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Subject: Three Faction COIN? rss

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Stephen Rynerson
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Given that Colonial Twilight has opened up the realm of COIN to two-sided conflicts and people now have some experience with the "home plate" design, I'm curious as to whether anyone has thought about how the system's mechanics could be adapted to three faction conflicts. This came to my mind while looking at the Aden Emergency of 1962-67 as a possibly "COIN-able" conflict. My research suggests there were really only three serious* combatants involved -- the British, the National Liberation Front (NLF), and the Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY) -- and there really isn't a plausible major non-governmental faction like the Cartels in AA or Syndicate in CL.

*: Yes, the government of the Federation of South Arabia/Aden was nominally autonomous from the British and had its own military and police force, but those were small, lightly armed, and not very reliable beyond crowd control actions, and in political terms the FSA's government seems to have been even more of a non-entity than the Afghan government during the period covered by ADP. The FSA's security assets would thus appear to be more appropriately treated as "police" cubes supporting the British "troop" cubes, as that was their main role in the conflict.
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Brian Train
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I can verify that someone is looking seriously at three-faction COIN, has made it "work", and is a fair distance along towards a completed design.

It's not me, though.
And it's not Aden.

Brian
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PC SJWGeek
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True, it looks pretty complete. I'm planning to playtest it as soon as I get my players together. Which means the bots are still MIA
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Tim Gordon
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I too have looked at the Aden situation as a possible setting. I ended up scoping out a concept of a three-in-one series of potential campaigns, starting with the initial situation in the late 50's & early 60's - known sometimes as Nasser's Vietnam. That can then lead on to the Aden crisis that you outline above. And then from there the Oman situation of the 70's. I also had ideas that the result of the first game can modify the starting set-up of the 2nd (Aden) campaign, and so on and so on. I thought it would be a useful exposition to younger generation players too, to show the theory of the 'domino-collapse' ideology prevalent in the West at that time.

Update: and to respond to the question of Three Faction COIN, I had also considered the Rhodesia situation, post-UDI, as a possible setting. There you would have the Rhodesian Government against the two main nationalist factions - ZANLA (politically: ZANU, and China-backed) and ZIPRA (politically: ZAPU, and Soviet-backed) - and those two factions, founded along tribal/ethnic lines of Shona and Ndebele people respectively. This aspect is important as ZANLA and ZIPRA fought each other to impress upon and dominate the black majority population.

That also lends a potential game affect for a 2-player set-up as well, with a Government player and an Insurgent player who controls both ZANLA and ZIPRA, but who cannot combine Ops/Resources together, and can even find hostility breaks out between both groups, either with Government interference/encouragement or not, that he/she then has to manage and defuse as best they can.

There is plenty of international support and/or resistance for all three factions to cope with, and external events (e.g., Carnation Revolution) can influence the main direction of the game over time. The three factions would have quite clear objectives as well, albeit the Government's aims would need to shift from besieged survival to economic stability - in fact, I considered that time could be factored in here, so that if the Government defeats the insurgencies early on, that would be a more decisive victory (for them), than a Lancaster House Agreement end.

There's a lot of factors and more research to be done, but I think Rhodesia/Zimbabwe should provide a rich setting for 3-player/faction COIN, with an additional 2-player optional set-up.
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