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 fourth 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 4th Event Card Spoiler post regarding Labyrinth: The Forever War, 2015-?, we take a look at card #305 Presidential Whistleblower. 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 The 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.
305. Presidential Whistleblower
This fourth featured card is purely political in nature, is the last card added to this expansion, and will likely be playing out in the headlines over the next year, similar to the Robert Mueller investigation.
The whistleblower(s) in question are tied to the ongoing Trump–Ukraine political scandal. It revolves around efforts by President Donald Trump to coerce Ukraine and other foreign countries into providing damaging narratives about 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden and about Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Trump enlisted surrogates within and outside his official administration, including his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr, to pressure Ukraine and other foreign governments to cooperate in supporting conspiracy theories concerning American politics. Trump blocked payment of a Congressionally mandated $400 million military aid package in order to exact quid pro quo cooperation from Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine. A number of contacts were established between the White House and the government of Ukraine, culminating in a July 2019 phone call between Trump and Zelensky. When Trump’s activities were revealed in August 2019, the House of Representatives launched an impeachment investigation.
The scandal reached widespread public attention through an August 2019 whistleblower complaint, which raised concerns about Trump encouraging a foreign government to interfere in a U.S. election for the president’s personal political benefit. The Trump White House has corroborated several allegations raised by the whistleblower. A non-verbatim transcript of the Trump–Zelensky call confirmed that Trump requested investigations into Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, as well as a debunked conspiracy theory involving a Democratic National Committee server, while repeatedly urging Zelensky to work with Giuliani and Barr on these matters. The White House also confirmed that a record of the call had been stored in a highly restricted system. The Trump administration’s top diplomat to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, testified that U.S. military aid to Ukraine and a Trump–Zelensky White House meeting were “conditioned on the investigations” into the Bidens and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Trump has also publicly urged Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens.
The art work on the card depicts an initial meeting of the two heads of state, with the former comedian Zelensky ironically displaying a worried face. The game effect shows the impact on the U.S. prosecution of the War on Terror when the Commander in Chief is embroiled in lengthy internal political squabbles that may impact the time he can place on organizing an effective conclusion to U.S. military commitments in the Middle East.
Sneak Peak Bonus:
Rodger MacGowan completed the Rule Book cover art this past weekend and Trevor has asked The Players Aid to be the first to publish it on the internet as shown below.
Rodger brought back the front and center soldier from the original Labyrinth box to show that he is still bearing the burden of the 18 year military commitment to the Global War on Terror (GWOT), and then decorated the background with some of the more modern vehicles used in Syria and Iraq (MRAP M-ATV), but left it to the viewer’s interpretation if this convoy is advancing or withdrawing. Trevor would love your feedback!
The next card in the series will be #316 Tehran-Beirut Land Corridor.
In case you missed the previous installments in the series you can catch up on them below:
#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 months 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/
The cover is amazing! Excited for this to be eventually released. Trevor has done a fantastic job on this, i think there will be many more expansions on Labyrinth given the dynamic nature of politics and conflict in the region.
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That art is fantastic!
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Love reading these and I love Labyrinth! Thank you for these. Already have this expansion pre-ordered on the P500.
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Love the art work. Some pretty edgy stuff coming with this expansion. Not sure what this card has to do with the Middle East, but guess it is to keep everything current the best it can…. Can’t wait to see what is next and hope it stays fair and balanced.
For sure a must buy when releases.
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Great stuff as always!
Just a note, though. Your link to Operation Inherent Resolve actually goes to the Khashoggi Crisis post.
This looks like such a fantastic game.
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I fixed the link. Thanks for pointing it out.
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Thanks for the previews. I just got Labyrinth and the first expansion and am enjoying learning them now. Looking forward to this expansion, but I’m not sure the interpretation of the event on this particular card will age very well.
~ “This fourth featured card is purely political in nature, is the last card added to this expansion, and will likely be playing out in the headlines over the next year, similar to the Robert Mueller investigation.”
Are you kiddin’ me? The Mueller “investigation” was two years of pure harassment and hogwash, as is this current exercise by Shiff and the democrat’s. They will no doubt lose this attempt as well, wasting their LAST year in control of the house during this administration trying to turn a normal, official conversation between President Trump and the President of Ukraine Zelensky into an impeachable offence.
Your text above MORE than implies that the president is guilty of something other than doing his job, the job that 63 million Americans sent him there to do. I see now that you have leftist sympathies, which would have been better kept to yourself as now you have alienated about 50% of your audience, including myself.
If you are capable of taking advice, here’s a very valuable piece of it to consider: in the future, keep your damn (and damnable) politics out of your public intercourse, or you’ll risk losing even MORE of your once-loyal readers and viewers, as you have lost me…
Hi Mark. If you have played Labyrinth at all you would realize that the game is about current events and how those events cause issues for the GWOT as it relates to our political environment at home as well as how that environment effects decisions about the war oversees and efforts to stop the spread of militant groups. These types of situations are very important to include in the game as it creates a real sense of grittiness and being based in reality.
Also these event card posts are us sharing the inner workings of the game and the thoughts of the designer about the conflict. We provide a means to share the game and we don’t share our politics or leanings. This type of game, using current events, is always controversial and is sure to spark strong feelings from both sides or multiple sides and I think that is what we love to see. Thanks for reading our stuff and I hope you don’t leave out little band.
Like I said earlier, getting very edgy with this approach. Since the war on Terror has been checkmated that last few years maybe time for a whole new game and a different direction. The world sure has changed since the base game came out.
You’re assuming a lot of things in your write up. I work for the “military industrial complex”, and when data is breached, they don’t take images, they physically come and all the hardware. ALL of it.
You shouldn’t believe everything you read!
I am glad the expansion is willing to incorporate the issues going on with the American Presidency. I suspect it is too late in the production process to include the current events involving the US abandonment of the Kurds and Turkey’s reaction.
I do think expansions for Labyrinth ought to wait a bit longer…
The base game covered the Bush years. The first expansion covered the Obama years. I think it might be better for Forever War to have been developed post-Trump for the full picture… but I’m sure it’ll be interesting.
Mark Gilbertson, take a chill pill. Shouting about ‘Leftists’ just makes you look silly.
With people running around, tearing down statues, burning property, defacing precious monuments, calling for the national anthem to be changed, demonizing America, declaring autonomous zones, and wearing, on at least a few occasions, the hammer and sickle I would say concerns about the left aren’t “silly”.
The concern that there was corruption in the mix with Biden, his son, and Ukraine isn’t just a baseless “conspiracy theory”.
GMT and its designers are walking a fine line with games like Labyrinth. They’re inherently political given the topic they cover. So, to thoroughly cover their subject matter, the political aspects of that topic need to be somehow reflected. On the other hand, I’m sure there is a mix of liberals/leftists/Democrats and conservatives/right-wingers/Republicans among GMT’s customers. So you can’t take too overt of a stance on the way politics is reflected in these games or you’ll risk alienating portions of your market.
I encourage everyone to do a search for something like “joe biden son ukraine job” to see the reporting on this.