- John(jda1974)United States
Last night, I played my first-ever game of Liebe & Intrige, a German game set in (I believe) the 1800’s and centered around marrying your three daughters to the most eligible bachelors. Since neither I nor anyone I played with speaks German, we were greatly indebted to the impeccable English translations provided by Diane Close. Links to these translations can be found within this post: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/309782
One thing I could not find a translation for was the title. However, based on contextual clues and the overall theme of the game, I’m fairly confident that “Liebe & Intrige” translates to “Skanky Girls in Ugly Dresses Who Go Around Bitch Slapping Each Other.” (I might have a word or two off, but that’s close at least!)
I played with my friend Kate, my other friend Matt, and Matt’s boyfriend, Matt. (Yeah, I’ve told them the whole Matt/Matt thing is confusing, but they refuse to change names or break up.) Kate picked the color Red because she said it was the sluttiest, and in a game where you try to score with multiple men, she thought that would give her an advantage. I chose Green, and I honestly cannot remember which of the Matts chose Blue and which chose Yellow.
HOW YOU PLAY
First, a quick overview. Some of the game mechanics involved include:
* Memory (which I’m not normally a fan of, but it didn’t bother me that much here)
* Screw Your Neighbor
* Skill building (but not as intense as a traditional RPG)
* Set collecting
* Luck (rolling dice, dealing cards, etc.)
In the game, each player has three daughters, though you only ever have one in play at a time, so you only need one meeple to represent her/them. Note that while most games would refer to your active character in the first person (i.e., “Move your pawn.”), in Liebe & Intrige, you’re one step removed, and the pawns are always referred to not as a representation of you but instead as “your daughter(s).” While part of this is thematic, as parents certainly took a very proactive role in their daughters courtship during the time period in which the game is set, the cynic in me can’t help but wonder if it’s also done so that all of those ultra-masculine He-Men who pick up a froo-froo game in a pink box won’t have their delicate sensibilities offended by having to play as -- gasp -- a chick!
In the game, you move your current daughter to various locations around town. In these locations, she has the opportunity to increase one of her three skills -- Reputation, Beauty and Education. (Each daughter starts with a predetermined ranking in each of these skills). When you land on a location that increases a specific skill, you just move your skill marker up accordingly.
At most of the locations, she may also look through a stack of Gentlemen cards and take one. There are a total of 14 different Gentlemen in the game, and each is represented by six cards. A daughter may have the cards of no more than three individual Gentlemen in her possession, but for each of those three Gentlemen, she may hold as many of his cards as she can get. (Note that though the men are referred to as “Gentlemen” in the rules, in our game, we made several aspersions about their un-gentleman-like natures, though modesty prevents me from sharing specifics here.)
Each Gentleman’s card lists the same three skills as the daughters (Reputation, Beauty and Education). However, in this case, these numbers do not change and refer to the minimum skill level a daughter must possess in order to marry this particular Gentleman. In addition, each Gentleman card lists the number of Victory Points he is worth should the daughter marry him. For instance, a Gentleman worth 12 Victory Points (the maximum number) requires a Reputation of 3, Beauty of 5 and Education of 4. Meanwhile, a Gentleman worth 4 Victory Points (the minimum number) only requires a Reputation of 0, Beauty of 2 and Education of 2.
Once your current daughter has three cards of one Gentleman AND she meets the minimum requirements in all three skills, they are automatically married. One of the Gentleman’s cards is kept for end-of-game scoring, and the rest are removed from the game. The daughter’s card is set to the side, and your next daughter is revealed and played. This goes on until one player has married off all three daughters, at which points the game ends, and all scores are tallied.
As you help your own daughters, you may also try to hinder the daughters of other players. This differs a bit from many Eurogames (where neighbor-screwage tends to be much less direct) and is where the “Bitch Slapping” in my translated title comes into play. While you are at a location with another daughter, you may attempt an “Intrigue” against here, which basically means that you start smack-talking her in public. To do this, your roll a six-sided die, four sides of which are in your favor and two sides of which favor the other daughter. The winner gets to take a Gentleman card from the other player. In our game, though we didn’t end up doing this nearly as much as we thought we would, when we did do it, it was always over a specific Gentlemen that two girls were fighting over.
In addition, each player holds a number of Event cards, many of which affect your opponents. For instance, one of the Matts had this absolutely stunning daughter (i.e, high Beauty score) who ended up looking like a circus freak once I gave her a few cases of smallpox. Served the snooty princess right if ya ask me!
Additional Event cards allow you to increase your own daughters' skills, score Victory Points at the end, and look through stacks of cards.
So, that's basically how the game works. Here's a bit more about our session...
In our game, my daughters kept getting these ugly, old lechers for their so-called Gentlemen, while everyone else seemed to be making time with Ewan McGregor, Jake Gyllenhaal and David Beckham. Hence, the other players' daughters seemed to be poised for scoring better points, while mine were likely to only get low scores (and, quit possibly, syphilis). However, since I seemed to end up with the ugliest daughters (which was evident both from their low Beauty staring level and their hideous pictures), this didn’t end up being that much of a detriment.
Matt and Matt spent much of the game fighting over the same Gentlemen, an occurence that we managed to let pass without making real-life allusions (well, not too many, anyway). Kate, meanwhile, found herself smitten with lots of hot, high-scoring men. Sadly, my hideous children could not escape the wretched old men who kept laying in wait for them, and I ended up giving in to their geriatric charms.
In the end, Kate won the game by a landslide (I guess she was right about the color Red!). In addition, she and both of the Matts got extra points for Most Beautiful Family (Matt2), Best Educated Family (Matt1) and Best Reputation (Kate, proving that life doesn’t always imitate art). Sadly, there were no bonus points available for Married to the Most Nasty Old Men, so I was not similarly awarded.
We had quite a bit of fun playing our game, though -- to be fair -- a lot of it came from the table banter, which is pretty common in our group. The game lent itself well to our own color commentary, from Matt1’s really bad accents to Kate’s snide remarks about the daughters’ virtue to Matt2’s constant complaining that he just wanted to send his daughters to a nunnery and be done with them. You have to play this with a sense of humor (which we did); there are some other folks I play with semi-regularly who I suspect might take this one a bit too seriously, therefore hampering the fun of all involved.
The components of the game are very nice overall. The board is nice, thick and glossy -- I’m not quite sure I’ve seen a board quite as glossy as this! It does seem odd, then, that the board folds “out” (with the picture side exposed) where it seems more prone to damage. That’s just a minor nitpick, though.
I haven’t even opened the Event cards (since they are all in German and I already have the English translations), but the Gentlemen cards are fine, though, oddly enough, a bit grainy-feeling. Not sure what they’re made out of, but it’s not standard cardstock. The rest of the components are fine, including the daughter meeples which have great big flowing dresses.
The box looks GREAT, like an old hardback book. Unfortunately, when you open it, the insert doesn’t work that well. I actually have to put things underneath the insert to get it all to fit. Part of this might be because I have extra things put in there (the English cards), but I suspect I’d have at least some problems even if I didn’t. My biggest gripe about the box is that even though it’s shaped like a book and you’d think it could sit up on its side, it feels like it’s going to pop open when you do that, so I have to keep a rubber band around it, which sort of ruins the effect.
Quirky game. Fun theme. Light (but not boring) gameplay. Nice components. Good company. I give the game a thumbs up and the individual session a BIG thumbs up. Once I play a few more times, I'll try to figure out an actual numeric ranking for the game.
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- Ph’nglui mglw’nfah Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!(onze)Canada
- Hah! Groovy review, thanks.
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- Diane Close(pdclose)United States
jda1974 wrote:... Since neither I nor anyone I played with speaks German, we were greatly indebted to the impeccable English translations provided by Diane Close.
Oh my! You are very welcome! I did these up for me, but they turned out so nicely that I wanted to share them with my fellow geeks and I'm happy to hear they being used and are useful!jda1974 wrote:One thing I could not find a translation for was the title. However, based on contextual clues and the overall theme of the game, I’m fairly confident that “Liebe & Intrige” translates to “Skanky Girls in Ugly Dresses Who Go Around Bitch Slapping Each Other.” (I might have a word or two off, but that’s close at least!)
LOL, that's a good one! The title translates pretty much directly as "Love and Intrigue" or "Love and Schemings/machinations". Great review/session report too!
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- John(jda1974)United States
Quote:Oh my! You are very welcome! I did these up for me, but they turned out so nicely that I wanted to share them with my fellow geeks and I'm happy to hear they being used and are useful!
Just giving credit where credit is due. I'm not normally a fan of having to print and cut game bits, but you made this one very user-friendly.Quote:LOL, that's a good one! The title translates pretty much directly as "Love and Intrigue" or "Love and Schemings/machinations".
Really??? And here I thought I had it figured out
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- Richard Pickman(rpickman)United States
A very amusing and informative review, thanks.
I've found that a lot of the fun of many boardgames comes from table banter; that's a feature. They don't all have to be brainburners.
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