A game for 3-6 players aged 50 and upwards, lasting from 20 minutes to 2 hours.
(these are the original Swiss rules. Avalon Hill published Kremlin in 1988 with small changes to the rules which made the game feel entirely different)

©1986, Fata Morgana Spiele, Landoltstr. 63, 3007 Bern. Switzerland
Game design Urs Hostettler, Grafics Res Brandenberger

Prepare to play

Set out the Politburo Office Silhouettes as shown on page four of the rule book.
These comprise
(top) the Party Chief
(1st rank, left to right) Head of the KGB, Foreign Minister, Defence Minister
(2nd rank, left to right) Ministers of Ideology, Industry, Economy, Sports.

Below these you place the Candidate strip.
Nearby you place the Volk (People) card and farther away you place Siberia and The Kremlin Walls.

From the pack of Politician Cards extract Nestor Aparatschik. He is the Party Chief at the beginning of the game and this card is inserted into the Silhouette. You also place a "Sick" marker (+) on his card.

You randomly deal seven other politician cards and place them in the seven Politburo silhouettes. You then fill the five positions on the Candidate strip in the same way. The rest of the Politician Cards are placed below the People card so that each can be clearly seen.

All players are given an Offengelegte Einflüsse (Declared Influence) sheet a paper and a pen.

Secret Influence

The players secretly write on their sheet of paper the names of 10 politicians they seek to influence. They number these from 1 to 10. These numbers represent influence points - 10 being given to the man they most favour and so on in descending order. All politicians, irrespective of where they are at the start of the game, can be influenced with the sole exception of Nestor Aparatschick who is sick and old but full of integrity.

Declaring Influence

Before the years in Kremlin start you have to know how to control politicians:
Players can declare influence points on a politician at any time. A politician is always under control of the player having declared the most influence points on this politician. (The politicians Name Card will be laid on this players Declared Influence to show the number of declared influence points.) This player will decide on all actions and votes of the politician in question.... unless another player declares more influence and takes the politician over.

It's possible to declare influence (and change control of a politician) at any time, even if the politician just announced an action (like purge attemt, spy investigation) or a vote. The new controller of the politician is free to cancel or reverse the action or vote in question. The decision can only be changed before any dice are rolled or before the vote continues to the next politician but there should always be the time (say five seconds) to do so.

Players need never declare all of the points that they have on a man but may do so in steps. At no time can they declare in excess of the number they have secretly written down. In the rare event of two players announcing the same number of points at exactly the same time the older player takes preference. (Younger players don't panic. This case almost never occurs.)

There are reasons why you should not reveal all of your points too early in the game. Firstly the other players will try to send your man to Siberia if they have not packed him high enough. Secondly even your 10 point Politician is of uncertain value because somebody else might have put 10 points on him and can possibly snatch victory from you.
Sometimes a quick decision to declare and take the initiative is necessary if another player tries to get all of the power, but often the other players will do their best for a politician they think to control and there's no reason not to let them do so.

Uncontrolled Politburo Members remain inactive (do not cure, purge etc..), the exception being the Foreign Minister in Phase 5.

The End

The winner is the player who can show the most influence over the winning politician (see Phase 8). If there is a tie the winner is the player who at that moment is not controlling that politician. As the secretly allocated points remain unchanged during the game (unless playing the Optional Rules) it will be seen that you have to plan your strategy early on in the game.

The Course of The Year

The game begins in 1951 when the Party Chief is 80 year old sick Nestor Aparatschik.
Each year is played in eight phases.

Phase 1: Cures

The sick politicians in the Politburo are asked in sequence (from top to bottom, left to right) whether they would like to go to Gorky for a 'cure'. If they go they are absent from the Kremlin (ie cannot vote etc) until the end of the year. They keep their position in the Politburo unless deposed or promoted in absentia. Those taking a Cure have a 'cure' tag placed on their card.
Those sick politicians deciding to remain at their posts receive a Stress Point (SP)
The Party Chief always receives one SP at this point irrespective of whether or not he goes for a cure.
Stress Points (SP) increase the age of the Politician by one year. (Their new age will be indicated by use of the number counters.)

Phase 2: Purging by the KGB

The Head of the KGB can try to purge the Politburo and List of Candidates by sending politicians to Siberia. To do this he names the politician and rolls a die. He must roll 18 or more against the Party Chief, 14 or more against Members of Level 1, 10 or more against Members of Level 2 and 6 or more against Candidates. Volk are not purged. If he tries to purge Members taking a Cure he can add 3 to his die roll.

If the KGB is successful the victim goes at once to Siberia. He takes his sickness and ageing with him. No cures are conducted in Siberia!

If the purge is successful the Head of the KGB or his deputy (see below) suffers one SP. He can then proceed with further purging attempts if he wishes.

If the purge is unsuccessful he suffers 3SP. Additionally he is not allowed any other purges during the current year.

If the Head of the KGB is absent (eg on a cure) he is represented by a deputy. The first of the following politicians who is available has the right to Purge: Minister of Ideology, Party Chief, Minister of Industry.

Phase 3: Imperialist Spy

The Minister of Defence has the opportunity to conduct an investigation into as many Politburo Members as he chooses. The start of the investigation will always be at the cost of 1 SP to himself. The person being investigated is given a '?' marker. The minister can remove investigation markers from previous years (for free).

The Minister can accuse one Politburo Member who is investigated from previous years to be an imerialist spy. Following the accusation all Politburo Members are asked their opinion (in the order of their importance, top to bottom, left to right.) The accusation is successful if not more than one Member votes against the accusation.
A successfully accused Member is sent to Siberia and the Minister can continue his investigations if he wishes. He gets no SP.
If the action is unsuccessful the Minister gets 3SP. The investigation against the accused is discontinued (removed).

As the accused Member would normally vote against the accusation it is easier to get a guilty verdict against a man taking a Cure.

In addition to the above the Minister of Defence is allowed to send one Candidate to Siberia without an investigation but it will cost him 2 SP.

If the Minister of Defence is away (taking a Cure or Purged in Phase 2) he is represented by the Foreign Minister, Head of KGB, Party Chief and Industry Minister. (in that order)

Each Politburo Member wearing a '?' marker at the end of this phase gets 1 SP.

Phase 4: Members' Health

For each Politburo Member a die is rolled against the appropriate table in the German rules. (Table - pdf)
IM AMT means at work, and IM SANATORIUM means taking a Cure.
The die roll is cross referred with the individual's actual age (including SP) and the results are:

All dead Members are buried with due ceremony within the Kremlin Walls. The last controller of that Member must remove his name from his card.

Phase 5: The Election of the Head of the Funeral Commission

If the Party Chief has died in Phase 4 the Politburo has to vote vor a Chairman of the Funeral Commission who in the Soviet Union always is the next Party Chief. (If the Party Chief did not die but was sent to Siberia he is considered as being 'very sick'. Instead of choosing a Chairman of the Funeral Commission they choose a Deputy, which amounts to the same thing.)

The Foreign Minister always speaks first. (If he is not in the Kremlin he is represented by Ministers responsible for Ideology, KGB, INdustry, Economy, Sport, Defence in that order.) The Foreign Minister (or his first available Deputy) proposes the promotion of one of the Members from the first level as the new Chief - never himself. Should no one be available on the first level he goes to the second.

All Politburo Members are then asked their opinion about the proposed candidate. (In the usual top-down order). If he is not opposed by three or more Members he is elected. The proposed candidate does not vote. If three or more declined the first candidate the proposer gets 1 SP. He must now propose one of the three (or more) rebels. Once again everyone is asked their opinion. The procedure is the same. If the second candidate is opposed by three or more Members it implies that the Members consider the proposer himself as the best candidate for the post and he is instantly elected without further voting. He, of course accepts.

Politburo Members in the Sanatorium cannot vote but can be proposed and voted for.

"The Rule of the Old": If the Foreign Minister or his representative sits in the Kremlin uninfluenced he automatically proposes the oldest eligible politician according to the protocol. This is the only time in the game where an uninfluenced politician can act.

Phase 6: Replacements

The Party Chief
- can change or move Politburo Members within one level without incurring SP penalty.
- can displace or elevate a politician by one step (Level 1 / Level 2 / Candidate / People). The chief then suffers 1 SP penalty. Therefore to change politicians - one up and one down - would cost 2 SP.
- can leave posts vacant
- cannot demote himself.

The vacant posts in Level 1 are then filled by the oldest Member in Level 2. (As usaul from left to right)

Now the Head of the KGB is allowed to promote. Each promotion costs him 1 SP. He can only fill the vacand places in the lower levels. Like the Party Chief he can promote only by one grade. He may not demote or make any other changes.

When the Head of the KGB has finished the Foreign Minister and after that the Minister of Defence may do the same.

Then onece more the unfilled posts in level 2 are filled from left to right by the oldest Candidate. (If there is a lack of Candidates the oldest politician from the People moves directly to level 2.)

Also the Politburo Members of the 2nd Level (from left to right) have the right to effect promotion to Candidate Level.

Afterwards the Candidate vacancies are filled as much as possible from the people.

Although one Politician can be promoted by only one step per Politburo Member enormous promotions are possible in a Phase due to 'chain promotions'.

Phase 7: Rehabilitations

Each Member of the Politburo is then given the opportunity to rehabilitate Politicians sent to Siberia. The proposer ages by 5 SP. The rehabilitated Sibirian is returned to the People (VOLK). Multiple rehabilitations are possible (at 5 SP each).

Phase 8: The October Parade

If he is not in the Sanatorium the Party Chief has to stand and wave from the rostrum at the October Parade. This is easily possible if he is healthy. But if he is somewhat ill (one "+") he suffers 1 SP in doing so. Additionally he must roll an 8 or more on the die in order to watch the parade. If he is very ill ("++") he suffers 2 SP and must roll 15 or more.

Successful wavers are recorded on the October Parade Pad. If he did not wave he writes a zero in that year and can begin the following year by going for a Cure.

The End

The game entds with the victory of a Party Chief who has waved three times (consecutively or with interruptions).

The game ends prematurely if the Politburo cannot be filled in Phase 6. No winner in this case.

Failing the above the game ends with the victory of the Party Chief waving at the Parade in 1960.

If nobody waves in 1960 it ends after Phase 5 in 1961 and the then Party Chief is the victor.

The Big Declaration

At the end of the games all players reveal their hidden influence points. The player with the most points on the victorious candidate is the winner. If two or more players are equal the one actually manipulating the victor at the moment of victory is not the winner. If nobody tipped the right man all have a Vodka!

Optional Rules

The Co-operative Win (recommended for 5-6 players)
At the end the two players with the most points combined on the victor are joint winners. If there is a tie for second place with the player currently manipulating the victor this one is once again excluded.

The President
If a politician reaches the age of 95 he is made State President only fullfilling representative duties. He retires from active Politics. (is removed from the game.)

Efficiencies and otherwise
On each politician's card his strenghts and weaknesses are shown. If a member occupies a position in accordance with his stated strength (+) he may remain at his post despite being sick and without paying a SP in Phase 1. He can also remain at his post without paying SP penalty when an investigation is underway against him in Phase 3.
If he occupies a post in which he is stated do be weak (-) he suffers 1SP in Phase 1 even if he is not sick.

Increasing One's Influence
After each third year each player has the opportunity to add influence points to those originally allocated. He can add two points to any one man except Aparatschik. If your points on a man then exceed 10 you can announce "10+" which is the maximum possible influence and you will keep that man under your influence until the end of the game.
There is a ritual in doing this. The player currently controlling the highest placed politician plays last. If this one is not controlled the oldest players plays last. Prior to that the other players from his right to his left (ie anticlockwise) place their points. This is done openly, the additional points are noted on the Pad for all to see.

The Cards
Before the beginning of the game but after all have allocated their points, each player may choose one Card. As there is a limited number of each age has priority. After each third year each player has the opportunity to take another Card instead of increasing his influence points.
When a card has been used it is returned to the table and is available again to the players.
The effect (and number) of the cards is as follows:

Flu Epedemic
(Grippewelle, 3) must be played before the health die rolls in Phase 4. The effect is a -2 modification on all those die rolls. (Less than 1 = 1) Only one Flu Epedemic card can be played each year.

(Impfaktion, 1) negates the flu epedemic and must also be played before the die rolls.

Assassination Attempt
(Attentat, 3) allows an Assassination attempt to be made on a Politburo Member or Candidate at any time. The Assassin names the victim and rolls the die. To succeed he must roll
18 or more against the Party Chief
14 or more against a Member in Level 1
10 or more against a Member in Level 2
6 or more against a Candidate.
If he rolls three or less points short of the required total the victiom is wounded and gets a "+".
No matter whether the assassination was successfull or not the player controlling the victim can then accuse any politician of being an accomplice and ask for punishment. (ie sending to Siberia). The accused accomplice rolls the die. With a roll of 12 or more he has an alibi and is innocent. Otherwise he is punished. In any event, guilty or innocent, the accused suffers 1 SP. But the highest ranking politician in the Kremlin (ie not in Cure) can intervene and reverse the decision (be it guilty or innocent) but this costs him 2 SP. An assassination attempt against one of your own minor politicians has its advantages because you may then make an accusation...

(Leibwächter, 2) can be played after an Assassin has named his victim. The attempt will only succed on a die roll of 20, and being wounded on a roll of 19.

Vacation from or being sent to Sanatorium (Urlaub aus dem Sanatorium / Plötzliche Unpässlichkeit, 3) allows you to return a Politician from the Sanatorium back to the Kremlin until the end of the current Phase. Alternatively you can use this card to send a politician from the Kremlin to a Sanatorium until the end of the Phase. - This card may not be played in Phase 8.

Wrong Diagnosis (Fehldiagnose, 3) is payed in Phase 4 after a Health die roll. The roll has to be retaken and you can apply a modification of +1 or -1.

Specialist (Spezialarzt, 2) A specialist is provided for a politician in a Sanatorium, giving him +2 on all future health rolls until he leaves the Sanatorium.

Rehabilitation by the State President (Rehabilitation durch den Staatspräsidenten, 2) is played in Phase 7 and allows a free (of SP) rehabilitation of one Politician from Siberia.

Bee Hormone Cure (Bienenhormone, 1) allows a politician to stay active beeing older than 95 years.

The Sanatoria Are Full (Ueberfüllte Sanatorien, 1) to be played at the beginning of Phase 1. No new politicians can go to Cures.
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