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Subject: CANADA - The First Parliament rss

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Wayne Hitchcock
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This is the first of three threads demonstrating game play. Each of the first three turns will be a little different, but from the third turn on game play is the same. The second and third parliaments will be posted over the weekend.

The game is still being play tested by me, but will soon be available for others to play test. The players in this example are fictitious, I just thought it would be an easier read to give them names instead of referring to them as A, B, and C.

Here is some terminology used in the game:

Parliament - Each round of play is called a Parliament.

Influence - This determines the number of dice a player may throw during an election. It can be positive or negative.

Playing Area - This refers to the area in which the game is being played. A player's playing area is the area immediately in front of him.

Privy Council and Senate - Refer to areas on the board.

Text written like this is the name of a particular phase of game play.

And so, without further ado, here is the first turn...er um...Parliament:

The First Canadian Parliament

Leadership
Each party must choose someone to lead it in the election, so the players each draw one personality card.

James draws Sir John A. Macdonald.


Philip draws Richard B. Bennett


Wayne draws Sir Robert Borden


Macdonald has the trait Orator; so James gains +2 influence in all electoral districts. Macdonald is also popular in Ontario, so James gains another +2 influence in Ontario.

Borden has the trait War Leader, but there are currently no wars. Borden is also popular in Ontario and Nova Scotia. Wayne, therefore, gains +2 influence in Ontario and +2 influence in Nova Scotia

Bennett has no trait, but he is popular in Alberta. Alberta, however, has yet to enter Confederation, so his popularity there has no effect.

Policy
Each party may now draw a policy card. James goes first, and gets Pro Conscription. There are currently no active wars, so he cannot play this card.

Philip draws his policy card and gets National Policy. He gains -1 influence in Atlantic Canada, On the other hand, this policy gives him +1 influence in Urban Ontario and +1 influence in Urban Quebec.

Wayne draws his policy card and gets Reciprocity. This has the opposite effect of National Policy, so Wayne gains -1 influence in Urban Ontario and -1 influence in Urban Quebec. On the other hand, Wayne gains +1 influence in Atlantic Canada.

Polling
Election day in Canada moves from east to west, with the polls in the east returning first. As such, the first province to return is Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has three electoral districts: Urban Anglophone, Rural Anglophone, and Rural Francophone. Rural Francophone has the fewest seats, so it returns first.

The base number of dice a player may roll is 2. This number is modified by a
party's influence.

Wayne receives 1 die for his +1 influence in Atlantic Canada, courtesy of Reciprocity, and 2 dice for his +2 influence in Nova Scotia, courtesy of Sir Robert Borden. So, Wayne rolls 5 dice in total.

James gets an additional 2 dice, courtesy of Macdonald, so James rolls 4 dice in total.

Philip may only roll the base number of dice, 2.

The parties roll their dice. James rolls 15, Philip rolls 5, Wayne rolls 13. These die rolls represent the votes cast for each party in that electoral district. Canada has a "first past the post" electoral system. That is to say the party with the most votes in an electoral district wins the election in that district. James has a higher number than either Philip or Wayne, so his party will return the member of parliament for Rural Francophone Nova Scotia.

For brevity’s sake, we’re going to skip the rest of the election. The same thing happens in each electoral district. Suffice to say when all the polls have returned the results are:

James: 54
Philip: 46
Wayne: 80

Wayne’s party forms the government. However, it is only a minority government as it fails to control 50% +1 of the seats in the House of Commons (ie: 91 of the 180 seats).

James’ party, with the second highest tally of seats, becomes the Opposition. Philip’s party becomes the Third Party.

Wayne receives the cards of the four original provinces of Confederation (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia). Each of these cards is worth 1 point. Also, each province card he holds will give him one influence in its province in the next election.

Wayne also receives the British Garrison Card. The British Garrison is seen by Francophones as a symbol of British colonialism. As such, Wayne will lose all his influence in all the Francophone electoral districts in the next election unless the British withdraw.
 


Senator Selection
It is now time to make the initial appointments to the Senate. Historically, the Fathers of Confederation determined that the first Senate appointments would be as equitable to each party as possible. As such, each party receives 24 of the initial 72 senators. Each player places his Senate counter in the Senate on 24.

Legislation
One legislation card is now available: The Rupert’s Land Act The Rupert’s Land Act becomes available when Confederation takes place. This legislation card is moved to the Privy Council

Events
Each player may now draw an event card. As the Third Party, Philip draws first. He gets The Cypress Hills Massacre. This event requires the Northwest Territories be in Confederation, so Philip cannot play it. Instead, he will hold on to it.

Now it’s James’ turn to draw an event. He gets The King-Byng Affair. That might come in handy later, but right now it can’t be played, so he holds on to it.


