Carleton University in Ottawa

MA Students at European Studies Programme

Ottawa, Canada

December 11, 2022

The last test game before the launch of the Kickstarter campaign took place in Canada! We flew over the Atlantic Ocean to Ottawa, the fantastic Canadian capital, to play the Brexit negotiations with European Studies students at the renowned Carleton University. We now have solid proof that 'How to Win Brexit?’ is ready to be played globally!

The game engaged the players from the beginning to the very last second. The UK’s negotiators firmly stood their ground and were uncompromising in pursuing team interests. On the other hand, the EU institutions seemed open to sacrifices on the condition it would lead to a final Deal. However, the sensitive issue of the Irish border slipped out of their minds during the heated talks. But, the leaders of Ireland and Northern Ireland reminded the negotiators several times during Press Conferences to consider their interests. The UK and the EU negotiation teams played hard until the end, but they sealed the agreement, with the UK winning the overall highest team score.

Both teams, however, were eventually content with the Deal.

Model European Union in Warsaw

Participants of political simulation within Model European Union (MEU)

Partners: BETA Poland

Warsaw, Poland

September 18, 2022

Our next stop was at the Model European Union (MEU) in the dynamic capital of Poland, the rising city of Warsaw. After Zagreb and Skopje, it was the 3rd MEU event where ‘How to Win Brexit?’ was hosted. We continue fruitful and mutually inspiring cooperation with BETA Europe!

In this game, we had captivating impersonations, particularly with the French President and Hungarian Prime Minister characters. The game progressed very dynamically with shifting negotiating positions. Explicit factions formed in each team with different goals, and the leaders could not always get complete control over their teams. However, a deal was eventually secured with a slim majority relying on the support of the Hard Brexit faction leader and the leading Eurosceptic EU member, the Hungarian PM. The players tested the newly updated version of the game. For the first time, a new game feature was introduced – allowing for two extensions of 10 minutes each, causing some loss of reputation.

The game is constantly being refined!

UACES Annual Conference in Lille

The academics and students at the Annual Conference of European Studies association UACES

Partners: UACES

Lille, France

September 4-5, 2022

Our next phase took us to the UACES Annual conference in the picturesque city of Lille in northeast France. UACES is one of the most distinguished academic associations in the European Studies field. Crucially, UACES members and friends are predominantly highly renowned Brexit experts affiliating mostly with UK universities. Their enthusiastic feedback was an encouraging indication of the game’s promise.

We held two game sessions: the first for the conference attendees and the second for the political science students of the University of Lille. At the academics game, there were friendly handshakes and diplomatic smiles, but all froze when the UK delegation defended its sovereignty by casually mentioning that the UK possessed nukes! In this simulation, the players experienced the constraints of time pressure, but eventually, they agreed to the Withdrawal Agreement to the satisfaction of both sides. Unfortunately, the second game ended in no deal! Even though it looked like the leaders would agree, in the end, individual interest prevailed over a collective agreement. Nevertheless, the players demonstrated passion, used multiple strategic manoeuvres, and applied their rhetoric skills at a world-class level.

 BETA Europe Symposium in Prague

Participants of annual Symposium of BETA Europe

Partners: BETA Europe

Prague, Czech Republic

August 20-21, 2022

This time, ’How to Win Brexit?’ came to the heart of charming Prague, just metres away from the phenomenal Old Town Square of the Czech Capital. There we were hosted by BETA Europe during its Annual Symposium. The participants played two absorbing sessions. Both games were tension-filled until the very last moment, and both sessions ended with No Deal!

In the first game, the initial smiles and the friendly handshakes of leaders quickly turned into a tense exchange of tough arguments. Then, the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition and the French President called several press conferences. The EU leaders were surprisingly also trying to silence the UK negotiators! In the meantime, the Hard Brexiter Leader unexpectedly allied tactically with the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition. Then, right before the end of negotiations, two Breaking News cards struck the players: China started a trade war against the EU, and Catalonia declared independence!

Moreover, minutes away from the end, the President of the European Commission stepped out of the negotiations. Also, the very last direct consultations of UK and EU leaders failed… Nevertheless, after all these twists of the game, the players’ enjoyed the Czech beers discussing the future of Europe (and not only). In the second game, the participants experienced the Non-Player-Characters (NPCs) and how politics is limited in many ways. This time it was also a No-Deal with Citizens’ Rights as a stumbling block! However, the negotiators were tough and kept close to their positions, sometimes even agreeing on negative options for both teams.

Negotiation Student Club in Warsaw

BA & MA Students from the NegotiationClub at Lazarski University, Warsaw 

Warsaw, Poland

 June 10, 2022

What a game, and what a last-minute twister! This time we tested „How to Win Brexit?” at the first-rate Student Negotiation Club in Warsaw. Players enjoyed upgraded features and graphic elements, particularly the amended Main Boards & Character Cards version.

