What Couples Have Been Playing — October 2018
Kate U
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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A Couple of Gamers Welcomes You To

What Couples Have Been Playing (WCHBP)
October 2018





Welcome to the monthly "What Couples Have Been Playing" Geeklist, a geeklist for couples by couples.

Use this list to post games you've played as a couple, comment on other people's items, and don't forget to thumb! Mingle with our community in the comments below.

Here's your step-by-step guide:

1 Play a game as a couple* within the month of October.
2 Post a geeklist entry after playing.
3 Let us know what you liked or didn't like about the game, and tell us how it plays with two (particularly for games that aren't 2p only!). If you've played it with more than two, feel free to make comparisons with the 2p gameplay.
4 Provide feedback for others, chat, ask questions, and give a little thumb here and there!

BONUS ROLL
d10-5 If you're new to our Geeklist, please let us know! We're a very friendly bunch, and we'd love to welcome you properly! I try to catch the newbies, but I know I'm missing some of you. Welcome and hello! We're very glad you're here.

*For our purposes, "couple" is defined as two people playing a game. Many of us here are playing with partners or spouses, but if you play a game with your sister or your best friend, please DO feel free to post about it here too!



October Getting to Know You


I got some good feedback on the "getting to know you" idea last month, so I'm going to stick with it.

This month's inquiry comes from
Matt Hindmarch
United States
Denver
Colorado
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(with a little of me thrown in):

This month, tell us a bit about your microbadges, avatar, overtext, badge, username, etc. What do they share about you and your gaming?


As usual, post what you're playing this month as a couple to the list! As always, please be respectful. And above all, enjoy your gaming.


A very special thank you to our list's originator, Ryan Olden.
Ryan Olden
Wales
Cardiff
Cardiff
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And as always, a huge thank you to Kevin L. Kitchens for creating our very own aggregator: http://couples.onesuponagame.com.

Kevin L. Kitchens
United States
Gainesville
Georgia
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Go look at the stats! You'll be amazed at all the info behind this link. Last month's stats are here: http://couples.onesuponagame.com/Detail/Geeklist/245262/sept...

Resources for Couples

A Couple of Gamers Guild

Couples of the Geek

Newbie Couples Games

Previous Geeklists
What Couples Have Been Playing — September 2018
What Couples Have Been Playing — August 2018
What Couples Have Been Playing — July 2018
What Couples Have Been Playing — June 2018



Be sure to subscribe to our What Couples Have Been Playing Monthly Geeklist SUBSCRIPTION THREAD so you never miss a list.
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1. Board Game: Root [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:44]
Peter Dorsett
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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Hey couple gamers. I know SUSD just did a not very shining review of this game, but my partner and I have just been absolutely loving this even with two players. We are both 10+ plays in and still wanting more.

When we played just 1 v 1 it was not all that interesting, but when we added in the competitive Mechanical Marquise (automa) it really did a good job of simulating 3p with just 2 human players - its essentially an weird semi co-op game. Here's what happenned over two of our games:

Mechanical Marquise v Eyrie V Woodland: Basically the Cat started to explode points early on. Both of us knew we could stop the Cat, but neither of us wanted to. We figured after we spent resources to combat the cat... our opponent would exploit our weakness afterward. It essentially created a game of "chicken", which almost made us both lose the game.

Mechanical Marquise v Lizards v Eyrie: The cats started hammerring the lizards, almost to the point where it was unfair. However, all the dead lizards actually gave them loads of acolytes to enact conspiracies, which were all directed toward the eyrie. The eyrie was forced to deal the cats, which left all sides in a close showdown.

This is fantastic game. We have loved it immensely and will continue to play for a long, long time.
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2. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:144] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
I recently got this game along with some expansions. Though I've played with up to 4 players, my favorite experiences so far have been with 2 players.

The last game we played had Symbiote Spider-Man, Nightcrawler, X-Force Wolverine, Domino, and Cable go up against Stryfe in the Clone Saga. In the game before that we saw Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, Colossus, Spider-Woman, and Moonknight try to stop Mysterio as he tried to Pull Reality into the Negative Zone.

I enjoy deck-building (and especially enjoy what the Spider-Man expansion adds to the game). Both games were not too difficult but it did feel as if we could lose. Both wins were satisfying.

Pros: The theme is great. I am not a huge comic book fan, but I've seen enough of the 90s cartoons and the MCU films and shows to know enough about the characters. Lots of the cards have fun thematic effects. There isn't much downtime at two players.

