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Subject: Best Two Player games for husband and wife rss

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Stephanie Harrop
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I've read some forums on here about good games but I live in a small town with a credit to a store with a limited number of games. I'm hoping to get some opinions on the following:

Patchwork
Caverna: Cave vs Cave
7 Wonders Duel
Saboteur: The Duel
Raptor
King Domino (with expansion possibly)
Santorini (but i feel i can make a board pretty easily)
Holmes: Sherlock and Mycroff

Games we like: Carcassonne (w/ first 3 expansions), Iota, Cribbage, Settlers of Catan (with first expansion and only with more then 2 people)- games that can be played over and over since it's a miracle to find one he likes.

Games he doesn't: Cargo Noir, Stratego, anything with lots of ambiguity in the rules.

Further explanation: My husband is picky about games and doesn't care for much. We play Carcassonne and that's kind of a go to for us. He likes the variability, that there is strategy involved but its not too heavy and that we can screw each other over by stealing cities/rds/farmland. We also play Iota. Tile laying games are good. He likes Catan but its not fun with 2 people. We had Cargo Noir and he hated that it was just a series of the same actions with minimal strategy other then just prioritizing what action to take. Stratego he said was repetitive and boring. We also don't like to sit and think forever between turns.

Based on this, what would you recommend from the list above? And I'd welcome other suggestions so i can order online after my credit is used up locally.

Thank you.
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Konstantinos Kokkolis
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I’m not an expert on such kind of games. With my wife, we love to play Dominoes, Backgammon (the Greek Triad) and, recently, Hive. I like also Chess, Mills and Checkers, but she is somewhat disappointed, since there is a great difference in experience between us regarding those games.
She always beats me in fussbal to her credit.
All Five and Bergen are our favorite games with Dominoes.
 
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Cameron Harris
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Patchwork is outstanding as is 7 wonders duel. I've thus far been fairly impressed with King Domino with 7 players and it has the added bonus of playing up to 4.

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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I'm not sure why husband and wife matters - my own wife isn't much of a gamer, and when I do play with her it's not likely to be the same game I'd play with someone who is a gamer (one of my children for example). I do play a lot of 2-player games, but which ones are best depends on who I'm playing with and how much time we have.

Recently I've played quite a lot with my eldest daughter (not a child btw), and we've had great fun with Raptor, Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation and (going way back) The Fury of Dracula. Of those, Raptor might work best but I'm skeptical because it doesn't sound like your husband is much of a gamer. Maybe he'd do better just playing a card game; my wife likes Casino.
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John Smith
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I love Carcassonne, classic game in my book!

If your husband likes the idea of a tetris-like tile laying game, Patchwork is a great little game that is deeper than it first looks, simple, but good simple. If you want more going on, there is Indian Summer.

With both it's quite easy to see your opponent's situation and to play well you need to take their position into account. You're sorta paying attention to each other more than the average game with no downtime.

Caverna: Cave vs Cave feels like it needs an expansion long term, while Patchwork and Indian Summer - different style games - feel complete.

7 Wonders Duel, a good crowd pleaser, not much to dislike!

Not that closely related to your info, San Juan can be a great couples game. It plays in about 45 minutes and, like Carcassonne, has strategy while not being super thinky. Good replay value and the second edition includes an expansion if you want more.
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Adam Webb
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Reading your post is like reading a carbon copy of me and my girlfriends 'gaming story'. We started with Carcassonne, we love it too. We try to find fun, lightly competitive games that don't drag on for hours (I save those for my gaming group).

So many suggestions will be flying in but these ones have really hit home for us;

Patchwork - we LOVE this.
Jaipur - a little more strategy but a great grab and go game.
Kingdomino - we like the castle theme and domino laying.
Hive - A lot more strategy involved
Lost Cities - A great card layer

If you like Catan, then I recommend 'Rivals For Catan'. It is a touch on the heavy side, and there are long waits between turns. We play this when we fancy a slightly heavier game but will always turn back to the others.

Hope they help!
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John Milwee
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Kingdomino is easy and thoughtful.
Santorini is quite good but gets samey.

