Martin Hoefer
Germany
Hambuehren
Niedersachsen
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My gaming pal Hinni today visited me for our second election with "1960: The Making Of The President". We had our first encounter last friday and were both excited to build upon our experiences from the first clash of the presidential candidates. Hinni had beat me badly in the first game scoring 317 to 212 (the eight missing points were due to the "Unpledged Electors"-event). I had to come back!

Bad times for Kennedy (me) in the first turn as he had lots of Nixon-positive cards on his hand. Nixon (Hinni) played "Gathering Momentum In The West" via momentum marker. Half of the map went red after five minutes in... Great! Issues went to Kennedy this round. Nixon rather wanted to show up on television early (he did this last time as well).

On the second turn Kennedy was "Mr. Issue" kicking Nixon out of the challenge for momentum markers and endorsements. In addition to that he successfully campaigned in California and took their inhabitants by storm. The revenge of Tricky Dick: He steamrolled the Midwest with the next "Gathering Momentum"-card. Red, red, red.

Third turn none of the two candidates managed to pull off something special. Instead cubes landed in the rest cups en masse. Again Kennedy managed to stay ahead in the race for endorsement markers. The only region without democratic endorsements was now the South. Kennedy spent some support checks on tv ads and put two cubes on the Midwest to prevent having to support-check there as Nixon was building stacks of four cubes on the high-scoring Ohio and Michigan.

Turn number 4 was campaign-intensive with Kennedy building blue skyscrapers in New York and Hinni trying to carry not only Midwestern states but the region itself. Both harrassed the other with added media support. On the map everything looked as if this was to be a clean sweep by Nixon, but he lacked the endorsements and Kennedy again won the issues now having endorsements in every region.

The last turn before the debates looked like a war for issues until Hinni played a brilliant two last cards (4 CP points to campaign in the South followed by "Gathering Momentum In The South"). Kennedy had prevailed in the issues but now you had to look hard to spot some blue dots on the map.

The debates went well for Kennedy scoring 6 cubes (2 and 4) with Nixon taking 3. After both had placed their winnings we did a survey. Had America voted after debate day Nixon would have had his breakfast in the White House for the next four years. Republican votes would have totalled 305.

Turns 7 and 8 made this feel like a real wargame. Nixon consequently followed his strategy of campaigning in the East reducing the blue towers in New York and Pennsylvania while trying to hold on as best as possible to his "captured" territories. Kennedy tried to steal as many red cubes in the South and Midwest as possible but soon realised that neglecting the East would be harakiri and returned there to prevent New York from collapsing to Nixons omnipresence. Nixon had lost some states in the South this turn and things went worse as Kennedy activated a card (I believe it was "Lyndon Johnson") which cleaned the South from all of Nixons cubes leaving him with only Texas and lots of cube-free states that were to count towards Kennedy due to his endorsement markers. This was part great part bad for Kennedy as he had collected mostly Southern states for election day.

Kennedy had the initiative on election day and managed to take Missouri from Nixon. His other three support checks didn't change the outcome as the Southern states had already been "converted" in the last turn of round 8.

Nixon successfully support-checked Indiana and Illinois. Additionally he played the "Recount"-card and took North Carolina with the last move of the game.

We had a smoke thereafter and were both unsure about the outcome. I felt I did pretty well in the last two rounds in my attempt to fight off the red cubes while Hinni predicted to have lost with less than 15 votes difference.

Well, Hinni was right. He had lost. But the margin were 5 lousy points.

Final tally:

Kennedy 271 Nixon 266

Close!


I have to admit that we are both totally flashed by this sensational boardgame. The clear rules, the great components, the theme, the tension and the immersion - simply great stuff! Very great stuff indeed.

We'll both do our lessons and will soon meet again! That is for sure.
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Richard Maurer
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Very good outcome, my games are pretty close for most 1960 games.
 
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