no action occurs. The drone then returns to the staging base. If an attack drone enters the same hex as any insurgent model, a die is rolled. On a 4-6, the model is removed from play. If the model was a civilian, both the drone and the civilian are removed from play. The loss of all 3 attack drones results in an insurgent victory. No remaining insurgent models results in a drone victory.

5) Attacking bases: When an insurgent model (civilian or combat) enters the same hex as a base, it must stand atop the base for one full turn after the initial turn it landed on the hex. Once this turn has passed, the base is considered damaged and an additional insurgent is drawn from the pool randomly, checked by the insurgent player, and added within one adjacent hex of the town just taken.

6) Terrain: An insurgent in mountainous terrain is granted a defensive bonus and may only be killed on the roll of a 6 by the drone player. Mountainous terrain is considered to be any hex containing brown mountain markings.


Development blog:[edit]

Alpha: The first iteration of the game which involved a standard square based grid board with both sides facing each other in a traditional chess style board set-up.

'Beta: Featured a number of improvements from playtesting including a new hex based board which featured terrain bonuses, a more randomised and asymmetrical game set up to facilitate both thematic and core gameplay improvements, as well as improvements to game components to improve their stability and aesthetics.

Final: The final improvements focused mainly on the board itself, mounting tiles on a fixed board to eliminate long set up tiles and to fix in place a balanced game board.