What Couples Have Been Playing - April 2016
Ryan Olden
Wales
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A Couple of Gamers Welcomes You To

What Couples Have Been Playing
April 2016


Spring is Here!!!!!!!




Hello everyone and welcome to our third monthly "What Couples Have Been Playing" Geeklist. Our second month featured a fantastic variety of games and I hope it helped people when maybe choosing new titles or in getting older games off the shelf.

This is very much a geeklist for couples by couples, We can't wait to see what you have been playing. Feel free to post geeklist items, comments on other peoples items and mingle with the community in the comments below.


What you need to do

1/ Play a game as a couple within the month of April.
2/ Post a geeklist entry after you've played.
3/ Let us know how it played.
4/ Provide feedback for others (and give them a thumb).


Previous Geeklists

What Couples Have Been Playing February 2016

What Couples Have Been Playing March 2016



Resources for Couples

A Couple of Gamers Guild



Couples of the Geek

Newbie Couples Games

[geeklist=170487]Cooperative Games For Couples[/geeklist]

What Couples Have Been Playing Monthly Geeklist SUBSCRIPTION THREAD

A massive thank you to
Kevin L. Kitchens
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Gainesville
Georgia
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Spring can be a time for new beginnings and renewal so with that in mind I would love to see people reinvigorating their love in some older titles that have perhaps been gathering dust for some time. Lets get some of those older games off the shelves and let the world now why you enjoy them but maybe also why they may not have seen a great deal of play recently.
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1. Board Game: Omen: A Reign of War [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:946] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Joao Lima
Scotland
Edinburgh
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Pretty good, highly recommend.
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2. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
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Wurtsboro
NY
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We dusted off Stone Age for several plays, and even got around to trying out the expansion. It plays well with two. Good for when we want something not too heavy, not too light, with a bit of dice rolling.
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3. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:450]
Kathy Sheets
United States
Stuart
Florida
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Good timing! I was inspired by Indigopotter's recent posts regarding playing older games in her collection that needed some love so we got this out and played 2 games back to back. KB is well-loved but has fallen by the wayside due to the cult of the new. We play with all expansions. It's still a great game after 350 plays and is tied with Dominion as my husband's favorite. We left it set up for another play asap!
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4. Board Game: Pagoda [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1643]
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thumbsup Pagoda is a simple, fun, set collecting game. The rules are easy to learn and remember.
thumbsdown Not recommended for those who like deep, meaty games.
thumbsup Plays relatively fast. A game takes 30-40 minutes with a little additional time for set up and clean up.
thumbsup Solid, nice components that exceed expectations. For example, the back of the game board has a nice panorama of pagodas printed on it instead of the standard black backing.
thumbsup The game looks beautiful on the table. Whether you win or lose it's rewarding to look at the end game state and admire the Pagodas that you have built.
thumbsup The 3-D element is not a gimmick. The 3-D pieces used to construct the Pagodas are more than just pleasing to the eye. They are an integral part of the game.
thumbsup Open and Hidden Hand mechanic. In Pagoda 5 of the 7 cards in each player's hand will be displayed face up on the table (Open Hand) while only 2 of the 7 cards are displayed face down (Hidden Hand) known only by the holder. The amount of information on the table is high compared to most set collecting games. So, typically you know when you're making a play that will only benefit you or benefit your opponent as well. There is also a press your luck element concerning your opponent's hidden cards.
thumbsup Special Abilities help separate Pagoda from other similar games. A variety of very useful special abilities can be earned, used, and possibly replenished during the course of the game. Trying to ensure you get the lion's share of the special abilities is another element to weigh against straight up earning points.
thumbsdown The strategies of when to use the special abilities are quite obvious. For the most part both players will be thinking and playing along the same lines in this regard.

Pagoda is not as good as the best set collecting games such as Jaipur. However, the game is entertaining and brings some aspects that are unique to the set collecting genre. I find Pagoda both engaging and relaxing.
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5. Board Game: Discoveries [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:570]
Eric O.
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
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Played this for the first time last night.

