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Subject: Worth getting as 2 player game? rss

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a m
Poland
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I have read several posts and reviews and still can't really decide if A Feast for Odin would work for me and my wife. I am looking for a game which can be finished in at most 90 minutes, including set up and cleaning.

Our favorite competitive game at the moment is Terraforming Mars with probably more than 50 plays. However this takes usually more than 120 minutes in total, and it is hard to predict the time (sometimes we play less than 90 minutes, and sometimes significantly more than 120).

My biggest concern with a Feast for Odin is if this won't get repetitive. I have seen some complains about dominant strategy, but mostly with reference to 3-4 player variants. For instance, we have played probably around 30 games of 7 Wonders: Duel and it became boring, we had maybe 2-3 decisions per players per game that weren’t obvious for us (btw. we don’t like the expansion which makes the game much less streamlined).

Another concern for me is a setup, cleaning time and counting points. We own Caverna which we both like, but we haven’t played it with 2 yet and I doubt that we ever will. We played Caverna 4 time, twice as 3-player and twice as 4-player. Setting those rooms is terrible at the beginning and sorting everything out at the end and putting to the bags is even worse. Additionally, there is zero randomness, so I’d expect that after several 2 player games we would come up with some strategies that we would think are best. We also hate spend time counting points and this is probably the only (besides play time sometimes) con in Terraforming Mars for us, we sometimes spend 10 minutes counting points.

I probably should mention that Agricola is probably still the most played game for us and we almost exclusively played it as 2 player game. We have for sure played more than 100 games. For a long time it was our only large modern game, but we have get rid of it and probably won’t play it again. My wife hates negative interaction, so two LCGs which I tried with her (Android Netrunner and Game of Thrones) were disastrous. We also own Through the Ages: a Story of Civ which we like, but we play is very rarely, probably because it is even longer than Terraforming Mars and we prefer the latter.

If my question make sense and you can recommend some other game which might meet my expectations, let me know. For now, I am also considering Viticulture. The main part is the play time which should not exceed 90 minutes with setup, cleaning and all, preferably 75 minutes.


 
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Jamie Maltman
Canada
RICHMOND HILL
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I love a Feast for Odin and have played a ton solo, a ton 2P, and quite a bit 3P. My wife likes it too.

I don't find it repetitive at all, and it's one of my fave and most played games:
- the action spaces and islands are always there, but the occupation cards, dice rolls, and even the weapons you draw nudge you in new and interesting directions every game
- and even with that, the way that the different polyomino placement and building/island choice decisions play on each other can make the game feel quite different downstream.

(The solo is great too because you block yourself from round to round so you can't just do the same thing every round in a game to maximize it - and other players will get in your way more than you expect with so many spots)

Setup and teardown?
- I've become quite proficient at it, but in the beginning it can be quite a bit, and we liked to leave it out and play several nights in a row because our setup allows for that.
- the trays that come with it keep all the tons of resources in place, so I use
- bags for:
- all the boats
- the various decks of cards
- each players' components
- cheap plastic tubs for:
- the different resources and silver

I think it will settle into your preferred 90 minute timeframe as long as you work together for setup and set down and don't play slowly.

So yes, I highly recommend it.

My wife does like Viticulture Essential edition too, but the polyominoes here win over the race to a certain point threshold there.

Enjoy!

amachno wrote:
I have read several posts and reviews and still can't really decide if A Feast for Odin would work for me and my wife. I am looking for a game which can be finished in at most 90 minutes, including set up and cleaning.

Our favorite competitive game at the moment is Terraforming Mars with probably more than 50 plays. However this takes usually more than 120 minutes in total, and it is hard to predict the time (sometimes we play less than 90 minutes, and sometimes significantly more than 120).

My biggest concern with a Feast for Odin is if this won't get repetitive. I have seen some complains about dominant strategy, but mostly with reference to 3-4 player variants. For instance, we have played probably around 30 games of 7 Wonders: Duel and it became boring, we had maybe 2-3 decisions per players per game that weren’t obvious for us (btw. we don’t like the expansion which makes the game much less streamlined).

