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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, brow-beating 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.

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

Founding Fathers draws inspiration from the classic The Republic of Rome™, but departs in many directions. Featuring fifty statesman it includes every historical major party candidate for president and vice president. 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. Play tends to be quicker, yet the experience deeper as players delve into the actual thorny issues of the greatest Republic on earth.

Design by Rick Heli, published by Up & Away Games

LATEST NEWS: 2017/04/17 - Interview with Rick Heli Designer of Founding Fathers by Up and Away Games 2017/02/28 - Release of the Founding Fathers: Ladies & Orators expansion kit 2015/01/25 - Version 1.6 makes a number of mostly minor improvements. 2015/01/04 - 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) 2014/11/12 - published latest version 1.4 (November 2014) of living Rules Booklet 2014/10/30 - updated version 1.3 (October 2014) of living Rules Booklet 2014/10/27 - printed version of Player Mats updated (corrected Extra Auction mismatching with Rules Book) 2014/10/23 - published version 1.3 (October 2014) of living Rules Booklet 2014/09/21 - printed edition of Rules Booklet is version 1.2 (August 2014)

VIDEO: Unboxing the first prototype copy of Founding Fathers

Setup and rules explained by John Priebe (part 1/2):

Part 2/2 of John Priebe's rules explanation:

Rules introduction by Enrico Viglino:

BOARDGAMEGEEK entry: Founding Fathers

COMMENTS of PLAYERS: BoardGameGeek | Gaming Unplugged Since 2000

REVIEWS: Preliminary review by Alex Ringgaard: A preliminary review | Preliminary review by Mark D. at Boardgaming Life: Founding Fathers: Review Early review by Jonathan Townshend at The Game Box: Political interactions are among my favorite designs

Video review by Enrico Viglino:

SESSION REPORTS: A full sample game (old print&play version): Playback: Founding Fathers - Setup
Three Britons and two Alaskans bring USA to monetary collapse: First try, first financial collapse. | Five-player game in Milan: An account of our last match that took place just a few nights ago |

Video session reports by Enrico Viglino: Turn 1 -

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GREEN EDITION: Find out more about this environmentally-friendly, lower-cost edition at Founding Fathers: Green Edition

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CONSIMWORLD discussion page: CSW Forum - Founding Fathers

Game forum threads at THEGAMEBOX:

Testimonials: Awarda & Testimonials for Founding Fathers by Rick Heli

Join the Founding Fathers mailing list: Yahoo! Groups

Follow us on Twitter: Up & Away Games


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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




Average Rating 10 reviews
Publish Date July 02, 2014
Edition First Reprint
Department Board Games
Genre Historic
Theme Politics
Setting American Civil War
Audience Hardcore Gamer
Primary Mechanic Voting
If You Like Diplomacy
More Info Founding Fathers web site

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