A fun take on the original Lewis & Clark game.
I think we still like the original a little better but this one plays and sets up way faster. Still plenty of depth and rolling the dice creates some hard decisions along the way. Scales well because of card removal during set up.

Over all we'd rank it about an 8
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6. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:50]
C&H Schmidt
Germany
Heidelberg
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Played this online with my partner -- we are in a long distance relationship, so online gaming is a nice way of doing something together.
After 9 plays, I feel like I've understood how the game works and how to play, even though I still mostly lose.

Very tempted to get a physical copy of this game! It is clever and plays quickly.
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7. Board Game: Raptor [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:319]
Ryan Olden
Wales
Cardiff
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Certainly not an older game but one we could quickly setup and play while the kids were distracted with technology.

We really enjoyed this one, I lost as the Raptors only managing to eat four scientists and get one baby off the board. I started well but saw my self slowly but surely have to adopt a more defensive position.

The game is a lot of fun for two players, setup and take down is a breeze and the game only has a few fiddly rules to get to grips with.

thumbsup Asynchronous play which always makes me happy.
thumbsup Seems well balanced although will need more plays to be sure.
thumbsup Quick to play
thumbsup Very fun
thumbsup Great components

thumbsdown A few fiddly rules
thumbsdown Could be hard to claw your way back when on the back foot.

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8. Board Game: Mangrovia [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:1118]
Ryan Olden
Wales
Cardiff
Cardiff
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Fun, light worker placement and area control game with some very interesting scoring mechanics. The game plays incredibly fast with two players and the dummy player makes gaining majorities more interesting. I highly recommend this one as an entry level euro as it will introduce people to some.common mechanisms without taxing the brain too much.
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9. Board Game: Summoner Wars: Alliances Master Set [Average Rating:8.25 Overall Rank:454] [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
Ryan Olden
Wales
Cardiff
Cardiff
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Today we took out my favourite game of all time which we haven't played in quite a while. I adore Summoner Wars, everything about it is tailor made to my tastes, unique factions, fun theme, simple to setup and it offers fun tactical and strategic choices.

Tonight I dusted off my favourite faction the Shadow Elves and beat Bethans Jungle Elves. The game ended with a great narrative flair as I smashed through a wall protecting Bethans Summoner which lead her straight into my three Swordsman while being chased by my Hydrake. She managed to destroy all three of my swordsman before relinquishing her turn and falling to my Hydrake. The game was extremely close with her losing all 7 HP and my Summoner having just 2 health left.
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10. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:92] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Ryan Olden
Wales
Cardiff
Cardiff
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One of the first games we ever owned and one that will always remain in our collection, we adore Ticket to Ride and find playing with just the Big City tickets from the expansion adds so much to the two player experience. I got trounced in this game coming up just short on a 21 point route.

We haven't played this for a while but I think we may have just caught the bug again.
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11. Board Game: Assault on Doomrock [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:1592]
Jonas Vanschooren
Belgium
Beringen
Limburg
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We got this game in a math trade last year. It has been sitting in the closet sinds then.
But we got it out last week and today played our 3th game.
Wow this game is amazing.
Both the Adventure part and the combat is amazing.
Granted it can be long but it's just a great experience.
We loved this with just the 2 off us.

This is gone take up a regular spot from now on in our gaming schedule.
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12. Board Game: Rococo [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:197]
Jonas Vanschooren
Belgium
Beringen
Limburg
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Played what's becoming one of my favorite medium weight games to finish our weekend.
We had a great game that was really close, only 4 points difference. But I was victorious.

This really is such a great game, very fun mechanics and a lovely theme.
Plays great with just the 2 off us.

thumbsupWe love it.thumbsup
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13. Board Game: Just Desserts [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:4250]
Dave S.
United States
Des Moines
Iowa
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This was finally going to be the weekend where I taught Jana how to play Trickerion, or Grand Austria Hotel, but unfortunately she had a lot of work to do for her job, so she was mentally exhausted.

