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Subject: favorite 2 player - and why rss

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Rob Ryan
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red_herring wrote:
The line between wargames and strategy games can be pretty thin. Twilight Struggle is rated at the top of both lists. The trade off of operations points versus events means lots of decision points and tension. Same for Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 - ?, also listed as a wargame and strategy game. Of course, you could make the arguement that most wargames are strategy games.


Someone pointed out to me that the game rating and category are independent. It only takes 30% of all voters to classify a game on BGG in a category buy once there they use all the folks who have rated the game for the score. So a game in 1,2 or even 3 game type categories still has the same avg score in all three.
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Spencer C
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VolcanoLotus wrote:
It's the only game I've ever played that has both no randomness after the game begins and hidden, non-trackable information. This means that the game is almost entirely about skillful play (and I would argue situations where you "get lucky" usually mean poor placement by your opponent), but doesn't become rote or follow a "script" like many perfect information games, and you're still able to bluff.

I've actually been trying to find a multiplayer game with the same qualities, and so far have come up short, so I think I may have to design it myself.


Many, many card games are also in the category you describe. In fact, basically every game where the randomization occurs prior to the game's start.
 
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mawa
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Gaanger wrote:
Polis: Fight for the Hegemony could be the very best 2 player game I have ever played. At least thats my impression after one game :-)



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Stoic Bird
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UanarchyK wrote:
VolcanoLotus wrote:
It's the only game I've ever played that has both no randomness after the game begins and hidden, non-trackable information. This means that the game is almost entirely about skillful play (and I would argue situations where you "get lucky" usually mean poor placement by your opponent), but doesn't become rote or follow a "script" like many perfect information games, and you're still able to bluff.

I've actually been trying to find a multiplayer game with the same qualities, and so far have come up short, so I think I may have to design it myself.


Many, many card games are also in the category you describe. In fact, basically every game where the randomization occurs prior to the game's start.


I really can't win. I used to just say "no randomness" for Stratego but then I would get a sea of "there's randomness - how do you decide who goes first!"

The randomness is determined before the game, but the randomness happens to the players during the game. Sorry that was apparently unclear.
 
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Phil Lewis
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Jeremy-

For two-player games that minimize randomness, you might consider Engage. Beats Stratego by a mile.

-phil
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Kathleen Nugent
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Tamworth
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I have a whole list of games that play very well with 2. Some are 2-player games:
Battle Line - strategy changes depending on cards drawn,
Aton - similar randomness depending on cards available,
Roma - can be very quick when using Forum to get points or more drawn out if you choose other strategies.
These all take about the same number of minutes as Jambo.

My friend and I love these 2+ player games that we play with just us two:
Saint Petersburg - as in the above games, the sequence of cards change in each game, though there are pretty much just a few ways to maximize chances of winning,
Carcassonne with a couple of the expansions,
Macao - the deck is much larger than the number of cards used in a single game, so each game is different,
and The Castles of Burgundy - random pieces available, and dice add to the variety.
The last two are among the many Stefan Feld games I own - my favorite designer. With two players, all these games take an hour or less to play.
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Thanee
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Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is my favorite, because it offers so many options (lots of possible decks to build, lots of scenarios to play), and with two players it works the best (it is also great solo, but you miss out on a few multiplayer-specific parts of the game).

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small is another favorite. Just a very nice, little game. You get quite a bit of game in the small package.

Bye
Thanee
 
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Galaad Maal
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I'm just gonna go and say it: Chess! Plain, simple, classic, classy. (And I suck at Go !)
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Kathy Sheets
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Our favorite 2p game (supports up to 5 w/expansion) is Kingdom Builder. We do like randomness in our games and love managing that randomness so it's perfect for us. I've heard people say there isn't enough interaction with less than 3p (which we also get to play from time to time.) What we have found is that while that can be true, it rarely is for us but that's because we have played it so very many times...I think we're approaching the 250 mark.

We go out of our way to block each other when possible and a lot of that has to do with the what strategy is dictated by the cards. If it's a card (forget the names, sorry!) that tells us that we have to be in all quadrants to score, we will try to build walls of settlements keeping each other out, etc. We are constantly in the midst of best 2 out of 3 tournaments.

This is the breakthrough game for for husband, who I was trying to lure into becoming a full-fledged gamer. No doubts now. He made me buy another copy just in case this one gets worn out. He also now plays and enjoys nearly every other game we have.
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ANDREAS MILIOPOULOS
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Lost Cities is one of our favorites as it's fast and can be played consequently.
Tally Ho! is another one for the same reason.
The Reef is deeper, more strategic, has beautiful artwork and lasts longer.
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Nick Bentley
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As someone who loves 2 player games more than any other number, and plays mostly 2 player games, some highlights in my gaming life:

Best 2-Player Gateway: Battle Line - I introduce as "like playing 9 simultaneous hands of poker, but instead of betting on each hand, you're deciding which card to play to which hand." Everyone immediately gets it and gets really into it. I recommend playing it without the tactics cards. I've now played it maybe 300 times without the tactics cards and 100 times with them, and I've come to much prefer the game without (which, btw, is also Reiner Knizia's preferred setup - he's admitted that the addition of the tactics cards was a marketing consideration added just for the American market).

Best Deep Abstract: Slither - The great thing about this is that while it's extremely deep, it works surprisingly well with people who aren't abstract game enthusiasts. The goal is so simple and the tactics are so rich that it seems to work. Also, the branch factor is in the thousands and memorization is useless, and it feels a lot more creative than games like chess that feel more analytical.

