Foreign Aid, Espionage, Alliances, Propaganda, Brinkmanship, and “Proxy” Wars

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Cold War Games

Foreign Aid, Espionage, Alliances, Propaganda, Brinkmanship, and “Proxy” Wars
This unit we have discussed the initial events which caused tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. We have studied the strategies by which the Cold War was fought around the globe: Foreign Aid, Espionage, Alliances, Propaganda, Brinkmanship, and “Proxy” or “Surrogate” Wars. We have also seen how the Cold War “thawed” and came to an end. The goal of this game is to bring together your knowledge about the the Cold War, and provide a participatory experience for you to understand these strategies as a review for our Short Essay test on Monday, May 18th.
What makes this game different form the real Cold War? First of all, while I’m hoping this game will be fun, the Cold War was real, and NOT fun for many people in the world who were impacted. We must keep this in mind and have an appropriate respect for the impacts of the Cold War.
Also, the events in this game may not mirror real history . For example, in this game, England could become part of the Communist Bloc and Poland may not – in real life, the opposite was true. While this game is a good review for your short essay test on Monday, May 18th, it will not mirror events exactly.
Object of the Game: You want to get the most points, which means, essentially, that you have won the Cold War.

Each team will start from different sides of the board. The board looks like a big Monopoly board with flags on the outside and through the middle.

This is a turn based game, in which the class will be split in to two separate teams: United States (USA) and Soviet Union (USSR).

  1. ROLL DICE to take a country into their Sphere of Influence through a “Proxy War” or “Foreign Aid” or “Alliances”


  1. ROLL DICE for a Space Race launch

1) Growing your spheres of influence: Gaining influence over smaller but perhaps strategically or economically important countries can earn you various amounts of points, depending on importance to the mother country. (U.S. or USSR) You win countries with a roll of the dice. Challenge ratings vary from country to country but die rolls can be influenced by many things: your personal research into that country, your ideas for how to gain influence over it, and propaganda (more on this later). Challenge ratings increase by 1 for each failed die roll. Each country is worth different amounts of points. You get an extra 50 points for getting 5 countries in your sphere, 100 points for 10 countries and so on. You can try to get a country in your sphere if you land on it. Landing on it is possible by moving around the board according to a roll of the dice. Your team may move in any direction and any number of square up to the number you just rolled. (example: you roll a 7, you can move any direction up to 7 squares).
Head to head athletic competition. Every 4 years (when Ms. Greenberg says it has been 4 years) there will be an Olympics. Teams will be able to compete in various Olympic events and points will be determined by the specific event. Countries choose an athlete and an alternate athlete at the beginning of the game. Each event you win gets you 25 points.
3. Dominating Outer Space. Being the first to reach various milestones in space will earn you points based on the importance of the specific milestone and the speed in which you achieve it. Lower the difficulty by -1 doing research on space technology. The difficulty increases by 1 after every failed attempt.
A. Launching First Satellite – difficulty 9 – 300 points

B. First man in space – difficulty 8– 300 points

C. First man on moon – difficulty 10 – 200 points

D.First space station – difficulty 9 – 200 points

IF YOUR TEAM IS GOOFING OFF IN ANY WAY, NOT PARTICIPATING OR NOT TAKING THE GAME SERIOUSLY, MS GREENBERG WILL MAKE AN EARTHQUAKE HIT YOUR COUNTRY AND YOU WILL LOSE SEVERAL POINTS. Additionally, for your grade: You will get 3 homework/classwork points per day for your individual appropriate, engaged participation. I will take away points if you are not participating positively.

There are up to 8 roles. I will assign them, but someone agrees to switch roles with you, you may do so before the game starts.

  1. President (US) Premier (USSR) - (makes the final OK on which countries to take or space advancements to try)

  2. Treasurer – Keeps track of points. Someone with a mathematical mind

  3. Chief of staff – keeps track of countries that both sides have. Makes sure that other countries are using the appropriate difficulty level (make sure no one cheats)

  4. Head of Olympic Committee – selects athletes for Olympics (must be different athletes every four years)

  5. Secretary of Propaganda – Makes propaganda for the team – someone with an artistic eye would be best

  6. Diplomat – researches countries to lower difficulty level.

  7. Head of NASA/Minister of Science – rolls dice on space related turns. Records failed attempts by both sides. Researches space technology to lower difficulty level.

  8. Head of CIA (U.S) or KGB (USSR) – tries to spy on the other team to make sure no one cheats (ex: tries to take over a country at a lower difficulty level). Spies on other teams around the room to gain ideas.

Lowering your difficulty level: There are two ways to lower the difficulty level for a country:
Research: It is easier to gain influence in a country you know a lot about. You must research to gain information. Your researcher will go to the computer lab and collect research on the countries you want to take. They have to hurry, they need to get the research to you before you try and take that country. Good sites for research include the CIA World Fact Book and that country’s official tourism site. You may not use Wikipedia for research. Once you have your research on hand you must tell me three facts about this country.
Propaganda: It is easier to gain influence and power in a country that accepts and supports you. Propaganda is a way of winning people over to your cause. Your propagandist will be in charge of making propaganda to gain support of the country you are trying to take over. You are limited to using propaganda three times in the game. Your propagandist will use markers and scratch paper to create convincing propaganda for the people of the countries you want to take.


1. Soviet Union decides they want to try for a sphere of influence. Rolls a 5 and lands on Bulgaria. The Soviet Premier considers the options, and decides to try and gain Bulgaria in its sphere of influence. Before rolling to try and gain Bulgaria (in its sphere of influence (difficulty of 7 for the USSR), the Soviet Minister of Propaganda hands off some propaganda to the premier. Once this is OK'd by Ms. Greenberg they get to take 1 point off the difficulty level, meaning they only need a 6 to gain the country.
2. U.S.A.

Instead of the U.S. trying to take a country, they decide they will try to put the first man in space for 300 points. They must roll a 8 to do this, but can decrease their difficulty by turning in (to Ms. Greenberg) some research on space. They roll a 6 – not enough! If they try for this again the difficulty will be 9 (increases by one for each failed attempt).


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