Kremlin is a game for 3-6 players competing to control the Soviet Union without knowing exactly who influences the politicians in office currently. The game is for ages 14-up, playable in 75-120 minutes. In its original German edition, Kremlin was a 1987 Spiel des Jahres Recommended pick.
Kremlin is a game for 3-6 players, playable in multiple ways–with fictional politicians, with Bolshevik leaders in the early years of the USSR, or with modern politicians from the modern Soviet era. A Spiel des Jahres Recommended Pick in 1987, Kremlin is considered a gaming and cult classic, the first crossover boardgame from Europe into the American market.
In Kremlin, players secretly assign influence to Soviet politicians who may or may not currently occupy important offices in the Party bureaucracy. To use the levers of power, a player must publicly declare influence on that politician. The catches? First, someone else may reveal they have greater influence and choose to do something else. Second, as long as influence is secret, it can’t be lost, but once it is declared, if the politician finds himself in Siberia or dead, that influence is permanently lost. Wait–I keep the secret influence on a dead guy? Yes, you can, because with the real-life politicians, they have proteges, so the influence carries over (they are the flip side of the card).
Each major office has different power.
PARTY CHIEF: He may rearrange politicians, promoting or demoting them. The Chief also gets to wave at the May Day Parade. That’s important because if a player can live to wave three times, he wins the game.
KGB: The KGB attempts to send politicians to Siberia. It’s hard to do with high-ranking officials, but sometimes, it’s good to sweep aside 5-6 politicians to instill fear in others.
Foreign Minister: Inevitably, the Party Chief will die in office. The Foreign Ministry controls who will be nominated to replace the Party Chief though she can’t nominate herself…but if two nominations fail, well, then the Foreign Minister will take over–after all, it’s in the USSR’s best interests.
Defense Minister: The Defense Minister investigates politicians for wrong-doing and can bring them to trial if desired. Or not–sometimes keeping others under investigation for years adds enough stress to their lives that they may have a heart attack on their own.
The lower offices are important, too. If the senior leaders happen to be confined to the sanatorium or die, they temporarily assume the power of the office above them.
Politician illness or death is determined by a turn-by-turn check of their health based on their current age. Age is a function of their real-life age on the politician’s card along with the years added on from stress–carrying out/being the subject of investigations, already being ill, surviving KGB purge attempts, being the Party Chief, etc. The older a politician, the more likely to get sicker or outright die–and if someone is ‘lucky’ enough to turn 96, they retire from the game to enjoy a sunset year or two in a Crimean dacha.
The game will include:
Rules with biographies of Soviet politicians.
Deck of Intrigue cards
Kremlin was originally created by the design house of ‘Fata Morgana’. This version of the game is done with their permission and blessing.
|11 × 8.5 × 1.75 in