A game of U.S. presidential elections by Charles Gaydos


As a player in this game, you are a contender in the race for president of The United States. You will spend campaign funds and make fund-raising trips in various states in attempts to acquire their electoral votes and financial support. After the primary elections you will campaign to become president or vice-president (if you were nominated), or to help your party's nominees get elected. The player who becomes president is considered to be the winner. The vice-president finishes 2nd. Other members of the winning party tie for 3rd place.


Each candidate begins the game with an amount of cash to be used for campaigning. Each candidate also has a fixed income. This is a fixed amount of cash that each candidate receives each turn from principle supporters and special interest groups. Each candidate has a campaigning ability. In the 3 states that a candidate actually visits during a turn, the amount of cash spent campaigning is multiplied by the candidate's campaign ability. Each candidate has a home state and starts the game with a high popularity rating in that state. Each candidate is a member of either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. Each player will be identified by a unique 2 or 3 letter code (usually the player's initials). With your first turn printout, you will receive a list of the names and addresses of all of the players in the game.


Each state has a two-letter code to be used when entering orders and to identify it on the printouts. These are the codes used by the U.S. Postal Service. A list of the states and their codes appear on every printout. Each states also has a number of electoral votes and a 'Campaign donation' number which is used to determine the results of fund-raising and campaign contributions. Each state has a popularity index for each player in the game. This represents how popular each player is with the voters. Each state has a Democratic leader and a Republican leader in the polls. These will be the players in each party with the highest popularity index. If two or more players are tied for the lead then the player who last had the lead is considered to have a marginal lead. At the beginning of the game, marginal leads are assigned by the computer so that all players are about equal in electoral votes. If two or more players are tied for the lead and none of them is the previous leader then the tie will be broken by an order of preference that each state is assigned at the beginning of the game. The order of preference for each state is published on the first turn printout.


Each turn we will send you a printout containing all of the information that you are entitled to know about the game. The top line of the printout contains your Flying Buffalo account number, your name, and the due date for the current turn. Below this is a section showing your personal information; your cash, income, home state, results of fund-raising, and campaigning ability. Following this is a list of the other players in the game, their parties, home states, campaigning abilities, and votes. On the first turn, the tie-breaking order of preference for each state is printed. The identifiers of the players are listed after the name of each state in order of preference from left to right. The next section displays the results of everyone's fund-raising trips, followed by a list of their campaign states and expenditures. If the primaries and conventions are over, the nominees of each party are listed. If the national conventions were held on the previous turn the results are displayed next, showing how many votes each candidate got in each ballot if a runoff was necessary. If the general elections were held on the previous turn, the results are displayed and the winners announced. At the bottom of the first page the 1-line press releases submitted by the players will be printed. Each press release will be labeled with its author's 3-letter player identifier. There will be no anonymous press releases.

The next page contains a list of all of the states, their 2 letter codes, their electoral votes, their campaign donation numbers, the popularity index of each player, and the leading player for each party. An asterisk (*) in front of a player's identifier indicates the player whose party is leading in that state. If the conventions or general election will occur next turn, there will be a one-line reminder at the bottom your printout. One turn 1, it will tell you which turns the conventions and election will be held on.


Each turn, you will receive 10% of the 'Campaign donations' numbers from all of the states in which you are the Republican or Democratic leader.


Each turn, you can make fund-raising trips to 3 different states. The funds raised in each state will be equal to the state's 'Campaign donation' number divided equally amount all of the players who visit the state that turn. So it is not always wise to visit the 3 richest states every turn. If several other players visit those states then none of them will get much cash.


Each turn, you can campaign in up to 9 different states. For each $1 you spend campaigning in a state, your popularity there will increase by one. If you campaign in a state where you are also fund-raising, the money spent campaigning in that state will be multiplied by your campaigning ability.


In each state you will have a popularity index. This number starts at some positive number in your home state and zero everywhere else. You raise your popularity in a state by spending money campaigning there.


On turn 3, after all campaigning is done, the computer will hold primary elections and the political conventions. At the convention for your party, you will received the electoral votes from each state in which you are the popularity leader for your party. If no one has a majority of the votes, runoff elections will be held until someone does. In each runoff election, the player with the least votes will be eliminated from the list of candidates and the player with the next highest popularity in each of the eliminated player's state will get the electoral votes for that state. The player with the most votes after the final ballot will be the presidential nominee. The player chosen by the winner as running mate will be the vice-presidential nominee. If the presidential nominee did not choose a running mate, the player with the 2nd highest number of votes will be the party's vice- presidential nominee. The results of the conventions will be published on the turn 4 printout.

Also on turn 3, the more experienced campaigners will have their campaign abilities increased by 1. For each state in which you are the leader for your party, the popularity of the 2nd highest player of your party in that stated will be added to your campaigning experience. In a game with 4 to 6 players, the campaign ability of the player with the greatest experience total will be increased by 1. In a game with more than 6 players, the top 2 players will have their campaign abilities increased by one. These increases are permanent and will be in effect for the last 3 turns of the game.

After the conventions, the electoral votes for all of a party's players will be totalled into one combined figure as they attempt to get their party's nominees elected. So your former competitors for nomination are now your allies, trying to gather votes for the party before the general election.

IMPORTANT: If two or more members of the same party have popularity indices in the same state, the indices are NOT added together. Only the highest index is used when determining which party is leading in the state. So after the conventions, members of the same party should never campaign in the same state.


On turn 6, after all campaigning is done, the computer will conduct the general election. Each party will receive the electoral votes from each state in which the player with the highest popularity index is a party member. One more printout will be sent to each player showing the result of the final turn of campaigning and announcing the winning party.


Each turn we will send you a turn sheet for you to fill out and return to us. At the top of the turn sheet are blanks for your game number, turn number, identifier, account number, security code, and name. Below are the spaces in which you write your orders. The first blank is where you write in your choice of running mate on turn 3. If you become the presidential nominee of your party, the indicated player will become the vice-presidential nominee. You should fill in this space only on turn 3. There are 3 spaces to indicate which 3 states you want to raise funds in. Below these are 9 pairs of spaces in which you indicate up to 9 states that you want to campaign in and how much money you want to spend in each. You don't have to fill in all of the order spaces, although you should fill in all 3 fund-raising states. You MUST fill in all of the spaces at the top of the turn sheet. We can't process your orders if we don't know who the turn sheet is from and which game it's for. The turn number that you write on your turn sheet should be the same as the turn number on your most recent printout. The number labeled 'Campaign Funds' on your most recent printout is the amount you have available to spend. You can't spend money that you expect to raise this turn. The three fund-raising states must all be different. You can't raise funds in a single state more than once per turn. Also, you can't campaign in a single state more than once per turn.

At the bottom of your turn sheet you may submit a 1-line press release. All players' press releases will be published on the following turn's printouts. The maximum length of a press release is 75 characters. Press releases containing obscenities, and those which show incredibly poor taste, will not be printed.