"Watch the Skies: Cold War" at WellyCon

When: Saturday 2 June 2018. 11am - 6pm
Where: Wellington Girls College, 18 Pipitea St, Thorndon, Wellington
How much: Saturday-only wellygeddon ticket costs $19
Signup: https://www.meetup.com/WellingtonOnBoard/events/249664017/

It is January 1962, Kennedy is President of the United States, and Kruschev is premier of the Soviet Union. An iron curtain divides Europe, and proxy wars are fought in several battleground countries as the threat of nuclear Armageddon grows. Unknown to all but a few government officials in the Super Powers and their closest allies, aliens have been visiting Earth for unknown reasons…

Watch the Skies: Cold War is an adaptation of Jim Wallman’s 2014 megagame of alien terror, drawing its inspiration from the TV series like X-Files and Gerry Anderson’s UFO series in the 1970s, movies like Dr Strangelove, Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, and War of the Worlds, and computer games like UFO Enemy Unknown. Players are members of teams, with roles in politics, diplomacy, science, espionage, and military operations. Depending on the number of players teams could include: USA, USSR, Aliens, Non-aligned Movement (India, Egypt, Yuogoslavia, etc), Warsaw Pact, Major corporations, National liberation movements, NATO, France, and the United Kingdom.

Watch the Skies: Cold War will be run at WellyCon 2018. To register you must sign up on the Meetup page. You can purchase a ticket for WellyCon in advance, or pay on the day.

The timescale for the game is one year per turn, so we can cover a lot of the events of the 1960s in the game. Most of the leadership positions changed hands over that length of time, except possibly de Gaulle in France, so this is a game where the role is more important than the character.

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Well, I can always do a bad French, American, Russian or alien accent.

I’ve signed up. Who else wants to join team larper?

I’m curious, what do you think an alien accent should sound like?

Costume can vary a lot, and the UK megagamers didn’t tend to do more than a hat or t-shirt until a few years back. The GENCON game I went to the young man playing Putin wandered around in camo pants and a barre chest for the first few hours, while the French military commander turned up in a Napoleonic era uniform. Scientists are easy - just wear a lab coat.

The 1960s era gives us some interesting counter culture options, and I hope we get the player signups to be able to field a team of revolutionaries.

The only true aliens are these:

But will there be hippies?

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Ak ak ak.

No specific hippy role, but the vibe of fighting the man is a good fit for the revolution team.

the young man playing Putin wandered around in camo pants and a barre chest

Made my day. Thank you. :joy:

One of our volunteer control team has some sound tech experience. This will let us have a microphone and speakers for media presentations and speeches by world leaders. He will also organise a soundtrack of 1960s music, interspersed with bits of historic speeches and commercials from the era.

Will the USSR team need a Soviet flag? Conveniently, I have one in my props collection.

I grabbed a bunch of flags a couple of weeks back.

We now have 21 players registered at Meetup.com (plus some crew), so the game has passed the absolute minimum number of players (16) comfortably. Still room for more players, and if anyone just wants to take part for a couple of hours, it would be easy to slot people into media roles or a NATO/Warsaw Pact flunky.

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That was fun.

Aliens came. Aliens had plan. Humans attacked UFOs. Aliens ate humans. Humans ate aliens. Humans broke deal. Aliens destroyed Mexico. Humans destroyed themselves. Other aliens unhappy. Aliens ate aliens.

Which I guess shows just how hard it is to communicate anything comprehensive in just three words. But Team Alien came, saw, terrorised, allied with some while pushing the USA and USSR into ending the cold war and allying against them. And basicly collapsed human society, which was a Bad Thing. There was a lot of roleplaying potential in our chunk of the game, and I’d recommend the experience for anyone who has a spare day at a con.

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And there’s an extensive writeup from Team Russia over on the game’s Facebook event (PrivacyWalled).

And here’s Dillon’s after-action report, including discussion of what to run next: