- 1 game board
- 114 cards
- 97 markers
- 96 play money bills
- 6 dice
Welcome to the beautiful island nation of La Republica de las Bananas, or as we'll call it, Banana Republic, where the peaceful nighttime chirping of crickets is only interrupted by periodic exchanges of gunfire.
The island's farmers are poor, its intellectuals oppressed, and there's barely a middle class. The damp, humid air is filled with mosquitos, and it stinks of revolution and coups d'etat.
The government is subsidized by one of the global superpowers, which doesn't ask any questions.
A clique of super-rich families rules here-though only to line their pockets and fill their Swiss bank accounts from copious flows of development aid. Power, intrigue, money, and revolution are simply their means to this goal.
Each player controls one of these families.
JUNTA is normally intended for four to seven players. However, we have included additional rules for games of two or three players. A full complement of seven players is ideal.
The game consists of two parts. The first is a political- satirical card game in which the players attempt to influence the course of events in their favor with the help of elections, assassinations, and unforeseen events.
The second component of the game comes into play when a coup d'etat is proclaimed. Then JUNTA becomes a strategic board game in which markers are moved around, representing the chaotic battles during the coup. After the coup is resolved, JUNTA becomes a card game again...until the next coup.
When El Presidente can no longer draw sufficient funds from the deck of Development Aid, the game ends. The winner is the player with the most money in his Swiss bank account at that point.
Players pick which family they wish to play, represented by the coats of arms bearing a sports car, sunglasses, a martini glass, quill pens, a pocket watch, or cigars, and take:
The five location cards with the appropriate coat of arms on the back
Three control markers with coat of arms
One Swiss Bank Account card
Next, the yellow game markers are placed around the game board.
The marker Political Phase is placed on the first space of the row of Political Phases at the top of the board, and the marker Coup Phase on the first space of the row of Coup Phases.
The No Pretext marker is placed on the Coup Pretext? space.
The Bank Shootout marker is placed on the Bank Secure space, and the Bank is Open marker is placed on the Bank Open? space. The markers Coup Pretext, Siesta, and Bank Holiday are only required later in the game.
The banknotes are shuffled and put face-down on the appropriate space on the board. This is the pile of Development Aid for the coming year.
The Politics cards are shuffled. Each player takes five, not showing them. The rest are placed face-down on the corresponding space on the board.
For technical reasons, this game is subject to more counters than is really necessary!
The markers for units are distributed as follows:
Each of the three army brigades' six units are placed in their bases on the board;
One Police marker is placed in each of the four police precincts;
The four Palace Guard markers are in Presidential Palace;
The three Air Raid markers and the Paratroopers piece are placed in the marked spaces next to the city map;
The Marines marker is placed on the space at bottom right in the harbor;
And the Gunboat is placed on the Harbor space.
Choose the First Presidente
A Presidente is elected at the beginning of the game, as well as every time a Presidente dies, resigns, or is deposed. The Parliament (i.e., all the players) elects El Presidente.
At the beginning of the game, the owner of the game may nominate one or more candidates for Presidente-including himself. After that, the right of nomination passes in a clockwise direction.
Every nomination must be followed by at least one vote, in which the players use their Influence and Vote cards. Each player may vote or abstain. It is also possible to give the votes represented by different cards to different candidates. However, the votes of any one Influence or Vote card may be given to one and only one candidate and may not be split.
All the votes for the nominated candidates are assigned. Anyone may decline to stand as a candidate for the office of Presidente; votes assigned to this player are lost.
Thereafter, like any good parliament, discussions and deals ensue.
Finally, there is a second round of votes, in which the players may add further votes to those already played through unused Influence and Vote cards.
Who ever can collect the most votes in the two rounds of voting becomes the new Presidente and receives the Presidente card.
In the case of a tie, all players discard all of their Politics cards, and everyone receives five new cards. The owner of the game receives the top banknote from the Development Aid deck, and a new round of voting ensues.
This goes on until the first Presidente is elected, or the game ends for lack of further banknotes.
The Political Game
The Constitution of the Republic
The island is ruled by the parliament and El Presidente. El Presidente is elected for life, determines the members of his cabinet anew in every round, and receives the Development Aid and distributes it.
