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Subject: Nations: a 2 player review. rss

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Jason Wiebe
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My wife and I play a lot of games. We have played 2-player games of Agricola almost 200+ times, and enjoy 2 player games of Brass, Vinhos, etc. so we are no strangers to meaty games.

Nations is a very good Civ game. But how does it stack up as a two player?

d10-1 Components: These are quite good. I like the tokens and the amount of cards. The cards themselves have decent artwork and the tokens are standard wooden fare. The player boards could have been a little thicker. Some have complained about what you get in the box for the money. Fair enough - but we got ours half price so I cannot complain at all!

d10-2 Gameplay: As a 3+ player game it's great. And 2 player games have not disappointed so far. We have had score ranges from 44 points to 18, 1 point victories to 20+ point shamings (guess who lost that one!). If any couples or newbies are interested do not let this game scare you; the gameplay is quick and my wife enjoys the interaction without the actual combat. To me this is one of the best simulations as you can 'build an army' without hashing it out with endless die rolls.

**EDIT: IF ANYONE IS NERVOUS ABOUT PLAYING A CIV TYPE GAME - GIVE THIS ONE A GO!**

d10-3 Replayability: No problem even with 2 players - in fact you can get really shut down due to fewer cards in play. I know some complain about that but to me it's what makes it good - making the most of limited options = decision time!

d10-4 SO?: My wife and I both recommend Nations as a good two player game. Lots of decision-making, interaction (you took my Cataphract!) and battles without battling (stability and military rankings MATTER!)

I think this is an excellent Civ game. I enjoy it more than Through the Ages partially because my wife would never play TTA but she enjoys this game. It's also easier to get the hang of and quicker to play. It's challenging, brain burning even but not in a stultifying fashion. A two player game rolls in around 90-120 minutes - especially if we are trying to decide what life-altering card we should buy/not buy.

I recommend it!
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chearns
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canucklehead wrote:
If you ladies are interested do not let this game scare you; the gameplay is quick and my wife enjoys the interaction without the actual combat.

So what exactly are the differences between men and women that would require this statement? Do women not enjoy games longer than quick? Do women not enjoy games with combat? Why are women being singled out?
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James Derbyshire
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chearns wrote:
canucklehead wrote:
If you ladies are interested do not let this game scare you; the gameplay is quick and my wife enjoys the interaction without the actual combat.

So what exactly are the differences between men and women that would require this statement? Do women not enjoy games longer than quick? Do women not enjoy games with combat? Why are women being singled out?


Maybe the answer can be found in the BGG forum dedicated to Women & gaming?
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Jack
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One of my favorite parts of Nations 2p is that there is nowhere to hide. You are ALWAYS either best or worst. And what I like about it 3p is that it DOES allow one person the opportunity to hide. Not many games that make me like both sides of the same mechanic.
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chearns
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Norbert666 wrote:
chearns wrote:
canucklehead wrote:
If you ladies are interested do not let this game scare you; the gameplay is quick and my wife enjoys the interaction without the actual combat.

So what exactly are the differences between men and women that would require this statement? Do women not enjoy games longer than quick? Do women not enjoy games with combat? Why are women being singled out?


Maybe the answer can be found in the BGG forum dedicated to Women & gaming?

I think it would be rude to go there and ask the question considering that forum was specifically created to be a place women could go to to and discuss games without having to listen to such moronic statements as the one I quoted.
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Jason Wiebe
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chearns wrote:
canucklehead wrote:
If you ladies are interested do not let this game scare you; the gameplay is quick and my wife enjoys the interaction without the actual combat.

So what exactly are the differences between men and women that would require this statement? Do women not enjoy games longer than quick? Do women not enjoy games with combat? Why are women being singled out?


FIRST: my wife is a better gameplayer than me, ESPECIALLY at meatier games. BUT I only said this because I know many ladies who would not play a longer Civilization type game. With or without combat. I really meant no disrespect - I only wanted to point out that it is good for all genders and game playing abilities - I think even a newbie could grasp this game readily as it has a good flow to it and the rules are easy to follow. I know there are lots of FAQ's but BGG has taken care of that!

I apologize if I offended you or anyone - that was not my intent at all.
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chearns
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canucklehead wrote:
chearns wrote:
canucklehead wrote:
If you ladies are interested do not let this game scare you; the gameplay is quick and my wife enjoys the interaction without the actual combat.

So what exactly are the differences between men and women that would require this statement? Do women not enjoy games longer than quick? Do women not enjoy games with combat? Why are women being singled out?


I only say this because I know many ladies who would not play a longer Civilization type game. I meant no disrespect - I only wanted to point out that it is good for all genders and game playing abilities - I think even a newbie could grasp this game readily as it has a good flow to it and the rules are easy to follow. I know there are lots of FAQ's but BGG has taken care of that!

I apologize if I offended you or anyone - that was not my intent at all.

