Der Fuhrer


Der Fuhrer is a game by Ed Konstant, published by The Little Soldier in 1976. The original rules were illustrated by Chris Juel. The postal rules were developed by Jim Reader.

Der Fuhrer is a game simulation of the last months of Germany's doomed Weimar Republic. It covers the critical period from mid-1932 to early 1933. During these months the struggling republic, pressured by internal and external political forces, tottered on the brink of collapse. During this time, a series of elections was forced, bringing Adolf Hitler's National Socialist (NAZI) Party to control of Germany's parliament. The last of these culminated in the naming of Hitler as Chancellor, sounding the death knell for democracy in Germany,

Der Fuhrer is actually three mini-games in one. Each represents one of the three critical elections. The game does not go beyond the election that led to Hitler's coming to power because the Nazi party peaked politically at this time, Nazi success at the polls afterward, had the party failed to take Government control when it did, has been the subject of debate ever since. There is no provision for an extended game but this need not deter players from adding to it's length should victory manage to elude them all.

Though the election campaign simulations in Der Fuhrer reflect the democratic process still alive in Germany at the time, major features of the game are the disrupting factors that led to the Republic's demise. Campaign issues aside, players will discover the value of street mobs to break up other player's rallies, the use of the political smear and the threat of Government political bans.

Game Length

Der Fuhrer is played over a series of elections campaigns Each campaign covers elections in 15 provinces or provincial errors; in essence, each campaign is 15 turns (elections) long. A full game may last 15, 30 or 45 turns depending on how many election campaigns are needed to achieve victory conditions. Postally, there will be three elections held each turn (issue), plus an initial set up round, so a postal game will last between 6 and 18 turns.

General Course of Play

Der Fuhrer is a 6 player game but can be played with a minimum of three. Each player represent one of the five major, political parties: Nazi, Communist, Social Democrat, Nationalist and Center. A sixth player represents a group of small parties called the Coalition for game purposes.

During play, each player seeks to become Chancellor by having his party elect more delegates to the Reichstag than anyone else. Delegates are elected in a series of elections in the 15 provinces or provincial areas. Mere election in a single campaign does not necessarily mean victory - see victory conditions.

Victory Conditions

A player wins whenever his party:

  1. Wins any single election campaign and, at the same time, has won at least 30% of the delegates elected to the Reichstag in that campaign.
  2. Wins two consecutive election campaigns with any percentage of the vote.
  3. Wins the last of the three campaigns and has accumulated more delegates than any other player over all the campaigns.
  4. Any other result means everyone loses - President von Hindenburg re-establishes the Monarchy.

At the Start

Players choose, (or postally the GM chooses), randomly or by agreement, which political parties they will represent. An order of play is then determined, starting with the Chancellor. The Social Democrat player is the Chancellor in the first campaign - after which the Chancellor is elected as the winner of the previous campaign.

Each then chooses which of the political platforms they will run their campaigns on. More than one player may choose the same platform. The platforms are Conservative, Law and Order, Liberal, Pro-Labor, Socialism and Demagogeury. The Demagoguery platform may only be chosen by the Nazi party. In postal play, players will be notified by the GM which party they will play and then order which political platform they wish to use in the set-up round.

A die is then rolled by each player to determine how many political fund points they have to spend in the election campaign. The die roll is cross-referenced with the political platform on the fund table to determine the amount of funds available for the next campaign. For example, the Social Democrat player chooses a conservative platform and rolls a five, so receiving 36 fund points. In postal play, the GM will indicate the die roll for ALL players, so players can know what funds will be available based on their platform during the set-up round.

After funds are determined, the Chancellor then rolls again for additional propaganda points using the same table. These extra funds are only available to the Chancellor. The Nazi and Communist players then roll for street mob points using the same table. Postally, the same number indicated by the GM will also apply to all the additional rolls. Each player may then secretly convert political fund points into street mobs on a 1 to 1 basis. In postal play, players should order how many street mobs they wish to buy in the set-up phase, based on the total amount of Political Funds available. Players remaining funds and street mobs are included in each report, so are visible to all players.

POSTAL EXAMPLE: The Social Democrat player orders to run on a Pro-Labor platform. The die roll for all players is 4, so he knows that he will receive 21 Political Fund Points. He then orders to buy 5 street mobs at the start of the campaign. Note that street mobs can only be purchased at the start of each campaign.

