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AMPU Question: How to handle the Jan 6th Insurrection?


vcczar
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Currently, I handle the insurrection with the coup rules in rule 3.0. I included this because the Western Hemisphere is rife with coup attempts. However, I'm open to getting rid of the complicated coup rules, which are rarely going to occur, and adding an Era of Populism scripted event that pops up under certain conditions. 

I'm not really set on which way to go, so I just want to hear everyone out. 

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Alright, so I've been reading the Coup rules. So you have two types of coups. A Standard Coup that is triggered if the President is awful and the opposition leader meets certain conditions. While this is nice, I think this can be discarded. Realistically, I don't think we've ever been in a place historically where this has been viable, and with how often elections are in this game I don't think it will ever be advantageous for the player to do it. The risks far outweigh the gain. So drop Standard Coups.

Then you have the Populist Coups, and these I think can stay. Keep the normal conditions but strengthen the results. If they are going to be there, let's make it really matter. 

If the incumbent President loses, and launches the coup, the same coup rolls apply. IF they win, there is the countercoup as written. If the incumbent President survives, then we get into the lasting results. First, the President changes congressional delegations. The President can appoint the winner of each federal election that cycle. So House and Senate. This could be called "installing loyalists." Second, every member of the opposition that wasn't up for reelection (so really just the senate, military, and supreme court) will face a treason trial and if they lose are removed from the game, and the President appoints replacements. This will give the President a supermajority in all aspects of government. Third, using the power of the executive office, all same party members get an automatic +3 in federal elections. Any opposition member that runs against them and loses will be removed from the game. This +3 will exist as long as that President is in office or a set number of years like 10 or so to symbolize the new corrupt nature of the game. 

Essentially, if you lose a coup roll you get wrecked. Standing against that party becomes incredibly risky and punishing. Game changing results from it. If you start a coup, then you better be prepared to finish it because if you lose then you're out of power for a long time. There are also of course the written domestic stability penalties and foreign relations penalty.  That said, the odds of this happening should be super low at the beginning of the game, like 1-5% and increase as you get further to where in the 2020 election it's like a 25% chance if the conditions are met. 

This is purposely designed to be extreme, so it could be watered down. But I think if we are going to keep them then there needs to be lasting change. Simply being President for another term then moving on isn't enough. 

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I haven't reread the rules recently, but I would surely attach it to domestic stability if it isn't already.  The US is becoming increasingly unstable in my mind -- yet I also believe we'll never again see an actual civil war.  People are too lazy and fat now, they're not going to get off the couch.  But if there's a way to fight digitally, they're all for it -- the "keyboard warriors" of the world.  That further decreases domestic stability, until a politician with a strong enough following can cause enough doubt to inspire things like Jan 6 with reckless commentary.

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36 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

I haven't reread the rules recently, but I would surely attach it to domestic stability if it isn't already.  The US is becoming increasingly unstable in my mind -- yet I also believe we'll never again see an actual civil war.  People are too lazy and fat now, they're not going to get off the couch.  But if there's a way to fight digitally, they're all for it -- the "keyboard warriors" of the world.  That further decreases domestic stability, until a politician with a strong enough following can cause enough doubt to inspire things like Jan 6 with reckless commentary.

The standard Coup is set to domestic stability (it has to be in the worst position) and populist just has to be worse than neutral. 

I also feel like we are getting unstable, which is why I think the chances the CPU does it should increase as eras progress, but still cap out low so it's a rare occurrence. I thought about adding a potential civil war, but it didn't seem the most feasible, since, as you said people will turn to keyboards.  

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I'm now realizing I need to alter the rules of the Standard Coup because it is now no longer clear to me what triggers it. I think it's triggered by General Events and some Scripted events, while the Populist Coup is a choice under certain conditions. 

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Just now, vcczar said:

I'm now realizing I need to alter the rules of the Standard Coup because it is now no longer clear to me what triggers it. I think it's triggered by General Events and some Scripted events, while the Populist Coup is a choice under certain conditions. 

Standard Coup is triggered if the opposition leader and President have certain traits. Domestic Stability has to be in the worst position and military prep has to be less than slightly prepared. Then it is a choice of the opposition leader if they want to try it.

Populist Coup is a choice of the incumbent President if they have certain traits, domestic stability is worse than neutral and military is worse than slightly prepared. 

What the rules don't spell out is when in the turn cycle this happens. I would assume after lingering, but before legislation, so there is time to do a treason trial that same turn.

