Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations

Subject: Zhanguo or Terraforming Mars or Le Havre or Something Else? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ash Night
United States
Concord
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Husband and I have an itch for a new euro game. We're looking for a competitive engine building game (love me the feel of an ever more powerful engine), where rules/turns are streamlined.

We have been considering Zhanguo, Terraforming Mars or Le Havre. Thoughts?? Something else we should look at? [Note: We're not big fans of deck builders, one of the classic engine building genres.]

We play almost exclusively 2 players.

Other games we love: 51st State, First Class, Gates of Loyang, Grand Austria Hotel, Kemet, Roll Player, Voyages of Marco Polo, Castles of Burgundy, Concordia, Guildhall, Village, Covert. So, a bit of puzzle, some combos, quick turns, dice manipulation, multiuse cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Oakley
United States
Brandon
Mississippi
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hard to go wrong with any of the 3 you mentioned. My personal favorite is ZhanGuo by a fair margin. It is really quite simple at its core, but packs quite a punch due to the amount of objectives you have to think about and plan for.

My 2nd pick is probably Le Havre followed closely by Terraforming Mars.

For 2 players only, I might give Le Havre more consideration since the others (while still good with 2) really are best with 3 or 4 players.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jade Knight
United States
Upper Valley
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Race for the Galaxy or Roll for the Galaxy might be worth looking at. They're a little less complex than Terraforming Mars.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christine Miller
United States
Winter Park
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I have not played Zhanguo. But have played the other two. Le Havre is beutifully designed, elegant and awesome with two players. That would be my suggestion.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Zollinhofer
United States
Richmond
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've really enjoyed Roll for the Galaxy with 2 players. It feels as though you are hardly ever waiting for your opponent and the games play pretty quickly...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabriel Cohn
United States
Santa Cruz
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
I have to disagree with the Le Havre lovers. (I'm a big fan of Zhanguo, and still haven't played Terraforming Mars.) I play a lot of 2pl games with my wife. Agricola is our favorite game, and what we love most is that the Occupations and Minor Improvements make the game different every time. Le Havre, on the other hand, we sold after about 20 plays or so. The special buildings aren't that influential, and the basic buildings you use in each game come out in roughly (though not exactly) the same order each time. Also, there's really only a few ways to score big points in the game. All that said, it's still a great game. Just not as great as it ought to be...

Zhanguo may suffer from a bit of this sameness in the long run (only played about 7 or 8 times so far), but having to react to your hand of cards each round means that each game will go differently than before. I've played games where I had nearly all of my 15 tech slots filled and others where I only played about 5 or 6. I like that there's different ways to go about it...

Hope that helps.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Maida F.
United States
Vallejo
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My better half and I play many 2 player games and are of the belief that heavier is better when it comes to Euros. With that said, I'd suggest avoiding both Race for the Galaxy and Roll for the Galaxy altogether (though that's purely a personal opinion as I know these games enjoy widespread popularity among gamers).

Your 3 suggestions of ZhanGuo, Le Havre, and Terraforming Mars are all good ones! Other suggestions I might add are The Colonists and/orThrough the Ages: A New Story of Civilization. We also enjoy At the Gates of Loyang a lot as it's tight and math-y with having to maximize your money to be able to purchase your victory points, but this title seems to be hit or miss with people in my experience.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
chris thatcher
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've not played zhanguo. There's something about What's your game titles that just turns me off.

Le havre I feel is a much better game than terraforming mars.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Burt
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
My wife and I own Zhanguo and Terraforming Mars, and haven't played Le Havre, though we own and love many other Rosenberg games, including Loyang. IMO, Zhanguo is more of a brain-burny puzzle than an engine builder, whereas Terraforming Mars is almost pure engine building fun. TFM has an additional advantage of having an excellent solo mode, and one expansion with more on the way. If you like Loyang, then I highly recommend La Granja, which is similar, but has even better puzzlyness and engine building.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Oakley
United States
Brandon
Mississippi
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
quill65 wrote:
...If you like Loyang, then I highly recommend La Granja, which is similar, but has even better puzzlyness and engine building.


