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Subject: Good games for my non-gaming wife rss

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Theo Peters
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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I've been trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to get my wife to play more games with me (which seems to be a common trend). Here are her thoughts on games so far.

Bohnanza - her favourite game. The only game we consistently play with friends. She likes that you can trade and help others and not have much direct conflict. She likes that you don't need intense strategy to win. She will always play this game. But it's not very fun two players.

BANG! - she likes this one, but not nearly as much as Bohnanza. She will sometimes play this game. Also not fun two players.

Sushi Go! - she likes this and the two player is ok. She will sometimes play this.

Tsuro - this game she kind of likes and will occasionally play. Two player is ok.

Forbidden Desert - she says she likes this game, but I know it's too much for her and she will rarely play it.

I did manage to get her to play Flash Point: Fire Rescue and she said she liked it and would play it again, but time will tell. Said she liked the theme and the rules were easy.

Basically, Bohnanza is her favourite game and she has somewhat tolerated other games we've tried. Help me find a two player game we can play!
 
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Siddhartha Mandal
India
Gurgaon
Haryana
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Try these.

Morels
Sanssouci
Blueprints
Port Royal
Hanabi
 
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Sherman Oaks
California
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Splendor

Very simple and streamlined set collection engine builder. It's been a hit with all the non-gamers I've showed it to.

Hanabi

Very simple but inventive cooperative games. The level of tension/excitement to complexity is great.

Jaipur

Straightforward two-player card game. Solid for couples.
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Catrina Boar
United States
Oregon city
Oregon
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I kNow nothing about boardgames, and am literally in the same place as your wife. My boyfriend is always trying to get me to play Boardames. That being said, I enjoyed Catan and Pandemic.
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Steve Rowlands
United Kingdom
Amersham
Bucks
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My wife is similar and she also likes Bohnanza and Bang.

Other games she enjoys and is willing to play:

Biblios - probably her favourite game at the moment.
Splendor
Pandemic (board game)
Balloon Cup (not sure how easy this is to get but I believe Pinata is basically the same game)
Ticket to ride Europe.
Between two cities.
Cacoa.

She doesn't like to think to much as she argues she spends all day at work doing that. She enjoys games with some strategy but enough luck that anyone can win. Pandemic although quite tough and can be thinky she enjoys the co-operative side.

 
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Jules McAleer
Australia
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How about:

Takenoko (super cute and light)
Jaipur
7 Wonders: Duel
Paperback
Dominion
Agricola: All creatures big and small (way simpler than Agricola and designed for 2)
Coloretto
Zooloretto
If she likes Bohnanza - maybe give Wurfel Bohnanza a try (I haven't played it, but have heard it's fun)
Splendor
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Robin Vermeersch
Belgium
ghent
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My girlfriend is kind of the same, she's not a gamer even though she will join most games when we have a game night.

We rarely play with just the two of us, but here are some games she likes:

- Mice & Mystics (not too hard, and it has cute mice)

- Takenoko (the panda... 'nuff said)

- Legends of Andor (she likes the puzzle aspect of the game)

- Defenders of the Realm

- Dominion

2 players she might play:

- Regnum Angelica (likes the theme and the puzzly aspect as well)

- Runebound (Second Edition) (we have only ever managed to finish one game, as it takes too long for her to play)


Games she absolutely hates:

- Thunderstone Advance (too heavy for her)

She will enjoy games that are either coop, or have a cute theme (Mice & Mystics must be one of her favorites).

Hope this helps.


 
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Nathan Armstrong
Thailand
Bangkok
Wattana
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I'm in the same boat as you mate - My wife is rarely up for a game (Ticket to Ride: Europe & Bananagrams aside), although lately I have found several that have begun to see her interested more.

Takenoko She loves this - she really enjoys it as a 2 player and has even said she "wants to introduce her friend to it but thinks it might to too much for her" so ... yeah

Hanabi A recent addition I bought in order to try to get her to play more. She has really taken to it, so much so that she has taken it on school camp with her this week to teach her students and fellow teachers!

Carcassonne she actually actively asks to play on occasion!

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival We've just started playing this and she has enjoyed it so far. I would prefer to play with more than 2 but she likes the 2 player learning curve and we will often play 2 player a lot before getting more people involved.

As an aside, I actually caught her playing Friday the other evening. It's a solo game I play a lot and that she has often watched me play and been curious about. To come home and find her playing that instead of watching the TV was one of the greatest moments of my marriage!
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T C
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Lords of Waterdeep is one of the few that my non-gamer wife will play, though much more likely when we have a group rather than just 2 player. I usually explain the game comparing it to a scavenger hunt to non-gamers and ignore the theme. It's an easy game to pick up and do reasonably well even on your first play thru.


