Sebastian Resl &
Christoph Reiser


No. of Players:
3 - 5



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

About 20 years ago, one game kept us busy during free lessons at school. It was the game Junta, indeed. Every free minute, we adjourned to Kulkmann's parents' who lived only about five minutes away from our school, set up the game and started playing. After about two hours filled with mutual betrayal, waging revolutions and exiling other players, we happily returned to school and took up our lessons again. Back then, we really loved Junta. So I was more than happy to learn that PEGASUS intended to publish a 'light' version of the original game which promised to retain the basic theme but tighten the course of forging alliances and waging revolts against the president.

The first trials confirmed my positive appraisal of the new game. Junta - Viva el Presidente is definitely a light version of the original game and does as such not wholly succeed in creating the dense atmosphere I loved in the original game. However, aficionados will still detect a lot of familiar mechanisms in the new game which is, as a matter of fact, not as brutally unfair - in case you are not inclined to show sympathy for the ruling president since revolts, for example, will lead to dispossessing the president much more quickly.

In the same manner as in the original game, Junta - Viva el Presidente is set in an obscure banana republic which receives loads of development aid from First World countries. However, you will not be surprised to learn that these funds never make it to those who desperately need them but ooze away on their way through the government bureaucracy... Usually, the president of the republic looms large in this game. The players take the roles of members of the corrupt regime and one of them embodies the president, at least temporally…


At the beginning of every round, the player who currently embodies the president - to be recognized by the large sunglasses which come with the game - draws Development Aid cards. These cards represent cash or combat advantages or prosperity. Subsequently, the player prepares a budget by leaving at least one of these cards to each one of the other players. All the other cards which have not been given to the other players constitute the President player's personal supply. Afterwards, each player decides whom he wants to attack. For example, the President player can be the target (in case one of the other players is not satisfied with the announced budget) or any one of the other players. Players may also choose to rush to the President's aid since only if the President stays alive will he be able to push the budget through. Thus, in case a player is quite satisfied with the budget, he will probably wish to see the President unharmed and hence organise a defence. If the defence proves unsuccessful, the budget is lost all cards promised to the other players are discarded. Consequently, it is in the President player's best interest to win over one or two of the mightiest players, for example by awarding the most valuable Development Aid cards to the strongest player to make sure that this player will not be interested in bringing down the President and witnessing the budget making its exit to the discard pile. Instead, the President may hope - with good cause - that the player in question will stick up for him.

All attacks and defences are symbolized by dice which represent militias. Those dice are turned so that the pips indicate the number of the player one wants to attack. A die turned to six symbolizes a defence of the President. At the beginning, all players start with only one militia, but during the game it is possible to buy up to three more militias.

During the subsequent phase, the attacks are appraised, starting with the President and then clockwise for all other players who have been attacked. Attackers as well as defenders may play benefit cards from their hands in order to affect the results of the fights. Next, attackers and defenders roll their militia dice which have been chosen for this attack (or defence). The highest sum wins the attack. However, the defence of the President constitutes an exception. In this case, the President's militias only count as a 'one' each whereas the militia dice of other players who defend the President are rolled according to the standard rules. After the fight, the victorious party may plunder. Starting with the most puissant attacker, every player involved in the attack may draw one card from the underdog's hand. In case the attack against the President was successful, the announced budget is nullified (i.e. the players discard their respective cards) and the most powerful attacker becomes the new President. Of course, players may also plunder.


Players may spend their financial resources either on new militia or on new buildings which is particularly important since those buildings are worth one victory point each. Five victory points suffice for a win - thus the game may come to a very quick end in case your opponents do not pay due attention. Altogether, the game is easily played in about half an hour. Two Development Aid cards in particular have the potential to bring about a 'sudden death': These two cards bestow an additional victory point on their owners. As long as the respective player succeeds in keeping these cards secret and no other player takes them away during the plunder phase, it is very difficult for the other players to assess the actual strength of that player.

In Junta - Viva el Presidente, viciousness and furtiveness are not cultivated as intensively as in the original game but the atmosphere is quite similar. The process of distributing Development Aid in particular reminds me of the old times. It is obligatory for the President player to bluff successfully, i.e. to persuade his opponents that the available Development Aid is the most meagre ever, and then secure as many of the valuable cards for his own coffers. In contrast to the original game, forging alliances is only of momentary importance and the consequences of a removal from office are not particularly dire since even in this case you may keep all your militia (provided that no attacker did play an Assassination card). This means, it is safe to stash large funds away. Moreover, attacks are charted quickly, accelerating the flow of the game considerably. Although the original game Junta undisputedly counts as one of my most favourite games, Junta - Viva el Presidente promises a great lot of fun, too.

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Copyright © 2011 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany