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Subject: Medium/heavy game for 2 players only (we love Agricola) rss

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Dean Lowdon
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Why do you think Keyflower is too mean?
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Derry Salewski
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The only euros I like more than Agricola are Keyflower, race for the galaxy, castles of burgundy and . . . . concordia? Which is perfectly fine with two, I guess.

I mean . . . agricola has a bunch of dumb little cartoon farm people on all the cards. Race for the galaxy has sweet, sci fi art. Do you just hate sci fi? Castle of burgundy has pictures of little sheep. Agricola comes with little sheep. Your limits seem completely arbitrary so our recommendations might too.

I have no idea how keyflower is more mean than agricola. In keyflower, blocking is expensive and usually you can't do it completely. 2p agricola is a family starving knife fight!!

Food chain magnate? That's tight like agricola. It'll be 75 bucks when it's back in print, though. And ugly as fuck.

Deus? Age of Empires? I dunno.

Just, from my perspective, your post reads "what's as awesome for two as agricola except for all the great games that are as awesome for two as agricola?!"

If you want your knife fight to take 3 hours, try twilight struggle. If you want it to cost more but play faster and be a little less deliciously frustrating, 1960 making of the president.

If you like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, play war of the ring or star wars rebellion, but now I'm reaching.
 
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Konrad
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I heard that basically the whole game is about blocking other players which can be very frustrating.
 
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Arlyn Janssen
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Kaldish wrote:
I heard that basically the whole game is about blocking other players which can be very frustrating.


It's bidding. You're trying to get tiles and take actions, some of which your opponent might also want. It's hard to characterize it as "the whole game is about blocking" anymore than, say, Agricola. In fact, there's less blocking in Keyflower since there's always an opportunity to simply outbid your opponent if you're able.

I'd watch an overview at least. My wife absolutely hates it, so I'm not trying to sell you on it, necessarily, but I just want you to consider it on its own terms rather than possibly mistaken preconceptions.
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Andrei Savva
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You have a very long criteria list. You can wait a looooong time before you find a game that ticks all the boxes. Maybe you should just be a little bit more flexible and explore some of the highly ranked euro games to begin with. Go with the flow, most of them are fantastic games (except Scythe, don't be hyped into Scythe, you will regret it.
IMO, some of your criteria are superficial. "Looks nice". You will miss so many "ugly ducks" because of it. Are you sure you want to miss on Castles of Burgundy just because of the look? There are so many awesome looking games with mediocre gameplay, that you will be safer starting with gameplay in mind, and only after to care about how it looks.

Also "looks nice" and "costs $50 or less" doesn't go hand in hand very well. The same is valid for "isn't too mean" + "it's tense". Tension comes from player interaction, and a sweet loving interaction cannot be very tense.
Just buy Castles of Burgundy. It's cheap, but great (and only somewhat tense).

From your description I can recommend Trajan, but I am sure you will come with some rule that will exclude it (something like "Oh, it's too fiddly and... tense"). Just buy some good 2P game and enjoy it.
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Brian "Langalore"
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Yes, definitely watch a run through of keyflower. Rahdo is great for this, though some mistakes are made sometimes and people are mixed on him talking to himself when deciding what to do. His Keyflower run through is quite good.

I suppose you should look at some other Uwe games. At the Gates of Loyang is my favorite. It's less mean than Agricola. Definitely what I'd recommend from your list, though I don't know the exact price. It has amazing veggie tokens and the graphic design is good.
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Konrad
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scifiantihero wrote:
Race for the galaxy has sweet, sci fi art. Do you just hate sci fi?


For me it looks like a poor video game from the 90s for my taste, but it's just me.

scifiantihero wrote:
If you want your knife fight to take 3 hours, try twilight struggle.


I'd love to play it and I do play it on my laptop, but unfortunately my gf doesn't like it.

scifiantihero wrote:
If you like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, play war of the ring or star wars rebellion, but now I'm reaching.


Both are too big (set up time) and too long to play (3-4h of playtime).

scifiantihero wrote:
Just, from my perspective, your post reads "what's as awesome for two as agricola except for all the great games that are as awesome for two as agricola?!"


Welp, that's too bad. I just don't like those games for the reasons I mentioned. It's not like only those games are worth buying. There are thousands of other games and that's why I'm asking you if there's any other game I should check out. You guys have way more knowlegde on that matter than me.
 
