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Subject: Drunter & Druber as a 2 player game rss

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Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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An older game that we like to play from time to time, so I thought I'd see how it copes with just 2. This review is part of my series of reviews looking at how multiplayer games work with just 2 players - for the full list see: My 2 player game reviews.

Rules - how are they different in a 2 player game?

There are no rules differences in a 2 player game other than the number of tiles you start with - the tiles are shared out equally amongst the players in the game, so the number of tiles received increases as you play with fewer players.

How is the game different with 2?

The game becomes much more of a tactical game of bluffing with two. If you play with the basic rules, then you want to try to bluff your opponent into thinking you're playing for a different colour, or you could end up with your buildings squashed very easily. With the advanced variant, and two colours to choose from, the bluffing is less important, but still present.

The other dramatic difference I've noticed is that the game is more likely to develop into a game of chicken when either a tile type is near to running out, or in danger of becoming permanently blocked. Both players want the other player to go first to get the best result for their tiles, and hence try to force their opponent to do so. I've not seen this happen nearly as often in a multiplayer game.

Voting is quite different with just 2 players, mainly because you have the same number of total votes, but there aren't so many players voting on them. Votes are much more likely to end in a draw, or with the player who cares getting the result they want, just because there aren't enough cards/players to change this. It means tile placement becomes much more important than the voting, and changes the feel of the game subtly.

The last difference is that of excitement. In a 4 player game there is a lot of table-talk, trying to convince players you're a colour you're not, and discussing out loud placement options - "Squash that one, you know you want to", etc etc. 2 player games are by contrast much more silent, as you sit there and study the board much more, and there's not enough players to create the banter. Hence it changes the game from a light family game, to more of a light abstract - not nearly as fun.

Verdict

There's nothing wrong with Drunter and Druber as a 2 player game - mechanically it all works fine, but losing the table-talk and banter reduces the game down to a very abstract game, rather than the fun light family fare it was clearly designed to be. More fun with more.
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