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Subject: Agricola, Zombicide, Race for the Galaxy, or Pathfinder ACG? rss

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Jim Raynor
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My wife and I are looking for a game that would be perfect for two players. Ive looked at a lot of reviews for each of these games, but none of them really touch on what im looking for. Could anyone out there that primarily plays with their spouse, and has played some of these give me THEIR opinions on which we would enjoy the most, and could replay almost indefinitely?
 
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tim thorson
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I've played the first three with my wife. The race for the galaxy was the only one that wasn't a hit. She just didn't get into it

Zombicide is one of our favorite games. It's a lot of fun but not real hard strategy.

Agricola went over really well. We borrowed it for awhile but she just bought it last weekend. It has more strategy than zombicide.

I don't know what you are looking for exactly. Maybe you could write what you currently like to play
 
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I've played Agricola 96 times, almost all 2p. If you are okay with the theme, it makes an excellent 2p game with a spouse.

We started with San Juan and then moved up to Race for the Galaxy. At first I was thinking more about how to play than the getting into the game, so I played enough times to be really comfortable with it (63) and while there's a lot to like, we've always liked Glory to Rome just a bit more.

Either one has a bunch of replayability (with Race, especially if you add an expansion or two) so it mostly comes down to theme, and if you want all cards, or cute wooden animals.
 
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Jim Raynor
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We have played War of the Ring, but the setup for it is kind of daunting so we aren't likely to get it out when we get in the mood for a board game. However we did love it when we had the patience to play it. We also enjoyed pandemic, but working cooperatively against a game wasn't as fun as we had hoped, were more competitive against each other. Lords of Waterdeep and Domnion was something we played a few times when we first got it and never touched again, we didnt hate them, I just think we never play it any more because we feel like its not as good with 2 players as it could be with 3 or 4 (and i really dont want to buy another board game that would make me feel this way).

As far as card games go, we're casual, not into deckbuilding like magic. We love to play magic but when we build our decks one is usually much stronger than the other and it just kind of ruins everything. We picked up two starter decks for the WoW TCG and surprisingly we still pick that up every now and then and play. The decks are balanced very well so that one deck isnt always winning. Our first ever game we got was Game of Thrones LCG, we played the hell out of it, but i think we got burnt out.

So currently we play nothing, and I want to change that
 
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Brody Lipperman
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Not on your list, but you might check out Innovation. Huge hit with my wife and a fantastic 2p card game.
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josh willhite
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Out of the list I've only played Zombicide. I like the game, I really do, and the game group absolutely loves it, but I'm sick of getting eaten. One wrong move and the whole group is a snack. The included missions can be brutal and the online ones are so scary that none of us are willing to try them until we can reliably live through the included ones.
 
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Julian Wasson
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Whoa. Apples, oranges, potatoes or broccoli?

Seriously, there's so little in common here. You should be able to easily make a choice just based on which genre the two of you like best.
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Still trying to get the wife to try thematic games. She mostly goes for abstract which I don't mind, but are not my fav, but I'll take a stab:

Co-op: Forbidden Desert, Pandemic
Competetive: Android Netrunner, Lords of Waterdeep (probably not perfect 2-player, but still good and smooth)

Love Letter

 
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Stu Jones
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Having played all of them, I can speak for the games in general; though, I haven't played each of them with two players.

Agricola is fun, I actually like the theme, and 2 players is just right. However, it's a bit repetitive and doesn't have a ton of replay value for me - especially when playing the same players over and over again. Definitely not something my wife and I would ever play regularly (even if she were a gamer; which she's really not).

Zombicide, I just really didn't like. It's one of the few games I didn't find anything positive to say about after. And trust me when I say I can generally find at least one silver lining in any cloud. But, to be fair, it has to be as popular as it is for a reason - I'm the anomaly in this equation.

Race for the Galaxy is a fantastic game on many layers and -if- you both enjoy the game, you'll get your money's worth for sure. Its mechanics are simple (once you learn the iconography, which can be a bit daunting) and there's enough randomness to keep dominating strategies from guaranteeing the same winning conditions every game. The one caution I would give is that this is very much a love it or hate it game, really not much in between, I've found. If it doesn't hook either one of you, it will be a very miserable time. There's little redeeming quality for this game if it's not an absolute love for either of you.

