By Dave Boundy
The date is November 1921. The place is Washington DC - the hall of the Daughters of the American Revolution conference centre. 1918 saw the end of the "war to end wars". The United States was the architect of the peace settlement and of the League of Nations, but internal difficulties have stopped its participation. Nevertheless, the pressure to work with others has led to the USA initiating this conference.
The government of the United States of America has invited delegates to Washington to discuss the current international situation in the Pacific, to agree to ways of easing tension and, most importantly, to agree to limit expenditure on arms - particularly on the navy. The intention is to run two parallel tracks to the conference. The first track will deal with the naval and military matters while the second track will deal with political and diplomatic matters. Inevitably, the two will be closely linked - it is inconceivable that any agreement could be made on restricting fleet sizes without some accompanying way of reducing tension.
There are two big issues in front of the conference: the size of the battleship fleets and the status of China. There are, however, many other issues on the other types of ship in the fleet, on fleet bases, on the use of submarines in warfare, the use of chemical gases in warfare, the status of the mandates agreed in Versailles and on and on. A number of these issues have been placed on the agenda by the League of Nations and those who are in the League regard this conference as a fully empowered committee of the League.
The conference is expected to achieve treaties on the limitation of naval expenditure and on the issue of China. Additionally, the conference is expected to set out the way that warfare should be conducted (rules for air warfare, submarine warfare, targeting of civilians and the use of gas).
Players will take on the role of senior diplomats, politicians, military chiefs or members of the press. This is the fourth time we have put this game on. It is a game of negotiation and politics. There are teams for Italy, USA, Japan, Netherlands, UK and Italy. For these teams, the roles available will be political or military and preference will be given to people that have started to play Megagames since May 2014. This game is all about politics and negotiation, so it will allow newer players to concentrate on that area.
There will also be teams for China (political only) and the Press. These teams will give a substantial challenge to more experienced players, or to newer players that want that challenge. The Press of the time was a force to be reckoned with, and players will be encouraged to form their own opinions and then push them.
There will also be enough on the umpire team that they will have time to help newer players. They will help players to take control of their part in the game, rather than allowing events to control them and they will generally be able to assist players before they enter negotiations.
When you email to book, please express any preference you might have for a team. Casting will be done early on this game to give time for people to read briefings and to read any other background material.
© Megagame Makers 2015