Category Archives: love letter

love letter

Genius!

AEG have announced a new Love Letter edition, Lovecraft Letter. The title alone is just share genius. I’m sad enough that I’d buy it just based on that alone.

I’m surprised it’s taken them this long to do a Lovecraft themed version.

Looking at the rule book it looks like it will be getting  the same treatment as the Love Letter Premium/Deluxe edition. So big box, and sleeved. I like that bit.

It plays 2-6, 25 playing cards, 9 of which have insanity effects. Naturally there are tokens for sanity, which are described as dual side poker chips. So I’m expecting the quality of the components to be out of the park. I wouldn’t be surprised if they used the tarot sized cards for this. Plus the rules look more than just the usual minor tweak of previous versions.

So I’m pretty excited about this edition.

You can see some cards, download the rule book here on the AEG site.

New Gaming Wing Additions 24Apr16

First up the mid point in the Mumbad Cycle cycle arrived. Nothing in this data pack really grabbed me as “this has to go in my deck”. So for the time being this is a bought to just keep my card pool upto date. I felt dirty typing that, and even dirtier reading it back.

The first expansions for Ashes that I pre-ordered arrived. It should be hitting the stores real soon. Like the art work the packaging for these expansions is beautiful.
Because I pre-ordered it from PlaidHat themselves I got two promo Phoenixborn. I already had Dimona so not much point putting another photo of her up here. However it is worth putting up the new promo Phoenixborn Lulu Firststone. I also got extra dice that PlaidHat are now selling. And were also up for pre-order at the same time as the expansions. Which technically means I could run a mono dice Phoenixborn!
Dimona will be used most likely as a prize in any Ashes event I organise. If I'm lucky I can get one of the OP kits PlaidHat do that are currently only available to stores and organise something.

 

Can you believe that the UK Games Expo wasn't one of the promo game tiles made for Suburbia by Bezier Games when they did the Game Con Bonus Tiles promos? I know shocking!

The replacement die for Dead of Winter arrived. Which means I'm a happy bunny. But it still eats away what happened to the previous one.
Finally some new additions to the minifig collection.

This time I do really mean finally a replacement Batman Love Letter. I will manage to keep one of these one day.

So that's all the new additions to the new gaming wing being built.

I Have A Plan!

We were going to be a man down last night, so with no Matt the remaining Pandemic Legacy crew decided to hold a normal game evening instead.

Our first game of the evening was one of the hot games of 2014 Five Tribes. If you remember I had played this once before nearly a year ago, but the experience was less than enjoyable because of a big baby being a sore loser.

This evenings experience playing Five Tribes was so so much more pleasurable. Jonathan's tactic of getting goods from the trade row won out. Jo was collecting fakirs for some reason, and despite it being pointed out they are worth no points at the end, claimed she had a plan.

Our game ended because there were no more legal moves left to play.

I love the fact you get this nice thick (read lots of pages) score pad for this game. Discoveries are you paying attention? You don't even give a score pad!

After the scores were calculated and added up, Jonathan romped home for the win.

Our second game of the evening was Takenoko. Cute panda, bamboo, frustrated gardener, what more could you want in a game?

This game seemed to be over quickly. It definitely lived up to the predicted forty five minutes playtime on the box. Everyone but myself seemed to be completing their aims quickly. Jonathan took an early lead. Very little irrigation was taking place, or more accurately none except for some I did. There was hardly any bamboo growing either. A lot of tile placement was going on, and they were the cards being completed the most by the others.

Jonathan won, by completing the goal of seven cards and getting the bonus two points. In Doscoveries the wooden die feel light, and I don't really enjoy handling them. However the wooden dice in the Tokenoko feels much better.

Like Jonathan I too thought we were missing something about the game? What was the point of the other cards? More to the fact the gardener. I'm going to have to go on bgg and see if this is a common problem with them game.

It did hit me over night maybe this isn't really a four player game! Maybe it works better as a three player game.

I had a meh feeling after the game. Neither hated it or really loved it. The question I have to ask myself does this now warrant staying in the collection? It might hit the table again to try it with three players. But at the moment it is sitting on a short list of now two with Krosmaster Arena of being on my way out list.

