H.M.S. Dolores, Millions of Dollars AND Gentleman’s Deal – Shut Up & Sit Down Reviews


hmm you know what officer, no there’s definitely no cool crimes happening in this house. Bye! Sucker. Cue the music. Cue the over-ambitious grading. There’s actually no one else here I’m completely alone but for once that’s a good thing. Welcome to my negotiation special episode. Do you remember our review of Chinatown where I talked about my love of brokering cool deals at your dining table? I still love that game still love that review because while the average human is 58% water I’m 58% hot air. Today I am so excited to say the you and I will be discovering if there’s another negotiation classic to be found in three different games Gentleman’s Deal. HMS Dolores, and Millions of Dollars three games from three different designers that are all coincidentally about dividing up the loot after a cool crime although before we proceed I should state that Shut Up & Sit Down doesn’t endorse cool crimes anyway we’re going to be reviewing these games from least to most interesting and that means starting with gentleman’s deal costume change what’s the matter you’re acting like you’ve never seen a criminal before so gentlemen’s deal transforms between five and nine players into a table of small-town criminals. Criminals who aren’t just unafraid of the law they control the law and how do they control the law like a puppet on strings and what are those strings made of? crime each one of you is going to be making money lying and slipping in and out of jail as if it were a backpackers hostel the winner is whoever can make the most money in about half an hour and the game is exquisitely simple to teach on your turn you draw a card showing you and only you how much money you’ve earned from your latest crooked business deal but to get that money you need to pay your friends to look the other way and that’s a problem because they’re all going to be staring at you like grimy little possums in car headlights rubbing their sticky paws when it’s your turn to deal and after you’ve drawn the card you’re going to take as much money as you can bear to give away and you’ll start handing it out putting it in front of your friends screens and you’ll think three for you one for you because you’re winning 2 for you you do this in silence and then you open the floor to negotiations civil nice calm negotiate no it’s just going to be one of your friends going #$^&*, I need more money than this, you #$^&* gobbling #$^&*-#$^&* loving #$^&* and then you’re gonna listen or not and after you’ve had everyone or not you get to do one more round of giving out money again in silence going ok you get one more you get one less you get two more and then all the players except you vote on whether the deal goes ahead and that’s a bit complicated cuz when you’re this shady democracy involves unregistered firearms so you do three two one vote all the other players if they put their thumb up that’s a yes for your deal thumb down that’s a no for your deal gun up spending one of your three firearm tokens you get for the whole game is three votes for yes and cool criminal gun down is three votes for no now if the deal goes through if the majority of votes are for or if it’s a tie everyone gets all that money that they were promised you then reveal the deal card and take everything on it you didn’t give out which could be massive but don’t get too greedy because if the deal is voted down if the majority of players say no not only does no-one get anything and play moves on but you go to prison and you get no vote in the next deal it’s as if you are a night out and you suggested something so awful that everyone went home and you temporarily cease to exist muddying the math of gentleman’s deal and keeping the game confusing and interesting are these friends accomplice bastard cards every single deal card also lets you redistribute three of the bastard cards including the tycoon who gets an extra dollar every time a deal goes there if you have the tycoon the Sheriff who lets you make two dollars every time anyone goes to jail and the journalist who makes a dollar every time your neighbors or you use a gun which means you might shoot somebody to sell a few extra newspapers this is the worst town but you want to visit don’t you that’s actually the whole game but the devil’s in the details when it comes to gentleman’s deal i mean thematically the devil’s everywhere you are wearing the devil like a rubbery kigurumi but it’s all these ragged sharp little details that make this game worth your money the rule that each dealer only gets two chances to redistribute money is brilliant because not only does it keep the game fast it makes it impossible because you’re trying to give each player the minimum amount but you only get one chance to distribute money to everyone and test the waters and then you get one more chance and for the love of God don’t overpay cause then you’ve wasted your turn like a good knife gentleman’s deal is not flashy but when it’s balanced and sharp it gets the job done you know it is possible in this game to count how much money everyone has but you’ll just feel it that it’s possible to use your gun tokens at exactly the right time to push a deal through but you’ll fail at that too it’s possible to ascertain the value of all the different role cards and you’ll fail at that but you will have failed because your instinct was wrong and that is a lot of fun i’m not a one of those knife weirdos by the way this was my dad’s knife i just like to hold it and sharpen it so gentlemen’s deal is by no means an amazing game but it doesn’t have to be because there’s a shortage of good negotiation games out there and also because so much of the flash and flare in negotiation games can come from your friends the first time i played gentleman’s deal something that we did multiple times that was so good is you redistribute all your money and then maybe you give this player four dollars and you promise them a role and that player during negotiation goes fuh! I want six dollars and —- that moustache six dollars and two roles and you listen to them and you go uhm okay man you know I’ve taken that on board and then during redistribution you take everything in front of them and give that to someone else and they get nothing and your friends all laugh and then guns come out during the deal so you’ve spent your friends gun tokens which is good because it improves your negotiation power and everyone laughs and ooh, oooh its good i would say the only real problem with gentleman’s deal applied from the laughably crap money which is the poorest I’ve seen a publisher make on anything in all of 2016 is that it requires at least five players it’s what 5-9 which