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Subject: Games that don't punish hoarding and long-term planning rss

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Isaac
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Hello once again,

The quest to find the right game for my S.O. continues. I had a moment of revelation last night that resulted in a good ol' "d'oh!" as to why I didn't realize it sooner. These next two points are connected.

She loves hoarding...
I've observed how frustrated she is when a resource is taken away or when she doesn't get the resource that she wants. Robber and dice rolls in Settlers, tile appearances in Chinatown and Carcassonne, even jostling for position in all our worker placement games.

...so that she can fulfil a long term strategy.
She hoards to have the resources to fulfil her long term strategy. Anything that might put her off-course of this strategy and sets her back is incredibly frustrating. She likes to build that engine and complete things, and she doesn't like feeling rushed or that feeling of having so many things you want to do at once but not enough time (despite myself enjoying that and being more often the point in a lot of games), which she felt in games like Agricola, Olympos, etc.

All in all it seems like I'm looking for the most solitaire multiplayer ever. I will sadly have to relinquish my desire for things more competitive to reduce both of our stress levels.

Are there any games out there that fit the bill? Thanks for reading this far, and any help would be much appreciated.

Cheers as always!
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Jan-Willem van Leeuwen
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I see you already have Agricola: All creatures big and small. Isn't that something that works for you?
Also, take a look at Caverna. I feel that in Caverna, it is easier to complete your long-term strategy than it is in Agricola.
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Andrew
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I'll suggest Homesteaders, an engine-building auction Euro.

On resources:
* Your resources are deterministically generated
* Resources can't be stolen, only spent

On "losing out":
* Losing out on things is confined to the auctions
* If you pass at auction, you get compensation
* You can always take debt if you want to raise your bid

On feeling pressured:
* The game is always 10 rounds, no surprises
* All the same building permits will come out each game
* You need to pay your workers, but it is fairly cheap and you can always take debt

On long-term strategy:
* The only tactical element is the auctions, so most of the game is about how you build up
* All buildings are known and available every game
* There are lots of different strategies possible
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Isaac
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janwillemvl wrote:
I see you already have Agricola: All creatures big and small. Isn't that something that works for you?
Also, take a look at Caverna. I feel that in Caverna, it is easier to complete your long-term strategy than it is in Agricola.



ACBaS is close, but doesn't quite work. The base game's strategies are laid bare after a couple of plays, remedied a bit by the expansion, and I do have to force myself to not go for a resource/animal that she's vying to be nice, which isn't terribly interesting for me.

We had and traded away Caverna because it still went a bit too quick for her tastes.

And cheers for the thoughts on Homesteaders, Andrew. Have had my eye on it for a while but will take a closer look. As an auction game does it play well with two?
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Steve B
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For us, Le Havre solves the problem Agricola has with resource blocking. In Agricola, if you have planned some sort of long term strategy that requires for example clay, if someone else keeps taking the clay, it's very annoying. You have to take something else which messes up the plan.

In Le Havre however, if you are collecting resources but then someone else takes the resource you are after - doesn't matter! Take something else, there are great things you can do with every resource.
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Kim Williams
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Playing the long two player game of Ora et Labora allows you to do pretty much everything - as you carry on playing until all (or maybe it's virtually all, it's a while since I played) are built.

You do get to accumulate a lot of resources, and get to do quite diverse production chains with them. It does take quite a few hours, however, but maybe that would be a good thing in terms of not feeling rushed.
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Johannes Sjolte
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Cyclades - You have to plan for the long run in this game and hoarding some gold is not a bad idea.

Ticket to Ride - hoarding card is a valid strategy

Illuminati

Colosseum if you can find it.
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Olivier D.
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Zalco wrote:


Recommending Illuminati to someone who feels frustrated when one of her resources gets stolen isn't nice.
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Russ Williams
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mildaene wrote:
Zalco wrote:


Recommending Illuminati to someone who feels frustrated when one of her resources gets stolen isn't nice.

Nor were the other suggested games very good for someone who doesn't like having their plans messed with.
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Pokey 64
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51st State
 
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Jan-Willem van Leeuwen
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Ikehouserock wrote:
janwillemvl wrote:
I see you already have Agricola: All creatures big and small. Isn't that something that works for you?
Also, take a look at Caverna. I feel that in Caverna, it is easier to complete your long-term strategy than it is in Agricola.



