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1960: Making of a President TURN TWO

January 30th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 4 Comments · AAR, AAR1960, Board Games


Momentum 3 Nixon, 2 Kennedy

Initiative: 2 blue 1 red, Nixon goes first

Phase 1

NIXON 1: The Old Nixon / Event: Kennedy loses 2 momentum down to zero, Nixon loses 1, down to 2

KENNEDY 1: Lazy Shave 3CP (1 rest cube) +1 PA, +2 NY (draws 1 red, 1 blue = +1 zero gain) +45 353-184

Bruce: I’m holding a bunch of good cards – for Kennedy. This is where momentum management comes into play. If Troy hadn’t played Gathering Momentum: East for an additional momentum token, I could maybe get away with letting him spend his only token on one event. Maybe tease him with a decent one early, and then play the worse ones when he was out. But with two markers, I need to do something else, and that’s drain his momentum entirely with my Old Nixon event. Ah, the old Nixon …

Troy: Well, damn. I needed that momentum. And since Bruce is parked in NY, I need to do a support check to see if my campaigning works. Support checks this early in the game are a little risky. If it works, it means you are taking friendly chits out of the bag that might come in handy later in the game, especially in the final campaign phase where every chit counts. But if it doesn’t work, you’ve wasted CP. Still, NY is a huge prize. One of the great things about this game is that it really underlines how much the country has changed population wise in fifty years.

Phase 2

NIXON 2: Bobby Kennedy 2CP (+2 rest) +2 NY (exempt due to Media EAST) +45 229-308

KENNEDY 2: Jackie Kennedy 3CP – move to South, +1 MS (3 Ken), +1 VA +12 320-217

Bruce: Bobby Kennedy is a nice event that increases Troy’s CP per card, so I’ll just dump that right here and resume the fight for New York.

Troy: The Kennedy clan is out in force, and here is where I needed that momentum. I’m moving to the south mostly to pre-empt Bruce. See, there is a nasty event card that has the potential to put three Southern states out of play for the Democrats if Kennedy does not control them. So I need to eventually get 4 chits in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. I’m generally not superstitious, but every time we’ve played this game, Bruce has nuked me with that card, costing me enough electoral votes to ruin my day. Besides, I’ll have better luck in NY once Nixon gets off his ass and leaves town. Even though I started the turn in NY, he has a media counter in the region so he doesn’t need to do the whole support check thing.

Phase 3

NIXON 3: Mid-Atlantic 3CP (+1 rest) — +1 NJ (zero), +2 PA (1 Nix) +32 249-288

KENNEDY 3: Campaign HQ (+2 rest) / Event: Discards Norman Vincent Peale, Compact of 5th Avenue draws Henry Cabot Lodge and Ken-Air.

Bruce: Mid-Atlantic gives Troy free support cubes, which is something you never want to do because events like this are exempt from candidates in the state, travel costs, and opponent carrying the state. So I’m glad to be able to dump it and use 3 nice CP to keep up the fight in the Northeast. I want to take either New York or Pennsylvania, and make Massachusetts and New Jersey a toss-up.

If this game has one glaring flaw, it’s that 70% of the map is essentially unused. Who would play support cubes in Nebraska or Vermont, for example? As you can see, Troy and I are very concerned about the states with 14 or more electoral votes, and not that concerned about much else. There are enough electoral votes elsewhere that the Nixon player doesn’t need to go after the Deep South (where Kennedy starts with support cubes in place) and only a foolish Kennedy player would go after any state in the west except California and maybe Washington. Sure, there is a card which gives you five support cubes if you lead in Alaska/Hawaii, but that’s a gimmick, and easy to spot.

Troy: In a way, that’s how campaigns are today once the primary season is done. Both parties only visit the states that can make a difference election wise, which means swing states or states with a lot of money to donate. I live in Maryland, a one-party state nationally speaking, so we only see the candidates if they are driving to DC from Philadelphia or are measuring Camp David for new fixtures. For a 1960 setting, it doesn’t seem to fit. This was still an age of regional media more than national, which is only partly reflected by the media-endorsement thing. The game as it stands is really about moving between the Midwest, the East and the South since it only costs one movement point in any direction, undermining your opponent in big states and saying “to hell with Wyoming.”

In any event, I use my turn to play a discard event, dumping some really crappy event cards. My new cards are a minor improvement.

Phase 4

NIXON 4: Nixon Egged in MI (+2 rest) for 2 CP: +1 Defense, +1 Econ no change

KENNEDY 4: “Give Me a Week” as Event: -2 Nixon Momentum to zero, -1 Def -1 Econ both to zero no change

Bruce: I’ve waited to play the issues until phase 4, and it’s getting late, especially without the initiative. Troy will be able to answer anything I do during this and the next phase, but if he does I preserve a good position in the East, and in any case I can’t afford to just give up the issues track because I don’t have the initiative. Plus, shouldn’t the Republican candidate be the one who wins the issues? That’s just realism.

Troy: If this game were about realism, I’d have Frank Sinatra whacking guys. Give Me A Week is an event that has Eisenhower stalling in an endorsement of Nixon. It nukes Bruce’s momentum and drains his issue support. It’s a really, really powerful card, and it forces Geryk to re-up on the issues in the next phase.

Phase 5

NIXON 5: Missile Gap 3 CP (+1 rest): +1 Def, +1 Econ, +1 Civ no change

KENNEDY 5: Henry Cabot Lodge 4CP: +2 Def (1 Ken), +1 Econ (zero) no change

Bruce: I play one in each issue so that Troy has a choice – if he erases my lead, then no one wins the issues, and if he chooses to win one issue, he has to let me win another. That guarantees me a momentum or neither of us any momentum. The only way he could win an issue and clear me off the issues track would be to Exhaust his Kennedy card, and it’s way too early for that aggressive a play.

Troy: Stupid strategery. Since it costs me three points of my four to win defense (the top issue at the moment), I have to let Bruce have the bottom issue and gain a momentum chit.

MOMENTUM: both at zero

Issues: +1 Momentum Civ Rights (Nixon), nothing Econ, Kennedy : Defense +1 Momentum +1 Endorse (Midwest = zero) +11 299-238

Issue Decay to zero

Nixon Campaign Strategy = Baptist Ministers 3 CP Civil Rights
Kennedy Campaign Strategy = Ken-Air 2 CP Civil Rights

Rest cubes +4 Kennedy, +6 Nixon à 13 to 12

End of Turn 2: 299-238 +20



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