It’s no secret I love some “heavier” wargames, and its no secret that the RockyMountainNavy Family has also played some heavier boardgames. That said, both the RMN Boys and myself like some lighter games, especially to use as “fillers” on weeknights. For my birthday the RMN Boys gifted me a copy of Star Wars: Jabba’s Palace – A Love Letter Game (Z-Man Games, 2022). This week, looking for a quick game we could play while we all were home in the evening together for once, it got pulled out. The resulting play was most excellent!
I introduced the RMN Boy to Love Letter way back in 2012 with an English edition blisterpack. At first the RMN Boys were hesitant to play this “love” game, but the easy rules and quick gameplay won them over. A few short years later the youngest RMN Boy took Letters to Santa (2012) to school and it was a big hit at indoor recess. The oldest boy even has a copy of Love Letter: Batman (2015). Yet, while new versions are appreciated, we never stopped playing the original.
Our first play of Star Wars: Jabba’s Palace was a bit of a journey of discovery. The game now comes with four different “agendas”—win conditions.—to choose from. We went with the very straightforward “Exalted One” as it is the most similar to standard Love Letter (high card in hand at end of round wins round). What we hadn’t experienced before was the two factions, in this case Rebels and Scum, and how that changes up the cards and their interactions. Suffice it to say we really, really enjoyed the new twist on play!
With a short window of time to play we changed the winner to the first to three tokens. Sure enough, after six rounds were were tied 2-2-2. By now the RMN Boys were getting the hang of the cards. After eliminating me early (seems my lot in life) the two boys faced off against one another. With Luke Skywalker (Rank 7) already showing on the table, RMN Jr. smugly laid down the Rancor (Rank 6) and read the card: “All players with the lowest number in hand (except 0) are out. Count up out loud from 1 to find the lowest.”
“One”. His grin was so wide at this point it was sickening. RMN T was absolutely stone-faced.
“Five!” Said with a hint of glee…but RMN T never flinched.
“Six?” Some doubt in the voice.
“Seven?” Genuine confusion now.
“Eight.” Again RMN didn’t flinch. Very confused, RMN Jr. lays his card, Jabba (Rank 8), on the table.
RMN T now had a wide smile on his face as he laid his card on the table. Han Solo. Rank…0.
For the first time in the evening Mrs. RMN came to the table to see what had happened. Maybe it was RMN Jr. pushing back from the table and loudly muttering while walking around in disbelief. Maybe it was my side-splitting laughter. It wasn’t RMN T who said nothing but was wearing a grin a country-mile wide.
Yes, Jabba’s Palace has definitely entered the filler game rotation!
Feature image courtesy Z-Man Games