Supposedly arriving today is Prime Minister, a game I ordered a while ago because it looked like an interesting topic. Well now that it’s showing up I did a little more research on it and have been going over the PDF rules and an excellent YouTube presentation
What I see here is a really elegant representation of influence and politics across the various sectors of the population of Victorian Britain. In the beginning the two factions, Conservative and Liberal, are bound in a ‘pact’ and will move up the victory point track together until one of them has 100 points. If they continued to move together than they’d arrive at 100 at the same time but at some point they will split and it will be a fight until the end. Going up to four players, this will add ‘backbenchers’ of the parties also competing to have the greatest individual score. I see lots of interesting negotiations between players like you would see in Churchill and similar coop/competitive hybrid games. Coming off of an attempt to understand Mr. President it’s great to see a game that can represent the complexity of various sections of the populations interest without falling into an ungainly mess. The board for Prime Minister looked a little daunting at first but after a quick tour of how it worked really looks quite manageable. I won’t say easy until I’ve actually got it played though.
This game wasn’t in the front of my mind but I’m glad the shipping notice got me to take a look at what I had actually ordered a while ago. I’m also happy that my past self seems to have a made a good decision in ordering this thing. Hopefully I’ll feel the same way after playing.
And hey for @tomchick there is a clockwork system for solitaire play. It looks pretty developed too. My interest in this is as a multiplayer game so I haven’t looked into that side that much. It has it’s own rulebook for solitaire play but then again so did SpaceCorp. I have hopes that Prime Minister is more engaging in solitaire mode rather than just a score chase against randomly blocking actions. There are several solitaire specific scenarios, so that’s promising.
Very glad for the shout-out, as this definitely looks interesting. However, after very briefly perusing the rules book for the solitaire mode, I’m skeptical about how it would work as a solitaire game. But even if it doesn’t suck as bad as Mr. President – seriously, that was enough to put me off GMT releases for some time – I doubt it could compare to John Company as a solitaire experience about wrangling with British government entities. As much as I’m intrigued by the different kinds of things GMT can do, breathing single-player life into multiplayer negotiation games doesn’t seem to be among their demonstrated skill sets.
But I hope you’ll post more as you explore this. I’m definitely open to being swayed. I love me some Victorian politicking!
Also, I’m not sure if you know this, but the Ventures add-on for SpaceCorp really gussied up the solo mode! I’m absolutely into SpaceCorp as a solitaire game now, but only because of the improvements in Ventures.
I don’t know if this will help but I on the same Youtube Channel that had the How to Play series the host of the channel and the designer of the game have a playthrough of Clockwork Scenario 3: Morality Play. This is an odd clockwork scenario because it allows two human players as the Conservative Opposition party fighting against a bot Liberal PM Gladstone over the right to divorce. It’s a cute background story. There is a Matrimonial Causes Act that the bot is attempting to pass and the two players have to become PM and put forth there own Slander of Women Act before Gladstone succeeds. Once the human players become the government party there is an ironically cute clock also applied to them. The clockwork bot seems to be structured to make good decisions and watching this play out looks fun.
I did get a chance to play this on Sunday. My initial impressions carried over, the board looked scary and the subject made my two fairly casual gamer guest initially suspicious. It didn’t take long to walk through the board and game flow. It ended up being pretty intuitive but you really need to see it in action to get the hang of it. Or at least I did. It was a three player game and I was curious how that was going to work with two members of the conservative party and one liberal but the mat that adjusts for three players seemed to be working just fine and it’s a single winner game regardless of what party you’re in. So it worked out very well with a pretty tight set of scores at the end. It took about 2-3 hours and was a learning game with a lot of distractions. The pacing was spot on though and all players should be invested in what is going on at all time. I really enjoyed this and will have to see if this designer, Paul Hellyer, does anything else.