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I demo'ed this at Gen Con. I enjoyed it but 6 players just doesn't work. I only took 5 actions the entire game!
Anyway, a rule that bothered me was when the Democrats passed in the debates because they didn't have an eligible card.
My teammate then brought in "fuel" as a new topic as +1
The Republicans talked about fuel making it neutral.
Then the democrats got to play their fuel card giving them plus one and the reward for fuel.
Thematically, you can bet your butt a candidate would lose a debate if they "passed" during a round!! But in this game the Democrats benefited by passing.
Was the rule taught correctly?
Yes, you may pass in a debate and then jump back in later.
The strategy here would be for other players to not open up rabbit trails so that the player who passed can not get back in.
Thematically, while a candidate may lose voters for "passing" on speaking on the debate topics, if other candidate start talking about rabbit trails, the candidate who "passed" may (and often does) respond to those additional topics and picks up voters in the process.