Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Who Can Beat Nixon?

A buddy of mine mentioned, in an old blog post (so old I can't add comments to it) about finding an old Avalon Hill game on his dad's shelf called "Who Can Beat Nixon?" Remarking on the crazy concept for a game, he suggested some other game ideas, one of which was:
Pedagogy Tycoon: navigate a semester of academic life; build an army of loyal undergrads; balance teaching, service, and research! For Mac and Windows. Also look for the Pedagogy Tycoon Expansion Pack: Search Committee.
I'm guessing he's never heard of "Survival Of The Witless: Tenure Is Everything!" a board game from Avalanche Press.

I've played Survival Of The Witless, and it really wasn't terribly good. Perhaps if I were a college professor it would have held more appeal, but the fairly weak humor grafted onto a lackluster mechanic and "supported" as it were by very low-budget components just didn't do anything for me.

I think I've played "Who Can Beat Nixon?" as well. It was years ago, and I can't be sure. I remember the blue monopoly-esque board, but I was thinking it had more artwork on the board itself. Might not have been the same game, though I'm pretty sure the thing we played was an Avalon Hill game - I recall being stupified at the audacity of the game*.

"Who Can Beat Nixon?" (or whatever the old Avalon Hill game I played was called if it turns out it wasn't that one) wasn't a good game, either, though perhaps that's 'cause the experience was marred by the group I played it with. There were 6 of us, I think, including 3 or 4 who'd never played it before and were willing to give it a shot just 'cause the concept was so bizarre. The other 2 had played it, a lot even. They taught us how to play, but made no mention of what they'd determined long ago was the best tactic in the game. And they played "for keeps" using that strategy to crush everyone else (for hours) once they'd established control of it. I remember being so upset with the two of them, that the game itself kinda blurred. The 3 or 4 new players all conceeded and the two "old pros" wanted to keep playing it out. (For the record, the buddy who's blog I referenced was NOT one of the guys I played this with. Wrong State, wrong year.)
Board Game Brainstorm! Come up with ideas for boardgames, pitch them to one another, choose the best idea and make it. Box includes three decks of blank cards; a foldable, laminated board; one Dry erase marker; one Board Game Brainstorm Idea NotePad 2000; One box of Sculpey.
I've played that too - or kinda played it. Tried to, anyway. Or something like it, but without the sculpey, and (obviously) unpublished - but I'll have to save that story for another day, as I have things to do right now.

These other two he mentioned I'm pretty certain don't exist:
Philately, the boardgame!

Assassinate McKinley: one player is Leon Czolgosz, the others are the security detail. Choose your moment at the Pan-American exposition. Get McKinley when he’s in a good mood, and maybe he’ll give you the famous “Go easy on him boys.”
If anyone ever makes it though, I'd be up for a round of that McKinley game. That's geeknuttery enough for me.

*: Later that was topped by Election USA, the game where winning the Republican Nomination means you win the general election (and thus the game) as well. From the back of the box, I wasn't certain if it was a pro-Republican game, or a game satirizing the rigging of elections, so I never bought or played Election USA.

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