Patch came over on Saturday for some gaming, but only Dave was available, so we did a bunch of small three-player games.

First up was Enemy in Sight, which is my favorite of the descendants of Naval War (given the use of captured ships, mix-and-match navies don’t grate on me like it does in all the others). Dave had a very good first round (helped by getting a prize back to port), scoring 69 points while Patch got 45 and I only managed 21. A lot of the odder effects like breaking a line were at the very bottom of the deck, and so didn’t really come up. Dave naturally was the main target during the second round, though I was the one who ended up with his line broken twice (at the same time!) since I had gotten a pretty good force together in the middle. Patch came out on top, despite only sinking two ships and took a small prize to port to take him to 99 points. Dave sank two small ships to get to 86, while I sank four, had one afloat as a prize, and had put another captured ship in my line, ending with 74 points.

Dave had gotten 1st Raters the first two times, while Patch and I had started with nothing better than a 3rd Rate. For the third hand, I started with a 1st Rate, a couple of 2nds, and trailed off to 4th Raters, while Dave was stuck with lesser ships and Patch had a single larger ship (I can’t remember if it was a 1st or 2nd Rate). My first move was an attempted coup de main with good cards: dismast a ship (4R), boarding party with a 2nd rater (which surprised everyone), and use a 2nd-Rater ‘4’ card as grapeshot, against one of Patch’s ships. Sadly, he defended with 2 + 2 Rake, and the even odds ended with no result. However, that set the tone for much of the early game, with lots of larger value shots being used for grapeshot in capture attempts. The second half of the game saw us all down to small lines (Patch was at zero ships on two short occasions), and I couldn’t get any kills as everything was finished off by someone else. However, I had earlier sunk two larger ships, and got a 2nd Rate prize back to port to end at 127 points, while Dave got a 1st Rate prize to port and sunk two ships for 140, and Patch got 5 kills to win at 153.

After lunch, Dave introduced us to Love Letter, which is a very clever small card game. The abilities of the eight card types interact in just enough ways to keep anything from being truly obvious. Dave took an early lead with the first two points, but Patch and I caught up in the four rounds after that. To my surprise, I ended up winning a bit later, especially as I started off with the Princess in the last round, but I managed to knock out Patch early, and got Dave after he guessed wrong.

After that, we went to Family Business, which Dave and I had both played… decades ago, though this set had never been used. It’s not a bad game, though some of the Mayfair art is pretty bad. In some ways, its interactions are less complicated than Love Letter‘s, they just have more time to play out. I actually managed to win the first round, having drawn enough counters near the end to keep my remaining guys mostly off the Hit List while everyone else bought it. We did a second round, and I nearly won that one too, having gotten just about everyone else onto the Hit List, and then used Hit to kill Patch’s one guy off of the List. My guy entering the Hit List as a result then started a Mob War. After a couple turns of the Hit List burning down, Dave used St. Valentine’s Day Massacre to end the game as it killed everyone.

Overall, it was a great day, and everyone had a lot of fun. Enemy in Sight is always great, and I’d like to see Love Letter a couple more times. I don’t know that it’d survive a lot of plays with me, but for now, I’d like to see more. Family Business is probably best as a couple rounds every once a while.