Ladies & Gentlemen
A Review by Jake
# of Players: 4 - 10
Playtime: 45 minutes for 4 players +20 minutes per additional 2 players
Ladies & Gentlemen is delightful team strategy board game where the teams complete separate tasks with a common goal in mind.
The game is themed around the concept of a Victorian couple (think Marry Poppins, without Dick Van Dyke) preparing for an upcoming ball. In order to attend the ball the lady must have a dress, and ideally will be more elegant than all of the other ladies in attendance. The Gentleman's job is to succeed in the market in order to fund his lady's wardrobe.
Disclaimer: If you take offense at the traditional idea of gender roles... you're missing the point.
As game play goes, once all the players understand their responsibilities the actions occur simultaneously in three phases over six turns.
Gentlemen: Collect resources that you will later use to complete contracts for wealth and prestige.
Ladies: Determine what type of items you will be stocked in your favorite shop.
Gentlemen: Turn in the aforementioned resources.
Ladies: Determine which of the shops you will visit (each lady increases the number of available shops by one), and in turn order (if multiple ladies visit the same shop) select the items you would like.
Ladies: Hand your selections the the Gentlemen for his purchasing approval
Gentlemen: Make your choices of the offered items based on your desire for your lady to be the most elegant with the knowledge of your available cash... good luck.
These phases are repeated and after the sixth time the ladies are ready to attend the ball. Now there are many subtleties that each player can undergo that increase the strategy but the main dynamic of game play comes from the social interactions of the player within a team, by not knowing the specifics of the opposite team members actions. The ladies shouldn't know how much money the gentlemen have at any given moment and the gentlemen shouldn't know which items the lady needs specifically to complete her wardrobe. General knowledge is one thing, such as "darling business was poor today, be gentle at the shops," or "my dear I really must have the finest gown for the upcoming ball, try not to disappoint me." etc etc...
Miscommunication, misinterpretations and disappointed expectations will occur and Gentlemen it will be all your fault.