Game of War
Iain Dickie (analyst)
Action Time for Channel 4, 3 to 17 August 1997 (3 episodes)
What were they thinking? Miniature figurine war gaming with the attractive pieces and sensibly designed combat resolution rules taken out, to be replaced by abstract plastic coloured blobs and a system wherever whoever rolled higher on a single die did better.
Two very boring-looking war games experts rolled the dice and adjudicated occasional additions of one or two to a roll as the situation dictated. Angela Rippon took it all very seriously as did the competitors, real-life higher-ups in the British armed forces.
It all comes down to values
Gorgeous production values: mock news bulletins, individual sets where the two sides would consider their plans, lots and lots of graphics detailing the "what-if"s as the forces considered their plans, gratuitous war sound effects. The main map, where we could see what was actually happening to both sides, was situated in the main set, which seemed to have a left-over prop from Close Encounters of the Third Kind suspended above it.
Remarkably atmospheric, but the atmosphere created was of a rather ill-thought-out war game, not of a war. Oddly enough, this led to very low ratings and nothing ever came of the short pilot series of three shows.
"I rolled a 6 and a 4, then he rolled a 2 and a 3, then I rolled a 1 and a 6, then he rolled a 2 and a 3 again. You know what this means? The 14th cavalry of reinforcements have been held up unaccountably somewhere around Constantinople, and you're shagged, pal."
The three episodes were based on the battles of Balaklava, Naseby and Waterloo, in that order.
Devised by David Stocker and Kevin Halloran.