October 30, 2013

Access to Justice is the exiting new board game from BN Toys that pits the wits of young and old one against the other, turning the most harmonious of festive fireside evenings into a bitterly chilling contest of wills that’s sure to end in tears, recriminations and emotional (if not physical) wounds that will never fully heal.

Players take the part either of “insurers” or “vultures” and compete, in teams, for A2J points. At the start of the game, 100 A2J tokens are placed in the ‘policyholder’s pocket’.

Players take turns to roll ‘the dice of fortune’ and negotiate a chequerboard map comprising various different types of ‘squares’.

Those playing as vultures attempt to catch the ‘ambulance’ which starts on the ‘hospital’ square and then moves four squares forward each turn, after all players have taken their turn.

Each time a vulture catches the ambulance, they earn five A2J points from the policyholder’s pocket. They also earn one A2J point each time they land on a ‘consumer champion’ square.

Insurers earn five A2J points by landing on one of the ‘political influence’ squares. When an insurer lands on any ‘plain’ (i.e. not ‘special’) square already occupied by a vulture, they roll two dice of fortune and the vulture rolls one. Whoever achieves the highest total may demand one A2J point from the other, rolling again if the totals are tied.

When a vulture lands on a square occupied by an insurer, the vulture rolls two dice of fortune and the insurer only one. If a player has no A2J points when defeated in a roll of the dice of fortune, they ‘go out of business’ and have to start the game again with nothing, while the winner takes one A2J point from policyholder’s pocket, unless this is empty, in which case they get nothing.

Along the way players may happen to land on one of the ‘special’ squares. These include the political influence and consumer champion squares already mentioned, along with ‘random vicissitude’ squares. When a player lands on a ‘random vicissitude’ square they draw a card from the ‘random vicissitude’ pack (shuffled at the start of each game). These include outcomes such as:

Legal ruling in your favour. You may demand 2 A2J points from another player of your choice.

Government announces plans to end pre-med offers. Insurers miss one turn.

MoJ reneges on promise to increase small claims limit for personal injury cases to £5,000. Each insurer must return one A2J token to the policyholder’s pocket. Each vulture may take one.

Government sets up independent medical panels to detect fraudulent whiplash claims. No effect whatsoever.

No PI insurance available, you ‘go out of business’. (Does not affect insurers).

Government holds off making changes to wait for recent changes to bed in. Insurers miss one turn.

Government announces plans to end solicitor inducements. Vultures miss one turn.

The winning team is the first to control 75 A2J points or, failing that, the last to declare “This is a bl**dy stupid game. I hate you all and I’m going home/to bed/to kill you.”

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