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Hertfordshire - 2005

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A new scenario is now up:

"Hertfordshire" - Hertfordshire 2005, by John Birch

You can go to the Prime Minister Forever Updates/Scenarios page to download this scenario.

Please note: this is a third-party scenario - 80soft did not make this scenario.

The 80soft.com Team

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  • 3 months later...

Firstly, the graphics & the detail to characters are excellent. A good deal of work has gone into this, & I was particularly impressed at the series of local newspapers listed to be influenced, & as such this deserves a thumbs up.

What lets this scenario down is the fact that the minor parties (ie. those outside of the Lab/Con/Lib Dem group) might as well forget it & go home.

The Greens who can pick up one token seat, & that will be their lot. Meanwhile, anyone with any knowledge of minor political parties could tell you that Broxbourne has always been one of the most fruitful areas for the far-right since time immemorial, being a traditional "flight" area for Londoners that have come into prosperity, where they can spend their weekends blaming Blacks, Asians, Europeans, Scots, etc. for the non-existent problems in some of the most idyllic surroundings in all England (the area has the 3rd lowest council tax in the UK)

But spare a thought most of all for the St Albans Party. They will be bankrupt by the fourth turn if they attempt to do anything - & they cannot even earn themselves any more by fundraising as they will never have enough CPs to do so!

"So what?" you may say, "who expects them to win?" Well the truth is that at council level the minor parties tend to do rather well, far better than they would at Parliamentary level. It is easy for the small guys to use all their members to hit target wards, & thus match the ground strength of the majors, whilst the needs for separate leaflets per candidate for the major parties strains their resources.

At council level, campaigns are localised & intensive, so the candidates that can get out most of its helpers stands the best chance. Major political parties, however, tend to be organised at Branch level covering several council wards, the result being an equal dissipation of resources, & a failure to pick up on time on such factors as a particular candidate's popularity as a local "character", for example, which mean far more at a grassroots level than they would at Parliamentary level.

Furthermore, local elections traditionally see a lot of voters staying at home, and all political studies have shown that this hurts Labour & the Tories most.

So for this to work, there would certainly need to be a good bit of restructuring so that the Greens, BNP, etc. would be able to put up more than token resistance. Also the random events generator needs a check - "Blair declares a May 5th election" or the local Tory leader being interviewed on TV by David Frost seem a bit silly (he would be interviewed by the local TV news stations or radio)

That said, well done for an interesting scenario to play.

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  • 4 months later...


The structure of County Council Elections lends itself more easily and interestingly to a PM Forever scenario than a unitary scenario such as a city council. John Birch should be congratulated on devising this scenario. He should also be thanked for posting it as it enables the likes of Waffer Thin Mint and myself to pick holes in it. With so few UK scenarios posted, we should accept that scenarios will have shortcomings but this does not mean that we should not point them out.


As many as 10 local newspapers offered endorement and no pressure groups. The fact that all 10 papers were given a centre-right persuasion made this aspect less interesting than it might have been. To make up for this, no party received a leaning bonus. A flaw exists in that the most important of the papers could give its endorsement to any of the 3 main party leaders who decided in their first turn to commit all 5 of their PPs. This apart, the in-built centre-right position of the papers means that the Conservatives will be gifted them all at some stage. A Lib Dem candidate can successfully target one at the most and a Labour candidate could get 3 or 4.

Party Platforms & Leaders

The Labour and Lib-Dem platforms are very similar. This means that there is less of a likelihood for the campaign to be fought on issues. The relatively even strengths of all the three main party leaders help ensure that the campaign is interesting.


All three parties are given very little money to fight the campaign. The cost of advert production remained the same and therefore very expensive even if the actual cost of broadcasting was financially tangible. Once the Ad had been produced, the player is restricted in where they can choose to broadcast it. You can not cherry pick your areas; you can either put it out everywhere or in all but two areas.


Due to the low campaign funds, the cost of targetting was not altered and therefore was a very costly excercise. The cost of barnstorming was also not altered and therefore became another expensive luxury. The sensible strategy was therefore not to target efforts into any particular seats. This is always a shame as it takes out of the game, an important part of the fun.

Policy Speeches

The cost of these was not changed, therefore they were a campaign luxury that no player could afford. As a result the Daily Political Times was lacking in contest.


As with the standard PM forever, spinning is easier for the Labour and Conservative players as the Lib Dem player has to use 4 control points to get a 100% spin instead of 3. Despite this, a Lib Dem player could still dominate the pages against computer opponents.

Playing Enjoyment

The first time a scenario is played is invariably the most enjoyable as you are learning about the options and formulating your strategies. Adapting to running a campaign on a shoe string was an enjoyable challenge. The first time I played it, I was the Lib-Dem, who started in 3rd place in both seats and votes. Throughout the 6 week campaign, I maintained the highest momentum among the main three parties. I managed to keep adverts running across virtually the whole county for 5 weeks, unlike my opponents. I ended the campaign with over 50% more foot soldiers than the other two and had 3 crusaders to their one each. The last week of the campaign went like a dream and I ended the campaign with a momentum of +8.5 while the other two ended with -3 and -4 momentums, positions that they were in for most of the campaign.

The Result - "I may have lost the election but at least I won the arguement"

As the Lib-Dem player, I started out with 10 seats and 26%. After dominating the campaign for 6 weeks, I approached polling day with some expectation that I would be rewarded for my play. On polling day, I was awarded 11 seats and 26% of the vote. Very dissatisfying, but then again, from my own real life experience, depressingly realistic. :(


The scenario does not seem to respond much to anything a player does during the campaign. A player can get momentum but this does not reflect itself as far as the opinion polls or the actual votes are concerned. The scenario also appears to have some sort of in-built Conservative party bias, as they had the worst of the campaign but achieved the most improved position. It may have been set up to closely resemble the current political climate and local environment but needs to be tweaked a bit to produce a game that can be of interest to a wider audience.

Hertffordshire Revisited

I have recently returned to this scenario to employ a campaign tactic I had succesfully deployed in other scenarios. In the interim, I don't think I tweaked the original scenario. Anyway, I can now easily achieve majority control playing either Labour or the Lib Dems in addition to the Conservatives. Some scenarios just take a little working out.

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