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Founding Fathers

In a new nation surrounded by enemies and debt, you're the president. Can you survive?




In the Fall of 1787, after nearly four months of wrangling, browbeating and arm twisting the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia emerged with a Constitution. Over the next several months it would be ratified by the newly-independent states. They also had a leader, the universally popular George Washington. Now it was time to see if it would all actually work. Could a democratic republic surrounded by enemies, deeply in debt – a new experiment in the world – thrive and survive, or would Benjamin Franklin's dark hint – "A republic, if you can keep it" – prove all too apt.

hamilton-wide.png Founding Fathers simulates politics in the first four score and several years of the American Republic – its controversies, wars, and questions Great and small. It begins with George Washington and may end with Lincoln and the Civil War – if the players can control their competitive urges long enough to keep it alive.

Drawing inspiration from the classic The Republic of Rome™, it departs in many directions. Rather than only war events, there are sixty-nine distinct issues from the Bank of the US to the Bill of Rights, the Whiskey Rebellion to the War of 1812 and even some counterfactuals like ending slavery and suffrage for women. The president chooses his cabinet and negotiates with Congress to resolve issues and cultivate his popularity. But each player maintains several statesmen and decisions must have an eye to the future as every four years brings another election to be contested on the growing map of the United States. Featuring fifty statesman it includes every historical major party candidate for president and vice president. Play tends to be quicker, yet the experience deeper as players delve into the actual thorny issues of the greatest Republic on earth.




Find out more about the environmentally-friendly, lower-cost Green Editions: Base Game - Civil War and the Gilded Age





  • 2019 November 22 - Green Disks. We have been able to return to using green disks.

  • 2019 September 13 - Green Disks. Because TheGameCrafter is out of green disks, and will probably be for some time, we have replaced them with white disks. This has absolutely no effect on play. If however, you want to get green disks when they become available we explain how to do that here.

  • 2019 August 13 - Rules Update. We have redone the rules, incorporating all the FAQ items and making general wording improvements. You can download this version below. This is also the version that new buyers of the game will receive.

  • 2019 March 7 - Founding Fathers: Civil War & the Gilded Age Expansion Kit available.

  • 2019 February 27 The Game Crafter Official Podcast: Rick Heli and The Game Crafter - Episode 187

  • 2017 April 17 - Interview with Rick Heli Designer of Founding Fathers by Up and Away Games

  • 2017 February 28 - Release of the Founding Fathers: Ladies & Orators expansion kit

  • 2015 January 25 - Version 1.6 makes a number of mostly minor improvements.

  • 2015 January 04 - printed edition of Rules Booklet is version 1.5 (January 2015)

  • 2014/11/14 - printed version of Player Mats updated (added clarification in better supported side bonus during Elections)

  • 2014 November 12 - published latest version 1.4 (November 2014) of living Rules Booklet

  • 2014 October 30 - updated version 1.3 (October 2014) of living Rules Booklet

  • 2014 October 27 - printed version of Player Mats updated (corrected Extra Auction mismatching with Rules Book)

  • 2014 October 23 - published version 1.3 (October 2014) of living Rules Booklet

  • 2014 September 21 - printed edition of Rules Booklet is version 1.2 (August 2014)

Videos by Enrico Viglino

What This Is:

This is not a mass-produced game, but printed-on-demand . We have uploaded the artwork, rules and specifications, but The Game Crafter makes it only when you order it. Learn more.


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Average Rating 12 reviews
Publish Date July 02, 2014
Edition First Reprint
Department Games
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More Info Founding Fathers web site

Why buy this?

What an amazing game. Really great theme running through it, beautiful artwork and components and a great game of deals and negotiation.

  • Voting, politics and negotiation
  • Card-based gameplay
  • Historical accuracy and immersive detail

Up & Away/Calvinus Games

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See It In Action

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Ratings and Reviews

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Own It Played It Fun Priced Well High Replay Value Well Written Rules Nice Artwork


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