The Epic Battle of Husband vs Wife
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
Michigan
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Since becoming a board game geek in September of 2007, most of my games have been against my wife. We typically play 3 or 4 nights a week, and I've been logging our plays here on BGG.

Over several plays of various games, patterns emerge and we often find one or the other of us have an advantage over the other in certain games.

Here's the breakdown of our head-to-head games as of 01/05/09. I've also been logging comments/descriptions for each play, and I'm listing some of the more interesting/recurring ones for each game.

Feel free to add any husband/wife war stories to the list.

So far my record is 53-48-1 against her. It's pretty much always teetered right around .500. Can't ask for better than that.
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1. Board Game: 10 Days in Europe [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1595]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"My wife won. Again. I was born without the part of the brain that can play this game effectively."

Record vs wife: 1-1.

We played 3 or 4 games before I started logging plays here, all of which were won by my wife. This is definitely her game.

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2. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:17]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"I became enthralled with the potential combos in my occupation and improvement cards and neglected to establish a food engine. Every harvest was a struggle and I learned what not to do in Agricola. This was played with the new and improved E Deck (we found some E cards mixed in with the I and K decks.)"

-----------------------------------------

"This game was a big bunch of bullshit. I miscalculated something that brought the whole game crashing down for me.

On the upside, I had the Gardener occupation along with the Potato Dibber and Cooking Corner improvements. This was a train wreck."


Record vs wife: 15-9-1.

Agricola is our most played game and will likely continue to be so. It took my wife a few plays to get this, and I tend to win more than she does, but she plays well and wins her share. We've begun playing with Through the Seasons, and I like it so far, but it seems to have greater swings in the scoring. If everything pans out just right, and the timing works out (getting the free fences by building in Springtime, free stables by adding rooms in Summer, etc.) you can get a huge boost. Likewise, if the board ends up short on resources you need that turn or if you try to hold back on building to get the aforementioned bonuses, it can really screw up your whole game. For example, within the space of a couple of plays my wife scored 54 points (the highest either of us have scored in a 2-player game) then scored 21 points (maybe not the lowest score, but close to it.)

I like Through the Seasons, but I'm thinking it may screw with the balance a little bit.
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3. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:393]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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" Our first play of Alhambra. It's a charming game. I like the way your city comes together by piecing the tiles together. The mechanics of buying tiles, choosing money work well as well as the reserve board.

Anyhow, I focused more on building my cities and getting the walls to fit together than paying attention to the colors. I did manage to wall the city in completely at the very end, which was psychologically satisfying. Even if I did lose.

We had Dirk, the ghost player in the game as well. That guy is a jerk. "


Record vs wife: 0-3

We've only recently started playing this one. So far I really like the game but I have yet to win or really even get close. I expect this will be one of our regular games, and I might eventually get to win one.
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4. Board Game: Blue Moon City [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:495]
Bryan Maxwell
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"An epic win for me. My wife had 5 contributions to the obelisk to my 3. I was ready to give it up, but I ended up winning very narrowly.

She had a lot of cards, and I kept spending mine to move the dragons around, so I ended up with more crystals (because of the scales) but fewer cards. I won when my wife was 1 turn away from doing the same.

We played with the 4 expansion tiles for the first time. "


Record vs wife: 2-1

Blue Moon City is a nice little game that we seem to be evenly matched at. It's a good game for winding down from Agricola.
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5. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"Wife is getting more aggressive with Carcassonne. She's a monster of my own creation. Each of us used one of the big meeples to steal the other's city. The difference in the game was based on a huge city I was building: she got a big meeple into it, I then added a big meeple of my own; she then added 2 cathedral tiles, ensuring that it would go unfinished and score zero points for me.

I love that woman.

As usual, played with I&C, T&B, K&S."


Record vs wife: 3-6

I won the majority of the games on the Xbox, but once we switched to the board game version this became my wife's game. I enjoy Carcassonne and feel like I'm decent at it, but...well, let's just say I'm proud of myself when I win against her.

We're considering trying a variant where you keep a hand of 2 or 3 tiles and draw 1 per turn.
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6. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Discovery [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1646]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"I stranded 2 followers in a huge, nearly complete sea. And lost."

