The base set of Tanto Cuore was released in 2009. It contains three unique features: Private Maids, Illnesses, and Bad Habits. This is a standalone game, but it can be combined with Tanto Cuore: Expanding the House, Tanto Cuore: Romantic Vacation, or Tanto Cuore: Oktoberfest for more variety.
The base game of Tanto Cuore focuses almost exclusively on employing maids for Victory Points . It includes Private Maids, which provide benefits every turn when employed. There are also two active-attack mechanics (or Event cards): You can disable maids in your opponents' Private Quarters by sending them Illnesses, or send opponents Bad Habit cards worth negative VP.
The following cards are included in the base game:
- Love Cards
- 1 Love
- 2 Love
- 3 Love
- Marianne Soleil (Maid Chief )
- Colette Framboise (Chambermaid Chief )
- General Maids
- Private Maids
Printing Editions Edit
In 2015 a 2nd edition reprint was released with larger, updated card text. This was announced on the Oktoberfest Kickstarter. New editions of the game have the red smile Japanime games logo on the box, while older versions have the blue text Japanime games logo.
Comparison to Other SetsEdit
The base game of Tanto Cuore is probably the best set for beginners, since Victory Points come solely from employing maids. The expansions include additional point earning mechanics such as Buildings and Reminiscences that can be confusing for newcomers. That being said, it is also the most directly competitive and aggressive of the three sets due to the presence of Illnesses and Bad Habits. The Private Maids in the base game are, on average, not as powerful as those from Expanding the House.
For a less aggressive game, do not include Bad Habits, Illnesses, and/or Nena Wilder.
For general tips on Tanto Cuore, see the Tutorial page.
The base game provides several ways to attack or otherwise annoy your opponents. Doing so can have benefits, but realize that if you don't actively irritate another player they are less likely to consider you a threat. This is even more important if you're playing a 3 or 4 player game. If everyone else is squabbling amongst themselves and throwing Event cards around, they're probably ignoring you. And less time spent defending against attacks means more time spent improving your deck. By the time you begin buying major VP, you'll hopefully have a big enough lead that nobody can take you down.
The main twist in the base game is Private Maids. You don't need one to win, but if a good one is available you will want to employ her quickly. Private Maids are unique, so if an opponent hires her first then you won't get the chance. If only weaker Private Maids are available, you might be better off just going for General Maids and Love cards. Purchasing unnecessary Private Maids wastes valuable turns, and could free up a good one for an opponent to snatch up. Unlike Expanding the House, Private Maids in the base game aren't worth enough VP to make plowing straight through the PM stack worth it without good reason. If an opponent employs a particularly powerful Private Maid you'll want to employ a powerful one yourself, buy a middling PM to make better ones available, or use an Illness to neutralize the threat.
Most people only use Illnesses to disable active Private Maids. However they can also be used to disable inactive Private Maids as well as Chambermaids (provided they have been moved to a player's Private Quarters). This is an aggressive tactic but a useful one if done effectively in the last few turns.
Bad Habits are tempting because of their low cost and the immediate satisfaction of lowing another player's score. But hold off purchasing them until later in the game, when you can generate enough buys to dump them on your opponents quickly and end the game before they can retaliate. Starting the Bad Habit war too early can result in an arms race that just pads out the game and lowers everybody's score.
Maid Chief Marianne Soleil is the most expensive Maid in any of the the sets, and is worth the most VP. So understandably she dominates most player's scores at the end of the game. There are a few ways to compensate if you are unable to employ many Mariannes:
- Crescent Sisters: While only Azure's benefit is very useful for the duration of the game, moving sets of Crescent Sisters into your Private Quarters is a great way to generate VP. And even if you don't end up moving them out of your deck, they're very inexpensive to employ and worth 1 VP each.
- Safran Virginie: Employing Safrans early on is a good insurance strategy. Her ability generates a handy +2 Love, and if you are eventually able to move 2-4 Safrans into your Private Quarters, you get a very nice VP bonus.
- Anise Greenaway: If all the Mariannes have been bought, Anise is usually the next maid pile to go empty. 3 VP for 7 Love is a pretty great ratio, and her ability is top-notch as well.
- Colette Framboise: This is a risky strategy, but can pay off if your deck is big enough or you can generate enough Servings to move a lot of Colettes out of your deck. Each Colette is worth 1 VP, and if you have more Colettes employed than any other player you get a 5 VP bonus. Especially in a 3-4 player game that 6+ points can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Tutorial - An introduction to Tanto Cuore