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Die Macher 
The following rules are a translation of the house rules as played by my Danish game club Consim.
They have evolved over several games and owes a lot to the suggestions made by Derek Carver in SUMO 44 and to Stuart Dagger in COUNTER 1.
Die Macher Player Aid

Player  Accessories

Each player receives DM 25.000, a set of cards and markers in one of the Party colors plus a German Note sheet, a pencil and a Phase Reference sheet.
3 types of wooden markers are in use:
18 small Party Meeting cubes
5 large Media cubes
9 flat markers
- 4 of the flat markers have been marked "50" on one side, and these are used to count the number of votes won in each Region.
Preparations  of  the  Boards

  • Lay the 4 Regional boards in a circle form in the center of the table.
  • Place the "1. Runde" tile onto the first Region with the "5. Runde" tile beneath it. Place the "3. Runde" tile onto the third Region.
  • Distribute the flat markers onto the Regions: One of each color, marked "50", on each Cross (zero Votes) with the blank side face up. One marker on each "0" on the Trend scales of each color. The last marker is placed on the National Board in the "5 Party Member" space.
  • Distribute 1 Party Meeting cube of each color to each Region.
  • Mix the Region cards and draw one for each of the four Regions. Place the card face up next to the board together with the matching Region tile.
  • Shuffle the Peoples Opinion cards and place 4 cards on the family symbols of each Region:
    1st Region: Place 4 cards face up
    2nd Region: Place 3 cards face up and 1 face down
    3rd Region: Place 2 cards face up and 2 face down
    4th Region: Place 1 card face up and 3 cards face down
    All visible opinions within a Region should be on different topics. Remove any cards with the same symbol (whether identical or contradictionary) and replace them with new cards. All removed cards are shuffled into the deck again.
  • Draw 6 Peoples Opinion cards and place them on the corresponding symbols in the Exchange Pool on the Organization Board. Cards with the same symbol (both identical and contradictionary) are placed together and empty spaces stays empty.
  • Place the card piles and markers on the corresponding symbols on the Organization Board.
  • Remove one set of Party Programme cards. With only 4 sets a player will never risk being alone 4 against 1 on a given subject - which can be devastating when it happends.
    The  Initial  Party  Programmes

    Each Party begins with two predetermined opinons on party issues:

    Grüne (green) : Gentechnic: NEIN + Kerneenergie: NEIN
    SPD (red) : Euro: SPÄTER + Innere Sicherheit: WENIGER
    FDP (yellow) : Gentechnic: NEIN + Sozialstat: WENIGER
    CDU (black) : Euro: SOFORT + Kerneenergie: JA
    PDS (blue) : Sozialstat: MEHR + Innere Sicherheit: MEHR

    The other 5 opinions are distributed randomly: Shuffle all cards for or against a particular opinion and let each player draw a card until all has an opion on each of the 7 topics. Unused cards are placed on the Organization Board.
    All 7 Party Program cards should remain face up for the time being!
    Preliminary Round

    Each player chooses secretly their intial set-up by setting an "X" in a circle in each of the two rows marked "1" and "2" on the Note sheet ("Startaufstellung"). Remember to write the name of the Region(s) you wish to influence. Only one name in each box, but several boxes may contain the same or a different name.
    The sheets are revealed when all players are done, and the corresponding actions are marked on the boards. Remember that there is no limit on the number of Media Markers allowed in a Region during the initial setup.
    Election  Campaigns   (Game  Rounds)

    The game is divided into 6 standard rounds containing the phases A-M plus an End phase.
    A 7th round comprises merely the scoring (phases I, J & K).
    A)   Player Order

    Each player secretly notes a sum of cash on his Note sheet (Gebot Rundenstart). All bids are paid to the bank. The highest bidder may select his seat in the player order, and the other players will choose their seat order in order of their bids (ties are resolved by dice roll).
    Use the Start Markers to outline the player order by placing them in order above the Organization Board.
    B)   Party  Program

    Each player in turn may change 1 Party Program card at a time until all players have passed.
    A card can only be exchanged to the opposite opinion, and only if the proper card is available in the deck (available cards are public knowledge).
    Each time a card is exchanged must the player roll both dice and loose a number of Party Members equal to the highest die. A player may continue to exchange cards even if he has no Party Members.
    At the end of the phase must each player hide 2 Program cards. His opinon on these topics will not be influenced by the People during the current election.
    C)   Shadow Cabinet

