Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
70 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations

Subject: My wife is losing interest! HELP! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Nathanael Allison
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So I LOVE playing games with my wife, but like many of us here, she does not have the patience for highly strategic, long, brain burners. Unfortunately, those are exactly the types of games I like!! Help me find a middle ground before she loses interest completely! Here is what I need to find:

What she likes:

1. Quick set-up!!!
2. Quick rules explanation (at this point she is starting to refuse to learn new games with me. I have to learn with others first!)
3. Playtime under an hour
4. Likes strategy, but not at the expense of the previous three points.
5. Doesn't mind take-that, but not if its REALLY MEAN!
6. Games she has liked in the past: Castles of Burgundy (although she only wants to play it every once in a while), Orleans (again, sometimes), Isle of Skye, Carcassone, Splendor.

What I like:

1. Long term strategy
2. Low luck
3. Euro mechanics
4. Engine Building, Resource management
5. Not big on card games or deck builders (unless its just one mechanic of many)
6. Mechanics over theme
7. Games I've liked: COB, Keyflower, Orleans, Agricola, Hyperborea, Scythe

Other preferences: I don't typically buy games that only support 2 players, I LOVE to find value in games that scale really well, or at least have a tested and approved variant.

Thinking about: Seeland, HABA games like Karuba or Adventure Land? I'm just not sure if they will provide enough strategy for me, but I'm willing to try!

Thanks in advance for all the great, supportive people here who have really helped me to find some fantastic games here!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
WD Yoga
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The same thing happened to me. At first my wife agreed to play lighter games such as Carcassonne. She even agreed an enjoyed Voyage of Marco Polo once in a while. But then, she lost her interest.

We tried to play lighter games, just so she could play but to no avail. Rather than making her gained her interest back, I felt that the game sessions had become unexciting. So, finally, I let her go

Luckily, my son is old enough to play with me and he's very eager to play, even more than me some time. Granted, since he is still 7, he could play games like Marco Polo or Dungeon Petz but not in "optimal" way, as adults would. But IMHO that's better than having a half-hearted player...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
15 Keys
United States
Living in the Delco
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Maybe find a game group that has similar interest?

It doesn't look like she wants to play the games you want to play (it appears that she might not liking to play games, which is possible). Instead, really, just find a group where you can go play those games.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Max Maximus
United Kingdom
Liverpool
flag msg tools
yeah, you sound like you need to find a group to play with rather than your wife

I'm a very casual player and don't enjoy the more in depth games, just find other people who like similar games
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathanael Allison
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fifteenkeys wrote:
Maybe find a game group that has similar interest?

It doesn't look like she wants to play the games you want to play (it appears that she might not liking to play games, which is possible). Instead, really, just find a group where you can go play those games.

You guys are depressing me! She genuinely likes to play games, but by the end of the day, she is so tired that she can't envision taking the time to learn new rules, endure a long setup and take down, or play for a long time. We need something that will allow us to play quickly, but also feels fulfilling with decent strategic decisions. I do have some dudes that I play with, but its at irregular times, as our work schedules allow. If I could keep her interested then I would have many more opportunities to play! Plus its a great alternative to vegging in front of the TV. Come on, there's got to be something out there!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Talmadge
United States
Clinton
CT
flag msg tools
REFEREE MADNESS
badge
I'm wasting your time!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Seeland works well with 2p. The conflict comes in the form of building one of your windmills in a more desirable location first. There's also conflict in adding the lesser valued landscape tiles next to opponents windmill spaces, so they score less points. Easy to learn, play and setup.

edit: Good Luck!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K S
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bgamern8 wrote:
What she likes:

1. Quick set-up!!!
2. Quick rules explanation (at this point she is starting to refuse to learn new games with me. I have to learn with others first!)
3. Playtime under an hour
4. Likes strategy, but not at the expense of the previous three points.

It seems like these are the three most important keys to what your wife likes. The good news is that most (maybe all) of these aren't actually gameplay problems, and that you may be able to address them by HOW, not WHAT you play. You've already found a way around the rules explanation: learn the games yourself first before introducing her. As far as the set up, if you just do the set up yourself without her, then that could address that problem. The trickiest one might be the playtime: if you like longer games and she likes shorter games, how would it work if you simply played a single longer game across multiple play sessions? In fact, this would also help with the setup if you could just leave the game set up overnight and have zero set up time for the next session.

If these approaches could address her big concerns, then I have a bit of an unorthodox suggestion for a new game: try a "sandbox" game like Merchants & Marauders or Xia: Legends of a Drift System (depending on budget and theme preference). The idea here is that these games would be flexible enough to allow you to pursue a longterm Euro-style strategy with engine building and resource management, but also allow her to enjoy the game's less strategic aspects.

Then again, maybe this is all rubbish. :-)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Evan
United States
Longwood
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A couple games that you might like that are close to what you list are the following...

Stone Age - Easy set up, quick to play, and the more skilled player will win in almost every instance despite the fact that there are dice rolls associated with resource gathering.

New York 1901 - Think Ticket to Ride meets Tetris. There is more strategy here than meets the eye and the set up is virtually nothing and the rules are easy to explain.

Champions of Midgard - OK, so the worker placement mechanic is played out via dice rolls, so there is a bit of luck involved, but the theme is great and the game plays quickly. There are also multiple paths to victory. I have not played it, but people who like COM also seem to like Lords of Waterdeep

Five Tribes - Moderate setup and a bit of a point salad, but interesting choices throughout the game, and multiple paths to victory.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
WD Yoga
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bgamern8 wrote:
fifteenkeys wrote:
Maybe find a game group that has similar interest?

It doesn't look like she wants to play the games you want to play (it appears that she might not liking to play games, which is possible). Instead, really, just find a group where you can go play those games.

You guys are depressing me! She genuinely likes to play games, but by the end of the day, she is so tired that she can't envision taking the time to learn new rules, endure a long setup and take down, or play for a long time. We need something that will allow us to play quickly, but also feels fulfilling with decent strategic decisions. I do have some dudes that I play with, but its at irregular times, as our work schedules allow. If I could keep her interested then I would have many more opportunities to play! Plus its a great alternative to vegging in front of the TV. Come on, there's got to be something out there!


Ah, sorry for depressing you.

Have you tried these games?
Lords of Waterdeep
Black Fleet
Galaxy Trucker

Those are light yet offering interesting strategical choices, imho.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
bgamern8 wrote:
fifteenkeys wrote:
Maybe find a game group that has similar interest?

It doesn't look like she wants to play the games you want to play (it appears that she might not liking to play games, which is possible). Instead, really, just find a group where you can go play those games.

You guys are depressing me! She genuinely likes to play games, but by the end of the day, she is so tired that she can't envision taking the time to learn new rules, endure a long setup and take down, or play for a long time. We need something that will allow us to play quickly, but also feels fulfilling with decent strategic decisions. I do have some dudes that I play with, but its at irregular times, as our work schedules allow. If I could keep her interested then I would have many more opportunities to play! Plus its a great alternative to vegging in front of the TV. Come on, there's got to be something out there!


I have a question: What game titles have you played in the past that she enjoyed? From there we may be able to give a better answer or suggestion.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Kmak
United States
Parrish
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
In addition to Stone Age already mentioned I suggest Coal Baron and a cooperative game, Freedom, The Underground Railroad.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Burt
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmb
It seems to me that your problem isn't with finding the right game so much as how you go about playing. For example, issue #1 is irrelevant if you always do setup, and issue #2 much less if you don't always teach/learn new games and instead play the ones she knows and likes.

By avoiding 2p only games, you are eliminating numerous tried and true "spouse friendly" games, such as Lost Cities, Patchwork, 7 Wonders Duel, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, etc.

What is your win ratio? I've noticed that people who are not strongly motivated to play, like many gamer spouses, are very sensitive to losing too often. If that's an issue, then try to lose more often, or play games that she can win more often.

Finally, is she involved in your game purchasing decisions? It can really help if you include her in your game search and buying process, because she will have much more of a sense of ownership of the games you buy, and that translates into more motivation and enthusiasm.
11 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bookwormral Bookwormral
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My (usually non gamer) wife enjoys :
Jaipur
Agricola All Creatures Great and Small
Ticket to Ride
Archaeology th card game
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathanael Allison
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
wamsp wrote:
bgamern8 wrote:
What she likes:

1. Quick set-up!!!
2. Quick rules explanation (at this point she is starting to refuse to learn new games with me. I have to learn with others first!)
3. Playtime under an hour
4. Likes strategy, but not at the expense of the previous three points.

