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Subject: Looking for a fun light-weight game to play with my wife rss

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Nathan Clark
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Please help - I’m looking for a fun game that I can play with my wife.

You need to know, however, that my wife is not overly strategic or competitive and only really likes light-weight, fun, games. For instance, she likes Thebes and Say Anything.

I, on the other hand, like a little strategy and competitive play, otherwise I get bored. I think this is why I don’t really enjoy Ticket to Ride or Thebes as two player games.

I was thinking that the Downfall of Pompeii may be suitable, because it combines a high fun factor with some competitive play (ie throwing your opponents pieces into the volcano). What do you think?

I have ruled out Dominion. Although I enjoy playing Dominion with mates, it is too strategic and competitive for my wife. Also, Lost Cities doesn’t really excite me.

Achieving the balance for my wife and I isn’t easy.

I would greatly appreciate any advice/recommendations. Thanks.
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Southy
United Kingdom
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Mr Jack could be what you're after. Light, competitive, fun and short playing time.
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Captain Frisk
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Connecticut
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Here are a couple that might be good:

Odin's Ravens - Decently fun 2p game that's not too heavy but has some interesting decisions
Carcassonne: The Castle - One of my GFs favorites as a 2p
Wasabi! - I'm not yet sold on this one as a great game, but it plays 2 and seems to appeal to her... who am I to turn down a game?

Other games that seem to go over well, but aren't strategic, but spacial reasoning / pattern recognition
SET
Ubongo - Anything with Ubongo in the title is a hit

Here are some great 2p games that are probably not going to work for you, but I will be immensely jealous if you manage to pull it off:
Twilight Struggle - Of course, the greatest of all 2p games is probably illegal (I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to play this even if I solved world hunger while cleaning the apartment)
1960: The Making of the President - Same system applied to an election. Both of these games are amazing 2p games... but definetly on the heavier side.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Mountain View
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Mr. Jack is a good call. Also check out Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. 20-30 minute playing time. Easy to learn. Uses basically the Stratego method of moving pieces around that are hidden to your opponent, but adds a layer of card management to it.

FWIW, I don't think of Dominion as being any more complicated than Thebes or TTR, and my wife loves it.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Natdog wrote:
I was thinking that the Downfall of Pompeii may be suitable, because it combines a high fun factor with some competitive play (ie throwing your opponents pieces into the volcano). What do you think?


Good choice. Your wife sounds a lot like mine, and Pompeii is one she likes. Others that she plays happily: Phoenix, Lost Cities, 6 nimmt! and Pandemic. The last came as somewhat of a surprise, but she has asked for it a couple of times.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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cferejohn wrote:
Mr. Jack is a good call. Also check out Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. 20-30 minute playing time. Easy to learn. Uses basically the Stratego method of moving pieces around that are hidden to your opponent, but adds a layer of card management to it.


It depends on where your wife falls in terms of accepting complexity. Mine finds both of these a bit more than she wants to deal with. They are great favorites of my older daughter's, though, who also likes Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age.
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Fabian
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It's quite a tough question, especially since Dominion in particular is already relatively simple and not all that out and out competitive.

What I would recommend would be Carcassonne because that has strategy while leaving the possibility of being played as competitively as the players want it to be played, same with Ticket to Ride.

Here's a thought, though: Try her on some cooperative games. There is strategy, yet you're actually working together to solve a problem. Pandemic works as a treat for most people. Ghost Stories is also a possibility. I'm trying to find a reason to recommend Arkham Horror in your situation, but whatever I try, I can't justify it. So don't get Arkham Horror, okay?
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Jeff Timothy
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How about a Co-op game. Have a look at Pandemic. Played it for the first time 2player. We didn't win but had a great time none-the-less.

If you do get a group of people together you can enjoy it as a multiplayer also.

~Jeff.
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Dave Barz
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Pompeii is a good choice, or "the volcano game' as my wife refers to it when she wants to play it. She also enjoys Thebes so there is some similarity there.

