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2-7 players

Two players = No Anarchist group and no presidential veto powers.

Inspired by Illuminati, and 1960: The Making of the President

Game Pieces

2 Dice
Ideology Cards
President Cards
Special Interest Group Cards
15 Seats
10 Roll Number Tokens


Every ideology has unique goals. In general, a particular ideology is attempting to win as many consecutive elections as possible. In fact, the default winning strategy for every ideology is to hold power either as a coalition or a minority or a majority government for six consecutive turns.

Ideology cards

<c|m|M>  := read as "coalition or minority or majority"
B|BB := read as "business or big business alignment"  
MM := read as "mass movement"  


Special win: <c|m|M><c|m|M><m|M><m|M>  

+3 on floor crossing offers
discipline: high
contributions: 10
electability: 10


Special win: Collect one card of each type.     

Negative control alignments are overridden.
discipline: low
contributions: 6
electability: 8


Special win: Six BB cards  

+3 on election rolls
discipline: high
contributions: 10
electability: 10


Special win: 6 MM cards
+4 on attempts to control MM cards
discipline: medium
contributions: 5
electability: 8


Special win: The ruling government, <m|M>, has NO B|BB cards in its hand for three consecutive governments. Collects $1 for every BB card in play on each turn discipline: high contributions: 8 electability: 8


Special win: Four consecutive coalition governments (they do not have to be a part of them).
Impervious to floor crossing attempts.
discipline: low
contributions: 5
electability: 4


Special win: The ruling government <m|M> has only B|BB cards in its hand for three consecutive governments. +4 on attempts to control B|BB cards discipline: medium contributions: 7 electability: 7

Special Interest Groups

<Group Name> - <Contributions>, <influence>, <cooperativeness> {- {<BB|B|W|MM>}{,}{<L,R,C>}}

The Military Industrial Complex - 6,8,3
Car Drivers - 2,1,3
Chinese Industrialists - 6,8,5 - BB
The Patriot Movement - 2,1,2 - R
The Anti-War Movement - 3,3,4 - MM, L
The AFL/CIO - 5,8,6 - W
The Debtors - 0,1,8
The Former Generals - 1,4,4
The Proletariat - 1,1,1 - W
The Blogosphere - 3,6,1
The Telecoms - 6,5,6 - BB, R
The Corporate Press - 4,7,4 - BB, R
The Liberal Media - 3,7,4 - B, C
Big Finance - 8,8,3 - BB, R
The Military Vote - 1,2,1
The Prison Industrial Complex - 5,4,1 - BB, R
The ACLU - 1,1,0 - MM, L
AIPAC - 6,6,4 - R
Saudi Oil Magnets - 5,5,1 - BB
Artists - 0,9,2 - MM, L
The Bible Belt - 5,6,2
The Gay Vote - 4,4,5 - MM
The Female Vote - 3,5,4
Organized Crime - 3,3,5
Old People - 6,7,4
Universities - 3,6,3 - MM, L
The Colonies - 3,2,2
Old-Guard Business - 9,7,2 - BB, R

Group ideas

The Reddit moderators
American Legislative Exchange Council
The Baby Boomers
Real-Estate Developers
Parent-Teacher Groups
The Domestic Security Bureaucracy
The Private-Army lobby
The Anti-Abortion fanatics
Mom and Pop Stores
Sports Fans
Oprah Fanatics
The Intelligence Community
Former Presidents
Top scientists
The animal Rights lobby
The healthcare Lobby
E-Voting Lobby
Conspiracy theorists
The transhumanists

President Cards

Favorable Supreme Court - Stop election roll on the highest die
Wiretapping backfire - -4 on election roll
Develop Alzheimers - Lose the latest election type from your sequence (not start over)
Paid vacation - Collect $20. "Take a couple hundred days off work."
Past history - -3 on election roll. "How were you supposed to know that stores everything you've ever written on the net?
Pardon - Play this card after you lose a seat or group, you will automatically get it back.
Drunk daughters - Roll the dice and pay that amount to the bank or whoever has the "Lawyers" group.
Assassination Attempt - +1 on election roll.
Terrorist Attack - Add your current election type to your sequence. i.e. <M> --> <M><M>
FOI request - -1 on election roll. "Your clandestine activities in Latin America have been exposed."
Signing statement - +2 on election roll. "Pass a popular law while surreptitiously excusing yourself from it."
*gate - "You got busted doing something stupid. You will not be a part of a government on this election."
Spoiled ballots - Roll a die. Add to your election roll if an even number, subtract if an odd.
Sex scandal - -2 on election roll.
Scathing roast - -1 on election roll. "Wait, is this satire?"
Unfortunate photo-Op - Pay $6 to the bank or whoever controls the "Liberal Media" group. "How were you supposed to know your zipper was down?"
Embarrassing gaffe - "Misspell Czechoslovakia, use up veto blocking an investigation into Czech oil dealings".

