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Subject: Better 2 player experience than CO2? rss

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Enon Sci
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I've always wanted to own a title by this guy, but am undecided on whether I should just pull the trigger on CO2, a game that has been loosely on my list for ages (more for theme and graphic design than gameplay).

Gallerist looks like a richer experience, speaking to moment to moment decisions, but am unsure whether this holds true with experience.

Thoughts?

Thanks.
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Bob D
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This is largely a matter of taste but all of Vital's games -- with the possible exception of CO2 -- work well with 2 players. I own Vinhos, Kanban, and The Gallerist and all play well with 2. I have heard mostly negative or mediocre things about CO2 at 2 which is one reason that I don't own it.

So while I can't comment specifically about CO2, if you look at suitability for 2 player, all his other games rank better on BGG than CO2 does. And I can say that the other three games, including The Gallerist, are good with two.

And while there was early word that The Gallerist is lighter, I'd put it largely on par with Kanban. The gameplay is simple and the board is less overwhelming than Kanban but there is a lot of iconography to become familiar with and many moving parts to track. The rule set also doesn't seem any lighter.
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Ariel
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Good to know that The Gallerist is as good with 2 players, my copy arrive today and hope be able to play it soon with one other person (it's hard find people near me to play heavy games).
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Ken Sinn
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We tried CO2 three times -- twice at 2P, and one at 4P. It just fell flat for us, despite us really wanting to like the game based on theme. We're fine with semi-coops -- Archipelago and Marvel Legendary are in our good books. At 2P, CO2 is just frustrating due to the mini-stalemates between the players, when trying to deny your opponent a specific type of power plant. Inevitably, somebody caves because nobody wants to have wasted 2 hrs of game time. Mind you, at 4P, the players decided to stop after 1.5 decades as well, so the game is a very acquired taste.

We ended up picking up Kanban, and it's great at 2P (2P x 2 plays, 3P x 1 play, 4P x 1 play). The slight rule change at 2P (only 1 player may be in each department, rather than the usual 2) works well in keeping player interaction/blocking tight. Once you get into the flow and remember the rules, the game moves swiftly. Some of the scoring is arbitrary to remember -- a scoring player's aid would be essential, in my opinion.
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Vital Lacerda
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2010 - Vinhos, 2012 - CO2, 2014 - kanban, 2015 - The Gallerist, 2016 - Vinhos Deluxe, 2017 - Lisboa, 2018 - Escape Plan, CO2 Second Chance and Dragon Keepers - Maybe: 2019 - ROTW Portugal and On Mars, 2020 - Kanban Deluxe Edition
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You can also learned it by playing solo.
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Kyle Meighan
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I can let you know that CO2 shines as a game about player interaction and is great with 3 or 4 players (very tough with 5), but it does lose some of its appeal for 2 players (still a great game though).

I will let others speak about The Gallerist as I have not played enough yet to give an opinion on player count.

-Kyle
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M.C.Crispy
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In my experience CO2 is great with 4; workable with 5; I won't play it with 3 because IMO there are some three stage cyclic processes in the game that make 3P a little wonky ; I've never played 2P; and I learned to play the game by playing it solo. So I'm uniquely unqualified to give you guidance. Except to say that it is a really excellent game and playing it in "deny mode" is playing it wrong - it's not all about being the person who builds the power plant.
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Kyle Meighan
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mooken wrote:
We tried CO2 three times -- twice at 2P, and one at 4P. It just fell flat for us, despite us really wanting to like the game based on theme. We're fine with semi-coops -- Archipelago and Marvel Legendary are in our good books. At 2P, CO2 is just frustrating due to the mini-stalemates between the players, when trying to deny your opponent a specific type of power plant. Inevitably, somebody caves because nobody wants to have wasted 2 hrs of game time. Mind you, at 4P, the players decided to stop after 1.5 decades as well, so the game is a very acquired taste.


I can see that. As I said above it shines as a game of player interaction. However, if you are not accustomed to a game where you have to help other players in order to help yourself (e.g. Brass) I can see how the "frustration" described above could occur. I however, absolutely love that aspect of the game.

The Gallerist seems to contain this as well, but slightly different, in that rather than voluntarily making moves that can help others while helping you, you can position yourself to force others to help you in order to help themselves. (subtle but distinct difference) I haven't played yet with others but am excited to see how this mechanic plays out.
 
