This is a game which combines elements of roleplaying and wargaming.
Each player represents a character who is a Government minister, official or senior military office dealing with a crisis formed together in some form of Committee like the USA’s National Secuirty Council or UK’s COBRA committee. The players are faced with a crisis and debate the solutions in character and agree a response the gamesmaster then considers the effectiveness and informs the ‘cabinet’ of how circumstances change, then takes there response and so on until the crisis is resolved.
Characters can have their political or departmental agenda and you can fit players to roles – so for example a military nut can play a General but the Prime Minister could be played by a player who knows little or nothing of those things.
Such a game could be done by email or skype (or both depending on the player’s preferences,) as well as face to face (where an appropriate setting and element of cosplay helps the mood.)
Real life example would be the Cuban missile crisis where the White House Situation room dealt with Russian nuclear missiles being deployed to Cuba – a humorous film variant would be Dr.Strangleove.
This isn’t just limited to real world scenarios – crisis could be gamed in fantastic settings involving for instance:
- A space colony – the ‘cabinet’ being made up of department heads from science, medical, security, environmental, engineering, HR etc;
- A Fantasy Court – with the situation room being populated by the Lord and his officers steward, castellan, master of arms, treasurer, astrologer, wizard, priest etc;
- The inner circle of a Vampire Lord or Werewolf chief in a variety of settings
- The board of SHIELD or similar super spy group.
- A Government dealing with a zombie outbreak, lovecraft mythos related incident or other horror trope.
I’ve played a few of these but often they’ve been attached to a figure based wargame which slows down the the most fun bit which is the arguing, banter and decision making element swiftly followed by the cock-up.