We mostly play games two-player and like light to medium shorter (under 90 minutes) games. We have a few right now (lost cities, jambo, blue moon, carcassonne, dvonn) and have a couple coming (duel of ages and kahuna). I'm looking to make a large order of about 6-8 games and am trying to decide which to get. Here is the list I'm choosing from, let me know what you think would be good to get next, thanks!
Blue Moon City
Dungeoneer: Tomb of the Lich Lord
Elasund: The First City of Catan
Hera & Zeus
Hey! That's My Fish!
In the Shadow of the Emperor
Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation
Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper
Nature of the Beast
Through the Desert
Thurn and Taxis
Ticket to Ride
- Last edited Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:31 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:45 pm
Speaking from the point of few of just playing these games with 2 player with my wife.
I have three that I really like off that list.
Blue Moon City (much less than 90 minutes)
Elasund: The First City of Catan (one of our favorites)
San Juan (another one of our favorites)
And two more for good measure.
Hey! That's My Fish! (fun game, but very short)
Odin's Ravens (we also like this game, but have only played it a couple of times.)
Aton (Not on your list, but we like it)
I also have a large number of the other games on your list, just have not got around to playing them.
Don't touch me!!!
Hi! How are you?!?
Java (longer and more complex)
Battle Line (what lost cities wants to be when it grows up)
Hey! That's My Fish
Wow...good list of good games. Here's my picks, in no particular order:
Alhambra - good 2 player and great 3
Elfenland - good game for socializing...not a brain burner, but fun
Hacienda - great at 3 and 4...haven't played 2, but probably very good
Tikal/Java - I personally like Java better, but I would start with Tikal
San Juan - I only like with 3 or more, but with the other 2 player you listed you already have, this will fit nicely.
St. Petersburg - works great with 2-4
Through the Desert - great game for 2
Thurn & Taxis: If you like non-confrontational games, this one is fine then. It is like playing solitaire, cause there is little to no interaction. If you like TtR, then go for it. Beautiful looking game...at least online.
One I would add to the list: Dynasties - its only a two player game, but it is simple, plays in about 20-40 minutes, and has some good strategy involved.
Stuff on list I would not recommend and why:
Starship Catan - gets stale really fast, but there are free downloadable expansions that can change that fact...up to you.
Ticket to Ride - too open of a board for two players...this shines with 4. If you are going to get one of the TtR games, I like Europe better than the original, but I haven't played the Marklin (that could be better still. Probably still not good with 2 either way though.
Louis XIV - I've only played this with 4, and I can't see this as being good with only 2. Might want other opinions on this one.
Angus the Bull
The top three light/medium two players that my wife and I play most often would be:
Attika - Excellent medium/light. Easy to teach/learn. Pretty confrontational. Our set has seen nearly 150 plays!
San Juan - Solid medium/light card game but it take a couple of plays to get the hang of all the cards. Nearly 50 plays for the two of us
Alhambra - the simulated third player works very well. Light/medium. Confrontation feels less with the simulated 3rd position. 40 plays.
Okay, let's start the meeting. My name is Ken, and I'm a Tichu addict.
Okay, here is my 2 cents worth.
It is light but still feels fun. It is a true two player game and, it's one sale at http://www.levalet.com/
On the Dot
this one is a 2 - 4 player game but it work very well as a two player game.
( yeah, it is another French game at http://www.levalet.com/ )
Caylus This is it, the holy grail. Plays in an hour to ninty minuts with two and it is GREAT as a two player game. True, it is meatier than most two player games, but it is worth the effort. I play two player Caylus at BSW ( http://www.brettspielwelt.de/ ) often and love it, and it is just as good face to face.
I enjoy playing Dungeoneer, but I don't think it plays well with only two. Three to five seems to be it's sweet spot.
Hansa is a very different game with two players, almost chess-like in the way you can plan ahead. The three and four player games are much more chaotic, as it is hard to plan what two or three players will do before you get to move.
Kingdoms is similar to Hansa, not in game play but in the chaos factor being much smaller when less people play. Since you don't know what your next tile will be, unless you play the tile you start the game with, it isn't as chess-like as Hansa with two players.
