We have agreed to host a series of posts written by David Thompson on the blog about his upcoming design Europe Divided published by PHALANX and coming to Kickstarter on June 10th. As you know, we have hosted a few different series of Event Card spoilers over the past year or so with All Bridges Burning and People Power both from GMT Games as well as a recent CDG focused on the Barbary Coast War in The Shores of Tripoli from Fort Circle Games. I really love the Card Driven Game mechanic and frankly any game that uses cards as a primary engine. So keep an eye out for several of these posts leading up to the Kickstarter campaign start that focus on the history behind the game and how the cards are used.
Europe Divided – Money and Politics
On 23 September 2002 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliyev signed a bilateral agreement setting out the boundary between the two countries’ sections of the oil and gas-rich Caspian Sea while phase two of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline had been inaugurated five days earlier.
The Caspian is estimated to hold the world’s third-largest oil and gas reserves after the Persian Gulf and western Siberia. The world’s largest closed sea, the Caspian has about 50 billion barrels of oil and 300 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.
At the turn of the 20th century, Azerbaijan accounted for half of the world’s oil production. Oil wells have been operating in Baku since the 1840s. During Soviet times, the USSR and Iran were the only two states bordering the Caspian. The Soviet-Iranian treaties of 1921 and 1940 regulated the ownership of the sea. Following the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, with the addition of three more littoral states, questions of subsoil and seabed resources and export became a whole new international dispute. In May 2002, President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Nursultan Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan had already signed a new protocol on demarcation of the Caspian Sea shelf. The two sides agreed to develop jointly three fields located on the median line between the two countries. Russia wants to ensure that most of the Caspian oil continues to go via its territories.
The Caspian Agreement Headline Card adds a new element to the game: increases to the gain money action. To accomplish the Caspian Agreement Headline, Russia needs more influence than the EU in Azerbaijan. If it accomplishes this goal, it will gain 1 prestige. In addition, a money token is placed in Azerbaijan. For the rest of the game, if an Azerbaijan contested region action card is used to gain money, one extra money is gained. This is the case for either player — Europe or Russia — so increasing the monetary value of a region could have the unintended consequences of indirectly aiding your opponent’s gain money actions.
Thank you for your time in writing these posts for our readers David. The game looks very interesting and is sure to be a winner with its focus on the new Cold War and the use of these fantastic Headline Cards grounded in the history of the past 30 years. If you want to find out more about the game and how it works, check out our interview with codesigner David Thompson.
If you missed the other posts in the series, here are links for your convenience:
There will be more posts to come so keep an eye out. Also, remember that the Kickstarter campaign starts on Monday, June 10th.