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Subject: Baycon 2009; Part XVII (The Quest Goes Red) rss

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Peter Clinch
United Kingdom
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# Previous game in chain El Grande

Kremlin, is an unusual game in that you’re not building stuff or collecting sets or vanquishing armies, but instead trying to covertly negotiate a member of the politburo to become party chief over which you have the most influence.

It starts by players secretly distributing influence points from 1 to 10 over 10 different politicians out of the 25 available. They each have varying ages, which is important because as they get stressed out they tend to have a heart attack (this game has it’s tongue firmly in it’s cheek). The influence points remain secret until a player wishes to declare a portion of them on a given character. This is in order to be able to use their particular action.

At the beginning of the game the politicians are randomly distributed throughout the levels 1 & 2, the candidates and the people (the lowest) except the party chief who is always the same at start. So for instance, if I have 6 influence on the Head of KGB, I could declare 1 so that I could control his actions. Then if someone else has influence, they may not want to declare it straight away, as they are happy with the decisions I’m making, but if I threaten one of their stronger politicians they may wish to stop this, and so need to declare their influence on the KGB. Then in return I can declare more, right up to the figure I stated in the setup if my challenger declares more then I lose control.

As various politicians jockey for position some will get ousted, some will get sick and others will die of old age. As the positions change, the various ministers can promote or demote in order to get their people into the right positions. At start, you are not allowed to put influence on the party chief, so you need to get rid of him so that you can promote one of your own, the problem is that everyone else is trying to do the same thing simultaneously. This leads to some interesting challenges, just as you think you’ve manoeuvred your man into the KGB you find out he’s working for someone else!! Once you do can some new blood into the office of party chief you need to make sure he is fit enough to wave during the October parades, if you can get 3 turns of waving by your man you win.

Not sure how Carl managed this (probably spent some time in Siberia), but he managed to get a strangle hold on the Head of KGB, the Foriegn Minister and Party Chief. Whilst we did everything we could to make the old ### die, he managed to see out his term in office, and claim the well earned victory.
A fun game that I would like to try again some day. After a short break we picked up Yspahan
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