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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Duhr: The Lesser Houses – Devious Weasel Games – Review

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Matthew Kearns
Systems engineer by day, gamer by night. Who knew a trip to GenCon could change things for ya? Wife loves the party games, my boys and I are up for almost anything at least once.

Instigate scandal, create suspicion, implicate your enemies to lead your House to victory!

John Doe

MeepleGamers

7.9/10
Game play area

Theme and What is it?

9/10

The Lesser Houses of Duhr are at war.  Not your typical clash of swords but these battles are waged behind the curtains with intent to destroy each others’ credibility and public appearance.  As the head of one of these lesser houses, direct your minions to instigate scandals, create suspicion, and implicate your enemies such that the public will support your bid for inclusion as one of the Greater Houses of Duhr.

Gameplay Mechanics

10/10

Goal

End of game

When there one or fewer Houses of Favored status, be the player with the highest score.

Setup

Player setup

Each player takes on a random House.  Shuffle the Conspiracy cards of the Houses in play and deal one to each player.  Deal one Scandal card to each player. Deal two Suspicion cards of a player’s House to a given player and shuffle together  the remaining Suspicion cards of the Houses in play to form the Web of Suspicion. Deal four cards from the Web of Suspicion to each player.  Determine the first player.

Turns

Game play area

There are two phases during each player’s turn: Action and Acquire.

During the Action Phase, players can perform one of the following House Actions: Raise a Suspicion, Create a Scandal, Trigger an Event, Use an Ability, and Make a Masterstroke.  While your House status is Favored, you may also choose one of these other actions: Reveal a Conspiracy, Second House Action.

The results of these actions are aimed at causing disfavor in the opposing Houses, leading to their downfall and your House’s ascendency.

Additional Info

Loss of favor can lead to a change in your House’s status.  When a House has five cards played in front on them, they become Disfavored.  When three or more of those cards are revealed, the House’s status is now Villfied.

As a Villain, the actions taken by a player are different.  They don’t hold cards but perform one of the following actions: Defame, Expose, or Scandalize.  Though they can come back from being Villains but their real goal is to pull the others down with them as their final score is dependent upon the number of Villains when end of game conditions occur.

Game play area

Initial Impressions

6/10

I was looking forward to the game based upon the description and concept.  I was a bit of a let down though when we were trying to set up the game and read through the rules.

Game play area

Game Build Quality

9/10

The game is made up of cards and tokens.  The cards of different sizes but of the same quality.  The tokens have a nice finish and made of thick, sturdy cardboard.

Game play area

Artistic Direction

9/10

The art really excels for the House ability tokens, card backs, and the packaging — well done and evocative of the medieval period depicted.  Otherwise, the other cards and tokens use common fonts or simple graphics.

Game play area

Fun Factor

7/10

This game is all about the “Take that!”  Funny thing though, as much as you want to take down your opponents, you might do better in the end if you don’t completely destroy them.

Game play area

Age Range & Weight

9/10

Age range says 14+ and that’s right.  It doesn’t have to do with the topic but understanding the mechanics and strategies of the game.

Game play area

Conclusions

7.9/10

The game has been sitting on my shelf for some time now, waiting for me to get a group big enough to play.  But we are not the most adept at games requiring bluffing or To get the most out of the game requires players to wheel’n’deal, the “social” part of the “social combat”.  If your group is up for games that incorporate interaction with the people to play the game as a facilitating mechanic, then this would be good for you. Unfortunately it’s not a game that my group excels at or prefers but we hope that you’ll have a good time with this one.

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