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Subject: 2P game rss

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Mark C
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Freehold
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Any thoughts on this one with just 2 players?

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Tom Williamson
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It's friggin' brilliant.

The minor rule changes make sure that the game scales beautifully from 2 to 4 players so you'll not be getting short shrift on any of those fronts.
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James Ryan
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I also like it as a 2 player game. There is less turnover in the market between your turns, so you can plan a little more from one turn to the next.
 
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Damien Seb. ●leoskyangel●
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It's excellent with two. I've clocked in 24 two-player recorded plays so far, with two different opponents.

Couple of things I've noticed in a two-player game:
- the game now becomes more like a race. Game runs super quick
- nobles seem to be the determinant for victory. Getting 2 or 3 (only 3 nobles in a 2-player game) nobles will make you win the game. The game has now become to be the first player to get nobles (but I guess you could say the same in multi-player game)
- two-player game becomes more focused. So, there's possibility of denying, i.e. snatching/reserving cards so opponent doesn't grab it. Giving extra attention to the pre-requisite of nobles is important.
- playing with the same opponent will become samey, especially if the same player win most of the time

Still, I'd highly recommend playing it with two. It's really good with that player count. I played it once with three, and I almost hate it because of the downtime, but that's probably because I'm so used to the speed in a 2-player game.

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Antonio Tang
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I like the game at all player counts. With more than two, flexibility becomes more important as cards can be snapped up before you can even take a good look at them. At the same time, it's more possible to just "do your thing" as the card spread changes so much.
 
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James Bentley
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Cleburne
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I've played Splendor several times, and so far only as a two-player game. It's excellent, and a game that my wife, who's not a "gamer," really enjoys.
 
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Guillaume
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I've only played the game once with my wife. I thought it was OK but I feel it would be more fun with 3 or 4 players.

At two players, we tend to focus on different colors and then it's just a race where luck of the draw becomes very important. Basically, the player whose dominant colors get better draws will win.

A third or fourth player could add more competition over some gem colors and reduce the luck factor.

I've actually enjoyed The Builders: Middle Ages a bit more as a 2 player game.

Edit: My wife did enjoy it and said she wants to keep the game.
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Matt Logan
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Peoria
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I have only played the game two player, and have played it 4 times now. It's definitely missing something for me, to the point I am worried we are playing it wrong. The beginning of the game is brilliant. You're taking chips, buying your first cards, and slowly building a nice little engine. However, once you get a nice tableau built up, the chips become irrelevant. You just take turns grabbing cards until someone wins. Also in my four games, we only grabbed a level 3 card twice.

I wish there was a way to maintain the involvement of the chips throughout the game. And I also wish the level 3 cards were more of a factor in the game. Maybe doubling or tripling the end game score?
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Antonio Tang
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Matt Logan wrote:
And I also wish the level 3 cards were more of a factor in the game. Maybe doubling or tripling the end game score?
To me, the unique and somewhat immutable spread of level 3 cards sets the character or parameters of the current game, something like a variable objective or one's starting hand in a card game. It's something to work with or shoot for -- and that "something" changes from game to game. This constraint adds to replayability for me.
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Travis Bridges
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Nazareth
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Matt Logan wrote:
I have only played the game two player, and have played it 4 times now. It's definitely missing something for me, to the point I am worried we are playing it wrong. The beginning of the game is brilliant. You're taking chips, buying your first cards, and slowly building a nice little engine. However, once you get a nice tableau built up, the chips become irrelevant. You just take turns grabbing cards until someone wins. Also in my four games, we only grabbed a level 3 card twice.

I wish there was a way to maintain the involvement of the chips throughout the game. And I also wish the level 3 cards were more of a factor in the game. Maybe doubling or tripling the end game score?



I was just about to start a new forum thread about how I am less than enthused with the 2-player game vs. the multi-player game and how surprised I am that others haven't come to the same conclusions. My problems are:

1. There are equal numbers of turns, but the acquisition of nobles is still a race that the start player is one turn ahead for.

2. Because there is less competition for cards, but still the same number of cards as the multi-player game, chips do become obsolete...you rarely have a turn in the mid to late game where you can't buy a card, and most of the time, 2 or more cards, and buying something is always better than taking gems.

3. If you fall slightly behind, there is effectively no defense in the 2-player game. Sure you can reserve a card to keep it from an opponent, but see option 2. Thus, reservation of cards becomes nearly a wasted turn.

4. Less competition means long-term planning to Level 3 cards is not worth your time. If you can eventually afford one, bully for you, but working towards them by focusing on 2-3 colors is not as efficient, because you will have to take chips in the late game...better to just take what free cards are available.

Thus, my 2-player strategy has devolved to always take free cards when available, try to get 2 out of the 3 nobles by focusing on shared colors, and hope that you are the start player, making you more likely to win the race to 2 nobles.

In the 3 and 4 player game, things are more interesting. That is because, IMO, there are less nobles per player, there is more competition for certain colors, making the long-term strategy to Level-3 cards more viable.

