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Subject: Which train game is best for 2 players? rss

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Ken Thibodeau
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Excluding Ticket to ride, which I already own.

I'm thinking about heavier train games like Steam, Age of Steam, Roads to Riches, Steam Baron, Railways of the world, Railraod Tycoon and so on...

I know they all share some similarities, but are any of them readily and enjoyably playable with 2? Are there some specific maps to get (print)?

Thanks
 
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I find Steam Barons is an excellent two player train game. Though Steam Barons is the stock market game, so that may not fit the bill. Further to play Steam Barons you need to own Steam, which isn't a bad thing. It is an excellent game, and heads above Railways of the World in my opinion. Steam is playable with two, but you need to shrink the map to force competition.

I have always heard that Silverton is a good two player train game, but I never played it. I don't even know why it is considered good..
 
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David Gomez
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I will say Railways of the World. Out of the box it has great components, and a beautiful Mexico map which plays great with 2. No need to print out cheap ugly maps to force a 2 player game. I don't wanna knock this however becaue AoS and Steam are both great games, and if you are super into that it is OK. Now, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that your second player is maybe a female SO, and if that is the case she will appreciate more the visual aspects of ROTW,the ease of how it plays with 2, as well as the depth that it has. Look at ender's review and if you do decide to get it I would highly recommend getting the Artscow deck made for it.
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Patiently waiting for the zombie apocalypse...
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TheGreatGomi wrote:
I will say Railways of the World. Out of the box it has great components, and a beautiful Mexico map which plays great with 2. No need to print out cheap ugly maps to force a 2 player game. I don't wanna knock this however becaue AoS and Steam are both great games, and if you are super into that it is OK. Now, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that your second player is maybe a female SO, and if that is the case she will appreciate more the visual aspects of ROTW,the ease of how it plays with 2, as well as the depth that it has. Look at ender's review and if you do decide to get it I would highly recommend getting the Artscow deck made for it.


I agree with your comments on the visual aspects and ease of play in ROTW. I have the original Railways of the World, and RRT is the one that hooked my wife. So it is a very worthy game.

I still believe Steam is the better.
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Joe Huber

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Many 18xx games are playable with two, but most of them aren't particularly interesting that way. If I were going to try one, I'd probably try 1829 Mainline.

Merchant of Venus is fine with two, assuming you count it as a train game. If you do, then Perry Rhodan is designed for two.

The Crayon Rails games (Empire Builder, Eurorails, etc.) are good choices for two.
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Ben
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Ken,

Does it have to be trains? I had been wanting a two-player train game myself ever since I played a game of Steam around Christmas. But the best I could come up with was to buy Railways of the World and play on the practice map (Mexico). It didn't exactly sound inspiring.

Then I realized that there are a number of route-building, pick-up-and-deliver games that work better with two, but that aren't exactly "train" games. Here are my off-the-wall suggestions (none of which I have played yet, sadly):

Canal Mania: It may be a bit too light for your goal, but it takes parts of the Ticket-to-Ride formula and adds a more-flexible network-building aspect. The theme is a big plus for me, as I prefer boats to trains, and I'm a huge fan of Brass. I just purchased it.

Cavum: This is one I'm very excited about. A Kramer and Kiesling game about mining for precious gems, the game is about route-building, but places some interesting constraints on player decisions and adds a healthy dose of controlled chaos in the form of dynamite tiles. The reviews are hit-or-miss, but something about the game just resonates with me.

Stephenson's Rocket: While probably not the stock-market train game that Chicago Express is, Stephenson's Rocket appears to be more accommodating of two-players. If I could find a copy in English for less than $70, I would own it already.

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Ralph H. Anderson
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Although it is very long (up to 10 hours) Union Vs. Central is a great 2 player train game. Basically a card game, it has a lot of all that makes a great train game, building your tracks, moving your commodities and building your infrastructure. Best of all, it has a lot of player interaction in that the cards allow you to affect the other player quite a bit.

It was published in 1999 by Winsome Games. I don't know if it is still available anywhere but it is a lot of fun if long games don't scare you off.
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EGG Head
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Circus Train (First Edition) while not as heavy as age of steam is a great 2-player train game and you can pick up an expansion for more players.
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Alan Goodrich
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DragonCat wrote:
Although it is very long (up to 10 hours) Union Vs. Central is a great 2 player train game. Basically a card game, it has a lot of all that makes a great train game, building your tracks, moving your commodities and building your infrastructure. Best of all, it has a lot of player interaction in that the cards allow you to affect the other player quite a bit.

It was published in 1999 by Winsome Games. I don't know if it is still available anywhere but it is a lot of fun if long games don't scare you off.


I'd second this. If you're really into train games, U v. C is definitely the way to go - it has everything you'd want. Well, almost everything - everything except specific geography. Age of Steam can be great depending on the map, and we also enjoy Chicago Express (and Samarkand, which is less heavy).

We've played and enjoyed both Ticket to Ride (which is very simple) and British Rails (which is somewhat harder, but still a good introductory rails game. You could get India Rails or Empire Builder instead). Lately, we've been playing Santa Fe Rails. It is a much deeper take on the general idea behind TtR, with some Winsome style mechanics alongside. Very great game, and quite good with 2.
 
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Matthew Jones
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CM Randall wrote:
I have always heard that Silverton is a good two player train game, but I never played it. I don't even know why it is considered good..


I have played it and it is a fantastic 1-6 player train/mining game. It is not, however, a track-building, connection-making game like AoS, RRT, and TTR. You do purchase "track" but it's a different style of purchasing than those others. It is, however, a great game. Worth looking into if you're interested in mining/RR operations in the 4 Corners region about the turn of the century.

MJ

 
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Christopher M
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Most of my favorite train games don't play exceptionally well with two. The one exception is Empire Builder. If it's too dry for you, Steam (base game) is ok 2 player. Some of the 2 player Age of Steam are passable.
 
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