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Subject: 2 player heavy Euro. rss

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The wife is my main gaming partner, and she loves heavy Euro games. Caylus being a particular favourite of hers.

We've been playing more wargames recently, but I've decided that because she's been patiently playing ASL (which she's a bit meh about due to there being too many rules. Honestly, can you believe that?) CC:E (which she really enjoys) and others, the next game purchase will be a Euro.

I'm particularly looking at Hansa Teutonica or Le Havre, and what I'm asking the collective brain of the geek is this...

Do these games play well with 2?
What other heavy Euro type games would you recommend for 2?
What other not particularly heavy, but still very good Euro games would you recommend for 2?

Thanks in advance O collective brain...
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Choubi Gogs
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Shauneroo wrote:
The wife is my main gaming partner, and she loves heavy Euro games. Caylus being a particular favourite of hers.

We've been playing more wargames recently, but I've decided that because she's been patiently playing ASL (which she's a bit meh about due to there being too many rules. Honestly, can you believe that?) CC:E (which she really enjoys) and others, the next game purchase will be a Euro.

I'm particularly looking at Hansa Teutonica or Le Havre, and what I'm asking the collective brain of the geek is this...

Do these games play well with 2?
What other heavy Euro type games would you recommend for 2?
What other not particularly heavy, but still very good Euro games would you recommend for 2?

Thanks in advance O collective brain...


With your title, I was going to say Caylus... Reading your post, at least I know I wans't too far off.

The fact is I've been lookin for another game that would fill the same niche in my collection and had a hard time finding one.

Here are some few suggestions:

Neuland: the game I decided to pick up as a 2p heavy game. After just one play I can't say how good it is though from what I saw it does seem to be a big brain burner and hard to master game. Play with the first edition rules available here on bgg. (Also the rulebook is atrocious, you might skip it altogether and just read the docs here, Caylus rulebook, often referred to as crappy is a stroll through the park compared to Neuland's).

Goa: I've heard it was great and one of the best 2p heavy euros. Never tried it myself.

Antiquity: I rated it a 5.5 but it sure fits the requirements. It is a great game very engaging and heavy, and plays great with 2. So why the bad rating? Too fiddly, too many small pieces to move around all the time which killed the game for me and my friends. Though all of us realize the gameplay and the challenge is GREAT, the bits really put us off too much. See if that might bother you or not, if not then this might be the best recommendation you'll have! Also, some people consider it not interactive, I'd disagree, just be sure to be aggressive and go mess with the other.

There, good luck!

edit: Yeah, I didn't talk of Le Havre or Hansa Teutonica because I've never tried them and don't remember doing much research on them.

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Mikko Ämmälä
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Shauneroo wrote:
The wife is my main gaming partner, and she loves heavy Euro games. Caylus being a particular favourite of hers.

I'm particularly looking at Hansa Teutonica or Le Havre, and what I'm asking the collective brain of the geek is this...

Do these games play well with 2?
What other heavy Euro type games would you recommend for 2?
What other not particularly heavy, but still very good Euro games would you recommend for 2?

Thanks in advance O collective brain...


Le Havre plays very well with 2 players (infact it is one of our - my wife & me - favourite 2-player games to play).

Hansa Teutonica is playable with 2 players but Le Havre is better for that purpose.

Of others: GOA scales very well (2-4 players).

.mikko
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Runcible Spoon
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We play 2p Hansa Teutonica, BGG weight 3.2, and we enjoy it. I have not played Le Havre, BGG weight 3.7.

My favorite 2p medium-heavy Euro is Goa - BGG weight of 3.4. I didn't think a 2p auction game could work until I played this, it is a brilliant game.

A couple of other excellent games for 2p that we play that are medium-heavy euros are:

The Scepter of Zavandor - BGG weight of 3.5
Amyitis - BGG weight of 3.2
In the Year of the Dragon - BGG weight of 3.2

If you are like us and some nights you don't always have 1.5 to 2 hours for a game, then I would like to suggest a couple of satisfying but lighter games.

Carolus Magnus - BGG weight of 2.6 -> This one has a very unusual area control mechanic and it is my favorite Leo Colovini game. It is a brain burner, which it sounds like you like.

Attika - BGG weight is 2.4 -> This game is fairly light in terms of the number of rules, it is definitely not a 'heavy' game, but it has a strong emphasis on tactics which I find very satisfying. Most importantly it really plays well with just 2 players.

Good luck finding something you like!
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Tobias Kriener
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Le Havre immediately came to my mind, too.

Agricola is quite good with 2.

Twilight Struggle is a game for 2 - and it's rather "Euro-ish" - despite beeing a CDG.

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Roads & Boats
Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization

Both play well with two players.
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Reading that Caylus is a favorite and that you play wargames, Antiquity comes to my mind as well. Heavy, with minimal luck, one of my favorites when I have time to really sit down and get into a game.

I like Agricola more than Le Havre, but I could see it working very well for you. At the Gates of Loyang has also been a bit hit with us (almost 70 plays in the last few months).

For something not super heavy, but low luck and interesting, you might look at A Castle for All Seasons. It has role selection like Puerto Rico or Cuba, but with some differences, and the mechanics reminded me a bit of Stone Age, but with less luck. Cuba would also fit here.

Another not super heavy but still thinky Euro that we tried last night was Macao. It reminded me a bit of El Capitan, but with other things going on.

I didn't care for Through the Ages very much, but I know a lot of people do.

One more idea that I'll toss out there is Reef Encounter. The rulebook made my head hurt, but once we started playing it, it made more sense.
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Reach 93
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Through the Ages. fantastic with 2-players.

Twilight Struggle, or the more 'euro-ish' 1960.

Puerto Rico played as if it were a 4 player game, each player controls 2 boards, total the score of both your boards at the end (or count the lowest-scoring board for victory) - there are 2-player variants for pr, but when i play this 2-player we find this set-up produces a fantastic game. Just make sure the player turn order 'zig-zags' across the table (ie no player takes 2 turns in a row).
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Laurence Parsons
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Definately take a look at Reef Encounter
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It's just a ride...
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Thanks for the tips everyone.

Goa looks great, but seems difficult to find, the same with Antiquity.

We already have Agricola and Twilight Struggle, so I think that Vasco Da Gama is the current favourite, but Reef Encounter certainly looks intriguing.

With a weight of 3.7 it could be Polyps and Parrot Fish on our table next.
 
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Reef Encounter and Roads & Boats are great choices. You should get a lot of mileage out of Roads and Boats by going beyond the provided scenarios and creating all kinds of new maps. I'd guess Stronghold might fit the bill as well, based on what I've read about it.
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Henrik Lantz
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One more vote for Through the Ages. Almost weird you haven't tried it sounds perfect for you. If you want something more streamlined, I can add my support for Vasco da Gama as well.
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I would support most of the above as good suggestions esp Le Havre, Goa. (I'm not sure about Hansa Teutonica for 2 - didn't work for us - definitely would prefer Vasco da Gama)

I would add two games which are ostensibly not for 2 players but are in fact superb heavy 2 player games.

Brass with the 2 player variant on the geek. Fantastic for 2.
And Tigris and Euphrates which is a great and aggressive game for 2 whatever the box says.


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Maarten D. de Jong
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Shauneroo wrote:
What other heavy Euro type games would you recommend for 2?
What other not particularly heavy, but still very good Euro games would you recommend for 2?

Reef Encounter, Tigris & Euphrates, Goa, Tikal, Java, Amyitis, Endeavor (with the variant published by the authors here on this site), Louis XIV (with variants published here on this site), Mykerinos, Khronos. These are games I personally have good experience with, read, I'd put them out without hesitation.

A classical wargame for two is Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, which is a tough cookie. I don't know how it compares to ASL or CC:E rulewise, but there are sufficient wargamers here who can fill you in on the details.

Good abstracts for two: Through the Desert, YINSH, TZAAR, DVONN, Go, and Hive.
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James Derbyshire
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My wife is my main game partner. We enjoy heavy games too, specifically these at the moment:
Through the Ages
Agricola
Le Havre
Reef Encounter (just noticed you were looking at this. It is superb!)
Tigris

We're due to play Hansa Teutonica this week hopefully. Although I must admit, having read the rules, it looks like a better game for more players. The 2p variant seems a bit... odd.

The original Hansa is a pretty good 2p game.

Don't like Goa as 2p, but love it 3p.
We didn't enjoy Endeavor.

Have a look at my ratings, they're all our joint thoughts with the exception of ASL which is mine devil
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Mystery McMysteryface
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We like Louis XIV with the official 2-player variant.

Another suggestion would be a crayon rails game in the Empire Builder series. Some of the smaller maps are really good with 2:
India Rails
Russian Rails
or the heaviest one:
Iron Dragon

We didn't like Hansa Teutonica with just 2.
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Brian Forsythe
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I'm in a similar boat. My gf and I enjoy Caylus as well as Caylus Magna Carta.

