There is no doubt that Fire in the Lake is my favorite COIN Series game! It is always a great experience sitting at that table for 4-5 hours and playing through the whole of the Vietnam War. To me, the inter-factional dynamics and loose alliances really makes for a tense and interesting experience as you see people work together for a few turns and then turn on each other near the end when victory is in sight. I also have enjoyed the expansion to Fire in the Lake called Fall of Saigon that just came out this past year. With that being said, Stephen Rangazas, who had helped with the research on Fall of Saigon and is now finalizing the design for The British Way, the first COIN Series Multi-Pack, is now designing a prequel of sorts for Fire in the Lake called Sovereign of Discord, which was added to the P500 last year.

Once the game was announced, we reached out to the design and development team to see if we could do a series of Event Card Spoilers and Stephen Rangazas and Joe Dewhurst agreed to provide those. We will be hosting a series of 6 of these Event Card Spoiler posts over the next several months and appreciate the effort that both Joe as developer and Stephen as designer have put into these short write ups intended to share the history of the card as well as their game play effects.

*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.

#P17 Law 10/59

Over the course of the late 1950’s, Diem implemented increasingly harsh repressive measures to eliminate any communist cadres remaining after the Geneva Accords. The most infamous measure, Law 10/59, established ARVN military tribunals that expedited the sentencing of death penalties to those committing offenses “to national security.” These executions, often carried out on the spot, greatly angered large segments of the population against Diem. The repression was often indiscriminate and sometimes targeted former Viet Minh who had retired from revolutionary activity.

At the start of the main Sovereign of Discord scenario, the ARVN player is in a relatively strong position, with high Regime Stability allowing for cheap Operations, and with the newly formed National Liberation Front (represented by the VC player) only just beginning to expand in the countryside. The unshaded effect of this Event allows ARVN to use Diem’s repressive laws to consolidate their position setting two Provinces to Neutral, while the shaded effect demonstrates the potentially counterproductive nature of government repression against insurgencies.

We posted an interview with the designer Stephen Rangazas on the blog and you can read that at the following link:

Finally, if you are interested in Sovereign of Discord: A Fire in the Lake Expansion, you can pre-order a copy from the P500 game page on the GMT Games website at the following link:


Note: Sovereign of Discord is compatible with the First and Second Edition of Fire in the Lake, as well as the Second Edition Upgrade Kit. The Solitaire System included in Sovereign of Discord is for Sovereign of Discord only, and cannot be used to play the scenarios included in Fire in the Lake.

A copy of Fire in the Lake will be necessary to play the Sovereign of Discord expansion.