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Subject: 2p 60 minutes or less rss

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Ryan Trepanier
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The more and more I have the pleasure of gaming with my girlfriend, the more and more I can figure out what her preferences are, and what her "perfect" games would look like. As of right now, her favourites include Dominant Species, Alhambra, Lord of the Rings: Confrontation and Keyflower.

About her as a gamer:
She loves strategy. She loves to be able to make plans, and see them come to fruition (and conversely, HATES when her plans are ruined, though she loves to ruin mine). As far as mechanics go, she favours worker placement, but also likes tile placement and area of control. She is definitely not attracted or deterred by a game solely based on its mechanics (though dice rolling is her least favourite).

What recommendations I'm looking for:
The best parts of Dominant Species, that she loves, is the heavy strategy. The only problem with the game is the length, so what I am looking for is "heavy" (or medium) strategy games, that can clock in under 2 hours, and ideally under 1. As much as she loves Dominant Species, her favourite game right now, we have only once played a full game with 25 cards, and almost always elect to remove 5-10 to shorten it.

Anything between 60m-90m would be great. And it doesn't have to be especially or ideally for 2, as long as the game plays solid or well at the number.

Thanks!
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Goldfinger
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Occasionally, it is just my wife and me playing. Dominant Species is a favourite in our home but it doesn't make it to our table top as often due to the time component that you noted.

These are games that we have come to enjoy and play often when looking for something that is more medium to heavy and can be played in 60 to 90 mins.













EDIT: Reef Encounter









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Galen Iliev
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I had quite the success with Targi but your girlfriend seems fond of heavier games.


Letters from Whitechapel is quite nice with just 2 (although I do prefer 6 for the sheer chaos) and more of less "outsmart the other" type of game.

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-=::) Dante (::=-
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Railways of the World will likely appeal to her strategic sensibilities and after a game or two the included 2P Mexico map will easily be completed in the time window you're seeking. You can also shorten the game "clock" at will to customize play length.

Terra Mystica should be right up her alley weight wise and will come in under 90 with 2P after your first game or two.

Same goes for Castles of Burgundy which is great with 2.

Rococo fits the bill as well.

Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia is a fairly unique worker placement, fits well within your ideal timeframe after a single play, and also offers the rare bonus of scaling well all the way up to 6 when you do have others to join you.

I'll also add a +1 for Tzolkin.

Mind you, most of the above hew closer to 90 than 60 even with 2 but then there aren't many games that come close to Dom. Species in weight that play in a fraction of the time.

As far as significantly quicker games that still offer enjoyable strategic depth despite the fast playing time the following are all superb with two and clock in well under an hour:

Splendor
Battle Line
YINSH
Race for the Galaxy
Mr. Jack in New York
(which I suggest over Whitechapel given your preferred time frame)

I'd even be so bold as to suggest that any 2P library with a focus on 60 minute games and less is incomplete without all 5 of the above.
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Kelly N.
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A game I just ordered that supposedly plays well with 2 and up, clocks in at 60-90 minutes, and seems well liked by the girlfriend and wife gamers...

Lords of Waterdeep

 
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Johannes Hihn
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+1 for Targi

Another game from the Kosmos 2-Player series you could take a look at is Hera and Zeus. Since she likes LotR: The Confrontation this could be a hit for her since it is also one of those Stratego-esque games and in my opinion one of the best from that realm.
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Agnieszka
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+1 for Targi
+1 for Terra Mystica
+1 for The Castles of Burgundy

I'd also add to the list:
Russian Railroads since your gf likes worker placement and strategy
Egizia another interesting worker placement
Troyes - plays really well with 2, dice placement
Yedo - worker placement, very thematic and interactive
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James C
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I want to, as I'm apt to do, throw out Suburbia. Once you get your goals at the beginning you can try to make a plan, though things change constantly as the market changes and your opponent takes the tiles you want. You often have to scrap plans for one goal to better your income or reputation, depending on the situation.

My wife and I love it. It's about 40-45 minutes after a few games.
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MP Szakos
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I recommend Coal Baron. I like that it's is a worker placement game where other players can choose to pay with more workers if they'd like a spot that's already been taken. A smooth, tension filled, and exciting game with lot's of planning, strategy, and tactics.

