How To Move Huge Shipments of Cocaine
In an earlier post regarding supply chain management, we talked about the need to diversify your supply chain to mitigate risk and to minimize disruption to both the flow of the inputs into your production and to the flow of your finished goods to market. In that post, to facilitate illustrating my main points, I made references to the supply and distribution of cocaine in the multiplayer strategy board game, GoCaine. In this post we'll examine in more detail how players go about transporting huge quantities of cocaine.
While it is often a good idea to start with smaller sized shipments, say like one or two metric tons (mt), if you want to win in the game of GoCaine, you'll eventually have to move considerably larger shipments. And, ideally, you'll want to be able to move it through your own vertically integrated supply network to maximize your share of the profit and to do so through a variety of routes to minimize the chances of having your cocaine seized in an interdiction operation.
You start the game at Level 1 on the Smuggling Infrastructure panel. Each level gives you 1 unit of movement, allowing you to move one shipment from one cell in one zone to one cell in an adjacent zone. To move the shipment you need a cell in each of the zones you are moving from, through, or to.
Note that the size of the shipment does not influence the transportation cost per se. In other words, if you want to transport product from, say, a particular cell in Peru to another cell in the Tropical Pacific, it costs 1 unit of movement regardless of whether your shipment consists of 1 mt (metric ton, i.e. 1,000kg which equals approx 2,205 pounds), 2 mt, or even 16 mt. Also note, that in these rules, whenever we talk about transportation cost, we are referring to the cost in terms of the number of movement units that are needed. We are not talking about a $ cost.
If you want to move a shipment two zones, for example from Western Colombia to Southwest, that will take 2 units of movement and to do so you would need to have one cell in Western Colombia, one cell in Southern Gateway, and one cell in Southwest. If you have Level 2 Smuggling Infrastructure, you could move the same shipment those 2 units of movement in one turn. However, if you only have Level 1 for Smuggling Infrastructure, then it is going to take you two turns to complete the transportation job.
The total movement cost (in terms of units of movement) equals the sum of the zones moved by each shipment. For example with Level 4, you could move two shipments two zones each, or four shipments one zone each, or two shipments one zone each and a third shipment two zones.
A cell can process more than one shipment for transportation service. Sometimes you have a bottleneck with only one cell in the zone you need to move through. You can still send multiple shipments through that one cell, but doing so presents a risk in terms of interdiction vulnerability. If an opponent hits that zone with a Task Force Interdiction Action during your turn, any shipments you send through that one cell will risk being seized.
Players should count their units of movement aloud with each step. This helps ensure the movement is being done properly and gives all players a clear understanding of what is happening. You are allowed to merge shipments together into a larger shipment and you can also split larger shipments up into several smaller ones. You can use movement units to move shipments between cells in the same zone but generally speaking that would be a waste of movement; if you want to merge shipments it is more efficient to move them to a common cell in an adjacent zone.
So, lets jump right in with some examples. We'll start with a small shipment and straightforward situation and then elevate the complexity of the transportation network and options in subsequent examples.
TRANSPORT PRODUCT: EXAMPLE 1
Red has 3 mt on a cell in Bolivia. This constitutes one shipment.
Red wants to move it to its cell in Southwest zone.
Red has cells in intervening adjacent zones, so Red has the capability to undertake transportation of the shipment.
In this example, let’s assume Red has only Level 1 for Smuggling Infrastructure.
It will take Red three turns to get the shipment to its cell in Southwest.
Transport Product: Example 2
As in Example 1, Red has one shipment of 3 mt in Bolivia which it wants to move to its cell in Southwest.
Red has the same cells in intervening adjacent zones, so Red has the capability to transport it.
In this example, let’s assume Red has Level 3 for Smuggling Infrastructure.
Level 3 gives Red three units of movement. That is just enough to fully move this shipment to its destination in one turn.
Players should count their units of movement aloud with each step. This helps ensure the movement is being done properly and gives all players a clear understanding of what is happening.
Transport Product: Example 3
As in Examples 1 & 2, Red has one shipment of 3 mt in Bolivia which it wants to move to its cell in Southwest.
In this example, let’s assume Red has Level 5 for Smuggling Infrastructure.
In this case, Red uses 3 units of movement to get its shipment to its cell in Southwest, and there are no other shipments for Red to transport so the remaining 2 units of movement are not used.
- Extra/unused units of movement cannot be saved and do not carry over into subsequent turns.
- Next turn Red will still have 5 units of movement, not 7.
Transport Product: Example 4
Red wants to move:
- 4 mt to one of its cells in North Central
- 3 mt to its other cell in North Central
- 3 mt to its cell in Northeast.
Red has cells in intervening adjacent zones, so Red has the capability to fulfill the delivery.
With Level 11 Smuggling Infrastructure there are a few ways Red can fulfill these deliveries in one turn. Here is Red’s solution to do so with minimal risk:
- Steps 1-4 to move 4 mt from Peru to one of its cells in North Central.
- Steps 5-8 to move 3 mt from Bolivia to the other cell in North Central.
