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Subject: The Variant Review's 2 Player Love Letter Variant rss

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Sky Zero
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Love Letter that's fun for two! Here's a great variant my wife and I use to play Love Letter. I have the Kanai Factory Edition, but this would work just as well with the regular edition.

The Variant

At Game Start
1. Deal 2 cards to each player
2. Deal 1 card face down out of play as per the rules
3. Each player then puts 1 card face down in front of them and keeps 1 in their hand.

Order of Play
1. Pick up your face down card and draw 1 card (3 total in your hand)
2. Play one card face down in front of you
3. Play one card face up and execute the action
4. End your turn

Points of Clarification
1. The soldier can target the hand OR face down card, not both.
2. The face down card is NOT considered your "hand". It can only be targeted by the soldier.
3. Execute the action on the rank 7 card only after playing your face down card. Meaning, I play my face down card (princess for example) and I still have the minister and general in my hand, I LOSE.



Enjoy! I think you'll see this really creates a fantastic 2 player experience for Love Letter.


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Jon Reed
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Cool, I'm excited to try this as lately I've been playing this mostly 2-player. I'll report back and let you know how it turned out for us!
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Sky Zero
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jonsher wrote:
Cool, I'm excited to try this as lately I've been playing this mostly 2-player. I'll report back and let you know how it turned out for us!

Awesome and let us know. It's the only way we'll play now, hope it works as well for you!
 
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Jon Reed
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Works soooo well. Thanks a ton for thinking this up.
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Sky Zero
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jonsher wrote:
Works soooo well. Thanks a ton for thinking this up.

Glad you enjoyed it as much as we do! Really adds a bit of strategy with a touch a bluffing to the 2 Player game.
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Markus Reichart
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jonsher wrote:
Works soooo well.
We enjoy Love Letter in 3-4 player games very much, but 2 player is too short. So we tried this variant. It does not work for us. Sounds great you have a "face down card", but it does not improve our 2p experience. Three cards gives you often the combo "3" and "7/8" for sudden death.
Have we missed something? I hope...
 
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Sky Zero
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Markus R wrote:
jonsher wrote:
Works soooo well.
We enjoy Love Letter in 3-4 player games very much, but 2 player is too short. So we tried this variant. It does not work for us. Sounds great you have a "face down card", but it does not improve our 2p experience. Three cards gives you often the combo "3" and "7/8" for sudden death.
Have we missed something? I hope...

Go back and read "Points of Clarification". The face down card is not your hand and no card actions trigger until AFTER you play a face down card. I've played at least 40+ games this way without any problem. The variant has been highly tested and once played right, you'll see the game move more into a feeling of 3 player duration. We also really enjoy the element of bluffing the face down card brings to the 2 player space.
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Robert Stewart
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skyzero wrote:
Markus R wrote:
jonsher wrote:
Works soooo well.
We enjoy Love Letter in 3-4 player games very much, but 2 player is too short. So we tried this variant. It does not work for us. Sounds great you have a "face down card", but it does not improve our 2p experience. Three cards gives you often the combo "3" and "7/8" for sudden death.
Have we missed something? I hope...

Go back and read "Points of Clarification". The face down card is not your hand and no card actions trigger until AFTER you play a face down card. I've played at least 40+ games this way without any problem. The variant has been highly tested and once played right, you'll see the game move more into a feeling of 3 player duration. We also really enjoy the element of bluffing the face down card brings to the 2 player space.

I think the problem he has is that you can sit on a 7 and wait for a 3 to come up (or vice versa)
 
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Markus Reichart
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rmsgrey wrote:
I think the problem he has is that you can sit on a 7 and wait for a 3 to come up (or vice versa)
Right.
 
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David
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Markus R wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
I think the problem he has is that you can sit on a 7 and wait for a 3 to come up (or vice versa)
Right.
So I play Guard and say Countess or Princess? (you can target the face down card for that)
 
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Markus Reichart
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loofish wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
I think the problem he has is that you can sit on a 7 and wait for a 3 to come up (or vice versa)
So I play Guard and say Countess or Princess? (you can target the face down card for that)
Ok, three shots with Guards for Baron, Countess or Princess at the face down card. Two shots for Baron and Countess as the hand card, because I would not hold Princess in my hand. Half of the game only for checking all opportunities.
Sorry, but I see no effective counter strategy against Baron, Countess or Princess campers.
 
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Sky Zero
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Markus R wrote:
loofish wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
I think the problem he has is that you can sit on a 7 and wait for a 3 to come up (or vice versa)
So I play Guard and say Countess or Princess? (you can target the face down card for that)
Ok, three shots with Guards for Baron, Countess or Princess at the face down card. Two shots for Baron and Countess as the hand card, because I would not hold Princess in my hand. Half of the game only for checking all opportunities.
Sorry, but I see no effective counter strategy against Baron, Countess or Princess campers.

There are too few cards and rounds go way too fast for "campers". This is Love Letter we're talking about, not a 2 hour euro. I've taken out more than my fair share of hiding princesses with the trusty soldier. Maybe the variant just doesn't work for you, not a big deal. Works great for us though and Love Letter sees way more plays at my table because of it. Reason being, the meta-game. The obvious answer is to ALWAYS hide the baron or princess and wait out the knight. Or is it?
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David
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What happens at the end of a round? Highest card of all 4 win the round?
 
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Sky Zero
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loofish wrote:
What happens at the end of a round? Highest card of all 4 win the round?

Face down card is not considered your hand and plays no part in an end of round rank comparison.
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Sky Zero
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grosmorne wrote:
How does this variant work compared to this one: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/927258/a-two-player-vari...?

That's basically a Coup mashup using love letter cards and a bunch of new rules. I did try it and it changes way too many card rules. This is unique to Love Letter with the only change being a face down card. A good variant should feel like it enhances gameplay while maintaining existing rule boundaries and game flow. That's what I always strive for when play testing my variants. It has to "feel" right to be worth posting and this one does so for us in spades.
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Krawhitham B
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I'd like to give this a play test, but have one question.

For the Countess, does her effect of being a mandatory play with a King or Prince happen when I have 3 cards in my hand? Or do I wait until I place a card face down in front of me?
 
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Sky Zero
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Krawhitham wrote:
I'd like to give this a play test, but have one question.

For the Countess, does her effect of being a mandatory play with a King or Prince happen when I have 3 cards in my hand? Or do I wait until I place a card face down in front of me?

As noted in points of clarification, the rank 7 card does not take effect until after playing the face down card. In other words, her play happens after you play a face down card.
 
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Krawhitham B
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skyzero wrote:
Krawhitham wrote:
I'd like to give this a play test, but have one question.

For the Countess, does her effect of being a mandatory play with a King or Prince happen when I have 3 cards in my hand? Or do I wait until I place a card face down in front of me?

As noted in points of clarification, the rank 7 card does not take effect until after playing the face down card. In other words, her play happens after you play a face down card.

So your variant makes her slightly more powerful? I guess that it is better than making her weaker.

I'll let you know how it goes.
 
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Sky Zero
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Krawhitham wrote:
skyzero wrote:
Krawhitham wrote:
I'd like to give this a play test, but have one question.

For the Countess, does her effect of being a mandatory play with a King or Prince happen when I have 3 cards in my hand? Or do I wait until I place a card face down in front of me?

As noted in points of clarification, the rank 7 card does not take effect until after playing the face down card. In other words, her play happens after you play a face down card.

So your variant makes her slightly more powerful? I guess that it is better than making her weaker.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Effect is the same, power is neither greater or weaker. Play a card face down and then follow the effects of the cards in your hand. The only rule change is the soldier can target your hand OR the face down card. All other cards play EXACTLY as written.
 
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Robert Stewart
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skyzero wrote:
Krawhitham wrote:
skyzero wrote:
Krawhitham wrote:
I'd like to give this a play test, but have one question.

For the Countess, does her effect of being a mandatory play with a King or Prince happen when I have 3 cards in my hand? Or do I wait until I place a card face down in front of me?

As noted in points of clarification, the rank 7 card does not take effect until after playing the face down card. In other words, her play happens after you play a face down card.

So your variant makes her slightly more powerful? I guess that it is better than making her weaker.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Effect is the same, power is neither greater or weaker. Play a card face down and then follow the effects of the cards in your hand. The only rule change is the soldier can target your hand OR the face down card. All other cards play EXACTLY as written.

