GenDu: A Gentleman’s Duel

3.6 Overall Score
Rules Clarity: 4/10
Fun Level: 4/10
Production: 3/10

It doesn't take too long.

Unengaging, frustrating, with badly written rules.

GenDu: A Gentleman’s Duel

*NOTE – GenDu is now a defunct game, but since we came across a set we thought we’d give it a try.

On Friday, August 12th, I playtested Gendu: The Gentleman’s Duel with Gaming Manager Jack Jaycocks at Gods & Monsters on International Drive in Orlando, Florida. I wish I hadn’t, and not because of Jack.

This correspondent, left. Jack Jaycocks, right. Thanks, Jack!

This correspondent, left. Jack Jaycocks, right. Thanks, Jack!

Gendu: The Gentleman’s Duel, is a collectible card game wherein each player, or “Gentleman”, lays down room cards to build their dungeon. Each Gentleman also plays Nouns, also called minions, and sends them into their opponent’s dungeon in an attempt to penetrate into the garrison and win the game. Nouns can be equipped with Verbs to add to their power. The more powerful Nouns require you to remove rooms from your dungeon, in order to put the Nouns into play.

The minimalist black and white card art does not ignite the imagination. GenDu uses no licensed property or familiar genre, instead relying on an unthemed, unrelated mishmash of Nouns like Smithy Smith, the Meat Drapes, and Wanda the Insecure. It is not steampunk, sword-and-sorcery, space opera, or anything else, except for boring. What exactly do any Gentlemen have to do with it?

Sending Nouns into your opponent’s dungeon means intermixing your cards directly with theirs. Some method of differentiating cards will be necessary. Also, nouns have three stats – Attack, Health, and Speed. Any of these stats can, and probably will, be reduced in the course of play. I found that a D6 could be used to mark these changes, but with three stats per noun, and potentially many Nouns in play,Gendu players will need at least fifteen D6. Gendu does not mention this anywhere in its instructions or packaging.

The included rules sheet is often hard to understand. Under Movement it says that, “If two nouns come in contact, they attack each other and battle”. Under Attacking and Battling, it says that only opposing nouns battle one another. Is damage persistent? What happens to Nouns in a room that is removed to pay the cost to bring another Noun into play? It says moving through a room costs a point of movement. What about moving into a room, and stopping? When facing multiple defenders, does an attacking Noun fight them all one after another on the same turn, or on multiple turns?

So in addition to boring, GenDu is frustrating. It is not recommended.

 

 

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Brian Downes
Author: Brian Downes View all posts by
Brian Downes is a writer who lives in Orlando, Florida. His novel, The Berlin Fraternity, about a man who hunts vampires for the Third Reich, is available on the Kindle and through Amazon.com. He enjoys pen and paper roleplaying games and geek culture. He clearly remembers waiting for The Empire Strikes Back to hit theaters, and vindicate his opinion that of course Vader was not Luke's father. You can't trust Vader's word!

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