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Subject: Medium to heavy Civ or War game for 2p rss

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Kara
United States
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I've read many posts where husbands are looking for light to medium games to play with their wifes. I'm going to ask the opposite question - being the wife, I'm looking for a medium to heavy game, maybe a war or Civ type game that works well for 2 player.

My husband and I are both geeks who enjoy science fiction and fantasy and we used to play Dungeons & Dragons together. The games I’ve been playing and really enjoying over the last couple months are Imperial Settlers (2 player), Dominion (2, 3, 4 player), Legendary: A Marvel Deckbuilding Game (solo), 7 Wonders (4 player), Stone Age (iphone app), and Star Realms (iphone app).

I'm open to playing just about any kind of game and I have almost 200 games (including several expansions) in my wishlist that I've read about that sound fun. The one exception is that I'm not a huge history fan. So games like Memoir 44 and Twilight Struggle aren't very appealing, only because of the theme.

My husband on the other hand seems to be a bit more selective. In college, he played A LOT of Axis & Allies. He has also been a big fan of Civilization (computer version). So far he likes several of the games we've played (Imperial Settlers, Dominion, 7 Wonders) but not really enough to bring it up himself and ask to play a board game. But there have been a couple he wasn't that big on. For example, we played one game of Legendary Marvel together and he didn't really like it, mainly because there wasn't much control on whether you win or lose - you have very limited choices of what heroes you can buy. Another example, we played Rivals of Catan a couple times and several of the plays I lost because I just kept rolling the same number and couldn't ever get any resources.

So, I'm looking to pick a game that will make him want to play, and not just because I asked him to. It's really unfortunate that I don't think I'll like history themed games because these are the ones my husband would probably enjoy the most. I think he will enjoy a game that is more complex. There's no kids to get in the way of a long game and no cats to jump on a board if we have to leave it up several evenings to finish it. Dice hate him, in general he's very unlucky and not big on randomness or luck deciding the game. That's not to say he doesn't like randomness in setup, etc. Just he'd rather have control of his destiny of winning or losing the game instead of the dice.

In that vein, because he used to really like Axis & Allies and Civilization, I'm looking for a medium to heavy game, maybe a war or Civ type game with luck not deciding the game, and has to be good 2 player (although fun with more in addition would be a bonus). Games I'm considering are:

Kemet
Stronghold (2nd edition out soon)
Runewars
Clash of Cultures
Terra Mystica
Dominant Species

I have bought several games over the last couple months, so buying all of them, as I'm told by my husband, is not an option. I'm having a difficult time choosing just one and keep waffling from day to day. I'm looking for advice on which one of these I should buy and why, or suggestions of others I may have missed.
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Jeff
Canada
Ontario
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Kemet is quite fun.

If you want the Memoir 44 feel without the history look into BattleLore (Second Edition). It uses the same basic system, but with a fantasy theme.
 
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oystein eker
Norway
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Horus Heresy:


https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/63543/horus-heresy







 
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Rodney Clowsewitz
Canada
Moncton
New Brunswick
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Polis: Fight for the Hegemony is a little heavier on war and lighter on civilization but the civ is still there along with trading and bribing.
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Claudio Hornblower
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Runewars is a long-ish, somewhat convoluted fantasy empire builder with a mixed heroes-on-quest mechanic; IIRC the old coffin box edition had nice plastic mountains that are not included in the new compact box.

Probably I'm the only geek around to find Terra Mystica a bit dry, I'm not that impressed - but I'm hugely in minority here.

Dominant Species is a very nice area control, a bit of brain burner.

I can't comment on Kemet, Stronghold or Clash.

Some elements that you wrote (sci-fi/fantasy, dudes on map, med-heavy, good for 2) make me think about:
- War of the Ring (Tolkien, 2-players, miniatures)
- Space Empires 4X (sci-fi, 2-4 players, hex-and-counters wargame/4X genre)
- Cyclades (mythology, 2-5 players, minis; don't know how good it is with 2-players)
- Battletech (sci-fi tactical fight with mecha, 2-6 players, minis; works great with 2!)
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Jeremy Scranton
United States
Oak Brook
Illinois
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Clash of Cultures with the expansion sounds like the right way for you to go. It definitely scratches the Civilization itch without getting too wargamey for you. Super fun game!
 
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Ubaldo Bastardo
United States
Nonantum
Massachusetts
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I second the Polis recommendation. You could even try before you buy over at boardgamearena. A newer one that I like more every time I get to play is Wir Sind das Volk. It's not war per se, but it definitely feels like conflict. Pax Porfiriana plays really well with two. You do get to build an empire, although in a bit of a limited sense.

Terra Mystica isn't a two player game, at all. Dominant Species is my favorite game, but I don't know that I would have stuck with it if my exposure were to the two player game. I don't know enough about the others to say.
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Kara
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Thanks for all the great advice! Though I think my list is longer now than when I started. I think I'm just going to have to buy more than one.

It sounds like Runewars might not really scratch the Civ itch and Terra Mystic isn't for 2players so I'll go with CoC. As for a war game, that's still up in the air with so many good choices for 2 players. Any additional comments on narrowing down that list would be appreciated.
 
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Matt Logan
United States
Peoria
Illinois
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This is gonna be easy because you already own it! Twilight Struggle is about as good as it gets in war gaming. It is also very approachable. Get that played, and if your hooked we can talk about what's next. War games are whole different animal.
 
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Kara
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I bought Twilight Struggle originally because it was rated so high. I hesitate to play it only because of the history theme. But, as you pointed out, since I already own it, I should at least try it. We'll give it a whirl since I'm still waffling on which new game to buy.
 
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