How to Play: Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

August 17, 2016

Our How to Play videos are designed to be short (but still complete) instructional videos, mainly for people who want an overview before playing with someone who knows how to play (in place of that person teaching the rules). Setup and refresh is usually in a separate video, since only one person needs to know the details.

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Hi! This is Ambie from Board Game Blitz, and today, I"m gonna show you how to play Deception: Murder in Hong Kong.

Setup [0:09]
Shuffle the blue means cards and the red clue cards separately. Deal out four of each to each player, face up so that the other players can read them.

Shuffle the orange Scene tiles and create a draw deck.

Take a number of role cards equal to the number of players: 1 Forensic Scientist, 1 Murderer, and the rest Investigators. In a 6 to 12 player game, you can add the Accomplice and the Witness instead of 2 investigators, but that’s optional. Shuffle all the role cards and deal one to each player face down.

Everyone looks at their role card secretly. Whoever has the Forensic Scientist places their card face up, and the rest of the people keep their roles secret. The Forensic Scientist discards his means and clue cards.

Give each player except the Forensic Scientist a badge token. Give the Forensic Scientist the scene tiles, Cause of Death tile, Location of Crime tiles, and the six bullet markers.

Crime Setup [0:47]
At the beginning of the game, the Forensic Scientist goes through a script to get the information about the murderer, telling everyone what to do with the following steps: Everyone closes their eyes. After everyone closes their eyes, the Murderer, and Accomplice, if there is one, open their eyes. Then the Murderer will point to one clue card and one means card. These are the cards that the Investigators are trying to guess. The Forensic Scientist will silently acknowledge that they saw the cards, then everyone will close their eyes. If there is a Witness, they open their eyes, and the Forensic Scientist points to the Murderer and Accomplice. After silently acknowledging that they saw, the Witness closes their eyes. Then everyone opens their eyes.

Game Overview [1:18]
At the beginning of the game, the murderer will chose one clue card and one means card from their cards. The Forensic Scientist will know what it is, but the Investigators don’t know who the murderer is or what was picked. The goal of the game is for the Investigators to figure out which cards the murderer picked.

There are three rounds in the game, each consisting of an Evidence Collection phase and a Presentation phase.

Round 1 - Evidence Collection [1:35]
In the first round, the Forensic Scientist will take the Cause of Death tile, choose one of the Location of Crime tiles, and draw 4 random Scene tiles, placing them all face up in the middle of the table.

During the game, the Forensic Scientist cannot try to hint to the solution with words, gestures, or eyes. The way the Forensic Scientist gives hints is through these tiles. One at a time and in any order, put a bullet marker on one of the 6 tiles, indicating one of the items on the tile hinting to the murderer’s cards. For example, if the murderer had chosen the crutch and the flashlight, I might put a bullet here for hospital to point toward the crutch.

Once you place a bullet, you cannot move it. After you place the first bullet, all the other players can talk amongst themselves. The Forensic Scientist will continue placing bullets, one per tile, until all 6 have been placed.

Round 1 - Presentation [2:12]
Then, during the Presentation phase, Investigators briefly discuss the evidence. After the discussion, each player will get 30 uninterrupted seconds to talk about what they think the solution is. Starting with the player to the left of the Forensic Scientist and going clockwise, each player gets their 30 seconds. After all the players have finished, the second round begins.

Rounds 2 & 3 [2:28]
In the second Evidence Collection, the Forensic Scientist draws one more tile, and then chooses one orange tile to replace, discarding the tile. Then the Forensic Scientist places a bullet on the new tile.

The Presentation for the second round is the same as the first round, and then there is a final round, with one more orange tile coming out and one more Presentation Phase. After the last person has talked about their opinions for their 30 seconds, the game immediately ends.

Solve the Crime [2:48]
Any time during the game, any player with a badge token can attempt to solve the crime. To do this, announce, “Let me solve the crime!” and then point to one clue card and one means card in front of another player. The Forensic Scientist will say “yes” or “no” - you have to get both cards correct in order to be right. If you’re wrong, then you discard your badge token.

If anyone correctly identifies the correct means and clue cards during the game, then the Forensic Scientist and Investigators win. If the game ends without anyone solving the crime, then the Murderer wins.

Witness & Accomplice [3:13]
In a game with the Witness and Accomplice, the Accomplice is on the Murderer’s team and knows who the Murderer is and what cards were chosen. The Witness knows who the two bad people are, but not which is the murderer. If someone solves the case correctly, then the Murderer and Accomplice can discuss who they think the Witness is. Then the Murderer chooses one player, and if it’s the Witness, then the Murderer and Accomplice win. Otherwise the Investigators, Witness, and Forensic Scientist win.

Variants [3:33]
To play with Event tiles, they’re shuffled into the deck of Scene tiles after the first round. When an event tile is drawn, read the text aloud and follow the instructions.

You can adjust the difficulty level to be easier or harder for the Investigators by dealing fewer or more means and clue cards to each player.

And that's how you play Deception. Check out our website for more videos, podcasts, and blogs. Thanks for watching Board Game Blitz!

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