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- Tile Placement and Grid Movement Game with a Chess Feel
- Playing Time: 30 minutes
- Number of Players: 2
- High Quality Wooden Pieces
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Top Customer Reviews
The game components are fantastic. All the units are on wooden tiles and have their information printed on them. The board is mounted and while some people may find it boring and plain I think it works well with this game. the Cloth bags are big enough to put all the wooden tiles in and have space to mix them up. And the player aids are on nice thick card stock.
Let me give you a quick over view of the game.
The game is played on a board made up of square spaces (6x6) and you will start with your Duke (the duke is the objective. you're trying to keep yours alive while capturing the opponents) and two footmen. The game has a chess feel to it with pieces moving kind of like they do in chess and pieces are captured when moved onto. But in the Duke the way a unit moves is printed right on that unit, so its easy to get started playing the game. In addition to the jumps, slides, orthogonal movement, and diagonal movement this game has strikes, which let you capture without moving your piece, jump slides, command moves, which allows you to move one of your pieces to a different spot that the command unit allows it to.
So it has a chess feel where it is about capturing and keeping alive the Duke however there are many difference that make this game very enjoyable even if you don't like chess. In the Duke whenever you move or use a pieces ability you flip it to their other side. and on the opposite side of each unit is different movement capabilities. Take for example the Duke, he starts out being able to slide to the left or right but once he moves he flips and now he slides up and down.Read more ›
I received The Duke as a Christmas gift this year and was lucky enough to be given it early, in order to play with a visiting friend. Although he's not a heavy boardgamer, we both had a great time. The simple and straightforward iconography of the tiles allows players to move quickly past learning game skills to thinking actively about strategy. Strategy is deep, due to the alternating move sets for each tile and the random draw mechanic. There's a great deal of player decision-making, giving a great sense of involvement. Simultaneously, the random draw mechanic leave enough chance to gameplay that I think I could satisfyingly play both sides of one game and still not be able to predict the outcome.
I would also like to note that the wood tiles are lovely, both tactile and visually. The design of the icons has great aesthetic.
The only con I would provide for the game is the lack of a quick-start card for first-time players, which would be relatively simple: From each player's bag, set aside Oracle, Duchess, and blank custom piece. Also set aside any Fort, Mountain or Flag terrain tiles. Each player puts a Duke in one of the two center tiles on their side, and then two Footmen in any of the adjacent squares. Move one tile each turn. Tiles flip each time they're moved. You can skip your move to randomly pull a tile from your bag and place it into an empty space adjacent to Duke. Refer to cards from box to understand movement, which is pretty straightforward, aside from Command.
I highly recommend this game. I think it will stay fresh for a long time.
One of the most interesting things about this game is I find it both more entertaining and difficult for new players for the same reason, simply that they have no idea what most of the pieces do yet. You are allowed to look at the reverse side of your own pieces at any time but never your opponent's so new players can be surprised by a different piece of their opponents and the movement pattern it reveals after moving into position. This makes for a more entertaining experience in my opinion (maybe frustrating in other's opinion) but also more difficult as it will be very hard to plan a defense against an attack when you have no idea where or how it might be coming.
One of the best features of this game is it plays in 15 minutes or less. I simultaneously wish it had a big board (the one with the game is a bit claustrophobic) but also not because while a bigger board would open up the options it would also increase playing time and this is almost the perfect filler for two gamers like me. Interesting decisions, fun mechanics, and 15 minutes of play time. The pieces are also decently solid and well made and they include blank tiles to make your own.
As for a negative, besides the claustrophobic board which is both a blessing and a curse, I just feel like if I played often enough and did learn the movement patterns and tile counts of the pieces it would become less interesting and just boil down to a game of chess, and if playing with a new player there would be very little challenge.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For me anyways. This is because games are quicker so I can fail, lose, and learn faster. Whereas Pawn structure baffles me and I can lose a game of Chess early and still have to... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Michael Villanueva
I found this video review of the game to be very helpful before I purchased it.
looks like what the person who requested it for hos birthday asked for.Published 5 months ago by Hannah T. Rappolt
Product- The Duke
Producer-Catalyst Game Labs
Price- $ 40 here... Read more
One of the most cleaver and enjoyable abstract games I've ever played. It's kinda like chess but much more fun. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Scharf
I think if you are tired of playing chess, then you should give the Duke a try. It really breathes new life into the idea brought forth by chess. Read morePublished 9 months ago by mew
The Duke: 2 Players, Ages 13+, Average Play Time = 15-25 Minutes
Firstly, I want to commend the game for having so many different ways to play (aside from the core... Read more