Sending in a winner with Letters to Santa (@Alderac, 2014) #boardgames #cardgames

Although the RockyMountainNavy home is usually a wargame house, we do occasionally play other hobby boardgames. This week a holiday favorite, Letters to Santa (Alderac Entertainment Group, 2014)** came back out and reminded us how family gaming can deliver the greatest pleasures.

As I’ve mentioned before, Mrs. RockyMountainNavy tutors children at our home. One of her newest students is a sixth-grade girl, Ms. A. Ms. A is artistically gifted (her drawings are incredible) but she lacks a strong desire to learn. She has an older sister (high school senior) who is drowning under a schedule with five AP classes. Consequently, the older sister is very mean and doesn’t encourage younger Ms. A. Indeed, her sister’s meanness actually discourages Ms. A from wanting to learn.

Courtesy Blue Orange Games

The first time Ms. A came over she was rightly skeptical. After all, she was being pushed by her Korean Tiger Mom! That day we finished up her lessons with a four-player game of Kingdomino (Blue Orange Games, 2017). She caught onto the game immediately and quickly went on to win (I think all that spatial awareness she has in her art helps her immensely). She also genuinely enjoyed playing in the larger group. It is obvious she enjoys the social aspects of boardgaming. Mrs. RMN likes to use games to help teach kids as they learn so much more about working with others and discovering how games work. It’s all good for learning!

This week, in keeping with the holiday spirit, we pulled Letters to Santa out for the after-lesson game. She absolutely enjoyed the game, often going after RockyMountainNavy Jr. (whom she really likes in an older brother way). She caught onto the cards right away but was missing some of the strategy. That changed when RockyMountainNavy T played Gingerbread Man (Compare hands; lower hand is out) against me and lost with Mrs. Claus (7).  Ms. A then had her chance and played Krampus (Guess a player’s hand) and correctly guessed that I had Santa Claus (8) in my hand thus giving her the win. The look of pure joy on her face as she put it all together and won was priceless.

May all your holidays be filled with that much joy. Merry Christmas!

** In 2018 Z-Man Games acquired the rights to the Love Letter license from AEG. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the Letters to Santa version also conveyed as I cannot find a copy anywhere these days!

Holiday Cheer with #LetterstoSanta (Alderac Entertainment Group – AEG, 2015)

Although Saturday nights are usually the RockMountainNavy Game Night, this weekend I dialed it back a bit as I am starting an extended holiday vacation. In anticipation of getting gaming in with the RMN Boys over the next week, we decided to take it easy on the regular game night. Since the Boys wanted to watch a new series on Netflix, we went with a (very) short game.

Courtesy AEG

Letters to Santa is the holiday version of Love Letter.  This is a simple 16-card micro game. Thematically, the players are trying to be the last player left and for winning they get to deliver their letter to Santa. The first player to deliver enough letters wins.

We decided the first player to four letters delivered would be the winner. I got trounced 4-2-1. I forgot that both Boys regularly play Love Letter against each other. I forgot that the Youngest RMN Boy likes taking this game to school during the holiday season to play at lunch with friends. I forgot to watch the board state (played cards) closer than I did.

Even after forgetting so much, I was reminded about what makes Letters to Santa a great game. As we played we were all smiles. As we played their was great friendly banter across the table. As we played we felt the holiday cheer.

Although it was a short game, Letters to Santa delivered one of the greatest presents a game brings – happy family time.

Has it been that long?

Need to get back into a rhythm for blogging. Not too many new wargames but many new family games and RPGs.

New purchases include Fantasy Flight Games Imperial Assault, Alderac’s Trains, and Letters to Santa. All need to be reviewed.

For RPGs still need to comment on Traveller 5, Firefly, Fate Core, Fate Accelerated, and Atomic Robo.

Have also been busy with models. Need to do more there too!