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Konrad
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Langalore wrote:


At the Gates of Loyang is my favorite. It's less mean than Agricola. Definitely what I'd recommend from your list, though I don't know the exact price. It has amazing veggie tokens and the graphic design is good.


Yea, I was looking at this one and maybe it's worth a shot.

To all of you guys. What about Lorenzo, Marco Polo and Grand Austria Hotel? They are from the same designer, but if you had to choose one, which one would it be? How do they compare to, let's say, Keyflower?
 
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Chris F
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As somebody who plays a lot of 2 player games (as well as lots of games at a higher count) I would say, IMHO, very little comes close to Agricola for playability but also scalability.

That said our 2 player go to games are:
Castle of Burgundy - excellent 2 player game (prefer it with 2)
Bora Bora - as above
Glass Road (with 2 it only takes 45 mins)- excellent 2 player and scales really well.
Russian Railroads - newly acquired but played a lot with 2 (always very close scores at the end) but scales well to 3/4.

For a pure 2 player game Rivals of Catan with the expansions is a good option as it opens up a wide range of options.

I disagree that that Keyflower is any more mean than Agricola. It plays really well with 2 (but prefer it 3-4) but I cant think of many more games that is as mean as Agricola when played 2 player.

One of the benefits of Keyflower is its scalability. The game mechanics doesn't really change just more tiles are added the more players there are. The only issue I find is that with more than 4 players it becomes difficult to spot what everyone has and you need a much bigger playing area!

Hope this helps
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James Rountrey
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Le Havre is great. It plays well with two especially. It was made by Uwe Rosenberg. It may be a little difficult to find, but that is part of the fun of acquisition. It has a feed your people mechanic throughout the game that keeps you struggling. It has an engine building aspect like Agricola. This is arguably Rosenberg's best two player game.
 
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Konrad
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You are all very helpful in making me understand some things. Agricola was also a shot in the dark and it turned out to be a perfect game for us, maybe we should do the same with either Castles of Burgundy or Keyflower as both of them are considered classics.
 
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Slawomir Stankowski
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My proposals:
La Granja - although graphically it's not the greatest
Elysium - families chosen dictate what type of game you play
 
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Ron Olivier, Sr.
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Kaldish wrote:
I heard that basically the whole game is about blocking other players which can be very frustrating.


Not to beat a dead horse, but in Most 2-player worker placement games it's VERY easy to block somebody just by placing your worker on a certain spot. In Keyflower, placing a worker on a tile still allows the other player to use that tile, but it will cost them two workers instead of one. So there is actually LESS true blocking in Keyflower than games like Agricola.

I just bought Keyflower and am eagerly awaiting it's arrival. My best advice is to check it out for yourself. There is a 'How to play/Watch it played' video by Rodney Smith that does a great job of explaining the bidding and placement mechanics of this game. If it doesn't appeal to you, move on to something else.

 
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Shane Larsen
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I disagree with others saying your list of requests is too long. Usually people ask for recommendations and give far too little guidance. Here are some games that come to mind:

Grand Austria Hotel
Checks all boxes. A lot of people—including me—call this the Castles-of-Burgundy Killer. It has somewhat similar game play, but has a more convincing theme and great artwork. It’s very tense because you have to please the emporer every other round. Great game.

Lorenzo il Magnifico
Checks all boxes. It’s worker placement, but with a really great twist. The tension comes from needing to have enough faith points every other round, or else... I recommend playing with the variant where you don’t cover up the harvest and production actions with two players. This is my wife’s favorite game to play with me.

-1 Keyflower
I personally think it’s an overrated game. And I feel like when you’re blocked in Keyflower, it feels more devastating than in Agricola. So I get what the OP is saying.

[edit] spelling
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Ron Olivier, Sr.
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Kaldish wrote:
You are all very helpful in making me understand some things. Agricola was also a shot in the dark and it turned out to be a perfect game for us, maybe we should do the same with either Castles of Burgundy or Keyflower as both of them are considered classics.


As for CoB, I really didn't it like very much when I first bought it. It is now one of only six games that I rate as a '10', and I'd say that almost all my plays with that game have been 2P! But it will never win a beauty contest.
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Mike Vande Ven Jr.
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My wife and I have been playing quite a bit of Five Tribes lately. We were very pleasantly surprised by how well it plays with 2 players. Toss in some expansions and it gets even better.
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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Games that check all your boxes:
Great Western Trail
Grand Austria Hotel
Bruxelles 1893
Terraforming Mars (not outstanding component quality, but it looks nice)
Concordia (get this one!)
 
