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Encyclopedia > Junta (game)
Players 2-7
Setup time 10-15 minutes
Playing time 3-5 hours
Rules complexity Hard
Strategy depth Hard
Random chance Medium
Skills required Dice rolling, Counting, Social skills

Junta is a Machiavellian board game designed by Vincent Tsao. Players compete as the corrupt power elite families of a fictional parody of a stereotypical Banana Republic (specificially Republica de los [sic] Bananas) trying to get as much money as possible into their Swiss bank account before the foreign aid money runs out. Image File history File links Juntabox. ... Typical role-playing dice, showing a variety of colors and styles. ... Euclid, a famous Greek mathematician known as the father of geometry, is shown here in detail from The School of Athens by Raphael. ... Social interaction is a dynamic, changing sequence of social actions between individuals (or groups) who modify their actions and reactions due to the actions by their interaction partner(s). ... Machiavellianism is the term some social and personality psychologists use to describe a persons tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain. ... A board game is any game played on a board (that is, a premarked surface) with counters or pieces that are placed on, removed from, or moved across the board. ... In contemporary usage, parody is a form of satire that imitates another work of art in order to ridicule it. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A Banana Republic store in The Grove, Los Angeles. ... An example of Money. ... Swiss banks are world-renowned for their secretive nature and protection of clients. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Development aid. ...

The primary intrigue of the game exists not in the mechanics of the rules, but in the negotiations between players. Much like the game Diplomacy, players will often have "private meetings" (out of earshot of other players) to negotiate secret alliances. The result is an underground economy where players may barter with any resources they have, including cash on hand (i.e. not yet in their Swiss bank account), cards in hand, and favors. The number of coups that occur in a given game is entirely determined by the bloodthirstiness, greed, and guile of the players. No matter the material advantages accorded to a player by their Junta cards, a player must inevitably manipulate the social aspect of the game to win. Building alliances and knowing when to be deceitful is essential. A successful President must divide and rule to keep the ambitious members of the cabinet at bay. Diplomacy game board, showing regions and boundaries. ... The underground economy consists of all trade that occurs without detection by government so that commerce and income are not taxed. ... In politics and sociology, divide and rule (also known as divide and conquer) is a strategy of gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. ...



The players of Junta represent corrupt and powerful Banana Republic families. Although players are often executed or assassinated in the course of gameplay, the only real implication of a player's death is the loss of cash and Junta cards they are carrying and a temporary inability to participate until their next turn when another member of the family steps up to assume the responsibilities of the deceased. Each player is given a family token to underscore this permanent identity, although the token has no effect on game play. Cabinet positions, however, which are denoted by cards, are reassigned each turn. A Banana Republic store in The Grove, Los Angeles. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Death is the cessation of life. ...

Game play

Each game turn represents a year, which takes place during seven stages represented on the board's "political track". The game ends when the President cannot draw eight bills from the foreign aid money at the beginning of a turn. This event is disguised by the blank bills placed at the bottom of the foreign aid deck and by the "used" bills which are placed under the blanks when spent as part of a card action. A typical game will have 9-11 rounds. The winner is the player who has the most money in his or her Swiss bank account at the end of the game. Money on one's person is irrelevant.

Each player not in exile has the ability to draw and play Junta cards, direct the votes he or she controls via cabinet positions, influence and vote cards on the President and the budget votes, carry out the abilities listed on their influence cards and cabinet positions, command their troops during a coup, and manage their money. In all votes, each player commands one vote representing themselves and whatever votes they can garner from influence or voting cards. The only exception is the Presidential election after a successful coup in which each rebel player commands one and only one vote. EXILE is a 6-member Japanese pop music band. ... A voting system is a process that allows a group of individuals to choose between a number of options, and determines the preferred or winning option based on the number of votes each option receives. ... This article is about the political process. ... Budget generally refers to a list of all planned expenses and revenues. ... Look up ability in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Ability - the quality of person of being able to perform; A quality that permits or facilitates achievement or accomplishment. ...

