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Subject: Midnight’s Reviews: Marriage Material, 10 August 2012 rss

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Midnight Reaper
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Midnight’s Reviews:

Title: Marriage Material
Date Played: Friday, 10 August 2012
Time Played: 2+ hours, casually (stops for drinks, snacks, etc)
Players: 3
Complexity: Lightweight
Overall Rating: Very Good
Would Replay: Yes

I got together last night with a couple married friends for dinner and games. We played one game of Marriage Material and then ran out of time. I had played the game before (and own the game), they had never heard of it before. I was playing with Kirk (an old friend) and Marjie (his wife and a good friend of mine as well).

The object of the game is to be the last to 30 points of “Commitment”. When you get to 30 points of Commitment, you are considered “Marriage Material” and are out of the game. The idea is that you are trying to NOT get married, by proving to your boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other that you are NOT ready to get married, by any means available…

The cards are laid down into two decks, face down. The two decks are “Cop-Out” and “Honey-Do”. The Honey-Dos come in two varieties: “Commitment” (the cards you are trying to avoid taking) and “Event” (cards that change the flow of the game, by forcing the players to trash their hands and draw a new hand or move your commitments to the side). The Cop-Outs also come in two varieties: “Excuse” (used to get out of the Commitments) and “Influence” (used to make the other person’s Commitment harder to get out of).

I explained the rules, shuffled the cards, and dealt out five Cop-Out cards to all players to form their hands. I’ve noticed that while you can shuffle the Marriage Material cards like playing cards, the material the cards are made out of is thicker than playing card material and that makes shuffling the cards more difficult than shuffling playing cards. Not impossible, just more difficult.

Marjie went first, as I put the “It’s My Turn” (IMT) card in front of her. She got her two “Cop-Out” cards for her turn and I turned over the first “Honey-Do” card for her. She played enough excuse to get out of it (it was a 1-point Commitment: “Light the Grill”), and the Commitment and the IMT cards went over to Kirk. Kirk got out of it and it went to me. I took it (so as to build my excuses for later in the game). At no point was a Commitment card turned over and the receiver took it right away. All of the Commitment cards were fought over, some harder than others.

Later in the game, there was a 5-point Commitment for bug killing. It was my problem and I played a 5-point Excuse to get out of it. Then Marjie went in for the kill. She kept throwing Influence cards at me and I kept throwing Excuse cards at the problem to get out of it. She runs out of cards to throw at me and it looks like I will get out of this Commitment. Then, her husband rides to her rescue and throws more Influence at me. At this point, I have to stop and add up all the Commitment, Influence and Excuse in play to see where I stood: 21 points of Commitment and Influence and 20 points of Excuse. (For comparison, the highest point value Commitment card and the highest point value Excuse card are both 11-point cards.) I played a 1-point Excuse and get out of the Commitment once and for all!

This victory proved to be short-lived, as I went out shortly afterward. I was unable to fend off the later Commitments because I only had one card left when I was done getting out of bug killing. Shortly after that Commitment was taken up, an Event card caused all the Commitments to be shifted to the player to your right. I was then stuck with all of Marjie’s Commitments, and was forced into taking a couple more Commitments, which were too many for me to take and I was out.

Marjie and Kirk fought it out for 1st and 2nd place while I watched. Then it was 11 and I needed to go so I called the game. I ruled in Marjie’s favor as she had the least Commitment at that point. They then kept playing for a bit. Kirk took that last Commitment card, which caused his point total to go over 30 and then the game was completely over.

A good time was had by all. The artwork on the cards is a pleasure to look at and matches the theme of the cards. The cards are a hoot to read and game play was slowed at times as Kirk and Marjie wanted to read the cards before they went into the discard pile. When asked if they would play again, they both agreed that they would play it again if they had the chance. So would I, which is why I brought it over to their house in the first place.
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Midnight Reaper
United States
Maryland
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I want (to play) them all, and I want (to play) them now!
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Let Him Beware!
Avatar
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Edited to clean up a couple mistypes:

game played was slowed

and

before we they went into the discard pile
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