About this project
Originally released by Fata Morgana in the 1980s, KREMLIN is a European-style boardgame where players compete to control the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Instead of the Fata Morgana version or the Avalon Hill reprint, the Jolly Roger KREMLIN will feature updated art and better components created in the style of 1930s Soviet poster propaganda.
By supporting this project, you will bring about a game which has been out of print in the United States for two decades, and allow it to be created with modern art and components (casino-quality cardstock for cards, etc). Of the project's goal, every penny will go towards production costs--art, shipping, and component quality.
The intention is to provide three different KREMLIN games in one box.
#1: The 'original' with fictional politicians, set in a USSR where KGB investigations send those found guilty to Siberia. This version will have victory conditions based on the original Fata Morgana rules.
#2: A version inspired by the Avalon Hill variant titled 'Revolution'. Set in the 1920s, it uses historical politicians as well as fictional politicians. It's a more violent game as those arrested by the KGB are shot and removed from the game
#3: A new version, set in the modern USSR and Russia, an era of entrenched bureaucracy and alternatives for escaping KGB persecution. This version introduces the concept of "Going into Exile" to avoid SIberia. It also includes modern politicians from the 1960s onwards, whether it is Kosygin or Putin and Gorbachev.
Kremlin is played for up to ten turns, ending as soon as the Party Chief successfully waves three times at the May Day Parade or when so many politicians are dead or in Siberia that the Party Chief can disband the Politburo and take complete power for himself.
Each turn has phases. The most important of these are the KGB trials (which can send party members to Siberia or the cemetery) and the Defense Ministry's Spy Investigations which can also force politicians on a winter's gulag holiday. With the KGB, the catch is that the higher up the ladder the target, the more difficult to bring down, and Party Chief's tend to change KGB leaders who take shots at the top... For the Defense Minister, his investigations require a trial to be successful--and a guilty vote, and that isn't always possible in the Central Committee.
The catch? Players allot influence secretly at the start of the game and don't reveal it until it is used, meaning no one knows who controls the KGB or any other ministry, not until Influence is revealed--and even then, who knows who still has undeclared influence on that person? It is possible that players can swap control back and forth over the KGB chief even as he is trying to determine who to assassinate!
Once the carnage is done, players have to survive the ravages of aging--and every time a politician takes action, he ages faster than normal...your 50 yr old star of the party? Well, suddenly he's acting like he's 83, Comrade. Life near the top will do that to you. In the Health phase, politicians may die or grow sick--sick politicians can choose to go to the hospital, but while there, they exert no influence and their responsibilities pass on to other politicians. Sometimes this means your man must make the heroic sacrifice to the Rodina and remain on the job even while at death's door.
Once we know who is still alive, the Party Chief is allowed to move politicians between posts. After all, he's in control of the bureaucracy. He can move people up and down, and when he's done, upper ministers do so as well--but can only affect politicians below them on the food chain. Heck, politicians can even sponsor comrades in exile in SIberia to come back to the People. Of course, each person you bring back ages you five years....want to bring back five? Age 25 years in the blink of an eye, Tovarich.
Intrigue cards allow you to take control of situations or foil other players' schemes. In one of the older versions, you could have things like Chernobyl take place in 1920. That's been corrected--so that while events may be the same, they have now been made era-appropriate.
The turn ends with the May Day Parade. If the party chief is healthy, he can wave throughout the day making people happy--clearly our socialist union is prospering. But if he's sick, sometimes he leaves early and is unable to wave, sending doubts through the ranks. If a faction (player) earns three waves, they win the game.
So what are the goals?
$9000: This is the campaign goal. This goal will allow for printing and manufacture of the game, making sure to provide high-quality components, as well as the art and layout to go with. Reaching the goal means all three versions of the game will be in the box along with the necessary politicians and action cards.
$11,000: If the campaign hits $11,000, Kickstarter supporters ONLY will receive six additional fictional politicians for use in their games.
$13,000: If we reach this level, ALL KREMLIN sets will have six player-aid mats included, meaning a handy place for the sequence of play and meaning you don't have to pass around the health chart from within the rules!
$14,000: If we can reach $14,000, Kickstarter supporters ONLY will receive six historical politicians for EACH other era (the 1920s and the modern)
$16,000: At $16k, we'll add in six additional event cards for Kickstarter supporters ONLY.
To be clear--the extra cards for these levels will never be available in stores. They're only for KS supporters (and for Jolly Roger to sell at Origins)--nowhere else.
$30,000: Kickstarter supporters will receive a sleeve for their copy of the game with different art than the box cover. This cover will never be duplicated.
$35,000: It's inconvenient to share just a single d20. At $35,000, copies of Kremlin will come with 6x d20, one for each possible player.
Does this sound fun? I hope so--because KREMLIN is a lot of chaos, a lot of backstabbing. It's one of my favorite games of all time. We've got many different reward levels for people willing to support, trying to take into account the needs of international backers as well as those interested in other Jolly Roger projects....details are on the rewards page.
$2: A postcard.
$25 or $40: A copy of the game postage paid.
$40 or $60: A copy of Kremlin and another Jolly Roger product, still postage paid.
$96: A copy of Kremlin and Pirates vs. Dinosaurs (but in the US only I'm afraid)
$120 or $160: Six copies of the game.
$250: We'll send you a copy of the game and a print of one of the portraits used in the game. The catch here is that we won't make any other prints available after this. ...that's about as limited edition as you can get!
Jolly Roger Games is in its 16th year producing games. With each passing year, we strive to improve the quality of our games, the quality of the components--the whole experience, all while trying to keep prices at an affordable level. Games should be for everyone.
Jolly Roger's website is: www.jollyrogergames.com
The video review was created by Joe Steadman and was used with his permission as part of the "Dice Tower".
Risks and challenges
The only real risks are whether people enjoy 1930s Soviet-style art and the question of quality production at the factory, but the most recent projects have been just fine.
The challenge is that this is a reprint of a classic, well-loved game, so that the game needs to remain the same, but also be brought up to date--with new art, a more modern-style rulebook with playing examples, etc.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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