isn’t ideal but not to worry because the next game we’re looking at is for a svelte 2-4 players costume change what’s the matter never seen a cool 18th century cornish criminal before so this next game is actually a collaboration between none other than Eric Lang and Bruno Faidutti, two storied game designers and it’s about actually I find what it’s about incredibly sad wrecking was the historic practice by coastal communities of lighting fires on stormy nights the ships would then think our lighthouses causing them to misjudge where they were and go plowing into rocks killing all hands but letting the locals recover all of the cargo as if a department store had just washed up on their beach and the darkest part is that if there were any survivors they were legally entitled to the flotsam so if any of the crew were lucky enough to wash up on the beach and there gasping for air and thank God I’m alive the wreckers would then sometimes drown them in a few inches of surf. Anyway let’s go have some fun there isn’t much hall in this here crate just one deck of precious cargo to divide up and a dorn card hidden towards the bottom of the deck telling you that time to go home and cram all your ill-gotten gains under your bed in your fridge or just panic and burn it that’s what i would do the winner is the person at the end with the most points worth of stuff but this loot scores weirdly so there are seven different beautifully illustrated categories of loot in Dolores let’s say you got all this good stuff at the end of a game here’s the thing though you’re only actually going to score the Ruby of the most of and the least of so in this case we get one point for the guns and 2+3+1=6 points for the wine but and this is the rule that powers Dolores like you plugged it into the box like a little double A battery if groups tie for most then you score all of them so we get two points of lace two points of guns six points of silverware six points of wine that would be our total score and coincidentally we have everything you need for a traditional cornish party as the game starts you and your friends have all wrecked this ship the Dolores and you’re gonna try and divide up all the cargo but actually the game is technically called the HMS Dolores which stands for Her Majesty’s ship which is the prefix only used by Sweden and England so technically this game should have just been called Dolores that would… Hi Quinns, you’re not being boring are you no I was just talking about a cool crime I did once Did I say cool crime I didn’t, haven’t done didn’t please don’t call the police. so Delores is a game where you’re trying to get loads of cards but more importantly you’re trying to make sure your sets are of equal numbers easy except not so easy because getting all cards and Dolores means navigating the treacherous reef of your friends goodwill you are about to as the kids say get rekt as for the actual game in dolores it goes around in a circle i am going to trade with the player on my right then I’m gonna trade with the player on my left then that player is going to trade with the player on their left and and so-on going round and round which means that some players in three or four games aren’t playing and that’s fine because the negotiations in Dolores are the equivalent of a cage match they are a great spectator sport So let’s say I am trading with player my right as always we did up four cards always in a grid and we’re going to talk for however many seconds or minutes and then we’re going to throw out a symbol if you both throw out a share you each take the two cards on your side of the table if someone plays a punch to a share the person who punches takes everything if two people punch each other nobody gets anything and everything is discarded players you throw out the leave symbol get to take one card first so if you play a leave to a share you can take any one card then the sharer get what’s left on their half of the square if you take one card to a punch you get one card the other player gets everything but interestingly if you both throw out shares not only did neither of you get anything but you both have to discard one of your sets of goods this is a mean little onion of a game it’s just layers upon layers upon layers it’s quite bitter initially and it’s going to make someone cry but it’s also quite small if you’ve ever played the game of thrones board game the other thing when someone’s your mortal enemy for an hour and then they you’re in an alliance for an hour and then you hate them again Dolores is like that except your friendly for 5 minutes and then you hate each other and you’re just trying to screw each other over for five minutes and then you hate someone else for one minute it’s ridiculous so the discussions in dolores aren’t actually that interesting I mean it’s one player saying I quite want this and another going, I want this and then both thinking about it but what’s so good and what makes this game great and I think you can easily buy this one as well is what happens after the negotiation something laughably common is this one two wait wait wait wait wait wait wait ok wha… wait it’s ridiculous because the more honest you are in negotiations the better the tool you’re giving your opponent to when it really matters just take the cards or give the cards that will ruin your score the more reliably you say I’m gonna throw out this and you do or any symbol then the better ground work you’re lying for your opponent screwing you over later and it’s not a zero-sum either which makes negotiations so hard and so good because yes you can screw me over but it just means you have a worse negotiation for the rest of the game and it all leads to something so funny which is two players routinely will both agreed to start one symbol and then when it comes to it they will both throw out a completely different symbol either because they were too afraid of getting screwed over or they were never planning to throw that symbol out in the first place and ohh.. OOHH it is a good game it’s not a perfect game but then you know what is i would say that the 2-4 player count on the box is actually wrong i don’t think it worked with two but it does work with five so I call this a 3-5 player game the bigger problem with it is that it needs friends who can bite into that onion like an apple and enjoy themselves because you don’t want people who are going to get upset when they are inevitably betrayed and their score collapses and all the other people playing burst out laughing at them which is not going to be everybody now I’ve saved the best for last let’s move on to the coolest negotiation game I’ve for to you today and wobblin’ let’s do another costume change and let’s look at millions of