Not on your list but good for 2p:

Tile-laying:

Karuba
Castles of Caladale

Non-tile-laying:

Istanbul: The Dice Game
Hanamikoji (caveat: this may hurt your brain)
The Fox In The Forest
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American in Chile
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Have you looked at Kingdom Builder or Above and Below?

Kingdom Builder is fairly light, with variable setup (4 of 8 boards) and variable scoring (3 of 10 cards), so replayability is high, and quite strategic in trying to maximize points, and sometimes block your opponent(s). This can especially be the case if you choose boards and cards randomly, rather than deliberately. Expansions add more boards, cards, and extra mechanics.

Above and Below is medium light, with available buildings from card decks, so you're competing for what buildings/villagers you can afford, which will give you the bonuses you want. When you go exploring, your opponent reads a vignette from the encounter book, then you choose your action, roll dice to see whether you're successful (have you purchased a building which will give you a reroll? will it help to exert a villager?), and gain the designated reward.

Another possibility is Unfair. The base game comes with six different themed decks. You choose one for each player, then shuffle them together. As you build your theme park, you can try to fulfill blueprints for extra points, use events to attack the competition or help yourself, hire staff for extra income, or just build the tallest attractions you can. Each deck has its own unique cards, giving a different difficulty level and flavor to every combination. Expansion decks are in playtesting.
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David Socha
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I prefer Hive over Santorini. Though it is not complicated, it takes longer to grasp strategy with Hive than Santorini. When you have two equally skilled players, games can be quite the battle. I would recommend Hanamikoji. Portable, plays quickly, simple to explain, and good decisions. My wife, who is less of a gamer, enjoyed this immediately. Patchwork fell flat for us. I'm going to try again, but felt it lacked depth of decisions.
 
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Jon Visser
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7 Wonders is a mean game. It's well designed, but aggressive.

It sounds like your husband might like to build things. My wife and I play these kinds of building games:
Suburbia
Cottage Garden (a sequel to Patchwork. Both are good.)
Galaxy Trucker
A Feast for Oden (another brillant game by the creator of Patchwork and Cottage Garden. It's a "heavy" worker placement, but actually easier than it seems.)
Kingdomino is my most played game and I like it better than Queendomino.
Terraforming Mars
The Castles of Burgundy
Among the Stars
Kokoro (really fun "roll and write")

Do not get Saboteur: the Duel. Not as good as the original which requires more people.
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Greg Darcy
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It seems, for whatever reason, you have very limited access to new games.
Of the ones you list, 7WD would be my pick in your situation. Though I haven't played Caverna yet.

You might also consider PnP games. There are some very good ones for no money at all. Apart from the ink to print them.

Once you shift to online stores, [=Hive]Hive[/] is a brilliant strategic game. But for maximum screwage, you cannot go past Arboretum. Sadly it is oop at the moment.
 
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Michael Korson
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You may also want to try Morels. It's a fun two-player card game that has a decent amount of strategy with hand management and set collecting. Plus, it's fairly quick and has a small footprint, so it's easy to get it to the table.
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Daniel B
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Splendor
Century: Spice road
Star Wars Rebellion robot
Sherlock Holmes consulting detective
 
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Matias W
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I second patchwork but I feel like there's other more exciting games than that.

Kingdomino was a blast to play, but I only played 4 players so idk how it works as 2 players.


Try these:

arboretum: great game of mindgame between players. You ask yourself if you should use, hold or discard the cards. Also requires lots of spacial thinking to get more points than the opponent(s).

coup: Better with 3+ ppl but feasible with 2 players. Great social deduction game and bluffing game.

NMBR9: Need a lot of spacial thinking but is really fun to play, no matter how many players play.

Potion explosion: If you like gimmick, then that's the one game you'll continue playing again and again. It's like playing candy crush with your partner. Really fun and tactile.

Azul: It might look abstract but it's a really fun tug-of-war game trying to collect the tiles you need to win while denying your opponent his preferred tiles.

Ninja camp: Really fun game of falling tiles where you can't go back to a card you already stopped on.
 
