I wrote a review of VIctory & Honor in Finnish.
Victory & Honor is a American Civil War -themed trick-taking game from Ty Douds and Jolly Roger. It’s for four players, and while it can be played individually, it’s probably best played as two pairs. That’s the way I’ve played it.
It’s one of the tricky trick-taking games. The biggest specialty in Victory & Honor is definitely the fact that there are always three tricks played at the same time. The different tricks also control the flow of the game: turn moves to the direction of the trick played. If I play on “right flank, next up is the player on my right and so on.
Second curiosity is in the scoring. Cards, ten on each four suit, are divided into troops (1-7) and generals (1-3 stars). Troops are worthless without generals. Generals itself are worth one to three points and the troops are worth the amount of generals you have in the same suit. Players score points individually, not as pairs, so it’s critical who gets the cards.
There are also some troop cards with special functions. Scout lets you dictate where the next player must play his or her card. Artillery captures the opposing card next to it (so artillery on your left flank will capture the right flank card of your left hand opponent). Cavalry wins the trick, if it’s the last card played on that trick.
Using these specialties is one of the skills needed in this game, as is the control of the game flow. Unfortunately those skills won’t help too much, if your opponents have all the generals. Unlike some other good trick-taking games, VIctory & Honor gives only limited means to survive bad hands. That’s the only flaw in the game.
Well, that and an incredibly bad rulebook. It’s very hard to learn the game from the rules, even though it’s really not that difficult. It is complicated, so it would’ve needed good rules to make the system crystal clear. Now it’ll take some trial and error to get everything right.
However, if the theme appeals to you and you have a regular group that’s ready to play the game a lot, it’s definitely worth it. Casual trick-takers will find other games that are give more enjoyment with less effort.