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Secret Hitler» Forums » General

Subject: Simple tweak to simplify setup and reduce number of components rss

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Ian Toltz
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Instead of examining a player's party loyalty card, the president asks a player "Are you a liberal?" The player they ask passes them Ja or Nein, and must answer truthfully.

This means...

1. You don't need party loyalty cards anymore
2. Since you don't need to pair party loyalty cards with identity cards, you don't need envelopes
3. To set up the game, just shuffle the identities and deal them out, then give each player a Ja and Nein card.

If you really wanna keep the party membership cards, just use two of them and give them to a player who's been asked. That player passes one to the president. President looks at it, gives it back, and the player shuffles them up and returns them to the center of the table.

I really hate the envelopes.
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Simon
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A counterargument from one of the designers: https://medium.com/@tommygents/the-one-time-i-was-wrong-whil...

(For what it's worth, I do find the envelopes kind of annoying, but I think I'll keep using them. Just thought you might want to read the article to get a sense of why they went with that design choice, and also so you're aware they did try it your suggested way.)
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Ian Toltz
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That's a good article, but it doesn't touch on my three biggest complaints with the envelopes.

1. They're a relative PITA to set up.
2. They're a point of failure for becoming marked, difficult to replace, and impossible to protect.
3. Along with the second point, the need to keep paired character and party cards together means if an envelope is marked it's going to be very hard to not know what cards you put in there.

In fact, very little of the article actually talked about why having the player give one of two other cards was a bad idea. It seemed to boil down to "people felt the need to overshuffle" and "people were scared of that information being on the table". Using the Ja and Nein cards each player already has solves both of those problems, as no other players ever get to look at your Ja and Nein cards while they're face down. And if you're really that worried about people memorizing which order everyone else's vote card at the table is at, shuffle them briefly under table.
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Simon
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All good points.
 
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Jim Bobson
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Re the envelope thing, just take out the number of envelopes you need and all of the cards you need, in piles of 2 cards, facedown. Shuffle the piles around, let everyone have a turn moving them around. Put in the envelopes face down without looking. Now it doesn't matter if an envelope is marked: nobody knows what's in it
 
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Ian Toltz
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Yeah, you could spend 10 minutes coordinating multiple people shuffling. Or you could just not use the envelopes and spend 30 seconds shuffling.
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Jim Bobson
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Well I guess your way would be better if it takes you 10 minutes to shuffle 5-10 piles of 2 cards and put them in envelopes, but for the rest of us it's a simple, 2 minute job.


I'm sure you've read the article linked which explains why so many people hated doing it your way - People felt like they could make a mistake with the cards or that people could figure out which card they passed across and it led to awful feelings of paranoia for the rest of the game.
 
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Ian Toltz
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Mangoose wrote:
Well I guess your way would be better if it takes you 10 minutes to shuffle 5-10 piles of 2 cards and put them in envelopes, but for the rest of us it's a simple, 2 minute job.


I'm sure you've read the article linked which explains why so many people hated doing it your way - People felt like they could make a mistake with the cards or that people could figure out which card they passed across and it led to awful feelings of paranoia for the rest of the game.


And I'm sure you read my response to those exact points in this very thread.
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Walter Kolczynski
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Your first point is pretty irrelevant: you set up the envelopes once, and it takes two minutes. You are acting as if it is the big long process you have to do every game. Your second and third point are the same one involving the envelopes getting marked, which is no different than a card getting marked, IMHO. If it becomes a problem, either get more envelopes from an office supply store or put both cards in a sleeve instead (as I'm doing for the PnP version). These are very minor annoyances, at worst.
 
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Ian Toltz
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bubba0077 wrote:
Your first point is pretty irrelevant: you set up the envelopes once, and it takes two minutes. You are acting as if it is the big long process you have to do every game. Your second and third point are the same one involving the envelopes getting marked, which is no different than a card getting marked, IMHO. If it becomes a problem, either get more envelopes from an office supply store or put both cards in a sleeve instead (as I'm doing for the PnP version). These are very minor annoyances, at worst.


I can (and do) sleeve my cards to protect them from being marked. In fact, if they get creased, I can even switch to opaque-backed sleeves to hide that. I can't do that with the envelopes. I actually consider that a requirement for this kind of game, and it's a pretty massive oversight to me that the box's insert can't accommodate sleeved cards, but c'est la vie.

I can't protect the envelope in any way, and I wouldn't even know where to look to find replacements for them. Actually, I've already had that problem when I tried to make my own print-and-play version of Secret Hitler.