Pathfinder is something of an enigma for me. The people I know that I would expect to like it really don't; and the people I never would have thought would care for it really seem to love it. Case in point, my previously mentioned wife. She DOES. NOT. GAME. And yet, I somehow got the opportunity to teach it to her and now we play it regularly. She texts me the day after while I'm working with questions or comments on the game we played and actually asks probing questions about situations that come up. She's a completely different person with this game and I honestly can't even explain why. I love the game personally, as do a great many other people. However, you have to be able to appreciate the game as an overarching campaign with regards to difficulty scale or it'll end up being too simple to hold your interest. Each scenario isn't a brutal challenge at all, and you're win more than you lose, most likely, and that's how it's supposed to be, as your character dying is meant to be permanent.
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Stu Jones
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Scottgun wrote:
Lords of Waterdeep (probably not perfect 2-player, but still good and smooth)

Love Letter



Man, if there were any games I'd define as "brilliant with 3 players, pointless with 2" these would be it

To each their own.
 
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C Bazler
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Deekow wrote:
Pathfinder is something of an enigma for me. The people I know that I would expect to like it really don't; and the people I never would have thought would care for it really seem to love it.


Yes! I know what you mean. This one is really confusing me. I only have been following video reviews, but it doesn't make sense. Joel Eddy, Mr. Euro, LOVED it, and Rahdo, another dyed-in-the-wool Eurogamer, also liked it a lot. Wargamer Marco Arnaudo liked it, Eurobasher Vasel loved it, but Undead Viking, Ameritrash and RPG extraordinaire, hated it with a passion.

Honestly, it looks boring as hell to me. Too easy, too repetitive, and as a former hardcore RPG player, it looks nothing like an RPG to me.
 
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Paul Gates
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I primarily play with my wife and have played all of the games except Zombicide.

Race for the Galaxy is a great game, and with all of the expansions you're going to have tons of replayability. It's a great tableau/engine/combo building game. The base game, by itself, has tons of different strategies that you can play and experiment with.

The downside of this game is that it's extremely symbol heavy. The symbols aren't really that intuitive and it takes a few slow games to start rolling with them. All the same it comes with a decent player aid, and it probably has the easiest rule book to learn from, so you'll make up some time there. The hard sci-fi theme may or may not pose a problem as not everyone (my wife) likes sci-fi. I really dig Race for the Galaxy, and while my wife recognizes the brilliance of the game, she hates it due to the symbols and sci-fi theme.

Pathfinder is really cool. It's great if you really like card games. I bought the game two weeks ago and we've already played it twenty some times, and I'm looking forward to more plays tomorrow, the next day, and the next! With the promise of adventure packs coming out every two months, I'm sure to get tons and tons of replayability out of this. I'd describe it as the Diablo of card games. You have your character, you explore locations, kill stuff, upgrade, kill stuff, upgrade, etc. If a tiger riding gnome with a flame enchanted sling shot sounds like your idea of a good time, check this game out. Each character interacts with the cards a little differently so there's a lot to play with there.

The length of the Pathfinder rule book makes the game seem more complex than it is, and there's also a lot of errata out there. I didn't read any of the errata and have found the game to be perfectly playable, and the rule book has answered all the questions I've had. You're going to have to play the game a few times, go back and read the rules, play through the whole adventure pack, and browse the rules once more. That should set you straight. The rules you miss probably won't be major though, it's just that there are a couple of key details in the rulebook that are easy to not give a second thought to after you read them.

Agricola is awesome, and now it comes with the animeeples so that makes it even more awesome. If you haven't processed the rules of a game this complex yet, it might be a bit of a headache. The rule book is like a giant wall of font size 8 text with a couple of little pictures thrown in. The game play is actually pretty simple though, and I've found it to be one of the easier games to teach. You physically build a farm out of cardboard chits and wooden pieces by placing your family members on action spaces each turn. As the game progresses, you get more actions available, your farm grows, but so does the pressure to feed your family. The game comes with a bunch of decks of cards that add tremendous amounts of replayability to the game. There are tons of different strategies to explore here, but it's a pretty long game and may take a bit to set up, which might mean it won't get played as much. All the same, we've played this at least thirty times and I can't wait to play it more. Great game.

I really can't think of too many complaints when it comes to Agricola other than I remember the rule book being a pain in the butt, and it can be a beast to set up. As I said, the game length is longer than the other two games, but that could be a positive thing depending on what you're looking for. There's a lot of meat to chomp on in Agricola and it's sweet and juicy.

As you can tell, I like all three of these games, and I don't think you can go wrong with any of these three when it comes to replayability.
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Matt Drown
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darthbored wrote:
My wife and I are looking for a game that would be perfect for two players.


Twilight Struggle - only plays two players, great theme, direct conflict/interaction, 2 hour play time. Don't let the pictures scare you, it's much more straight forward than it looks like. Read the reviews!



