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Subject: Games with medium to high interaction that play well with 2 rss

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Cookie Monster
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Well, the title sort of says it all

I am relatively new to boardgaming, but so far I enjoy it a lot!
I mostly play with my boyfriend, so I'm always on the lookout for games that scale well with two players. Every now and then, we go to a gaming night in the neighbourhood, and a few times a year, we get friends together for boardgaming. But mostly, it's just the two of us.

So, what games would you die hard gamers recommend? Although we like games like Dominion and Ascension: Deckbuilding Game, it feels like playing solitaire with two. Not a big prob, but sometimes I think I'd like some more interaction/confrontation. That's probably why we also enjoy Mage Wars Arena.

All recommendations are welcome, they will end up on my wish list for 2014 :-)

Thank you, and happy holidays!
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Kasper Lauest
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If you haven't tried it, Twilight Struggle is an immense 2 player game. That is probably my #1 suggestion, although it is not a short game.

If you like Mage Wars, I guess you will probably also like Summoner Wars.

Seasons is another suggestion.

Castles Of Burgundy is probably one of the most popular 2 player games at the moment. There's not a HUGE amount of interaction, but this is a game that a LOT of people enjoy.

But of course, Android: Netrunner is the BEST 2 player game out there, but that is probably gonna be a hard sell.
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Leonard Moses II
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Innovation

And get the expansions "just in case you ever want them". I like the non pictured version but whichever you want. My wife prefers the version with pictures which I do not own, but it is "my game" as far as preference.

I like Traders of Osaka but I have some reservations about recommending it to you as I am afraid it will bore you. It may be too small.
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Steffen Eichenberg
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These are the board/card games my wife and I like to play and where we like the interaction (although sometimes the interaction is indirect)

- Targi
- Battle Line
- The Castles of Burgundy (indirect interaction)
- Kingdom Builder (only interactive when you actively try to block)
- Guildhall (best with 3, ok with 2)
- Glory to Rome
- Small World (really good with 2 and very interactive)
- Memoir '44 (and if you do not like the WW2 theme, there are fantasy and ancient themed versions of the base C&C system available.)
 
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Thomas
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Seasons
Yedo
Takenoko
Alien Frontiers
Dungeon Petz
Letters from Whitechapel
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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I don't have many 2-player games as of now, but.

+1 Innovation. Easy rules, lots of interaction between players. Some may take it as mean, but the game is so chaotic that any advantage must be exploited as long as possible, which makes it less personal. A lot can happen on a turn. No two games are alike and anyone can win and ascend from 0 points to victory. There are also alternate win conditions. Some prefer to play this with 2 players, but we play with 3, which creates some extra chaos and more challenge.

Hive: a great abstract strategic/tactical game for two with very nice and durable components.

Discworld:Ankh-Morpork scales fairly well from 2 to 4 players. Your hidden winning condition must be present at the beginning of your turn. You don't need to be a fan of Discworld (Terry Pratchett), but it gives some extra atmosphere.

+1 Small World, although the interaction is quite one-tracked, i.e. getting your tokens wiped out by other players. But the game is quick and easy to get into, the turn structure is very simple. (I have Small World Underground which adds some extra bits: relics and sacred places to add more variation.)

Something with indirect interaction, but with fierce competition is Core Worlds for 2-5 players. Again, we play with 3 players and with the Galactic Orders expansion. With 2 players the cards you will see becomes a little more random but you can plan more, with more players you see more cards, but the other players become the random factors, preventing you from drafting the units and invading the worlds you would have wanted.

I just picked up Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game, and it is fun to play even when your opponent trashed you (in which case it is a quick game). Can also be played as team game, each player controlling one or more ships (although you quickly need another core set or extra ships).
 
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David B
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Not the most exciting theme in the world (but neither is Dominion, so...)
but Hansa is a quick pick up and deliver game that plays very well with 2 and has a good dose of interaction.


