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Subject: Reef Encounter or (Traders of) Genoa? rss

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montag 66
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My wife and I are looking for a meatier/heavier game to add to our collection. Our heavier games right now include Goa (we love!), Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Power Grid. We had Agricola but traded it way. It was a fine game but it just didn't grab my wife enough to make it to the table. We also owned and traded Caylus. We bought it too early in our gaming career and it overwhelmed us. We may try it again at some point but not now. I will also be picking up Le Havre soon.

So the big question is, Genoa or Reef Encounter? Which is the better 2 player game, most accessible, most enjoyable?
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Eric Knauer
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Genoa is best with 4 or 5, so Reef Encounter wins by a mile based on your two player requirement. Genoa is all about negotiating favorable deals while Reef Encounter is more of an abstract game with an economic element included.

You might want to check out Louis XIV and Tikal for meaty games that play well with two. Vikings with the advanced rules is a lot of fun with two players but more on the medium side.

In the Year of the Dragon is good with three or more and The Princes of Florence is a classic that plays well with four and superb with five.


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Kent Reuber
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How good are you at reading rules? Reef Encounter has one of the most opaque sets of rules I've ever seen. "play a larva cube, then place polyp tiles..." Oy.
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kentreuber wrote:
How good are you at reading rules? Reef Encounter has one of the most opaque sets of rules I've ever seen. "play a larva cube, then place polyp tiles..." Oy.


Yeah, the Reef Encounter rulebook made our eyes glaze over. We didn't understand it until we gave up and just tried to play it. Amyitis might also interest you. Catan Card Game is good for two players, has expansions for variety, and is a fraction of the cost of Le Havre (which I don't really care for).
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John Rogers
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eknauer wrote:
Genoa is best with 4 or 5, so Reef Encounter wins by a mile based on your two player requirement. Genoa is all about negotiating favorable deals while Reef Encounter is more of an abstract game with an economic element included.


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These games are COMPLETELY different animals. I really enjoy both and neither would be a bad choice.

However, as mentioned above, Genoa is a negotiating group game with some commodity speculation that really needs 4 or 5 to shine. Whereas Reef is a really meaty confrontational abstract (although the theme and components are quite lovely) for any number of scalable players including 2.

If you have enough people and are looking for a loud, fun, game that is also strategically and tactically fulfilling then go for Genoa.

If you want something deeper and don't mind direct confrontation that you can play with your wife as well as a couple of others then go for Reef Encounter.

Happy Hunting.

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Josh P.
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Well, first you ask for "meaty" and then you ask for "accessible." These two terms are not necessarily a contradiction, but the overlap between these areas is slim. Both Reef Encounter and Genoa are fairly easy to learn and medium-weight Euro games. I don't really think either of them are that "heavy," but that isn't a bad thing. I think Genoa is the better of the two by far. While Genoa is better with more players, the two-player game isn't bad and my fiancée and I quite enjoy it. I would also suggest you check out Tikal (similar easy to learn, medium-weight Euro). And if you can find it, Stephenson's Rocket is one of the few heavier economic games that plays well with two.
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Hammock Backpacker
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indigopotter wrote:
kentreuber wrote:
How good are you at reading rules? Reef Encounter has one of the most opaque sets of rules I've ever seen. "play a larva cube, then place polyp tiles..." Oy.


Yeah, the Reef Encounter rulebook made our eyes glaze over. We didn't understand it until we gave up and just tried to play it. Amyitis might also interest you. Catan Card Game is good for two players, has expansions for variety, and is a fraction of the cost of Le Havre (which I don't really care for).


Wow...how two people can have different attitudes (I guess two are quoted above). Although I found RE rules difficult to get through, the game is somewhat difficult to describe due to its self-referential nature. Where do you start? It's difficult to introduce any portion of the elements of the game without having to introduce its impact on an, as yet, unmentioned element. However, once you grok the circular nature of it, it's an awesome game. One of my favorites. However, I rarely get to play it.

On the other hand, Amyitis feels an utter mess to me. I blacked out numerous times reading the rules. Nothing seemed to flow. It felt like they kept tacking on mechanics to plug playtesting issues rather than taking them away. Amyitis was a quick trade-away for me.

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Laurence Parsons
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Reef is a beautiful game. It is not easy to learn from the rulebook, but there are several player aids available here. If you are looking for a game with depth and strategy, then Reef is for you. You will not master it after just a few games. You may not even 'get it' for a few games. But once you start peeling away new layers of strategy, you will become hooked. I've clocked in the region of 300 games, and I'm still finding new nuances.
One other thing. It is the type of game where an experienced player will always beat a novice. There is (almost) no luck involved. If you and your partner want to keep on a roughly level playing field, then I recommend you try to keep your experience level on a par with each other. It has similarities with Chess in that respect.
One other other thing. if you want to try before you buy, it is available for online play at www.spielbyweb.com
enjoy,
fred
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J G
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kentreuber wrote:
How good are you at reading rules? Reef Encounter has one of the most opaque sets of rules I've ever seen. "play a larva cube, then place polyp tiles..." Oy.


I read Reef Encounter manual. Was kinda stuck.
Then I watched the Games with Scott video review of Reef Encounter then I made my fellow players watch it.

Then we tried it.

Rule book is a bit dense. Video helps lots.

I own both games and for two players Reed Encounter is your only option. Traders two players would be very lame. Max Min based on luck. I wouldn't even trade with my opponent!
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Jeff Binning
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Another vote for Reef Encounter. I have the original 1st edition rules. I'm not sure if they're different from the Z-Man version, but I didn't have any trouble learning the game, or teaching it.

Since you also mentioned Caylus, you might want to check out A Castle for All Seasons as something you might enjoy.
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