About The Game

The Association: A Deed Restricted Game is a brand new board game from the mind of Kevin Kelley.  Combining a variety of elements, The Association is a new take on traditional board game topic - real estate.

In The Association, players are responsible for developing a neighborhood, building common properties, and increasing membership to their homeowners association, with the goal of placing the neighborhood under the control of your association.

Players act as board members of their own individual associations attempting to establish a master association. Canvas the neighborhood with your volunteers to gain support for your initiatives and work hard to maintain and increase the satisfaction of the property owners.  File covenants and restrictions to change the way the neighborhood is run and work around regulations passed by the government to help gain a competitive advantage.  Work alone or build coalitions, or even create enemies with the threat of a costly lawsuit.  The more members to an association mean the more money that can be collected and spent. 

The game involves double-sided hexes with different properties on either side, wooden people and home counters, two decks of cards (one government deck and one player deck), property appraisal tokens, lien and ownership tokens, custom money, and two sets of dice (colored and traditional).

Game Origins

Several years ago, game designer Kevin Kelley had an unfortunate run-in with a local corporation in his neighborhood.  This corporation insisted that it was the rightful homeowners association of the subdivision but what stuck Kevin as peculiar was that they insisted they could levy assessments on non-members, make alterations to non-member properties at the whim of the board, and refuse the homeowner the right to vote or entrance to any of their meetings.  Kevin spent his time researching the various laws and court cases that govern HOAs, as well as contacting numerous government agencies and officials to find out more.  Kevin's research provided the basis for this game.

When discussing the situation with others and analyzing the various arguments that could be made for and against the matter, Kevin learned that when it came to real estate law, and in particular HOAs, a majority of people had no clue about their property.  This gave Kevin an idea - develop a game surrounding a common theme - homeowners associations - and make it fun and competitive yet based in reality.  Kevin took his experiences and started jotting down ideas.  

At first, Kevin started work on a traditional board game, where there would be an outer track similar to Monopoly.  That outer track would correspond to the space in the middle of the board that would depict a neighborhood.  After some logistical problems, Kevin scrapped his idea and instead opted for a more abstract approach.  Kevin switched from a traditional setting to a modular approach using hexagon tiles.  This allowed for greater flexibility and variety in game play.  Kevin started working out the details during his free time writing rules and designing the pieces.  Eventually Kevin ended up with what is depicted on this website.  The placement of the hex tiles represents the planning and development of a neighborhood, the work to increase membership represents the rise of HOA management, and the use of cards and voting to change the covenants and restrictions (essentially the rules of the game) represents the real-life process of amending the restrictions placed on the deeds of a property.  The game also includes options for legal battles, real estate deals, and future development.   

Kevin views The Association to be a natural progression of real estate and financial games.  Much like past games like Monopoly, Easy Money, Finance and Fortune (all three based off The Landlord's Game), or Private Property, Square Mile, and Hotels, The Association deals with the relationship of between property owners and tenant but goes beyond that with an additional layer of a post development governing structure.  HOAs have become ubiquitous with suburban living and while some of the aspects of the older games like Monopoly stand up in today's real estate environment, the rise of HOAs lacks proper representation in the board game community.  The Association attempts to fill this void with the introduction of communal living as a game element.

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