Battle of Seattle is a simulation of the popular demonstrations against the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks held in Seattle from November 30 to December 3, 1999. In the game, one player (representing the protesters) attempts to disrupt the WTO meetings and draw attention to the anti-free-trade cause, while the other player (representing the Seattle civic authorities) tries to contain the disruption.
Historical reinactment buffs and social dissenters alike are going to be pleased here. The game reinacts the 1999 Seattle WTO riots, with one player as the police and one as everyone else. Victory is determined by the “Exposure Index”, which reflects the effect the media’s portrayal of each side is having on the public. The police start out with 30 points, and have a difficult time gaining more. The protesters start out with 0, but don’t lose points easily. This is where it gets interesting: The protesters and the police have very different goals. The protesters can fight off the police, but the police are stronger, and since they can’t be permanently removed, this becomes counterproductive as the game wears on. What they really need to do is swarm the city and ‘be seen’ in as many places as possible to sop up Exposure points for doing that. Conversely, the police have to try to contain protesters. While this is difficult at the outset, once they get to break out the riot gear, combat becomes a breeze for them. The two different goals make for a sense of chaos appropriate to the setting. (by Shane on Boardgamegeek)