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Subject: Mid-heavy euro game, around 45 minutes, enjoyable with 2 rss

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Joel Oakley
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Brandon
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My wife is a great sport to play so many heavy euro games with me (Vinhos, Nippon, Mombasa, etc.). However, there are many nights when she would prefer to play a shorter game. Thus, I find myself seeking a medium to heavy game that can be played in under 45 minutes and is enjoyable with just 2 players.

Games that I own and seem to fit the description for me would be:

Gold West - elegant play with very tough choices, plays very quickly. This is the model example.

Istanbul - a bit of a chore to set up, but it plays smoothly and provides fun decisions

Glass Road - I would love to play this more, but Uwe games do not go over very well with my wife.

San Juan (second edition) - also very smooth and enjoyable with 2. I might prefer a board game, but card games are not out of the running.

What other games should I consider?

Edit/Update:

After thinking through this a bit more, I've come to see that one aspect of these games that I love is the way that each decision has multiple aspects/consequences. For example, in San Juan (the lightest of the bunch above), if I choose to build a building, I need to consider what building I want to build, which cards I will give up to do so, how that building helps my efficiency for getting more cards or earning end game points, and how many cards my opponent has (will she be able to build a good building herself?).

Another great game that features these meaty multi-faceted decisions with really smooth game play is The Walled City: Londonderry & Borderlands. Every time you are building a road or wall, you have to consider several factors -- which card am I going to use, which majorities am I trying to affect (neighborhood or faction or both), should I use peasants or nobles to populate the area(s) adjacent to where I am building? This one takes a little closer to 60 minutes, but it (along with Gold West) should also be one of the prime examples of what I am looking for.

I realize that the above games are far from "heavy," and so I guess I am really seeking a medium+ game in which the decisions usually have several components to consider, and one that plays very smoothly with a play time of ~45 minutes.

Further details to consider are: a theme that my wife will appreciate (not fantasy, zombies, or space primarily), not directly aggressive game play, and not a cooperative game.
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James C
United States
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Saw the title and immediately thought of Glass Road, but since that's out, why not Suburbia or Castles of Mad King Ludwig? Maybe not medium enough? Others that I might suggest are Scoville or Firenze. The first is probably better with more and the second is hard to come by. They are both more like 55 than 45 minutes too. But, ideas none the less.
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Dejun King
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Glass Road is a great 2 player resorce managment/farming game that my wife and I fell in love with after playing. We can play it in 45 min. roughly and to me ( being a light to mid heaviness gamer) it is an easy replacment for Agricola or Caverna. It is now an instant go to game in our collection when she is in the mood for a little cardboard action lol.
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April W
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Kings of Israel is a challenging and engaging co-op that plays in 45 min. It's more medium weight than heavy, but it might fit the bill.
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Joel Oakley
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Brandon
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SuperGLS wrote:
Saw the title and immediately thought of Glass Road, but since that's out, why not Suburbia or Castles of Mad King Ludwig? Maybe not medium enough? Others that I might suggest are Scoville or Firenze. The first is probably better with more and the second is hard to come by. They are both more like 55 than 45 minutes too. But, ideas none the less.


Great suggestion with Firenze - we own it and should play it more. It is definitely closer to an hour for us, but still fits the description pretty well.

Would you say Suburbia is near 45 minutes? I have considered it many times before but never pulled the trigger. How would you compare it and/or Castles to Isle of Skye?

Scoville is interesting, but I wonder how the blind bidding works for two.
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Brodie
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Keyflower?

The two of us can bang that out in 45-50 minutes, no problem.
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Brodie
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Joakley815 wrote:
Scoville is interesting, but I wonder how the blind bidding works for two.


Oh, and Mina says Scoville works great with two.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1596334/minas-not-so-mini-r...
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Joel Oakley
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Brandon
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Brodie17 wrote:
Keyflower?

The two of us can bang that out in 45-50 minutes, no problem.


I love it, but my wife is less interested in it. I also prefer it with more than 2.
 
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michael huckins
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savannah
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Oh My Goods! there is a lot of game in that deck of cards.
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Jonathan Schindler
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Lombard
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13 Days is excellent.
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suPUR DUEper
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13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis some serious decisions crammed into 30 minutes



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James C
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Joakley815 wrote:
SuperGLS wrote:
Saw the title and immediately thought of Glass Road, but since that's out, why not Suburbia or Castles of Mad King Ludwig? Maybe not medium enough? Others that I might suggest are Scoville or Firenze. The first is probably better with more and the second is hard to come by. They are both more like 55 than 45 minutes too. But, ideas none the less.


Great suggestion with Firenze - we own it and should play it more. It is definitely closer to an hour for us, but still fits the description pretty well.

Would you say Suburbia is near 45 minutes? I have considered it many times before but never pulled the trigger. How would you compare it and/or Castles to Isle of Skye?

