Responsibility and Trust – Today’s Quote

Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.

Dr. Booker T. Washington, Educator, Inventor, Author, Leader and Former Slave

That Guy – Today’s Quote

“Don’t be that guy.” …. if you are consistently the source of grief, you don’t belong.

U.S. Army Special Forces Veteran Blake Miles via 6 Tips to Succeed in Special Operations | SOFREP

Andrew’s Note:  This is an axiom that will serve you as well at work, at home, with your social group, with your preparedness group and anywhere else life takes you as it does in the military.

Be Excellent To Each Other – Today’s Quote

Be excellent to each other.

Bill S. Preston, Esquire as played by Alex Winter in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Conflicted-The Survival Card Game Review

Recently, a friend said, “Hey I’ve got this new card game that looks like it would be a hoot.”  He handed me the deck, and briefly gave an explanation of the idea behind the game.  I thumbed through the deck, and replied, “Looks interesting, we’ll have to play some time.”  Several weeks later, we decided to do a cook out and give the game a try.  I purposefully did not look the game up online so as not to taint my view of it by reading promotional material or other reviews.  All I knew going in was that it was a called Conflicted-The Survival Card Game and that it presented moral dilemmas for the players to discuss.  Game night finally arrived, and Mrs. Grumpy G, or as I more affectionately call her “She Who Must Be Obeyed” arrived on target.  The ladies made small talk, while our host and I sat on the deck watching dinner cook.  After dinner and a few drinks, we retired to the front room and commenced the night’s journey.

Conflicted-The Survival Card Game Review – What you get:

The publisher describes the game as:

Conflicted: The Survival Card Game is a brand new way for survivalists to share their philosophies about prepping. It’s a game that can be a serious conversation between established prepper groups, or it can be a fun way to introduce someone to the concept of prepping.  Conflicted helps you show other preppers why you are prepping, why your reason for prepping matters, and what your survival philosophy is when choosing life vs your morals. 

The quality of the cards is good.  They are nice and thick.  On one side is the game’s logo and deck number (there are two decks currently out).  The other side contains a short blurb describing the moral dilemma you face.  The scenarios range from mundane to “who’s the sick puppy that came up with that one?”  The mundane would be something like, “You have advanced warning of a coming disaster, and only $200.  What would you purchase, before the panic buying of the masses kicks in.”  On the other end of the spectrum would be “A witch doctor shows up at your compound offering gold and ammo for the livers of the dead littering the landscape.  You are short on both.  Would you risk disease, and potential death collecting livers for him?”  For the record, that was probably my favorite card of the night, because the answer was so simple, at least to me.  I won the card by stating without hesitation that I would put a bullet between his eyes and feed him to the pigs.  That kind of evil can’t be dealt with in a civil manner.

The lettering and the scenario side of the cards is white, on a black background.  Font size is a little small so those with weaker eyes should bring reading glasses.  In fact, this is where my only complaint about the card deck itself comes in.  There are a pair of rules card in the deck as well.  Rules are quite simple.  Basically, one player draws a card, and reads the scenario to the player on their left.  The other players then grade the answer and award the reading player from 0 to 3 points, giving them a score for that round.  Play passes around the group, until everyone has had a turn; ending the current round.   Scores are tallied for each player, and after the end of 12 rounds the player with the highest score wins.  There are currently 2 decks available, the basic deck, and an add-on with more scenarios.  I gather from the publisher’s web site that more are in the works.  They even have a scenario submission link on their home page.

The Players:

Our group of players consisted of a mixed bag of personalities.  There were two men, and three women.  I and the other gent are both versed in survivalism/preparedness, even if we have slightly different approaches on the subject and are both military vets.  The women had all been exposed to the prepper world, even if they don’t have 100% buy in.  All three fall into the mamma bear category but they each brought their own world view to the table.  Mrs. Grumpy G is a bit conservative, even if she can’t quite express it at times and occasionally gets tripped up by the liberal media.  By the end of the night I realized that Mrs. Host was what I good naturedly calling a ‘stealth hippy’.  Her answers were just as often guided by her heart and need to be “good” as they were by reason.  Don’t interpret that as necessarily a bad thing (more on that later).   The last person, Auntie D could be considered a compassionate pragmatist giving equal weight to doing the “right” thing as what’s called for by the ‘reality’ of the scenarios.   After we all got settled, drinks were topped off, and the game started.

Conflicted Card GameThe Game:

We quickly modified the rules to have the active player pick a card and read the scenario to the group.  Everyone, in turn, explains how they would handle that particular situation.  The reader then decides who gave the best answer, in their eyes, and hands the card to that player.  Like I said, the scenarios run the gamut.  Some are straight up moral questions.  Some with easy answers, like the witch doctor one mentioned while others engender a more philosophical approach.  Others, are nuts and bolts questions like “What would you buy, and why?”  After a couple of revolutions around the table, it became apparent that each player’s outlook on life flavored their answers.  The men in our group tended to lean more towards swift justice, prudence, and violence of action when necessary.  When it came to matters of honor, we tended to value it more than safety.  When presented with enough evidence to suggest our sacrifice wouldn’t be in vain we were willing.  The women tended to answer more with their hearts; some more than others .  The only exception seemed to be with scenarios that involved children at which point the women became a vicious cut-throat bunch.   Also… apparently, neither Mr. Host or I have enough feminine hygiene products on hand for the end of the world.  We agreed to work on that.

