This week we started out with another new game called Love Letter. This is a really cute little game that packs in a huge amount of deduction, risk, assassination, luck and bluffing, especially considering it comprises only sixteen cards and a handful of cubes. Basically, each player has a hand of just one card and on a turn, players draw one card, and play one card, trying to expose others and knock them out of the game. The winner of the round is the player with the highest value card or the last man standing. We played four rounds, after which it was clear that beginners luck was ruling the day with the players who had played before all failing to win a round.
Due to work commitments and a stroppy horse our less experienced players were unable to attend, so we had a bit of a change of plan and decided to leave the “Feature Game” (Ticket to Ride) for another day. Since we had another new (though experienced) gamer, we decided to play a new, deeper game called Village. In this game, each player takes the reins of a family striving for fame and glory. Village is full of difficult decisions, yet moves quite quickly. However, what is particularly unique is the way the game uses the delicate subject of death as a natural and perpetual part of life in the village and a mechanism for dictating the flow and duration of the game.
The strategies players employed varied hugely, from exploring the outside world and going into the church, to remaining a penniless farmer, or even trying a bit of everything. From the start it seemed that White was running away with victory as he left the Village and explored the shire. Meanwhile Red decided that piety was the best option and sent his sons into the church, leaving Blue and Yellow splashing about in the mud on the farm. However, towards the end it became apparent that Yellow was hatching a cunning plan in the council chamber and suddenly made a fortune trading in the market. The final result hinged on Blue’s decision to sell a cow which started a market day giving White the opportunity he needed to effectively have an extra turn and win by two points, with Yellow, Blue and Red surprisingly close behind.
Learning Outcome: When it comes to Village life, a single-minded strategy is often more effective than dabbling in everything.