Thoughts?
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Matt Logan
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Peoria
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chicagometh wrote:
Thus, my 2-player strategy has devolved to always take free cards when available, try to get 2 out of the 3 nobles by focusing on shared colors, and hope that you are the start player, making you more likely to win the race to 2 nobles.


This strategy seems about right. There are a couple things that might be tweaked to help the two player game.

1. Reduce the number of Level 1 Cards. Maybe by as much as half?

2. Increase the End Game VP trigger. Maybe play to 25 or 30 instead of 15.

I am not concerned about the game length. I actually like that it's a shorter game. I would just like to see all the cards and the chips being utilized throughout the game.
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Matt Logan
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We played 4 more games tonight, all 2 player. However, this time we removed half of the Level 1 cards from the game. What a huge difference this made. Much, much better game. We were using chips through the end of each game we played. The game felt much more strategic.

That said, we still didn't use Level 3 cards all that much. I think only one or two were bought at max each game. The next time we play two player, we are going to up VP trigger from 15 to 25 and see what that does to the game. However, I would definitely say that 10 level One cards in the game per player is a good rule of thumb.
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Damien Seb. ●leoskyangel●
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Most of my two-player games focused more on getting the nobles. If one player ran away with 2/3 of the nobles, it seems that we have a clear winner as it's pretty hard for the other player to catch-up (I only saw one session where one player won the game with no nobles and while the other player has all three nobles).

I wonder if playing without the nobles, will actually help both players focus more on the tier-3 cards.

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Runar Dankel
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Any progress on house rules for 2p? We Are caught in the runaway leader prob.
 
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Josh Chen
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Aliso Viejo
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Just got this game and played two games of 2-p with my fiancée. The first game was a learning game so she didn't realize nobles were important and I won 16-8 because she didn't build the colors for attracting the nobles. The second game became intense and we grab cards and reserve cards and then when mid game came along we were just grabbing free cards and then she got 2 nobles and I got one. Then I lost 17-16. The second game I've come to the same conclusion that taking gems become very not efficient compared to just taking free cards to further build out my tableau. I will try Matt's variant of removing half,of level 1 cards and see how it goes.
 
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Chris
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Matt Logan wrote:
... we removed half of the Level 1 cards from the game. ...

Can you please explain how you feel this made any difference? The cards are shuffled and random so I fail to see how removing any would make any difference. Is this a psychological thing, or is there something real going on here that I just can't see...
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Daryl Unwin
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Liumas wrote:
Matt Logan wrote:
... we removed half of the Level 1 cards from the game. ...

Can you please explain how you feel this made any difference? The cards are shuffled and random so I fail to see how removing any would make any difference. Is this a psychological thing, or is there something real going on here that I just can't see...

I think they just run out quicker, forcing you to invest in level 2 and 3 cards more.
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Chris
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Geremiah wrote:
I think they just run out quicker, forcing you to invest in level 2 and 3 cards more.

Oooooh, okay, thanks! I had no idea people need to be forced to try for the Level 2-3 cards. That is just something we do in order to win.
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Matt Logan
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The other reason we limit the Level 1 deck with two players is it keeps the chip buying aspect of the game in tact throughout. Otherwise you get an obnoxious tableau that turns the middle and end game into a frantic back and forth of - I take a card - You take card - I take card - You take card - You win. That's not fun.
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Steve Marano
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Nutley
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Matt -

Just got the game and noticed your 2-player variant. Eager to try it out.
When you removed half the Level 1 cards, did you do so randomly
or did you deliberately maintain the color balance as much as possible?
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Matt Logan
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The first couple times we did randomly cut the deck in half. However, we had a really bad game where almost all the green cards were out of the game. After that, I started balancing the decks. It adds a couple minutes to setup, but you can use the other half of the deck for your second game.
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Matt Logan
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Liumas wrote:
Geremiah wrote:
I think they just run out quicker, forcing you to invest in level 2 and 3 cards more.

Oooooh, okay, thanks! I had no idea people need to be forced to try for the Level 2-3 cards. That is just something we do in order to win.


I am sorry I missed your question from a few months back. Too many thread subscriptions!

The main reason we remove half the Level 1 cards from the 2 player game is it keeps the chips part of the game throughout. In a two player game with all the Level 1 cards in play, the chips become worthless very quickly.
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Steve Marano
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So if I understand the reasoning here, leaving half the level one cards out is not just to create the risk that these cards might run out part way through the game, but also that it cuts down on the selection of useful level one cards throughout the entire game?
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Steve Marano
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Thanks.
I see what you mean.
A little sorting of the 2-4 gem level one cards
provides for an even split of the colors across
both half decks.

And I assume that for the 1 gem level one cards,
you simply divided them into the 1 point and no point
sets to assure an even split of colors (and then
played each set in consecutive games).
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Matt Logan
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smarano wrote:
So if I understand the reasoning here, leaving half the level one cards out is not just to create the risk that these cards might run out part way through the game, but also that it cuts down on the selection of useful level one cards throughout the entire game?

Yep. Basically, it keeps the chips in demand for the whole game.
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