    Each player has 7 cards which may be played during this phase. The players determine in player order how many cards they want to play and where they want to place them: The cards are placed face down on the Regional Boards. A player may never play more than one card in the same Region during the same phase. A card can only influence the election in the Region in which it was played, and all played cards are removed from the game after the election.
    When all cards have been played will they be revealed in reverse Region order, and the players present in the Region will choose their actions in player order. A card cannot be used unless the player can pay the printed costs, but the card will still be discarded.
    Phone : Place a Coalition Marker in this Region
    Cross : Increase the Party Votes by this number
    Circle 2 : Place or remove a Doubling tile on/from one Opinion card.
    There can never be more than one Doubler in each Region
    Speaker : Return a Media Marker to the owner and pay him DM 4.000.
    Replace it with a Media Marker of your own and pay DM 4.000 to the Bank
    Thumbs Up : Move the corresponding Trend Marker up this number of spaces
    Thumbs Down : Move the corresponding Trend Marker down this number of spaces

    D)   Coalitions

    If there are at least 2 Phone tiles in the current Region may the owners check to see if they can form a Coalition. The decisions are made in player order, through two sub-phases, using the following guidelines:
    A Coalition will always be composed of exactly two Parties who share the same viewpoint on at least two visible topics (identical Program cards). Each Party can only be part in one Coalition (per Election). All forced Coalitions are constructed (sub-phase A) before the players may form voluntary Coalitions (sub-phase B).
    A) If at least 3 topics are identical, the player may force the other Party into a Coalition.
    B) Parties not forced into a Coalition may voluntarily form a Coalition if they share the same view on at least 2 topics. Such a Coalition can only be formed with the consent of both Parties.
    E)   Media  Control

    Each player may, in player order, place a Media Marker on a vacant Media space in any Region against payment of DM 4.000.
    The players may continue to place buy Media Markers as long as there are vacant spaces. There can never be placed more than 5 Media Markers in a Region (with exception of those placed in the Preliminary round).
    After all players have placed the can or want, it is determined (in Region order) if a Party has control over the Media (ie. has a simple majority of Media Markers) in each Region.
    A player with Media Control may exchange one of the open Public Opinion cards in that Region with one from Exchange Pool. Cards with a Doubling tile cannot be exchanged, and all visible cards must be on different topics.
    F)   Election  Meetings

    In player order may each player hold up to 4 Election Meetings per Region. The player will pay DM 1.000 per small wooden block placed on the board. Each Region can contain a maximum of 10 Meetings per Party, and each player is limited to the 18 blocks supplied.
    G)   Opinion  Polls

    1 Opinion Poll per Region is auctioned in Region order. Open bids are given in player order with each player either raising the bid or withdrawing from that auction by passing. The highest bidder pays the money to the bank and takes the top card from the Unfrage-pile. Looking secretly on the card the player must decide whether he wants to publish the Opinion or not:
    Publish Opinion Poll:
    The player may move one or two Trend markers in the designated Region in accordance with the instructions on the card.
    NOTE: A player with Media Control is immune in that Region. Ie. his Trend marker may not be moved downward.
    Shelve Opinion Poll:
    If the player decide not to publish the Opinon must he roll 2 dice and receive that number of new Party Members on the National Board.
    H)   Vote-catching

    In reverse Region order may each player in order convert a minimum of 5 Election Meetings into votes using the following formula:
    Election Meetings x ( Trend + Program* )

    *) Each visible card in the Party Program which coincides with the Public Opinion in the Region are worth +1 (+2 with a Doubling tile). All cards which contradicts with the Public Opinon are worth -1 (-2 with a Doubling tile). Program card on topics without a Public Opinion has no significance.
    The result is the total number of new Votes gained in that Region. Remove the converted Election Meeting markers and increase the Vote marker. If the conversion result is zero or negative will the player receive 1 Vote per 2 Election Meeting markers.
    The Vote marker is turned over to the "50"-side and the track is re-used when a player gains more than 50 Votes in a Region. If more players have the same number of Votes in a Region will the later arrivals on that space be place on top of the first arrived marker.
    When all conversions have been made in a Region:
    A player with an absolute majority of Votes (ie. more Votes than all other Parties combined) may exchange one Public Opinion card from the Region with one from the Exchange Pool (with exception of a card locked with a Doubling tile). This will happend before catching votes in the next Region.
    No votes may be converted from the current Region and no card may be exchanged!
    I)   Election

    All Election Meeting markers in the current region are converted into Votes following the procedure outlined in phase H. Each party will receive a number of Mandates according their Votes and the current Region card. A Party can never gain more than the maximum number of Mandates even if it has received more than 50 Votes.The number of Mandates received are noted on the back of the Note sheet. Coalitions have no influence upon the number of Mandates received for each Party.
    J)   Election  Victory

    If two Parties have formed a Coalition are their Votes added together. The Party or Coalition with the most Votes wins. If the result is tied between more Parties/Coalitions are winners determined by the highest placed Vote Marker (the marker on top wins a maginal victory).
    A single Party wins with a clear majority if it has more Votes than any other Party or Coalition. The player may tranfer one of his Media Markers from that Region onto the National Board where it is placed in the space with the same number as the current round.
    In addition may the player transfer up to two Public Opinion cards from the Region onto the National Board. The cards are placed in the most-left vacant spaces on the board. If there are no vacant spaces may he first remove a card or two to create room, close the gaps by pushing the remaining cards to the left, whereafter he can place the new cards in the empty slots on the right.
    The player may also choose to secure one of cards present by placing an identical card on top of it. A secured card can only be removed by replacing it with the exact opposite opinion.
    Opininon cards with the same symbol (same or opposite viewpoint) cannot be represented in two different spaces on the National Board.
    A single Party wins a marginal victory if it wins over another Party or Coalition with the same number of votes. In this case may the player still transfer 1 Media Marker, but only 1 Opinon card.
    If a Coalition wins (whether the victory is clear or marginal doesn't matter) may each player transfer 1 Media Marker and 1 Public Opinion card to the National Board. The player who delivered the most Votes goes first (in case of a tie goes the player with the top marker first).
    K)   New  Party  Members

    Each player check how many of their Party Program cards match the cards on the National Board. The number of Party Members on the National Board are increased by the number below each matching card.
    L)   Election  Funds

    Each Party receives 1000 x Seats gained (12 new seats = DM 12.000)
    Party Membership
    After round 1, 3 and 5 will each Party receive 1000 x current Membership status.
    M)   Party  Contributions

    In turn order must each player select one of their Contribution cards (Spenden-karte and place it on the table in front of him. The card is placed face up if he wish to accept the donation, and face down if he decline the contribution.
    Players who played the cards face up receives the money stated but must roll the number of dice indicated at the top of the card and loose a number of Party Member equal to the highest die (maximum 3).
    Players who played the cards face down now reveal their cards. They roll the number of dice indicated at the lower half of the card and gain a number of Party members equal to the total dice roll. In addition may the sole player who declined the largest contribution roll an additional 3 dice. If two or more players decline the same highest contribution do none of them gain this bonus. Used cards are out of the game.

    The Board is now prepared for the next round.
    The current region is cleared and all markers are returned to their starting positions. Four new Public Opinion cards are drawn: 1 card face up and 3 face down. A new Region card is drawn and the corresponding tile is found.
    On each of the other 3 Regions are one Opinion card turned over. If the card covers the same topic as one of the other cards in the Region is it replaced with another one and placed in the Exchange Pool. The Region with 4 open Opinon cards are now the current Region.
    After round 3: Is the tile "No Coalition" (Keine Koalition) placed on the Region as a reminder that no Coalitions may be made in the 7th round. Shadow cabinet cards with telephone symbols may still be played but no coalitions may be formed.
    Round 7: is very short as the players goes directly to Election (phases I, J and K) and thereafter to the End Game.
    End  Game

    After round 7 comes the final reckoning. Using the back of the Note sheet each player write down the following information:
    The total number of seats won in all 7 Regional Elections is tranfered from the first columns.
    The total sum of points given in the black circles in spaces on the National Board occupied by Media Markers of that Party.
    Party Members:
    The number of members on the National Board
    + 10 points to the sole player with the highest number of mambers.
    +6 points to the sole player with the second highest number of members.
    If two Parties has equal highest number, they get 8 points each, and the third Party gets nothing.
    Party Program:
    The total sum of points given in the black circles in the spaces on the National Board occupied by Opinon cards of the same point of view as the visible Party Program. + 5 points for each matching Security card.
    The winner is the player with the highest total number of points.

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    © Mik Svellov 1997-2004editor@brettboard.dk11. mar 2002