The Ukrainian Revolution Now Has a Kickstarter Board Game
You’ll get points for smashing Lenin statues… if this game gets made
A Ukrainian developer is raising funds for a board game based on the Ukrainian revolution. It’s not really for kids. The players take on the role of characters who beat each other over the head with baseball bats, smash monuments and light tires on fire.
The creator of Maydan is promoting the game as a tactical combat simulation. A board game about violent street protest.
It’s just a Kickstarter-funded project at the moment. But it’s an interesting concept and a surreal product arising from the February 2014 ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, which preceded the Russian invasion of Crimea and the war in the Donbass.
Going by the description, here’s a little bit about how it’s supposed to work. Three players take on the role of the Euromaidan forces, represented by different pro-European Ukrainian political parties.
The fourth player takes on the role of the feared—and now-disbanded—Berkut riot police underneath the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Euromaidan players can fight each other, but it’s in their best interest to work together as they battle the Berkut for control of Kiev.
The goal of the Euromaidan players? Seize the Verkhovna Rada—the Ukrainian parliament building—and defeat the last of the Berkut fighters. The Berkut player’s goal is to stop them, and overrun the Euromaidan camp.
The players also collect points and money for capturing various locations around the map, tearing down status of Lenin—represented by tokens—and for completing a series of quests.
“Soldiers are not even recruited, fighters come by themselves, depending on what you are doing,” writes Dmitriy Berezhnoy, the Scotland-based Ukrainian game designer behind Maydan. “Victory, first of all, depends of the player’s actions, not on the die roll.”
The players also have to be careful not to escalate violence too quickly. Certain actions causes the government’s alarm rating, represented by chips, to increase.
Once the alarm reaches 100 chips, the alarm triggers a military intervention and “the city will be full of tanks,” Berezhnoy writes.
If that happens, the Euromaidan players lose.
The game also features dozens of little miniatures representing shielded riot cops, and protesters wrapped in hoodies and gas masks. There’s different types of cop and protester, with different attributes.
Berkut Shielded Fighters use their front-line strength to their advantage, while a Shooter Fighter gets a bonus when standing in the rear.
“High-tempered person. Very irritable,” the Shooter Fighter’s description reads. “Can start shooting at any time.” A Berkut Sniper is one of the most dangerous characters. “You will shit bricks when you see him. Works only for money,” the description states.
The Rebel Defender is the answer to the Berkut’s front-line fighters. “Hard character,” the description states. “Even Chuck Norris will have problems with him.”
The rebels also have the Berseker, a unit that relies on mobility to get around. There’s a Destroyer rebel, who throws tires. An Incendiary rebel lights the tires on fire.
And then there’s the rebel Fighter, who uses a baseball bat to smash riot cops and bust up monuments. A Ukrainian revolution game also wouldn’t be complete without catapults. And the entire game is suited for solitaire play, in addition to the four-player mode.
For sure, we’re interested in original games about war and conflict, and one can hope for the best for Berezhnoy. The problem is that an original concept doesn’t necessarily translate into demand. With less than two weeks left, the creator has only raised $600 of his $25,000 goal.
Berezhnoy hopes people can help advance the project as a patriotic and educational tool. He writes that the goal is to “show everybody that each of us can decide their own destiny, and the future history depends only on us.”
That, and the liberal use of burning tires and baseball bats.