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Subject: Boardgame with miniatures that plays well with two players? rss

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Paolo Maiello
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Copenhagen
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Hi all,

I am getting tired of euro games with soulless wooden meeples, cubes, disks etc. and I am looking for a game with (possibly good-looking) miniatures and a nice board to play on.

I mainly play two-players with my wife but would like a game that could scales well with more (3-4 players) for the occasions in which we invite people over.

Rules have to be on the light side and easy enough to teach that a non-boardgamer could get involved in her/his first game. Could be coop as long as we can avoid the alpha-gamer issue.

For reference, I have played Zombicide Black Plague game for the first time last week and got really impressed with how straighforward it is to play. However, I am not a fan of the medieval setting. I would much rather a "modern" Zombicide but from what I read Black Plague beats all the other editions, so I am not sure.

Thanks in advance for any suggestion.
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WD Yoga
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There is Mechs vs Minions.
- It has mechs and minion minis.
- It is a cooperative, programming game.
- People who have played it said that it is easy enough to teach.

Try to watch the many reviews and tutorial videos there, you might find it interesting.

 
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Daily Grind
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I'm a huge fan of Space Cadets: Away Missions. It's a 1950s (campy) Sci-fi theme and is a ton of fun. Co-op with some interesting player decisions, tactics, decent looking minis, good luck mitigation.

Also BattleLore (Second Edition) is good with 2, but not so much with more.
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Reed Dawley
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Blood Rage is a euro at heart with an ameritrash look, great miniatures and drafting.

Fortress America is pure ameritrash, great with 2 or 4, ok with 3. Comes with easy to read reference cards.

Fireteam Zero is a blast, but may be a little tougher to teach. Co-op but really mean.
 
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Michael Coniff
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Springfield
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Wiz-War

To go into detail as to why, I will quote myself in another thread similar to this one:

WisdomForWizards wrote:


With both expansions (a total of $101.16 on Amazon Prime right now including the base game) the game has the following noteworthy components:

312 magic cards (the bread and butter of interaction)
5 Sector boards
5 plastic wizards
5 plastic mutations
6 plastic creatures
Other cardboard chits symoblizing various items, objects, and board states.

This is a Fantasy Flight Game (and one that's not about to get the Axe with the parting of GW so you're safe there!) so you can expect good production.

Miniatures are typically limited to just the wizards on the map, but if you play with the bestial forces expansion, you can summon creatures.

-------------------

The game scales well between 2-5 players and the less amount of people, the shorter the games will take. I've played 45 minute games all the way to 2 and a half hour games. Player elimination is present which can shorten the game, but if you're not a fan of player elimination, check out the variant's section below.

...Combat, partnership, bluffing, diplomacy, locking someone inside of a room with you to punch them to death while you have a fire cloak on... this is Wiz-War, player interaction is integral. The more players, the more player interaction as you are more likely to cross paths with other players.

-------------------

And below, the previous poster has some points that I think echo what you are looking for:

wamsp wrote:

Scales well; should work at 2, but also great if it works for more than 4


A lot of people complain that wiz-war is not as exciting at two players as it becomes a race for treasures, evolves into a deathmatch, etc. well those are the same people who have jelly for an imagination and as such have never played any variant outside of what's printed in the rule book.

The reality is, I don't play a two player game where the goal is to get treasures. We play 2 player death match with an extended board. and because of the simple rules, modifying the game into this sort of module is not only possible, but extremely simple.

wamsp wrote:

A ton of variation: modular setup, variable powers, random elements welcome, scenarios welcome


If you take a gander at the back of the printed rules, you will see a list of additional variants. These are all fine and dandy are are useful in further modifying the base version of Wiz-War. If you are a cut above and can use rational and creative thought you will be able to come up with any of the below variants using the base game and all of it's expansions.

- Deathmatch
- Team Deathmatch
- Sudden Death
- Capture the Flag
- King of the Hill
- Co-op Dungeon crawl
- RPG (Tom Jolly himself recently came out with a rules set for turning the game into an RPG in the style of D&D)
- You could even take the game play of Ghost Stories and modifying it into Wiz-War and have a sort of "Zombie survival" COOPERATIVE game.

The options are only as endless as your imagination. That's just how intuitive the rules are and how easily modifiable they are.

wamsp wrote:

Less important, but desirable if the game had optional co-op and if it had some sort of "campaign" mechanism


My friend, you have come to the right place. Wiz-War though never touted and never attempted as a co-op (to my knowledge) can indeed be turned into one. I've been toying and testing with rules variants where 2-4 wizards are locked in a center board and the 4 outer boards spawn creatures, ghosts (if you happen to own ghost stories and can use those figures), and finally a "final boss."

