Disarm the Base comes from two different thoughts – one being the real stories about taking direct action and being unexpectedly acquitted, and the other the desire to challenge the “fight or farm” narrative so popular in board games.
Twenty-three years ago, in January 1996, four women broke into a military base and succeeded in causing significant damage to a war plane bound for Indonesia. The four, Angie Zelter, Joanna Wilson, Lotta Kronlid and Andrea Needham, were known as the Ploughshare Four. They were acquitted under the Genocide Act on the grounds that they were taking reasonable action.
Two years ago Sam Walton and Daniel Woodhouse broke into a military base with the intention of disarming war planes bound for Yemen. They were stopped by security guards before they could disarm any planes. Like the Ploughshares Four, they were found not guilty after arguing that they were acting for the greater good.
As well as being inspired by these actions, Disarm the Base aims to challenge the predominant narrative of board games – most games are either focused on producing/building/trading or on military might.
Disarm the Base is a cooperative game in which the players work together to unlock hangers, disarm planes, and get back to where they’ve left their banners and placards before the time runs out or the security guards see them.
A board game is a way for people to explore ideas in a relaxed and interesting way. Disarm the Base encourages people to think about the way in which direct action could take place, from the suspense of avoiding the guards to finding the right ways to break into the hangers and disarm planes. It’s just a game, but it’s a game which is different.