The Great Game was a term for the strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia.[ The classic Great Game period is generally regarded as running approximately from the Russo-Persian Treaty of 1813 to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. A less intensive phase followed the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. In the post-Second World War post-colonial period, the term has continued in use to describe the geopolitical machinations of the Great Powers and regional powers as they vie for geopolitical power and influence in the area.
The term "The Great Game" is usually attributed to Arthur Conolly (1807–1842), an intelligence officer of the British East India Company's Sixth Bengal Light Cavalry. It was introduced into mainstream consciousness by British novelist Rudyard Kipling in his novel Kim (1901).
In this context the great game refers to the political/economic machinations of the major stellar powers to influence or control the middle ground players.
The pieces of the game are themselves players each vying for power, colonies, and status to be counted among the first powers.
The Players: An Informal ListEdit
- Cardassian Union -- A second rate power with first rate pretensions. the Cardassians genuinely enjoy the high stakes give and take, mainly the take. They constantly shuffle between player and piece.
- The Gorn Hegemony -- Avowed unplayers, like the Klingons. Gorn prefer direct methods. All the cloak and dagger stuff annoys them.
- Ferengi Trade Association -- Less interested in playing as selling to everyone else. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition might as well be a primer on how to play.
- Klingon Empire -- The Klingons are not players in the subtle fashion. Observers of the great game tend to place the Klingon Empire in the role of obstacle. Then again, the minute you try and pigeonhole the Klingons they surprise you.
- The League of Unaligned Worlds -- This non-organization of mostly petty playing pieces some with pretensions of being players.
- Orions -- Both player and piece, or rather players and pieces. The Orions are not an united player, the fiction of the Orion Colonies aside. This fractious nature makes the Orions perennial underdogs.
- Romulan Star Empire -- Like who else? If you could get into the Romuilan halls of power you might think they invented the great game. They might have. They certianly play and they play for keeps.
- Tholians -- Present, a complication at times, not players, or pieces.
- United Federation of Planets -- The official Federation stance is they are at best reluctant players. They deal because others play. In truth the Federation contains eager players and isn't always of a piece in such matters. The big dog of Root Beer and Kumbya.