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Subject: What are your favorite 2-player battle card games, and why? rss

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Carl Frodge
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Hello everyone, I am wondering what your favorite 2-player battle card games are, and why you enjoy them? (Specifically, what mechanics do you like, please be as elaborate as possible).

2+ player battle games are okay, too, but I'm specifically wondering about 2-player games.
 
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Martin Larouche
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Depends on what you consider "battle".

I like Lost Cities

The hand management is fun. Deny the opponent a card, or play for yourself. Take a chance on a color and hope your opponent won't get the cards you need... or waste time and forfeit possible future point...
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Brian Gallops
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I second Lost Cities. It's one of the very few games I own that my fiancee will play with me fairly regularly.

In addition to Lost Cities, I like Star Realms quite a bit. I enjoy the sci-fi theme as well as the deck building aspect. Later on in the game, it's a lot of fun when you're playing 10-15+ cards a turn instead of the usual 5 in the beginning.

I recently bought Dominion because of my found interest in deck building, but I haven't had a chance to play that one yet.
 
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Carl Frodge
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deedob wrote:
Depends on what you consider "battle".

I like Lost Cities

The hand management is fun. Deny the opponent a card, or play for yourself. Take a chance on a color and hope your opponent won't get the cards you need... or waste time and forfeit possible future point...

I don't consider Lost Cities battle. By Battle, I mean players are attacking each other in one way or another, usually with units they call into play.

Things like:
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn
Android: Netrunner
Smash Up
Magic: The Gathering
 
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Melody Klein
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Pixel Tactics: The immense variability, with each card having 5 (often vastly) different potential uses. In my preferred sets (1, 3, and Deluxe) it also feels like everything is extremely overpowered, and that's the way I like my games.

However, straight up from a mechanical perspective, I prefer Epic Card Game, which took everything that was great about Magic the Gathering (except for building decks and drafting from a near infinite selection), and narrowed it down to a single deck box, while also fixing issues such as mana screwage.

Star Realms is an awesome fast way to duel, and it's a deckbuilder - my favorite genre - hence it trumps both of the previous titles.

If you'll allow a slight bending, I'll also add For the Crown (Second edition), my favorite game. Amazing deck building on one hand, and a fierce Chess-type battle on the other (only far awesomer than that, due to the fact you assemble your own army as you play, and your options go vastly beyond the 6 unit types of standard Chess.) And the rich dynamic of improving one half coming at the cost of the other half.

All of these games have extreme levels of replayability. That's partly due to them being card games, and partly due to each's unique design. They're all awesome.
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Kent Reuber
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Battle Line

I like the logic aspect where you can claim a flag (section of a battlefield) if you can prove that the opponent can't beat what you have.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Sequence or UNO because they are quick to play and easily understandable rules.
 
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Nick Rennis
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Lost Cities is good, but my favorite has been Jambo for quite a while. We play with nearly all of the expansions, which make you think on your toes and alter strategy frequently.
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Matt Brown
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agentkuo wrote:


To add to the list, likely the forthcoming L5R: LCG as FGG taking it over can only mean good things. Friends and I played the heck out of the CCG. Summoner Wars because I fell like it is the best entry level expandable game out there. Netrunner is better designed, but SW wins with the fun factor. I need more plays of GoT: LCG, but it feels close enough to the Star Wars one which I continue to love mechanically, but it is still not really a smooth play, so GoT might over take it at some point.

Would say:
Summoner Wars
Netrunner
Ashes
Star Wars
GoT

Still too early for Ashes and GoT though. I can't imagine finding something that tops the first two although the deck size and starting five for Ashes really gives it some potential since even Netrunner with its 40-45 card decks is rather prone to deck draw. You build a deck in Ashes, and you are going to get what it is built for. Bah, I forgot to add Mage Wars: Academy. It is unplayed, but I have high hopes.
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Timothy Young
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War

The tension becomes palpable as you lay down cards to face off against your opponents' cards, all the while not knowing whether your good cards will come up, but hoping... hoping.
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Sal
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Blue Moon Legends
 
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Austin Bordeaux
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BattleCON

I am a big fan of fighting video games and I feel that the series of games does the absolute best representation of those games in a board game format. The movement of characters, priority/speed, strength, range, and cost/cooldown of attacks are really well defined. Having to read your opponent and know their options is key. There are certainly some characters that are much better against others in certain match ups, but as a whole the game feels balanced. Also, with the large amount of characters to choose from just about all of them feel unique from one another.
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Jerry Martin
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Magic
Epic
Battle line
7 Wonders Duel? Maybe?
 
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Four Tribes I haven't played Battle Line, but there is game similar called Four Tribes is awesome two player game.

Players have the same base deck of cards, but then can add up to five unique cards. The players represent warring factions who need to convince a bunch of village elders from the four tribes to join their cause, in order to tip the scale in their favor. How do you convince them? Bribery, of course! During the game, players will be laying down all manner of goodies at the feet of the village elders to sway them. And if that doesn’t work? Unleash a Dragon to sabotage the other player’s efforts!
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Kelsey Rinella
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I agree that Magic is wonderful, but I tend to prefer it played with more than two players; that makes it easier to be casual about it and have fun trying batty things. Duels seem a little too inclined to pull me into optimization.

Summoner Wars did a marvelous job of allowing force customization and spatial play, with quite a bit of variety among the factions.

