Note: The images you see in the video are prototypes, and will not reflect the quality of the final product, which will be higher! Thanks for understanding!
The presidential election of 1860 was one of the most critical in the history of the United States. With civil war looming as a near inevitability, the challenge was to find a way forward after years of degenerating political discourse in the increasingly divided American electorate. In the end, after months of contentious campaigning between four major parties and over a dozen smaller ones, the election was won by the Republican dark horse candidate, a little known Illinois politician named Abraham Lincoln who hadn't even been the first choice of his party's senior leadership.
Divided Republic is a card driven two to four player game representing the last calm before the storm that was to become the American Civil War. Players represent the four major parties (Constitutional Unionists, Northern Democrats, Republicans, and Southern Democrats) and attempt to win the presidency by defeating their opponents with dirty tricks, platform speeches, and the manipulation of key historical events. All the while, President Buchanan interferes, radicals riot, and the country continues the downward spiral toward civil war.
If one party wins the election by achieving the necessary 152+ electoral votes, or wins in the case of an electoral tie thrown to the US Congress, history may well change. Nevertheless, there is always the chance that the population of South Carolina will finally explode into open rebellion and secede, ending the game, at which point everyone loses!
This is a light to medium weight game with intense player interaction, card-driven play, and a play time of about 2-3 hours depending upon how events proceed. There are even a few laughs along the way as the mudslinging between parties heats up. Literally anyone can win - it's not simply a cut and dry Republican victory. This is a different kind of US election game, a game where there are not two, but four parties, set in a period when candidates did not generally campaign for themselves, and run in an era when the Republicans were still liberals and the Democrats were the vanguard of traditional American conservatism.
I have been testing this game and showing it off at gaming conventions for entirely too long. Along the way, it's consistently been well received, and dozens of players have asked the same question: When will it be published?
Honestly, the delay in getting it produced was twofold. First, it's a fact of anxiety: submitting one's designs can be a nerve-wracking and often demoralizing process, particularly if the game just doesn't suit the companies you're seeking to publish with. On a more practical front, however, it's simply a very difficult matter to get yourself published as a virtual unknown. One could have a truly brilliant design ready to go but be completely ignored by the industry's movers and shakers simply because one has not yet been published; it's a vicious cycle: they want more experience from you as a designer, and yet, without being published, you simply cannot get that experience! It's a tough road to hoe, even tougher with the economy in the state it's in.
Fortunately, and somewhat miraculously, a great little company called Numbskull Games, is offering me the opportunity to see my dream come true and to become a published board game designer. There's only one catch: producing a board game costs money. The design and component costs are only half the battle; there are also the costs of printing, production, distribution, and marketing. The costs are even higher with an unknown in the industry like yours truly.
Fortunately, the game is developed and ready to go. It's been extensively tested and proofread; placed in a burlap bag and soundly beaten with reeds; sanitized for your protection. All it needs is a little help in the production cost department to cover printing, final artwork, distribution, and the like.
That's where you, faithful reader, can make a difference. I need to raise the necessary funds to help cover the cost of the first production run of 1,000 copies. This can be accomplished with a relatively modest fee by industry standards: approximately $13,000.
By making a contribution, you'll not only help to bring a quality game to market, but you'll also help fulfill a long and dearly held dream. It would be my distinct honor to present this design to the gaming community, and Kickstarter finally affords that opportunity. Won't you consider a contribution?
Thanks very much for your time, in -any- case.
Alex T. Bagosy
- (40 days)