Jeremy Avery
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I've played Eclipse (and love it!) but the two-player game lacks a little for the kind of fun, unpredictable interaction I like in games.

If I'm being *really* critical, I also wish I had a game with everything Eclipse has, PLUS things like random events, or non-military encounters with non-player races, etc for more spice, and more things that will force a player to play differently every time.

So here's a checklist, in order of importance:
- it must play well 2-players
- it must play in under three hours (preferably under 2 hours)
- it must be space/scifi themed
- it must include exploring new worlds (i.e. planets)
- it must have a modular/variable board
- it should have encounters with non-player races/planets
- it should have events
- it should have military (notice this is *after* encounters and events)
- it should have quests/missions for extra points

I wasn't fond of Starfarers of Catan (non-modular board, Catan resources), but at least it had alien encounters.
 
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Darrell Hanning
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You're asking for a lot to happen in under 2 hours.
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Adria D
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Xia: Legends of a Drift System sounds like it would fit. Unfortunately the kickstarter just finished and it'll be a long while before it hits gaming tables. [edit: Actually I think this starts at 3 players. But the game is designed to be modded, so I'm sure BGG will have an abundance of 2P variants before long.]

Aside from that, I agree with Darrell that you're asking a lot for 2 (even 3) hours. As a TI3 fan, I have a hard time with shorter, shallower space 4x games.

Exodus: Proxima Centauri could be worth a look. I played it once and liked most of it. I didn't like the hidden movement as much as I thought I would, and there were issues with component quality. I'm also not sure how well it would play with 2.
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Jeremy Avery
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Adria wrote:
Aside from that, I agree with Darrell that you're asking a lot for 2 (even 3) hours. As a TI3 fan, I have a hard time with shorter, shallower space 4x games.

Exodus: Proxima Centauri could be worth a look. I played it once and liked most of it. I didn't like the hidden movement as much as I thought I would, and there were issues with component quality. I'm also not sure how well it would play with 2.


3 hours is fine - I just want something like Eclipse but with a bit more in the way of non-player elements (because they feel more theme-immersive to me).

Does Twilight Imperium 3 work for 2 players?
 
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Kent Reuber
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Here's a game that meets several of your criteria: GDW's Dark Nebula. It's out of print, but it shows up an eBay all the time and isn't terribly expensive.

It's mainly a military game, though there are the jump lines in the Dark Nebula that require exploration.

- it must play well 2-players. Yes, designed for 2.
- it must play in under three hours (preferably under 2 hours). This is part of the "Series 120", which were designed to play in 2 hours.
- it must be space/scifi themed. Yes.
- it must include exploring new worlds (i.e. planets). Yes, the Dark Nebula spaces must be explored to extract their resources.
- it must have a modular board. Yes, the sector maps are geomorphic so can be laid out differently.
- it should have encounters with non-player races/planets. Unfortunately no.
- it should have events. I don't believe it has events. Its parent game, Imperium has players rolling for events every turn.
- it should have military (notice this is *after* encounters and events). Yes, though this is the primary purpose not secondary.
- it should have quests/missions for extra points. No specific missions.
 
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Joshua Meadows
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Outpost hits many of your requirements but not all.
[url]
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1491/outpost[/url]
 
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Matt Epp
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There are twilight imperium variants that apparently work very well with 2 players, and I'm sure they play in that timeframe. The one that I'm thinking of involves a 2 ring galaxy with a couple of wormholes. It becomes a very tactical game while keeping most of the thematic immersion.
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Andrei Ivanesei
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How about Star Trek - Fleet Captains?

It seems to have everything you need and if you want SF, well, it's Star Trek
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Kai Mölleken
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Twilight Imperium with 2 players? No, forget it.

Your request made me think of Space Empires: 4X. I honestly haven't played it yet since I'm just looking into it myself to see whether it might be worth it for me or not. However it seems like it covers at least most of your requirement and it was highly recommended by several as a space-themed 4X game for 2-3 players.
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Dustin Crenshaw
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Burning Suns is about to hit kickstarter, has alot of what you want.

I personal favorite 4x game is starcraft.
 
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Kyle Mann
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Play 2-player Space Empires: 4X while drinking a lot of coffee, and you'll hit your 2-hour limit just fine whistle.

The board isn't technically modular, but the terrain is randomized each game on the mounted board, so it's the same effect. It hits most of your criteria, though hitting every one is definitely a tall order.
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Ian Taylor
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HolyGigi wrote:
How about Star Trek - Fleet Captains?

It seems to have everything you need and if you want SF, well, it's Star Trek


This does indeed tick most of your boxes. Although if you're not a Star Trek fan you probably won't like it nearly as much.
 
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Matt Brown
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SeerMagic wrote:
I personal favorite 4x game is starcraft.


Which is a 3x game.

If the game didn't have to be sci-fi, I would say Clash of Cultures might fit the bill.
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Darrell Hanning
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Kaermo wrote:
Twilight Imperium with 2 players? No, forget it.