dollars so with the release of millions of dollars Matt ago has become my favorite board game publisher of 2016 first they give us the sublime submarine combat game captain sonar followed by the weird and wonderful world of finish a game of warring Irish tribes and now we get not one but millions of dollars another game that’s beautiful and different and I live for both of those things three to eight players each represent a gang of criminals some of which are damn cool some of which had less cool summer trying way too hard to be cool and one of which are is some clowns each bank now also says 1 million of dollars on it the point is you’re going to be laughing even before you started playing and you’ll be laughing a lot after that too so you’ve got around to see who can make the most of the millions of dollars but each round starts the same everyone pays an auntie and without talking selects one role to send on the heist in the thug your driver York rookie mastermind or your snitch then all those cards you put in are shuffled up one is hidden and the rest are dealt face-up and then the game begins at this point players are gonna start dropping out probably because other players are paying them to drop out because you put the roles that go on the heist don’t get paid so if the tables final team that goes on the highest is a driver a crook & 2 masterminds the two masterminds are both eliminated and the driver and the crook get to split what’s coming for you guys in the bank and hopefully that is more money than they paid to other players to drop but it’s more complicated than that no one ever said that making millions of dollars would be easy so if you’re the only criminal who makes the end of a heist and you get some money you also get a special power masterminds increase the tape by 2 million and our beloved drivers demand 1,000,000 payment from everyone else on the heist and our losed crooks steel two million of dollars from the heist slug if there is one the thug gets a card that they can use a late around to peak at someone’s identity which is a bit underwhelming until you realize that if you use it the right time you can charge that player hush money if they don’t want anyone to know who they are and finally their snitches if there’s a loan switch on the heist their power is to pick any other visible class of criminal on the ice with them and eliminate that criminal except if they’re the only person left on the heist rather than getting the entire take they get none of it because they’re arrested and have to pay three million of dollars as bale hay in the air from me but that crooks in the address I gave you earlier guess that makes me the boss now where did i did i say that I was a criminal because i’m not that my link to know I can’t imagine lawyer would say our expert on cool crimes if this sounds like a difficult thing to try and suss out the actual game of and negotiate and then we didn’t you’re completely right like in ish it takes a bit of time to figure out the game here but let me just give you an example feature if you don’t start with me i will give you a million dollars so your highest bid is the love is possible bid yes people have been very clear that happen I don’t want it so the car turned up and it’s snitch driver driver thug crook and then that mystery card and you know one of the drivers is you so there’s a good argument for announcing to the table that you’re one of those drivers and that you’ll pay the other driver to drop out or take money from them and that’s an interesting discussion you could also pay the thug to drop out because since the crook is in play if they both go through to the end the crook will steal from the thug so if you pay the phone to drop out the thought never gets robbed and you get a bigger fraction of the take and the crook gets a bit less so that’s an interesting discussion to but don’t forget that snitch because the snitch is going to eliminate someone the last thing you want is to pay all these people go on the heist another snitch eliminates you and you get nothing and you paid all that money out you’re in the hole so maybe stay quiet there and then there’s that mystery car as well and whatever that role is whoever that player is that’s getting throw your discussions into disarray of course it will and of course it could also be you so now I’ve given you that example you’re getting it right you’re starting to see the game now I want you to imagine that the cards are flipped and it’s mastermind mastermind driver snitch or snitch snitch snitch driver crook you know whatever it is the rounds going to play out completely differently and represents a different puzzle and that is the game and better yet the game is going to play out differently depending on not just how many people you play it with and what roles show up but which role you pick playing a snitch is nothing like playing a fog is nothing like playing a mastermind is nothing like playing a driver and now this isn’t a perfect game either one problem that we encountered is that because the game ends when someone hits 20 millions of dollars the paper money the game comes with a little flimsy that’s eminently fixable by replacing the paper money with poker chips that’s great and chips feel great but you can also use you know grapes or actual cash whatever you have lying around actual millions of dollars Who am I to judge your life there’s also the fact that the game just a bit inscrutable because really what we’ve got here is hidden roll game that then becomes a negotiation game with a terrifying game of chicken waiting for you at the ends like a awful poultry Basin desert and millions of dollars is meant to be hard and meant to be able inscrutable but players might have a to get time if they don’t play many board games and they can’t quite on Pig the game here might be a little complex your gaming group if you’re gaming group when faced with a challenge we just want to give up and play something simpler you’re probably right but if you’re gaming group really enjoys unpicking difficult puzzles and getting the best of each other in ways that you can’t even imagine what possible millions of dollars will be your favorite of the three games we’ve looked at today and it is absolutely my favorite so you have it ladies and gents in a twist ending i would recommend any one of these three games gentleman’s deal and excellent simple go for big groups the loris an excellent sharp nasty little game for small groups and millions of dollars definitely the weirdest definitely the hardest to play but the 1i think has the most magic to it hey if these negotiation games could have a conversation with each other you can negotiate about we find out Oh No God officer and its report cool

