Ellen Maria Ernst &
Kira Verena Samol





Returning again to a major publisher, my wife actually asked me to have a closer look at the new GOLDSIEBER GAME Liebe & Intrige. The topic of getting a player's daughters married to Noblemen and the colour and design of playing pieces and gamebox clearly suggest that this game is meant for a female audience, but having seen movies like "Pride & Prejudice" or "Emma" I was rather curious how such a background could be transported into the scope of a boardgame.

At the beginning of the game, each player randomly draws three of the 12 daughters available in the game. Keeping the cards faced-down, building a stack and turning the topmost daughter face-up, the players put attribute markers on the indicated three attribute scales on their daughter card. Each daughter has the attributes Reputation, Beauty and Prudence, and each of these attributes may vary between the values "0" and "5" during the game. Also, a stack of Bachelor cards is shuffled, and a certain number of face-down bachelor cards is assigned to five of the sixe different places on the gameboard (Theatre, Pub, Boulevard, Poorhouse and Park). Only the Tailoring does not receive any Bachelor cards.

During his turn, a player moves a figure representing his daughter to one of the places on the gameboard, and at these places he first adjusts one or more of the attribute markers of his daughter as indicated on the board, corresponding to the influence that her presence at this specific place takes on the daughter's character. Next, the player takes up the stack of Bachelor cards assigned to this place, and then he must chose one of the available Bachelors and place is next to his daughter card. Six cards of each Bachelor exist in the game, and a daughter may collect as many cards of a Bachelor as the player can find, but a daughter may never have cards of more than three different bachelors aligned next to her card. So, if the player is forced to take the card of a fourth bachelor, he must discard the card(s) of another Bachelor of his choice. The stack of Bachelor cards at this place then is replenished with a new card from the drawing pile, and the player's turn then ends with the drawing of an Event card which the player takes to his hand.

Each of the Bachelor's has quite specific notions on the attributes his future wife should possess, and to marry his daughter to a specific Bachelor a player needs to collect at least three cards of this Bachelor and the daughter's attribute need to be at least as high as listed on the Bachelor's card. If these pre-conditions can be met, a player can announce a marriage and marks the Bachelor off on the gameboard, collecting all present and future cards of the Bachelor since this character now is out of the game. After a successful marriage, the player turns over his next daughter and once again starts the search of a fitting groom.

More spice comes into the game through the Event cards and a set of special dice. If a daughter visits the Pub or the Park, the player will have to roll a Casanova-dice which shows if Casanova is present. If he should be present, the dice also lists a number what a level of beauty the daughter must possess to be in danger of being approached of Casanova, but if he should take a liking in the daughter it will not be beneficial for her and she looses one point of Reputation. Likewise, the Pub also requires the roll of a Drink dice, and if the player is unlucky and rolls a bottle his daughter will have suffered an alcohol poisoning and looses one point of Prudence.

Finally, the Intrigue dice allows a player to try to steal a card from an other player's daughter present at the same place. If the player spinning the intrigue is lucky and rolls a four leaf clover, he will be allowed to take a Bachelor card of his choice from the other player's daughter, but if the dice roll is not successful the other player turns the table and may chose one of the Bachelor cards from the unsuccessful schemer.

The game ends when the first player succeeds to marry his third daughter. Now the players receive victory points corresponding to the values of the husbands they have found for their daughters, and further points are attributed to the players with most Reputation, Beauty and Prudence in their family. Finally, some bonus cards from the Event deck also give a few additional victory points, and all together the player with the highest total will have won the game.

Although the rules can be read rather quickly and the options in the game are limited, I found that the background topic was reflected rather well with the players trying to bring their daughters to places where they can find suitable cards and increase the right attributes. Quite funny is the interrelation that the biggest choice of Bachelor cards can be found in the Pub, but although the players sometimes need to roll the special dice there are quite a few tactical decisions to be made. So, the question is whether to go for an early, undisputed marriage with an elderly gentleman, or whether to spend a bit of time to wait for some handsome Nobleman. The players will need to try to remember where certain cards can be found, and the rule that a player always must move his daughter playing piece at the beginning of his turn also keeps the players from just digging out useful cards from the same place on consecutive turns.

In comparison to some other games I have played at the SPIEL 07 so far, this game definitely is a lighter strategy game, but keeping in mind that GOLDSIEBER usually does not produce highly pretentious specialist game I think that there still are enough options available for the players to keep the game highly entertaining. I guess that the extraordinary theme of the game certainly is going to cause some commotion on the games market, and keeping in mind that the two authors Ellen Maria Ernst and Kira Verena Samol have not produced a game before it must be granted that this premier piece works rather well indeed. The game will certainly find its audience, and I guess that it also will appear as a gift on some weddings taking place in the future.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2007 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany