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Subject: Agricola didn't go over well with 2p. Other recommendations and what not to get? rss

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S and E Honeyman
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Hi,

My wife and I played Agricola for the first time this weekend. It took a long time to get going because the rules were very confusing, so that was a bad start. Then we decided to just try playing without the cards (the Blitz version). I didn't mind it, but my wife hated it and found it very frustrating getting blocked from doing an action that I had taken that round, and frustrated getting the resources needed. So, I don't think we'll be playing it again and made us wonder if we like Worker Placement games. However, we played Viticulture the first time the weekend before and liked it (not our favorite, but was pretty good). We bought Terraforming Mars, but I haven't opened it yet. I'm wondering if anyone would recommend we DON'T play it based on the issues we had with Agricola? I can still return it since it is unopened.

Some games we have liked:
- Survive: Escape from Atlantis
- Scoville (and Scoville Labs)
- Ticket to Ride series
- Carcassonne
- Splendor
- Jaipur
- Sushi Go
- Rivals for Catan


Some that we liked but not our favorites:
-Viticulture
-Pandemic
-Zooloretto
-Caverna: Cave VS Cave (although this suffered from the same issue of blocking the other person, but it played quicker so went over better)

Any other recommendations for games to try would be appreciated



EDIT:

Wow thank you everyone for the recommendations and tips! I started trying to reply to everyone but I keep running out of time, so in the meantime (and for others looking for similar recommedations), here are the games that have been recommended so far:

7 Wonders Duel
Patchwork
Istanbul
Karuba
Le Havre
Castles of Burgundy
The Quest for El Dorado
Akrotiri
Cottage Garden
Kingdomino
Forbidden Island or Forbidden Desert
Suburbia
Barenpark
Fields of Arle
Isle of Skye
San Juan
Century: Spice Road
Lords of Waterdeep
Raptor
Glass Road
Caylus
NMBR 9
Ticket to Ride: Switzerland or Scandinavia
Dominion
Seeland
Freedom: The Underground Railroad
Notre Dame
Schotten Totten
Hive
Parade
Carcassonne: The Castle
Patchwork
Battle Line
Targi
Village
Last Will
Pandemic legacy
Robinson Crusoe

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Keith
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It sounds like you want strategy games that play in under an hour with only mild "take that" mechanisms. And that play well with two.

Here are some, but I'm sure you'll get a lot more suggestions:

7 Wonders Duel
Patchwork
Istanbul
Karuba
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Steve G.
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You might want to check out Le Havre if you can find it. I pretty much loath Agricola, but Le Havre by the same designer seems to solve many of the issues you described, and it's much easier to pick up and start playing (also introduces a nice, Caylus-esque element where you get to erect "buildings" that you and your opponents can use).

The Castles of Burgundy is completely different, but plays very well with two, and always has an alternative move if your opponent blocks you out of your plan "A."
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"What do you mean, I can't pay in Meeples?"
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It's pretty easy to cull the few 'mean' cards from Terraforming Mars and make it less interactive. There isn't a lot of blocking outside of the tile placement on the board. It's much less restrictive than Agricola; rarely do I ever feel like I don't have at least a few good choices on a given turn and it doesn't punish near as hard for sub-optimal play.

You might want to look at:

The Quest for El Dorado light deckbuilding / race with variable tile setup.
Akrotiri tile / route placement with action points
Cottage Garden polyominoes / puzzle
Kingdomino tile drafting / puzzle
Forbidden Island or Forbidden Desert - Pandemic light.

+1 for Karuba, Patchwork.
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Chris Ferejohn
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+1 for Castles of Burgundy.

Agricola can be a bit brutal because while you don't attack each other per se, you sometimes end up with a space you really need to be able to feed your family. It also just generally has a feeling of "I'm just barely scraping by" which some people (including me) enjoy but that is a totally understandable turn off for others.

Suburbia might be worth a look. It has the whole "building something" thing going on, but it doesn't feel so punishing, and someone taking something just makes other things cheaper for you.

Bärenpark seems like it might be a good fit as well. Works great with 2 (and scales well to 4). Someone taking the thing you wanted mostly just means you get a version of the same thing worth slightly less points.
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John Burt
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Agricola is a mid-heavy weight strategy game. Especially for people new to games of this weight, it will take a few plays at least to get a handle on strategy, tactics, rules, etc. Quitting after one play and deciding you don't like it isn't doing it justice. I play mostly with my wife, and she HATES any deliberate conflict or blocking. Agricola isn't our favorite WP game, but we rate it highly (as does Rahdo, another "carebear" couples gamer), so it's possible for someone like you to also enjoy it, if you give it a chance.

As a WP alternative to Agricola, for low conflict couples, I suggest you look at Fields of Arle. It has a heavy strategy component, but is much more open (i.e., there are several paths to victory), so you're not stepping on each other's toes nearly as much as in Agricola. There is still a chance of blocking, but usually there are good alternative actions available.

Terraforming Mars is not a WP game, so I don't understand the comparison. It has some take-that, but that is mostly optional, and the obligatory mean cards can be left out. It's a great game and you should at least try it, and again, play it a few times at least before evaluating how you like it.
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Brian Zollinhofer
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Agree with Istanbul, 7 Wonders: Duel, Castles of Burgundy.

Also think about Isle of Skye?
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David Goulette
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cferejohn wrote:
+1 for Castles of Burgundy.

Agricola can be a bit brutal because while you don't attack each other per se, you sometimes end up with a space you really need to be able to feed your family. It also just generally has a feeling of "I'm just barely scraping by" which some people (including me) enjoy but that is a totally understandable turn off for others.

Suburbia might be worth a look. It has the whole "building something" thing going on, but it doesn't feel so punishing, and someone taking something just makes other things cheaper for you.

Bärenpark seems like it might be a good fit as well. Works great with 2 (and scales well to 4). Someone taking the thing you wanted mostly just means you get a version of the same thing worth slightly less points.


Pretty much this. Nice recommend list. A bonus is that CoB is inexpensive to pick up. A bonus with San Juan is it is a great travel game.

My wife's fav 2 player game is 7 Wonders Duel.

I am a fan of San Juan (Second Edition) and it does work really well as a two player game.
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Andy D
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My wife loves TtR and she also loves Splendor - I will suggest this overtime to people!!! She hasn't been much of a fan of worker placement either.

Other people are correct, it's all very passive aggressive with fighting over the vital spot on the board ;-)

Edit - sorry I just see you've already played that! You could try something similar such as Century: Spice Road?
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S and E Honeyman
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Quote:
My wife loves TtR and she also loves Splendor - I will suggest this overtime to people!!! She hasn't been much of a fan of worker placement either.

Other people are correct, it's all very passive aggressive with fighting over the vital spot on the board ;-)

Edit - sorry I just see you've already played that! You could try something similar such as Century: Spice Road?



Cool, sounds like our wives have a lot in common. She really loves TTR and Splendor too. Century Road is on the top of our wishlist. Glad to get a recommendation for it, makes the decision that much easier and will probably order it on boxing day. Thanks!
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S and E Honeyman
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Quote:
It sounds like you want strategy games that play in under an hour with only mild "take that" mechanisms. And that play well with two.

Here are some, but I'm sure you'll get a lot more suggestions:

7 Wonders Duel
Patchwork
Istanbul
Karuba



Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head. We do sometimes want a longer 1-2hr game, but most days we want quick and simple.

Thanks for the suggestions. 7 Wonders Duel is good I'm sure, but the wife doesn't like the combative theme. We actually just bought Patchwork, so we are anxious to give that a try. And the other two we just recently started eyeing up, and may have to go get soon
 
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Mark Raciborski
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The Castles of Burgundy
Lords of Waterdeep

Both play well with 2 and scale up, both are player friendly, LoW is a great gateway game.

Check out https://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/rahdo mostly a 2 player gamer.

I can’t watch his reviews, yes I know he has improved them, but many of his reviews give me motion sickness and I don’t care to sort them out. He doesn’t like highly interactive games, meaning mean, mean spirited blocking, etc, he plays with his wife almost exclusively and my guess is, doesn’t like sleeping on the sofa and cold showers.

Under the GeekBuddy Manager, you can add him, then when on a game page you can select GeekBuddy Analysis and see if he has posted a comment.

You can add in users you seem to share the same interest with.

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"What do you mean, I can't pay in Meeples?"
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danamark wrote:

I can’t watch his reviews, yes I know he has improved them, but many of his reviews give me motion sickness and I don’t care to sort them out.


I've noticed a lot of his recent videos include (static cam) alternatives, so that might be worth taking a look if you otherwise find Rahdo's videos useful to you.
 
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Thapana Nawa
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To me it sounds like you don't like heavy weight game, especially worker placement. Cause keep monitoring your opponents board/action and block them when needed is a key to victory for this kind of game. Furthermore Agricola implements unforgivable feeding system which I guess not for everybody (but I and my wife really like it, a lot).

