Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Romancing the Throne's Daughter (Love Letter)

Your hand is trembling.  Your heart thumping harder than it ever has.  You pull your cloak a little tighter, hoping no one notices you out here.  Then, a branch snaps, and you turn, ready to run.  But it's just the palace guard you arranged to meet out here.  Without a word, you pass the letter to him, and he merely nods.  You watch as he travels back to the castle, carrying the only chance to woo the princess, your Love Letter.

GAME DESCRIPTION:  Love Letter is a 2-4 player card game.  The goal is to be either the only player left, or have the highest card in your hand by each rounds end.  Each player starts with 1 card in their hand, and 1 card is removed.  Each turn, the current player draws a card, plays 1 of their cards, and the turn ends.  

CARDS:  Each card has a different rule when played, and a different value:
  • GUARD (1):  Choose a player, and name a non-Guard card they have in their hand.  If they have that card, they discard it and are out for that round.
  • PRIEST (2):  Allows you to peek at 1 players hand.
  • BARON (3):  Compare hands with another player, and the player with the lowest card is out for the round. 
  • HANDMAID (4):  Prevents you from being affect by any card until your next turn.
  • PRINCE (5):  One player, which can include you, must discard their entire hand. 
  • KING (6):  Trade your hand with any other player.
  • COUNTESS (7):  A high card, but is discarded if you draw either the King or Prince.
  • PRINCESS (8):  If she is discarded for any reason, you're out for the round.

WINNING:  Each game is divided into rounds.  A round ends when the cards run out, or only 1 player is left.  If there is more than 1 player left, the player with the highest value card wins the round.  Then, that player gets a Token of Affection.  When you get the appropriate number of Tokens, you win.

CONCLUSION: This is another quick game you can play in between rounds and during breaks.  But unlike most games like this, this game isn't as easy to master.  This game relies on heavy bluffing, planning ahead, and a bit of luck to pull out a win.  I'm really bad at this game, but I've managed to win a few rounds, and even a game or two.  Players may be put off by it's apparent simplicity, but it's definitely harder than it looks.  

AFTERTHOUGHTS:  The other really interesting thing about Love Letter is the different versions.  With Munchkin, Batman, Adventure Time, and more, there's a lot of ways to play.  Each version I've managed to get my hands on has altered the rules slightly, making it less of a 're-skin' and more of a unique version,  My favorite would be the Batman version, as it streamlines a game that's already pretty quick.  I'd recommend checking them out.

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