Help me choose Christmas gifts (husband)
Kambria McLean
United States
FL
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Every year, I'm responsible for getting the games for Christmas. Briefly, we have five kids: gaming son age 17 (graduating this year); non-gaming daughter age 15; gamer-in-training son age 3; and not-yet-gamers ages 1 1/2 and 4 months. My husband (kmclean01) and I play fairly often. We game with two other great couples, but we've slowed down a bit lately when our last baby was born 14 weeks premature this summer. Happily, he's home now and doing great, but the upshot is that there are likely to be a lot of 2p games in our future!

This year, I've decided to try something different. I'll be placing an order sometime in the next three weeks, and I'd love some input. Please feel free to add games I might not have thought of as well as comments on any item. I haven't followed games as closely as I might lately, and I'd love some experienced playtesting commentary! We tend to like...
*some theme (e.g., not abstracts)...bonus points for a great theme.
*play time 60 minutes or under, where possible
*scales well to two
*competitive is great, but screwage not so much; we want to remain on speaking terms after gaming. laugh
*He has rarely met a game he won't play; I drool over games by Uwe Rosenberg and Matthias Cramer but am willing to give most games a fair shot. I tend to hate sci-fi themed games, however. (Read: I'm perhaps the picky one here.)
*Much as I'm loath to admit it sometimes, I'm a huge sucker for great artwork.

Games we love: Love Letter, Ticket to Ride USA 1910, Europe, Asia, etc., San Juan, Agricola and All Creatures

I'll be sure to update after I make the purchases.

[Edit: List is now alphabetical for my own self-serving purposes. (I use a game spreadsheet every year, and having these alpha-sorted is just convenient!) Title changed to try to gain more input...]

[Second edit: See last list item for actual purchases.]
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1. Board Game: Basilica [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:3075]
Kambria McLean
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Sounds interesting; very attractive game that doesn't take too long and has the distinct advantage of being available (as I find, today, that several games are out of stock and one out of print).
 
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2. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:13]
Joe Pastuzyn
United States
Midland
Michigan
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Sure, the theme is a little thin as this is a Stefan Feld game, but Grace and I do like to play this two player. It gets long with three and very long with four. Many believe this is Feld's best game. It's puzzly and the dice can ignore your pleadings for a good roll. I think either you or Ken have played it and you're welcome to borrow it if you would like to try it.
 
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3. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:23]
Kambria McLean
United States
FL
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New and Agricola/Ora relative?? This merits serious consideration. (On Ken's list)
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4. Board Game: Dragonheart [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1433]
Joe Pastuzyn
United States
Midland
Michigan
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This is a quick playing, compact card / board game. Strictly two player only and it comes with a cute dragon piece (he's a good thing). You can borrow if you like.
 
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5. Board Game: Fantastiqa [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:1594]
Kambria McLean
United States
FL
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Not on his list, but he loves Dominion waaay too much. I'm hoping to lure him to a different deckbuilder, one I've been watching for some time.
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6. Board Game: Farmerama [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:5768]
Kambria McLean
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On his list. I don't know a lot about this, but it's a light, short Uwe Rosenberg, and that's a big plus. I'm thinking it'll probably be popular with our younger gamers in a few years.
 
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7. Board Game: Fjords [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1213]
Joe Pastuzyn
United States
Midland
Michigan
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Another two player game that Grace and I have played and liked, but it is very difficult to find (Elissa has a copy in Utah). If you find this, but two and I'll reimburse you.
 
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8. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:226]
Kambria McLean
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FL
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The theme sounds great, and it's an Uwe game...but it is a little on the long side. Still, I'm considering it; it's on his list, and it plays well for two.
 
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9. Board Game: Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:4231]
Kambria McLean
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Quick, light filler. Stocking stuffer?
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10. Board Game: Le Havre: The Inland Port [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:905]
Joe Pastuzyn
United States
Midland
Michigan
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Grace and I play this in under 60 minutes. Very streamlined version of its bigger brother. We can lend to you if you want to try.
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11. Board Game: Jaipur [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:115]
Michael Tunison
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Usually my first recommended for a 2P-only game. Portable, interesting theme, great art, plays fairly quick and at a good pace, and requires clever play and decision-making.
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12. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:369] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Kambria McLean
United States
FL
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This has been on the radar for a while. It looks like a fun game with an interesting premise. On his list.
 
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13. Board Game: Let's Take a Hike [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:8068]
Kambria McLean
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Looks short, easy, may be teachable to a 3-year old. Probably not the deepest, most interesting game, but Eli loves to play games with us, and we can't always fool him into playing with pieces from Helvetia on his own!
 
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14. Board Game: Nile DeLuxor [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:3522]
Michael Tunison
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Another interesting little card game that I've mainly played with 2 players, although it can play up to 6. For just two I would go with Jaipur, but if you want something that could also work with a group, this is a good choice (or Sushi Go! which I already recommended in a previous comment).
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15. Board Game: Pick & Pack [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2953]
Kambria McLean
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FL
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Nice artwork in a short, 2p game...but is it too light and/or too much like Wasabi, which we already own?
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16. Board Game: Rococo [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:202]
Kambria McLean
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FL
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I'm not sure about this one. It doesn't fit a lot of my criteria, but it's a Cramer game and on his list. Any experience/recommendations for this one?
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17. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:379]
Kambria McLean
United States
FL
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Suggested upthread...This sounds like it could be interesting, but both 7 Wonders and Fairy Tale are listed as comparable in its description. Is it worth bothering since I have both of them?
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18. Board Game: Targi [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:141]
Joe Pastuzyn
United States
Midland
Michigan
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A bit more abstract than you may like, but a real short, thinkie game. I like it quite a bit and, again, we can loan to you.
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19. Board Game: To Court the King [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1513]
Kambria McLean
United States
FL
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Also on his list. This sounds like a fast, interesting 2p dice game.
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20. Board Game: What Were You Thinking? [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:4026]
Kambria McLean
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Well, somewhat surprisingly, here's the final purchase list:
Fantastiqa
Rococo
Council of VeronaSaw it and really liked the theme and idea. Purchased for my daughter
Romans Go Home!Quick, light card game for 17 yr old son
TargiBorrowed this from Joe and like it a lot. Minus the real possibility for take-that moves.
Last Will for 17 yr old son
Cardline: Animalsfor 3 yr old son
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation Just saw this reprinted; we like a lot of Kosmos' other games, and it's very popular. Hoping it will be here as well.

I've also dropped hints that I would love some Carc expansions from my husband. Perhaps a Big Box... We'll see. cool

There were a surprising number of games unavailable, and the Uwe Rosenberg games seemed too pricey right now to bite. Glass Road for $81? Yikes...and Caverna won't be available until much later this month. (Edit: I got that exactly backwards. blush Glass Road is unavailable...)
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