Starting the game

Every player blindly takes one ideology card. The income indicated by that card is collected and placed on top of the card. The card can alsobe referred to as the player's treasury, as this where the party stores its money.

The 16 seats are stacked in the middle. Every player takes an amount of money equivalent to their electability from the bank. The first seat is placed up for grabs. The players roll to see who goes first. The first player then has the option of bidding for the seat. If for example. the player decides to buy two bids, that player will take the numbers "2" and "3" from the Roll Token stack. The next player may decide to bid on "4" and "5". If no-one else bids, one die is used and it is rolled until either 2,3,4, or 5 is rolled. The winner takes the seat and the next seat is brought out for bidding. In the example previously used, should a third player decide to buy four bids, this player will take the 5,6,8, and 9 roll tokens - "7" is skipped. Two dice are now used - a fact that should cause people to re-evaluate the probability distribution. Continuing with this example, should a fourth player decide to buy four bids, they will pay normally for 10,11 and 12 but have to now pay $2 in order to claim the "9" token from player three. Should a fifth player want to buy in, they will now have to pay $3 per token starting with 12, then 11 etc... This pattern continues around the board indefinitely until nobody can afford to modify the distribution any further. The dice are rolled and the seat is awarded.

When all 15 seats have been allocated, the players have a maximum of 5 minutes to determine the nature of government. If for example two parties, one with 5 seats and another with 4 seats, decide to form a coalition, they can do so without recourse since together they form a majority. If a party has 8 or more seats, they form an automatic Majority government. If a party has 7 or less seats, but no other coalition can be formed within 5 minutes to oppose this party, than this party rules as a minority government. If there is a tie, and no government is formed after 5 minutes, the result is an automatic coalition of the tied parties. Seats cannot be given from one player to another, they can however be put in the middle for a bidding war.

Once government has been formed, the game turn begins.

If there is a simple Majority or Minority government, the president takes a president card and collects $10 as a presidential allowance. In a coalition there is no allowance and no president card.

The president takes the first turn.

Four cards from the Special Interest Group set are taken from the pile and turned face up. A special interest card may have the following properties: a contribution level, an influence level, a cooperativeness value and possibly a partisanship alignment.

Contributions: The amount of money that card collects on during a player's turn.
Influence: The strength value of the card when used to try and collect other groups in the future.
Cooperativeness: The degree to which a group is willing to work with a political party. If a group has a cooperativeness of two, then a player must roll two or less without spending money in order to capture the card. Every dollar and influence number spent increments the odds by proportionately i.e. spending $10 will allow a player to be rolling 12 or less on a card with a cooperativeness of 2. A roll of "7" is an automatic loss. Other players may spend money to improve or worsen the odds of capture.

Special interest group capturing: Should a card be captured it is placed under the appropriate group type in the players umbrella. Taking this group counts as the group action for the player. There is only one of these per turn.

Floor-crossings: As the next action a player may attempt to steal a seat from another player. To calculate if that seat will cross the floor, a simple formula is used. A player defending against a floor crossing calculates their defense against the attack by taking their party discipline: high = 10 medium = 8 low = 6 and subtracting from this value the seats that are not supported by the summed cooperativeness of the player's special interest groups i.e. a player with high party discipline, 9 seats, and 1 group with a cooperativeness is susceptible to a floor crossing with the attacker rolling (10 - (9-2)) = 3 or less without spending money.

Backroom deals: A backroom deal can be brokered as a president who spends $5 or by giving up a card back to the main pile. This effectively prevents any other players from interfering the bidding odds taking place between two players or a player going after an individual group.

Seat losses: At the end of a players turn the player sums up the number of cards they have, with the their electability. They then roll both dice and the difference above their sum is the amount of seats that that player loses. So for instance, if a player has 5 cards and 5 electability, and then rolls a 12, they would lose two cards. This too can be influenced by other players. So a player with an electability of 10 and 5 cards, who would not otherwise be in danger of losing a seat, can be brought down to size by other players who may wish to spend $10 to bring that player down to losing difference of anything over 5. Seats that are lost, go back into the middle for the election that takes place at the end of a round. Players keep track of the sequence of governments they have formed in order to meet their winning conditions.


Money movements
Hierarchy Arrangements

Additional possible related ideas

The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook

Country specific extensions



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