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Subject: Elysium is not only our current favourite 2p game, it's one of the best we have ever played rss

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Ian Collier
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I had a good read and think about whether to get Elysium or not because we tend to play 2p only and there is so much concern over the 2p experience on BGG that it nearly put me off. But as a general rule I have more money than sense (am not rich, have very little sense) and went for it anyway. Boy am I glad I did. We took it on a two-week vacation along with several other terrific games (like Roll for the Galaxy) and it's all we played, at least once a day, usually two or three times (it rained a lot where we went).

I have no issue with anything anyone has said about the facts of the 2p experience (fewer cards get 'seen', less tension in the quest tile choice etc), all of those comments and thoughts are spot on. But for us these things had absolutely no impact on our enjoyment of the 2p game at all. Really, Elysium has totally blown us away as it is, zero variants used, out of the frankly beautiful box.

I'm far too lazy to write a full review but I'd like to share a few reasons why Elysium for us is easily our favourite game of the year, in the top five of the last few years and quite possibly one of our favourite games ever:

- Exciting and sometimes super powerful and very rewarding engine building from a 'marketplace' of cards available to all
- Easy going, smooth gameplay that you can stay light with or go deep (e.g. pay attention to what columns your opponent is keeping on to try and guess their strategy or don't bother and just focus on doing the best for yourself)
- Under an hour game time (for 2p, I have no experience of more)
- Absolutely spectacular artwork
- Big replayability through variable set up

In fact we've played over 20 games of this since purchase, and the first 15 were with the recommended start set up. Then we moved to the 'big combos' recommended card mix. We still haven't tried Ares yet at all. NO game ever had that much play in the first two weeks of play for us, ever, being on vacation helped I guess but it's all we wanted to play!

OK, am gushing now, will clear off. Am not saying this game is for everyone, am not guaranteeing you'll enjoy it, I just wanted to share some love for the OOB 2p experience, without of course detracting from the views and opinions of others.



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Ken Thibodeau
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You echo my thoughts, word for word.
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Milena Guberinic
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Absolutely agree. Since we got the game about a month ago, we've been playing a lot too! We played twice the day we got it, twice the next day, and then daily for two weeks straight. We still play regularly. It's just an amazing game and the 2 player "problems" are really just "problems" for people who want the game to be exactly the same at all player counts. When we first played, my partner actually thought it was a 2-player-only game.

If anything, the fact that less cards come out in a 2-player game means that the game is MORE replayable when played with 2 because there is a greater variability between the situations with which you have to deal game to game.

Anyway, thanks for supporting 2-player Elysium! I'm sure not everyone will agree, but I'm glad there are others like me!
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Fernando Robert Yu
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milenaguberinic wrote:

If anything, the fact that less cards come out in a 2-player game means that the game is MORE replayable when played with 2 because there is a greater variability between the situations with which you have to deal game to game.


Good point Mila! I've played it at the 3P count twice so far, am looking forward to seeing how it goes at 2 and 4 players.
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Ian Collier
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Quote:
If anything, the fact that less cards come out in a 2-player game means that the game is MORE replayable when played with 2 because there is a greater variability between the situations with which you have to deal game to game.


Great point, I hadn't thought of that.

One thing which other posters have 'complained' about is that the process of building sets is too difficult with fewer players because of fewer cards and much more risk committing to building one set or another with only 35 cards per game coming up in total.

We've never had frustrations over this, and I think we've played enough games to not have gotten lucky each game we played (with the draw). Both players are pretty much in the same boat so the balance works out. Either you'll both have a load of options re legend-writing or far fewer, and you manage that equally. And actually every game I have ever played I have been able to build a satisfying group of legends/sets that I feel rather proud of by the end.

In the end that for me is half of the joy of playing Elysium - the excitement of seeing what cards appear from one round to the next and making the most out of them, and the additional brinkmanship of that in the 2p game is really really sweet (and sometimes bittersweet).

Am going to say it again - Elysium ROCKS.
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Milena Guberinic
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freddieyu wrote:
milenaguberinic wrote:

If anything, the fact that less cards come out in a 2-player game means that the game is MORE replayable when played with 2 because there is a greater variability between the situations with which you have to deal game to game.


Good point Mila! I've played it at the 3P count twice so far, am looking forward to seeing how it goes at 2 and 4 players.


I've heard that it sucks with 2 players and takes too long with 4, so yeah...be warned
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Milena Guberinic
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inuitmyth909 wrote:
Quote:
If anything, the fact that less cards come out in a 2-player game means that the game is MORE replayable when played with 2 because there is a greater variability between the situations with which you have to deal game to game.


Great point, I hadn't thought of that.

One thing which other posters have 'complained' about is that the process of building sets is too difficult with fewer players because of fewer cards and much more risk committing to building one set or another with only 35 cards per game coming up in total.

We've never had frustrations over this, and I think we've played enough games to not have gotten lucky each game we played (with the draw). Both players are pretty much in the same boat so thejavascript:// balance works out. Either you'll both have a load of options re legend-writing or far fewer, and you manage that equally. And actually every game I have ever played I have been able to build a satisfying group of legends/sets that I feel rather proud of by the end.

