As a follow up to my last inquiry, i've narrowed down the list of the games i'm looking at.
Basically, i'm trying to find a good choice for 2 players (gaming with my wife) that will scale to 4, 5, or 6 when friends/family come over.
i am definitely going to get St. Petersburg, so i'm taking that off the list.
i am definitely not getting El Grande as per recommendations in the last thread (not good for two people).
What that leaves is a list of five games (below). i appreciate comments and suggestions regarding these games as well as any opinions on the games as well.
Here are the games i'm looking at:
Leonardo da Vinci
Thurn and Taxis
Princes of Florence
Ra (with two player variant rules)
Thanks for the help!!!
I can't imagine Princes of Florence being any good with two players. Four or more is preferable. I've played the two player Ra variant with my girl-friend and thought it was ok, but not something we felt compelled to play again. A game that scales well from 2-6 is not an easy find. However, two games I can recommend in that category are Atlantic Star/ShowManager and Take it to the Limit/Take it Easy.
My opinion on these:
Hansa - playes very well with 2-4, I really enjoy this game.
Leonardo da Vinci - haven't played
Thurn and Taxis - playes very well with 2-4. (Played ~ 40 2 player games of this.)
San Juan - playes very well with 2-4
Princes of Florence - haven't played with two, but the consensus seems to be, the more the merrier here. I need to try Kramer's 2 player variant sometime.
Ra (with two player variant rules) - playes well with all numbers. The 2 player variant has a different feel to it although gameplay is identical and I have played it many times and enjoyed it.
Trader's of Genoa: 2 player variant work quite well in my opinion, surprising for a Trading game. 3-5 is great fun.
Ticket to Ride: great with any number.
2-5 scales well?
Ticket to Ride
Through the Desert
A lot of the games that have been suggested are pretty heavy, I suggested some lighter ones in case your "5" are not gamers.
Dist of Columbia
Thurn and Taxis seemed much better to me with 3 or 4 than with 2. The fact that, in any given category, you were only fighting over a single point's difference and that the same consolation prize would be there waiting for you whenever you chose to redeem it really changed the game for me.
Ra is the best game on your list, and scales very well from 2 to 5 players. It's best with 3 players, but still good at the extremes with either 2 or 5 players. Doesn't work with 6 though.
Hansa, Thurn & Taxis, and San Juan are all solid choices. All three of those work very well with just 2 players, but scale up to 4 players nicely. None of them work with 5 or 6 players though to my knowledge.
Princes for Florence is fantastic with 5 players, good with 4 players, and I wouldn't recommend it with 3 players, and I've never heard of a 2-player variant for PoF, so while it's a Top 20 game in my opinion, I would not recommend it for your circumstances.
If games that scale well from 2-4 players are what you're looking for, have you considered Knizia's Samurai or Ingenious?
Old enough to know what's right
Young enough not to choose it
Games from 2-6 players are a headache for me too. I once asked Reiner why his games (mostly) only played to 5 and it was to do with the different mechanics required at each end of the spectrum.
However, glancing quickly through my collection, I can reccommend
Carcassonne (with 6p expansion)
Alhambra (better with more than 2)
Bohnanza (better with more than 2)
Bang (better with more than 2)
in the 3-6 player range
Settlers of Catan
Cash n Guns (the more the merrier)
I've got an 808 and a 303 and a record collection like the ABC
Did you consider Tikal and Maharaja, or are they a bit hardcore for the visitors?
You could be playing.
Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?
of the list you chose, having only played Ra, Hansa, and San Juan I recomend all of them and think they all play will with any number. That said I recomend them in this order if you will play them most often with 2.
San Juan (works wonderfully eith every number! Wonderful game!
Hansa (I think it works great from 2-4 as well, but to be honest I found it a little dry)
Ra (One of my all time favorites! I love it with any number, but the 2 player game is a little different that with any other number, perhaps try it with 2 first if you can?)