Sunday, October 24, 2004

Europe Aglow!

Yesterday my nephew Ian called up and asked if I was free to play a game, so I ended up having him, his brother Alex, and their dad Jim over. We played a couple hands of Safari Jack from Cheapass Games and a game of Carcassonne, which I came in third on. Too many knights in cities and not enough farmers did me in, I think. But the best part of the day had to be my first go at running Nuke the Crap Out of Europe. Talk about a wake-up call! My geography skills suck.

I'm looking over the map we marked up for our game. It would make an interestinspirational piece for a post-apocalyptic game set in the Old World. Where might civilization be most likely to start a recovery? Based on yesterday's game, I have some ideas. The British Isles are relatively unscathed, being only minimally destroyed. Ditto the Iberian peninsula. The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg are similarly "ok". Estonia, Latvia, and Belarus form another bloc of relatively under-nuked territory. Kaliningrad and Denmark are also merely completely devastated.

All the other countries in Europe were nuked more than necessary to utterly destroy them. Some moreso than others. On a 1 to 5 scale, most countries scored a one or two on the Crispy-O-Meter. Austria and Yugoslavia both scored a warmish 3 and Poland a toasty 4. Germany wins the race to be the most nuked country in Europe, being the only region in the game to pick up 5 points of fallout after being destroyed. The Black Forest positively glows.

Clearly, this is enough information to put together at least a few interesting ideas for a Gamma World campaign, or whatever your favorite post-nuke ruleset may be. Assuming a campaign starting at least a century or two after the Big Burn, we can see maybe some seaborne trade routes between the surviving Baltic Sea regions. Bornholm (I think that's the name of the eastern most island of Denmark) would be a critical stop on the Estonia/Latvia/Belarus to Kaliningrad to Denmark route. Denmark could then trade with the Low Countries, who would also be trading with England. I think Iberia would be on its own, or trading with Africa.

That would be it. That's the entirety of Europe after the hammer falls. There might be pockets of civilization in some other countries, but they would be isolated by huge hotzones. Perhaps some brave adventurers armed with an ancient rad detector could find some of them? A good start would be to find a land route from Kalinigrad to Latvia or Belarus. Of course, the Seamerchants Guild would be opposed to such an expedition.

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