What Couples Have Been Playing (WCHBP) -- July 2019
David M
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A Couple of Gamers Welcomes You To

What Couples Have Been Playing (WCHBP)
July 2019 -- the Geeklist for People Gaming in Pairs




Welcome to the "What Couples Have Been Playing" Geeklist, a monthly geeklist community for people gaming in pairs.

Use this list to post about games you've played this month as 2-player games, comment on other people's items, and throw your thumbs around! Mingle in the comments below.

Here's your step-by-step guide:

1 Play a game as a couple* within the month of July 2019.
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 at another time, 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 Welcome and hello to all newbies! If you're new to our Geeklist, please let us know! We're very friendly around here, and we'd love to welcome you properly!

*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!

July: Getting to Know You


July is Leave a Comment month!



The goal this month:

Aim to make sure every geeklist entry has a comment

That means:

If you're a regular, please leave lots of comments
If you're a lurker or a newbie, please comment for the first time. You're very welcome here.
When you write up a game you've played as a couple, make it comment-worthy. Ask questions. Share your opinions. Make your write ups as interesting as possible (that's not necessarily the same thing as really long).

Thank Yous

A very special thank you to our list's originator:
Ryan Olden
Wales
Cardiff
Cardiff
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And to the previous list administrator:
Kate U
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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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!

The aggregator is a great resource for great 2-player titles old and new. Last month's stats are here: http://couples.onesuponagame.com/Detail/Geeklist/257123/june...

As of this posting, last month's top game was Wingspan at 7 entries. It's the most played couples game so far this year!

In July 2018, the most played game was Ticket to Ride: New York, in July 2017 it was 7 Wonders Duel and in July 2016 it was also 7 Wonders Duel.

Top poster for June was
Sarah ...
United States
Minnesota
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with 27 entries! Closely followed by
AJ Smith
United States
Albert Lea
Minnesota
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and
Jon Hohmann
United States
San Angelo
Texas
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each with 25 entries.

Resources for Couples

A Couple of Gamers Guild

Couples of the Geek

Newbie Couples Games

And finally...

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1. Board Game: Neuroshima Hex! 3.0 [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:238] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Kevin Boroduwicz
Scotland
Lytham St Annes
Lancashire
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A great two player tile laying game - players take in turn to play their chits in a relatively small battle area and duke it using their specialist units to see whose headquarters can survey the onslaught of their opponents. There are a lot of expansions for the game that greatly increase the number of factions you can play. Each is similar enough in concept to allow play without much research into their particular, but distinct enough to allow for plenty of different playing experiences. It's getting on a little now in terms of modern boardgaming but this one is renowned as a classic for good reason.
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2. Board Game: Welcome To... [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:150]
Eric Johnson
United States
Rohnert Park
California
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A quick, non-confrontational yet interesting "flip-and-write" game with negligible setup time. Interesting decisions from simple rules.
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3. Board Game: Great Western Trail [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:10]
JA
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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After a fairly long hiatus from 2p games with my wife (due to a busy work year for me and a brand new baby for her/us), yesterday and today were quite the one-two combo. Yesterday, Gaia Project; today, Great Western Trail.

Getting N (my wife) to try Great Western Trail has been quite a process: she hates learning new games, and she didn't care for the cover art, the setting, the theme, or the plethora of icons all over the place on the board. I has to warm her up to the idea of this one by stressing that it is the kind of game you can learn by playing (which means she doesn't have to sit and listen before playing - neither of us like that part of learning games), and that the game included variable actions spaces (the buildings) plus deckbuilding, plus multiple strategic paths (those are all things she likes).

So today we finally sat down to play it...and she loved it. And beat me without much tactical input from me. She focused on high value cattle and bonus cards, and did it very well - much better than I executed my building strategy (that was constantly one contract short of actually progressing on deliveries).

I think GWT is a great game because of the variable flow of actions due to randomizing the buildings and the order of the neutrals. There is nothing else quite like this one, and the process of managing your hand and trying different things just makes this a joy to play.

