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Subject: Really long and complex game for 2 players that is fun! rss

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Susan Butler
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Hiya everyone! I am new to this board and, I'm sure this has been asked a million times, but what would you recommend for a really long, complex and interesting game for 2 people to play? My husband and I like to play board games but are pretty much newbies concerning new ones and, so far, have only been playing Scrabble and Rummikub, but we'd like to now get into something we can really sink our teeth into and maybe even leave out and play over the week....

Also, I am looking for something that is not too confrontational and one that you don't really know who wins until the end, not like Monopoly or Othello where you start to see that you're losing and have to endure the humiliation of being totally wiped out....cry

I have been looking on here and found some games that sound like they might be good such as Caylus, Battlelore, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Hive, Blokus, etc.

Can anyone make any good recommendations?

Thank you very much!

Tapestry (aka Sue)
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Define "Long".

Six hours? More? Less?
 
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Hmm, good question. I'm already predicting that many of the recommendations you'll get will be wargames (really long and complex games for 2 players). And I'm assuming that's not what you're looking for.

With boardgames, there are many good ones that aren't strictly 2 player, but could fit into what you're looking for. Likewise, there are many great 2 player games that might not be long enough for you.

I guess I'll have to think more about this...
 
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Carcass One
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My wife and I tried TIKAL as our very first serious game and loved it straight away. Tikal fits within you citerias very well. You will not be disappointed, I promise you!
 
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Chris Talbot
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tapestry wrote:
I have been looking on here and found some games that sound like they might be good such as Caylus, Battlelore, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Hive, Blokus, etc.

While you might enjoy some or all of these games, none of them are of the length that would necessitate you leaving them out for a week. Most of them take less than an hour to play (and in some cases, less than half an hour).

The types of games that need multiple sessions are generally war games, which are by nature confrontational.

Chris
 
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Joel Abbott
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Settlers of Catan Card Game, and then add the expansions.
 
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Susan Butler
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I guess 6 hours would be fine...that way, we could just play an hour or two over a few nights or a week....

We also have a 16-year-old son but, now that he's just turned 16, he's not really interested in playing games with M&D, so that's why I'm looking for a good game for the hubster and me since we don't really go out a lot and TV/DVD gets tiring after a while....snore

Thanks, guys, for your help!

 
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Jonathan Franklin
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For non-wargames, how about:

Goa, Settlers Card Game, Tikal, Traders of Genoa, & Twilight Struggle

For other titles, see http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/1805
 
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David Brown
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Twilight Struggle by GMT may just fit the bill.

Compared to Euro games it is long and complex but compared to many wargames it is fairly simple.

Whilst it is produced by a company who's main strength is wargames, this does seem to straddle between wargame and euro.
 
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Susan Butler
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What is Tikal like? I have not heard of that one....
 
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Denise Lavely
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Hi Sue!! Welcome to BoardGameGeek!

All the games you list above (except maybe Hive which I have not played) usually play in less than an hour with two people (as long as those people don't take a long time to take their turns, that is ). So I would have to ask, how long does an average game of Scrabble take you and your husband?

There are excellent two-player games out there for all lengths of play, from 10 minutes (Lost Cities) to 6+ hours (lots of wargames). However, since you say you are just getting started in board games, I would say don't worry too much about the length of the game and just try a few different kinds until you find something you like. Ticket to Ride is a great choice, as is Carcassonne. Battlelore would be good IF you like the fantasy combat theme. Caylus would be good IF you really want a game that 'burns your brain' and you don't mind if it goes really slow the first few times while you learn the rules. Blokus plays better with four people, so you might want to pass on that for now (maybe Travel Blokus would work better since it is designed for 2). There are SO many choices!

Let us know what you decide to get - and enjoy!!
 
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Susan Butler
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Re: wargames....no probably not...that seems like it would be confrontational....I was thinking of along the lines of building something or maybe fantasy....I don't really know, tho...

I know that dungeons and dragons takes a long time to play, but somehow that doesn't really sound appealing to me...
 
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offwater wrote:
My wife and I tried TIKAL as our very first serious game and loved it straight away. Tikal fits within you citerias very well. You will not be disappointed, I promise you!


I agree Tikal is a great game...with only two players I find it a little bland though. Maybe if you could round up a third player.

Just off the top of my head I might recommend History of the World. It's not a two player game per se, but you can play it with each player taking 2 (or 3) colors. The winner is the one who has the highest combined score of their colors. That way the board gets filled up and you have the extra complication of not getting in your own way or forcing your opponent to get in his own way. And it does take several hours (my ex-wife never wanted to play because it took too long). Just a thought.
 
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Joe Casadonte
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1825 Unit 3
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Twilight Struggle
War of the Ring (First Edition)
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Runebound. Its in a dungeons and dragons type world, though.

