"The way to have power, is to take it" - William "Boss" Tweed
Tammany Hall is a board game of backstabbing, corruption, temporary alliances
and taking power at all costs. If you want to rule New York, you are going to
need to play the cities growing immigrant populations against one another. Help
the immigrant groups who owe you political favors, call in those favors to
slander your rivals and win election.
In Tammany Hall, players help immigrants settle in New York, collect political favors from those immigrant groups, send ward bosses into Manhattan to secure votes and slander political opponents. An election is held at the end of every fourth year, and the player who uses his power base best will be elected mayor. The Mayors grip on the city is tenuous at best. After every election, the Mayor must pay off his political rivals by placing them in offices that they can wield to try and take control of the city. Every player is your friend, every player is your enemy.
Tammany Hall was the political machine that dominated New York City politics by organizing the cities immigrant populations. While the organization’s influence spanned from its founding in the 1790’s to its collapse in the 1960’s this game is set during the height of Tammany’s power roughly between 1850 and 1870, the era of Boss Tweed. The game board is based on a map of Lower Manhattan in New York. The actual physical location of Tammany Hall moved several times through its history and one more time for the sake of our game.
Tammany Hall has been called a “Holy Grail” game by many gamers due to its great reputation and extremely limited availability. Only 500 copies of the game were ever produced, and since then the game has only been available on online auction sites for premium prices. That’s the reason for this kickstarter project. Tammany Hall is one of my favorite games and I want to make sure it gets into as many player’s hands as possible. I’ve teamed up with Stratamax Games to make sure this game gets the wide release it deserves.
The game was designed by Doug Eckhart and developed by the
talented team at Stratamax Games, with artwork by the exceedingly talented
Peter Dennis (artist on games such as Brass, London, A few Acres of Snow and
many, many more)
Tammany Hall. Take Power. Rule New York.
Tammany Hall is coming to kickstarter simply because it’s the only way the game is ever going to get a wide release. Despite great word of mouth, reviews and buzz in the board game community, Tammany Hall has never gotten a wide release. In fact, only 500 copies were ever printed and most of those were sold in Europe at Essen 2010.
The kickstarter is going to help us raise money for the printing, shipping and distribution costs of Tammany Hall. Without your support this game will continue to be relegated to “holy grail” status. One of those board games everyone hears about but very few get the chance to play.
On top of helping us bring this great game to players everywhere, you'll be able to get a copy of the game at a 10% retail discount, all stretch goal rewards and free shipping to the US for every donation level (other than the 1 dollar pledge).
We want to reward our supporters who help make this game a reality with stretch goals as the games funding improves. Higher funding levels will allow us to make this already great game even better for our kickstarter backers. Every pledge level will recieve all stretch goal rewards!
45K stretch goal reward level
All backers will receive custom decal sheets for the political favor chips matching the flag of the immigrant’s home country.
55K stretch goal reward level
All backers will receive custom city office license cards. These are thick cardboard player aides that are given to the players to designate the office that they hold and to serve as a reminder of your office’s power during play.
65K stretch goal reward level
All backers will receive 10 custom “Boss” meeples (2 in each player color). You can’t expect to rule New York without a party boss can you? These custom “Boss” meeples feature a stove pipe hat and are used as your scoring marker and elected officials.
80K stretch goal reward level
All backers will receive 90 custom “street Gang” meeples (18 in each player color). What better way to get the vote out than a little voter intimidation? These custom “street gang” meeples feature bowler hats and are used as each players ward bosses to help lock down wards.
100K stretch goal reward level
The existing draw bag in the game is a plain white piece of cloth that the immigrant cubes are drawn from. It’s functional, but it’s not the most visually appealing or thematic element in the game. We are going to be upgrading the bag to a black velvet-like material, with a gold-colored draw string, and are going to silk screen a full-color Tammany Hall Logo on the bag.