Record vs wife: 0-1

We got in our only play of this before we owned the original Carcassonne. The Discovery isn't bad, but we haven't felt the need to go back to it yet.
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7. Board Game: Catan Dice Game [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:5291]
Bryan Maxwell
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"I had to count my wife's score 3 times at the end. How did she win by so much? She had 6 knights to my 3."

Record vs wife: 2-1

Our last play used the Catan Dice Plus rules from Klaus Tueber. We like this variant much better as it resembles the original Settlers more closely and it's a little bit less of a multiplayer solitaire game.
 
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8. Board Game: Catan: Cities & Knights [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Bryan Maxwell
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"I felt a little overwhelmed reading through the rules, but once we actually sat down and got into it, it's pretty easy to integrate into Settlers. It adds another level of complexity and strategy to the game. It was late and the table still stank like bug spray, so we'll be finishing the game tonight.

Update: she kicked my butt. She had commodities rolling in. I didn't."


Record vs wife: 1-1

Settlers isn't a very good 2-player game, and Cities & Knights doesn't change this. Neither of our 2-player games were close.
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9. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:316]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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" I outmaneuvered my wife a few times as far as getting her with the thief and assassin and her not getting me with them. My wife did win the game however, though I'd like to think I had more fun, so who REALLY won?

Her margin of victory was 2 points - she got 2 more than me for getting her 8th district first, and also 2 extra for her university. I'll win at Citadels one day."


Record vs wife: 0-3

Citadels is one of my favorite games, though I have yet to defeat my wife in one-on-one combat.
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10. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Bryan Maxwell
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"I went crazy with the villages, council rooms and markets. CRAZY, yo."

Record vs wife: 1-1

My wife liked this game more than I expected. I liked this game less than I expected.
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11. Board Game: Dragonology: The Game [Average Rating:4.48 Overall Rank:15246]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"Yawn. Dragonology theme with a game tacked on, as I expected. Wife wanted to try this, so we did. I got it because it was on clearance and I figured it'd be good to play with our daughter in a few years. It'll stay on the shelf until then."

Record vs wife: 0-1

The above really says it all.
 
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12. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:54]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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" Our first play of El Grande. We each controlled 2 colors and added the totals at the end.

The game flows very well, and much to my surprise my wife enjoyed it. I liked the mystery element of the castillo and secret method of deploying these followers. My wife said she definitely preferred this to Gangster, and I think I did too."


Record vs wife: 1-0

We have yet to play this with more than 2 players, but we both enjoy the 2-player game and will be playing this more often.
 
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13. Board Game: Fredericus [Average Rating:5.36 Overall Rank:13794]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"Our first play of this since I brought it home from Gen Con. I like the mechanic of moving the cards around. My second play reinforced my first impression: It's a nice game, and there isn't really anything I especially dislike about it, there's nothing to get too excited over either. It's worth the price of admission though and I don't regret my purchase."

Record vs wife: 1-0

Fredericus is neither bad nor good. It simply is.
 
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14. Board Game: Guillotine [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1001]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"Our second play tonight. A much closer affair. I ended up with more cards than I knew what to do with because I had 7 purple nobles plus the card that says "draw a card for each purple noble you acquire." As I'm writing this, I realize that I had both the Count and Countess and did not give myself the extra 4 points, which would have netted me a win. Ah well...

It was a close fun game regardless, and who cares who won? It's not like it was a Guillotine tournament or anything."


Record vs wife: 1-1

Guillotine is nifty little filler game I wouldn't mind getting to the table more often.
 
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15. Board Game: Jambo [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:492] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"Our first play of Jambo. It went decent, not great. I think I enjoyed it more than my wife did. She said she preferred Dominion. I'll have to play again to get a better feel."

Record vs wife: 1-0

Neither of us were very impressed, but I can see the potential here and I'd like to give it another shot.
 
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16. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:533] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Bryan Maxwell
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"Our first play. We did the 'Die Zombies Die' scenario. My wife played the heroes and I played the zombies. She narrowly won on the last combat round where the winner of that round won the whole game. Preacher had faith and a CHAINSAW."

Record vs wife: 1-3

This game is a blast with 4 players, but works surprisingly well as a 2-player game. This is one of my favorites.
 
