Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Hope and Glory (UK resilience matrix game)

From prolific but ever-mysterious game designer Tim Price comes Hope and Glory—a matrix game about UK resilience in the face of growing convert and unconventional warfare threats from Russia.

Russian spy ships are mapping wind farms and key cables off the British Coast. There can only be one reason for this – to learn how to sabotage UK and European critical infrastructure in the event of a full-scale war with the West.

The sobering truth is that our potential adversaries, Russia in the West and China in the East, are gearing up for wider conflict. That does not mean that conflict will happen – preparation makes it less likely – but we must urgently recognise the extent of the threat to the current order. Our world is becoming markedly more dangerous. And Britain is not ready.

Our collective response over too much of the past 15 years was one of denial, oiled and encouraged by Russian money and influence in the US, UK and EU. War in Ukraine opened our eyes – recently Cabinet Osce Secretary gave an “unprecedented” warning of cyber threats to our national infrastructure; and the Defence Secretary has been consistently robust – but there is much more we can do.

Some of our closest allies, such as Poland, are re-arming on land at an unprecedented rate. Were the worst to happen, they will be ready to defend European soil. But the NATO alliance remains dangerously exposed at sea.

Russia is probing for European vulnerabilities. Apart from food, the daily critical requirements of modern society are energy and communications. The underwater arteries of modern civilisation are surprisingly few. For example, just three pipelines deliver 43 per cent of our baseline gas supply. Five interconnectors deliver electricity to and from the UK and Europe (and one more between Britain and Ireland). There are more communications cables, about 70 in all, but a relatively small number of deep-sea sabotage operations could bring our world to a halt without a shot being fired. We were assured that wind farms would bolster our energy security, but few considered their military exposure.

Players assume to role of:

  • Russian Government
  • The United Kingdom Government
  • The Russian Military
  • The United Kingdom Emergency Services
  • A United Kingdom Domestic Extremist Group
  • The United Kingdom Armed Forces

The game includes player briefings (including an array of fictional extremist groups to choose from), a map with critical UK infrastructure, a variety of markers, and basic instructions on playing a matrix game.

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