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CAMPAIGN STRATEGY, A BOARD GAME FOR CAMPAIGN GROUPS

Are you trying to bring about change at a local level?  Are you short of ideas?  Would you like a bit of fun?

This is a board game for any number of players which was inspired by a campaign I was involved in to change council policy on benefits help with council tax.  But to make it less technical  I changed the campaign to one about saving a swimming pool from cuts.

I hope it will inspire  your campaign and entertain you.  You can use it for any local campaign, such as a campaign to save your local bus service, or get a 20 mph limit in your street. You could even use it for a fundraising social!

I retain the copyright, but you can reproduce the material provided that it is not for a profit (other than fundraising for a community based campaign.

Playing the game and sensing victory

HOW TO GET THE MATERIALS FOR THE GAME

Materials you may already have

You will need a dice and a set of playing cards.

You will also need one token to represent your campaign.  You could use a coin or anything else you have handy which will fit on the squares of the board. You could also make a little flag on a cocktail stick and anchor it in blu-tac.

Materials to download

Here are the instructions for each player.  Print off enough instructions for each person who wants to play.  There are two pages.  If you can print them back to back this makes things easier and saves paper. The instructions are in colour, but you can print them on a black and white printer.

Here are the chance cards.  There are two pages of them.  Don't print them back to back!  If you can print them on card they will last longer.  They are in colour, but you can print them on a black and white printer. When you have printed them off, cut out the individual cards.

The board

Finally you need to print off the board.  You can download an A4 version of the board here but this is a bit small. It looks better in colour and if you print it  or glue it on card it will last longer.

Alternatively, you can print off the board in four A4 sections and stick them together.  Below are the four sections

Top left

Top right

Bottom left

Bottom right

You will probably need to trim the edges at the margins.  The board looks a lot better in colour, although it will print in black and white.  You will probably want to mount it on a piece of A2 card.

The finished board should look like this:

SETTING UP THE GAME

1) Shuffle the chance cards and place them face down on the chance card section of the board.

2) Deal half the pack of playing cards (26) face down to each player, going round each player until there are no cards left.  These cards represent the amount of energy for activity that each player has. They belong to the individual player, who must decide when to use them.  Place the rest of the cards face down next to the board.  The numbers on the cards do not matter, so use them face down.

3) Give each player the player instructions and get them to read them.

4) Put your token on the start square.  Your aim is to move round the board and win by reaching the finish. You can move by giving up an energy card and putting it back on the pile next to the board. this moves the campaign forward one square. You can also move by undertaking one of the activities listed on the player instructions.  To do an activity players must discard the number of energy cards shown next to the activity.  Each player will need to decide whether they are committed enough to the activity to put energy into it.  The result of the activity is decided by throwing the dice.

5) Encourage players to have a discussion before they start. Which tactics should they use first?  Which actions have the best possible ratio of effort to success?  Use your real life experience if you have any.

6) Any time the campaign lands on a square labelled chance?  the group can decide to take a chance.  To take a chance, take the top card on the chance pile.  The results are printed on the card. Afterwards, put the card back on the bottom of the pile.

7) A lot of the game is what you do between moves.  At the beginning you will need to decide how you will take decisions.  Will it be a majority, or must everyone agree?  Will you take it in turns to take decisions?  It's up to you collectively.  Players will need to convince their fellow campaigners to put energy into activities they support.

8) After you have played the game at least once  you could change the rules if you think that this would make the game more fun or more realistic.  Let me know how you have changed the rules so I can improve the game.

HELP MAKE THIS GAME BETTER

There are no commercial companies behind this game with vast research departments to test it.  So I am asking your help to make it better.  After you have played it please let me have suggestions for improvement.

What worked? What did not?

Are the activities, chance cards and their results realistic?

Was it too hard to win or too easy?  Was the game too long, too short, or just right?

Did it give you any ideas for your own campaign?

Did you find it easy or difficult to construct the materials?

Please let me know at chris.smith@hbhelp.co.uk or Travelman@travelloglewes.co.uk