The party markers are now sorted; players take only those that go with their political platforms. In addition, the Chancellor receives the Army, Rally Ban and Action markers. Lastly a player is designated as Election Commissioner to keep track of the delegates elected by each party during the campaign. Postally, this will be done by the GM.

Sequence of Play

Der Fuhrer is divided into game turns where each turn consists of an election in a province or provincial area on the map. There are 15 game turns, one for each area. Each game turn consists of the following phases:

  1. The Chancellor announces which of the Provinces an election will be held in.
  2. Each player secretly chooses on the five issues from his political platform and places a party marker representing that issue face down on the table. This is mandatory.
  3. Each player may also place additional markers (street mobs, propaganda, army, action and rally ban) face down on the table.
  4. Each player, starting with the Chancellor, reveals his markers and announces the issue on which he is speaking. He then consults the Political Platform table for how many delegates his party wins in that province. EXAMPLE: A conservative player speaking in Justice rolls a 5 and so receives three delegates. The die roll may be modified by the players own propaganda or others street mobs - see below. The number of delegates may also be affected by local issues.
  5. Delegates are then tallied. The player winning the most delegates wins the province and receives extra delegates shown on the electoral map; The second and third player also receive extra delegates. EXAMPLE: East Prussia shows the numbers 4 - 2 - 1, so the first place player receives an extra four delegates, second place and extra two and third place and extra one.
  6. Repeat starting at phase one until all fifteen provinces have been covered. The player winning the most total delegates after fifteen elections may win the game or is declared Chancellor for the next campaign.

Postally, the Chancellor will choose the first three provinces or provincial areas in his set-up orders and then choose the next three elections with his orders for subsequent turns. The GM will then include these at the end of each turns report. Each player should send order including which issue they will be speaking in each of the three elections, together with any additional actions (Propaganda, Street Mobs, Action, Rally Ban, Army) for the following turn.

EXAMPLE: The Chancellor has declared that the next turn's elections will be held in Hanover, Saxony and Silesia. The Communist player, speaking on a Liberal Platform orders

The GM will then make the necessary rolls and adjudicate each round and publish the results in a report and table.

Political Fund

Each player has a political fund with which to run his election campaign. The size of the fund is determined by die roll and political platform (see At The Start). This fund is essentially used for two things - street mobs and propaganda. Once a player uses up his political fund, there is no more until the start of the next campaign. Political funds cannot be accumulated or carried over between election campaigns - any funds not used at the end of a campaign are lost.


Propaganda is simply political fund points so a player starting with 36 political fund points would have 36 propaganda points to spend during the campaign, except any that he converts to street mobs. Propaganda may be used by players in provincial elections to increase their chances of winning more delegates, by increasing the election die roll by one for each propaganda point spent.

EXAMPLE: A Pro-Labor platform speaker speaking on jobs in Bavaria spends 3 propaganda points, He rolls a 6, which is increased to 9 by the 3 propaganda, winning 6 delegates. Without the propaganda, a roll of 6 would earn only 4 delegates. Note, a die roll can never be increased above 9 regardless of the roll or propaganda spent.

To use propaganda, players

  1. Note on paper how many propaganda points they will spend that turn.
  2. Play their propaganda marker along with their political issue marker that game turn.

Postally, players should include any propaganda points they wish to spend in an election with their issue as shown in the example above.

Street Mobs

Street mobs, including Nazi sturmabtailung or Communist Workers, may be used by players to lower the die rolls of other players, thus decreasing the opposing players chances of of electing delegates in a province. Street mobs are bought at the start of a campaign using Political Fund Points. One point buys one street mob.

Each street mob spent in a Province can reduce a players die roll by 1 point, except against the smear (see Smear).

EXAMPLE: The Nazi player spends 3 S.A. to reduce the roll of the Communist player. The Communist player, running on a Socialism platform, speaks on the Social Welfare issue and rolls a 6. This is then reduced to the three street mobs, so he only receives 3 delegates.

Street mobs and propaganda have opposite effects so may cancel each other out, partly or totally.

To use street mobs, players

  1. Note on paper how many street mobs they will be using and against whom. Players may play street mobs against multiple opponents but must specify how many mobs against each opponent.
  2. Play their street mobs marker along with their political issue marker that game turn.

