- 1961 and 1963 Scenarios with a Fall of Diem Sequence allow players to continue play into the Fire in the Lake Campaign Scenario (1964-1972), or even through to Fall of Saigon (1973-1975) if players also possess the sequel expansion.
- New ARVN Strategic Hamlet pieces and mechanics reflect the Diem regime’s strategy of relocating the population into fortified villages.
- Hanoi and Washington Tracks control the number of available pieces and some abilities of the Viet Cong and ARVN factions. In addition, rather than possessing Troops, the US and NVA each use Advisor pieces, which allow them to enhance and control the units of their South Vietnamese allies.
- A Regime Stability Track affects the cost of ARVN Operations to model the rising urban instability and coup plotting against the Ngo Dinh Diem regime.
- A head-to-head 2 player scenario uses the Initiative system from Brian Train’s Colonial Twilight for players wanting to focus on the internal clash between the Viet Cong and ARVN, and might also be suitable as an introductory scenario for players new to Fire in the Lake.
- 72 new Events cover the 1961-1963 period, and four new Pivotal Events represent debates in Washington and Hanoi over their level of aid, the Strategic Hamlet Program by the Diem regime, and the major summer offensive by the Viet Cong. In addition, a new ARVN leader Card, Ngo Dinh Diem, is in play throughout the early 1960s scenarios and new Coup! Events reflect threats to Diem’s hold on power.
- A solitaire system using the card-based Non-player system, similar to those provided with the Tr’ung Bot Update Pack and Fall of Saigon.
Fire in the Lake Bonus Content
In addition to extending Fire in the Lake back to the early 1960s, Sovereign of Discord also includes additional bonus content for the base game:
- 40 new Events (8 new 1964 Events, 16 new 1965 Events, 16 new 1968 Events) covering themes such as women’s role in the war, civilian victimization, the effect of the war on South Vietnamese society, North Vietnamese strategies, and the 1964 escalation debate. Among the new Events is also one new Capability Event for each faction.
- Two new short scenarios:
- Turning Point (1967 to 1969), covering the period of fiercest offensives by both communist and allied forces to win control of the countryside.
- Long 1964 (Mid 1963 to Early 1965), covering the period that historian Frederick Logevall refers to as the “long 1964,” representing the crucial escalation debates in North Vietnam and the United States.
The title for this prequel expansion comes from the chapter on Diem in Francis Fitzgerald’s Fire in the Lake. Although a classic book on the Vietnam War, there has been a new wave of scholarship over the last two decades that have added significant nuance to the period covered by the expansion. This new scholarship, relying on Vietnamese language sources, gives a much better perspective of the Vietnamese factions (see the expansion BGG page for recommended reading). A goal of the expansion is to synthesize this newer scholarship for the player, given the lack of previous attention to this earlier period of the war in wargaming and older histories. For those looking for a quick introduction to the period covered by the expansion, episode two of Ken Burn’s The Vietnam War, “Riding the Tiger,” covers 1961 to 1963.
- Deck of 80 playing cards (Sovereign of Discord Events, Coups, Pivotals, and Diem)
- Deck of 40 playing cards (new Fire in the Lake base game Events)
- Deck of 14 playing cards (Sovereign of Discord solitaire system)
- 6 wooden pieces (ARVN Strategic Hamlets)
- 4 double-sided color 11×17” foldout player aids (Sovereign of Discord Faction sheets)
- 2 double-sided color 8½x11” player aids (Sovereign of Discord Coup Round and Fall of Diem sheets)
- 2 double-sided color 11×17” foldout player aids (Sovereign of Discord solitaire system)
- 3 double-sided color 8½x11” player aids (Sovereign of Discord solitaire system)
- 2 countersheets (Washington, Hanoi, Regime Stability, and 2-player Initiative track tiles, Sovereign of Discord counters)
- Expansion Rulebook
- Expansion Playbook
- Non-player Rulebook
- 2″ Game Box
Original Fire in the Lake Game Design: Mark Herman and Volko Ruhnke
Game Development: Joe Dewhurst
Series Development: Jason Carr