Spotlight on Games > PrintnPlay > Founding Fathers
Founding Fathers
ArtsCow Edition (About ArtsCow)
4 February 2011 (Subsequent Updates – December 3, 2011)

Founding Fathers is a game of the early American republic. Play begins with George Washington in the presidential office, surrounded by his team of Vice President John Adams, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. Each player controls one of these statesmen as well as several others who will appear, up through the arrival of Abraham Lincoln. Together the players try to solve the issues faced by the young republic – wars, debt, financial panics, the growth of the Union, north-south division, and more. Every four years the most popular politicians from each party square off to see who becomes the next president. Players look out for their own interests, but at the same time must not neglect the needs of the Union as it can falter altogether, from multiple causes. At the same time, players control statesmen from both parties and multiple states, providing ample opportunity for logrolling, mutual backscratching and strange bedfellows.

What's needed:

Constructing the game:

  1. Print the rules of play on letter size paper.
  2. Print the components list on letter size paper.
  3. Print 2 pages of boards in landscape mode (letter size).
  4. Print the president's agenda aid on letter size paper (landscape) and cut in half.
  5. Print the player aid on letter size paper and cut out the 5 sections (landscape).
  6. Specify and order 3 decks of cards from ArtsCow as follows:
    1. There are 3 "products", each corresponding to one deck: FFathers1 – statesmen and some of the issue cards
      FFathers2 – state, office and more issue cards
      FFathers3 – action, tax and more state cards
      FFathers4 – The original design of Founding Fathers was not made with ArtsCow in mind and so there are actually yet more cards that could be used. Omitted are some of the less important statesmen, issues and actions. The intent is that they will someday be included in a fourth deck which is still pending development of extra cards for a classroom version of the game which would pad out the remainder of this deck.
    2. For each of the above links, choose "Add to Cart" to initiate the purchasing process. I believe you must be registered to use the site by the way.
    3. If you have any coupon or gift certificate, be sure to fill it in at the right hand side. These tend to be available quite often these days and you can look for them on ArtsCow's promotional page (where at the moment I see a discount for this type of card deck (54 designs) which gives a price of $8.99 per deck with free shipping). If you see no discounts on cards there, you might also try googling for "artscow coupon".
    4. Finally you pay (usually by PayPal to avoid international credit card charges) and wait a few days for your cards to arrive.
    5. Card backs. When you get your cards, you'll notice they have different backs depending on their types. Here is the scheme: Blue backs: all issue cards
      Red backs: all statesmen and action cards
      Purple backs: everything else (taxes, offices, states, etc.)


Hope this all works out well for you and you have fun. If someone out there has more artistic talent than me and wants to add more atmosphere to some of the cards, please get in touch.

Photos of the front and back of the Franklin card:

Created: 4 September 2007
Please send any comments to Rick Heli