Dungeon Twister is a two player game, and a good one. You have to plan what you will be doing for the whole series of the four turn group, so you don't waste a large move or get caught with your pants down with only a small move left. This is a really good game, somewhat prone to analysis paralysis.
Hey! That's My Fish! might play better with two, but I didn't care for it all that much. I don't think it is a bad game, it just isn't something I'd buy. It is a very quick game, perhaps not long enough for your criteria.
Royal Turf is a good game, but with two is just seems to be missing something. It really needs more players to be as much fun as it can be.
San Juan is a good game with two players; I play it that way all the time. It doesn’t take very long to play, so that might impact your decision.
St. Petersburg played well the only time I tried it two player. It takes longer to go through the tiles, which can be good.
Thurn and Taxis is a great game, but I've never tried it two player. I think it is more fun for four players, which is the only way I've every played it.
Ticket to Ride is another game that it think benefits from having more than two players, although I've never played it with less than four.
If you like Dvonn, have you considered the other games in the series: PÜNCT, YINSH, ZÈRTZ, TAMSK and GIPF?
You own, but have not rated Blue Moon. I think you would be pleased with the other sets, especially the way it expands your deck building possibilities.
You like Carcasonne, have you considered other tile games like: Samurai, Attika, Alhambra,
The Ark of the Covenant, Elasund: The First City of Catan, Mexica, Big City or Fjords?
Check out "75 GeekLists About Number Of Players: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8". There are even more geeklists than 75 now, and many of them address 2 player games.
I don't know how solid your 90 minute time limit is, but if you enjoyed The Lord of the Rings series, either the books or the movies, you might want to try War of the Ring. It does a great job of recreating the series, without tying you slavishly to the plot. It is a tense race to see if the good guys can hold out against the forces of Sauron long enough to give the Fellowship the chance to destroy the ring. They also have to be concerned with the ring corrupting the ring bearer. Excellent game, but it can take a newbie 6 hours or more to play.
Finally, you have very few games. If price has limited you, search geeklists for "print-and-play". The geeklists presented are a list of inexpensive (many are free) games that you can download from the Internet and print yourself. The Meta list takes you to the author's website, and may be even more up to date. There are a number of good game listed there, plus the usual percentage of garbage.
You might also check out the Piecepack (http://www.piecepack.org) and Icehouse (http://www.icehousegames.com/SLICK.html) game systems. These game kits have been used to make hundreds of games.
I've also noticed that you don't have or list any wargames. Is that because you don't think you'd like them, or is it that you've tried them and don't care for them? The reason that I bring this up is that there are lots of good two player wargames; in fact, most wargames are two player. I'll grant you that the 90 minute limit does put a crimp in selecting wargames, but these would fit your criteria (and they are all rated 7 or higher):
Commands & Colors: Ancients (one of the Richard Borg Battle games)
Memoir '44 (one of the Richard Borg Battle games)
Battleground: Fantasy Warfare (plays like a miniatures game)
Battle Cry (one of the Richard Borg Battle games)
Ace of Aces (Handy Rotary, Powerhouse or Flying Machines)
Rise of the Luftwaffe (plus 8th Air Force)
Assault on Hoth
Wings of War (Burning Drachens, Watch Your Back! or Famous Aces)
I can't believe I missed this. If you are playing with your significant other, search geeklists for "wife", "girlfriend" or "husband". These will point you toward about 50 geeklists, many of them looking for good two player games to introduce a significant other to the hobby. These are generally good simple games that don't take too long to play, just what you are looking for.
- Last edited Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:13 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:08 pm
Some more information: I mainly play with my husband. We haven't played many board games, so I guess we're pretty new to the hobby. I'd love to play heavier games, but we don't have the time to play many of the longer games (like Runebound or War of the Ring which I'd love to play), so I was looking for games we could learn and play quickly especially in the evenings after work. We're fine with confrontation and interaction in games. I really like themes in games, especially fantasy, but most of the ones I would like (i.e. runebound) are pretty long. We've played Settler's of Catan and have the card game and really like it, but it is a little long to take out often. We've also played Ticket to Ride (with 4 players) and really liked it.
