If you haven’t read about Jade Helm 15, the U.S. military exercise taking place across the south, head on over to the New York Times and familiarize yourself. In broad terms, hundreds of special force units—Green Berets, Seals, etc.—will be conducting “unconventional warfare” training in seven states. The whole thing is modeled after the French resistance in World War Two—some will be occupying forces, some will be insurgents, and generally it seems designed to improve tactics in foreign war zones. It’s certainly a unique exercise—the military has been granted permission to use private property across the “battle area,” and military personnel might be blending in with civilians as part of the war games. In the end, however, all sane people realize it’s simply a creative practice session for the soldiers.
Unfortunately, one of the states included in the exercise is Texas, and Texas has a critical mass of not-quite-sane people. Throw in the fact that many of them are conservatives who hate Obama, and the conclusion they’ve arrived at should come as no surprise: The federal government is planning an invasion in order to steal their guns and impose martial law. Citizens will be herded in trains, the thinking goes, and held in the local Wal-Mart, which will be outfitted as a detention camp. As you see in the Times story, Texans are burying guns and stockpiling ammunition in order to prepare for their own resistance. The governor of Texas even deployed the state national guard to “keep an eye” on the forces.
In this climate of insanity, Subaltern Games has seized the moment and created a board game named after the operation. “Jade Helm 15” pits the state of Texas (or is it a republic?) against the federal government in a winner-take-all battle to the death. The game is free, and can be downloaded here. The rules as described on Vice are so funny that I’m just going to paste them:
Jade Helm 15 is a two-player wargame (kind of like Risk), where one player is the United States and the other is Texas. Players take turns moving their units and attacking with dice rolls. If you’re Texas, you win by surviving for 10 turns. If you’re the United States, you win by establishing 5 Walmarts as FEMA camps. Each side starts with three units, and either side can also win when the opponent doesn’t have any units left. This war for the fate of America should take about 10-15 minutes to play.
That’s gold. Seth Alter created the game, and Marshall Johnson drew the map. It took the pair seven hours to develop it from start to finish, and what started as a joke turned out to be legitimately entertaining. Each games takes about 10-15 minutes to play, which is about as long as the Texas militants would last if the government actually did invade.
It’s tempting to end this post with a Tim Riggins “Texas forever!” rally cry, but let’s be honest—I’m always going to be playing as the Obama invasion force.