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Dungeon Petz» Forums » General

Subject: How good with 2? rss

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John Rogers
United States
Yakima
WA
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Looking at this as a possible 2 player game for my wife and I. There are also a number of game group people who may like it as well; however, the focus is for my wife. Her favorite games are Reef Encounter, Puerto Rico, Power Grid, Samurai, Container, Cavum, and Indonesia. Neither of us are necessarily fond of worker placement games but we have liked a few in the past including Dominant Species and Vanuatu.

My wife tends to like thoughtful games with interaction though she hates it when people raze what she has built. I prefer games where mutualism and player incentive management drives victory. Where decision ambiguity abounds and player decisions are non-trivial, butterfly inducing, long-term, and opaque in ramifications.

Two questions:

1) How much DIRECT interaction is present (WPs are notorious for indirect interaction).

2) Knowing her (our) game preferences, will she (we) like this?

Thanks.
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Ben Kyo
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Suita
Osaka
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1) None? I mean, aside from the hidden bid for worker placement order and taking the worker spot that your opponent wants before they do, there is no interaction I can recall that you might define as "direct".

2) Yes, from what you've said you might like this.
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David Goulette
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My wife and I have 3 worker placement games that we love (in increasing order of length and complexity): Targi, Viticulture, and Dungeon Petz.

I have also played DP with 3 and it is great. 4 players might get pretty long but there is not a lot of downtime between your actions so it isn't bad.

John Rogers wrote:

1) How much DIRECT interaction is present (WPs are notorious for indirect interaction).


There is no direct interaction in the "take that" sense. However, this game is a tight worker placement game where you can really mess up your opponent in a two player game by blocking them from key spots that they need. In other worker placement games you often have alternative options that are nearly as good as your first choice. Not so with Dungeon Petz. If you really need a cage, there might be only one spot to get it. If you block it from your opponent it can mean that your opponent has a pet run away! Or you can take all of the meat when your opponent has all meat eating animals. Mwahaha! So the worker placement blocking in this game feels way more cutthroat than other games. However, you do a blind bid for worker placement turn order behind a screen. So if you really want something, or you really want to block your opponent from something you can pay for it and put more workers on that job... but then you will have less workers that can do other things. I REALLY like this mechanic. Sometimes it is better to give up the first and/or second worker placement to make sure you can do a lot of things. (But sometimes the perfect new pet cage comes up that you really need and there is only one spot to get a cage!).

John Rogers wrote:

2) Knowing her (our) game preferences, will she (we) like this?

Thanks.


I don't know all of the games that you list but the weight of Dungeon Petz is slightly higher than you might expect at first given the cute theme. But if you have played and enjoy a Splotter game you should be just fine (I've only played Food Chain Magnate from them). But I will say that the game is a bit fiddley the first time through and the rule book is long (and the rulebook is pretty cute and actually funny). I remember our first play took a bit of work to learn but the second play was MUCH easier. But the iconography and themeing of everything makes all the bits and cards make perfect sense, so one you learn it once you will remember everything. Oh and the player boards have a built in player aid with great icons that remind you of every step in the round. The art is fantastic in this regard.

This game is a good mix of random and lots of tactical play (with a little bit of strategy since you can see what buyers are coming two rounds in advance). I have won selling lots of pets quickly or selling one pet that I groom over multiple rounds to be the perfect match for a buyer. You will eventually start to look ahead and be planning a few turns in advance to maximize your profits when you sell to that farmer that really likes pets that poop a LOT! Haha. And there is a variant in the rulebook that allows you to see what buyers are coming to buy pets 3 turns in advance so you can play with more strategy (and analysis paralysis).

The one thing about the 2 player game is that there are dummy workers on the board taking up spaces and they move around the board as the game goes along. So you are blocked out of some things on certain turns. I don't mind this and I think it makes the 2 player game as tight as a 3 or 4 player game. But some might not like this. It is a little gamey because you can see ahead where the dummy worker will be in future rounds and plan for that. But in a 4 player game with no dummy workers, you wouldn't know what spaces people will take.

With all of that said, DP is on of my favorite worker placement games that I have played with my wife 2 player. She loves this game and so do I.
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Siegfried Steurer
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John Rogers wrote:
Looking at this as a possible 2 player game for my wife and I. There are also a number of game group people who may like it as well; however, the focus is for my wife. Her favorite games are Reef Encounter, Puerto Rico, Power Grid, Samurai, Container, Cavum, and Indonesia. Neither of us are necessarily fond of worker placement games but we have liked a few in the past including Dominant Species and Vanuatu.

My wife tends to like thoughtful games with interaction though she hates it when people raze what she has built. I prefer games where mutualism and player incentive management drives victory. Where decision ambiguity abounds and player decisions are non-trivial, butterfly inducing, long-term, and opaque in ramifications.

Two questions:

1) How much DIRECT interaction is present (WPs are notorious for indirect interaction).

2) Knowing her (our) game preferences, will she (we) like this?

Thanks.


We like it a lot with any count.

Maybe you simply try it online first at http://www.boiteajeux.net ?
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One of the greatest games ever. If you don't like it -- with 2, with or without interaction -- there will be something wrong with you.
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Adrian Schmidt
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I agree with the previous posters.

