Change of Direction Part II (The Quickening a.k.a that weird sequel no one likes to talk about)

In Part two we are going to divide Lewiston up to fit with the Monopoly board and as a bonus I am going to post a small blurb on each territory to give you a sense of the city. The areas do not include “Downtown” Lewiston as this is firmly under the control of both the remnants of the government and Harrington Enterprises.

Pier 6

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The Brown cards, Mediterranean Ave and Baltic.

Pier 6 is industrial, with numerous housing “projects” it is by far the roughest area of town. Pier 6 is similar to Pier 7 in overall demographics except that it is a lower income area. During the economic collapse  Pier 6 is the worst place to be, rioting and other crime will be absolutely rampant. The dock facilities and Ft Lewiston, the National Guard base will be the only safe zone. The bridges leading out of this district will be completely shut off. Residents of the area desperate for the necessities of life will begin looting in the Pier 7 district.

China Town

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Light Blue, Oriental, Vermont and Connecticut.

Chinatown as it is known is primarily the area where many of Lewistons Asian ethnic groups have formed communities. In actuality it is home to Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tibetan, Vietnamese, East Indian and Thai neighborhoods. There are numerous organized crime groups in the area. During the crisis The organized crime syndicates will become the local governments in Chinatown. They will make business agreements with various police and military personnel to allow them safe passage through their territory. A race war will brew between the various groups in the area and with the neighborhoods surrounding them.

Pier 7

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The Purple cards

Pier 7 is a mix of lower middle class Caucasian, African-American and many other ethnic groups. There are numerous factories that are closed down in the area. Pier 7 is a community in decline since the recession began. Pier 7 contains numerous small gangs but little organized crime.

Santa Clara

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Orange cards

Santa Clara is primarily the neighborhood for Latino-Americans and Latin American immigrants. There are numerous gangs in the area who are under the umbrella of some larger southern drug cartels. Santa Clara cathedral, where the bishops chair resides is the home for the New Cumbrian Diocese for the Catholic church. During the crisis this neighborhood will see heavy rioting and looting, in-fighting with other gangs and turf wars. This will spill over into other districts.

Little Odessa

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Red cards

Little Odessa is the home of numerous immigrants from the former Soviet Union and other Slavic ethnic groups. This district is fairly tight knit and does not tolerate outsiders. This district has some organized crime elements, Vory V Zakone being the main syndicate with other smaller organized groups, often representing non Russian ethnic groups fitting with in it’s organization. During the crisis Little Odessa will be very similar to Chinatown. The organized crime syndicates in the area with broker deals allowing convoys of goods and services to pass through. They will also become the local government. Turf wars between other ethnic neighborhoods will erupt.

Southside

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Yellow neighborhood cards

The Southside is home to the red light district, this area during the 1960’s and 70’s became home for the gay and lesbian community. It also became an area for various pornography studios, sex clubs and other adult entertainment establishments. It is often called “Sin City”. It is also home to some nice neighborhoods with a growing art community and is also home to Lewiston community college. It also has some of the best party spots outside of the core, and proliferation of recreational drugs like marijuana and ecstasy are common here. During the crisis Southside will be the place to go if you need black market items. Police will not be present in this area and eventually anything can be bought. Southside is not of great strategic importance, Armed convoys will only run through this area briefly as they make deliveries to Northwoods and the core.

Northwoods

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Green Cards

Northwoods is north of the core and is comprised mostly of suburban neighborhoods, upper middle and upper class citizens. Population 300,000. The north has many gated communities and mansions with private security and is generally considered a safe zone. Northwoods has a small regional airport mostly for privately owned aircraft and executive jet companies. Northwoods has many winding roads and cul-de-sacs, the roads are not generally laid out in a grid pattern like the rest of the city. During the crisis the immediate chaos will not directly effect the residents of the area. As time goes on crime against the residents of the area will increase. Private security in the area will up arm and security contractors will be hired to assist local security. This area will have some patrolling by Lewiston P.D and National Guard units. Utilities will not be cut off to this are, although residents will experience rolling blackouts occasionally. Many people who cannot afford to live in this area will be kicked out during the time of chaos, living in this area is expensive.

