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Subject: Two player medium / heavy recommendations rss

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Viktor Söderström
Sweden
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Hi BGG!

New member here, got into this hobby a couple weeks back with my GF. When we get into something, we go deep, so here I am asking for your help to let us venture farther into this great hobby Oh and thanks for all the awesome info, we are completely blown away by the quality of this community.

So, we are looking for our 4th game to play primarily just the two of us. If it scales to more players we regard that as a bonus, but not a requirement.

So far we have the following games, and these are our first impressions after about 5 sessions of each. Mind you our impressions might be wrong /colored by our limited gaming experience.

Scythe (first game):
+ Love the great production quality (big plus, we really enjoy the minis)
+ Strategic gameplay
+ Combat
+ Variated gameplay lends for replay-ability, also achievement sheet!
- Not too much conflict, a bit solitary
- A bit empty for two (we have tried with Automa as well but that makes the play a bit random IMO)

Star Wars rebellion:
+ Big game with awesome minis (although not as nice as Scythe)
+ Great theme
+ Strategic gameplay + quite complex
+ Combat
- Cards / dice, we feel that both these elements add randomness and the need for trying to memorize options which detract from the strategic aspect
- Once you feel you are winning the game drags on for a bit
- Sometimes the action options can feel a bit limited / repetitive

Ticket to ride: Europe
+ Easy to play, fun
- A bit too light and not that great at 2, we play it when we don't want to play a long game

So in general we have honed our interests to the following:
* Medium / Heavy game
* Nice production value / minis is a big plus, theme is also a plus
* Preferably a heavy strategic element with less knowledge / luck based strategies (for example, even if a solely card based game is strategic that doesn't seem like something we would be into at first glance)
* We like conflict / interaction
* Some of the more traditional heavier euros seem nice, BUT often don't catch our eyes due to "bland" components compared to Scythe / Rebellion
* Co-op could be fun to try. So far I have been winning a bit too much so a chance to learn something together would be fun

The games we have looked at that have piqued our interest:
* Blood rage (Awesome theme and components, maybe not great for 2 and might be similar to Scythe)
* Mechs vs Minions (We LOVE the components and theme, but the gameplay seems like a hit or miss before you have played)
* Pandemic legacy (Didn't like the original pandemic, but this is just so raved about and seems like a must try co-op.)
* Terra Mystica (seems like a great strategy game, but might be lacking at 2 and also a bit less pretty)
* Robinson Crusoe (Don't know much)
* Kemet (Lots of praise for this game, seems like the gameplay might fit us)

Hope I didn't go overboard on the info, and thanks in advance for the help.

EDIT: Felt a bit of requesters remorse after bashing on the card aspect of SW: Rebellion, and would like to moderate our stance slightly to: Cards CAN be fun, but let's not go overboard. It is still fun to play some awesome card against your opponent
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Ponder Stibbons
United States
Tulsa
Oklahoma
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while i was thinking over a recommendation i went to my 2-player medium/heavy resource... and realized that you could benefit from having that help as well! go read some Mina.

also, my advice is skip Pandemic Legacy if you didn't like Pandemic. it's the same game but with raised stakes. also also, play Terra Mystica before you buy it, if possible. i'd say it's got an amount of conflict similar to Scythe, but minus the combat. really, try before buy.
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Joe Salamone
United States
Billerica
Massachusetts
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Take a look at:

Targi - Probably my favorite 2-player (only) game.

Babel - This has a lot of interaction and can be a very mean game.

EDITED: Original link was to the wrong "Babel."
 
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João Silva
Portugal
Aveiro
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7 worders duel.(maybe light)
 
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Joey Larsen
United States
Orem
Utah
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Horus Heresy
War of the Ring
Legends of Andor
Orcs Must Die

These have all been excellent two player games.
 
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Martyn French
United Kingdom
Coalville
Leics
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My wife and I recently acquired Mage Knight Board Game which we both love. It does centre mainly around the use of cards but it has a semi-randomised map, minatures, co-operative/competitive modes and more besides. Might be worth a look if you like the idea of character development and some RPG aspects.

