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Subject: 2 player - thought this was going to be a train wreck rss

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Homo Ludens
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I purchased Cyclades and as usual set it up for a practice game at home before teaching it to other people.

After 30 minutes I thought this was going to be horrible as a 2 player game. I set up a 2 player game and after jut a couple of rounds one of my virtual players was way ahead on coins and ships/troops. It seemed like a classic runaway winner scenario.

But stick with it I thought, the bidding mechanic is the core of the game and cannot be adequately replicated with me bidding against myself

And so I tried a proper 2 player game last night. And the same thing happened, with me in the 'lead' and the other player struggling to get any coins. It looked like I was on the road to an epic win, with the other player just along for the ride.

Oh how wrong we were!

We stuck with it and were rewarded with one of the most interesting and fun games we have ever played. In the end it came down to a very close finish, with both of us sitting on two metropolis and both with a winning move depending on the bidding on the last round.

Every round we were just in awe of the great design of the bidding mechanic. It threw up real choices each and every round. Once we looked beyond the board (with those great minis) and stopped thinking of the soldiers and ships as being anything more than a means to an end we realised that the bidding mechanic, though simple, provides all the depth and strategic choices of more heavy games.

I cannot wait to play this again with 2 players, and try out higher player counts as well. And I have both Hades and Titans to try as well.

A truly great game. Stick with it even when it looks a bit bleak, and all the wonders of the ancient world will be yours!
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Gold Sirius
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It works surprisingly well with two players.
I think 3 players is the worst combination, if only because you only play with 3 gods (!) instead of 4 (2 and 4 players) or 5 (5 players).

5 players is still my favorite, though. Always playing with the Hades expansion, too, since it only makes the game even better.

Now, still have to try out that Titans game...
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Abdiel Xordium
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asobu wrote:
Every round we were just in awe of the great design of the bidding mechanic.

Cyclades is a great game. And since you love the bidding mechanism you'll appreciate that it was borrowed whole hog from Amun-Re. You'll even hear it periodically referred to as "Amun-Re bidding".

Edit:
As I recall Homesteaders and Vegas Showdown use Amun-Re styled bidding as well.
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Damon Asher
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Jefferson
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Nice article that captures my own thoughts about the game. I would be very curious to hear your comments after you play with Titans. I agree that the bidding is the focus of the game and works wonderfully. I did not buy Titans because my impression was that it would somewhat diminish the tension around the bidding, and push the game in a more conventional "dudes on a map" direction. Please update this thread after you play with Titans, because I would be interested to hear your perspective on this. Maybe I am wrong!
 
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Only played this once two player (the burrito boy really wanted to play it again, but we were the only ones around), and somehow I went from three metropolises (I think he had zero) to losing, which is the worst possible way to lose.

So obviously it has some balance issues with two.
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Damon Asher
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kuhrusty wrote:
Only played this once two player (the burrito boy really wanted to play it again, but we were the only ones around), and somehow I went from three metropolises (I think he had zero) to losing, which is the worst possible way to lose.

So obviously it has some balance issues with two.


That doesn't sound like a balance issue. That sounds like an awesome game!
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Jason Parham
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kuhrusty wrote:
Only played this once two player (the burrito boy really wanted to play it again, but we were the only ones around), and somehow I went from three metropolises (I think he had zero) to losing, which is the worst possible way to lose.

So obviously it has some balance issues with two.


That's not a balance issue. That is poor play by one player and/or excellent play by another.
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Glen Rudis
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Sounds like my experience as well OP. I played my first game finally last night with my wife. Not sure why we waited so long, I purchased it back in February. The game started off slow, and I was worried the game was going to be bad. Have heard bad things about the 2 player count. Although I'm getting to the point that for the most part people are usually unfairly knocking 2 player count for all games. Once we started to establish some wealth and area the game really took off.

She played a passive non aggressive strategy, which ultimately was her demise. I got my troops and fleets out early and controlled as much as I could. Still though it came down to the last turn with us both having chances at our third metropolis. She had 2 ways she could win, getting her 4th philosopher or building a port. With one problem she didn't have an island to build the metropolis. I needed a university. Gods came out in the order of Ares, Athena, Poseidon. Both her paths to victory on the board, and Ares on the board so she could try to conquer the island she needed. With more than enough money on her side due to a well played Griffin, it ended up coming to an epic battle for one island. Very awesome, can't wait to play again.

My only complaint with 2 players I guess is the monsters. Unless we played them wrong. They basically just popped out for that turn, did there thing and disappeared. I wish you had them longer.
 
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Niko J
Finland
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rudis21 wrote:
My only complaint with 2 players I guess is the monsters. Unless we played them wrong. They basically just popped out for that turn, did there thing and disappeared. I wish you had them longer.


Nope, that's how they work. Well, Kraken does stay on the board which is cool. Sort of a no-go zone.

I've read that one of the expansions, Hades I believe, introduces a secondary resource you can spend to maintain monsters for additional turns. I've been happy with my base game but that's something to consider if monsters really start bothering you.
 
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