Tuesday, January 6, 2015

In New Estonian Board Game, Players Must Expel ‘Conqueror Comrade Pu’

Paul Goble


            Staunton, January 6 – An Estonian firm has put on sale a new board game called “Comrade Pu Conquers Estonia,” in which someone drawn to look like Vladimir Putin leads Russian forces to occupy all of Estonia except for Kuresaare on the island of Saaremaa and then players are challenged to find a way to expel the occupiers and reclaim their country.


            According to the rules of the game, which has been produced by Gamerton OU and costs 23 euros, players must first seek to defend the remainder of Estonian territory from the invaders and then figure out how to drive them out (baltija.eu/news/read/41160 and lenta.ru/news/2015/01/05/misterputin/).


            The correspondent of the Russian service “Govorit Moskva” says that it is clear that the Estonians have Vladimir Putin in mind even though he is never specifically named and the conqueror is described only as “a mysterious personage.” “Here in Estonia,” the journalist says, people refer to Putin by “shortening his name” (govoritmoskva.ru/news/24673/).


            The board game is based on throws of the dice and cards that list particular tasks. One that has attracted the attention of the Russians states “Don’t allow Russia to get help from Kazakhstan in its conquest of the Baltic countries.”


            In many ways, this game recalls one launched in the United States in 1976 by Simultations Publications Incorporated. Called “The Russian Civil War,” the game was advertised as one in which the anti-Bolshevik forces could win. One hopes the new game remains only a game but that if it tragically proves prescient, the Estonians are able to achieve a better outcome.


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