To answer your original question.
Your 4 games are very different in themes and mechanics. I've only played Agricola, and Race for the Galaxy.

Agricola, I found ok in the basic game, and annoying in the advanced game. The concept of card combos that you figure out at the start basically determine how you will play the rest of the game. And it basically become uninteresting quickly.

Race for the Galaxy, people complain about the icons, but they are really straight forward and I didn't need a cheat sheet for the icons after about a half dozen 20 minute games. The game has minimal interaction (it's a RACE!) but the 20-30 minute time frame works well for me and this. There is enough randomness to balance out some skill level differences.

From a cost perspective, I would suggest you pick up the base RFTG, and try it out as a two player game. Then if you like it, you can pick up the next 3 expansions over time (to add diversity over time).




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Jim Raynor
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I really appreciate all the opinions, and by all means keep them coming! I went ahead and ordered Agricola and Race for the Galaxy. I talked myself out of Zombicide because it really is a lot of money for a board game. Money isn't an issue for me but it pains me to see something of that quality being sold for so much, whereas War of the Ring has three to four times as many miniatures and is only 60 dollars.
 
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Matt Drown
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darthbored wrote:
I really appreciate all the opinions, and by all means keep them coming! I went ahead and ordered Agricola and Race for the Galaxy.


Well don't forgot to come back and let us know what your impressions are. Good luck, and hope you enjoy the games, they are completely different (which is good)!

 
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Stephen Hurn
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I have only played Agricola, but I cannot recommend it highly enough. I taught my future wife how to play the game the other day and she quite enjoyed it too. The only thing is that it's a game that can lead to huge blowouts for one player over the other, so if she's not as competitive/into board games as you then she may never actually end up winning. To offset the newness of the game, I played the family variant and went a sub-optimal baking bread strategy. I ended up winning, but only by three points.
 
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Allen OConnor
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darthbored wrote:
My wife and I are looking for a game that would be perfect for two players. Ive looked at a lot of reviews for each of these games, but none of them really touch on what im looking for. Could anyone out there that primarily plays with their spouse, and has played some of these give me THEIR opinions on which we would enjoy the most, and could replay almost indefinitely?


I love Agricola, but I prefer playing it as a 4 or 5 player game.
 
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Barry Hood
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I enjoy Agricola with my other half, although apparently Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small is better two player (I can't speak from personal experience having not played it).

We also love Zombicide, which tends to work slightly better for us (having a baby in the house it means one of us can carry on the game for a few turns while the other is doing baby stuff) rather than stopping and starting.

Not played the other two.
 
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Melissa
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I've only played Agricola.

I'm a big fan even though it frustrates the crap out of me sometimes! So much variability, especially once you add other decks to the mix. If you've never played, I'd suggest looking for a "How to Play" video; makes wayyyyy more sense than the rulebook, IMO.

Good luck, let us know what you think!
 
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Jim Raynor
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Agricola is now our new favorite board game. Well we never really had a favorite before

Who would think, a board game about farming would be so fun??

Race for the galaxy is too daunting for my wife to attempt, she prefers agricola. I'll have to get a guy friend over to try it some time.
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Barry Hood
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Good choice

I can also recommend the Goodies expansion if you find it for a good price.
 
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I agree on the Goodies expansion.

Glad you like Agricola! One of my favorites, with the cards it has tons of replayability.

Btw, buy a sensible storage solution for Agricola, from somewhere like Walmart or Michaels. It makes Setup/Teardown go from 15 to 5 minutes. Something like this



I can vouch for Through the Ages as a fantastic Euro that plays well with 2 players. Learning it is a beast but once you know it, the rules actually stay in your head. I'd also look into Twilight Struggle, which I've never played, but seems to get unanimous praise. I even bought it once but then exchanged it unopened the next day, due to one of my buddies telling me that it's very complicated (and my wife is NOT a gamer).

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Matt Brown
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cbazler wrote:
Yes! I know what you mean. This one is really confusing me. I only have been following video reviews, but it doesn't make sense. Joel Eddy, Mr. Euro, LOVED it, and Rahdo, another dyed-in-the-wool Eurogamer, also liked it a lot. Wargamer Marco Arnaudo liked it, Eurobasher Vasel loved it, but Undead Viking, Ameritrash and RPG extraordinaire, hated it with a passion.


Curious, I went and watched Lance's review. I was picking up on some of his issues as he was doing his review. I think it will be similar to Memoir '44 in that it is neutered enough of an RPG that non-RPG players will enjoy it but more hardcore RPG players will be less impressed. Maybe some other reviews will change my mind but for now it is off my wishlist.
 
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