Your request made me think of Space Empires: 4X. I honestly haven't played it yet since I'm just looking into it myself to see whether it might be worth it for me or not. However it seems like it covers at least most of your requirement and it was highly recommended by several as a space-themed 4X game for 2-3 players.


Yeah, I think the closest you're going to get to hitting both the features and playing time wickets is Space Empires: 4X. For 2 experienced players anyway, you can probably bring a game in around 2 hours.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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You looking for something that doesn't, and pretty much can't exist.

2 players and 2hrs is never going to be epic, and if it covers all 4x's then it will be only superficially. Eclipse suffers from the same.

You'd be better picking 1-2 areas to concentrate on, rather than doing them all. Something that fits the brief well is going to be 4 players and 4hrs, and better with 6 players and 6hrs - and that's for an experienced group.

It's like me looking for a prestige brand car with amazing fuel economy, breaks 200mph but doesn't cost more than £15k... Oh and 4 wheel drive would be nice...
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Oliver Kiley
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So.... your list of requirements doesn't say whether you want to be an empire management (aka civ) style game or not - although should I assume from the title of the thread ("4x") that you DO want a game where you are managing an empire?

Tough requirements.

I agree Space Empires: 4X is probably the best bet. The only "must" requirement is that it doesn't have a module board per se - but it's just a blank hex grid that you populate randomly each game (as mentioned above).

Another one that's a little less wargamey to consider is Supernova - which can be ordered online for pretty cheap (Amazon usually sells copies for around $20 - remarkable for how much is in the game). Anyway, it's pretty abstract but it hits most of your criteria too.
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Spencer C
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Mezmorki wrote:
Another one that's a little less wargamey to consider is Supernova - which can be ordered online for pretty cheap (Amazon usually sells copies for around $20 - remarkable for how much is in the game). Anyway, it's pretty abstract but it hits most of your criteria too.


Not two player from the game page.
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Oliver Kiley
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Forgot to mention that - no it doesn't officially say 2-player, but it works perfectly well as a 2-player game - just need to make the initial board a little smaller and compact.
 
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Liam
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Moved from General Gaming to Recommendations.
 
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Martin Larouche
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SeerMagic wrote:
Burning Suns is about to hit kickstarter, has alot of what you want.

I personal favorite 4x game is starcraft.


StarCraft is not a 4X.

There's no eXploration whatsoever in it...
 
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Martin Larouche
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Space Empires: 4X

- it must play well 2-players
It does.

- it must play in under three hours (preferably under 2 hours)

Plays between 1½ hours to 5/6 hours... depending on the scenario played.

- it must be space/scifi themed

It is.

- it must include exploring new worlds (i.e. planets)

It has.

- it must have a modular board
The board itself is not modular, but planets/asteroids/nebulas/encounters are placed randomly, making the game modular.

- it should have encounters with non-player races/planets

There's non-players aliens.

- it should have events

Present somewhat during exploration. Stumbling upon a doomsday machine, getting your ships lost in space, finding minerals, etc.

- it should have military (notice this is *after* encounters and events)
Lots of military in Space Empire 4X as it is a wargame at it's core.

- it should have quests/missions for extra points
Not present, though different scenarios are quests in and off themselves.
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Jeremy Avery
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Kelanen wrote:
You looking for something that doesn't, and pretty much can't exist.

2 players and 2hrs is never going to be epic, and if it covers all 4x's then it will be only superficially. Eclipse suffers from the same.

You'd be better picking 1-2 areas to concentrate on, rather than doing them all. Something that fits the brief well is going to be 4 players and 4hrs, and better with 6 players and 6hrs - and that's for an experienced group.

It's like me looking for a prestige brand car with amazing fuel economy, breaks 200mph but doesn't cost more than £15k... Oh and 4 wheel drive would be nice...


OP here.

Thank you for the anaology, and I can use that analogy to further my aims. =)

So since you are right, and I can't have what I want within the constraints of what I've set out, what can I have?

Within the sports car analogy you gave, one of you might suggest a Mazda Miata, one might suggest a Nissan 370Z - the fanboys come out of the woodwork and give their favorites, then add caveats like "but it doesn't have the top speed you're hoping for", or "doesn't handle as tight as a Ferrari, obviously".

I expect recommendations to come with caveats here - and I'm fine with that. How close can I get for a 2-3 hour two-player game? I want to be really really close. =)

So far Star Trek Fleet Captains is sounding pretty good...
 
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Kyle Mann
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Is Fleet Captains even a 4X? (It may very well be; I'd just never heard it referred to as such.)
 
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Carmelo Scozzola
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I suggest Merchant of Venus (second edition).

It is a pick and delivery game but it satisfies almost all of your requirements.

The board is kind of modular because durign setup you assign randomly races to planets so the map is different every time.

Ciao.
 
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Jeremy Avery
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p4warrior wrote:
Is Fleet Captains even a 4X? (It may very well be; I'd just never heard it referred to as such.)


It may not be, but if that's as close as I get get - or one of my options that's quite close, I should give it a go.

Space Empires 4x is also sounding good, although I prefer pieces to chits. I can always make/sub pieces.
 
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