The Political Machine 2012 allows players to set the amount of weeks for each of their game/campaign and I’m here to tell you that you should always opt for the longer games, even if some weird events will take place after about one third of the time passes.
Some of the elements of the game remain the same regardless of the length of the game, including the two big tabs that have a great effect on the outcome: Operatives and Endorsements.
The first one allows gamers to get a number of well-trained political operatives who are able to perform clearly defined tasks, like increasing overall presence in the state, getting better results out of media campaign or eliminating one of the operatives that the other side uses.
The Endorsements tab is also crucial because the various organizations that can be lured to the side of one candidate or another can boost some problematic areas or can make an already existing advantage even more important.
When setting up a short game it’s crucial to quickly pluck down specialized HQs to create both operatives and get the endorsements that your candidate needs as fast as possible, especially because play time is limited.
I thought that the situation would change in long games, where there’s more time to play around and endorsement accumulation is somewhat slowed down (at least that was my experience with the previous installment of The Political Machine).
But a weird thing seems to happen in longer games: my computer-controlled opponent always uses a short game approach, gets too many endorsement points and then captures all the big organizations, even if it makes little sense for the Worker’s Unions to actually support the Republican candidate.
So, my advice is this: if you plan to set up a long game, don’t forget to get your core endorsements fast, because the A.I. is ruthless when it comes to them.