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Subject: Great two player games that feel epic but don't take forever! rss

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Rich Lush
United Kingdom
Littlehampton
West Sussex
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Hi,

So i'm looking to get a great two player game that has that epic feel whilst also not being a 6 hours investment. This is what I'm looking for:

Has to be:
accessible without a thousand rules to learn
Plays within 45 mins to 2 hours max
Has direct conflict as one of it's main elements

Not looking for:
Collectable games (so as much as I know people will yell "x-wing!", I'm not wanting to get caught in a collectible game series!)
War games based on real history (no axis and allies please)

It can:
Can play more then 2
Can be expensive (around the £50 mark)


Two games I'm looking at are:

Battlelore
battlecon

And would appreciate your thoughts on these, their complexities and fun level.

Thanks all!
 
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Colm McCarthy
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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Short. Epic. Two players.

That's quite a bar
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Tom
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How about Android: Netrunner? It does not have to be a collectable if you decide to only stick with the core game. That is all I have, and still derive enjoyment from it after many games. Also, consider Twilight Struggle. It can last a while longer than two hours, but it is worth it because it is an epic game.
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Rob Byers
Canada
Kitchener
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Akrotiri feels very epic! Love that game!
 
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Daniel West
United States
Eugene
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My first instinct is to suggest a game with variable armies like Neuroshima Hex!. There are very few rules to learn in the base game. Each expansion army includes one or two new features that are surprisingly easy to learn.

I also know that in the same vein, there is Summoner Wars: Master Set which has a similar style of gameplay.

Additionally, check out Risk: Star Wars Edition

If you'd like a slightly more euro combat game, the check out Sun Tzu.

Lastly, do yourself a big favor and watch a review for Raptor
 
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Phillip Harpring
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Forbidden Stars is great epic game that plays well with two and goes much faster than when playing with three or four, but you will still be bumping right up against that 2 hour mark.
 
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Daily Grind
United States
Raleigh
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I think BattleLore (Second Edition) is a good pick. The base game scenarios get old after a few plays, but FFG made a scenario builder which has many good additional scenarios from the community. The game has enough going for it that you can tweak and tailor and make some very different styles of games.

BATTALIA: The Creation is a game I just got so don't have much play out of it yet, but its an interesting combination of deck-building to 'grow' your empire/army, plus area control for 2p direct combat. No dice, just best army wins, but you're building cities on a map to win points. Feels pretty epic to us.

I know you said no collectables, but Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is a 2p direct combat game where the core box is completely self contained and contains 6 excellent pre-made decks. If you never buy another pack, you still have a great game with many replays. (I dislike deck construction and enjoy it very much).
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Mogg78 mog
United States
California
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Tale a look at Rivals of Catan. Relatively small footprint, easy to learn for 2 player even without knowing the mechanics of the larger game.
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Rick Martin
United States
Marietta
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You're missing out by excluding War Games (there are many varieties outside of the Axis and Allies type.)

With that in mind here are my recommendations:

BattleLore (Second Edition) +1

Summoner Wars: Master Set (Not collectible, just get the Master set and you're good to go. Probably the most epic you're going to get in 30-60 minutes. Very tactical + lots of die rolling, and vastly asymmetric armies.)

Kemet Plays in 60 minutes with two easy. Blood Rage is an alternative, but Kemet plays 2-5 out of the box and is the better game in my opinion.

Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation Great quick two player game. Not as much replayability as some of the others here.

Nexus Ops - Think Starcraft.

Wizard Kings - 8 pages of rules, and can be played in as little as 1/2 an hour to several hours with 2-7 players. There is some collectability to this one, but you can find complete enough sets of the 1st or second editions for relatively little investment. Note that the game benefits greatly if you're willing to invest the time making your own scenarios. Also make sure to download scenarios from Columbia Games' website.

Hope that helps.

Edit: Also outside of War Games I think think of any two player games that take over 2 hours? Well... Twilight Struggle I guess.
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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Centennial
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BattleLore (Second Edition) is indeed the game. It does have a little bit of collectibility to it, though. The expansions are pretty sweet.
 
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Nicholas Krause
United States
GRAND RAPIDS
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7 wonders duel.

Plays in 30 minutes, tons of strategy, and it's easy to learn. Whether or not you think it's epic comes down to you definition, but if you like games that often come down to the wire you need to give this one a go.
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Jordi Picart i Barrot
Andorra
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Mogg78 wrote:
Tale a look at Rivals of Catan. Relatively small footprint, easy to learn for 2 player even without knowing the mechanics of the larger game.


