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Actinguy

Founding Fathers Three: This Time, It's The Third One

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@mlcorcoran @Woot @Agent B @Leuser @Shamilton @

A few players from "Part Two: Electric Boogaloo" have already expressed an interest in playing again, so I'm happy to do so.

We've kicked around a few more potential rule changes, but first we should probably do a head count.

I'll give first preference to our six regular players tagged above.  If anyone doesn't want to play again because you have a real life and can't play board games all day every freaking day, I totally get it.  ;c)  Just let us know.

We already have three players confirmed, so we'll play the game one way or the other.  If we do have less than six players returning, we can discuss whether to open the game to specific others, or keep it just among us.

I'll post some potential rule alterations, etc, momentarily for discussion.

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Potential changes for consideration/vote by our players.

1)  Would we like to include the sequel game this time?

2)  @mlcorcoran has proposed potentially limiting each player to a maximum number of statesmen -- perhaps seven or so.  (You could keep any extras in your hand, but of course you're still limited to three cards in your hand.)  You could "retire" (kill off) statesmen ahead of schedule if you wanted to play a new statesman and were already at your max.

3)  Instituting a minimum age limit.  This is my preference for realism to set age minimum to 35 -- meaning a statesman cannot have a job until they are 35, for realism.  But I've been voted down on this before, so I don't object to being voted down again. ;c)

4)  I think requiring cabinet members to be named before the issues are revealed worked really well last time.  Want to do that again?

5)  Vote order -- are we happy with how that went last time, with people voting in any order unless someone called for it to be in order?

6)  Do we want to keep the "two black rings" rule as we have every time so far?

7)  Optional rule from the rule book: "Reduced Faction" --  If a player is down to one Statesman and does not hold any currently playable Statesmen in hand, they can reveal all their hand cards, spend 1 Influence Point and name another player who has or is tied for the most Statesmen. This player must give the player who paid one of their Statesmen.

8 ) Optional rule from the rule book: "Black Reputation" -- The first time a player plays an action that increases Tension, they take a black cube. If the game ends due to civil war, any player holding such a cube cannot win. With respect to Issues, a cube is taken by the faction of the last person able to prevent the Tension increase.  (Rule book offers several examples to show this in action)

9) Optional rule from the rule book: "Persuasion" --  With this rule, players persuade Statesmen to join their factions. Immediately after setup, starting with the President player and continuing in clockwise order, each player places one of their player disks on one of their Statesmen. This denotes the faction leader, who is immune from Persuasion. During The People phase, immediately after the Control Newspapers step, each player can change their faction leader. Persuasion is a new player option listed before Make a Speech. Each player may try it once per initiative. For more details see the back cover.

10)  Issuing starting statesmen:  Right now, the rules dictate which statesmen begin together depending on how many players you have.  We could potentially shuffle them, though this could result in an imbalanced start.

11)  Starting positions:  We could start with Washington's beginning cabinet in place -- Jefferson as Sec of State, Hamilton at Treasury, John Jay in Supreme Court.  Edmund Randolph as Attorney General.  Washington's first PM General and Sec of War are not in the game, and he had multiple Generals, so these would be vacant/needing to be appointed.

These are all just proposals/ideas/etc either from my own mind, player discussion, or from the rule book.  I can take or leave any of these, majority rules.

 

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7 minutes ago, Actinguy said:

@Shamilton will be sitting this one out because he has a real life.  ;c)  @Herbert Hoover, an experienced and competitive player, has agreed to fill his empty chair.  Welcome, Herbert!

Happy to be here! I've admittedly only played up to the 1820's or so, but I'm excited to see what dynamic emerges. I've not kept up too much with who's worked with who the past two games but it'll be fun seeing where the cards lie ;) As for the questions for considerations:

1. I've never played, 

2-7 sure. I can see these as worthwhile additions. 

8. Nay. It may discourage foul play.

9. Nay.

10. Starting statesmen, or if you made a custom balanced start. 

11. Nay. 

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7 minutes ago, Herbert Hoover said:

 I've not kept up too much with who's worked with who the past two games 

The big alliance for most of the first game was between Leuser and Shamilton, but Shamilton isn't playing this time.  

Alliances in the second game appeared (from an outsider perspective) to be much more temporary and fluid.

So who the heck knows!  ;c)

9 minutes ago, Herbert Hoover said:

. I've never played, 

Sequel game runs through WW1.  Basic concept is the same, with issue cards, etc.  But elections are extremely different, and balancing party support and finances are no longer a concern.

