Secret Hitler is a board game about lying, passing laws and killing Hitler. #SocialDeduction #Boardgames #politics
There are two sides in this game: liberals and fascists. Both sides are trying to pass laws that are favorable to their agenda. In addition to that, there is a secret Hitler amongst the players that the liberals are trying to kill and the fascists are trying to appoint as their chancellor. Liberals will win if they get five laws passed or kill Hitler. Fascists will win if they have either three laws passed and Hitler as their chancellor or six laws passed.
At the start of the game, everyone is assigned a secret role card in a tiny envelope: liberal, fascist or Hitler. Then everyone closes their eyes. Fascists are asked to open their eyes first so they can see each other. After that Hitler is asked to raise his thumb up while keeping his eyes closed. So fascists know who they and Hitler are, but liberals and Hitler know nothing. An additional role of a president is passed from player to the next at the start of every round in a form of a presidential placard.
A round consists of these parts:
President chooses the chancellor by giving him a chancellorship placard
Everyone votes if they accept the nominations by showing a “yes” or a “no” card
If the motion is denied, the player next in line becomes the president and chooses their own chancellor
If the motion is passed, the president picks up three random law cards from the deck, discards one and gives two to the chancellor
The chancellor chooses one law to be passed and puts it to the liberal or fascist board depending on the type of the law
If a fascist law is passed, the players should grill the president and chancellor on why that was the case.
Being a fascist is seriously frowned upon, so everyone is trying to appear liberal. The trick is that there are a lot more fascist laws that liberal laws, so sometimes a liberals have no choice but to pass a fascist law. I played the game five times during the same night at a party and only after game number five I felt that I got the hang of the game. As a first timer it is difficult to know when to lie, when not to lie and what to do if you are a fascist.
The rules vary a bit according to the number of the players and the president gains new powers as the game progresses. For example the president will later on in the game have the power to execute players, so that way the secret Hitler might end up dead.
Even though the rules seem confusing at the start, they are quickly learnt during the actual game play. The most difficult part is to try and find who is lying or to lie convincingly. A new player will no doubt do some mistakes that might cost their team the win, but that is just part of the game as well. All in all the game was a really fun experience and I would like to try it again sometime. I would recommend Secret Hitler to players who like social deduction and political themes in their games.
Designers: Mike Boxleiter, Tommy Maranges, Max Temkin
Publisher: Goat Wolf & Cabbage
Release date: August 2016 to Kickstarter backers only. The game will be available for purchase on a later date. A free print and play -version is available at http://www.secrethitler.com/
Numbehttp://www.secrethitler.com/r of players: 5-10