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Article 27: The UN Security Council Game» Forums » General

Subject: Is there a simple explanation anywhere? rss

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Mark Turner
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I am looking for a simple guide/explanation for this game, which takes me by the hand through gameplay.

I bought this game for Christmas, looking forward to playing it. Its wrapped, but I would love to get my head round it ahead of time.

Problem is that the couple of video reviews I have seen are incomprehensible to me, and even the rule book is baffling.

I have played many games before, so not sure why this is proving so complex. By contrast, I found Android Netrunner really simple to understand.

Can anyone point me to a really simple guide, which explains it all in a simple fashion step by step?

Thanks!
 
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Clyde W
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We're playing it by forum, perhaps that will help? The rules are summarized there and then you can see us playing. It is very simple and straightforward to play.

Article 27 PBF#1 - "The UN Security Council" - Proposal 3 - Mandatory Negotiation Phase Underway
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Georgios P.
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Basically, you're playing representatives of the countries in the UN security council. The game is about you voting on resolutions, and scoring points according to the issues that are part of the resolutions.

At the beginning of each turn, you draw five issue tokens (cardboard) and place them on your mat in secret. These tokens determine which issues will score for you, if the resolution passes. Only the colour matters here, ignore the symbols.

Then the secretary general (the player with the gavel) takes one wooden token from each colour. Flip them over, so you can see the symbols on the wooden tokens. If any symbol shows up more than once, replace those wooden tokens with ones of the same colour. Do this until you have six tokens with six different symbols on the table. (Flip the rest face-down, shuffle them and place them back on the appropriate areas on the board.)

The secretary general then chooses which tokens will be part of the resolution, flips over the sand timer and you may start the negotiations. The secretary general is the only player who may choose which tokens will be included in the resolution and which will not be. He may add or remove tokens as he sees fit during negotiations.
There are three things to keep in mind here:

1. If the resolution passes (gets a majority of the yes votes and no veto), the secretary general scores 5 points.
2. The secretary general may be bribed with victory points/influence to convince him which issues to include or exclude.
3. The other players may be bribed with victory points/influence to vote one way or another.

Bribes are dealt with very fairly. If you don't keep your end of the deal, you have to give back the bribe. That's why each bribe (when placed on the bribee's mat) should be accompanied by a player token.

Once the timer runs out or the secretary general had enough of your jibber-jabber and uses the gavel, the negotiation is over and you vote.

You can do one of three things during a vote:
1) Use your "yes"-token (the green one) to approve the resolution.
2) Use no token to abstain.
3) Use your "veto"-token (the red one) to veto the resolution, nulling all other votes. This costs you 5 influence points. You cannot veto, if you cannot pay.

If more than half of the players vote yes, the resolution passes. Otherwise the resolution fails, and nobody scores anything at all. You may be able to keep your bribe, though, depending on what you agreed to do for it.

Now the symbols on the wooden pieces only matter at the end of the game. They relate to the secret agenda you draw at the start of the game. After each round, you place the wooden tokens on the scoring board. Place them on the row with the corresponding symbol. (So dollar symbol token goes on the dollar symbol row.)

If the resolution has failed, or the token wasn't part of the resolution place the token face-down on the right-most empty space on the row.

If the issue was part of a successful resolution, place it face-up on the left-most empty space on the row.

At the end of the game, you reveal your secret agenda and score additional points according to how many face-up tokens with your symbol are on the scoring board. You can get up to 15 additional points that way.

Hope this helps.





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Mark Turner
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Thanks, it all seems much simpler this am. Not sure why my brain was on strike last night.

A couple of questions...

A) I seem to recall reading somewhere that the resolution could contain a max 2 tokens with the same agenda... Above, you say no more than 1. I guess that makes sense.

B) during negotiations, can any bribes and the elements of the resolution change at any time? Ie, if I offer someone 1 influence to vote yes, but then the resolution changes, can I can withdraw the bribe? Etc... I can see that that could lead to some argument... Ie people who say they are withdrawing a bribe once they see hey are likely to get what they want... It might almost make sense to have two rounds of bribing... The sg bribes (to determine the proposed resolution) then the voting bribes (once the resolution is clear)

C) the terminology is a little confusing, because in the real unsc, tabling a resolution means you are actually proposing it. In this game, putting it to the floor means you are proposing it, and tabling means not proposing. Correct?
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Georgios P.
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Happy to help. Even if I did pass on some of our own mistakes.

A) No, you're right. You can keep up to two issue tokens with the same symbols in a turn. We played it like I described above, which led to a more stable and less swingy game.

B) I think you're supposed to return mutually exclusive bribes to their owner. We played it so that you cannot take back your "offer" or have it returned to you, until after a vote has been cast. This made the game a little less hectic than it could have been, but might be an option in a learning game.

C) Yes. And I agree, it's confusing. It's one of the few terms we purposefully dropped from the game.
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Clyde W
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On point A) when you flip over the issues each round and there are more than 2 of any one type, you flip that third over and flip a different issue.

B) You are free to take back bribes. Play a few games to see how and why this must be so.

C) To table has two contradictory definitions [url]http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_(parliamentary_procedur...)[/url].

Edits: Derp, no clue how to make that URL work correctly.
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Georgios P.
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re: taking back bribes

The upside of allowing it, is that it increases the ways in which you can outmaneuver your opponents and make them spend more on something than they need. It also allows you to be more flexible during negotiations, once it becomes apparent that your bribes are not necessary to get what you want.

The downside - and it's not a big one - is that it can seem overwhelming at first and make the game seem more random than it is. It's an additional rule that's helpful for a learning game or when playing with inexperienced players.
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Mark Turner
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clydeiii wrote:

C) To table has two contradictory definitions [url]http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_(parliamentary_procedur...)[/url].


How interesting... I had no idea!

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_(parliamentary_procedur...)

Table (parliamentary procedure)
In parliamentary procedure, a motion to table has two different and contradictory meanings:

In the United States, to table usually means the to lay [the topic] on the table or to move for postponement of consideration; a proposal to suspend consideration of a pending motion. Much less often, it means a motion to "put on the table": a proposal to begin consideration (or reconsideration), a usage consistent with the rest of the English-speaking world.
In the rest of the English-speaking world such as the United Kingdom, to table means to move to place [the topic] upon the table (or to move to place on the table): a proposal to begin consideration (or reconsideration) of a proposal.
Both the American and the British dialects have the sense of "to table" as to lay [the topic] on the table or to cause [the topic] to lie on the table. The difference is the idea of what the table is for, that of a shelf off to the side, or an active work bench.

The British meaning has the sense of the table as being an active work bench, with the topic being the center of attention, considered and discussed by all until it can be resolved, at which point it is taken off the 'table'.

The American sense is that the table is like that of a shelf, archive, or long-term storage device, where the topic has been disposed of by sending it to the 'table' and leaving it there.
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Ender Wiggins
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Joe Dizzy wrote:
Then the secretary general (the player with the gavel) takes one wooden token from each colour. Flip them over, so you can see the symbols on the wooden tokens. If any symbol shows up more than once, replace those wooden tokens with ones of the same colour. Do this until you have six tokens with six different symbols on the table. (Flip the rest face-down, shuffle them and place them back on the appropriate areas on the board.)

Just pointing out an error in the section I've bolded above. The tokens don't have to be all different, because it's fine if there are two showing the same secret agenda. You only need to replace issue tokens if a third token with the same secret agenda shows up.

But a nice overall summary of play Georgios!
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