Upkeep phase

Junta cards are drawn and El Presidente is elected, if necessary. Each player's vote in the Chamber of Deputies as well as influence and vote cards are used. An errata later clarified that if a player declines a nomination votes may be recast with the exception of vote cards which are discarded.[2] El Presidente retains his or her position until the event of assassination, a successful coup, or resignation. All three events have the effect of liquidating the President's assets and delivering his cash to his assassin or successor. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A coup détat (pronounced ), or simply a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government through unconstitutional means by a part of the state establishment that mostly replaces just the top power figures. ... A resignation occurs when a person holding a position gained by election or appointment steps down. ...

Cabinet phase

El Presidente.
El Presidente.

El Presidente assigns cabinet positions to the other players. El Presidente cannot hold a cabinet position and must assign each other player at least one position. If fewer than seven players are playing, or if players are in exile, players may hold two positions, but no more than one Generalship. Each cabinet position (note: not each player) holds one vote in the Chamber of Deputies. Cabinet positions are as follows: Image File history File links Junta_presidente. ... Image File history File links Junta_presidente. ... A cabinet is a body of high-ranking members of government, typically representing the executive branch. ...

  • Minister of Internal Security: The commander of the secret police, who may deliver a prized "free" assassination each turn. Although this ability is powerful, the combat strength of the police during a coup leaves much to be desired. The Minister also may force a budget to pass if it fails and has the option of assassinating any player returning from "exile".
  • Generals of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd armies: Generals control their respective armies in the event of a coup.
  • Chief of the Air Force: Controls airstrikes and paratroopers in the event of a coup.
  • Admiral of the Navy: Controls naval bombardment and marines in the event of a coup. Generally considered the weakest position, the Admiral is often given to the player the president suspects is most likely to start a coup, or the player the president dislikes the most. The effect may be mutually reinforcing because the Admiral's combat strength is greatest as a member of the Junta, hence the rulebook's light-hearted reference to the "ceremonial shelling of the Presidential Palace" at the beginning of a coup.

A secret police (sometimes political police) force is a police organization that operates in secret to enforce state security. ... EXILE is a 6-member Japanese pop music band. ... Army (from French armée) can, in some countries, refer to any armed force. ... A military strike is a limited attack on a specified target. ... An American Paratrooper using a MC1-B series parachute Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force. ... The multinational Combined Task Force One Five Zero (CTF-150) The British Grand Fleet, the supreme naval force of WW1 A rare occurrence of a 5-country multinational fleet, during Operation Enduring Freedom in the Oman Sea. ... A Marine is an elite warrior whose primary function is to serve aboard a ship and/or assault the land from the sea in amphibious warfare. ...

Budget phase

El Presidente draws 8 bills from the foreign aid money deck. Bills come in denominations of 1, 2, or 3 million pesos in order of decreasing probability. Thus, the President may draw between 8 and 24 million pesos on a given turn. El Presidente then assigns the budget by declaring how much money he intends to give to each player. Only the President knows the amount drawn, but he must reveal how much he intents to give to each other player. The budget is then voted on. If the budget fails the President keeps all the money, unless the Minister forces the budget to pass. Forcing the budget to pass has the effect of distributing the foreign aid money as if the budget had passed, consolidating the police units in the Chamber of Deputies, and making a coup justified that turn.

Assassination phase

A round of assassinations takes place. First each player chooses their location using the location tiles in a secret yet binding fashion. Locations are as follows: To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... In cryptography, a zero-knowledge proof or zero-knowledge protocol is an interactive method for one party to prove to another that a (usually mathematical) statement is true, without revealing anything other than the veracity of the statement. ...