It seems like these are the three most important keys to what your wife likes. The good news is that most (maybe all) of these aren't actually gameplay problems, and that you may be able to address them by HOW, not WHAT you play. You've already found a way around the rules explanation: learn the games yourself first before introducing her. As far as the set up, if you just do the set up yourself without her, then that could address that problem. The trickiest one might be the playtime: if you like longer games and she likes shorter games, how would it work if you simply played a single longer game across multiple play sessions? In fact, this would also help with the setup if you could just leave the game set up overnight and have zero set up time for the next session.

If these approaches could address her big concerns, then I have a bit of an unorthodox suggestion for a new game: try a "sandbox" game like Merchants & Marauders or Xia: Legends of a Drift System (depending on budget and theme preference). The idea here is that these games would be flexible enough to allow you to pursue a longterm Euro-style strategy with engine building and resource management, but also allow her to enjoy the game's less strategic aspects.

Then again, maybe this is all rubbish. :-)


Great suggestions! Although, there is still the tricky dynamic of, if I'm doing all this leg work --setting up the night before etc. Will she feel "obligated" to play? It seems to work best with her, if we could have something thats quick, but thinky, ready to go spur of the moment. I'm also worried that although both of those sandbox games sound great to me, she may have trouble mentally getting past the feel that they are going to be a slog.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathanael Allison
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TheSpiceOfLife wrote:
bgamern8 wrote:
fifteenkeys wrote:
Maybe find a game group that has similar interest?

It doesn't look like she wants to play the games you want to play (it appears that she might not liking to play games, which is possible). Instead, really, just find a group where you can go play those games.

You guys are depressing me! She genuinely likes to play games, but by the end of the day, she is so tired that she can't envision taking the time to learn new rules, endure a long setup and take down, or play for a long time. We need something that will allow us to play quickly, but also feels fulfilling with decent strategic decisions. I do have some dudes that I play with, but its at irregular times, as our work schedules allow. If I could keep her interested then I would have many more opportunities to play! Plus its a great alternative to vegging in front of the TV. Come on, there's got to be something out there!


I have a question: What game titles have you played in the past that she enjoyed? From there we may be able to give a better answer or suggestion.

I named some games in the post, sorry you missed it!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Mcpherson
Canada
Sarnia
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Def crazy to avoid at least a few 2-player only games. Patchwork for sure, battle line, Jaipur, or morels are a few options.oh yeah, forgot about Targi. Patchwork and Targi are no brained for me.

Arboretum might be a good fit.

I think the game you are def looking for is Glen more. You must track down a copy. Board game bliss here in canada(online, ships to USA) usually has German edition in stock.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Leif Carlsen
United States
Kennewick
Washington
flag msg tools
Illegitimi Non Carborundum
badge
Tri-City Area Gaming
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
bgamern8 wrote:
Quick rules explanation (at this point she is starting to refuse to learn new games with me. I have to learn with others first!)
These days, I often learn first by myself. I play both sides of a 2-player game. If I still don't feel like I know all the rules that well, I repeat until I do. Then I play with my wife or other people. Doesn't always happen, but I try to. It helps. A lot.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathanael Allison
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Esvath wrote:
bgamern8 wrote:
fifteenkeys wrote:
Maybe find a game group that has similar interest?

It doesn't look like she wants to play the games you want to play (it appears that she might not liking to play games, which is possible). Instead, really, just find a group where you can go play those games.

You guys are depressing me! She genuinely likes to play games, but by the end of the day, she is so tired that she can't envision taking the time to learn new rules, endure a long setup and take down, or play for a long time. We need something that will allow us to play quickly, but also feels fulfilling with decent strategic decisions. I do have some dudes that I play with, but its at irregular times, as our work schedules allow. If I could keep her interested then I would have many more opportunities to play! Plus its a great alternative to vegging in front of the TV. Come on, there's got to be something out there!


Ah, sorry for depressing you.

Have you tried these games?
Lords of Waterdeep
Black Fleet
Galaxy Trucker

Those are light yet offering interesting strategical choices, imho.


Not to sound picky, but we have played LOW, but it just always felt like a dumbed down version of other worker placement games to me, plus the "theme" isn't really her bag. Might need to give it another shot though.

Haven't tried Black Fleet, but it seems great! (EDIT --just saw it needs a variant for 2--does it work?)

I owned Galaxy trucker in the past, and she and I both liked it for a while but the thrill of building your ship grew old after a bit.