I only bought the game this Saturday, and my wife and I played it yesterday (Sunday). I had watched Rahdo's run-through and my wife had seen about half of it, so we both knew some parts of the game. I read all the parts of the rulebook that were relevant for the beginning of the game while we were setting it up, and then every section corresponding to a game phase before we played that phase, the first time each phase or part of a phase was played. Our first game took us a whopping 7 hours, with some minor breaks (we are always slow compared to estimated playing time though). But we both had the feeling that we could play it again right after, in perhaps 2 hours or so I would guess, because we had basically learned all the rules, and would be able to play the game without reading the rulebook again, except for some minor specific details perhaps.

The rulebook is long, but the rules aren't actually very complex. It's just that the rulebook spells them out in great detail, and with some very nicely added flavour interspersed. All the rules, and I really mean all of them, really makes thematic sense, which not only helps immersion a lot, but also makes the rules a lot easier to learn.

I don't think the game is any heavier than Dominant Species, but I definitely think it was way more fun!

My wife declared it her new favourite game after the first play-through

Of the games you listed, I have only played Dominant Species, and heard of Puerto Rico and Power Grid, without having actually read a lot about them. But based on your description of your and your wife's preferences, I think Dungeon Petz is probably a great match for you!

The material quality of the cardboard components are a bit on the cheap side, which is really a pity on such a good game, but I assume that's the reason the game costs about €40 instead of €70-80…
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A. Mandible
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This has the kind of decisions you like, but may not be a great fit-- there's no interaction beyond nabbing spaces, and there's no mutualism or other economic system.

(But like other folks here, I find this way better than most other worker placement games! There's no "3 wood and 2 stone to build a cart" resource conversion, so there's no point in piling stuff up for later. If you can't get the space you wanted, you likely need to adjust your whole plan for the round. The fact that you almost always can-- that problems have creative solutions-- is the beauty of the game.)

Also, sadly, I think the 2-player game is best with the expansion. It's not bad with the base game, particularly if you don't mind planning around the dummy players. But given the option of playing other games, I would rarely choose 2p Dungeon Petz without Dark Alleys.
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WD Yoga
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I play Dungeon Petz mostly in two players game with my son. Only rarely my wife would join us for three players game (she dislike dealing with the pets' poo! shake). As far as I concerned, both 2-players and 3-players games are very fun and enjoyable.

There is no direct cutthroat interactions between players and the game is somewhat randomised by the pets, their need cards and the buyers/contests but players do have the opportunity to plan ahead.
 
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Nathaniel Chambers
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John Rogers wrote:
Looking at this as a possible 2 player game for my wife and I. There are also a number of game group people who may like it as well; however, the focus is for my wife. Her favorite games are Reef Encounter, Puerto Rico, Power Grid, Samurai, Container, Cavum, and Indonesia. Neither of us are necessarily fond of worker placement games but we have liked a few in the past including Dominant Species and Vanuatu.

My wife tends to like thoughtful games with interaction though she hates it when people raze what she has built. I prefer games where mutualism and player incentive management drives victory. Where decision ambiguity abounds and player decisions are non-trivial, butterfly inducing, long-term, and opaque in ramifications.

Two questions:

1) How much DIRECT interaction is present (WPs are notorious for indirect interaction).

2) Knowing her (our) game preferences, will she (we) like this?

Thanks.


Do you have a problem with rotating spots on a board being blocked? If not, it's just as good 2 player. I love it. Some people have a strange hatred of 'dummy' players (IMHO this isn't that, they aren't really player substitutes, they are are just rotating blocked spots and they are predictable which makes things interesting). Great game.

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A. Mandible
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bubblepipemedia wrote:
they are predictable which makes things interesting


The predictability is what I don't like about them. I appreciate dummy players who are slightly randomized, like in Troyes or Glen More. The dummy players in Dungeon Petz just make the game simpler.
 
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Richard
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grasa_total wrote:
bubblepipemedia wrote:
they are predictable which makes things interesting


The predictability is what I don't like about them. I appreciate dummy players who are slightly randomized, like in Troyes or Glen More. The dummy players in Dungeon Petz just make the game simpler.


You're not fighting the game, but your opponent. I don't think I'd say simple or complex but strategical vs tactical. Knowing where the dummy will go next allows you to plan out your turns. You still need to compete with your opponent and that's where the game comes in when you group and assign your imps.
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Krawhitham B
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Watch this 2p run through and see for yourself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFTAc0DRgTg
 
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Drew Gormley
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grasa_total wrote:
bubblepipemedia wrote:
they are predictable which makes things interesting


The predictability is what I don't like about them. I appreciate dummy players who are slightly randomized, like in Troyes or Glen More. The dummy players in Dungeon Petz just make the game simpler.


Not related to the thread, but what dummy player is in Troyes?
 
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Don Thiess
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bchlax944 wrote:
grasa_total wrote:
bubblepipemedia wrote:
they are predictable which makes things interesting


The predictability is what I don't like about them. I appreciate dummy players who are slightly randomized, like in Troyes or Glen More. The dummy players in Dungeon Petz just make the game simpler.


Not related to the thread, but what dummy player is in Troyes?


Been a while since I last played, but IIRC it is just a neutral player represented by gray cubes and meeples. Events will often have the neutral player knocking players' meeples out of buildings or blocking spaces in the cathedral. So the neutral player will have dice that can be purchased as though they were another player. No real upkeep with the neutral player, which is nice and it definitely adds a bit of randomness. Also, note that in the case of Troyes there is always a neutral player, even with 4 players.
 
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