Suits & Daggers
Publisher: Megamochi Games |Playtime:45-60 mins | Players: 3-8 |
Designer: Eden Ames | Artist: Eden Ames
We are back at work, and it is battle. Getting back into office wear (not just from the waist up) and you did it- good for you! Now adjusting to co-workers, interns, and those who are climbing the cooperate ladder right out of the gate. Do you fly right, work hard, and make the right connections or have you decided to adjust your strategy and play a little dirty? Or a bit of both? Out of practice with the office shenanigans? We were till we played Suits & Daggers, a secret identity bluffing card game.
We have played plenty of light card games this last year, and we are looking for something amusing and not just fluff. Suits & Daggers fits the bill. We were attracted to the art (retro), the theme, and an added bonus, it is a women designer and artist! The rules are straightforward and swift to get on the table. Whether you succeed in being CEO or not, the game is fast paced, highly interactive, and a lively sabotage factor.
Players randomly pick a character, and each had a distinct player action. A few favorites are Seymour Ads (Phone Call cards can be used as Email cards), Dee L Closer (+4 points each time you undercut with a Credit Stealer), and Anna Laizer (when drawing a new Objective, draw 3 cards and keep one.) These are face up in front of the player.
Draw a Status card, either an Employee or an Influencer. The Influencer gets to draw two cards during the Work Phase and can deflect Undercuts and Sabotage. They add seven points when they are part of a Collaboration. These cards are secret, and players can bluff that they are the Influencer till they are challenged. When challenged, the card is revealed. If falsely accused, the challenger losses three points and draw a new Status card. If you are an Employee bluffing as an Influencer, you lose three points, and the Challenger gains two points. Then draw a new Status card. If playing with six to eight players, there will be two Influencers in play. Both Influencers need to be challenged and revealed before drawing a new Status card.
The Scoreboard (Corporate ladder) card is placed on the table and player tokens on the ladder's bottom rung. As players complete work objectives, they accrue points and move up the ladder; there are bonus points once you are an Associate (+1) Manager (+2) VP (+3) are added to points gained in that tier.
Shuffle the cards and make a draw pile for Objective cards.
A draw pile of Work deck with five cards face up. Draw five face-up cards as the Work Queue.
Each player draws five cards for their hand, and one Objective card is put face up in front of them.
Completing an objective card. Place the number of cards required in front of your face down and ask players if they want to (Check Your Work.)
Each Objective card has icons on the bottom that are required to complete the card. If you do not have the necessary cards to achieve the Objective, you can try Slacking- bluffing- about the Work cards you have placed face down in front of you. If a player Checks your Work and gets caught, you lose three points, and the cards go back to your hand. If you have the required card and a player Checks Your Work, the Challenger loses two points.
1. During the Work Phase, players may swap any cards from their hands from the Work Queue. If the player does not want any card from the Queue, they can draw one from the Work Deck and either swap it with a card in their hand or discard it. Influencers or posing as an Influencer draw two cards. Rest your hand back to five cards.
Work cards- Water Cooler, Email, Proposal, Phone Call, Deliverables, and Meeting.
2. Collaboration Phase.
If a player does not want to Slack, they need cards; they may ask players to Collaborate. The player places the cards they have face up next to the Objective card for all the players to see. Select a player to collaborate, and they will give cards face down that they are offering. If they give you the correct cards and the Objective is met, both players gain the points and reset their hand to five. If the player is Sabotaging and does not give the correct cards, the objective card is discarded, and the cards put forward are discarded, and hands are reset to five. Draw a new Objective card and lose three points. The saboteur earns three points. This can be risky business. It is fruitful in the beginning to get to a higher on the ladder for bonus points; however, we found it not worth the risk when you are close to the top of the ladder.
If no takers for the Collaboration, gain one point.
3. Undercut Phase.
Playing up to two Undercut cards on other players of your choice. If the target has a Water Cooler card, they may discard it and deflect the action. A few favorites: Credit Stealer (takes the last completed Objective card from the target) Toe Stepper (swaps Objective cards with the target) and Rumor Starter ( target loses one point for each completed Objective card up to five.) Brutal!
The game moves fast, and tension builds at the top of the ladder. The first player to reach 51 becomes CEO and wins the game.
Mechanics That Worked for Us
We were about twenty percent bluffing when it was time to check work. When the game was close at the end, the bluff quotient went up. It was pretty comical; move forward a step and then two steps back when you were caught.
With a larger group, bluffing that you are an Influencer is more accessible than with a small group, and yes, at one point, we were all trying to draw two cards as an Influencer at the same round.
We are not that fond of sabotage in gameplay; however, these consequences are not game-changer, and we did tend to use them in the last few rounds.
Bits & Bobs
8 Status cards (Influencer & Employee)
8 Role Cards
40 Objective cards
85 Work Cards (Water Cooler, Email, Proposal, Phone call, Deliverables, Meetings)
15 Undercut cards
8 Wooden Tokens
Suits & Daggers is swift to learn, portable, and great for late-night gaming or breaks between longer games.
We loved the high jinx of the blind Objective completion and wondering if we would get caught for slacking.
The bluffing and target cards make for an exciting challenge during the game.
Suits & Daggers does an excellent job showing the playful side of climbing the corporate ladder.
* Review copy kindly provided by Megamochi Games. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Publisher: Megamochi Games
Designer: Eden Ames
Artist: Eden Ames
Mechanics: Advantage Token, Betting and Bluffing, Card Drafting, Deduction, Negotiation
Roles with Asymmetric Information, Semi-Cooperative Game
Let us be honest; there is still a bit of drama when we play.
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