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Subject: Improving Campaign Trail rss

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Bruce Linsey
United States
East Greenbush
New York
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This wonderful game remains a favorite among many of my gaming friends; in fact, a group of us is planning a game for tomorrow.

In the spirit of making a great thing even better, I suggest the following revisions, which are the ones we now play with and many of which we've used for years.

1. Revised Deck: Use the revamped deck. The original deck made the game too luck-dependent. (I will snail mail a photocopy of my revamped deck on request.)

2 Map Changes: We've added the stops of Hilo and Kahului on the map of Hawaii (both white dots) so that a campaigner has the option to move around the state once he's there. Also, we've corrected the map so that Pittsburgh is red -- the original game had it as white, probably an oversight. New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are now colored black and are major cities worth four votes apiece.

3. Doubling the President: When a player rolls doubles, he has a choice of drawing a card or doubling his presidential candidate's popular votes for that turn.

4. Media Shares: At the start of the game, each player gets three Media Shares, which are just check boxes on the score sheet similar to air tickets. These can be gained or lost through the cards. After all the campaigning is done, players allocate their Media Shares secretly and simultaneously to any state or states they wish. They are worth one popular vote apiece. (Players are all allowed to examine one anothers' score sheets as they are doing this.)

5 Air Tickets: We play that it costs just one air ticket for a round trip to either Honolulu or Anchorage -- you fly there one turn and back to the mainland on the next. Or, you can fly to Honolulu one turn, Anchorage the next (or vice versa) and then back to any mainland city on the next turn, all for two air tickets. We've also gotten rid of air tickets that apply only to a specific campaigner. Any air ticket can be used for any of your campaigners.

6 Debates: When two players have a debate, each rolls a die. Whoever rolls higher gets the difference between the two dice as his winnings. If it's a tie, no one wins the debate. (If the active player rolls doubles and elects to double his President this turn, and if the President is involved in a debate and wins it, his debate winnings are doubled too!)

7 Political Allies and Special Meetings: These cards should take effect immediately when they are drawn, not the following turn.

8. Public Vote Totals: We say explicitly that any player can ask any other player for his vote total in any state at any time (when the second player is not in the middle of his turn); and the person who asked must also say his vote total. In other words, all info is open. (But it would be an interesting optional rule to play that vote counts are NOT public instead!)

9. Tiebreakers: I've created a small deck of eight tiebreaker cards. These can be dealt out at the start of the game (or drafted along with the placement of vice-presidential candidates) and kept face down (or face up) till the end of the game. In the event of a tied state, whoever has the highest tiebreaker number for that state wins it. (I've devoted another post here entirely to this change.)

10. Ties in the Electoral Vote: If two or more players are tied for fewest electoral votes during an elimination round, both (all) tied players are eliminated simultaneously. If two or more players are tied for the most electoral votes after all other players have been eliminated, whichever of them has won the most (out of 51) states wins.

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