Another concern for me is a setup, cleaning time and counting points. We own Caverna which we both like, but we haven’t played it with 2 yet and I doubt that we ever will. We played Caverna 4 time, twice as 3-player and twice as 4-player. Setting those rooms is terrible at the beginning and sorting everything out at the end and putting to the bags is even worse. Additionally, there is zero randomness, so I’d expect that after several 2 player games we would come up with some strategies that we would think are best. We also hate spend time counting points and this is probably the only (besides play time sometimes) con in Terraforming Mars for us, we sometimes spend 10 minutes counting points.

I probably should mention that Agricola is probably still the most played game for us and we almost exclusively played it as 2 player game. We have for sure played more than 100 games. For a long time it was our only large modern game, but we have get rid of it and probably won’t play it again. My wife hates negative interaction, so two LCGs which I tried with her (Android Netrunner and Game of Thrones) were disastrous. We also own Through the Ages: a Story of Civ which we like, but we play is very rarely, probably because it is even longer than Terraforming Mars and we prefer the latter.

If my question make sense and you can recommend some other game which might meet my expectations, let me know. For now, I am also considering Viticulture. The main part is the play time which should not exceed 90 minutes with setup, cleaning and all, preferably 75 minutes.


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Gianluca Spessato
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Even if this wonderful game shouldn't like to your wife, is an amazing solo experience...In any case, someone will play with it!
 
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Inky Bloc
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I agree with everything in Jamie's post. I have only played this game solo or 2P (twice solo, around five times 2P). In the first game, yes, you might take a lot longer just because of the breadth of actions and paths that are available to you, and you're still having to consciously remember all of the rules, but as Agricola players, I'm confident you'll grasp it before too long, and our later games have gone much quicker than our second.

I haven't timed any of our games, but I know that our last one definitely did not reach the two hour mark. And it would have been even shorter if we weren't constantly trying to fend our cat off (for some reason, this game more than any other is one she loves to walk on).
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John McComas
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Get Feast! I like Viticulture, but Feast is absolutely a better, more vibrant and brainier worker placement game. Setup shouldn't be too onerous with the Game Trays provided for keeping the small pieces sorted. This can easily be a 3+hr game with 4 players, but really shouldn't be more than 100-120 minutes including setup and breakdown at a 2 player count. The game's a masterpiece in my opinion. Better worker placement mechanics than Agricola, similar but a little more gamey player interaction, the worker feeding mechanic is flatly brilliant and the puzzling element overall is a blast and quite satisfying to figure out. There are some strong strategies in the game, but I've witnessed wins accomplished with multiple of them, so it's a very far way from being on rails. The forthcoming Norwegians expansion will reportedly be buffing the animal breeding and card draw strategies to make them more viable for a specialist's approach. Get it. If you like Rosenberg, you absolutely owe it to yourself to try it out.
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Jörn Martin Hajek
Denmark
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I think everyone else in theis thread is wrong. But that's what you get when you ask people who love a game I you should buy it

I think 90 minutes for two players including setup is very optimistic.

There is quite a bit of point-counting at the end.

So I would say it doesn't meet your criteria.
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Pedro Estêvão
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As I disclaimer, me and my wife love to play A Feast for Odin. So, I would say: go for it!

From the outset, your tastes seem very similar to ours: Terraforming Mars, Caverna and Agricola are all games we enjoy very much. Also, my wife is not

But based on your concerns, I would elaborate:

1. In our experience, it plays somewhat faster than Terraforming Mars at 2 (particulary if drafting, which I am not a big fan of). But it is not a short game by any means.

2. I can understand your fear regarding replayability. But it is just as - if not more - replayable than Agricola. Aside from the different occupation cards you get (which can be ignored), you roll dice for the results in some actions, such as raiding resulting in different rewards each time. Even if you fail, you still get a compensation.

3. It is much simpler to set up and tear down than Caverna. I had to make my own foamcore insert to adress the problem you state or it too would languish in the shelf. By contrast, a Feast for Odin comes with a couple of very handy counter trays, where most components are stored and can rest throughout the game. If you get a small box for the wooden resource (which are much less than in Caverna) and money tokens as well as some rubber bands for the four decks of cards, it should not take longer than Terraforming Mars to set up.

