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Subject: 2 Person Board Game Recommendations rss

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Ted Rosenholm
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My wife and I enjoy playing board games, but many of the ones we are interested in recommend more than 2 players. Are there any really good 2 person board games out there that anyone would recommend? All different types of games would interest us.

Thank you one and all!
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Billy McBoatface
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If you list some games you like already (and even better, say what you like about them), then it's a lot easier to give advice. There are a lot of good 2 player games out there that are all very different, so we will need some help narrowing things down!
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Ted Rosenholm
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We've played Quarto and enjoyed it. Chess, backgammon, go, and checkers are all favorites. We like Monopoly and Scrabble. Besides Quarto, all of these are games almost everyone has played. We're just looking for some new types of games that play well with 2 people. We've seen games like Puerto Rico and The Settlers of Catan, but they usually recommend more people. Not that we can't get a few people together to play, but on a rainy day with just us, we'd like a few different games to try.

Really, any type of game recommendation is appreciated. We just want it to work really well with 2 people. Some games say 2 or more, but we all know that the more people - the better the game. We're looking for a quality game with just us.

Thanks!
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Billy McBoatface
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OK, now we're getting somewhere! So far you've played pretty much all abstracts, but it sounds like you want to branch out. So, I'd recommend...

Samurai - This is pretty much an abstract, but with pretty pieces and some luck (unless you play the variant where you have all tiles in your hand all game). My wife and I enjoyed this a lot as a 2 player game.

San Juan - This would be something quite different. It's a card game that plays like a board game. You build buildings (represented by cards), paying money (represented by cards) to do so. You make money by growing crops (represented by cards). Neat system. Race for the Galaxy is similar to this, but more complex, so I'd try this one first.

Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation - Again, something quite different. It's a bit like stratego, except each piece has a special power it can use, and all are (of course) Lord of the Rings characters.

I think the first - Samurai - would be a good bet for anybody who likes chess, checkers, and quatro. Read reviews of the other two, if they appeal to you then try them out.

I hope this helps!
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Patrick Rael
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There are several geeklists on this. Here's one I like:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/3260
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Neil
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I recommend

Biblios (superb with 2!)
Jambo (amazing!)
Carcassonne (classic! I prefer Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers because it's more streamlined)

Neuroshima Hex! is outstanding, plays fast and gives you plenty to think about, but I'm not sure if the particularly geeky theme would appeal to you.

Oodles of information and more recommendations here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/25789
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/314969
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/30945
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Dice bags!
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Before the Wind
Cuba
Goldland
Jambo
Candamir: The First Settlers
Stone Age
Ticket to Ride
Wasabi!
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Joe Salamone
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If you enjoy abstracts, try:

* DVONN
* YINSH
* GIPF
* TAYU
* INGENIOUS

For a variety of other types, try:

* LOST CITIES
* TICKET TO RIDE
* ST. PETERSURG
* THE HANGING GARDENS
* ALHAMBRA
* THURN AND TAXIS
* HACIENDA
* OREGON
* FJORDS

My wife and I play these games frequently and they all seem to work pretty well with 2 players (although, Alhambra requires the use of a "dummy" 3rd player, but the rules for this are simple).
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Dennis Leung
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Since you seem to like more analytical games, how about Mr. Jack? It sort of plays like a cross between Chess and Clue for two players. Otherwise, Carcassonne was my first gateway game and it works great with two players.
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F H
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Warm up your printer and go PnP!

Micropul is a good start.

Free At Last a deeper game...

You could print a Decktet and play any of the 2players games for that system.

If you prefer dice try Lost Dice


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Joe Salamone
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And let's not forget:

* AGRICOLA
* MEXICA
* MANHATTAN
* ZOOLORETTO / ACQUARETTO
* MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT: 1960
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Big Kat
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When my wife and I got into boardgames, our most played 2 player games were

Lost Cities
Carcassonne: The Castle
Mr. Jack

We played these games a bunch and got a lot of enjoyment out of them (still play Carc: The Castle and Mr Jack once in a while. Haven't played Lost Cities in a long time, but would gladly play if it was suggested.)

Some other games that we enjoy for 2 players are
Hive
Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hyde - if you like rummy games
Aton
Yspahan - plays up to 4 player, but we like just fine with 2
Attika - also plays up to 4, but is great with 2
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries - we like this because of all the blocking. If you don't like conflict as much, one of the other Ticket to Ride's would be better.
Stone Age
YINSH
Blokus Duo
TZAAR
Pandemic - cooperative game that plays well with 2
Memoir '44
Ingenious
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Brad N
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AdmiralThor wrote:
We've played Quarto and enjoyed it. Chess, backgammon, go, and checkers are all favorites. We like Monopoly and Scrabble. Besides Quarto, all of these are games almost everyone has played.

Based on this information, I recommend you start with one of these...
Battle Line - Card game for two that is currently my favorite two player game
Lost Cities - Card game for two that's easy to learn and fun to play
Ingenious - Tile laying game (plays 2 to 4 players but is best with 2 players in my opinion)
Blokus 3D, available as Blokus 3D at Target (plays 2 to 4 players but is good with 2 in my opinion) - Fast-playing 3D block-stacking / shape-fitting game

It seems you haven't played most of the games that many people on this site enjoy. I'm seeing recommendations for a lot of really great games and I think the 4 I've listed above will not bring on too many rules. If you aren't worried about that then I say go ahead and jump into some of the others (including those I've listed below). Most of these games are not available at the Targets and Walmarts of the world.


