Friday, 9 May 2014

Pride & Prejudice & Paranoid Penguins in the Pub

So I played some boardgames the other weekend:

Marrying Mr Darcy

It is a truth universally acknowledged that my Mum is a fanatical Janeite. I'm going to give her the card game Marrying Mr Darcy, but had to test it with my friends first.

This is a crowdfunded card game for 2-6 players based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, in which you play a single young woman trying to improve herself and get married (and nobble her rivals at the same time!).

(Some of) All the single ladies
Events such as going to balls and learning the piano give you Character points (Wit, Beauty, Friendliness and Reputation). When the Event deck runs out, the suitors (Darcy, Bingley, et al.) may or may not propose to you, based on your Character attributes, Dowry, and a die roll. You can also accumulate Cunning, which stymies your rivals and lets you have first pick at the menfolk. But beware! If you reject an undesirable suitor hoping for a better offer, you may miss out altogether and end up as an Old Maid... The winner is the lady with the most points scored from her husband and character.

We had a six-player game (five chaps, one chapette), and I was Elizabeth Bennet! I had my eye on Mr Darcy, and was working to increase my Wit so that he would notice me. About halfway through the game, to my surprise, I eloped with the caddish Mr Wickham! But, through a bit of luck, I recovered my Reputation, Mr Wickham lost interest, and I was able to start after Darcy again. In the end-game Proposal phase, Georgiana Darcy married Colonel Fitzwilliam (who would have been my Plan B), and then I put all my eggs in one basket and flung myself at Darcy. Alas, he didn't propose to me! But! I had the 'Obstinate, headstrong girl' reroll card, and, Reader, I married him. Huzzah!

Charlotte Lucas married Mr Denny, Jane Bennet married Mr Bingley, then Caroline Bingley turned down Mr Collins to become an Old Maid, and so did Lydia Bennet. Despite my ending up with Mr Darcy, the overall winner was Charlotte Lucas, whose sensible marriage and well-rounded character set her up to be the most happily satisfied woman overall.

It was great fun to play, with Scandals and Balls and sisterly intrigue making this a different sort of gamer fare. There wasn't much (if any) backstabbing, as all us girls were too focused on improving our attributes than in stymieing our rivals. It was well received, and I hope Mum likes it!

If this genre doesn't entirely tickle your fancy, there is an optional Zombie Event Deck...

I just have to quote the final rule:

If questions or discrepancies arise, discuss and agree upon a resolution in a ladylike manner.

You can download a pdf of all the rules and cards for $US6.99 from here.

Hey, that's my fish!

I played a couple of games of this new purchase. Good, quick fun. I was, of course, interested in the delightful penguin figures. Here are my newly painted penguins; I think there's a Blood Bowl team in there. I'm going to make the team colours more noticeable on the bases.
Red Dragon Inn

We revisited Red Dragon Inn, where your fantasy adventurers drunkenly divide up the loot after a successful dungeon crawl. My Enchantress quickly became too drunk to contend, and (IIRC) the wizard took the lot.

Saboteur and Resistance

The other new games I was introduced to were the bluffing/ deception/ social deduction games Saboteur and Resistance. In Saboteur you play dwarf miners trying to find gold, with some of the players secretly trying to misdirect you and steal the gold themselves. I won this one through luck, and with one of the saboteurs not realising he was a saboteur...

The Resistance provided a devilishly good time- your rebel cell has been infiltrated by spies and you have to work out who they are. We had a large group of nine playing this, with three hidden spies, and there was an incredible amount of paranoia, finger-pointing and suspense! The rebels won, but we were still surprised to find out who all the spies were in the end. Who knew there were such two-faced actors amongst us...

Here's a very watchable video of this game, with people almost as good looking as us:

All up, a fun afternoon's gaming!


  1. Excellent. I've sent a link to this post to those who must be obeyed in the hope that anything that will get them into gaming is worthwhile.

    1. Good luck! Cooperative boardgames are great 'gateway' games; I highly recommend 'Pandemic'.

  2. I like the sound of the Red Dragon Inn... fun memories of past D&D days...

    1. I've played it a couple of times, decent fun. I like the wizard and his attack rabbit.

  3. I heard some older family members really had fun with "Saboteur" on Easter weekend, so it's apparently not just for "genre" game players.

    As for "Marrying Mr. Darcy"... wow. I know people that would kill for this game. Possibly including me, and I'm not even a Jane Austen nut. I guess you have to download the PDF and print it on cardstock or something to make the cards? That worked okay for you?

    1. MMD was far too much fun. I bought a boxed set with proper printed cards via the Kickstarter. Boardgamegeek has lots of info on how to 'print and play' pdfs onto cardstock. Another option I'd consider would be printing onto regular paper and using plastic card protector/ card sleeves.

  4. Thanks so much for the nice blog about Marrying Mr. Darcy! Appreciated!