Wrapping up the evening we first played Love Letter Batman. Jonathan just walked away the victory for this game getting four tokens in two games before the rest of us even got a single token. For the record that's two wins, and two eliminations using the Batman card to guess correctly a players card.

The evening concluded with a game of Lost Legacy and our great debate, controversy of the evening.

So what caused the debate? It was the investigation phase. We were all still in at the end of the game. So we started the investigation stage to find the Lost Legacy card. As per game rules, we started at one, and went up in order, for people to take their turn locating the Lost Legacy card. I was first to go on number four. I guessed Jonathan and was wrong. Next was five, which was Debbie and she had it in her hand and won. So Jo and Jonathan didn't get a go guessing. It was the way this ended that was the bit causing the problem. Made worse when it was pointed out that because Jonathan had an X card he wouldn't get to guess at all.

In this game if you had two discarded X cards you are eliminated. Jonthan had drawn one early, and had ended up with a second, so was handicapped unable to get rid of the card to get one to allow him to guess at the end. I did point out there were cards in the deck that could have overcome this situation. I had one I didn't play that would have got him out of the situation. Jo played one that would have by shuffling his discard pile back into the deck, but instead she used it on my discard pile instead.

I didn't see it as an issue. There is a lot of decisions and thought that has to go into playing Lost Legacy. If you have a low number card do you play it for its ability or hold on to it to guess early at the investigation stage? I played the one card The Saint early which stopped me being eliminated. I had also played a card that allowed me to look at two cards off the top of the deck, put one in the ruins and put one in my hand. So I had knowledge of the ruins.

The higher value cards in the game seemed at trying to eliminate players. So for me ones you definitely try and play.

I think the theme didn't help (Jonothan isn't a scifi fan), and a little confusion over the end part of the game with none of us realising until the end when we went through the rules for the investigation phase that low is good at that point. Which is different to Love Letter.

Five Tribes was definitely the big hit of the evening.

 

Fenland Gamers Last Hooraa of 2015

Last night saw the last of the Fenland Gamers Christmas program of meet ups, and the last one for 2015.
For this end of year game fest, Jo, Debbie, their Dad and brother to Jonathan, Katie, Jonathan and myself met up at the usual location.
After a couple of false starts on games, we played Bang the Dice Game. This warm up game with the whole group playing saw the outlaws sneak the win. Sadly I wasn't on the winning side, I had been cast as the deputy.
For our next games we split up into two groups of three. Jo, her Dad and myself made one group and played one of Jo's favourite games Machi Koro.
Once again I rocked this game, and romped home with the win. My tactic of buying the expensive land marks early once more paid off. Next time I think we will play with the Harbour expansion, that should shake up the game a little.
While waiting for the other group to finish their game we played Love Letter The Hobbit. I like this version for the couple of new bits it introduces. I like the zero value One Ring card, that if you have it at the end of the game becomes a seven in value. Plus the two different three value cards. One being Legolas and if you have the lower value card in the hand comparison you are out (nothing new there), and the other being Tauriel which switches that comparison totally around, so the person with the highest value card is out.
Coming from behind I managed to get the win. By the time I had achieved my victory, the other group were coming to the end of their game and using advanced calculus working out the scores and who had won.
We split into different groups this time, Debbie, her Dad and myself played Kingdom Builder, whilst the others went off to play at bomb disposal.
A victory for me at Kingdom Builder gave me a hat trick of wins for the evening.
While we were waiting for the other group to finish their game, I quickly set up and read the rules for Codenames.
Codenames is a game Jonathan had been wanting to try for a while. Well it has been getting a lot of buzz earlier in the year when it came out. It also has made a few top ten lists of games of 2015 since.
We split up into two teams, blue and red. Blue was Jonathan, Debbie and Jo. While Red was myself, Katie and the girls Dad. Jonathan and I were the clue givers for our respective teams.
The history books will record that Blue won two games to one. But the history books won't show that we had a great time playing this. It's always a good sign when folks ask to play another game when the first play finishes.
I liked Codenames (which is cool because I bought it!). But boy giving the clues is hard. Trying to find clues that relate to more than one word is hard. You may think the clue is obvious and it just doesn't click with the guessers on your team. Keeping that poker face amid frustration seeing the guessers go down the wrong path is hard.
Then there is the doh! moment when you the second after you give a clue you suddenly realise it applies to more than one word, and you had missed that!
The game has a lot of replayability, and is a steal at the price. A great party game (which I'm not usually a fan of).
The other group played the new Pennsylvania map for Ticket to Ride (which I want to give a try), and also the rather good Bomb Squad Academy.

