Liebe & Intrige

I just returned from a fabulous little getaway to Winslow, Arizona.  Now if you have heard of Winslow, you are ahead of most folks.  The Eagles immortalized it in their hit, “Take it Easy”… standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see – It’s a girl my lord in a flat-bed Ford, slowing down to take a look at me…”

Indeed, there is actually a bronze statue and a artfully crafted backdrop showing a reflection of a girl in a Flat Bed Ford.  It was three blocks from the hotel Peggy and I spend 2 nights in.  The hotel we stayed i is the “La Posada”, a world-class hotel I cannot say enough nice things about.  It opened for business in 1930, and was the last great Harvey Houses built by the Santa Fe railroad.  The architect was Mary Colter, a woman who built all sorts of wonderful travel-based buildings for the Fred Harvey Co.  Peggy and I along with 2 other friends went to Winslow solely to stay at this beautiful and special resort.

Peggy and our friends arrived by train, while I drove out.  We did this to have a car for exploring the region.  But we spent nearly all of our time at the hotel.  It is a showplace, filled with all sorts of art and antiques.  A self-guided tour was extended when we ran into a “Harvey Girl” docent who regaled us with many stories and details about the place.

One great feature of the hotel is a huge great room with a piano, overstuffed chairs, various tables and bookcases filled with volumes to read from.  Modern hotels don’t provide this sort of space for traveller’s to really relax in and spend a day as they will.

A tradition Peggy and I have with our friends Chris and Patty is the poker game.  We’ve played poker in all sorts of ancient hotels throughout the southwest.  After our game, when I was cleaned out, we went down to the world-class restaurant for a fabulous dinner.  After dinner we decided to play one of my board games.  I had selected Liebe & Intrige for our trip.  It is a game Peggy has enjoyed before.  But I had real hopes that it might amuse Patty and Chris, who are both Jane Austen fans.

Liebe & Intrige is really “The Jane Austen Board Game”.  You, as the head of your household, have three daughters you must guide to a successful marriage.  Each daughter has attributes corresponding to reputation, beauty, and education.  Various bachelors can be encountered at sites on the game board, such as the Theater, the Poor House, the Park, etc.  Visiting each site generally allows to improve an attribute and socialize with an eligible bachelor.  Some site such as the Gin Mill, have several bachelors to interact with, but carry the risk of besmirching your daughters reputation. 

Each bachelor will offer marriage, if he completes three dates with your daughter – AND – she meets his minimum requirements.  (Thus the need to improve one’s attributes.)  Dates are basically collected cards.  And this brings the “Intrigue” of the title into play.  When visiting a site one daughter can plot against another player’s daughter to “steal” a date from her opponent.

In a few ways this game is sort of Talisman, only set in Victorian England.  So it isn’t really a complicated game.  But there is a little bit going on.  My hope it would be enough of a game to amuse me, while not too much of a game to bore or boggle the non-game enthusiast.  I was also hoping it;s strong theme might appeal to the Jane Austen-philes we know.

Eh – I have long ago come to the conclusion that folks either like board games, or they do not.  Our friends agreed to play, and may have even enjoyed it a bit.  But in all likelihood they would have much preferred to play more Poker.  Liebe & Intrige is a silly little game, and I will happily play it with anyone who requests it.  But I think I may stop bringing games on getaways with folks who don’t really enjoy playing new games.

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