Secret Hitler | Rules, History & Strategy

Secret Hitler is a dramatic, social deduction game set in 1930s Germany.

Full of political conspiracy and betrayal, the game involves players being secretly divided into two teams: Fascists and Liberals. Each player is secretly and arbitrarily assigned to be either a Fascist or a Liberal. One player amongst the Fascists is Secret Hitler. Despite being on the Fascists’ team, Hitler doesn’t know who other Fascists are, and has to work to find them out.

However, the Fascists know who Hitler and other Fascists are, and sow distrust and resort to sabotage to advance their agenda, get their leader elected and win the game.

Despite always having a majority, the Liberals don’t know the other players’ roles and need to trust each other to have enough votes to take control of the elections and save the day.

History

Secret Hitler was created by Mike Boxleiter, Max Temkin, and Tommy Maranges, with Mackenzie Schubert acting as the game’s illustrator.

The Kickstarter campaign that Temkin launched in November 2015 for the game with an aim of raising US$54,450 took just 24 hours to be successfully funded by 200%.

When the campaign came to an end on December 23, 2015, 34,565 contributors had already pledged a whopping US$1,479,046, which made Secret Hitler one of the most thriving tabletop games in the history of Kickstarter.

Interview With The Creator

The GDC YouTube channel published what’s called a ‘design postmortem’, interviewing co-designer Mike Boxleiter. He reviewed the initial design process, “pitfalls and dead ends which were overcome in the iteration process and the final marketing push that helped the game succeed on Kickstarter.”

How To Play

The game starts with each player being secretly assigned one of the three roles: Fascist, Liberal, or Hitler. Liberals win if they can either enact five liberal policies or assassinate Hitler. To win, the Fascists need to either enact 6 Fascist policies, or elect Hitler as the Chancellor any time after 3 Fascist policies have already been passed.

