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Subject: Rating Heroines or How to Drive an Austen Fan Crazy rss

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Dr. UDO
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Chandler
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My wife likes Jane Austen. I mean really likes Jane Austen. She owns multiple copies of her books and reads them. She owns all the easily obtainable movie productions and likes to watch them for date night. We have even watched the FIVE HOUR BBC production of Pride and Prejudice multiple times. She has had me read all the books so that I could talk about the characters with her (I rated Pride and Prejudice 3 stars on Goodreads.com and got in trouble, but that is a different story). I indulge her since she also indulges my gaming habit.

Since the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice there have been a number of self started Jane Austen games on Kickstarter. Looking to unite our interests, we backed both Marrying Mr. Darcy and Jane Austen's Matchmaker.

The Game
Jane Austen's Matchmaker is a game of making marriages. Almost every person of marriageable age from any of her primary novels is represented by a card. Ladies and gentlemen are rated in Charm, Virtue, Social Standing and Wealth. Putting your ladies into society and finding matches for your gentlemen will score points. However, any unmarried ladies in your society at the end of the game will count against you.

Components
The game comes in a simple tuck box. As all the cards are in the same deck this works well enough. Cards are of a decent weight and have a good finish. The portraits of the ladies and gentlemen are very well done. The only issue I have is that with all the individual portraits done for the cards, it would have been really nice to have an art back to the cards. As it is, it is a simple green background with the name of the card printed on it repeatedly.

Rules
The rules consist of a single folded sheet of paper. They are well laid out and clear on the first reading with sections clearly labeled if you need to reference them.

Game Play
Game play is fairly easy as you have only a few options every turn:
- Add a lady to your society
- propose marriage
- Push a lady out of your society
- Draw a card
If one person has more ladies than anyone else, they may take two actions. Keeping cards in hand is useful as it allows one to thwart the proposals of predatory gentlemen of no virtue. Points are scored by exchanging the gentleman for a lady and adding them to your marriage pile. When the deck of cards runs out, you count the Virtue points in your marriage pile and subtract any from ladies left in your society. The highest score wins!

This game can be very luck dependent. A handful of only gentlemen, especially those with little virtue, can put you back severely. However, the game is quick and light, an honestly, if you are playing this game you aren't looking for a deep strategy.

Thoughts
I was pleasantly surprised that there was more game here than I thought there would be. There are some fun momemnt when you realize you can pressure someone into a bad trade with your "scum ball" gentlemen (my sister-in-law's words) or force someone to discard to avoid a bad marriage. The best part of this game is playing it with a fan of the novels though. This results in comments like:

"They gave Lydia a virtue of two? How did that happen?"
"Augusta Hawkins is listed as wealth of four and Anne Elliot is listed as wealth of two. They both had a dowry of 10,000 pounds! How is this different?"
"Mr. Collins should have at least some virtue!"
"The distribution of these cards are wrong. Mr. Darcy had 10,000 pounds a year!"
"Oh look! I can make Elizabeth marry Darcy! That is the way it is supposed to happen!"

It might also result in internet research to verify the validity of their distributions finding scholorly works like this one on the wealth of characters in the novels.

Overall, I see it as a game I will certainly play with my wife or the other Jane Austen fans I know but it won't be hitting the table for game night.


edit: fixed the URL for the wealth paper
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