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23 minutes ago, Willthescout7 said:

Standard Coup is triggered if the opposition leader and President have certain traits. Domestic Stability has to be in the worst position and military prep has to be less than slightly prepared. Then it is a choice of the opposition leader if they want to try it.

Populist Coup is a choice of the incumbent President if they have certain traits, domestic stability is worse than neutral and military is worse than slightly prepared. 

What the rules don't spell out is when in the turn cycle this happens. I would assume after lingering, but before legislation, so there is time to do a treason trial that same turn.

That’s why I’m saying I think it’s triggered by events. That’s when the choice is made. I’ll have to go through and keyword search coup to see which ones trigger it and mention the trigger in the rules. It has to have a trigger or it will happen too frequently. The requirements without a trigger aren’t that rare. I may make a recurring event that allows radical parties or reactions to radical parties allow for coups more frequently. 

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19 minutes ago, vcczar said:

That’s why I’m saying I think it’s triggered by events. That’s when the choice is made. I’ll have to go through and keyword search coup to see which ones trigger it and mention the trigger in the rules. It has to have a trigger or it will happen too frequently. The requirements without a trigger aren’t that rare. I may make a recurring event that allows radical parties or reactions to radical parties allow for coups more frequently. 

If you get rid of standard coups they won't happen too often. In every playtest we haven't had a single President meet the Populist requirements. 

Looking at it from a historical standpoint, I don't think the country has ever been in a position where a coup has been feasible. If we are taking historical reality into consideration (which I am normally wary of), then I don't think standard coups should be in the game.

I don't think players outside of a fringe group that want to live out wild fantasies will be too upset to see it go.

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@OrangeP47 @Willthescout7 I just noticed I do have events that trigger Standard Coup. They can pop up if:

  • an Authoritarian Government is in place and a scripted event to overthrow this regime is in place. President can resign or face the coup. 
  • Newburgh Conspiracy is Real occurs
  • Attempted Coup Gen event occurs...I've just now made this one harder to fire. Economy now has to be at Great Recession or worse; Military at Slightly Unprepared or Worse; Domestic Stability at Violent Unrest or Worse. Opposing leader has to have controversial or leadership to choose to launch the coup. 

I'll now modify standard coup rules to make note that they are triggered via event, while Populist Coup can be a random choice based on what happens in game. Will tag at @MrPotatoTed too

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15 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Ok, I've modified the coup rules and added a "Following the Coup" section which explains what happens following a coup. 

I like them. 

One last change I might make: in populist coups the Opposition leader can/will launch a countercoup. I would add a clause in the Following Coup sections specifying that the actual winner of the Presidential election will become President, not the Opposition leader. I would also add them to the treason/impeachment rolls. 

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9 minutes ago, Willthescout7 said:

I like them. 

One last change I might make: in populist coups the Opposition leader can/will launch a countercoup. I would add a clause in the Following Coup sections specifying that the actual winner of the Presidential election will become President, not the Opposition leader. I would also add them to the treason/impeachment rolls. 

I have a countercoup in the rules. 

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2 hours ago, Willthescout7 said:

If you get rid of standard coups they won't happen too often. In every playtest we haven't had a single President meet the Populist requirements. 

Looking at it from a historical standpoint, I don't think the country has ever been in a position where a coup has been feasible. If we are taking historical reality into consideration (which I am normally wary of), then I don't think standard coups should be in the game.

I don't think players outside of a fringe group that want to live out wild fantasies will be too upset to see it go.

We had one where President Benedict Arnold could have launched a populist coup after losing re-election.  @Cal chose not to.

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27 minutes ago, Willthescout7 said:

Yes, but the countercoup rules just say to follow the standard coup rules, and the following the coup section doesn't differentiate between standard coups and populist coups.

That's because the following coup section should work for standard or populist coup. But I can see some confusion with countercoup so I'll add something about that. 

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As the rules are written now: using 2020 as an example of a populist coup, Donald Trump would launch a coup to stay in office despite losing the election. If he succeeded, then the Democratic Party leader (I think we can agree that Pelosi is more of the party leader than Biden) would launch a counter-coup. If Pelosi won, then she would become President, not Biden. 

Just confirming that that is what you want. It's fine if it is, just pointing that out. 

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2 hours ago, Willthescout7 said:

As the rules are written now: using 2020 as an example of a populist coup, Donald Trump would launch a coup to stay in office despite losing the election. If he succeeded, then the Democratic Party leader (I think we can agree that Pelosi is more of the party leader than Biden) would launch a counter-coup. If Pelosi won, then she would become President, not Biden. 

Just confirming that that is what you want. It's fine if it is, just pointing that out. 

Good point. It should reinstall the president. 

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