El Presidente may lose his office only through his death, resignation, a coup d'etat, or being voted out with the Vote of No- Confidence card. The parliament is controlled by the leading families of the island (the rest of the players), who can use particular cards to aggrandize their power in parliament.
The division of power:
- Controls the Palace Guard;
- Receives the Development Aid funds
- Proposes a budget
In addition, he assigns the six other government offices of the junta:
Ministro of Internal Security
- Controls the Police
- Can occupy the Parliament with the Police in order to force through a defeated budget
- Can conduct an assassination every Assassination Attempts phase
- Can have those returning from exile shot.
General of the First Army Brigade
Controls the First Army Brigade
General of the Second Army Brigade
Controls the Second Army Brigade
General of the Third Army Brigade
Controls the Third Army Brigade
Almirante of the Navy
- Controls the Marines and conducts bombardments with the Gunboat
- Comandante of the Air Force
- Controls the Paratroopers and conducts Air Raids
El Presidente Is Killed
If a Presidente is killed during the Assassination phase, the players immediately elect a new Presidente. This proceeds exactly like the first presidential election, with the following exceptions:
Everyone can cast the additional vote of his Office(s). Each Office has one vote. One player, in a 4-7-player game, can hold at most two Offices, and thus gets at most two votes. Players who are dead at the moment may not vote. The player to the dead president's left begins the voting.
In the case of a tie, all Vote cards are discarded, and the voting begins again. This goes on until there is a new Presidente.
The offices held by the former Presidente are taken over by his cousin (see El Presidente's Cousin and the Offices of Dead or Exiled Players); this means they do nothing until the next Office Assignment phase.
El Presidente Resigns
A Presidente may resign his office at any time, other than during a Coup d'Etat. A new presidential election immediately ensues.
It proceeds exactly like the first presidential election, with the following exceptions:
Everyone can cast the additional vote of his Office(s). Each Office has one vote. One player, in a 4-7-player game, can hold at most two Offices, and thus gets at most two votes. Players who are dead at the moment may not vote. The outgoing Presidente may use his Presidential Vote, begins the voting, and may be re-elected.
In the case of a tie, all Vote cards are discarded, and the voting begins again. This goes on until there is a new Presidente.
The former Presidente gives all of his cash to the new Presidente.
The former Presidente receives all the offices of the new Presidente.
A vote for some other reason (e.g., on adoption of the budget) functions, exactly like the first presidential election, with the following exceptions: Everyone may additionally cast the vote of his office(s).
There are two rounds of elections in which El Presidente begins the voting. In the case of a tie, El Presidente decides which side wins.
Phases of the Political Game
Each turn has the following phases:
- Each player draws two Politics cards. The markers on the two rows of Phases are reset.
- El Presidente assigns offices.
- El Presidente draws eight banknotes from the Development Aid deck.
- El Presidente proposes a budget, and the Parliament votes on its adoption.
- Every player chooses a secret Location for this turn.
- Assassination attempts are declared and resolved.
- If the bank is open, money can be transferred or withdrawn.
- A coup d'etat can be proclaimed. Play switches to the Coup d'Etat rules (see p. 8).
- A coup creates Coup Consequences.
Phase 1: Draw Cards
At the beginning of a round, every player draws two Politics cards. If there are not enough in the deck, the cards previously discarded are collected, shuffled, and made into a new deck.
Cards are drawn so that only the drawing player sees them. Each player can have at most six cards in his hand.
Anyone with more must immediately play, discard, or give away the additional cards until he's got the maximum six. Influence cards that are in play count toward the six-card limit.
Players in exile draw no cards.
In this phase, all the markers on the board are replaced in their original positions: The No Pretext marker is put on the Coup Pretext space, the marker Bank
Is Open on the Bank Open? space, the Political Phase on the first space of the Political Phases row, and the Coup Phase on the first space of the Coup Phases row.
If there has been a coup, all unit markers return to their initial positions.
Phase 2: Office Assignment
In this phase, El Presidente distributes the other offices among the families by giving the appropriate players the corresponding card.
