A Conversation for Great Board Games


Post 1


A game for those who find Diplomacy just not Machiavellian enough.

Junta! is set in a very poor banana republic where the players represent members of the ruling elite, whose sole aim is to embezzle as much foreign aid money as possible during the course of the game. The players assume various positions (ooer) such as El Presidente; the Head of the Secret Police; Commander of the Air Force etc. El Presidente receives the foreign aid every turn and doles out a proportion of it to the other players. This is fun because:

· Only El Presidente knows exactly how much foreign aid was received that turn as he receives it face-down from a shuffled pile of notes of various denominations.
· El Presidente has very little power apart from the right to appoint the cabinet and hand out the money, so he has to try to appease at least some of the other players with generous handouts (while of course diverting as much money as possible into his own Swiss bank account). If he does not keep enough people happy, the other players tend to immediately oust him in a Coup and have him shot (this is not as painful as it sounds and he can even carry on playing). If El Presidente is very skilful and manipulative, he may last as much as three turns before someone tries to pull off a Coup (or have him assassinated, or both).

When it comes to negotiations between players, pretty much anything goes. There's nothing really wrong with promising the General of the 1st Brigade a huge increase in the next budget in return for their support this turn, while forgetting to mention that someone else will be commanding the 1st Brigade after the next cabinet reshuffle. Assassinating your rivals is not considered bad form and should be resorted to whenever possible. Players can change sides in the midst of a Coup, or even after it appears to have been resolved. And there are always plenty of excuses for a Coup - from a budget crisis to the annual street fiesta...

Junta is a great game, although it should not be played with oversensitive people who resort to physical violence after a couple of backstabbings. Highly recommended.

smiley - panda

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