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Subject: Nations, Vikings, Helios, or Other? rss

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Cory Yates
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I've got some Amazon credit and I'm considering getting one of these games so I'd like some feedback from those who've played at least a couple of these. The game I want MUST BE good with 2 players.

I'm considering Nations because it looks like the games could play quite differently every time due to the different cards and several different nations to play. Also, there is an expansion in the works so that's a minor plus. I don't have a civilization game and with it being $60 right now on Amazon that "seems" like a good value.

My biggest concern with Nations is how difficult it may be to learn and teach to my wife. Any thoughts on this? Is it fun for your spouse? This is pretty important to me. My wife is willing to learn, but the easier the better.


Vikings looks good because it's a classic game that seems simple enough to learn. It looks like fun to me and would be easier to teach, I think. I worry about its depth and more so, simplicity. It seems like it does have variability with the drawing if the tiles, so I like that.


Helios looks great because the sun mechanism seems pretty cool. I'm a big fan of unique mechanisms. It seems simple enough to learn though. A concern I have is even though the tiles come out random it seems like a solvable game after many plays. I'm not sure why I feel this way, it just gives me that impression. Also, Rhado, didn't love it with 2 player so that is a warning sign to me since I put a lot into his opinion.


Those are the games I'm looking at, but if you have another suggestion, I'd love to hear it!
 
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Michael F
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I've only played Nations, but most of my games have been 2p, so I'll tell you about my experiences with it.

First of all, my wife has avoided it like the plague. Not because of how heavy the game is, but because historical games aren't her thing at all. I'm lucky if I can get her to join in on a game of 7 Wonders.

Having said that, the rules really aren't that complex. In a 2p game you'll each be taking turns doing one of the following three actions: buying a card, assigning a worker, or hiring an architect to basically complete a portion of a Wonder you're working on. That's really all there is to playing the game. Playing the game well, however, is another matter. To do well you want to continue to improve your resource output and be mindful about what your opponents are doing. If your opponent goes heavy military, make sure you have enough stability or a strong military of your own to handle things. Also, the game has varying difficulty levels, and it's easy to give someone a handicap so that new players aren't at a disadvantage.

Now for the 2p game specifically, I would actually say that this is where the game is at its heaviest, because the game is essentially a zero sum game. When you gain points by denying your opponent points, you're essentially gaining 2 points for every point, since you're taking that opportunity away from your only opponent. Also, and this is the thing that bugs me most about the game with less players, is that there are less cards that come up in each age to be purchased. I realize that this is to keep the game tight, but one thing that can happen from time to time is that you get an abundance of one type of card and may never see another type during that age. I played one 2p game where it was almost nothing but military and war cards for the entire second and third age. This is the nature of the game though. At its heart, Nations is an engine-building game where you have to adapt to the changing landscape that the game gives you as it unfolds.

Despite all this, I enjoy Nations at 2p, and don't think it's all that different from other player counts, except that each game will clock in at around an hour once you're familiar with it. Just realize that competition is much more important, and the variety of cards in each game may be hit or miss. On the plus side though, you're seeing less cards per game with 2, which gives the game substantially more replay value than it already has.

Nations also works really well as a solo experience, and has become one of my favorite solo games to date. It's a great way to learn the game without having quite as much tension on each of your turns.
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Cory Yates
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newkillerstar27 wrote:
I've only played Nations, but most of my games have been 2p, so I'll tell you about my experiences with it.

First of all, my wife has avoided it like the plague. Not because of how heavy the game is, but because historical games aren't her thing at all. I'm lucky if I can get her to join in on a game of 7 Wonders.

Having said that, the rules really aren't that complex. In a 2p game you'll each be taking turns doing one of the following three actions: buying a card, assigning a worker, or hiring an architect to basically complete a portion of a Wonder you're working on. That's really all there is to playing the game. Playing the game well, however, is another matter. To do well you want to continue to improve your resource output and be mindful about what your opponents are doing. If your opponent goes heavy military, make sure you have enough stability or a strong military of your own to handle things. Also, the game has varying difficulty levels, and it's easy to give someone a handicap so that new players aren't at a disadvantage.

