I played Doge for the first time this past weekend. It was designed by Leo Colovini (of Carolus Magnus fame).
The bits are nice and some of the mechanics are fun (blind bidding, bluffing, having to make each palace grander than the next), but something about it bothered my friends and I.
It could be that there is just too much of a luck element or too many ways to gather the necessary houses to create palaces. The problem is that when there is one clear front-runner who has, say 5 of the required 6 palaces built, there really isn't any way to stop them from building the sixth. Yes, you can out-bid them in the final region, but they can always just win in other regions and take a bye on the advisor to move houses into the 6th region. And the problem is there are so many other regions, including the Quarantina, that it's really just a crap-shoot.
The end result is that we gave the game very low marks for 3 reasons:
1. There is only a little strategy involved mid-to-late game.
B. It is very difficult to stop a front-runner.
iii. Too high of a luck element.