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Subject: A Sneak Peek at an Upcoming COIN Title rss

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Vez A
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Matias wrote:
Problem is that Whites were parlamentarists already [...] So-called "King adventure" that some whites supported [...] I don't really see how this can be seen as non-parlamentarism.
I‘m afraid this is not supported by the facts. The Finnish Wikipedia entry is a good crash course on the monarchist project (https://fi.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suomen_kuningaskuntahanke). Vesa Vares‘ book Kuninkaan tekijät too.

The adventure was not supported by just „some“ Whites. It was supported among others by the leader of the White Senate, PE Svinhuvfud, and countless other top conservative politicians and nobility. There was a concerted, months long campaign to turn the public opinion favorable to it which was very successful. Major papers such as Helsingin Sanomat supported the monarchists. The article also repeats the claim that the aim was *not* a soft Swedish style monarchy but a harder German style one.

All in all, the project to turn Finland into a monarchy was not some minor blib. It was a serious and politically driven attempt to fundamentally affect the country‘s future for a long time to come. It succeeded too, after several attempts by the parlamentarists and others to derail the vote, in the end the parlament voted in favor of the proposal. Only the collapse of Germany in WW1 prevented the king-elect from taking the reins.

There are thus plenty of reasons for the game to cast the White victory in non-parliamentarist, non-reformist terms.
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Matias Vierimaa
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”Some whites” was perhaps mildly put but I never ment it to be read as just a few.

Look, I have been trying to explain to you several times now why I see problems using three faction game and also why, given your desire to have three factions in the game, why naming such a third faction is a challenge.

That’s why I have also been trying to help you in naming now so-called social democratic faction.

Whites were divided between those in favor of monarchy and those in favor of president led republic after the war. Even the wiki page you refer to states this. In the end parliamentary system was used to decide on state head, so even those seeking for king-led system pushed their idea through parliament, and ultimately failed. Your wiki ref gives more detsiled explanation on this process as well.

Given the fact that so few countries in 1918 had as advanced parliamentary system as Finland, given the fact that whites supported (and divided between) both president led system and king led system but yet king makers tried to reach their goal through parlament, calling Whites non-parliamentarists sounds really odd to me.

Why even have a parliament then if they were non-parliamentarists as you stated. They won the war anyway so they could have done what they wanted. But given all the military power they had, and Kaiser-led Germany as a backup, they still decided to use parliament as a main place were decisions were made. And in just 10 months after the war, new elections were arranged with all parties included, also social democratic party that juat tried to make a revolution.

If that is not democratic and parliament-oriented approach, then I don’t know what is.

But it’s your game anyway, thanks for discussion.









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Jari Kemppainen
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masil wrote:
How about this: the parlamentarists? I'm quite liking this because it denotes the general orientation of favoring parliamentary, discursive, dialogical, democratic, decision making.

(The spell checker in my browser says it should be "parliamentarians".)
As it may have been that the most of the politically active people in between the Red and White factions belonged to Social Democratic Party (SDP), it do feels odd to play a faction as Social Democratic. Many of the Red faction activists were members of SDP. On the other hand, there was people in the White faction both for democracy and for monarchy, and I would't describe monarchist as democrats at that time.

In a game design some liberties and compromises need to be taken. As I see this designed battle of three factions, it is Red's struggle for Bolshevism, Democrats' for Parliamentary and White's struggle against Bolshevism, not so for democracy.

For me, a non-violent third faction would be just Democratic faction - the Democrats.

 
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Matias Vierimaa
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Actually, it wasn’t that simple.

I will call third faction next as ”moderates” because I like oerjans suggestion here.

First of all, division line against red rebellion went inside SDP. To simplify: reds were in favor, sdp moderates (few) were passive and whites were clearly against. Given the ”democratic” faction suggestion, passive option would not have led the democracy as rebellion was essentially a communist coup, mirror of that in Russia. (Yes you can glorify nice consitutional texts if you will but then again, they were written by Reds leader who became later Stalin’s closest ally etc.)