 
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Guillaume
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Seems like she enjoys light euro games. Check out: Carcassonne, Sanssouci, Takenoko, Ticket to Ride Europe, San Juan, Cacao.
 
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Dan
New Zealand
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Archaeology: The Card Game - similar feel to bohnanza, but you trade with the discard pile. You collect sets of items for points. Plays well with 2, 3, 4 players (same designer as Sushi Go).

Lost Cities - great 2 player game

Star Realms - great 2 player game, and cheap to buy. Easy introduction to deck-building games and plays quickly.

 
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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
United States
Berrien Springs
Michigan
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Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy is worth checking out. I suspect the theme might be appealing to her.

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 - the hottest game at the moment. Perhaps something she can get into as it is co-op.

Dominion - While I like player interaction, if your wife doesn't she might take a liking to the deck building game.

Star Realms - Really is worth checking out as it is pretty cheap and plays quick. She might not mind the player interaction as much as the games go by so quickly.

Catan might be to her liking as it has trading and not much conflict. I personally find the game a bit boring myself, but many others seem to love it.
 
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Goldfinger
Canada
British Columbia
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+1 Carcassonne

Alhambra
Finca
Thebes
Fleet
 
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kimchi fried rice
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Uptown
New York
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Try Paperback!

I hate Scrabble and so does my wife, but we really enjoy this 2 player.

It's like Dominion played with a proper theme
 
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Kris Phare
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My wife enjoys:
- Castles of Burgundy: Might be a bit heavy given Bohnanza is her favourite game.

- Jaipur: Can be taught in a couple of minutes and plays quickly, if I was going to introduce any game to non-gamers (that I own), it would be this one.

- Splendor: Heavier than Jaipur but still easy to pick up. We alternate between this and Jaipur relatively evenly, sometimes play both in a night. There's not much interaction, which can be a good thing. My wife definitely enjoys it more when we both go about our own thing in a race for the points, isn't overly fond of me buying cards she wants just so she can't get them (though I still do this anyway).

She started with Catan, which really got her hooked, though this was when we had a 3rd person willing to play but since it's just 2 of us we now play games that are suited to 2p. She doesn't enjoy direct conflict much either (common theme).

Other games I have researched for 2p and now own though have not yet played with her:
- Isle of Skye
- San Juan
- Battle Line

I'm sure you know this already, but if you're introducing a new game (especially if it's a bit heavier than what she's used to)...make sure you know the game inside out so the teaching part goes as smoothly as possible. I find this is often so much more important when dealing with new gamers than anything to do with the actual game I'm introducing. It could be the world's greatest 2p game but if it's explained poorly or the mechanics seem difficult (even when they're not), it requires a whole lot more effort next time around.
 
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Theo Peters
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll get her back to our local board game cafe and try a few of these out.
 
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Colin _
United Kingdom
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My wife is similar and the ones shes normally willing to play currently are:

Stone Age (Her Favorite)
Dominion
Jaipur
Settlers of Catan
Lords of Waterdeep
Carcasoone
 
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Claudio Hornblower
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threepointthed wrote:
I've been trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to get my wife to play more games with me (which seems to be a common trend).
It is, but love and patience make miracles, and eventually my wife now plays wargames with me (kicking me hard - but with sweetness) so... never give up!

...But to be completely honest, I'm well aware that she likes euro/american games the most shake, so here's my rec:

Patchwork might work: it has nice components, a spatial puzzle tetris-like challenge and it's made for exactly 2 players. Also, it's another Rosemberg design so maybe it's likely she'll enjoy it, too.

Waggle Dance is a huge hit among our female players; it's warm, full of custom dice with bees instead of pips, wooden cubes and a simple dice-placement mechanic that really works. Scales wonderfully good from 2 to 4. Highly suggested.

Province is a small, tiny rondell game with some twists. You gather resources to increase your points, building special houses and recruiting workers. For 2 players only. It's amazing the amount of fun (and strategy) packed in a box such small! Definitely worth a check.

Race for the Galaxy might look frightening at first, but it's a good non-confrontational space empire building with cards. Core rules are extremely simple (select a role, apply the action, pay with the cards in your hand) but there are many great choices resulting from the cards' interactions. To me it's richer and simpler than its recent dice version but YMMV. Works in 2 as in 3 or 4.

Discoveries is a fresh dice placement game, follow-up of the great Lewis & Clark; you spend your dice pool exploring lands, meeting strange flora and fauna and expanding your available actions with the help of native tribes. The more players the better, but it's nice in 2 also.

Last, Garden Dice makes you understand why courgettes are so pricy nowadays: it's a war Really, it's a race for points, planting vegs, nursing them to grow and possibly harvesting all of them at once and so increase your score with good multipliers. All of this spending your dice to buy and water vegs, and planting them at (x,y) coordinates - really fun!

Good luckthumbsup
 
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