The following limitations apply:
- El Presidente may hold no other office.
- Every family must receive at least one office.
- Each family may hold at most two offices.
- No family may receive two Army Brigade generalships.
El Presidente can hold to agreements made in advance, but he is not obliged to. He can assign some or all offices exactly as they were in the previous round.
Offices may only be reassigned in this phase of the game (with the exception of the office of El Presidente), even if a new Presidente has come to power in the interim.
Example: In a game with four players, everyone except El Presidente receives two Offices-one as a general and exactly one further Office.
Phase 3: Accept Development Aid
El Presidente draws eight banknotes face-down from the Development Aid deck. He may not show them to any other player.
Phase 4: the Budget
After El Presidente has taken the Development Aid, he must recommend a budget to the Parliament. He declares how he intends to distribute the Development Aid among the players. He is not required to tell the truth with regard to the total amount he has to distribute.
He may distribute less money than he has drawn, or indeed not distribute any, keeping the entire amount for himself. He may also promise more money than he has drawn if he has enough pesos in cash to cover the difference.
El Presidente may not propose a budget that requires the players to make change for the banknotes they receive. He may make change for banknotes using his own cash.
Example: If El Presidente has drawn eight three-million- peso notes, he can propose giving the Ministro of Internal Security 15 million, and the General of the First Army Brigade another 6 million. He keeps 3 million for himself He may only propose giving the Almirante of the Navy one million, as he only has a single 1,000,000-peso note in his cash reserve.
As soon as the budget is proposed, Parliament-i.e., the players-votes on it. If the budget is adopted, El Presidente distributes the money. El Presidente may distribute more than his budget proposes-but no less.
If the players reject the budget, the marker Coup Pretext replaces No Pretext for the rest of the turn.
The Ministro for Internal Security may force through a rejected budget by moving all the Police units to the Parliament space. El Presidente then distributes his budget as proposed. The bank then closes for an extended siesta; for the rest of the turn, the Siesta marker is placed on the Bank Open? space.
If the Ministro chooses not to use force, the bank closes for an extended holiday. The Bank Is Open marker is replaced by the Bank Holiday marker for the rest of the turn.
In addition, El Presidente retains all the Development Aid notes for himself.
Phase 5: Choose Locations
All players then choose a location where they may be found for the duration of the turn. Five different locations are available: Bank, Headquarters, Home, With the Mistress, and Nightclub.
All players have cards representing these locations, and they place the chosen location face-down in front of them. The other four cards are set aside, also face-down.
The player's whereabouts have nothing to do with events on the map. It is determined solely by the chosen card.
Instead of choosing a location, a player may choose to go into Exile. He then places one of his Location cards face up on the space of whatever Embassy he likes (see Exile).
Tip: Anyone who wants to put money into his Swiss Bank Accout must choose Bank as his location. A player who wants to start a coup should choose Headquarters, provided there's already a Coup Pretext or he has an appropriate Politics card.
In the Choose Location phase, a player may go into Exile by choosing to place a Location card face-up on an Embassy of his choosing. If El Presidente wishes to go into Exile, he must first resign his office, so that new elections take place.
With the exception of El Presidente, any player can go into Exile during a Coup, if he controls at least one unit in an Embassy.
A player in Exile is outside the real game. He can't be assassinated or hauled before a firing squad, he can't make Swiss Bank Account deposits or withdrawals, and he can neither draw nor play Politics cards.
He can, however, discard Politics cards or swap them with other players. He may not vote in Parliament, he may not commission any assassinations, and during a Coup, his units do not move. El Presidente's Cousin (i.e., the player who's Presidente) takes (at most) one office from a player in Exile.
Returning From Exile
A player in Exile may return at any time to the Banana Republic. The Ministro for Internal Security may opt to have the returning exile assassinated immediately and with automatic success. The
Ministro may choose not to conduct an assassination. Politics cards that thwart assassination attempts can be used here.
In the following cases, nothing happens to the returning player:
The old Presidente is dead (and no new Presidente has been elected), or the office of Ministro for Internal Security isn't held by a player.
