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Campaign Manager 2008» Forums » General

Subject: Please update this for 2016 election!! rss

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John Snow
United States
Millcreek
Utah
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I like this game. The theme is great and the mechanics are fun. I prefer its older brother, 1960: The Making of the President, one of my favorite games. But Campaign Manager 2008 gives a similar feel in a shorter time and is also different enough to make it not feel just like a dumbed down version of 1960.

All of that said, my main problem with CM2008 is the particular election that it features: the 2008 contest between Obama and McCain. The reason I don't like it is because that was a relatively boring election. I am not saying the candidates were boring, but it was not a close election and was never going to be close. One of the great things about 1960 is that that particular election came down to the wire. Kennedy won on the slimmest of margins. It so easily could have gone the other way. That makes for a great game. There are so many more interesting elections that this system could feature: the 2000 Bush v. Gore election, the 1948 Truman v. Dewey election, etc. Even Obama v. Romney in 2012 was at least closer than 2008. All of these were close races.

We have just concluded one of the more interesting campaigns in recent times. Trump won on the thinnest of margins. Indeed, Clinton actually won the popular vote it appears, with Trump winning the electoral college. That has only happened a few times in American history. And it means that it was a close race. Many of the states that Trump carried came down to just a few thousand votes difference. This alone would make this a great year on which to base an updated Campaign Manager game.

But in addition to the close race, you have, to put it nicely, "colorful" candidates. I know there are strong feelings on both sides of this one. But no one can deny that the candidates (particularly Trump, of course) made this one anything but dull. Combine the crazy events, statements, and players in this election with the razor thin margin of victory and you have the makings of a fantastic board game.

I think that CM2008 suffered in part because it was based on an election that was not close, was never going to be close. It did have some very interesting players and moments. I'll give it that. But the end, at least in my mind and I think most people's mind, was never really in question. 2016, on the other hand, many thought would not be close but then it ended up being a major upset on the thinnest of margins. Again, I know there are tender feelings for some and feelings of elation for others in terms of real-world consequences, but there is no denying that it is an interesting story and has the makings of a great board game.

I urge Z-Man games and the game authors to retool this one, perhaps try out a couple of new mechanics if desired, and then rerelease it as Campaign Manager 2016.

Please consider it!

Beyond this, and I know this would be difficult and maybe impractical, but I've long thought that this game would work well as a Campaign Manager base game and then expansions for various, interesting elections. I know that could be difficult with different swing states and different issues and demographics being important over the years, but you could make the state tiles more generic and have little tiles put on them each game (instead of having them printed on) to indicate the issues and demographics in that state and where it leaned on the issues, etc. You would then release expansion packs that merely consisted of cards for each election. (I realize that the electoral votes have changed over the years as well. You'd have to deal with that to make it totally true to history, but I'm sure a solution could be found.)

At any rate, I realize Z-man and the authors have probably moved on from this game. But here is one gamer hoping you'll revisit and revamp for 2016 and other close races!
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Dave Rubin
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Trenton
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Game remark: the 2008 game is much more evenly matched than the 2008 election.

Marketing remark: who the heck wants to relive the 2016 election?
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John Snow
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Millcreek
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dirubin wrote:
Game remark: the 2008 game is much more evenly matched than the 2008 election.

Marketing remark: who the heck wants to relive the 2016 election?


Thanks for your thoughts!

On your first point, I agree that the actual game is a close match. I like the game. I like the mechanics and it is evenly balanced. My problem with it is the theme. They picked the wrong election, thematically, to get me interested. That's why I'd like to see the game applied to a closer election. The close balance of the game would make more sense.

On your second point, I am in no way promoting or deriding the actual election of 2016. I do think the consensus seems to be that a majority of folks did not like the choices and did not exactly enjoy the election cycle. But, I think it has the makings of a great game, as noted before. Just because something was not enjoyable in real life does not mean that you can't enjoy it as a game. I love the game Letters from Whitechapel, for example, but would hardly like to live through such a horror. Stepping back from the 2016 election and looking at it as a historical event, I think there is a lot of fodder for fun cards, funny events, and other things that make games fun. A lot more interesting than the 2008 election, which was really a foregone conclusion.
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