Jayson Myers
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Please check out my other reviews at:

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/5971481#item5...


Conclusion:

Secret Hitler is yet another social deduction game. This genre of games is really growing but it seems it is the same game being released over and over. Secret Hitler keeps that agenda moving forward.

Secret Hitler doesn't feel like anything different or anything new in the genre. Once again, you have two sides and one side knows who everyone is and the other doesn't. They are in the dark. And the games begin of trying to meet your agenda and goals for the game.

Let me start by saying Secret Hitler is a fun social deduction game. Those that are turned off by the theme may as well go play any number of other social deduction games that roughly do the same thing. For those that will stick around for the theme, then they will find a really fun social deduction game of trying to find who is on which side. The facists will attempt to trick the liberals into their web of lies and accomplish their goals.

The game is really simple and has a unique partnership between the President and the Chancellor. They have this working relationship which is very, very powerful and the "peons" sitting around the table will have to learn to trust them or learn to not trust them and move to stab them in the back.

The biggest negative to the game is the lack of anything really new. It all feels familiar even though they relationship of the voting is new. The theme of being Hitler and trying to win as Hitler may be a huge turn off to some gamers. The components are very, very good for the genre it is in.

Where does the game land for me? Resistance (Avalon) is likely top of the pile. Then, things get a little more crowded as you move down the list. I would say Secret Hitler is on the higher end and I think if your group of friends will get a laugh out of the theme, then it might be a little higher for you. This is a game that is easy enough for even non-gamers can play. The game has a neat self balancing that will be appreciated after numerous plays.

Keeper.




Components:

The components silly good in parts. Those President and Chancellor placards are just amazing. They look and feel like something you would put on a real desk. They are player aids too which is just mind blowing. The boards have great finishes on them and there are different ones for different player counts. The cards are really good. This is one of the best component sets I've seen for a party game. Amazing.



Rule Book:

The rule book is a really odd shape in that it is skinny and long. It isn't the most user friendly of rule books from the shape of it. I also felt the rule book was fighting me when I was learning the game. It took me a while to realize those powers are only used on certain player counts. If you were reading the book without looking at the components (which I normally do), you wouldn't know how to incorporate these powers into the game. While the game is rather easy to play, I just felt the rule book made it a little tougher than it had to be. I may be in the minority here.

Flow of the Game:

Before the game begins, you will be secretly assigned to one of two parties: liberals or Fascists. Furthermore, one player will be assigned to be Hitler. This information is hidden throughout the game.

Liberals win if:

1. 5 Liberal policies are enacted, or
2. Hitler is assassinated

Fascists win if:

1. 6 Fascist policies are enacted, or
2. Hitler is elected Chancellor anytime after the third Fascist Policy has been enacted

Before the game begins, everyone will close their eyes and the Fascist and Hitler will open their eyes and know who they are. Thus, the liberals will not know who is who.

A. Election - Move the President placard clockwise to the next player
B. Nominate a Chancellor - (just cannot choose the previous president and chancellor)
C. Vote - all players will vote for the combination of President/Chancellor. If there is a tie or a majority vote no, then the vote fails and the President placard moves to the left and you repeat this section. If there are three rejections in a row, you reveal the top policy and enact it. If the majority vote yes, continue to the Legislative Session.

D. Legislative Session - President draws 3 Policies and discards one face down (so nobody can see it) and hands the remaining 2 to the Chancellor. The Chancellor discards one face down (so nobody can see it) and plays one face up to the board.

-- if a Fascist Policy covered up a Presidential Power, then utilize that power. Possible powers:

i. Investigate Loyalty - look at their party membership (which means you won't know if they are Hitler or not).
ii. Special election - Choose a new President
iii. Policy peek - President looks at top 3 tiles of policy deck
iv. Execution - You kill one player at the table. If you choose Hitler, then the Liberals win.

Should I buy this game?:

Secret Hitler is a social deduction game for people who like the humor a little darker than others. While the game doesn't really offer anything new, it does have the humor of trying to kill Hitler off. The reason you would choose this over any number of any other social deduction games is theme. There are a couple of different decisions you may (see flow of the game), but nothing ground breaking. This is likely in the first or second tier of social deduction games. If the humor is for you, then this might be for you.

Keeper.
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Curt Carpenter
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Re: The Purge: # 1674 Secret Hitler: Or Yet Another Social Deduction game but this one where you can be Adolph Hitler
I recently played Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, which absolutely obliterated all the "see who can lie best" secret role games.
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Jayson Myers
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Re: The Purge: # 1674 Secret Hitler: Or Yet Another Social Deduction game but this one where you can be Adolph Hitler
curtc wrote:
I recently played Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, which absolutely obliterated all the "see who can lie best" secret role games.


Yes, that is a very very strong candidate.
 
