Chestnut Lodge Wargames Group

REPRESENTING INFLUENCE IN GAMES – Brian

I thought I’d jot down these notes as they’re probably too long to describe in the session at the games weekend.

I think a starting point for this is how it occurs in reality.  I’ve largely looked at a modern context as it’s the most diverse.

I think the theme emerges that it’s basically about providing resources to other players rather than trying to influence players themselves.  The latter can be difficult if players don’t follow / forget their briefing.

To make any of these work in a particular game would require that the appropriate structures are in place, eg that the object of the game is to pass legislation so structure and voting need to be in place.  A game in a developing country where a coup is an ever-present threat would require representation of the armed forces / security forces.

Type of influenceImpact
WealthDonations to political funds, bribery & corruption / provision of resources eg transport, hospitality
MediaAbility to influence opinion formers and/or mass opinion eg Murdoch or spread lies and disinformation eg Trump
Possession of information which has a reputational impactBlackmail re: illegal activities. sex etc eg Profumo
Access to others of a like mindTaps the resources of wealth / power of others, eg brexit groups
Control / Access to security forcesAbility to harass opponents eg of protesters against arms sales, FBI harassment of left-wing groups
Control / Access to armed forcesAbility to oppose / support a coup
Control / Access to intelligence forcesAbility to gain information on individuals / opponents’ intentions and dirty laundry eg wikileaks, Democratic party emails
Directed violenceTo intimidate opponents eg Nazi Germany
Cyber capabilityInformation access / denial of service
Criminal resourcesEg suspected cooperation of Mafia and CIA over Cuba
Political structuresTo launch investigations which will hurt opponents eg HUAC or control of a process eg delaying Obama’s appointment to supreme court or to accelerate / delay legislation
Control of votesEg in legislature to help / hinder initiatives eg votes to destroy Obama-care
Social networkingAbility to promote a career (eg intern with politician) or hinder (eg blacklisting union activists)
Mass membership bodiesAbility to turn out large numbers for political demonstrations / strikes
WeaponryTo arm supporters eg arms smuggling to any hot spot one could name
ContactsEg people with specialised skills, local knowledge, probably in other countries.
Family / Faction loyaltyEg you’re a Capulet so all the Capulets are with you.
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