Wayne now draws an event. He gets Britain Withdraws, which must be played. This event card is now discarded along with the British Garrison. A second legislation card is now available: The Militia Act. The Militia Act is moved to the Privy Council


House of Commons
There is no legislation currently before the House.

Senate
There is no legislation currently before the Senate.

War
There are no wars.

The First Canadian Parliament ends.


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Dennis Ku
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DancesWithBeagles wrote:

The players in this example are fictitious


Haha...at first, I thought you meant the "players" in the parliament...I figured you meant Stephen Harper was fictitious. Wishful thinking on my part?

This sounds interesting. I can't wait to hear more about this game!

A few other things:

- I love your microbadge! Damn! I also ride my bike to work. Definitely something I need to earn GG towards getting.

- My family is from Taiwan...spent a few months there one summer years ago. Where in Taiwan are you? Riding your bike there must be giving you lung disease, no? And the buses and taxis there must be worse (much worse!) than here in Toronto!

- Have you had any stinky tofu at a night market yet? I've never been able to find the real thing in Canada!
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Wayne Hitchcock
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I'm in Taichung. The air here isn't too bad, and I'm fortunate enough to live only a two minute bike ride from my work. But...yeah, I'll probably end up with lung cancer.

I've only ever had cho dofu once. It had no taste and no smell. I felt totally ripped-off. Durian is stinkier by far.
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Dylan Kirk
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Just an idea: using cards instead of dice.

Don't get me wrong, I love dice. However, you must note that you've chosen to leave out the die-rolling portion of the description of the game which indicates to me that it is repetitive and perhaps doesn't have that much player involvement. I love the idea of rolling oodles of dice, but perhaps the following idea might be attractive to you:

There is an election deck - perhaps a dual-use deck with cards playable for other effects. It has numbers within a given range in the corner of each card.

Players have the opportunity to play policies that effect them in one or two of four ways (the first is new, the other three are yours):
1) the policy is attractive to the financiers, and allows the player to draw more election cards;
2) the policy is attractive to francophone or anglophone voters, boosting the player's popularity in those populations;
3) the policy is attractive to rural or urban voters, boosting the player's popularity in those areas;
4) the policy is attractive or unattractive to given provinces.

Apply these in the following way:
1) begin by placing policy cards. There should be a record-keeping method such as a scale or spectrum to show the party's popularity with each of the three above demographics. Apply any changes due to policy to these scales. This also allows players to gain campaign finances. to spend in the tactical phases.
2) run the first province, e.g. NS. Players may secretly play election cards to boost their returns in individual circumscriptions. Players place election cards face-down and then resolve all at once.
3) repeat for each electoral district.

This allows for play on a strategic and tactical level, and feels a little more like an election, perhaps. Also allows for taking tactical risks with strategic resources. Also makes policy cards that can't be played (e.g. conscription crisis) into useful cards throughout the game.

My 0.02 - looking forward to the next report!

(ps, I ate some seriously stinky stinky tofu a couple weeks ago... I admit I like the stuff but I ended up being the only guy at the table eating it... mainly out of embarrassment for having ordered it.)
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Wayne Hitchcock
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Dylan, I wish I could give you more than one thumbs up for that idea. Yes, you are right, the dice rolling is repetitive even with only four provinces - imagine how it would be with 9 provinces and two territories. In fact, as I was doing it I was asking myself "Would anyone find this fun?"

I'm going to work with your idea of using cards instead of dice.

Cheers,

Wayne
 
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Dylan Kirk
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No problems, mate!

One further thing: the spectrum of support would be better if it also represented the opportunity cost of grabbing votes in that particular area. If a player is popular with urban Nova Scotian anglophones, he should be able to pay less money to score votes in urban anglophone Nova Scotia... but there can be a penalty cost to trying to get into the francophone areas. E.g.: the base cost to score an additional "capita" in an election is $1. A player is popular with anglophones, not with francophones, is popular in NS, and is popular in cities, not countryside. Count +$1 per NEGATIVE indicator to score a vote in the more difficult circumscriptions. In the above example, the guy would pay only $1 per urban anglophone voter in NS, but a rural (+$1) francophone (+$1) circumscription would cost him $3. Perhaps you can allow the player to apply a -$1 bonus to this number due to his popularity in NS.

Another thought: don't have enough ways to generate income? Make the income numbers high on the cards, and then use face-down cards to represent currency. E.g.: the player holds 5 cards in hand representing a total of 25 campaign funds. When he needs to, he cashes in a card worth 5 campaign funds for 5 face-down cards which are then used like cash. Everything is shuffled each turn anyway, so this just assists in the randomising of the deck.
 
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