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Nate
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+1 to CoB (amazing game; I highly suggest you look past the bland components), Concordia (fantastic game, with 2 it's more open so less confrontational, which you may enjoy), and Le Havre (absolutely fantastic game, maybe a bit heavier than Agricola but not overly so, similar level of confrontation).

As everyone's said, I found Keyflower to be less "mean" than Agricola, but YMMV so I suggest watching a playthrough or even trying it out (if that's possible).

-1 to Glass Road. Very good game, but definitely lighter, and if you're looking for medium/heavy, you won't find that here.

Samurai is definitely more of a medium-weight game, but great at 2 (and 3/4) and not mean (although there is interaction). Fantastic game.
 
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Chris Nash
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+1 to CoB, it's worth it even though it looks horrible, it's that good a game.
PLEASE don't ignore it because of how it looks.

+1 to Concordia, this is one of my wife's favourite games.

+1 to Grand Austria Hotel, we've played it a few times but don't own it - she'd like us to!

+1 to Great Western Trail - my favouritest favourite game at the moment, and a new expansion in a few months - woohoo!!!

I'd also suggest T'zolkin - we think it plays pretty well for 2.
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Chris Nash
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thedacker wrote:


Grand Austria Hotel
Checks all boxes. A lot of people—including me—call this the Castles-of-Burgundy Killer. It has somewhat similar game play, but has a more convincing theme and great artwork. It’s very tense because you have to please the emporer every other round. Great game.


I don't know who these so-called "someone's" are, but I don't think they know what they're talking about.

Other than the fact that you're trying to fill connected groups of colour, and the fact that you use dice, these games do not feel the same at all.
 
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Konrad
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We're planning on getting Concordia in a couple of months anyway, so for now it's off the list cause it's a sure thing.

So far it's between GAH, Lorenzo, Loyang, Bora Bora. Maybe I'll add CoB, Keyflower, Elysium and Bruxelles 1893 after watching more videos about them and reading which ones are best with 2 players.

Of course I'm leaving the list open cause besides looking for this 1 title to buy now, we're trying to make a list of a few titles which we'd like to buy in the future.
 
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Nicholas Krause
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So this is a bit Cult of the New, but have you considered TransAtlantic? It's great for 2 players, moves really quickly, and the art on the ships is really fantastic.

If I had to choose one on that list it'd be Bora Bora.
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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TransAtlantic is a mediocre game compared to Concordia.
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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From your shortlist I'd recommend Grand Austria Hotel. It's a fascinating game, with lots of fun moments. The dice allocation / drafting is really well implemented.
 
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bryden
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Seeing that Agricola is my favorite game we may share similar interests. Going through my ratings, I can suggest the following:

1. 51st State (master set is available) [a tamer version is Imperial Settlers] There is a depth to the game that is not immediately obvious but if you like combo and light interactive play, here you go.

2. Suburbia (especially with the first expansion but you don't need it to start with) Excellent 2-player game and the 1st expansion gives it more challenge and tension. When you are done you can see the city that you have created just like the farm in Agricola.

3. Core Worlds Indirect competition with drafting and action efficiency held at a premium. It feels complicated when you get started but it should fade after the first play. The dual action and power mechanics add the tension like food in Agricola.

4. Walnut Grove Agricola + Carcassonne is the best description. It is on the shorter side as there are only 8 rounds. You have the feeding and keeping your group warm each round. This one may be the one that is the hardest to find but well worth it in the couple setting.

5. Glass Road Another Uwe game that is short and interactive. You have the "see what I built" vibe and there is the tension of card selection and trying to guess what your opponent is going to pick to get a free action. Then there is the resource wheel.

6. Bruges You stated that you were not interested in CoB (I would suggest that one) so instead I will suggest Bruges. The card play is interesting and the resources that you are managing are not your typical resources. Macao is also a good 2 player Feld.

7. London This one is quick to setup and somewhat stressful given the mechanics of the game. The poverty starts to build up and you have to figure out how best to deal with it. There is mild player interaction. It feels a bit like a deeper version of San Juan. San Juan is fine card version of Puerto Rico. I like London a bit better because the battle of wits is more interesting.

Hopefully some of these you might find to your liking.

FYI - Grand Austria hotel was fine with 2 but became a little dull after a while. I like it with 3.
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