This is a great recommendation. La Granja has some excellent game play, including engine building, dice drafting, and multi-use cards. It also works quite well for 2 players.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shane Larsen
United States
Salt Lake City
UT
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Troyes is the best dice-manipulation game ever created. It is king of the genre. You must get it. It's marvelous with two players, too.

Zhanguo is amazing, but if I were playing it exclusively with 2 players, I'd probably go with something else. It opens up a little too much with just two players. I've only ever played Terraforming Mars once with 4 player, and I thought it was just okay. But I have no idea how it would play with 2.

Also, take a look at

Deus
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Mcpherson
Canada
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have Le Havre and Terraforming Mars.

I really enjoyed playing both games.

The big difference is that I have enjoyed Terraforming Mars 6 times and still haven't gone back to Le Havre yet. This is not a knock against Le Havre because this tends to happen with us. We will play Le Havre again but we all loved Terraforming Mars so much we kept playing. My wife and I have played it 2-player 3 times and it is def our go to heavy game when it's just the two of us. We actually just finished a game this morning.

We love some of the games you listed, and haven't played the rest of them. Concordia is probably in my top 5 and Grand Austria is another favourite of my wife and I.

The thing I like most about Terraforming Mars is how fast it plays. Not game length, but how quick the turns are and the lack of downtime for the other player/s. We use the drafting variant and wouldn't play any other way. Also, every game we have played so far has unraveled so differently and there is always a new highlight or height somebody has reached in the various categories(resources, money, board play).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ash Night
United States
Concord
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for all of the feedback! I'm glad that it seems like all 3 games have some love from the community. We will probably keep all 3 on the to buy list (hehe devil), but will take advantage of purchasing Zhanguo first (FLGS has one, seems like it's going out of stock online ninja).

We also own Roll for the Galaxy (fun! but feels light-ish) and Troyes (need to get this to the table again, our first play through felt super brutal, like we could barely get anything done). La Granja we played (of course! dice drafting/multiuse cards), but didn't feel particularly inspired -- I think the different phases per turn made it feel a little fiddly, but perhaps this'll open up better with 2 vs. the 4 we played once.

(If anyone else has more dice manipulation games, hit me with it. It's my favorite genre by far. Can't wait for Voyages of Marco Polo to finally get shipped to me.)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Burt
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
ashnight wrote:
...La Granja we played (of course! dice drafting/multiuse cards), but didn't feel particularly inspired -- I think the different phases per turn made it feel a little fiddly, but perhaps this'll open up better with 2 vs. the 4 we played once.


Oh gosh yes, it's a fiddly mess, and we hate fiddlyness, which is why we didn't like the game for the first few plays. But then after about game 4 or 5, it just clicked, and now it's a favorite of ours. But after 20+ games, we still use the phase reminder tiles!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Mcpherson
Canada
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bora Bora
Yspahan
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Jade Knight wrote:
Race for the Galaxy or Roll for the Galaxy might be worth looking at. They're a little less complex than Terraforming Mars.


FYI, I love the variable phase order mechanism in Race/Roll, but those two games are the ones which feel most clunky to me when I play them. My last session of Race was the worst for a game in my Top 50. My last for Roll was just me trying to wrap my brain around the game after not playing it for a likely a year plus. My guess is if I played them more consistently that issue might go away, but Puerto Rico, San Juan, and Eminent Domain are always smooth plays for me no matter how long it has been since I played them. My first play of Terraforming Mars let me know I never need to play Race or Roll again. They are different enough as I can see owning any of them, but Terraforming Mars for me is way smoother of a play. So, YMMV.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
brian hunt
United States
red rock
AZ
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I feel Le Havre plays best with 2 players, Terraforming mars my wife and I love but plays better with more.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.