The only reason I haven't played this and posted it on BGG is because I'm getting married this weekend and well I guess I have to take a break from gaming for that. NOTE: I am now married and don't get to play games often, but my bandmates ALWAYS request wiz-war. And each time I usually introduce an alternative way to play and they love it.

wamsp wrote:

The rules and strategy should have a bit of "heft" to them, but I think something "medium" is probably a good goal; I may be able to convert "light" gamers to "medium" gamers, but trying to get them to "heavy" any time soon may be pushing it...


I've used this game on like 7 or so people all who were either non gamers or light gamers and all of them have moved on to more complex games. Things like Star Wars: Rebellion, Memoir 44, TIME Stories, Caverna, etc. I'll let that speak for itself.

-----------------

TLDR:

Wiz-War is your game. So long as you are ok with playing Ameritrash.
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Phillip Harpring
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Ghostbusters: Protect the Barrier Game
Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Hey, That's My Fish!
Raptor (2p only)
Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers
Krosmaster: Arena (full game is a bit in-depth, but the manual has good tutorial scenarios you can play through with your partner that introduce one new rule at a time)
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Jonathan Racussen
South Africa
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Claustrophobia

2-player only, but has its miniatures, ameritrash theme and is fairly simple to grasp.
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Jonathan Challis
United Kingdom
Inkpen
West Berkshire
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Tannhäuser
Doom: The Boardgame
Mage Knight Board Game
BattleLore
Kemet
Merchants & Marauders
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Ben Bishop
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Jonathan Racussen wrote:
Claustrophobia

2-player only, but has its miniatures, ameritrash theme and is fairly simple to grasp.


+1 for this. However you technically can play more players with some scenarios, but in reality you can have a 1 against all with multiple players discussing and being the different human player pieces.
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Ken Shogren
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Rochester
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War of the Ring is really a good game, if you like the theme and all. The rules can be a bit daunting at first, but it really comes together pretty well. The only draw back on the game is that it takes time. Set up time and play time can both run long, but a full game is very enjoyable and really evokes the feeling of Middle Earth.
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Josh Johnston
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Zombicide. Super easy to teach, cooperative, Ameritrashy as they come. Needs a little tweaking to play with 2 players, but not much.
 
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Marc Nelson Jr.
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Cumberland
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Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers



Lots of minis in the box, plays from 2 to 4, can do co-op with the Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers – Battle for Zendikar expansion.
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Zachary Pickel

Dubuque
Iowa
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Maybe Shadows of Brimstone
 
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K S
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WisdomForWizards wrote:
Wiz-War

To go into detail as to why, I will quote myself in another thread similar to this one:

WisdomForWizards wrote:


With both expansions (a total of $101.16 on Amazon Prime right now including the base game) the game has the following noteworthy components:

312 magic cards (the bread and butter of interaction)
5 Sector boards
5 plastic wizards
5 plastic mutations
6 plastic creatures
Other cardboard chits symoblizing various items, objects, and board states.

This is a Fantasy Flight Game (and one that's not about to get the Axe with the parting of GW so you're safe there!) so you can expect good production.

Miniatures are typically limited to just the wizards on the map, but if you play with the bestial forces expansion, you can summon creatures.

-------------------

The game scales well between 2-5 players and the less amount of people, the shorter the games will take. I've played 45 minute games all the way to 2 and a half hour games. Player elimination is present which can shorten the game, but if you're not a fan of player elimination, check out the variant's section below.

...Combat, partnership, bluffing, diplomacy, locking someone inside of a room with you to punch them to death while you have a fire cloak on... this is Wiz-War, player interaction is integral. The more players, the more player interaction as you are more likely to cross paths with other players.

-------------------

And below, the previous poster has some points that I think echo what you are looking for:

wamsp wrote:

Scales well; should work at 2, but also great if it works for more than 4


A lot of people complain that wiz-war is not as exciting at two players as it becomes a race for treasures, evolves into a deathmatch, etc. well those are the same people who have jelly for an imagination and as such have never played any variant outside of what's printed in the rule book.

The reality is, I don't play a two player game where the goal is to get treasures. We play 2 player death match with an extended board. and because of the simple rules, modifying the game into this sort of module is not only possible, but extremely simple.

wamsp wrote:

A ton of variation: modular setup, variable powers, random elements welcome, scenarios welcome


If you take a gander at the back of the printed rules, you will see a list of additional variants. These are all fine and dandy are are useful in further modifying the base version of Wiz-War. If you are a cut above and can use rational and creative thought you will be able to come up with any of the below variants using the base game and all of it's expansions.