I will add a vote for Agricola. It works great for two, though my gf doesn't like it, too much tension and I think she feels like it's over before it starts. For these reasons, I'm planning on picking up Le Havre, too.

Games that we play that fit the bill or come close include:
- Amyitis, though it's better with three
- 1960 (Twilight Struggle lite, thinking about picking up Twilight Struggle)
- Neuland

A game I'm planning on picking up next is La Città. Don't want to hijack your thread, but I'd be interested in hearing whether folks think this would be a good fit. Looks novel.

Other things I have on my radar but haven't played are Through the Ages, Cuba, Masters of Venice, In the Year of the Dragon, and Reef Encounter (though this last seems a bit abstract). Also eagerly awaiting the new release of Goa.
 
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Francesco Pessina
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Same situations here: my wife is my main gaming partner neverthless, after she discovers euro games, I cannot still make her play ASL or something similar anymore...
Our favorites: Caylus, Agricola, Le Havre, Through the ages and Roads & Boats!
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Maarten D. de Jong
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megasycophant wrote:
A game I'm planning on picking up next is La Città. Don't want to hijack your thread, but I'd be interested in hearing whether folks think this would be a good fit. Looks novel.

I find it boring, actually. Every time I played it its star grew a little dimmer, and when I worked out some of the underlying maths on a rainy afternoon I determined that it makes little sense to chose any but one amount of castellos—think of these as seeding places to allow your population to grow. People usually get this amount right by intuition, leading to a sense of sameness over various games. It looks quite cool, and somehow it feels like it ought to work, but it's not as versatile as you'd think, and the choices you must make are not that interesting to see you through the length of the entire game.

Quote:
... Reef Encounter (though this last seems a bit abstract).

Reef Encounter is anything but abstract. Its subject matter is exceedingly strong—the fact that it appears abstract probably has to do with the fact that coral reef dynamics are probably not everyone's cup of exciting tea meeple. You may want to seek out the online version first to give it a go...?
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Ben
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Agricola is my favorite game, but I enjoy Le Havre more with two.

Vasco da Gama is great, but it doesn't feel any heavier to me than, say, Puerto Rico. It may be lighter than you want.

My first thought on reading the title was Reef Encounter. I've not played it yet, but glad to see it getting recommended. Same for Neuland.

One game that no one mentioned yet is Shipyard. People disagree about weight, but I find it heavy (in the Agricola neighborhood), tense, and just the right length for a "meaty" 2-player game.
 
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Brian Forsythe
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cymric wrote:
megasycophant wrote:
A game I'm planning on picking up next is La Città. Don't want to hijack your thread, but I'd be interested in hearing whether folks think this would be a good fit. Looks novel.

I find it boring, actually. Every time I played it its star grew a little dimmer, and when I worked out some of the underlying maths on a rainy afternoon I determined that it makes little sense to chose any but one amount of castellos—think of these as seeding places to allow your population to grow. People usually get this amount right by intuition, leading to a sense of sameness over various games. It looks quite cool, and somehow it feels like it ought to work, but it's not as versatile as you'd think, and the choices you must make are not that interesting to see you through the length of the entire game.

Thanks, Maarten. This and the feeling I'm getting that it punishes non-optimal play ("runaway loser"?) have knocked it off my list.

cymric wrote:
Quote:
... Reef Encounter (though this last seems a bit abstract).

Reef Encounter is anything but abstract. Its subject matter is exceedingly strong—the fact that it appears abstract probably has to do with the fact that coral reef dynamics are probably not everyone's cup of exciting tea meeple. You may want to seek out the online version first to give it a go...?

I'm something of an aquatic/marine biology enthusiast myself, so I suspected as much.

Oh, and welcome to my GeekBuddy list. Thanks for the great subjective commentary in your game comments. Better review content there than in many reviews.
 
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Fel Barros
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Caylus is probably the best out of the bunch of heavies. I do believe it's best as a 2p actually.

Attika turns into a much more heavy game when played for two.

Shipyard is awesome as a 2p as well!

Have fun
 
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Eric Phillips
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Here's another recommendation for Through the Ages. It's a heavy Euro that plays quite well with two and it has a significant military component (esp. in the 2-player game) that might appeal to you if you like wargames.
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Ryan M
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My wife and I also mostly play 2 player. Agricola is great and we've played that together a lot. We recently picked up Le Havre and have played a couple times two player and so far, we actually like it better than Agricola as a 2 player game.
 
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