- Steps 9-11 to move 3 mt from Northern Colombia to Northeast.
Transport Product: Example 5
Similar to last example but here Red does not have multiple cells in Southern Gateway and the Caribbean. All three shipments must go through both Southern Gateway and South Central making them more vulnerable to Interdiction Actions.
With Level 12 Smuggling Infrastructure, Red does the following:
- Steps 1-4: gets 4 mt to North Central.
- Steps 5-8: gets 3 mt to other cell in North Central.
- Steps 9-12: gets 3 mt to Northeast.
Transport Product: Example 6
Red has 3 shipments:
- 4 mt on a cell in Peru
- 3 mt on a cell in Bolivia
- 3 mt on a cell in Northern Colombia.
Red wants to move two shipments to North Central and one to Northeast.
In the previous example Red was able to do this because it had a cell in Southern Gateway.
In this example, without a cell in Southern Gateway (and also no cell in the Caribbean), Red’s product is stuck in the Andean coca region.
Red could move its 3 mt from Bolivia up to Western Colombia (or have it join one of the other two shipments), but it can’t presently get further north than that.
To solve the problem, Red will have to deploy a cell in either Southern Gateway, or less optimally in Caribbean, or even Tropical Pacific and Southwest.
Transport Product: Example 7
Red has one shipment of 3 mt in Western Colombia that it wants to move to Southwest zone.
Red has a cell in the Tropical Pacific zone. Since that zone connects to both Western Colombia and to Southwest, Red is able to undertake the delivery.
It will take two units of movement. Red has Level 5 for Smuggling Infrastructure, so that is more than enough.
Notice that Black, Blue, Green, and White cells are occupying all the intersections into or out of Tropical Pacific. It may thus appear that they are blocking access to the zone, however this appearance is illusion; no such blocking can occur.
- These are huge zones and these local cells, even with naval and air support, cannot adequately patrol such vast areas of land and sea.
- The presence of cells indicates that a particular Organized Crime Group has a presence or can run operations in that area, but if another player has a cell in the same zone, it too is fully capable of buying, transporting, or selling.
- The only way to stop an opponent’s cell from performing those functions is to totally surround it and occupy its liberties in which case it is then removed from the board.
Transport Product: Example 8
Red has one large 12 mt shipment in Bolivia that it wants to move north and then split into 3 smaller shipments for delivery to the Southwest, South Central, and Caribbean.
Southern Gateway connects to all three of these destination zones. With a cell there and another cell in Western Colombia, Red has the capability to complete the delivery. And with Level 5 Smuggling Infrastructure, Red can complete this in one turn.
Note: the main reason a player would want to break up a larger shipment into smaller ones is that it lessens the chance of having the entire shipment seized. Red could reduce risk of seizure even more by breaking the shipment up into smaller shipments at the start, sending them through Western Colombia one at a time, but that would take extra units of movement to transport them all north.
- The optimal decision for the player will depend on their Smuggling Infrastructure level, how much political influence they have in each of the zones, how many cells they have in each zone, and how many Task Force chips their opponents have.
Transport Product: Example 9
Red has 12 mt in Bolivia spread equally among three cells. Red wants to move them to the three most lucrative markets: Northwest, North Central, and Northeast.
With Level 8 Smuggling Infrastructure, Red can complete the delivery in 1 turn by doing the following:
- Move the three shipments to its cell in Western Colombia (steps 1-3).
- There, they will merge into one shipment. This will save on movement costs but since it is now one large shipment it is far more vulnerable to seizure.
- The one large shipment then moves to the cell in Southern Gateway (step 4), then to South Central (step 5), and further north still, arriving in North Central (step 6)
- 4 mt stays in North Central, and the rest splits into two shipments with 4 mt going to Northwest (step 7) and the other 4 mt going to Northeast (step 8).
Transport Product: Example 10
Red has four 2 mt shipments: one in Pacific, one in Tropical Pacific, one in Peru, and one in Bolivia. On the diagram below these shipments are labelled A, B, C, and D.
In this example Red wants to move them as quickly as possible to its two cells in Northwest zone but Red has only Level 5 Smuggling Infrastructure.
Here is how Red meets its transportation objective:
- Red starts with the most southerly shipment (D),
- Joins it to shipment C in Peru, then
- Merges both of those with shipment B in Tropical Pacific, then
- Merges one last time with shipment A in the Pacific.
At this point, its shipment is 8 mt and is therefore very vulnerable to seizure if another player launches an Interdiction Action in Pacific.
- Finally, from the Pacific, Red splits the 8 mt up into two smaller shipments, sending 4 mt to each of its two cells in the Northwest.
Alright, that should do it for now. You should now have a pretty good idea of how you go about moving large quantities of cocaine in the world of GoCaine, the multiplayer Go strategy board game for 2 to 6 players.
In several of these examples, I commented on the increased risk of having your product seized in interdiction operations. We'll talk about that in a future post as well as how you can offset some of that risk by buying political influence.
Thanks for reading. Bye for now. Cheers!