Don't forget if you are local and into gaming, or would like to try something more than mainstream fair, why not come along to one of the Fenland Gamer sessions.

Costa and Gaming… Reprise

Once again I had an errand to run in town, so plans had been made to again meet up at Costa for coffee and games. This mornings casual gaming session was attended by Debbie and her visiting Dad. Jo had decided the warmth and comfort of staying in bed asleep was more preferable than enjoying a hot beverage, got d company and games. That or she didn't fancy hanging out with two old fuddy duddys like her dad and myself. Which is totally understandable.

The coffee shop gaming experience started off with a game of the push your luck dice game Age of War. After Debbie beat the two old dudes, we played Oink Games little push your luck game Deep Sea Adventure. Whilst playing a lady from another table enquired about the game we were playing, because she hadn't seen anything like it before. In the meantime Debbie's Dad and I struggled to get any treasure to the surface, whilst Debbie once more racked up the points. After the third and final dive, Debbie was the only one to score anything, a win by default!

Our final game of the mini meetup was a game of my favourite version of Love Letter, Batman. Look I'm a Batman fan, so why wouldn't this be my favourite version? Anyway I managed to get a convincing victory and stop Debbie walking away with a clean sweep of wins.

Another great caffeine meetup, thanks Debbie and Debbie's Dad for a great time.

Boss Monster II Final Part of Kickstarter Jigsaw Arrives…

 

 

 

In A Galaxy Far Far Away A New Love Letter

Hobby World and AEG have just announced one of the least surprising licences for Love Letter yet. In fact the only surprise is it's taken them this long, and that it is country exclusive.

If you haven't guessed from the above photo, there is going to be a Star Wars: Love Letter. Apparently according to the announcement Seiji Kanai (creator of Love Letter I believe) has created an exclusive Bobba Fett card for this version.

The sad thing is at the moment it is a Russian exclusive. I so hope that the licensing can be sorted so that we can get this beautiful looking version here.

Here is the announcement. Images taken from the Hobby World website.

 

Nath’s Birthday Weekend – Sunday

Our Sunday mini gaming session kicked off once Nath had surfaced and showered with Tides of Time.
This was the first time for both Nath and I playing this card drafting game. Compared with other card games the cards in Tides of Time are enormous. However they are beautiful looking, as is the whole game. Ok there is no art inside the lid of the box, but there is a lovely piece of art is the base of the box.
Nath and I very quickly picked up the simple rules. What marks Tides of Time out from other drafting games is that at the end of each of the first two rounds each player chooses one card to remove from the game and one card to keep in front of them.
Naturally Nath enjoyed this game. I think comprehensively beating me (take a look at the score pad that comes with the game in the above photo) helped a lot towards that.
We were just setting up Tiny Epic Galaxies when Nath's girlfriend came to the table, so I invited her to join us in playing the game.

After a quick explanation of the rules and talking them both through a couple of turns, Nath and his girlfriend had the game down. This is the second time I've played the game, and I have to say I'm loving it. There was some nice tit for tat interactions using planet abilities to foil the plans of each other.

Once again Nath walked away with a convincing victory. Nath and his girlfriend both liked the game. One comment made by her was it was “complicated but fun”. Which is interesting because she is a none hobby gamer, whose previous experience of games are the mainstream offerings. So between Nath teaching his girlfriend Star Realms yesterday, and now going straight into Tiny Epic Galaxies, I think she is experiencing a new view of what board games are.

We finished the mini gaming session with me introducing Batman Love Letter to Nath and his girlfriend. This was a blast with me knocking Nath out first card by playing a Batman and guessing his card on a turn one. His girlfriend forgetting which card I had after just exchanging cards with me. Or me forgetting I had played Harley Quinn a couple of turns earlier when guessing Nath's card and naming her!