46 thoughts on “H.M.S. Dolores, Millions of Dollars AND Gentleman’s Deal – Shut Up & Sit Down Reviews

  1. I Love you guys reviews! recently bought some games with your help! so much fun!
    btw did I spot the brand new GW Blood Bowl release behind you?! It's going to be hard to judge/like if its your 1st time (I hope not!) and just base your opinion on the Base box set… Its the best game ever!

  2. I can't find ANY of these games in th US and I want a copy of all three. Does anyone know if they are or will be issued here in the states?

  3. I would be more interested in HMS Dolores if it used cards rather than RPS hand signals. I always throw late and sometimes my hand signals turn out ambiguous because I'm indecisive. Millions looks rather fun.

  4. I'll admit, I was reluctant to watch this because I'm not a fan of any of these aesthetics, but these are actually all interesting.

  5. I would like to acquire "gentleman's deal" but I don't find it anywhere, does anyone knows of a shop that make international shipment to Mexico?

  6. Just bought Millions of Dollars after viewing this review and watched the review from Dice Tower afterwards. Tom Vasal really doesn't seem to like this game. A bit anxious now but it's already here.

  7. After watching the presentation Quinns gives to the schoolkids, I am now really worried anytime he wears a costume that he might have been having a bad day… I'm guessing that's not always the case though and most of the time they're having fun – I know I am watching the videos

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