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Subject: Wife wasn't happy with the games I bought for Christmas... rss

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John Cutter
United States
Washington
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I picked up some games I thought she would enjoy but they are a little too lightweight for her. (King of Tokyo and Tsuro of the Seas)

I think she is going to allow me to buy one more game. Help me pick which one!

Here's what we are looking for:

1. Two player game.
2. We like some randomness.
3. Any theme as long as it isn't too dry.
4. The complexity should be similar to Dominion (which we enjoy). Could be a little more complex.
5. Game time should be 30 minutes to 2 hours. (King of Tokyo is too short.)
6. Setup and takedown times should be reasonable.
7. Card games are okay -- we enjoyed Magic: The Gathering.
8. The wife likes head-to-head more than co-op.
9. We like interesting new game mechanics.

We tend to prefer games where the "board" changes in interesting ways each turn, forcing both players to really study it before making the next move. We have and enjoy Carcassonne but we're looking for a game with a little bit more depth/strategy.

Thanks!
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Lawrence Lopez
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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My wife really enjoys Seasons and Mage Wars Arena, both of which are recent acquisitions for us. She loves Mage Knight Board Game (it has a slowly expanding board) but it's quite a bit heavier than the others I mentioned.
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Andy Andersen
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Ada
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My wife really likes Seasons also.
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BT Carpenter
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Android: Netrunner

Hands Down
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Erik Tengblad
Sweden
Uppsala
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It doesn't have (much of) the randomness or the changing/modular game board, but maybe Summoner Wars: Master Set could be your thing? It's head-to-head, got quite a bit of strategy, uses cards as both the units you use to battle each other as well as the currency for getting those units onto the board.
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Ricky Cantrell
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Carrollton
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I would suggest Innovation, the theme is barely there but certainly no less than Dominion. It hits on many of your requirements, plus it's not terribly expensive so maybe you can sneak another game in the order. devil
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Ricky Cantrell
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Carrollton
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byronczimmer wrote:


I'll have to give a +1 to this as well, fantastic game and also hits a lot of your requirements.
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Luke Morris
England
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Innovation is wonderful. My wife and I play it pretty regularly.
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nyn -
United States
Portland
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You made great choices, but those are very quick games. I love Tsuro and King of Tokyo for parties where it's hard to organize a meatier game.

Have you looked at Lords of Waterdeep? It seems like it might fit as a step up in weight, comparable to Dominion in that regard. It plays in about an hour.

If you want to go longer, try Puerto Rico, Small World or Edo. These might come close to your criteria.
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James Bentley
United States
Cleburne
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Lords of Waterdeep

+1 for Innovation
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Dylan Maillard
France
Flers
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I'm in the same way with my wife, and she loves The Castles of Burgundy and Ginkgopolis.
The second one is just perfect, 50 minutes long, with little random and lot of strategy. "Board" is changing all along the game.
And, i think you should look at Keyflower, with the style of Carcassonne but much deeper than this one. Seems perfect.
Gook luck !
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Conor Hickey
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Dublin
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+1 for Innovation.
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George Parker
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Aggieland
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+thumbsup for Seasons

Also, just recently got a copy of Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar and having only played it 4-player at BGG.CON in November, my wife and I were pleasantly surprised how well we enjoyed our 2-player game the other night.

And finally, I can guarantee getting my wife to the table if I mention The Castles of Burgundy...her favorite find from BGG.CON 2011. Still a favorite of ours.

Good luck!
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Jens Kunst
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I'm gonna recommed Small World. It might not be complex enough, but it is great fun for 2-5.
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Martin Larouche
Canada
Longueuil
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Race for the Galaxy is great, even tough you need a couple of games'to get used to the iconography.

I also second android netrunner.
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Robin
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Cybert99 wrote:

We tend to prefer games where the "board" changes in interesting ways each turn, forcing both players to really study it before making the next move. We have and enjoy Carcassonne but we're looking for a game with a little bit more depth/strategy.


Gheos
 
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Ian Toltz
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byronczimmer wrote:


This is what I came to say, although with the caveat that it can be a bit of a difficult game to learn from scratch. But few games can match this one in terms of depth, and it's a very unique experience.

If you're scared of Netrunner, might I suggest Star Wars: The Card Game? If you can handle Magic, you can handle this. It plays a bit like Magic, although there's a tight game clock and the endings are always tense.

