Crystal Meth Enthusiast
- Jan 6, 2010
"The wind of change is blowing through this continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact." These were the words of Harold MacMillan to the South African Parliament, making clear that he agreed with President De Gaulle that Africa should be decolonised on short notice. The Portuguese begged to differ.
Hello and welcome to the actual live game thread of Ultramar! Hopefully it has been worth the wait. As mentioned in the signup thread, this game will start on March 27th, 1962. On that day, the FNLA was formed as a merger of two Bakongo insurrectionist groups under the leadership of the UPA. Holden Roberto on that day declared himself the President of the Angolan government-in-exile, but would be stuck in Congo-Léopoldville for the time being. Shit has already gone sideways, stuff has been broken, a lot of people died. Also napalm.
The focus of the game will be military. It will be centred on the Portuguese army, which has not fought a war for the better part of half a century, conducting a counter-insurgency war which it is ill-equipped in a country 13.5 times the size of the metropole. The Angolan rebels, however, have to evict a determined colonial power which has been established for nearly 400 years in this patchwork of peoples and tribes. More importantly, they have to ensure they’re the top dog by the end of it. There is much fun to be had on either side, and it can go either way. Historically the MPLA stood victorious, but for all we know the FNLA, UNITA, another rebel group, or even the Portuguese can end up winning. In any case, during this phase of warfare there will be heroes, who will take their gravitas into the nation-running phase afterwards.
Dutchbag, why is the post-war phase relevant to your war game?
After the conclusion of Ultramar, I will run a second game. It will be a character-driven internal politics game as has been seen many times before, but it will be held in the Angola that is born out of this game. Subsequently, the biggest, baddest guerilleros have to turn into the biggest, baddest politicians. And that is much, MUCH easier to do when all opposition has been pre-emptively taken care of. So especially to the guerillas I’ll say: think ahead in whatever you’ll be doing, since there is an Angola after the war.
It is the mission of all factions to defeat everyone else in the game so they control Angola. The government has to play whack-a-mole and try not to piss the international community off too much, and the rebels have to somehow defeat their militarily superior foe. All sides have to control the hearts and minds of the population. And none of this will be easy, remember it took thirteen years before the Portuguese had to give up due to the Carnation Revolution as they were winning in Angola.
Roles and Orders
The Portuguese and the rebels are diametrically opposed, but also function very differently. Here is an overview of who's who. Keep in mind that using real-world logic will get you the furthest, and that you are by no means limited in your orders by what is said below or anywhere else.
The boss of the Portuguese is the Governor-General. He is the senior administrator of the territory, and responsible for the coordination of military operations, civilian development, and hearts and minds. As he's got a lot of stuff to do, he is only character who has three orders. Yet for all the powers he has, he is limited by the government in the Metropole and the Ministry of the Overseas.
In any war, it's vital to know who and what you're up against, how strong they are, and where they're moving. With a guerilla, this is even more so. The Internal Police and Defense of the State, or PIDE, Portugal's intelligence service, plays an invaluable role in the wars. While they do function passively, gathering intel and surveilling all groups, the PIDE player has two orders to get to the bottom of a warlord's activites or subversive activities in populated areas, or scout out a group or region either through the PIDE establishment or elite recoinnaisance forces. The intelligence he gathers is of great value to the forces on the ground, who would be blind without them.
The fighting is done by the Forças Militares Ultramarinos em Angola, the Overseas Military Forces in Angola. A mixture of Portuguese conscripts pulled away from a neat civilian existence and loyal Angolan blacks. Four players, each with one 'order' to send a plan for the year in, are faced with the Herculean task of subduing the rebellion and controlling the countryside. To achieve this, they have to work from cities and outposts and utilise everything at their disposal to destroy the rebellion in the bush and in the villages.
All rebel groups have a political leadership. He has two orders, pertaining chiefly to foreign relations, the acquisition of weapons, supplies, and money from foreign benefactors, and running the territory under the control of their groups. It is also their responsibility to keep the movement a cohesive force, keep a lid on infighting, settling disputes, prevent splintering, and perhaps get rid of troublemakers. The benefit is that if their movement wins, they'll probably have a well-paying job and a good pension waiting for them.
Below these heads are the warlords. These men are the field commanders of their movement, operating in the bush of Angola where they have to fight and destroy the Portuguese Army and enforce whatever the leader of their movement wants them to do. However, due to the nature of their struggle combined with the size of Angola, disobedience is seemingly easy to get away with, and if the political leadership is in a row with its military, it is very possible for there to be a change in leadership or a split in the movement.
Rules, procedures, and other information
First of all, one of my pet peeves is thread littering. As such, I request everyone to post their characters, OOC comments, applications when not on IRC in the old Signups thread, which will be used for such purposes.
Every turn and main update will be a year, and I will aim for putting up an update every week. Aside from that, I will put up mini-updates for important developments, major military operations, and other things that need to be brought to everyone's attention. I will not, however, make it rain minis for every move that is done.
Order deadlines will be announced in the topic of #Ultramar. The orders are to be sent to me in a conversation, to which you will reply every update cycle to prevent my inbox from flooding. Failure to send orders for two turns in a row will result in expulsion from the game.
It is required that you actively IC for the game. I will not make it mandatory to put out so much IC in a given timeframe, instead I will go on a case-by-case basis since not everybody has as much to IC about. Don't worry, I won't be breathing down your neck for it: showing that you're still in the game is adequate.
I will not tolerate metagaming. If I catch you doing it, you will be removed immediately. In that cadre I will once again make it very clear that there will be no ASB stuff. I'll allow a lot of stuff, but when all reason and logic go out of the window I will smite it.
Remain civil at all times. I don't mind heated discussions, but if it deteriorates into something toxic I will punish those who I see responsible for it in a way that I view accordingly.
Lastly, please keep in mind that I'm just a scrub behind a keyboard who's read a book on this war. I am by no means infallible. While I won't rewrite part of the update, please raise your concerns if you perceive that I have missed part of your orders or made another mistake.
Signups and IRC
If you wish to play the game, there are three ways of signing up. Find me on IRC, PM me on Paradox, and leave a message on the signups thread. What is NOT a way of signing up is leaving a message in the game thread.
1) Use the link provided above.
2) Choose the Flash app or the Java app.
3) Enter your nickname. Usage of your forum name is preferable.
4) In the command box, type “/join #Ultramar” without the quotation marks.
5) Welcome to the Jungle!