+1
 
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John Russell
United States
New York
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+1 for 7 Wonders: Duel, and I may add that Race for the Galaxy can sometimes get pretty epic as well, especially with the first two expansions.

That said, it sounds like you are looking for a two player that strays away from point salad.
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George Louie
United States
Alexandria
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I'm not sure about "Epic", but my wife and enjoy the following games:

Battle Line - very "thinky" game.. So, this is about as close to "epic" game on my list.

Tides of Time - we've just started playing this.. its fun, has great artwork, good card drafting mechanic. IMO, the art and the decision making process make it feel more "epic"

Targi - has a bigger game feel to it, in a compact size. very unique worker placement game. probably the longest game time-wise on my list.

Lost Cities - Fun game, lots of decisions. Easy to learn and play.

I tried to order them based on "epic-ness", but I'm sure other opinions will vary...
 
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Leslie Taylor
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Florida
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I would have recommended A Few Acres of Snow, but you said no real history, so I suggest its fantasy sequel Mythotopia instead. The latter plays 2-4, and the two player game is really solid and easily gets around the end game issues that crop up with 3 or 4. The game takes about an hour and a half and feels like a big, epic war.
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Steve R Bullock
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Space Hulk.

To save money you can buy an older edition.

It is truly epic.
 
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Ladson
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I was going to put Star Wars: Rebellion, but the 2-hour limit is too optimistic.

Then it hit me: Stronghold

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Mark Bigney
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Kingston
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Ortus Regni or Space Hulk (fourth edition).
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Rich Lush
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Wow some amazing suggestions here, thanks all!

Just to clarify, by epic, I mean that feeling when decisions go to the wire, or a certain move takes half the board, and every decision feels like it's going to have an impact and you don't know who's won until the very end, And you're lost in the game.

Reason for the time limit is I play with lots of groups and/or individuals and we don't have time for really long games or want to get multiple experiences in.

When I said not collectable, I'm happy for it to have expansions, I just don't want to have to pay out for loads of extra miniatures or cards to keep the games fresh or make it feel like a complete package beyond the initial purchase - and I can have an addictive personality so I've steered away from a lot of these games for that reason!

My reason for nothing based on real wars is purely that I want to escape, and with lots of stuff going on in the world at the mo and lots of different political views, I don't find great enjoyment in things so close sometimes to the real world, or even that one of us is going to have to play the bad guy, which is fun when it's fiction, but when it's factual, I just feel a bit uncomfortable. Does that make sense? It's completely a personal reason and I get this is different for different people!


Having said that, it's interesting what a few peeps have said about one or two of these collectable games as staNdalones and worth thinking about! I think at the mo, BattleLore (Second Edition) and Summoner Wars: Master Set have had the most comments! But I'm happy to heart of more and interesting that no ones talked about BattleCON: Devastation of Indines yet too!
 
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Kendahl Johnson
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Albuquerque
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Epic is really tough to define...

But I'd suggest Letters from Whitechapel.
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Jason Wear
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Try Quantum.
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Moe45673
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Scythe is a great 4x-ish game that plays 2 very well. You can even play it solo!

Clash of Cultures is one of my favorites of all time. Takes an hour per player, 40m if using the very good short variant. Seriously, one of the best.

Battlelore is awesome. I recommend the red army expansion, blue army expansion, and pack of extra dice. Those alone have infinite replay ability. Day 1 purchase if cost is no object. Everything else is awesome too but I'd have been happy if they'd stopped there
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C&H Schmidt
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Heidelberg
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I would suggest Pax Porfiriana:
It is extremely tense and confrontational (but in a good way!) and to me feels very epic in that every decision has significance - there are really interesting and difficult decisions to be made all the time. One of the best game designs I've ever played.

Why it might not fit what you want:
- It pushes the two-hour limit (and I assume it gets even longer with more than two).
- It is based on real historic events.
- The rules are somewhat complicated and will take a bit to "click" (for me, about half a game; and then it really clicked after the second).
 
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Don Jarmusch

Oakland
New Jersey
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Starship Catan
It is an old favorite for my son and I when it's two-player, head to head time. Not hard to learn, especially if the players are familiar with Catan mechanics. Believe its long out of print, but can be found for trade here on BGG.
 
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HenningK
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Berlin
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Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends
It is extremely skillful, the choices all do matter, and there is a great catch-up mechanic, so both players have a chance for a long time. Simple rules, but amazing depth.
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