Joseph Knowles
United States
Virginia
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I'm sure this question has probably been posted literally dozens of times here so if you prefer to just link me to another thread, that would be fine. My apologies.

I've been trolling around this site for several weeks now and I'm actually pretty excited about getting into boardgaming. The extent of my involvement so far in life has been Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, and the like. Nothing very in depth and, frankly, nothing nearly as interesting as some of the things I've seen here.

I've seen probably dozens of games here that I think I would like to try, but (and here's the reason I ask for a little help) I don't' know whether I could find family/friends who would be willing to play some of the games that look like fun to me. For instance, Napoleon's Triumph looks like it would be interesting (even if a little difficult to pick up and learn for a newbie like me), but I'm fairly certain I couldn't talk my wife into sitting down and going through all those rules even if I could convince her to play a wargame with me.

I've played through a couple games of Ticket to Ride over at their website and enjoyed it. It seems like that one is not difficult to learn and that I could convince my wife to play it (and maybe even our 11 year old niece). What I'm looking for is more games like that: ones that involve more than a roll dice and move mechanic, but don't get too complex; ones that involve enough strategy to keep me coming back for more, but not so much that I won't be able to convince anyone else that the game really can be fun. Also, games that play well with only two players (or at least have that option) are preferred.

Can anyone help?
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Leonardo Martino
Italy
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Re: New to gaming; need ligher games that work well for two players
2 pls games??

2 de mayo
Dynasties
King of Siam
Battle for hil 218
Hive
Bombay
Hansa

for more players I'd suggest Oltre Mare
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Michael J
United States
Folsom
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Re: New to gaming; need ligher games that work well for two players
Welcome to BGG and the wide world of board games. Based on your history, I think you have many years of fun ahead of you. The highest rated games on BGG blow monopoly away. And while I happen to like Trivial Pursuit, there are so many interesting games to choose from that the best advice I can give to you is to SET A BUDGET. You will be buying, A LOT. The fun of finding a new board game is addicting. You want more games. More mechanics. More things to try out. The more you read, the more you'll find you'd want. But, onto your recommendations...

A few quick recommendations:

Wasabi - I agree with above. Quick to play, easy to teach, easy on the eyes.

Pandemic - This is one of the best games to get spouses to play with you. Saving the world isn't much more fun than this.

Mr. Jack - Plays more like Chess, but designed for 2 players, and easy to teach

Carcassonne - I like this gateway game more than TTR. It is pretty simple, but when played aggressively, can actually be a tight, strategic, and cutthroat kind of game.

Zooloretto - Not the best 2 player game, but great with 3 and 4. Easy to teach. Quick to play. Easy on the eyes.

Blue Moon City - This one's different than most. Strategic, fun. Easy to learn.

Good luck finding games!
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Klaus Brune
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Torrance
California
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Re: New to gaming; need ligher games that work well for two players
Currently my two favorite and somewhat distinct two-player games are Memoir '44 and Tigris & Euphrates. T&E is officially "3 to 4" players, though it does make a great two-player as well. To see if it might be your cup of tea (it seems to be in the love-it-or-hate-it category), check out the in-depth overview and review on YouTube...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRCub6Xxng0&feature=fvw

A close runner-up (mainly because I prefer games with boards to card games, but still high on the list... Battle Line
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Dave
Canada
Kinda SW of Hamilton
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Re: New to gaming; need ligher games that work well for two players
I started with Tikal and think it works pretty well with two players. It's still one of my favourites.
 
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Paul Bryant
United States
Jamaica Plain
Massachusetts
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Re: New to gaming; need ligher games that work well for two players
JimbobJones wrote:
My defacto gateway games:

Ticket to Ride (with the exception of one person who was being a bit of a pain, everyone I've ever taught this loves this. By far the best gateway game for Target gamers/non-gamers)

Small World (my new favorite Gateway Game. The problem is that the theme -- elves, dwarves, etc -- may be a bit off-putting to some people just getting into the hobby)

Wasabi! (A tile placing game where you're building sushi recipes. Bound to be a hit for sushi lovers, and easy enough to play for most people.)

Settlers of Catan (A good GG after TTR to teach people more in-depth strategy. However, once you get to Settlers, you'll likely lose more casual gamers. My sister-in-law, for instance, loves TTR, but hates Settlers. Unfortunately, due to the bargaining mechanic, this game doesn't play quite as well with 2 players.)

Edit: BTW, all of these can be played by an 11-year-old, even Settlers.


This is a good list I would also add TransAmerica which is a simple but fun game for folks new to board games.