For co-operative experiences (you can't fight each other ALL the time!) there are also the 'LCG' (living card games) series such as Lord of the Rings: The Card Game by FFG, but obviously they are card-based! I actually never thought I'd enjoy card-based games, preferring to have a 'board' in my board games, but to my surprise both of the above have really surprised me. They are great for two and very thematic. For a faster, lighter card-game experience we adore Star Realms and we get very competitive with that...

On the less heavy but still great-for-two side, we love 7 Wonders Duel, plus (getting heavier) Castles of Burgundy, and (heavier still) Agricola. The components won't blow you away but they are certainly far from poor.

No doubt you'll enjoy whatever you pick up. Your wallet less so!
 
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Srdj
Croatia
Vancouver
British Columbia
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Le Havre. One of the greatest games ever designed. Best with 2 as well.
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Greg
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Tons of interaction with a lot of depth and no luck. Components are a matter of taste here, I suppose. Food Chain Magnate

A little bit more luck, but not as much as there might seem. Tons of interaction. Not a euro, but might scratch the same itch. Also, great looking game. Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan

 
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Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
Virginia
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The examples in the OP are multiplayer games, so I'll offer these multiplayer designs:

Terraforming Mars

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar

For 2-player-only games, I recommend

Rivals for Catan

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small -- due to be reprinted soon

The Pillars of the Earth: Builders Duel



 
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Micah Quantz
Canada
High Level
Alberta
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Through the ages
Sid Meir's civilization (2010)
 
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David Bock
United States
Ingleside
Illinois
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I don't personally like Bloodrage with two and based on what you like -- I doubt you will either. I find Pandemic Legacy is AWESOME with two. Love it and I'm not a huge fan of the original either. Mechs vs Minions is just a must. It's so darn fun.

Additional suggestions. Gallerist -- heavy but amazing and so fun with two. Trambahn is a great little game for two. Not super heavy but so freaking fun it's worth it. It is a card game but it's a really good card game. Suburbia is great with two and much heavier than Mad King (also good). We are really loving Colonists. It's heavy at least for us thus far (weight too, lol) but wow is it good.
 
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Mark Helton
United States
San Jose
California
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Rumbelow wrote:
also, play Terra Mystica before you buy it, if possible. i'd say it's got an amount of conflict similar to Scythe, but minus the combat. really, try before buy.


I agree with Ponder about Terra Mystica.
Great Game, but for two players, it lacks a bit, IMHO.

And if you like Star Wars Rebellion, I think you should give War of the Ring (Second Edition) a shot, as it is one of the best 2 player games I have ever played.
From what I have read, SWR and WotR are similar in style.
(I actually just bought Star Wars: Rebellion and hope to have it on the table soon.)

My two cents worth anyway.

Good Luck in your search!
 
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Everett
United States
Presque Isle
Maine
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You need BattleLore (Second Edition).
 
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Gabor B.
Hungary
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+1 for Kemet. Really nice components, and balanced game at any player count.
One of our favorite 2p is The Castles of Burgundy - it looks a bit dry at first, but it's a really well designed game, and perfect for two.
 
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Axel
Germany
Görlitz
Sachsen
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Troyes
Great Western Trail
 
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Johannes Hihn
Germany
Walddorfhäslach
Baden-Württemberg
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Twilight Struggle maybe?
 
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lizzie j
New Zealand
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+1 Terraforming Mars

For Ticket to Ride Europe, you can make the game tighter by removing certain destination cards from the game. Often we remove much of the East of Europe, which means we clash a lot more. Alternatively, you can try Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries which is designed for 2-3 players.
 
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Marty Mcfly
Canada
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Kemet! It's my favorite game and it does seem to fit into what you are looking for. I bought Blood Rage a few months ago (which is after playing Kemet a lot for the past 2 years) and I sold it the next day. It did not came close to Kemet for us.
 
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