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Founding Fathers - Board Game Box Shot

Founding Fathers

| Published: 2010
22 2 3

2-5 players compete to be the planner remembered for the creetion of the US Constitution. A card-driven board game, players play cards that represent the 55 delegates who attended the constitutional convention in 1787.

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Comic Book Fan
11 of 12 gamers found this helpful
“Everything an educational board game should be”

Christian Leonhard and Jason Matthews have done something truly exceptional with Founding Fathers, a board game which faithfully recreates the Philadelphia Convention and the events leading up to the presentation and adoption of the Constitution: they designed a game that was mechanically sound and enjoyable when played, but they also made it function as a wonderful learning tool for people of all ages. This alone makes it a worthy addition to anyone’s collection; The quality of the components and the strategic depth and re-playability should sway anyone that sadly has no interest in the rich and fascinating subject matter.

The object of the game is to emerge from the Convention as the delegate who had the most influence on the final document, and this of course is measured in victory points. You earn those points by being on the winning side when an article is voted on in the Assembly Room, by having the largest influence in the Committee Room, by playing events that appear on your Delegate Cards, or at the end of the game by having the most Debate Tokens.

Play revolves around what you choose to do with your Influence Markers and the randomized deck of Delegate Cards that you’ll draw from each turn. Depending on which state your delegates hail from and what political affiliation they belong to, you may want to have them vote yea or nay, override someone else’s vote, debate to earn tokens that will affect end-of-game scoring, or just use the one-shot or ongoing event on their card. The best play on any given turn is very much based on what your opponents are up to, so you’ll need to consider where they have used their own markers and cards, and what cards are in their hands(the state and affiliation is shown on the back of each, and that information is common knowledge throughout the four rounds of play). There is a true feel of political back-and-forth and maneuvering, and that only gets an additional layer added to it once you’ve played it enough(or are just historically knowledgeable enough) to know what the odds are that a particular delegate is in someone’s hand. There are some events that are very powerful and need to be taken into account, such as George Washington’s.

The game’s core is solid and entertaining, but it’s the fluff that makes this such a standout to me. The attention to detail is a history nerd’s delight, from the board design being based on Independence Hall to the little factoids on each card to the insane wealth of background information in the rulebook. Whether you want to or not, you will come away from this Constitutional clash knowing a bit more about America’s most brilliant document and the men who were its authors.


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