Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ooh! We played this game back in the day, too!

(CNN)After four years and 250,000 deaths, the Syrian civil war is getting even more complicated. And now the U.S. and Russia are stepping up their roles in the country -- though on opposing sides. 
Back in the mid-'80s, Game Designer's Workshop had a series of wargames revolving around a hypothetical near-future NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict. The first game in the series featured the Main Show of the '80s; the clash of armored armies along the inter-German border in Europe. Subsequent volumes dealt with NATO's northern and southern flanks. The fourth and final game released dealt with the theater where the war had been triggered in the first place.

Instead of Syria, the scenario there was a civil war in Iran following the death of Khomeini, with the US and USSR backing opposing factions in a multi-axis power struggle. Diplomatic support became logistical support, logistical support turned into technicians and advisers, and next thing you knew, American and Soviet troops in Iran were exchanging fire, so the Reds just decided it was time to pour through the Fulda Gap...