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1) Definitely yes let's play all the way thru the sequel game
2) Abstain. If we agree on the ability to "persuade" statesmen to swap factions, then there shouldn't be a need for limiting faction size
3) Yes, let's avoid bringing Statesmen into the game too early before their actual era; There are nearly 100 playable statesmen characters in the game
4) Nay. Having to name the entire cabinet before Issue 1 arrives may be expedient, but it takes away an opportunity for making/breaking deals and alliances
5) Yes to opening voting to all players in any order unless a roll call vote is requested or someone spends IP on bonus votes
6) Yes to the Two Black Rings rule
7) Nay to "reduced faction" rule
8. Yes! A penalty for raising Tension is a fun new twist
9) Yes, stealing or even trading Statesmen to keep factions fluid really makes things interesting
10) Yay to re-balancing the starting statesmen
11) Yes only if 10 is rejected otherwise Nay

@Actinguy For #10, Starting Statesmen, I think I've found a way to re-balance it at game start where:

  • Every player faction has exactly 10 votes, so no overpowering voting block at game start
  • Every player has at least one "M" military statesmen
  • "Old' and "Young" statesmen are spread across all player factions so no one runs out of statesmen too soon

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@swejie has confirmed that he is interested.  That’s a full six players again.  Welcome all!

I’ll pause and give folks a chance to finish voting.  I’ll cast tie breakers as needed but otherwise I’ll leave it up to majority rule.

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1) abstain, I'm fine either way
2) seems unnecessary
3) sure
4) The cabinet first seems better thematically, I don't see before/after one issue being that big of a difference
5) *
6) sure
7) I like this, a catch-up move to prevent someone falling too far behind
8 ) No, if the best way for a player to win is by civil war, they should be allowed to
9) I don't get the benefit.  This seems like it would unnecessarily slow down the game.  No, but could be convinced to change my mind
10) I'd lean towards keeping it as is.  Ok with shuffling if you take a look at the stacks and make sure nothing crazy happened (and do this before assigning stacks to players)
11) Abstain

* Yes, it was fine last time.  I think the president is most likely to roll call, as they vote last and have the most information.  This roll call will happen before the voting starts.  I would propose, if you vote out of turn and a roll-call happens after you, your previous vote stands (to speed up gameplay).  This is trusting that nobody is intentionally stalling to game the system (which becomes a concern when we start betting on the game : ) 
 

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Okay.  That's four so far.  @Woot and @Leuser what say you on the possible rule changes?

Our tally so far:

Sequel game:  One aye, three abstain.

Statesman Limit: One aye, one nay, two abstain.

Minimum Age Limit:  Three aye, one abstain.  (The ayes have it regardless of any additional votes, so we'll have a "must be 35 or older" rule to be assigned a position.)

Cabinet appointed first: Two ayes, one nay, one abstain.

Vote order same as last time, vote in any order unless there's a call not to: Three ayes, one abstain (The ayes have it regardless of any additional votes)

Two Black Rings: Three ayes, one abstain.  (The ayes have it)

Reduced Faction Rule: Two ayes, one nay, one abstain

Black Reputation Rule: Three nays, one aye 

Persuasion Rule: Two nays, one aye, one abstain

Shuffle the starting statesmen: Three nay (there is a competing proposal to "rebalance the statesmen" -- MLC has created a draft version of this which does a good job of giving everyone equal starting votes, equal military ability, and balances ages well.  However, be aware that some players would start with two strong statesmen and others would start with four weak ones...it's balanced overall in MLC's proposal, but there is a disparity in number of statesmen and individual statesmen strengths.)

Historical Starting Jobs: Two nay, two abstain





 

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Here's a couple other ideas for the starting statesmen:

@mlcorcoran @swejie @Woot @Agent B @Herbert Hoover @Leuser

We set up a draft, in reverse order of last game's score.  Herbert will vote in Shamilton's place.  So Woot would be first to pick, MLC would be last.  Draft options:

1)  Basic rulebook factions.  You just pick which faction of statesmen you want

2)  MLC's revised "balanced" factions (some have 2 statesmen and some have 4, but it's an equal number of votes, and balanced for ages).  You pick which faction of statesmen you want.

3)  A true statesmen draft.  I just reveal all of the statesmen who are available at the start of the game and you pick one on your turn, until you each have three.  In this case, we'd likely do a "snake draft.