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Mark Jackson
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Re: The Purge: # 1674 Secret Hitler: Or Yet Another Social Deduction game but this one where you can be Adolph Hitler
curtc wrote:
I recently played Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, which absolutely obliterated all the "see who can lie best" secret role games.

That one and Insider are my personal favorites as far as this type of game.
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Re: The Purge: # 1674 Secret Hitler: Or Yet Another Social Deduction game but this one where you can be Adolph Hitler
william4192 wrote:


Secret Hitler is a social deduction game for people who like the humor a little darker than others. While the game doesn't really offer anything new, it does have the humor of trying to kill Hitler off. The reason you would choose this over any number of any other social deduction games is theme. There are a couple of different decisions you may (see flow of the game), but nothing ground breaking. This is likely in the first or second tier of social deduction games. If the humor is for you, then this might be for you.

Keeper.

This is my 1 quibble. Every other social deduction game I've played with, there has been no randomness in decision making. For example, in Avalon, once a party has been chosen, the good guys vote pass, period.

In Secret Hitler, the randomness of the policy tiles changes that.

In Avalon, if a mission fails, (assuming that no one screwed up), you know one of those people are bad. In Secret Hitler, if you have a fascist policy enacted, maybe they just drew bad, who knows. That extra element is what makes this better than Avalon to me.
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Re: The Purge: # 1674 Secret Hitler: Or Yet Another Social Deduction game but this one where you can be Adolph Hitler
Yes, this may seem random (and perhaps it is) but you have to be able to read the players. Who do you trust?


squegeeboo wrote:
william4192 wrote:


Secret Hitler is a social deduction game for people who like the humor a little darker than others. While the game doesn't really offer anything new, it does have the humor of trying to kill Hitler off. The reason you would choose this over any number of any other social deduction games is theme. There are a couple of different decisions you may (see flow of the game), but nothing ground breaking. This is likely in the first or second tier of social deduction games. If the humor is for you, then this might be for you.

Keeper.

This is my 1 quibble. Every other social deduction game I've played with, there has been no randomness in decision making. For example, in Avalon, once a party has been chosen, the good guys vote pass, period.

In Secret Hitler, the randomness of the policy tiles changes that.

In Avalon, if a mission fails, (assuming that no one screwed up), you know one of those people are bad. In Secret Hitler, if you have a fascist policy enacted, maybe they just drew bad, who knows. That extra element is what makes this better than Avalon to me.
 
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Josh Roberts
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Re: The Purge: # 1674 Secret Hitler: Or Yet Another Social Deduction game but this one where you can be Adolph Hitler
squegeeboo wrote:
william4192 wrote:


Secret Hitler is a social deduction game for people who like the humor a little darker than others. While the game doesn't really offer anything new, it does have the humor of trying to kill Hitler off. The reason you would choose this over any number of any other social deduction games is theme. There are a couple of different decisions you may (see flow of the game), but nothing ground breaking. This is likely in the first or second tier of social deduction games. If the humor is for you, then this might be for you.

Keeper.

This is my 1 quibble. Every other social deduction game I've played with, there has been no randomness in decision making. For example, in Avalon, once a party has been chosen, the good guys vote pass, period.

In Secret Hitler, the randomness of the policy tiles changes that.

In Avalon, if a mission fails, (assuming that no one screwed up), you know one of those people are bad. In Secret Hitler, if you have a fascist policy enacted, maybe they just drew bad, who knows. That extra element is what makes this better than Avalon to me.

This sounds bad. Avalon et al. are about attempting to catch the signal from the noise using the limited tools at your disposal (vote checking, discussion, etc.). Adding mid-game randomness into that formula sounds like it compromises fundamental mechanics of the genre for "funzies".

I'd have to play it to be certain, but it doesn't immediately sound like a good thing.
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Midnight Reaper
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Re: The Purge: # 1674 Secret Hitler: Or Yet Another Social Deduction game but this one where you can be Adolph Hitler
william4192 wrote:
{snip}

Before the game begins, everyone will close their eyes and the Fascist and Hitler will open their eyes and know who they are. Thus, the liberals will not know who is who.

{snip}
One quick quibble on an otherwise great review - the bolded above only happens with five or six players. With seven or more players, while the liberals keep their eyes closed, the fascists who aren't Hitler open their eyes and Hitler keeps his eyes closed and gives a thumbs-up. Thus, when playing with more than six players, Hitler doesn't know who his allies are. This definitely changes how the Hitler player works in larger groups.

Just a quick quibble, no more. Great review otherwise.

-M_R
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Re: The Purge: # 1674 Secret Hitler: Or Yet Another Social Deduction game but this one where you can be Adolph Hitler
Ironcache wrote:
squegeeboo wrote:
william4192 wrote:


Secret Hitler is a social deduction game for people who like the humor a little darker than others. While the game doesn't really offer anything new, it does have the humor of trying to kill Hitler off. The reason you would choose this over any number of any other social deduction games is theme. There are a couple of different decisions you may (see flow of the game), but nothing ground breaking. This is likely in the first or second tier of social deduction games. If the humor is for you, then this might be for you.