My typical recommendation here is Finca. Beautiful map, great colorful components, and while fairly simple can have thoughtful moments of worker placement choices.
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james collins
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The game my wife enjoys is Blokus and Travel Blokus. Not overwhelming, competive and quick. Before we play anyother game, she insists on a quick game. Maybe you could use it as a goto when you want something simple and quick.
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Joseph Cannon
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I'd recommend the 10 Days In... series for 2 players - it's engaging and it isn't difficult in the least.
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John Sheppard
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@natdog: Often in the same boat, I will say this...as a generalization (that is, not true of ALL wives), all of the wives I know and play games with (four or five of them) love Power Grid. This is not exactly a lightweight game, nor is it devoid of strategy. Like your wife, none of them are big on strategy (some actively avoid it) and they like more or less the same games as your wife. I agree it doesn't seem rational that they would like it so much, but they do. I guess if you can find a 'demo' copy, you should give it a try.
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Let's Play Two!
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Another vote for Pompeii here -- we have a great time with that one!
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Henrik Lantz
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Pompeii is great, sounds like a good choice for you. But how about some dice rolling? Haven't played Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age but from reading reviews it sounds like a light but fun dice game with great components. Worth checking out.
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Ben Verhaevert
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My wife is into non confronting coop games.
We tried Pandemic and she really loves it. It's light, easy to play and has a lot of strategic decisions to make.
I also tried Roll through the ages with her and it went allright.

For the rest she preferes "word games" à la Scrabble but I hate those since I keep losing most of the time.
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Big Kat
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Ra: The Dice Game is one of my wife's favorites (but she loves dice games in general).

Ticket to Ride is not so great with 2 players, but Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries can be very competitive. We also enjoy the competitiveness of 2 player Stone Age.

Carcassonne: The Castle is a good, light 2 player game that has plenty of opportunities to mess up the other player's stuff.

A few other games you could try:
Ingenious
Jambo
Fjords
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Dice bags!
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Stone Age and Roll Through the Ages are good suggestions. Perhaps also look at Qwirkle Cubes or the aforementioned Ingenious. Archaeology: The Card Game might work.
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Craig Liken
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Thurn and Taxis might work - route-building along the lines of Ticket to Ride but quite a few differences. Solid game, which my wife likes.

San Juan might be worth a look as well.
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EGG Head
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Jaipur nice looking 2 player cardgame,
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Tim Richter
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I have found the following good 2p and my wife has played them (she is NOT a gamer at all).

VIKINGS
TRADERS OF CARTHAGE
WASABI!
CARCASSONNE

For some reason, VIKINGS is a hit.
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Jason Walsh
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Sphere wrote:
cferejohn wrote:
Mr. Jack is a good call. Also check out Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. 20-30 minute playing time. Easy to learn. Uses basically the Stratego method of moving pieces around that are hidden to your opponent, but adds a layer of card management to it.


It depends on where your wife falls in terms of accepting complexity. Mine finds both of these a bit more than she wants to deal with. They are great favorites of my older daughter's, though, who also likes Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age.


Seconding Roll Through The Ages.
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Sue Hemberger

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Lots of good suggestions here. If you go with Mr Jack, I'd recommend the new (in NY) version rather than the original.

And I'll second (since thumbing alone didn't seem adequate) Lorna's recommendation of Jaipur. Very neat little game.
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Chris Weeks
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Have you looked at Battle Line? I just picked this up and my wife and I played the other night. She liked it and your wife and mine sound like they have similar taste in games, maybe yours will like it too.
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Ryan Dalton
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Whatever you decide to go with, don't try to convince her that she will enjoy Claustrophobia...

A great 2 player game in my book, but my wife definitely did NOT enjoy the one try we gave it. shake
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Michael Mehl
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I have had much success with Maori. It a really light tile laying that is spouse friendly. Inexpensive too.
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