Thanks!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Virginia M.P.
United States
Bronx
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Probably my suggestions won't interest you, but imo your situation is exactly where 2P games shine. Designed for exactly 2 players, they tend to be - generally - shorter and less fiddly, with simpler rules and a quicker setup. So I'll recommended, as a starter list:
- Patchwork
- Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
- Targi
- The Builders: Middle Ages (not strictly 2P but plays like one to me)
- Pagoda
- Karuba (again, not 2P only)

And please check out this excellent geeklist: You and me . . . and coffee make three

There is also a great couples guild: A Couple of Gamers
And an accompanying monthly play geeklist: What Couples Have Been Playing - October 2016

Lots of inspiration to be found. Your wife may never be interested in your preferred games, but there's plenty of fun stuff left. Good luck!
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathanael Allison
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
quill65 wrote:
It seems to me that your problem isn't with finding the right game so much as how you go about playing. For example, issue #1 is irrelevant if you always do setup, and issue #2 much less if you don't always teach/learn new games and instead play the ones she knows and likes.

By avoiding 2p only games, you are eliminating numerous tried and true "spouse friendly" games, such as Lost Cities, Patchwork, 7 Wonders Duel, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, etc.

What is your win ratio? I've noticed that people who are not strongly motivated to play, like many gamer spouses, are very sensitive to losing too often. If that's an issue, then try to lose more often, or play games that she can win more often.

Finally, is she involved in your game purchasing decisions? It can really help if you include her in your game search and buying process, because she will have much more of a sense of ownership of the games you buy, and that translates into more motivation and enthusiasm.

Great thoughts! I'm willing to look at 2 player only games, its just not my preference (more of a mental block, bang for buck type thing). Our win ratio is pretty even, but prob more to in her favor to be honest
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fruit Eating Bear
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You might try Targi, perhaps, or The Pursuit of Happiness. They're lightish WP games.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
giving my opinion as a female, if it is because she is tired, then she is unlikely to want to play more indepth games regardless of whether she likes them or not so maybe only try those on a weekend when had a lie in and stick to more laidback/casual games in the evening.

Is there anything you can do to make her less tired - maybe if you did all the housework, cooking etc and ran her a bath before she got home, she may be far more awake and willing to play a game lol

When I'm tired, I normally need something more exiciting or I need something more laidback and easy depending on my mood and definately one I know how to play - it's not the time for new rules
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K S
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bgamern8 wrote:
Great suggestions! Although, there is still the tricky dynamic of, if I'm doing all this leg work --setting up the night before etc. Will she feel "obligated" to play? It seems to work best with her, if we could have something thats quick, but thinky, ready to go spur of the moment. I'm also worried that although both of those sandbox games sound great to me, she may have trouble mentally getting past the feel that they are going to be a slog.

Right, maybe this suggestion doesn't work. Another idea: how do y'all feel about co-ops like Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert, Pandemic etc.? Quicker setup and playtime, lighter rules, You could assume the role of "quarterback" and plot out longterm strategy for the team, leaving the short-term tactical decisions to her on her own turn. A particular favorite of mine is Pandemic: The Cure, which is even quicker to set up and play than its older sister, but it's also a dice game, so maybe a bit too much luck for your tastes.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathanael Allison
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RenaissanceMom wrote:
Probably my suggestions won't interest you, but imo your situation is exactly where 2P games shine. Designed for exactly 2 players, they tend to be - generally - shorter and less fiddly, with simpler rules and a quicker setup. So I'll recommended, as a starter list:
- Patchwork
- Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
- Targi
- The Builders: Middle Ages (not strictly 2P but plays like one to me)
- Pagoda
- Karuba (again, not 2P only)

And please check out this excellent geeklist: You and me . . . and coffee make three

There is also a great couples guild: A Couple of Gamers
And an accompanying monthly play geeklist: What Couples Have Been Playing - October 2016

Lots of inspiration to be found. Your wife may never be interested in your preferred games, but there's plenty of fun stuff left. Good luck!

Fantastic Post! Thank you for all the links! Actually most of your suggestions interest me greatly!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathanael Allison
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re4isnumber1 wrote:
Def crazy to avoid at least a few 2-player only games. Patchwork for sure, battle line, Jaipur, or morels are a few options.oh yeah, forgot about Targi. Patchwork and Targi are no brained for me.

Arboretum might be a good fit.

I think the game you are def looking for is Glen more. You must track down a copy. Board game bliss here in canada(online, ships to USA) usually has German edition in stock.


Glen more is actually one I am activity searching for. It just seems like traders want way too much for it, because its OOP.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.