That's a little disingenuous - in the original version, if you have the Countess and draw a 5+, or have a 5+ and draw the Countess, you're required to discard the Countess. In this variant, you can always choose to dodge the effect of her power by putting her in reserve.

It's even more obvious with the Minister, where an alert player will never be eliminated by its effect.
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Sky Zero
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rmsgrey wrote:
skyzero wrote:
Krawhitham wrote:
skyzero wrote:
Krawhitham wrote:
I'd like to give this a play test, but have one question.

For the Countess, does her effect of being a mandatory play with a King or Prince happen when I have 3 cards in my hand? Or do I wait until I place a card face down in front of me?

As noted in points of clarification, the rank 7 card does not take effect until after playing the face down card. In other words, her play happens after you play a face down card.

So your variant makes her slightly more powerful? I guess that it is better than making her weaker.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Effect is the same, power is neither greater or weaker. Play a card face down and then follow the effects of the cards in your hand. The only rule change is the soldier can target your hand OR the face down card. All other cards play EXACTLY as written.

That's a little disingenuous - in the original version, if you have the Countess and draw a 5+, or have a 5+ and draw the Countess, you're required to discard the Countess. In this variant, you can always choose to dodge the effect of her power by putting her in reserve.

It's even more obvious with the Minister, where an alert player will never be eliminated by its effect.

Again, effect is the same. I've lost more games then I can count holding the princess + (General, knight, wizard) + minister. It presents a whole different set of risks and strategies which unfold through play. Even more so than vanilla Love Letter. After 40+ games with this variant, I can say that and be genuine.
 
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Krawhitham B
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skyzero wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
skyzero wrote:
Krawhitham wrote:
skyzero wrote:
Krawhitham wrote:
I'd like to give this a play test, but have one question.

For the Countess, does her effect of being a mandatory play with a King or Prince happen when I have 3 cards in my hand? Or do I wait until I place a card face down in front of me?

As noted in points of clarification, the rank 7 card does not take effect until after playing the face down card. In other words, her play happens after you play a face down card.

So your variant makes her slightly more powerful? I guess that it is better than making her weaker.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Effect is the same, power is neither greater or weaker. Play a card face down and then follow the effects of the cards in your hand. The only rule change is the soldier can target your hand OR the face down card. All other cards play EXACTLY as written.

That's a little disingenuous - in the original version, if you have the Countess and draw a 5+, or have a 5+ and draw the Countess, you're required to discard the Countess. In this variant, you can always choose to dodge the effect of her power by putting her in reserve.

It's even more obvious with the Minister, where an alert player will never be eliminated by its effect.

Again, effect is the same. I've lost more games then I can count holding the princess + (General, knight, wizard) + minister. It presents a whole different set of risks and strategies which unfold through play. Even more so than vanilla Love Letter. After 40+ games with this variant, I can say that and be genuine.

You are actually agreeing with each other here. No one is saying that the effect is different, but it changes the way that you play. Now you have an option if you hold Countess + King/Prince + Any card 4 or below.
 
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Joe Setness
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Thanks for thinking this up and posting it. Here's my take: my wife and I tried this and didn't enjoy it very much (and yes, I read all the above posts for rules clarifications).

We tried it as written, and we also tried it with a double-elimination mechanic - if you were "out" per the normal rules, you didn't lose the round but only lost the right to the use a face-down card, after which your opponent would have three card options per turn (hand card, drawn card, and face-down card) and you would only have two (hand card and drawn card). We liked that better than the standard single-elimination you play with when you have 3+ players, but it still didn't really excite us too much.

We ended up playing it with two hands each, but that's significantly different so I'll start a new thread for that.

Regardless, thanks a lot for posting.

EDIT: forgot to mention that we also tried it with two "set aside" cards - one that she got to see and one that I got to see. It didn't seem to enhance play at all so we we went back to the normal single "set aside" card that neither player got to see.
 
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Zen
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Does the Tempest edition's 2 player setup not work for y'all?
 
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Sky Zero
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zenxacred wrote:
Does the Tempest edition's 2 player setup not work for y'all?

Too little and few decisions with the game pretty much playing itself. And it's over in a blink of an eye.
 
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