Best Resourcey Euro: Finca - The rules are so simple that many people don't realize how deep and rich this is. It's not good for 3 or 4 players, but as a two player game, it's hard to find a better Euro. Also has the most appealing bits of any game I've played. Everybody goes apeshit over the colorful wooden fruit meeples.

Best Deck-Builder for 2: Puzzle Strike (Third Edition) - Hands down. Nothing else comes close. This game builds on everything other designers have learned about deck-builders to fully realize the potential of the mechanic for the first time, imo.

Best Card Game Playable with Standard Deck: Haggis - Really refined attempt to capture the magic of Tichu in a 2 player game. It works, completely. It's a little easier to play with the very nicely done commercial version though.
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SPACEBOY
Ecuador
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I'm very surprised that no one here has recommended: Race for the Galaxy, an absolutely outstanding two player game! (can be played with more, but IMO the best number is 2). This one has most of the characteristics pointed as "desired two player games characteristics", previously on this tread; as: hidden information, controled luck factor, randomness and variability, etc. Its only minus could be (for others, not to me), that it has not directly player interaction.

Another game I don't understand why have not mentioned here is: Twilight Struggle. A perfect 2 player game, since it was designed just for two. The sensation of a real political struggle of two Powers (nations) obsessed on take control over the world produces the kind of "two player interaction taste" that I've been looking since a long while ago.

I also didn't see here War of the Ring recommended as a two player game. This one is a pure gem. Specially since it's designed for just two players, and because there are actually two opposite powers fighting to rule the destiny of the world. Of course, the love for this game comes specially from J.R.R. Tolkien fans, as me, and that could be a drawback for players interested just in good two player games, but not necessarily interested on Tolkien's mithology. Nevertheless, WotR is a SUPERB two player game!

I also argue with others here about: Battle Line, Roma, Aton, Dungeon Twister and Lost Cities; as good games for exclusively two player games.

Other strategy games that can hold more players, but works pretty well for just two, includes IMO: The castles of Burgundy, Trajan, and... (actually, the majority of Stefan Feld designs), Le Havre, Agricola, Caylus, Troyes...

I hope this can result helpful for someone...
Excuse me for my English limitations...
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Tom Cannon
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Current fav is Mage Wars Arena a magical take on fighting to the death in an arena. Tons of replayability using different mages and different spellbooks, plus evolving strategies between games keeps me coming back for more.
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Ted Duby
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Twilight Struggle
Starship Catan
Perry Rhodan: The Cosmic League
The Castles of Burgundy
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Lord Limboldt
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I like competition and do not like randomness.
Chess is not...colorful enough for me.
We also do not mind when a game takes longer (2-5h).

Dungeon Twister
Mage Knight
Antiquity
Le Havre
Ora et Labora
Race for the Galaxy

I bought Polis but did not play it. A few acres of snow I played once and did not like it at all. I like the feeling of free choices and creative strategies and did not find that in this game, but found a lot of it in the games mentioned above.

Merkator is also quite nice, it is more a solo-optimisation-game with company.
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Steve Blackwell
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Some great suggestions, so I will agree with posts about Hive and Haggis.

Surprised no-one has mentioned Morels yet, so that's what I am going to add.

It is a wonderful, thematic set collection card game with great art. The 2nd edition is about to be released and differs little to the first edition. Tokens instead of handcrafted foraging sticks although to be honest. Those were more limited edition sets than truly first edition. The designers have also made a small rule change which doesn't have to be utilised and clarified the rules.

It is directly available from Two Lantern Games. They deserve your money because they are a fantastic little company.

This is a game which my partner is happy to play and she is good at it too!

M B
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Galaad Maal
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I've been looking at Morels for a while, and wondering where to get it... glad to see a second print; always galling to have to add on shipping, but as you say it's worth supporting the good indies - and if someone who, presumably, also had to import still thinks it was worth the cost... Consider it pre-ordered!
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Julius Evola
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Twilight Struggle. I love the theme, the mechanics, the cards, the history, and so on. It's usually a very tense and exciting game.
 
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Anonymous Lastname
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Hands down winner for me and my boyfriend is Dominion. (We play with all the non-Alchemy expansions).
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Jordi Picart i Barrot
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Eoin Corrigan wrote:
NJames wrote:

These are some of the things that are making Jambo a hit at our house. What is your favorite 2-player game, and why?


My wife and I enjoy 2P Carcassonne, with a bunch of the better expansions.

As you mention card games, we also like:

- San Juan, which I think is superb - it's quick to play, easy to learn and has rrom for multiple strategies to victory.

- The Rivals for Catan - the 2P cardgamer version of Settlers. The base game is good - it's a little more involved than San Juan, and requires more space to play, but it's a great card treatment of the Catan experience.


Totally agree with this choice. Rivals for Catan is really a must for two, and San Juan is exactly how Eoin says: quick to play, easy to learn and every play is different. Plus I would say it's elegant on how players confront each other (not too much, not zero agressivity).
 
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Kansai Chris
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Crokinole, because of the satisfying "fffpakk" sound when you send your opponent's disk into the gutter where it belongs!
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Austin Andersen
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anlcnda wrote:
A Few Acres of snow. We're starting to try Out4Blood's variant mixes as well. This one has great sticking power for me and the wife.
Which variant mixes are you referring to?
 
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Villiage Idiot
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Strictly 2 player games that my wife and I love:

Le Havre: The Inland Port
Arena: Roma II
Hera and Zeus
 
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