Street mobs may also be used to neutralize another players Street mobs by ordering the mobs to be used in defense. Mobs used in defense will cancel other mobs used against them on a 1 for 1 basis. Like propaganda, street mobs cannot be carried over from one election campaign to another. A die roll cannot be lowered below 0 regardless of the die roll or amount of mobs used.

Postally, players should include any street mobs they wish to spend, and against whom, in an election with their issue as shown in the example above.

Government Propaganda

Unlike other players, the Chancellor receives extra propaganda points, in essence the propaganda apparatus of the Government. The number of extra propaganda points he receives is determined by die roll at the start of a campaign, using the Political Fund Table. These extra points may be spent in the same manner as Political Fund points, even to buy street mobs.


The election map is divided into 15 provincial areas, each with it's own unique characteristics reflecting such factors as population, geography, economy and political leaning, Some provinces may be more important to certain players than others because of the extra delegates they give a player winning that province. Some may be crucial to certain players depending on their political platforms because of local issues that can earn an extra delegate that may be enough to gain first, second or third place in that province.

Under the name of each provincial area on the Election Map, you will find a series of letters and numbers. The numbers refer to the number of extra delegates a player can receive for finishing first, second or third. The letters refer to provincial (local) issues that give the player one extra delegate if they speak on that issue in the province.

EXAMPLE: Brandenburg has 18 extra delegates - 10 for first place, 5 for second and 3 for third. The Nationalist party elects 6 delegates in the Brandenburg election, more than any other player, so he receives an extra 10 delegates for winning the province bringing his total to 16. The Nazi player finished second with a total of 4 delegate so he receives an extra 5 delegates bringing his total to 9.

In the event of a tie, the tying players share the extra provincial delegates, rounded down if necessary.

Game turn elections in each province can be affected by provincial issues. There are three provincial issues in each province that can be used by the players to increase their elected delegates. These provincial issues are designated bt a series of 3 letter or abbreviations under the name of the Province on the Election map. These issues are the same as the issues used by players to elect delegates but vary from one province to another. The abbreviations are as follows:

A player speaking on an issue that is a Provincial issue will receive one extra delegate in the provincial election.

Note for postal play, the Election Map is not used - there is a table that lists all the local issues and delegates by Province. The GM will also include these details when the next elections are published.


Each political platform includes a set of five issues that players must speak on (use) during a campaign. No more than one issue may be used in any given provincial election. Since the selection of issues is secret, players may use the same issues that are being used by other players in the same game turn and province.

The use of issues is mandatory. Therefore, each player must use one of his issues each game turn (provincial election) and only one. It is through that issue that players elect delegates, by rolling the die and cross-referencing the result on the Political Platform table.

Platforms and their issues are

  1. Conservative - Versailles, Fiscal Austerity, Anti-Red, Justice and Smear
  2. Law and Order - Versailles, Jobs, Anti-Red, Justice and Smear
  3. Liberal - Versailles, Labor Reform, Social Welfare, Jobs and Smear
  4. Pro-Labor - Versailles, Social Welfare, Jobs, Labor Reform and Smear
  5. Soclailsm - Versailles, Jobs, Labor Reform, Social Welfare and Smear
  6. Demagoguery - Versailles, Anti-Red, The New Order, The Big Lie and Smear

Some issues will gain more players that others but players may not use the big vote-getting issues repeatedly. There are restrictions on the use of issues -

  1. Each issue on a political platform must be used at least twice during a 15 turn election campaign.
  2. The only exception is the smear which does not have to be used at all, but can be used a maximum of 7 times.
  3. The Demagoguery platform may only be used by the Nazis.


Because the smear is not a pure, political issue, players using it do not elect delegates, but take delegates from other players. The player playing a smear always gains at least one delegate at the expense of another player. Propaganda points may be used to increase the smear die roll and increase the chance of gaining more delegates, but the smear is not affected by street mobs. Players that use a smear against each other both gain only one delegate each.

To use the smear, players:

  1. Note on paper who they are smearing (postally include this with your orders) and how many propaganda points are being spent on the smear.
  2. Play the smear marker on their turn.

The Chancellor

The Chancellor is the single most powerful player in the game, although this power may be limited by the luck of the die. The Chancellor may do several things that other players cannot.