The immigrant population was the power base of the Tammany Hall machine. Entire books have been written about the relationship between Tammany and the ‘support’ they provided immigrants (in exchange of course, for their votes). It was this abuse of trust that built the Tammany Empire and lined their leader’s pockets with money. So, what better way to represent this thematically than by drawing the immigrant groups from a draw bag evocative of a coin purse?
115K stretch goal reward level
At the 115,000 dollar reward level, we will be hiring an artist to do a little bit of touch up work to the board art. The board artwork is amazing, but has a couple of issues that people have complained about.
We will be adding pencil thin black lines between the wards to make it clearer where one ward begins and the others end, and we will be upgrading the Tammany Hall artwork in ward 14. The artwork itself is on a plain white background, we will be changing this to resemble a brass plaque complete with rivets in the corners to give it a more distinct look that fits with the rest of the game.
Note: Due to shipping costs, this stretch goal will not be available in the $20.00 “upgrade kit” pledge level.
A note on custom Meeples
There has been some concern expressed in the potential difficulty in distinguishing between the two types of custom meeples. The “boss” and “street gang” meeples are a purely aesthetic difference and have no bearing on the gameplay at all. The 2nd edition has a single type of player marker. The “Boss” meeples are used for scoring marker and city office for purely thematic reasons and not for gameplay reasons at all. From a gameplay perspective the pieces are completely interchangeable.
We have had some backers ask us about getting additional copies of some of our custom components in the game, so we are making these available for an additional pledge. None of these are required for gameplay, but may give the game a little extra coolness that certain players want.
To request one of these additional levels simply add the dollar amount of the add-on to your pledge, but leave your reward level the same. For example, if you wanted an additional set of decals and “street gang” meeples you would pledge a total of 70 dollars and select the 55 dollar reward level. At the end of the campaign we will send out a survey and ask you what extra goodies you wanted for your pledge.
Note: If you want multiple copies of any of these rewards, you can pledge for them twice, and during the survey you can note that you wanted multiple copies of a reward. For instance, if you wanted two additional sets of “street gang” meeples you would pledge 75 dollars and select the 55 dollar reward level (for a single copy of the game).
Additional Custom Decals
For an additional pledge of 5 dollars you will receive a 2nd set of the custom decals for the political favor chips. This will give you enough decals to cover both sides of the favor chips. That way you can see the flag of the immigrant’s home country no matter which side of the chip is up.
Additional “Boss” Meeples
For an additional 7 dollar pledge you will receive an additional 20 “boss” meeples (4 per player color). This will bring your total number of boss meeples up to 6 per player (30 in total). This is enough boss meeples to use as immigrant leader markers. Currently the boss meeples are designed to serve as your scoring marker and to show which city office you hold. This additional pledge allows you to use boss meeples to show the immigrant leaders and leaves your “street gang” meeples to be used only in the wards and not anywhere else.
Additional “Street Gang” Meeples
For a pledge of 10 dollars extra you will receive a set of 50 street gang meeples (10 in each player color). This doesn’t serve any game function unless you want players to have extra meeples or want to use the meeples for another game.
Are you one of the lucky few to already own a copy of Tammany Hall?
We want to make sure all of the fans of the game have access to the custom components being offered as “stretch” rewards in this campaign. We hope you’ll pledge for a new 3rd edition printing of the game, but we have added a new pledge reward for existing owners to get a copy of all stretch rewards that have been unlocked.
Note: If you would like to upgrade your existing 2nd edition copy of the game and receive a new 3rd edition printing, simply add 20 dollars to the reward level you chose. At the end of the campaign a survey will be sent out and you can select the "upgrade kit" as an additional option for your pledge. For example, you can pledge 75 dollars and select the 55 dollar reward level to receive a copy of the 3rd edition and an upgrade kit for your existing copy.
Below is just a sample of the great critical praise the game has received:
Undead Viking - 2D6.org
"I really really love the game. Enjoy the heck out of playing it."
