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Subject: Amount of exclusive 2p games in a collection? rss

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Christoffer Fast
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I've liked board games all my life, but it's the past year or two that I have started developing the interest into a hobby. I love variation but I don't like collecting for the sake of it, so my goal is to have maybe 10-15 games with different mechanics and weight that I can play on a fairly regular basis.

Because I want as flexible a collection as possible, for me, exclusive 2 player games have never been an option. I do think that many of the games that scale from say 2-4 players in the rules are just so much more fun with 3 or 4 players, but being able to accomodate more players is a big plus for me. Obviously, there are some great 2 player games out there and I would really like to try them out (TS, 1960, Polis, etc). But own them? Nah.

A few weeks back, my wife got me 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis to cheer me up (I'm currently at home with our 1-year old) and I instantly fell in love. And it got me thinking: maybe it's not such a bad idea to add a few quality 2 player games to the collection?

So here are my questions: What is your experience with the balance of exclusive 2 player games versus multiplayer games? Do you have just a few for the odd 2-player occasions, or do you even have a substantial amount? And would you say that there is a difference in playing time and weight between your exclusive 2 player games, and the majority of your other games?

Thanks for your input
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Alexandra M
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I play a lot of games two player that aren't meant to be two-player, but only own three: Agricola: All Creatures, 7 Wonders Duel, and Patchwork. My boyfriend and I do not live together, but we've said we think we will pick up a lot more two player gams if/when that changes, such as Mr. Jack, Lost Cities, and ...and then we held hands. I think it just depends on who you have to play with. There are a lot of really awesome games set up specifically just for two people and if you sometimes often just have two people (such as in playing with your wife when your child is in bed), it can be a real treat to have games like that!
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Roman Kowalewski
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I live with my girlfriend and we often play together, we have a number of 2 player only games: Mage Wars Arena, 7 Wonders Duel, Lost Cities and Twilight Struggle as well as some games that are best with two, at least in our minds, like: Mage Knight Board Game, Imperial Settlers or Neuroshima Hex!. We have a collection of over 30 games just to put it into perspective. As you may see they are all over the spectrum of lengh and weight.

When choosing new games we consider whether or not they work with 2. We have a gaming group with some friends with whom we meet every two weeks or so but a significant part of our gaming time is on our own. This should be the thing you need to consider. If you will play your 2-player only games there is no reason not to have them in your collection. Even so i don't think you need to have a 2-player only game in your collection. Just when you see a game that is only for 2 consider whether or not it is worth for you to get it for the fun you will have playing it with your wife or other potencial gaming partners.
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Gláucio Reis
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45 out of 237 games, or about 19% of my collection, are exclusively for two players. I think more than half of them are from Kosmos two-player series, but I also have some bigger stuff like Battlelore and Claustrophobia.
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Ian Bennetts
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I'm not limited to only 2 players but somehow my exclusively 2 player game collection has expanded:

7 Wonders Duel
Jaipur
Akrotiri
Tides of Time
Odin's Ravens (second edition)
Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion

All offer different 2 player experiences.
 
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Chess, Go, Backgammon, Checkers are classics with a long history, and they are all 2-player games.
There must be something to that formula ....

I own some other great 2-player only games like Stratego, Master Mind, Twixt, Hive, or Patchwork to name a few.

All of these have a more or less simple ruleset in common.

Some of the modern 2-player games steer an opposite course with more complex rules, like Fields of Arle for example.

There are some really good games for more players that play well with two, but that is not always true.
 
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James C
United States
Great Falls
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I play mostly 2 player games and therefore own a lot of 2 player only games.

Lost Cities
Patchwork
ACBAS
Le Havre: The Inland Port
Mr. Jack Pocket
Hive
Four Tribes
Fjords
Jaipur
Targi

I generally play these with my wife and when we have a bigger group we have plenty of other games. Usually lighter family style games with 4 people or party style games with 8 players. Of course we also have some games that are for 2-4 players that work great with 2 players so we play those two. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't care if a game is for 2 people only since that's my major way to play. I've never looked at a game and said "oh darn, only for two players."
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Chris Mcpherson
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I have 13 2-player only games. This works out to about 14% of my collection. My main gaming group is myself, wife, and 13yr old daughter. My daughter has to go to bed at some point and my wife and I don't like to start any big games without her. So this gives us a great reason to own a substantial 2-player only collection. We do have some other games that play more but scale down just as well but most of those are longer games that my daughter would get upset if we played without her.
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Eric Chiriboga
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Oviedo
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I have a decent amount.
A few tiny fillers: Famous First Downs: The World's Smallest Football Game, Famous Forehand: The World's Smallest Tennis Game, Famous Fastballs: The World's Smallest Baseball Game, Coin Age.