Also for you and your wife to strong ones for two players are Lost Cities which is easy to learn and seems to be one that my mom enjoys nothing over masculine about it (which I know turns some gals off from a number of games) also one that is a little more complex as far as having to remember some of the rules but you can fully grasp in a game or two is Mr. Jack which is what Clue should have been. It is a great little process of elimination deduction game.
 
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myles
United States
Mustang
Oklahoma
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Re: New to gaming; need ligher games that work well for two players
If you're looking for a lighter 2 player game with a "wargame" feel you could try Battle Cry, Memoir '44, BattleLore or Commands & Colors: Ancients. These are roughly in order of complexity, but none are difficult to play. You can read up on the themes and comments to get a feel for which setting you'll like best. All are based on the same easy to grasp system. Plenty of folks have posted pics of their significant others playing these systems.

I'll Echo Carcassonne. It's easy to learn and teach, but with more play you do get better at it, meaning there is some depth. You can play as nice or competitive as you like. I'd also recommend these stand alones in the series Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers or The Ark of the Covenant. If you don't want to buy expansions for the regular game, either of these feel more like "expanded" games of carcassonne, especially Ark.

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Mitch Willis
United States
Kathleen
Georgia
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Re: New to gaming; need ligher games that work well for two players
Thebes
Snow Tails
Bombay
Pandemic
Ingenious
Wyatt Earp
 
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.308 Jake
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
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San Juan is what started my addiction.
 
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Steven
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I also got into this hobby only a few months ago, in basically the same situation: I needed some games I could play with my girlfriend (now fiancee), and occasionally my brother when he came to visit. Here are the games I started with that worked really well:

For 2 players:
Lost Cities (very quick, and still one of our favorite games)
Battle Line
Guillotine (light and silly)
Jambo
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
The Downfall of Pompeii (also with > 2)
San Juan (our first "advanced" game; now a favorite; also with > 2)

For 3 or more players:
Bohnanza (very simple rules, and tons of social interaction)
For Sale
No Thanks!
Citadels
 
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Steven
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One thing I'll add is that I've found it easier to introduce non-gamers to pure card games -- they're quick to set up and are much less intimidating than a board with a bunch of pieces on it. Even Ticket to Ride can be a little bit daunting (at least at first) with its size, multiple cards, and multiple scoring.
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Nothing says "I love you" like a new dice bag
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Wurtsboro
NY
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Welcome to BGG!

Tsuro plays from 2-8 in about 20 minutes, has great bits, minimal setup, and is easy to learn. I've had great success with gamers and non-gamers alike.

Wasabi! is a fun suggestion. Great bits. Great "bait" potential (and no, I don't mean the fish in the sushi!)

Labyrinth might be fun, especially considering your audience of an 11 year old and/or non-gamers. Plays 2-4 with nice tiles.

Before the Wind - it's one of the few auction/bidding games that works well with 2 (plays up to 4). A card game with minimal setup and nice artwork.

Aquädukt - plays 2-4, is colorblind friendly, and is easy to teach because there's no hidden information.

Archaeology: The Card Game - a new game that my boyfriend surprised me with for our upcoming anniversary. Nice quality components, fun artwork, and interesting mechanics.

Can't Stop - a classic push-your-luck game that plays 2-4. Simple rules.

Unnamed Object - another push-your-luck game that says 3-8 but works well with 2. Simple... stay or go. Fun artwork.

No Thanks! - take a card or pay a chip. Simple, but lots of strategy.

Qwirkle Cubes - colorful, durable, easy to learn, and fun. We've been having a lot of fun with this when we want something lighter with minimal setup.

Stone Age - maybe just on the upper edge of what you want to introduce to non-gamers, but once they are comfortable with and excited about games, this would be a great next step.

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Pete Lane
United States
Golden Valley
Minnesota
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Finca is newer, light but carries deep enough strategy that hard core gamers will stay interested, quick, and scales extremely well. Not to mention really cute fruit bits!

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Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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I'll put my vote towards Carcassonne, Wasabi! and Ticket to Ride as well. They are easy to learn games that are lots of fun. Out of these three, Wasabi! is my favourite (and is in my top 3 overall).

I would recommend Catan, but it's not a very good 2 player game, in my experience. If you ever get 3-4 players, it would be worth it.

Since San Juan was mentioned as an "advanced" >2 player game, I'd like to throw in Race for the Galaxy as an excellent "advanced" 2 or more player game. Race has a steep learning curve, but I think it's well worth it. It's my #1 favourite game.
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Joseph Knowles
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Virginia
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Thanks for the welcome and all the recommendations! This is very helpful.
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