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Entry updated 14 January 2019. Tagged: Game.

Board and counter Wargame (1978). Metagaming Concepts. Designed by Lynn Willis.

In Olympica a Hive Mind has spontaneously appeared in a communications Web used on twenty-third-century Mars, and is threatening to absorb a million human minds before expanding out into the solar system. Earth's United Nations orders a raid on a vital nexus of the Web Mind positioned in the caldera of the extinct Olympus Mons volcano, hoping to gain information crucial to the success of their planned invasion. This assault is the subject of the game. One player controls the UN strike force, made up of infantry in Powered Armour with supporting tanks and a vehicle mounted drilling laser used to penetrate the defenders' tunnel complex. Opposition is provided by the other player's lightly armed but regularly reinforced infantry units and the diverse Telepathic powers of the Web Mind, making this a notably asymmetric game (see Worlds in Balance). The resulting gameplay is fast-moving, with a highly fluid tactical situation. More interestingly, perhaps, Olympica prefigures much later written sf dealing with a possible neural apocalypse, notably Alastair Reynolds' "Great Wall of Mars" (February 2000 Spectrum SF #1). [NT]

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