After the war, some whites were in favor of president-led, some king-led. Essentially it was the whites who decided *against* monarchy in parliament, and only after increasing role of parliament, king election was pushed forward. After german loss in WW1, king-led whites lost their cause and president-led whites option was chosen.

Easieast way of solving everything would be to use two factions, as they historically occurred, Essentially nobody has suggested odd third faction ever but since this is design decison here, let’s consider that for a while.

It would be odd choice to call this so called third faction non-violent since they also consisted from whites that wanted democracy (actually king issue was not even really raised before the war, war was in defence of senate and parliament) and they clearly fought against rebellion.

Calling them democrats or parliamentarists seems also odd since even if you wouldn’t call king-led whites democrats (I wouldn’t go that far) you would simply ignore whites who first fought against communist coup and then were in favor of president-led democracy. Also SDP moderates did not impact king/president struggle, so few of them were involved in parliament after war before elections arranged 1919.

There is of course reason why no such third faction exists in history writing. It is because it didn’t really exist.

Red-Whites is essentially division line wrt. to rebellion. If you want to include third faction, political namings are confusing, since reds-whites was essentially viewpoint on rebellion.

Calling third faction ”moderates” would solve that. It can be understood as moderate wrt. to use of violence (fitting to reds/whites division) but it can also be understood as careful wrt. after-war governing options.

If you want color, how about using Reds-Whites-Blues?

Designer mentioned that he did not consider moderate sexy? But currently it is social democrats, I wonder if there is really someone who would consider that sexy.


Edit: And currently first faction is senate and secon reds. You realise oddity of calling senate faction - chosen by most advanced democratic election system in that time - non-democratic as the naming would imply if third faction would be democrats.











 
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Jari Kemppainen
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As you noticed Matias, I'm not seeing Whites as being exclusively democratic faction. However, Moderates might suit here best after all.

Political positions of the factions in a game design (as I see it) can be seen as leftists - centrists - rightists. Factions could follow these positions when being Reds - Moderates - Whites. Moderates broadens centrist faction from anti-Bolshevik social democrats to some (or many) whites in favor of more peaceful solutions and democratic society.
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Matias Vierimaa
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jari58 wrote:
As you noticed Matias, I'm not seeing Whites as being exclusively democratic faction. However, Moderates might suit here best after all.

Political positions of the factions in a game design (as I see it) can be seen as leftists - centrists - rightists. Factions could follow these positions when being Reds - Moderates - Whites. Moderates broadens centrist faction from anti-Bolshevik social democrats to some (or many) whites in favor of more peaceful solutions and democratic society.
I agree, and just to clarify, I didn’t either mean all whites necessarily preferred constitutional monarchy or presidency, it is just that naming mid faction democrats would imply none or very few did. Furthermore, currently faction name is senate which would further increase confusion, since senate was defineitely appointed based on democratic elections.

Given the three faction choice, it is interesting to see whether game offers outcome such as historical: ”white faction victory and Finland becomes president-led democracy” and how the design choice of whatever called mid-faction, offers also option of ”bad” outcome in case they emerge victorious.

BTW, regarding pacifism, I just read latest book of 1917, by some well known historicans (häggman, Keskisarja anh Kuisma). The authors state that Aho with his pacifism was largely left alone, and with few exceptions, most of the culture persons (artists, writers, poets, song writers etc) were on the white side. This may provide also some thoughts what kind of choices third faction would have made and what would consequences of those actions be.
 
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Vez A
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Hi guys, I‘m gradually emerging from the Christmas radio silence. Thanks for continuing the debate.

Quote:
If that is not democratic and parliament-oriented approach, then I don’t know what is.
Matias, countless (near-)dictatorships have begun with elections or the parliament voting to change the law in favor of the would-be dictator (think Hitler, and there are contemporary examples as well). And still, we don‘t call these systems parliamentary.