 

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Re-Balancing Factions at game start

For your consideration @Leuser @swejie @Herbert Hoover @Agent B @Woot @Actinguy

  • Every faction starts with the same total # of votes
  • Every player gets at least one "M" military guy
  • No one player has just all "old" statesmen or just "young" statesmen
  • No one player starts the game with a statesmen with a special power, i.e. "+1 IP per Turn" or "Speech for Free +1 to Roll" all those guys would be drawn from the deck

Player 1: George Washington and Roger B. Taney - 10 votes
                  Because Washington carries 10 votes by himself and is the starting President, this faction starts with just 2 guys

Player 2: John Adams, Timothy Pickering, James Madison - 10 votes

Player 3: Ben Franklin, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, James Monroe - 10 votes

Player 4: George Clinton, John Jay, Thomas Pinckney, William H. Crawford - 10 votes

Player 5: Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Randolph, Rufus King, John Quincy Adams - 10 votes

Player 6: Oliver Ellsworth, Gouverneur Morris, John Marshall, Charles Pinckney II - 10 votes

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I'm hoping to start the game Thursday evening, so let's aim to wrap up any rule change and statesmen distribution method discussions by then.

If anything isn't firmly decided by then by a majority of voters, then I'll make the final decisions -- but otherwise, I'll keep deferring to majority rule.

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4 hours ago, mlcorcoran said:

Re-Balancing Factions at game start

For your consideration @Leuser @swejie @Herbert Hoover @Agent B @Woot @Actinguy

  • Every faction starts with the same total # of votes
  • Every player gets at least one "M" military guy
  • No one player has just all "old" statesmen or just "young" statesmen
  • No one player starts the game with a statesmen with a special power, i.e. "+1 IP per Turn" or "Speech for Free +1 to Roll" all those guys would be drawn from the deck

Player 1: George Washington and Roger B. Taney - 10 votes
                  Because Washington carries 10 votes by himself and is the starting President, this faction starts with just 2 guys

Player 2: John Adams, Timothy Pickering, James Madison - 10 votes

Player 3: Ben Franklin, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, James Monroe - 10 votes

Player 4: George Clinton, John Jay, Thomas Pinckney, William H. Crawford - 10 votes

Player 5: Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Randolph, Rufus King, John Quincy Adams - 10 votes

Player 6: Oliver Ellsworth, Gouverneur Morris, John Marshall, Charles Pinckney II - 10 votes

Is Taney in the first deck? It also seems strange for Washington's hand to only have the two statesmen, since Washington has a good chance to die in office. Maybe balance with WHH who if I recall is also 0 votes. I just worry that that player may be at a disadvantage after the first term or two since they will have absolutely no voting power. 

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Point well taken! I left out William Henry Harrison because he's got a special feature "+1 to Ability if General". 

Would swapping Taney out for Harrison be acceptable?

Also, if we added a 3rd statesmen for Player 1, I would recommend Daniel Tompkins since he's age 24 right after Harrison's 23 and only carries 1 vote. 

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Also with regards to the possibility of George Washington dying early on, that would be one of the benefits of including the "persuade a statesman" rule option, so that Player 1 could make up the gap in his faction's voting block by taking another player's statesman away.

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8 hours ago, Actinguy said:

Here's a couple other ideas for the starting statesmen:

@mlcorcoran @swejie @Woot @Agent B @Herbert Hoover @Leuser

We set up a draft, in reverse order of last game's score.  Herbert will vote in Shamilton's place.  So Woot would be first to pick, MLC would be last.  Draft options:

1)  Basic rulebook factions.  You just pick which faction of statesmen you want

2)  MLC's revised "balanced" factions (some have 2 statesmen and some have 4, but it's an equal number of votes, and balanced for ages).  You pick which faction of statesmen you want.

3)  A true statesmen draft.  I just reveal all of the statesmen who are available at the start of the game and you pick one on your turn, until you each have three.  In this case, we'd likely do a "snake draft.

 

I think we should just start with random cards. I didn't get elected for the first 150 years of the first game and not at all the second game. Neither game did I finish in last. Both games I had the most or close to the most statesman. I didn't have anyone with 25 points the second game but I had a lot of statesman with less than 10. If you have the lowest amount of IP you get the first pick of the cards.

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1)  Yes include the sequel

2)  @mlcorcoranNo maximum amount of statesman but they can be given to another faction for IP or support.

