22 May 2019
Continues board game simulation's timeline from 2015
Labyrinth: The War on Terror, Volko Ruhnke’s dense board game about the conflict between the US and extremists in the wake of September 11th, is bringing its complex political and military simulation up to the present day.
The game’s second expansion, The Forever War, updates the original game’s tagline of ‘2001 – ?’ – already advanced to around 2015 by first expansion The Awakening – to depict the current state of the world. Whereas The Awakening was co-designed by Labyrinth creator Runke and Trevor Bender, Bender alone is credited with the design for The Forever War.
Among the notable real-life developments in the last five years that publisher GMT says appear in The Forever War’s deck of 120 event cards include the rise, attacks and collapse of IS, increased global Women’s Rights activism, the political unease between the West and Russia, the growth of populism in Europe – including its contribution to Brexit, which is represented by a card – and the election of Donald Trump as US president in late 2017.
It’s Trump’s election and subsequent policies that GMT uses as a hook for The Forever War, asking players in the in-game role of US president: “Can you use the machinery of state to achieve better results than ‘the Donald’[?]”
The expansion will include four scenarios, including two that can be ‘linked’ directly to The War on Terror and The Awakening – GMT says that up to 360 different card combinations are possible with the three sets combined.
In terms of rules, there are no significant additions – The Forever War will require both the original game and the first expansion, which added cards, country mats and extra components, to use. However, the game’s single-player mode has been refined to allow players to pick either side of the conflict and improve AI behaviour for all three instalments in the Labyrinth series.
Labyrinth: The Forever War, 2015 – ? is currently in GMT’s P500 system, which requires a game to receive 500 pre-orders before fully entering production – and means that no specific release date has been given. At the time of writing, the expansion has received 332 orders.