All posts by James O'Keefe

By Will Alone rules / Havoc game playtests

I'll be running a play test of my nonviolent action rules, By Will Alone, on Sunday, April 1st.  It will likely at my house. 

On Sunday, April 15th, I will be running a play test of my Havoc game, In the shadow of Gdańsk, at the Hobby Bunker in Malden.  Here is the game description:

Solidarność (Soldarity) rejoices its success at reversing Jaruzelski's attempt to impose martial law in Poland.  While coup plotters flee to the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact invades.  With NATO unable and unwilling to intervene, union workers and their allies ready
themselves to stop the onslaught with the only tools at their disposal: their wits and determination.

Please contact me if you would like to help play test the rules and/or game at jokeefe at(nospam) jamesokeefe dot org.  Thanks!

Free Nonviolent Struggle Guide and other resources

I went looking for a list of nonviolent struggles in the world and found the Center for Applied NonViolent Action and Strategies.  They were formed by some of the people who organized the overthrow of Milosevic in Serbia in 2000.  They have a useful (and free) guide for waging Nonviolent Struggle. 

A few more good sites are:

I make no claim as to the ideology of these groups only that they have some useful information on practicing strategic nonviolent action.

Nonviolent action game update

A quick update on the game.  I am in the midst of rewriting it and have the key game mechanics done.  I borrowed some of the game mechanics from Crossfire, an innovative World War II company level miniatures combat game.  The key things I borrowed from it are:

  1. No fixed turns.  Players can continue to act while they have the initiative.  When they lose the initiative, turn passes to the other player (or team of players).
  2. No measuring.  Units move from feature to feature (street intersections for example) rather than fixed distances.  Some units will be able to move more than one feature each time (i.e. vehicles).

My game also focuses much more on command and control than the previous version.

I also decided to change the title from With Weapons of Will to By Will Alone, though that isn't a definite.

I hope to start playtesting it in limited venues before January with larger play tests in January.  I want to have a game ready for Havoc, a miniature gaming convention in Massachusetts in March.

Lakey on spontaneous nonviolence

Here's a note from nonviolent activist George Lakey about the Palestinian tactic of nonviolently stopping Israeli aircraft from bombing Palestinian leaders and activists (reported ).  Matt Guynn posted it:

It's a great example of NV defense, though, innovative, and the kind of thing which, if I advocated as a US'er to some Palestinians I've known they would laugh it off as ridiculous because it wouldn't deter the IDF.

I love these spontaneous things that people come up with in the midst of struggle, even people basically committed to violent struggle, when they realize that (once again) nonviolent means are often more powerful than violent means.