South Point

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The Blue cards

South Point was originally in the 1920’s and 30’s an area with small summer homes where the wealthier residents would spend time on the beach. The atmosphere of this community remains but is mostly comprised of middle class retirees, people who work at the local National guard base and cottage industry businesses. Normally this area is very peaceful but during the crisis crime will sky rocket and local residents will form neighborhood watch groups to protect their homes. This area will in some cases prosper as the cottage industries, candle makers and bakeries in this area will be able to provide for themselves, many residents have vegetable gardens in their yards and have the ability to fish since small water craft owner ship is high. The residents will benefit somewhat from the national guard base being close by.

More to come in part 3…….

Change of Direction

I have decided on a different method of dealing with the strategic scope of the campaign. I am using a more abstract system than the traditional campaign map with unit markers etc. The Uncivil War campaign will use a modified form of Monopoly to track what neighborhoods and for managing the economics of the campaign.

At this point you might be thinking “are you smoking bath salts?”, no I’m not, but keep reading and I will explain my logic (or lack of).

This map is still valid, but will not be used for strategic game purposes.

This map is still valid, but will not be used for strategic game purposes.

I am not a professional game designer, I like to dabble in game design and would like to be a professional but the reality is I don’t have the time to devote to making something many people may not even play.

However I am familiar with certain game design principles, game balance and keeping interest in play.

It is difficult to make a campaign map that is balanced. If we look at the map of Lewiston we see that some neighborhoods are off on their own while others are surrounded by others. This usually means the isolated areas are easy to defend while the more open are hard to defend. This is fine for a historical realistic scenario, but I’m trying to create a campaign where everyone has equal potential to be the king of Lewiston.

Then there is the issue of making sure the strategic level of play does not become too complex and boring. The intent is for the strategic layer to be fast, reasonably simple yet provide a framework which allows a player to track resources and territory.

The game Monopoly does these things well. It is uncomplicated, has a monetary system, a well balanced gaming board and some random events which add a certain element of randomness to the game.

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The basic premise is to have a figure represent a players “army” as it moves around in the city. The players army is comprised of a list which the player has to record and keep track of units, their equipment and casualties. In my case I am using the Spectre Miniatures rules. All the players will start with a small army of equal points values.

3 players, St Michaels Militia, Clark County Sheriffs Dept and Dark Sun Security contractors.

3 players, St Michael’s Militia, Clark County Sheriffs Dept and Dark Sun Security contractors.

Movement is handled slightly different than a standard Monopoly game. Players may stay in place (not move), in order to build up a neighborhood move 1 place (in order to take other neighborhoods in a district) or move the random 2D6 according to the monopoly rules. Movement is always clockwise unless “going to jail” or if an army is moving with a district (explained later).

Buy?

Buy?

When an army lands on an property not owned by anyone they have the option of buying or not, just like the original game. There is no auctioning however, you can only buy if you land on it.

Building Up.

Building Up.

Since a player can choose not to move they can build up the neighborhood by buying houses and hotels. Dice (or numbered counters) are used to indicate how many houses on on a property, the only limit is how many hotels are available on map. The number of buildings indicates extra money for bribes (as per game rules), the level of neighborhood defenses (1 house = militia units, 2 = trained) and the number of points available per incursion. The player that owns a locality does not need to have a listing for their defensive forces, they need only purchase the units before the tactical battle begins.

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Owning a district (neighborhoods of same colour code) has advantages.

Owning a district (neighborhoods of same colour code) has advantages.

If a player owns a whole district there are advantages they can tap into. First off they can build up individual neighborhoods with the army being present, and they may build up all neighborhoods simultaneously. If an army is present in a district they may move to another neighborhood (not passing go) within the district as their move. This gives a player an opportunity to help defend a neighborhood than another army is invading as long as their turn is not played beforehand.

More coming soon in part 2.

Faction File #2: Vory V Zakone (“Thieves In Law”)

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Vory V Zakone is one of the largest Russian organized crime syndicates. Lewiston is a global headquarters for their operations, some legal like restaurants, credit unions, and shipping others illegal like arms dealing, off shore money laundering and protection rackets.

As a result they have placed considerable amounts of money, communications ability and security in Lewiston. In the Slavic community of Lewiston, Vory V Zakone, is both feared and respected.

Full time members of Vory V Zakone are well armed and experienced. Members will always have a handgun on their person and will often employ Russian made small arms, especially the AKSU-74. They can be identified by special tattoos that act as a sort of coded resume.

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Club Smersh is the main headquarters for Vory V Zakone, the gang also operates other various facilities for both itself and it’s subsidiaries. They contribute heavily to organizations in Little Odessa.