I went to Watch the Skies 2 in August 2016 in West Sacramento. Here’s a brief testimony on what the game is like.
A little bit of background, I graduated with a Philosophy major from UC Santa Barbara so I am super into critical thinking, global politics, and how the game of power is played between various countries and individuals.
Watch the Skies was a little skirmish on all of these things played through a little bit over 8 hours (we played from 10a – 7.30pm with a half-hour lunch in between, I believe).
There were four main playing fields
- Assembly Hall (main gathering)
- The United Nations Council (mainly where I played)
- Scientific Area
- Alien Area
I played as an Ambassador for Italy. I had a vote in the United Nations Council and I had to use my own creativity and knowledge to try and help the bigger nations achieve their goals.
Long story short, I thought up of selling my ‘scientific research base’ to Japan, India, and China [they would get a turn in the scientific area much cheaper than if they paid the science department]. In return, they would pay me a sum of money, and with the money I had, I used to buy things from the ‘grey market’ which are basically cards for upgrades for the different nations. Then I would go to the different countries and sell them for profit.
It was pretty awesome.
There is so much that goes on during the game and even throughout ‘turns,’ I can’t even put it into text how complex and difficult it gets to keep up with everything and achieve your own purpose. I’m pretty sure this is how real life politicians feel at times!
At the end, I helped out Japan/China invade India which was ironic because I sold all three countries my scientific research base. I ended up supporting India by giving them all of my Megabucks and cards because Italy’s purpose was to promote peace, but at the end of it, I was the one that was supporting the war! It was pretty disappointing, but I learned so much from the experience.
2 – 3 days after the game, I was still analyzing the different ‘moves’ that I made throughout the turns and I was constantly thinking on how I could have played it better. It was really fun.
In conclusion, anyone who likes cosplay, politics, public speaking, or even getting into the reality of Presidents, Council Members, Military Leaders, and the complexity of the human race, should definitely come out and play this game. I highly recommend spending a Saturday challenging yourself to attain your nation’s purpose–whether it’s all-out war or scientific advancement, or to promote world peace. All of this can happen within Watch the Skies 2. Plus there are aliens, too, which is cool.
by Ben Basuni