So I had a problem with 2 Minutes to Midnight - my rules for the president were too 'party specific' - for example a republican president was always pro-military and a democratic
president was always a man of the people. That and it was also kind of uninteresting...
Here's my original rule on the left.
All it really did was to force you to spend on a certain thing, which worked in the game but didn't feel quite right. And it was also more annoying than fun.
So I ripped that out and started again. I did an analysis of every president since 1946 to see what kind of things they got up to and their primary activities, and it was a whole mixed bag of everything but it did fit into a few general categories, which I used to base the new system on.
The new process is to roll two dice in a 'roll your own president' kind of a way and see what they're going to get upto during that 5 year turn.
Each is a one-time bonus you can use:
There's also a die roll modifier for unrest in the USA - if there is more unrest, you're more likely to get a civil rights focused president, or someone dealing with the economy as a priority.
If the US is losing the game (and the cold war) you're more likely to get someone making trade deals, or prepared to send in the military. Oh, and there's always the chance you can get shot as well - being the President is a tough job!
The next thing that had to go was the way I'd built in the Soviet leadership - previously there was a Stalin card, which did a variety of unpleasant things and then that got swapped out for a Khruschev, and then a Brezhnev and so on.
It was way too fixed - the dates things happened could change but who was going to appear was the same so, now there's a more 'open' system which looks like this:
In short you roll two dice and then discard one die to go either right on the track (toward a progressive like Gorbachev) or left toward a Stalinist. The whole point of doing this the reform number - a progressive has a very high number and a stalinist a very low number. This is how likely the leader is to push through reforms to the Soviet system.
Reforms then drive unrest, further reforms, but also some good things too. Mostly though, you probably don't really want a progressive in charge - if you can get a stalinist, be winning the game and keep the Soviet unrest manageable, you might be able to hold onto power and keep the USSR from crumbling..