We have asked the designer of Labyrinth: The Forever War, 2015-? from GMT Games Trevor Bender to provide us with text of some of the proposed Event Cards in the expansion and also to give a short summary of the card’s historical background as well as their use in the game. This is the first of six Event Card Spoilers from the second expansion to Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001-?. He will preview 2 cards each from the US, Jihadist and Unaligned portions of the deck over coming weeks. These cards have not been previewed elsewhere. We are very grateful for Trevor and his willingness to do this for us and for our readers. Thank you for your hard work Trevor on this great expansion!
In our 1st Event Card Spoiler post regarding Labyrinth: The Forever War, 2015-?, we take a look at card #257 Women’s Rights Activism. 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 this political military simulation game is still in development, card details may still change prior to publication.
Note that the base game of Labyrinth has 120 cards in it, as do both the Awakening and Forever War expansions, and that each card is individually numbered so they could be called out specifically from the now 360 card deck to form a variety of scenarios, as was done in the Labyrinth: Surge – The Way Forward [2007 Scenario] as published in C3i Magazine Nr31.
257. Women’s Rights Activism
Our first card to be previewed is #257 Women’s Rights Activism, shown below. Note the Labyrinth system is a game based on current events that are political and military in nature, and as such frequently covers topics that are sometimes controversial and/or ongoing and unresolved. This first featured card fits this description and is designed to get us to think about this topic perhaps in a different way through its impact on the mechanics of this simulation.
This card pays homage the leadership and sacrifice of all Women’s Rights Activists in the Middle East, whose risks in speaking out against their governments or other ruling bodies are significantly greater than those of activists in the western world. The card art work is a portrait of Loujain al-Hathloul; ranked number three in the list of top 100 most influential Arab women, she has been detained on a number of occasions for speaking out for women’s rights and in particular against the House of Saud for its reluctance to modernize as have other countries in the Middle East. Although in jail with other fellow activists at the time, she was influential in campaigning for the right of women to drive automobiles, which the Kingdom adopted on 24 June 2018. She has also rallied to abolish the male guardianship system.
Loujain Al-Hathloul was kidnapped from the UAE in March 2018 and deported to Saudi Arabia where she was arrested for a few days then put under a travel ban. She was detained again on the eve of 15 May 2018, along with several others and has been in prison ever since. On 1 March 2019 the office of Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor announced that a preliminary investigation had been completed and they would be preparing to try Al-Hathloul and other activists in court for undermining state security. On 13 March 2019, the trial began, although the charges were not specified and reporters and diplomats were barred from attending, and the results of the proceedings are unknown.
The card is simple in its nature. The striking portrait of Al-Hathloul used comes from her Amnesty International page. The flavor text represents the repeated threat of mistreatment by those who campaign for a different way of respecting all segments of society. The game effect, of removing a Reaction marker, though simple…is quite profound, as a Reaction marker makes the likelihood of Jihad more successful, and thus the game effect is designed to show the role women can play in creating a more peaceful and less warlike society through the influence they can wield both in public and behind the scenes.
The next card in the series will be #275 Operation Inherent Resolve.
If you are interested in Labyrinth: The Forever War, 2015-? you can learn more on the game page on the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-769-labyrinth-the-forever-war-2015.aspx
We also published an interview with the designer on our blog a few weeks ago that will give you greater insight into the design: https://theplayersaid.com/2019/09/03/interview-with-trevor-bender-designer-of-labyrinth-the-forever-war-2015-from-gmt-games/