Cons: The game feels much easier at two players. This can be countered by creating more difficult scenarios. I usually use a "smart" randomizer app and will make small adjustments. The person who sold me the game complained about set-up. I took the time to create labeled dividers and haven't had an issue with this. Another con would be a lack of variety/challenge in the base game. I am definitely glad with what I own (Dark City, Paint the Town Red, Fantastic Four) and probably won't be adding anymore to the game.

I look forward to playing Legendary again this month. We still have to go up against Carnage, Apocalypse, Galactus, and some others. There are also quite a few more characters which we haven't even used yet.
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3. Board Game: Odin's Ravens (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:1078]
Tom Entwistle
Uganda
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We dusted off this one to begin our night, my GF had never played it before. We have been focused a lot on replaying some games due to her desired to beat me (vise versa for me too) that this one gets over looked on the shelf a lot.

It is certainly a game that won't knock anyone's socks off but it is a great little 2 player filler that my GF really enjoyed. She not only enjoyed the look of the game but the Loki cards to mess with other people. The particularly took great joy in moving my peice around and setting up extra routes.

Thumbs up from both of us on this one, takes about 10 minutes to play.
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4. Board Game: Pandemic: Iberia [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:84]
Thomas S
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Chinchuda (who is having a nap right now) and I are on vacation at Lake Garda (Italy) at the moment. It's not supposed to be a gaming vacation (that's what next year's trip to the UKGE will be for), but we still brought some games - just in case! Pandemic: Iberia, Karuba, Sheep & Thief, Beasty Bar + Beasty Bar: New Beasts in Town, Targi + Targi: Die Erweiterung, Carcassonne: South Seas, Hanamikoji and a simple deck of playing cards, all crammed into the Pandemic, Karuba and Sheep & Thief boxes.

Yesterday afternoon the weather was beautiful and after a tour through some of the nearby villages, we were in the mood for a little outdoor Pandemic:




We had a good run and beat the Typhus and Cholera historical disease challenges (albeit with only 4 epidemic cards each). For the Typhus game, in what is rarely the case in this game, we didn't even build a single railroad track, but made do with a whole lot of sailing instead.

Now there's only Malaria left to beat, and then I'd like to up the difficulty and use 5 epidemic cards.
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5. Board Game: Deadline [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:3000]
Level 3 Tunt
United States
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Usually when I post something in this list it’s because we’re all crazy for a game and have been playing it a bunch. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with this one. For context, we love Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases and Mythos Tales, story-based games, escape room games, and games with modern themes. Deadline seemed like a shoo-in; we were excited to try it and got it to the table within a couple of days of it arriving.

The idea behind Deadline seems reasonable – it’s basically Sherlock Holmes/Mythos Tales but with a different, strategy-based mechanic to get to the various encounters (you either overlap cards to match symbols or pass for the round). Everyone gets a unique detective with a special power and the names are clever. The counters to use special powers are matchbooks and when you activate them you flip them to the other side which features a lit match. There are some really charming and interesting ideas at play!

In practice though it’s been incredibly bland in every way so far. The first few cases are listed as “easy” difficulty so we may just be too good at detectiving but even by the end of the first case we were bored and rushed to the questions at the end without uncovering all locations. More than anything this kind of game needs a strong writer and unless something changes significantly as the case difficulty increases then Deadline doesn’t have one. The characters are archetypes and that would be fine if the dialogue was fun or creative but it’s not. There’s a spark missing, or maybe it’s heart I’m thinking of.



We’ll try a few more cases but this one might end up an unsolved case in the end.
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6. Board Game: Cities [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:2551]
Constance Cee
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There wasn't much time to squeeze in a game tonight, so we opted for Cities. Each player has a hand of 24 numbered tiles with various features on them. Tiles are pulled Karuba-style, with 1 person drawing a random tile and everyone else pulling the matching tile from their hand and playing it into their own city. A city's completed size is only 4x4, so 8 tiles will never be placed. When you place a tile, you can choose to add a meeple to that tile, or walk a previously placed meeple exactly 1 quadrant orthogonally or diagonally. Parks, attractions, and terraces all have different scoring rules, and you need a meeple on a feature in order to score it. It's multilayer-solitaire and it takes up very little table space. It plays the same solo or multiplayer. There are rules to vary the difficulty. If you like city-building puzzly games, you might like this one or its sibling Limes.
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7. Board Game: Trajan [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:72]
Nigel Ng
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I have been a fan of Trajan since my 1st or 2nd play of it. The Mancala as action selection is very fun, I really enjoy arranging those tokens in a way that benefits the most.

Still, I find the setup and tear down (including in-game setup) quite annoying even with baggies/plano box. The cards and shipping is the most boring part of the game, as there are many types of card so it's difficult to get cards you want, and the end game scoring tiles (forget their names) give points for which types of card you have played, which introduce more luck. Finally, the last two plays, including this one, I focused mainly on fulfilling the Trajan tiles which give bonus action/scores, and it seems that this can be a very powerful strategy. I can't imagine myself playing without fulfilling many Trajan tiles.

Anyway, I think it's a very good game from Stefan Feld. I like it a bit more than The Castles of Burgundy.
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8. Board Game: Targi [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:137]
Thomas S
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Frankfurt/Main
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Yesterday the weather was rather cold and rainy, so we played a game of Targi before dinner.

It's a fun 2p-only game that offers lots of interesting, tactical decisions. Somehow, we hadn't played it at all in 2018. We also have the expansion, but so far, we've never even tried it. The base game alone is just well-rounded and interesting enough the way it is.

I got off to a good start and Chinchuda thought I'd run away with it, but she caught up in the second half of the game - only to fall just short of a great comeback! In the end I did win, 31-29.
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9. Board Game: Schotten Totten [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:376]
Ell
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Played Schotten Totten yesterday for the first time. I thought it was interesting, and had elements of other two player games we enjoy (Lost Cities in particular). The desire to hold back cards until you have more information is interesting, and of course not always possible, which creates tricky decisions. Not sure how we'll find it after another 20-30 plays, but the tactic cards may help with replayability.
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10. Board Game: Pandemic: The Cure [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:304]
Constance Cee
United States
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This has been my favorite version of Pandemic, though Rising Tide is climbing the ranks. I suffer from a very real tendency to roll biohazards on my dice. It's a legit problem for me, and so our win rate is miniscule. I NEVER play this game thinking I'm going to win. We played 2 games back to back because the first ended quickly due to outbreaks, with no diseases cured. The 2nd game was slightly better but with black dice maxed in regions 3, 4, and 5, it took one bad roll to cause a 3 outbreak chain reaction to end the game. I love this game but it does not love me back.
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11. Board Game: Keltis: Das Kartenspiel [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1771]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Been playing this regularly, already have 11 plays this month on October 2nd. It's quick, abt 20 mins for two. The decisions are difficult. My wife has caught on and our games are really tight now. As it plays so quickly, you can get passed the initial learning curve in s short time.
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12. Board Game: Cottage Garden [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:705]
David M
United Kingdom
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We wanted an easy, cosy gaming evening as both of us have been feeling under the weather. And we both independently decided that Cottage Garden would be the perfect choice for such an evening. We were right!

Cottage Garden is a pleasant, feel good puzzle game where you spend a lot of time saying "ooo, good move!" to your gaming partner. It's just a joyful experience. I'm not really a cat person, and even the cats in this game make me happy.

You could be a little mean to the other player if you really wanted to, but I always get so lost in my own puzzle I don't really think about bothering the other player.
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13. Board Game: Würfel Bohnanza [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1632]
David M
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This is the only game I've ever sold, then bought another copy of. When we got rid of it, we thought "we have a lot of better dice games", and that was true. But then I kept getting the feeling that I wanted to play it.

You can carry it anywhere in your pocket, play it easily in a coffee shop, and the theme of growing beans is just lovely. You get the feeling of playing Bohnanza without having to play that bigger game (which isn't great with 2 players, whereas this is).

All that said, it's a push-your-luck dice game, and it is mainly about luck. At least that's what I tell myself, as Mrs. M always seems to win.
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14. Board Game: Kerala: The Way of the Elephant [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:2247]
Constance Cee
United States
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Abstract that plays in about 30mins. It's beautiful. It plays great at all player counts. Box is about twice the size it needs to be. It's a keeper for me.
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15. Board Game: Gizmos [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:360]
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First time playing tonight. We found this to be a fun engine builder with a good theme. The iconography works well and the rulebook is clear and well-written with good examples. (The rulebook is a few page pamphlet.) The engine mechanic works well allowing the player to create fun chains.

The marble dispenser is cardboard, yet sturdy and easy to assemble. The game box is large enough to store the marble dispenser. The top of the dispenser lifts off and folds flat. The bottom of the dispenser fits into a custom space in the insert in the box.

We enjoyed the game
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16. Board Game: Targi [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:137]
Thomas S
Germany
Frankfurt/Main
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Targi by the lake!

We didn't play any games the last two days, but today we decided to just sit at the beach and play a couple of games for a while.

First Chinchuda took revenge for her loss from three days ago by winning Targi, 40-32.

Then we played two games of Hanamikoji (1-1, the first time that I won a game of this in the first round!), then two games of Karuba (also 1-1).

Now we're headed for another village nearby. No games, but ice-cream!
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17. Board Game: Las Vegas [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:477]
Constance Cee
United States
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Saw it at Target on clearance for like $6, so finally picked this one up. We have and enjoy Pickomino and Würfel Bohnanza as good light dice games, so I had never quite convinced myself to try Las Vegas. I enjoyed it and thought the 2p variant worked well. I think I would prefer Las Vegas over those others for family games to play at holidays or whatever. I appreciate that the turns are super quick. Wierd box shape though.
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18. Board Game: Parade [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:722]
Jessie Giffin
United States
Idaho
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This is a cute little game for 2-6 players. The wife and I like to play it two player together. Its a very easy game of putting a card at the end of the parade line and taking any lower than your card or same color. The unique scoring at the end of the game is what really makes the strategy fun and challenging. The Alice and Wonderland theme art is very stylish and good looking, but the theme could have been anything.
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19. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:308]
Jessie Giffin
United States
Idaho
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My wife and I love this 2 player card game. It's a very simple game, but extremely satisfying.
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20. Board Game: Smash Up [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:724] [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Jessie Giffin
United States
Idaho
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The wife and I played this together. This game is much better with 3 or 4 players. My wife always picks the steam punk deck.
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21. Board Game: Vampire Empire [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:2855]
Austin Slade
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
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Guys. It’s October, so we had to play this 2 player deduction style game. The two different discard piles is a neat part of the game, though it can be a little clunky at first. Overall, I think Vampire Empire is an overlooked game.
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22. Board Game: Viticulture Essential Edition [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:19]
Greg Darcy
Australia
Blue Mountains
New South Wales
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HC 10x10. Game 7
Tuscany board but no other extras from Tuscany. This is our go to set up.

We really enjoy VEE, and the Tuscany board makes it even better. I must admit to being surprised that we had only played 6 games this year. But with one thing and another gaming has really taken a back seat lately.


arrrh 30
kiss 18 cry

She just couldn't get her engine running tonight. But she did score 10 points in the final year. And for the first time ever, I got most of my points via non wine methods. I was getting 3 or 4 points every year. Windmill, tasting room, buying/selling fields etc.

As for my banner details...
I change these from time to time, but as they stand at the moment:
Badge and Avatar both refer to the fact that I am involved in a play-by-forum game of Codenames Duet. The avatar are the adversaries from Mad Magazine's Spy Vs Spy. I haven't read it for decades, but felt they were appropriate. I wanted to have them giving each other something to indicate the cooperative nature of the game, but it was beyond my image editing skills. I don't report those games here as we are playing in two teams of two.

Microbadges:
These are also subject to change without notice, but as they stand...
mb I am a tea drinker. Never touch coffee. That is a vile poison. My favourite tea is a white tea called "Silver Needles" but I save that for special occasions. My every day teas are Darjeeling first thing in the morning, and Assam later in the day. I make the Darjeeling in an automated tea maker and heat it to 80°C, brewing for 3 minutes. I make a pot and get 3 to 5 cups from the pot ( depends on whether kiss joins me or drinks poison instead). For the Assam I boil the water and make a fresh pot each time, brewing for 2 minutes. I NEVER use teabags. They are a vile invention designed to sell floor sweepings as "tea".

mb I am VERY proud of getting my level 5 citizenship award

mb another online game I play is the roll the dice game that can usually be found on the front page. The 1d2 is an indicator Of how often rolling a 1d2 results in a 2.

mb Arboretum was the first modern tabletop game we bought and enjoyed. We still love it, and it remains our only 10. We have more choices now so sadly it doesn't get the play time it deserves.

mb Gigi is Kiki's familiar from Kiki's Delivery Service. One of our favourite Studio Ghibli films. What am I saying? They are all favourites.
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23. Board Game: Skyward [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:3961]
Matt Hindmarch
United States
Denver
Colorado
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Enjoyed this B&N clearance game. Light and fun for two. Wife wins 29 to 26 -- damned pigeons with the Rookery.
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24. Board Game: Star Realms: Colony Wars [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:157] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
Star Realms has become one of my favorite card games. I usually have a game or two going on the app. I keep my physical copy at work where I will occassionally play with a coworker.

There are more interesting combos available in Colony Wars than in vanilla Star Realms. The game plays quickly and is best as a two player game. I'd almost always play another game at 3+ players.

My app username is the same as my username here. Send me a challenge if you want to play.
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25. Board Game: Amyitis [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:919]
Constance Cee
United States
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1st play of this game that I picked up used about 6mos ago. It has the theme of building the Hanging Gardens, but it's not particularly present. Like many Ystari games the artwork is meh and the colors are blah and the box cover is uninteresting, but the game inside is good. It worked well at 2p and I'd imagine it would be equally good at 3p and 4p. Hoping to get this played again soon.
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