I should also mention that both of these are LCGs, which means that they are complete games in and of themselves but they also get monthly non-randomized expansions. I'm of a slightly divergent opinion from most in that I'm not sure Netrunner is quite as good if you never intend to buy the expansions, but from what I've seen of Star Wars I expect it to remain satisfying, even when you start building your own decks, with just the core set.
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William McCarroll
United States
Bel Air
Maryland
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I've had great success with At the Gates of Loyang. It works especially well with 2 players, and has randomness in the card draws. Described, it sounds really mathy, but I find it doesn't feel that way during gameplay.
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Jordan S.
United States
Plano
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tengblad wrote:
It doesn't have (much of) the randomness or the changing/modular game board, but maybe Summoner Wars: Master Set could be your thing? It's head-to-head, got quite a bit of strategy, uses cards as both the units you use to battle each other as well as the currency for getting those units onto the board.

Add another recommendation for Summoner Wars, based on your qualifiers.

1. Two player game.
Yes

2. We like some randomness.
Yes. Players each have a deck of cards and shuffle/draw from it.

3. Any theme as long as it isn't too dry.
Yes. Fantasy battles featuring creatures and spells.

4. The complexity should be similar to Dominion (which we enjoy). Could be a little more complex.
The "deck" mechanics are very simple (there's no "deck-building" like Dominion) but the complexity comes from the tactical/hand-management decisions.

5. Game time should be 30 minutes to 2 hours. (King of Tokyo is too short.)
Yes. The game typically lasts from 30 - 90 minutes depending upon several factors.

6. Setup and takedown times should be reasonable.
Yes. Place board on table, grab a deck, put tokens in a pile. Done.

7. Card games are okay -- we enjoyed Magic: The Gathering.
Yes. This would seem to be a major nod toward your possible enjoyment of Summoner Wars. The game's theme and general game concepts are similar to M:tG, though it plays a bit differently due to having the "tactical" element and the inclusion of dice to resolve combat.

8. The wife likes head-to-head more than co-op.
Yes. First player to kill the opponent's Summoner wins.

9. We like interesting new game mechanics.
Yes. The game has some very interesting mechanics that I haven't seen elsewhere before it. For example, you must decide whether to use cards in your hand as troops or spells to put into play, or to use them to build your Magic Pool so that you can play other cards. Also, if you destroy your opponent's troops, they go to your Magic Pool as well. And you control how quickly/slowly you go through your deck and once it runs out...you don't get any more cards. You'll have to win the game with what you've got left.

10. Board "changes" each turn.
Yes. Players are placing new troops, moving them and destroying their opponent's troops constantly. The board will look different each turn as the players jockey for tactical advantage.

A very good 2-player game, honestly.
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Runtime Error
Switzerland
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Hi,

considering the games you already have, how about these games:

Letters from Whitechapel (deduction)
Haggis (trick taking)
Rosenkönig (abstract)

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Steve McClure
United States
Fowler
California
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Kingdom Builder.

A great game for couples. The simple mechanics conceal much deeper game play. This isn't a brain burner, but as you gain experience, you will see a multitude of options, which means that you have to make meaningful decisions that impact game play through out. My wife and I enjoy Dominion with two and Puerto Rico as well, but this game has dominated all other games for play this past year. Try it, read the reviews, but know that the game gets some, IMO undeserved hate.
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Kathy Sheets
United States
Port Saint Lucie
Florida
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+1 for Seasons and Lords of Waterdeep

Kingdom Builder
Macao


I'd say those are definitely favorite games in our house and what drew my husband into gaming.
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William McCarroll
United States
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Maryland
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If they are looking for theme, I'm not sure I'd reccomend Kingdom Builder. I like the game, but it is very abstract - the theme doesn't really have anything to do with gameplay in any way shape or form.
 
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Daniel Kearns
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
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hezkezl wrote:
If they are looking for theme, I'm not sure I'd reccomend Kingdom Builder. I like the game, but it is very abstract - the theme doesn't really have anything to do with gameplay in any way shape or form.


True, it won't read you a story and tuck you in to bed at night but expanding the little towns helps you relate with what you are doing.
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Jake Adams
United States
Ann Arbor
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You might check out Mr Jack. It's a two-player game that that pits jack the ripper against a detective - very strategy based, and can be a lot of fun.
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