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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Game of Politics (1935)

Game of Politics (1935)

Ratings

5.35625 out of 10 with 16 ratings
Board Game Rank: Not Ranked

Description

Politics simulates a simplified version of the presidential election in the United States of America (electoral votes based on the 1930 or 1950 census, depending upon the edition of the game).

The playing board represents a map of the United States showing each state and its capital. The goal in both editions is to win the vote, which occurs when all the states have at least one candidate in it and someone rolls doubles. The player who has the most counties in any given state wins all the electoral votes from that state; in case of a tie, the player who reached the total first wins the state. If one player does not have a majority of electoral votes (269), only the two players with the highest votes continue - the rest are eliminated. It continues until another official vote is taken and a winner is determined.

In the 1935 edition, campaigning is conducted via a mix of dice rolls and speech cards. Players are given money and three speech cards at the beginning of the game, and whenever 7 or 11 is rolled an additional speech card is auctioned. Speech cards give players a small number of counties in specific states, allowing players to more effectively focus their campaigning and make comebacks. On a turn, players roll three dice. The dice (all the same color) are summed, and the total can be used to campaign in each of the 48 states. Small states - those with 3 to 5 electoral votes - take only 1 point to win a county, while larger states require as many as nine points to win a county.

The 1952 edition is significantly simplified. On a player's turn, the player rolls 3 dice (1 colored, 2 white) - the colored dice tells the player which states to be worked in this turn and the white dice tells the player how many "counties" (4-7 in each state) they win.

  • Designer: Oswald B. Lord
  • Publisher: Parker Brothers
  • Year Published: 1935
  • Number of Players: 2 - 6
  • Suggested Number of Players: 3
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 0
  • Playing Time: 60
  • Language Dependence: Moderate in-game text - needs crib sheet or paste ups
  • Category: Political
  • Mechanic: Dice Rolling
  • Family: Political: Elections
  • Alternate Names: Game of Politics, Oswald B. Lord's Game of Politics

Reviews

3 out of 10
By
There's a reason that pins haven't been used since 1952... they just don't work well, falling out of the board, etc. This is completely a game of luck: role 6s and you will win, role 1s and 2s and you will lose. The only redeeming quality is the antique nature of the game and the charming offer for assistance in the instructions if you "include a 3 cent stamp".

6 out of 10
By
A classic. I have all six versions of the game.

6 out of 10
By
In the context of its contemporary peers, this is a fantastic game. There is area control, an auction, and some surprising strategic subtlety that is probably not transparent at first glance, in terms of viable strategies to win the electoral count as players are eliminated. However, in competition with 'modern' games, there are some drawbacks. There is a significant role of luck (if you roll poorly, its going to be hard to compensate for that). There is card luck in terms of your starting hand of speeches, but the auction for later speeches creates an interesting tension between earlier (and more expensive) speeches vs conserving money for an advantage in the later auctions. There is an interesting tension between competing with flagging campaigns to try and avoid being 'on the chopping block' as the losing campaign vs attacking the leader. The dice luck isn't really any worse than lots of games today, but it is present. The pins in the board, I found endearing. The biggest drawback is probably the progressive player elimination, but our group found it entertaining to watch the rest of the election play out. I'd be happy to play this one again. I actually think there is a sufficiently interesting underlying engine that it could be refurbished, modified slightly, and make a solid game in today's market.

5.2 out of 10
By
I like politics. I hope to pull it out for a politically themed halloween party before an election some day.

By
My copy says copyright 1936. The game board is separate from the box with the rest of the bits and instructions. It was sold that way as many older games were. It also means that it uses the 1930 or 1940 census for tally purposes. (my home state...Mich....had 19 electoral votes after those census years, which is the ammount in my game. After the 1950 census, Michigan had 20 electoral votes. This is a good way to at least narrow down the date of your copy). And to show how times change, Michigan is now down to only 17 electoral votes.

5 out of 10
By
Had this game about 30 years ago, and don't remember too much about it, other than you had to stick pins INTO the board - thus permanently scarring it.

By
Missing the game board.

By
Alex G. Malloy estate; complete with board

By
I played a 1940's version of this game. We improved it by removing the dice and having players play all the possible rolls 2-12. We would have to strategize for the order of the die count play. I would rate the game 10 with that change. We also updated it with new electoral votes for 1950 if I recall right. Sadly, I only own the 1950's game which I picked up because it was derived from the earlier game. I think the 1967 game Concensus is also derived from it. Concensus or a later version of Politics had bandwagons created instead of the auction cards. The auction cards in the 1940's version were for radio speeches.

By
754-28 owners.

4 out of 10
By
Apparently the older version is better, but this rating is for the one from the 1950's. I like political themes in games, and I can see what the game wants to have happen, but there is a little too much luck involved with the die rolls, and from what I've heard (we didn't use the cards), the cards make it even worse. Also, component wise, the pins don't make too much sense and are too difficult to work with. I enjoyed playing this, but only because I was rolling well and my opponents were not. But on reflection I think everything this game aspires to do Campaign Trail does better.

7 out of 10
By
Thanks to Joe Huber for pointing this one out to me. Good game - especially considering how old it is. I have two copies. The first edition is the edition I play upon. The second edition is available for trade. 2nd edition for sale $30

7.5 out of 10
By
The best politics game i've played. And one of the best old games i have played. It has surprising good mechanisms for its time. Some drawback include luck and player elimination. Altough fitting with the theme...

By
Apparently dates back to 1888.

By
No board; need to make one.

2 out of 10
By
Everything controlled by the dice and they actually expect you to ruin the game board by sticking straight pins into it!

5 out of 10
By
This game has deservedly achieved an impressive level of infamy in my game group. Known as "The Pin Game" because you are constantly sticking pins into the board and replacing them as they fall out. It's mostly luck of the dice and the cards. If that evens out, there is some interesting strategy, but most of the time lucky high rolls win out since the game isn't too long. I love election games, probably my favorite genre along with baseball, so my rating is probably too high at five :)

By
2 gray 1935ish boxes and one board that matches the boxes.

By
only have the board for this game
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