A Distant Plain


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Welcome to the Sandbox

Afghanistan—scene of tribal, ethnic, colonial, and Cold War conflict across the ages.  Into this cockpit dropped a multinational post-9/11 coalition to root out al-Qaeda and replace the hardline-Islamist Taliban regime that harbored it.  A quick invasion and regime change portended quiet reconstruction and good governance, but it was not to be so.  In their sanctuary across Pakistan’s border, the Taliban rebuilt for an insurgency that would ensnare the Coalition in the tangle of Afghan rivalries, shifting allegiances, and warlordism that the West could at first only distantly grasp. 

This volume in Volko Ruhnke’s COIN Series takes 1 to 4 players into the Afghan conflict of today’s headlines, this time in a unique collaboration between two top designers of boardgames on modern irregular warfare. A Distant Plain teams Volko Ruhnke, the award-winning designer of Labyrinth: The War on Terror, with Brian Train, a designer with 20 years’ experience creating influential simulations such as AlgeriaSomalia InterventionsShining Path: The Struggle for Peru, and many others.

A Distant Plain features the same accessible game system as GMT’s recent Andean Abyss and upcoming Cuba Libre but with new factions, capabilities, events, and objectives. For the first time in the Series, two counterinsurgent (COIN) factions must reconcile competing visions for Afghanistan in order to coordinate a campaign against a dangerous twin insurgency.

A Distant Plain adapts familiar Andean Abyss mechanics to the conditions of Afghanistan without adding rules complexity. A snap for Series: COIN (GMT) players to learn, A Distant Plain will transport them to a different place and time. New features include:

  • Coalition-Government joint operations.
  • Volatile Pakistani posture toward the conflict.
  • Evolution of both COIN and insurgent tactics and technology.
  • Government graft and desertion.
  • Coalition casualties.
  • Returning Afghan refugees.
  • Pashtun ethnic terrain.
  • Multiple scenarios.
  • A deck of 72 fresh events.

… and more.

Designer: Volko Ruhnke, Brian Train
Publisher: GMT Games
Player numbers: 1-4 Players
Recommended Age: 12+
Game Time: 180-300 minutes

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Awards & Honours:

2013 Golden Geek Best Wargame Nominee


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