So, for me, I would never call a two hour game quick. And it would have to be amazing for me to be willing to play it at all. This goes for almost everyone I know, men and women (is there a difference for you between women and ladies? What is your male equivalent of ladies?).

Similarly, most people I know don't much care for combat in games. Again, men and women. Personally, combat has to be really well done for me to enjoy it. Quantum is a good example of a game that does it well.

Now, seeing as I don't care for either, am I a lady in your worldview? Or am I a whatever it is you call men?

So, by pointing out that the game is good for ladies, you are actually trying to say it is good for all levels of playing ability and genders (do different genders really like different games in your world view?)? So, for you, ladies are equivalent to players with lower playing abilities? Because that is what you are inferring when you suggest that a game good for ladies means a game good for people of all game playing abilities.

To note, I am not offended. I don't even know you. Also, offended is a bit of a namby pamby word. However, I think I would be in error if I didn't speak up to address the idea that somehow women are the lesser sex when it comes to playing games.
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Jason Wiebe
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Fair enough. For me 2 hours IS quick. AND as I have played many versions of this type of game.

AND as I said in my initial reply, my wife is a better gamer than me. I readily admit this. Actually I think women are better gamers period - for you guys out there who think otherwise you would be very much mistaken!
Submission edited to avoid further (unintentional) insult.
 
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Bitter and Acerbic Harridan
I much prefer Through the Ages with 2p, but still like Nations. We just played a game last night. I think the 2p game of Nations is pretty nasty/cut-throat actually. You're always either last or first. I also find it more chaotic than Through the Ages. The event cards are unpredictable. I've had games where I was stronger for much of the game, but all the cards penalizing stability came out instead and visa versa.

With 4 players and limited time, it's a no brainer to play this though.
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Jason Wiebe
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I can't disagree. But I guess we are okay with that!

And if you tie then you both go down in flames - which can be just as bad. (haha!)

One game my wife scooped up the only military card for several rounds - guess how that game went!
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Bitter and Acerbic Harridan
Have you played the expansion?
 
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Jason Wiebe
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Not yet! But I would!
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Bitter and Acerbic Harridan
canucklehead wrote:
Not yet! But I would!


I don't play it enough to justify buying it, but want to try it.
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Jack
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It's good. My kind of expansion - one or two new wrinkles and then more of the same goodness.
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Dylan Bradshaw
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I've also found the events pretty brutal at 2.

Curious, do you prepare the decks as the manual suggest for each age? Or shuffle all cards in?
 
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Jean-Maxime Tremblay
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I wholeheartedly agree. I think it's best with 3-4, but it's still great with 2 players. 5 players is really fun, but it takes a LONG time.

We average 1h per player for the base game, and 1h15 for the expansion. It's rare that we'll finish a Nations game under 2 hours with 2 players.

What I particularly enjoy about the 2 player games is that denying becomes a very good and interesting strategy. Denying a point to a single player in a 4 player game matters very little (unless he's running away with the game), as it's really an overall gain of 1/3rd of a point. In a 2 player game, if your opponent loses a point, you, in essence, gained one, so the game play changes a lot.

The only problem with it is that some cards' balance shift ridiculously in power. Sun Tzu, for instance, is way too strong in a 2 player game. It's hard to imagine losing with him. You can play an incredibly frustrating denial game with him and your opponent cannot do anything about it.

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James Myers
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The expansion is pretty cool with what it adds -- the natural wonders that make you pass your turn multiple times are an interesting addition -- but if you don't play Nations terribly often, you can live without it.

The extra nations are interesting but don't necessarily feel balanced (even if they are.) That's good and bad I suppose!
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she2 wrote:
I much prefer Through the Ages with 2p, but still like Nations. We just played a game last night. I think the 2p game of Nations is pretty nasty/cut-throat actually. You're always either last or first. I also find it more chaotic than Through the Ages. The event cards are unpredictable. I've had games where I was stronger for much of the game, but all the cards penalizing stability came out instead and visa versa.

With 4 players and limited time, it's a no brainer to play this though.


I'm glad you didn't let the game scare you.
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Jason Wiebe
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dylanbradshaw wrote:
I've also found the events pretty brutal at 2.

Curious, do you prepare the decks as the manual suggest for each age? Or shuffle all cards in?


We go all in. More fun that way.
 
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Dylan Bradshaw
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Yeah I've been told both things from different people - shuffling in all the cards really throws off the balance of the game. And the other side. It seems like an awful lot of work though if you want to exchange cards one to one in each of the different ages for the advance an expert cards... That's a lot of work!
 
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Jason Wiebe
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Yes you caught me - that's another reason why I don't bother... (lazy!!)
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I guess I look at it that there are so many cards, that generally things will even out. No it doesn't happen all the time, but in a two player game that's part of the fun. And I think my wife would agree with that too. Different strokes as they say....
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