The theme reminds me of a great game call Chicken Caesar. Check it out if you haven't played it. It's a great game and a great theme. For this game I am looking to have players be candidates for a Senate seat that just opened up. They are junior senators trying to get that new seat. The Senate must vote on who they want to fill the position in only 3 days. Players try to gain votes by becoming more popular among the other Senators. The winner will be the one who gets to fill the empty seat.
I'm too familiar with my Spartan politics so i'll just kind of wing it and put a theme that will fit close what I think of when I think ancient politics. I'm not entirely sure if Sparta was a Republic or if they even had senators, but that just changes my game from history to made up history. I'll make sure it's a little more accurate if I decide to make the game into something more than this article.
The main mechanic is Action Programming. I have yet to play RoboRally but that sounds like the game everyone thinks of when they hear Action Programming for a game. Each player is programming a robot to take actions that are later revealed. It's possible a robot gets moved by another player and throws the program off.
In my game players are giving orders to their servants for them to carry out. I think 5 actions is a decent amount to be programmed. This might be too many and no program completes ever. If that's the case, then it will be dropped down so that a decent percent of the time most actions are carried out.
The question after this is are all servants the same? There could be a draft system that allows players to hire different servants. For sake of simplicity right now there will be servants equal to the amount of players for each action. Each player is randomly dealt a servant from each action. Each servant will have a number to determine which actions can to be taken first.
The victory condition is to be the most popular. Each player is trying to fight for that open spot in the Senate. The player that is the most popular will get the most votes. The actions the servants perform are to help you become more popular in the eyes of the Senate in hopes that they select you to fill the open seat.
The Senate does not have long to decide who will get the seat. They only have 3 days to fill the spot. This follows the constraint of 3 rounds. Each player will try to gain popularity each day and on the 3rd day the player that is most popular will win.
The game begins by giving each player a set of servants they can use to carry out their will. Each player must then select the actions and the order each one will occur. Once everyone has selected their 5 orders, the first day begins. Players reveal and carry out their first order. Once this is done, they complete the second. This continues until the first day is done. Players earn popularity based on their actions that day. The servant cards are shuffled and passed out again so each player has a set.
The second day is just like the first. There may be more actions available that were not available on the first day. Finally, the third day will be the last round. Players give orders just like the first and second day. The player with the most popularity at the end of this day will be the winner.
Each player will also be given a secret mission and a special action that they can use at the end of a day. They will earn bonus popularity if they are able to complete the special mission.
The board will be of the senate floor. There are some key locations on the board as well as starting spots for each of the junior senator's servants. The starting spots will move around each round as the junior senators are assigned a different senator each day. The board will not be too large. There will be minimal walking space between the actions spots.
So far it's a rough outline of the game. The most crucial part missing is the actions. I think having a small board for servants to move around will be best. There will be some key locations on the board that the servants are trying to reach and interact with. The actions will include some kind of movement and then some action that takes place once they arrive at a key location. I'm stuck right now as to what those actions will be, but the servants will try to gain, steal or reduce the popularity of players.
Play games. Always.