Of the games mentioned so far, those are my favorites (though I've not played Netrunner, which also appeals to me). Other games I've played and would consider:

Yomi is absolutely marvelous at evoking its theme, a prediction-heavy fighting game, in turn-based card format. It feels very tight, again with tremendous variety between characters. Dave Sirlin's games are often nicely balanced among varied characters. Flash Duel: Second Edition is pretty simple and quick, but emulates the decisions associated with keeping distance very nicely. I'm also intrigued by what I've heard of his new game, Codex: Card-Time Strategy.

The Battle for Hill 218 and its sequel, The Battle for Sector 219, are symmetrical, quite simple games, very easy to learn, but they manage to pack a touch of flavor into their mechanics, anyway. Heavy Weapons, for example, are superb for controlling a zone, but rarely effective at advancing, while Special Forces are just the opposite. Like Flash Duel, they feel like a ton of game packed into a small box.

Looking over my responses, it seems that I'm fairly open about mechanics, but like to see games which capture their theme well and elegantly. I do distinctly prefer to avoid abject helplessness, so Magic's famous mana screw problem bugs me, as does Pokemon's irritating evolution mechanic, in which you simply can't play some cards without specific other named cards. But Magic is otherwise replete with cool design work, and Pokémon appeals to my kids.
 
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☆ ✧ ☆ ✧ ☆
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Magic the Gathering.

Endless ability to design your own deck, incredible depth of strategy not just in the individual games but also in utilizing your sideboard, bluffing and the metagame of choosing what deck to run. Many ways to play from Vintage to legacy to extended to draft to reject rare to pauper to commander and more.

Incredible artwork, one of the best in board games. Incredible depth of theme. Players can make goblin or dwarf or soldier or merfolk or zombie or angel or demon or dragon or legends or artifact or creatureless decks and more.

Easily the most playtested game in board gaming.
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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Summoner Wars for positional tactics
There's a great range of factions with different play styles that all work great out of the box. Since the publication of Summoner Wars: Alliances Master Set, deck customization (which was an option since the original Reinforcement Decks) has become very interesting and diverse.

Rune Age for deckbuilding
I don't even liked Dominion much. But Rune Age is a great game, with different scenarios to allow head-to-head, racing competition, one-vs-many, solitaire, and co-op play. The cards are really pretty, too.

Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game
for deck design
There are about 1,500 cards in a full set, and the flexible resourcing rules mean that none of them are useless.
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I'm currently really enjoying the Vs. System 2PCG. It's got good gameplay, and it's cheap. The core set has everything you need to build multiple full decks (as opposed to the FFG sets where you need three cores for a full set) and the expansion release are about three per year instead of monthly. Those things might be a negative for some people but as someone who doesn't want to spend a lot of money or keep up with monthly releases it's excellent. Sure, the card pool is smaller but I'm not down at the FLGS every night testing or playing league games, I'm just doing kitchen table play with my friends. Plus, the Marvel theme is a good way to get opponents who are at least casual fans of the Marvel movies.
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Nicholas Palmer
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Mimedestroyer wrote:
BattleCON

I am a big fan of fighting video games and I feel that the series of games does the absolute best representation of those games in a board game format. The movement of characters, priority/speed, strength, range, and cost/cooldown of attacks are really well defined. Having to read your opponent and know their options is key. There are certainly some characters that are much better against others in certain match ups, but as a whole the game feels balanced. Also, with the large amount of characters to choose from just about all of them feel unique from one another.


And yet another set is on KS right now.

Insane amounts of fighters!

Yeah, it is a really fun game, and it is one of those games that you have to really play over and over to get very good.
 
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Can't answer why, they're just on the Wishlist..

Field of Glory: The Card Game
Ortus Regni
 
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CARL SKUTSCH
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New York
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Check out Clockwork Wars. It's a pretty darn good dudes on a hex map Euro'ish steampunk game. Quick and fun.
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zappshmeow94 wrote:

This is a fun game, but I'm also spoiled. I have the original Blue Moon with all the expansions. Blue Moon Legends is the same game, with shrunk down normal sized cards, not the big tarot size cards of the original. The bonus of Legends is you get everything in one box at a reasonable price.

Blue Moon is like a super complicated asymmetrical War. You need to win 3 battles with your cards, bonus cards, and special ability cards. Part of the trick is knowing what battles to give up on and what battles to go for broke with. It's my favorite Knizia game (normally I'm not a huge fan of his games).
 
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K
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Yomi. Because it is the most exciting game I've played (heart races after an intense match), has endless replay value (only gets better the more I play it), and unlike the other top-shelf competitive two player games, it stands on its own without relying on customization or endless expansions.

A unique thing about it is that personal playstyle matters a lot; you play your deck your own way, not necessarily some "optimal" way, and when you play vs an opponent, you're playing against him/her at the same time as playing against their deck.
 
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Garrett X
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Seasons and Hearthstone - both are spell wars type games consisting of drafting and constructing a deck to the situation (what cards are available, what strategy you intend to pursue with those cards, and what can be best used to exploit the weaknesses of your opponent) all while being constrained by the resources needed to summon those cards (energy in Seasons, mana in Hearthstone). I like the excitement of trading blows back and forth, gaining ground or an advantage etc. and trying to outwit the opponent despite their use of attack cards.
 
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Steve B
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Magic the Gathering. Just buy any random duel pack and you have a better designed game than 99% of the others.
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Peter Bowie
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kentreuber wrote:


Second'd. Netrunner is also good.
 
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