Congratulations on your candidacy in The Primary! Outwit your opponents during a presidential primary election by traveling the country, hosting rallies and fundraisers, advertising, and gaining the favor of powerful Super PACs. Regions across the country will vote during the eleven rounds of the game and you will have to predict your opponents’ strategies in order to earn the most delegates and win the game! Good luck, candidates!
The Primary is played over 11 rounds, each with 4 phases: News, Action, Vote, and Organize.
In the News phase, 1 News card is drawn and its effect is applied to the current round. You may be forced to move, get an extra action, or gain influence, etc - be prepared to adjust your strategy!
In the Action phase, players select 4 Action cards from their hand and commit them face down in a queue.
Will your opponents try to swoop in and steal an election? Will they go all-out in an attempt to win over the Super PAC? Choose wisely!
Once all players have committed their 4 Action cards, they take turns executing their actions one card at a time. Bus and Plane cards provide some flexibility and the Positive Ad / Negative Ad cards can be used anywhere!
During the Vote phase, 1 or more regions may vote (or none at all - a nice break from the stress of campaigning.) The player with the most influence in the regions voting wins delegates, getting one step closer to victory!
The player with the most delegates at the end of the game wins!
The solo variant allows you to play against the incumbent ELECT-O-BOT 9000. A deck of Bot cards determines how the ELECT-O-BOT 9000 moves, deploys Influence cubes, and gains favor with the Super PAC. Test your campaign strategy against a formidable foe with multiple difficulty levels!
"The solo variant is also a ton of fun. So much so that I had to force myself to stop playing it." - Geek Dad
Check out the quick video below to learn how to set up and play The Primary!
If you have any questions about how to play, you can download the rulebook a little further down, check out the FAQ page, or feel free to reach out to me directly.
Interested, but still on the fence? Don't just take my word for it - check out the reviews below!
"The Primary is the best game I playtested in 2017!" - Patrick Edwards
"It's a beautifully designed game... it's got a lot of deep strategy" - Geek Dad
"We finished playing our first game and I immediately wanted to play again. That's not something that happens for me often" - Seth, playtester
"There was a lot of great mechanics put together for this one ... none of the polarizing political issues" - Tantrum House podcast
The Primary has been playtested over 100 times, by more than 70 unique playtesters. This includes both blind/remote playtests and third-party development work. It has also been playtested by experienced designers in the Madison Game Design Cabal and at Protospiel events in Madison, Milwaukee (twice,) and Chicago.
Check out the draft rulebook below to get a better understanding of the rules - don't miss the solo and team variants!
"You're gonna be able to sit somebody down and teach them how to play really quickly" - Board Game Closet
Can't wait to play? As recommended by the Tabletop Flix podcast, "It's worth printing out to play yourself!" Try out the low-ink Print & Play of The Primary below! Any and all feedback is welcome!
New Pledge Level - "Press Credentials"
Since the "Run For Office" pledge levels sold out so quickly, I have been getting requests for more ways for backers to get into the game. It took a little while, but I'm excited to announce the new "Press Credentials" pledge level! This will allow you to add your name and likeness to a News card, in addition to receiving a Kickstarter edition of The Primary with all unlocked stretch goals and having your name on the box! Please note this pledge level will be limited to the first 18 backers.
All backers who pledge for a physical copy of the game will have the opportunity to be recognized for eternity on the box!
I also want to help support retailers! Please back the campaign at the $1 pledge level and I will reach out to coordinate further details.
The Primary is using a slightly different stretch goal system, based on achievements! Below you can find a table of 24 project achievements, which are earned based on various funding and social media goals. There are currently 8 stretch goals for The Primary and each requires 3 completed project achievements to unlock.
Throughout the campaign, backers will vote on how they would like to spend their earned project achievements. In the spirit of democracy, the final stretch goals included in The Primary will be decided based on the vote totals from the backers - make sure to back early in order to make your voice heard!
The'res only 2 project achievements left! You can do it!
Remember, stretch goals are unlocked by backer votes once enough achievements have been obtained. Make sure to have your voice be heard!
I will be teaming up with Quartermaster Logistics for freight and fulfillment. They are experts in shipping crowdfunding projects and are well known for their reliability and efficiency. We can work with a network of distribution centers across the globe to provide you with the best shipping rates and delivery schedules.
Backers can pay one flat shipping rate for up to 3 games! Simply add $35 to your pledge for each additional copy.
- United States - $8
- Europe - $16
- Canada - $12
- Australia / New Zealand - $22
- Asia - $16 (China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan)
- Rest of the World - $26
A quick note on EU-friendly shipping and VAT: games will be shipped from a distribution center within the EU to EU backers. This way, the VAT will be paid directly by me and you have nothing to worry about!
Another quick note on local pick-ups: if you live in the Madison, Wisconsin area and would prefer to pick up your game, you can be refunded the shipping amount. You should pledge as normal, but please contact me and also clarify in your end-of-campaign survey that you would prefer local pick-up. Thanks!
It has been a real privilege to work with a great team of artists in Sebastian and Rocio of OK Art Studio. They have been doing great work for a long time in the board game industry and did an amazing job with The Primary! If you like their work, make sure to let them know!
I'd also like to give special thanks to a few people who have helped so much along the way: Justin Hertz, Abby Schultz, Keith Matejka, Kirk Dennison, Dan Cunningham, Nate Zabel, and Patrick Edwards!
Risks and challenges
While this is my first Kickstarter campaign, I have worked tirelessly to learn from the industry greats and have utilized a number of resources such as Jamey Stagmaier's Kickstarter Lessons, Funding the Dream, the Board Game Design Lab, and countless more.
The Primary has been playtested over 100 times, by more than 70 unique playtesters. This includes both blind/remote playtests and third-party development work. It has also been playtested by experienced designers in the Madison Game Design Cabal and at Protospiel events in Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago.
In the spirit of Kickstarter, the game design and development of The Primary is roughly 97.8% complete, with flexibility to incorporate feedback from backers. I realize Kickstarter is an amazing platform to have lots of smart people provide great feedback and want to fully utilize it, in order to make the best possible game for you.
The artwork and graphic design is essentially complete (outside of the "Run for Office" pledge levels - where you can become part of the game!) but it is still open for final tweaks and some minor discrepancies may exist between art on this page and the final product.
While manufacturing in China can be unpredictable, I work with it every day. My day job involves a number of consumer products manufactured at several different factories across China. We can assure you every precaution will be taken to ensure product quality and timeliness.
I will be teaming up with Quartermaster Logistics for freight and fulfillment. They are experts in shipping crowdfunding projects and are well known for their reliability and efficiency. We can work with a network of distribution centers across the globe to provide you with the best shipping rates and delivery schedules.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)