Though they're difficult to find, I'd also suggest taking a look at Glen More, Walnut Grove, and The Palaces of Carrara.

+1 Suburbia
+1 Castles of Burgundy
+1 Targi
+1 Splendor
+1 Lords of Waterdeep.
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Daniel B-G
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-1 to Lords of Waterdeep. If she enjoys Keyflower and Dominant species LoW will feel like a waste of time.

+1 to:
Troyes - my wife and I played 2 games back to back this evening. Clocks in at c. 60m at 2P. It's a really nice game and it doesn't feel like a diceroller despite all the dice. There's practically no luck.
Castles of Burgundy - Similarly, you roll dice on every turn, but the dice form a restriction not a binary yes/no get lucky and win scenario.
Russian Railroads
Race for the Galaxy - over 100 plays and still going strong. I love this game so much.
Letters from Whitechapel is also incredible at 2.

My additions
Trajan - This is the one I recommend above all others. It's an astounding game and will appeal to her heavier tastes.
Goa - an excellent auction game that plays incredibly well at 2.
 
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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DAAAN wrote:
-1 to Lords of Waterdeep. If she enjoys Keyflower and Dominant species LoW will feel like a waste of time.


Couldn't disagree more. My wife enjoys both Keyflower and Dom. Species and Lords of Waterdeep is her single favorite worker placement game bar none. You seem to be overlooking that the OP also listed Alhambra as one of her 4 favorites and that's even lighter and far less well regarded than LoW.

LoW is also one of the very few non-fillers mentioned that can consistently come in around the 60 minute mark after a few games.

That said, I'll second all the other recommendations you offered with the caveat that they will almost all be pushing the 90 minute limit the OP mentioned, rather than the 60 min ideal noted in the thread title and first post.
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Ryan Trepanier
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DAAAN wrote:
-1 to Lords of Waterdeep. If she enjoys Keyflower and Dominant species LoW will feel like a waste of time.
You win. That is EXACTLY how she feels!! You GET us!

Thanks to everyone though, there is a bunch on here I will look into.
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Ryan Trepanier
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NuMystic wrote:
DAAAN wrote:
-1 to Lords of Waterdeep. If she enjoys Keyflower and Dominant species LoW will feel like a waste of time.


Couldn't disagree more. My wife enjoys both Keyflower and Dom. Species and Lords of Waterdeep is her single favorite worker placement game bar none. You seem to be overlooking that the OP also listed Alhambra as one of her 4 favorites and that's even lighter and far less well regarded than LoW.

LoW is also one of the very few non-fillers mentioned that can consistently come in around the 60 minute mark after a few games.

That said, I'll second all the other recommendations you offered with the caveat that they will almost all be pushing the 90 minute limit the OP mentioned, rather than the 60 min ideal noted in the thread title and first post.
I think her biggest problem with LoW is the feeling that there is no choice...you're resigned to your secret role and that's it...Regarding alhambra, I think the reason she likes it so much is because she is "building" something. She doesn't like it because of its strategy, she just enjoys building that city.

But I appreciate you trying to find something around the 60m mark. That is my goal if I can get it.
 
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Matt Highfill
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It seems like you like area control games. I would suggest the following, in no particular order:

1. Endeavor--out of print, and has a 2 player variant that works really well
2. Troyes--most complex of the 3 and the most rules heavy
3. Discworld--lightest, but definitely has some good strategic options
 
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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rytrepanier wrote:
I think her biggest problem with LoW is the feeling that there is no choice...you're resigned to your secret role and that's it...


This sounds like very bad case of groupthink/misjudging priorities. Strong play will trump the lord cards almost every time.

In fact, when competing with strong players anyone just focusing on their role card will not only lose, but lose badly. It's rare for those few VP to be a deciding factor between winning and losing, and if you really can't get over the idea it's easy enough to play without them altogether.

Mind you, I am not trying to sell you on a game you've already dismissed as with SO many games out there, there's just no reason to do so. And LoW is certainly not an essential enough game that it requires such a second look, but you may find this initial judgement needs adjusting if you do get to try it with more experienced players.