As a 2p:
plays quickly
less mean (less "stealing" good opportunities and taxing the other)
less weak stops (stops on other people's buildings)
more control over the duration of the game (50% of the control)

the other player has more control over the duration of the game
harder to keep the hazard paths clear by yourself, so harder to use those bonuses
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4. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Circle Undone: Expansion [Average Rating:8.74 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.74 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.74 Unranked]
Parisian Dreams
Canada
AB
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My friend game over today while my husband was doing his annual Stampede Volunteer duties and we played The Secret Name scenario for our campaign. I was hoping we could play this and get in a play of Everdell, but we spent a lot of time socializing which meant a longer game. Not that I minded, I thought perhaps when my partner got home we'd play but...by the time he did, he was tired and I was tired. So perhaps tomorrow.

This scenario went well, although poor Diana almost died due to physical damage. A switch from our last scenario when it was poor Joe near death.
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5. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1145]
Kelly Croft
United States
Smithfield
North Carolina
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Had this one tucked away for awhile, finally got it to the table. Hubby's been on a roll & write kick lately, so this was perfect. And oh my, we shouldn't have let this sit so long. It's all the good stuff of castles of burgundy board game, wrapped up in a shorter, quicker, less stressful game. It's the perfect "I still want to play a game after a long day of work/dinner, but I don't want to think so hard or play a super light game either" game. The decisions are fairly obvious, but the decisions still greatly matter. There was only a couple AP inducing moments that popped up near the end of phases while trying to optimize maximum points before the point values dropped in the next phase. Otherwise turns were super quick. We played twice back to back. Hubby won both times, one of which was a tiebreaker. Definitely recommend, this one was quite a surprise.
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6. Board Game: Port Royal [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:427] [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked]
Kelly Croft
United States
Smithfield
North Carolina
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Also got 2 plays of Port Royal, which has been awhile since we last played. Tonight's plays reminded us how good this game really is. We also tried a different strategy, which I don't think we even thought of the last time we played, a good couple years ago. We doubled up buying 2 of some of the same people. Like the admiral, which gives a 2 coin bonus immediately when you have 5 cards in the harbor. It was costly buying 2 copies, but then it became a totally new game & paid itself back quickly. Instead of wasting turns to get money from ships, simply push your luck to get 5 harbor cards to buy from, get 4 coins immediately and use that money to buy. And upon realizing that this simple push your luck card game is a race to only 12 points, really makes you second guess some draws. If you bust you gain nothing, but if you buy you give your opponent the chance to also buy a card from the harbor for the price of a gold coin to you. Sometimes it seemed better to force a bust instead of giving the other player a great card they could afford.

Highly recommend! Definitely enjoyed getting this back to the table.
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7. Board Game: Dale of Merchants [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:782] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Jon Hohmann
United States
San Angelo
Texas
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Got to play this twice today. The Warden won the first game and I the second. I think we're starting to get the hang of it. It's a very intelligent game. The only other deckbuilder we've played is Dominion and we keep mixing up the rules, such as playing a technique OR buying from the market (not both like in Dominion). Great game but taking us a while to become proficient at it.
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8. Board Game: Robot Face Race [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:13137]
Jon Hohmann
United States
San Angelo
Texas
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Thought I would post something different. We have the reprint of this game but it's not on BGG. I played this with my two youngest sons today separately and they loved it. Having them playing together causes fights lol. The concept is very simple: roll the robot creator (it's a dome with different colored balls in it) and be the first to find the matching robot. Every robot will have different colored faces, eyes, noses, and teeth. I would say it's great for pre-schoolers and up. My 8 year old seemed interested. Worth checking out if you have kids those ages.
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9. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:90] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Jon Hohmann
United States
San Angelo
Texas
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Got another game of Stone Age in and spent some time at the love shack. I like this one because it's not too crunchy and plays pretty quick. Sometimes with kids we don't have the time to play our heaviest games regularly. I won this one by focusing on the buildings. My wife always goes for the cards and it worked for her the last time but not this one. This game to me belongs in every Euro fan's collection. It'll be a classic if it's not already.