You move your little figure around, draw cards of badguys and events, buy better equiment and such to fight the dragons towards the end. Juts played it with my wife and kids, it took about a month playing about a half hour a night.
 
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I think that Carcassonne is a good recommendation in general. Almost everyone can enjoy this game. But while it plays really well with two players I would rather recommend Carcassonne: The Castle for only two players. That is what it's designed for.



Thurn and Taxis is a nice game that is extremely non-confrontational. You only compete about different bonuses. It also fits the criteria of not knowing who the winner is until the very end.



None of these games are really long or complex however. You'll just have to play many times instead.
 
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Rick B
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tapestry wrote:
What is Tikal like? I have not heard of that one....


In Tikal, players control archeologists in the jungles of Guatemala. As with most (all?) Kramer/Kiesling games, each player has a certain number of action points that they can use on each turn. Actions include excavating a temple or artifact, setting up a base camp, moving archeologists to new locations, etc. When a round comes to a semi-random ending, each player scores the size of the temples they control and the artifacts they have claimed.

My wife and I like this one.
 
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Tom
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Knizia's Lord of the Rings can be fun for two, and you can add Lord of the Rings: Friends & Foes for more complexity. It has the benefit of being 'cooperative'. Best if you like the books (or movies) though.
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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Welcome -

Sorry not to have welcomed you before.

The games proposed above this post range from fine 90 minute games to 3+ hours games. They also vary greatly in complexity.

As I understand it, you want a longer game, but how complex do you want it? In your ideal world, would it have four pages of rules? 8? 16? 32? That might help us give you better advice.

Here are a few more lists that might be worth looking at.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/8691

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/15015

One game to look at that has not been posted is Starship Catan.

 
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Marshall Miller
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I read on a geeklist that Twilight Imperium III has a two player varient laugh . I can't say that I've tested it , but if it works then TI:III would be a great option due to its really long play time, meaty rules, and feel (more of a cold war/escalation than a wargame).
 
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Sven
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Depending on what kind of theme interests you, I would support the Carcassonne (which isn´t really long or complex but lots of fun), Lord of the Rings and Runebound proposals (even though I personally don´t like Runebound too much).

I would add Arkham Horror, which is a horror-themed cooperative game, where players try to keep some big evil entities from entering our world. While there are those who will tell you, that you can´t play it with only two people, I actually play it a lot with my girlfriend and I know another couple who play it frequently. Also it can be played with as many as eight people.
Have a look here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/15987
 
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Colin Hunter
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I would stay away from euros if you want something long that you can sink your teeth into. Sadly wargames are really the only genre that will fit the bill. I would completely agree with the two previously mentioned choices of War of the Ring and Twilight struggle. Twilight struggle is probably your best bet as it is the least like a wargame and has a great depth and replay value. Tikal isn't a bad game, haven't played it 2 player though. Can't recoment commad and colours/battle lore/memoir 44 enough, but the they are pretty much wargames. The only thing that bothers me is that the play time is short.
 
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If you don't mind abstract games, Go might work well. It's definitely something you can sink your teeth into and complex, although the rules are simple. Playing a game is often described as being more of a conversation than an attempt to destroy the opponent. The most interesting games are usually decided by a single point and there's a handicap system should you play against someone better/worse than you.
 
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Scott B
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Okay, well, let me chime in with a few thoughts. Unfortunately, it's hard to find a non-wargame that's longer than say 4 hours. Most of the Eurogames listed so far are short. Tikal, for example, will take an hour - you can play six games in six hours! Here's a few games I found that might fit the bill, but note that I've played exactly zero with two players. Also, none of these games lists here at six hours or more:

Arkham Horror - sort of a co-operative exploration/fight the unspeakable horror type game (if that's your kinda thing)

Descent - a fantasy dungeon crawl, with cool minis; in this game, one player plays the "overlord" who controls the monsters, and the other player will control the heroes

Duel of Ages - very similar to Descent, actually, except it's not just fantasy, there are no miniatures, and both players are competing

Railroad Tycoon - a game where the players take the role of the old railroad barons, and compete to ship the most goods (in the least efficient manner, ironically)

RoboRally - using a hand of cards, maneuver your robot through a factory full of machines that are "deadly" to robots

But the game I think you really should check out is Twilight Struggle. It's great, for 2 players only (none of the others are for 2 only), and semi-long. It's only barely a wargame, in the sense you don't really fight with units, but with control markers in the various countries of the world.
 
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Diane Close
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grandslam wrote:

Here are a few more lists that might be worth looking at.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/8691


Since Justin's girlfriend isn't really a gamer, allow me to plug my own list of games I play/have tried with my husband:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/16912

We like meatier games as well as light ones, and I try to describe how the game plays as well as what appeals to us about it. Hope it helps!

Diane
 
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