If you play these and like one or more of the games above then there will be tons and tons more two player games you can get into that get more thematic and more interesting and have more rules. Some of our favorites for only two players are...
Carcassonne: The Castle - Tile-laying game made for two players
Odin's Ravens - Racing game made for two players
Mr. Jack - Deduction game made for two players (one player is trying to catch the other player who is trying to escape or remain uncaptured)
Times Square - Tug of war game made for two players
Kahuna - Area control game made for two players
Jambo - A card game of buying and selling where the cards can create all kinds of havoc

Then, there are plenty of games made for two or more players, but play really great as just two player games (like Ingenious above). Here are some of our favorites as two player games that aren't just for two players...
Pandemic - Cooperative game
Ticket to Ride - Train game that works well for two with an expansion
San Juan - A game of good production, trading and building
Agricola - An involved farming game with lots to follow
Dominion - A card game where each players deck of cards is built throughout the game
Can't Stop - A push-your-luck dice game


EDIT: Jambo moved to 2 player only games
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Neil
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joe_salamone wrote:
And let's not forget:

* AGRICOLA
* MEXICA
* MANHATTAN
* ZOOLORETTO / ACQUARETTO
* MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT: 1960



I disagree with the Zooloretto recommendation for a 2-player game. It's playable, but not very engaging IMO.
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Peter Clinch
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Several people have mentioned Mr Jack, when playing with 2 people I prefer 2-player games rather than 2-5 (although Caylus is quite good). So, my recommendation would be the Komos 2 player series

Dracula bluff and memory, both sides play slightly differently
Tally Ho! more luck, again both sides have different pieces
Odin's Ravens a game where you manipulate the board to slow your opponent or gain an advantage

or current favourite Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, goo especially if you like the genre

cheers
Pete
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Andrew Smith
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I'd second the recommendation for Battle Line. Have you ever tried Cribbage? It's a very popular card game for 2 players. You can pick up a pegboard quite cheaply to try it.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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AdmiralThor wrote:
We've played Quarto and enjoyed it. Chess, backgammon, go, and checkers are all favorites. We like Monopoly and Scrabble. Besides Quarto, all of these are games almost everyone has played. We're just looking for some new types of games that play well with 2 people. We've seen games like Puerto Rico and The Settlers of Catan, but they usually recommend more people. Not that we can't get a few people together to play, but on a rainy day with just us, we'd like a few different games to try.

Really, any type of game recommendation is appreciated. We just want it to work really well with 2 people. Some games say 2 or more, but we all know that the more people - the better the game. We're looking for a quality game with just us.

Thanks!


Lots of good suggestions thus far, but a bit overwhelming for a newbie!!

Here are mine.......
For starters, strictly 2-player, and sure bets:
Lost Cities
Hive
Mr. Jack
Balloon Cup

If those work, I'd say to try these multiplayer games that work VERY well with 2 players:
Acquire - a very deserved classic!
Thurn and Taxis - supposed to work better for 2 than Ticket to Ride
Pandemic - a fun cooperative game
Freight Train - super simple, elegant, engaging overlooked gem

Inexpensive options to try at any time:
Cribbage
Micropul
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inga
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We love San Juan, Carcassonne and Schotten totten. All very different and good with two.

Groetjes van Inga

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Alan Miller
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I'm pretty new to this myself, but I'd really recommend Carcassonne. I've been playing it with my girlfriend and we're starting to get competitive and learning strategies, but when learning it was pleasant and satisfying to put together little maps of medieval France.
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Ryan Sturm
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I may be an island on this opinion, but I believe that Empire Builder and all of its incarnations is one of the best possible Husband and Wife games available.

Here's Why:
The game is very intuitive and easy to learn
Lots of interesting strategic decisions and an appealing theme
This game actually improves with less players because of the reduction in playtime and downtime
There is virtually no conflicting interaction (At least for me and my wife this is a definite plus. I don't like both of us ending the game in a bad mood)
The game is always different, and once you pick up the system you have endless variety with 10+ different maps available, without a lot more new rules to learn. Start with empire builder, go to eurorails etc

Give it a try!
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Pete Lane
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Finca just came out about a month or so ago and I find it scales REALLY well. My wife and I find it very hard to find Euros we like that play as well for 2 as they do 3+, and Finca is a rare exception to that rule for us. It's pretty light, but has enough deeper strategy that will surprise.
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Joe Salamone
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stagger lee wrote:
Finca just came out about a month or so ago and I find it scales REALLY well. My wife and I find it very hard to find Euros we like that play as well for 2 as they do 3+, and Finca is a rare exception to that rule for us. It's pretty light, but has enough deeper strategy that will surprise.


I recently bought FINCA, too. My wife and I have played it only once so far, but we enjoyed it. It's a good "fill-in" game when you don't feel like burning your brain too much.
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J G
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Battleline, Jambo, Mr. Jack, Hive. Can't go wrong with these.
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Rick Holzgrafe
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When and if you decide you're interested in some longer, deeper games, I recommend Caylus and Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. These are a few notches beyond games like Settlers of Catan and Stone Age in several respects: the length of the game (2 hrs. for Caylus, 3 for TtA), the complexity of the rules (especially TtA), and the brain-burning depth. Although both of these games support more players, both play extremely well with just two.

But if you're still new to the hobby I'd recommend some of the other fine suggestions in this thread before diving into these two.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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Here are some of my favorites to play as 2-player games:
1960: The Making of the President
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
Ticket to Ride
Thurn and Taxis
San Juan
Ingenious
Pandemic
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