4. The interaction between players is the standard in worker placement games. You may get first to some action space before your opponent and thus block him from using it (but there are some 60+ spaces...). Or be the first to get some special "Treasure" tiles which have unique forms and can be just what you needed to cover that annoying hole in your board. But there are no direct attacks on your opponent.


I would stay away from Viticulture, though. At least as a 2-player game. We played some 10 games for 2 with the Tuscany Expansion and found the game repetitive and way too dependent on the luck of the draw. Getting cards is recurrent and essential part of the game, but they differ widely in their usefulness and you have no control over which ones you get. But note that we are on the minority here.

Hope this helps!
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Travis Vandenberg
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I would argue that dominant strategy only applies if you're narrow-minded about min-maxing with victory points. Yes, you probably should get an island, but in two-player games you can grab one pretty much whenever you want as it's unlikely and (outside of optimal conditions) poor strategy to take all four islands. With 8 different islands to work with and more with expansions, there's tons to explore. A good majority of my non-solo games have been 2 player and I really enjoy it. It's probably the most open and forgiving setup with the base game as you won't get blocked all that often. I'm a bit biased as I really love the game but I would 100% get it even just for 2P based on the value the game brings.

HOWEVER...

I've disagreed with others on this point several times on these forums and will do so again: This game will likely go over 90 minutes with setup, play and takedown, even more so with expansions added in. If you don't care about making optimal moves and are satisfied with just flying through your turns, sure, you could finish it in time. But this game is designed to be carefully thought through. I've had solo and 2P games take 3 hours in Feast and would say that with experienced players thinking through most moves, a bit over two hours is the most likely outcome for 2P.
 
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a m
Poland
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Thank you all. I am passing on Feast for Odin for now. It would probably stay on the shelf and annoy me that I am not able to play it. This is pretty much the same case with the Through the Ages.

Btw. I purchased Glass Road and Troyes, I am looking forward to play them.
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Mark Gilborson
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Look at Fields of Arle too
 
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a m
Poland
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Platonick wrote:
Look at Fields of Arle too


Given that it plays somehow similarly, in terms of length, to Feast for Odin, I would go for FfO first. I think that the tetris part would be fun for me and my wife.
 
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Mark V
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Its really worth getting at all player counts. Its a very non-confrontational game, especially if you don't like beating up on your spouse or friends. You have your strategy but your opponent is not going to be blocking an action space of yours on purpose usually. They have their own thing they've got to do. Now their strategies might align with yours, but 95% of the game your never out to beat your opponent, but rather beat the game.
 
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Brendan Slade
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Feast for Odin works very well at 2 player. Set up is not too bad but putting it away can take a while as you have to sort a huge stack of different pieces back into their places. As you get more experienced it will play a lot quicker.
 
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Pan Daemonium
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I believe A Feast for Odin is an amazing 2 player game. Answering your other questions:

Can it be finished in at most 90 minutes, including set up and cleaning?

Sure thing, it has trays included which make the set up and clean up very quick if you put the rest of the components in separate baggies. The game itself is very quick, with a very good visual aid that avoids constant rule checking.

Is it repetitive?

If both of you always follow the same strategy, yes, it will be repetitive. If you decide to explore every single activity and then look for ways to combine those, no, it won't be repetitive for a very long time. Once you master those activities, the cards will start to matter more, so, in the end, there is almost no repetition to it. So, in the end, there is no obvious best strategy.

Is scoring in the end too long?

It takes some time, yes. It is pretty straight forward, though.

Does it have negative interaction?

It could if you decide to do so, but there are so many things to do that usually each player is following their own plans. Also, you can always do everything, just a bit different, there is no real blocking.

Do you recommend other games like this one?

I think that A Feast for Odin is by far the best economic-civilization game around for 2 players. It is fast, deep, has tons of variants, it is aestethically appealing and the setup and breakdown is fast and easy.

Hope you enjoy the game as much as my GF and I do. It is an amazing game for couples IMO.

Cheers!
 
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