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:
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/