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Please help with history and future of this game


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#1 bitva

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 07:39 AM

Of course I've heard of Fortress America and know/have seen the Game Masters edition, but never played.

In the original, what was the premise? What was the setting? Current (80s) times? Near future? Far into the future? Were the weapons/tactics equivalent to what was available in the real world at the time, or were they more sci-fi super weapons and things like that?

I seem to understand that the FFG reprint will be more or less the same game with any changes to the rules being supplements rather than rules revisions. Is this correct? Is the premise of the game the same, or a slight setting change? The cover illustration seems to lean a little towards the sci-fi realm; is this indicative of what the game has always been like?

 

Thanks!


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#2 Steve-O

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 02:18 PM

I've never played the original, but from what I understand, this version is basically the same as the old one.  The setting is "near future."  Not sure if a date is firmly set.  There are orbital laser satellites, though.  So, not entirely sci-fi but there is the possibility of weapons that don't yet exist.

As I'm sure you're aware from reading the other posts around here, the fluff has been, shall we say, "toned down" but aside from that there are no major changes that I'm aware of.



#3 bitva

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 06:04 AM

Ah yes, I remember the original fluff. Thing was, I didn't know if that was the original fluff of the game or new fluff for this new edition. The fall out was dramatic though.


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#4 BigKahuna

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:41 PM

Well the original Fortress America wasn't very specific about dates.  Its described as in the 20th century in terms of pre- curser events that ultimatly lead to the invasion of the US and the events of the game (aka the invasion itself) takes place 10 years after establishment of the "Star Wars" project which triggers hostility between cold war enemies the US and the Soviet Union acting as the catalyst for the whole thing.  Its worth pointing out that on the cover art Saddam can be clearly seen suggesting him as one of the enemies in the game.

The new version seems to be more firmly in the future stating the 21st century.  Art wise the game is clearly based on a more futurisitic (as in in our future) where looking at the old Fortress America at the time when the game was made they imagined what the future might be than.  

I think its kind of splitting hairs, but in short I think the idea since its a new game based on an old game that was based on a future perceived at the time, this one is based on a future percieved today. 



#5 bluntobj

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 12:41 PM

The original premise of the conflict in Fortress America was only incidentally SDI, but mostly about oil.

Oil.

World reserves of oil were rapidly depleting around 2020 (I think), and a nuclear attack by terrorists in the middle east resulted in the United States being the last country left with a major oil reserve AND A unique solar energy system that collected microwave power from orbiting satellites.  These satellites were also (secretly) capable of acting as SDI weapons.

Here's the wiki link:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortress_America_%28board_game%29

 

The oil / terrorist aspect cuts a little too close to reality, don't you think?   The original was back in the 80's, so it was rather prescient of the designers to come up with such a story.   To spin this to be all about the US being the bad guy, well, I think that's built for consumption from an audience that does not want to think about oil scarcity / terrorists, eh?   And don't get me wrong, the US is currently acting like an empire right now, and not a benevolent one.  It has a long way to go to be as bad as the old CCCP, but again people like their illusions. 

 



#6 borithan

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:01 AM

Not really that prescient... oil has been a major issue for quite some time. Remember there was an oil embargo in the 70s which drove the price up, so the link between politically unstable regions (which were prone to terrorism) and the security of a vital research has long been established (Carter hammered on about it in the late 70s early 80s). In fact, I think it is more that concern died down in the 90s (after the first Gulf War), due what was seen as a more stable world, and just reared its head again in the new century.



#7 Algesan

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 04:24 AM

The original was part of a group of introductory level wargames built around simplified versions of more serious simulations.  For this one, the idea was taken from Invasion America by SPI, which has three Communist "superpowers" consisting of Asian, Central/South America and Europe/Soviet Union vs US/Canada.  Invasion America was meant as a four player game (how surprising) with a sixty turn limit with the US/Canada trying to hold the line and retain enough cities/territory while the three invaders tried to beat the North American forces below the victory level.  Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Between the backlash of Vietnam, Watergate, the lame duck of President Ford and the typical liberal Democrat Carter, this was considered a valid threat that went away with the Reagan presidency and the ongoing reformation of the US military as a professional fighting force.

This was a lot of fun to play, if quite a bit longer   My other favorite was SPI's Minuteman, subtitled: The 2d American Revolution.  Which was the other side of the coin, the degeneration of America into "Amerika", a socialist fascist state and tracked the growth of the insurrection from a war of revolutionary cells vs government agents to open military conflict.

Of course, all of these are now gone, collapsed in the growth of RPGs and PC games.



#8 superklaus

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:32 AM

Fortress America was one of the MBs Gamemaster Series which I consider as the granddaddies of modern plastic mini wargames. All these games sported a myriard of plastic minis and more or less simple rules. (at least for wargames of the 80ties)  Other games in the series have been

Axis & Allies,

Conquest of the Empire (great game with alot of legionary minis),

Shogun (Feudal Japan) and

Broadsides and Boarding Parties (a pirate game which is not well known)



#9 Algesan

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 05:01 AM

superklaus said:

Fortress America was one of the MBs Gamemaster Series which I consider as the granddaddies of modern plastic mini wargames. All these games sported a myriard of plastic minis and more or less simple rules. (at least for wargames of the 80ties)  Other games in the series have been

Axis & Allies,

Conquest of the Empire (great game with alot of legionary minis),

Shogun (Feudal Japan) and

Broadsides and Boarding Parties (a pirate game which is not well known)

MB's American Heritage Series being the great-grandaddies then?  Same trick, five games and part of what hooked me into gaming.

Skirmish (American Revolution), Broadside (War of 1812), Battle Cry (War Between the States), Dogfight (WW1), Hit the Beach (WW2)

What kills me was that among playing a LOT more sophisticated simulations, some of these simple little games scored some strategic & historical insights that I'd not seen elsewhere in histories and analyses until years later.






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