An oldie but goodie returns ...
Die Macher, a simulation of the German election process,
was designed by Karl-Heinz Schmiel, who has also designed Tyranno
Ex and Attila which are played at the WBC. Each of
five (or four) players take the part of one of Germany's political
parties who try to earn points from gaining votes in each of
seven randomly-chosen regions, points from getting Media influence,
points from gaining workers to help build the party, and points
from aligning their party's stand on the issues with the slowly-revealed
national consensus. It's been one of my favorite games for about
ten years and I'd tried unsuccessfully to get it voted into the
Century. So when Don and the Board offered the option of signing
up to GM a tournament in advance of the membership survey to
help that game get voted into the Century, I grabbed at the opportunity.
And it helped because Die Macher came in seventh in the
voting for the ten new Century games.
I was concerned that too few might show up for a tournament.
Six, seven, or eleven players showing up would require either
one or two people dropping out, recruiting one or two more on
the spot, or playing at least one board with only three players.
None of those options were very attractive. As the day of the
event drew closer, however, I became more concerned about drawing
more than twenty five, making it necessary to have a semifinal
round and lose another five hour block that must be taken from
other tournaments. Thankfully, neither of those worries came
to pass as fourteen would-be power brokers showed up to play.
At the first table, Andy Lewis's PDS party gathered 197 out
of a possible 288 Mandate points, reflecting region voting, beating
out Steve Simmons' Green party who had 179 points. But Steve
edged out Alan Witte's CDU party in points from media influence,
ended up second to Thomas Browne's SPD party in points from party
workers, and second to Thomas Vickery's FDP party in points from
agreement between party and nation issues. Overall, Steve had
the greatest total with 352 points, followed by Thomas V. with
323 points and Thomas B. with 318 points.
The second table held the only four player game. Peter Staab's
PDS party worked hard in all seven regions, gathering a total
of 169 Mandate points, while Peter Martin's CDU party followed
with 131. Peter M. had the most media points and Tim Swartz's
FDP party took second. Vince Frattali's SPD party got the most
points from party workers and from agreement with nation opinion,
but Peter S. ended up the overall winner with 331 points. Vince
finished second with 290 points, and Tim took third with 269
The third table saw a tight race for Mandate points, with
Lyman Moquin's CDU party edging out Tom DeMarco's PDS party by
213 to 211 points. The same two parties tied for the most points
from party workers. Paul Skrabut's Green party edged out John
Emery's FDP party and John Weber's SPD party for the most media
points, and also took a significant lead in agreement points.
But Lyman's lead was too great to overcome, and his 344 points
proved to be the largest margin of victory, beating out Paul's
296 points and Tom's 295 points.
All three winners, one second and two third-place finishers
showed up for the final on Sunday morning. Tom D. beat Thomas
B. on the first tiebreaker (% of the board's total points) to
take the fifth and last slot in the final. Thomas B. finished
sixth in the tournament. The first regional election was in Nordrhine-Westfaren,
which is the largest region and can give a whopping 80 Mandate
points to each party that can earn 50 votes there. Lyman's CDU
party was able to max out on votes, and in coalition with Peter
S.'s SPD party won the region. Region 2 was Berlin, an average
sized region with a max Mandate of 40. Lyman also dominated here,
Sachen-Anhalt was the third region, and was worth a maximum
of 36 Mandate. Steve's FDP party formed a coalition with Tom's
PDS party, pushing Peter to accept an offer from Lyman to form
an opposing coalition. Steve and Tom each gained 50 votes, and
since Paul had chosen that he be the starting player that turn
(and Tom be the fifth player), it guaranteed that the FDP-PDS
coalition would win.
Saarland, with a maximum Mandate of only 20, and larger only
than Bremen (15 Mandate), was the next region. Lyman's blind
bid of 18,000 just beat Peter's bid and allowed him to declare
Peter as the starting player, making himself the fifth player
(and tie-winner) for that round. He then gained the full 50 votes
to win over Peter "by a nose".
The fifth region was Rhienland-Pfalz (Mandate 42). Steve won
the bid to choose the starting player and chose Lyman to go first
(and himself last). Again there were no coalitions, and Steve
was able to get to 50 votes, winning over Paul's Green party
"by a nose" (AKA a "short head" in German).
Paul then won "by a nose" over Peter in region 6 (Mecklenberg-Vorpommern,
The all-important seventh and final region, where no coalitions
are allowed, was Niedersachsen (Mandate 50). In spite of his
tie-winning fifth place position, Steve was unable to equal Paul's
50 votes. So Paul got to add the last three People's Opinion
cards to the Nation Opinion track (including one from the sixth
region), creating complete agreement between his party's position
and the national opinion, and earning himself the maximum possible
of 82 points. But Lyman's domination of the Mandate totals (219
points), media (60 points), and the party workers (an incredible
89 points!), insured his final total of 420 points would take
the crown. Peter finished second with 382 points, barely edging
Paul, who took third. Steve finished in fourth, and Tom took
I plan to run this event again next year, hopefully as a Century
tournament, but at least as a Trial. If you have any suggestions
for next year (Run earlier during the week? Run later in the
day? Die Macher as a Pre-Con?) or comments on this year, please
drop me an email.
Finalists (from left to right):
Lyman Moquin, Steve Simmons, Peter Staab, Tom DeMarco and Paul