A few months ago, we hosted a 3-part series on an upcoming COIN Series inspired game called The Troubles which deals with the struggle in Northern Ireland. Through that process I came to appreciate the designer Hugh O’Donnell’s take on this difficult conflict and really felt he was going about dealing with the nature of this bloody war as tactfully as possible as well as simultaneously providing some enlightenment and understanding about some of the issues.

Here are links to those three posts:

Part 1 – Uncomfortable questions about a game on this subject

Part 2 – Look at the map and the process behind it’s creation and genesis of events

Part 3 – Design progress to date and what “victory” looks like?

After those posts were received well, we asked Hugh if he would be interested in doing a series of Event Card spoilers for the game. The game is not yet published and has just started playtesting so there is a long road yet to travel but we thought an early look would be a good thing.

*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 game is still in development, card details may still change prior to publication.

The Troubles - RTE Television Centre Attack#24 RTÉ Television Centre Attack

1969. And the first Capability of the game: Cross-Border Travel.

In the early hours of 5th August 1969, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), marking a new context for its sustained campaign against the Terence O’Neill Government, decided to strike at the Radio Telefis Éireann (RTÉ) headquarters in Donnybrook.

This incursion was the first bomb attack by the UVF in the Republic of Ireland, and was aimed at destroying relations between North and South.

Attacks that year included the targeting of utilities – Dunadry Water Installation, Silent Valley Reaervo, electricity substations, water supplies to Belfast…

In The Troubles, this will allow the UVF Faction to disrupt the Anglo-Irish Tracker and demonstrates that the UVF, as well as viewing the IRA as their enemy, considered the ‘weakening’ Unionist-led Government with similar opprobrium: O’Neill was accused of pandering to the South with his recent legislative reforms that appeared to favour citizens in the Catholic/Nationalist communities.

O’Neill resigned on the 28th April 1969; he was replaced by James Chichester-Clark.

You can watch


You can catch up on the series to date by following these links:

#34 Provisional IRA Formed

#63 Four Square Laundry/MRF

As always thank you Hugh for this great insight into the history behind the game and the salient issues. One of things that draws me to these COIN Series games is the learning of something about history and this game is going to shed some really interesting light on the subject for many who do not know much about the details.