We have been reaching out to various designers to provide new and interesting content to share in addition to our “bread and butter” designer interviews. One of these new features is associated with Event Card spoilers from various games that rely on cards, such as Card Driven Games. We have asked the designer for People Power: Insurgency in the Philippines, 1983-1986 from GMT Games Kenneth Tee, to provide us with text of some of the proposed Event Cards and also to give a short summary of the historical background as well as their use in the game. We are very grateful for Kenneth and his willingness to do this for us and for our readers. He has been very gracious and shared lots of interesting elements in his design.

In our 4th Event Card Spoiler post regarding People Power, we take a look at #72 Rolly Kintanar. Please keep in mind that the artwork and layout of these cards is not yet finalized and is only for playtest purposes at this point. Also, as the game is still in development, card details may still change prior to publication.

72. Rolly Kintanar

Romulo “Rolly” Kintanar was the NPA chief of offensive operations in Davao (the province) which includes the city during the time of the game. It was he who orchestrated the violence perpetuated in the area and thus caused a lot of misery, not only to military and police forces of the Government, but also the local populace. He had already led more than a hundred battles in Mindanao before the People Power Revolution took place and had already been promoted to chief of NPA general command in the year prior. Under his leadership, he took the NPA to its maximum strength of 25,000 armed regulars and would continue to plague the country into the next administrations.

Rolly Kintarar is one of the Insurgent Personality Cards or “Newsmakers”. The raison d’etre is that his role in increased NPA insurgent activity created a reaction from the military which had already enlarged their commitment to Mindanao due to parallel intensity coming from the west of the island with responsibility pointing to the Moro liberation forces. Being a Newsmaker card, just like the others; the card has two effects upon usage and the use of one, cancels the other. In this case, during the normal course of a game, the Rolly Kintanar Newsmaker card is used as either the shaded Davao City Offensive event or the unshaded NPA Commander in Chief in Davao event. Using the latter in the course of the game allows the Insurgent player at one time to “replace up to 3 Cubes and/or Activists in Eastern Mindanao with up to 4 NPA Guerillas”.

This simulates his initiative as a local commander in raids and ambushes against both military and civilian targets. If saved for the former or the Acts of Desperation (or AoD) portion of the card, it will instead provide the Insurgent player a Free Attack in Davao and a Free Rally in Eastern Mindanao during the Election Round. This may become crucial as the Victory Conditions for the Insurgents is a combination of Insurgent Resistance and Control of spaces. An Attack Operation may be necessary to remove enemy pieces in that very space and a Rally Operation may increase Insurgent presence as to offset any temporary Government or Reformer control of Eastern Mindanao (made even more significant due to having a Population of 2).

Even though it’s not mentioned, it is obvious that the two Operations are to be conducted with NPA Guerrillas and not Moro Guerrillas as Kintanar was not affiliated with the Moro independence movement and had no preceding or ongoing communication with them at all.

I’ll take this opportunity to explain Insurgent Special Activities. The Insurgent Faction has 4, in this case, split between 2 for the NPA and 2 for the Moro. The NPA have Tax and Infiltrate, while the Moro have Negotiate and Expel. The goal of Tax is to gain resources by activating an NPA Guerilla and then adding the Population value to Insurgent Resources. As a bonus, if Reformer Bases are present, a Reformer resource is transferred to Insurgent Resources depending on the number of Reformer Bases. The caveat is that the space is switched to either Support or Opposition if it was Neutral or Resistance and is limited to 2 spaces only. Also, the NPA must outnumber all other enemy pieces as well. This simulates the NPA policy of harassing the local populace similar to a “protection racket”, this activity would often result in a backlash of switching allegiances or even being informed upon.

The other NPA Special Activity is Infiltrate. Its purpose is to convert enemy pieces and if possible to deduct from Patronage. Upon the activation of an NPA Guerrilla, the Insurgent player has the option of either removing 2 non-NPA pieces or replacing 1 with an NPA Guerrilla with Bases being last to go. An additional advantage is that if the piece or pieces removed were Government Cubes, then 1 or 2 Patronage is removed, 5 if it was a Government Base. Regardless of what kind of Government piece was removed, the Insurgent player gets Resources equal to pieces removed. Reformer Activists and Bases can also be removed in this way as well but there will be no effect on Patronage or Reformer Resources. The Infiltrate Special Activity replicates both the tactic and reality of the NPA’s ability to penetrate and subvert local law enforcement and military elements as well as steal arms and raid weapons depots. Their effect could also be used against the populace as well but using softer methods of persuasion and economic hardship alternatives. The Moro Special Activities as mentioned earlier are Negotiate and Expel. As it has been stressed, their Operations are limited to Mindanao only and thus their Special Activities are too.

I’ll forego a detailed explanation of them for now and save it for a future article that focuses on the Moros. I will however end with the clarification that when a space has both NPA and Moro Guerillas, they cannot be activated together, the Insurgency player has to choose which Insurgent bloc will activate, having addressed that; that doesn’t apply for Special Activities. A Mindanao space like Eastern Mindanao in this instance, that has both NPA and Moro pieces can have the former or latter activate for Operations and regardless of who is activated, can have either a Tax, Infiltrate, Negotiate or Expel occur in the same space if an Operation and Special Activity is chosen by the Insurgent player.

End Note: As to the fate of the Personality of this particular card, Rolly Kintanar continued to terrorize the country after the Corazon Aquino government’s effort in reconciliation and nation-building. In the years following, he was in charge of NPA military operations and commanded numerous attacks against the military and police forces as well as criminal acts against civilians in a way to fund both the anti-government movement and his own private fortune. During this time, he was captured by the police but escaped in 1988 and remained at large until he was recaptured. Released in 1992, he did not return to his former life and instead became a government adviser and even brought in his old comrades to the fold. He was later assassinated by NPA forces in January 2003, with the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) accepting responsibility. Though not confirmed, Jose Maria Sison (Founder of the NPA) has been placed as the top suspect as the one who gave the order. Reasons given were that Kintanar had betrayed the insurgent cause and had to be made into an example for those who might entertain those thoughts. Today, the NPA unlike its late former commander, is still living and breathing and continues to terrorize the citizens of the Philippines even after more than three decades after their erstwhile enemy, Ferdinand Marcos had left the scene.

Next up: Call for Unity – A Reformer Event Card with the article focusing on the backstory of the Reformer Faction.

There are many more of these posts to come as Kenneth has laid out a plan to share lots more information about this game with us.

In case you have missed the first few spoilers in this series, you can catch up by reading from here:

#51 – Aquino Dead

#31 – The First Lady

#12 – Another Beirut

If you are interested in People Power: Insurgency in the Philippines, 1983-1986, you can pre-order a copy at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-689-people-power-insurgency-in-the-philippines-1983-1986.aspx

Also, check out our interview with the designer Kenneth Tee to get better insight into the game and its design.