Players aren’t entirely sure who is who

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Brian Train has designed a game based on the 1973 Chilean coup d’état that deposed socialist President Salvador Allende and brought Allende’s appointed army chief, Augusto Pinochet, to power. Rex Brynen of PAXsims reviews Chile ’73:

The game first involves a pre-coup phase (during which players try to bring various military, paramilitary, and civilian assets under their control) of several turns, and then a coup phase (when loyalists and opposition battle to control key locations around the city). During the pre-coup period, players aren’t entirely sure who is who (that is, whether others represent military, police, or civilian leaders), what their agenda is (seeking soft power, hard power, or a coalition), who is on which side, and what the loyalties of most units are. Each may recruit new assets, investigate the loyalties of other units, neutralize a rival player’s influence over a unit, block a rival player’s action, or move units. During the coup phase, units may move and fight. Some locations on the map yield particular bonuses or other game effects.

Chile '73

Chile ’73 is not intended as a high-fidelity simulation of the bloody events of September 1973. Although played on a zonal map of Santiago with units drawn from those that were present in real life, there’s no attempt to simulate the actual leaders and factions that shaped events. In this sense it might be thought of more as a Chile-themed coup game.


  1. Kirk says:

    I’m not an expert on affairs Chilean, but when the Chamber of Deputies votes 81 to 47 for the “authorities” to put an end to the “breaches of the constitution” that the Allende government was engaged in…? Is that really a “coup d’etat”?

    The Socialists in Chile were engaged in a project very similar to what many of their ilk have undertaken; one man, one vote, one time. I think we can be fairly certain of where Allende’s Socialist technocrats would have taken Chile, and that it would have wound up like Venezuela in even shorter order, not having the oil industry to subsidize everything until they ran it into the ground.

    Coup? Maybe from the viewpoint of the Allende supporters that got rounded up and herded into the soccer stadiums instead of their intended victims… I’m really not too fond of the “conventional and accepted wisdom” vis-a-vis Pinochet and his “crimes”. He seems to have mostly been guilty of being a Chilean patriot, who listened to what the Chamber of Deputies was saying, and then did his best to undo what Allende was trying to impose via very undemocratic means. I’m sure someone will chime in to correct me, however…

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