  1. He determines the order in which provincial elections are selected during the 15 game turn campaign
  2. He receives extra Government Propaganda points because of his position
  3. He may call out the Army to protect himself from Street Mobs in any province (see below)
  4. He may attempt to ban other players from activity in any province, thus possibly denying them elected delegates (see rally ban)
  5. He may take action on specific issues thereby gaining extra delegates (see Action)


The Chancellor may use the Army to protect himself in a Provincial election against street mobs. It costs the Chancellor 1 Political Fund point each time he uses the Army for such purposes. He can use additional funds to increase his die roll when using the army, each point spent increasing the die roll (similar to propaganda), up to a maximum of 8. The results are determined using the Army Table by cross-referencing the die roll with the party using the Army.

The result obtained is the number of Street Mob points being used against the Chancellor that are cancelled out. EXAMPLE: A Soclal Democrat Chancellor rolling a 3 would be able to cancel out 5 street mobs directed against him that game turn (election).

Rally Ban

The rally ban is a weapon that the Chancellor may use in any game turn. The rally ban may be used as often as the Chancellor desires, providing he has the resources to spend on it, and against as many players as desired. He does not have to use the rally ban.

If successful, the Rally Ban wipes out a game turn election for any player against whom it is being used. All propaganda and street mobs allocated that turn by a player who has been banned are lost and that player receives no allocated delegates. He loses his turn, at cost of spent points. However, the issue on which he was speaking counts towards the mandatory usage of each issue at least twice.

If unsuccessful, the player on whom the ban was attempted plays that game turn normally; in addition, he receives one extra delegate being taken from the Chancellor in that province. If the Chancellor elects no delegates in that province, the player whom he tried unsuccessfully to ban still receives an extra delegate.

The Chancellor may use the ban in any game turn on as many players as desired. To use the rally ban, the Chancellor must

  1. Spend 1 political fund point for each player he is attempting to ban
  2. Note on paper the players he is seeking to ban (in postal play, list these with the orders for the given province)
  3. Play the rally ban marker.

To determine if the ban is successful, the Chancellor rolls a 6-sided dice and cross-references the roll along the line whose party he represents on the rally ban table (in postal play, this is done by the GM). Example: The Nazi player rolls a 6 and successfully bans the Nationalist player. The same roll would be successful for all other parties, except the Communists who need a 7 to ban another player in a province.

The Rally Ban die roll can be increased by spending propaganda points. Each point increases the roll by one. The Chancellor must roll the die once for each party he is attempting to ban in a game turn.


Action is a play the Chancellor may use to obtain 1 extra delegate in each province that he uses it. Action is a voluntary play.

Action is a representation of the Government taking steps on a political issue and catching the other parties unaware, or trying to. Theoretically, it could increasing or decreasing unemployment benefits on the issues of jobs, freezing prices and wages on the issue of fiscal austerity or speaking with the English and French over the Versailles treaty.

To use action, the Chancellor merely chooses as an issue for the province that he thinks no other player will use that game turn, then declares action by playing his action marker (in postal play, the Chancellor declares whether he will use action when giving orders for each province). If no other player is speaking on the same issue, the Chancellor's action has caught everyone unawares and he receives one extra delegate.

However, each player also speaking on the same issue as the Chancellor in a province is, in essence, speaking out against his action. They then receive one extra delegate and the Chancellor does not receive the extra delegate.

To use action, the Chancellor merely plays his action marker along with any others he is using that game turn. Note that action cannot be used in conjunction with The New Order, The Big Lie or Smear.

Political Platforms

Players are restricted to one political platform in an election campaign and may not switch to another during the 15 province campaign. However, players may switch platforms at the start of each electoral campaign. Though most platforms may be used by various players, there are some restrictions. These parties may use the following platforms.

  1. NAZI: Conservative, Law and Order, Liberal, Pro-Labor, Socialism and Demagoguery
  2. COMMUNIST: Liberal, Pro-Labor and Socialism
  3. ALL OTHER PARTIES: Conservative, Law and Order, Liberal, Pro-Labor and Socialism

Sample Postal Orders

The Chancellor declares elections in Schleswig-Holstein (3-2-1 extra delegates, local issues are v, fa and j), Mecklenburg (3-2-1, v, ar, ju) and Pomerania (3-2-1, v, fa, ju).

