Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations

Subject: Non-confrontational 2-player suggestions? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Rick Teverbaugh
United States
Anderson
Indiana (IN)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My wife and I play with mostly just each other. My wife has developed, due to some circumstances in her life, an aversion to games where you increase your chances to win by doing something that negatively impacts the other. We also like games that can be played in 60 minutes and aren't overly complex. I know this is pretty specific but I don't want anyone who takes the time to reply to waste any of that time. I would appreciate any and all suggestions. Thank you in advance.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Spalding
United States
Florissant
Missouri
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My wife is kind of the same way. Here's some games we enjoy with 2:

Jaipur
Patchwork
Biblios
Splendor

While Carcassonne can get pretty mean, we enjoy casual games of it too and just agree not to attack each other.

Oh, and if you want games with narrative, we really enjoy an evening of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
rickert wrote:
My wife and I play with mostly just each other. My wife has developed, due to some circumstances in her life, an aversion to games where you increase your chances to win by doing something that negatively impacts the other. We also like games that can be played in 60 minutes and aren't overly complex. I know this is pretty specific but I don't want anyone who takes the time to reply to waste any of that time. I would appreciate any and all suggestions. Thank you in advance.


By "negative impact" does that include blocking or not?

My wife hates confrontational games that include not only combat but also stealing or destroying what others have built. But, she does not mind "blocking" games like Agricola (where you pick an action which means no one else gets to.)

The big hits with us (which do involve some blocking) are:
(She tends to like "tableau-builders," since those tend to be particularly non-confrontational.)
-Hawaii
-Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small (plus expansions)
-La Isla
-The Castles of Burgundy

She also loves
-Race for the Galaxy
Which is not only non-confrontational but does not involve blocking!

She also enjoys co-ops, like
-Flash Point: Fire Rescue
-Red November
-Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
These would be great for you and your wife, since you're working as a team - no motivation to negatively impact eachother!

None of the games I've mentioned are particularly complex (although they have pleasingly meaty strategy), and you should be able to get them all played in an hour, once you both know the rules.
They also play great with 2. (For the co-ops, sometimes we play 2 characters each.)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

New York
msg tools
badge
mbmbmb
Kingdomino
Bärenpark

(though there is an element of blocking in either of the above.)

in Ex Libris you can remove locations and player-characters that are confrontational, allowing you to have an experience with a level of confrontation and interaction that you are comfortable with. and again, there is a certain level of blocking, since there is worker placement aspect.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Melissa Delp
United States
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There is no player interaction in these games. Each player gets the same tiles at the same time and decides how to best place them in their area.
Karuba
NMBR 9

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You could also look at

Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age

It's a dice-rolling civ-builder.
The only part that could be a sticker is when you roll a certain combination, your opponent could face a disaster (I think a "drought"?). But if that's a problem you could ignore that part, it's a very tiny part of the game. You're each basically building your own civilization.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tanner Martin
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You could also look at Fields of Green, which plays 2-4. There is little player interaction and no opportunity to negatively affect the other player. I would describe it as light to medium complexity, and it does reward strategy. If you like a farming them, it's a good option to consider.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron

Jupiter
Florida
msg tools
mb
Ya know, I was a little surprised (cuz my wife doesn't care for Chess-like games) but she does like Onitama
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven St. John
United States
Winter Springs
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Castles of Mad King Ludwig might be a good one (but pushes 1 hour with 2). Confrontation is minimal, and even when you lose there's still the satisfaction of building a castle.

Cribbage is just about a perfect 2 player game.

Istanbul works fine with 2, and there's very little in the way of blocking at that player count.

Carcassonne is always pleasant.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
se honey
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I was going to suggest a few but looks like you already have the ones I was thinking of. My wife is similar, she has some anxiety issues and games with confrontation haven't been going over well lately. We play games like:

-Splendor: not much confrontation and she absolutely loves it.
-Carcassonne: we play nicely and don't mess eachother up.
-TTR: we try not to block the other person if they only have one way to get somewhere.
-Cacao: We just got it and only played once, but it seemed pretty fun and quite non-confrontational.
Century Spice road: By taking the card she had her eye on, there can be a bit of conflict, but there is usually something else she can do, and you can kind of play nicely (ie, leave a card for her if there is something else you can do).
-Jaipur: Mostly goes okay.
-New York Slice This game forces you to be fair, so it goes over pretty well, even with 2 people.
-World's Fair 1893: There is just about always something good to grab, so it usually isn't very confrontational.