Video Guide

Audio Transcript
Hey, what’s up guys Joker here today, I’m going to be walking you through how to play secret Hitler, I’m going to show you some of the basics and maybe explain a few advanced strategies that you could possibly employ throughout playing secret Hitler. Now this game has definitely gained some popularity recently, as it’s been streamed by a lot of people over on Twitch, most notably I’d say, would be totalbiscuit. That’S how I heard about this game. I’Ve known about tabletop simulator for some time, but this is actually a mod for tabletop simulator, so there’s actually even their sales going on right now for tabletop simulators. So this has really taken off in popularity. So you can pretty much always find a good table of people to play with. So, if you’re concerned about that, you know the game is pretty cheap. I picked it up for eight dollars on g2a a little while ago, but any time of day now I can go on here and I’m seeing six to seven secret Hitler games going on in multiple regions with multiple languages and pretty much. Everyone has microphones and pretty much good people, not really too many dicks, so just want to get that out of there. Explain that to you guys ahead of time, but hopefully I can now explain some of the basics of how to play secret Hitler. So, let’s get into it: yes, okay, so in secret Hitler, most of the time you’re, probably going to be playing in an 8 player configuration you can play with 5 or 6 or you could play with 10 players, and there are different boxes like this will have Different player counts on them, so you can play with different amounts of players if you want, but most of these servers that you will find on tabletop simulator in the server browser will be for 8 player tables. So that’s going to be the configuration that I’m going to be explaining to you here. So the goal of this game is, if you are a fascist or if you are Hitler – is to get to the end of the game with Hitler alive and hopefully, with five cards on the fascist. Whores are six cards on the fascist board, completing your entire board? So that the fascist would win adversely you could Alton, the Liberals are trying to succeed for their side. There will be more liberals at the table in any given game. There will be two fashions at the table along with one Hitler and a player configuration. This will be what you’ll see so they’re going to be two fascist one: Hitler, which means you have five liberals at the table. So, at the start of the game, the Liberals do have the majority and it’s their objective, to figure out who Hitler and the fascists are and if, if possible, at any point to even kill Hitler. If it does come up throughout the course of the votes that they do have that option, they could end the game right then, and there, if they do, kill a Hitler. Another way that you could win the game is, if you are Hitler yourself and after three cards have been successfully played for the fascists on the table and the Hitler is then elected as Chancellor, then he will automatically win the game for the fascist and I’m going To show you how that all plays out here in just a little bit, so at the start of the players, all players will take their packet of cards. Out of the box, like I am doing right here, just by clicking and dragging the packet out of the box, there will be four cards inside of the packet, which you can then slide right into your hand, which none of the other players at the table will Be able to see as long as they are in your hand right here, they are completely hidden and you can take your pack and then put it off to the side once you are done with it once you have your cards in your hand, you can go Ahead and flip them over and check your party alliances, you also have two ballot cards. These are foreboding voting on different ballots that are going to come up for the presidents and chancellors, so you’re going to be using those quite a bit, be fascist, your fascist cards or your party cards, and your secret role are going to stay. Hidden, though, for the duration of the game, so once all players have received their cards at the table, each player will then go ahead and they will take their secret role card and they will place it out in front of them. The reason for the secret role card is that one of these at the table will say Hitler and it will be in one of the fascist packs. So in one of the fascist packs at the table, they will receive a fascist party membership as well as a secret roll that says Hitler. Everyone else at the table, secret roll will just match exactly what’s on their party membership carts. You won’t have to worry about them. There’S only going to be one secret roll card that we’re going to actually have to worry about, and that will be whoever Hitler is at the table. But at this point in time, all players would take their secret roll cards and then place them down in front of them face down on the table like I am doing right here. At this point, the whoever was hosting the table or directing everyone at the table would instruct everyone to go ahead and put on their blindfolds, at which point everyone would do that by pressing B and when they do that, it would be indicated on the top right Of the screen, with a little eye with a line through it, which you’re not going to see right here. So if we were to pretend at this time that all their players at the table were blindfolded, I would now direct all of the fascists at the table. Who are not Hitler to turn their blindfolds also than all of the fascists at the table? Who are not? Hitler would take their blindfolds off and they would then be instructed to turn over all of the secret role cards on the table. So then they would turn over every single secret role card in front over all of the players on the table and the reason that they are doing this is so that they can identify the other, fascist and Hitler at the table. Once these players have are done. Identifying who the fascists and Hitler are, they will turn the cards back over and ping the table by pressing tab and they will put their blindfolds back on the purpose of painting the table is to let the host or the person directing all the players to know That they are done looking at the cards and they are now facedown back on the table and they have blindfolded themselves once again at this point in time. The host of the table will direct everyone to go ahead and remove their blindfolds and take their secret role cards back into their hands, as the game will now really begin. Now, if it is the first game of a given table, you will just go ahead and take the die and you will roll the die by pressing R. You will just hover over it press R roll the die to figure out who’s going to go. First. Oh right here it would have been yellow, so whoever was yellow up here would go first at the table, so in this case he would go first, which means he would be president. So whoever was yellow would get the presidency and then they would pick their Chancellor. So they have these two placards here. It’S then up to them to go ahead and pick their Chancellor. If we were to assume that this president were to go ahead and choose me to be their Chancellor at this time, everyone at the table would go ahead and vote on this, so based at this time, you don’t really don’t have a whole lot of information on Anything you don’t have any information. No votes have happened. You don’t know anything about anyone at the table. So, usually, on the first vote, pretty much everyone is just going to vote yaa unless you have some extreme strategy, because you want people to know you’re a fast or something by voting 9. You know that’s up to you, but for the most part it’s it’s yeah. Pretty much on the first time, all the way around, so you go ahead and put your ballot card out face down. Once all the cards are out on the table, the ballot cards, everyone will the toilet turn them face up. If the vote passes with the then the Chancellor and president will begin their term as president and Chancellor for the table at this time, the president can go ahead and draw three policy cards out of the deck which he will go ahead and do. And since we don’t have our president here, I will pretend to be president for the time being. The president would then flip over the three policy cards that he drew out of the deck. Now, if I were president here as a fascist, obviously it would be my goal to get a fascist card onto the board or adversely I could want to convince everyone at the table that I am a liberal, so the goal here is, I have to discard one Of these and then give to to my Chancellor to make a choice now, if I just wanted to go and give him a choice and maybe find out what his allegiances are, I could give him the fascist and the liberal, so I could find out what he’s What he’s all about – or I could just give him the two Liberals if I wanted him to think for sure that I’m a liberal and tell him I discarded, a fascist or I could give him the liberal and the fascist and hope that he’s a fascist as Well, playing the veg, or actually I would be a fascist, so this is kind of where it gets confusing. This is where all of the strategy starts to come into play. You see. So if I was the president here – and this is the president over here and he’s a liberal chances – are he’s just going to go ahead and give me these two liberal policies unless he wants to test me, if he wants to test me, then he can go Ahead and give me one of each if he wants to test me at this point, his discard would then go into the discard pile right over here, and then I would have to choose which one of these two policies to enact, and that’s obviously going to tell The table a lot about me as I’m, making a choice here as we’re going afterwards. The president and I are going to have a chance to tell the table what cards we drew and at that point we could lie. They could choose to believe us or not. If the president was a fascist – and I know that ahead of time, obviously he could say that he drew three fascist and he didn’t have a choice in the matter. So you know we put a fascist card on the table. You know I put a fascist card out on the table here because I know he’s a fascist and then I go ahead and discard the liberal and then maybe the president lies, and he says: oh yeah, I drew three fascist. We didn’t have a choice in the matter, so that’s why the fascist cards on the table? It’S not because we had a choice so now we’re lying about this. The table doesn’t really know about that. They have to choose whether or not they trust us. That’S just one way that you could go there. There are many different strategies throughout the voting process and that’s basically how it goes after the that initial vote would be over. The presidency would then go to the left. You would know your previously elected officials here by the previous elected ones here that obviously that would have been kind of like a power play because it was going back to back there. Basically, the presidency would then go to the next player over and then he would choose his Chancellor and everyone at the table would vote on it and so on and so forth, and that is how every single round goes throughout the entire length of the game. Nothing really changes throughout the course. Obviously it gets a bit more intense as things go on, because you start to learn more things about more people. You distrust starts to, you know, build, and maybe some trust does start to build with other parties at the table. So that’s where it really does pick up and get super interesting. It gets really interesting, as things start to get towards the end, and the board is filling up and you’re really trying to figure out who was who and also, as I did mention earlier on once the fascists have three cards on the table. If they get the chancellorship, not the presidency, mind you but the chancellorship to Hitler, so the chancellorship went to Hitler and he was elected into office fully, like everyone got him into office. He would then win the game for the fascist, because, as soon as three cards are on the table, you have to go to every that is elected Chancellor and asked him if there Hitler and they have to tell you the truth. If they’re not Hitler, you would then give them a not Hitler card. So it’s a lot of information. I hope that I explained it well enough for you, if you missed anything, obviously go back watch again, but I hope that you guys got as much information that you could. I tried to tell you everything that I could, if I missed anything, if you don’t know anything, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll try to answer you guys the best of my abilities, but thank you guys for watching and please enjoy secret Hitler On tabletop simulator and I will catch you guys next time, Terra.

