Cockroaches, Copper & Cows

By Jonathan Pickles

London, January 2019

The megagame of the Mexican Revolution 1913


Rise up & overthrow the murderous general Huerta!

For the good of the people! (or for personal glory…)

Game Background
In 1910 Mexico had a revolution which forced out Porfirio Diaz, the dictator of the previous 40 years. Francisco Madero, an unassuming liberal whose political treatise had ignited the revolution, was elected president in 1911. Unfortunately he was unable to satisfy or control the competing interests in the country - radical & ambitious new revolutionaries, the old elites & the army. This lead to a coup in March 1913 by one of his Generals Victoriano Huerta who murdered him & seized power.
A massive outbreak of revolution across the country followed. Maderista loyalists were outraged & returned to the field to avenge their hero. Rebels whom Madero had not been able to reconcile remained in revolt against the new government. A new wave mixing opportunists and idealists joined the nationwide revolt.
The players represent the revolutionaries who must band together to overthrow the corrupt new regime and then establish a new government to replace it.
Internationally Huerta's government was recognised very widely except crucially by the newly elected and very liberal US president Woodrow Wilson. A good relationship with the US is essential for effective government in Mexico so this is a problem.


Player roles
All of the players represent Mexican generals with political ambitions or politicians who have become generals. They must liberate territory from its reactionary owners or the government. They harness it for the revolution by carrying out military activity on the large maps of the country. They must also try to establish allies amongst the other players who will support their political ambitions or ideological goals or even if they are lucky both. Turns are split into a military and a political half to accommodate this.
Most players do not start the game in teams but are able to join them or form them during the course of the game.
The government is not played as the tide of revolution was so massively against them and the freedom of action of generals would be limited. However some of the players are actually government aligned or even federal generals but they are treated just like the other rebels, typically with reactionary politics!

Players will be cast based on their preferences for politics vs military*, self-serving vs idealism and their political ideology or press if they ask for it
*players may just focus on political activity if they wish and, by freeing up time, this may even be worth the military power they give up. The game is at its core an economic/military one in a rich political setting so most players will have to engage in some operational activity.
The press was hugely influential on the war with newspapers, and later newsreels, being the only way people could find out anything about what was going on. The infamous Pancho Villa was sponsored to fight certain of his battles when the light was good.
The will be 3 press players representing different newspapers. The conservative El Pais, the radical Regeneracion& the US Chicago Tribune.
The US will be represented by a "plumpire" to look after their interests in the country.


Roles
" Mexican Revolutionary - 30
" Press - 3
" US Plumpire- 1
" Other Control - 8


There are a small number of historical female roles amongst the generals and I am happy to re-gender any other roles if required.

The game has been run before in Manchester in February 2018 and will be rerun pretty much as was with a bit of tuning & rewritten, improved, handbooks.

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