ELECTION - Reviewed by John
Election was designed by Drakes Jarvis Walsh and Gluck Ltd and was one of the few games published by Intellect Games in the early 1970’s. Intellect Games were among the first to introduce strategic board games with the now more common concept of using ‘choice’ rather than ‘dice’ to play the game. Thirty years on the game of Election is still as relevant and has not lost any of its appeal. Obviously, it is difficult to find these days, to my knowledge it has not been republished like some of the other Intellect games.
The game, for 3 to 6 players - aged 12+, is played on a board representing the Map of the British Isles, subdivided into 10 Areas ( Scotland, Midlands, West Country, etc). Each area has a number of seats which can be won at ‘Election’ time ( North West - 81, Wales - 36, Greater London - 92 etc). Each area has different strengths ( Midlands - predominantly Industrial Workers, West Country - Retired people and Housewives). Areas are connected by roads to enable movement between them as you have to be in an area to campaign in it.
Each player plays a different party,(Labour, Conservatives, Liberals etc.) all with the same level of support but where each party’s support comes from different electoral groups in differing strengths.
During the game you campaign to retain the support of the voters favourable to you by laying down electoral tokens on the board. Other players can play campaign cards against you causing you to lose support. During the course of campaigning you can pick up floating voters and absentee voters. There is a popularity index which records the current state of all parties, when one party reaches the highest point on this index an election is called.
When an election is called no more electoral tokens can be laid, but it is possible to lay down, in turn, any floating voters obtained to sway the vote. When an area is completed the votes are counted(including any absentee votes that you may have) and the results recorded. As areas are declared so the tension rises, the winner being the player with the most seats overall.
Each player’s strategy will depend upon the options that he takes when it is his turn. The player is limited to TWO courses of action and may play a campaign card.
There are several possibilities available, which are:
a) Lay down 2 electoral tokens in up to 2 adjacent areas.
b) Lay down one electoral token AND either
pick up a floating voteor pick up a campaign card or play a second campaign card
c) Lay down no electoral tokens AND eitherpick up 2 floating vote tokens or pick up 1 floating vote token and pick up a campaign card or pick up 1 floating vote token and play a second campaign card or pick up 2 campaign cards or pick up 1 campaign card and play a second campaign card
Your ‘choices’ are vital, happy electioneering, and don’t fall out if results go the wrong way.