Another one you might enjoy is Il Vecchio. It plays 2 to 4 and does play very well with 2 and features an interesting mix of area majority and a twist on worker placement.
 
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everett hall
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Forbidden Island
Forbidden Desert
Pandemic
Carcassonne
Hive
Tokaido
Samurai
Mr. Jack Pocket
7 Wonders
 
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Johannes Sich
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Mission:Combat!

I have to say that I am one of the artists who made the illustrations for this game, so I'm maybe not entirely impartial.
But when I recently played the final game, I was honestly surprised how thrilling it is. We played all night long, and that doesn't often occure when we play 2 player games...
 
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Cory Yates
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Keyflower is an excellent game. One of the best worker placements. You are constantly interacting with each other on bidding for tiles and taking resources. If you like WP then this game is a great interactive game.
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Cory Yates
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:


+1 to everything he said
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Daniel B-G
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yatescory wrote:
Keyflower is an excellent game. One of the best worker placements. You are constantly interacting with each other on bidding for tiles and taking resources. If you like WP then this game is a great interactive game.


+1 This game has some of the most interesting layers of interaction I've encountered in any worker placement game.
 
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For the moves
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Since you like Dominion, I would suggest Puzzle Strike, which is a highly interactive 'deck builder' which uses chips instead of cards. It's a bit on the expensive side, due to the high quality components.
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Rabid Schnauzer
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sverbeure wrote:

So, what games would you die hard gamers recommend? Although we like games like Dominion and Ascension: Deckbuilding Game, it feels like playing solitaire with two. Not a big prob, but sometimes I think I'd like some more interaction/confrontation.


If you are specifically looking for a deckbuilder that is more interactive than those and good to play with 2, then you want Puzzle Strike.

If you are just generally looking for good interactive 2-player games, then there are a lot of decent recommendations above and I would add the following recommendations:

*Morels
*The Duke
*good old Scrabble - try playing it with the official tournament rules
*The Very Clever Pipe Game
*Ogre - a classic light wargame, currently available in a retro pocket edition for dirt cheap.




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Adam Kazimierczak
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Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends

It's like Mage Wars on crack with a PhD. It really shines with 2 players and has the option to expand if need be.


Buuuut...

If you want a light 2 player coffee shop card game get Yomi or Jaipur.

Ultra tense ultra long strategic duels to the death can be had with Twilight Struggle and Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan (both amazing games BTW).


Tash Kalar pits your brain against his, and before long the loser is leaking grey matter from both ears. A beautiful, elegant design from Vlaada, this is probably the best game you didn't know you needed.
 
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+1 Scrabble
Metropolys
Antike Duellum
Aton
Kahuna
Samurai
Dominant Species
 
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Matthew S.
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I have to dissent from a couple of the suggestions already offered here, because while I think they are good games, I don't like how they play with only two people. Specifically, Samurai (one of my favorite games with 3-4, less appealing with 2) and Small World (again, great with 4-5, okay with 3, terrible with 2 in my opinion).

My picks:

Abstract, short: Hive
Abstract, long: Yinsh

Strategy, short: Omen
Strategy, long: Dungeon Twister
 
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Anthony L
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Hello,

My wife is kinda in the same boat you are, we play a lot of games, but we are always trying to 2-player games that she and I can play together.

A couple of games that we've really had a blast playing 2-player are:

Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords (true, it can play up to 6 (with expansion), but works just fine with 2).

Arkham Horror (and its bazillion expansions) and now Eldritch Horror

Race for the Galaxy (again, can be played with many more, but still a lot of fun with two).

And for some quick 2-player fun, we both love Zombie Dice and the Timeline games - both only take about 10-15 min to play.

Hope that helps!
 
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Daniel Blumentritt
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If you guys like sports, try out Football Strategy. You don't have to know a lot about football, it's all about reading the chart, out-guessing your opponent, and out-guessing your opponent's outguessing of you. It's like Vezzini in The Princess Bride. "You know X, therefore you'll do Y, so I shouldn't choose this play. But you know I know you know X and that I would thus expect you to do Y, so I should choose this play instead."