A few abstract strategies: Kamisado, Jarl: The Vikings Tile-Laying Game, King's Valley, Onitama, Hive Pocket.

And a few other assorted ones, mostly wargames: Pax Baltica, Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan, Ogre, Angola, Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men.
 
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Christen
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37 out of 184. 20%. I play a lot of two players, so that seems like a great balance for us. Also, most of the multiplayer games I buy are ones that play well 2 players as well. So, I'd guess that 70% of my collection can be played 2 players well (though I didn't count for this one).

What is right for someone else's collection might not be right for yours though.
 
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April W
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Nevynje wrote:
I've liked board games all my life, but it's the past year or two that I have started developing the interest into a hobby. I love variation but I don't like collecting for the sake of it, so my goal is to have maybe 10-15 games with different mechanics and weight that I can play on a fairly regular basis.

Because I want as flexible a collection as possible, for me, exclusive 2 player games have never been an option. I do think that many of the games that scale from say 2-4 players in the rules are just so much more fun with 3 or 4 players, but being able to accomodate more players is a big plus for me. Obviously, there are some great 2 player games out there and I would really like to try them out (TS, 1960, Polis, etc). But own them? Nah.

A few weeks back, my wife got me 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis to cheer me up (I'm currently at home with our 1-year old) and I instantly fell in love. And it got me thinking: maybe it's not such a bad idea to add a few quality 2 player games to the collection?

So here are my questions: What is your experience with the balance of exclusive 2 player games versus multiplayer games? Do you have just a few for the odd 2-player occasions, or do you even have a substantial amount? And would you say that there is a difference in playing time and weight between your exclusive 2 player games, and the majority of your other games?

Thanks for your input


Good question. I think for most this will depend on who they play games with most often. If people have easy access to a large gaming group, they will likely prefer games with higher player count, but if they play mostly with just one person then they're likely to enjoy games that play best with two.

The latter is true for me. As much as I would love to game with lots of people that only works out about once a month. Most of my game time is me and my husband so it's very important to me to have good two-player games in my collection, even some that are exclusively two player. In fact, I won't buy a game if it doesn't accommodate two.

Because we do game with other family members on occasion I am always striving to find games that scale well.

Depending on the game, playing with just two can alter your experience vastly from playing with many, but not always in a negative way. Play time is almost always shorter with just two in my experience and, again depending on the game, the complexity/difficulty may or may not change- some games are easier with two, some are more difficult.

The best two player games are typically the ones crafted especially for two. These can be just as fulfilling and involved as a multiplayer game with lots of people.
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Pete
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I have something of an aversion to 2 player games.

Pete (owns some but likes to play with 3 minimum, and would prefer to have at least 4)
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George Louie
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Of the 88 games owned, 5 of those are 2 player only... I did trade away Battle Line, but my 2 Player Only count would be higher, since I feel like I went through a stage where I was actively looking for 2 player games for my wife and I to play.

Android: Netrunner
Jaipur
Lost Cities
Niya
Targi

 
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Chris
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29% is the correct answer.

(At least, that's what it is in mine).
 
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Jim Carvin
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I think everyone's mileage is going to vary on this one. It mostly depends on who you're playing with the most. It's always good to have options and unless the game has a variable set-up for the number of players (and sometimes not even then) it seems that most multi-player games are best with 3+ people.

There are some games that play best with 2 but can play more but in those cases, sometimes the more people the worse the game (Through the Ages, Imperial Settlers, Runebound, etc) There's no reason to avoid 2-player games unless you truly never have a chance to play them.

And then there's co-op games which often are good no matter how many people play; though co-ops aren't always everyone's cup of tea.

So grab a few of the 2-player games that excite you but start small and see how it goes.
 
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Lawrence
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What percentage of your game plays are 2 player? According to BGG stats, around 90% of my games are 2 player. In my mind, it makes a sort of sense to structure 90% of my collection around 2 player games or games that are at least pretty damn good at 2 player. The only games I have that work better at 4 player than 2 player that I can think of are Blood Rage, Dungeon Lords, Codenames, Bohnanza, and Arcadia Quest. In a collection of 80 games, this works out with my target percentage.
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CARL SKUTSCH
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New York
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Nevynje wrote:
I've liked board games all my life, but it's the past year or two that I have started developing the interest into a hobby. I love variation but I don't like collecting for the sake of it, so my goal is to have maybe 10-15 games with different mechanics and weight that I can play on a fairly regular basis.