- Last edited Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:10 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:08 am
Before terraforming Mars, Surviving Mars is required: Paradox Interactive; Steam.
Please contact me about board gaming in Orange County.
Of the games I've played:
Alhambra--Great game for any number of players. I have not tried the expansions, but something like four four-packs are available.
Blue Moon City--Excellent game with very good art. It plays very well at 4 or 3: I haven't played with 2, but it should be fine.
Domaine--I've played this once, not recently. Nice theme, but I doubt it would play well two-player.
Hansa--Light theme. An ok game, but I didn't find it engaging despite being interested in the Hanse.
Hey! That's My Fish!--An abstract with a light theme. Didn't do anything for me.
Louis XIV--I've played a few games of this. The play seems obvious and unengaging.
Samurai--Kind of a go-like war game with variable power pieces and nice bits. Knizia. It scales 2-4 by dropping the northern and/or southern island. I've played it once: it didn't enchant me, but I didn't dislike it either.
San Juan--I liked this game at first (I still like Puerto Rico), but having played the excellent AI freeware version, I found the only way to win (against the AI) was to decide in the first few cards on a strategy, then wait for the end to see if the cards for that strategy would come by chance. I recently played with humans and found the same experience, which I dislike. This has moved from my buy list to my don't buy list.
Through the Desert--Pretty, but a rather slow abstract, ideal for inducing analysis paralysis.
Thurn and Taxis--An excellent game. Plays fine 2-4. Solid theme. Minorly fiddly.
Ticket to Ride--Ok at all players; may be better with the 1910 expansion. For now I would go with Europe: it's more forgiving and just a little heavier; I played all three a lot before deciding on Europe. Marklin: spending the first 5-10 minutes stacking 60 little chits is not my idea of fun. Superb balance, but unforgiving. I just don't like Marklin's board, with long colored routes to the east and short uncolored routes to the west; it seems the east is too random.
Tikal--Excellent game. See http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1055872#1055872
Also consider the first two Carcassonne expansions, Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders. These add more tiles so every possible combination of road/city/field can be found--CRCF exists. The trader adds nice little added goals. A fair amount of opinion holds that these are in the spirit of the original, while the later expansions are not. (This combination, and River 1, were offered in the gold box version, complete at the time of publishing.) River 2 has little to recommend it, I think: such a large starting area tends to make games look the same, which doesn't seem desireable. Playing with the gold box set, a faster two player game is easily achieved by using half the tiles at random; this works quite well. And one of the expansions (I&C?) ups the game from 5 to 6. These expansions may freshen Carcassonne for you.
Not that you asked for other game suggestions (your list does already have some great games.)...but have you considered Hive? It is a great two (only) player game that plays in about 30 minutes or less. Just an idea.
I've played Hive a lot online (maybe too much), so decided not to get it for now. I'm definately up for recommendations, thanks!
- Last edited Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:35 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:31 am
I would recommend Hey That's My Fish and one not on your list - Rat Hot - as good light 2 player games. These both have the advantage of really easy to absorb rules and good fun immediately, same evening you learn them. Alhambra is a nice medium game, takes considerably more time to absorb the rules, so the first time you play is basically getting the rules straight rather than amusing play time. The others on your list are all pretty good, too. Royal Turf seems to me not that great with 2. Definitely playable but I suspect better with more players.
1 Ticket to Ride
2 San Juan
3 St. Petersburg
8 Thurn and Taxis
13 Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation
or Yinsh, Pünct, Puerto Rico, La Città, Settlers Cardgame, Attila, Ra.
Elk Grove Village
My 2 cents . . . .
Blue Moon City - excellent with 3 or 4, sure it's fine with 2 as well
Battle Line - if you enjoy Lost Cities, then you'll like this one even more - can play w/ or w/o tactics if you want
Hacienda - I really like this one, never played with 2, but have downloaded the 2 and 3 player map from BGG and looking to give it a try
Hey That's My Fish - can be a light game or an AP game depending on who you're playing with, good gateway game
Thurn & Taxis - probably better with 2 than with 3 or 4 since you can impact your opponent a little more and scoring first is more important
Through the Desert - good game, can play with points known or unknown
A few you didn't list that might work: