GenDu: The Gentleman’s Duel
4.5our score

By GenDu Cards

Useful Info:

No. of players: 2 Play Time: 10+ mins Age: 13+

Gendu or gentleman’s Duel is a trading card game, based around building your dungeon, protecting your nouns and then infiltrating your opponents dungeon, killing their nouns and dealing 1 point of damage to the player. The first player to accomplish this is the winner. Now, I have reviewed a dungeon building card game before and we know how that turned out. Not deterred I decided to give this a chance and see if it could cleanse my palette from the foulness that was Boss Monster.

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Each player needs one of the Decks of cards to play or a deck built from a combination of this deck and boosters, but the total number of cards can be no more or less than 50 cards. The rules double as the play mat, which I thought was pretty nifty. Each player then draws their hand of 7 cards, one of these cards must be a level 1 Room card, otherwise you will have to draw again. Each turn, you can play as many verb or noun cards as you can pay for, except room cards only one of these per turn can be played. You may move and/or attack with your nouns. To signal the end of your turn you draw a card. When there are no more cards in your deck you lose the game. You keep taking turns till one point of damage is done to the player. The player who dealt the damage is then declared the winner. Lets take a quick look at the 3 different types of cards you can have in your deck.

card-types-nouncard-types-verbcard-types-room

You have your nouns which fight for you and have an attack, defence and a speed. Verbs, can be equipment, spells or instants. Rooms are what your dungeon is built of, they have different levels, the higher the level the stronger the room effect is usually. To play a card you must pay its cost if it has one, this is noted at the top right of the card. The (H) stands for a card in your hand that must be discarded. A (R) means a room that is in play must be discarded. Rooms have to be played in a certain order from a level 1 room through to level 7. So you must start with a Level 1 room then you can play a level 2 room if able, then level 3 if a level 2 room is in play ect. if you want to play a room with the same level that’s ok too. You then move your nouns through your opponents dungeon, in attempted to break into the garrison and deal that 1 point of damage.

gendu3 Sigh…I wanted to like this, I really did, I even liked the artwork at first. Any way constructive, be constructive.  This game felt very novelty at first with its quirky minimal artwork and it’s boosters in little card packs. This was short-lived. The game was very much just going through the motions, all though GenDu is meant to have a strategic element nothing about it felt strategic, in fact I found it pretty broken, I’ll explain:

  • If you attacked your opponent as soon as possible within the first few turns you stand a good chance of winning straight away.
  • The cards are designed by the community, making certain cards overpowered and unbalanced.

For me moving through the dungeon was tedious and frustrating more than anything. “Oh look a another room modifier to my speed!” now I’m stuck, the card I just spent several turns to pile equipment on like Buckaroo is now stuck and as useful as a chocolate teapot. Ok so the game wasn’t fantastic, but did it look good? errrr not really. I thought the artwork was cool at first then as the game progressed, I felt I would be having more fun colouring the cards in, with crayons. gendu2 After saying that there are promising elements present in GenDu. The community side of things is a great idea, but the fact all the artwork is in different styles it feels disjointed and leaves the theme next to non-existent. If the community input was implemented slightly differently it could be quite an enjoyable game.