Brexit : The Card Game
A strategy game with asymmetry of information using Brexit as underlying flavour.
Brexit : The Card Game
A strategy game with asymmetry of information using Brexit as underlying flavour.
Brexit: The Card Game is a strategy game with asymmetry of information using Brexit as underlying flavor.
The game can be played by 3 to 12 players but is best played at 4 to 6 players. Each hand can last between 5 and 15 minutes. 2 to 3 hands are usually needed to declare either a winner or a loser of the game
The game is original and offers a unique game play. It is not a copy or a remake of any other game.
- Fun, easy to learn, quick games, many different strategies, many strategic choices.
- It's educational: play 3 games and you will understand everything there is to know about Brexit.
- Win-less & lose-more mechanic: since there is only one winner OR one loser, players close to victory(/defeat) will have other people ganging up against them.
- Easy to play, but hard to play well (not unlike Catan). There is a skill involved, and better players will end up winning most games.
- There is always something to fight for, even when the odds are against you. Minimizing a loss is as important as maximizing a win.
- There is asymmetry of information in so far as you are the only one who knows which character you play. There is therefore an element of bluff, influence and bullying during the game that makes the game very much alive.
- Different strategies have different risk-reward factors (not unlike Poker). And to win, you have to take risks.
- Element of time: there are a few mechanics in the game around time (not unlike Gin) which forces you to re-evaluate your strategy and maybe change it during the course of the game.
- So many "match-ups": there are 12 characters, but games are usually between 4-5 players. Different characters require different strategies, and even "different-er" strategies depending on who they play against.
- You get to solemnly say like the Speaker "ORDERRRR !" and "The AYES to the right, 7, the NOES to the left 9, so the NOES have it, the NOES have it" which is for me the best feature of the game.
In Brexit: The Card Game you play one of 12 character card below. You will win or lose points depending on which outcome of Brexit passes in the House of Commons. Reach 100 points and you win, reach -100 and you lose. It takes at least two games.
BREXIT Leaning Characters:
REMAIN leaning Characters:
No Deal, the Withdrawal Agreement (or commonly known as May's deal), a Customs Union, a Single Market deal, or a People's second Vote are written in the game respectively (ND, WA, CU, SM, PV). The game would work exactly the same if we were to call these options A,B,C,D,E. What makes the game interesting is that different players want different things.
In order for one game to end and for players to score points, one of these Brexit options must be put to a vote and have a majority. MP (Member of Parliament) cards are used to vote for or against that option.
BREXIT Leaning MPs:
REMAIN leaning MPs:
The "X" marks if it is legal for an MP to vote "AYE" or "NO" for each of the Brexit options. They can also abstain.
Not all MPs are allowed to vote freely. For instance, a Liberal Democrat cannot vote in favor of No Deal, but a UKIP can.
How does a turn look like?
At the beginning of your turn you draw one MP card, then draw one speaker card, then you can reveal your character to activate its ability, you can trigger a general election if it is legal, and lastly you must organize a previously delayed vote due to happen on this turn.
Speaker cards organize votes for a Brexit option and votes to exclude (rule out) a Brexit option among other things.
Most common speaker cards:
Unique Speaker cards:
News cards' "reason to be" is to make sure that no two games are the same (In each game, only 5 to 10 News card will be drawn on average, out of 30) and to make sure players take interesting decisions that will affect their odds of winning.
News card around trading MPs:
Other examples of News card:
The idea was to replicate the voting process in the House of Commons where MPs physically go sign a register "AYE" (resp. "NO") on the RIGHT (resp. LEFT) side of the chamber; and replicate the announcement of the vote by the speaker.
In the game, players place their MP cards on the RIGHT of their character card to vote "AYE", and on the LEFT to vote "NO"; or below to abstain.
Expect players to be a little confused the first time they want to vote "NO" to the "Rule Out Vote" on "No Deal", and whether that means to put their MP on the left or on the right side of their character card, but the confusion dissipates quickly.
The voting process is described in further details in the actual rules (revealing one's character card, delaying a vote, whipping MPs etc.)
Once every one has voted, one player is designated to count all the votes and solemnly announce the result to everyone in the typical speaker-like manner: "Order, Order. The AYES to the right, 7, the NOES to the left, 8, so the NOES have it, the NOES have it"
Some cards allow you to "whip" MPs that are not under your control, which means that you get to decide how they vote or if they should abstain. Knowing who can whip which MP is a big part of the decision making process when trading MP cards.
Now that you know enough about the game, but not enough to play, you are ready to read the rules of the game as they are written inside the prototype box if you so wish.
A typical game with 4 players will start like this: one hidden character card and 2 MP each.
A few basics about strategy and gameplay
- Having more MPs is generally good as it gives you more weight during votes.
- if you have to give an MP to an opponent, give it to a player that has voted like you in previous votes.
- if you can whip some MPs don't hesitate to give them away.
- When discarding/trading MPs take into account the "Labour Conference" which grants the Labour "whip" to whoever has most Labour MPs (resp. Conservatives). A very powerful card.
