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
- Acceptian Empire -- Player? Hell to the yes. The Avians love the game. They play it internally as well. The Empire is huge and is looking outside itself for the first time in a long time.
- Bendarri Empire -- Reluctant players. Much as the Federation they play only to counter other players. A first rate stellar power.
- 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.
- Kaa -- A third rate stellar nation that wants to be a first rate stellar nation so bad their fangs hurt. Oh, they are players, they play hard and too often their grasp exceed their reach in amusing "for others) ways.
- 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. Lying on the border of the Far Sector and play both sides.
- 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 Romulan halls of power you might think they invented the great game. They might have. They certainly play and they play for keeps. Romulans are also reluctant players in the Far sector, they don't have the resources, but cannot back out.
- 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. The UFP is the cause of the Far sector and yes, does play in all the fields.
- Zhodani Consulate -- Playing for your own good. A second rate player that has had its best tool, Psionic Abilities, cut out from under it by a proliferation of psi shields. They have made it plain that they will dominate anyone they can for their own good. Right on the edge of the Far sector and a player on both sides.
- Hiver Federation -- For the love of the game. Hivers are perhaps the most underhanded duplicitous nice guys you will ever find. They are playing, but not by your rules.
- Kurr Association Highly ethical people that are not sure they want or should be players. Pressure form outside is forcing the issue. They play whether they want to or not.
- Trantorian Empire -- The poster Child for the Great Game. They play it internally in a vast and barely united Empire for some very real stakes. They are looking outside for players to play with as well.