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Tuesday, Oct 24, 2023 - 17:21 SGT
Posted By: Gilbert


We return after a short - and needed - breather, to find Team Red conspicuously absent from the vicinity, as Team Blue limbers up to play their next card.

Turn 14, Action Round 6 (Team Blue)

Team Blue plays Olympic Games for its Event.

That'll teach them!
[N.B. Le French possibly annoyed at their Tricolour getting disassembled and converted into Russian ones, in their former African colonies]
(Original sources: twilightstrategy.com, youtube.com)

Bloc members skipping meetings thought too Dominated by the other Team is something of a formality in The Greatest Game, and this has seen Team Red bigwigs China and Russia give September's G20 summit a pass - with the Team Blue Anglos having done the same against Russia last year. Such snubbing is perhaps most pointed when it comes to the Olympic Games, which have been meant to supersede conflicts (in theory, at least) since antiquity. Cold War I would see both Team leaders ignore the expected truce, however, with the U.S.A. and 65 other nations boycotting the 1980 edition in Moscow, which brought a retaliatory boycott by the U.S.S.R. and fourteen Red states, of the next Games in Los Angeles. This would be tried again for Beijing's Winter Olympics in 2022 ostensibly in support of Tibet, Taiwan and the Uyghurs, which however largely failed, from the participant count.

Attendances and abstentions from global fora will likely be regarded as an indication of a bloc's support in Cold War II, with Putin's movements greatly curtailed due to his ICC arrest warrant, and Russian athletes having their representative flag banned at many sporting events since their invasion of Ukraine - a prohibition that seems to be gradually weakening. A Russia/Belarus no-show might again be happening for the next Olympics in Paris next year, with the International Olympic Committee not inviting the two countries, although individual Russian athletes might yet participate as neutrals.

The Control of established international organizations - especially the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, International Criminal Court etc., and their associated rules - remains an arena where Team Blue has a legacy advantage, and one that is increasingly bitterly resented by Team Red and Team Grey (mostly the Global South). The disproportionate Team Blue Dominance of the World Bank/IMF by voting share compared to actual present-day financial heft, together with the unspoken rule for the World Bank head to be an American and the IMF's to be European, has only encouraged Team Red/Grey "outsiders" to grow their own alternatives (e.g. the Asian/BRICS Development Banks)

It do be like that
(Source: mangakakalot.com)

Team Red decides to Boycott, seeing little alternative, and DEFCON falls to 2, with Team Blue now having 4 Ops to deploy:

3 Ops: +1 Influence in India (4/4), +1 Influence in Saudi Arabia (4/4), +1 Influence in Gulf States (4/4). Knowing the above, the just-concluded IMF/World Bank meet has seen Team Blue leaders the U.S.A. aim to expand their lending capacity to counter China's growing economic Influence, and this general thrust is being further buttressed by the unveiling of a direct competitor to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC).

The Memorandum of Understanding for the IMEC would be signed at the boycotted G20 summit in mid-September, with Team Blue core players the U.S.A., France and Germany roping in key Battleground States India and Italy (who have pulled off the old switcheroo once more, it seems), together with the recently-wavering Gulf States (via the UAE). Israel, whose Port Haifa will be a critical rail terminus on the corridor, was not officially represented, but their inclusion is easily recognized as part of America's plan to Stabilize the Middle East region, through the normalization of ties between them and the Sauds.

1 Ops: +1 Influence in France (4/5). As shown in the card itself, France can't be too amused by Russia's hand in the breaking-apart of their African rump empire, which has seen Macron gradually swing back towards the rest of Western Europe, to align closer with the Blues. They're now blaming their bedbug panic on Russian FAKE NEWS, in a sign of the times.

We have a question from the audience: shouldn't Team Blue have to play their revealed Southeast Asia Scoring card? To this, the answer is that Turns have seven Action Rounds after the third Turn - so no worries: we'll see it soon enough!

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