Written Guide

The game begins by players closing their eyes and then the Fascists (who are not Hitler) opening their eyes and acknowledging the other team members. Hitler keeps the eyes closed but puts a thumbs-up gesture to let the Fascists know who plays the role. The Fascists close their eyes again and then everyone opens their eyes to start playing.

At first, one player is randomly selected to act as the Presidential candidate. This is followed by the Presidential candidate nominating a candidate for Chancellor. This nomination is often done by discussing with other players to build consensus as it improves the chances of the duo getting elected. Once the Chancellor has been nominated, everyone votes on whether to allow the pair (President and Chancellor) to take office, and enact policies from a random deck.

In case the pair is voted to work together, the President will choose three policy cards from the stack. He will reject one, and pass the rest two policy cards to the Chancellor. Then the Chancellor will reject one card and enact one policy.

In case the government enacts a Fascist law, players have to try to decipher if they were merely unlucky or betrayed. A unique trait of Secret Hitler is the government powers that start playing a crucial role as fascism grows. The Fascists will use those powers and lie, as well as generate distrust among players with the aim of creating chaos to further their agenda and get Hitler elected unless they succeed or the Liberals are able to save the day.

If you want to play the game for free, you can print the cards from Secret Hitler Print and Play, cut them to size, and get started right away.

Secret Hitler Print And Play

Rules

Here’s the official rules pdf:

It’s important to know Secret Hitler rules before you start playing the game to understand what you need to do in order to stay away from the Fascists’ traps and lies, and stop them. The basic rules of the game include:

  • It can be played by 5-10 players.
  • 6 Liberal Policy tiles and 11 Fascist Policy tiles are shuffled into a solitary Policy deck and placed face down on the Draw pile card.
  • Players have the option of “rebalancing” the Policy deck (for 6/7/9 players) to ensure the gameplay is more even for both the parties involved. In case you enable rebalancing, the game with 6 players begins with a Fascist Policy being already enacted. For 7-player games, the deck has 10 Fascist Policies to begin with instead of 11. For 9-player games, the deck contains 9 Fascist Policies.
  • The game is played in rounds.
  • Each round includes an Election to form a government, a Legislative Session to pass a new Policy, and an Executive Action to put governmental power into effect.

You can visit the Secret Hitler website to get an in-depth understanding of the rules.

Secret Hitler Strategy

When the President and the Chancellor consider which policy tiles they should pick and the ones they should discard, they can’t say anything or make faces to indicate their choice. But after they have enacted the policy, they are free to talk about what they drew, and their lies can often make it difficult to see who’s on which side.

Video Guide

Since Secret Hitler’s Policy deck isn’t evenly stacked (with 11 Fascist and 6 Liberal policies), the President-Chancellor duo could, despite both being Liberals, possibly draw three Fascist policy cards. This makes it crucial for Liberals to trust each other and not give in to the chaos that the Fascists try to trigger with their lies.

For the Liberals, discussing the information available to them and slowing down the play seems to be beneficial. As the Liberals try to figure out who’s on which side of the game, they should tell the truth as lying would jeopardize their team’s chances.

For the Fascists, lying seems to be the most appropriate strategy when talking about what they drew. This way, they can create confusion about what’s left in the deck, thus shifting the suspicion on other players. They should even lie and claim to be on the Liberals’ team as outing themselves to the majority by claiming to be a Fascist would do them no good.

Secret Hitler Wooden Box Edition

This included the game’s standard edition, which was delivered in a high-quality quality wooden case with brass hardware that was originally created for the Kickstarter campaign.

At present, it’s no longer available. However, you can get the game’s standard edition which comes with foil inlays on the boards together with wooden placards for the President and the Chancellor.

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