Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Mango Republic: A game of politics and dirty tricks project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
$376 pledged of $1,000 goal
backers
By Will Koenig
$376 pledged of $1,000 goal
backers

About this project

History

Mango Republic is a self-published tabletop game I originally started working on in 2006. I was living in Cambodia then and the country was — as it has been for decades — on the brink of madness. At the same time, the paragon of democracy that was Thailand flopped from one crisis to another, flirting with crippling populist protests, a military coup and bitter political infighting. And next door was Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia ... basically an endless buffet of bizarre governmental shenanigans.

Instead of writing another column (I've got plenty of those), I decided to make a game of it. This would be a tabletop game that would poke fun at ridiculous political antics, allow players to imitate the over-the-top egos of the region's leaders, and play at a simplistic form of representative democracy. Also, it would be fun.

Because crushing your political enemies is fun. At least the leaders of a great many countries seem to think so.

Eight of the 99 unique cards in the Mango Republic deck.
Eight of the 99 unique cards in the Mango Republic deck.

Mechanics

Mango Republic is primarily played with cards, each presenting unique options to the player.

There is a board to keep track of the activists, parliamentarians and generals in Mango Republic. Tokens placed by the player on the districts count as activists, tokens on parliament count as parliamentarians (also known as members of parliament), and tokens on Fort Peace count as generals.

The more activists in a district the player has, the more parliamentarians he gets. The more parliamentarians he has, the more cards he can hold. Cards give you options to gain activists, generals and hurt your opponents.

Whoever establishes complete control over the government, wins.

Kickstarter 

While the game went through several versions in 2006 and I received positive feedback from friends, I never found a practical way to distribute it. Now, seven years later, things have changed (except for politics in Southeast Asia). Kickstarter is a huge phenomenon, everyone is on social media, and print-on-demand services like The Game Crafter are amazing. 

I've made improvements to the game over the years. The board is now full color and features images from around Cambodia, including the Boulding tenements. Cards have been added and updated to better balance the game, with the deck now featuring 99 unique cards.  

If you have a taste for cutthroat politics, lived in a banana republic or just dream of staging a coup, Mango Republic is the game for you. It would also make a great gift for foreign correspondents, political wonks or that guy who refuses to stop talking about Third World elections.

Download the rules here.

Risks and challenges

This is the first Kickstarter project I have undertaken, so I'm sure to make mistakes.

This is also my first attempt to print and assemble more than a handful of copies of a tabletop game. I've run the numbers and feel confident I can pull things together, and services like The Game Crafter open up a lot of options. However, I am reliant on others to print and ship components of the game.

I am the sole person behind this project, so that presents certain risks. However, I created and designed the game, took the photos myself, and wrote all the copy — so that simplifies some things. While I may be hit by a bus tomorrow, there won't be any bitter infighting between the founders.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Foreign correspondent level —

    This is for people who love political satire, but don't want to play the game. I'll send you emails about future projects and updates on where to buy the game in the future.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Minister of Parliament level —

    A print-and-play version of the game will be emailed to you. You will receive pdfs of the cards, board and instructions. You can use poker chips, coins, bullets, etc. for playing pieces.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Deuxième Premier Ministre (Second Prime Minister) level — A printed copy of the tabletop game with board, cards, instructions and playing pieces.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Premier Premier Ministre (First Prime Minister) — A printed copy of the tabletop game with board, cards, instructions and playing pieces and an email with the pdf print-and-play version.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (29 days)