Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

AFTERSHOCK updates and expansions


Over the next year or so, Tom Fisher and I will be rolling out a few updates and two new expansion modules for AFTERSHOCK: A Humanitarian Crisis Game. As we develop these we are looking for your help!


We are very happy with how AFTERSHOCK plays (and users seem to be too), so we don’t anticipate any significant rule changes. However, we will be redesigning or changing some of the components, as well as clarifying a few things in the rules.

If you are an AFTERSHOCK user and you have encountered anything you feel is awkward, unclear, or could otherwise be tweaked, please drop us a line. Your input would be very helpful!

Humanitarian Assistance in Divided and Conflict-Affected Societies Expansion

Following the success of our first expansion (Gender Dimensions of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief), we will be launching a second that examines the humanitarian operations in divided and conflict-affected societies. This will divide the Carana team into three subactors: a technocratic presidency, and two rival political groupings: the People’s Front of Carana (supporters of which concentrated in Districts 2 and 3) versus the Patriotic Union of Carana (whose constituency is found found in Districts 4 and 5). While the President will be focused on overall national goals, each of the parties will be focussed on their own constituencies and will be rivals for resources and political prestige. Otherwise, we will be using the same system of Challenge Cards we introduced in Expansion #1, allowing you to use some of both expansions in the same game, as well as new Event Cards. Local Politics cards playable by the Carana actors will add a few twists too.

Megashock Expansion

This expansion will allow you to put on 2-4 simultaneous, linked games of AFTERSHOCK, each representing a different earthquake-affected city in Carana. An additional, one additional “national” game will represent high-level decision-makers who must allocate teams and supplies across the local games. Using this expansion is should be possible to comfortably run AFTERSHOCK games with up to forty players (four games with four teams of two, plus one national game with four teams of two).

Again, we invite ideas for the expansion sets too. Our gender expansion was cosponsored by National Defense University, which contributed some funds for its development. If your organization would like to help out with one of these, let us know!


2 responses to “AFTERSHOCK updates and expansions

  1. Rex Brynen 24/07/2019 at 2:32 pm

    While I’m not sure it would fit in the expansions we’re planning, it does give me another idea–that is, just to do a small set of additional Event Cards to address things we don’t currently have in the game. Profiteering would be one. (I’m anxious, though, that we balance the “people can be awful” cards with others that represent the altruism and public commitment of so many people during a disaster too.)

  2. Marc Gacy 24/07/2019 at 2:17 pm

    One area I think is interesting is the growth of black markets after a disaster and their both negative and (temporarily) positive effects, including price gouging, both restricting and relaxing availability and the response of governments and other organizations to their presence. I know there are already corruption aspects in Aftershock, but I’m also interested in the economic component of the corruption. I’m not sure if it would warrant a full expansion or just add a few cards. Sorry I can’t make it to Connections this year or I’d tell you in person!
    – Marc

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