3)  Instituting a minimum age limit.  I think the age limit should be 35 for president but they can have a cabinet position as soon as they can be played.

4)  I think requiring cabinet members to be named before the issues are revealed worked really well last time. Not required but you can

5)  Vote order -- are we happy with how that went last time, with people voting in any order unless someone called for it to be in order? Keep the same until someone requests a vote order

6)  Do we want to keep the "two black rings" rule as we have every time so far? Yes keep the samee

7)  Optional rule from the rule book: "Reduced Faction" --  If a player is down to one Statesman and does not hold any currently playable Statesmen in hand, they can reveal all their hand cards, spend 1 Influence Point and name another player who has or is tied for the most Statesmen. This player must give the player who paid one of their Statesmen.

8 ) Optional rule from the rule book: "Black Reputation" -- The first time a player plays an action that increases Tension, they take a black cube. If the game ends due to civil war, any player holding such a cube cannot win. With respect to Issues, a cube is taken by the faction of the last person able to prevent the Tension increase.  (Rule book offers several examples to show this in action) Yes this looks interesting.

9) Optional rule from the rule book: "Persuasion" --  With this rule, players persuade Statesmen to join their factions. No 

10)  Issuing starting statesmen:  Right now, the rules dictate which statesmen begin together depending on how many players you have.  We could potentially shuffle them, though this could result in an imbalanced start. I say either shuffle them or keep them the same as they have been.

11)  Starting positions:  We could start with Washington's beginning cabinet in place -- Jefferson as Sec of State, Hamilton at Treasury, John Jay in Supreme Court.  Edmund Randolph as Attorney General.  Washington's first PM General and Sec of War are not in the game, and he had multiple Generals, so these would be vacant/needing to be appointed. I agree to starting with the cabinet already in place and those cards going out randomly.

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Our final tally:

Sequel game:  YES

Statesman Limit: YES (This was the only one I had to tie-breaker on)

Minimum Age Limit:  YES 35

Cabinet appointed first: YES

Vote order same as last time, vote in any order unless there's a call not to: YES

Two Black Rings: YES

Reduced Faction Rule: YES

Black Reputation Rule: NAY

Persuasion Rule: NAY

Shuffle the starting statesmen: NAY

Historical Starting Jobs: NAY

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@mlcorcoran @Agent B @Woot @Herbert Hoover @Leuser @swejie

Here's a recap of our variation of the game rules

(For newbies watching, to be clear, many of these are our homebrew rules after multiple playthroughs).

SEQUEL GAME -- Yes, we will be playing the sequel game...if you can keep the country solvent that long.  As a reminder -- or new info for a couple of you -- the sequel game is triggered either by running out of decks in the first game, or by triggering the Civil War by maxing out tension.  Should the country bankrupt, however, the sequel game will not be reached.

STATESMAN LIMIT - We're going to test out a new rule that you can only have seven statesmen active at one time.  You may hold additional statesmen in your hand, but you still have a limit of three hand cards.  If you want to activate a statesman and you are already at your limit, you must "retire" (kill off) one.

AGE LIMIT - Your statesman must be at least 35 years old to hold any job (General, Secretaries, Postmaster General, Chief Justice, President, VP, etc.)  This is still younger than any actual President, cabinet member, etc from our real American history.

CABINET APPOINTED FIRST - You must appoint your full cabinet, including any vacant General or Supreme Court positions, etc, before revealing the first issue of your term.  Should a death take place mid-term, you must fill that position again before revealing the next issue.

VOTE ORDER:  Factions can vote in any order -- but if anyone plays cards to affect the vote total or purchases votes with IP, or simply calls for a vote to be in order, we start the vote over in order and people try to get more votes (if so inclined) on their turn.  President gets final turn/say.

TWO BLACK RINGS:  If you fail to win a Presidential election, you receive a black ring.  If you abstain from running when you were the top choice, you ditch the black ring.  If you gain two black rings, you are permanently banned from running for President OR VP.  Be aware:  in the sequel game, this restriction remains...but there is no longer any way to ditch black rings.

REDUCED FACTION RULE:  If a player is down to one Statesman and does not hold any currently playable Statesmen in hand, they can reveal all their hand cards, spend 1 Influence Point and name another player who has or is tied for the most Statesmen. This player must give the player who paid one of their Statesmen.


 

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I'm going to change the age limit to 34, as that's how old Hamilton was when he became Secretary of the Treasury and it's close enough to the President minimum of 35.

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