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Subject: 2 Player Viability? rss

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Peter Marchlewitz
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Sounds like a cool game. I know my wife would probably also like it, but if it is a minimum of 3 players it might not get to the table as often as it should. Any early ideas for a 2 player variant?


 
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Jarratt Gray
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You can play with the rules as is for 2-players. It just doesn't have the dynamic of 3-5 players though. It tends to be more solitary, which suits some people and doesn't suit others. Some features like attacks tend to make it more interactive, but in a 2-player game they don't create the same dynamic they do in multi-player, essentially because 1 player might take attack options while the other does not.

I have to admit we only playtested it a few times with 2-players. It works, it just isn't quite the same as the multi-player version and as such we thought it was best to promote it as a 3-5 player game.
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Peter Marchlewitz
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Thanks, Jarratt!

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Related question:

Pushing the 2-player, "wife game" question even further- Is it required to attack other players to enjoy this game?

It sounds like with 2p it may be more of a "multiplayer solitaire" game? This would be perfect for my wife. She loves Goa but hates any attacking aspects of games.


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Jarratt Gray
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Attacking is not necessary in the game, though in a multiplayer game it can be difficult to win without having at least one attacking option. Without it your cities are fair game to other players seeking to expand their network.

One of the reasons I think 2-player is less interesting is because attacks become less viable or useful. If you wanted you could play the game with no attacks. There are other elements of conflict but they are mostly first in first served or area control orientated.

Personally I think that for 2 players with attacks or not it is strategically a solitaire engine building game, which may suit you. If it does I urge you to try. As it stands a 2-player game of Endeavor once you have the rules down is unlikely to take longer than 30mins anyway.
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jarratt wrote:
Attacking is not necessary in the game, though in a multiplayer game it can be difficult to win without having at least one attacking option. Without it your cities are fair game to other players seeking to expand their network.

One of the reasons I think 2-player is less interesting is because attacks become less viable or useful. If you wanted you could play the game with no attacks. There are other elements of conflict but they are mostly first in first served or area control orientated.

Personally I think that for 2 players with attacks or not it is strategically a solitaire engine building game, which may suit you. If it does I urge you to try. As it stands a 2-player game of Endeavor once you have the rules down is unlikely to take longer than 30mins anyway.

Excellent. Thanks!
 
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Jamie Pollock
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Interesting question!

Puerto Rico is advertised as 3-5 players and yet the official alea 2-player variant is very playable and makes me wonder why this wasn't included as standard.

Is the 2-player Endeavour equally similar to Puerto Rico in that sense, or is too much lost in the transition from 3-players to 2?

 
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Asa Swain
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I think this is another way that Endeavor might be similar to Puero Rico. After the game is realeased I'm hoping that it is popular enough that players (or the designers) will release rules for a 2 player variant. Even if some of the mechanics don't work as well, it would be cool to try playing even if you only have 2 players.
 
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Jeff Thornsen
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Maybe to increase the tension you could limit the building supply some more?

Ex:
Level 1/2 buildings: 2 of each
Level 3/4 buildings: 1 of each
Level 5 buildings: 1 total (one player may build one, the other can't)

You might also want to make the shipping tracks shorter by a few spaces so the regions open up quicker.
 
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Steve Duff
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HauRuck wrote:
Go old school and just play 2 colors each. Average the scores to see who wins...


I've just never found that whole thing very appealing. For any game. I take a board or a colour, that's my stuff.

I'm sure something can be worked up to satisfy me, at least.
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Jamie Pollock
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Regarding 2-player Endeavor, here's a suggestion for you (or hopefully Jarrat) to comment on:-

What about reducing the number of tokens placed in the shipping lanes at the start of the game? For example, remove 3 from each lane. That way the zones would become less difficult to open and yet more difficult for a player to get 5 presence without combat.
 
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David Hoffman
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My wife and I did a 2-player game (for the purpose of learning it) on Friday night. We enjoyed the game but found it to be very non-competitive, in terms of getting spaces on the board.

We each went after different shipping tracks, figuring "why fight over them?" and so opening up regions was slow, too.

Like I said, we did enjoy the game very much, but I'd think some sort of modification would be needed to tighten things up. Perhaps, like with Power Grid, "closing off" some sections of the board, or a house-rule that only one shipping track may be in play at a time, to keep things interactive.
 
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Steve Duff
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Did you play any modified rules, David?

I think removing some tokens from all tracks seems to be a really obvious modification that I would try.
 
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Justin Moore
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I've been trying to think of good 2-player rules, too. I think the closing off of various areas would be a necessity, ala Power Grid as someone mentioned. Someone could even do the math to figure out how many areas to remove. So if 4 player has say 60 tokens in play and only 40 shipping spaces, then with 2 player you might only have 20 spaces available for shipping.

Heck, I was a little surprised with fewer than 5 there weren't some taken out of play as it is. With 3 people you only have 60% of the actions available to fill the shipping spaces.
 
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Jarratt Gray
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I posted one 2 player variant we are exploring here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/437708

The game as presented for 3-5 isn't suited to 2 player. Try the above if you want more competition. If you do let me know how it goes, thoughts improvements etc...

As you said the main problem is that each player goes on there own shipping tracks and there isn't much conflict. With these rules even though you might be in your own track the other player can directly influence that track. It also means that to get connection spaces on the board you have to fight at the very least a neutral nation which adds to the struggle.
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Jarratt Gray
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feydjm wrote:
Heck, I was a little surprised with fewer than 5 there weren't some taken out of play as it is. With 3 people you only have 60% of the actions available to fill the shipping spaces.


Yes but you can't open all the areas because you have less actions so less board opens. That is the scaling right there. Effectively less regions are used just like in Powergrid but the players choose them as the game evolves.

It doesn't work with 2players though because the conflict still isn't there. Players just end up in their own tracks with their own cities. It basically becomes a game of efficiency and best connections wins. Reducing the number of available regions doesn't actually help with this. It just limits the choices you can make about where to go.

Try the rules in the above post and let us know how they work. It's a work in progress but we would like to help out people who would like to play Endeavor 2 player.
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