"Kingpin: The Hunt for El Chapo": Game designers review the CIA's declassified tabletop training game


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/30/collectable-collection-games.html


Does the CIA ever play Junta? (The game, I mean.)


If anyone needs me, I’ll be with my mistress.


I hear the State Department’s board games are less exciting. Summit: The Negotiation of Trade Agreements.


There was this great This American Life about a Diplomacy player bringing along Bill Clinton’s Middle East Envoy to play



“If you had a group of friends that want to play, there’s likely not someone who wants to moderate—that’s probably not really the fun job,” he said.

Interestingly, that’s exactly what the big game makers said when turning down Dungeons & Dragons. Who would want to be the DM, put in 10x as much work (at a minimum), and not even get to play? Without the DM the game doesn’t function, so D&D will never catch on due to simple logistics.


<sucks through teeth>
I’m sorry comrades, the foreign aid budget is very poor this year…
<palms a stack of megapeso notes into back pocket>

Junta is great. I mean, it’s a fairly terrible game (let’s do some fun lying, plotting, and stealing, then interrupt it every half hour for a lengthy wargame where the outcome is almost irrelevant) but it’s a great role playing experience.


Why didn’t they just contract Avalon Hill? Not complicated enough?


Wouldn’t SPI have been a better match? :sunglasses:


Anyone for a quick game…


I got to meet Volko Ruhnke at the local DC comics convention, and he said SPI and Avalon Hill were definitely his thing back in the day. He also said that it took less time for El Chapo to break out prison than it did to design the game about capturing him. I wasn’t able to play Kingpin, but I did watch half a game.


I was about to shell the Presidential Palace when I was killed by the Foreign Assassin.


You glorious bastard, I got your pasta points right here.


Sadly, I see what you did there …


North Africa Campaign: the Haiku (1979-present)

I have a few nice
new 3-by-5 folding tables,
and an Apple II

running Visicalc,
that I can lend you for a bit
to beat Rommel’s tanks.

(~apologies to Richard Berg)


But their pen-and-paper games are killer.

Diplomat: The Negotiation is pretty good, though these days all the cool kids are into Ambassador: The Wrangling.




1.012 Rule regarding Sitcom References


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