The board game about class struggle, Hegemony, will be coming to term on Kickstarter in just a couple of days. Backers have until December 1, 2021 to make a pledge. The game is already 3,512% funded, so Hegemony will definitely be going into production, but there are some great incentives to buy in early.
The developer behind the game, Hegemonic Project, describes Hegemony as a “unique, asymmetric, card-driven, one-to-four player board game experience about politics and the economy.” Rounds last between one and two hours. Hegemony is intended for players aged 14 and up.
The premise is pretty compelling. “The nation is in disarray and a war is waging between the classes. The working class faces a dismantled welfare system, the capitalists are losing their hard-earned profits, the middle class is gradually fading, and the state is sinking into a deep deficit.” Hegemony is mostly a matter of class conflict. “Will you take the side of the working class and fight for social reforms? Or will you stand with the corporations and the free market? Will you help the government try to keep it all together or will you try to enforce your agenda no matter the cost to the country?”
When it comes to the mechanics, Hegemony is about “resource management, hand management, voting, and variable player powers.” You can focus on building alliances and negotiating compromises, but you can also “resort to Machiavellian maneuvers to seal the fate of your enemies.” Cooperation and competition are equally valid ways of winning in Hegemony. The goal is just to “increase the power of your class and carry out your agenda.”
Hegemony is played in six stages. There are preparation, action, production, election, and scoring phases followed by an end game. You draw action cards, take charge of companies, and recruit workers during the preparation phase. Action cards are played or thrown away during the action phase. Companies produce goods, workers get paid, and the state levies taxes in the production phase. Policies proposed in the parliament are enacted in the election phase. Victory points are tallied up when the scoring phase comes around. The player with the greatest number of victory points rises to prominence during the end game.
Hegemonic Project wants players to have a good time, but also to learn a thing or two about the world around them. The developer aims to “create revolutionary board games by enriching them with educational content.” They promise that “you will playfully learn about the fundamentals of politics, political economy, and economics.”
“The game was made in cooperation with renowned academics and uses theoretical concepts such as socialism, neoliberalism, nationalism, and globalism without prescribing any ideology. Build companies, initiate strikes, engage in foreign trade, propose policies, create unions, expand your political influence, and much more.”
Since the game has reached all of its stretch goals, Hegemony is a pretty nice package with all sorts of customized tokens, tiles, markers, and cards. The game also features a beautiful board.
Backers receive Hegemony along with the Historical Events expansion pack. This allows you to “be at the forefront of the French, American, or Russian revolution, experience the politico-economic effects of World War 1 and 2, navigate your nation through the Global Financial Crisis, and much more.” You also get a booklet which offers a “crash course in the realm of politics, economics, and the political economy” in order to “link theory, game, and reality.”
Hegemonic Project plans to finalize the development of Hegemony in March, 2022. The game is currently scheduled for release in the following November.
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