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17. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:413]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"Our second game of the night. She switched roles and played Jack this time while I was the detective.

On turn 8 I had it narrowed down to 2 possible suspects. She went first, and based on her movement (moving one of the suspects nearly out of reach) I assumed he was guilty and caught him. Before I took my turn, I asked "This is where you want him?" "Yep" she said.

Turns out he was innocent and the move was just a red herring by my wife. The innocent guy moved nearly out of reach while guilty character sat there plain as day. I fell for it and she won.

I love this game.

I'd never seen Jack win before tonight, but the Jack player won both of our games tonight."


Record vs wife: 4-7

Mr Jack is one of my favorite games, but I'm not very good at it while my wife seems to play effortlessly. It hasn't clicked for me yet, I'm just not getting it. It's a great game, but I feel somewhat lost when we play, like when I win it's by good luck more than skill.

This is my wife's game.
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18. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"Our first time at this. Worked better than I thought for two, but I'm sure 3+ would be awesome. We were doing some things wrong for much of the game, but we figured it out. I'd like to play with 4 areas for 2 players next time. Wife was the winner."

Record vs wife: 0-1

The 2-player game was pretty fun. I've since played a single 4-player game as well, which went right to hell since I didn't know the rules well enough. Power Grid impressed us a lot, I just need to make AI controlled robots to play against.
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19. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"We finally got around to trying this using the (official?) 2-player variant. It took a few rounds to understand what the hell was happening, but I think I get it now and I'm looking forward to learning how the heck to implement some strategies.

My wife did better at making money than I, she got tobacco early and then coffee. She bought the guild hall on the last turn and had improvement that lets her take a colonist and put it into a new building. The guild hall gave her 10 points at the end.

It was much closer than the score shows. Honest!"


Record vs wife: 1-1

Like Power Grid, this has a great reputation except as a 2-player game. Like Power Grid, we played the 2-player variant and enjoyed it. Having played San Juan first didn't hurt matters.
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20. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
Bryan Maxwell
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"Another win for me. My "6" buildings and my palace helped run up the score."

Record vs wife: 2-1

This one seemed pleasant enough at first but really hasn't inspired me to0 pick it back up. It seems kind of blah to me now. It seems like the purple cards are the main event and the resource buildings are there to power them. Granted, I haven't played anywhere near enough to feel I've 'solved' the game or anything, it just feels kind of uninspiring now.
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21. Board Game: Catan Card Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:739]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"Our first play of this. Kind of 'meh.' Not bad, but wears out its welcome a little bit. I'm curious to see if/how the various expansions liven it up."

Record vs wife: 1-0

The game seemed to run a bit long for what it is. Not bad per se, but the jury is out.
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22. Board Game: Sorry! Sliders [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1488]
Bryan Maxwell
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" Our 2nd try at this game, this time tried the red board. Another win for me.

I flick.

I flick well."


Record vs wife: 3-0

We just got this the other day. Played it a few times as soon as I brought it home. It's quick, light, silly and FUN. My wife commented that it was nice to see me having fun and that most games I play are much more serious.
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23. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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"We had our third game (and my third win) last night. As usual, the luck of the dice seemed to balance out during the course of the game. I won by about 75, mostly because I bought quite a few more cards than she did. She had the lead on me before the card scoring began..."

Record vs wife: 3-0

My wife likes this game, but so far I've been dominant at it. It seems that I place workers well.
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24. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:349]
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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"We played this in the living room while watching the first episode of Firefly. Not bad for a show about space cowboys.

Wife won a very close game. More importantly, I found that we're missing a tile which is deeply upsetting for me."


Record vs wife: 3-2

Thurn and Taxis is fun. Not outstanding and not something I want to play all the time, but it's fun. Every time we play it, it's always better than I remember. I'm not sure what that means.
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25. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:125] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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"Our first TtR game in awhile. The luck element of TtR reared its ugly head tonight, as I drew a lot of long distance tickets that fit together very well.

Wife got the longest route, I got the globetrotter bonus.

Played as always with 1910."


Record vs wife: 3-1

I've played this more with 3+ players than just the 2 of us. It's still a pretty nice game, we used to play the heck out of it on the Xbox 360.
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