Quote:
Small World (again, great with 4-5, okay with 3, terrible with 2 in my opinion).


Haven't played it with 2, but at least would fit the interactive label. 7 Wonders, however, you probably wouldn't like if you didn't like the "2-player solitaire" aspects of Dominion.

If you like parts of Twilight Struggle, but find it too length time-wise or are overwhelmed with all the ways the different effects can interact (often needing an FAQ to resolve), you might enjoy 1960: The Making of the President. You don't even really need to be politically-minded to enjoy it, IMO.

Lord of the Rings is one of the best if you like co-op games. You can play this as 2 players just playing Frodo & Sam, but you could also double up and each play as 2 players to get the full 4-player aspect. You don't have to be a big LOTR fan but with this game, if you are somewhat familiar with the books or movies it really adds to the enjoyment because otherwise the flavor text won't make sense and the various challenges will just seem like random game effects out of nowhere. I really love this one - it's very hard to beat your first few times too, so it's really satisfying when you actually survive and dunk the ring in Mount Doom.

If you want to try more wargames, War at Sea (second edition) or it's more complex cousin Victory in the Pacific are really good ones; they've maintained a large active following compared to most of the old cardboard counter wargames for a reason. If you like the war/battle thing to a degree but these are too dated or you want lighter material, Axis & Allies is a classic for a reason. It's usually on the long side, so there's always Fortress America, which is in the same family of games and I think is actually superior. Fun theme, very balanced, usually comes down to the final few battles/rolls.
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Omen a Reign of War
Seasons
Yomi
Innovation
Summoner Wars
the Duke
 
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Game Nurse
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We love Thunderstone!

Check out Rahdo's recommendations. He only ever covers games that are good for 2 players.
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Jo Bartok
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Interaction leads to Immersion.
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Android: Netrunner
Blokus
Thunderstone Advance / Numenera
Dominion
Pixel Tactics (though it is not for me)
Chess (though it is not for me)
Summoner Wars (though it is not for me)
Earth Reborn (though it is not for me)
Mice and Mystics (if you are like parent and child... or something like that... and its not for me quite much)
Mage Knight (though I dislike the game very much for being a simulation with bad rules)

Did not play Go or Hive yet, sadly. Same goes for Claustrophobia and The Convoy.
Not enough experience on Mage Wars to tell you if its good, but its certainly a 2 player (or 2v2 player) game.
 
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Moe45673
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1775: Rebellion is a wargame that looks serious and grownup but is actually an all out melee with laughably simple rules. Plays best with 2, IMO. Don't dismiss it from the theme, it's been called the wargame for eurogamers. Here's a great thread on 1812 (earlier and very similar game by same designers/publisher)

A female old fart tries her first war game

Puzzle Strike (Third Edition) is another excellent suggestion. Watch Rodney's overview of it. It negated my desire to buy Dominion (a game I also love), tons of interaction, also best with two:





I'll second:
Innovation
Twilight Struggle
1960
 
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Game Nurse
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ionas wrote:
Android: Netrunner
Blokus
Thunderstone Advance / Numenera
Dominion
Pixel Tactics (though it is not for me)
Chess (though it is not for me)
Summoner Wars (though it is not for me)
Earth Reborn (though it is not for me)
Mice and Mystics (if you are like parent and child... or something like that... and its not for me quite much)
Mage Knight (though I dislike the game very much for being a simulation with bad rules)

Did not play Go or Hive yet, sadly. Same goes for Claustrophobia and The Convoy.
Not enough experience on Mage Wars to tell you if its good, but its certainly a 2 player (or 2v2 player) game.


Claustrophobia and especially mage wars are excellent games!!!
 
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Game Nurse
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I would also suggest you check out Rahdo and his lists if games. He only plays 2 player with his wife, has an exhaustive collection and lists upon lists.

 
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