Now for the 2p game specifically, I would actually say that this is where the game is at its heaviest, because the game is essentially a zero sum game. When you gain points by denying your opponent points, you're essentially gaining 2 points for every point, since you're taking that opportunity away from your only opponent. Also, and this is the thing that bugs me most about the game with less players, is that there are less cards that come up in each age to be purchased. I realize that this is to keep the game tight, but one thing that can happen from time to time is that you get an abundance of one type of card and may never see another type during that age. I played one 2p game where it was almost nothing but military and war cards for the entire second and third age. This is the nature of the game though. At its heart, Nations is an engine-building game where you have to adapt to the changing landscape that the game gives you as it unfolds.

Despite all this, I enjoy Nations at 2p, and don't think it's all that different from other player counts, except that each game will clock in at around an hour once you're familiar with it. Just realize that competition is much more important, and the variety of cards in each game may be hit or miss. On the plus side though, you're seeing less cards per game with 2, which gives the game substantially more replay value than it already has.

Nations also works really well as a solo experience, and has become one of my favorite solo games to date. It's a great way to learn the game without having quite as much tension on each of your turns.



Thanks! I REALLY appreciate the feedback. Out of curiosity, what games does your wife like?
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Michael F
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yatescory wrote:
newkillerstar27 wrote:
I've only played Nations, but most of my games have been 2p, so I'll tell you about my experiences with it.

First of all, my wife has avoided it like the plague. Not because of how heavy the game is, but because historical games aren't her thing at all. I'm lucky if I can get her to join in on a game of 7 Wonders.

Having said that, the rules really aren't that complex. In a 2p game you'll each be taking turns doing one of the following three actions: buying a card, assigning a worker, or hiring an architect to basically complete a portion of a Wonder you're working on. That's really all there is to playing the game. Playing the game well, however, is another matter. To do well you want to continue to improve your resource output and be mindful about what your opponents are doing. If your opponent goes heavy military, make sure you have enough stability or a strong military of your own to handle things. Also, the game has varying difficulty levels, and it's easy to give someone a handicap so that new players aren't at a disadvantage.

Now for the 2p game specifically, I would actually say that this is where the game is at its heaviest, because the game is essentially a zero sum game. When you gain points by denying your opponent points, you're essentially gaining 2 points for every point, since you're taking that opportunity away from your only opponent. Also, and this is the thing that bugs me most about the game with less players, is that there are less cards that come up in each age to be purchased. I realize that this is to keep the game tight, but one thing that can happen from time to time is that you get an abundance of one type of card and may never see another type during that age. I played one 2p game where it was almost nothing but military and war cards for the entire second and third age. This is the nature of the game though. At its heart, Nations is an engine-building game where you have to adapt to the changing landscape that the game gives you as it unfolds.

Despite all this, I enjoy Nations at 2p, and don't think it's all that different from other player counts, except that each game will clock in at around an hour once you're familiar with it. Just realize that competition is much more important, and the variety of cards in each game may be hit or miss. On the plus side though, you're seeing less cards per game with 2, which gives the game substantially more replay value than it already has.

Nations also works really well as a solo experience, and has become one of my favorite solo games to date. It's a great way to learn the game without having quite as much tension on each of your turns.



Thanks! I REALLY appreciate the feedback. Out of curiosity, what games does your wife like?


She tends to like games that tell stories the most, like Tales of the Arabian Nights, Arkham Horror, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Agents of SMERSH.

She also likes deck builders like Ascension: Rise of Vigil and Fantastiqa.

There are some other random games here and there she likes like Hanabi, Yedo, Takenoko, Suburbia, Unexploded Cow, and The Castles of Burgundy

All these have been big hits with her
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