Because I want as flexible a collection as possible, for me, exclusive 2 player games have never been an option. I do think that many of the games that scale from say 2-4 players in the rules are just so much more fun with 3 or 4 players, but being able to accomodate more players is a big plus for me. Obviously, there are some great 2 player games out there and I would really like to try them out (TS, 1960, Polis, etc). But own them? Nah.

A few weeks back, my wife got me 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis to cheer me up (I'm currently at home with our 1-year old) and I instantly fell in love. And it got me thinking: maybe it's not such a bad idea to add a few quality 2 player games to the collection?

So here are my questions: What is your experience with the balance of exclusive 2 player games versus multiplayer games? Do you have just a few for the odd 2-player occasions, or do you even have a substantial amount? And would you say that there is a difference in playing time and weight between your exclusive 2 player games, and the majority of your other games?

Thanks for your input :)

I have a lot of 2-player games but that's because I have a fair number of war games (which are usually 2 player). These days I mostly play with the wife, who is not a wargamer, so those games go unplayed. However, there are lots of multiplayer games that play very well with 2. I don't think you have any need to pick out some exclusive 2 player games to fill out your collection (which already has some lovely games).

To give you ideas: the wife and I love Innovation which claims to be 2-4 but actually plays best with 2.
We've also been playing a lot of Concordia (with Concordia Salsa) which plays very nicely with 2 (although I've heard it's even better with more).
Since you fell for 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis (which is a nice game, I agree) you might want to check out Twilight Struggle. It's a much heavier game and will only work if you and your wife are up for a head to head confrontational game. (It's not my wife's cup of tea, but I play it with other folks.)
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Sarah Kelley
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When I first started buying a few games I wanted as large a range as possible. I felt that a 2 player game was limited and I avoided them.

Things changed, as they do, and I found myself in a situation where I was playing with one person, nightly, someone that I really wanted to sell on the idea of playing games. It became important to me to provide her with the highest quality experience in an effort to convince her that gaming was fun. I actively began searching for 2 player games I felt would appeal to her. It worked beautifully, by the way. I think April is correct when she says, "The best two player games are typically the ones crafted especially for two."

I do find a difference in the playing time in the 2 player vs multiplayer games that I have. We can sit and play game after game after game of the 2 players, but when we break out the multiplayers the session will have fewer plays.

Even though I have several 2 players, there are a few more I want to add to my collection.

When we have more people to play (once or twice a week) we enjoy the larger games.

Of course I wish that the 2 player games were more versatile and could add players, and that the 3 and ups could be played well with 2 ... but you can't have everything in one game. That's why we all have collections of games.

I hear what you're saying about collecting . . . I don't have a goal but I don't really care for going out all of the time or for tv. I'm in a situation where nearly every night of the week there are 2 of us to entertain . . . and both of us love variety. I'm not obsessed with collecting but 10 games for me right now feels restrictive.
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Larry L
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A lot of my very old games (70s and 80s games) are 2 player. I avoid buying new 2 player games for the most part as I much prefer to play games in large groups. The one recent exception was Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, to play with my daughter.
 
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Chris M
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Rahdo should chime in!
 
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Melody Klein
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12 out of around 50, so ~26%.
A few of those are open to more players with expansions.

It's a requirement for a game to be able to play 2P to enter my collection, as that's my most frequently used player count, and I prefer 2P to multiplayer for the most part.
I waved that requirement one time, for Spinergy, and I'm starting to regret that decision, as I can't seem to get it played, even when I have an appropriate player count.
2P exclusivity is not a hindrance for me at all. It doesn't factor into my buying decisions.
 
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James Lautermilch
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Since I mostly own conflict simulations in my game collection I would say about 85% are 2p which for the most part I play solitaire. The rest of my games are either eurogames and coop games. My board game collection is based around conflict simulations and always will be so the percentage of 2p games in my collection will always be high.
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John Prewitt
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100% of every game I've ever bought (~150 of them) has been 1-2 player playable. As far as exclusives.. IDK. 10%?
 
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Doug Hook
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Two player games that are designed for 2 players seem to be OK. If the game seats 3 or more then, in my experience, the 2 player version isn’t as interesting.

I have specific games that are for 2 players. I do get to play board games with my wife infrequently. Also when folks come over to play, if my wifee isn’t quite ready I’ll break out a 2 player game. Half the games I purchased so far this year are 2 player games.
 
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Morten K
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16 out of my 116 games are two-player only. At least half of those are pure abstracts. If you like abstracts most of them are two-player only. Some good ones that allow more players exist of course but most are limited. I also have some multi-player games that I'd only play with two; Grand Austria Hotel and Greed for instance but most often I find the ones that are made for just two to be better balanced for that number.
 
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