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Best With Two
Sean Ross
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British Columbia
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NOTE: This is not a list of games that I think are "Best with Two", it is a list of games that the BGG community has chosen using the suggested number of player polls on each game's page. - based on vote tallies at the time this data was collected, tallies may have changed since - if you disagree, vote in the poll.

Also: two player only games are okay to add (but see exclusion guideline below)




After several years of people requesting the feature, BGG finally provided the ability for users to suggest the best and recommended number of players for games in the DB. Which is great. Unfortunately, as yet, they haven't integrated this feature into the site's Advanced Search tool; this significantly reduces the feature's utility. Sure, you can find the best and recommended number of players for each game on the game's BGG entry page (provided user's have voted on the poll provided there), but what you can't get is a list of all of the games that are best or recommended for a particular number of players. Unless, of course, you're a programmer. The raw poll results are available to programmers via BGG's XML API.[1] And, as luck would have it, I just happen to be a programmer.

Since I wanted to know which games in BGG's DB were considered Best With Two, I decided to whip up a quick Ruby script to pull down the data for my own personal use. Now, I had several limiting criteria when I collected this information (e.g., I excluded several categories including books, expansions, war games, kid's games, abstract strategy, dexterity, party, sport, and a bunch of others) so this list is not exhaustive, but I thought I'd share the results with anyone who might be interested anyway. Also, note that some games will be missing from the list due to the fact that noone has yet voted on that game's suggested number of player's poll (or the the poll doesn't say that the game is best with 2 - even though it's a 2 player only game...).[2] Also, I collected this list back in early October, so a bunch of the latest and greatest games from this year's Essen will also be missing.

I've sorted the entries in this list by Rank Average Rating, to help identify some of the more obscure games (games with few ratings) in the database. I've limited the entries to games with an Average Rating greater than or equal to 6.0. I've also excluded some games whose averages were obviously bolstered through shill ratings. If somebody else wants to add any other game they think needs to be included, I'll have no objections... so long as the game's entry page lists it as "Best with 2". Finally, I'll be adding alot of games to this geeklist, so I won't really have time to write up commentary for them - if people would like to comment on the entries to the list, I encourage them to do so.

I hope you find this list of some use.

[1] It would be nice if the tabulated poll results were available in the BGG XML API as well - the API doesn't tell you if a game is Best with 2 or Recommended with 2, it only tells you how many votes were recorded for Best, Recommended, Not Recommended for that player number, so your program has to replicate calculations that BGG has already done to determine if the game is Best with 2 or Recommended with 2. Not a big issue, but duplicating effort is seldom ideal.

[2] If you haven't done so already, I would encourage all users to "get out the vote" on those suggested number of players polls.





ADDENDUM

Here's a list of all of the categories I excluded while collecting this information (most were excluded for personal preference, several were excluded because that category is glutted with 2 player games - almost all of them would be "Best With Two"):

Abstract Strategy, Action/Dexterity, American Civil War, American Indian Wars, American Revolutionary War, Book, Children's Game, Civil War, Collectible Components, Educational, Electronic, Expansion for Base-game, Game System, Korean War, Mature/Adult, Miniatures, Modern Warfare, Music, Napoleonic, Party Game, Print & Play, Real-time, Religious, Sports, Trains, Trivia, Vietnam War, Wargame, Word, World War I, World War II.





UPDATE: I decided to relax some of my restrictions and have now included some additional categories (which have been crossed out in the list above). However, I have limited inclusion to games with at least 5 ratings. I've also slipped in some "Wargames" and "Miniatures" that I wanted to see on the list (mostly Ameritrash-type games).

If you find a game on this list that you think belongs in one of the above categories, don't bother telling me (I can't correct the database), tell the 'Geek - please go to the game's page and "Submit Correction". That will help everyone....


I've now made a companion list to this one called "Recommended With Two".

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1. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1]
Sean Ross
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2. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:7]
Sean Ross
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3. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:8]
Sean Ross
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4. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:9]
Sean Ross
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5. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:23]
Sean Ross
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British Columbia
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# of Players: 2 − 4

User Suggested # of Players:
Best with 2, 4 players
Recommended with 2, 3, 4 players
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6. Board Game: War of the Ring (first edition) [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:34]
Sean Ross
Canada
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7. Board Game: Troyes [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:48]
Fred ZILBERMANN
France
Caen
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Listed as "best with two", which I had experienced myself. We played Troyes 2p about a dozen times with my wife and we really enjoyed it, both of us (not just the geek inside me , she liked it a lot too, making it a "Leave it on the table" game (a.k.a. LIOTT game I suppose )). We played with 4 and while remaining a good game, it's clearly not the same, in our opinion.
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8. Board Game: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:54]
Sean Ross
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9. Board Game: Runewars [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:70]
Sean Ross
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10. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:71]
Sean Ross
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11. Board Game: Imperial Settlers [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:74]
Mark Palframan
United States
Christiansburg
Virginia
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# of Players: 1-4
Best With: 2
Recommended With: 1-4
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12. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:88] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Sean Ross
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13. Board Game: Jaipur [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:90]
Sean Ross
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14. Board Game: Claustrophobia [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:99]
Sean Ross
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15. Board Game: Blood Bowl: Living Rulebook [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:100]
Sean Ross
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16. Board Game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:103]
Sean Ross
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17. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:107] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Sean Ross
Canada
North Vancouver
British Columbia
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# of Players: 2 − 5

User Suggested # of Players:
Best with 2 players
Recommended with 2, 3, 4, 5 players
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18. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:109]
Sean Ross
Canada
North Vancouver
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19. Board Game: Seasons [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:112]
Sean Ross
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20. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:120]
Sean Ross
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21. Board Game: Earth Reborn [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:123]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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Has options for 2-4, but with two sides in the game it is best played with two. Currently 83% at best with 2.
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22. Board Game: Letters from Whitechapel [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:126]
O'Ibb
Ireland
Donegal
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2-6 players, Best with 2



(photo by Erwin Pauelsen)
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23. Board Game: BattleCON: Devastation of Indines [Average Rating:8.39 Overall Rank:121] [Average Rating:8.39 Unranked]
O'Ibb
Ireland
Donegal
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I hope this fits - covers 1-5 players but definitely Best with 2 (in my opinion & BGG poll) with 593 ratings average being 8.71, and no kickstarter/crowdfunder running:



(photo by GeekInsight)

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24. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:130]
Sean Ross
Canada
North Vancouver
British Columbia
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25. Board Game: BattleLore [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:151]
Sean Ross
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North Vancouver
British Columbia
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