In the end that for me is half of the joy of playing Elysium - the excitement of seeing what cards appear from one round to the next and making the most out of them, and the additional brinkmanship of that in the 2p game is really really sweet (and sometimes bittersweet).

Am going to say it again - Elysium ROCKS.


ABSOLUTELY AGREE 100%!thumbsup I can't wait to play Elysium with my partner again tonight!
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Steve Darlington
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milenaguberinic wrote:

I've heard that it sucks with 2 players and takes too long with 4, so yeah...be warned


Was that a joke? I can never tell around here!
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Steve Darlington
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And yes, I bought this on a whim but we're always looking for good 2p games and this knocked us out for 2p!
 
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Milena Guberinic
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SteveD20 wrote:
milenaguberinic wrote:

I've heard that it sucks with 2 players and takes too long with 4, so yeah...be warned


Was that a joke? I can never tell around here!


If you read my previous comments, it would be clear. But yes, it was a joke. I love it with 2!!!
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Ibrahim Rodríguez
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One more thing to add, the rulebook is great and very easy to understand. I love the different setups you can use by following the rulebook.

Elysium is my favourite game from this year so far.
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Milena Guberinic
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Hexanauta wrote:
One more thing to add, the rulebook is great and very easy to understand. I love the different setups you can use by following the rulebook.

Elysium is my favourite game from this year so far.


Absolutely! I never once had a single question about the gameplay after I read the rulebook. It's great! And the game is AWESOME!
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Thomas
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We enjoyed the two player game as well but felt we didn't go through enough cards in the deck so I came up with a few minor tweaks:

1) Always play with the oracle

2) Deal out 8 cards to the agora instead of 7

3) Play one extra round

Give it a try, we ere able to get through about 60-70 cards (with Apollo) in our games using these tweaks vs 20-30 prior.
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milenaguberinic wrote:
Hexanauta wrote:
One more thing to add, the rulebook is great and very easy to understand. I love the different setups you can use by following the rulebook.

Elysium is my favourite game from this year so far.


Absolutely! I never once had a single question about the gameplay after I read the rulebook. It's great!


The rulebook certainly isn't bad, but not quite as excellent as you make it sound IMHO. There are quite a few legitimate rule questions that have already come up on this forum, which could have been avoided by wording the rules a bit more carefully / elaborately. I for one had several questions about some of the details. Some of them were already answered here, others weren't and I asked them. A rulebook probably can't answer each and every question, but still - I think there is some room to improve the rules in the next printing of the rulebook.

But thankfully the designers are wonderfully active here and answered all of the rule questions very quickly and very nicely. Thanks a lot for that!
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:

Give it a try, we ere able to get through about 60-70 cards in our games using these tweaks vs 20-30 prior.


That's a considerable exaggeration of the difference your house rule makes:

The minimum number of cards you have a chance to get in a 2 player game when using the official rules is (obviously) 7*5 = 35, not 20-30. You play with this minimum number whenever you play a game without Apollo (which includes cards that let you draw additional cards from the Oracle) and without Athena (which includes cards that let you draw additional cards from the draw pile).
Your houserules changes the minimum number of cards from 35 to 8*6 = 48.
So that is only a 37% increase of the number of cards, which is way, way off from the 133%-200% increase your card numbers of 20-30 vs. 60-70 suggest.
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Thomas
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Darador wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:

Give it a try, we ere able to get through about 60-70 cards in our games using these tweaks vs 20-30 prior.


That's a considerable exaggeration of the difference your house rule makes:

The minimum number of cards you have a chance to get in a 2 player game when using the official rules is (obviously) 7*5 = 35, not 20-30. You play with this minimum number whenever you play a game without Apollo (which includes cards that let you draw additional cards from the Oracle) and without Athena (which includes cards that let you draw additional cards from the draw pile).
Your houserules changes the minimum number of cards from 35 to 8*6 = 48.
So that is only a 37% increase of the number of cards, which is way, way off from the 133%-200% increase your card numbers of 20-30 vs. 60-70 suggest.


I counted the ones in the discard pile after we played but regardless it was almost double each time we used the tweaks with the extra round and card in the agora. We might have had apolo in one game that made it considerably more but it's still easier to make certain combos work or to have a chance to see a card you were waiting for.
 
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Drew
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I have been looking for a new game for my wife and I and I came to the forum to ask how this played with 2 players. Yall had already answered all my questions and I think this will make a great addition to our collection.
My wife is a big fan of set collection games and while I think she might be a little intimidated by the symbols when first explaining the game I think she will pick it up with in a few turns.
 
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SoundCity wrote:
I have been looking for a new game for my wife and I and I came to the forum to ask how this played with 2 players. Yall had already answered all my questions and I think this will make a great addition to our collection.
My wife is a big fan of set collection games and while I think she might be a little intimidated by the symbols when first explaining the game I think she will pick it up with in a few turns.


Make sure to use my variant, you won't be disappointed.
 