She HATED agricola due to getting blocked from doing what she had planned on.
She also didn't care for Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, because you can be kind of mean.

What games have you found that work well for your situation so far?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
B H
msg tools
--Lost Cities is relatively non-confrontational--about the same as gin rummy
--Race for the Galaxy (although my wife doesn't like this one) is basically multiplayer solitaire but where you impact the other player's actions
--Elder Sign is a co-op game that is fast to set up and you just help each other out
--The Lord of the Rings LCG is not "light" at all (probably comparable to Magic, although in a different way), but is co-op. It also happens to be great.

I would avoid Citadels. One of the characters destroys the other player's stuff, and another makes one player lose a turn, although neither are guaranteed to work. It's a great game if neither of those would bother her.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Harv Veerman
Netherlands
Zoetermeer
Zuid-Holland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Have a look at Via Nebula.
You are not working together, but every action you take more or less benefits your opponents.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
f s
Germany
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
For nearly every game mentioned so far, I know at least one person who manages to make an extremely competitive and extremely confrontative game out of it.

Nearly every game has blocking. And personally, I find that to be the meanest form of interaction possible. Worse than direct attack (if that is what the game is about).

Maybe confrontation is not the issue. Maybe it is more about a sense of accomplishing something, building something, without much destruction happening?
I think it is mostly about how a game is played.
Choose any game that does not have a reputation for being mean. And then play nice, maybe warn your opponent about possible good but "mean" moves that might happen if certain decisions are taken. Talking about it, taking it lightly, having fun together is the way to go.

And possibly Cooperative games might be a good option too.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
chris saman
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Glass Road sounds like the perfect game for you. it's great with two players, no direct conflict other than potentially buying a building from the central market that another player was eyeing. plays in less than an hour. fun choice.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paula T
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Good suggestions, I was also going to add
Sagrada

Also check out Limes - it's a pure multiplayer solitaire with 0 interaction between players (plays 1-2)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
"What do you mean, I can't pay in Meeples?"
Canada
flag msg tools
mb
Look at some of the co-ops. You're working together rather than against each other, so there's no blocking or conflict. The favourite in our household is Pandemic: The Cure. Some other options are Castellion, Forbidden Island/Forbidden Desert, or One Deck Dungeon.

Cottage Garden has both a really nice theme and no conflict outside of potentially taking a choice piece - but you cannot take something just to worsen your opponent's odds. You have to be able to fit it into your puzzle board and the consequences of taking a poorly fitting piece vastly outweigh any inconvenience you might have caused the other player.

Qwirkle - scrabble with symbols. Personally we love the Qwirkle Cubes version the best. There's no meanness possible, though once in a great while you may end up taking a choice spot your opponent was eying. Usually opponent's moves give you better scoring options of your own.

+1 for Lost Cities, Karuba, NMBR9, Sagrada and Fields of Green.

Kingdomino can actually have a fair bit of turn order jockeying / blocking, so I'd pick Barenpark over it for lower conflict.


1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rick Teverbaugh
United States
Anderson
Indiana (IN)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
imperial army builde wrote:
I was going to suggest a few but looks like you already have the ones I was thinking of. My wife is similar, she has some anxiety issues and games with confrontation haven't been going over well lately. We play games like:

-Splendor: not much confrontation and she absolutely loves it.
-Carcassonne: we play nicely and don't mess eachother up.
-TTR: we try not to block the other person if they only have one way to get somewhere.
-Cacao: We just got it and only played once, but it seemed pretty fun and quite non-confrontational.
Century Spice road: By taking the card she had her eye on, there can be a bit of conflict, but there is usually something else she can do, and you can kind of play nicely (ie, leave a card for her if there is something else you can do).
-Jaipur: Mostly goes okay.
-New York Slice This game forces you to be fair, so it goes over pretty well, even with 2 people.
-World's Fair 1893: There is just about always something good to grab, so it usually isn't very confrontational.



She HATED agricola due to getting blocked from doing what she had planned on.
She also didn't care for Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, because you can be kind of mean.

What games have you found that work well for your situation so far?


We like: Dominion, Kingdom Builder, Mystic Vale, Roll for the Galaxy, Roll Player, Valeria Card Kingdoms, Lanterns, Sagrada, San Juan, Pandemic The Cure, Jump Drive, Ascension, Colony and Tiny Epic Galaxies.

