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Swing States 2012» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Hillary vs Michelle rss

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David Spangler
United States
Washington
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In the political bombshell of the new century, President Barack Obama, feeling that he had become too controversial and divisive a figure to govern effectively and advance "the agenda of the Middle Class," declined to run for a second term. To no one's surprise, his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton took on the mantle of Party leader and became the Democratic Presidential candidate, choosing Mark Udall of Colorado as her running mate. At 70 years of age, he joked that he "made Hillary look young."

Denied a chance to defeat Obama and horrified at the idea that Hillary Clinton, the Great Liberal Queen, might be President, the Tea Party and its affiliated supporters rose up in a fury throughout the Republican primaries, dashing any chance Mitt Romney, the Establishment candidate, might have had, and went for one of their own, someone fiery who could represent their concerns and agendas. If the Democrats were going to try for two history-making Presidencies back to back--the first African-American President and now the first woman President, the Tea Party Republicans were determined to seize that history for themselves by nominating a woman as well. Sarah Palin, having dithered throughout the primaries trying to make up her mind whether to run or not, and carrying negative baggage from the 2008 campaign, lost her opportunity and the mantle fell on Rep. Michelle Bachmann. To unify the party and draw the Establishment money and support to her campaign, she persuaded Mitt Romney to join her on the ticket as her VP.

Thus began the historic Two-Woman Campaign.


---From The Chick is in the Mall: An Irreverent Memoir of the 2012 Presidential Campaign, by Anonymous
(believed to be a former Obama White House aide)

This turned out to be a solid game. I played the role of Hillary Clinton with Udall as my Vice-President. My opponent was Michelle Bachman with Mitt Romney as her VP pick. I didn't try any particular strategy other than to fund raise as often as possible but not at the expense of other strategic moves. As long as I could keep my Regional markers hovering around the middle of the track, I would fund raise. If they sank below that, I would go on the offensive and Advertise to raise them back up or, if necessary, to switch them back to Campaign mode for defense. I sought a "middle of the road" campaign, not trying to get to the top of the Regional tracks too soon, not letting myself sink into Fiasco territory (which can cost you the game very quickly by). In this way, I could fund raise almost every turn or so, and by mid game I had my War Chest up to +4. I then used all my money for defense (Campaign mode) until near the end of the game at which point I began aggressively advertising in the North and Midwest, spending just enough money in the South to keep Florida more or less in my camp and a Fiasco at bay. In this way, in the closing turns, I was able to Landslide both North and South Regions, raising West and Border.

I was aided in this moderate strategy by two things. Although I can't say I had great cards, I didn't have a run of really bad ones either. All the Regions were economically depressed from about the midgame onward until right near the end when I drew two positive economic cards in a row which definitely helped. By then, though, I was burning through my War Chest advertising like crazy in the North and Landsliding as a result.

The second thing was my VP choice. As currently written, Udall has a powerful advantage. He can sit, un-Used, in Campaign HQ, never having to move (unless a Fiasco occurs which I was careful to keep from happening), and as long as he is there, no Scandal can be placed. He negates all Scandals which was a huge help in allowing me to pursue my moderate strategy.

So how did it turn out. Let's let the anonymous author have the last word.

Everyone knew that the next President would make history once again, so election night held no tension for anyone in that regard. Whoever won, it would be a woman, the first to occupy the White House. And for most of the Fall, to everyone's surprise, Hillary played what seemed like a waiting game, quietly raising money, defending against Bachman's aggressive attacks where she had to, advancing her own cause mainly in the North and Midwest. It even seemed to many observers that her stint as a globe-trotting Secretary of State had worn her out and that she hadn't been kidding when she had said in the Spring of 2012 that she was finished with electoral politics. Her unflappable Vice Presidential running mate with his smooth style and family connections squashed any and all rumors and potential scandals before they could become threatening, but it didn't seem to matter. Hillary was coasting and seemed destined to lose. But then, with only weeks remaining, she suddenly made her move, outspending and outmaneuvering her opponent across the nation in a burst of electoral skill that pundits and scholars of American history will study and marvel at for decades to come. At that point, she became Hillary the Inevitable.

In the end she only lost the South which went solidly for Bachman. Even Florida tumbled into the fiery Representative's Electoral column. But everywhere else, Hillary dominated. She only needed to get 94 Electoral votes from the Swing States to win, and she got 173, a sweeping victory, proving for once and for all the power of the Clintons as America's dominate political dynasty.
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Christopher Stueck
United States
Kankakee
Illinois
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Excellent session report. It shows me how emersive the game sounds. I ordered my game a few days ago. This report makes me even more excited to play it.
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Alan Emrich
United States
Irvine
California
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It was quite a taffy-pull coming up with the personages who would populate the two sides of the 10 Candidate cards.

Having designed it, I took the first pass, splitting the cards 7 Republican and 3 Democrats because, hey, it's that kind of election year with the incumbent standing for a second term. How many other viable Democrats are in the wings for this year, really? For the Republicans, I had WAY more than 7 to choose from...

On the back of each President card are two Vice President "half-cards", so that's 6 Democrat and 14 Republican VP candidates in the game.

In the end, the playtesters ran with the ball, did a bunch of homework, and greatly refined the list of those included in the game. Then, at the end, one of the designers, Ben Madison, changed four of them "by fiat" to better represent his own ideas of who should be a character in a 2012 "fantasy" presidential election game.

In the end, there's a very good mix of personages and players will have a lot to experiment with, particularly as you must select both candidates FOR BOTH SIDES when playing the "Candidate game."

Alan Emrich
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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
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Are there enough variable strategies in defeating the game?
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Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Okay, so this is based on a whopping 2 plays, so make of it what you will.

In the 1st game, the Dems controlled things early and looked to be on a easy cruise until victory. Republican attacks really stepped up towards the end, and forced the Dems into a defensive mode as election night loomed. Still, their chances looked pretty good. Unfortunately, with 3 or 4 of the regions in advertising mode, a huge number of states were in play...and the dice did not like me. I ended up with only 75 of the 92 votes I needed as the Dems. In this game, my strategy was to build up a big war chest to use in emergencies to prop up various areas. Heck, I topped out a couple of regions and was getting landslide results (I think I may have had 1 fiasco, too). And yet, when I really needed needed defense, I wasn't ready and ended up getting beat.

In game 2, again as the Dems, I did my best to keep myself in campaign mode in the very vulnerable regions (South to protect Florida, Midwest because there are some juicy targets there) and focused less on the war chest (although I didn't ignore it). The economy liked me more in this one, and I had enough turns where I got $4 that I could pop a region into advertising, bump it up (hopefully) and then put it back in campaigning mode. The economy liked me more in this game, and while it took me a while to get momentum going in the South, I was mostly able to keep my markers high. Learning from the mistakes of the 1st game and knowing I was sitting on a comfortable lead, I made sure everyone was in defense (campaigning) mode on election night. This time the Republicans only took 8 of the 25 swing states, and the Dems got 175 electoral votes.

I think the biggest variable is the cards. There are 29 in the deck, but you only use 13 of them in a game (plus 7 others that give you a base 20 card deck) so there's a lot of variability. Being able to do opposition research (which I think I did 3 times in game 1 and 2 times in game 2) also adds variability, as its unlikely that you'll have enough spare cash to get more than a few of these out in a game.

I think this has a lot of life to it, and next time I'm going to try this from the Republican perspective to see how it goes. I should note I'm just playing the basic game, I'll try the candidate game soon.
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