NAZI PARTY ORDERS (Demagoguery Platform)


The next elections will be held in Saxony, Sliesia and Baden

COMMUNIST (Pro-Labor Platform)

NATIONALIST (Law and Order Platform)

Sample Postal Turn

Using the orders above, the GM adjudicates as follows




Sample Report

Party / Player Platform Issues Propa
Total used in campaign so far
Report will include starting amount plus spending in each election
Listed in turn province order
NATIONALIST Law and Order v0, j0
ar1, ju2
17 - 0
- 0
- 2 = 15
0 3 + 1 + 2
2 + 1 + 1
6 + 1 + 2
NAZI Demagoguery v1, ar1
no0, bl1
10 - 0
- 0
- 3 = 7
20 - 0
- 0
- 2 = 18
1 + 1
15 + 3
COMMUNIST Pro-Labour v0, sw0
j0, lr3
13 - 0
- 2
- 3 = 8
16 - 2
- 0
- 0 = 14
5 + 3
3 + 1
5 + 1
SOCIAL DEMOCRATS Conservative v1, fa0
ar1, ju1
18 - 2
- 2*
- 0 = 14
4 - 0
- 0
- 0 = 4
3 + 1
4 + 3
1 + 1 + 1

* Propaganda used for rally ban


Political Platforms

Issue / Die Roll 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Versailles 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2
Fiscal Austerity 0 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3
Anti-Red 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 4
Justice 1 1 1 2 3 4 4 5 6 6
Smear - 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2
Law and Order
Issue / Die Roll 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Versailles 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3
Jobs 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 4
Anti-Red 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 5
Justice 1 1 2 3 4 5 5 6 6 7
Smear - 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3
Issue / Die Roll 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Versailles 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3
Labor Reform 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 4
Social Welfare 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 5
Jobs 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 7 7
Smear - 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3
Issue / Die Roll 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Versailles 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3
Jobs 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 4
Labor Reform 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 5 5
Social Welfare 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 7 8
Smear - 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3
Issue / Die Roll 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Versailles 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3
Social Welfare 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 4
Jobs 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 5 6
Labor Reform 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Smear - 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3
Issue / Die Roll 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Versailles 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5
Anti-Red 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6
New Order 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 8
THE BIG LIE 0 0 0 1 2 6 8 10 12 15
Smear - 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 3

Electoral Provinces

Province Extra Delegates Local Issues
Schleswig - Holstein 3 - 2 - 1 v, fa, j
Mecklenburg 3 - 2 - 1 v, ar, ju
Pomerania 3 - 2 - 1 v, fa, ju
East Prussia 4 - 2 - 1 v, ar, ju
Hanover 4 - 2 - 1 lr, sw, j
Brandenburg 10 - 5 - 3 lr, sw, j
Oldenburg 3 - 2 - 1 lr, sw, j
Saxony 5 - 3 - 1 lr, sw, j
Silesia 4 - 2 - 1 lr, sw, j
Rhineland 6 - 3 - 2 v, lr, sw
Hesse-Nassau 6 - 3 - 2 lr, sw, ju
Thuringen 3 - 2 - 1 lr, sw, ju
Wurtemburg 4 - 2 - 1 v, ju, sw
Baden 3 - 2 - 1 v, lr, j
Bavaria 8 - 4 - 2 v, ar, ju

Political Funds and Street Mobs

Platform / Die Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6
Conservative 20 25 30 34 38 42
Law and Order 16 21 26 30 34 38
Socialism 14 17 20 23 26 29
Liberal 15 20 24 27 30 33
Pro-Labor 12 15 18 21 23 25
Demagoguery 10 12 15 20 25 30
Government Propaganda 4 6 8 10 12 14
Sturm Abteilung (Nazi) 15 18 20 22 24 27
Workers (Communist) 9 12 14 16 18 21

The Army

Platform / Die Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Nazi 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Communist 0 1 2 4 6 8 10 10
All other parties 1 2 3 5 7 9 10 12

Rally Ban

Most parties succeed in rally banning opponents on a roll of 6 (d6) or higher. The Nazi's will succeed on a roll of 5 or higher. The Communists only succeed on a roll of 7 or higher. The roll can be adjusted with the use of propaganda.