This game was very intense and dynamic. The UK delegation gambled in the last 3 minutes before the end of the time. In the first round, the Divorce Bill, they promised to support the UK’s access to the Single Market without freedom of movement. But they changed their mind! The EU leaders were stunned, and in the very last seconds, they rejected the deal. Interestingly, the Hard Brexit faction leader scored the most in achieving Individual Goals and closely cooperated with the Foreign Secretary (what a surprise!). Unfortunately, this scenario was overshadowed by the collapse of the major German airlines causing many financial problems for the EU team!

Model European Union in Skopje

Participants of political simulation within Model European Union (MEU)

Partners: BETA Macedonia

Skopje, North Macedonia

May 29, 2022

We continue our test tour with the game ’How to Win Brexit?’ around Europe! This time in lovely Skopje, the monumental capital of North Macedonia. BETA Macedonia – the Macedonian branch of the large European family of Bringing Europeans Together Association – BETA Europe invited us to play the game alongside the Model European Union simulation.

This time, players had a chance to experience the updated graphic design of the Main Boards and Characters Cards.

The actual game was super intense. Leaders controlled the game time very well, but in the middle of the event, right after the second round was agreed upon, the pressure started mounting! The UK’s negotiating team stood solidly behind the UK’s Prime Minister, with some discreet consultations occurring across the Channel in the European capitals. Nevertheless, only 4 minutes before the countdown, a Deal emerged. Furthermore, the UK Prime Minister celebrated winning the Individual Score Ranking, while both teams had a tie in Team Score Ranking.

Erasmus Plus Youth Exchange in Zagreb

Participants of political simulation within Model European Union (MEU) at Erasmus Plus Youth Exchange

Zagreb, Croatia

April 16-18, 2022

The 'How to Win Brexit?’ game has seen much recent activity. Work on the game’s graphics and mechanics coincided with starting our collaboration with Bringing Europeans Together Association – BETA Europe. BETA Europe organises political simulation events – the Model European Union (MEUs) across Europe. It is a privilege to be a part of it!

Our next stop was in energetic Zagreb, the thriving capital of captivating Croatia. Alongside the BETA Europe event, MEU participants played three sessions of 'How to Win Brexit? over a few days. Players used many rhetorical skills and built their negotiation positions through sophisticated arguments. All three games proved very vibrant, and the leaders were persistent in their positions, as they were unwilling to give them up. While some leaders were ready to shake on an agreement, their out-stretched hands were often left to hang. However, the many twists and pressures did not prevent a friendly drink of tasty legendary Balkan Rakija.

The Graan Cafe Republiek in Groningen

participants of the ‘European Republican Café’ EU-RE-CA project holding occasional discussions and debates about the future of Europe, in cooperation with the New Europeans

Groningen, the Netherlands

March 23, 2022

We were back in Groningen. This time, the EU-funded project ‘European Republic Cafe’  hosted us at a cosy cafe – the Graan Cafe Republiek in the appealing city centre. The cafe’s iconic wooden table with its little library in the background, usually used as a place for local discussion, presented our board game ‘How to Win Brexit?’.

The game unfolded with many twists and negotiation tricks the leaders and their team members used. Players were confronted with new game features, such as Non-Player Characters (NPCs) and randomly drawn Event cards. These features impacted their Brexit negotiations in unexpected ways. The impact of these features further enriched the overall game experience. The feedback encouraged the team that has been creating the game to make further innovations in the mechanics and design.

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

MA students at European Studies programme

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

October 14, 2021

Our second trial of the game took us to Amsterdam’s outstanding canals. With the picturesque engineering marvels as our backdrop, MA students of European Studies at Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) played 'How to Win Brexit?’.

This game was exceedingly intense and competitive. There were multiple divisions internally and between teams; as such, the negotiations were dynamic, with no clear and immediate prospect for getting an agreement. The turning point was when both leaders decided to gamble and tried to agree on their final terms. They went behind doors for direct talk and came back with a proposal of a Withdrawal Agreement which was not previously consulted with the remaining team members.

As a result, team members felt neglected and did not support the leaders’ version of the Withdrawal Agreement. As a result, they all ended up with No Deal, and the puzzling question arose: what is a victory in Brexit? Nevertheless, their overall reaction to the first trial version of the game and its concept was very enthusiastic!

University of Groningen

PhD students and academic staff from Faculty of Spatial Sciences

Groningen, the Netherlands

October 13, 2021

It was our first major international test of the 'How to Win Brexit?’. We visited glorious Groningen in the Netherlands – a very student-friendly and gezellig city! 

After several months of developing the game mechanism and the intense designing of boards, cards, tokens, instructions, and the front and back covers, we proudly presented the first version of the game to international players.

All went exceedingly well! Ph.D. students and academic staff at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences of the University of Groningen got very engaged in the game. Of course, the negotiations were tough, and the players’ positions fluctuated during the heated course of the game. However, ultimately, we were happy with the real-life inspiring feedback of 'How to Win Brexit?’.