Principle #1: Perception


Uncertainty Premise

The first principle in the game is the uncertainty premise:

There is only one thing you know for sure: everything is not as it seems to be.


Perception, or what you think you see which mya not really be, is vitally important in politics. Machiavelli taught us that perception is even more important than facts. Perception can blur your vision in politics as well as in military affairs. Perhaps it's better explained with some examples.


  • When your intelligence people tell you that "no information could be obtained on German research projects", don't think that Germany is not working on anything special or exotic. On the contrary, it might be that your clever opponent is working on the atom bomb and wants to keep it a secret. He could have assigned the bulk of his secret service on counter-espionage, concentrated his secret agents on guarding research secrets. But how can you be sure?

  • When you get word in 1942 that "Germany is close to producing an atomic bomb", don't flame the GM, saying that this isn't historical, realistic or is obstructing a fun game. The GM knows. The GM knows it all. You don't. Don't jump to conclusions too soon. If you're sure that it's impossible to research the atom bomb within 2 years without sufficient uranium and a secret testing area, then you should be concluding that the information might just be a rumor. It might even be a rumor from the German player himself. Why? Power politics, that's why. Remember that the GM is dedicated to producing a fun game base on historical facts. This ensure both ample room for experimentation and variation, within historical limitations

  • During and after the Battle of Britain, both the Luftwaffe and the RAF claimed to have shot down much more enemy aircraft than the aircraft which were in fact shot down. Here are the numbers claimed and in reality shot down:

    Aircraft Losses claimed by the RAF and Luftwaffe and compared to real figures, July 10th to September 31st, 1940. Source: Calvocoressi, Total War.

    Luftwaffe losses

    RAF losses

    Claimed by RAF

    Actual losses

    Claimed by Luftwaffe

    Actual losses





    As you can see, the RAF's estimate of Luftwaffe losses was about two and a half times as much as had actually been shot down. The Luftwaffe's estimates were even less accurate: they claimed to have shot down almost five times as much RAF aircraft as had actually been lost!

So remember: nothing is as it seems.

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