Divide & Conquer

I hacked together a quick game, inspired by the shitty voting system that will be used in the upcoming UK General Election: First Past The Post (FPTP).

This is currently a 2-player game prototype. I will experiment with more players (ie, introduce more political parties) over the next weeks.

Setup

You’ll need:

  • Two humans, who will play the leaders of two competing political parties
  • A simplified map of the UK, made out of 65 hexagons
  • Coloured tokens for each player: 24 round tokens (the safe ones), and 9 square tokens (the marginal ones)
  • Event cards, shuffled (more on these below)
  • Parliament card, with 13 seats

Phase 1: election campaign

Players take turns in placing all their coloured tokens on the map:

  • 3 tokens per turn
  • The player going last can replace one (any) opponent’s token with their own when there are no free hexagons left at the end of this phase.

Phase 2: election day

Players take turns in collecting tokens from the map:

  1. Draw one event card and do what it says (it may be things like “Move one of your tokens by 2 spaces” or “Lose one of your tokens”)
  2. Take 5 adjacent tokens of any colour. You want to try and get at least 3 of your tokens in there. 3 out of 5 means you will get one spot in Parliament. This is how FPTP works.

End game

The player with a majority of spots in Parliament (at least 7) wins!

Hang on, why is FPTP shitty?

Check out the explorable explanation To Build a Better Ballot by Nicky Case and play District by Christopher Walker.

If you’re interested in my personal opinion, I’ll elaborate on this later.