You all are acting like SH is some crazy innovative game solving new problems nobody's ever faced before. This exact mechanic has existed in The Resistance: Avalon for 4 years, and somehow nobody's ever complained about it there.
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Walter Kolczynski
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Asmor wrote:
I can (and do) sleeve my cards to protect them from being marked. In fact, if they get creased, I can even switch to opaque-backed sleeves to hide that. I can't do that with the envelopes. I actually consider that a requirement for this kind of game, and it's a pretty massive oversight to me that the box's insert can't accommodate sleeved cards, but c'est la vie.

I can't protect the envelope in any way, and I wouldn't even know where to look to find replacements for them. Actually, I've already had that problem when I tried to make my own print-and-play version of Secret Hitler.

1) My actual alternative suggestion was to put both cards in the same sleeve and forego the envelopes (this is what I'm currently doing with my PnP version).

2) If you want envelopes, you may not find the exact same size, but #3 coin envelopes would probably work, which are readily available from any office supply store.

EDIT: Comments on the KS report that #3 aren't quite big enough, so use #4 coin envelopes.
 
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Clyde W
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Asmor is spot-on here. The envelopes are a silly component that solve non-existent problems.
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Clayton Grey
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I'll disagree respectfully with your suggestion that this hasn't been effectively responded to: Tommy is super clear about players feeling anxious about accidentally revealing their party by their card handling:

Quote:
With the two-card design, players would shuffle the two cards a bunch before sliding the right one over, and then shuffle them again before setting them aside. They were extremely anxious that an attentive player could, just by watching their hands, discern what team they were on. It also made players feel, subconsciously, like the information of what team they were on was still physically on the table, in the form of whichever card they had passed over. They had no way to protect that card from further scrutiny. Extremely unpleasant.


That paragraph doesn't even refer to the specific cards involved, and could easily be applied to the voting cards. It's not about whether it is reasonable for players to memorize, it's that this creates very undesirable feelings in players. Using the the Ja and Nein cards isn't a solve for that, it's just an alternate way to create the same problem that Tommy defines:

Quote:
So, these designs created conflict with the emotional theme of the game, which is Bad.


You certainly don't have to like it, but it's a legitimate answer to why it works the way it does. It seems to do what they want the way they wanted it to.

You may, of course, play however you want. laugh
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Ian Toltz
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bubba0077 wrote:

1) My actual alternative suggestion was to put both cards in the same sleeve and forego the envelopes (this is what I'm currently doing with my PnP version).


That's actually a pretty good idea
 
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K
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Good idea.
 
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Clyde W
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Dranore wrote:
I'll disagree respectfully with your suggestion that this hasn't been effectively responded to: Tommy is super clear about players feeling anxious about accidentally revealing their party by their card handling:

Quote:
With the two-card design, players would shuffle the two cards a bunch before sliding the right one over, and then shuffle them again before setting them aside. They were extremely anxious that an attentive player could, just by watching their hands, discern what team they were on. It also made players feel, subconsciously, like the information of what team they were on was still physically on the table, in the form of whichever card they had passed over. They had no way to protect that card from further scrutiny. Extremely unpleasant.


That paragraph doesn't even refer to the specific cards involved, and could easily be applied to the voting cards. It's not about whether it is reasonable for players to memorize, it's that this creates very undesirable feelings in players. Using the the Ja and Nein cards isn't a solve for that, it's just an alternate way to create the same problem that Tommy defines:

Quote:
So, these designs created conflict with the emotional theme of the game, which is Bad.


You certainly don't have to like it, but it's a legitimate answer to why it works the way it does. It seems to do what they want the way they wanted it to.

You may, of course, play however you want. laugh
Unfortunately the above analysis only really applies to people who playtested the game who had never really played a similar game. After you've played Resistance 10 or so times, you don't care about accidentally flipping over a card that would "ruin" that game. You just shrug and start up a new game. Seriously, the only way that analysis is meaningful is if you play with total gaming newbs and there's a far better way to solve the "problem": make them play the game a few more times.
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Jason Catena
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Asmor wrote:
bubba0077 wrote:

1) My actual alternative suggestion was to put both cards in the same sleeve and forego the envelopes (this is what I'm currently doing with my PnP version).


That's actually a pretty good idea


I have been playing this way for months, and it works well. I store the sleeved cards in the bigger tray below the President/Chancellor placards, and the envelopes hide below the plastic insert itself. I also added "Previous President" and "Previous Chancellor" cards, since it's an important restriction.
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Jack Whitham
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What is this anxiety about choosing the wrong card all about? You pick up the two cards, shuffle them so others cant card read, then you look at them again secretly and choose the one to pass.
So simple, no anxiety.

Sounds like they were trying to track the cards when shuffling them for some reason.
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