  • Home (leaves a player vulnerable to a "burglary" assassination card)
  • Mistress (leaves a player vulnerable to a "character assassination" card)
  • Nightclub
  • Headquarters (allows the player to start a coup)
  • Bank (allows the player to access their Swiss bank account, should they survive to the banking phase)

Then each player declares their assassinations. The Minister of Internal Security gets to use the secret police for one assassination and any player may order one with an assassination card. To declare an assassination, a player must name the player he or she is trying to assassinate and the location at which the assassination will be attempted. Once all assassinations are declared, they are resolved in order. An assassination is successful if a player's location is guessed correctly, although some assassination cards require a successful dice roll as well and some cards may be used to thwart an assassination. Look up home in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Madame de Pompadour the mistress of King Louis XV of France. ... It has been suggested that Disco Bar be merged into this article or section. ... Headquarters (HQ) denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are concentrated. ... The Bank of Taiwan in Taipei , Republic of China (Taiwan). ... Swiss banks are world-renowned for their secretive nature and protection of clients. ... A secret police (sometimes political police) force is a police organization that operates in secret to enforce state security. ... Typical role-playing dice, showing a variety of colors and styles. ...

If multiple assassination attempts are declared against a single player, they are resolved in the order they were declared (a player cannot be killed more than once). An assassinated player discards their hand, turns over their cash to the assassinator, and is inactive for the rest of the turn. Assassinations are transitive (if A assassinates B and B assassinates C, A gets both B and C's money). If players kill each other (e.g. A assassinates B and B assassinates A) both player's money is discarded to the bottom of the foreign aid deck (under the blanks). The same holds true for larger mutual assassinations (A assassinates B, B assassinates C, C assassinates A). If all players die during the assassination phase, the rules specify that all players lose the game. In grammar, a verb is transitive if it takes an object. ...

Assassination attempts by the Minister's secret police may not take place at the Bank two turns in a row. After an assassination attempt has taken place at the Bank, an indicator on the board is changed to indicate that the "Bank is Safe" from the secret police for a turn. The "Bank is Safe" indicator does not affect assassin cards.

If the President has been assassinated, a new President is elected immediately after the last assassination has been resolved. Assassinated players may not take any action until the beginning of the next turn.

Banking phase

Players who chose the Bank as their location and who escaped assassination may deposit or withdraw money from their Swiss bank account. That is unless the budget failed. If the budget failed but was forced through by the Minister of Internal Security, the bank is closed for lunch until after the coup phase. If the budget failed altogether, leaving the President with the entire foreign aid, no banking may take place at all this turn. Swiss banks are world-renowned for their secretive nature and protection of clients. ...

Coup phase

The majority of the Junta board is used only during a coup.
The majority of the Junta board is used only during a coup.

Coups are a tactical game within the game that may result in the replacement of the President and unfortunate players being sent to the firing squad. Which side a player supports is often unclear during a coup. A scheming player can benefit by concealing their true objectives to gain a favourable position to negotiate from. Others may find it easier simply being a turncoat. Image File history File links Juntaboardapprox. ... Image File history File links Juntaboardapprox. ...

Starting a Coup

In order to start a coup there must exist a coup excuse, which is kept track of by an indicator on the board. Coup excuses are as follows:

  • The Budget failed.
  • The Minister of Internal Security seized the Chamber of Deputies.
  • Any player was assassinated.
  • Any player plays a card providing a coup excuse.

Also, any player who chose their "Headquarters" as their location in the Location phase may start a coup without an excuse to do so.

If allowed, any player may start a coup, thus becoming First Rebel, by playing a card to place units on the board, moving any unit or bombarding the presidential palace. If no player does this, no coup takes place.

The player who starts a coup claims the prestigious First Rebel card.
The player who starts a coup claims the prestigious First Rebel card.

Image File history File links Firstrebel. ... Image File history File links Firstrebel. ...

The Rebel Phase

The first phase of a coup is called the rebel phase. After the First Rebel has initiated the coup, all players in turn are given a chance to act. Any player who choses to move or fire during the rebel phase becomes a rebel. Players who refrain from acting in the rebel phase remain loyalists.

The Coup Phases

Following the rebel phase comes six coup phases. The players battle for control of five buildings, shown in red on the map, vital for the post-coup resolution. They are:

  • The Presidential Palace
  • The Radio Station (WZAP)
  • The Chamber of Deputies
  • The Treasury
  • The Railway Station

Although there officially are the two sides of rebels and loyalists, in-fraction fighting may take place as players change sides or seize opportunities of gaining a stronger position. Should a loyalist attack a Palace Guard unit, they become a rebel. A rebel, however, can not become a loyalist.

