Over the Wessex Ha-Ha with the Hanover Family in Obsession

January 10, 2021 | Sessions | 0 comments

Follow a tense battle of high society and country estates with the Wessex and Hanover families in Obsession.

Not the Hanovers! Obsession includes plenty of different solo opponents, all with different strengths and difficulty levels. The earlier ones were certainly easy for me, yet I met my match with this family. Months of plays with the Wessex family and I had nothing to show for it! If anything, though, I was determined. Back to Derbyshire society!

Game Overview

Game Name: Obsession
Publication Year:
 Dan Hallagan
 Dan Hallagan
Publisher: Kayenta Games
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game

I underestimated the name of this game when it first arrived. What did this have to do with anything? Now I know! The desire to win is a sort of obsession in itself. My setup with the Wessex family and the breakfast room was a challenge that I would overcome. Somehow…

Falling Into the Claws of Derbyshire Society with Obsession

First Play

January 25, 2019



Latest Play

June 22, 2021



Setup Time

5 Minutes

Lifetime Plays


Play Time

40 Minutes


High Score



Game Area

24" x 28"


Low Score


Nestled in the Country

A nice bonus with this expansion family is the artwork of the estate. Beautiful! I only needed to figure out just how to get ahead of the Hanover family. Oh, to be clever!

There are many strategies to earn victory points, and finding the right balance changes from play to play.

With 30 lifetime plays at this point, I was pretty confident that I knew a little bit about what worked! Figuring it out here just wasn’t working. It was the breakfast room!

Seriously. I think the Hanovers spread some false rumors, poisoned the soup, and watered down the coffee. Ugh!

The Lovely Scenery Around the Proud Wessex Estate in Obsession

A Glimmer of Hope

As it happened, the builders’ market was extra kind this time around! The Hanovers never really picked up anything I wanted early on, which was rather nice.

I also held off on buying much of anything at first. The negative points would do no good for the courtship phase.

And suddenly, I found that the Wessex family could afford to restore an imported marble floor! Located, of course, in the breakfast room. Because it needed something!

This wasn’t even the full selection of what the manor had to offer. I was proud of this… But was it enough to win?

Finding a Way to Build a Properly Impressive Manor in Obsession

Domestic and Literate

Indeed, the Wessex family had a carefully curated manor with no waste. Not this time! There was no embarrassing activity on the national holiday. All was planned well!

The conservatory and pair of libraries helped garner 24 additional victory points. Oh, my! Quite excellent.

Objective cards can be excellent or absolute duds. I’ve seen some plays where the victory points amounted to almost nothing. Luck does help, as does the ability to strategize.

The national holiday celebration was an intimate family affair, though it involved earning another objective card!

Extra Victory Points from Group Bonuses in Obsession

Meeting Every Goal

Maybe good luck was due to the Wessex family after they suffered so much! A larger staff granted a little boost.

Most importantly, I managed to purchase a few lovely prestige tiles. The cabinet of curiosities and state room appeared together, so didn’t think I could get both.

The solo opponent usually steals just what I need… But not this time! The tiles actually fell in price enough to be slightly affordable, and the Wessex manor boasted both.

Showing off the new collection in the cabinet turned into a grand affair, too! And the victory point cards helped a lot.

Collecting Even More Victory Points fro the Wessex Family in Obsession

The Best of Derbyshire

Grand society came to the Wessex estate courtesy of the family’s quality acquaintances. I might go so far as to label some of these astute individuals as actual friends!

The boost in revenue from these visits was simply amazing, as was the steady rise in reputation.

Viscount Ashwood didn’t partake in a library activity, though he was most impressed with the collection. If only he had a monocle, though. He looked like he needed one!

Many of the casual guests boasted positive traits, too. None of the cads, paupers, and heiresses this time!

Admiring the Social Circle of High Society in Obsession

Dumping the Hanovers

I WON! The point differential was enormous and I was in great spirits after such a lengthy battle. There was only one way to celebrate, and the staff knew just what to do.

A promotional tile is called the east end ha-ha, where a guest is dismissed. I like to interpret that as meaning they missed the sunken fence and went a’tumblin’!

Well, I gladly took the Hanover card and unceremoniously dumped it right over the sunken fence to roll away.

Good riddance! This was so oddly satisfying after I yelled at the card for months. Ha ha! I mean… Ha-ha!

A Long-Awaited Victory and Unceremonious Dumping of the Hanovers in Obsession

Session Overview

Play Number: 31 and 32
Expansion: Obsession: Wessex Expansion
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Standard Play with Closed Courtship
Outcome: 115-132 and 151-121 (1 Win and 1 Loss)

Everything came together beautifully with this play! There was a little warmup in there, but this final play was perfect. The Wessex family nearly reached the maximum reputation level, too. It was all in the marble floor! Might I remind you that it’s imported?! So important. The Hanovers may be gone, but I have more families ahead!

Leading the County with a Very Good Reputation in Obsession


60 Plays


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


+ Pros (Positives)

  • Gameplay is delightful with many paths to victory points and challenges, all within an appealing sort of theme.
  • The quality of the building tiles is excellent with extra thick cardboard that doesn’t show signs of chipping.
  • Each playable family has a unique starting bonus, yet there is no set path for each one to take towards victory.
  • It’s often difficult to ignore the emerging stories that develop as guests visit and activities take place.
  • Closed courtship makes every season’s theme unknown, which requires taking calculated risks each round.
  • A full experience exists with the base game, yet the expansions add new elements and interesting ways to play.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • Some objective cards require the right building tiles to come out, so earning extra victory points can be tricky.
  • There are a couple of rules that are a little hard to find in the rulebook or glossary, such as discarding objectives.
  • Only the Wessex estate has its own depiction, and artwork for the other family manors would have been nice.
  • The initial family friends and builders’ market lineup can create more difficult starts with certain combinations.

More Obsession

Explore related posts about Obsession!

Victory Conditions

Score the Most Points

  • Overall Goal Progress 100% 100%

Goals and Milestones


Win at least 1 game against the Annesley family.


Win at least 1 game against the Blois family.


Win at least 1 game against the Boleyn family.


Win at least 1 game against the Brunswick family.


Win at least 1 game against the Cornwallis family.


Win at least 1 game against the Eden family.


Win at least 1 game against the Fairfax family.


Win at least 1 game against the Fitzherbert family.


Win at least 1 game against the Gladstone family.


Win at least 1 game against the Grosvenor family.


Win at least 1 game against the Hanover family.


Win at least 1 game against the Lancaster family.


Win at least 1 game against the Orange family.


Win at least 1 game against the Seymour family.


Win at least 1 game against the Simpson family.


Win at least 1 game against the Stuart family.


Win at least 1 game against the Tudor family.

Continue the Conversation

Which solo opponent in Obsession has been the most difficult for you? There are still several more for me to try before I want to introduce more expansion material. Let that be a lesson that the base game and first expansion offer up tons of variety! Do you have a favorite family to play as? I’m looking forward to many more fun times ahead in Derbyshire!


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