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Daily Archives: 06/01/2018

Earthquake! matrix game

Earthquake0.jpgThe extraordinarily prolific and ever-mysterious “Tim Price” has produced another matrix game module—this time, examining humanitarian assistance and disaster response  in the aftermath of an earthquake. Here is a taste of the scenario:

Westland is a West-Cost State in the Continental USA, bordering on Mexico to the South and California to the North. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the 39th largest and the 26th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is San Paloma.

Historically part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain, it became part of independent Mexico in 1821. After being defeated in the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded much of this territory to the United States in 1848. The majority of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase.

Southern Westland is known for its desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. Northern Westland features forests of pine, Douglas fir, and spruce trees; some mountain ranges; as well as large, deep canyons, with much more moderate summer temperatures and significant winter snowfalls. There are ski resorts and several national forests, national parks, and national monuments.

Population is 6.3 Million with a median household income of $42,200 (49th), this is one of the poorest US states measured by household income, with an estimate of about 16% of the population in poverty (including unrelated children).

Westland is home to the sprawling Fort Anderson Army Base, home of the 9th Special Forces Group and the National Guard 31st Engineer Brigade.

Longport

The city of Longport, home to some 250,000 people is located in the South of Westland some 40km from the Mexican border. The city is generally not as economically well off as some of the better located coastal cities to the North, with a significant population of immigrants and people living below the poverty line.

Earthquake!

The Earthquake struck in the early hours of an April morning, out at sea. This resulted in a tsunami that hit the port city directly with a wall of water, flooding the port facilities and the low-lying areas to the South of the city, as well as surging up the river, destroying bridges and damaging facilities along the banks. The situation is still confused, but the most significant elements are:

  • Large areas of the Southwest of the city have been flooded with whole neighbourhoods washed away.
  • All of the bridges over the river have been destroyed or damaged.
  • The 11-storey Sky Tower collapsed into the river.
  • The 150-year-old Orthodox Cathedral partially collapsed and was flooded.
  • The 15-story Seawatch Tower is still standing, but as it was built on reclaimed land it is now surrounded by 8ft of sea water.
  • The venerable Grand Hotel is still standing, even though it has lost some of its stone façade.
  • The Gas depot to the North of town has reported leaks from the facility, which is a mixture of an underground Salt Formation reservoir and a single pressurised Liquid Natural Gas storage tank.
  • The main city Power Plant to the South has shut down. It is a coal-fired station, converted to natural gas and reports an interruption in the supply and fractures to the turbine mountings. Most of the city is without power.
  • The Solar Farm to the North and Wind Turbines on the coast are only capable of supplying a maximum of 30% of the power requirement during the day and 7% at night. Several Wind Turbines are reported as destroyed.
  • The airport to the Northeast of the city has reported fissures across the runway, only permitting restricted landings by light aircraft.
  • The Metro system, where is crosses the river underground, is flooded.
  • The main City Hospital has had come structural damage, with flooding in the basement and loss of power to some of the wards.
  • The Prison has reported a major power failure, with the reserve generators off-line.
  • The War Cemetery has suffered a major land-slip, with reports of coffins and bodies washed into the streets.
  • The 422nd Light Infantry Battalion of the State Guard, to the North of the City, reports only minor damage.
  • Most of the sea water has receded, leaving a confused jumble of smashed wooden buildings and large pools of sea water.PoliticsPolitics plays an important part of any process and, while everyone should, of course, be pulling together in the face of a natural disaster, it will become clear that plans should have been properly drawn up and preparations made to reduce the effects of a catastrophe. There is always somebody to blame when things don’t go as well as they should have.

    The primary actors in this drama are the left-leaning Governor of Westland, who is a firm advocate of equality and diversity, seeking to introduce programs that benefit the poorer parts of communities; and the more right-wing Mayor of Longport who has to deal with the day-to-day frustrations of a city full of immigrants and the decline of heavy industry in the area.

Earthquake1.jpg

Earthquake2.jpgYou will find the full package here, including basic matrix game rules, maps and counters:

If you want a fuller introduction to playing, designing, and facilitating matrix games, you can purchase the Matrix Game Construction Kit User Guide from The Game Crafter as a downloadable pdf:

Want counters, stickers, tracking maps, scenarios, and other resources to design an endless number of matrix games,? Try the Matrix Game Construction Kit User (MaGCK) itself. We’re afraid the price is a bit steep—it is intended for institutional use—but purchasers have access to an electronic copy of the full icon/sticker library, allowing you to endlessly print game materials as needed with only a laser printer and easily-obtained Avery removable labels:

Finally, if you want a more conventional boardgame earthquake scenario, there is PAXsims’ very own AFTERSHOCK: A Humanitarian Crisis Game:

UPDATE:

Patrick Ruestchmann has kindly made a revised map and player aids that you can use with the Earthquake! matrix game.

earthquake map redux.png

 

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