Hova vs. Hova: One gaming couple's take on games for couples
Gil Hova
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Even though we haven't seen a "What games should I play with my Significant Other?" geeklist in awhile, my wife Heather and I decided to share our experiences with certain board games.

Now, for the purposes of this GeekList, we're discussing these games specifically as two-player after-work games. The dynamic for these games is slightly different than others. They can't be incredibly intense and confrontational. A little brain-burning is okay, but not to the point that we have to think several moves ahead.

And now, on with the bickering! Er, reviews, I mean.
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1. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Gil Hova
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: About 5.

Hez: "Bzzzzzap! I like it."
Gil: "It is weird, though. The building standoffs can be really odd with only two. At least it's quick. I think I prefer it with more, but I wouldn't turn down a game."

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs sideways
 
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2. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Gil Hova
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: One.

Hez: "Even though I hate T&E more than my husband hates carrots..."
Gil: "You hate it that much?"
Hez: "...I would feel safe in the security of my husband's presence to play 2-player T&E in order to learn to appreciate its gamey greatness."
Gil: "No pressure, though."
Hez: "Who am I kidding? You're the only one patient enough to sit next to me and explain the rules over and over and over again."
Gil: "It's certainly not a relaxing two player game, though. And that's what we need at the end of a work day. I like to play it in a gaming group, but not as a two-player 'couple' game."

HEZ: Thumbs sideways. GIL: Thumbs down.
 
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3. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:107]
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: 3

Hez: "Rock on!"
Gil: "And it's nice and quick, too."

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs up.
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4. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Gil Hova
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: 2. I'd beaten Heather both times, because she never saw a ticket higher than 11 either game.

Hez: "Luck, luck, luck."
Gil: "Thumbs up or thumbs down?"
Hez: "Still thumbs up."
Gil: "Would you prefer TTR: Europe [which we have played once] as a 2-player game?"
Hez: "Probably. This game plays better with more people, but I think TTR: Europe will play better with just us."

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs sideways.
 
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5. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Gil Hova
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: About 20.

Hez: "Playing with all the expansions is even more brain-burning with only two, but I prefer it to just the base game. The base game is too short for two players."
Gil: "I don't like the luck of the draw with the base set either. Too many roads. On the whole, I'd rather play this with more people."

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs down.
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6. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:229]
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: About 15.

Hez: "I think what I like about it is that we can each play our own strategy and still come out close."
Gil: "As a two-player game, I'd rather play it with with a casual opponent like you than one of those intense dudes on BSW who refuse to play with more than two."

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs up.
 
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7. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: COUNTLESS

Hez: "This game brings out the religion in me."
Gil: "You mean the Church card?"
Hez: "Chapel."
Gil: "Yeah, that. You usually win with that."
Hez: "Only if I see it early."

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs up.
 
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8. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: COUNTLESS

Hez: "Oh my God, even when I'm down, I can come back. There's no such thing as no hope."
Gil: "I wish I designed this game."

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs up.
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9. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Castle [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:495]
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: About 15.

Hez: "I don't enjoy it as much as I do as regular Carc. That might have something to do with my Ra-pulling skills [which are legendary in our gaming circles]."
Gil: "Maybe I should lose at that game more often."
Hez: "Have you ever lost a game to me on purpose?"
Gil: "Uh. No."
Hez: "You hesitated. Have you ever lost a game to me on purpose?"
Gil: "No. I really should consider it, though."

HEZ: Thumbs down. GIL: Thumbs up.
 
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10. Board Game: Jambo [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:491] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: 2

Gil: "I like this game. It's like San Juan, in that it feels very luck-based at first, but there's enough variance in the cards to keep things interesting."
Hez: "Despite the fact that the light bulb has not yet clicked on, I like this game. But watch out, as soon as the light bulb clicks on, you're in for it!"

HEZ: Thumbs sideways. GIL: Thumbs up.
 
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11. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:393]
Gil Hova
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER GAMES: About 30.

Hez: "Whoo-hoo! Better with two than with more!"
Gil: "I agree!"
Hez: "The limit for me is four with this game. Five is impossible."
Gil: "You lose any sort of strategy with five or more players. It becomes impossible to plan ahead."

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs up.
 
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12. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:796]
Gil Hova
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: About 10.

Gil: "It's definitely my favorite Mystery Rummy."
Hez: "Why?"
Gil: "I like the way the mechanisms fit into the theme. I also like how dense the gameplay is. It's deeper than the others. What I don't like about the game is how you make that creepy little scream every time you play a Victim card."
Hez: "Why not?"
Gil: "It bugs me out."
Hez: [Makes creepy little scream.]
Gil: [Gets bugged out.]

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs up.
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13. Board Game: Starship Catan [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:810]
Gil Hova
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: About 5.

Gil: "I like how all our games have ended 10-9."
Hez: "Yeah, really."
Gil: "I'm worried about limited replayability, though."

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs up.
 
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14. Board Game: Knockabout [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:6136]
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: 1

Hez: "I don't remember playing this."
Gil: "Sure you do. You're just repressing the memory because I beat you 5-0."

HEZ: Thumbs down. GIL: Thumbs up.
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15. Board Game: Catan Card Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:736]
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: 5

HEZ: "Confusing cards. Takes up soooo muuuuch table space!
GIL: "Klaus Teuber must have a huge table. The game takes forever to play, also. And I just don't find it fun."

HEZ: Thumbs down. GIL: Thumbs down.
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16. Board Game: Odin's Ravens [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1065]
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: About 5.

Gil: "I don't like how races can go on and on and on, ad infinitum. I've had races - not games, mind you, but races - last over an hour just because each player had no strategic reason to not keep adding cards to the course."
Hez: "I haven't played this one in awhile. Ah-choo! Collecting dust on the shelf."
Gil: "Maybe we'll try another game in 2009."

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs down.
 
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17. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hyde [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1807]
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: About 10.

Hez: "See, I prefer this one, because with a flick of the card, WHOOP! I win!"
Gil: "Honey, I've never heard you make the Chris Berman fumble noise before."
Hez: "Kinda terrible, isn't it?"

HEZ: Thumbs up. GIL: Thumbs sideways.
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18. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit [Average Rating:5.21 Overall Rank:15255]
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NUMBER OF 2-PLAYER PLAYS: About 3

Hez: "Why even bother when I play the Trivia King?!?"
Gil: [innocently] "Who, me?"
Hez: "I used to like this game until I found out how dumb I was at trivia."
Gil: "I try to keep the games mercifully quick."

HEZ: Thumbs down. GIL: Thumbs down.
 
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