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Why even have a parliament then if they were non-parliamentarists as you stated. They won the war anyway so they could have done what they wanted. But given all the military power they had, and Kaiser-led Germany as a backup, they still decided to use parliament as a main place were decisions were made. And in just 10 months after the war, new elections were arranged with all parties included, also social democratic party that juat tried to make a revolution.
First of all, the election happened at a time when the monarchist project had already failed (because the German back-up had vanished), so that the election happened is no proof that the monarchists were particularly parlamentarian or democratic.

Second, you ask why did the monarchists use parlamentary means to advance a monarchist cause? Well, it seems they didn’t think they could pull it off since there was a strong cross-party parlamentarist front. Also, since the German back-up vanished somewhere along the way and the monarchist project collapsed, we don‘t know how far the monarchists would have been prepared to go with supressing the parlamentary process to achieve what they wanted. It does not seem all that improbable that with the Germans in the country and the White army the only other army in existence, the temptation and power would certainly have been there to go the non-parlamentary way.

The facts are, after all, 1) that the monarchist project was aggressive at shaping opinion, 2) it was already partially pursuing extra-parlamentary means (such as bilateral negotiations between Germans and Finnish monarchists), and 3) the monarchist project was driven by the realization that the monarchists could not get their wishes through in a purely parlamentary system (since the SDP still, even after the war, enjoyed immense support among the people).

Quote:
You realise oddity of calling senate faction - chosen by most advanced democratic election system in that time - non-democratic as the naming would imply if third faction would be democrats.
Umm, no. Why ever the Senate was so called historically (partly because many of the White leaders were senators at the time of the red revolt), the name is not a reference to their preferred form of governance (even if it was democracy or whatever). In fact, many leaders of the Reds were practicing politicians (hence, also by the same reasoning parlamentarists). Also, only a few months earlier one Red leader (Tokoi) had been the leader of the Finnish senate.

Quote:
For me, a non-violent third faction would be just Democratic faction - the Democrats.
Hmm, I think this might be a tough sell in the chief market which is the United States, because of there are the Democrats in that system.

Quote:
There is of course reason why no such third faction exists in history writing. It is because it didn’t really exist.
Oh I freely admit there‘s no third faction anywhere in the literature to be found.

The game is suggesting an out-of-the-beaten-track way of conceptualizing the conflict. Jari is quite right to say the game views the factions as occupying three positions along the left-center-right continuum. Yet the game also posits a bunch of other parallel continuums —for example, the “Russian Vassalage - Independence - German Vassalage” continuum, the “Socialism - moderate social reform - no real social reform” continuum, as well as the “no national and class reconciliation - reconciliation” continuum. The game wants to say that Finland became what it did because somehow along most of these continuums the center(-right) came out on top somewhere in the course of the second half of 1918.

There’ll be anitger InsideGMT piece coming out in January that discusses this in detail.

Quote:
BTW, regarding pacifism, I just read latest book of 1917, by some well known historicans (häggman, Keskisarja anh Kuisma).
Which book is this exactly, please? Sounds interesting.

Quote:
Given the three faction choice, it is interesting to see whether game offers outcome such as historical: ”white faction victory and Finland becomes president-led democracy” and how the design choice of whatever called mid-faction, offers also option of ”bad” outcome in case they emerge victorious.
Without going into the question of how such “good” and “bad” victory options might be offered in the game mechanical practice (difficult), the series hasn‘t offered such options in the past either. There’s no good or bad US victory in Fire in the Lake.
 
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Jari Kemppainen
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A book Matias mentioned:

1917
Häggman, Kai, kirjoittaja. ; Keskisarja, Teemu, kirjoittaja. ; Kuisma, Markku, kirjoittaja. ; Kukkonen, Jukka, toimittaja. 2017

Edit:
"Kansa itsenäisyyden kynnyksellä.

Miltä Suomen itsenäistymisvuosi näytti tuon ajan ihmisten silmissä? Miten he sen kokivat? Maamme johtavien historioitsijoiden upeasti kuvitettu katsaus Suomen itsenäistymisvuoteen 1917.