Terraforming Mars is a heavier and longer game than any other games you've liked so far. But the interaction is much less than Agricola. It pretty much like each player have their own plan. It will sometime effect other players but not the same as it does in Agricola.

btw what version of Agricola you played? original or revised? rule book from revised version is pretty good and not so confuse in my opinion. If you've got revised edition and still think it is too complicate. It think you just don't like more complex game, better look for game weight below 2.5

7 Wonders Duel should be perfect choice for you and your wife. If you have time, I would recommend you to check the review of 'Raptor' as well. It is a quick 2-player asymmetrical power game. I think you will like it

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Krawhitham B
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2p can be a tricky number. There are many great games that are merely "OK" for 2p.

Take a look at Glass Road (same designer as Agricola and Caverna). It isn't worker placement but does have you building up your own board. There is no blocking, but there is a 'coat tailing' mechanism that makes for some non-conflict player interaction.
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Timo
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imperial army builde wrote:
My wife and I played Agricola for the first time this weekend. It took a long time to get going because the rules were very confusing, so that was a bad start.

I didn't mind it, but my wife hated it and found it very frustrating getting blocked from doing an action that I had taken that round, and frustrated getting the resources needed.

Well... the rulebook of Agricola is really not ideal, I recommend you to read the rules beforehand at least once, so you know whether you can explain the game directly out of the rulebook or not.

The 2nd part I experienced as well, while I like the challenge of adjusting, I know it can be frustrating, because one likes to plan and then you allways loose the options. But: getting to know the game better you can adjust better, plus when playing with the cards you have usually more options. The extra-cards do make a difference and the game does not really get more complicated, except for reading the rules.


Recommendations:
+1 for Patchwork and 7 Wonders Duel
Caylus (also one of the classic worker placements)
NMBR 9 (Multiplayer Solitaire, but it works)
Ticket to Ride: Switzerland or Scandinavia (ideal for two or three players)
And finally I would also recommend checking out Dominion, works good with two players and is the classic deck building game (and you like the card management of Jaipur and Sushi Go).
 
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Tomello Visello
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imperial army builde wrote:

Some games we have liked:
- Survive: Escape from Atlantis
- Scoville (and Scoville Labs)
- Ticket to Ride series
- Carcassonne
- Splendor
- Jaipur
- Sushi Go
- Rivals for Catan


A game that does have some capacity for interfering with an opponent but it is mostly mild mannered such that may fit with that list: Seeland

 
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S and E Honeyman
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Quote:
Check out https://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/rahdo mostly a 2 player gamer.


Awesome, I'll check his reviews out. I'm new to BGG so this is a helpful tip. Thanks!
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S and E Honeyman
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cferejohn wrote:


Bärenpark seems like it might be a good fit as well. Works great with 2 (and scales well to 4). Someone taking the thing you wanted mostly just means you get a version of the same thing worth slightly less points.


Thanks, my wife said she recently came across Barenpark and thought it looked fun, so we might have to give that a try
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Josh Bodah
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Based on the games you've played and enjoyed I'd recommend sticking in the medium weight of games that are playable under 1.5 hours

Agricola was probably too big of a step up from the other games as it's more complex. It's not a game that you want to sit down together and learn together - you'd be better off having one person dig through the rules and play it enough to teach it well (this is pretty much how my wife and I go about playing most of our games)

Terraforming Mars will probably be too heavy too and I'd err on the side that you won't like it (yet)

Some recommendations:

Small step-up in complexity:

- Suburbia
- Freedom: The Underground Railroad
- Dominion
- Notre Dame
- San Juan

Similar to what you already play:

- Schotten Totten
- Hive
- Forbidden Desert
- Parade
 
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Per Sorlie
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Carcassonne: The Castle (Better than normal C 1vs1)

Patchwork

Battle Line

Recommendations to get for 2p :-)

What to not get? Well that’s not easy to say...

 
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Arno van Mark
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Do you know Targi? I could imagine, that it fit your gaming tastes.
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Jonas Vanschooren
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I'll point you towards some great info for gamer couples.
A Couple of Gamers is a guild here on bgg, al people that love gaming with 2.
We do a monthly "What have couples been playing" list, a very good list to learn about games you might like (or not like). You can find this months list here: What Couples Have Been Playing - December 2017
 
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Randall COBB
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+1 for Targi!
 
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Kate Tristan
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I see you own The Quest for El Dorado, and Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries, if you've played those with your wife, how do you like them?

Also, how about the 4 Carcassonne games you own:
Carcassonne
Carcassonne: Amazonas
Carcassonne: Gold Rush
Carcassonne: South Seas

Do you like those with 2 players?
 
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