Edit: Saying the word "game" 50 times.
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10. Board Game: Viticulture Essential Edition [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:19]
Rolf H

Utah
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My good friend came over and we got Viticulture to the table for a couple plays. I think because I don't find the theme particularly exciting it was easy to go a few months without playing this but after my play last week I can't help but want to play this over and over. In contrast to last week in which my friend won every game we played, this time I started out the night winning both rounds of Viticulture, 22-16 & 25-16. Tuscany is definitely back on my radar and is likely to be the next acquisition to my collection.
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11. Board Game: Orléans [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:25]
Jon Hohmann
United States
San Angelo
Texas
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One of our favorites. I won today by focusing more on the Town Hall and having my Boat Men and Monks as wilds. My wife and I both race to get all the monks and shoot up the University track, so admittedly that will get kinda old. But there's so many other ways to get ahead that we'll find another starting point or path to take. It's similar to Trajan and the Encampment; it's always a race to get as many workers on there as possible.
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12. Board Game: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:93] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Rolf H

Utah
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It was getting late so we decided to end the night with something quick and settled on Star Realms. I was able to beat my friend fairly regularly when I first introduced him to the game but ever since he got the app he almost always wins. This round was looking to be the same but I had a couple good turns in a row and was able to raise my life points while significantly dropping his. He almost knocked me out after doing 24 damage in one turn but having bases allowed me to keep the lead, 7-4. In my final draw my first 4 cards only gave me money but my very last card gave me the 4 damage I needed to finish him off. I love getting the win in games like this where the other person just seems to click with it a little better and almost always grabs the victory.
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13. Board Game: Pay Day [Average Rating:4.78 Overall Rank:17535]
Jon Hohmann
United States
San Angelo
Texas
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Am I going to get lynched for playing this? I found a great copy of it and bought it for the wife. It is very nostalgic for her and one she grew up playing. It's fun if you like watching paint dry or sitting at the DMV.
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14. Board Game: Blokus Duo [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:872]
Jon Hohmann
United States
San Angelo
Texas
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We ended the night again with Blokus Duo. I can't beat my wife at this game to save my life. We play over and over because I'm competitive and stubborn. She leads the series 9-2 but was nice enough to give me a loser's participation trophy. At least I tried.
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15. Board Game: Arboretum [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:261]
Mike Stevens
United States
Nebraska
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After a busy day of outdoor fun with biking, golf, and tennis we got in a couple games of Arboretum. My gf won both games pretty easy 16-11 and 21-17. Sometimes this game seems like such a defensive struggle.
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16. Board Game: Viticulture Essential Edition [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:19]
Richard T
United Kingdom
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Second play of this and ironed out a couple of silly rules mistakes we'd made first time round which naturally improved the experience.

There's still a couple of things I'm not thrilled by:

- Wine making doesn't seem that important, indeed I only lost by 1 point despite producing significantly less wine than the wife. I'm all for multiple paths to victory but when themed as a wine-making, vineyard running game, I'd expect making the product to be pretty critical to success.

- I'm not thrilled with the game just ending as soon as somebody hits 20 points although I accept why it's been done this way.

- the randomness of the card draws can derail plans although I'm happy to thematically defend this.

Despite these complaints, I do love the theme and the overall production quality. It's a pretty relaxed worker placement/engine builder and easy to get to the table. I've now to decide whether to purchase Tuscany EE to see just how much it improves the experience as most claim it does!

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17. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:133]
Parry Pollock
Canada
Whistler
BC
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2 games of this last night. 15-5 and then 18-17, both losses for me. She's killing me Jerry!!! Overall it's 8-2 for her. Man I'm getting frustrated at losing, but still love the game and love gaming when she loves gaming!!
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18. Board Game: Sagrada [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:129]
Parry Pollock
Canada
Whistler
BC
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Our first ever plays of this game. 3 plays, so far I'm up 2-1. I don't see myself keeping a winning record overall though, she just ends up figuring out games and dominating. But again, I'm totally OK with that.