Instead, I put together a list of all of the games we have that we haven't played yet this year that work for 2 players so we could meet April's challenge head on.

Just Desserts is a very light and easy game. You collect desserts with different icons (cookies, cake, ice cream, etc.) and serve them to guests to meet their requirements.

I bought this one from the artist at a comic-con last year, and while it isn't the most thinky game, it is fun to dust off once and awhile when you just need something light and fun.
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14. Board Game: Factory Funner [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:2240]
Kathryn Harmon
United States
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Wow! This one is a Kickstarter that we were concerned might not be a good fit for us. Sam just had an idea that I would adore it because it was such a puzzle game. I do love puzzles...and this game was a total success for us.
The first few plays we screwed up the points scoring and the game was a bit loosey goosey until we figured out how we messed up, luckily that did not impact our enjoyment one bit.
The game runs a bit like building ships in Galaxy Trucker. You are connecting machines to build the best factory, points are given for efficiency each round and at the end for how well you supplied the needs of your factory with the products you made.
I love this game. I really love it. The puzzle of fitting together all disparate parts and making the best system run smoothly, it really works. I actually soloed this game while Sam cooked dinner because even after 5 plays today, I wasn't done.
It is deceptively simple. Each player is going to have the opportunity to play a maximum of 8 machines over the course of the game.
thumbsupEach round is simultaneous play from the moment you flip the tile until you score your first machine, so no downtime.
thumbsupSuper fun simple gameplay with much to master, and enough machines that every game feels a little different.
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15. Board Game: Carson City: Big Box [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked]
Geraint & Rhyannon
Wales
Briton Ferry
Neath Port Talbot
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Our first proper play of the game since the big box Kickstarter copy arrived. We had played once before as we were gifted the game by our 2014 Secret Santa, but we needed a quick rules refresh before starting.

Despite this we still forgot a bunch of things and I became a little frustrated at one point when I realised I'd built two buildings but not added the respective houses (which would have garnered me more money and changed the game somewhat!)

The game ended in a close 49-46 win for Rhyannon. We still had fun despite the mistakes, and at least we are more prepared for next time!

thumbsup Despite taking up to 6 players the game works well with 2.

thumbsup Duels (which take place if more than one player wants to take the same action) add a nice bit of thematic flavour to the game, and they can be played with tiles rather than dice for gamers who want less randomness.

thumbsup Several variants and ways to modify the game make for huge replayability. 19 characters, of which you choose only seven, and each of them can be used in two different ways.

thumbsdown 4 rounds feels too short for a two player game. Gamers who know the rules well would finish this very quickly, and I feel the depth of the game (not to mention the setup time) means it deserves more.

thumbsdown AP players may not do well as the need to forward plan is a large part of the game. I'm not particularly prone to it, but I felt myself freeze in indecision a few times during the game.
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16. Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion [Average Rating:8.48 Overall Rank:6]
Ken Kuhn
United States
Seattle
Washington
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The wife and I were able to get our pre-ordered copy of Rebellion to the table. It was an amazing experience! As my wife put it, "the game play is complex, but not complicated." Beautiful production that creates an unique narrative each time you play. One of our favorite aspects of the game is that afterwards there is so much to talk about. "I thought it was crazy when you did____". "I was so nervous when you moved ____, the death star was one sector away from my base!" We LOVED this game! I played as the rebels, Emily played as the empire. It was a close game. I won, but just barely. If Emily had a better grasp on a plan in the first couple of turns she would have destroyed me. She found my base in the final round, but I survived her assault and played an objective card to end the game! We played our first game without looking through any of the cards and I would highly recommend that because you don't know what the other play can do and the surprises are awesome!

thumbsup Beautiful
thumbsup Star Wars Theme
thumbsup Game play flies by
thumbsup Lot's of strategic decisions
thumbsup Asymmetrical game set-up
thumbsup Lot's of intense moments
thumbsup Incredible miniatures

thumbsup thumbsdown HUGE game board, we love it but could be a downfall for those with small gaming spaces.

thumbsdown Long game (IMO), 4.5 hrs for our first game (definitely will be able to shave some of that off)
thumbsdown A bit spendy, but the minis!

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17. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:290]
Dave S.
United States
Des Moines
Iowa
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Tonight was our first time playing since buying it on Easter. I was very skeptical with how the auction would work with 2 people, but it wasn't too bad. There isn't a lot of depth to the game, but it was a fun little filler, and a great one to play at dinner time.
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18. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:60]
Cookie Monster
Belgium
De Pinte
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This has quickly become one of my go to games for a light but strategic game that plays in under an hour. It works well with just the two of us. I love the idea of building an empire, it is fun when you get to combine tiles that strengthen a certain path to getting more points.
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19. Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:11]
Cookie Monster
Belgium
De Pinte
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A great game in such a little box.
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20. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:53]
Jason W
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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My third game, her second game, but first for both as a two player game. It's definitely different with just two players (played once with four and once with six), enough that it feels like a completely different game. With six players, you get three actions, and you really have to think about the most crucial things to accomplish this round, and hope you have access to those spots. With two players, you get seven actions, and it's sometimes difficult to figure out how you spend your 5th, 6th, 7th actions.

By the end of the game, I built a reasonable lead by securing the tundra end round bonus, and since she was lower in the food chain she couldn't catch up in the end game scoring, something around 225-185.

thumbsupDominant Species is an intriguing game, even with two players.
thumbsdownThe game becomes much more open, too easy to do everything. I have the same opinion about Lords of Waterdeep with low player counts, too.
thumbsdownFood chain order immensely puts the lower player at a disadvantage due to the rules for the dominance scoring.


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21. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:661]
Dave S.
United States
Des Moines
Iowa
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In our goal to dust off our games we played Qwirkle. It was a close game with me winning with 207 points to Jana's 204.

We now have 13 games left to play this month that we haven't played yet this year. On top of that, we have 11 games that play well with 2 players that Jana has never tried, so I'm hoping we can get a few of those in the mix too.
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22. Board Game: Imperial Settlers [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:128]
Hastings
United Kingdom
Bristol
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"In Veritae Victoria - In Truth Lieth Victory"
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We had a great game of imperial settlers where I scrapped a win against my Mrs - It was too close for comfort and recently she had a spell of beating me badly at a few games. blush

Final score 58 points to me, 57 points to my Wife.

I played as the romans (which is surprisingly challenging) and my wife played as the Egyptians. I felt that she had the edge with the additional abilities. She was struggling to build up her common buildings and I managed to get a few common buildings but by round 3 she was getting quite few faction cards and was creeping into the lead.

Round four and I managed to get quite an empire of common buildings and started collecting a few points through Sculptors. So by round 5 we had evened our points out and we ended with both 16 faction buildings each and 25 points each. I had removed a slaver card with a special action from my faction building so we were dead even but I managed to build a final common building bringing me the win. My wife used the temple of Ra in error and did not take my card that steals deals and she would have gained a point to equalise.

EDIT: Had she evened the points, she would have one as she had two cards in her hand and I had one. whistle

It was such a close and exciting game and I really thought I was finished earlier on with my lack of faction buildings and getting razed but I made a comeback. Best game I have played by far!
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23. Board Game: Dragonheart [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1319]
Tom C.
United States
Missouri
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Hrer's how we play:
1. I play a card or set of cards
2. Wife picks up said card(s) and adds to her score pile
3. Repeat
4. Compute score, usually I lose 1 million (or so) to 1.

And I still like it. What does that make me?
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24. Board Game: Haru Ichiban [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2192]
Tom C.
United States
Missouri
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I actually won! Not a great game, but relaxing and easy. Grow flowers on lilies in a pond, and try to make patterns with them when the wind blows them around. We like it for a quick game.
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25. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:180]
Tom C.
United States
Missouri
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Now here's an older classic, one of the best 2 player card games out there. You might think there's a lot of luck, but time reveals the depths of this gem. I somehow won this, after falling behind. We both still love it after many years.
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