Conquest & Empire building games for two or three?
Mark Bretherton
Australia
Sydney
Unspecified
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I'm looking for games for my 15 year old who really likes games that involve conquest and building (like History of the World) - BUT that don't need 5+ players or 8 hours playing time to be enjoyable. Looking for suggestions...
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1. Board Game: Wilderness War [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:615]
Mark Bretherton
Australia
Sydney
Unspecified
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My son loves this game, I think partly because he gets to try and conquer but he also gets to build - forts, stockades etc as he expands his territory. Not quite a classic empire building game but I think it is indicative of the sort of game he's looking for.

Plays in about 2 hours with 2 players so is ideal for his attention span.
 
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2. Board Game: History of the World [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:631]
Mark Bretherton
Australia
Sydney
Unspecified
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This has it all - conquest, buildings, empires BUT is also too long and most importantly requires too many players. Now if there was a two (or even three) player version that took a couple of hours.....
 
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3. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1225]
Mark Bretherton
Australia
Sydney
Unspecified
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No ... don't even go there. Took too long, too many dice, not enough variety. We tried it and sold it.

At least it's playable by two players.
 
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4. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:16]
 
Mark Bretherton
Australia
Sydney
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OK not really a game of empires or conquest. Lots of building though! Once he got over the fact there was no conflict in the game he really liked it. Playing time is right, number of players is not perfect as it plays best with 4 or 5.
 
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5. Board Game: Mare Nostrum [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1121]
Wolfgang Kunz
Germany
Netphen
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Hm, I didn't want to include all the Civilization titels but have you thought about this one? Works with 3 players (ok, the more the better). It's on my "need to play it with my group" list. But it should be better (= more playable) with the expansion (fixing some of the problems that the main game had). It's about conquering, trading, building but not on a 7+ hours base.
 
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6. Board Game: Nexus Ops [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:357]
Johan L
United Kingdom
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How about this one? Haven't tried it myself yet (got a game planned for next week though ), but from what I've read it should fit the bill.
 
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7. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:233] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Nate Sandall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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My friend's brother got this when I was 14 (and I got it when I was 15). We played a lot of two and three players and had a blast with Civilization. The two player game is imbalanced, but we had an awful lot of fun arriving at that conclusion and then we started playing three countries each with two players.
 
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8. Board Game: Age of Mythology: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2585]
Tobias Naesborg
Denmark
Lynge
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Maybe this takes to long time to play (3 hours) but it has it all. Buildings, cool figures and a good mixture of civ advancement and war. There will be dice rolling but only in war.
 
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9. Board Game: Tempus [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1580]
Steve K
United Kingdom
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Soon-to-be-released from Martin Wallace. Lots of positive buzz from people who have actually played this.
 
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10. Board Game: World in War: Combined Arms 1939-1945 [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:6451]
Karl Benisch
Sweden
Stockholm
Stockholm
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2-4 players. works fine with three as well.
High replayability
No dice fest since dice isn't used to score hits.
Easy to learn.
A playing time of 60 - 120 minutes.

I love this game with its unique battle system (check out the battle wheels in the image gallery). I won the Swedish Championship this year and I'm looking forward to defend my title in the years to come
 
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11. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (First Edition) [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:339]
Rune
Denmark
Engesvang
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I'll have to add this one here.

Though you cannot play it with two players, then it plays quite well with three players. The first time I did play this game with my younger brother, who is a year older than your son, his eyes lightened up and that 'militaristic' expression formed on his face.

The game only takes 2-3 hours.
 
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12. Board Game: Serenissima (first edition) [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1164]
Dan Rosewater
Switzerland
Zürich
Switzerland
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You could also consider Serenissima:

Fights: yes (dice involved but no dicefest)
Buildings: few (only fortresses)
Economy: pick up and deliver goods

2 Player: ok (tried it myself)
Playing Time: around 120 mins

Problem: availability in Australia?
 
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13. Board Game: Vinci [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:633]
David Cook
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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While this game plays best with four in my opinion, it is very playable with three players. It has a lot of similarities to History of the World mentioned above but doesn't take nearly as long to play (about 1.5 to 2 hours). The game has many intriguing and interesting strategic decisions to make on every move and has a very low luck element.
 
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14. Board Game: Sword and Sail [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:6404]
Francisco J. Piña A.
Chile
Calama
Antofagasta
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This one should fit the bill. 2-5 players, 30-60 min. time to play, and free!! I printed it and played with my sister and his boyfriend, and had a blast!! Think of it as a cross between Risk and the combat system of Civilization
 
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15. Board Game: Conquest of Paradise [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1530]
Kevin McPartland
United States
Jessup
Maryland
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This sounds like exactly what you're looking for- and it plays well with three players. Unfortunately, it won't be printed until it gets enough pre-orders. But we only have about 100 pre-orders still to go! Check it out and consider pre-ordering; hopefully, it will be available by the time your son is 16!
 
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16. Board Game: Viktory II [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:2846]
Ryan Bowling
United States
Unspecified
Texas
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In the first part of the game you're building your empire, but for most of the game you're defending your empire and trying to take other player's empires. Most games are under 3 hrs, and it plays quicker with fewer players.
 
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