2+ Player games that don`t really work with just 2
nik holliday
United Kingdom
Appin
Argyll & Bute
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You know the type of game: the box says 2-4 players, but while it`s great with more than 2, it just isn`t that great with the minimum number of players.

To qualify for this list, only consider the rules that ship with the game.

No house rules, no designer variants added after the fact, no variants from the variants forum etc.
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1. Board Game: Photosynthesis [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:344]
nik holliday
United Kingdom
Appin
Argyll & Bute
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Dull and uninteresting with two players.
Discuss.
 
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2. Board Game: The Pillars of the Earth [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:231]
nik holliday
United Kingdom
Appin
Argyll & Bute
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3. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:50]
nik holliday
United Kingdom
Appin
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Many dislike this at any player count.
I enjoyed it with 4 or 5, as a pleasant, relaxing game which requires very little mental effort, but with 2 players it is just not much fun.
 
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4. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:774]
Nate Phillipps
United States
Hopkins
Minnesota
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The first time I ever played this was with two and we played three games off the bat. I really enjoyed it. However, when I played it again, also with two, it really lost a lot of the charm from the first play. I can imagine with more it could be a lot more interesting.
 
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5. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:28]
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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Power Grid (for 2-6 players) seems the most most-mentioned such game to me. (Currently 72% of users don't recommend it 2-player, and less than 2% think it's best 2-player.)

1. Many people don't like auction games with only 2 players.

2. Arguably more importantly, there's no possibility of a player being blocked out of a city (which is a big part of the map maneuvering with 4+ players). After step 2 begins, both players may freely build in whatever cities they want in the 2-player game, with no need to ever spend more to connect to a faraway city.

And in the 2-player game, you'll want to build into all 21 cities on the map in the end, so there is not any long-term strategic choice about what part of the map you are ultimately aiming to develop: it must be the whole map.


FWIW the expansion Power Grid: The Robots provides AI players, making the game more fun for 2 humans. My wife and I like Power Grid, but we don't play it 2-player without the Robots expansion.

===

PS: FF's 504 (for 2-4 players) does not shine with 2 players in many worlds, notably those with the stock shares module.
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6. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:227]
Tennessee Schaefer
United States
Tennessee
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Turns into a hunker down in Tokyo until win. We started playing double handed if there are only 2 or 3 playing.
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