Sunday, August 26, 2012

Two Funny Political Games

As fitting for the season, here are two funny political games I've come across.  The first is an online game, and the second is a variation of a board game that I invented last weekend.


In this game, you are Obama trying to save the economy.  You must ride your pogo stick, capture boosts that will help you fly higher, and purchase upgrades.  You win when you help to bring down the national debt.

This game is hilarious and had me rolling on the ground.  You can play it here on NotDoppler.

Hint: It took me about twenty minutes to realize that if you lean forward, you go faster, and you score more points.  If you just bounce straight up and down, you get hardly anything, and the game's pretty boring.  Just lean forward and the game becomes worth it very quickly.

Sorry!: Democrat Edition

This variation that I created follows the same rules as regular Sorry! (click on picture above to remember these rules), except who moves and which pawns move are highly restricted based on Need.  Plus, extra attention is paid on slowing down the person in the Lead.

Since the moves are pretty much dictated by the following rules, you can either play this variation with your friends, OR you can even play this solitaire--that is, one person playing all four players.

#1) Need and Lead are determined by each person's Success Score.  The Success Score equals the sum of squares each pawn is away from "Start."  A pawn on the square directly next to "Start" has a score of zero.  The next square has a score of one.  On the modern board, the next player's Start square is 15 squares away, so a pawn on that square has a score of 15.  A pawn that has made it Home has the full score of 64.  Since you have four pawns, add up all four individual scores to get the total Success Score.  The max Success Score is 256, which means all four pawns have made it Home.

Need = the player with the lowest Success Score at the beginning of the turn.  In case of tie, Need = the player whose pawn has the lowest individual score (that is, closest to Start).  If that's still a tie, compare the second lowest individual scores, and so on.  If still a tie, you can either choose the player who's had the most rotten luck so far in the game, or randomly choose the person in Need.

Lead = the player with the highest Success Score at the beginning of the turn.  It's possible to have more than one player in the Lead (a tie).  If a tie breaker is needed, Lead = the player whose pawn has the highest individual score (closest to Home).  If that's still a tie, compare the second highest individual scores, and so on.

#2) At each turn, either the player in Need moves forward OR the player in Lead moves backward.  (Clarification: turns do not pass around the board like normal.  If a player is in a really bad way, they could move several times in a row until they are no longer in Need.)

#3a) On a forward-moving card, the player in Need first determines if it's possible to attack one of the Lead player's pawns and send them to Start.  If so, then that move must be made.  If there is more than one one choice of attack, then attack the pawn that is most in the lead.

#3b) Exception to an attack: At most one pawn of a person in Lead can be attacked.  If an attack harms more than one pawn (such as landing on a Slide), or someone who is not in the Lead, then that move cannot be made.

#3c) If no attack on the Lead can be made, then the person in Need must move the pawn closest to Start.  If that move is illegal (or an illegal attack), then the second closest pawn should be moved.

#3d) If there are no legal moves for the person in Need, then play reverts to the second person in lead, and so on to the fourth person (Lead).  If the fourth person can't move, then draw the next card.

#4) The rest of the rules are card specific.  Here's what you do with the "special" cards...

Card #1: The player that has the most number of pawns in Start will move his pawn to the square just outside of Start (remember that the score is still zero at this square).  If there is a tie, the person most in Need gets to move his pawn out.  If there's still a tie, consider if a Lead person can be attacked.  If still a tie (such as beginning of the game) then randomly pick a player to move his pawn out.  If no pawns can be moved out, then move a player forward one square (see rules 3a-3d).

Card #2: Same as Card #1.  This player does not get a second turn, because ... well ... that wouldn't be fair.  If no pawns can be moved out, then move a player forward two squares (see rules 3a-3d).

Card #4: The person in Lead will move his furthest out pawn back four spaces.  Exceptions: if that pawn is at the end of a slide, and going back four causes the pawn to slide back to where it began, that's not good enough.  The person in Lead needs to pay.  So move back his second furthest out pawn instead.  If moving backwards attacks another player, don't move that pawn.  Under no circumstances can you be allowed to move backwards past Start, as that gives way too much of an advantage.  No one should be allowed that big a break.  If the person in Lead can't move back any pawns, then the second person in Lead moves.

Card #7: This is the Community Card.  It must be split between all four players--one pawn each.  Start with the person most in Need.  If he catches up with the second person most in Need, then they share the balance of the 7 spaces, and so on until you run out of spaces.  Give any extra leftover spaces to the person who was originally in Need.

Card #10: The person in Need moves.  If he can attack one of the Lead person's pawns by moving backward one space (and there is no forward-ten-spaces capturing move), then that move must be made.  Otherwise, move forward ten spaces (rules #3a-#3d).

Card #11: The person in Need can switch a pawn's place with one of the Lead person's pawns, using the following algorithm: First look at the Lead person's most advanced pawn.  Go backwards around the board until you come across the first Need person's pawn.  If switching the two pawns puts the person in Need in a better position and the person in Lead in a worse position, then switch those pawns.  If not, then look at the next Need person's pawn (going backwards).  If no legal switches can be made, look at the Lead person's second most advanced pawn, and so.  If absolutely no legal switches exist, then the person in Need moves forward 11 spaces (rules #3a-#3d).

Sorry! Card: The person in Need will Sorry a Lead person's pawn using the following algorithm.  Start at the square next to Start and move forward until you get to the first Lead person's pawn.  Sorry that pawn.  If the person in Need has no pawns in Start, then the second person in Need gets to go.  In the rare occasion that the person in Lead is the only person who has a pawn in Start, he will forfeit his turn.  He can afford it.

#5) If a situation occurs that has not been covered in rules #1-#4, then the players should confer with each other and determine which move would be the most equitable for the good of all players.

#6) Winning the game: Play continues until every player wins, OR everyone decides unanimously that they are fed up with the whole system and refuse to play anymore.


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