Sunday, November 17, 2013

Junta -- politically incorrect and hilarious

 It was an easy sell when Joel suggested we break out the board game Junta after at least a year or two since the last time we've played. Before we even opened up the game, emails were flying around the group arguing over who should begin the game as El Presidente. Joel has the original West End Games version of this politically incorrect spoof of the shenanigans going on in an anonymous Latin American banana republic.

The players represent families vying to tap the most foreign influence money being channeled into the country from the America. Whoever can squirrel away the largest amount in their Swiss bank account is the winner. Players divide up positions -- such as Minister of Internal Security, President, various Generals, Admirals and Air Force Commanders. These become important when the frequent coups break out. Surprisingly, we had only two coups -- if I remember correctly -- during our game. One replaced Joel as President, and the other deposed his brother Allen and installed Ptom.

Another feature of the game is players sending out assassins to kill the other players -- particularly, when they decide to visit the bank! For some reason (perhaps the oft-repeated cries of "Mike's winning" on Sunday nights?), I was a frequent target of assassination attempts. I decided to hold off visiting the bank until I had two turns in a row of very low amounts funneled to me. Hoping it was out of players' mind that I had yet to visit the bank, I snuck off only to be gunned down by Mike S.

This caused a piranha frenzy over the money I'd been squirreling away all game waiting for a chance to visit the bank. Mike S and Ptom decided to split it up, which immediately made it a three-way race between them and Steve. I'd used my university faculty influence earlier in the game to peek at Steve's total in Switzerland and it was impressive.

Going into the final turn of the game, Brutus decides whether to throw his weight in behind Steve or Ptom. The dog made good choices because Steve eked out a victory over Ptom by a paltry 1 million pesos (the smallest number in the game!)...
On the final turn of the game, assassination attempts flew back and forth. I targeted Ptom at the bank (correctly), but he had a "Bribe Assassin" card. Joel used a Psychotic Assassin card on him at the bank, as well. Joel's committed suicide instead, and Ptom paid my amateur off. The 2 million pesos it cost him ended up costing him the game, though. Steve S squeaked out a victory over Ptom by 1 million pesos, and prevented Mike S from winning by assassinating him at the bank that turn. Junta is always a hilarious game, and it was fun even though I came in last.

Next week, Allen will be running a WW II Naval battle here at my place, and the following meeting will be the Battle of Manzikert. Soon after, I will run a second Pulp Alley game. So, stay tuned for more Sunday night gaming...!

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