ACBaS is close, but doesn't quite work. The base game's strategies are laid bare after a couple of plays, remedied a bit by the expansion, and I do have to force myself to not go for a resource/animal that she's vying to be nice, which isn't terribly interesting for me.

We had and traded away Caverna because it still went a bit too quick for her tastes.

And cheers for the thoughts on Homesteaders, Andrew. Have had my eye on it for a while but will take a closer look. As an auction game does it play well with two?

I had never heard of Homesteaders, so I took a look (as I'm also looking for nice 2p games to play with the SO). Looks like a solid game, but it seems that it works best with 4p. Opinions seem to differ on the 2p experience.

I'd like to get ACBaS for myself, with the expansion if it's a hit. I usually prefer playing 'nice' anyway, so I don't expect to run into the problems you have with it.

Currently, our favorite 2p game is Jambo. It is a 2p-only game where you collect and sell resources. The main mechanic is playing cards. About half of them allow trading resources, the rest are actions that often influence the other player, but often in a good way. There are 'attack' cards, but you can simply remove the cards that you don't like from the deck.
 
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Errant Deeds
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[q="Ikehouserock"]
All in all it seems like I'm looking for the most solitaire multiplayer ever. I will sadly have to relinquish my desire for things more competitive to reduce both of our stress levels.

q]

Try Race for the Galaxy. It basically is a load of people playing solitaire, and I've always liked how you can build efficient, long-term resource engines based on a long-term strategy.
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Eric Nolan
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russ wrote:
mildaene wrote:
Zalco wrote:


Recommending Illuminati to someone who feels frustrated when one of her resources gets stolen isn't nice.

Nor were the other suggested games very good for someone who doesn't like having their plans messed with.


It's funny how so many people can complain that Ticket to Ride is multi-player solitaire it can still be thought to have too much interaction for someone else! I'm not saying that someones plan won't get messed with but it is pretty low on the scale. I actually think it is quite a good suggestion.

When we started playing this the most common thing for people to do was to build up a huge hand of cards and when they felt they had everything they needed they would claim route after route after route. This is actually not a bad way to play, it rewards card counting since there is a strong chance that there are simply no cards left of the colour you are waiting for because everyone else is already holding them.

However after a while people started grabbing essential segments they thought would be choke points as early as possible and that tactic expanded until now people tend to grab what they can as early as possible.

Playing the first way gives plenty of hoarding and long term planning. Of course your long term plan might not work out due to enemy action but chances are you can work around it.

Apart from defending TTR a bit my suggestion is Alhambra. It has hoarding and long term planning, you get to build your alhambra and nobody can take a tile away from you once you've got it. The more players the less long term planning you can do. It should be quite strategic with two (although I've never played with Dirk myself).
 
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Greg Udvari
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Ticket to Ride Series.
I prefer Ticket to Ride: Europe, but it really needs 4-5 players.
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You mean turtling?


Kingmaker
Twilight Imperium
Risk
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Paul Oakes
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The concept of "being messed with" is a bit sweeping here. At times it seems that any player interaction will be a problem, but I think Coal Baron is a good option.

There are lots of spaces performing the same action, you can certainly hoard coal or coal seams or demand cards or cash as much as you want while assembling the rest of your plan, and it's about 60 minutes long. I think it's a masterpiece in that it gives you a lot of decisions in such a short game, and what you do is not the pre-determined plans of Agricola, Russian Railroads and similar.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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ErrantDeeds wrote:
Try Race for the Galaxy. It basically is a load of people playing solitaire, and I've always liked how you can build efficient, long-term resource engines based on a long-term strategy.

Race for the Galaxy may work for a while, but it is really a race. The solitaire part may be true for a beginner, but a good player takes a look at your engine and ends the game before you have the opportunity to really crank that machine. You get ahead by using every opportunity to leech the phases your opponent calls, and a production-consume engine is quite predictable.

Also, the luck of the draw and the requirement to adapt your strategy for the cards you currently have is directly in contrast with the frustration in the OP's case.