However Nath funny enough didn't enjoy this game as much because his winning streak came to an end, with his girlfriend winning the game.

I left Nath this copy of Batman Love Letter so that they can play it also while I'm not there.

This was a fun little gaming session with Nath and his girlfriend. It was a pleasure meeting Nath's girlfriend for the first time. She's also a Marvel Geek! Now maybe Nath will have to watch the excellent Daredevil on Netflix. She did say she was going to force him to.

 

Coffee and Microgaming

Yesterday I put the call out on social media to see if anyone wanted to meet up today at the local Costa to play Tiny Epic Galaxies. Luckily this time I wasn't Billy no mates, and Jo and Debbie said they would meet up with me to play the game.

I had managed to grab a table at the busy Costa ready for Debbie and Jo to arrive. I had my usual Costa tipple a Chai Latte. When the girls arrived I got them a hot chocolate. So technically the title of this blog isn't entirely accurate.

With our beverages sorted we set up Tiny Epic Galaxies. I explained the basics of the game and we started playing.

As we played we discussed options on each other's go. I think this helped with the learning curve.

Despite efforts to try and slow her down using one of the powers of a planet I had colonised, which was paying two power to move two enemy ships minus one position each, Jo still managed to get to the required 21 points to trigger the end of the game.

For a first play I think we all did really well. None of us achived our secret missions so not extra points there at the end. But Jo was the clear winner with twenty six points. Debbie and I came joint last with sixteen points.
We then moved on to a couple of quick games of Batman Love Letter. The first game was very quick with Debbie romping home with a victory before Jo or I could even score a point.
Our second game saw Jo and I score a point each before Debbie swept in and scooped up three points. But the tides turned again with Jo scored a couple of points pulling even with Debbie. Then Jo scored that final point for the win.

Thanks to Debbie and Jo for being great gaming companions. I had a great time playing the games in Costa , even with me not winning a single game!

 

Induction Day – Student Gaming

Today and yesterday were the first day of the new academic year for some of our students. For the first couple of days our students are on a special timetable from the rest of the academic year while they go through induction activities.

For my part of the induction process I like to use boards games.The games I usually use are Love Letter (Hobbit, Batman and Loot Letter) and also Resistance.

My first session with some level two students. For this I had the students play Love Letter with the winner on each table getting a prize (a McD Luigi toy from their current promotion, a Lego Minifig Mirkwood Elf, or a Lego Minifig TMNT).

The next session I had was a double session with some level three students. I started off with a Love Letter “tournament” for the first half, using more of the same prizes from the morning.

Then for the second session one group played Resistance while the other group played Bang! the Dice Game.

This morning for another level three double session (different group), they had the same Love Letter “tournament” followed by Resistance (I had managed to borrow a second copy for today).

About two or three of the two level three groups play a CCG of some type (yes Magic was the most popular). While the rest weren't really gamers.

However from all the groups it was evident that they had a good time playing the games. In fact one in his lunch break today went to the LGS and bought a copy of Loot Letter. Wow! he went with that version because he liked the none gloss cards better.

The nice thing was the last session today I was able to play a game of Loot Letter myself with the students. Which was great fun. I also quickly taught the ones I played Loot Letter how to play Sushi Go. Although we didn't have time to play a full game.

The students were interacting with each other, which is why I had chosen these games. The games broke the ice and gave them an enjoyable break from the other induction activities. Win, win in my book.

Plus I think we have some gamers (both video and board) so we might be able to get a gaming society going for the students.

 

Gaming Day

We had an induction event at work today for students starting in September. I had been put down to “entertain” a group of them for a couple of hours in the morning.

Recently it has come to light that I have a little bit of a Love Letter addiction and own eight copies of the game in various editions.

My plan was simple, I would utilise my Love Letter problem and hold a little Love Letter tournament with the students.

This was this first time the students had played the game. Plus for this group the first time that they had played a game that would not be considered “mainstream”. Sadly none of the group play tabletops, and most would say their last experience was playing the likes of Monopoly or Frustration.

The way I organised the tournament was that the winners from each table would be playing against each other in the next round. And then mix the other tables up based on how many tokens each remaining player had scored that round. To have consistent scoring between the versions we used the Batman Love Letter scoring, which meant that the guard card or equivalent when played and the player guesses correctly they get a token. Which is in addition to a token for winning the round.

This proved a great way of getting the students to mix, because this was the first time they had met.

Next time I run a Love Letter tournament (which will most likely be September) I’m hoping to get some prizes in place for the students to win. The only reason there wasn’t anything this time is because I had very little notice that I would be doing this today, let alone time to think about how I would fill the time slot.

The students had a good time playing the game. Which is the important thing.

At the end of the session I ended up showing one group an example of a “modern” boardgame by taking my copy of Run Fight or Die! out (I just happened to have a copy in my bag!) and quickly setting it up and explaining how the game is played.

What do I look for in a game to use with me students?

It has to be quick to teach, ideally in five to ten minutes. Lessons are one hour twenty (a two hour session like today is a rarity), so playtime for the game should be under an hour. Ideally the game should support four to six players, and not be expensive to buy (funnily enough I don’t have a budget for this sort of thing).

So what games do I currently use with the students:

  • Love Letter
  • Resistance
  • Fluxx
  • Munchkin
  • Zombie Dice

 

And here is a list of games I’m looking to try/introduce:

  • Coup
  • Sushi Go!
  • One Night Resistance (or I think it’s changed to Rebellion)
  • Age of War

Tuesday Night Netrunner

Well I was at the Kings Head at 7pm. Sadly a grand total of zero people turned up. I hung around for forty odd minutes. But I must have looked pretty sad nursing my orange and lemonade (with ice) while reading the rules to Hive. Then again I was the only customer there.

I will get this off the ground. So here is looking to next Tuesday and hopefully a bigger turnout.

New Arrivals

Well after last night and my complaint with Amazon where I cancelled the order and got a refund, that Imperial Settlers was delivered today was rather surprising. I wasn’t expecting that at all, especially when the Royal Mail told the Amazon support person the earliest they could attempt to redeliver was Wednesday! So my logic went I’ll cancel the order, get refund, reorder the game. While I’m doing that Amazon tell the Royal Mail to return the package. And life and the universe are at peace with one another once more.

The day had gone as planned, the manager from the local Royal Mail didn’t call me as promised. Royal Mail customer support is so shitty. I’m too drained to follow this up. Apparently Royal Mail managers finish at 2pm so I can’t even pop round after work to catch them.

I wonder why the Royal Mail is losing business to competition?

Finally Boss Monster 2 arrived, this is the kickstarter Collectors Editon that I went for which is made up of the limited edition game and a special lunchbox to store the cards of the game, plus stretch goals. I’ll get the special lunchbox later in the year. So excited about that. If you are remotely interested you can get the full list of the rewards I’ll be getting here on the this page.

The second hand copy of Hive Pocket is in good condition, I’m looking forward to learning this game. It’s potentially a game for trips.

Finally Nations the Dice Game also arrived. I really want to get this and Roll for the Galaxy to the table very very soon.

 

 

 

 

QOTD: How many copies of love letter is too many?

With the arrival of the clamshell (read has the bag) edition of Munchkin Loot Letter today, I did a quick adding up, and I have eight!

I think I have a problem, and need an intervention.

Favourite Version? Batman Love Letter, great art, amazing tokens, just the whole package is awesome.

Worst Bag? Munchkin Loot Letter – after being spoilt by the lovely soft velvet material, stitched logos of the Batman, Hobbit and Tempest editions the plastic feel and print on logos of Loot Letter were a major disappointment.

Best Rule Change? Batman Love Letter – when playing a Batman card and you guess another players card not only do you knock that player out for that round you also get a bonus token.

Best Tokens? Batman Love Letter – those little oval yellow Batman logos are awesome!

Least Favourite Tokens? Love Letter The Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies – although very thematic I just don't like the little plastic gem like counters.

Why do I need so many copies? Well this coming Tuesday I'm holding a Love Letter tournament for some new students. I'll be writing about that then.