- Revealing your character grants you a special ability but after that, every one knows your intentions. Reveal as late as possible.
- Don't always try to exclusively go for your favorite option. You must compromise or a much worse options could happen.
- Bluffing about who you are is of course, a huge part of the game.
- After there is enough support for a General Election because of previously failed vote, someone triggering a General election cannot be stopped. Threatening other players to trigger a GE to get something else is a classic and regular argument at the table.
About News Cards:
- Desperate measures is a huge sacrifice for a small gain, so it should not be used early. However, if you know 3 of your MPs are "whipped" by another player whose interest don't align with yours, discarding them is a good thing.
- During "Cross Party Talks" try and observe who gives which MP to who To understand their intentions.
- When trading MPs, it is as important to minimize opponents potential than to maximize yours. Playing defense is key.
About delaying votes: why would one player want to delay a vote ?
- If opponents have a majority, a few extra turns (as per the delay) will lead players to draw MPs which could shift the majority, same for news cards (could shift the majority)
- Vote happen clockwise and are public, voting second is not like voting third or last as you have more information about who votes how.
- You get closer to No Deal (which happens when the Speaker card deck runs out)
- Delaying can be about having the opportunity to trigger an General Election (which one can only do during his turn).
- Early in the game it is much easier to have something go through if you have a lot of MP that can vote for (or against it). Choosing what to put to a vote (or to a rule out vote) should be a function of your MPs as much as a function of your character.
- Making a rule out vote succeed makes you draw one MP. It's critical to win it. Look at other players MPs, look at what votes are legal for them, and deduce which option has the best chances of being ruled out.
Small discussion around characters and how to play them.
Marc François and Sir Lindsay Hoyle: my two favorite characters whose mechanic is to interact with the speaker card deck. One can destroy 8 Speaker cards (i.e. run the clock down to No Deal) and the other (being the deputy speaker) can look at the top 4 speaker cards and put them back in any order. Late in the game, when stakes are high, being able to "engineer" luck is key.
Jacob Rees-Mogg : one of the strongest character of the game as he has the consistent ability to whip ERG MPs (there are 7 in the game). However, when facing remainer leaning characters, he won't be enough alone make a hard Brexit happen; and when facing Brexit leaning characters, other brexiteers normally will score more points than him. So, he is tricky to make the most of while minimizing your opponent's points. Remember, there's only one winner OR one loser.
Kenneth Clark, Phillip Hammond: they have a weak ability, but they want outcomes that are in the "middle", a compromise, which is easier to make happen.
Yvette Cooper: famous for the Ben-Cooper amendment to block No-Deal and force Prime Minister May to negotiate an extension, she has the ability to rule out ND and make PV the new end game default. If it goes through (rare) it changes the game a lot. Games with or without Yvette Cooper are very different.
Sir William Cash, Anna Soubry, Ian Blackford: they want extreme things (ND and PV) which is quite hard. To help them, Anna and Ian can whip 4 MPs each (SNP and IG MPs), for Sir William Cash, many mechanisms lead the game towards No Deal.
Boris Johson and Jeremy Corbyn: they have a huge incentive to make votes fail to be allowed to trigger a General Election (needs 6 vote that are gained either every time a vote fails, or through News cards). Although it is a gamble since the GE poll (comes from the news deck) will change at the wrong time and they must be leading in the polls to become Prime Minister (and win many points in the process)
Lastly Theresa may: she is incontestably the hardest character to play, with any other outcome than "her deal" making her loose points. To compensate, she gets many points when she succeeds. Expect huge cheers if a player manages to pass WA as Theresa May.
Please direct any questions to : firstname.lastname@example.org
Event: if at least 4 kickstarter sponsor chose the "play against the designer" pricy option, I will organise a table and chairs, and do a show match in the middle of parliament square with them on a saturday to be determined, but before the delivery to everyone else.
Options to support this project include to get one or more copies of the games, in the UK or anywhere else in the world. It also includes a hand delivery at 10 Downing Street if Boris is kind enough to get himself a copy.
Difficulties along the way
It has included
- A lot of guess work (guessing that Anna Soubry would the the one not to leave The Independent Group, guessing that Boris Johnson was the only credible potential replacement of Theresa May).
- Some luck (without the extension in June, it would have been harder with Brexit "not a thing" anymore). But at the same time, any cards about the European elections had to be taken out.
- Some research, to make sure News card are things that are happening (e.g. Trade wars between US and China) or past events that happened (e.g. the MP who lost her seat because of an alledged lie about a speeding ticket) or else references to British culture/politics (e.g. "Sabotage", a card about Sir Humphrey Appleby in the show "Yes Minister")
- Countless hours to play, to balance the game (points character scores, how many MPs from which side) to make sure that all options happened with equal probability, or that outcome that happen twice less give players twice as much points.
- Obviously, a lot of work to make sure the card text is English, hard for a French man...
Risks and challenges
Games is ready for production, and then MOQ (minimum order quantity) is 500 so if they are all sold it's hard to see how I could not deliver. At the very worst I could be late by 1 month on delivery if my supplier has issues, or if I encounter shipping problems, which I don't expect.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)