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Ken Sinn
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One_Wolf wrote:

I can see that. As I said above it shines as a game of player interaction. However, if you are not accustomed to a game where you have to help other players in order to help yourself (e.g. Brass) I can see how the "frustration" described above could occur. I however, absolutely love that aspect of the game.

The Gallerist seems to contain this as well, but slightly different, in that rather than voluntarily making moves that can help others while helping you, you can position yourself to force others to help you in order to help themselves. (subtle but distinct difference) I haven't played yet with others but am excited to see how this mechanic plays out.


We really enjoy Brass and Age of Industry -- typically you still benefit more than your opponent, so you need to do a quick calculation to make sure the math is in your favour. With 2P CO2, we found ourselves playing the stalemate-waiting game, with 3 Stage-1 solar power plants (for example), nobody wanting to push it to Stage 2 (since that would give the other player the final Stage 3 plant). At some point, a player is forced to make a flip to stage 2, or you've both wasted 2 hours of play time.
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Vital Lacerda
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2010 - Vinhos, 2012 - CO2, 2014 - kanban, 2015 - The Gallerist, 2016 - Vinhos Deluxe, 2017 - Lisboa, 2018 - Escape Plan, CO2 Second Chance and Dragon Keepers - Maybe: 2019 - ROTW Portugal and On Mars, 2020 - Kanban Deluxe Edition
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mooken wrote:

We really enjoy Brass and Age of Industry -- typically you still benefit more than your opponent, so you need to do a quick calculation to make sure the math is in your favour. With 2P CO2, we found ourselves playing the stalemate-waiting game, with 3 Stage-1 solar power plants (for example), nobody wanting to push it to Stage 2 (since that would give the other player the final Stage 3 plant). At some point, a player is forced to make a flip to stage 2, or you've both wasted 2 hours of play time.


This was enough discussed already, but I won many games having the least power plants. Just because I was the one who did more often the 1st and 2nd steps.
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Enon Sci
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newrev wrote:

This was enough discussed already, but I won many games having the least power plants. Just because I was the one who did more often the 1st and 2nd steps.


No worries, your contributions are always welcome.
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Nicola Bocchetta
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I've played CO2 a couple of times, and it is better if you shorten the game by a decade. It's a game that shines for interaction, as you can thrive on other players' actions.

I've not played the Gallerist 2p, but being a game with less interaction (yes, there are kicked-out action, but they just give a boost to another player, and not deny him anything), so it should be ok with two as it is with 4.

KanBan is good 2p, though I find it more rewarding in 3p or 4p.
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Kyle Meighan
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Faso74it wrote:
I've not played the Gallerist 2p, but being a game with less interaction (yes, there are kicked-out action, but they just give a boost to another player, and not deny him anything), so it should be ok with two as it is with 4.


Trying not to go off the rails, but I also consider the fact that 2 players may buy art from the same dealer and thus both work to increase the fame of the artist and profit from their selected works as a form of player interaction. And to keep it on point, I think this is something that could definitely occur in 2p games. Is this the case in actual play, or no? (Although hopefully by Wednesday night I will know for myself )
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Vital Lacerda
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2010 - Vinhos, 2012 - CO2, 2014 - kanban, 2015 - The Gallerist, 2016 - Vinhos Deluxe, 2017 - Lisboa, 2018 - Escape Plan, CO2 Second Chance and Dragon Keepers - Maybe: 2019 - ROTW Portugal and On Mars, 2020 - Kanban Deluxe Edition
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One_Wolf wrote:
Faso74it wrote:
I've not played the Gallerist 2p, but being a game with less interaction (yes, there are kicked-out action, but they just give a boost to another player, and not deny him anything), so it should be ok with two as it is with 4.


Trying not to go off the rails, but I also consider the fact that 2 players may buy art from the same dealer and thus both work to increase the fame of the artist and profit from their selected works as a form of player interaction. And to keep it on point, I think this is something that could definitely occur in 2p games. Is this the case in actual play, or no? (Although hopefully by Wednesday night I will know for myself )


It happens a lot, but remember, that even if both player sells the art at the same time at the same price, the results will be very different to both players, since they usually have different number and types of visitors inside the gallery, and the sales contract after a sale, always gives you an executive action with an investor or vip scoring.
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Enon Sci
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Faso74it wrote:
I've played CO2 a couple of times, and it is better if you shorten the game by a decade. It's a game that shines for interaction, as you can thrive on other players' actions.