As many people mention and agreed, I think the better game is Azul, but this is still a fun puzzle. Definitely better with harder windows to fill. I could see myself wanting many more common objectives, which I believe the expansion provides. The dice are definitely smaller than it looks from many photos, but still manageable for both of us. And it's oh so pretty with great components and doesn't overstay it's welcome. Might be harder to get to the table than Azul though, with it having a bit less meat on it I think.
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19. Board Game: Coimbra [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:192]
Jason Miller
United States
Woodinville
Washington
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Last night, my wife and I broke out Coimbra for a nice Monday evening together. That is until the final score. She kicked my butt 128-97.

This game feels very similar with low and higher player counts. There are two things the game does when it's just the two of us: reduce the amount of dice used per game and integrates dummy dice to force you to use higher dice values to get more expensive cards. We enjoy both changes as it makes the game a little tighter. It's our seventh play since I learned it at a convention earlier this year, and we still really enjoy it. I wouldn't mind an expansion in the future though.
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20. Board Game: Piepmatz [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:1633]
AJ Smith
United States
Albert Lea
Minnesota
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Taught this to Daughter yesterday. Another person that thinks this game is super!
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21. Board Game: New York 1901 [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:843]
AJ Smith
United States
Albert Lea
Minnesota
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Monday is 'Learn a New Game Day', so Daughter also learned this game. She is a little more strategic than Husband when learning, so it was a close game.
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22. Board Game: Akrotiri [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:615]
AJ Smith
United States
Albert Lea
Minnesota
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The last new game taught/learned. Daughter played all of her temples first, but I was able to get points for all of my temples matching icons for end of game points, so I pulled out the win.
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23. Board Game: Smash Up [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:722] [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Guillaume P
Canada
Montréal
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Hello everybody!

First time writing here, I didn't know this wonderful geeklist until today.

My boyfriend is my main game Partner. I like heavy games but with him, I prefer lighter ones. He is not much of a gamer, but i'm working on the conversion.

We played a lot of Star Realms. He is a fan of it and bought the App. He secretly play 100 games and spoiled the game because he now have so much strategy that's not even fun anymore.

We (I) are looking for new games. He loves deckbuilding, dice game and WWII. He hates fantasy. The good thing is that I love trying new games

This week we tried Smash Up. Very simple rules. Funny. I'm just not convinced yet. It seems too simple for me. I understand the differences between the factions but it feels all the same.

The base-card is a great idea. I love it! Each base card you attack are different, with different effects and different reward. I wanna continue to play the game just for the base card and not the deckbuilding mechanic...

He was: Dinausaur + Pirate
I was : Ninja + Magician

He won with a bold move consisting of moving all played minions on another base and playing a 7 attacks card right after. The boyfriend knows how to be more sneaky than ninjas

What a pity the game doesn't offer victory point counters, it's a lazy move...

Two thumbs up for the Dinausaur faction. The illustrations are incredible and really funny!
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24. Board Game: The Game [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:955]
AJ Smith
United States
Albert Lea
Minnesota
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Someone recommended/played this game here and I was intrigued, so I purchased it.

We played it twice last night. The first time, we lost abysmally. We had only played 20-30 of the 98 cards before we couldn't play any more. We played it immediately again and played all but 1 card, so we did fabulously.

We both enjoyed the puzzle of what to play considering you only have *maybe* 4 choices to play 2 cards. Thanks for the suggestion of this game as I'd not heard of it before!
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25. Board Game: World Without End [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:508]
Sarah ...
United States
Minnesota
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My husband and I played this game tonight ... I like it so much. One time after playing Lanterns I wanted to find a game with how you place a tile/card it determines what you get and what you give to your opponent ... this is the game that kept popping up so I researched it more saw it was in stock at a store and bought it.
I love how you place the event card each turn decides what you get for the round, what your opponent(s) get and how far you move around a looping track which has mostly good things but some not so great ... it’s rare to be able to get what you want, give your opponent what you want and move on the track how you want ... I love making that decision though.
I also really like how you have 12 cards but each (I forget what it’s called now ... age/year/round) you only get to play 6 and that can be a difficult choice and sometimes you have the best plans but events mess with them.
Pillars of the Earth or the other game in this “series” didn’t appeal to me for whatever reasons but I’m so glad we got this one!
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