For those not familiar Junta is a game where the players take the part of powerful families in an government. At the beginning of the game it is one players duty to assign cabinet positions and propose and allocate a budget.
Sounds hideously boring right? wrong. Y’see it being a corrupt banana republic everyone is in it for their own gain. The president gets to trip a little of the top of the budget if he chooses, while the other players jostle for position (using influence and voting cards that increase their say in the budget (and other proposals)) to ensure the president must allocate them generous budgets or risk losing control.
The game explicitly encourages scheming and double,triple or higher multipliers of crossing. Alliances are fleeting but absolutely necessary. Good judgement of players tipping points is the only skill that mattters. If enough people are hacked off at a president who flaunts his cosy relationship with a cartel of high ranking cabinet members it may trigger a coup attempt where the loyalists are pitched into a battle in the streets with rebel elements for control of the capital.
We played a game the other day where I started as president and in it I badly misjudged the ‘tipping’ point of one of my loyal supporters (who had been receiving well above average budget until that point). I Never did recover from that. Ironically the people that I had been treating consistantly poorly were not the ones who started the coup. In fact the third general ( a cabinet position no worse than any other general, but derided as token position and known,by us anyhow, as the ‘Fat General’ due to the character on the card) who had consistantly been given the minimum bugdet ( or none as the case may be) was the last to pitch his hat in with the rebel forces.
A great little game, my one criticism is the layout of the rules, It is rivalled in its poor structure and wording only by the older editions of GWs Talisman.