Vuosi 1917 oli täynnä tapahtumia ja toimintaa suomalaisen politiikan kulisseissa. Oli emämaa Venäjän vallankumoukset ja niiden kirvoittama kiivas keskustelu siitä, kenelle korkein valta Suomessa itsenäisyyden koittaessa kuuluisi ja miten itsenäisyys ylipäätään saavutettaisiin. Mutta miltä ovat vuoden 1917 historialliset pyörteet ja tavallinen arki mahtaneet näyttää? Kiehtovasti kirjoitettu ja harvinaisin valokuvin kuvitettu 1917 sukeltaa kadunmiehen, talouden voimahahmojen ja kulttuurin merkkihenkilöiden kautta syvälle itsenäistyvään Suomeen ja tuo näkyviin myös itsenäistymistä seuranneeseen sisällissotaan johtaneet juonteet. Teoksen kuvatoimituksen on tehnyt vanhojen valokuvien parissa tehdystä elämäntyöstä palkittu erikoistutkija Jukka Kukkonen."
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Matias Vierimaa
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masil wrote:

The facts are, after all, 1) that the monarchist project was aggressive at shaping opinion, 2) it was already partially pursuing extra-parlamentary means (such as bilateral negotiations between Germans and Finnish monarchists), and 3) the monarchist project was driven by the realization that the monarchists could not get their wishes through in a purely parlamentary system (since the SDP still, even after the war, enjoyed immense support among the people).

Oh I freely admit there‘s no third faction anywhere in the literature to be found.

The game is suggesting an out-of-the-beaten-track way of conceptualizing the conflict. Jari is quite right to say the game views the factions as occupying three positions along the left-center-right continuum. Yet the game also posits a bunch of other parallel continuums —for example, the “Russian Vassalage - Independence - German Vassalage” continuum, the “Socialism - moderate social reform - no real social reform” continuum, as well as the “no national and class reconciliation - reconciliation” continuum. The game wants to say that Finland became what it did because somehow along most of these continuums the center(-right) came out on top somewhere in the course of the second half of 1918.
Well, this is why I have raised this this discussion here - I guess this is maybe the best place. Having odd third faction may be interesting game wise but your comments take such a stance on white victory vs. democracy debate that I felt I had to involve. For example, in above that I didn’t quote you mention reds as parliamentarists`(knowing they indeed rebelled) but object considering monarchy-opted whites parliamentarists (because of what might have happened if germany had won WW1). I still disagree with you how unparliamentary monarchy option might have been since it might have followed typical nordic constitutional monarchy track if not directly, then later.

Just to make it clear:
1) ”SDP moderates” were really small faction. Only less than ten parliament members kept out of rebellion and their attitude towards their party members coup was that of being passive and having disgust.
2) ”White democrats” consisted of more than half of parliament members (given the votes on monarchy), only after major changes in proposal, was it even pushed through to ”king election” phase. Since SDP moderates amount was so small, they had basically no impact on voting in parliament in 1918.

I can see that you have positive attitude towards after-ww2 ”social democratic system” and you seem to adapt to some kind of ”national success story” that accomplished this starting even from beginning 1918.

It could be a nice story, but unfortunately, it is just a story. No such center faction came out of top 1918. If there would be one group that saved the democracy, it was so-called ”white democrats” that first participated with arms to stop bolshevik coup, and then were able to postpone and eventually stop via parliament the proposed monarchy before new elections were arranged.

The problem I see is that you give (not completely unusual that is - Yoda) overemphasis on SDP moderate side and underemphasis in white democrats size.

I would have absolutely no issue here if so-called ”social democratic” faction would only consist of ”SDP moderates” or if naming would not imply that whites were unparliamentary - because (skipping monarchy debate) then you are downplaying large amount of whites who were in favor of president-led system. Moderates is better imo since it does not contain direct implications on other factions and borders between factions can be understood as hazy anyway. Of course it is not the only word without such implications.
 
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Ivor Bolakov
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Just discovered 1918: Brother Against Brother.
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