Thursday, 3 March 2011

Triffles (14) - A public meeting

An omen would presumably cause a stir, and a hasty gathering of the community.

speculation /                                      
rumours spreading                                       


a public meeting

/             \

         dissenting                         a shock            
        voices                       announcement  

This is arguably less suitable for use in a wargame than many Triffles, but it could be incorporated directly into the tabletop action, especially in a skirmish game, with discussions taking place as factions move in or battle around. In that sense the shock announcement could be an announcement of this fact. Interacting with terrified innocents would then be an issue, and that's a difficult subject even beyond the details of simulation. It's another I hope to cover in the 'Getting out of the boat' series, at least.

In roleplaying this is a good initial event setting up the adventure, but it could be the characters themselves later on who are responsible for the rumours or who have the shock announcement to make.

In roleplaying and writing there's potential here for complex interactions between and within the crowd and leading figures, and on the fringes, perhaps barely perceptible. The key is what characters and readers know, and the way the story is moved on through the hints given. With the numbers, diversity and mixing likely at such a meeting, it's an opportunity to open new avenues in a more natural way, even without an announcement.


Paul´s Bods said...

It´s a good idea. I could imagine it being used in a wargame...troops that aren´t aware of what´s happening, their lines of communication are cut and or thier commanders are dead or missing would well be likely to start rumours among themselves, "we are surounded", "we have won or lost", "the battle over". it could lead to a unit making a decision and blundering into it´s own side or leaving the field in a panic of the unknown...just the imagined.
The shock could be being to to hold the line or attack over heavily defended ground (WWI) and some people deciding that´s not such a good idea...what happens then? What courses of action would be open to the "deciders" in relation to the dissenters?

The Angry Lurker said...

A piece of Irish history when Ireland accepted Home Rule and in weeks would lead to the Irish Civil War, one of the bloodiest times in Irish history, it was voted in by the people but some could not accept, comrades turned against each other and then killed each other. Meetings and rallies ultimately led to disaster and the death of a leader.

Porky said...

You guys are just too good.

@ Paul's Bods - I didn't think to add in here that the meeting could be among the troops themselves. I like the idea of allowing for more rebellious reactions in wargames and have listed some variants in the 'unrest', 'insurrection' and 'revolution' sets in the 'Getting out..' series. It seems to me a very underdeveloped area.

@ The Angry Lurker - This is the kind of thing we conveniently overlook in wargames, or at least avoid dealing with directly on the tabletop in most cases. Repetition reinforces and it seems right that games become tools for improving awareness of the whole of conflict and not just battlefield tactics.

Cronickain said...

Going off what Paul said - You could use a piece of paper to communicate between two groups that are separated from one another but only allow one sentence max. To keep it interesting you could also secretly roll a dice and determine if the message is jumbled up. Then you change it. You always rewrite it so that the side receiving the communication never knows what is actual and what is garbled.

For instance:" Bravo Team Six we got some Charlie out two clicks from your local over."

Could be read as: "Bravo Team we got five Charlie some six clicks from you two with cover over."

Porky said...

This is another underused idea. It represents well runners carrying messages between allied forces in a large encounter, or communications over longer distances, between star systems for example, even telepathic contact or similar. It could also be used to impose a communications limit on characters operating together, especially if using suit or vehicle comms systems.