How to Play Hobbit Love Letter Card Game [B&C Review 008]


Hello, and welcome! Come on in!
We’ve saved a seat for you. This is Boards and Cords, and I’m Jonathan, and
today we’re going to talk about the Hobbit Love Letter game. You know, Peter
Jackson’s cinematic take on JRR Tolkien’s works broke records in
movie history, and it gave new life and interest into the world of Middle-Earth.
The Hobbit Love Letter adopts the theme of The Hobbit movie trilogy, applying to
the popular card game Love Letter, and it effectively conveys the tension of the
search for the Arkenstone into a fast paced deductive card game. Here’s how it works. The entire game is made up of only
seventeen cards. Between two and four people can play and each is dealt one
card, with a single card being placed facedown out of the game. Each of the 17
cards is number from eight, which is the Arkenstone, down to zero, which is the One Ring, and each number (and some of the cards are
multiples) has a unique action that’s associated with it. These actions
cause certain effects on the other players which may eliminate them from
that round or give information about what the others are holding. Each player
in their turn will draw a card, bringing their hand up to two, and then they
choose one of those to play. Each previously played card is visible on the
table before the players, but only the most recent one has an effect for the
respective player. So, for example, player A plays the Kili and Fili card, which is
value five, and there’s two copies of it, and chooses player B to discard their
hand, because that’s what this card does. Player B happens to be holding the
Arkenstone card which is value eight, and there’s only one of it. So according to
the text on the card a player B is therefore out of the round. Player C had a
Gandalf card, so that means that she had most recently played it (it’s value four,
and there’s two copies of it), so she was protected against such cards action as
Fili and Kili’s, for example. So the winner of the round is the player who was
the last after all the others are eliminated, or if after all of the draw
deck is exhausted, the person with the largest value card in their hand.
Each round winner gets a victory token, and the person with the most victory
tokens at the end of the game, which is 4 to 7 rounds depending on the number of
players, wins the whole game. For the components, the Hobbit Love Letter card game contains 7, sorry, 17 cards, and there’s 4 reference cards, there’s a rulebook,
there’s 13 victory tokens, and the whole thing packs away quickly and easily into
a small drawstring bag. And that makes it really easy to quickly set up, pack up, and
transport. It’s very portable. The playing cards themselves display character shots
from the films and they’re beautifully rendered on standard sized glossy cards.
You’ll probably want to sleeve your cards as I have. This game is about
making deductions concerning which cards are in the opponent’s hand so if a card
gets creased or otherwise marked, it can make a big difference.
New players will also find the reference cards invaluable, as they give reminders
about the cards that are in game: how many of each there are, what
their values are, and what the abilities they can do are as well. Even experienced
players will want to refer to the card whatever they’re trying to count cards
and figure out what the other players are holding. The rules are helpful and
compact. There’s really not a lot to Hobbit Love Letter, therefore
elaborate and complex rules really aren’t needed. It’s really quite an elegant game.
In a lot of ways it’s a more complicated rock-paper-scissors in
what a lot of the cards interact with each other. And so like I said,
everything fits right in this soft velvet bag and transports easily in your
pocket or your purse, makes it easy to take it with you and play. Finally there
are 13 of these little plastic gems, each of them approximately the size of your
little fingernail, and these are used to track the score. They’re pretty cool
in themselves and fitting with the theme. The Hobbit Love Letter game is about
deduction, risk, and sudden death. The rules are easy enough to learn, and it
can be easy enough to understand, so that kids will be able to compete with the
older siblings with a bit of practice on a fairly even footing. Luck does play a
role in this game, and your tactics will depend on the cards you draw, but knowing which card to play take some experience and some card
counting. We’ve played The Hobbit Love Letter many, many times! For a few months, I played it with my younger kids almost every day before school and sometimes at lunchtime when I’d visit them. It’s a great game for a short period of
time, as each round can go by really quickly, and so the entire game can be
played in 30 minutes or less. This one is one that we might would even
play several times in a row. In our family, we really love Tolkien! I have
read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to all my kids. I’ve listened to the
audiobook with them and I’ve even watched the movies with my teenage kids. However, I have restricted the movies to the kids who are 13 and older due to
my own convictions about the violence and the content. The relevance here is
that these movie-themed games directly reference movies that I want to allow my
kids to watch, although they are familiar with the source material, and it raises
interest in them to want to watch the movies. On the other hand, the cards
themselves of the gameplay is completely free itself of the content that I find
as a parent to be objectionable. As for the gameplay, my kids started
playing Hobbit Love Letter with me when they were about eight and ten, and they were fully able
to understand and engage with the strategy very easily. The box suggests ten
and older, but I think a bit earlier than that would not be inappropriate. All right. Well, strategy tips for this
game then! We start with a beginner’s tip. This one is kind of obvious if you’ve
been playing enough to know the rules well: you have to learn to count the
cards. Keep track or be able to calculate the number of cards of each
type that have been played and not yet played. You need to check the reference
card to remember the number of each card in the game. Often you’ll need to deduce
which ones remain to be played. If you can do that then you’ll be well on your
way to winning a lot of the games. For a pro tip, while some hands will end early
on, many rounds of the game go right to the end to the last card in the deck. You
and your opponent will be down to just a couple of unknown cards, and you’ll need
to guess what the other person has. If you have a Smaug card then try guessing your own card, the card that you have in your hand, besides the Smaug. This may throw off your opponent and cause them to deduce
that you have a different card in your hand, giving you a critical advantage in
the last moments of the game. So final thoughts then, what do I love about this
game? Well, besides the fact that it’s Tolkien, and it’s a Peter Jackson license
of it, I really love how fast-paced this game is, how elegant the rules work
as you play the cards. I love that I can play it with my younger kids, and
they understand how it works and enjoy playing it as well. It makes a great
starter game if you’re getting warmed up to play another
longer game, or if you’re just if you just have a short period of time. It
even could make a great gateway game for somebody coming into
into the hobby of board gaming that isn’t familiar or has the stamina for long, complex rules or games. This might be a good one to play with them. Alright
I hope you found that helpful, and I’m going to wrap it up for today then. If
you’ve enjoyed this please consider purchasing it through our affiliate link
down in the description. That will help throw a couple bucks my way to
keep the lights on here at Boards and Cords, and I’ll be really appreciative of
that. Subscribe to the channel, and give it a like on this video, and I will see
you again next time. Thanks, bye! Thanks for joining us on Boards and Cords.
Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or at our website at BoardsAndCords.com. We’ll see you at the table!

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