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Subject: 2 player tweak? rss

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Jared Hageman
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Hugo
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This game sounds great and I will be getting a copy. Curious on playing with 2 players. Other people have stated you don't use much of the deck and it's not as good with 2 players. So would it make sense to only use cards 1-8 and jokers lets say when playing with 2? Would that make it feel more like a 4 player game?
 
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Brad McKenzie
Thailand
Bangkok
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How do you shape the deck for two people? I was looking at the rules, and couldn't find the two-player setup instructions...
 
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Mikko Saari
Finland
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http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
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There's no special rules for two-player, hence the question about the tweak.
 
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Steve K
United Kingdom
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Spielbox reports that Ravensburger have now published rules for a 2-player variant:

http://www.ravensburger.de/content/wcm/mediadata/PDF/03_Spie...

(only in German so far).
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Mikko Saari
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Setup:

- Deal 11 cards + 2 jokers
- There's a third player, Shadow, who gets 13 open cards
- Put the 13s and jokers from Shadow's hand paired up with the lowest cards on the table (see illustration in the rules)
- Complete the Shadow's hand back to 13 cards, putting all 13s and Jokers in the middle row. If middle row is full of pairs already, put the extra 13s and Jokers out of the game.

When you draw cards from the table, you draw a pair as a single card.

Playing the game

- If you can steal a set of cards from Shadow's hand with the cards you played, you must take those cards to hand.
- If you can steal several sets from Shadow's hand, you choose one.
- If somebody steals from the shadow, you fulfill the Shadow's hand back to 13 (and 13s and Jokers go to the center row, paired with the lowest cards)
- If you steal from the other player and Shadow, steal first from the Shadow.
- Shadow doesn't play.
- Game end and scoring is as usual. The last played cards do not steal cards, not even from Shadow.

Sounds like an interesting tweak.
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P B
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Played the official 2-player Duel last night and I was completely surprised. It was excellent and perhaps even better then the standard 3-5 player version!
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Olav Fakkeldij
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Kimball Bent wrote:
Played the official 2-player Duel last night and I was completely surprised. It was excellent and perhaps even better then the standard 3-5 player version!

I agree with it beiing an excellent game. I don't know if it's better, I think it's mostly different. It seems to be another game with the same components.
I like that it has a new challenge: the force to take the cards from the ghost player.
 
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Steve Marano
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Curious why Ravensburger's two player variant forces both participants to pick up cards from the Shadow's hands - i.e. "If you can steal a set of cards from Shadow's hand with the cards you played, you MUST take those cards to hand."

The fact is that you could easily play the shadow hand in a manner that is much closer to the spirit of the 3-5 handed game, namely: "If you can steal a set of cards from Shadow's hand, you could either take those cards to hand, or discard them and replace them with an equal number of cards from the draw pile."

I play-tested both the Ravensburger official two player variant and this alternate, and I found the latter version to be perfectly acceptable. It led to a quicker game, as players were not forced to pick up cards they might otherwise have avoided if the Shadow player were in fact a live (third) opponent.

I'm not claiming that the official variant is flawed, or even inferior to this alternate. Simply suggesting that both of these variants represent viable two player options.
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