- Deathmatch
- Team Deathmatch
- Sudden Death
- Capture the Flag
- King of the Hill
- Co-op Dungeon crawl
- RPG (Tom Jolly himself recently came out with a rules set for turning the game into an RPG in the style of D&D)
- You could even take the game play of Ghost Stories and modifying it into Wiz-War and have a sort of "Zombie survival" COOPERATIVE game.

The options are only as endless as your imagination. That's just how intuitive the rules are and how easily modifiable they are.

wamsp wrote:

Less important, but desirable if the game had optional co-op and if it had some sort of "campaign" mechanism


My friend, you have come to the right place. Wiz-War though never touted and never attempted as a co-op (to my knowledge) can indeed be turned into one. I've been toying and testing with rules variants where 2-4 wizards are locked in a center board and the 4 outer boards spawn creatures, ghosts (if you happen to own ghost stories and can use those figures), and finally a "final boss."

The only reason I haven't played this and posted it on BGG is because I'm getting married this weekend and well I guess I have to take a break from gaming for that. NOTE: I am now married and don't get to play games often, but my bandmates ALWAYS request wiz-war. And each time I usually introduce an alternative way to play and they love it.

wamsp wrote:

The rules and strategy should have a bit of "heft" to them, but I think something "medium" is probably a good goal; I may be able to convert "light" gamers to "medium" gamers, but trying to get them to "heavy" any time soon may be pushing it...


I've used this game on like 7 or so people all who were either non gamers or light gamers and all of them have moved on to more complex games. Things like Star Wars: Rebellion, Memoir 44, TIME Stories, Caverna, etc. I'll let that speak for itself.

-----------------

TLDR:

Wiz-War is your game. So long as you are ok with playing Ameritrash.


Hey! That's from MY thread!
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chris thatcher
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+1 wiz-war. Great game.

Battlelore is also great but only plays 2 player
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J M
United States
Scottdale
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The Others I think might be best with two, and should feel very similar to Zombicide (though it does not play the same way).
 
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Paolo Maiello
Denmark
Copenhagen
Denmark
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Ok,

I have made a shortlist from all your suggestions:

Claustrophobia
Fireteam Zero
Kemet
Mage Knight Board Game
Mechs vs. Minions
Merchants & Marauders
Shadows of Brimstone
Space Cadets: Away Missions
Tannhäuser
Wiz-War

On looks alone, I would buy all of them although special mentions, for me, go to Fireteam Zero, Shadows of Brimstone and Tannhäuser. So I'll focus on these three to start with, and investigate their gameplay further.

Thanks all for your suggestions, you really inspired me.
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Mike Smith
United States
Logan
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TakenokoOthers to consider...

Specter Ops
Tail Feathers
Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie or Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers (essentially the same game)
Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game, Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game, or Dungeons & Dragons: Temple of Elemental Evil Board Game
Mechs vs. Minions


Also, does your wife enjoy your copy of Space Hulk, because that would impact recommendations for you. If she is not a fan of pure combat games check out Specter Ops or Takenoko. Granted there are not loads of miniatures with either game...

PS - I own all of Tannhauser and it is loads of fun. Granted I would not consider it a great gateway game, nor would I consider it a heavy game. It is very much in the middle, and very much OOP. I have previously owned Heroscape, Arena of the Planeswalker, and Castle Ravenloft and found them way to simple for my tastes.
 
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Greg Kaganyuk

Lebec
California
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My wife and I have been enjoying Helvetia Cup. Soccer game that's easy to learn. Definitely some push your luck but we just shake our heads and say "That's soccer."

You can find it for cheap on tanga.com
 
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Reed Dawley
United States
Delmar
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Tannhäuser is great, I would have had it on my list but it is OOP. I think Miniaturemarket has a bunch of expansions on clearance. I picked up the game on ebay then got a bunch of miniature expansions on the cheap. If you do decide on Tannhauser try to find one with a second edition manual, it polishes up the rules nicely although I have never played the first edition.
 
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Mark T
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Southern MD
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One caution about Shadows of Brimstone - it's got LOTS of fiddly rules.

Don't get me wrong; it's a fun game and I enjoy it tremendously. That said, I feel like there is an awful lot to keep track of in the course of the game which means it probably goes on longer than it should. An average mission can easily take 3+ hours to play through even with just 2 players.

One other recommendation I haven't seen on here yet:
Galaxy Defenders

This game scores highly with me on all sorts of levels. Great looking minis, pretty well written rules that aren't too fiddly and some really great gameplay. Very tactical, but that's a plus for me. I've only played solo, but I imagine it would scale well all the way up to the max player count of 5. Oh, and the AI is very well done!
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