(Edit: In addition, there is a default hand limit of 10 cards, which prevents hoarding cards. Because cards are used also as currency, this is sometimes a really limiting factor.)
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Isaac
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Thanks so much everyone for all your thoughts. Will go through all the points and hopefully don't come off too nit-picky, just trying to be discerning with the next purchase.

Le Havre and Ora et Labora look quite similar. I'm willing to give them a go, but they do look to have a lot of fiddly little bits and it might run a bit long for us. The main thing that concerns me is this quote from Opinionated Gamer: "Le Havre is excellent because it perfects that German game feeling of being pulled in a hundred different directions and never having enough time or actions to do everything you want to do. There are countless things to do and I always want to do at least three or four on any given turn. Thankfully, there are also plenty of ways in which you can block your opponents or grab limited opportunities before they do." So again it seems to be a bit confrontational. For example, we do like how flexible the worker placement system is in Keyflower.

Ticket to Ride we've played a lot of, but coincidentally enough our last game went quite sour when I blocked off her path unintentionally and I'm not look forward to play again. We have played Europe and the stations do help with this, but I think the random luck of the draw can still prove to be a frustrating element for her. The type of play described by Hivemind is pretty apt in terms of how play is steered with subsequent plays.

For Coal Baron it certainly looks nice, but most impressions I've read is that it's a competent, but unremarkable worker placement game. I will dig into it a bit more based off your comments, Paul, thanks.

And for RftG, it's something I've eyed as well but it might play a bit too quickly and the element of luck that you've described Pasi also put me off, though I would absolutely love to play it myself.

Sigh. So complicated, but thanks all for your contributions.
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Mats Persson
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Some games I have tried, and some I have not:

Fresco
Colonia
A Castle for All Seasons
Constantinopolis
 
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Darrell Hanning
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I have a completely out-of-left-field recommendation for you. The reason I recommend it is out of personal experience with my first wife, and her distaste for the same things as you state for your wife.

I'd recommend Empire Builder, a crayon-railroad game, as with 2 players everyone can get into every city, and what rail you build generally doesn't interfere with that of other players. (All this goes out the window, though, with 3 or more players.)

It's great for long-term planning, as you're gradually building an increasingly sophisticated rail network across America.

Of course in your case, you might want to look instead at Eurorails.
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Pee di Moor
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DarrellKH wrote:
The reason I recommend it is out of personal experience with my first wife, and her distaste for the same things as you state for your wife.

Was it a game that she is not your current wife?

On a more serious note, I was thinking along the same line.... If eg you take Railways of the World {formerly known as RailRoad Tycoon}, and play it as a 2-player then both of you have plenty of space to fullfill your own plans ......
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Moe45673
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janwillemvl wrote:
Ikehouserock wrote:


And cheers for the thoughts on Homesteaders, Andrew. Have had my eye on it for a while but will take a closer look. As an auction game does it play well with two?

I had never heard of Homesteaders, so I took a look (as I'm also looking for nice 2p games to play with the SO). Looks like a solid game, but it seems that it works best with 4p. Opinions seem to differ on the 2p experience.


Homesteaders is best with 4p, true. However, the difference in quality between player counts is so miniscule that it's absolutely worth buying, even if it will only ever be played with 2p. The dummy player adds a new element of strategy because manipulating it optimally is absolutely a cool mind-puzzle.

Rahdo does a decent runthrough of the game. He doesn't like it because of the lack of variable setup but I find that despite this, each game plays very differently; not unlike Caylus or Chicago Express.
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Andrew
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Ikehouserock wrote:
And cheers for the thoughts on Homesteaders, Andrew... As an auction game does it play well with two?


janwillemvl wrote:
Homesteaders... Looks like a solid game, but it seems that it works best with 4p. Opinions seem to differ on the 2p experience.


Moe has answered already, but the 2p rules work excellently - it's one of the few auction games that work 2p.

But yeah, check up on it, watch a few playthroughs before you buy anything
 
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Tom Travis
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My wife is also not fond of games where someone else can attack your plans, so one kind of game that has worked very well for us is cooperative games. Flash Point: Fire Rescue has gotten the most plays.
 
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Cole Munro-Chitty
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Games we like that have a strong sense of hoarding and long term planning are;

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar

Keyflower

Belfort

Macao

Concordia
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