Keeper.

This is my 1 quibble. Every other social deduction game I've played with, there has been no randomness in decision making. For example, in Avalon, once a party has been chosen, the good guys vote pass, period.

In Secret Hitler, the randomness of the policy tiles changes that.

In Avalon, if a mission fails, (assuming that no one screwed up), you know one of those people are bad. In Secret Hitler, if you have a fascist policy enacted, maybe they just drew bad, who knows. That extra element is what makes this better than Avalon to me.

This sounds bad. Avalon et al. are about attempting to catch the signal from the noise using the limited tools at your disposal (vote checking, discussion, etc.). Adding mid-game randomness into that formula sounds like it compromises fundamental mechanics of the genre for "funzies".

I'd have to play it to be certain, but it doesn't immediately sound like a good thing.

It's what makes the game better than Avalon in my opinion, but some people might lean the other way.

That said, it's not totally random. The President draws 3 tiles, looks at them, and discards 1. The chancellor then gets those 2 tiles, discards 1, and plays the other as the policy.

So, the president has perfect information about what happened, and the chancellor knows what their 2 tiles are.

For example, if a fascist policy is turned over, the game becomes, who do you trust more, the president claiming they gave the chancellor 1 of each or the chancellor claiming the president gave them 2 fascist policies. Or maybe the president claims that they drew 3 fascist tiles (it happens, there are roughly 2x fascist tiles to liberal) so they were screwed from the start.

Or, for another example, a liberal policy was played. The president claims they drew a fascist and 2 liberals, and discarded the fascist. Meanwhile, the chancellor claims the president gave them 1 of each, and the the chancellor discarded the fascist.
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Re: The Purge: # 1674 Secret Hitler: Or Yet Another Social Deduction game but this one where you can be Adolph Hitler
You are right. I should have included that.

midnight_reaper wrote:
william4192 wrote:
{snip}

Before the game begins, everyone will close their eyes and the Fascist and Hitler will open their eyes and know who they are. Thus, the liberals will not know who is who.

{snip}
One quick quibble on an otherwise great review - the bolded above only happens with five or six players. With seven or more players, while the liberals keep their eyes closed, the fascists who aren't Hitler open their eyes and Hitler keeps his eyes closed and gives a thumbs-up. Thus, when playing with more than six players, Hitler doesn't know who his allies are. This definitely changes how the Hitler player works in larger groups.

Just a quick quibble, no more. Great review otherwise.

-M_R
 
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Re: The Purge: # 1674 Secret Hitler: Or Yet Another Social Deduction game but this one where you can be Adolph Hitler
Yes, this is where the game lies. And if they both agree, you know you have trouble whistle


squegeeboo wrote:
Ironcache wrote:
squegeeboo wrote:
william4192 wrote:


Secret Hitler is a social deduction game for people who like the humor a little darker than others. While the game doesn't really offer anything new, it does have the humor of trying to kill Hitler off. The reason you would choose this over any number of any other social deduction games is theme. There are a couple of different decisions you may (see flow of the game), but nothing ground breaking. This is likely in the first or second tier of social deduction games. If the humor is for you, then this might be for you.

Keeper.

This is my 1 quibble. Every other social deduction game I've played with, there has been no randomness in decision making. For example, in Avalon, once a party has been chosen, the good guys vote pass, period.

In Secret Hitler, the randomness of the policy tiles changes that.

In Avalon, if a mission fails, (assuming that no one screwed up), you know one of those people are bad. In Secret Hitler, if you have a fascist policy enacted, maybe they just drew bad, who knows. That extra element is what makes this better than Avalon to me.

This sounds bad. Avalon et al. are about attempting to catch the signal from the noise using the limited tools at your disposal (vote checking, discussion, etc.). Adding mid-game randomness into that formula sounds like it compromises fundamental mechanics of the genre for "funzies".

I'd have to play it to be certain, but it doesn't immediately sound like a good thing.

It's what makes the game better than Avalon in my opinion, but some people might lean the other way.

That said, it's not totally random. The President draws 3 tiles, looks at them, and discards 1. The chancellor then gets those 2 tiles, discards 1, and plays the other as the policy.

So, the president has perfect information about what happened, and the chancellor knows what their 2 tiles are.

For example, if a fascist policy is turned over, the game becomes, who do you trust more, the president claiming they gave the chancellor 1 of each or the chancellor claiming the president gave them 2 fascist policies. Or maybe the president claims that they drew 3 fascist tiles (it happens, there are roughly 2x fascist tiles to liberal) so they were screwed from the start.

Or, for another example, a liberal policy was played. The president claims they drew a fascist and 2 liberals, and discarded the fascist. Meanwhile, the chancellor claims the president gave them 1 of each, and the the chancellor discarded the fascist.
 
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