This week in Tabletop Games & Leadership we played a game called Ladies & Gentlemen. This game is, in essence, two separate games that come together at various points. Usually, half of the table will play as the gentlemen and the other half will play as the ladies, except in our case we had an odd number of players, which meant that we had an extra lady in the form of the Courtesan. This game, set in the Victorian era, is meant to be a satire of the gender roles and rules of the time and shine a light on how ridiculous they were. With this theme in mind, the gentlemen had the goal of raising as much money on the stock market and fulfilling contracts and the ladies had the goals of gaining as much elegance as possible for the ball that’s fast approaching. They do this by shopping for clothes, accessories, jewels, and servants and asking their husband to pay for them. The lady with the most elegance, and her gentleman, are the winners of the game.
In this session, I played as a lady. For me, the hardest part was to try and build a strategy while being completely blind to what was happening on my partner’s side of the table. I would try to do my part and get items that would increase my elegance and when possible try to play some mental tricks on my fellow ladies, but there wasn’t much I could know about what my team could or couldn’t afford. I think this is also one of its closest ties to leadership. Sometimes in a leadership position we cannot, or at least do not, know what the rest of our team is doing but we have to do what we can to help them out.
In terms of gameplay, I liked that there were different styles of play and the strategic aspects of the ladies’ side of the board. I feel that I would have also liked the mad dash aspects of the gentlemen’s side of the game. However, I did not like that they were separated so much without communication. I have mixed feelings about the theme of the game. The game is intended to be a satire of gender roles in the Victorian Era, which I know and understand, but it still feels a little weird to me. I think my friend Ian would enjoy this game because I could see him being very comfortable with getting into character and I think he would do good with the strategic aspects of the game.