I wrote a review of Die Macher. In Finnish, as usual…
Die Macher has rather fitting Geek id: 1. It’s in a way the best board game there is. The theme is interesting (much more than the typical fantasy dragons or renaissance Italy), the mechanics are brilliant and the game is super exciting. The length is bit of a problem though, and because of it I play the game only few times each year. It’s still worth owning, as it’s the very best heavy game I know.
There’s reasonably little luck. The random areas with their different values are an essential part of the game’s replayability and the opinion polls (compared to drive-by-shootings by some and Las Vegas by some) are very exciting. You usually know if you need them or not and sometimes winning a bad card just to keep it from someone else is necessary. Of course, sometimes you’re just screwed. That happens, but it happens in real-life politics as well.
Speaking of which — there’s little politics in Die Macher. There are parties and party programs, but hey — you can have the Green party supporting nuclear energy. The game isn’t a simulation, it’s a game based on the election system. It’s about managing your limited resources to get best gains (most votes). There’s very little politics or negotiations, so if you’re looking for a political game, keep on looking. For aspiring resource managers, it really doesn’t get much better.