Married Gamers: 2-Player Games
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Would love to hear from other couples about your favorite 2-player games.
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1. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:215]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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The new favorite this year. Quick, fun, lots of reverses. I don't know anything that plays faster or less predictably.
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2. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:292]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Another great Kosmos game about to come back in print! This has been our standby for a long time, so we're both a little tired of it right now, but it's been a nice weeknight game to pull out even when we've both brained too much during the day.
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3. Board Game: Jambo [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:496] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Great mechanic. We've had it for awhile but have just gotten into it in the last six months. Plays well in an hour, nice balance, nail-biting endgame.
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4. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:229]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Another new favorite. Game play requires more time--2+ hours usually, so we have to plan for a little more leisure but the mechanics are great, the artwork lovely. We're always glad we've set the time aside.
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5. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Sure, it's great with lots of folks around the table, but we began playing with just the two of us years ago and still find that variant challenging enough to keep it in rotation.
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6. Board Game: Guillotine [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1003]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Yes, it works with more players, but OH, it definitely works with just two. Always good to have a game where screwage is built into the mechanics.
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7. Board Game: Tiki Topple [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:2001]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Still sorting out our strategies here. It's a quick, light game, good as a weeknight alternative to an hour of tv.
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8. Board Game: Kahuna [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:913]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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We're off and on with this one. It's definitely abstract but it allows for multiple successful strategies. About to come back in print!
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9. Board Game: Balloon Cup [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:909]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Fairly unique mechanic. Good one-hour game, lots of screwage, lots of fast math, so we both have to be awake and alert for this this to be really fun.
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10. Board Game: Seismic [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:7638]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Familiar tile-game mechanic with some new twists. Played in about 2 hours. We both enjoyed yelling "Earthquake!" and using the break as an excuse to find more snacks and drinks.
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11. Board Game: Tara: Ireland's Royal Board Game [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:5181]
 
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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LOTS to explore here in a bargain-bin game I think I spent $5 on. We've only cracked the "easy" variant, Stone of the Citadel. Intense abstract, over 2+ hours for the three standard rounds.
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12. Board Game: Medici vs Strozzi [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1755]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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The auction mechanic has been more interesting than we thought. We quickly escalated from "reasonable" prices to serious gouging as a manipulation tactic.
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13. Board Game: Catan Card Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:741]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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The longest-playing game on the list so far. We both enjoy it but it really means a time commitment: 3 hours?
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14. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:274]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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More fun with more folks but still charmingly frustrating as a cooperative game for two. We end up developing signals and codes and there's more eyebrow raising and significant looks during this game than there are at family holiday gatherings.
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15. Board Game: Khet: The Laser Game [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1489]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Just beginning to explore our strategies here. Lots of geek glee over the fact that we're playing with lasers.
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16. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:232]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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An old favorite, mechanic similar to San Juan but slower so it doesn't get as much rotation. It does play better with more folks but it works for two.
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17. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:123]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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A real classic we're teaching ourselves this year. Finding lots of great online resources I will link in comments as I find them.
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18. Board Game: Asante [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1321] [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Have not played yet, but as much as we've enjoyed Jambo, we are anticipating this one.
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19. Board Game: Le Havre: The Inland Port [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:813]
Claudia Nevermore, LPH
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Not played yet but hope to soon.
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20. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:278]
Brody Lipperman
United States
Southlake
Texas
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D6 Desparados
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This one held our attention for a long time. Wildly swingy, but still very fun. Not a fan of the expansions however.
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21. Board Game: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:87] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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This is a deck-building game that involves flat-out trying to kill your opponent. You don't have to comb through your deck to figure out who won. I added this to an order in August (for about $14) because I had heard good recommendations, and we've already played it together about 40 times (plus some plays with other people.)
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22. Board Game: Empire Builder [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:950]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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We also really like the "crayon rails" games and often play them 2-player in the evening. We can finish a game in about an hour.

There are many games in the series, covering different geographies, so I'm using this one as the archtype of the family.
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23. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:60]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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We have both played Race for the Galaxy, but it never caught on with us as a 2-player game. But its younger sibling Roll for the Galaxy has been a different story. We're playing it 3 or 4 times in a single sitting.
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24. Board Game: Hera and Zeus [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1415]
S Squidpigge
United States
Utah
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I picked up a few of these Kosmos 2 player games and they have all been a hit. This one is fun and the more we play it the more we come up with different strategies of where to place your hostage.
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25. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
S Squidpigge
United States
Utah
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This is one of my wife's favorites, although I think I need to get the one where you are the disease because sometimes my wife wants the disease to win.
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