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Mystery McMysteryface
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GIPF project games are competitive with simple rules, yet deep gameplay.

YINSH
ZÈRTZ
TZAAR

I second the recommendation for Morels.
Agility is also very good.
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James C
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From your list I'd say that Patchwork seems like a sound choice.
 
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Edwin Woody
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I'm trying to reform though.
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Read the write-ups on the You and me . . . and coffee make three Geeklist.
My wife and I follow that list.
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Kevin Landdeck
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If your husband is okay with card games (Cribbage), then I'd suggest three that might be worth checking out.

First, Haggis. It can be played (2p) with a regular deck. Wonderful game, though I find it exhausting. Every hand I'm anxiously trying to figure out what my wife is holding. If she's on a run, then the decision on when (or if) to use the bombs (and which one?) is nerve wracking. Get it wrong and I'm toast. Got a powerful hand? It might seem like it's gonna steamroll, but every group I lay down is accompanied by this stomach churning fear that my wife is going to drop a bomb at precisely the moment that will throw my hand into chaos-induced weakness. And I haven't even mentioned the "bets" once you've seen the deal. This game is chock full of wrenching decisions every hand. It's delicious.

Another that my wife and I enjoy, though it's OOP and might be hard to find, is Court of the Medici. Simple rules, but again with lots of tough decisions. I think this too can be played with a regular deck.

Finally, Race for the Galaxy, which my wife and I have played hundreds of times. Much less cutthroat than the previous two, RftG is well worth taking the time to learn its iconography. It took us 3-5 plays before things started to click.
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Jonathan Lam
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I highly recommend Kingdomino. Game plays quick, is similar to Carcassonne and is inexpensive for what you get. It plays even better when you play the variant where all dominoes are used to make a 7x7.
 
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Steve PP
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+1 Haggis great two player, never get tired of this. The three wild royal cards add huge tactical changes. Very tense, exciting game.

Parade is a fast playing shared central tableau, set collection card game, adding and taking cards trying to stitch your opponent up. We play this lots, one of our most played card games.

+1 Patchwork smooth , fast , easy flowing game.
 
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Tim Travis
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Patchwork is my favorite couples game. There's absolutely no ambiguity in rules, it's very relaxing, and gives you more choice in the tiles you pick than Carcassonne.

Kingdomino is really good, but Patchwork works a bit better as a two player game. It's still a solid Carcassonne alternative, however.

7 Wonders Duel is a fantastic game with the perfect level of strategy, but it might be a tough sell. The only knock against it is that it's filled to the brim with symbols. If your husband doesn't like rules ambiguity, this game can be a bit to get used to.

I would also strongly recommend Jaipur or Schotten-Totten as a two player card games.
 
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Sophie Mueller
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From your list, I would prefer 7 Wonders Duel. It's a really nice and eaysgoing game. Kingdomino is also good, but it gets a little repetitive after some games.
Apart from your list, you might take a look at Glüx: clear and easy rules, lots of depth, interesting decisions to make .. a very nice game.
Also, you might try Splendor, which works really well for two people.
 
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Zock'n' Roll
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Hey,

we are playing 7 Wonders Duel very often. I could totally recommend this one!
We also own Raptor and play it often and enjoy it. But we didn't like Saboteur: The Duel, we found this one boring. We also love playing The Game: Face to Face - it's a nice short card game for two.
This games work with two players really good too:
A Feast for Odin
Russian Railroads
Raiders of the North Sea
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island - the (german) rulebook of this one is pretty bad, I don't know if the english rules are written more clear
Alhambra: Family Box
Codenames Duet
Carcassonne: South Seas - a stand-alone game of carcassonne

and some small games for in between:
Noch mal!
Twenty One
 
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Matt Mac
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Not on the list, but Mr Jack is also a nice very specifically two-player game.
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Darryl with one "R"
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Also not on the list, but: Targi.

(Reprint coming in early 2018.)

It's very clever, the tribe cards with special powers are fun, and it's not too confrontational (although there's definitely some interaction).
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