Surprisingly…or maybe not… the women took an early lead in the game.  I honestly think they thought we were a couple of blood thirsty nut jobs at one point.  Mrs. Grumpy G, even after being exposed to me for 22 years gave me a couple of sideways looks as I answered questions.  That’s OK… she generated a couple of WTF moments for me as well.  As the game went on and we explained our answers more the men began to win more cards.  Some of the cards have a theological bent; like “Would you deny God, just to live?”  Interestingly, these cards created a lot of sidebar discussion.  It gave us a chance to discuss how Christians are supposed to deal with these questions compared to how we actually do it.  About midway through the game it dawned on me that what we were seeing was a rough psychological profile of each person developing.  It also demonstrated how the different personalities in a group can complement or contrast with each other.  I made a comment about that fact and Mr. Host said Conflicted was absolutely a tool that could be used in that manner.  As the game went on, I decided that if we were thrown into an cataclysmic end of the world situation, the group playing the game would probably work well.  Mr. Host and I would be the hammers when the problems were nails, and the women would be there to ensure that we didn’t decide that every problem was a nail.  They were compassionate but Mr. Host and I were able to get them to admit that sometimes… in trying times… very unsavory things must be done and that doing them doesn’t necessarily forfeit one’s humanity.

Conclusion:

The game was enjoyable and not solely based on the company.  The moral scenarios are thought provoking, and if you enjoy discussing ethics, you’ll get that in spades.  The nuts and bolts questions give a good opportunity to educate and pass on knowledge to the less seasoned members of the group.  Used as a tool for exploring group dynamics, I think the developers hit it out of the ball park.  I learned some stuff about others in the group that kind of surprised me, and I know I surprised a couple of the other players.  In the end, if you are inclined to this sort of thing, Conflicted is a game that lends itself to an enjoyable evening.  I’m not sure about the replay ability of it.  If you played with the same group more than a couple of times you would need to purchase the add-on decks, or bring new bodies in to the mix to keep it fresh.  There were some discussion in our gaming group about inviting a couple that are decidedly NOT of the survivalist strain to join a future game night.  One member thought it wouldn’t be a good idea, while I just think it would be a hoot to see how they handled it.   In the digital age, I think another great way to play this game would be hosted on-line.  All in all, I think I am going to invest in Conflicted-The Survival Card Game as I enjoyed it and would like to see how other friends would answer and react.

Addendum:

You may have noticed me mentioning drinks a couple of times.  In all honesty, the reviewable portion of our game ended about half way through.  As more drinks were poured certain members of the group (Mrs. Grumpy G and Mrs. Host) became more affected by the alcohol and their answers became a bit less inhibited and a great deal more hilarious.  By the end of the evening I think I could have convinced both of them that we needed to start our own head hunting mercenary group and rid the world of left handed midgets.  The suggestion was even made at some point that maybe we needed to larder up more alcohol, should TEOTWAWKI come.  I am not advocating drinking in excess.  I will say that if your group does drink, the dynamics of the game will change as the night wears on and the ‘dead soldiers’ stack up.  If you have some happy drunks in your midst, then Conflicted-The Survival Card Game can also be very funny.

Andrew’s Note:  Conflicted is a Prepography advertiser.

No Room For Hyphenated Americanism – Today’s Quote

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism…German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans. There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Theodore Roosevelt

Seuss on Caring – Today’s Quote

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.

King on Love – Today’s Quote

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tact – Today’s Quote

Tact is changing the subject without changing your mind.

Anonymous

Webster on the Constitution and the Republic – Today’s Quote

Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.

Daniel Webster

Top 10 Tips to Build Resilience to Stress

The military has put a great deal of effort recently to helping service members build resilience because increased resilience or ‘resistance to stress’  makes it much easier for a person to ‘continue their mission’ or keep taking care of their family when danger, fear and discomfort intrude.  Resilience is important to preparedness as well.  Here are Prepography‘s Top 10 Tips to Build Resilience to Stress:

  1. Focus on Your Goal or Mission:  By keeping the end in mind you can work through the adversities necessary to get there.
  1. Develop a Community of Support:  A community that you are comfortable asking for help but often don’t have to ask.
  1. Remain Optimistic:  No matter how bad things get…know that they will get better.  General Colin Powell said that “optimism is a force multiplier.”
  1. Anticipate Change:  By building a mental model that anticipates change and potential outcomes you will be able to better react when faced with change.
  1. Be Proactive:  The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared” for good reasons.  By anticipating future needs and taking steps now to make life easier then you will smooth the transition and better handle change. (more…)

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