Interesting. I've heard that lengthening it by a decade was the preferred approach (for two, at least).
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Andrew J
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Faso74it wrote:
I've played CO2 a couple of times, and it is better if you shorten the game by a decade. It's a game that shines for interaction, as you can thrive on other players' actions.


Interesting. I've heard that lengthening it by a decade was the preferred approach (for two, at least).


For two people, the game is definitely better by shortening it to just four decades--and this is a semi-official recommendation from the designer himself (with five decades, both players can easily max out on all of the technology tracks, etc.).

I've played with four players and didn't feel like the game was overly long with the standard five decades, though a lot of pressure was off after fourth decade (indeed, actions in the fifth decade seemed to collectively sum to a stale-mate, where players were disinterested in taking any action that might potentially benefit another player since it was clear that the CO2 problem had already been solved). I've never played the five-player version with six decades.

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M.C.Crispy
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Faso74it wrote:
I've played CO2 a couple of times, and it is better if you shorten the game by a decade
Why? And how can you tell after "a couple of plays"?
 
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Nicola Bocchetta
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aeroguru1978 wrote:
Anarchosyn wrote:
Faso74it wrote:
I've played CO2 a couple of times, and it is better if you shorten the game by a decade. It's a game that shines for interaction, as you can thrive on other players' actions.


Interesting. I've heard that lengthening it by a decade was the preferred approach (for two, at least).


For two people, the game is definitely better by shortening it to just four decades--and this is a semi-official recommendation from the designer himself (with five decades, both players can easily max out on all of the technology tracks, etc.).

I've played with four and didn't feel like the game was overly long with five decades, though a lot of pressure was off after fourth (indeed, actions in the fifth decade seemed to collectively sum to a stale-mate, where players were disinterested in taking any action that might potentially benefit another player since it was clear that the CO2 problem had already been solved). I've never played the five-player version with six decades.



https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1304671/strange-2p-session
 
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Kyle Meighan
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newrev wrote:
One_Wolf wrote:
Faso74it wrote:
I've not played the Gallerist 2p, but being a game with less interaction (yes, there are kicked-out action, but they just give a boost to another player, and not deny him anything), so it should be ok with two as it is with 4.


Trying not to go off the rails, but I also consider the fact that 2 players may buy art from the same dealer and thus both work to increase the fame of the artist and profit from their selected works as a form of player interaction. And to keep it on point, I think this is something that could definitely occur in 2p games. Is this the case in actual play, or no? (Although hopefully by Wednesday night I will know for myself )


It happens a lot, but remember, that even if both player sells the art at the same time at the same price, the results will be very different to both players, since they usually have different number and types of visitors inside the gallery, and the sales contract after a sale, always gives you an executive action with an investor or vip scoring.


That's awesome!Plus I presume there will be situations where one player profits more than the other because he paid less for his work of art. Sooo good, can't wait to get this to the table.
 
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Ian O'Toole
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I think CO2 is GREAT with two players, any two players is favourite way to play KanBan Have yet to try The Gallerist with two.
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Faso74it wrote:
I've played CO2 a couple of times, and it is better if you shorten the game by a decade. It's a game that shines for interaction, as you can thrive on other players' actions.


Interesting. I've heard that lengthening it by a decade was the preferred approach (for two, at least).


We enjoy Co2 with two and that's the only way we games. Didn't find anything wrong with it. Will try this idea though
 
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Just chiming in to also say that I enjoy CO2 with two players and play it most of the time at that count. Sure, 4 players is better but nothing wrong at 2. I think the stalemate mentioned above is down to group think or how they perceive the game "should" be played as Vital above mentioned winning with a totally different strategy. I'll also add that we always play with the suggested 2p variant of only 4 decades.

As for the gallerist, I can't comment for now... but soon!whistle
 
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Brett McLay
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CO₂ does well with 2P if you remember the phrase, "The better you get the better it gets."

I like the game for its timely theme, art and emphasis on player interaction. It beats so-called "garage games" where you work on your engine then take it out for a spin, rip up the yard and show off for your neighbors. And they do the same. ~ Interaction is king! (imo)

P.S.
Hope to see more of such stuff in Lisboa ...
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