During a Coup, a player who has at least one unit in the appropriate Embassy may offer the exile a safe-conduct. The returning player immediately assumes his former Offices and the associated Units.
A player in Exile can win the game if the game ends and he has the most money in his Swiss Bank Account.
Phase 6: Assassination Attempts
First, the Ministro of Internal Security announces his assassination attempts, and the rest of the players follow in clockwise order so that everyone has the opportunity to proclaim an assassination attempt.
The Ministro controls the Secret Police and therefore receives a free assassination attempt every round. Other attempts (including additional attempts by the Ministro) are only allowed with the appropriate Politics cards.
An assassination attempt is announced by the player's naming the nature of the assassination L attempt (in general, by playing the appropriate card) and the potential victim, guessing his Location. Location cards are revealed once all assassination attempts have been declared.
Each player may make as many attempts as he has Assassins. He may direct multiple attempts at a single player, or attempt to assassinate a number of different players. He can direct multiple attempts at one or several Locations.
Assassination attempts are resolved in the order in which they were declared. The assassination attempts of players who are killed before they are carried out are still carried out.
The Secret Police (controlled by the Ministro of Internal Security) may attempt an assassination in the Bank at most every other turn. The Bank Shootout marker is replaced by Bank Is Secure until the end of the Assassination Attempts phase of the following turn.
While the Bank Is Secure marker is in play, the Secret Police may not conduct an assassination in the Bank, even if a new player has become Ministro of Internal Security in the meantime. Other attempts are not affected by this.
Consequences of an Assassination
An assassinated player immediately discards his hand of cards (including Influence in play face-up) and gives all his cash to the architect of the successful assassination. If a player is killed by the assassins of a player who's already been killed, his money goes face-up under the Development Aid deck.
The murdered player remains dead until the end of the current turn. He can't take any actions until the beginning of the next turn, when his family names a new jefe.
If El Presidente is killed, new elections take place as soon as all the assassination attempts have been resolved.
If any player is assassinated, this counts as a Pretext for a Coup. (The Coup Pretext marker is put down).
Swiss Bank Accounts are never influenced by the death of a player.
Hint: Because all bank transactions are resolved right after this phase, it's always a risk to be in the Bank!
Examples Of Assassination Attempts
Andy, Bill, and Daniel declare attempts in this order.
Andy and Daniel both declare attempts on Bill in the same place. Because Bill is actually there, he is dead and his cash goes to Andy who declared his attempt first.
Andy declares an attempt on Bill, and vice versa. Both succeed. Both players are therefore dead, and put their cash in hand under the Development Aid deck.
Andy kills Bill, and Bill kills Daniel. Bill's money goes to Andy, and Daniel puts his money face-up under the Development Aid deck.
Andy kills Bill, and Daniel kills Andy. Bill's money goes to Andy, and then goes to Daniel, along with all of Andy's money.
El presidente's cousin and the offices of dead or exiled players
If anyone is killed in the Assassination phase or is in Exile, El Presidente's Cousin (i.e., the player who is currently Presidente) may take over at most one of his Offices.
El Presidente then exercises the vote of that Office and controls the Units which belong to it. An Office may only pass from El Presidente's Cousin in the Office Assignment phase.
If there are several unoccupied Offices, El Presidente may fill one (and only one) of them with his Cousin. Other unoccupied Offices do not surrender their votes and their Units remain strictly passive in any possible Coup. If the Ministro of Internal Security is dead or in Exile, his special abilities may not be used in any case.
Phase 7: Banking
In this phase, any players who have chosen the Bank as their Location and who are not dead, may deposit or withdraw money if the Bank is open.
The Bank is not open if, earlier in the same turn, a budget has been rejected or a Politics card dictates it.
If the Bank is closed for a Siesta because of the Police's forcing through a budget, bank transactions can be conducted again:
at the end of a round after a Coup, or
if all players decide not to instigate a Coup.
If the Bank Holiday marker is in play, no bank transactions of any sort may be conducted that turn.
Deposits & Withdrawals
The players deposit money in their Swiss Bank Accounts by putting banknotes from their cash in hand under their Swiss Bank Account card. They withdraw money by taking money from there and putting back it in their cash.
Money in a Swiss Bank Account may only remain in the account or be withdrawn. In particular, it may not be used for Bribes, Assassinations, or deals between players without its having been withdrawn in advance.
Tip: Money in a Swiss Bank Account is very safe. Ultimately you can only win the game with the money in your Swiss Bank Account. You should only withdraw it for a very good reason, but it is allowed.
Phase 8: Coup D'etat
At the beginning of every turn, the No Pretext marker is placed on the Coup Pretext? space. During the turn, it can be replaced by the Coup Pretext marker if:
- El Presidente's budget is rejected
- the Ministro of Internal Security occupies Parliament with the Police
- someone is assassinated, or
- a Politics card with a coup pretext is played.
When the Coup Pretext marker is in play, any player, with the exception of El Presidente, may instigate a Coup.
Anyone who has chosen Headquarters as his Location may instigate a Coup without a pretext.
A Coup may be started by:
a Politics card that brings new Units into play (Students, Agitators, Demonstrators, Strikers, Bank Guards, Private Security Force, Christian Militia, or the Helicopter)
a player's moving the Units of his Office (thereby becoming the first move in the Rebellion phase)
the announcement by the Almirante of the Navy or the Comandante of the Air Force that they are firing on Presidential Palace with the Gun Boat or an Air Raid (these shots are resolved later in the Shooting phase).
If multiple players want to instigate a Coup simultaneously, the player closest to El Presidente in a clockwise direction starts the Coup.
Whoever starts the Coup receives the Rebel Leader card.
As soon as the Coup starts, the Political Game is put aside, and the game continues as under Rules of the Coup d'Etat, below.
Phase 9: Coup Consequences
If there is a Coup attempt and El Presidente's side emerges victorious, El Presidente may sentence any of the Rebels who are not in Exile to a firing squad.
If the Rebels have won the day, the Rebel players immediately set up a junta to determine the new Presidente. Players loyal to the old regime who voted for the Rebels (see box) do not belong to this junta.
Every member of the junta has exactly one vote. Votes from Offices, Vote cards, and Influence cards do not apply here. If there is a tie, the Rebel Leader decides which of the candidates with the most votes becomes the new Presidente.
The new Presidente may sentence one player not in exile (including another member of the junta) to the firing squad.
The player who is shot surrenders his cash to El Presidente.
If the Bank is having a Siesta, it is now reopened, and players whose Location is the Bank may conduct their bank transactions.
The turn is now over. All dead players are now considered alive again - they've been replaced by a new jefe in their family.
If the rebels win, there are:
players loyal to the regime (i.e., to El Presidente) who chose El Presidente's side (see Choosing Sides)
Rebels who voted for El Presidente
Rebels who voted for the Rebels
Rules of the Coup D' Etat
End of the Game
The game ends as soon as soon as El Presidente cannot withdraw eight face-down bank notes from in the Accept Development Aid phase.
The player with the most money in his Swiss Bank Account wins.
Cash in hand is irrelevant at this point-if two players have the same amount in their secret account, it's a tie. A player can win JUNTA while in exile or even when dead. If all the players die simultaneously in assassinations, everyone loses.
These three options speed up the game:
In each Phase of the game, every player has a time limit (e.g., thirty seconds) to make his decisions. If someone can't decide on moves within the time limit, he loses his turn.
A Coup may only be started by a player who is in his Headquarters. In addition, there must be a current Coup Pretext.
After every Coup, four banknotes from the Development Aid deck are drawn and turned face-up under the deck.
Discarded or spent banknotes are not placed face-up at the bottom of the Development Aid deck, but rather face-down and can thereby be drawn again.
The number of notes that can be replaced in that fashion can be limited (to, e.g., ten), so that the game doesn't go on forever.
Any player who declares an action must follow through on it, if it's allowed by the rules. Of course, potential actions can be negotiated or threatened (You know, I could have you assassinated right now..)..
Players may leave the room to make secret agreements, but they shouldn't take too long in doing so.
Lies and betrayals are permitted in this game, but only insofar as they stay within the rules. One must always immediately follow through on any permissible deal; on the other hand, promises about the future may be kept or broken.