I'm not one that puts huge stock in rankings, but I can assure you there isn't a single game in the BGG top 30 that offer no truly meaningful choices in it's gameplay. There are plenty of other valid criticisms to be made about LoW, but that's not one of them.
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Mark Jackson
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+1 castles of burgundy, is probably my fiancee and i's favorite 2 player game. Also you should check out Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, Dungeon Petz, and Trajan. All great 2p game that we love and that play in a reasonable time frame.
 
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Ryan Trepanier
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Ah_Pook wrote:
+1 castles of burgundy, is probably my fiancee and i's favorite 2 player game. Also you should check out Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, Dungeon Petz, and Trajan. All great 2p game that we love and that play in a reasonable time frame.
Dungeon Petz is the next purchase for sure! Want to try Trajan soon. She liked Castles of Burgundy, I wasn't the hugest of fans...
 
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Kevin Garnica
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Agricola
Agricola: All Creatures (+expansions)
Glass Road
Russian Railroads
Village
1775: Rebellion
Firenze
Castles of Burgundy
 
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Ryan Trepanier
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NuMystic wrote:
rytrepanier wrote:
I think her biggest problem with LoW is the feeling that there is no choice...you're resigned to your secret role and that's it...

This sounds like very bad case of groupthink/misjudging priorities. Strong play will trump the lord cards almost every time.


Either the Lord cards direct your play, in which case I stand by my point, or it's not, and what's the point then of including it into the game? I don't see why you are so determined to convince me to like a game we both did not enjoy when compared to more advanced Worker Placements. LoW is a standard, run of the mill WP game with nothing really new or innovative. It was too 1 dimensional for us. We like more going on (for the most part, we do like a couple of easier/lighter games, variety is the spice of life!)
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True Blue Jon
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Try Nature of the Beast.
 
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Jin Juku
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Though it isn't a 60 - 90 minute game in and of itself, I would definitely suggest Hive as a strategy game. My wife and I play this constantly and we never get tired of it. We rarely play just one game (unless that's all we have time for). It has a low barrier to entry, but a high depth of strategy that appeals to both of us.
 
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Jin Juku
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rytrepanier wrote:
NuMystic wrote:
rytrepanier wrote:
I think her biggest problem with LoW is the feeling that there is no choice...you're resigned to your secret role and that's it...

This sounds like very bad case of groupthink/misjudging priorities. Strong play will trump the lord cards almost every time.


Either the Lord cards direct your play, in which case I stand by my point, or it's not, and what's the point then of including it into the game? I don't see why you are so determined to convince me to like a game we both did not enjoy when compared to more advanced Worker Placements. LoW is a standard, run of the mill WP game with nothing really new or innovative. It was too 1 dimensional for us. We like more going on (for the most part, we do like a couple of easier/lighter games, variety is the spice of life!)


I don't think he was trying to convince you to like the game, and he said as much in his post, only trying to correct what seems like a misconception. I've heard the same argument, that the Lord cards restrict actions too much, when they really don't.

If you never play Lords of Waterdeep, you'll still never run out of other great games, but it's worth trying to correct a mis-statement about the game for other readers of the post.
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Goldfinger
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aniaga wrote:
+1 for Targi
+1 for Terra Mystica
+1 for The Castles of Burgundy

I'd also add to the list:
Russian Railroads since your gf likes worker placement and strategy
Egizia another interesting worker placement
Troyes - plays really well with 2, dice placement
Yedo - worker placement, very thematic and interactive


+1 Egizia
 
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James C
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jukujin wrote:
Though it isn't a 60 - 90 minute game in and of itself, I would definitely suggest Hive as a strategy game. My wife and I play this constantly and we never get tired of it. We rarely play just one game (unless that's all we have time for). It has a low barrier to entry, but a high depth of strategy that appeals to both of us.


Wife and I always play best of 5 unless we get interrupted.
 
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Daniel B-G
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Lords of Waterdeep is frustrating because it has the illusion of choice, there is no building strategy or intrigue strategy, you either get big or satisfy your lord. Compare that to say Caylus or Le Havre, where you are actively rewarded for making the game more interesting.

As a side note, both of the above are good options as well. Le havre has a shortened version of length is a concern
 
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