Coup Victory

After the end of the final coup phase, the players must declare themselves either Pro-President or Pro-Junta. Note that a rebel may chose to be Pro-President and a loyalist may see reasons to become Pro-Junta. Naturally, this may result in tough negotiations. The side controlling three or more of the vital buildings is victorious.

If the President prevails, they may have any one rebel sent to the firing squad. In the case of a Junta victory, the rebels elect a new President. A Pro-Junta loyalist takes no part in the election. The First Rebel breaks a tied vote. The new President may then send any player, rebels as well as loyalists, to be executed. An executed player discards their political cards and hands over their pocket money to the President.


A player may go into exile during the Location phase by placing a location marker on one of the embassies on the map, to indicate the country fled to. It is also possible to flee the republic during a coup, provided that the player controls an embassy with their forces.

A player in exile is safe from executions and assassinations, but is very limited in all but the social aspects of the game. A player may return from exile at any time, but normally the Minister of Internal Security may have the returning player executed by the secret police at will. It is only safe to return from exile when the President is dead, before a new one has been elected, during a coup provided that a friendly player controls the relevant embassy, or if the Minister's position is frozen (see below).

The Brother-in-law

A dead or exiled player may not use any of their family's cabinet positions. The President may control one such position by his brother-in-law. Any other positions of dead or exiled players are considered frozen.


  • The Board: (17 by 22 inches) Much like Risk, the board contains armies and locations. It is used only during a coup.
  • Foreign Aid Money: 99 money cards, including 3 blanks, stored in a stack on the board.
  • Cabinet Cards: Represent cabinet positions, assigned by the President.
An alternative Junta box
An alternative Junta box
  • Junta Cards: Distributed at the beginning of the game and drawn at during the Upkeep Phase, Junta cards take many forms:
    • Influence Cards: Cards that represent the support by certain factions (such as "Intellectuals," "Labor Unions," "Communists", or "Monarchists"). Influence cards give "votes" which are used during Presidential elections and Budget votes and may give other benefits.
    • Vote Cards: Like influence cards, these cards give "votes" to the player who controls them but they are discarded at the end of any given voting period. To prevent players from saving them for the second phase of voting, a "blocked vote" card, when played, prevents any influence or vote cards from being played during the second round of a given vote.
    • Assassination Cards: Cards that give a player the ability to declare an assassination during an assassination phase (or foil one).
    • Coup Cards: Cards that give a player the ability to deploy units or change combat conditions during a coup.
    • Political Donations: Cards that give a player cash (taken from the foreign aid money). These cards are most often played during the Banking Phase (playing them earlier would make one a juicy target for an assassination).
    • Student Petition: Ironically, this card has no effect.

Seven Junta cards are dealt at the beginning of gameplay and a player may have up to eleven in their hand (including influence cards a player controls) without being forced to discard cards during the upkeep phase. Junta cards and foreign aid money may be traded or gifted between players at any time except during the Assassination Phase or the Post-Coup Phase in which case they are immediately discarded (to prevent death bed generosity). However, other than influence cards, which sit face up in front of their controller once played, players are not allowed to reveal their hands to each other. Risk is a commercial strategic board game produced by Parker Brothers, a division of Hasbro. ... Image File history File links Juntabox2. ... Image File history File links Juntabox2. ...


The game was originally published by Creative Wargames Workshop in 1979. West End Games re-released the game in 1985. When West End Games filed for bankruptcy in 1998, copies of the game became hard to find until the 3rd edition was released in 2005. West End Games is a company that makes role playing games. ... West End Games is a company that makes role playing games. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...

Playing time

The length of the game depends on how often coups are declared, but can often exceed six hours. Perhaps as a result of this, the game never achieved broad-based popularity, although it still retains a cult following of fans. A cult following is a group of fans devoted to a specific item, usually a film, television or radio program, though some comic books, musicians, writers or others also gain dedicated followings. ... Fans of Janet Jackson, at Much Music in Toronto The word fan refers to someone who has an intense, occasionally overwhelming liking of a person, group of persons, work of art, idea, or trend. ...

The Title

The title of the game is taken from the Spanish term for the collegiate executive bodies that frequently came to power after a military coup in 20th century Latin America, although in modern usage and in the game "Junta" refers to a military dictatorship of high-ranking officers, which are often less than collegial (see Junta). Ironically, although the act of declaring a coup encompasses the majority of the equipment of the game, rules, and playtime, it is tangential to the goal of the game. A coup détat, or simply a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, usually done by a small group that just replaces the top power figures. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... An officer is a member of a military service who holds a position of responsibility. ... In modern usage, junta (pronounced as in Spanish HUN-ta or HOON-ta) typically refers to a military dictatorship, especially in Latin America, which is officially run by a committee of high-ranking military officers. ... Irony is best known as a figure of speech (more precisely called verbal irony) in which there is a gap or incongruity between what a speaker or a writer says, and what is understood. ...

Junta variants

A proposed location wheel variant to replace the location tiles[1]
A proposed location wheel variant to replace the location tiles[1]

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1270x1625, 73 KB) Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1270x1625, 73 KB) Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

Additional cabinet positions

Additional cabinet positions allow for more players to play. Proposed variants include:

  • Secretary of War: This player has the option of granting "new weapons" to any player before the budget is announced. That player's official units (i.e. not units deployed by Junta cards) score hits on a roll of 5 or 6. The Secretary of War's only unit is his bodyguard, who always has "new weapons" and attacks with two dice. The bodyguard's starting location depends on the location selected by the Secretary of War during the assassination phase. The Secretary of War also gets two moves during a coup, should he or she manage to gain control of a second group of units.
  • Foreign Secretary: This player controls a random amount of foreign intervention units (all equipped with "new weapons") and airstrikes during a coup determined by a dice roll at the beginning of a coup. The foreign secretary also controls half of the foreign aid budget (along with the labor secretary) he may increase his half of the budget (4 bills is default) to 7 bills or decrease it to 2 bills. After deciding how many to draw, he examines the bills and hands them to El Presidente.
  • Labor Secretary: This player has five votes in the Chamber of Deputies and always has Labor Union and Peasant influence cards (as it matters for other Junta cards). This does not affect those influence cards should they be played by other players. The Labor secretary also controls half of the foreign aid budget in the same manner as the Foreign Secretary (see above).

Money and Junta card variations

Because the foreign aid money runs out quickly in large games and Junta cards get shuffled by several times per game, it has been suggested by some that the amount of Junta cards drawn and the maximum hand size be reduced and that money spent as per a Junta card or discarded by circular assassinations (see above) instead be shuffled back in. Alternatively, some players create their own cards to supplement the deck or use money from other copies of the game, if available.

Boardless Junta

All event cards, bribe cards, and the rigged voting card are removed from the deck and the board is not used. All forces are assigned a number between 2 and 4 and each player rolls a die. A roll less than or equal to a units power means success. The outcome of the coup depends on whether pro-Junta or pro-Presidente players have more successes. A tie causes all players to reroll. Forcing a budget causes the Minister to roll early instead of moving his units to the Chamber of Deputies (this still has the effect of justifying a coup). This version simplifies the materials and time required for gameplay but eliminates an element of the game which many players enjoy.

First fire

Players may elect to enable or disable the "first fire" option during coups. Units with first fire are flipped to indicate this.[3]

New rules

This variant allows players to propose after the budget has been voted on. New rules can be anything but require two-thirds approval. New rules cease taking effect at the beginning of the budget phase on the following turn.


    • Emrich, Alan. (1986). New Cabinet Positions for Junta. VIP of Gaming magazine.
    • West End Games (2005). Junta! The Game of Power, Intrigue, Money, and Revolution, 3rd Edition. ISBN 1-932867-13-9.

    External links

    • BoardGameGeek review
    • West End Games home
    • Scans of Rulebook



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