Some that didn't work: Smash Up, Concordia, Epic, Dice Masters, Quarriors, Nightfall and many more I'm likely forgetting.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
dave maltbie
United States
hamilton
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Codenames Duet - its the best 2 player CO-OP I have played. My son and I have played countless games of this. While we often lose, its always challenging and engaging, and is usually 30 minutes or so. It richly deserves its 7.9 rating. The "world map" game is fun to try to complete, though pretty difficult.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marc Nelson Jr.
United States
Cumberland
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
FITS
Qwixx
Rolling America
10 Days in...
San Juan
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jebstone Boppman
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Orléans
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob
United States
Lake Oswego
Oregon
flag msg tools
Haha, man - I really haven't figured out how to use BGG's posting functions. Ah well, here's my 2c.

This is nearly exactly the description of what my wife and I like. We both hate games in which it pays to be pointlessly mean. If an otherwise good game has elements we don’t like, we house-rule them or remove them from the game. But the level of confrontation is a subjective thing, and all games have conflict - for us, the metric is: “Is it part of the competition or is it just lazy game design and/or malice for its own sake.

Here are some of our favorites - and that are competitive without being pointlessly aggressive and combative.

San Juan - Competition for resources and blocking ability to trade/ship goods
Splendor - Competition for resources and scoring cards
Puerto Rico - Competition for resources and blocking ability to trade/ship goods
First Class - Competition for resources and scoring cards
El Dorado - Competition for modifier cards and sometimes blocking pathways (though you can set up the boards in ways that don’t create block-able pathways)
Lords of Waterdeep - Competition for resources & modifiers. Some thief-like cards which we remove from the deck and put under the box insert
Castles of Burgundy The Card Game - Faster and less confrontational than it’s big brother the board game. Competition for resources and modifiers. Some competition for scarce resources.
Jaipur - Competition for resources and competing to control camel cards which create/restrict flexibility
Patchwork - Competition for resources
Morels - Competition for resources and occasionally holding resources the competitor might need
Dominion (Base Dominion - no extensions) - Competition for resources and some aggressive cards which we never use. You don’t have to use attack cards in the setup scenarios.
Valley of the Kings: (original or “Afterlife”) - Competition for resources. Some thief/aggressive cards which we remove and/or just agree to not play.
Trambahn - competition for resources and scoring vehicles
Akrotiri - Competition for resources and board positions (claiming new territory that becomes available throuhout the game)
Targi - Competition for sets of resources where sometimes you take a card because the other needs it and you can use it, but it isn’t really overt and if you waste energy being pointlessly combative, you’ll get crushed by a good player.
Medici: The Card Game - Competition for resources
Thurn and Taxis - Competition for routes
Paperback (or Hardback) - Competition for resources and bonuses
Lanterns: The Harvest Festival - Competition for bonus tiles and set cards
Forbidden Desert (or Forbidden Island) - Cooperative
Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper - Some quasi-mean cards, but not bad. We actually play without removing them
Matcha Trying to outguess the other. Princess Bride ”Iocaine Powder Gambit” kind of stuff.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carla
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
rickert wrote:
My wife and I play with mostly just each other. My wife has developed, due to some circumstances in her life, an aversion to games where you increase your chances to win by doing something that negatively impacts the other. We also like games that can be played in 60 minutes and aren't overly complex. I know this is pretty specific but I don't want anyone who takes the time to reply to waste any of that time. I would appreciate any and all suggestions. Thank you in advance.


We don't like mean-spirited games, either. Here are some you might like:

The Lost Expedition - cooperative jungle survival game (warning: in this game, you sometimes have to decide that a character must die so that others survive)
Biblios - quick card game with points added up at the end
The Castles of Burgundy - classic points salad Stefan Feld game, very mild competition for some resources, but you pretty much both do your own thing
Concordia - another resource gathering game; you can use a smaller board expansion (such as Britannia/Germania) for more competition, or use a huge map with two players so that you never bother each other at all, and just add points at the end
Pandemic - cooperative game, a race to work together to cure 4 diseases before the world succumbs!
Thunderbirds - a pick up and deliver cooperative game based on a children's TV show from the 1960s
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Board Game - cooperative game in which you play characters from the show battling various Big Bads
Takenoko - cute and gentle game where you work to complete your own goals and then compare points at the end
Ghostel - a sort of cooperative game where you are trying to scare hotel guests away
Morels - set collection card game in which you gather various types of mushrooms and cook them up to earn points, a bit of very mild competition for the rarer mushrooms
A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King- silly and fun little set collection game with a bit of mild strategy and a few instances where the same cards may be captured and recaptured, passing back and forth between you
London - you build up and run your own city by collecting certain cards, it's really hard to interfere with one another's goals
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.