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
SoundCity wrote:
I have been looking for a new game for my wife and I and I came to the forum to ask how this played with 2 players. Yall had already answered all my questions and I think this will make a great addition to our collection.
My wife is a big fan of set collection games and while I think she might be a little intimidated by the symbols when first explaining the game I think she will pick it up with in a few turns.


Make sure to use my variant, you won't be disappointed.


I am sure we will stick with the original rules first, but if we find anything lacking in the game I will definitely give your variant a shot.
 
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Donny Behne
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SoundCity wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
SoundCity wrote:
I have been looking for a new game for my wife and I and I came to the forum to ask how this played with 2 players. Yall had already answered all my questions and I think this will make a great addition to our collection.
My wife is a big fan of set collection games and while I think she might be a little intimidated by the symbols when first explaining the game I think she will pick it up with in a few turns.


Make sure to use my variant, you won't be disappointed.


I am sure we will stick with the original rules first, but if we find anything lacking in the game I will definitely give your variant a shot.


If you opt for a variant, this is the one you want to use.

http://geauxgaming.com/2015/06/15/elysium-for-two-a-variant/
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kelann08 wrote:
SoundCity wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
SoundCity wrote:
I have been looking for a new game for my wife and I and I came to the forum to ask how this played with 2 players. Yall had already answered all my questions and I think this will make a great addition to our collection.
My wife is a big fan of set collection games and while I think she might be a little intimidated by the symbols when first explaining the game I think she will pick it up with in a few turns.


Make sure to use my variant, you won't be disappointed.


I am sure we will stick with the original rules first, but if we find anything lacking in the game I will definitely give your variant a shot.


If you opt for a variant, this is the one you want to use.

http://geauxgaming.com/2015/06/15/elysium-for-two-a-variant/


Mine is more elegant this one has too much to remember. They both serve the same purpose though so to each their own. Still a great game
 
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Donny Behne
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
kelann08 wrote:
SoundCity wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
SoundCity wrote:
I have been looking for a new game for my wife and I and I came to the forum to ask how this played with 2 players. Yall had already answered all my questions and I think this will make a great addition to our collection.
My wife is a big fan of set collection games and while I think she might be a little intimidated by the symbols when first explaining the game I think she will pick it up with in a few turns.


Make sure to use my variant, you won't be disappointed.


I am sure we will stick with the original rules first, but if we find anything lacking in the game I will definitely give your variant a shot.


If you opt for a variant, this is the one you want to use.

http://geauxgaming.com/2015/06/15/elysium-for-two-a-variant/


Mine is more elegant this one has too much to remember. They both serve the same purpose though so to each their own. Still a great game


Adding turns isn't elegant. What is there to remember about my variant?
 
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Drew
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kelann08 wrote:
SoundCity wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
SoundCity wrote:
I have been looking for a new game for my wife and I and I came to the forum to ask how this played with 2 players. Yall had already answered all my questions and I think this will make a great addition to our collection.
My wife is a big fan of set collection games and while I think she might be a little intimidated by the symbols when first explaining the game I think she will pick it up with in a few turns.


Make sure to use my variant, you won't be disappointed.


I am sure we will stick with the original rules first, but if we find anything lacking in the game I will definitely give your variant a shot.


If you opt for a variant, this is the one you want to use.

http://geauxgaming.com/2015/06/15/elysium-for-two-a-variant/


Thanks for the link to the variant. I had remembered that you talked about the game on the podcast not too long ago and talked about the lack of cards that showed up in the 2 player variant. Honestly that is what had put me off for a while on this game, but I keep coming back to it because I think it is a game my wife will really enjoy.
 
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SoundCity wrote:
kelann08 wrote:
SoundCity wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
SoundCity wrote:
I have been looking for a new game for my wife and I and I came to the forum to ask how this played with 2 players. Yall had already answered all my questions and I think this will make a great addition to our collection.
My wife is a big fan of set collection games and while I think she might be a little intimidated by the symbols when first explaining the game I think she will pick it up with in a few turns.


Make sure to use my variant, you won't be disappointed.


I am sure we will stick with the original rules first, but if we find anything lacking in the game I will definitely give your variant a shot.


If you opt for a variant, this is the one you want to use.

http://geauxgaming.com/2015/06/15/elysium-for-two-a-variant/


Thanks for the link to the variant. I had remembered that you talked about the game on the podcast not too long ago and talked about the lack of cards that showed up in the 2 player variant. Honestly that is what had put me off for a while on this game, but I keep coming back to it because I think it is a game my wife will really enjoy.


Thanks for listening!

Yup, the first take used only unique cards and we didn't realize that there are fewer unique 2s than 1s and 3s. We went back and adjusted it and it worked a lot better. You can build legends consistently, you are competing for the best cards because there's only one, and you see roughly half the deck, or more if you have Apollo in the game. I think the Oracle is essential for any player count, whether or not you're using Apollo; adds so much more strategy and planning.

Even playing the game as the rulebook recommends it's a fun experience. I know there are many who enjoy it that way. I just wanted a tighter game with more strategy and that's exactly what the variant provides.
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Taking out different cards is a lot more work than just adding one extra round and card to the agora. How much simpler can it get. And it works.
 
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