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Sixth Amenment: Jury Trial aka We the Jury

Enough people on the forums have given the thumbs up to want to see it. What is it?

From the draft rulebook:

This game simulates most of the elements of an American jury trial, as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the United Constitution, in a Player vs. Player format. One player will make the State’s case, and the other will provide the Defense. The base game contains the cards and components necessary to play out a trial based upon a famous murder charge in the 1950s of a now infamous physician. The proper names and certain specifics in the case have been changed to protect the (not so) innocent.

The primary objective of the State is to compel the Jury to convict the defendant. For this, all twelve Jurors must vote “Guilty” at the game’s conclusion.
The Defense has two objectives: to either compel the Jury for a full acquittal (all votes of “Not Guilty”), or to provoke a Mistrial.
If none of these Victory conditions are met (i.e. a “Hung Jury”), a comparison of the “Guilty” and “Not Guilty” votes will determine which side performed better, but neither side can claim a full victory.

The first set of components for playtesting (without much description):

Game Board, sectioned off into The Jury Box, The Bench, and the Record

Cards (180 in total)
36 State Case Cards
36 Defense Case Cards
36 State Response Cards
36 Defense Response Cards
15 Justice Cards
15 Press Cards
5 Jumbo State Opening Argument Cards (not yet in design)
5 Jumbo Defense Opening Argument Cards (not yet in design)

28 1" Juror Tiles (secret info on face)

20 Red Proof Tokens (sticks)
20 Blue Doubt Tokens (sticks)
TBD Double-sided Proof/Doubt Counters

1/2" square chits (# TBD):
Juror Influence Score

1" square chits:
Guilty Vote
Withhold Vote

4 track marker discs

1 10 sided die

Comments

Sounds good

Would there be a way to include several different cases to make it a bit more interesting to re-play? I can imagine going over the same case over and over might get a bit tedious but if you could make the cards work with, say, 3 different cases I think it would make it more appealing.

My immediate concern would be to think that, with reasonably balanced play, the hung jury result would be the most common and if this is not considered a "full" victory that might become a bit frustrating. Have you thought about that and (hopefully!) have an answer to it?

Answers

First off, thank you for checking this out.

Here are the answers as best I can tell right now.

Several cases? Replayability IS a concern of course. Some of the mitigating factors in the one case version are, of the 36 case cards, only 25 are shuffled in to the draw deck (the other 16 are in a reserve deck that is rarely gets used). There are also Justice and Press cards that change things quite a bit each trial day. The order they come out (say a Juror gets dismissed, or the Judge is really tight that day, etc.) provides a decent amount of variance in how the case plays out. I DO have ideas for multiple cases, but the way the components are set in the base game, these might have to be small expansions with some additional rules to make it interesting. But I will tell you the replay aspect will be a top concern in blind playtesting.

2. The flow chart for how a victory occurs can be quite sensitive to the end state of the game. So even if the PLAY was balanced, you might get a hung jury a third of the time (in which case the side with the most number of votes can have bragging rights) but the snowball effect of Foreperson's influence and not getting all the information for a particular Juror makes the deliberation process kind of a cliffhanger. This also brings about its own frustration, of course, in that you played a great game but this one little thing in the last phase swung the victory over to the other side. This would be a major problem for most games - but I'm hoping that, thematically (adding the cliffhanger deliberation aspect) the players can still find enjoyment. I feel like all of the high profile cases have that aspect to them, and players of this game will just have to be conditioned for that up front. This is certain - the better you play, the better chance you are giving yourself for the result you want...but nothing is guaranteed. People that don't like this will probably want to stay away from this game...or I can maybe just leave out the "full victory" part. I remember playing a computer sim of the D-Day invasion, and there were decisive, tactical, and marginal victory conditions. I am open to ideas about how to reward the full acquittals/convictions but still making a hung jury score mean something.

Thank you for taking the time to comment.

WW

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