Scoville is interesting, but I wonder how the blind bidding works for two.


It usually takes us about 35 minutes for Suburbia, but the first 5-8 games will probably take a bit longer. We've played over 150 times though and have long had the tiles memorized. Some people find making sure all three variables are adjusted accordingly a little fiddly, which is why I suggested Castles as well. Thing is, while I've only played it a couple times (and more on my iPad), I just think the whole price setting thing a little better with 3-4 people. Haven't played Isle of Skye, but based on videos it seems more like Carc+ to me.

My wife likes Scoville more than me. I think the bidding is the least strong part of the game (when playing with two), but I really enjoy planning out the pepper mixing.

By the way, how are you enjoying Gold West with two players?
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Steve Valladolid
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San Diego
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We like Trains
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Joel Oakley
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Brandon
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Thanks for the suggestions. 13 Days is not that appealing to me and definitely not for my wife from a theme standpoint.

Trains or Trains: Rising Sun might be worth a look I think. I will definitely investigate those further. I generally prefer tableau building over deck building, but perhaps the board of Trains could be enough to draw me in.

Oh My Goods! is another great idea that we already own... I am realizing that I probably have enough games in this category already, but I am still looking for something else. Such is the way of the hobby (for me at least).

SuperGLS wrote:
By the way, how are you enjoying Gold West with two players?


I think it is a jewel of a game at any player count. The puzzle of figuring out how to best utilize the mancala-like supply track is really intriguing, and the battle for majorities in each terrain type is tight whether playing with 2 or 4. There is the added bonus that it has a very simple rule set with a good amount of decisions (and not easy ones) and planning for the future.
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Jake Blomquist
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Columbus
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I don't play a lot of 2 player games so I don't know how it is there, but I kind of think of Council of 4 as being in the same category as Gold West.

I think there are a lot of decisions which you need to evaluate from multiple angles and some nice tradeoffs as well as some chaining potential.

The play time for 2 should be pretty short and the BGG poll says it's recommended with 2, though apparently best with three.

I did have someone in my group concerned about the randomness, but to me it didn't seem that bad, though I haven't played it a lot so who knows.

The biggest downside is that as far as I can tell it never made it to the US. I've heard a rumor that CMoN is possibly bringing it over, though personally I'm not a big fan of their MO of ridiculous, garish overproduction.

Best of luck.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I was going to suggest Mottainai, but I see you have already played it. It seems like it fits your criteria.

I see that you have also played Roll for the Galaxy. Seems like that fits as well.
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Zac Jensen
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Sedro Woolley
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Viticulture essential edition

Castles of Burgundy
 
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Brett McLay
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South Burlington
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Some lesser-knowns: maybe check out: Peloponnes Card Game. Granted, it is on the lighter side of your range.

Themewise, you both might enjoy Legacy: Gears of Time and its expansion. "60 min..."

Finally, there's Lagoon: Land of Druids. Artwork is rich, even if the game has balance issues. It sells for < $20, so you can risk the exploration.

_
_
_
~ Enjoy !

edit(s): Concordia: Gallia / Corsica comes out next year. If it plays as smooth as the base game it should be a fine 2P.
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Jacob Randolph
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Ames
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Ginkgopolis
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Brodie
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kalaheo wrote:


Yup...I was going to suggest this one too. I just didn't know how out of print it was.
 
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Dirk Meijlof
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We play a lot of 2p games during week days. Instead of watching television we like to play some mid weight games. Some of our favorites are:
Viticulture Essential Edition (once you've got the hang of it, it plays in around 45 minutes)
Council of 4
These two have really nice boards and are rather straightforward and the scores are 'open'. No hidden goals or a lot of maths to do before you know the outcome.
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Viceroy (No board but you will need some table space)
And one of the best discoveries we have made last Spiel:
Ulm I don't no which game to compare it with but I just feels like an old school euro.
Patchwork or Cottage Garden (maybe a little light)
Ginkgopolis (with two even better than with more because you have more control of what is going on and it's less luck dependent)
Dice City
Babel (just don't smile to broadly when you demolish your wife's temple)
The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game or The Castles of Burgundy (the card game maybe needs even more table space than the board game)
Castles of Mad King Ludwig (and make sure you will at least once take your wife to visit the real castle of King Ludwig in Germany. Together with a boat trip on the Rhine )
7 Wonders Duel + 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon

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Drew
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Dallas
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+1 for Viticulture. Your first play or two will be over 45mins, but after that games should clock in around the time you are looking for.
 
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Quantum Jack
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Spyrium

Great with 2. Plays in 30-45 min. May not be "heavy" enough for you, but I call it light-medium myself. However, the decisions are very impactful.
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caner özyurtlu
Turkey
İstanbul
Kadikoy
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Splendor!
 
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Axel
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Troyes
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