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5 Political Board Games for State of the Union Address

Posted Wednesday, 21-Jan-2015

Most of the people reading this post will never become President of the United States…and that’s probably a good thing.  But we can still pretend to have Barack Obama’s political power when we’re playing one of these strategic political board games.

1.  Corporate America:  Political greed at its finest.  Take control of a corporation and negotiate with others to cut the best deals.  Originally a Kickstarter game, Corporate America incorporates humor with with politics  and has a simple goal:  the person with the most money wins.

Gaming Mechanics:  Auction/Bidding

Corporate America

2.  Diplomacy:  Be prepared to lose a few friendships (and hours) while playing this classic political game of pure negotiation.  Diplomacy has proven to be a great learning tool in high schools and colleges around the world with a focus on world history and political arbitration.

Gaming Mechanics:  Area Control, Area Influence, Area Movement, Player Elimination, Bluffing, Negotiation

Diplomacy Game

3.  Republic of Rome:  This long-form game takes place in ancient Rome.  Players work against each other and vie for political power…but if the voting proves unsatisfactory for the future of all Rome, then the government falls and everyone loses.

Game mechanics:  Voting, Dice Rolling, Hand Management, Variable Player Powers

Republic of Rome

4.  Twilight Struggle:  This Cold-War era strategic war game forces you to scramble for the most political influence.  Your actions will decide whether the United States or the Soviet Union will walk away victoriously after a 45 year period of prestige, intrigue, and warfare between the two powerful nations.  Designed for two players but also playable in solitaire mode.

Game Mechanics:  Bluffing, Modern Warfare, Dice Rolling, Area Control, Area influence, Campaign/Battle Card Driven

Twilight Struggle Game

5.  Louis XIV:  While a tad less on the political side, Louis XIV is guaranteed to build bureaucratic tension around your game table. Players utilize a variety of tactics to influence high-ranking French Nobility in this 17th century themed strategy game.  Though the rules can seem initially complex, players are quick to catch on as the game progresses…and the final outcome is suspenseful up until the last turn.

Game Mechanics:  Area Control, Area Influence, Hand Management, Set Collection

Louis XIV Game

What political games give you the biggest power trip?

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