Gameday First Play – Article 27: The UN Security Council Game

Posted on by Jesta

If ever a game needed to be more fun that the title this was it.

Luckily it is.

Article 27: The United Nations Security Council Game gets its title from – yes, you guessed it – Article 27 of the United Nations Charter, which includes these two provisions:

1. Each member of the Security Council shall have one vote.
2. Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.

In this negotiation game, each player represents one member of the UN Security Council and will both present and be presented with different proposals.

So usually at this point I give brief overview of how to play but to be honest I have no idea what to say.

It reminded me of Lifeboats, but with a much better overall game. It’s negotiation, someone is ‘in charge’, you have secret goals, you have a vote, someone wins.

Each player represents a country, in my case France but it doesn’t matter. You’re trying to get the most influence after X rounds where X is the number of players.

You have a secret goal to pass as many of one type as possible. Also in each ‘vote’ you have 5 secret documents that will show you how each issue will effect you.

So each vote you have to take those into consideration as well as paying attention to what issues the other players are trying to push, avoid or not talk about.

Article 27 Screen

So this poorly lit picture is of your player screen. The 5 tokens at the bottom are drawn from a bag randomly and added behind the screen. In this round, if Red passes I gain 5 influence, if green passes I will lose 1 (I have +3 and -4).

What I’m trying to do is get Red passed in a vote while stopping anything else, or taking bribes large enough for it to be worth my while.

Bribing means you put influence and a token representing you country in a certain area of players board depending if you want something in or out, or a vote to pass, fail or abstain etc

Article 27 Board

We played with these face up, the rulebook says to put them face down.

So after debate there will be tokens pushed into the centre of the board, or not depending on how things go.

Then the vote happens. Each player simultaneously reveals and token (Tick or Cross) or doesn’t to abstain.

One cross and the vote fails, players who vetoed this way pay 5 influence.

If vetoed, play moves on after bribes have been resolved. If not, you gain/lose influence based on your secret objectives and bribes are also resolved.

You only pay for bribes that work, bribes for promises not kept are returned to you.

Article 27 Issue Board

This blurry picture is of the other part of the game. For each vote, one token of each colour will be added to the track. Votes passed go to the left and are face up, failed go to the right and are face down.

Depending how far up the track they are face up is how many bonus points the person who has this as their secret objective will get.

After each player has been in charge of a vote once, the game ends. Influence is added and a winner declared.

I enjoyed this. Having the issue tokens face up on the board, and going last, means I didn’t get any face up on my board as I didn’t have a chance to manipulate them. I’m not sure if having these face down will make it a bit random though? Then I guess not really wanting red in the middle only to have the token of your type turned up gives you something to vote for.

As far as open negotiation games go this is pretty much the best one I’ve played. It differs enough from Cosmic Encounter for me to not put them in the same group.

I look forward to playing this again, and doing better.

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