"Once the game clicks for you then the game can open itself up to you. The story of the game starts telling itself to you. That’s when this game is amazing. That’s when the double think, and double bluff and arguments and backstabbing [...] starts happening.”
"The really cool thing about this game, it reminds me of Dominant Species. If I had played [Tammany Hall] prior to Dominant Species, I would have said Chad Jensen tried to make a game like Tammany Hall. "
"I think it’s a fantastically fun game of matching wits with your friends."
The Dice Tower
“I loved it so much [...] I bought it right from the designer”
“worthy of the biggest companies out there.”
Giant Fire Breathing Robot
"Tammany Hall is one of the most mechanically brilliant games that I’ve played where deep strategy springs from a small choice set. But, beyond that, the game is just fun. It’s a great area majority/control game that provides just the right level of both indirect (through immigrants) and direct (through placement and slander) competition. Tammany Hall is one of just a few games that I am always eager to play."
"Tammany Hall is a rare gem. I’m hoping I get to play it again. It really is just the type of game I like. It has a finite turn structure and is based primarily on choice and player action. There is very little randomness about the game. You’re not playing a system, you’re not playing the cards, you are playing each other. That’s a game to me. Give me a battlefield over which to match wits with my opponents. Tammany Hall does all of that and it does it well."
Tammany Hall Review by Board Game Blogger“A really great game”
“Really fun, this game just oozes theme”
“Will play this game anytime a group wants to. One of my favorites.” – Krister Nevin
“Love that game enough to have both edition(s)” – Alain Boudreault
“What a smashingly awesome game! The whole experience is near perfect” - Lindelos
“Feels like you really are a politician collecting favors to be secretly cashed in at just the right time to crush your opponent” - Gabriel Stern
“A simply brilliant design the captures the feel of 19th-century NY politics and delivers 90 minutes of intense, nail-biting action.” – John Lapham
“It’s a gorgeous looking map (2nd edition) and the theme and mechanics are very well integrated. I can’t wait to play again! ” – qwertymartin
“A perfect game.” – Aetheros
“this may oust El Grande as my favorite area majority game. ” – Cole Wehrle
“Scales well, plays fast, very little luck. What’s not to love? Perhaps best of all, it’s the most thematically consistent Euro-wood-cube game I’ve ever played.” – John Sizemore
As you can see Tammany Hall is a well regarded game, but you don't have to take our word for it. You can check out the final version of the rulebook on Board Game Geek, watch a BGG walkthrough From Essen 2010 and can check the game out with online play.
The online play is available from Sloth Ninja Games. And while we aren't affiliated with them, they are extremely awesome guys so while checking out the online version of Tammany Hall you should definitely check out the other games they have available!
Tammany Hall overview with Stratamax and Derk from BGG at Essen 2010.
One of the (many) things Tammany Hall is praised for is the great artwork and component quality of the 2nd edition. While it may be a lofty goal, Pandasaurus Games is going to do it one better, and not just with the stretch goal rewards.
We are going to make sure this is a world class game worthy of your library. Every component will be printed on thick 2.5mm cardboard with linen embossing. The board, the box, the custom components, all of it. We are going to be using a major printer who handles games for some very big name publishers. It might cost more to do it this way, but we want this to be a game you are proud to have on your shelf.
Prior to printing the game we will be given component mock ups of the final printing and will inspect them for any problems before the printer begins the full print run.
This is a game that we love. We are going to make sure it's the best the game has ever looked. We owe it to the designers, the game and most of all our backers.
Pandasaurus Games is a start-up independent publisher of hobby board and card games based in Austin, TX. Our goal is to help great games make it to gamers tables. We believe board games are a great way to get together with friends and family and foster a sense of community that many forms of entertainment stifle.
We're just a couple of gamers that want to bring fun games to the world.
Pandasaurus Games is pretty easy to get a hold of online. We're always on BGG when we should probably be working, and can be reached on our homepage, twitter and facebook.
- (45 days)