|Partisan Nation Player's Guide||
The general goal of the game is to win elections and use that power to pass laws that are favorable to your party. In this guide I'll go through each of the main components of the game so you can get started!
There are major elections every two years, with just a few governors up for election in the off years. Every year, the first half of the year is when the primaries get decided and then starting June 30th, you'll see the general campaigns get going.
You can influence the outcome a number of ways:
(1) Spend money on Organization in various states (HQ Screen)
(2) Spend money on Camapigns in various states (HQ Screen)
(3) Use your party leaders to increase the Organization or Campaign rating in various states (HQ Screen)
Each state's Org and Cam ratings will help you equally in the election. Org is a long-term rating that looks at your average spending and party leader actions over the last 750 days, while Cam ratings only look at the period between June 30th and the election, but is more expensive. Think of Organization as laying down the support for you party over time and Campaigns as the ability to ramp up your spending (ads etc.) for an election. You can see how much you're spending and how each state is currently rated on the HQ Finance Screen. Click on Organization or Campaign and pick "Change" at the bottom right.
Keep in mind that Org and Cam ratings apply to all the elections in that state, so even if it's not an important state presidentially, it could still be worth spending money in to affect the Governor, Senate, or House races!
If you have control of either the House or the Senate, you can propose bills to be voted on in the Congress tab. This alternatives between the House and Senate, so if there's a split Congress, both you and the CPU will be trying to get their bills passed. Look at the section called "Next Legislation." If it says something like House(You) or Senate(You), you can change the attributes of the law by clicking the boxes below. Each law can only have one attribute, and the boxes go from moderate to liberal/conservative. More moderate legislation is easier to pass, but won't have as much of an effect.
If you're having trouble passing the more liberal/conservative bills, try having your party leaders "Advocate" for passage. You may also need a larger majority or control of both houses plus the presidency.
You can see how well you're doing here by checking out the HQ screen on the bottom right. Try to peg everything to the left or right, depending on which party you're controlling.
Money is important. If you don't spend any you're going to have a tough time. Luckily just being one of the major political parties keeps the cash coming in to some degree. Still, more is always better than less.
You can influence your fundraising a couple of ways:
(1) Spend money on Grass Roots in various states (HQ Screen)
(2) Have your party leaders Fundraise
You'll get more money than you spend on Grass Roots coming back in on average, but not every state is equal. Your base states will be less expensive to set up your roots and give you more money on a per capita basis. Ignore them at your peril. If you have enough money, it wouldn't hurt to set every state to 5. This will help in the long run, but you'll be losing some more money in the short run. Also consider reducing your spending on Grass Roots on less important states if you're running low and need the money for something more immediate, like Campaign spending!
On your HQ screen, you'll have an opportunity to set your party platform in 5 categories. This will have no immediate effect, but will affect the new politicans that the game generates every year. If you set more moderate positions you'll get more moderate politicians on average and the same for more extreme positions. More moderate politicans are easier to win elections with, but are more troublesome in congress if you're trying to pass more liberal/conservative bills.
Also on your HQ screen you may notice the Political Sentiment bar. This indicates the political mood of the country. For example, if the bar is all the way to the left, you're looking at a Democratic wave.
Politicans will come and go as the game goes on, but you can always see who's currently active on the game's People tab.
Each Politican will have a number of attributes:
(1) Quality -- How good of a candidate he/she is. 5-box politicans will win races that 0-box politicians simply won't.
(2) Effectiveness -- Determines how good this person would be as a Party Leader (along with his/her office)
(3) Loyalty -- More are rather loyal, but some aren't. Unloyal politicians are more likey to vote with the other party in Congress (also depends on their ideology ratings).
(4) Ambition -- Determines how likely someone is to run for a high office (Senate/Governor/President).
(5) Taxes/Regulation/Foreign/Domestic/Rights -- Ideology ratings for this person. Effects their election chances and how they'll vote in Congress.
You have the option of naming 6 members of your party to be leaders. This lets you use their abilities for the good of the party.
There are 7 ways Leaders can help:
(1) Fundraise -- Gives you little extra cash from a state that day
(2) Grassroots -- Gives you a bonus to your Grass Roots level for a particular state that day
(3) Organize -- Gives you a bonus to your Organization level for a particular state that day
(4) Campaign -- Gives you a bonus to your Campaign level for a particular state that day
(5) Support -- Tries to persuade members of congress to vote for whatever bill is currently being considered
(6) Oppose -- Tries to persuade members of congress to vote against whatever bill is currently being considered
(7) Ideology -- Gives the "Political Sentiment" bar a small nudge in your party's direction that day
Politicians will also give you a bonus in certain categories depending on what office they hold or what office their running for. (The higher office between the two gives the bonus.) Bonuses are as follows:
President -- Bonus to Ideology
Governor -- Bonus to all actions that can be carried out in his/her state
Senate -- Bonus to Support/Oppose with a focus on persuading the Senate
House -- Bonus to Support/Oppose with a focus on persuading the House