Gameday First Play – Secret Hitler

“You know, with Hitler, the more I learn about that guy, the more I don’t care for him.”

~ Norm Macdonald

“Secret Hitler is a dramatic game of political intrigue and betrayal set in 1930s Germany. Each player is randomly and secretly assigned to be a liberal or a fascist, and one player is Secret Hitler. The fascists coordinate to sow distrust and install their cold-blooded leader; the liberals must find and stop the Secret Hitler before it’s too late.”

ANOTHER hidden role bluffing and deduction game, but this time with low production value and an oddly high price tag…

Roles are dealt out to each player and kept safe in an ‘iccle envelope which is divided between Liberals and Fascists, one of the Fascists will randomly be Hitler.

Then you so the whole ‘eyes shut’ bit where the Fascists and Hitler will give each other a little nod in secret. With 7+ players Hitler will do the ‘Thumb’ thing so the Fascists know him, but he won’t know the Fascists.

One random player gets the President and Chancellor standee to denote their position, then the game begins.

At the start of a round, the Presidential standee is passed to the left. The new president chooses a new Chancellor and depending on the player count some players are exempt from being chosen in this new position.

Then players will vote on if they want this government to be formed.

Votes are cast with a simultaneous reveal of a pre-selected card with the players choosing ‘Ja’ or ‘Nein’.

If MORE than 50% vote Ja, the government will pass.

If this process is rejected 3 times in a row the people grow restless and the top card of the Policy Deck is enacted… Meaning, whichever card is drawn it is added to the relevant track.

A Red Fascist card is added to the Red Factist track, Blue Chancellor to the Blue Liberal one.

If a government is passed, the President draws 3 cards from the Policy Deck, discards one face down to the discard pile and passes the remaining 2 cards to the Chancellor. They will discard one of them face down and place the other on its relevant track.

As the Fascism track advances the current President will gain a certain ability. These abilities involve things like looking at a players role or the top 3 cards of the policy deck etc

One is the ‘Execute’ command where if the player picks Hitler, the game ends with a Liberal victory.

Assuming Hitler isn’t assassinated, the Fascists win by enacting Six Fascist policies, or if
Hitler is Chancellor late in the game.

The Liberals win by enacting five Liberal Policies.

Positives

Always a fan of these hidden team vs hidden team games. It’s cool to just stir the pot and get conversations and accusations going around.

The ‘enact 1 of 3 cards’ part is really nice. It gives both parties a chance to hide… Fascist card played? Well, it wasn’t your fault, the President passed you two red cards! It works similar to games like Dark Moon with the dice, it gives the players an “Out”.

Negatives

These generally need to be played in the right spirit with the right type of players. Shouting and swearing over each other does not a good game experience make.

It’s £45 which is far too much for a game like this in my opinion. I’d much rather pay for (and play) Avalon or even The Chameleon.

Part of this is due to the theme, I find it dull.

Summary

A decent option in a sea of similar games, but it’s not near the very top of the list.

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