J e f f T o m a k
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Texas
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My roommate and I play more than our fair share of games when we get the chance, but travel and work schedules have left us in a situation as of late that lends little time for such proclivities.

We've taken to a new strategy of leaving a game out on the table, taking a turn when one of us happens to return from, or depart to work. Vikings was the first attempt - but it took a long time to get through all those tiles (figure about 4 tiles each per day were selected, so 3 days for a full round), and it got bogged down when we had to score and set up new rounds, because we both had to be there to determine if we wanted to use boatmen and the like. Small World worked a lot better - since we could score our own rounds, it was a quick 10 exchanges. The problem is, after examining the contents of our closet, it would appear that few of our games truly fit the bill. We need a few game ideas that are short in terms of number of rounds (so we could finish it in about a week, rather than a month), and have limited, if any, points where both people absolutely have to be at the table.

To give an idea of the kinds of games we play, some mutually enjoyed games we own, aside from what was already named, are:
Pandemic
Ticket to Ride
Stone Age
Notre Dame
and Carcassonne

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



 
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Peter
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Carol Stream
Illinois
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Survive: Escape from Atlantis! or one of its variants.


A commands and colors game might be perfect.
Commands & Colors: Ancients
Memoir '44
BattleLore
Battle Cry

Other options which might fit are
Dungeon Twister
Formula D
Gangster

Also, if your into war games many of those are perfect for this type of play.
 
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Brian M
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Thornton
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Bombay seems like a good fit - short play time in terms of rounds, and no interaction requiring both people at the table. (assuming you can trust whoever ends the round to put out supply cubes for the next round ) Bombay runs 16 player turns.

Some other games that seem like they would work well:
Mr. Jack (at most 16 player turns; may need to make allowances for the Jack player indicating which characters are visible).
Taluva (at most 48 player turns - is that too long?)
The Hanging Gardens (60 player turns - that may be getting too long)

Most abstracts would work well - Cathedral, Quarto, of course good ol' Chess and Checkers, possibly the Gipf series. I'm not really an abstract player, so I can't give any specifics though.

Edit: Doh! I halved the values of player turns for Taluva and Hanging Gardens - updated to the correct value.
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Matt Davis
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Hm...this is tough. Skimming the top 100 for ideas, I saw:

Tikal - it's not really meant for 2 players, though. I think I've seen a mini-Tikal 2-player variant floating around. And you'd probably want to use the non-auction basic game, which ups the luck factor a bit.

Mr. Jack - this one seems solid. Each turn there are 4 characters to move - 1 player does one, then the other does 2, then the first player moves the remaining one. 8 turns of that and you're done.

The Rails games might work like this - Empire Builder, India Rails, etc. There you'd want to take more than one turn at once - like say it took me 6 turns to get to this destination, so you've got 6 turns in a row. Technically, you can run into timing issues with borrowing the other person's track, but...whatever.

Edit: I like the Taluva suggestion as well.

It seems weird, but ZERTZ might work. Kind of thinky, and when you're playing the game right, you force your opponent's moves (if they can make a capture, they must) so you get 2 or 3 turns in a row. You might want to come up with some sort of notation to explain to your opponent what the hell just happened, but...
 
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Patrick Hanley
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coolpapa wrote:


Tikal - it's not really meant for 2 players, though. I think I've seen a mini-Tikal 2-player variant floating around. And you'd probably want to use the non-auction basic game, which ups the luck factor a bit.


Tikal is for 2-4 players (says it right on the box), and it's a pretty good 2-player game.

You could also try:

Caylus
DVONN
Goa
Hey, That's My Fish!
Ingenious
Mexica
Taluva
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Scott Armstrong
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People, myself and my wife included, have been playing Chess like this for years. You just write down what you moved, and possibly check on a sticky note.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I suggest you look into CyberBoard. It is free, and gameboxes have been prepared for literally thousands of games. Game play is turn based, so you can take a turn whenever it is convenient and you have computer access.
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Tommy Occhipinti
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I do think Tikal would work well, but you should look for the two player variant that shrinks the board to keep it playable in a reasonable amount of time.

Even though it is my absolute favorite game, I do not think ZÈRTZ is the best game for these requirements. One of the frustrating elements is that you often don't get a turn several turns in a row because your moves are forced. I imagine if all your moves were forced for a few days you would probably get annoyed pretty quickly. On the other hand the game usually takes under 10 minutes, so I would highly encourage squeezing it in with your roommate when you actually see him.

That said, just about any other Gipf game (other than Tamsk) would suit your needs well. Another game worth considering is Trax .

 
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Krishna Sampath
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New Haven
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I think the main issue here is that most of the games you listed as games you like involve extremely short turns, repeated frequently, with a high number of total turns. This is certainly true of Ticket to Ride or Carcassonne. Such games are great for face-to-face (very short downtime), but are terrible for your purposes.

The interesting thing about your request is that you essentially are requesting a game with a long downtime. I'd recommend checking out GeekLists that are something like "Games With Too Much Downtime" or something, and treated that "bug" as a "feature," which, for your purposes, it would be!
Here are the only two I could find in my cursory search:
Good Games With Downtime
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/36688

Games That a Computer Version Would Improve Greatly (because of excessive bookkeeping, etc.)
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/30519

I definitely echo Mr. Jack -- it makes a GREAT play-by-web game on http://www.hurricangames.com/mrjack/stdstart.php

Other games I think are good for this (some are echoing others):
Chess (obviously, tons of people actually do this)
Go (same)
Hive (short turns, but takes up little space, and allows you to think out your moves a bit more).

Utterly unrelated note: I just noticed that Hive has an expansion -- Hive: The Mosquito -- I'm glad I took the time to weigh in on your situation! Thanks.

I would say many other abstract strategy games (DVONN, Ido, etc.) should work relatively well.

Also several wargames would work beautifully, if you don't mind the game being around on your tabletop for a week or so. I recommend Bonaparte at Marengo in particular, as something that looks great when set-up (doesn't detract from your decor) and doesn't have too many back-and-forth turns. I thought at first that games with fog-of-war would pose a problem, but I think that the only time you would have to reveal is to resolve battles, so they should work out.

Please let us know which games you and your roommate enjoy doing this with. I think if you created a GeekList to this effect, it would be really helpful to others who have been in your situation (gaming spouses with different schedules might be particularly appreciative!).

-K
 
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I bet Dominion would work for this. You just need to have a way to identify when an attack card is played.
 
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Matt Davis
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I was thinking that when you force an opponent's move in ZERTZ, you take their move for them and take your next one. So maybe 5 moves happened while you were gone, but when you get back, you get a turn again.
 
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jonathan schleyer
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These days I like really short games that still require some thinking. Here are some of the games I am into:
The Battle for Hill 218
Court of the Medici

I also just discovered a simpler version of Citadels:
Ruse & Bruise

Good luck
 
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